A week after married Christian rocker Trey Pearson announced he is gay and will be leaving his family, twin brothers Jason and David Benham urged him to find his identity in Christ - not his sexuality.
"We pray he remembers Christ's words: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me,'" the conservative brothers wrote in a recent blog post for WND.
"Denial of self is central to the Christian faith. It's a rejection of our stubborn sinful nature that seeks dominion in our lives. And it's a daily dying, too; trust us! Yet through Christ, we have the victory - but we must deny self."
As earlier reported, Pearson, the lead singer of Everyday Sunday and father of two young children, came out in a lengthy interview with (614) Magazine, in which he said he had "romanticized" the idea of falling in love with a woman but that this had "resulted in a marriage where I couldn't love or satisfy my wife in a way that she needed."
The singer said he has "come to accept that there is nothing that is going to change who I am" and praises his wife for being "the most supportive, understanding, loving and gracious person I could ever ask for, as I have come to face this."
By coming out, Pearson claimed he was "taking another step into health and wholeness by accepting myself, and every part of me. It's not only an idea for me that I'm gay; it's my life. This is me being authentic and real with myself and other people. This is a part of who I am... I trust God to help love do the rest."
He revealed that he will headline the Columbus Pride Parade in Ohio later in June and asserted that there is "absolutely no conflict with accepting who I am and following Jesus."
"God wants me to be healthy, authentic, whole, integrated and my truest self," Pearson said.
However, the Benham brothers, who were famously dropped from an HGTV home-flipping show due to their belief in traditional marriage, contend that when Pearson chooses feelings over faith, it doesn't mean God doesn't love him or value him highly.
"Quite the contrary is true," the write. "But refusing to deny himself by accepting his sinful nature is a denial of the cross of Christ. Our hearts break for him - as well as for his wife and kids."
"True identity comes from a point outside ourselves, never from what we feel inside," the brothers continue. "This is why true, biblical Christianity is so powerful - because Christ changes us from the inside out and gives us a new identity in Him (a fixed point outside ourselves)."
The Family Research Council has also responded to Pearson and urged him to deny himself as part of his Christian faith.
"Our hearts break for him and his family. We pray he remembers Christ's words: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me,'" the FRC said in a Facebook message on Wednesday.
"Denial of self is central to the Christian faith. It's a rejection of our stubborn sinful nature that seeks dominion in our lives. Yet through Christ, we have the victory - but we must deny self," the message added.