I find it fascinating, if not intriguing, some still marvel at my remaining in dialog with members of the gay community, including gay activists, a couple of which are members of the APA (American Psychiatric Association).
While not entirely, our conversation(s) and our exchange largely began because I became concerned and alarmed with all the media attention given to the bullying of members of the gay community, and, not much, to my knowledge, was or is being offered, mentioned, or discussed regarding the hate that is often spewed and perpetrated against men and women that have said, "No" to homosexual practice and have rejected the gay identity.
Yes, I am using the word “hate."
I am confident many today are not aware there continues to be men and women with unwanted same-sex attraction that have and are making the personal decision to leave homosexuality. As a result, formerly gay-identified men and women are often reviled simply because they dare to exist.
Should not “diversity” and “tolerance” be a two-way street by recognizing and including the once gay-identified man or woman? We are real, and we are here. Therefore, I must express my growing concern of the often widespread “intolerance” practiced against those who decide to face and break free of the snare of same-sex attraction.
Here’s the question: Why do some gays (hate) ex-gays so much?
Thirty-three years ago, I said goodbye to homosexuality and the gay identity. Like all faithful followers of Christ Jesus, I had to face the decision of accepting or rejecting Christ’s Lordship. Coming out of homosexuality required deep emotional healing and a restructuring of my whole identity, as our Creator, God, is the only One who knows exactly how to restore our personality.
I remember so vividly when coming to know Christ at the age of 35, what it meant for the first time in my life to be a man. But more importantly, what it meant to be a godly man. For me to deny or not share what Christ has done in my life would be the equivalent of denying Him.
Thankfully and gratefully, I am far from the only individual that has experienced change. God has not been silent to the cries of men and women wanting freedom from homosexual feelings and behavior. Many have experienced the power of Christ to address the deep needs of both men and women trapped in same-gender struggles.
One gay activist challenged me by stating, “Phillip, while I commend you regarding your concern about ‘intolerance,’ I just can’t get my head around (ex-gay). Why don’t you just be true to yourself?”
"Be true to myself?"
"That is exactly what I am doing."
What makes one individual happy and content may not make someone else happy, because we are all individuals. I, like any man or woman, deserve the right to self-determination and happiness. To give sexual orientation protection to one group while excluding another is outright discrimination.
Without testimony from all sectors of society, including the ex-gay community, public policy on the topic of homosexuality is seriously flawed.
Ex-gay men and women are routinely denied equal access to participate in public school events and present on diversity day.
Ex-gay conferences, workshops and seminars are frequently picketed by pro-gay protesters.
Transgendered individuals are affirmed for changing their gender, but former homosexuals are ridiculed for making the decision to address and change their sexual orientation.
Ex-gays are subject to an increasingly hostile environment where they are labeled as perpetrators of (hate) simply because they advocate for or live out a different belief and view of homosexuality.
Ex-gays are criticized and face lifelong intolerance for simply existing as living proof that homosexuality is not innate.
Frankly, the welfare of individuals, society, and the Church as a whole depends on our facing the subject of homosexuality honestly, compassionately, and courageously.
Yes, homosexuals have the right, as do others, to believe that homosexual behavior should be accepted as normal. However, they do not have the right to demand everyone else agree with them.
True love is loving in spite of our differences and treating each other with kindness and respect. This is what it means to live in a society in which freedom of speech, religion (and belief) are guaranteed.
I’m real. I’m here. I will not be silent.
Pastor Phillip Lee
His Way Out Ministries
5/8/2019 0 Comments
PURE PASSION·SUNDAY, 7 APRIL 2019
A Symphony Without Music
It is a constant mantra of activists, that people who are same-sex attracted are born that way and that there is no hope for change, -i.e., they can never develop opposite-sex attractions or lessen their same-sex feelings. No wonder the suicide rate among homosexuals is 3-5 times the average, even in locations around the world that are the most supportive of such a lifestyle! No hope is being given to the vast numbers of homosexuals who don’t want to be gay.
Their minds, bodies and souls are telling them that there is something wrong with being sexually attracted to people whose bodies are not designed for committing such acts, so much so that every time a male homosexual commits one of the most common sexual acts on their partner, he actually damages the mind, soul and body of that partner (1 Corinthians 6:18). When pressed, most any proctologist will admit to that, even those whose livelihoods depend on such patients.
Ask yourself, “Would a good God really create someone with an orientation to act in ways that He condemns and that does harm to his partners? Would a good God really create someone with an orientation that results in domestic violence rates, substance abuse rates, gay-related disease rates, and promiscuity rates that are off the charts in comparison to heterosexuals? The questions answer themselves.
Such activists use their mantra to orchestrate special rights and to force legal and professional adherence to their point of view. The consequence of non-compliance to their demands is censorship as well as personal and professional persecution and destruction (2 Timothy 3:12) – even fines and imprisonment. In truth, a class of people who have faced persecution in the past can now be counted among the most heartless and frenzied persecutors on the planet.
For the Activist, What if the Claim of Change is True?
One claim that makes such activists furious is the assertion by former homosexuals that God can and has changed them to one degree or another – that the causes of their homosexual attractions are dysfunctional and can be healed, resulting in the waning of homosexual desire and in some, the rise of natural, heterosexual desire. [The reason for this breadth of transformational outcomes is complicated and an important teaching all its own - a teaching that can be found in the Sexual Healing Reference Edition].
• Their fury undoubtedly stems from the fact that if this claim by former homosexuals is true, then people are not born that way and can change if they surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the sanctifying leading of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 24). You can see scores of testimonies to that fact in the video, Such Were Some of You.
• If the claim is true, then there is no basis for special rights or forced compliance.
• If the claim is true, then people who want to leave the lifestyle can find hope, healing and God’s direction for walking free from those things that have caused their same-sex attractions.
• If the claim is true, they can have hope that the Lord will forgive, heal and transform them as they pursue an intimate relationship with God the Father.
• If the claim is true, as stated clearly in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, then the impending sentence of eternal separation from God for those who commit homosexual acts can be rescinded by Almighty God.
What Happens to Those Who Reject God’s Will
Alternately, those who harden their heart against God’s loving commands will eventually lose the conviction that they must have in order to repent (1 Timothy 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; Acts 28:27; Ephesians 4:19, 30). They will lose the God-given conviction to forsake the idolatry that lies behind sin and be lost (Romans 1:18-32; Ephesians 5:37; Colossians 3:5; Ezekiel 23:48-49; 1 Peter 2:11). This is true of anyone who refuses to repent of sin in response to the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. Of this, Isaiah (64:7) clearly laments, “There is no one who calls on Your Name, who arouses himself to take hold of You; for You have hidden Your face from us and have delivered us into the power of our iniquities.”
Reminiscent of Satan’s first lie, (Genesis 3:1), they will fall for another of his lies: “Did God really say that you must repent of homosexual behavior.”
The sad truth is that these precious people are being led down a path that leads to destruction. They are being persuaded by those who do not know God to ignore His will in the matter. They are missing out on His saving grace and His power to bring healing, change and transformation to every area of their lives.
Just the Facts!
Surprisingly, a number of secular therapists (some of whom are lesbian) have gone public in declaring that science has proven that sexual desire can change.
(See https://www.frc.org/sexualorientation and https://www.frc.org/issueanalysis/are-sexual-orientation-change-efforts-soce-effective-are-they-harmful-what-the-evidence-shows.
Dale O'Leary has compiled an impressive list of 440 studies, articles and books relating to conversion therapy, many from peer-reviewed and professional journals, and provided excerpts from them totaling in excess of 45,000 words. You can find this incredibly useful resource here. https://daleoleary.wordpress.com/2018/08/13/change-of-sexual-orientation/#more-540
A recent book by Stephen Black (Freedom Realized) also bears witness to the power of God to change anyone who will forsake their sin in order to follow Christ. In the 25 years that he has been helping homosexuals, among those who made a serious attempt via his ministry program to experience change through Jesus Christ, at least 72% found lasting freedom from sinful behavior. In former lesbian Anne Paulk’s book, (Restoring Sexual Identity), she reported that up to 81% of lesbians who made an earnest attempt to find healing and transformation through Christ found lasting freedom.
So What Do Former Homosexuals Mean When They Say That God Has Changed Them?
1. For some, they mean that in humbling themselves before God and turning away from such temptations, (2 Timothy 2:22), they have forsaken a life of rebellion and surrendered themselves to the will of God through Jesus Christ. And they have made this commitment whether they lose their homosexual attractions or not (Ephesians 4:17-24).
2. For some, it means that in pursuing an intimate relationship with God the Father, with all their heart, (Deuteronomy 4:29; Psalm 105:4; Jeremiah 29:11-14; Hebrews 11:6), they have received from Him divine revelation as to the causes of their aberrant attractions (in addition to the primary cause, which is our fallen nature). And on the heels of that revelation, they have pursued Him for the healing of such traumas as well as for a supernatural impartation of those things that went missing during their childhood and adolescence.
3. For some, it means that they have learned not to try to find healing or the power to achieve freedom on their own, (2 Corinthians 2:21; Philippians 2:13), but have wholly relied on God to not only show them what is wrong, but to empower them to renounce and refuse any such behaviors in the future (Acts 17:28; Galatians 2:20; 2 Peter 1:4; Jude 24).
4. For some, it means that in finding healing for the deficits and traumas that lie behind their same-sex attractions, such enticements have progressively lost their coercive power. In essence, the attractions have begun to wane in substance and power, causing their identity to change from being “a homosexual” to being “a chaste child of God”.
5. For some, it means that they have found a true identity in Christ that joyfully adheres to His moral commands, no matter what temptations may linger. Their stony heart of rebellion has been replaced with a heart for God. Their rebellious will has been transformed by His grace, love and the beauty of His holiness (Titus 2:11-14; Romans 2:4, 5:14, 6:8-14, 8:5-14; 2 Corinthians 5:14).
6. For some, it means that over time, their homosexual attractions have (to one degree or another) been replaced by natural heterosexual attractions.
7. For some, it means that the transformation has been so complete that the old homosexual identity and attractions have lost all power and presence. They now enjoy sexual relations with a marriage partner of the opposite sex.
The Transforming Mercy & Love of God
To sum it up, the grace, mercy and love demonstrated by Jesus’ death on the Cross has persuaded such former homosexuals to receive the love that they’ve always craved. They have been supernaturally changed in what they hold dear and have surrendered their will to the will of God. And they have been infused with the life of God, who has given them everything they need for life and godliness, through their knowledge (intimacy) of Him (2 Peter 1:3-11).
The world would like us to think that for someone to be “changed”, they must be zapped free from all temptation to that behavior - a claim that is nothing more than sophistry. It is a standard that those same people don’t require for alcoholics, drug addicts, sex addicts and a host of other disorders.
Yes, the road to freedom from bondage can be long and arduous. We are strengthened in such trials. We are healed, delivered and transformed by such trials. In a sense, our brokenness has provided an opportunity to be made more Christlike, to be strengthened in our new identity in Christ, and to respond to His love with a sacrificial commitment of our own - one that results in being transformed into His image from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18).
That’s what it means to be changed! But no matter what level of change a person realizes in this life, in forsaking sin to follow Jesus Christ, they have become born again and will soon be on their way to meet the true lover of their souls – the one who demonstrated His love for them on the Cross (Romans 5:8) - and a marriage with Him that will last forever (Revelation 19:9).
Can the God who created everything and everyone change a person who experiences same-sex attraction? Let me answer the question with another question: “Is there anything that the creator of all things cannot do?”
From Facebook - click here for the original
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Dr. David Kyle Foster (M-Div, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; D-Min, Trinity School for Ministry) is the author of Transformed Into His Image and Love Hunger and is the founder/director of Pure Passion Media (www.PurePassion.us). Read more of his take on sexual sin and brokenness in his newest book, The Sexual Healing Reference Edition.
PURE PASSION·THURSDAY, 9 MAY 2019
The Proper Foundations Haven’t Been Laid
It’s a problem of putting the cart before the horse. We too often launch off into man-made solutions that can never produce the interior transformation that is necessary for lasting freedom. Such “solutions” often teach us (overtly or covertly) to rely on a “system” rather than on God.
Worldly solutions are “maintenance programs” that teach us to keep ourselves from falling by our own wisdom, discipline and power. They can be helpful in a secondary way, but should never be offered as the primary solution.
In contrast, God offers a “transformation program” by which He heals the underlying wounds, transforms the will and keeps us from falling by His power and love (Jude 24; Psalm 37:23-24, 55:22; 1 Peter 1:5).
True freedom comes not from focusing on the bondage, but on the Savior. In 2 Peter 1:3, the Holy Spirit says that through our knowledge of Him, God’s divine power has already given us everything we need for life and godliness. The solution, therefore, is not found in the wisdom of the world. It is found through intimate knowledge of Him and the appropriation of the power that already resides within us by virtue of His divine presence.
Some people don’t want to change because they receive too much sympathy, affirmation and attention by staying broken. Others recoil because of the pain that results from revisiting the wounds that have contributed to their dysfunctional behavior.
Our inclination is to deceive ourselves into believing that we want freedom from something when we really don’t. Our hearts are deceitful and duplicitous (Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 15:19). For example, I used to regularly cry out to God for freedom from a particular bondage. One night the power of God fell on me and I knew that He was finally answering my prayer. But to my utter shock, my first thought was “Oh no!” In that moment, I realized that I had been begging for deliverance from something that I still wanted. Hidden within the recesses of my mind, I didn’t think I could live without it. Deep in the interior of my heart, I still loved it. My pleas for help had not been coming from a desire to walk in holiness, but from self-deluded, performance-based religion.
Primary Reasons for Failure to Find Freedom
1. Failure to Make an Across-the-Board Commitment to Holiness
The Kingdom of God is not a supermarket. We cannot say that we want freedom from one sin without being willing to be freed from them all.
God wants us to commit to holiness at every level. Thankfully, He does not lay them all upon us at once, but brings them up as we are ready to deal with each one. As we forsake the things of the world and fix our heart permanently toward the things of God, He then responds with revelation and empowerment.
2. Failure to Believe In and Act Upon God’s Power to Deliver and Keep Us
Most of us haven’t a clue just how much power God has and how little power Satan has. We need to pursue God in His Word to understand and believe who we are in Christ and the authority He has given us (Luke 10:18-19).
I recommend “truth therapy” - regular meditation on the truths of Scripture, even when they seem to contradict what we feel and experience in our battle with sin (Hebrews 11:1).
Some of us are so enslaved to our feelings that we are incapable of believing anything else. When I fail to become planted in the ground of my identity in Christ, His call on my life, and His empowerment of that call, I’m a sitting duck for the lying thoughts and feelings that invade my soul.
3. Failure to Undergo a Transformation of the Will Through a Belief In and Embracing of God’s Unconditional Love (Jeremiah 31:3b-4a)
We are in a partnership with God. His part is to provide the grace, love and power that changes our heart and makes us willing to obey. Our part is to pursue His presence. As we believe in His unconditional love, we’re empowered and motivated to forsake sin.
One day, I was in the midst of committing a besetting sin when the Lord spoke to my heart, saying, “If you turn to me right now, I will love you, forgive you and embrace you.” Ignoring the voice, I continued with my sin until satisfied, at which time the Lord repeated the same words to me.
It was a moment I’ll never forget as I realized that His focus was not on my sin, but on His desire to communicate to me that all He really wanted was for me to turn to Him and receive His love. In that moment, He had so taken my heart by this otherworldly love that I now wanted to do His will. In essence, He changed my will through the repeated experience of His grace and love. For the first time, I chose to do His will, not because I was supposed to, but because I wanted to (Titus 2:14). “For it is God who is at work in us both to will and to do that which is according to His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13). In essence, we just need to get under the spout where the glory comes out!
4. Failure to See Healing as a Process with a Purpose
As we live in intimacy with Him, God shows us the root causes of our behavior, the needs that we have been trying to meet, and His more perfect provision to meet those needs. Through our pursuit of healing, we develop a relationship of love and dependence on God because we have need to turn to Him often for power over temptation and healing from brokenness.
Bondage is essentially a problem of broken relationships – first with God, and second, with human beings. We must come to know Him as He really is and forsake the fiction that our minds have created that has convinced us to run from Him and not to trust Him.
5. Failure to Develop an Intimate Relationship with God the Father
Many of us fear intimacy. It is where we’ve been hurt. But intimacy with our perfectly loving Father is another matter. Jesus said that if we have seen Him, we have seen the Father (John 14:9). Do you love Jesus? The Father is just like Him!
Another fear is that we intuitively know that intimacy with someone means commitment and a loss of independence. But we soon learn that intimacy is the deepest level of knowing, of loving and of feeling. It produces the fruit of inner joy. Foundationally, it has to do with our response of love to the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross.
6. Failure to Humble Ourselves in Absolute Dependence on God
The pride of self-sufficiency and independence is the fruit of ignorance. The truth is that we are already, completely dependent on God’s power and wisdom in order to have any kind of meaningful existence.
In our culture, humility is considered a weakness. We think that life’s problems are challenges that God expects us to deal with on our own. However, without continual dependence on God, we’re like infants left out in the middle of a freeway. We are completely dependent on God to reveal to us what is true as distinguished from what the world says is true (1 Corinthians 1:18-31).
Jesus said that without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). Consequently, the closer I get to Him, the longer I sit at His feet and allow Him to uncover the depths of my heart, the more I am going to grow in the humility of understanding the grace that I stand in, and I will love Him even more. And so, our first response to bondage, brokenness or temptation must always be one of utter dependence that turns to God for power, wisdom and strength.
7. Failure to Learn & Practice Spiritual Warfare
The Bible teaches that the weapons of our warfare are mighty to pull down strongholds – but only when employed in the ongoing reality of these first six pillars of incarnational relationship and empowerment. In other words, spiritual warfare involves using the power of God, the wisdom of God, the discernment of God, the peace of God, the faith of God and the love of God to proclaim the will of God at any given moment.
Those of us who live in the defeat of habitual sin have not yet fully fallen in love with Jesus. We have not received the depth of the revelation of His love and awesome beauty that transforms the heart and mind. Once that has been accomplished, without even realizing it, we will find that we are already wearing the weapons of our warfare (Ephesians 6:10-18) and have been marked by the evil one as dangerous.
First Things First
The primary reason that so many of us do not experience victory over the sin and brokenness that so easily besets us is that we do not put these spiritual principles first when attempting to find freedom. In fact, one second of revelation from the God who loves us is worth a lifetime of therapy. This is not to say that therapeutic approaches are unimportant in some cases. It is simply a matter of placing first things first so that any help that we receive from men will bear fruit that will last (John 15:16).
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Dr. David Kyle Foster (M-Div, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; D-Min, Trinity School for Ministry) is the author of Transformed Into His Image and Love Hunger and is the founder/director of Pure Passion Media (www.PurePassion.us). Read more of his take on sexual sin and brokenness in his newest book, The Sexual Healing Reference Editionand listen to his twice-weekly podcast at http://www.purepassion.us/index.php/podcasts.
Watch the concert held in the UK with Matthew Grech, Luiz Ruiz, Angel Colon and friends