I don’t know if by now you’ve heard of Rosaria Champagne Butterfield. She recently wrote the book Secret Thoughts from an Unlikely Convert. A forum at Patrick Henry College (video above) featured Butterfield discussing her life story and her conversion. Without exaggeration, this is one of the most remarkable conversion stories I’ve ever heard.
Some years ago, Butterfield was a lesbian in a committed relationship. She was a tenured professor of English and Women’s Studies at Syracuse University. She had a platform for her views and was an unabashed activist for the spread of homosexuality in America, advocating and teaching “queer theory” to undergraduates who ate it up.
Then, something remarkable happened: she wrote a scathing critique of Promise Keepers in her local newspaper. An area pastor from a Presbyterian congregation contacted her to open up a conversation. Initially, Butterfield resisted; then, she wrote back. A friendship formed. Butterfield began coming to church.
Eventually she was converted. She details her conversion here for Christianity Today (you’ll note her beautiful, poetic prose). She’s become a wife, mother, and Presbyterian church member. You can’t make this stuff up.
I hope this story affects you as it does me, filling me with joy in the utterly transformative gospel of Jesus Christ. The cross was so powerful that it killed Jesus, the divine human. But that’s not all the cross killed. It killed death and the power of sin over human hearts.
And that means that sinners of all kinds can find hope and ultimate transformation in Christ. Everytime we doubt this, we’ve got to remember stories like Rosaria’s. No one is beyond the reach of grace.
By the way, if you’re on a secular college campus, this book could be a fantastic conversation-starter. This is particularly true if the campus is witnessing the advancement of homosexuality from all corners. Ministries could buy dozens or hundreds of copies of the book and use it for discussion. I can think of few things that would be more immediately helpful than a story beginning in committed homosexual sin and ending in profound spiritual renewal.