In doing some research for another article, I happened upon a quote from an article written in Spectrum Magazine after I first shared my testimony six years ago. “I wish Wayne Blakely well, but his relatively recent rebaptism is only the beginning of a long journey. It’s a bit early to be trumpeting him as a truly reformed gay man. The gay people I know are just as incurably gay as I am incurably heterosexual.” David Potter of Avondale College mixed some truth with error. This trend continues in many circles today, in an effort to invalidate the Word of God. The truth is that I was at the beginning of a long journey. Wouldn’t it be a blessed and powerful thing if we were all on that Heaven bound journey together, loving and supporting one another?
Mr. Potter also said this. “But he, (God) doesn’t appear to be in the business of changing people’s sexual orientation – as the church’s painful experience with Colin Cook shows (countless other examples can be cited).” Let me ask a question. If someone falls, sins or loses their focus on Jesus, does this invalidate His Word and His truth to us? Rereading Potter’s observation reminded me of continued accusations being made six years later.
If we fall or fail, doesn’t Jesus instruct us to ask His forgiveness, get back up, claim His grace and His promises? 1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
King David made numerous blunders and openly sinned repeatedly before recognizing how crucial to His salvation it is to live in agreement with God. Just as from the beginning of time, there were consequences for our sin. It wasn’t about what God wouldn’t do to correct David. God has never been a God of force. God works in unison with us when we fully and humbly surrender to Him, choosing to abide in Him every moment. This is what He so patiently willing to teach us.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I or this ministry, has been compared to Colin Cook whose ministry of freedom from homosexuality was compromised with sinful acts several decades ago. I have heard numerous accounts of the failures and was not aware of them at my conversion. It’s hardly right to limit this or any other ministry based on a previous ministry’s fall from grace. And that’s just it.
If we will confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin, but will we forgive and encourage each another? Will we come together as God instructs us in James 5:16 and share the faults we have and plead to be lifted up in prayer through faith for the healing that is promised? Failure does not invalidate God’s sovereign Word.
For some very crazy reason, it seems that far too many who surmising homosexuality, “feel” that proof of no longer being gay, would automatically translate to being “straight.” Who is that from? Is it a promise from God? Or is that Satan trying to sell you another deceptive slant that will prevent you from recognizing God’s deep call on your heart which will transform the right and wrong concepts of sex?
“Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy'" (1 Peter 1:13-16).
Notice that the the summons is to become holy, not to become straight and marry. Throughout God’s Word, God draws us to His ideal. There are those who fall short of His ideal who He encourages and continues to direct to focus on Him. But nowhere does He indicate that living in opposition or opposite of His ideal would ever satisfy, honor or glorify Him. That’s a huge clue, and incredibly valuable advice to keep advancing in His ways instead of compromising with our sinful flesh.
I can count on both hands how many times I’ve heard someone say, “I wonder how Colin Cook is doing today.”
Jesus is there every time we fall compassionately offering to help us get back up and get reconnected to Him. How are we doing at offering this to one another? What kind of friends will we make in Heaven if we don’t have these heartfelt connections on earth? Certainly God is not going to force us to be compassionate toward one another in Heaven. Wouldn’t that be something that we learn here? Isn’t that part of the character we’re taking with us?
As human failures have made headlines over the years, scholars, academics, professors, as well as men and women of God have blatantly declared that healing or changing from that which we are told explicitly dishonors God is not possible. This would make God’s Word a lie. This would mean that placing faith in God is useless.
But what about those who know God’s Words and His ways to be true? What about King David’s heart when he wrote Psalm 51? Isn’t conversion of His Heart clear as he declares:
1Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
you who are God my Savior,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
This certainly sounds like a converted man. What about Mary Magdalene? She recognized the vast and distinct difference between the men who were abusing her in the night and the Savior she sought by day who shed the light that won her heart. She fell in love with the righteous ways of Jesus who lovingly advised her to “go and sin no more.”
If we are not filled with Jesus and His ways, who has control of us, and to what degree? I think of the demoniacs who had become vile men, their hearts being set on anything but Jesus. Jesus did not die for us in order that He might become an association. He died so that we would immerse ourselves in Him and live for Him. Pick up our burdens, difficulties, wrong habits, cultivated or hereditary tendencies and “follow Him.” This is where the healing is. The demoniacs experienced changed lives and were on fire to tell all who had distanced themselves from them by telling of what Jesus had done.
A couple of years ago my colleague referenced homosexuality and demonism and found himself being demonized by Spectrum Magazine. Fellow believers it is time that we take God at His Word. We don’t want to believe ill of one another. Jesus is asking us to love one another. Nice people don’t want to believe that Satan could be in control of their lives. But who is the king of deception and just how these deceptions are conveyed to others?
Jesus intervened in Saul’s life. He distinctly got his attention, instructing him to stop supporting the killing of Christians and actually become one. Consider the testimony of Paul as he began His journey with Jesus with Jesus at the center of His life. Truly a “changed” man.
All of these people had been oriented toward sin. Jesus doesn’t change orientations? His Word says, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
Shouldn’t we stop saying what is not possible through Jesus Christ and start declaring all that is possible for those who will fully and completely surrender their lives to their Savior? Isn’t the depth of Jesus’ love about showing us what “is” possible through Him?
“You can’t be converted and still be tempted!” Really? What was happening at the pinnacle of Jesus’ ministry? Satan was rampant with temptation. Angry and disturbed, he was determined to make Jesus fall. He tormented Him all the way to the cross. Should we expect anything different?
Does being tempted still make me gay? Why would anyone identify by their temptations if Jesus is wanting to free them from being bound by their fallen nature? Wouldn’t this put an emphasis on the past rather than on Jesus in our new identity in Him? 2 Corinthians 5:17 states it clearly, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
To any parent or loved one of someone who is living a life in contrast to God’s plan, may I please ask that you believe Jesus over the one who is telling you that victory is impossible? Romans 5:8 says that Jesus loves us while we are still sinners. That doesn’t mean that His truth and victory are not possible. It means that He doesn’t cave in and He doesn’t give up on us. He extends to us His strength if we would call out to Him and cling to Him. Don’t let the love of sin seek to invalidate God’s Holy and precious Word. This is Satan’s clever manipulation over us.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).
I’m not sharing some breakthrough new concept. This is not some step program that asks for you to continually identify by who you once were in order to stay clean. Those concepts keep you bound to this world. The power and the truth of Jesus Christ sets you free every time you claim the promises and victory He freely offers you.
What if the Bible is really true? What if Jesus is right? Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free"(John 8:31-32).
Why is it that we insist on complicating things? Why are we seeking to justify that which our loving Father has clearly told us doesn’t please Him? Aren’t we acting like earthly children trying to convince earthly parents that we love our sin and don’t want to give it up? We don’t want to accept the challenge that there is work and discipline before us for the kingdom of God.
“For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed--a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written, "The righteous will live by faith" (Romans 1:17).
Take God at His Word, it has everlasting results.
Wayne Blakely is the director of Know His Love Ministries and the Co-Director/Co-Founder of ‘Coming Out’ Ministries.