Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:7-10
Regardless of your position as individuals in the film "Seventh-Gay Adventists," I commend you for your honesty and boldness in sharing what has undoubtedly been a difficult walk for each of you. Without question God loves you. And as a child of God, I love you with His love also.
The fallout from the church’s silence on this biblical issue has been devastating. I was a victim of Satan’s lies and deceptions as well. There was no hope or help delivered from the church during my childhood, teenage years and adult life. Because of this silence I was propelled into a sensual abyss. I desperately wanted to be wanted, needed and loved. Yet in the midst of Christ’s believers, I was isolated, alienated and rejected. The loneliness was overwhelming and it took very little to tempt me with the feelings that resulted in “acceptance” by the gay community.
In the spring of 2009, I was struck with a contemplation one day that was inspired by the Holy Spirit without any question whatsoever. God spoke to me and asked me to consider the relationship that He had desired from me all along. Unquestionable clarity was revealed to me. It was not about me. I had had it all backwards. It is about Jesus Christ, my redeemer and creator and how to live according to His plan. Not mine. As I surrendered fully to Him, He revealed truth after truth and gave me strength to begin to continually abide and depend on Him. Each day He revealed more and more of His love to me. As I studied and prayed, I wondered how I could have missed what He had wanted to convey to me since childhood. Satan had deceived me with lies of being unwanted, unloved and unimportant. My day of rejoicing had arrived.
I gave myself to Jesus Christ and became a “New Creation” in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). This requires dying to self daily. I didn’t have any idea that the church still seemed to be in the dark regarding how to reach out to those with same-sex attraction. We need to consider here that there has been a hundred and fifty year history of silence and ignorance. What we don’t talk about, grows like a bacteria in the dark. In fact during the silence, an entire culture and community of gays developed.
Emerging victorious in Jesus, I began to openly share the clarity revealed to me by God and His Word. Now if we don’t believe that God’s Word is inspired by Him, we are at great risk. We then might as well believe in anything. But God’s Word is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Matthew 24:3, Hebrews 13:8. If we don’t believe God’s Word, this is where the danger begins.
In the fall of 2009 I was invited to share my testimony at Andrews University during the conference on Marriage, Homosexuality and the Church. Daneen Akers and Stephen Ayers, (producers of "Seventh Gay Adventists") were present at the conference and their work had begun on the film. They heard my testimony and I had contacted them about the film, not realizing the intended angle. By January, it seemed apparent that they were not seeking any testimonies from same-sex attracted individuals who have been redeemed and are choosing to live sexually pure through Christ.
I wrote an article for the Adventist Review which appeared in the April 15, 2010 issue conveying my concern that the film would not represent those who have given their lives to Christ and live sexually pure. The film’s producers contacted me and the Review’s editor asking for a retraction to be printed. Since this film is about loving those who are same-sex attracted, my question is why haven’t they given a voice to those who also suffered so many years of alienation by the church, but have returned to worship God and interact with His family while living a sexually pure life?
So this brings us to the core of what the film is about: God’s approval or disapproval of homosexual sex. If you read His Word there is no question as to where God stands on this issue. I was recently contacted by a “Gay Christian” who pointed out to me that God loves him and his same-sex partner just the way they are, and that they are familiar with the nine “hate verses” regarding homosexuality in God’s Word. Our God is a God of love and He has not compiled “hate verses,” but has given instruction on sins that are displeasing to Him. Due to the fact that gays and homosexuals have not seen the reflection of God’s love in His people, one can begin to realize why more and more alienated souls have gathered together in their spiritual darkness and created their own truths and are seeking to manipulate God’s approval.
But God’s Word is clear about His desires. He asks that we cast all our burdens upon Him. He asks for our trust and our faith regardless of what our feelings are telling us. There are a lot of feelings that come naturally to people that wouldn’t meet God’s approval much less man’s approval. But for some reason, many are seeking to make an exception for this clearly defined sinful behavior.
With such strong feelings of desire, lust, love, etc., Bible-banging is not going to make any of those feelings less intense. So what actually brings a soul into living according to God’s will? We have got to see the reflection of the love of Jesus in those who claim to be His children. Leading a soul to Christ must be done gently and lovingly under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit.
John 8:32 says, “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” It doesn’t say your feelings will set you free. But if we are not personally and intimately connected to Christ, we are not likely going to be able to help a struggling soul engage with Him in the relationship He intended.
Jesus loves each and every one of us as His own precious child. A child for whom He shed blood and died for while we were still sinning (Romans 5:8). What are we willing to give up for Jesus? Every mention of homosexuality in God’s Word is in a negative connotation. There is no sanctified instruction from God for homosexual unions as there are for unions between a man and a woman. Why would one even venture to take over for God? Doesn’t this sound much like Lucifer saying that he knows better, or has a better plan? Do you see the terminal risk involved? Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” We cannot afford to trust our feelings, especially under the duress and deception of Satan.
Sin is natural. We were all born with it. Choosing Christ is unnatural. It is everything that Satan claims is impossible. We are at the end of this great controversy between Christ and Satan. We are exactly where Christ has told Satan there will be a people who will remain steadfast in truth and trust regardless what they feel. “I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth— Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord” (Psalm 40: 1-3).
Without self-denial and without a love-relationship with Jesus stemming from humility, we will fail to see His plan for us.
Dear precious children of God, this is not a constructed prayer that begs for the same-sex attracted person to miraculously become straight. This is a humbling of ourselves before our Creator and asking Him to help us fall more in love with Him each day. Thy will, not my will. Lay your heart in His hands. Surrender completely to Him and let Him make you a “New Creation” in Him. Allow the change to be one that draws you to holiness. Then listen as He guides and directs you. Yes… it’s possible. He may want you to live a celibate life for Him, whether you are attracted to the opposite sex or the same sex. But let Him decide what He wants for you that is in accordance with His Word. Insisting that we know better than Him will only align us with the enemy.
Is it painful? Sometimes. Sometimes my carnal nature just wants to be next to warm flesh that says I love you. But Jesus would rather that I know He loves me. His love, and my trust in that love, brings eternal life and a relationship that will grow forever and ever. Shaping my relationships around what currently feels or seems good, ends here. God is seeking those… those precious few who will make Him their God and obey Him out of love. These are the ones He wants to spend eternity with. Do you see the difference? Can you see how always putting self first is too dangerous for God to allow?
I want you to know with all my heart, that with Christ all things are possible to them that love Him (Philippians 4:13), all things that are according to His plan, not ours. Job endured horrendous trials and mental pain. As we have been given Job as an example, how can we seek our own pleasure in this modern age? How can we not come to God and say, "Lord, I am yours; do with me as you will. Make me a servant of yours?” If that sounds impossible to you, think about it. Pray about it. Invite Him to take control of your life. He’ll do it! I promise! There isn’t anything that He won’t do for you that is better than what you can possibly imagine for yourself. But be careful not to play God. Be careful not to listen to the power of suggestion rather than the love and truth of Jesus.
Experience this: "you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). He deeply desires a one-on-one intimate relationship with you. He died to save you. He knew you and chose you … before you were born.
I am passionate about God’s love and redemption regardless of the sin. I want to ask you, whoever might be reading, whether you have been in the church your whole life or if you have shaped your life around your own truths and feelings, to consider this, forgive and seek forgiveness. Everyone of us are ignorant. We have much to learn. Let’s heal together. Not a single person on this earth can claim perfection in and of their own. Jesus offers us His righteousness if we will accept it. It is a lifelong transforming process. But He asks us to model ourselves after Him. Live as He lived. Resist temptation. Surrender. Abide in Him.
As for the film “Seventh Gay Adventists,” ask God to put love in your heart that will draw all sinners to Him, not condone their sin. Be careful not to put your own salvation at risk by sympathizing with the sin rather than the sinner. Love deeply with the love of Jesus. Love is a two-way relationship. Because of our love for Christ, He will grow us and we will want to obey His commands. He is righteous and He is just. He is the Almighty.
If you are a pastor, leader or teacher and you are interested in presentations that exemplify the changing love of our beautiful Savior through those He has redeemed, please do not hesitate to contact me. Four ministries under the umbrella, "Coming Out Ministries," are available to come to wherever you are. We give weekend presentations, week of prayer, and college presentations that bring to light the changing power of God.
This article originally appeared at Know His Love as "Seventh Gay Adventists--Movie vs God's reality." It is reprinted by permission of the author.