Kay Warren says in the forward of the book:
"Out of a Far Country speaks directly to anyone who has wandered for any length of time. It's a blindingly true story that will resonate with prodigal sons and daughters, and with the parents of prodigals. This story is sometimes heartbreaking, and it's often raw in its honesty. The battle that is waged over a person's soul is lengthy and hard fought, and the outcome is not known until after wounds have been suffered."
This is what I loved about this book. It's raw honesty. No political agenda, no religious jargon, just the love of God calling his children to Himself in a powerful and beautiful way.
This story is told through exchanging chapters between mother and son. A gay son and a broken mother. God calling them both and restoring their lives.
Two things really stood out to me. Firstly the love and dedication of Angela, the mother. After putting her trust in Jesus her whole life changed. Her marriage was restored and her desire to know the Lord grew. She began praying for her son in earnest, setting up a prayer room.
I loved what she said here:
"...I had prayed specifically that God would do whatever it took to bring my son to Him - not to us, not out of drugs, not out of homosexuality...but to the Father."
This is the most important prayer a mother or father can pray...God bring my child to You. God will then sort out all the rest.
|Christopher and his mom, Angela|
After years of promiscuous sex, drug use and dealing, and excessive partying, Christopher came to the end of himself in prison. There he gave his life to Jesus and was changed.
He then wanted answers to what a Christian homosexual looked like. So he visited the prison chaplain and shared his story, asking for advice. The chaplain gave him a book which said the Bible did not condemn homosexuality.
Christopher took the book, but says he couldn't even get through the first chapter before the Holy Spirit convicted him. Christopher says of the book: "the assertions from that book were a distortion of God's truth." He then turned to the Bible.
He says here:
"After that, I turned to the Bible alone and went through every verse, every chapter, every page of Scripture looking for biblical justification for homosexuality. I couldn't find any. I was at a turning point, and a decision had to be made. Either abandon God to live as a homosexual - by allowing my feelings and sexual passions to dictate who I was. Or abandon homosexuality - by liberating myself from my feelings - and live as a follower of Jesus Christ.
My decision was obvious. I chose God."
This really moved me, as one who has a loved one who is gay, I've been to that place where I've questioned what the Bible really says about homosexuality. There is so much pressure, even in the church, to put God's Word aside and try and make sense of this on our own. But in the end there is a choice to be made. We must trust God.
Christopher says he really struggled with who he was. He'd always thought of himself as a homosexual to his core. It was who he was. He asked: "Did I have an identity apart from my sexual orientation?"
He goes on to say:
"...I really believed that God had created me this way - gay. I had told myself over and over, I am gay. I was born this way. This is who I am. I never chose to have these feelings. But now, as I searched the Scriptures for the way I should live, I began to ask myself a different question: Who am I apart from my sexuality?
As I continued to read the Bible, I realized that my identity shouldn't be defined by my sexuality. Paul said in Acts 17:28. 'for in Him we live and move and have our being.'
Christ should be everything - my all in all.
My sexual orientation didn't have to be defined by my feelings or sexual attractions. My identity was not 'gay' or 'homosexual,' or even 'heterosexual,' for that matter. But my identity as a child of the living God must be in Jesus Christ alone.
God says, 'Be holy, for I am holy.' I had always thought that the opposite of homosexuality was heterosexuality. But actually the opposite of homosexuality is holiness. God never said, 'Be heterosexual, for I am heterosexual.' He said, Be holy, for I am holy."
This is what this book is all about. Learning to be holy, because God is holy. And to know that you are beloved by a God who will never give up on you.
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
These events happened over 10 years ago and since then Christopher and his parents have had a ministry leading others to the Lord. You can check it out here: christopheryuan.com
If you have questions, it would be best to e-mail Christopher here: email@example.com
*Warning - this book is somewhat graphic in the telling of Christopher's story.
Buy it HERE on Amazon