Wednesday, 9 October 2013
The amazing testimony of Rosaria Butterfield.
It is not often that you find a well written autobigraphy that is both articulate and also God honouring. Testimony is often a vehicle for self exaltation and a glorying in life prior to Christian experience. That is certainly not true of this book written by Rosaria Butterfield. She is an academic and so her writing is at times difficult to understand (for us pleb types) but nevertheless it is inspiring.
This a testimony for Christians to pour over and to pick the bones out of.
I have to say that there are things that she forcefully endorses that I cannot agree with such as her covenant theology (she is a Psalm only singing Presbyterian) she therefore promotes child baptism etc. She is also a proponent of home schooling and promotes it very strongly in the closing chapter but all of that having been said this is a brilliant book and worthy of reading.
Rosaria was an academic teaching English in universities in the United States. She was formerly a staunch feminist (and is now a thoroughly biblical feminist)and a womens rights activist but more importantly for her testimony she was a homosexual, living in a lesbian relationship when God irresistably called her to grace. She was converted and describes all of the emotions and difficulties (at least those things that are useful for her readers sanctification)that conversion brings. I am thankful to her for the lack of any graphics but for the honest opening of her heart that God is dealing with.
The title of the book is "the secret thoughts of an unlikely convert." It is both instructive and inspiring. It is helpful for Christians as we seek to understand the hearts and minds of those who are sexually confused. It is challenging and hard hitting. It will at times break your heart and at other times rebuke you for your lack of understanding of people who we live amongst.
Finally it proves without a shadow of doubt that those crazy Christians who stand with placards declaring the God (and they also) hates fags, queers (Rosaria's word!) or homosexuals! That is a terrible lie!!!!! They have no licence to say so; Paul in his letter to the Colossians (chapter 3:5-7) is urging the church to actively put on the Christ life and so he reminds the people that they are not to walk in their former ways of immorality and passions etc. that they once did. The point that I make is that from this passage (and others) that it is clear that God does NOT hate gays. In fact it tells us something quite different, God's grace is available to people of all sorts of persuasions. It also teaches us that once a person is converted then God expects them to live holy lives and not lives that fulfil worldly desires.
We easily understand this with those who are "prone" to stealing etc but it applies equally to all sin. That includes glutony, (how many fat christians do you know?) John Wesley said that "the amassing of treasures on earth was every bit a sin as is adultery. Adultery being the taboo sin of Wesley's day; he is saying that whatever the sin' in God's eyes it is of equal proportions. Have you ever been guilty of taking an extra sweet? That to God is gross sin as is the worst thing that you can ever imagine.
This book helps us to understand how grace changes hearts and minds sanctifying them for the Master's use.
The upshot of it all is that Rosaria is now married to a Pastor and lives a very different lifestyle by conviction, obedience and choice, her chapter concerning the headship of the husband is refreshing and inspiring and thoroughly biblical.
I thank her for a most helpful book.