Jackie Hill-Perry, a Christian rapper and former lesbian, has shared her thoughts on how churches can better minister to the LGBT community and why she believes Christian leaders should remind those struggling with same-sex attraction that their identity is more than their sexuality.
During a recent interview with The Gospel Coalition, the 26-year old St. Louis native was asked "what is the most important thing church leaders can do to help people in their congregations who struggle with same-sex attraction?"
"What was helpful for me was that my leadership did not isolate my same-sex attraction from my whole person," she responded. "They looked to see 'how can I help her in a Gospel-centric way that's holistic' because it wasn't that I struggle with lesbianism. I struggled with hatred, bitterness, laziness, gluttony, lack of stewardship, pride. There was a lot to me that was much deeper than just my sexuality."
Hill-Perry, who is now married to fellow spoken word artist Preston Perry and has a daughter, explained that Christian leaders need to let people know that their identity is in more than just their sexuality.
"When I was able to see that all of me needed Jesus, all of me needed to be whole and all of me needed to be discipled, that's what helped me. Because it kind of humbles you where [I said] 'I'm real messed up because it's not this one little fraction of me. It's all of me' and I'm able to really crawl to Jesus and know He can fix me. Only He can make me whole," she said.
The rapper, who gave her life to Christ in 2008 and turned away from her previous lifestyle, has written for various Christian ministry organizations, such as Mark Driscoll's Resurgence and John Piper's Desiring God on the topic of Christianity and homosexuality.
In 2013, she penned a thoughtful response to rapper Macklemore's platinum-selling song "Same Love," which suggests homosexuals can't change.
"What I would say to Macklemore is, if we believe the Bible is completely true and God breathed-which it is-then we need to deal with texts like 1 Corinthians 6:9-11," Hill-Perry said.
"The word of God itself, apart from Jackie Hill, testifies that people can change," she said. "So if the word of God is the word of God, then we need to deal with that and believe that it's true. I think we've made God very little if we believe that he cannot change people. If he can make a moon, stars and a galaxy that we have yet to fully comprehend, how can he not simply change my desires?"
She also stressed that predisposed homosexual desires aren't an excuse to follow through with those desires.
"If God chooses not to change my desires, he has promised to give me his Holy Spirit that will help me flee from them," she said. "There are people who were alcoholics for 20 years, went through rehab and they don't drink anymore, but sometimes they may be tested. If they see a bottle of whiskey, they're going to want that whisky, but they have a choice."
Earlier this year, she also shared her thoughts on Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner's decision to transform into a woman named Caitlyn: "When God is involved, now it's a bigger deal. He created your body," said Perry to Rapzilla. "He sovereignly allows you to be male or female, so for you to go against Him is an eternal issue. He created your body, so you don't have the right to say, 'I can do with it whatever I want.' That's the most prideful thing you can do because it's an attack on the wisdom of God."
"I don't fully get it, but I get it because I dealt with gender confusion as a child and even growing up until I became a believer," added Hill-Perry. "I get and understand the feeling of, 'If I lived my life as somebody else, I would be happier than I am now."