This is a fantastic book! If you have or had Christian beliefs, while also coming to terms with being gay, this is the book to read. Jim Marjoram talks about his life as a Christian with fundamentalist beliefs as well as eventually coming to terms with his sexuality. He discusses his growth as a Christian and being married twice as part of his journey, as well as leaving those beliefs behind. His is a path many of us follow as we come to terms to being gay and dealing with strong religious convictions. It’s easy to read and keeps your interest. I found the book to be refreshingly honest.
Thought-provoking, confronting, amusing and unceasingly honest
“It’s Life Jim” is an account of one man’s lifelong journey to reconcile the truth of his personal identity as a gay man with his belief in the spirituality inherent to humankind and the nature of the divine within the narrow confines of the tenets of Pentecostal Christianity.
Thought-provoking, confronting, amusing and unceasingly honest “It’s Life Jim” takes the reader through the author’s impossible struggle to build a life that he felt to be real and meaningful within a structure that insisted something about his fundamental nature was at best flawed, at worst demonic.
After spending the greater part of his adult life torn between two irreconcilable instincts and burdened by his constant sense of duty to be who he was expected to be as a father a husband and a Christian the reader finds the author confused, conflicted and driven to the brink of absolute despair.
It’s not until personal tragedy strikes the authors family leaving the author very nearly a broken man that he begins to pick up the pieces and start over and from there the healing begins.
More than being just the story of one man’s journey, “It’s Life Jim” is an epistle to those many people still struggling with the conflict between sexual orientation or gender identity and living within the confines of a belief system that tells them that part of their core identity is sinful and wrong and must be rejected.
Quite apart from the book itself the events that transpired immediately following its publication are worthy of note. The leader of one fundamentalist denomination who most New Zealanders weren’t aware even had a presence in New Zealand responded to the books release with an abusive homophobic rant culminating in his suggestion that the author should kill himself. For many New Zealanders this illustrated the way in which the LGBT community still faces extremes of prejudice and discrimination that they had not been witness to previously. The media furore and public outrage at the comments made to the author served to remind the general public that although New Zealand has come a long way in thirty years with regards to legislation that there are still small pockets of our society in which intolerance and hatred are not only practiced, but actively promoted.
For these reasons I regard “It’s Life Jim” as being a must read for anyone with an interest in either its subject matter or New Zealand literature in general.
For anyone still fighting the battles the author fought to bring him to the point at which he penned his book – to hear that their struggle is not unique, that they are not alone, that they are not unworthy, that there is a way through – it could literally be a life saver! ~ Tipene Ward
Wow! Where To Begin?!!!! This book is so soulful and resonating, and I feel that it will give the well-needed reinforcement for people who are on their own journey, coming out in such difficult environments. It is SO genuine, so raw and so empowering to see what you have come through Jim, and the no-holds-barred writing approach really gives a sense that there is nothing but sheer honesty in this book, which is what really provokes people to make positive change. Am greatly anticipating reading more of your work Jim. Thankyou so much for the gift of this book to us. Your work is amazing and everything you stand for. Bravo! ~ Gen Gen
Really enjoyed reading this book. Jim was very open about his life, his fears, concerns, joys, questions. If we are honest we will admit to having some of the same thoughts and questions. In the end it boils down to being who God made you to be, accept God’s love and do not worry so much about the doctrines and ways of religion. Living for God is living a life of love. Loving God and loving others. Very encouraging message of love and acceptance.
A story about how he finally after years of seeking and trying to live ‘by the rules’ and what others expected from him, found his freedom, and accepts and dares to be the beautiful person God made him to be…
A story with many recognizable elements for lots of people who embraced their (in the eyes of religion) rebellious spirit and started walking on the road of & to freedom, true freedom! Freedom only experienced by seeing LOVE instead of doctrines!
I think this book can help many people in similar situations and have a great impact in setting people free from religion, without elaborating or discussing the ‘doctrines’ in religion….
Strong point in Jim’s life, and therefore in the book is the “Voice of Love” that already spoke to Jim at a very young age: accepted and loved him the way he was/is and kept him ‘going’ all the time….and eventually became loud and clear!
Marjoram bares his soul as he narrates his search for an authentic sexuality within the fundamentalist Christian world. Jim’s take on the games played within the Christian Charismatic and Pentecostal communities of Australia and New Zealand, will bring a tears to your eyes; tears of laughter and tears of deep sorrow. The religious world needs more Jim Marjoram’s and urgently.
Dylan Morrison, author of ‘The Prodigal Prophet’ and ‘Matrix Messiah’.