I encourage you to join us for our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Accepting My True Identity in Christ” with guest Rosaria Champagne Butterfield.
It was in college on her path to academia and an earned Ph.D. in English literature, that Rosaria first noticed her interest in women. At age 28, she came out as a lesbian. Like many – perhaps most – who identify as homosexual, her pronouncement didn’t come with a political agenda.
But that soon changed.
She was a self-described “historical materialist” who rejected entirely the idea of supernatural authority. Having removed God from her worldview, she built her life on the tenets of feminism. In fact, as a tenured professor at Syracuse University, she required her students to interpret the world through the lens of feminism or to attend class elsewhere.
One year, she wrote a scathing article exposing – from her vantage point – the nefarious agenda of the Promise Keepers organization to oppress women. She leveled similar charges against another group she associated with Promise Keepers: Focus on the Family.
In 1999, she took leave from her professorship to research a book she intended to write as a rebuke of religion from a lesbian feminist point of view. Her argument was that Christians viewed themselves as morally and intellectually superior to the people they hoped to reach.
For example, most of the people she met in the Christian community treated the Bible as a weapon against her to win arguments instead of as an invitation to deeper conversations.
One couple was willing to talk with her instead of at her. Ken and Floy Smith, a local pastor and his wife, offered to help Rosaria research her book and deepen her understanding of Christianity. Instead of clever one-liners, they responded to Rosaria’s scholarly inquiries with thoughtful conversation.
What Ken and Floy also offered Rosaria – to her surprise – was unconditional love and respect. They treated Rosaria not as a project, but as their friend. They spent time with her. They invested in her. They “neighbored” with her and extended grace to her by valuing her as a person instead of as a potential convert out of lesbianism.
If you’ve ever caught yourself wondering, “Can God really reach certain people?”, I hope you’ll join us for “Accepting My True Identity in Christ” on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or on our free phone app. I believe Rosaria’s story will inspire you and remind you that God can reach everyone.
While you’re here, you may be interested in a free online booklet we’ve written called, “Coming Home: An Invitation to Join God’s Family,” which explains what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Before I close, I’d like to extend an invitation for you to become a special partner with us through our monthly “Friends of Focus on the Family” program. When you do, I’ll send you a copy of Rosaria Champagne Butterfield’s book The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith as a way of saying thank you for touching others with the love of Christ. You’ll also receive member-exclusive benefits. To make your pledge, or for more information, click here or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).