Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: One Christian’s Obsession

Alright, I admit. I’m hooked. I enjoy watching Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. And I’m glad that it was on NBC yesterday and will be on again today since I don’t have cable access to Bravo.

And, yes, I am a Christian. Studying to be a pastor, in fact.

So why am I obsessed with this gay show?

Well, first of all, I still have strong feelings about people living the homosexual lifestyle. I believe that it does not reflect God’s natural plan for our sexual relationships. I believe that the Bible gives strong words opposing this choice of living (c.f., Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:18-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). At the same time, I believe that homosexuals are very often marginalized in society and, as Christians, we need to love them and defend their dignity as human beings.

That said…

I enjoy watching Queer Eye for the Straight Guy because it is entertaining to watch. It is enjoyable to watch a band of queers, as they like to be called now (similar to how African-Americans began calling each other niggas) transform the life of a straight guy. The show takes me through a process, a story, a journey of how this fun, crazy, and determined group of queers can actually make straight men happier, more handsome, less clueless, and live better. And the process is full of comedy, uncertainty, creativity, and the sorts. No wonder it’s peeking into primetime!

As a Christian watching this show, I recently noticed an uncanny parallel to our mission as Christians…and the Fab 5 have taken our place. Think about it…

…a queer group of people live a life that is totally different from yours, but somehow, your life seems drab compared to theirs
…you actually allow this strange group of people into your home, your life, because you want change
…each of these people have different talents and strengths in order to help you transform the way you live
…these people treat you to various things and make you feel a part of their group
…these people improve the way you live and the way you feel about yourself

It is acceptable to have a group of gay men to come into your house and turn your life upside down, but far-be-it if it is a group of Christians! And my gut reaction is not, “It’s the liberal media!”, or “The world is against us!”, but, “Why are we perceived to be the sort of guests you would not want in your house?” “Why don’t you think that we can make your life better than it is now?”

As Christians, I think that we have made ourselves ugly and unattractive. We claim to have “good news”, but why is it that only us who seem to think it is good news?

I think much of the blame are those who flaunt their “Jesus or Hell” signs and parades and demonstrations. While these signs hold some truth, they frame the choice in a way that, frankly, doesn’t do justice to the Gospel. For those who say that the Gospel alone is enough, let me say I agree with you, but I believe that you are preaching the wrong Gospel; “Jesus or Hell” is not good news. But they only bear part of the blame.

As evangelical Christians, we have found a way to reduce the Gospel to the saving of one’s soul. And how does that happen? By agreeing with several “uncompromisable” propositions: (1) I am a sinner (2) Jesus is the only way to save me from my sins (3) I accept Jesus as my personal savior. Is that it?? No, of course they have to believe in the Bible too…oh, and that is is inerrant, that it is the Word of God. Wait, we also need to believe in the Trinity. Oh, and we also have to believe in creation, not evolution…

Quite honestly, does this sound like good news?

Having the Fab 5 show up at your door sounds like good news. Have Christians show up at your door sounds like shhh….pretend we’re not home.

Let me just propose something that has been in the making, long before me, about the Gospel. Maybe, just maybe, God is more interested in just saving our souls through some belief system. Maybe God wants to save not only our soul, but also the way we live, the way we feel. And maybe belief is only part of that process. Maybe it is hard to distinguish between beliefs and actions that lead towards a fuller meaning of salvation. Maybe the Good News is that God wants the Garden of Eden and all its glory and happiness back…and he wants as many people to join in as possible.

Imagine if we lived lives that were genuinely transformed by the love, grace, and power of Jesus. Imagine how our worldview changes, how our love for one another changes, how our priorities changes, how our ability to enjoy life changes, how our appreciation of God and all that is his changes.

And maybe if we share with people that this is the real good news…maybe they’ll let us transform their lives. Maybe, finally, they’ll grow jealous instead of scared when they see and experience God’s way of life.


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