A number of conservative voices have been urging Christian rock singer Trey Pearson to deny himself as part of his Christian faith after he announced that he is gay and will be leaving his wife and children.
"Our hearts break for him and his family. We pray he remembers Christ's words: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me,'" the Family Research Council said in a Facebook message on Wednesday.
"Denial of self is central to the Christian faith. It's a rejection of our stubborn sinful nature that seeks dominion in our lives. Yet through Christ, we have the victory — but we must deny self," the message added.
Last week the married father of two and lead singer of alternative rock band Everyday Sunday said he can no longer deny that he is gay, and revealed that he will headline the Columbus Pride Parade in Ohio later in June.
"Most of us reach at least one pivotal moment in our lives that better defines who we are. These last several months have been the hardest — but also have ended up being the most freeing months — of my life. To make an extremely long story short, I have come to be able to admit to myself, and to my family, that I am gay," Pearson wrote in a letter.
The singer added that he was raised in a "very conservative Christian home," where he was taught that sexual orientation is a choice. He said that made him suppress his feelings and attractions throughout his life.
"I know I have a long way to go. But if this honesty with myself about who I am, and who I was made by God to be, doesn't constitute as the peace that passes all understanding, then I don't know what does. It is like this weight I have been carrying my whole life has been lifted from me, and I have never felt such freedom," he added.
FRC linked to a WND article earlier this week by Jason and David Benham, two Christian brothers who have become famous for their conservative values.
The brothers argued that Pearson is making a mistake in thinking that he has finally found himself.
"When Trey chooses feelings over faith, it doesn't mean God doesn't love him or value him highly. Quite the contrary is true. But refusing to deny himself by accepting his sinful nature is a denial of the cross of Christ," they wrote.
"True identity comes from a point outside ourselves, never from what we feel inside. This is why true, biblical Christianity is so powerful — because Christ changes us from the inside out and gives us a new identity in Him (a fixed point outside ourselves)."