Book 'Something's Happening' documents struggle between GYC, GC

In Suzanne Ocsai's new book "Something’s Happening: The Behind the Scenes Story of GYC," she delves into the history of the Generation of Youth Conference (GYC) with commentary on church politics. Her story sends two strong messages. The first is young people can, and do, make an influential difference in the world. The second, whether intentional or not, is the General Conference (GC) youth department is not an effective ministry. 

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Who is calling?

It was nearly Christmas and a friend of mine handed me a beautiful little book she had just been given for her personal worship during the coming year. Its softly padded cover was a palette of autumn hues, blending deep earthen browns and bright tangerine. At the center was an oval, framing an out-stretched hand. The book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, had a comforting subtitle, Enjoying Peace in His Presence.  Only four by six inches, the attractive little book, perfectly sized for bedside-table use, was laid out in an easy read page-a-day format. A lovely gift!

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One Project: present or emergent truth?

I had made no plans to attend the One Project scheduled for February 10 and 11 in Seattle, but a mid-morning phone call stirred me from my intended Sunday morning sleep-in.  A friend on the phone urged, "I've been given two tickets to the One Project. They’re free!  Do you want to go? Let's go! Free tickets!" That got me up and going.

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'Seventh Gay Adventist' film gives new meaning to 'truth and freedom'

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

As I gasped for my first breath of air, my mother pushed me aside as she was filled with grief and disappointment. She was adamant about giving birth to a precious baby girl. During her pregnancy she had declared over and over that she had no desire for a boy. She was certain that would not happen. Every ounce of her mental determination to have a baby girl left her in anguish. It left me without the love and crucial bonding needed in those first few hours of life.

Her anguish and disappointment manifested itself when she broke my arm on two different occasions before I reached the age of two. My father was a career air force man who was frequently on assignment. As he returned to the base one day, he saw my arm in a sling. Now the abuse rumors which had been circulating became real to him and he found it necessary to give me over for adoption to his Adventist, Christ-centered, sister and husband.

God already had a plan for me. In the years ahead, it would be difficult to recognize what that plan was. At three years old, I ran around the house screaming, “I don’t want to be a boy! I want to be a girl!” Whenever I was lifted into the arms of a woman, I would scream, “Put me down! I hate women!” Was it any wonder?

You see, even prenatal conditions deeply affect the fetus and what lies ahead. We arrive stained with the effects of sin. Thousands of years of sin and wrong choices. Choices mapped in the brains of those who have gone before us.

Christian author Ellen White says; “They have lost their manhood, and this they must win back. Many have to battle against strong hereditary tendencies to evil. Unnatural cravings, sensual impulses, were their inheritance from birth. These must be carefully guarded against. Within and without, good and evil are striving for the mastery” (Ministry of Healing 173).

I have a story. A story of heartbreak that ends beautifully because of the power of choice God gave me. His grace, love, power and truth are magnificent! Unlike the stories portrayed in “Seventh-Gay Adventist,” my story brings me to the foot of the cross denying self and looking up to Jesus. His blood cleanses me.

Decade upon decade Christians have acknowledged homosexual behavior as sin and have done nothing more. Even today, homosexuals are viewed by self-righteous Christians as modern day lepers. Is God impotent? What about the multitudes of those who in their brokenness He healed and brought restoration? And isn’t the relationship of intimacy with Jesus and His truth seen in the healing and restoration of the demoniacs?

Oh what a work there is to be done in educating the believers of Jesus Christ. We lovingly need to teach how a plugged-in and intimate relationship with Jesus will safeguard us from any sin temptation. As a result of decades of this horrible silence and darkness, stories need to be told. Stories that can ignite the immense love, power and truth of Jesus Christ.

The making of “Seventh-Gay Adventist” provided such a glorious opportunity to engage the subjects of this film into an intimate relationship with Jesus. Knowing that his time is short and how he has maintained sexual intimacy as a cornerstone of deception, Satan exercises his howling cry. Through every minute in this film, Jesus is just association, rather than being lifted up as Healer and Redeemer. Instead of calling the broken to live in Christ, He is portrayed as an earthly relative. This was a prime opportunity to draw the sinner to the foot of the cross with the promise of hope and redemption. But I didn’t sense that.

When I wrote my original review of the film,  Stephen and Daneen (film producers), protested and stated it was not right for me to make such observations without having first seen the film. There are many things in life that we don’t need to personally experience to know they are not of God. I had prayed many times prior to going. When I reserved the tickets, they were the last two. It seemed like I was meant to attend. I had been invited by Stephen and Daneen to come and dialog and to finally see what they said they knew I would write and speak about.

The film is not about acknowledging sin and reaching out with an offer of hope and redemption. This film is artfully and craftily designed to deceive you into believing that we are powerless over sin. Any writer or filmmaker wants you to know its subjects in order for you to relate to them and draw the conclusion that the author wants.

If you begin to live with the subjects, you develop a relational understanding that cultivates the thought process of those being portrayed. The film is sprinkled with humor as well as painful moments that bring clarity of each person portrayed. You fondly develop compassion for them. As you should. What a tremendous set up for magnifying God’s incredible love and truth. But that never happens.

Instead, in the midst of heartache, adaptation replaces victory and a follow-your-feelings mode captures the audience and draws you into thinking that nothing else is possible. Oh how Jesus must have wept when He was dethroned and perceived as powerless in this film.

One of the young characters David Carlson, states that he has been given two choices. To be straight or to be celibate. God has given us many choices, but He requests that we choose, that we call upon Him and seek to do His will instead of our own. Nowhere in the Word of God does He point us to any kind of physical relationship of intimacy except under the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. The fact is that every son and daughter of God is called to the same acknowledgement of God’s perfect plan. We have the right to choose whether we are going to follow God’s will or our own. David made the choice to live according to his desires. And he does so with the blessings of His Adventist mother and father, who is a conference president, as well as his brother who is an Adventist pastor. His brother said something to the effect that there can be too much rejection or too much acceptance, and so he was going to err on the side of too much acceptance and let God can slap him on his wrists later.

My family and I had been faced with this very same situation. But rather than show approval for my choice, my parents neither condemned me nor condoned my choice. They loved me with the love of Jesus and never stopped. For forty years my parents prayed for me. God hears and answers every prayer. My heart was not completely hardened. After years of Satan’s deception and delusion, I was at a point where I could hear the Holy Spirit. Under His conviction I responded with deep repentance, reached out and accepted the hope, love and restoration offered by Jesus Christ.

My story and others like it are truly the missing stories in this film. They were offered to the film makers and refused. The filmmakers have an agenda. They made the film in response to the voting down of Proposition 8 in California over same-sex marriage. It is very clear that they do not see homosexual behavior as sin. And they don’t want you to see it as sin either.

In fact, they promised in writing that they would portray the life of someone who chooses to live celibate as part of their film.

They made a film that represents sinful behavior as benign, having no effect on the Adventist faith. They want you to accept the sinner and the sin, voiding any redeeming power of Jesus Christ. It’s just as though Lucifer is saying … I have a better plan. It is the introduction of arrogance and deceit without the flashing red warning lights. Terror struck my heart as this film continued to unfold. Immediately I could sense how Jesus must be pained and how it was so reminiscent of Cain’s offering of fruit, not the offering God had instructed Him to give.

Only a redeemed homosexual can see the extent of deception being introduced to the awe struck, innocent and unaware viewers the producers are seeking to captivate. My stomach was nauseous. This is no truth from the Word of God. This is exaltation of self. The film cleverly seeks to craft a new truth. The Word of God – the flesh translation. As I watched, I felt the love that Jesus has for every character portrayed on this bigger than life screen. These people were immersed in all the cultural trimmings of Adventism. But do they know Jesus?

This has been foretold by the Holy Spirit:

It is a masterpiece of Satan's deceptions to keep the minds of men searching and conjecturing in regard to that which God has not made known and which He does not intend that we shall understand. It was thus that Lucifer lost his place in heaven. He became dissatisfied because all the secrets of God's purposes were not confided to him, and he entirely disregarded that which was revealed concerning his own work in the lofty position assigned him. By arousing the same discontent in the angels under his command, he caused their fall. Now he seeks to imbue the minds of men with the same spirit and to lead them also to disregard the direct commands of God.

Those who are unwilling to accept the plain, cutting truths of the Bible are continually seeking for pleasing fables that will quiet the conscience. The less spiritual, self-denying, and humiliating the doctrines presented, the greater the favor with which they are received. These persons degrade the intellectual powers to serve their carnal desires" (Great Controversy 523)

The story of love that needs telling is not the hippie love of the sixties and early seventies where sex and drugs influenced a non conforming culture. It had consequences. The same is true today. If we promote a self love rather than a Christ love, there will again be consequences--terminal consequences.

If you’ve been duped, or if you want to make sure you are not duped, consider the stories of those who were met with divine intervention. Five such stories are available to you today via ‘Coming Out’ Ministries. These are stories of hope and redemption. These individuals speak from a combined total of more than a hundred and twenty five years in the gay culture. God spoke to them and they allowed the Holy Spirit to humble them and redeem them.

A documentary has been under production over the past year. But you don’t have to wait to see the documentary. You can hear them share the testimony and the teachings God has graciously given them directly from the Word of God. Their message is one of love. This deep penetrating pure love has won hearts from the beginning of earth’s history. It is the life changing love of Jesus Christ.

Any one or all five individuals are available to speak at schools, churches, universities and conferences. Arrangements for these presentations can be made at ‘Coming Out’ Ministries is currently an umbrella ministry for four supporting individual ministries.

Dialog is long overdue regarding homosexuality and the precious lives it has affected. But in such dialog both love and truth must be present. Neither is valuable alone and Jesus clearly shows that His truth is love. We are nothing without Him.

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