About two years ago, I wrote a review for the book Messy Grace (click here to read my review). After a close friend came out as gay, I struggled to know how to respond. I wanted to continue loving him and being his friend, but how was I supposed to react once he started dating other guys or openly talking about his feelings? Caleb Kaltenbach’s book was a great source of wisdom for that time. Believers are called to love one another as Christ/Yeshua loves us. The call to faith is not only to minister to other like-minded believers, but sharing the light of Yeshua with the lost, hurting, and searching.
With this understanding, I began to wonder what happens when a person from the LGBTQ+ community finds God. I know that there are many churches openly accepting homosexuality and no longer calling it a sin, but where are the people who are not afraid to stand for the Word of God even though it goes against what is culturally accepted?
Scrolling through NetGalley one day, I came across A Change of Affection by Becket Cook. Intrigued to hear his testimony, I began reading with the mindset that this was simply a memoir about someone’s life; however, as I closed the book for the final time, I knew my life would never be the same again.
Raised in a Catholic home, Becket Cook has struggled with same-sex attraction since he was nine-years-old. After being invited to look at a Playboy collection at a friend’s house, Becket was introduced to pornography, awakening a sexual desire he didn’t know how to control. Over the coming years, events would solidify his belief that he was gay. Accepted by the world and fully embracing the LGBTQ+ identity, Becket lived within the community for almost twenty years. Nothing was going to dissuade him from believing that being gay was who he was; that is until he attended a church service and had a life-changing experience with the Holy Spirit. From that day forth, Becket’s identity shifted, and his eyes were opened to the truth of Jesus and the Word of God.
Becket writes, “This is the way I address the issue if I’m asked about my sexuality: “I am a follower of Christ who happens to experience same-sex attraction.” Other Christians may struggle with all kinds of sin: gossip, greed, anger, pride, and so on. But I seriously doubt that they would identify themselves as a “greedy” Christian or a “gossiping” Christian. So why would I identity as a “gay” Christian?”
A Change of Affection spoke to my heart and challenge so many areas in my life. Not only is it an incredible book to help those struggling with same-sex attraction or aiding Christians who want to communicate with those within the LGBTQ+ community, but it was also an eye-opening book that tested my relationship with Yeshua. As I read, I found myself asking, “Where am I placing my identity? Do I prioritize my time with God or put other things first? If I were to ask Yeshua how to get eternal life like the rich man in Matthew 19, which command would He highlight?
Written with a simple yet well-versed and educated approach, A Change of Affection does not stray from the hot topics or waver when speaking the truth, despite the world’s loud disagreement! Becket Cook perfectly defined what it means to love and explained how to approach those struggling with the world’s desires.
With Scripture on almost every page and so much wisdom to glean, I felt the Holy Spirit speaking directly to me through Becket’s words. While it was sometimes uncomfortable to read about his past relationships, I believe those chapters were important to show the transformation in his life. A Change of Affection challenges the hearts of those seeking to follow the Messiah, and, I believe, needs to be read by ministers, leaders, parents, or anyone with a desire to grow closer to the Father. It’s time we put our identity in the One who died for us and loves us unconditionally rather than the fleeting world whose love is conditional. It’s also time believers take a stand for the truth, living by the Spirit rather than our flesh, and no longer conforming to the world’s standards!
If you can’t tell, this book brought a radical awakening to my life, and I pray that it will do the same for many others, as well. These conversations need to take place, and while the truth can be hard to swallow, if we truly want to align ourselves with the Word, we need to understand where our identity belongs!
*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book. The words and opinions shared in this review are entirely my own.