“I never wanted to be gay. I was scared of what God would think and what all of these people I loved would think about me; so it was never an option for me.” This is how Trey Pearson, lead singer of the popular Christian rock band Everyday Sunday, describes his life growing up. His decision to “come out” as gay is big news to those familiar with contemporary Christian music.
Pearson has toured in all fifty states and twenty countries, playing alongside MercyMe and other top Christian bands. His songs have regularly topped Christian music charts. But he says he was hiding a secret. Though raised in a conservative Christian home, he says he knew from an early age that he was attracted to other males. So he tried to “be straight.” He married a woman nearly eight years ago and they had two children. However, “I realized the only way I was ever going to be my best for them was to be healthy myself.”
So the singer has declared his sexual orientation. He says he still reads the Bible and prays. In columnist Jonathan Merritt’s words, Pearson believes that the Bible does not prohibit “the kind of loving, committed gay relationships known to the modern world.” According to Pearson, “There is absolutely no conflict with accepting who I am and following Jesus. God wants me to be healthy, authentic, whole, integrated and my truest self.”
This announcement deserves a response from those of us who believe all homosexual relations to be outside God’s word and will. (For more, see my How to Defend Biblical Marriage.) It’s one thing for non-Christians to lambast us as “homophobic.” It’s another for a famous Christian to declare that he is gay and lend his voice to the other side of the debate.
Here’s my view: The Bible is either right on this issue or it is wrong. To take a third position—that the Bible does not speak to “the kind of loving, committed gay relationships known to the modern world”—is to decide that Scripture is either irrelevant or deceptive. It is to believe that God did not give us revelation on an issue that was just as pervasive in ancient culture as it is today, or that his revelation has misled millions of Christians over twenty centuries.
As with all cultural issues, we must choose how to relate Scripture to the question of homosexual experience. We will either view Trey Pearson’s announcement through the unchanging prism of God’s truth, or we will view the Bible through the changing prism of cultural opinion. To choose the first is to build our lives on rock; to choose the second is to build them on sand (Matthew 7:24–27).
If you stand on the rock, let me suggest two additional responses. First, pray for Trey Pearson and others who struggle with their sexual orientation. The Fall infects every dimension of human experience. We are all broken sexually. Pearson’s wife and children are directly affected by his announcement. Their family and millions of others in similar situations need and deserve our compassion and intercession.
I highly recommend Living Hope ministries for those who struggle in this area. They offer the largest world-wide online support groups for those who are impacted by same-sex attraction. They journey with those who are seeking sexual and relational wholeness through a more intimate relationship with Jesus.
Second, be encouraged. Despite the moral trajectory of our culture, Christian commitment is strong and growing stronger. (For more, see my latest website column, How is God Doing in America?) God’s word “shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). As a result, “you shall go out in joy” (v. 12), knowing that “the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
Is his joy your strength today?