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Undivided: Coming Out, Becoming Whole, and Living Free from Shame

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  386 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Vicky Beeching, called “arguably the most influential Christian of her generation” in The Guardian, began writing songs for the church in her teens. By the time she reached her early thirties, Vicky was a household name in churches on both sides of the pond. Recording multiple albums and singing in America’s largest megachurches, her music was used weekly around the globe ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published June 12th 2018 by HarperOne
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Bethany Lynn
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book from cover to cover in the span of 9 and a half hours. I stopped to make dinner but then forgot to eat it.

In her book, Undivided, Vicky Beeching chronicles her life from growing up in the church, to her career as a Christian worship leader/singer/songwriter to her coming out, and all of the ups and downs in between. Vicky Beeching has been through hell and back.

As a gay Christian who grew up in an evangelical mega church, SO MANY THINGS that Vicky experienced were things that I
...more
Sarah
Talk about convicting! I was raised (thankfully!) in a different sort of Christian environment than Vicky Beeching, a lot more liberal and with a handful of LGBTQ congregants in the various churches I attended. Perhaps because of my background, I haven’t given too much thought to the plight of LGBTQ Christians.

Beeching’s memoir opened my eyes to what I’d been missing. Her experience as a gay evangelical was heartrending and appalling. The vitriol she still faces from some “Christians” is not jus
...more
Bex
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I decided to download this book to read whilst on the quayside in Porto, having started with Just the sample as trying to resist buying more books!

I met Vicky probably in 2010 or 11 at Greenbelt - I’d invited her to be on a panel to talk about tech and faith - wondered why we had a bigger audience than at some of our other talks ... knew nothing about her singing/writing career!! I enjoyed many of the conversations we’ve had since although I did wonder why Vicky’s focus (and self description on
...more
Carolyn
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I've been waiting to read this for some time and bought a copy as soon as it was released. I wasn't disappointed. Beeching has been honest, vulnerable, even raw, and it is clear how much writing this must have cost her, but what a wonderful book. She tells her own journey with clarity and humility, describing the struggles she had in an evangelical culture whilst growing up gay. She recounts the teaching which brought her shame, a dreadful attempt at exorcism on a vulnerable teenager, the cost o ...more
Alex
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Vicky Beeching’s, ‘Undivided’ is the book I wish I had read when I was a teenager. I struggled with the realisation that I had a gay sexual orientation that was incompatible with my conservative, evangelical Christian faith as a teen and for many more years afterwards in the closet. This book in an invaluable resource not only to LGBT+ Christians but also those seeking understanding of voices of diversity in the church and wider society.

Beeching’s memoir will sound familiar to the lives of many
...more
Hilary Mak
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very moving memoir - should be read by all evangelical Christians no matter what their beliefs on the sexuality debate.
Suzanne Hall
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Vicky's story is a powerful description of a faith that refuses to be silent, and an identity that refuses to be denied. In reading it we find that neither are needed; instead, we encounter a God who walks us all through intimate questions on being.
John
Jul 30, 2018 rated it liked it
“If you believe what you like in the Gospel, and reject what you don't like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.” - Augustine of Hippo

It’s quite obvious from her book, “Undivided,”that Vicky Beeching believes what she likes in the Bible, and rejects (explains away) what she doesn’t like. This book is a fascinating, quick reads as Ms. Beeching attempts to accomplish her stated purpose: “Its my attempt,” she writes , “to show that LGBTQ+ people of faith, and same-sex marriage, should b
...more
Steve Peifer
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really didn’t have a clue what my gay Christian friends went through until I read this book. It’s not an easy read; so many sad things to deal with. I’m always puzzled by why some of my fellow evangelicals shower gays with so much hatred. Doesn’t seem very evangelical to me. Like many straight men of my age group, I’m on a journey with this. I’m grateful that this book was written; I think I understand better now.
Graham
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an insightful and brave memoir.

Forget the gay issue: by far the most shocking discovery I made in this book was to learn about the workaholic lifestyle demanded of a full time Christian Worship leader in the USA. Ten years of relentless air travel to enable a daily routine of performances in church after church and worship group after worship group. Notably absent: the vision and pastoral insight that might have caused a Church leader to ask whether the demands being made on the visitin
...more
Heidi Archer
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
How to love your neighbour as yourself? Well, start loving yourself (why does the church not teach this more?). This is one way I could summarize Vicky's book. I very much related to her story of internalized shame and how that caused her health issues in the long run, although my context was different in terms of dealing with anti-LGBTQ rhetoric in the church, which she has dealt with with much grace and love.

"When we make peace with ourselves and are no longer fearful or defensive, it changes
...more
Sam McBratney
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was obviously written for a particular audience - not me! However, I would still recommend it highly for its honesty and vulnerability and to get a glimpse into the kind of homophobia that is still too prevelant in churches.
Ma
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A memoir to read. LGBTQ community you are not alone. I read this in one weekend. A quick read and a story everyoen in church should hear about. Love is love
Kate
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I can't even begin to post my thoughts on such a book.
I am queer [bisexual] and I live in the south. Basically a part of the Bible belt. My father was a minister and I on all accounts, a minister's kid. I lived and breathed church. Until I was about 18.

Wasn't until I was 21, that I realized I liked girls.
And talk about a shock to my family (adopted family. friends I can call a family).
None of them expected it but....somehow even with the more religious ones, accepted me.

I didn't read my first g
...more
Lee Osborne
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I first came across Vicky Beeching about six or seven years ago, when I heard her speak about social media at the Greenbelt Festival. Her talk was full of positivity, passion and energy, and unlike many others within the Christian community at the time, she was excited by the possibilities offered by new technology. This echoed my own feelings, as I'd been a blogger for a long time by then, and had made many new friends through it. The talk made me interested in her work, so I kept an eye on wha ...more
Louise Beaton
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I was provided with an advance copy of this book in exchange for a review.

Coming out, even just to yourself, isn’t easy. Coming out publicly must be utterly nerve shredding. But coming out when you are a Christian music superstar? And then writing a book about it? That takes a whole new level of courage.

I have been looking forward to reading this book since Vicky’s coming out interview in The Independent in August 2014, as there was a clearly a lot more to her story than could be tol
...more
Eve
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a really well written memoir. It has given me lots to think about with regards my own lingering internalised homophobia - which has never been about "what the bible says" (I was fortunate to have at least patchy access to the internet and a keen interest in biblical scholarship by my mid-teens, and one of the first things I looked up (after socialism and feminism!) was what the bible did and didn't say about sexuality) but possibly more around acceptance/rejection of parental ...more
Jennifer
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wish everyone would read this book and other memoirs like it. People need to hear these stories and try to gain some empathy for what it is like to be taught for so long that who you are is just wrong, but then to find freedom in realizing that's just not true.

A couple of quotes:
"Christian interpretations of the Bible do shift over time."

"All my research was proving to be enlightening and frustrating in equal measure. Why did the church keep getting things so wrong, over and over, constantly f
...more
Robert D. Cornwall
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs, christian
Although not everyone is on board, attitudes towards LGBTQ persons are changing, and changing quickly. The Supreme Court ruling a few years back, legalizing same-sex marriage across the country, a move that has wide support in the United States, was a game changer. There are still signs of resistance. Bakers, wedding sites, and churches, but there really is no turning back. On the religious side of things, the question of what the Bible has to say about same-sex marriage and LGBTQ relationships ...more
Julianne Steelman
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most important books I've ever read.

In this powerful memoir of growing up as both gay and evangelical, Beeching approaches complex subjects such as LGBTQ+ rights, mental health, chronic illness, and Christian theology, with grace, intelligence, and undeniable courage. Her comparison of the modern evangelical stance against same-sex relationships to the Church's historical opposition to abolition, women's suffrage, science, and civil rights is particularly convincing; and her commitme
...more
Benjamin John
Very readable book, a real page turner.

At the same time, so very flawed. This book shouldn’t change any evangelicals minds. The arguments are so weak, and there are hints throughout that her faith isn’t supreme in her life.
It often felt like her hope was in being straight, not in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
She does raise some valid criticisms at times.

I also think this book highlights why we need complementarianism, and what she is advocating is just the more rotten fruit of egalitarianism.
...more
Bobwgreen
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This memoir hit so many chords with me: belief, sexuality, health. This is such an important book. Not only is Vicky movingly open about her own journey, she goes through some theological arguments which should make the church stand up, think and open its arms to LGBT Christians.
Sandie
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Vicky Beeching's personal story of growing up in a very conservative home and church, becoming a Christian artist, realizing she was attracted to girls, and how those two worlds collided.

Excellent, excellent book.
Chris Purser
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this very interesting and at times difficult to read.
glenn boyes
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
... incredible openness and honesty; articulate; thought-provoking; painful to read at times. Thank you Vicki for your vulnerability. Blessings daily.
Sandra Snook
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a well written and moving memoir. It speaks a strong and informed message (the author has a theology degree from Oxford) about what it is like to grow up a closeted gay person in the Evangelical Christian Church. I am so sorry Vicky Beeching lived this torment until she was in her 30’s before she had the courage to come out. I am hopeful her story will make it easier for others to do so sooner and for their families and friends to support them with unconditional love.

I am neither gay no
...more
Denise
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am truly mind-blown after reading Vicky’s painfully honest story. The vitriol she still receives from people who call themselves Christians is sickening. Whatever your beliefs on same-sex relationships this book affirms God as a God of love and inclusion not hate and division.
Naomi
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very interesting sad story. Makes me want to think my views on 'no sex before marriage'.
Diane
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Vicky's memoir is a wonderful representation of a Christian seeking God. Her 18-year struggle to understand the truths in her heart that were being whispered by God in contrast to her church's teachings is experienced by many today. If you are an LGBTQ Christian, ally, or someone wondering if a person can be gay and Christian, I highly recommend her story. Followers of Jesus are Christians, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. They want to worship God in a church community becaus ...more
David Campton
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
The church book group that I am part of read this before Christmas and has produced a collaborative book review of it elsewhere. They were entirely unaware of the controversy around the book in some quarters, but that could be that most of them are not internet-trawling members of the evangelical community and reading it with them gave me a slightly different perspective on it. In summary, although they saw that they were not the primary audience for this book (which seems to be aimed at middle ...more
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Vicky Beeching is a writer, keynote speaker and equality campaigner. A regular on BBC TV and radio, she often commentates on current affairs, faith and LGBT equality. She has been featured in publications including The Guardian, TIME Magazine, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, The New Statesman, Gay Times, and many others. Formerly, she spent over a decade singing and touring in Christian music, bec ...more
“May you find the courage to be yourself in all your uniqueness. Then, free from fear and shame, may you live and love from that place of healing and wholeness.” 1 likes
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