Does Jesus Really Love Me?
The answer is yes, Jesus does love Jeff Chu. Jesus, the son of God, loves us all according to the Bible. The Bible takes a couple hundred pages to explain in no uncertain terms God will not stop loving us. Of course, God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit/The Universe/The Essence of All loves us; they love us all. Jesus preached to the outsiders; the lepers, the cripples and the weirdoes to drive home just how much S/He loves us. Jesus' sheep and the church, on the other hand, are still mostly undecided. Fortunately, God isn't the church.
"Does Jesus Love Me?" chronicles Jeff Chu's trek across the United States to interview and witness Christianity through the eyes of its leaders and its gay devotees. The majority of this book is LGBTQ positive but includes arguments from both sides. Excerpts include missives from notable public figures such as (relatively unrepentant) Ted Haggard, Jennifer Knapp, Lianna Carrera and Justin Lee of The Gay Christian Network. A generous portion of the interviewees firmly believe that homosexuality is a born-condition and no more a sin than breathing. Representatives from Harding University Queer Press go so far as to point out that God wouldn't create us in His/Her/Its image only to send us directly to wherever bad people go after death. They postulate that God wouldn't give us free will to immediately strip it from us when we regard human sexuality.
Chu's writing attempts to withhold judgment. He largely keeps his spiritual journey to himself so that the reader can focus on his own journey. There are some moments when Chu reveals his own struggle such as towards the end of the book when he discusses his need for a spiritual home. Chu is working through some deeply personal healing; it's no wonder that he's keeping most of his thoughts to himself. His removal from the book can also allow the reader to draw his or her own conclusions but the overall theme is that, yes, Jesus/God/The Powers That Be do love you. Even better, there are communities across the US willing to accept gay Christians as they are/where they are in their evolution. Regardless of your affinity for divinity, Chu's message resonates that we are welcome to celebrate in the church of our choice. That is a message we all need to hear.
"Does Jesus Really Love Me? A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage in Search of God in America"
by Jeff Chu