How well I remember the isolation and feelings designating me
as the “odd one” in my church, church school and denominational hospital throughout
my childhood. I dreaded going anywhere I
would be in the presence of a group of people. There were only a couple of
people during my younger years that I trusted.
Generally, people by nature are pretty cruel. Often that is inclusive of
My parents, denominational leaders and institutions taught that people who believed in God were different than the rest of the world. Far too often the reality was extremely difficult for me to differentiate. The golden rule sounded like good solid advice, but I couldn’t figure out why no one seemed to practice it around me.
I was effeminate. I walked and had gestures that were typical of a girl. I didn’t know it. I wasn’t trying to act feminine. It just came natural to me. My programming didn’t exhibit the masculine trophy mannerisms. I seemed to feel sinful simply by lacking these expected traits. I was trapped. I was miserable!
Even worse, some of my Christian teachers were encouraging my classmates to tease and harass me. Adults would look at me funny and lift their hands in front of their lips when looking at me and whispered to their friends. I wanted to disappear into the wall or drop completely out of sight.
These are the kinds of behaviors that stereotype people and push them into the very environment the church was warning me about. Where was the reflection of the love of Jesus?
At thirteen, I read verses that warned against the feelings I was developing. Feelings of affection toward another guy. What had I done? I didn’t ask to be this way. It was clear that I wasn’t a male role model. I began to crave, desire and become attracted to that which I failed to exemplify. I was broken. And as far as life goes, I had not yet left the starting gate. Life was mean, cruel and I certainly wasn’t looking forward to any kind of future. I wanted to die.
I came home from school at the age of twelve and thirteen and went into our bathroom and locked the doors while I punched myself in the face yelling at God; “Why God? Why? I was supposed to have been a girl, not a boy!”
There was no sympathy. No solution. I was stuck. Little did I know, I was not alone. There are countless other stories similar to mine. We were all being primed for life in the gay culture. And who was to blame?
Right about here in this article some might empathize with individuals from the film “Seventh Gay Adventists.” Are we products of our environment? What’s missing? What kind of care or teaching could or should have been taking place during my early beginnings? Aren’t we all born broken? My parents had reached out to teachers, pastors and Christian psychologists, but no one had any answers. Did I need an affirmative love or one that would bring about a healthy reformation and God’s confirmation as to whom I could be in Him?
Unfortunately there are those in churches today that would say no change is needed; you were just born that way. Yes, we were all born with a fallen nature. We all have a cross that Jesus asks us to pick up. If we don’t recognize or aren’t aware of our only solution at the beginning of life, we are going to be hindered later on putting into practice that which Jesus wanted to equip us with from birth.
What I’m suggesting, is that intimacy with Jesus is vitally important upon arrival. Imagine the connection between Jesus and His Father from birth onward. How do we teach this? How do we create an environment where Jesus is always welcome and present? Shouldn’t it be visible as children?
My focus in ministry is in building bridges between the same-sex attracted individual and the church through Jesus Christ. There are those today who are saying “All we need is love!” Love today is so very needed and so very powerful. But what kind of love are we referring to? Is the suggestion that that we go about making each other feel comfortable? Because I don’t think that is the commission that God has given us. There is powerful love in “truth.” God provided His guidelines and commands to us to protect us from the deceptions of Satan. That is some deep love. He doesn’t want us to wander off course because it may take some time and a great deal of effort for us to allow Him to realign us.
Love doesn’t come by way of clobbering someone to the foot of the cross. That approach only reminds us of how broken we are as a people. True love is in perfectly reflecting love as Jesus intended. This is accomplished through kind words, warm gestures and sharing that doesn’t compromise God’s Word.
Stop whispering and ridiculing. Refrain from pointing out everything that is wrong about someone. Reach out with open arms and give warm, inviting hugs. Consider Jesus, His ministry and how He asks us to minister. “After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.
Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:27-32
Invite the same-sex person or couple next door to dinner and get to know them as people. God may very well have put them in your pathway to demonstrate His love while they are still sinners. Remember He has done that for every one of us.
Get to know them as people. Don’t let your mind focus on what happens beyond their bedroom door. Jesus ministered to those who were not seen as likely subjects of His redemptive message. Look at how some of them responded to the depth and purity of His love for them. They became willing to surrender their lives to Him and allow Him to provide them with a new identity as a “New Creation” in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Before and after you have initiated contact with a “gay” person, pray for the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Continue to pray through your interaction. Watch for the doors of opportunity to open. Don’t be surprised if the person you are ministering to asks you this with a bit of a rhetorical tone. “Aren’t you a Christian?” It’s likely that they have not witnessed this kind of love from Christians in the past. Wait for questions about your beliefs or what you think God thinks of them. They may actually begin to engage with you in a way that opens the door for sitting down and exploring God’s Word together. Not in an argumentative way, but in a life changing way in which conviction by the Holy Spirit begins to take place. Be careful not to play Holy Spirit Junior. Remember it is not up to us to do the convincing and convicting. Simply point to Jesus and His love letter to us. This should be our course regardless of “any” sin or sin temptation.
Invite God’s precious child to church. I pray it is somewhere where they will be welcomed and the love of Jesus is witnessed. Don’t dodge someone you know is gay, but go out of your way to welcome them and demonstrate God’s love and goodwill to them. Do you have any idea the weight they have been carrying?
Keep in mind that while you are demonstrating God’s love, you are not compromising His truth, and that you are not stabbing them in the eye with it. God’s love is gentle and has winning properties.
Those opposing God’s pure message of love today don’t see me as a gay advocate. But nothing could be more incorrect. I am one who was pushed away from God’s family out of ignorance. We can’t share what we don’t have. Each and every one of us must have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. This is what drew me back to Him. I realized that I had been blaming God for my misery and confusion. But I hadn’t really spent time with God that He longs to have with me. I had not given Him the opportunity to reveal Himself to me.
I am an advocate for anyone who wants to know their Creator and find the answers to life’s perplexities. So many gays prayed and prayed for God to make them “straight.” Then they asked, “Why didn’t God answer my prayer?” Dear reader, God only wants what is best for us. Of most importance to Him is not our sexuality, but our desire to know Him and His plan for us. God did not create sexual orientation. That came about as a result of Satan and psychology. God simply wants us to be oriented to Him. By seeking His will, it is He who will direct us to that one person of the opposite sex who we might fall in love with. Orientation suggests a broad range. He only intends for us to have these feelings for one person as He designed us in accordance with His Word.
Keep in mind that sex is not the object of desire, but Jesus. The enemy has spent years orchestrating us into believing that sex is a right, rather than a gift of intimacy from God for one man and one woman. And if God’s plan is celibacy, that is not a death sentence.
When you learn that someone in or outside the church is same-sex attracted, don’t run from them, but to them with open arms, ready to embrace them with the love Jesus wants so much to demonstrate through you. Be reminded of the tremendous promise that God convicted my heart of when I surrendered to Him. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).
James 5:16 tells us to confess our sins one to another so that we can realize the healing that is promised to us by lifting one another up to Jesus through prayer. We are all tempted in many ways. It is our joy to point all to Jesus and give Him our temptations and claim the victory He purchased for us on the cross.
‘Coming Out’ Ministries exists to share the love, hope and redemption of Jesus Christ. We speak at churches, schools, organizations and leadership conferences. Through Jesus Christ we desire to lift the fog on this long silenced topic. Jesus has won the victory for us. This is something to celebrate and share with others who hunger for Him. If you are interested in our presentations, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website at www.knowhislove.com