‘Our Focus Is Off’: Jackie Hill Perry Breaks Down Biggest Concerns About the American Church Today

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Author, speaker, and poet Jackie Hill Perry has inspired millions with her story of leaving behind a gay lifestyle and finding true fulfillment in Jesus.

Perry’s 2018 book, “Gay Girl, Good God: The Story of Who I Was, and Who God Has Always Been,” made a cultural splash and opened up important theological conversations about social and biblical issues.

Listen to them on the latest episode of “Quick Start”

The author is now out with a new book, “Upon Waking: 60 Daily Reflections to Discover Ourselves and the God We Were Made For,” a collection of sixty daily reflections on Scripture that “help you awaken to the God you were made for, the life you were made for, and the person you were made to be.”

It’s an interesting project for someone like Perry, who admits she doesn’t personally read devotionals. While she was at first skeptical about writing “Upon Waking” based on her belief too many devotionals are “shallow” and “self-centered,” she told CBN Digital she decided to embrace the process.

“I just took it as a challenge to create a resource and a work that I think was helpful,” she said. “It’s the scripture that is profitable, it’s the Scripture that is useful. … it’s faith in them that helps us to extinguish the flaming darts of the evil one.”

Watch Perry discuss:

With that reliance on faith in mind, it should come as no surprise the cultural issues most concerning to Perry right now surround the church itself.

“My primary concern is Christian culture, because, if we’re not the salt of the earth, then how are people gonna learn about Jesus and all the things?” she said. “One of my bigger concerns is, I think we’re distracted in an American church, in particular. I think we’re distracted by politics. I think we’re distracted by tribalism. I think we’re distracted by worldliness and carnality.”

Perry said many people have become consumed with accomplishments in work and school, seeking to build bigger churches, sell books, and embark on other related quests.

While some of this can be “God-glorifying,” she said it can also serve to distract believers from the main call: ‘to love God and love people.”

“Our focus is off,” she said.

As for Perry’s own boldness to sometimes address tough issues, she said she’s more “concerned for people…than afraid of people,” with that mantra driving how she engages culturally.

“I just love the church, and I love the Lord, and I really do believe that truth sets people free,” she said. “I have no intention of lying to you just to protect my own peace.”

Watch the above video for more on Perry’s views on the church and truth and check out “Upon Waking: 60 Daily Reflections to Discover Ourselves and the God We Were Made For.

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