It’s easy to make assumptions about the sins in other’s lives.
Jeffrey McCall knows that all too well, having lived a transgender lifestyle.
That’s why he was so touched when Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson took the time to encourage him in his new walk with Jesus.
Although born male, Jeffrey McCall spent the younger years of his life wanting to live as a woman.
McCall pursued therapy with a psychiatrist and was ready to undergo a series of surgeries to “transition” into his desired lifestyle as a woman.
Yet, despite being part of a community that openly supported his sinful desires, he still felt a deep emptiness.
“I had wanted to kill myself,” he said. “I was spiritually bankrupt; I was destitute.”
McCall pushed harder into his transgender lifestyle, calling himself “Scarlet” and dressing as a woman.
He was a committed activist and advocated for transgender rights. But as time went on, he found himself becoming more and more curious about God and the hope He offered.
“One night I was secretly listening to a preacher in my apartment,” McCall remembered. “I called out to the Lord and asked, ‘Will I ever live for you?’”
McCall had seen Christians living for Christ, and it was mysteriously attractive to him. “They have relationships with you,” he told God, “and they have peace and joy.”
He wanted that peace and joy in his own life.
That night, McCall knew he “was being convicted by the Holy Spirit that there is so much more than [what] I had been a part of.” He knew there was more to life than the activism and alternative lifestyle he had pursued.
“If I follow you,” he confessed to God, “it will be all the way. I don’t go things halfway. I didn’t do things halfway in the world; I’m not going to do things halfway with you.”
If he was truly going to leave his sinful lifestyle to follow Christ, McCall wanted to be all in.
That night, his life was changed forever.
“I took all my life as Scarlet and I went to a dumpster and threw it all away — the clothes, the hair, the makeup, the jewelry, the shoes, my whole identity — I threw it away to follow Jesus,” said McCall.
It wasn’t long before McCall, a new Christian, felt called to minister to other ex-transgender and ex-homosexual individuals. He knew personally how hard it was to leave the lifestyle behind, especially in the face of opposition from society.
McCall had lost all his friends when he turned to Christ, so he knew it could be a lonely road for those like him.
In order to spread the message of hope through Christ, McCall organized the Freedom March, a movement of former gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals who have found freedom and identity in Christ.
The group publicly proclaims the message of Christ, telling the world that they have found freedom from their sins and a brand new identity in Jesus.
Because of his work with Freedom March, McCall was invited to tell his story on Phil Robertson’s TV show. Robertson, a star on Duck Dynasty, was amazed by McCall’s story of transformation and was quick to encourage him.
“I am thankful and I am honored, Jeffrey, to call you my brother, a son of God,” shared Robertson. “I love you, dude.”
“You are to be commended for seeing the error of your ways, and turning to God,” continued Robertson, but he added a warning.
“Even when people persecute you, keep going. What you are doing is ‘Kingdom work.’”
Robertson told McCall that he would undoubtedly face persecution from secular sources for proclaiming the truth.
McCall was overwhelmed by the show of support. “It was awesome to hear this coming from someone who has been out in the limelight who has also been persecuted for his beliefs.”
McCall was also honored to share his story with other Christians on Robertson’s TV show.
And he reminded viewers that God can be working in anyone’s heart, no matter how it looks from the outside.
“You’ve got to be careful and meet everyone where they’re at,” said McCall. Afterall, he had still been “living as a woman” when he encountered Christ.
We shouldn’t make judgments about those around us: they may be right on the edge of finding Jesus.
Instead, we should follow Phil Robertson’s example and welcome them into the family of God at the first opportunity.
To learn more about Jeffrey McCall’s story and his work with Freedom March, visit the movement’s website.
And keep praying for McCall and other ex-gay and ex-transgender Christians! They have a powerful opportunity to witness for Christ in a dark and sinful world.