Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Edge of Grace by Christa Allen




Abingdon Press (August 2011) 336 pages

Description from Amazon:

In a matter of seconds her entire world shifted...

An early morning call shatters Caryn Becker's world. Unable to cope with her brother’s news that he is gay, Caryn rejects him and disappears into her own turbulent life as a young widow and single mom. But when David is attacked and nearly killed, Caryn is forced to make hard choices about family, faith, and her own future; choices that take her to the very edge of grace.

My Review:

When I decided to review this book, I had no idea that it was pertaining to homosexuality. I wouldn't have reviewed it if I had known. I'm a Christian, so I thought that my beliefs on the issue were obvious, but after reading The Edge of Grace, I realize that's not the case. While I'm not ashamed of any of my beliefs, I'm not one to just freely throw them out for all to attack without anyone asking what I believe. I will tell anyone what and why I believe what I do on any given subject. Just ask! :) Since I did agree to review the book, though, I will make my thoughts on the subject pretty clear.

I do ask that anyone reading my review to treat me with respect. I'm not attacking anyone, and I do respect everyone's opinion. This is mine! Feel free to tell me your thoughts, but again, please be respectful. :)

First of all, I'll tackle the issue of the treatment of the homosexual community. I don't believe in hurting anyone! Period! That includes physical AND emotional hurt. I don't think that a gay person should be beaten or even shunned in any kind of way because of their lifestyle. Those issues are a big part of this book. I agree with that part of this book's message completely!

"Wait, wait," I held my hands up in front of my face as if my palms could have trapped the words in the space between us. Each sentence Max spoke became a wire that wound itself around my heart. The harder it pounded, the deeper the words sliced into it. "You're telling me," my voice shoved its way past the tightness in my throat, "somebody...some people...meant to hurt David because..."
When Max looked at me, the sadness in his eyes belied the anger that hardened his face. "Because he's gay."
Just because someone is gay doesn't mean they don't have feelings. They are just like everyone else out there, and I think they need to be treated like it!

"Max pulled tissues from my box. He hadn't wiped his eyes for awhile, but he'd become so pale, he was almost translucent. His hands shook as if his teeth were chattering, and he attempted to mimic the rhythm.
Julie leaned over and stilled Max's hands when she held them in her own. A simple gesture that left me humbled and ashamed."
I hate that some of the very people who are quoting the Bible are the ones abusing and even murdering homosexuals and announcing that they are now in Hell. What?! We can't pick and choose which parts of the Bible we want to abide by. It has to be taken in its entirity.

Galatians 5:14-15
"For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!"
I don't know who decided that being homesexual was a "bad" sin. All sin is bad!

Galatians 5:19-21
"Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissentions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."
See how being jealous, selfish, and hatred are listed right smack in the middle of all the "bad" sins? Sin is sin!!!!!!

Now I'll go on to the next issue......can you be a Gay Christian?

According to The Edge of Grace....yes. Just so we're clear, that's not my opinion!

We can't take away or add to the Bible!

Revelation 22:18-19
"For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
I think that if someone wants to believe something bad enough, they will find approval in the Bible. We can't take some verses and ignore all others. We have to look at ALL of the Bible, whether it sounds for or against what we believe and put them ALL togerher.

"Maybe because I was already tired or annoyed or overwhelmed, but when I heard David mention going to a service, I felt a burr in my brain. "David, I don't get how you can go to church. I mean, it's not like your lifestyle is, well, church approved."
"Max and I go to a service every Sunday, but my relationship with Jesus isn't on trail here. And, even if it was, Jesus would be my judge."
We have to work out our own salvation with God. It's up to each of us and God to decide what is sinful and what's not. We can only do that by studying God's Word! We can't re-word things according to what our lifestyles are and what we want to believe.

I know that most people like to list all the Old Testament verses to prove their beliefs against homosexuality. I'm not going to list those. We aren't under the Old Law anymore. If we were, we'd be doing animal sacrifices and it would be okay for a man to have multiple wives. We are now under the New Testament Law, so that's where my Bible verses will come from. Don't get me wrong, though. The Old Testament is still really important!!

1 Corinthians 6:9-10
"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, not adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor theives, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God."

Romans 1:26-27
"For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due."

I do recommend this book as an eye opener....and only for that reason! It will make you think about prejudices and stereotypes. I also think that every Christian should be aware of why the opposing side believe what they believe. We can't close ourselves up in our own little world of beliefs. We have to be ready to defend what and why we believe what we do. I'm talking to myself more than anybody else! We have to be open-minded, though. And, to make sure I'm clear, I'm not talking about watching or reading every book that comes along that has sinful practices in it! I've stopped watching movies and shows for that very reason.

1 Peter 3:15
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear"
*All Bible verses are from the New King James Version.

**I was provided a review copy through Pump Up Your Book in exchange for my honest opinion.

6 comments:

  1. Excellent thoughts and reasonable explanations to accompany the verses you chose.

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  2. Tammy,

    Very well-thought-out review, along with the Scripture to back up your opinion. I grabbed this book when it was free for Kindle, and after reading your review, I'm getting a little braver about diving into it.

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  3. Thanks y'all! Jonathan asked me if I was writing another book while I was working on it and hurt my feelings. ;)

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  4. I love this review. It's very well thought out and well done.

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  5. Didn't you tell Jonathan he's not supposed to hurt your feelings?!? ;D

    This sounds like a REALLY hard book to read, review and tackle! I think our opinions are much the same and I appreciate the time and effort you put into explaining yourself in relation to this book. Not easy. Not easy at all!

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  6. Sorry to be responding so late, but I wanted to let you know that I respect and appreciate your honest and thoughtful review of my novel.

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