Book Review: ‘Undivided’ By Vicky Beeching

I’ve just finished reading ‘Undivided’ by Vicky Beeching, a memoir of her life as a Christian singer/songwriter who played to thousands on both sides of the Atlantic until declaring she was gay a number of years ago. It was a moving, challenging and ,at times, unsettling account of the experiences of one woman within the evangelical church movement. One that left me saddened and inspired in equal measure.

Vicky knew from 13 she was gay but hid her sexuality from family and friends as she was raised to believe homosexuality was sinful and depraved. The early chapters tell of her struggle to serve and worship God through her music while battling to cope with the shame and guilt she felt at her sexual orientation. As a teenager she was told by ‘well meaning’ adult Christians that her sexuality was as a result of being possessed by demons.

She studied theology at Oxford, while continuing to develop her musical talent by playing major Christian conferences and festivals throughout the U.K. This attracted the attention of a leading American Christian record label. Before she knew it Beeching was based in Nashville, recording albums and playing at megachurches and stadiums where she regularly sang to crowds in excess of 20,000. She became the poster girl of Christian contemporary music.

Throughout this time, while outwardly living her dream, Vicky was sinking into an ever deeper trough of depression. Lonely and unhappy, she travelled across the States battling fatigue and jet lag, while unable to disclose her true self to another living soul. She was part of a community where elements professed extreme homophobic thinking and behaviour based upon their interpretation of the Bible.

Vicky eventually ‘came out,’ aged 35, when she could conceal her sexuality no more, given the impact it was having on her physical and mental health. Diagnosed with scleroderma, fibromyalgia and ME, she was also treated for depression and anxiety. Upon coming out, her performing and recording career ended overnight and she was inundated with hate mail and death threats from the evangelical Christian community.

Despite this, Vicky rebuilt her life and, while still struggling with extreme exhaustion, has established herself as a successful writer, columnist and social commentator. She is an influential mental health advocate and is fighting for the church to adopt a more open minded, inclusive and loving attitude towards gay and bisexual people. Now working towards her Phd. in Theology she argues that the Bible is a living document of mystery and revelation.

Throughout the book, Vicky Beeching comes across as a likeable, intelligence and sensitive young woman who grew up wanting nothing more than to share her love of Jesus via her music. Her message is one of love and acceptance, which contrasted starkly with some of the brutal attitudes and behaviour she encountered in the evangelical movement. How she emerged on the other side with her faith intact is testimony to her deep relationship with God.

I really connected with this book, even though I’m a heterosexual male who will never have to endure what the author did. Her story makes my own negative church experiences pale into insignificance. Church goers talk about walking in the footsteps of Jesus, but how many actually do? We are instructed to be the light of the world and to love unconditionally. The Vicky Beeching story tells me we all still have a very long way to go.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 15 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

28 thoughts on “Book Review: ‘Undivided’ By Vicky Beeching

  1. ‘she was inundated with hate mail and death threats from the evangelical Christian community’ Wow! That just doesn’t make sense in one sentence. How can they be evangelical Christians and write death threats?? Sounds like a great read though. I’ll look that one up.

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      1. And yet if you told them how unChristly they were acting they would condemn you for not acting the same, stating how your beliefs aren’t in line with their interpretation of the Bible. Crazy paradoxical thinking that is hard to combat.

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          1. Warning: Crazy person thinking about to be shared – I think the Bible was meant to be a very colorful description of the darkness that manifests when one chooses to walk apart from God. But the Controllers of This Dark Reality wanted to hide that fact and instead paint the Bible to be about how dark God really is while creating a parallel paradox that states God is unconditionally loving. Trick people into believing a dark way is the way to be rather than showing the light of what it looks like to walk bathed in God’s Glory.

            But time is passing and people are waking up to the realization that there is no love in hate and that separation in God’s Kingdom is the work of Darkness while connection and light are the works of God’s People. I can see the Bible as Black and White. When you use the Bible to hate on others and create unrest and disconnection from the whole, you are looking at the Bible through the lens of Black. And when you use the Bible to love as a whole the entirety of God’s Kingdom, then you have been blessed with the White version of the Bible.

            Black or White is ultimately each individual person’s decision to make. And when they make that decision it’s hard to debate them on the truth because they have in fact decided how holiness looks in their mind. The only hope is that the Black seers of the Bible will realize they are lost and blinded in a world of Darkness while the White Light seers of the Bible will continue shining the Truth behind the Word of God that shows how we should have been all along.

            There is no Darkness that can put out the Light of God. The Darkness is nothing more than one’s eyes being closed to the way to be. Once you see the Light, you’re eyes are forever opened and never again will they fall to the Dark ways of before. For the Light is a Blessed Awakening of cherishing existence and once you learn to truly cherish existence, there is no reason you’d ever forget. For that is when you’ve found Perfection.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this. It literally gave me chills to read your words about this wonderful woman’s journey with God. My heart breaks for what she endured for just wanting to be true to her self. It always blows me away how people who profess to know the unconditional loving nature of God and yet take that supposed knowledge and use to to condemn and harass equal members of God’s Blessed Kingdom.

    How far we have to go is unknown because how long will the unconditionally hating hold out that they are allowed to act unconditionally hurtful ways? When will the mean learn to be nice?

    But oh how far we have come since the days of past. Because though there are still some that will act out against our differences, there is such a blessed more than have come to welcome and open their hearts to those who are just trying to best define their selves. We are coming together in a loving and harmonious way, even if the outdated beliefs and societal structuring still remains to be seen.

    I have hope. Because I know God is Perfect and God intended for us to walk in Perfection beside HIM. The first step to Perfection is realizing how the past was imperfect and start making changes from there. We’ll get there. I have faith. One day we’ll all look back and shake our heads that we ever came from such a dark way of being. And perhaps we’ll even forget why we ever chose to act in such an unnatural manner. My hope at least.

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      1. Thank you for your appreciation of my words. I do so love dropping by when I get the chance. You always have such a wonderful way with words that always leaves me pleasantly feeling connected to the person behind the words. Such a wonderful gift to experience.

        I try to bring as much positivity as I can muster because currently our world is drowning in the negativity. Every little drop of positive cancels out a whole lot of positivity and creates a continual force to push back against the Darkness wishing to wipe out Existence.

        More crazy person talk coming – I think even the Darkness is busy wishing to be of the Light these days. The Darkness got wind of how ugly Darkness is compared to Light and like a superficial beauty queen, The Darkness now wants to be the Prettiest in Existence. And so the Darkness is working to be God’s Number One Servant in Delivering HIM a World ready for Perfection. It’ll be interesting to see how Darkness turns ugly to beautiful.

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  3. Sorry but I have to disagree on this one. Despite how nice she might be or people being less than kind to her, disordered sexuality is not normal or to be celebrated or encouraged. It may not be the worst sin in the list, it’s not, but it’s sad that so many famous Christians are trying to normalize and justify their sexual desires that are clearly condemned in the old and new testaments of GOD’s WORD. Satan attacks humans where they live, in their sex drive and the current culture shows that he is winning. I hope my beliefs will be respected like others are in these comments.

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  4. I was a huge fan of Vicky’s years ago. I had no idea why she disappeared as her songs were very soothing and encouraging to me. I’m sad to hear that this is why she seemed to just vanish out of nowhere. One of my favorite songs by her was “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” Perhaps that is what people should do instead of turning towards hatred. I may be wrong but the only time you saw Jesus flip out in the Bible was when he was addressing the Pharisees who were ripping people off at the temple all in the name of God. Every other instance he was loving towards others.

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  5. Fortunately for me I have experienced two denominations where that kind of thinking and hatred are not always found. Both the Episcopal and Lutheran churches where I have been are more forward thinking. A very popular Lutheran writer has written about this problem. Her name is Nadia Bolz-Weber and her new book tackles this issue. It is called Shame-Less: A Sexual Reformation. It is a great book and she is a unique person. Look her up on the web.

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