Last week, the Internet (or at least Christianized corners of the Internet) went abuzz over the lead singer of a Christian rock band coming out as gay. Trey Pearson is his name, and he fronts Everyday Sunday, a successful group of the last two decades.
You can read the full article of Trey Pearson’s coming out here, including chunks of a letter that Trey wrote to his family upon coming out. Trey had a wife, and he has two kids.
Here’s Trey Pearson’s recent interview from The View:
We authors at Your Other Brothers have a private Facebook group where we — among other less serious things — discuss current events and articles like this one. We’ve had a fascinating conversation going about Trey Pearson, his coming out, and what it means to struggle with homosexuality or be a “gay Christian” in today’s culture.
So, rather than type out some sophisticated response, I figured I’d open the window a crack and let y’all into the discussion.
We hope you feel a little less alone in tagging along with us.
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Sam: Honestly? I’m kinda discouraged. Because I’m 99% attracted to guys and 1% to girls, I have a big fear of marrying a girl, starting a family, and then not being able to be all that I should to her. It makes me not want to think about marriage in the future — the thought of breaking her heart is too much.
Marshall: Sam, I have faced that whole thing of marriage to a woman and decided NOT to get married, at least for now. Jonathan/David friendships ARE possible with no sex. Some of mine seem close to that. Marriage with a woman is also possible.
Jeffery: He seemed more humble than others I’ve read, like Jennifer Knapp, and I can see his heart behind coming out, coming to terms with his sexuality, and all that. But it’s all heart. He’s leading by feeling in lieu of fact. Like, how did these white preachers come to the conclusion that homosexuality was wrong? Was it because of a culture of homophobia, or is it based on something?
Corey: I used to think we grew up in the worst society in which there is so much judgment, fear, and shaming for Christians who deal with SSA. But now, I’m worried for future generations.
I wonder which society is truly the more challenging one to live in: one in which people with SSA are ignored and rejected within the Church, where it is taboo to speak of the subject (but where living out homosexual desires is clearly defined and acknowledged as sin), or a society where choosing to live out one’s homosexual desires is applauded and admired within the Church (but where the passages defining homosexual acts as sin are ignored or redefined)?
This is a question I haven’t seriously thought about until now. Which society will truly be more difficult for the Christian with SSA? Both seem to include their own unique challenges, advantages, and disadvantages.
Jeffery: I think this is a great question. We see the Church (or maybe just the western Church?) becoming more and more gay-affirming. People are likening it to the Church’s response to slavery, saying we’re on “the wrong side of history.” I would say that the former is probably more damaging because it too often leads to people leaving the Church, leaving their families, and/or committing suicide. When people are convinced that the wrong is right . . . well, it’s still damaging, but I feel like those effects are less obvious.
John: Just read the article. Man, this is heartbreaking. I used to listen to some of their songs several years ago, but I don’t really have a ton of connection to him or the band. It’s so scary how he just gave up. I mean, in his mind, he’s accepting who he thinks he is, but it’s just a lie.
P.K.: The heroes of our age are those that “are true to themselves.” I saw the new trailer for Star Trek Beyond. One of the lines was something like, “You spent so much time trying to be your father; now, you have to figure out who you really are.”
Heroes are figures of ultimate good. It fits that accepting yourself for who you are and Christianity will go together. Or maybe not Christianity, but the western Church.
The villains of our time are those that hinder sex-expression and realization. The Church doesn’t want to be a villain; it wants to support the heroes.
We set ourselves up for this. We allowed ideas into our community — not the idea that “it’s ok to be gay,” but the idea that self-identity, or even just identity is everything.
“This is who I am in Christ” is still a focus on “who I am.” “This is who I am in Christ” is not necessarily evil, but it is individualistic. Our individualism has brought us here.
If we are going to maintain that homosexual behavior is wrong, we need to fix the ideas in our Church.
Kevin: I don’t care so much if a Christian openly admits to being gay or having homosexual attractions, whatever you want to call it. We’ve all done that! No big deal, right? But what kills me about this guy is that he left his wife and kids over this matter.
I have a wife and kids, and I have come damn close to leaving them in the past because of my raging SSA, my need to go find some guy who would fulfill me the way I wanted and make me feel good. But I held on. I rejected those urges. I took them to the cross.
I realized there were other issues at play under everything that were not so easy to identify at first, but which were fueling my cravings for men. Given enough time, humility, and the work of the Holy Spirit, I got through those dark nights.
My marriage was strengthened.
My kids still had a daddy coming home to them each night.
I was forgiven and purified and found a new layer of freedom — true freedom, not based on my feeling good about myself, but rather dying to my flesh at the cross, following Jesus, and living by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I don’t see Trey here doing that. I see him divorcing his wife, causing hardship for his kids, and running away to go try to feel good about himself on his own terms.
Understandable, yes. I get it. I’ve felt like doing that many times myself. But I can’t justify it or applaud his actions. It’s all just too sad…
Bradley: I guess we are the lucky ones. I mean, he struggled for decades by himself. What other conclusion would he have come to?
Corey: This (and the rest of our blogs, posts, in-person discussions, etc.) is an example of why each person’s story is so important and worth telling. God gives each person fragments of the truth like tiny puzzle pieces, and when we share our little truths, our stories, we can make better sense of ourselves, the world, and Him!!
Tom: True that, my brothers. I’m just blessed beyond words to know each and every one of you. To see God’s truth and His love and His goodness in all of our shattered yet beautiful fragments. I can’t pretend to know any of the inner workings of Trey Pearson’s heart, but I do know this: I’ve found you guys. And that has made all the difference.
How do you feel when Trey Pearson or anyone in pop culture comes out? Comfort in the sexual camaraderie, jealousy for the attention and praise, or sadness in the spiritual disconnect? Does the fact that Trey Pearson maintains his Christian faith factor into your emotions?