Beyond the Shades of Gray: Because Homosexuality is a Symptom, Not a Solution by Dean Bailey
Newly Released in January 2012, the book that was inspired by the testimony and information on this website is finally here! Available in hard cover, paperback, and digital editions, through WestBow Press Bookstore, or through your preferred book retailer.
This is a book that is based upon Christian fundamentals and beliefs. So I use practical applications of Bible Scripture throughout the book, without religiosity. And I use them to confront various aspects of this very controversial subject, head-on. Therefore, I make no apologies for the portions of this book that may seem to be more graphic in nature than your average "Christian" book usually is. Homosexuality is a subject that absolutely needs to be dealt with truthfully, and without religious avoidance of those kinds of topics and questions that may otherwise seem "inappropriate" to mention within a "Christian" book, or church setting.
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Pure Passion TV Interview (S7-E32)
Beyond the Shades of Gray, Christian Author and Speaker Dean Bailey, shared his powerful testimony nationwide, in a Pure Passion TV interview, June 8, 2013, on the Christian Television Network. If you missed it, you can now view it on Vimeo, by clicking the photo-link to the left.
You are Here: Simply click your mouse on the chapter you would like to go to, or scroll down through the entire book as you read it. There is also a link available at the end of each chapter, to return here to the Table of Contents, if you desire to skip around.
They're just three little words: "Who am I?" But when we put these three simple words together in this order, they can form one of the most complicated questions that many of us will ever try to answer about ourselves, when we try to understand it all from out of our own reasoning, human nature, and experience.
But what is it, exactly, that does define "who we are" as an individual person? Is it many things, or is it just one thing in particular? Is there a simple answer to be found that fits to every individual person in some way, or is the answer more unique from person to person?
And what about you... What do you look at inside of yourself, in order to form a personal answer to this very self-defining question? And if you've searched inside yourself, have you ever felt like there was some part of you that was missing? Or, what if you didn't like something about the person that you see yourself to be... what then?
If you are a person who has ever had doubts or questions about your sexual orientation or behavior, then what I've written here is for you. I do include information for women, but this is a book written mostly to other men, from a man's perspective of his own, unwanted homosexual behaviors. It is not intended to be an all-inclusive compilation of answers with regard to homosexuality, homosexual orientation, or homosexual behaviors. I readily admit to you that I simply don't have all of those answers. But everything that is included here is truthful, open, and honest. And so, if you have struggled to understand yourself in the ways that I have, then I believe that I can help you to find at least some of the answers you may be looking for, within what I've written about it here. And I can also point you back in the right direction toward the One who holds all of the answers that any of us could ever seek to discover about "who we are." We can trust our lives to his wisdom and council, because his very nature is Love and Truth.
My intent in this book is to illuminate those truths, and to expose homosexual behaviors as a symptom and evidence of our own human frailty, and broken spiritual condition, rather than it being the pre-determined or uncontrollable human trait that it is so often portrayed and described to be. Because we (meaning our Human Race) will turn to many different kinds of things, including sexual activity, in order to fill up the voids that we sometimes sense within ourselves, as we also try to figure out just how it is that we are supposed to fit in, in this world. And while coming to terms with my own weaknesses, I came to believe that homosexual behavior is just one of those many "places" that people do sometimes turn toward, hoping to find those answers to what was missing inside of them, or hoping to discover their "true self" in some significant way.
But for many people who've sought out their self-identity in a homosexual experience, and then continue seeking out the comfort they find in such behaviors, by actually living a homosexual life, they soon discover that the familiar and uneasy feeling of emptiness eventually returns, right along with the nagging voice inside of them that whispered, "There's still something missing." I know this to be true, because I've been through it myself. And seeking out yet another homosexual experience, and thinking all over again that the next one could finally be everything that you've been looking for, is not the answer.
However it may be that you have come to be reading this now, I don't believe that it was just by some accident. I believe that God intended for you to be reading this, right here and right now, at this appointed moment in time, or he would not have bothered to inspire me throughout the writing of it all. But God knew beforehand that there would be people just like us, who both needed and desired to know the truth found within this information.
Some of you have probably come here, hoping to find some honest answers about yourself, or perhaps to find a personal connection with someone else who has already been through some of the same uncertain questions that you may now have about your own sexuality.
There have been some people who've read this book, with their only real motive seeming to be that they desired to criticize its message, or so that they could make negative accusations toward me personally. Is it that they just desire to remain ignorant of these truths? Or was it that they needed to ridicule such evidence, so that they could remain comfortable within their own personal attitude of unwillingness, which absolutely refuses to acknowledge or accept any hope or possibility of changing their own sexual behaviors, and becoming free from homosexuality? I can only guess at their motives, because none of them was willing to get far enough beyond their own selfish interests, in order to have an adult conversation with me.
But in spite of a few readers like those, my hope is that the far greater numbers of you have come here seeking honest and truthful answers about yourself, or that you're reading out of some legitimate curiosity. For example, if you've never personally experienced same-sex attractions (SSA) yourself, then you might be a person who is seeking to understand a family member, or a friend, or loved one who is "gay". Or perhaps you just know of someone who is "gay", and you simply desired to learn more about it. Each one of these are good reasons to continue reading.
Some of you may disagree with the information you'll read, because you've already made some personal conclusions about yourself and your sexual behaviors, or about some other person you know who is "gay". And it is certainly not my intent to build a wall between us if you do disagree with me. But before you disagree, please take the time to personally read through the entire book, and allow yourself a fair opportunity to make a balanced conclusion about what's written, while also considering that some of it may even apply to your own circumstances.
Many of the things I've written here can open your eyes to consider facts that you may not have thought about before now, concerning the origins and nature of your own homosexual feelings or behaviors. But other things I've written here might just make you plain angry inside, depending on any pre-existing assumptions or conclusions you already have, regarding homosexuality. But that's okay too. Because what you choose to believe or not believe about such things can't change the way things actually are. And so we can usually agree to disagree about such things.
But if find that you just can't accept any of it without becoming angry, then please try to remember this simple suggestion in that moment: Stop where you are, and go directly to the chapter of the book that contains "My Testimony", so that you can at least try to understand these things through the eyes of my own experience. Perhaps then you can come to understand why I felt such a need to share my own story with other people.
So, if you can, try to set aside those pre-conceived notions about homosexuality, and also any that you have about the beliefs of Christianity as a "religion" or way of life. Because in sharing this very honest, open, and personal journey with you, I hope to give you the opportunity to identify with the struggles I've had, and see how both of these life-issues have tugged at, impacted, and influenced my own behaviors and life-choices, for many years now.
I want other people, who may be facing the same kinds of challenges, to be able to understand what I did to resolve the internal conflicts that these intense feelings, and my opposing Christian beliefs, caused within me. These two forces brought about an urgent sort of self-searching within me, to try and understand them both. But I found that only one of them can be catered to and accepted, and you'll have to make that personal decision of which one it will ultimately be, just as I did.
So, I share it all with the sincere hope that in doing so, you can have an easier time of sorting through all of this than I did. And I also hope for you to avoid the loneliness and emotional turmoil that came in trying to figure it all out on my own.
But just as much as I've written it down for you, the reader, I find that I've also written it down for myself, recording everything that I've discovered through my own journey out of homosexual behaviors, as a personal memoir of life-lessons and truth. It's so that I also have a place to return to and remind myself again, if I become discouraged. When that happens, I wanted to be able to remember and encourage myself again, through what I've already learned along the way, and hopefully, avoid the pain of having to relearn it all over again through more wrongful choices or mistakes.
For about the first year, this book was a much shorter internet article, and I didn't realize that it was only the beginnings of a much larger work in progress. But after that first draft was published in February of 2001, and as time taught me more and more of its own life-lessons, I continued to learn more and more about God, and about myself. And so I came to understand even more about these struggles I've experienced with homosexual attraction and desire. And so I began adding those things into the article too, as after-thoughts. And when some of my readers had e-mailed their own comments and individual questions back to me, I began to notice some very common and distinct issues that were present among us all. So, I was inspired to address those things by adding them in as well, until finally, the article developed into the book that it is today.
And if you read every chapter, you will find that I repeat certain points again and again, from chapter to chapter. I don't do this to be redundant. I do it because I want you to grasp these things… I want you to "get it." And I also want the readers who may skip around to different chapters of the book, to also have enough information to understand these truths, and be able to apply them into their own situations. But there's also a biblical principle behind repeating these important truths again and again, which says, "faith comes by hearing and hearing" the word of truth (Romans 10:17, NKJV).
I truly believe that each reason I had for writing all of this down was divinely inspired, and extremely valid in the sincere desire I have to share my own knowledge and life-experience with other people. But the one reason that will matter most to the people who read it, is that I still sense a genuine connection to, and a compassion for the people out there, who are caught right in the middle of these issues; those of you who are still trying to find some personal sense of hope, direction, and belonging, all while gaining a comfortable but honest understanding of yourself. Because while the world around us is choosing sides and continuing the debate over the outward issues of homosexuality, we are simply trying to come to grips with the evidence of it that we've seen inside of our self. And that's very difficult to do with so much inaccurate information about homosexuality still being propagated to us by the gay-rights activists, today.
Regardless of anything else you may or may not have come to believe about the origins of homosexual behaviors by this point, one simple fact of it is that if a person does self-identify as "a homosexual," then they have allowed their homosexual feelings and/or behaviors to define "who they are" as a person. So, if you call yourself "a homosexual," and you say that you are comfortable in your sexuality, then I can accept that on the surface. But beneath what you say and allow others to see, then I am also compelled to ask you if you simply accepted your homosexual behaviors ignorantly, or have you actually taken the time to consider where they may have come from?
Have you ever weighed some of the lesser known, but entirely feasible evidence and research, which so clearly identifies non-biological and non-genetic, environmental reasons for our homosexual behaviors? If you have never considered such evidence before now, then I hope that you will at least be willing to give these things some thought, as I bring some of them to light, and discuss them throughout this book. I began to see myself so much more clearly as a person, once I actually did so myself.
Such information has been largely ignored, and even censored at times, in the montage of political correctness that exists within our Western and European cultures today. It is an environment which has favored and spread many of the unproven biological theories that exist about homosexual behavior. And those unproven ideas and theories are being spoon-fed to us by the gay-rights activists, and by those prominent people and organizations that are blindly supporting them.
So I will also confront some of those very one-sided and activist-minded schemes, and their legislative and political agendas, which are all attempting to force other people in our society to become morally accepting of homosexuality, against their own will and better judgment.
Even our own state and federal governments now seem to be purposely ignoring the validity of all of the other reasonable evidence that is becoming so widely available, and which so strongly contradicts and refutes an overwhelming majority of what the gay-rights activists have been telling us about homosexual behaviors.
But if you are a person who remains uncomfortable with, or questions, or who is confused about your same-sex attractions or behaviors, then please allow me to lighten your burden right now, by telling you something very important, that no one in the openly-gay culture seems to be willing to tell you today:
If you are experiencing unwanted homosexual feelings or desires, it is absolutely acceptable for you to desire to become free from those thoughts and longings!
And I'll share something else with you, that is just as important for you to know:
You will always have a personal choice and self-determination, with regard to what the final orientation of your sexual behaviors will be in the future, even if you are already living your life as "a homosexual" right now!
That's right... So I hope you'll hear me out on all of this. You do indeed have a personal, God-given freedom and right, as a created human being, to seek out your own destiny, with regard to your sexuality and behaviors, just the same as you do with other personal and spiritual aspects of your life. So don't ever allow any person, government, or activist organization to get away with trying to convince you that you just have to accept the fact that you are "gay," or that you are destined to live the rest of your life as "a homosexual," or that you have no further choice or say-so in the matter once you've experienced or acted upon those feelings in a sexual way.
Advice like that is simply not true, and I've found out for myself that all of us do still have a choice in this! First, we have a choice to understand how we got into this mess in the first place. And then we also have a choice either to do something about it, or to just continue to succumb to it.
In the Bible's Book of the Psalms, King David makes a very simple, yet profound observation that is still very relevant today. He says, "Many are asking, 'Who can show us any good?' " (Psalms 4:6)
"Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God..." Many years back, I remember opening a newspaper to glance at the political cartoon. The cartoonist had drawn his own rendition of Michelangelo's painting, "The Creation of Adam," which is pictured above. In the cartoon version, however, the cartoonist included a caption with God speaking to Adam, that read, "Sorry son, you're gay." First, let's have a little demonstration to show just how easily our own perceptions can deceive us. FINISHED FILES ARE THE RESULT OF MANY HOURS OF ORGANIZING So, how many F's did you count? Most of you will agree that there are at least four of them: One in the word FINISHED; another one in FILES; another F in FASHIONABLE; and the final one in the word, INFORMATION. But who saw five? Or even six? Would you believe me if I told you there were seven of them? In like manner, many people just like us have been sexually misguided, and we have been conditioned into a pattern of homosexual behaviors through a misinterpreted and misunderstood desire within ourselves to bond, to be accepted, or to find a sense of belonging with someone else who is our same gender (someone else who is like us). These unexplained desires can become sexualized as we enter young adulthood and become sexually active. To those people who experience this inward longing, it seems very much like normal sexual attraction and desire to us, because of the way it feels. And the only encouraged response we hear toward such attractions today is to say, "I have these same-gender attractions, so I must be gay." Little by little, our society's overall sense of repulsiveness and offense at the behavior itself has been systematically targeted and numbed down, in an unrelenting campaign for complete acceptance. Activists have used a deceitful, civil rights-like approach, in order to accomplish this goal, mostly through television and magazine articles, and also through civil law suits within our Federal Courts System. So, one intent of this article is to oppose that move in such a way that will still foster compassion and understanding, but through an accurate description of homosexuality and homosexual behavior. We will begin by defining homosexuality itself. The basic truth I desire to reveal in this chapter is actually very simple to understand. It's so simple, in fact, that most of us who have ever had the misfortune of dealing with homosexual desires and behaviors (unwanted or not), have completely overlooked its simplicity within our own human existence. I opened this book with a discussion about perception vs. reality. And through the political cartoon I mentioned, the cartoonist had implied that one is created or born "gay." Now there is absolutely zero scientific evidence to support this view. And the Bible certainly doesn't support that view. But in making that suggestion, the cartoonist did touch on the fact of a very powerful self-deception, which is this: To the gay man or lesbian woman, their perceived identity is built, either in whole or in large part, upon their same-sex attractions. It is "who" they honestly believe that they are. And so they build their own world view and a self-image around those attractions, instead of searching for where such attractions might have actually come from, in an honest and much deeper sense of life, of moral stability, and of them self as a person. For me personally, "truth" is much more than someone's imposing point of view. Genuine truth comes ultimately from God. And absolute truth is always "black and white" in contrast to what is false. So I have never been satisfied with "shades of gray" where the truth is concerned. And you shouldn't be satisfied with gray areas or half-truths either, that is unless you're willing to be swayed by every deceptive yet convincing argument that is shoved your way. The Father Wound is so named because of the fact that this type of wound is almost always inflicted upon us at the hands of our fathers, or by a significant, male role model. Our mothers can of course also wound us in similar ways, or they can further deepen the father wound. But a "mother wound" happens less frequently, and it seems to have a lesser impact when it does happen... at least upon young boys, it does. So, perhaps the impact of the mother wound is more deeply felt by young girls (once again, I am writing from a male's perspective). Looking back on the time when I was a boy, the obvious environment of coping with my own father's alcoholism, and the father wounds that came out of it, were the most obvious influences upon the emotions, feelings, and personal choices that led me into my own homosexual behaviors. I talk about that environment in great detail, in the chapter that contains my testimony. And so I won't go into all of those aspects of my journey just yet. This was a difficult section for me to sort through and actually put into words. There were even times when I debated with myself over the real need for it to remain in the book, because it didn't seem to convey the real substance of what I desired to communicate, when I would go back and proof-read it back to myself. In fact, it seemed overly harsh, and absent of the Grace of God that always balances and brings a greater understanding to the truth of a biblical edict, law, command, or standard. "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God." In a nutshell, the Bible proclaims that all people are born into this world with a spiritually rebellious, human nature that we all inherited from the father of our human race, the first man, Adam. Adam wasn't created with a rebellious nature. But he was created with a free will, and he fell into sin when he listened to Satan and chose to disobey God. In that moment of disobedience, Adam's own spirit experienced spiritual death (a severed relationship and connection to God), and his soul inherited its fearful and rebellious nature by that disobedient choice. Because of Adam's disobedience, every human child is born with two natures within them: a human spirit that is alive and connected to God, as well as having that same rebellious nature, which was passed down from Adam and is now present in all of us. "So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation." And while homosexuality is certainly contrary to true Christianity, it must also be said here that salvation is found only in Jesus Christ; not in heterosexuality! So these passages of Scripture are not meant to imply that the homosexual who turns to Christ and becomes a Christian will never again be faced with a homosexual temptation. That's unrealistic. In fact, you don't know what temptation is until you've tried to overcome a persistent temptation like homosexual dependency and addiction. You didn't become homosexual in just one night, and so you can't expect God to undo the deeply engrained patterns of your homosexual behavior in just one night, either. Compromise... My Own Worst Enemy: "This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 'Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message.' So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: 'Can I not do with you as this potter does?' declares the Lord. 'Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand.' " "For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me." Homoerotophobia: Now here's a word you're probably not familiar with. And it is distinctly different from the more familiar and abused term, "homophobia." The American Heritage Dictionary defines erotophobia as, "an abnormal fear of love, especially sexual feelings and their physical expression." Therefore, homoerotophobia would be defined as that same type of abnormal fear, between persons of the same gender. Another writer who found freedom from homosexuality had this to say: Given the perspective of our current generation and time, can you believe that even American men were once far more intimate and physically affectionate with one another, before this new era of openly public homosexuality began demanding our moral acceptance? The photographic evidence is actually quite clear on that, as it is chronicled in several books, such as, "Affectionate Men: A Photographic History of a Century of Male Couples, 1850-1950", by Russell Bush; "Picturing Men: A Century of Male Relationships in Everyday American Photography", by John Ibson; and also in, "Men of WW II: Fighting Men at Ease", and, "At Ease: Navy Men of World War II", both by Evan Bachner. I will also recommend an excellent online commentary toward this topic, titled, "Bosom Buddies: A Photo History of Male Affection." I've spent some time looking at many of those old WW2 photos of American soldiers and ship-mates, such as these you see to the left, and I am just amazed at the level of physical intimacy that is so common, and so innocent, in so many of them... Soldiers and sailors, resting and relaxing with each other, one with his head lying on another's stomach, or one leaning back against the chest of his friend, and another who is pictured sleeping on his buddy's shoulder, for example. Yet none of the men in these photos display even a hint of visible concern over their level of closeness. And isn't that the way it should be? But it has become more and more uncommon to see this level of closeness displayed today among heterosexual American men.
Touch Deprivation: Though it is often an entirely separate issue all on its own, touch deprivation is certainly not absent from among the many issues that can contribute to same-sex attractions (SSA), and homosexual behaviors. So it is also worth mentioning here. Being a product of my western culture and upbringing, by the time I began the long task of sorting through the issues of my same-sex attractions and homosexual behaviors, our western culture had already built a huge and nearly impenetrable wall between me, and the genuine recovery from SSA issues that I desired to find. I didn't know it then, but it would take me nearly twenty years to identify what that "wall" is, let alone coming to realize that it could actually exist as an unholy thing. I have been speaking here mostly from my own male perspective of male homosexual behavior. And given the things I have described, one might logically presume, then, that female homosexual behavior would always find its roots from similar voids in mother-daughter type relationships. I do believe that the relationship with one's mother can and often does have some influence upon both male and female homosexuality. But more often once again, it seems to me that there was usually also always a father wound of some sort that has impacted the lives of such women as little girls, just as much as I've described that it does so to little boys. Care to take a guess at what a man's most powerful sex-organ might be? When I first heard this question, I immediately began to think about the various physical parts of my body that seemed to bring on sexual arousal when stimulated, and of course the penis seemed to be the logical, "first choice" there... But if your mind went in the same direction that mine did, well, think again. The subtitle that appears beneath the main title of this article reads, "Homosexuality is a Symptom, Not a Solution." What's meant by this statement is that homosexual behavior is not anyone's real answer for filling up the internal emptiness that it is being used to pacify. This is because the void itself, at its core, really isn't about the sex! But rather, it is an emptiness caused by other (and quite often, many other) personal underlying issues. And so sex itself can become an addictive pacifier when a person begins to use it as the outlet which numbs the emotional responses they've felt, because of those other underlying issues. And so in that sense, homosexuality becomes an outward symptom of those internal issues, rather than the solution that can actually heal them. This is always true of homosexuality to some degree, because it is unnatural sex, as our sexuality is defined under God's order of created things. But this trend can sometimes be true of heterosexual sex as well, when the sex is used in this same manner. Gay activists tell us that there is a reportedly high incidence of hatred toward, and suicides among homosexuals. So, this is a related issue worth also addressing here. Occasionally, animals can be observed to mount another of the same sex and engage in seemingly "homosexual" behavior. And so it is often argued that homosexuality is naturally occurring in nature, and therefore in human beings as well. On Wednesday, December 15, 2010, the US House of Representatives made the horrific decision to vote and repeal the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) Policy, along with the federal law which prohibited homosexuals from serving openly in the armed services. On December 18th, the US Senate then followed suit, and on the following Wednesday, December 22nd, President Obama signed the new legislation into law. The Pentagon then released a report in late January, 2011, saying that "training" would begin in February, and would take three months to compete, before the new law would be implemented. By this point in the book, it should not come as any great surprise that I do hold to the traditional, biblical definition of marriage. It is a union that is a God-ordained institution and spiritual covenant, strictly meant to be between one man and one woman. "Truly I tell you, whatever you forbid and declare to be improper and unlawful on earth must be what is already forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit and declare proper and lawful on earth must be what is already permitted in heaven." Bisexuality is a sexual preference toward partners of either gender, with the bisexual person having the trait of easily switching back and forth between their same or opposite genders, any time there is an opportunity for a new sexual partner to be chosen. In other words, it is really the absence of a fixed heterosexual or homosexual "orientation." So it is somewhat surprising to me that bisexuality is so often readily defended by advocates who support homosexuality. Because it seems to me that bisexuality itself tends to disprove some of their own arguments. The argument that people are born gay, for example. I will not pretend to be an expert with regard to how an intersexed genetic or anatomic condition, which is actually present in a person at birth, may or may not play into the tendency of a person toward homosexual behaviors, later on in life. But one strong point I will make is this: Intersex is an extremely rare and uncommon condition, and it occurs in only a small fraction of a percentage of the human population. This is far less frequently than the whole percentages of people within in our human population who admit that they practice homosexual behaviors. So, the statistics just don't line up at all, if an activist is going to try and use the "cause and effect" argument here. And this is according to the statistics available from the Intersex Society of North America (or, ISNA) itself, as compared to the far greater numbers of people within our surrounding populations who claim to be homosexual. The origin of HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), is now widely accepted to be the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) which infects monkeys. SIV itself is not harmful to humans, however. And so there remain several different theories as to how SIV mutated into HIV, and then actually made the jump from a monkey to a human being. As I have also mentioned in a previous chapter of this book, there are mainstream Christian denominations today which are abandoning their once biblical stand toward homosexual behavior, and are becoming more and more accepting of homosexuality as a non-sinful and valid form of human sexuality and relationships, some of them even ordaining openly "gay" clergy members into their ranks. All of these are abandoning sound biblical, Judeo-Christian doctrine, for the sake of appeasing the world and its own ways. But the Metropolitan Community Church has always been on the extreme end of this spectrum, with regard to its open and unparalleled acceptance, and encouragement, of homosexuality. The day I decided to add this section, I had faced an awkward situation that I took too personally, allowing it to hurt me emotionally. It hurt me because it was during a normal interaction with a trusted friend, whom I'd just recently confided in about my struggles with same-sex attraction issues. And I felt that day like he had begun treating me differently than he had before. "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." FOOTNOTE to PRINCIPLE #6 ABOVE: "You know, brothers and sisters, that [my message] to you was not without results... With the help of our God [I] dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. For the appeal [I] make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor [am I] trying to trick you. On the contrary, [I] speak as [a person] approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. [I am] not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. You know [I] never used flattery, nor did [I] put on a mask to cover up greed—God is [my] witness. [I was] not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else... Instead, [I was] like [a young child] among you... Stereotype: An often oversimplified or biased mental picture held to characterize the typical individual of a group. A generalization, usually exaggerated or oversimplified, and sometimes offensive, that is used to describe or distinguish a group. "How do I minister to a homosexual?" There is such a simple answer to this question. And yet the question itself reigns as seeming to be one of the most difficult for us Christians to answer. Why do we complicate simple things like that? "You are to help them until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land the Lord your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land..." If there is any good to be found in the journey and struggles that I've faced, then that greater good is certainly to be found in the way it has equipped me to help other people who are facing these same kinds of difficulties in their own lives. Because God's purpose is to show his love toward people, through people. And one way he does that by bringing other people into our lives, who've also been where we are in our own struggles. And people return God's love by being willing participants in helping one another. And so all of this has been written to help you, simply because God has helped me in the way that he has, and I know that he loves and cares about you, just as much. "God, I realize that I am a sinner. So I'm asking you for your forgiveness. I don't understand everything about this new relationship with you right now, but I'm willing to trust you for the answers I don't yet have. What I do believe is that Jesus is your Son. And I believe that Jesus gave his good and perfect life for mine, as a ransom payment for all my sins, when he died in my place that day, on the cross. And God, I believe that you raised Jesus to life again, from death. Jesus lives his life for you today, and he will help me to also live my life for you from now on, because you raised him to life again as Lord over all things. So I choose to make Jesus the Lord of my life. Please also send your Holy Spirit, to live inside of my heart from this moment on, so that he will help me to become more like Jesus in my every day character and love. Thank you for making me one of your own children, Father, and for receiving me back into your family forever. All of these words I pray are in the name of your Son, Jesus, the Christ whom you sent to save us all. Amen."
If you said that prayer, I welcome you to the Family of God! February 5th, 2011 I hope that my book and personal journey have been helpful to you personally, or that it can be useful and helpful to someone else you had in mind, as you purchased the book. With that hope in mind, I have provided a list of additional resources that are available to you, if you visit the Beyond the Shades of Gray Resource Links Area as a source of additional self-help. Each link provided offers you some additional, helpful information on the topics of homosexuality or Christianity. Click the image to the left to be taken to an excerpt from the Baker Theological Dictionary Of The Bible. This additional information on homosexuality is offered as a theological supplement to the testimonial information contained in the article you've just read.
Do you want to look up a Bible verse? You can do so at no cost by simply clicking on this link. But I also encourage you to purchase your own Bible very soon, and to begin reading it daily as a healthy practice of devotion and study. I do accept donations for outreach ministry efforts. 100% of any amount you desire to give (less PayPal's transaction fees) will be tagged and used for the purpose of Christian evangelical outreach ministry to the homosexual community. Since I am not an official ministry organization, however, though greatly appreciated, your donation is not tax deductible. The button below will allow you to give a financial gift through a secure, online PayPal transaction. Thank you, and God bless!
You are invited to contact me with any comment, question or concern that you may have as a result of reading my testimony or this book. Please, communicate any disagreement in a civil tone, and I will try to address your concerns. Vulgarity or rude comments will only result in one reply, and the blocking of your e-mail address from our mailbox.
Dean, the author of this book, is a Member in Good Standing of the
2nd Corinthians 1:3-4
The message being sent by the cartoonist that day was somehow a familiar one to me, long before I had ever heard any real discussions about the subject of homosexuality. But homosexuality is certainly not an issue that will ever be solved via cartoons and politics.
Homosexuals want desperately to believe that they are "normal," and to be accepted by their society. And what person wouldn't want that? But the tragic fact is that homosexuality isn't normal. And yet it is something that a small group of normal, everyday people have been forced to deal with inside of themselves. Their choices have been that they can either accept it, or try to suppress and ignore it. Yet neither of these is a completely viable option to so many who've had to deal with it, and never wanted to. So, what if there was another option open to them; one that offers them the very real hope of change?
Over the years since that cartoon was published in my local newspaper, I think I have probably heard just about every discussion and debate over the issue of homosexuality that can be conceived. And in all of the fallout over the choosing of sides that has occurred, I am certain of this: Our society still doesn't understand it. But perhaps even more tragic is the fact that most of the homosexuals themselves really only pretend to understand it. Because they do so out of their own ill-conceived notions, and within the strong emotions felt amid this controversy they've found themselves entangled in. And so the debates will rage on.
This current state of confusion leaves neither those who oppose homosexuality for the sake of opposing it, nor the homosexuals themselves, in a position that qualifies either group to shape our societal views on the issue. And yet these are the people shaping it! There is, however, another view that both camps attempt to silence and/or discredit, for reasons of their own. The first group (those who support open homosexuality) does so, because of the very spiritual aspects and moral accountability that is involved, due to the fact that those views stand firmly opposed to their message and cause. And the second group (those who ignorantly attack homosexuality) does so, because of the moral accountability that those same views demand of their own flawed reasoning and hatefulness. But it is this very matter of fact approach toward the subject of homosexuality that you will be exposed to throughout this book.
In the chapters that follow, I am going to present some very pertinent information about this complicated and very emotional issue. My scope of expertise to do so is built around this simple fact: I use to be homosexual, but I am not homosexual any more. In fact, I am living quite happily as a heterosexual person today.
"Now wait a minute," you might say. "A homosexual can't change their sexual orientation! At least that's what I've always heard people say about it... Can a person's sexual orientation really change?" Yes, it can! In fact, I'm living proof that it can. But I should also clarify something that is very important to understand here, as I speak about "change" throughout this book: "Restoration," I believe, is a much more accurate term and description of the transformation I am speaking of here, than the word, "change," actually is. Because I found that something vital was restored back to me during this journey and process, rather than some manipulation of my sexual orientation taking place, in order to bring about a "change" in my sexuality. So, continue reading, and I'll share with you exactly how I got from "there" to "here."
You've probably heard the familiar saying, "perception is reality?" I hadn't given much consideration to it before sorting through all of this. But give that cliché some thought, and you'll find it to be very true of the way people tend to form their ideas, opinions, and world view. One's own perception is indeed that person's own sense of "reality", even if that perception is false. And the world's perception of homosexuality right now, especially in America, has hidden the tragic reality of it by turning homosexuality into some sort of fairytale, "civil rights" plight, where the homosexuals are supposed to live happily ever after at the end of the story! But the sad truth of this tale is that it will never happen that way. Because the end of their story is based upon flawed information and lies! Still, they'll keep right on believing in their fairytale ending anyway. Because, until a disillusioned person faces and accepts the truth, their false perception will continue to be a dominant force within their reasoning. People are all the same in this regard.
With homosexuality, a person who desires freedom from such behaviors must determine to look beyond their own perceptions, and realize that sexual intimacy with someone else of the same gender is not the legitimate answer to any of their distorted inward feelings and desires, which often do long for a more fulfilling intimacy, and a closer connection with people of their same gender. Such a person must instead begin to discover and address the real reasons why it is that they began to feel so disconnected and alone, in trying to relate to other people of the same gender, in the first place.
This self-evaluation process becomes the place of "ground zero" for the person who desires to be free from homosexual behaviors. And from there begins the often difficult process of learning how to satisfy those unfulfilled places of our soul, in more legitimate and non-sexual ways. Because any kind of sex, when it is used in this manner, is really only serving as a pleasure-substitute for what we've actually sensed was missing. So, homosexual behavior will only cover up the inward pain of the actual voids for a brief moment in time. It can never truly fill them up or heal them.
Such misconceptions are not only prevalent with regard to homosexuality itself, but they are also commonplace in the many pre-conceived notions that lead so many people in today's "Brave New World" to reject a biblical approach toward homosexuality, as nothing more than a worthless, religious bias. And they'll do so while having little to no first-hand knowledge of the Bible and Christianity for themselves. Instead, as is typically the case with homosexuality, they base their knowledge entirely upon what other people have told them, rather than thoroughly investigating each matter for their selves. But this type of attitude is presumption feeding pure ignorance, plain and simple! Our perception does not always equate to truth! And so we must move beyond mere presumption if we ever hope to grow up spiritually.
Many people have missed the "bigger picture" when they failed to see the proverbial "forest through the trees" which has always existed beyond their own reasoning. And even if they do catch a glimpse of the truth, that huge and unfamiliar forest can be a frightening place to venture out into. Because it's a frightening experience to have your belief system shaken or challenged by principles of truth that you were previously unaware of. So, however much you may try to convince some people that the truth itself lies beyond their own narrow reasoning, some of those people will just refuse to accept it, or to even consider it, because of those fears. To do so would be to jeopardize the comfort zones they've built in who they thought they were. And so they choose instead to remain content in the place and viewpoint that their own narrow perceptions have led them to, and they choose to remain ignorant of the broader truth that surrounds them.
This is why homosexuality is not a genuine civil-rights issue. And the presumptuous role our government is now taking on in "normalizing" homosexuality is certainly not the proper answer to solve our individual apprehensions about accepting it, either.
The overwhelming research and evidence that I have personally seen, and have also experienced in my own circumstances, is that homosexuality is a sexual orientation resulting from some deeply-rooted and complex relationship issues, which are all experienced mostly during a person's youth or childhood. The valid evidence of this trend is all quite reasonable, and it is readily available from many reputable sources, other than just from me or this book.
The unbiased research and evidence clearly shows that there's nothing "natural" or "normal" about the way our homosexuality develops, contrary to the way heterosexuality would otherwise naturally occur in all human beings. Nor is homosexual behavior biological or genetic in nature, that I have ever seen any genuine proof of. And believe me, I've looked! In fact, I challenge you to show me that scientific proof... You'll never find it because, it doesn't exist! Even the very pro-homosexual American Psychological Association admits that no biological or genetic link to homosexuality has ever been proven, in a 2009 brochure that the APA titled, "Answers to Your Questions for a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality."
But even if a biological tendency toward sexual addictions of this nature could be determined, you'd still have the overwhelming cloud of evidence showing the relationship issues that do trigger it, and the evidence of the many persons, just like me, who have successfully overcome their homosexual behaviors and addictions.
What I came to discover about myself along these lines is what this article is all about. I bring to light some of the many "nature and nurture" issues that the APA mentions, but fails to detail, in their brochure that I mentioned above. And I will also explain why it is that so many people who do experience homosexual attractions come to feel that they don't have any control over them.
I began this journey feeling very trapped and alone, while keeping my inward struggles with homosexuality to myself, and being afraid to ask other people for the help that is indeed available to each of us. So it is my sincere hope that in sharing my own experience with you, I might be able to help other people who also desire to be freed from homosexuality, or lesbianism. None of us needs to face that journey alone and afraid, anymore!
Is that person you? If it is, then I'd ask you first to carefully consider why is it that you desire to change your sexual orientation or behavior? Is it for the right reasons? Because we can desire the right things for the wrong reasons, and become even more miserable in the process or our trying. And you will certainly not win any popularity contests, amid the prevalent sexual attitudes of this day and age, by desiring to follow through with the desire you have to change your behavior, even if that desire is righteously inspired and sincere.
So, one important fact that must be maintained, in order for you to accept the things I will share with you is this: If you desire to see a restoration of your sexual orientation and behaviors, I believe that the firmest foundation of your own morals and motives to pursue that change, must come from a repentant desire to love and respond to God in personal relationship, after discovering for yourself that he's made the way possible for you to do so. And I'm not talking about mere "religion" here!
God took the first step to love us, and so he also desires to be loved by us in return, once we've discovered that truth. In other words, we determine to love God in a heart-felt response to the love he has already given to us, and our desire to see a restoration within our sexuality is just a part of that bigger motivation. I've found no other motivation that will bring genuine freedom from all of the many chains of homosexuality.
Biblical "repentance" has often been described as "doing a 180," meaning that we turn away from sin and turn toward God. This is the very reason why secular psychology and humanistic programs of therapy fall so short of truly helping people who are trapped in sin. They attempt to get the person to turn away from the sin, but cannot instruct them to turn toward the one and only, true God. So they are in essence instructing us to do a 90-degree turn. Yet this half-turning is never sufficient to truly eradicate sin (and most especially sexual sin) from our lives. But true repentance is born in the heart. And it is not only turning from sin, my friend. It is also turning to God, and clinging on to Him with the knowledge that He first loved you, and that He desires to rescue you from the personal harm and dangers of a sinful condition.
With that in mind, it should already be quite obvious the direction I will take in this book, and the testimony my story will reveal here. So, some will stop at this point to reject what I've shared before ever reading and examining it thoroughly for their own self. And while that is certainly your prerogative, I'll tell you that you are denying yourself the opportunity of allowing God to speak to your own heart through my story, if indeed you never try reading it through for yourself. And there is nothing to be afraid of or lost in giving God that opportunity.
Perceptions can be Misleading
You know what the letter F is, don't you? Of course you do! So, please read through the CAPITALIZED sentence below, reading it only once, and counting the number of F's you find as you're reading it. Then I'll explain why you're doing this after you're done:
ALL YOUR PAPERS INTO FASHIONABLE BUNDLES OF INFORMATION.
Here's what happened: If you are like most of us, then you've been conditioned to the "eff" sound. So you will have easily missed one, two or all three of the other F's, because they appear in the word OF
This pressure to normalize our attitudes toward homosexuality comes at us today from every corner of our society. We are being bombarded and conditioned with the information we are receiving from television shows, our government, Hollywood, the news media, the public education system, gay support groups, and any of the growing number of other gay-friendly and lobbyist groups out there, which are forcing the "gay rights" agenda down our throats. While some of these groups may have good intensions at heart, the fact remains that they are all being fed misinformation from the homosexuals themselves. Their ultimate goal is to desensitize us to the shock of seeing open homosexuality in public view, and thus portray homosexuality within our society as a healthy, normal, and acceptable, "alternative" expression of human sexuality and behavior.
These groups will often demand "tolerance" as their public outcry, while they themselves are vehemently intolerant of any viewpoint which contradicts or opposes their own. And though they say that they want people to "think for themselves" while they're presenting their gay propaganda to our society, they then refuse to allow factual information, such as that contained throughout this book, to also be presented to the people that truly need to hear it. And then of course, anyone who speaks out openly against homosexuality for any reason at all is immediately labeled, "homophobic" or "intolerant." They've actually created an environment of political-correctness wherein our society will openly ridicule the "ex-gay" message of hope as cruel or bigoted, while placing open homosexuality upon an untouchable pedestal.
In fact, Michael Glatze, who is now living his life as a heterosexual, but was once the editor of Young Gay America magazine, and also a very outspoken, well-known and respected, gay-rights activist within the American homosexual community at large, had this to say:
"Healing from the wounds caused by homosexuality is not easy—there's little obvious support. What support remains is shamed, ridiculed, silenced by rhetoric, or made illegal by twisting of laws. I had to sift through my own embarrassment and the disapproving 'voices' of all I'd ever known, to find it. Part of the homosexual agenda is getting people to stop considering that conversion is even a viable question to be asked, let alone whether or not it works."
But I'm still going to ask the forbidden question: "Is being homosexual or 'gay' really what we have been led by these activist groups to believe that it is? Is it truly 'normal' for men to be having sex with men, and for women to be having sex with women?" I will share with you the many reasons why I have personally come to the conclusion that, "No, it isn't normal."
Just as other people do, most homosexuals only want to feel normal about themselves from within their own hearts. And subconsciously, I think they hope that they can accomplish this desire and goal by forcing society to change its contrary views about homosexual behaviors, so that all of the non-gay people they encounter on a daily basis will begin to reassure them that their behavior is just as "normal" as everyone else. And that's the desired, "happy ending" to their "fairytale" plight which I spoke of earlier. But because of the much deeper issues that do lurk beneath their homosexuality, they'll never truly be able to feel "normal" about themselves in the way that they really desire to, even if our society fully accepted them.
A homosexual orientation is not chosen. But it is certainly not genetic or biological either! It becomes ingrained or imprinted through misunderstood sexual feelings and sexual behavior choices. So it is a self-fashioned behavior pattern. The available evidence most clearly shows that homosexuality is an acquired result and response emerging from some very identifiable circumstances and relationship issues faced during one's childhood. And a better understanding of those circumstances may help you to see why I feel that "normalizing" this behavior pattern is certainly not the correct answer in dealing with it.
As we move on, you will be presented with pertinent, additional information about homosexuality that other sources have purposely tried to prevent you from hearing. With that, you are then free to re-examine what you may have been conditioned to believe about it, and free to also weed out the many misconceptions our society is now presenting to us as fact, concerning homosexual behavior.
For our society as a whole, I think such information may have arrived too late; that the moral damage already done in advancing their misconceptions as they have is, perhaps, irreversible due to the fact that if you tell a lie long enough to enough people, then society as a whole will start to believe it. But at least you will be one more person who is hereafter armed with the truth.
I thought many months about the project of writing this book, wondering how would be the best way to approach this controversial subject and lifestyle from a viewpoint which, on the surface, may seem to be opposing rather than compassionate. And in trying to find that right combination of delicate words which would not offend some people, one thing I have concluded with certainty is that such a combination of words does not exist within our overly sensitive and politically correct society. Besides, candy-coating the truth just isn't my style. So that leaves us with only my own choice of words to try and share my own, somewhat unique perspective and experience with you, be it offensive or not. But please understand that my heart's intent is to communicate, as best as I can, my honest compassion.
Having said that, I have two things I desire to impart to the readers who continue on reading from here. One is that I hope you'll discover for yourself that mine is a pathway which offers the very real hope of change and freedom from homosexuality to any other person who also desires it. But even more important than that, rather than "change" becoming the central goal of it all, I hope that you'll take from here an understanding that such change is but one result of finding your truer identity and purpose in following after the footsteps of a Savior who is greater than yourself. Because it is not my intent here to force "change" upon anyone; but only to help those who want to discover for themselves how it is possible for them. And the fact is that no homosexual will ever be changed who remains opposed to that possibility. So please don't feel threatened or offended by anything I share here. In fact, I'll even make it easy on you: If you don't personally desire to change, then don't!
In the Biblical account of human creation, God forms us "in his own image." But just what, exactly, does that imply? First, it means that we are eternal, just as God is. And most Christian theologians are in agreement that it also implies that the essence of our being is triune, just as God's is. In other words, just as the one and only God and Creator of all the universe has manifested himself to us in the form of three distinct persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), so also each human being has been created with a body, a soul and a spirit. So in order to properly define what homosexuality is, and what it is not, we should also look at it from those three levels of our existence:
What Homosexuality Is:
Body: First and foremost, homosexuality is a sexual addiction and dependency. It is merely one of the many evidences of the broken, spiritual condition of our human race.
What Homosexuality Is Not:
Body: Homosexuality is not a mental disorder, although its effects can be psychologically and emotionally devastating. Nor is it an orientation that has ever been genuinely proven to come about biologically or genetically. Homosexuality is not natural.
Soul: Homosexuality is not an identity. It is not "who" you are, nor is it "what" any of us were ever intended by God to become.
Spirit: Homosexuality is not an expression of biblical love. It was not created by God, but rather through our own human distortions of, and over-stepping the limits of biblically-defined, human sexuality.
Consider this thought as you read through the rest of this book: "The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality. The opposite of homosexuality is Holiness [which is choosing to follow God, in both love and character] and Wholeness [meaning Christ's salvation and healing from our human brokenness]."
You are Every Other Man
Because of the kinds of inward desires we've sensed and experienced, we have become very accustomed and conditioned to thinking of ourselves as being "homosexual", and "different" than we believe that other boys and men are. And so the thought never again crosses our minds to realize just how much alike we actually are, in comparison to each and every other male human being who has ever walked the face of the Earth. And the same sort of thing is occurring in lesbianism, in the ways that those women will begin to think of themselves differently, in comparison to every other female human being. And so, our own ability to apply this truth into our own lives, and actually begin to think of ourselves as being just like "every other man" is, perhaps, not quite as simple to do, as it is to understand the basic principle of the truth, itself. But it is still a spiritual and vital truth that must be applied into our own thinking, reasoning, and journey out of unwanted homosexual behaviors.
As I became involved in different men's church groups over the years, and as I also increased my spiritual knowledge through reading various Christian books that had been written specifically for Christian men, in general, I noticed a very familiar trend. All of those different authors were describing the same sorts of human male struggles that I recognized and experienced throughout my own struggles with same-sex attractions. And yet, given their heterosexual content, it was obvious to me that each of those books were written with heterosexual Christian men in mind, and with the intent of helping them to walk in sexual purity and holiness, within their own daily lives as Christian believers.
The books described struggles that many Christian men are having today within their masculine confidence and identity, because of male brokenness. They have struggles with feeling like they don't "fit the bill" of being a "real man," and they experience unmet inward desires to be understood and accepted, or to fill the large and often intimidating shoes of their own father's expectations. And some of those books even described an apparently common, and all too familiar to me, inward longing and desire for masculine love that many Christian men are also experiencing today.
But in spite of the slight differences between the individual masculine issues that each of these books mentioned, what they all had in common was that each of them went on to describe and address the issue of how "straight" Christian men we're falling into the luring traps of sexual temptation and sin, in their human efforts to cope with their inward issues and masculine brokenness. And the three areas that were consistently recognized as the most common sexual sins that Christian men are battling with today, are habitual masturbation, pornography, and sexual relations outside of marriage (to include marital infidelity).
The books I'm speaking of rarely mentioned homosexuality, if they mentioned it at all. And most of them seemed to ignore the fact that homosexuality even exists as a very real human struggle, within the many congregations that make up the Christian Church today. And perhaps that ignorance is one of the biggest reasons why our churches have become so ill prepared to effectively minister to the people who are struggling with homosexuality.
But in one brief mention of homosexuality, I distinctly remember how author and speaker, John Eldredge, made the observation that "homosexuals" are actually more aware than other Christian men are, of the heartfelt need and desire that all men have for masculine acceptance and love. And he said in a way that really caught my attention: "They know that what is missing in their hearts is masculine love. The problem is that they've sexualized it." But what was so ironic to me about this observation, especially after reading the other books that I'd read, was that this is not a trend that seemed at all to be limited to just "homosexuals." By my own observation (even in Eldridge's very own book), this is what the majority of all men often seemed to be guilty of doing. It's as men, not just as homosexuals, that we've "sexualized" our masculine brokenness as a means of coping, rather that sexualizing is of a homosexual, or a heterosexual nature! And that is often the sad truth of how we are so very much like nearly every other man who becomes a prisoner to sexual sin.
Well known author and clinical psychologist, Joseph Nicolosi, concludes that homosexuality is our attempt to repair our masculine brokenness, by filling it with the sexual masculinity of other men. We're either trying to restore the masculine love we've sensed is missing, or we're trying to fill up the masculine strength that so many men (even "straight" men) feel like they lack or do not possess. And that's why I say that "straight" men are just as guilty of doing the exact same kinds of things, when they seek to feel more "masculine" through the acts of sexual sin that they are committing. The fact that their own sexual focus is toward women rather than men, does not lessen the fact that it is still sinful behavior. So, that being said, here's another question to consider: "What, then, makes them so different from us?" "Or, what makes our sin any more sinful than theirs is?" The biblically humble answer is, "Nothing!"
But I've often been made to feel different, or as if I was more of a "sinner" than other men within the Christian Church were, because some of them have made it a point to measure our particular sin and struggles with homosexuality, against a higher moral standard than they were willing to measure their own sexual sins by. In fact, it is often commonplace within church discussions over male sexual sins, for someone in the group to caveat the conversation by making a special self-justifying clarification of how their own sins do not include homosexual behaviors... as if that unsolicited fact makes them better in some way than a man who has fallen into homosexuality.
It's because I would wish this struggle upon no one that I can compassionately identify with what is probably an attempt to seek the sympathy and acceptance of their male peers, when they are making such clarifications about their own sexual sins. But, I've also learned that God is always listening, and God does not show favoritism to one man over another (Acts 10:34). So, I am convinced in my own heart that these kinds of self-righteous comparisons are an offense to the Holy Spirit:
"Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such 'wisdom' does not come down from heaven, but is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness."
"Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand... You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written: 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.' So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
Romans 14:4-12 (paraphrased)
Beyond the obvious difference in the genders of their sexual partners, if I were to identify an actual difference between the men who have fallen into homosexual behaviors, and those men who have fallen into other forms of sexual sins, then I believe that difference would clearly be seen in the levels and sources of each person's inward brokenness, rather than upon some predication of whose sin is worse than the other's is. But God is able to have compassion on all of us, because he understands each one of us through our individual weaknesses, inside of the unique person that each one of us has become, within our own set of life circumstances. He is able to have compassion on us in this personal way, because his Holy Spirit communicates with the naked and revealed heart of every believer.
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
I am not denying that there are, of course, different levels of sin, with some sins being worse than others are. The Bible makes these kinds of distinctions. And I believe that homosexuality is just another step further down on the ladder, in an entire chain of depravity that can be followed through human brokenness, just as chapter 1 in the Book of Romans describes. So there are far worse sexual sins beneath it, and less damaging sexual sins that fall above it on that same ladder. But that is not what this book is about, and defining those distinctions will not help any of us to escape from sin's captivity. What I desire you to see here is that all men are held captive by sin, and that God desires to have mercy on us all.
"For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all."
But if you still find yourself struggling with the idea, as I often did, that our sin of homosexuality is somehow "different" or worse than other sins are, or that we are less of a person because of our fall into this kind of behavior, then I simply encourage you to humble yourself before God, and not allow the pride of this kind of false humility to stand in your way. If our sin is actually worse, then determine to be that much more thankful and loving to God for what he will do for you, and through you, if you will humble yourself and trust him to help you overcome your homosexual behaviors. Learn from this example that Jesus used, to show this same principle to a religious Pharisee named Simon:
"When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, 'If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.'
Jesus answered him, 'Simon, I have something to tell you.'
'Tell me, teacher,' he said.
'Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?'
Simon replied, 'I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.'
'You have judged correctly,' Jesus said.
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, 'Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.'
Then Jesus said to her, 'Your sins are forgiven.'
The other guests began to say among themselves, 'Who is this who even forgives sins?'
Jesus said to the woman, 'Your faith has saved you; go in peace.' "
Every other man on the Earth struggles with sin, my friends! And realizing that our own struggles with homosexuality are, in fact, very similar to the sexual struggles that every other man is facing, because of their own individual brokenness, can help us to avoid the self-defeating mental attitude of placing our own struggles for sexual purity on a different level or playing field than heterosexual sins actually are. After all, it's all inappropriate sexual behavior in God's opinion. And sex is certainly not the proper way for any of us to be seeking to feel better in the ways that we perceive ourselves.
But I think that we will probably continue to face the idea among many heterosexual men, both inside and outside of the Christian Church, that our own fall and captivity into homosexual behaviors and sin can somehow be spoken of as if it were a greater sin than their own. And it will continue to be mentioned as a distraction to remove the focus of attention away from their own sexual sins and behaviors. So, we can't allow that sort of thing to discourage us in our individual journey toward hope and sexual purity.
All men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, my friends. And the wages for all sin is death (an eternal separation from God's love). But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord! And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord, in true faith and believing, will be saved! (Romans 3:23, 6:23, & 10:13). I will explain more about this belief in Jesus Christ, in the chapters that follow. But for now, simply trust in the spiritual fact that you are no different than any other man.
Dealing with the Internal Questions and the Moral Absolutes
It is easy to conform to this world, and to its standard of morals and acceptance, because so many of us have never been taught correctly from out of a biblical world view of things. We may have had all kinds of religions and religious traditions, but that falls far short of the deeper spiritual trust and relationship that I am speaking of here.
And so, in this world, it is common place today for an unmarried man and woman to live together, and have sex outside of marriage, or with someone of the same gender. And it is easy for the marriage commitment itself to be viewed as an unsacred commitment that can simply be redefined or broken for any number of different selfish and personal reasons. And more and more often, we're seeing a "me generation" emerging where this is all becoming more acceptable, even to the people who are not doing such things them selves.
In the Bible, we are clearly told, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2). But this renewal process comes about through a spiritual relationship, rather than through the practice of empty religious traditions. And so, in the process of coming to terms with experiencing homosexual desire, many have paused at some point along the way to ask questions like, "God, why me?" "Why am I like this?" "Why is it so difficult for me to be completely happy with who I am?" or, "Why can't people just learn to accept me for who I am?"
Each of those questions probably deserves some sort of an answer, because the deeper question that is really being asked within each of them is, "Why can't I accept myself?" But with the encouragement of our misguided society today, most homosexuals apparently just move right past such questions, and eventually accept their homosexual attractions as a defining part of "who they are." In other words, the homosexual desire itself becomes their identity.
Humanly speaking, I know all too well that this is the easier path to take. Self-rationalization is a very powerful defeater of doubts, and homosexual behavior will seem to provide a legitimate comfort to many of our internalized personal issues, emptiness, and uneasiness. Also, many of our liberal-minded sources of news and entertainment now encourage us to accept homosexuality. And they do it to the point that it is becoming difficult today to find a new movie or a modern weekly television program, that doesn't have at least one blatant, homosexual character depicted within the cast. But even more so, it's an easy path because of the fact that once a person has sexualized their otherwise normal desire and attraction (such as friendship or a desire to feel accepted) toward their own gender, that sexualizing becomes just as real and compelling to them as the normal sexual attraction and desire is, that any heterosexual person has felt toward their opposite gender.
Some people, while reluctant to completely accept their attractions, will rationalize their homosexual behavior not by seeking answers, but with more questions like this one: "If homosexuality is an expression of love between two people, then why would God condemn it?" At one point, I even found myself searching for (and finding) Scriptures from the Bible that I could separate out of the context of their passages, in order to manipulate their meanings so that they seemed to condone my behavior. But I wasn't comfortable with that kind of lie either. Within my own conscience, I realized that I couldn't correctly interpret the Bible according to my own feelings. But instead, I would have to interpret my behaviors and feelings through the truths of the Bible.
Some people may be comfortable denying, inoring, or just not accepting what the Bible says about homosexual behavior. But let's face this one biblical truth, and deal with it honestly in this book: The Bible does not condone or make provision for homosexual behaviors. And so I continued searching for the real answers to the questions I still had about myself, and about the very real homosexual attraction I was experiencing.
The basic human need to be accepted and loved has the people on the "pro" side of this issue suggesting that God created some people with a homosexual orientation. So they say we need to just accept that as a fact, and embrace homosexuality as an alternative, but "normal" expression of human sexuality.
Then on the other side of the issue, many people (most of them with little to no real understanding of homosexuality at all) will argue about what homosexual behavior is or is not, and they will suggest that homosexuals have chosen their sexual orientation. And still others will hide their fear and misconceptions behind a veil of hatred and violence toward homosexuals, with some of it even being done in the name of God and religion. But in doing so, such naïve people are only adding more fuel to the fire, since feeling rejected is quite often a big part of the original trigger patterns that lead to same-sex attractions in the first place. So expressing this rejection and hatred toward homosexuals will never serve to make homosexuality just go away. It will only make the problem worse.
I have yet to meet the person, including myself, who started out desiring to have a sexual attraction toward their own gender; especially in a society which is still mostly reluctant to embrace homosexuality as a normal behavior. But then I can't buy into the reasoning that God ever created me or any other person "gay," either. That reasoning is simply contrary to what God has said so plainly about homosexuality in the Bible. And the Bible is quite clear on that subject. So what, then, is the answer? And where does it leave someone who experiences persistent, homosexual attractions and desires? I'll begin to answer all of these questions in the chapters that follow. But just know for now that this spiritual conflict does not leave any of us without a genuine, biblical hope!
Searching for Answers ~ Where is Absolute Truth?
The world's idea of "truth" is that it is relative only to the extent that each individual is willing to accept it. "That may be true for you, but not for me," people will often say when confronted with a moral conflict like this one. But truth can have no sturdy foundation in human relativism, or it becomes nothing more than an opinion, varying from one person to the next.
A person has to find, and have a deep confidence in a firm moral foundation for "truth", in order to accept this kind of rigid system of moral human values. I am confident that I have found that firm foundation, by placing my moral compass in the Bible, and my trust within the Judeo-Christian principles of absolute truth that our Creator placed within its pages. This is what I meant earlier when I used the term, "biblical world view." So I will be using a lot of Bible passages throughout this book, in order to explain my reasoning and confidence, with regard to overcoming homosexual behaviors through Christian principles and beliefs.
Placing such a firm faith and belief in the absolute truth of the Bible caused a difficult dilemma for me, considering the fact that I found myself to be sexually attracted to other men. Because (to put it mildly) according to the Bible, God frowns on that type of behavior. If you want to see for yourself what I mean, read these Bible verses in their context. You'll find such verbiage in both the Old and the New Testaments:
Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13,
1st Corinthians 6:9-20 and
1st Timothy 1:9-11
I'll come back to those kinds of verses later on, as I discuss the spiritual need we have to accept life on God's terms. But for me, the Bible didn't begin or end with those passages, or with others like them. Beyond the "dos and don'ts" of God's commands, its pages are also full of the hope and love I found so evident in God's greater purpose and intent. And thanks to his Son, Jesus Christ, and also to several godly men who have been an influence to me, I began to understand some things about myself with regard to the sexual attractions I was having. And I discovered that the disturbed little boy I thought I'd left behind years earlier was actually still very much a part of my broken adulthood, still longing for the love and affection of a father's acceptance and approval, and for that which logically follows suit: A desire for male acceptance and approval in my day to day life and interactions, from the men around me whom I admire and look up to the most. In other words, to feel like I've "got what it takes to be a man," especially when I'm among other men.
The author, Ken Druck, put it this way: "It is that very primitive and very deep sense of validation that passes from father to son." But perhaps Focus on the Family's author and psychologist, Dr. James Dobson, said it best, in a phone-in radio conversation I had an opportunity to have with him: "Boys are not born knowing how to be boys. And they're not born, certainly, ready to become men. But what needs to happen is that the boy needs to realize or begin to understand in a hazy way that he's like his Dad. And he needs to be like his Dad. He starts picking up his father's masculine characteristics. It's not taught with principles 1-2-3. It's taught by just being together."
But when this "being together" relationship is poorly established or never realized at all, what arises out of the void is something that renowned conference speaker, Dr. Bernard Franklin, refers to as a "father wound." Author and speaker, John Eldredge, also addresses this wound in his popular book, Wild at Heart.
The Father Wound
But this I know. A father wound cuts deeply into the soul of a child, regardless of what gender they happen to be. And it hurts deeply, long after it happens. It continues to hurt us and affect us in ways that are more debilitating to our adult lives than we ourselves usually recognize. And so most people don't realize that homosexuality is quite often an outward symptom of this kind of hurt and pain, rather than the masqueraded solution that they so willingly embrace homosexuality to be for our inward pain and longings.
As children, our fathers are usually the first and most impressionable role models of any image of God that will ever be given to any of us, apart from truly coming to know Jesus Christ. And therefore, these significant male role models have within their power the ability to free our hearts to rise to our true image in God's likeness, or to deal our hearts a crushing and crippling blow. And they also have the ability to clarify or distort the image we'll have of God as a Father, apart from eventually coming to truly know God's loving character toward us.
We've all heard the childhood saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me?" Well, perhaps not physically. But I think we've probably all discovered how deeply words can indeed hurt us, and in ways that can often have a very long-lasting impact. And so a father wound need not be something physical for it to become a festering wound of the soul. And many children have been verbally wounded by their own fathers, in the things their fathers have hurtfully and negatively communicated to them.
When a father's words or actions inflict a major psychological injury, or when his consistent and lasting chain of verbal abuses is internalized by a child, this psychological and very spirit-felt "father wound" affects both young boys and girls throughout their lifetime. It can manifest itself in many different ways, to include homosexuality. Other effects are bisexuality, sexual promiscuity, trans-genderism or gender confusion issues, rebellion, resentment, street-gang or criminal activity, alcohol and/or drug abuse, and also, chronic depression and suicides, just to name a few.
This emotional wound is carried especially deep within boys, however, who then have a tendency to grow up into fathers who inflict an even deeper "father wound" upon their own sons and daughters. And once started, this troublesome cycle often repeats itself over and over again, from one generation to the next. It's a trend that is readily visible in our world today, and it is destroying one of the core foundations of our American culture and society: the Family.
For me, recognizing this trend now sheds new light in understanding those Biblical passages that tell us that the sins of the fathers are visited upon their children. Those passages are not saying that God is some ogre who is going to punish children for what their parents did. What they are saying is that we do this to ourselves, whenever a parent unknowingly allows their own internal suffering to affect their parenting, and thus they pass that internal pain on down into the souls of their own children, through their own actions.
In little boys, the wound strikes deepest and hardest at our sense of masculine strength, which is at the core of our heart, where our true identity is formed, and where we either do or don't see our selves as men who are created in God's image. Once wounded in their soul, these little boys are left wondering, "Dad, do I have what it takes?" And when we are left feeling that we have failed in that most basic of life's challenges, then the spiritual correlation is that this destruction of our inward confidence is then transferred over into our Christian relationship with God the Father, and we are left wondering, "How can I, as a man living in this sinful and fallen world, ever bring any pleasure at all to a perfect God?" So a father wound has a powerful ability to leave us feeling hopeless and disillusioned, both emotionally and spiritually.
The deep question left inside of a little girl's heart is, "Am I lovely?" And she wants to know, "Dad, will you pursue me? Do you delight in me? Will you fight for me?" But the father wound says to her in its own devastating way, "No, you're neither desirable nor beautiful. And no one will pursue you or fight for you." In fact, these two very common, engendered voids are both traceable clear back to the Garden of Eden.
Adam abandoned his godly strength, and left Eve completely undefended in that moment. He never so much as raised a finger in objection, to defend her. And these are the same wounds that are being passed down to all of the sons of Adam, still today.
So, who sinned first in the garden? Most people blame Eve for eating of the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, and then offering the fruit to Adam. But look at the story carefully. God commanded Adam, not Eve, with regard to not eating the forbidden fruit. Obeying the commandment was Adam's responsibility! And when Eve was being deceived by the devil, Adam was standing right there beside her... doing absolutely nothing! He doesn't fight; he doesn't object; for crying out loud, he doesn't engage the situation at all! The Bible does say that it was the woman who was deceived. But Adam's was the sin of omission (what he failed to do). And in that sense, he sinned first!
In the same manner that this ancestral wound cripples the image of strength that a little boy carries in his heart, it just as easily cripples the image of beauty that a little girl has in hers. And that sense of being desired is what is at the core of every woman's heart, in their true identity as women who are created in God's image. Then tragically so, the little girl can also grow up and sexualize that missing part of herself, seeking it from other women through lesbianism, instead.
When they exist, most homosexuals can recognize their father wounds when they look for them. But then they have failed to make the very real connection between the wound itself, and their sexual behaviors. But it is indeed through these kinds of psychological injuries, and the self-perceived gender-inadequacies that these kinds of parental wounds cause us to have, that this behavior pattern we call "homosexual orientation" then usually tends to emerge within the behaviors of the young men who experience it. It is our human response to our hurting soul, as our unhealed soul-wounds continue to fester and manifest their selves, through our outward behaviors.
In and of themselves, the needs that a homosexual-behaving person experiences are very persistent and real. But those needs have been sexualized. And at their root are always factual and demonstrated reasons for how and why these same-sex attractions came to be. And when a homosexual searches out their own childhood, most will find some very common and identifiable trigger patterns to be present, if they are made aware of what those triggers to homosexual behaviors are. So the perceived "need", that a person has to have sex with someone of their same gender, is not a legitimate "need" at all. And the homosexual "orientation" is a sexual desire that develops out of our own habitual sexual choices and behaviors, rather than out of some yet to be identified or proven, biological and genetic framework. And because homosexual behavior is learned in these ways, then it can also be unlearned. And that's the biblical hope that this book brings to light.
I was never conscious of such links to my own homosexual behavior, until an author and psychologist named Joe Dallas (himself a former homosexual), opened my eyes to them in a book he titled, Desires in Conflict. I have provided a link for this book in the resources section, as well as one for John Eldredge's book, Wild at Heart.
Once I understood some of the root causes of homosexuality, it all made clearer sense to me how and why I came to have the same-sex attractions I experienced. I finally understood myself, and the reasons for my actions. And I could readily point out the instances of such things from my own childhood.
For me, they were things that varied from the type of relationship I experienced with my parents, to things like my early exposure to sexual play with another boy, and viewing trans-sexual pornography as a child.
At first, this fresh insight offered me the personal comfort of just knowing that there was a reason for all of this. But having this new knowledge didn't change the fact of what my sexual orientation had already become, or the fact that afterward, I still felt powerless to do anything about it. In other words, discovering the "hows and whys" of my own homosexual behaviors is not what brought about any change in my life. If anything, the homosexual desires I had only continued to increase, because I had not found healing for any of the internal issues that fed them, and which were all still affecting me, from right there in my own soul. So a person must also confront and find healing for each of those issues, in order to move beyond them.
But we must also be careful to avoid taking on a "victim" mentality about such things, in order to make the personal decisions and commitment that will allow us each to individually resolve these issues, and move permanently beyond them in our attitudes, responses, and behaviors.
Another aspect of mankind's original sin, which is often overlooked back there in the Garden of Eden, was Adam's sin of rebellion. Simply put, Eve was deceived there in the garden. But not Adam! Adam knew that what he was about to do was wrong, because God had already told him that it was wrong! And so homosexuality is no different. We are also guilty of rebellion if we continue to blame our past for the things we continue to do today, once we've been correctly taught about God, and his command to abstain from homosexual sin. So we must take ownership and responsibility for our own actions and sexual behaviors, if we're truly going to succeed in doing anything about them. And continuing to see ourselves as the "helpless victim" in all of this will only serve to rationalize away our responsibility for our own rebellious behaviors.
So, yes! All of the information I've gathered here is intended to be useful, and it can be of immense value to you in gaining an honest understanding of some of those things that may have caused your own homosexual desires and behaviors. But knowing such things can never be the real force that changes you! This knowledge itself can't make the decision and commitment in your life that you will have to make on your own, in order to find the change and restoration back to heterosexuality that you may desire. That journey is a personal choice that only you can make, deciding once and for all to pattern your life differently, and holding yourself to a better and higher standard, which is based first of all upon your trust in an Almighty God who loves you deeply. And then it is God who will give you the wisdom to understand the new insight you've gained regarding the origins of your own homosexual behaviors, and how to best apply that insight back toward your future life-choices, and the difficult journey ahead of you, coming out of homosexuality.
And you can't make that journey alone, either. You'll also need the help of other trusted and reliable people, whom you can confide in, and who will love and encourage you along the way. In this very same way, it was through coming to know Jesus Christ, and also through the encouragement of confiding in a few trusted friends along the way, that the power of restoration and change were made possible, available, and obtainable to me.
Jesus helped me to realize that through my personal relationship with him, I didn't have to remain trapped in that orientation, and that I was no less of a person in God's eyes because of my struggles with it. Following Jesus gave a real meaning and purpose to my life that I had never experienced before that. And He offered me the simple choice to continue to live in my past, or to leave it behind and follow him to a brighter future, one day at a time.
It was also the trusted friends whom God brought into my life, who also gave me a confidence and encouragement I so deeply needed from other people. I saw first hand that God's unconditional love can still be found living on the inside of other human beings, because they didn't reject me when I confided in them, and they realized the moral mistakes that I had made in turning to homosexual behaviors for sexual comfort.
I said earlier that a homosexual's self-identity is found in their same-sex attractions. But perhaps it could be said more accurately that their identity has been misplaced within their sense of gender inadequacy, and in the sensual pleasure that's found in these futile attempts to gain it back sexually. But regardless of how we analyze it or break it down, what has transpired in my life is that I traded that homosexual identity for a new identity that's found only in the person of Jesus Christ. In that way, the homosexual is no different than any other person who discovers, in their own brokenness and sin, a deep desire and need for God's intervention.
In the person that Jesus is, I've found a God who truly desired to "father" me, by being a Spiritual Dad to me. This fatherly desire of God's is expressed in the story of the prodigal son, which Jesus told to the crowds of people who were following him. The story speaks of God's own heart toward each of us:
Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.
Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.' So he got up and went to his father.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him."
"He ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him." Wow! This is the kind of Dad we have in God. This is how God feels about us! Perhaps even more than to provide the forgiveness that we all need, this is the real purpose for which Jesus Christ came: To restore us to that place of human wholeness and spiritual completeness, that we can only know and experience as children in God's family; by realizing first hand the love of God himself, as we come to know him as our Heavenly Father.
I eventually realized that God was offering me the very thing I was actually searching for in the first place, and yet never found it in homosexual encounters or relationships. Deep down inside, what I really desired most was that inward sense of validation and affirmation that is passed from a father to his children, within his acceptance and love. I found it through getting to know this divine person we call, Jesus, and in learning to pattern my own life after his example.
It was ultimately God, of course, who also prompted me and walked with me slowly through the biblical steps of forgiveness and reconciliation that I had to be willing to take toward my Dad, toward others, and even toward myself, in my journey out of homosexuality. But this is not a difficult thing with God, because his grace is always bigger than any of our sins! And his love, mercy and grace are readily available to anyone who seeks to know him.
And so then we come full circle back to the deeper spiritual question that our father wound left us asking: "Can I actually bring delight to a perfect and flawless God, while living in this imperfect world? The answer is, "yes, we can!"
"We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God's own power, when we learned that he had invited us to share in his wonderful goodness."
2nd Peter 1:3 (Contemporary English Version)
Other Influences Toward Homosexual Behaviors
And I have also had the opportunity to talk with many other adult men, over the years, who have been searching for answers to the origins of their own unwanted homosexual behaviors. And by far, most of those men could also easily identify a father wound of some sort, when looking back upon the years of their own adolescence. But in some cases, I've also seen how homosexuality can sometimes occur when there is far less evidence of a father wound present in a person's background, or even no evidence at all. So, if the Bible is truthful on this matter (and I certainly believe that it is), then there are other influences out there in our society which are also contributing to the rise and, more truthfully, epidemic of homosexual experimentation and behaviors that is occurring.
I found that mothers could sometimes also have a great deal of influence upon both homosexual and lesbian behaviors. And so I have also included a chapter that addresses those things in some limited detail, later on in the book, as well. But these types of parental wounds are not what the focus of this chapter is really about.
In this chapter, I want to focus on some of the things we're facing in society today, which are coming together and making it easier and easier for our adolescent children to make the tragic mistake of experimenting with homosexuality, not realizing the dangers of doing so, or realizing the great harm that can be done in shaping their own sexual orientation through sexual experimentation. Such things have always been responsible for influencing homosexuality to some degree. But now they are becoming even more influential in contributing to the homosexual behaviors which are appearing during the adolescent years of our youth, because of the psychologically enabling environment that our own misled society has created to foster and support it. And homosexual activism in America, supported primarily by the liberal-minded Democratic Party, is at the head of the social and political monster that is creating this homosexual ideology, both here in America and in Western European cultures.
The information I'm bringing to you is supported entirely by my own conversations with people who have experienced homosexual behaviors, and by my own observations. I have no statistics to offer to you, simply because I have never kept any. But the trends I describe are very clear evidence to me personally, and it was the only evidence that I ever needed to support the truth of these facts.
If you are doubting any of the information I'm bringing to you, either here in this chapter or throughout the book, because you are still pondering a decision to go on living in your homosexual behaviors, then I simply challenge you to remember your own childhood in comparison. And once you've done that, then I also challenge you to go to every homosexual person that you are close enough to, and begin asking them about their childhoods in comparison to this information as well. Because, what you will find, my friend, is that you will see the exact same trends that I do, by doing this research for yourself. If you don't see the trends yourself, then you are in denial, and you simply desire to ignore the evidence that is so very blatant, when it is so clearly present, right there inside of the lives and history of the very people you already know.
An adolescent child's view of our culture and of our world today, or of the ways that it all seems to work, is a viewpoint of great confusion to them. They are still seeing it all through their own unguided simple-mindedness, while being influenced and indoctrinated by socialist and political agendas that have crept right into our public education systems. Then, throw in the additional confusion that is always experienced during the natural development and maturing process of their sexuality and sexual awareness, and you have a catastrophe just waiting to happen.
If we, as a society, don't get a hold of this problem and start to guide our youth more responsibly, by helping them to understand their own sexuality, then homosexuality will only continue to grow in the percentages of the population that practice it, and in its influence upon the climate of great moral decay that we see, within our modern culture.
As an example, parental divorce has always been a tragic environment for any child to try and understand or cope with. A young child will almost naturally begin to turn the finger of blame upon his or her own self in some way. And they'll reason that by becoming a "better" son or daughter, then their parents will reunite, and the family will be restored to what it once was. But when this doesn't happen, then the child internalizes those things, and that affects many other areas of their adolescent and young adult lives as well, including their sexual behaviors in some cases. So, divorce has always had the capacity to increase the trend of homosexual experimentation and behaviors which are occurring among our youth.
But combine the confusion of a broken family together with the sexual education curriculums in many of our public schools today, which have made it mandatory to teach our children that homosexuality is an acceptable form of sexual behavior; and then you have just created, and even encouraged a disaster to take place, within the extreme confusion of their adolescent sexuality. After all, these young and influential, future adults actually do believe what we are telling them in our public classrooms! And if homosexuality is being numbed down and introduced to them as being a socially acceptable behavior, then that is exactly how our children will begin to see our world and homosexuality.
Our children are immature in the way that they deal with life-problems in the first place. And with the peer pressures that they face in their school environments today, to try sex, drugs, drinking, smoking, or any number of other harmful activities and things, just to prove themselves (far worse than it was years ago when I was in school), my own children have told me how homosexual behavior has become like a popular "fad" among some of the kids that they attend school with today.
Immature sexuality is easily damaged and wrongfully influenced. And when the physical pleasures of sexual contact and experimentation seem to numb down all of the other social issues and confusion that our misguided youth are faced with today, it becomes quite easy for them to reason that those stimulations of physical pleasure equate to a confirmation of a homosexual orientation. But that is never the case! And yet, they are encouraged to take this approach toward homosexuality in their very own classrooms today. And it only gets far worse from there, as they continue on in their public education, and move on to the many liberal-minded colleges in America today, where homosexual behavior and activity is completely unrestrained and running rampant.
But how does something like this happen? Homosexual activists fought for and lobbied our government and education officials, so that this trash could be both encouraged and taught to our school children, and no one stood in their way... That's how it happens! And we've voted people into public offices in ways that clearly showed that the majority of our society was more concerned about the economy, than we were about moral issues... That's also how it happens! It happens because irresponsible adults have allowed it to happen.
When we have public school teachers being mandated by our liberal-minded, local, state, and federal governments, to teach our children that homosexuality is a "normal" behavior, what did you expect would happen? Did these pandering and irresponsible people actually believe that the only result of encouraging sexually immature and confused young people to "come out of the closet," would be that they would mature into young adults who treated the "gay" segment of our population with greater respect and more acceptance? That is an absolutely absurd assumption!
The real result is exactly what my own children have observed within their own schools. America's youth have indeed begun experimenting with homosexual behaviors, as a form of "normal" behavior, just as they have been encouraged to do so by the irresponsible adults who were teaching them that it is acceptable to do so. "My friend told me that they are gay, so now I am going to be gay, too." My daughters have informed me that kids in school actually say such things! This is how these influential and sexually confused young minds reason to themselves, in these unstable environments. And so it is clear to me that the increased amount of homosexual experimentation among our youth today is leading to even more sexual confusion among them, which will further lead to a dramatic increase of adult homosexual behavior and orientation within our culture and society, as well.
Our state and local governments have catered to the lobbying and political agenda of homosexual activists, by believing in their "civil rights" lies. I will explain in another chapter why homosexuality has absolutely nothing to do with legitimate civil rights. But, believing these kinds of lies, our public officials have introduced laws into our education codes, mandating the teaching of homosexuality as a "normal" trait among people. Some of these regulations actually forbid teachers to mention anything negative about homosexuality. And they have attempted to include positive mentions of homosexuality into almost every aspect of public school curriculums, so that it is not even confined to just sex education any longer. And if you don't believe me that this sort of thing is actually happening right now, within our public schools, then you had better open your eyes quickly, and stop being so morally blind to what is taking place!
I have also spoken to many people who began experimenting with homosexual behaviors after being sexually abused at some time during their childhood. And every male who mentioned this tragedy to me reported being sexually abused by another male. In other words, of the men I have personally spoken with, the sexually abused males who went on to experience homosexual behaviors had always been abused by another male. But of the women who I have spoken to, those who had been sexually abused who went on to experience lesbian behaviors were usually also abused by a male. And then later, they experienced a pivotal lesbian encounter with another girl. So, another factual conclusion we can draw from this trend is that homosexuality is also often influenced by sexual abuses experienced during childhood, in both men and women, but primarily at the hands of a male perpetrator.
But perhaps even more tragic than any of this, is the morally unstable society that has been created by it, and which now has the potential to affect so many other people, as a result. I am now convinced, especially in our world today, that even an otherwise normal, heterosexual young man or woman can be influenced to become homosexual! And I am talking about a person who has no "father wound" to speak of, and who has never been the victim of any sexual abuse, and who was raised with good moral values.
If you don't believe this can happen today, then you have severely underestimated the great power and influence that sin's temptation can have over the unsaved mind of a human being. Given the right set of wrong circumstances, and a fatigued human soul, any man (or woman) can fall into the sin of homosexuality today, in this environment we have created that enables it. Homosexuality is in our schools, it's appearing on our TV's and invading our homes, it's in our movie theaters, it's in our governments, and it's all over the place on the internet! It's become "popular" to be homosexual. So it has become easy for more and more people to reason, "Maybe homosexuality is the answer to my own unrest."
Sexual immaturity is always a factor in our homosexual behaviors. By sexual immaturity, I mean our ability to reason with maturity about life itself, and sexual things, rather than meaning any physical aspects or sexual function of our human anatomy. A condition of sexual immaturity within any young or old person can lead them to reason that the pleasures of sexual intimacy are the answer to almost any kind of discontent that they may be feeling. This is especially true of adolescent boys and younger men!
There are legitimate needs and desires that we all feel, with regard to human relationships, human bonding and interaction, and human touch. In fact, we were created with them. But when there is an introduction of severe confusion into this mix of needs and emotions (such as through a family breakup, or divorce, or through sexual abuse, or though a father wound to the soul), then the additional confusion of reaching sexual puberty intermixes with all of that turmoil, and very bad sexual choices are often the result. Homosexual experimentation is just one among many of those bad sexual choices that people make, given these kinds of circumstances. So, using the pleasures of sex becomes the means of dealing with the internal and emotional discontent we feel, from all of those other issues. And since no one has ever taught us any differently, we've reasoned that this is what our sexuality is for. But this is extremely unhealthy to the wholeness of our soul, and it becomes extremely detrimental to our sexuality itself. At first, we believe we've found our true freedom through homosexuality. But then we come to realize it isn't true, when we become even more discontent with the attitudes and pursuits of homosexual behaviors, and painfully desire to break free from the sexual captivity that homosexuality actually brings.
There are many legitimate answers to fulfill the unrest that all of us feel from time to time, during this lifetime, and within this world we live in. There are even legitimate ways to fulfill the long term discontent that some of us have experienced, for even longer periods of time. But homosexual behavior is not a legitimate answer to any of this discontent or unrest.
Without God, the truth is that any legitimate answer of fulfillment that we do discover will still leave us feeling as if we are lacking in some significant way. The real answer to all of our internal human discontent is indeed a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of the only true and living God. Because, with him, we can discover what it is that we were truly looking for in the first place. And with him, we realize that our answer will never be found in homosexual behaviors.
Without God, I agree that this may all seem to be a very frightening proposition. But with God, I assure you that there is an inward peace that surpasses all of our own understanding. And that peace is wonderful, lasting, fulfilling, and real.
You, my friend, are also among those who are called and invited to enter into His peace, here with us. May the God of all comfort himself, illuminate your way as you seek to know him.
Lying to Your Self ~ Is it Genuine Love, or Something Else?
I understand that there do exist what may be defined as, "committed relationships", out there, between two persons who engage in homosexual behaviors with each other. So let me say up front that I will stop short of making the charge that one person who engages in homosexual activity with another person cannot "love" their sexual partner as a person. I do believe that two men can indeed grow to love one another deeply from the heart, and that two women can do so as well. And yet there is also an imperative distinction I want you to come to understand, where you look honestly at the initial attractions and the sexual activity itself, and see that from a biblical standard and definition of "love", no person who engages in homosexual activity with another person is ever acting "lovingly" toward that other person, through such behaviors.
This is why genuine and uncompromised Christianity is always such an affront to the entire gay-rights movement. But again, biblically speaking, homosexuality is a perversion of sexual behavior that can only mimic love, at best. If you can keep this distinction in place and in mind, between the sexual behavior itself, and what is defined as biblical love while you read through this chapter, and the rest of the book, then perhaps it will be easier for you to separate out your emotions in order to better self-relate to these biblical truths.
If you are willing to set your heart toward seeking out those truths, then you'll eventually find that God's grace will help you first to better understand them, and then allow you to also come to a place of deeper, personal acceptance. But only you can make the decision to take this journey. Because God won't force your acceptance. But he will try to open your eyes to see the consequence of each individual choice.
Loneliness and Human Isolation:
The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky... But for Adam no suitable helper was found... Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man... That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Genesis 2:18-24 (paraphrased)
Feelings of detachment and inadequacy can easily cause a person to feel alone. And this feeling of loneliness is one of the most painful feelings that any person can ever experience. I have found that its pain is only equaled or surpassed by experiencing grief over the permanent loss of a loved one, because loneliness is very much a part of grief.
Amid the biblical account of all of the things that God made, he said of them, "It is good." But after making Adam, the absence of human companionship was the very first thing identified in Scripture, where God himself said of it, "it is not good for man to be alone." So it should be easy to understand why loneliness is often the strongest single force that is driving the initial homosexual behaviors of a person.
When any man doesn't truly feel like a man, or when a woman doesn't truly feel like a woman, then they will seek to find a more secure sense of self-identity, gender, belonging, and human attachment, among the very people who seem to them to better reflect that most basic of our identifying features among all of the other human traits: Our own gender. Homosexuals have simply resorted to a sexual means in seeking it out. But all people seek to fulfill this inward need for gender acceptance and belonging, in one way or another.
You've probably also heard it said how, "opposites attract?" Well, when a person doesn't truly feel adequate in measuring up to their own gender self-expectations, then to them, other persons of the same gender are viewed as just that: Their opposites! And there again you have the basic (albeit, flawed) foundation for most of the initial homosexual attraction and desire.
As a learned behavior, homosexuality can also be a step in a digressive pattern of trying to satisfy "self," through engaging in different kinds of lewd and addictive sexual behaviors. This pattern often begins with pornography viewing, and then escalates and becomes progressively more depraved from there. Or it can be the resulted outcome of a person's own depraved way of thinking about his or herself, because of sexual abuses that a person experienced earlier in life. Either way, what the person who engages in homosexuality senses and feels within the sexual part of their relationship with another person of their same gender, is not an act of love, within the truest biblical definition of "love".
"Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not covet,' and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. And do this, understanding the present time... Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery... and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh."
Romans 13:8-14 (paraphrased, and emphasis mine)
Biblical love is freely given, and biblical love is always self-sacrificing. And while many homosexuals are trying to express the legitimate desire and need they have to love and be loved, the various sexual behaviors that they engage in are not themselves legitimate expressions of the love they may otherwise have toward their sexual partners. This is because they use them in a manner which "selfishly" gratifies, rather than "selflessly" satisfies those longings. So the giving part of the love equation is always absent from homosexual activity and behaviors. And few of the people who engage in it ever learn how to legitimately satisfy the inward need they have to both love genuinely, and to genuinely be loved. They search for a sexual partner who will give over to them the thing that they want, rather than looking for a godly relationship where they can give to the needs and betterment of another person.
Biblical Love is very much a process and willingness to plant seeds of love in the other person, first. And after the love seeds are planted, then you have to continue to water those seeds with more love, and nurture them with the warmth of love's light, so that they properly germinate, grow and eventually mature. This keeps the hope and expectation alive of receiving back the fruits of love's efforts, when love comes back to us in the form of a harvest, from the very people we have sown our acts and responses of love into.
But homosexuality is a behavior and sexual addiction that always seeks out the love harvest first. In other words, it seeks to fulfill its own desire to experience love first, and then it might consider sowing some seeds of love as an after-thought. If the sexual activity could ever actually fill up the real void that is driving it, then homosexual behavior could be seen as beneficial in some way. But it never does! Instead, all this behavior ever does is to make the original voids inside of a person become more and more pronounced, and much bigger than they originally were before the homosexual activity entered into the equation. This is because God designed us all, (every last one of us), to function in a heterosexual way.
In biblical terms, homosexuality might more accurately be described as a sexualized lust for what a person sees missing within their engendered-self, but perceives and desires it from the person they are attracted to. In a word, it's covetousness (an idolizing desire for what someone else has). But in the sexual intimacy of it, the homosexual person easily rationalizes it all to be an act of love.
A very powerful and luring, emotional attachment can and often does develop within these addictive relationships of dependency. But it is this homosexual dependency itself that is also often mistaken for feelings of love. And this is where a person must make a difficult choice either to trust in their own emotions, or to trust the truth of God's written Word about the issue, by faith. Because while the Bible teaches us that "God is love," this worldly concept that "Love is god," is not a biblical concept at all! And so the argument that God approves of it, because there's a sense of "love" within a homosexual relationship becomes a flawed argument for all homosexual relationships, and for many of the misguided heterosexual relationships we see out there, as well.
The steps downward toward this way of thinking are actually outlined right there in the Bible, as a warning for us. But once a person has gone down the road to this place of depraved reasoning, it becomes difficult for them to see it within themselves, and admit to seeing their own reflection within these verses:
"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done."
This path toward depravity is such that Biblical truth is replaced with man's own reasoning, and with his own flawed ideals of "truth." And notice from the passage above that the first step in this digression is always that we no longer glorify God as "God." What this means is that we abandon our reverent fear and respect for the fact that God has always been, and will always be "God," and that He is the being who gave us life itself. He is also the One who will choose the very day and hour that life is taken away from us again, as well. And once you've abandoned that reverent and respectful fear of God, then you've also lost the motivation to be sincerely thankful to him, or to worship him with any genuine adoration toward his loving character, or much less with any respect for his commandments, which include God's very clear admonitions against homosexuality.
But if it's not God, then you will indeed worship something or someone else! Because God has built it right into the very fiber of our being to do so. And homosexuality is very much the worship of the gender characteristics that a person desires and becomes attracted to in another person of their same gender. But the Bible also clearly tells us that God can and will rescue people from this place of clouded judgment and sinful reasoning, if only they'd turn back to God and call upon him to help them do so:
"Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."
Biblical Footnote: The words "men who have sex with men" translate two Greek words that refer to the passive (thoughts, motives, feelings, intentions) and active (physically sexual) participants in homosexual acts.
1st Corinthians 6:9-11 (emphasis mine)
The real battleground to overcome any sin is in learning to think differently about it—to realize that the thing is sinful! And it's also in learning to refocus our minds on other things when sinful temptations come at us, rather than dwelling upon such things and playing them out in the thoughts we often keep hidden from others.
One of the biggest inward struggles for those who've experienced and followed these misled passions, is in denying their own way of thinking about them, and returning to God's way of thinking about homosexuality. To do so, we must first know and understand the whole council of what the Bible actually teaches and says about homosexuality, and about genuine love. But then we need to have a genuine confidence too, that what God says there is for our benefit and good, rather than for our punishment or neglect.
And I also believe that whole communities of people absolutely must come to understand the truly broken nature of homosexual behaviors within the human race, so that our church, nation, and world communities are actually able to approach this biblical standard compassionately, rather than judgmentally. May we all come to see this hope fulfilled within the days of this, our own generation.
Understanding the New Person I've Become
Many different factors play into the portrait of self-identity that each of us has tucked away inside of ourselves. And a person's sexual orientation certainly does play into that self-image in one way or another.
And in the process wherein our society has created labels to go along with a person's sexual identity, I've made an observation. It seems to me that it is mostly those persons who've crossed a moral line (prostitutes, pedophiles, or homosexuals, for example) that have ever had their sexual behaviors turned into a characteristic identity of some sort. Most of those labels remain derogatory by nature. And that is specifically why the homosexuals adopted their self-proclaimed "gay" label, in order to give their own sexual immorality a much more positive characteristic identity. Because, prior to the homosexuals changing its meaning, the word gay, in the American vocabulary, use to mean festive or happy. But that original meaning has largely disappeared from any American use of the word, today. And because of its increased use as a homosexual label, the word has even taken on a negative and derogatory slang meaning, when it is used by non-gay people to describe something.
Homosexual activists also did the same sort of thing by hijacking a very biblical symbol for their supposed "gay-pride" flag, when they selected the rainbow pattern. In my opinion, this was a very disrespectful and deliberate affront to Christians and Jews everywhere, because of the strong and faith-based Judeo-Christian wall of resistance that still defends against their immoral movement and campaign to normalize homosexuality. The rainbow is the symbol that God gave to Noah, following the end of the Great Flood, as a promise that God would never again destroy the Earth by water. Ironically enough, God will again destroy the Earth, however, by fire rather than by water. According to the Bible, it will be destroyed because of unrepentant sins like homosexuality, which is labeled among the specific sins of mankind which are bringing God's wrath to bear upon the Earth, before Christ returns.
Being "straight," of course, is clearly an exception to this entire trend. But there is a logical explanation for that, and homosexuality is also clearly to blame. Being "straight" is a characteristic sexual identity that never even existed (nor was it ever necessary) before open and outward homosexual behaviors became a characteristic identity of their own. It is only because of the homosexual's hijacked use of their self-proclaimed "gay" identity label that heterosexual persons would ever even think of calling themselves, "straight". In other words, "straight" exists, I believe, more so as a defensive counter-identity to homosexuality and the "gay lifestyle", than it does as a self-defining label or characteristic identity. I'll explain more about this in the chapter on homoerotophobia.
But even with all of these different sexual identities, symbols, and labels that people are using today, since becoming a Christian, my sexuality plays a much lesser role in my own self-identity. As a Christian, I have found that my innermost convictions, my core beliefs, and my moral values now have the greatest influence in how I see myself. It's Jesus Christ that defines who I am as a person today, rather than my restored heterosexual behaviors. And it has become easier and more natural for me to allow who I am in God's eyes to further define and influence my sexuality and sexual orientation, rather than seeing myself from the other way around, and allowing my sexuality to define or control who I am as a person, in the way that the "gay" population allows their sexual behaviors to define who they think they are.
So even though I do indeed consider myself today to be a heterosexual person; when asked who I am, I'm more likely to speak of my relationship with Jesus Christ than I am in telling someone, "I'm straight." Because a person's sexuality is not a person's truest identity. And immoral sexual behavior is just that... a behavior.
Homosexuality, at its core, is nothing but a behavioral lie... a self-made delusion! For me, it was a place of counterfeit and unlasting comfort; trying sexually to possess the masculinity, self-assurance and self-confidence I was missing inside of myself, by clinging to those qualities in the superficial image I had of the man I was with. And he was, of course, doing the very same type of thing by also using me sexually.
That is the uncovered truth of homosexuality, and what it actually is, when we strip away all of the lies that we've been told about it. It is people using one another sexually. I began to see this more and more clearly as I was exposed to the light of truth that shines brightly through God's word. Just as the opening Scripture I chose for this chapter indicates, when you come into the truth of God's surroundings, it is like flipping on a light switch, inside of the dark room that we'd been living in. And then, all of the sudden, everything else inside that room becomes much clearer to us, to include the real motives and sins of homosexual behavior.
As the same verse of Scripture also indicated, people are afraid to come into the light of the truth, because they already know that what they are doing is evil in God's sight, and they don't want their sins to be revealed for what they are. But I found God's mercy when I came into that light. Yes, my homosexuality was exposed for the sinful behavior that it actually is. But there is also mercy and forgiveness and newness of life when we come into that light, that we can never know until we are willing to step into it. And so, the "new person" I have become is only because of Christ, and not because of anything I have been able to do on my own.
Looking back over the years, I am now even more confident in the conclusions I struggled to face about myself, and about the illegitimacy of homosexual behaviors in general. And they are indeed very sensible conclusions that have stood the test of time, and which also balance out with the nature of God's intelligent design for us all. But this is in the face of opposition from many others who still choose to criticize and ridicule my views, and who refuse to accept what the Bible clearly says about homosexuality.
I do answer each e-mail or letter that comes from the people who read this book. But as I read the things that are often said in opposition, I can't help but to view much of it as a prideful, humanistic, self-defense mechanism that comes to the surface, once people are confronted with the moral implications of this type of information. And it bewilders me that some of these fail to see the connection between their own hateful responses back toward me, and the responses of prejudice, hatred and violence they claim to be trying to overcome within the homosexual community.
But there is also a joy I get, time after time, in reading letters from other people who do stop to consider what I've said. And they write back to tell me that I have "hit the nail right on the head." I just wish more of these would also be willing to then turn their lives over to Christ after realizing these connections.
I won't tell you that Christianity was the easiest journey I've ever made. Because there is plenty of misinformation out there in the world about Christianity as well. And I'll readily admit to anyone that turning away from homosexuality is a very difficult road to travel. But looking back at it now, it was certainly the best road to take for me personally, and I know of no path that could have been any more beneficial to me in that journey, than genuine Christianity has been. So I remain greatly inspired by God to continue on in that journey for the rest of my life. Because God has helped me in and along that journey, every single step of the way.
I have become a whole new person in my relationship with Jesus, even to the point that I consider the person I once was to be dead. The homosexual person I once was, no longer lives. But Jesus Christ lives, and his own Spirit now resides inside of me! In fact, the Bible teaches us that Christ's own Spirit lives inside the heart of every person who has believed and trusted in his Name. Jesus' promise is to reside forever in the hearts of all who have believed in him, having placed our complete hope and trust in him, and counted everything else in our lives as second place to our relationship, deep commitment, and spiritual connection with him.
Biblically speaking, that makes those of us who have believed, Children of God, just as John tells us so in the very first chapter of his Gospel. Yet, that is not to imply in any way that this adoptive position in God's family somehow makes me or any one of us better in some way. Because it doesn't! It simply means that we've accepted God's open invitation to receive his gift, while all of the other people in our world have not—although God's invitation and free gift are still available to any of them who would desire it.
But the Bible also makes it clear that believers in Jesus Christ have been set apart from the rest of humanity, because we have been re-created with God's own nature on the inside of us. We have been given access to God's own grace and supernatural power, through our faith in his Son. The sad part is that many believers never learn to exercise their faith, and so things like homosexuality seem like impossible obstacles for them to overcome. But Jesus made the importance of our individual faith quite clear, when he said, "Because you have so little faith, truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed... nothing will be impossible for you!” (Matthew 17:20).
So, when I saw God's outstretched hand, I was willing to give up who I was in order to take hold of his hand, and begin a lifelong journey with him to become the person that Christ inspires me to be, instead. In other words, I came to God on His terms, rather than on my own. And I am convinced that no one who truly desires to overcome homosexuality can do so, apart from their own personal decision to make this same, lifelong journey with God. That is why Jesus Christ is so much a part of the message I am sharing here. The fact is that this story would be incomplete, and probably would not even exist, without him!
So as I continue, please allow me to tell you more about Christianity, and the moral foundation I have in knowing Christ. I will talk briefly about those very necessary spiritual aspects of my journey. And then in my Christian testimony, I will share more about those behavioral triggers I've identified, that actually led to my own same-sex attractions and homosexual behaviors.
I have also included some limited information from my understanding of female homosexuality and behavior (lesbianism) in the chapters that follow. But you'll find that the bulk of this book is admittedly written to the male readers, simply for the fact that my story is written from a man's, rather than a woman's perspective and understanding.
Finally, in the Table of Contents and at the conclusion of this book, I have provided you a link to a resources page, which offers you many more Internet links to books, videos, and other web pages that offer additional information and resources which I think you'll find to be very beneficial in your own understanding and personal journey.
There is also a link so you can contact me by e-mail with comments or questions if you want to. I am always willing to try and help other people in their own struggles with homosexual behaviors, or to attempt to answer any questions on the topic that I am able to answer for you. If I don't have an answer, then I'll simply admit to you that I don't know. But in some useful way, I will still always try and relate my closest experience to what you describe, so that I can at least offer you the benefit of knowing what has worked best for me in a similar situation. Bottom line, I'm here to help you if I can. It is my sincere privilege and desire to do that. But I am also here to point you in the direction of knowing Jesus Christ, who can always help you beyond my own ability to do so.
The Biblical World View ~ Accepting Life on God's Terms
That sinful nature eventually tends toward selfish and evil behaviors which are all contrary to God's own purpose and design for our lives. The Bible calls these rebellious choices we make, "sin". The Bible also says that this sinful nature brings about a death process inside of us, both spiritually, by shutting us out of God's presence at the moment of our first accountable sin, and physically, as our bodies age and eventually die. In fact, the Bible says that Adam's sin subjected the entire Earth, and all of God's creation within it, to the decay of sin! And we can't regain our relationship with God until our sin is acknowledged and dealt with in God's one and only prescribed manner for doing so. Without God's forgiveness and grace, Mankind, in this sinful state, would certainly die in the presence of a Holy God, whose nature is pure, and righteous, and good.
Thus, Adam and Eve, along with the rest of us, were spiritually separated from God because of our own sinfulness. And since all of us are sons and daughters who have inherited this sin nature from Adam, we have all become sinners. And all of us are in need of God's mercy and forgiveness because of it, no matter how small or great we may think that our own sin is. Any sin at all is enough to cause us to become a "sinner" in God's eyes.
All any person need do is a simple and honest examination of their self, using the standard of God's Ten Commandments, in order to quickly realize that we are all indeed sinners:
"And God spoke all these words..."
1. "You shall have no other gods before me."
2. "You shall not make for yourself an idol."
3. "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God."
4. "Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy."
5. "Honor your father and your mother."
6. "You shall not murder."
7. "You shall not commit adultery."
8. "You shall not steal."
9. "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."
10. "You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor."
(Exodus, chapter 20)
You see, by the world's standard, you probably consider yourself to be a "good" person. But what about by God's standard? Let's take a look at just a few of these commandments, working our way back up from the bottom of the list.
Starting with number 10, have you ever jealously wanted after something that someone else has? Then you have "coveted", and you are guilty of sin.
And number 9, for example... have you ever told a lie? Of course you have! So what does that make you? It makes you a "liar", my friend!
How about number 8... ever stolen anything before, say, a piece of candy as a child, or even a pen or pencil off of a co-worker's desk? Most of us have. So what does that make us? It makes us "thieves"!
And number 7... ever commit adultery? "No," you say? But wait... Jesus said that if we've even looked at another person lustfully, then we've already committed adultery with that person in our heart! So what does that make us? It makes us "adulterers".
What of number 6, then... ever murder anyone? Most will say quite confidently, "Of course not!" But again, Jesus said that if a person speaks sinfully toward another person in anger, then we've committed murder within our heart! So what does that make us? As hard as that may be to stomach, it makes us "murderers" in God's eyes.
And don't forget about number 3... have you ever misused God's name, as a cuss-word perhaps, or in your angered speech? Then God has said that he will certainly not hold you guiltless for doing so.
Yes indeed, we are all sinners! And the penalty for all sin, again, is death and an eternity spent separated from God, forever. The Bible even goes on to say that any person who would try an keep these commands, and yet stumbles at just one point, then that person is guilty of breaking all of them... the entire law of God! God's mark is perfection. And without Jesus Christ, we would all be hopeless. And that is why we all need his free gift of salvation and forgiveness.
If you have skipped around to this chapter, then you may still be asking, "But what about homosexuality? Are you saying, that all homosexual behavior is always a sin... even when two gay people fall in love with each other?"
God said it right there in the Bible, long before I ever published this book, and I couldn't dispute that fact (the specific original commandment is found in Leviticus 18:22, and is repeated again in Leviticus 20:13). So, yes! That is exactly what I am saying. All homosexuality is always a sin! But no more so than any other "sin" is considered "sinful" in God's eyes. The biblical punishment for homosexuality certainly makes it a very serious sexual offense, by biblical standards. But it is certainly not "the unpardonable sin" of modern-day Christianity that some religious people make it out to be.
Reconciling Homosexuality and the Christian Faith
First, let's deal with the often avoided, "A-word". The King James translation of the Bible uses the word abomination to describe homosexual behavior itself. But let's be clear on that. It's the behavior, and what a person is choosing to do through homosexuality, that God considers to be the abomination, and not the person himself.
And just what, exactly, is "an abomination", anyway? The New International and New Living translations both use the word detestable, in place of abomination. And the World English Dictionary defines it this way:
1. something disgusting;
2. an action that is vicious, vile, etc.;
3. intense loathing.
Synonyms listed for the word are hatred, corruption, and depravity. And the word history and Latin origins, break it down this way:
Latin: abominationem, from abominatus, pp. of abominari "shun as an ill omen"; from ab- "off, away from," + omin- "stem of man"; thus ab homine "away from man"; thus "beastly".
So, by its root definition, an abomination is a "beastly (or, animal-like)" behavior that is "away from the stem (or, center) of a man's created being". In other words, God did not design human beings to behave or function in that kind of manner. This does not imply that we are unable to behave in such a way. It simply means that the behavior itself is a rejection of what God intended for mankind through divine nature, and by specific godly design.
Since this is the manner in which God chose to describe his feelings about this particular sin and behavior, there are really only two directions you can decide to go here. You can either deny the Bible passages that so clearly define homosexuality as a sinful behavior, and reason to yourself that "homosexual" will always be your identity. Or, you can humble yourself and turn away from that self-made path, and choose here and now to accept the fact that the Bible identifies homosexuality to be a sinful behavior in the eyes of a Holy God, but one that can also be repented of (turned away from) and forgiven, through belief in Jesus Christ. In fact, you can choose right here and now to begin to seek out God's mercy and grace to help you face up to your sin, and deal with it on His terms:
"Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
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.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
so that sinners will turn back to you.
Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
you who are God my Savior,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise."
My friend, our society will only continue to accept homosexuality more and more, as the morals of mankind continue to decline; going from bad to worse, just as the Bible predicted and described that they would. And so it will become increasingly easier to find plenty of people out there who are willing to encourage you to go right on living your life in slavery to homosexuality, and to other sins. But none of those people within our society can save your soul! So the only truly important person we'll need to reconcile our decisions with will be God himself. God is the one being we must all eventually answer to... you, me, and every other human being who has ever walked the face of the Earth.
But our Righteous God has not left us without any hope! The Gospel is the biblical message of hope in Jesus Christ, and "Gospel" literally means, "Good News". And the truly good news of the Gospel is that God's mercy and forgiveness comes to us as a free gift through God's Son, Jesus, who is called both Messiah and Christ. Forgiveness comes to anyone who will simply call upon the name of Jesus, and be reconciled back to God the Father through him, by making Jesus Christ the Lord of their own life. We make him "Lord" by placing our belief and trust in Jesus, and by believing that Jesus is the One he claimed to be, when he said... "I am the One whom God sent".
So, we believe that Jesus is the promised "deliverer" that God sent to us, in answer to all of the Old Testament prophecies that foretold of a Messiah (or, "Christ") coming into the world, who would redeem all of mankind from their sins, just exactly as it had been written of, hundreds of years before Jesus was ever born into this world.
Making Jesus the "Lord" of your life simply means that you give up your right of ownership and direction over your life, and give it all over to Jesus. And so you recognize that you can't just freely live your life, going in any immoral direction that you may have chosen to take it. And you can't use the world's standard and its ways of doing things any longer, either. In other words, if you have believed in Jesus, and you see that he has a right way of doing things, then giving him Lordship over your life means that you set your obligations to remain within the boundaries that he sets.
For example, it is clear from the Bible that God designed our human sexuality to be enjoyed, and to have its freedom of expression, but only within a specific and clearly defined set of boundaries. If you say that you believe in Jesus, and yet you still choose to go outside of his boundaries for your life, then that means that self is still the "lord" of your life, and not Jesus!
The Bible also speaks of this idea of Lordship, in the Book of James. James wrote that "even the demons believe in him," and they literally "shudder" at the reality of Christ's authority over them. But none of those demons are going to go to Heaven just because they acknowledge who Jesus is. Because, if Jesus Christ were actually their Lord, then they would not have each chosen to join in the rebellion and evil ways of their own "lord", who is Satan.
Satan is not a mythical creature! He is himself a created being, and a fallen archangel (one of the three higher or "commanding" angels) who rebelled against God, taking a third of the lower angelic beings with him in his rebellion. And they were all banished from their heavenly positions because of it. Satan became the "evil one" that Jesus often refers to, in the four Gospel books of the Bible. And Jesus also calls him, "the god of this world". There is no salvation available for these fallen angels, because they each committed their sin from their own eternal heavenly positions, while they were all already living in the very presence of God himself. So now these rebellious fallen angels (or, "demons" as they are also called) are all busy interfering in the affairs of mankind, hoping that they can also keep each of us in rebellion and sin against God, right along with them. And "Hell" is the place that God prepared as an eternal prison for them, because of their own rebellion, rather than as a place of punishment for a fallen human race.
But Jesus Christ is the One who tore down all the walls our human sins have erected between God and ourselves. And no other name but "Jesus" has been given to us, by God, through whom we must now be reconciled back to God and be saved, if we are to be reconciled at all. The Bible calls this new relationship, "Salvation." And each one of us who does place our eternal hope in Christ, according to this manner, are called "Christians."
Then, through the person of the Holy Spirit, God comes to take up residence and live inside the heart of every believer, to guide and direct our every step, as we allow him to do so. We do have an obligation to God, if Jesus is truly to be the Lord of our life. But God never takes away our free will, you see. And so the Holy Spirit is the one who enables us to be completely free from our own dark and perverted desires that have enslaved us to homosexuality, or to any other sin we've ever become guilty of.
It's an Eternity of Your Own Choosing
You see, I have discovered that there is a distinct difference between what we perceive as truth or reality, and the actual truth and reality of God's eternal and unchangeable standard. And each one of us is given the freedom in this life, to either accept or reject God's Word and his commandments. Just know that there is an eternal consequence for the choice we eventually make. And even in choosing not to decide one way or the other, a moral choice has still been made. In other words, until we've chosen Christ, we've chosen to remain in our sin, and thereby remain separated from God because of it.
The finality of that eternal separation is what makes Hell the place of torment that it truly is for us. Its real torment is not in the fire and brimstone of the sermons you may have associated with it, but within the hopelessness of being forever condemned inside the eternal gates of the one and only place God ever created, where his own loving presence is not there, nor will it ever be there! This is because Hell is a place reserved for those of us who will reject God's love, by rejecting the gift of his Son.
At any moment in this life, every one of us is still free to reach out to him, and be forgiven of all of our sins, through Jesus Christ. But in that place, that opportunity is lost forever. Hell's occupants make their own decision to go there and be separated from God, by denying (or never actually placing their hope in) Jesus, God's only begotten Son.
If you would like to pause at this point, and make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life right now, I have included a simple prayer for salvation that you can say, in the final chapter of this book. And you can link to it now by clicking right here. Then you'll be able to link right back here to this point in the book, after you've prayed it.
By searching out and trusting in what the Bible was telling me (rather than what my own emotions and sexual desires were telling me), I came to agree with God's position on homosexuality: That it is indeed sinful, and that there is nothing I could do to try and justify it within myself, that will ever change the fact of its sinfulness in God's eyes. God, in his great mercy, provided us all with a pathway out of homosexuality, when we seek instead to know and have a very real, and intimately personal relationship with his Son, Jesus. In other words, we walk away from homosexual behavior by walking toward Jesus. I could arrive at no other conclusion as I searched out this biblical truth for myself.
There were also some eye-opening facts I was confronted with, while reading a book titled, "Desires in Conflict." That additional evidence only further strengthened the faith and trust I have placed in Jesus Christ, and in God's eternal Word. God is, after all, our Creator and designer. He knows us better than we know ourselves. And so I believe that God has a divine plan and purpose for each one of us which excludes a life enslaved by things like homosexuality. Because I've seen for myself that homosexuality is a result of an interruption and perversion of that divine journey through life, rather than some "alternative" fulfillment of it.
No, You Can't Have Both!
Now this is bound to offend some, but it also definitely needs to be said here. When speaking of "who we are in Christ," no one can say, "I am a Christian" in one breath, and also say, "I am a homosexual" in the next. And there is no such thing as a "gay Christian!" These two identities are contrary to and opposing of each other:
2nd Corinthians 5:16-18
"Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that [Jesus] appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God's child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister."
1st John 3:4-10
But what these verses imply is that homosexuality is no longer your identity as a Christian, and that you've come into agreement with God that it is sinful. So, with Christ's help, you'll turn away from homosexual behavior as He helps you to do so, and as you walk with Him in faith through each day, one day at a time. And God will love you all the way through that journey with Him, even if you fall into sin again, and even if it takes you the rest of your life!
What Does Jesus Himself Say About Homosexuality?
Many gay advocates will suggest that Jesus never said anything at all in opposition to homosexuality. And I suppose that could be partially true within the limited perception that proceeds from that type of reasoning. But such reasoning demonstrates great ignorance in understanding just who Jesus actually was and is, as God Incarnate (God in human flesh).
Jesus certainly did speak to this issue, when he addressed the biblical doctrine of marriage:
"Haven't you read," [Jesus] replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."
Matthew 19:4-6 (emphasis mine)
In this passage, while addressing a direct question about the sanctity of the marriage relationship, and his views about divorce, Jesus went directly back to the Genesis account of creation. The standard for marriage that Jesus chose as his example, in other words, was that of Adam and Eve, the very first marriage ever ordained by God, (and the only type of marriage ever ordained by God), anywhere in Scripture.
This would have certainly been the perfect opportunity for Jesus to address, validate, or include some small mention of homosexuality, as a valid form of matrimonial relationship, if it actually was. But he didn't! The Scriptures he chose to quote, while giving his answer, were those from Genesis, and the strict biblical doctrine and example of the male and female relationship. All of Scripture is consistent in this manner, in every biblical validation of a sexual or marriage relationship. Therefore, Jesus actually refutes any "godly" or biblical idea of homosexual relationships, by specifically not mentioning them here.
But if you can't see that simple truth for yourself, then also consider the biblical fact that Jesus himself is actually the "Word" of God made flesh, and the very same "Creator" of mankind, who is mentioned throughout Scripture:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made."
John 1:1-3, speaking specifically of Jesus Christ
Therefore, it was actually Jesus himself who gave us Leviticus 18:22, in the Bible's Old Testament of Scripture (the passage that condemns homosexual behavior). So, yes! Jesus did indeed speak to this issue very directly. Anyone who suggests otherwise will only find themselves in a position wherein they are mocking Scripture, and therefore, mocking God Almighty as well!
Gay activists will also sometimes try to use Jesus' mention of eunuchs (Matthew 19:7-12) and take it to mean that he was condoning homosexuality, because they'll equate "eunuch" to mean "homosexual" in that passage. But a eunuch (typically, a castrated male) was usually made that way as a condition of his servanthood, back in Jesus' day. And Jesus simply made mention of the fact that some eunuchs were born that way (born with a birth defect), while others were made that way by men (castrated by their slave owners).
However, in the context of the previously mentioned passage above, Jesus was still talking about marriage here, and he continued by giving a strong condemnation of divorce. One of the men listening had commented that it would be better not to marry, since divorce is so strongly condemned. And in response that remark, Jesus mentions eunuchs as a comparison. Jesus said that some eunuchs (meaning, sexually celibate men) were eunuchs by choice, because they had chosen not to marry, and to live a life of serving God, instead. So, Jesus was comparing the self-sacrifice of the eunuch who serves God, to the self-sacrifice required to continue loving and serving an unfaithful spouse within a marriage covenant relationship. And his comparison was also a metaphor to show them how Israel had been unfaithful to God, and yet God had continued to love them in spite of their unfaithfulness, by sending his own Son to be their Messiah. So, Jesus wasn't talking about homosexuality at all within that passage, and a eunuch is something entirely different than a homosexual, anyway.
How much better off we will all be, once people are simply willing to acknowledge homosexuality for what it really is, while turning to God to receive his mercy and reconciliation, rather than in trying to justify ourselves or our behaviors to him repeatedly, with no recognition or acknowledgement of our own sin. Because God is full of mercy, my friends! But we must be willing to approach God on his terms (rather than on our own terms), in order to find and receive his mercy, or expect to gain any benefit from it.
"Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins."
My Testimony: Captured by Homosexual Sin and then Rescued by Christ
Compromise is an internal enemy that seemed so unobtrusive when I first gave in to it. Call it a character flaw or something else, but we reason in the moment that the wrong choice we're making is a harmless and insignificant thing to us, or to someone else. So, it may seem small at the time, but inside we still know that it (whatever "it" is) is not the right choice. And so, compromise very rarely stays small, or ends right there where it begins. It will always become easier to do it the next time, and progressively easier to self-justify not doing the right thing in the times that will soon follow after that. But it doesn't stop there, either. After that, it becomes easier and easier to begin to rationalize the "not so little" things too, and finally, the "bigger" things as well.
In the testimony that follows, I will share about many significant things that happened to me; things which have all influenced my fall into the trappings of homosexual behaviors, in some identifiable way. Each one of them played a role in what I have internalized, felt, or experienced along the way. But compromise was always the bigger, self-defeating culprit and co-conspirator within them all, when I had the good sense to know better in the first place.
I chose a wrong path in all of this by making a whole bunch of "little" compromises along the way. In the beginning, I was choosing the homosexual behavior. But with each new compromise I made, it then began to feel as though the homosexual behaviors were simply choosing themselves, as I went along for the ride. And when I'd arrived at the far side of all of those bad choices, it seemed I'd lost any control at all over the decisions I was making, and it felt like the homosexual behaviors were unrelentingly choosing me.
Compromise is also sin. And the life of compromise is never what God intends for any of us. "Just this once" usually leads to a second time, and then the second time leads to a third time, and so on, until there are too many times to remember or count.
I set my feet upon the right pathway that eventually led me to become this testimony I'm able to share with you now, in the very moment that I determined to stop compromising, and began making right choices and decisions for myself.
Your own testimony also begins the long process of becoming, within that very same moment of determination in your own life.
I Felt "Different" Inside:
Many people who experience homosexual desires will tell you that they remember feeling "different" from a very early age. But I'll tell you that no one feels "different" because they are born homosexual. But rather, this feeling of not fitting in, or of feeling awkward, out of place, and "different," is just one of the many influential things that can combine to foster the homosexual desires inside of us.
With regard to how the same-sex attractions I experienced came about, there are several things from my childhood that I am able to identify with sure certainty. So I'll mention each of those here. But I should also preface such things by saying that I don't blame either of my parents, or anyone else, for what took place in my younger years. I love and honor both of my parents immensely, and I know now that they have both always desired the very best for me, and for my sister. Yet each of us lives in a world here, where we are held prisoners by sin. And as a child, I fell victim to sin's web, just as each and every one of us eventually does, in one way or another, during our lifetime.
In my situation, I felt "different" because I never saw myself as a son who was uniquely treasured, within a safe, secure and stable place inside of my own father's heart. I didn't feel "safe" in the way a child should be made to feel safe, because Dad's joy and delight in me seemed to me to be rocky and unstable ground that often crumbled beneath me, and turned into an avalanche of what I perceived to be resentment and anger towards me, because of (or so I thought it was because of) my own misbehavior. So I began to lose sight of the truly affirming things that will allow a son to know in his own heart that he is uniquely treasured, in spite of his failures. I turned to superficial things that were available to me, instead, and those things became the substitutes for the much needed sense of value that I was missing inside of myself, with my own Dad.
Those missing affirmations are a very powerful part of everything else that eventually allows a boy to see himself as "a man," from deep inside of his own heart and soul. And in the absence of such affirmation, I developed a distorted inward image of myself, and of how genuine love and affection are given and received. It robbed me of much of my own self-confidence, which in turn formed a great deal of personal insecurity in my relationships, as a person. I began turning to other males to find the affirmation that I actually desired from my Dad, and my desire for that affirmation then became sexualized in my adolescence.
That's the short and "simple" explanation of how a homosexual orientation came about through my own environment and experiences. But I will explain all of this with greater detail in the paragraphs that follow.
I Never Really "Connected" With My Dad, and I Didn't Understand Love:
I grew up in a home with two parents who loved me. As an adult, I know this now. But as a young boy, I was introduced to my Dad's love through his alcoholism and addiction. So, let's just say that I never got a very good sense or understanding of what "Love" actually is, as I was growing up in that environment. And one of the key things that was certainly missing from my own understanding, was that genuine love is always unconditional.
Dad was not one who ever gave much affirmation to me, especially while he was disciplining me for something I'd done. Discipline and correction were usually done in anger. And so, I never could understand (at least, not through my Dad) the difference between his actual love for me, and how much he was or wasn't pleased with me. Because I associated those two things together inside of my own understanding, for me, love became a very conditional thing. I thought that Dad's love for me was based upon my ability to please him, and I didn't believe that I was doing a very good job of that, as a young boy.
This troubled perception that I had of my relationship with my Dad became the first and biggest influence that caused me to feel "different" about myself inside. And the foundation of that central relationship with my own Dad had a great deal of influence and impact upon all of the other relationships that I would experience as well, later on in my life.
Since Christianity, in its true and genuine form, is also a "relationship," rather than a "religion," is it any surprise, then, that the people who have had these troubled relationships with their own Dads will usually also have a great deal of trouble being able to have a real confidence in their relationship with God? And so I found that I also struggled for many years after becoming a Christian, with the same thoughts that God's love for me was based upon my ability to please him.
It took me years to understand that this is not the case; that God's love for us will never come to an end, even if I've done something that is disappointing to him. In fact, I still sometimes struggle to understand the complete difference between pleasing someone, and being loved by them. But during my childhood, it seemed to me that having my Dad's love and acceptance was the result of living up to his expectations of me.
I know now that my Dad is also dealing with his own unresolved issues and insecurities, and I will touch upon that again in greater detail, later on. But because of this, I think Dad often took the things I'd done wrong very personally, when he disciplined me. And he often did so while he was still angry at me, rather than redirecting most of his anger toward the thing I'd done wrong. And that caused more fear and intimidation in me, than it did remorse or correction. I felt more timid and awkward about myself, than I ever felt guided or corrected.
Along with the spankings he gave me, Dad would also break me down emotionally with his stern and angry words, while I was being punished for something. And then he would neglect to build me up again once he'd calmed down, in order to encourage or restore the confidence I needed to have in his love toward me. It was like living from one failure to the next, in a system where each failure seemed to wipe away all of the good things I'd managed to accumulate, up until that point.
As a boy, my fear of my Dad's anger grew to the point that I would even try to hide things from my parents, like a serious bodily injury, for fear of getting in trouble over it. In the second grade, while I was trying to catch a ball in elementary school, I backed into a metal tether-ball pole, and the D-ring that was welded to it cut a deep gash into the back of my head. I still have that scar today, but I hid the injury for hours, until my teacher finally noticed the blood running down the back of my neck, and rushed me to the school nurse.
And then, during a family camping trip one year, I dumped my motor cycle over on a dirt trail I was riding, and I got a few cuts and bruises out of it. But the thing I was more concerned about was any visible damage to the bike. There was none, and so the important thing to me, rather than my injuries, was that my Dad would never have to know anything about it.
So, to me, a father's love seemed very conditional and subject to change, rather than unconditional and eternally grounded. Because there was never any affirmation of his love within his correction, there was never any distinction made to show me the absolute difference between a father's eternal love, and a father's temporary disappointment. And yet these two must always go hand in hand, in order to take a child's mistake, and turn it into a positive learning experience.
I equated discipline with personal failures, rather than correction, feeling like I had less value and worth to my Dad when I'd get into trouble over something. And I felt that I'd have to do a better job in order to gain it back again. So I began to be very critical of myself as I got older, and I took the punishment Dad gave me very personally, feeling like I didn't measure up to his expectations of me. Without his positive reinforcement, the result was that I began to feel awkward about myself inside, having very little self-confidence, and I developed a lowly self-esteem. To me, my purpose in life was to succeed in pleasing my Dad, and stop making him angry at me. But I couldn't figure out how. So, I came to know my Dad quite well as "disciplinarian." But knowing him as "Father" was something I had very little concept of.
This all developed into a young adult life-strategy of me always trying to please other people too, within my desire to feel accepted. So I quickly learned to perform the image of the "good little boy" that seemed to bring out the greatest amount of praise back from other people toward me. But I never remember actually feeling inside like I fit the role for the part I was trying to portray. And momentary praise becomes an empty substitute for a genuine and secure sense of being loved and accepted by people.
This is not at all to suggest that I wasn't actually loved by my Dad, or by those other people. But Dad certainly didn't know how to express his love in a very revealing or uplifting way. And the simple fact is that at an early age I began looking to fill up that emptiness I felt inside, by looking in the wrong places for some tangible fulfillment of what I desired. And I did so with a very distorted idea of what genuine love actually is, or what it was supposed to "feel" like.
As for life itself, I set out on a journey to figure it all out, mostly on my own. I had the boundaries that were set in place by Dad's stern discipline, without the positive guidance that I needed from him, through the simple interaction of the good relationship I could have otherwise enjoyed with him. And in trying to figure life out on my own, as I grew older, I began to look for what was lost between me and my Dad, within my relationships with other young men who were my age. I needed Dad's guidance, but I also needed to feel good about myself. And so I began avoiding any kind of interaction with him at all. And eventually, that boy became the young man who made the powerfully influential mistake of trying to gain these things back sexually, with other men.
My Dad's Alcohol Dependency and Addiction:
My Dad is not a bad person. In fact, he can be really loving toward people when he is not drunk, and in his right mind. But the one thing that so negatively influenced my Dad's behavior towards me, more than anything else, was that chemical dependency on alcohol. And as much as the alcoholism influenced a change for the worse in my Dad's personality, it also severely hindered the relationship I desired to have with him. I could never find a way around the walls it seemed to build between him and me, in order to know my Dad in the way that I truly wanted to. Even as an adult I've tried to, but those walls are still there.
I developed a growing disdain for the person my Dad would become when he'd had too much to drink, because I couldn't respect that person. I feared the quick temper the alcohol gave him and I hated the way he treated my Mom when he got that way. And the rude comments he could sometimes also make toward guests in our own home was often times very uncomfortable and embarrassing to the rest of us. With each passing year, I saw my Dad like this more and more often.
I can still remember comparing mine and Dad's relationship with those relationships I witnessed between my friends and their Dads. And I wondered at the time why it seemed so easy for them to interact with their Dads, while there seemed to be such a barrier between my Dad and me. Then, in the limited interaction I did experience with my Dad, it just didn't seem to measure up to what I needed and desired from him. And for that reason, at the point when most boys begin to interact with their Dads more and more, I pulled away from mine and sought more interaction, influence and emotional support from my Mom. And as I got older, I think Mom also began to lean more upon me as well, for the emotional support that she needed in the situation.
All these years later, I still dread it today whenever I have to cope with or even be around my Dad while he's in a drunken condition. So I'm convinced that this one sickness and addiction of his did more to sever the relationship I desired to have with him, than did any other cause. And I believe that many of the other dysfunctional "problems" that our family faced probably came from trying to cope with this one.
Competing for Dad's Affection:
Another of the reasons for my insecurity, where my Dad's love for me was concerned, was that I grew up with one other sibling; a younger sister. I could clearly see a distinct difference in my Dad's treatment of the both of us. Without a doubt, if my Dad was stern with me, it seemed he was even harder on my sister. And so I know that it was even harder for her to relate to him, and my sister actually ended up going to counseling to help her through all of this, years later.
So you might think, "Then what's the problem? You had it easier than your sister did." But this unequal treatment of my sister also made me feel very uneasy inside. In its own negative way, I still felt like I was the "favorite." And so I think I wondered when I might do something to slip into "second place." And again, that made love into something to be earned, like a competition, rather than a gift given away freely and unconditionally.
Self Confidence, Loyalty & Intimidation Issues:
Conflict is sometimes, unfortunately, a necessary part of facing life. I say unfortunately, because conflict with other people is usually an uncomfortable thing to have to deal with. At least, it certainly has been for me. But that is not to imply that conflict is always a bad thing if, for example, one is standing up for what is right. And so I strongly believe that a boy needs to learn to have some "backbone" of his own, in learning how to stand up for himself. But this confidence was something that eluded me as a boy.
As I became a young adult, I'd established a pattern of making many choices and decisions simply to avoid the risk of disappointing my Dad, (or far worse, making him angry at me). It was this pattern of avoiding risk and conflict that caused me to become what's also often known as a people pleaser, or an enabler.
Trying never to "rock the boat" in this manner, first with Dad, and then with others, eventually caused major, self-confidence issues for me in negotiating life's most common crossroads, not to mention the fact that it's also extremely unhealthy, both emotionally and psychologically. Things like making the right and courageous choices, rather than allowing intimidation or coercion to influence me into making a weaker choice that is really only intended to try to please other people.
As an example, my Dad owned his own business and equipment, and earned his living as a residential landscaping contractor. He had been taught this line of work by my grandfather (his step-dad), and I remember that from the time I was old enough to handle a shovel, a rake and a broom, how my Dad also began taking me to work with him on some of the residential construction sites where he worked during the weekends, and also during my summer breaks from school. But it didn't take me much more than one or two summers of that to realize that I had no desire to "carry on the family business," once my Dad retired from it. I simply didn't like it!
My Dad had taken over his business from my Grandpa Dean, the man who had raised him. And so I sensed that there was an expectation hanging over me that I would follow on in their footsteps, and in turn one day take it over from my Dad also. But sometime shortly after I'd figured out for myself that I didn't want to do that, one of the men who had worked faithfully for my Dad for several years, asked me about such things. This was during a moment while I was alone with him on a job site we were working one summer. And as I revealed to him that my desire was to do something other than taking over the business from my Dad, this man felt it was then his place and responsibility to tell me what a "f - - - ing little bastard" I was, for not being "loyal" to my Dad. It turned my self-confidence to tears, and I think that I felt smaller that day than I have ever felt before or since. I never did tell my Dad of that confrontation that summer, because I was made to feel that my own ambitions were disloyal and misplaced. No doubt that it also made me angry and bitter inside. But I still reasoned that I had somehow actually deserved the verbal lashing that I had received that day.
Choice vs. loyalty was again an issue for me, in March of my ninth grade school year, when I was confronted with the strong coercion of my Dad's spoken sentiment, that I'd be better off if I didn't attend a friend's funeral. So I followed my Dad's wishes, and I went to work with him that Saturday, instead of attending the funeral of my long-time, childhood friend.
I realize now that Dad was only trying to protect me out of his own reluctance to face the death of friends and loved ones, and he wanted to spare me the uncomfortable pain he associated with that sort of thing. But the only reason I made the choice that I did at the time was because I understood this to be the very thing my Dad had wanted me to do, and I was trying to keep him happy. Yet I knew deep down inside of me that this was the wrong decision for me to make, personally.
The boy who had died had been my first friend, and my very first "best friend." We had known each other since our kindergarten year of school, and we had spent many hours together at each other's homes. But he had suddenly died that week from medical complications that arose because he'd had diabetes that had gone undetected, and he'd slipped into a diabetic coma following a false flu diagnosis, when it had actually been his diabetes that had made him so ill.
I suffered from nightmares for years afterwards, out of the guilt I felt over not having attended his memorial service, and also because of the shame and remorse I felt that we had not been as close in our friendship at the time of his death, as we had once been those years before. Yet my Dad never seemed to give notice to how much it bothered me that I was on the job with him that day, rather than at the funeral to say, "Goodbye," to my friend. I really wanted to be there. And I wanted to change my decision about not going, often stopping the work that I was doing that day in order to check the time, as the hour of the memorial service approached. But I was too afraid to ask my Dad about it again, once he had taken me to the job site with him, figuring that he'd just get annoyed at me over it, if he did allow me to go.
My Dad never tried to console me or even just reassure me that I had made a "right" decision in response to the strong pressure I had felt to follow his advice, and not attend the memorial service. And though I have moved past the nightmares today and no longer have them, I still carry a sense of regret and hurt for choosing not to be there that day. And to some extent I probably always will.
Not Knowing How to Physically Defend Myself:
Wanting to avoid situations of conflict was certainly no different when it came to any type of physical conflict, either. So physical violence and fighting were also things I grew to fear, and tried to avoid.
For example, I remember one weekend while I was in the forth grade, that my sister had come home on her bicycle, crying, because some older boys had been picking on her while she had been playing in the play ground at our school.
My Dad became angered in hearing of this, and wasted no time in telling me to come with him where he put me on the back of his motorcycle, and we sped off to the school to find the boys who were responsible. When we arrived, we found the group of boys still there. My Dad asked me if I knew them, and I answered him that I did, recognizing all of them as older boys who attended our school in the grades above me. Then with no anticipation at all of what my Dad was about to do next, suddenly he was sternly telling the boys that if they ever bothered my sister again, then "my son," (Dad now pointing at me) "has orders from me to kick each and every one of your a - - es!" Then, pointing his finger right back at the boys, he added, "Do you understand me?" They all nodded and then we sped off just as quickly as we had arrived.
I was terrified! And those boys were certainly scared enough of my Dad. But I felt completely powerless in that moment to ever be able to carry out my Dad's threat against them, should that need ever arise. I didn't even know how to fist-fight. So, needless to say, I avoided them as much as possible after that, in fear that they would probably want to turn the tables and take that little episode back out upon me in some way, even though they never did so.
Some time after that episode, however, my fear of physical violence did materialize. Me, my sister and a neighbor girl were playing around and acting silly one afternoon, hiding indoors and making noises through the screens when other kids passed by on our street. There was no maliciousness intended. But one kid thought we were teasing him and didn't take kindly to it at all. He became visibly angered, even swearing at us and making threats. And so we probably egged him on longer than we should have because of his reaction. A couple of weeks later, that same kid caught me alone in the school yard one weekend, and recognized me before I recognized him. And in his revenge, he slapped me around quite a bit, really embarrassing me in front of some other boys he was with; boys who were also my classmates. One of them, I pleaded with to tell the boy to stop slapping me. But he only added to the humiliation of being slapped repeatedly across the face by laughing at me with the others, and mocking the way I had asked him for help.
When my Dad heard what had happened, he embarrassed me further by asking me why I hadn't punched the kid. And when I confessed that I didn't know how to fight back, he finally took all of about five or ten minutes that afternoon, to try to show me how to fight and defend myself. And then Dad left it at that. I guess he thought that this was all the training or encouragement I needed. But aggression still seemed quite awkward to me, and I still didn't have any confidence in my own ability to be aggressive and defend myself, especially after that. It was also a reversal of the way I'd been taught to keep my hands to myself, up until that point. Needless to say, attending that school was a miserable experience for me after that.
Then in my seventh grade school year, I am still ashamed today that I didn't immediately "cowboy-up" and leave the bus to go after a bully kid, whom I didn't even know or provoke, but who chose to suddenly spit in my face as he was exiting. I should have got up and gone right after him, and at least tried to have whipped that kid's butt! Even if I would have lost the fight, I'd have felt much better about myself for doing something. But instead, I let the humiliation and embarrassment get the better of me, and I did nothing. And I felt like an absolute coward for it afterward.
The point of telling you these stories is that my self-confidence suffered because of things like these. And so self-confidence was often one of those things I came to admire and was attracted to in other boys.
A Physical Birth Defect:
I also grew to have some insecurities about a mild, physical birth defect that occurred at the very point of my physical gender. It is a not so uncommon condition called a Hypospadias.
Now there is no malice intent to be vulgar or crude here. But I felt that this birth defect was also important enough to describe, since it impacted my gender confidence in the way that it did.
Hypospadias is a condition in males wherein the urethra canal does not extend all the way to the end of the penis as it should, so that it opens more toward the bottom. It typically also causes a strange looking, half-foreskin that does not wrap around all the way to the bottom half of the penis. And although it was a very mild case I had, I was keenly aware of the fact that "mine was different than theirs."
Now you girls and women should easily be able to relate to this kind of physical association with gender and insecurity, if you instead consider your own awareness and comparisons of a certain physical anatomy trait which you all share, located on the upper-half of your frontal torso.
But boys and men are somehow keenly aware of their penis in such a way that they readily associate their "maleness" with it, in one way or another. And all of you men know exactly what I mean. For example, well on into the years of male adulthood, the boyhood rituals of joking and kidding with one another about "size" continues on. And the feelings of male inadequacy I felt over the differences associated with my physical birth defect were no less important to me than size, I assure you. And so it really affected me as a boy, being self-conscious about it whenever I had to shower in gym class with the other boys.
Thanks to another male taboo, most boys would never question another boy about his penis, for fear of being labeled a "fag." And so I was never teased about the birth defect. But I was also too young at the time to rationalize such fears away, and therefore never really stopped being self-conscious about it.
I think that perhaps this worry itself, together with the fact that I was also self-conscious about my weight, both served to make the physical appearance of a slender build, and of a "normal" penis, things that I fixated on. And thereafter, they became traits that I was also physically attracted to in men. More simply put: I desired to look the way "they" did physically, and so that inward desire also became sexualized as I matured into an adult.
an additional note: I did eventually have the Hypospadias repaired with corrective surgery. So if this birth defect is also a point of personal concern to anyone else reading this, then I recommend finding and visiting a reputable urologist in your area to investigate the surgical options that may also be available to you.
Dad's Unrealistic Expectations of Me:
As a teenager maturing into young adulthood, during those final years of living at home with my parents, the final yet enduring wound my Dad gave to me was in the ritual he began of reminding me on a regular basis that I was the last son in our family tree. And so, in his desire to see the family name carried on, he intentionally handed me the pressure and responsibility of "giving him a grandson." This was something that I, of course, had no real biological control over, and I knew it. But the fact remains that it was communicated to me often enough that it became burdensome, and it was yet another inroad of opportunity to carry an inward sense of failure with me into my adult life. And that's exactly the way it turned out, through no malicious intent on my part.
Today my Dad has two beautiful granddaughters I know he loves and treasures, and neither of whom I would ever trade for the whole world. Nor would he! But I and my wife simply did not birth the grandson I know that my Dad also desired, which left me with the feeling of not having fulfilled all of the expectations that my Dad seemed to depend so much upon in me.
I think that trying to meet Dad's expectations was probably what has also made me into the perfectionist that I tend to be today. And because I was always trying to prove my worth to him as a child, I often prefer to accomplish tasks on my own today, without asking anyone else for help. In fact, it even makes me a little edgy and uneasy inside when someone else steps in to help me, if I've not asked them to do so. It all relates right back to the child I once was, who wanted to accomplish things on his own, so that he could be appreciated. These are all silly and mostly superficial things, I know. But they are important things to a child, nonetheless. And so these also became sexualized in my ongoing search for expressions of self-worth, kindness and personal notice from other men I admired.
Finding Dad's Pornography:
The ever increasing availability of pornography is a hindrance to any man who desires sexual purity. And when a boy sees it, it immediately begins to distort the pure and holy image of sexuality that God intended him to have of himself, and of others.
Pornography became a very demanding and almost consistent stumbling block to me, in the desire I had to be free of homosexual desire and behaviors.
The first pornography I ever saw was inside one of the filthiest legal magazines in existence at the time. It was one of my Dad's "Hustler" magazines that he kept piled up on the floor, along with "Playboy" and some others, out in the bathroom of his old workshop. I don't remember exactly how old I was at the time I found it. But the full-frontal, nude image of the two male transvestites in the center-fold of that particular issue was strange and bewildering to me; something I had no clue even existed before then. To me they looked like freaks of nature. "Real women with real breasts," I thought. "But how come they also have a penis," I wondered to myself? I had no idea how or why, and no one there to explain it to me. And I certainly wasn't going to ask Dad about it, since I'd probably get myself into trouble for finding the magazines and looking at them.
I never even came close to realizing at the time that those two "women" in the photo were actually both men, who had probably both used hormones to change their bodies into that strange and distorted form. And so the innocence of my childhood-reasoning which had always dictated to me that breasts meant "girl," and a penis meant "boy," was shaken and confused. So after that I was more curious to view other such magazines whenever I found them.
At first, looking at them gave me that same feeling I got the very first time I heard the "f-word" spoken aloud. Something about it just let me know that it was filthy, without anyone having to tell me so. And in that same kind of way I also knew that there was something "dirty" about these magazines as well, without anyone needing to tell me so. But once I'd seen them, I looked for more of them every time I snooped around Dad's workshop.
I'd have been better off never seeing any pornography at all. Because, as an adult, I began to view gay pornography on the internet as my preferred "porn-fix." And I had also long since discovered what masturbation is, and I eventually added this addictive behavior to the pornography. And once I used male homosexual pornography and masturbation together, these co-addictions had an almost enslaving effect on me.
I'd try to quit looking at it, but pornography kept on luring me back to it again and again. And so I became desperate to understand why. I examined myself, asking what it was that was so appealing to me about those images, and the men I was looking for in them... What was it that my soul was so hungry to find there? For me, I eventually arrived at a simple, one-word answer: Companionship.
I wasn't looking for sex, although such images certainly drove me to fantasize about it nearly every time I viewed them. But when I really stopped and thought about it, what I was honestly "fantasizing" about was genuine male companionship, whenever I viewed homosexual pornography. And that's all those images ever did was to provide me with a very distorted fantasy of what I truly longed for inside.
Pornography feeds our emptiness with these false and distorted sexual expectations toward whatever it is that we're emptied of inside our own souls, and are either unwilling or unsure of how to pursue such desires in honest, legitimate and non-sexual ways.
Pornography is powerfully intoxicating, and it's nothing to be taken as lightly as my Dad seemed to, having never even tried to hide it in a place where there'd be no risk of me finding it. That's why this junk has no place in the same home where we raise our children, or within the marriage vows we've made to our spouses! In my lifetime, it has only served to awaken and exacerbate temptations I was fighting to overcome, and I found that it placed an unexpected kind of luring demand upon my sense of curiosity toward homosexual experiences I hadn't yet tried. Any way you dissect it, it's just dangerous to view it.
One common defense that is verbalized by men who view pornography and/or habitually masturbate is, "Hey, I'm not harming or hurting anybody." I once thought this myself. But when I fully considered both common sense, and biblical truths into the equation, this argument simply held no weight.
First of all, the men and women pictured in such images are all fellow human beings, created in God's image, just as you and I were. And although they have usually consented and have been paid to be captured in sexually explicit photos and media, this does not give any of us the spiritual right or freedom to take advantage of their misdirected human exploits and spiritual blindness. By viewing such images, when you play it all out, we are ultimately conspiring, along with the porn industry, in helping the people pictured in such photographs to inflict this harm upon themselves, in other words.
But these images are also doing harm to each of us that view them, just as much. Rather we realize it or not, with each and every image that enters our mind through the doorway of our eyes, an indelible mark is added to our own individualized sexuality. And when you consume a sexual diet that is made up of depravity, how could you suppose that your own sexuality would not also be affected in some way, and eventually become just as depraved through such influences? It certainly had a negative effect on me! So it is foolish to think to yourself, "No, I can handle it... This won't affect me."
No man who views any kind of pornography for pleasure, on any kind of repeating basis, will ever discover his sexual fullness and purity, as God intended him to experience it. And no man who views pornography "occasionally" is strong enough to defend himself against the very real dangers of becoming addicted to it! Pornography is indeed addictive, and it entices toward many other sexual curiosities and sins as well.
An Early Introduction to Sexual Activity:
Still another major influence, and probably the second biggest factor in the development of my homosexual issues, were my many insecurities in interacting with other boys. As I mentioned previously, my relationship with my Dad directly impacted the confidence I felt within my friendships and relationships with other boys my own age.
I was also very self-conscious about my obese weight, feeling like I was less accepted by the thinner boys because of it. At least that is the way I perceived it at the time, because I was teased and name-called a bunch by some of the thinner boys at school. And so I think I often felt that my weight was somehow to blame for that. Ironically, my lack of self-confidence is probably also why I developed the bad habit of over-eating, and became obese in the first place.
But whatever their reasons were for picking on me, even if just to hide their own insecurities behind mine, it was difficult for me to make friends in my elementary and middle school years. And so I was willing to go to great lengths to maintain the friendships that I did make. For that reason, I was a willing participant in behaviors a child should not be exposed to.
With some of the friends I made, we'd sometimes find ourselves involved in mutually consenting situations of physical exploring, touching and experimentation. But then as I matured, so did the touching and experimentation, until it became sexual activity. The physical things we did may have started out as "normal childhood curiosity." But that certainly changed as I got older, and began to be aroused by it.
I was only in the third grade when the first of a whole chain of such events took place in my life. But that very first episode of nude sexual play with another boy had such a strong and lasting impact on me, that I still remember it as vividly as if it happened just yesterday:
That incident happened with a boy I had tried especially hard to befriend. He was a new kid in school who seemed fun and outgoing, and who was immediately popular among all of the other boys in my class. And unlike my heavier weight at the time, I also admired him for being thin and athletic. And so I was elated when he quickly warmed up to me in friendship.
He eventually invited me over to his house for a sleep-over, and I arrived there in the afternoon. And I remember that at sometime during our interactions, he brought up the subject of "streaking," and then asked me if I wanted to "go streaking" with him that night. He made it sound really fun, and the thought of running around nude with him sounded daring and exciting to me. And so I agreed. Then, after his parents had gone to bed that night, we took off all of our clothes and went outside to run around in the nude, the only real object of the game being not to get caught doing it.
I remember watching him and his little brother acting silly as they were both jumping around naked, in the middle of their back yard. It looked fun and I really wanted to join them in their silliness, but it was the first time I'd ever done anything like that, and so I was too nervous and afraid to venture out any farther than a few steps beyond their patio door. So I also remember feeling a little disappointed in myself that I hadn't "dared" to venture out quite as far into their back yard as they both had.
After that "game" ended, we all quickly put our underwear back on, and waited back inside the house for a few moments to be sure we hadn't disturbed his parents. When it was clear that we hadn't, then my friend asked if I wanted to watch as his younger brother performed an act of oral copulation on him? Of course, as publicly schooled young boys, we were all well-versed in the vulgarities of speech, so he didn't ask his question quite that way. But I still curiously agreed.
So I watched him and his brother do it first. And still feeling bothered by not having been quite as daring in the streaking game as they both had been, I still felt the strong desire to be included, as well as an additional curiosity to also participate with them in the different roles of this new "game." And so I did it, not wanting to be "left out," and being too naïve to know anything about the addictive impact such activity would have on me from that night forward.
As a nine-year-old, what we did that night had seemed innocent enough at the time; even fun in a way. But looking back at it now, it also awakened a sense of sexual curiosity in me that robbed me of a childhood innocence that I never regained.
Similar situations took place with increased frequency after that, again with this friend, and later on with a few others. And in turn, that activity quickly led me into a sexually-arousing preoccupation with male nudity, and with the thrill that I began to associate with the risks that were involved with "streaking" in public places. So the nudity and "streaking" also continued on for years after that night, as well. Throughout my teenage years, and even on into my young adulthood, I became much more "daring" with the streaking than I had been that first night I'd tried it with my friend. But I don't remember any of the rest of it as well as I still remember my first exposure to sexual play with him.
Considering it all again now, I'm very fortunate that I never got caught and arrested during the many times I went "streaking". And I can only wonder what may have changed in my life, if only we had been caught and punished for sneaking around outside in the nude that night as kids, before any of the sexual play began. But as it turned out, friendships were never quite the same to me after that episode, since my "friendships" would then sometimes include such activity.
Friendships & Same-Gender Relationships:
Having a close male companion as a "best friend" had come to mean a great deal to me after that sleep-over episode in the third grade. And I can remember having some anxiety and fear of rejection in those childhood friendships. So as I matured, the physical things I did with some of those friends became a source of comfort and an artificial assurance to me that I was accepted and loved. And the affection I gained from engaging in such activity quickly became sexually addictive. And though it could make me feel good for a while, none of it ever healed over the real reasons for the emptiness and brokenness I still felt inside. And I have communicated with many other men who describe these same types of situations and emotions, leading up to their own same-sex attractions and addictions.
Perhaps you can also identify with some of these same triggers and patterns I've described here, seeing the evidence of them from situations in your own life. Or perhaps you can't, but there are others you're thinking about which I've not mentioned here. For example, just one instance of sexual molestation upon a child can have a huge impact on that person's sexuality later in life. And this article can't be all-inclusive of each and every situation, since we are all individuals. But whatever the specific causes may be, I'm convinced that there are indeed issues to be faced that have made every "homosexual" person, the person that they are sexually. And I don't believe that any of us became like this because of something hidden, that's yet to be found or proven to exist, within our genetics.
Looking for Validation in a Woman's Heart:
I think we can all agree that it is quite normal for a boy to become attracted to a girl at some point during his youth. But if such a boy is already lacking in the area of engendered confidence and self-esteem, because there has been no validation of such from his father, then a girl's rejection can send yet another devastating blow to his self-worth.
Now girls have often rejected boys who became attracted to them, without any significant blow to the boy's ego. So I believe the damage is done when, subconsciously, the boy was really seeking to overcome the sense of gender inadequacy he feels, by turning to the woman for the validation he actually needed from his Dad. And though I didn't realize what I was doing at the time, this is exactly what I believe I was seeking through these relationships with a woman.
I still remember the name of the first young lady that I actually became physically attracted to. I was awakened to the beauty of a woman for the first time, through the beauty I saw in her. And it wasn't just her youthful loveliness, but her kind personality as well, that drew me to her. But she rejected the idea of going on a date with me when I tried to pursue her, and I was crushed by that. The message it sent to me was that I didn't measure up.
Years later, I dated a young woman who would become my first sexual experience with the opposite gender. By that time, I was becoming quite confused about my own sexuality anyway, and so I easily allowed the blow of the experience to become a determining factor toward my sexual orientation.
I went away with this woman to enjoy a weekend of gambling at Lake Tahoe, California. And we arrived to a hotel where she had reserved a single room for us, with only one bed. The situation instantly made me uncomfortable, because of my upbringing and my beliefs about sex before marriage. But I didn't strongly object to it, either. I mean, "men" aren't supposed to object to settings like that, right? And she had pursued me in the situation. Besides that, I think I also wanted to "prove" to myself in some way that I wasn't "gay."
As the night's events led to exactly what I had anticipated because of the accommodations she had arranged for us, I found no masculine confidence at all through what happened next. This young woman just cut me off at the knees. Being my first time with a woman, I was less than graceful at "it." And I had confessed that fact to her before hand. But instead of being kind towards me in the awkwardness of my clumsiness, this young woman accused me of being drunk. And then, to make matters even worse, she broke the relationship off the moment we returned from the trip, the very next day. So again, the subliminal message she sent was clear: "You don't have what it takes as a man, and you can't sexually perform to standard as one, either!"
As I thought back on this, I became more angry at her in remembering the experience, than I remember having actually been at the time. At the time, I was just hurt and confused by it, more than anything else. And it made it all the more easy to look to other men for a sense of validation thereafter.
If a woman doesn't reject the man who is seeking his validation from her, then she can begin to feel quite drained in the relationship, and not even realize why. And when the woman does reject him, then the man may try any number of dysfunctional sexual behaviors, still seeking to "feel like a man." Homosexuality is the dysfunctional behavior that I turned to next. And these are exactly the kinds of things that make homosexuality so completely "dysfunctional" in its very nature. But other behaviors may also include pornography, masturbation, buying prostitutes, and possibly even sexual abuses and/or rape, in extreme cases.
Woman can never validate Man, nor can Man validate Woman. That is not our engendered purpose. But most certainly, we can't validate one another through homosexuality either! Men and women are meant to love each other, and to help one another, in a committed relationship that is mutually complimentary in many other ways. But the woman can't make the boy feel like he's become a "real man," and the man can't cause the girl to believe she's become a woman who is truly worthy of being loved. But likewise, we'll never find our validation sexually, through persons of our own gender, either. All we can hope to do through homosexuality is to create a superficial and empty substitute for it.
It is both of our parents (but in larger part, our fathers) that validate us. And then, ultimately, I believe that God himself can complete and/or restore that engendered validation, wherever it is lacking. But it is a crippling road to look for it sexually, or in any other person, as I made the mistake of trying to do so.
And Then Suddenly, I Was an Adult:
I have debated with myself numerous times, trying to determine if there's any real value to be gained from mentioning this experience here, and wondering if going back down this road again could actually be of any benefit to someone who might read it? So I think it's best to approach this chain of events in terms of remembering what it was that I thought I'd found, when it happened. I want you to see what was going through my mind at the time, and why it was such a mistake when it happened.
Perhaps the most important lesson to be learned through this experience, was that once a moral line is crossed, it is much easier to cross it again a second or third time, and so on, even if the stakes get higher... and the stakes always get higher! The sin gets easier and easier to rationalize, while the internal cost of sinning always continues to increase.
Looking back at it now, I can see how I manipulated the events that caused what eventually happened to take place. And of course, also working against me was the fact that by the time of this first adult event, my understanding of male intimacy had long since been distorted by activities similar to those first events I described previously, when I'd spent the night at a friend's house, way back in the third grade. But after this event, I quickly realized that none of this was a childhood game anymore. I was an adult now, and what I was engaging in was homosexual sex.
At the time this happened, it was just supposed to be three days away with the guys. There were four of us who decided to get away from the military base, and go to the Florida coast for a long weekend. All of us were classmates in military flight school, and we also attended the same church together. And one of the guys was a friend who I'd become infatuated with in our friendship and brotherhood, because I so admired the "Christian" person I saw him to be on the outside.
I truly enjoyed the level of closeness we shared, and he seemed to have a heart for God that was truly inspiring to me. He always spoke from his heart when he prayed, and that always encouraged me in my own spiritual growth. From what I'd observed, he had the kind of closeness with God that I'd desired to emulate in my own life. But what I'd failed to see was the fact that this young man had also been struggling with homosexual attractions, and he had already given in to those temptations a number of times by that point. But he had kept that secret well hidden from all of us, just the same as I had.
We slept two per bed, in the one hotel room that we were all sharing. And as I mentioned before, as in so many of my friendships, I was insecure and jealous of my relationship with him. So I purposed to sleep in the same bed he was going to sleep in. There was an innocent comfort I felt in just being physically close to him, and I had no thoughts of anything sexual in that at the time. I just felt safe, somehow, to be able to be close to him.
A couple hours into the first night, the other two guys had fallen asleep. And thinking that the friend who was beside me was also fast asleep, I was still lying there in the dark, wide awake. And my own thoughts and insecurities began to get the better of me. His hand was lying open beside me, and I wondered silently to myself how he might react if I followed through with a desire I had to hold his hand? "Oh God, is it even okay for two guys to hold hands," I wondered to myself? It seemed innocent enough, and I convinced myself that it was, while also thinking to myself, "If he reacts badly, I'll just pretend that I rolled over while sleeping, and that my hand accidentally wound up in his." So that's exactly the way I played it off. I rolled over, and I allowed my hand to come to rest in his when I did so.
Now I think it is important to pause here, and distinguish between what was innocent, and what was not, up to this point. Because I will argue that there is nothing wrong with the human need for platonic closeness and touch, or to just feel loved, even among persons of the same gender. It's when such activity crosses the border from what is platonic to what is sexual, that the activity becomes sinful in nature (see also the chapters that discuss "homoerotophobia" and "affection"). My desire to hold his hand was innocent, in and of itself. Because the desire for physical touch from other men is a legitimate need that many men are willing to admit. However, the manipulative way in which I went about meeting this need was not innocent at all. Instead, I simply should have asked him, "Is it okay if I hold your hand?" And lying in a bed together was probably not the most appropriate environment for seeking out such affection, either.
I really half-expected him to just pull his hand away if it woke him up, or that he'd push my hand away. But instead, my doubts were quickly relieved, and I felt accepted as he held onto my hand, seeming to be aware that it was there. I still wasn't sure if he was awake or not, so then I interlaced my fingers with his, wanting also to let him know that I was aware of his hand in mine. Then he moved closer to embrace me, and for that short moment, I was still able to convince myself that this was all still very innocent, and in no way sinful. And arguably, the mutually shared affection may have been so, up to that point. But then his homosexual desires got the better of him, and he reached down with his hand to touch me sexually. Quite honestly still desiring to keep the affection "innocent" at that point, I moved his hand away with my own hand, and so he restrained his sexual desire, and we just held closely to one another that night.
In those moments, the intimacy and closeness I felt with him felt like what I had been looking for, for so long, during my childhood. And in a physical way, it was. I was the child again who finally felt safe in his daddy's arms. I felt loved. I felt accepted by a man I admired. I felt needed. But we were also using one another to feel this way, during this incident. Because neither of us, in that moment, was really interested in giving of ourselves to love the other. We only wanted to feel loved ourselves.
I found out later that his own life story had been a tale of the emptiness he'd experienced in missing his dad, who'd left home and lost interest in him while he was still a boy, following his parent's divorce. And then he had also been sexually molested as a teenager, at the hands of a gay uncle's homosexual partner.
The next morning at breakfast, before the other two guys had joined us, I asked him if he had been awake the night before, and I wanted to know what it was that had actually transpired between us. I didn't want to believe that it had been something homosexual, but then he felt ashamed and became embarrassed. And he used that brief conversation to apologize to me, confessing that he had been "struggling to overcome some temptations in that area."
I had enjoyed the closeness so much, that the thought that I had just caused him to fall into sin again never even crossed my mind, or the thought that I was now quickly headed down that same road, myself. I was only looking at it selfishly, and for how comforting it had seemed to be in the moment. I even asked him a couple of days after the trip if we could ever spend time like that together again. But he said that he didn't think it would be such a wise idea. I was disappointed, but I reluctantly agreed. And so we salvaged our friendship with a mutual promise not to go there again, and a Christian commitment to pray for each other in our struggles with these same-gender attractions.
At the time of these events, I couldn't yet make a proper distinction between the inward desire I had for male affection, and the point when those desires became erotic or sexual. And so, when this Christian brother of mine (who had just admitted to me that he had been struggling with the sin of homosexuality) also resisted the thought of us being affectionate with each other, I began to view affection itself as something that is erotic and homosexual. And so, to me, intimate forms of non-sexual affection also became something "forbidden" for men to share with each other. But, little did I know that this thought process would only cause me to go on craving the affection, and further perpetuate my own temptations toward the sin of homosexuality. And in spite of our mutual sincerity to try and avoid sharing close or intimate affection with each other, that event had set the stage, and it did happen again, four years later, during a snow skiing trip we took together.
During the trip, I was again in an unfortunate state of insecurity at that time. And apparently, so was he. And so he agreed when I asked to sleep beside him that first night. And like before, we just held each other for comfort that night. But then on the second night, he asked to come and sleep beside me. And unfortunately, he did not object when, this time, I was the one who reached down and instigated a course of action that went beyond what had transpired between us four years earlier. But even more unfortunate than the incident itself was the fact that I was a newly married man by then. And I had gone on that trip leaving an unresolved disagreement between me and my wife, which we'd had at home on the very same day I'd left on the trip. I'd left home angry, and that is a situation that the Bible clearly warns us all to avoid. And it was what that disobedience to Scripture that had left me feeling so insecure that first night of the ski trip.
So not only had I pulled my friend back into sin again, but now we had both committed a form of adultery in what we'd done. And although my wonderful wife eventually forgave us both, it was something we both regretted very deeply, afterwards. And our otherwise genuine friendship suffered greatly for it, not to mention how it set back both of our faith-walks as Christian believers.
It took my wife most of the next year before she could fully trust me again. And I think it took me a couple of years to really overcome the deeply emotional attachment I'd had with the guy, and the psychological effects it had on me to realize it, and then let it go. But thanks be to God, I did eventually overcome that emotional attachment.
In the process, I often doubted my own conscience and godly wisdom which were still pulling me in a direction away from homosexual behavior, while yet reasoning that by doing so, I was denying myself of something I intensely needed, desired, and missed. But those were years I could have spent in the peace of never having known the inward struggles that came with having gone to that level of "carnal knowledge." And my own struggles with homosexual temptations and behavior would have been lighter, indeed, if I had simply not gone there in the first place.
Homosexual desire is an extremely compelling, inward longing, once you've actually succumbed to the behavior once or twice, and found that it seemed to fulfill an inward sense of emptiness, or an emotional need. And although the Bible teaches us that temptations toward homosexual and other behaviors all come through our own "evil" desires toward sin, the Bible also clearly tells us that there are demonic influences that are involved in the spiritual struggles that take place over the souls of mankind. And so I don't discount in the least, the very strong possibility that behind the human compulsion toward homosexual behaviors is also the influence of these demonic forces that wage war against us:
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12)
And even the Apostle Paul, who authored over two-thirds of the New Testament, has said of himself, "When I want to do good, evil is right there with me... waging war against my mind." (Romans 7:21-23, paraphrased)
So this demonic influence may be one of the reasons why there is such a difficult inward struggle that comes along with trying to become free from homosexual compulsion. I believe that these evil spirits become aware of our individual weaknesses toward certain sinful behaviors, and so they toy with our minds and our emotions in those specific areas, trying to draw our focus and attention away from God, and back toward the behaviors that so easily distract us.
For me, even a sudden feeling of insecurity is often all it ever took to bring on those kinds of temptations. My desire to find emotional relief from the stress of my insecurity brought with it the desire for an activity that would bring relief through the stimulus of pleasure. And the pleasure-high I had experienced in homosexual and other associated behaviors was a very powerful lure. In this way, homosexual behavior easily became the "answer" to many of my other weaknesses too, thus becoming an even greater obstacle for me to try and overcome. And this is how it becomes so addictive to so many people who are lured into experimenting with it.
But I've also found that the strength and influence provided by Christ's own Spirit within me, is a powerful and effective weapon to stand up against the demonic influences that come against each one of us, as we determine to live holy and do some good in this world.
All of My Own Wrong Choices:
All of these situations came together with all of the troubled relationship issues I faced while growing up, and left me craving genuine male companionship, affirmation, acceptance, and love, throughout my childhood, and even more as I transitioned through adolescence and into young adulthood. And I began to seek those things sexually, once adolescence kicked into full momentum.
For most boys, they are secure in their male relationships by that point, and they enter that adolescent stage without those insecurities in male companionship and relationships. Their sexual awareness and interest then develops naturally, and they move on toward a normal interest in girls. But for young men such as myself, there becomes a huge void in our desire for the male companionship we never had, and for the quality of male relationship we never knew. So then these insecurities and unfulfilled desires become sexualized during adolescence instead. And once they are acted upon, the homosexual activity becomes very addictive in nature. God did create us, after all, to be able to express our love sexually. But perhaps you can see now why I don't believe that homosexuality was ever part of God's design for normal sexual expression. The very way in which God created the male and female anatomy to fit together should be proof enough of that, don't you think?
Even if one approaches the subject of sexual activity strictly from the stand-point of the physical pleasure that two people can indeed experience with one another, rather than from the procreative aspects of it, the Bible is still quite clear in the guidance offered there. In fact, there's an entire book in the Bible dedicated to such pleasures in romance!
Solomon's Song of Songs, in the Old Testament, is a poetic and metaphorical description of the attraction, and the physical pleasures of sexual intimacy and contact experienced between the two "lovers" within the story. But those biblical lovers are, again, one man and one woman. And their male and female anatomy shows us by God's own design what his intent for us is in all of these areas of sexual attraction, contact, intimacy and pleasure between "two consenting adults."
Jesus Christ Pursuing Me Through it All:
While all of this was going on, I can look back now and see how God never stopped pursuing me... how he never stopped trying to show me his love.
I spent the early part of my life in weekly church and Sunday School classes, until I was about five years old. It was there that I received my grounding in Bible Scripture, and a basic belief in God and Jesus. But then, Dad had a falling out with some of the deacons of the church, when they showed up at the house asking for money one morning, while my mom was healing from a broken ankle. Our family never went to church again after that.
Some years later, an aunt who was close to all of us kids, from my Mom's side of the family, committed suicide one evening. And during the grief that followed that situation, I remember wondering about God again, and pondering what happens to people when they die. Even at that young age, I remember thinking to myself and asking aloud, "How is it possible for the love of a person to die? There has to be something more after death."
My Grandma on my Dad's side of the family was a woman of faith. And after my aunt's suicide, she began to notice my desire to understand more about God. And so she always encouraged me to seek him out as I matured into a young man.
Years later, I joined the US Army right out of high school, mostly to get away from home and out on my own, rather than for any other reason. I became a Military Policeman, and I ended up having a platoon sergeant who was also an ordained minister. "Sergeant First Class" Browning, was his name. And Sergeant Browning took time to encourage me in my Bible reading, after he saw me with my own Bible one afternoon. He was the first person to ever ask me if I was "saved." I didn't even know what that meant at the time. But through a series of events that I'm convinced today were no coincidence, I soon found my answers.
A popular book at the time was, The Late Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsey. And I had purchased a copy to read for myself. At the end of the book, Mr. Lindsey explained from Scriptures he had taken from the Book of Romans, just how it is that one becomes "saved." It was simply by confessing my sins to God, believing that God had sent His Son to die for my sins, and asking this same Jesus to come and live inside of my heart.
I knew at that moment, in my heart, that I had discovered an essential, spiritual truth to knowing God, and being in right relationship with him again. So, without delay, at the age of 19, I walked into the kitchen of the old Military Police station, at the Armed Forces Recreation Center, at Lake Chiemsee, in West Germany, and dropped to my knees. And right there on the floor, I prayed and gave my heart to Jesus Christ. That was November of 1983.
Soon after that, I prayed to God to get me out of an assignment that I was anxious over and didn't want to go to. And that prayer was immediately answered, but not as I expected. The assignment was changed rather than removed. And so I was sent temporarily to SHAPE, Belgium, during the Christmas Holiday Season, that very same year.
While I was there, I was invited by some fellow believers to visit the church where I ended up being water baptized, and on Christmas Day no less! What a blessing that was.
Some years later, I was assigned to duty in Egypt, and was able to visit Israel while I was there. While I was on a tour of Israel, I got water-baptized a second time, in the Jordan River, where Jesus was also baptized. That was a time of re-dedication and of renewing my faith in Christ.
This was how my relationship with Jesus Christ began. And I believe that Jesus pursues each one of us, just as he pursued me, if only we'll stop our own pursuit of sin long enough to be found by him.
Revisiting Past Hurts and Forgiving Them:
A huge step in personal healing from homosexuality comes in learning to like yourself as a person, in order for you to believe inside that other people can like you too. And it's also an important step in being able to forgive ourselves for things we've regretted and blamed our own selves for.
Still another difficult thing to do is finding it in our heart to forgive other people who have hurt us in some way. But you must also know that forgiving those who have hurt us, and learning to look at them through Christ's eyes, with compassion and understanding, is another completely necessary step to take in our own healing process. Because the people who have hurt us have also all been hurt in some way by someone or something themselves.
So more recently I have also seen that there was a cycle of this hurt and pain that did not begin with me. My Dad was literally disowned and rejected by his own biological father at a young age, after my grandparents divorced. I have never met this grandfather because of it, and they have gone decades without so much as speaking a word to one another. I am convinced that my Dad started drinking to numb the heartache and pain of that situation. And I can only guess what may have happened in the cycle prior to that, wondering if this grandfather I never met also had issues with his father? Whatever the answer is, I only know that I want it all to stop with me. I want my own children to know that they are indeed unconditionally loved. And I must leave the past behind in order to do that.
Jesus Heals the Past and He Heals Homosexuality:
Since writing this article, I have been told everything from, "You were never homosexual in the first place," and, "You are bisexual or just sexually confused," to things like, "You can't change! You are only running from who you really are," or, "You are homophobic, hateful and intolerant." Yet I know all too well that the same-sex attractions I experienced were very compelling and real. And I know that I still acted on them after entering into adulthood, and that those temptations didn't just suddenly stop the day that I became a Christian. I continued to struggle with them for years afterward, and with the many underlying insecurities that went along with them.
But even more than that, I also know that since then, what God has done to bring about this change in my life and deliverance from homosexual attractions is even more compelling and real. And the factual reality of that transformation tends to strike a sensitive nerve with many people for some reason, especially within the homosexual community.
Some people argue that "unconditional love" means that the God of the Bible loves homosexuals the way they are (and indeed he does), and so they rationalize for that reason that He would not inspire them to change their homosexual behaviors. And then, adding to the confusion, some churches today, even among mainstream, "Christian" denominations, are distorting the clear biblical line that separates good and evil, through their acceptance of homosexual behavior and the ordination of open homosexuals into their clergy. And so come the arguments that the Bible (God's Word) has either been misinterpreted, mistranslated or even purposely changed on this issue.
But think about that for a moment. If you can't trust what the Bible says on this one issue, then how can you trust it on any other, to include your eternal salvation? So I choose to trust that God will indeed be God, and as such he is perfectly capable of protecting his inspired Word from corruptions like these, especially when this is His primary means of communicating His own character back to us.
God says of himself that he is not the author of confusion, and that his Word will indeed accomplish everything He sent it to do. So if you have chosen to be offended by anything I've said here, please understand again that I am not telling anyone to change. I am merely sharing the factual truth that in a spiritual relationship with God and Christ, such change is indeed possible for those who desire it! Because God's love toward us has the power to transform any life by birthing the godly desire within us to become more like God's Son, Jesus. God's love toward us can and does permanently change hearts. And God's grace does indeed enable the homosexual person to become heterosexual, just as God has created each one of us all to be.
You may be thinking right now, "I could never learn to be heterosexual!" But I'll tell you again that you are missing the bigger point of my message if you are thinking that. Don't worry about that! God is not asking you to learn how to be heterosexual for him. He is simply asking us to learn how to trust him, and to desire to be obedient toward him. And then God himself will begin to transform your life as you are willing to trust him to do so.
So instead, you begin with God, with this attitude: by saying, "I may not know how to be heterosexual right now, but I do desire to trust God and believe in his Son. And I desire to turn away from my sinful behavior with his help, and with his strength to help me do so." And then you allow God to help you do all the rest, one day at a time!
A Desire to Be Like Christ:
This desire to be "Christ-like" is the most important aspiration to realize for anyone who desires to be free from homosexuality, or from any other sin for that matter. You may have heard the metaphor, "placing the cart before the horse?" Well, I found that in placing my desire to be heterosexual before my desire to know Christ and have a personal relationship with Him, that I gained hardly any ground at all in the struggle. All I learned to do was suppress desires that were still there, and they would always resurface again.
But then I fell in love with who Jesus is, as I spent more time reading the Bible, praying, and getting to know his character and his love toward me. And after discovering who Jesus the person was and is, my highest desire was simply to become more and more like Him, and to spend more of my time with Him. It was in pursuing this desire to become more like Christ in my own character that a heterosexual transformation then began to come about in my life, and the homosexual desires I had began to decrease. The Bible says it this way: "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these [other] things will be given to you as well."
Just as important in the journey, however, is developing a constant realization of God's great and unconditional love when we fail miserably at being "Christ-like" in our Christian experience. What finally helped me to see this for myself, amid my own discouragement at failure after failure, was when a Pastor reminded me that "God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son..."
God so loved "the world," he said. And, well, we've all discovered by now that "the world" has never been very Christ-like in its nature. It was then that I realized that God continued to love me through each one of my discouraging set-backs and failures. God's love for me is higher and more dependable than the example of my Dad's love had been, and so I could finally begin to end the self-defeating cycle of competing for it. God loves me! And he loves us all, without us ever earning it!
Pictured: Dean and his Family
I could go on and on about the negative things I experienced, and the sinful ways I tried to cope with them. But let me end this testimony on a positive note in all of this, instead.
The positive is that someone cared enough to share about Jesus Christ with me. And after I had believed in Him and prayed a sinner's prayer, I began learning to like myself again, because of the way that He has loved me so unconditionally. And I slowly began learning to stop allowing the negative influences of other people (even my own family members, at times), to have such an influence upon my identity. I began to see myself differently through the eyes of a Savior who truly loves me, unconditionally!
I’m not perfect by any definition of the word, I know. But God has brought me out of the sexual confusion of homosexual behaviors, and out of the self-defeating environment of my own, very negative self-image. God taught me how to find and trust in the kinds of people who truly do demonstrate God’s love, within the love and friendship that they give toward me. And He showed me how to ignore the damaging and negative influences of everyone else, while continuing to have a love toward them that comes from God’s own compassion and understanding. And rather any of my testimony will be useful to you, I cannot know for sure. But I’m hoping that some of it will, because the Holy Spirit wouldn’t allow it to come to rest inside of my own spirit, until I was obedient to take the time to share it with you.
I hope that it does help you. And I hope that somehow it helps you to get a fresh glimpse of the unconditional love that God (and certain people) also have for you. And so I’d encourage you to run quickly into God's arms whenever you feel defeated or unloved, and to remain there, safe inside His arms, even during the times that you feel the most loved.
But How Does Change Take Place?
If you have made it to this point in the book, then I am encouraged to believe that you are a person who truly does desire to find freedom from your homosexual behaviors. So, as they say in the military, buckle your chin-strap, because this is not going to be an easy journey. But that doesn't mean that it can't be done, I assure you. With God's help, you are more than able to make this journey! I know this because God helped me to do it, and he has helped many other men and women to do it as well. So, God will also help you, my friend.
But, first things first... Have you prayed to ask Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your life yet? Because I couldn't have made this journey on my own; not from out of my own strength, or my own ideas, or my own will power. It simply cannot be done without denying everything that would try to exalt "self" over God, and having the simple faith it takes to trust and believe in Jesus Christ, in his sure promises, and in the divine power that He gives to every believer, and which sets us free from all sin.
If you haven't ever realized that it is God's divine promise to set us free from the power of every sin, then how will you ever find the true faith it takes to believe that you are free from the power of homosexual sin? But, by choosing to believe in everything that God has promised to us, as believers in Jesus Christ, (and knowing that God can never lie), then you'll become exactly "who" God empowers each of us to become as believers, as you learn to take authority over every sin and temptation, through the power and the Name of Jesus Christ!
And once you know who you are in Christ, then you'll discover how to walk in the divine power that He places right there on the inside of you, through his Holy Spirit. That divine power allows you to take your rightful place as a Child of the King, just like Jesus is! And as the reborn "you" becomes stronger and stronger, through your faith in Jesus Christ, then the power that homosexuality had over you will become less and less. And that's how you'll complete this journey of divine deliverance from homosexual sin.
"Change" absolutely must begin with the acceptance of this very basic, but essential truth: No one is ever created by God to be "a homosexual." As I said previously, "The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality. The opposite of homosexuality is wholeness and holiness!" One has to realize that homosexuality is a behavior that people engage in, not something that a person is. If you can't come to acknowledge this very basic and necessary truth, then you'll never truly find change. But this is only one half of the equation.
The other half is in knowing and deeply depending on Jesus Christ, as Lord of your life. "Apart from him," the Bible says, "we can do nothing!" It's in finding our own, personal relationship with Jesus Christ that gives each one of us the power we'll need to change in a variety of different ways, including the complete restoration of our sexual wholeness and heterosexual orientation. So, if you've not yet asked Jesus to be the Lord of your life, then I encourage you to do that right now, by using the prayer I've included in the last chapter. It will be the very best decision you will ever make!
None of the things you may have experienced throughout life has made you into the person you are today, instantly. And so it would be foolish to expect that such things could be instantly undone over night. But just as it was described in the passage of Scripture above, allow yourself to become the clay in the Master's hand, so that God can reshape that person whom you've become, consistently and with time.
Through that reshaping of our inward soul, God will sometimes bring healing and change into our lives by taking us back to the very events and situations that have hurt us the most, so that we can be healed of those specific wounds with God by our side, as we allow Him to restore what was lost to us within those situations: Our confidence, for example; our self-worth, our dignity, our emotional strength and stability, our courage, our masculinity (or, your femininity if you're a woman). And inside of those painful places within our soul, God will show us how trusting in Him allows us to become fulfilled in our greatest desire of all, which is to know that we are wanted, valued, and unconditionally loved as a person, by someone else who has only pure motives in loving us.
It's not that we will have to experience the pain of those events by going through them all over again. That's not what I am saying. It's that God will help us to clearly identify the broken places in our soul, where we have been damaged and hurt, so that we can begin to recognize and deal with the true issues we face, rather than continually burying their pain behind the sensual pleasures of homosexual behaviors.
I found that it is through faith and trusting in Jesus Christ, that I found the strength I needed to break free of the homosexual-minded person I'd become, and the confidence I needed to move beyond the negative influence that those past hurts, mistakes, ways of thinking, and that way of life would still try to have over my future thoughts, behaviors, and sexual choices. And I know that God is willing to do the same for anyone else who asks him to.
For example, if it is in your best interest to forgive and restore a relationship with a person or persons who are responsible for hurting you in your youth, then God may indeed lead you to the place where you'll be able to do that, as part of your healing. Or if you are a man who grew up starving for platonic masculine affection from your Dad, then God may bring men into your life as godly friends, who are willing to share that physical affection with you in legitimate, non-sexual ways.
Or, if you are a woman whose abusive father left you feeling emptied of your beauty, so that you now feel more like an object to be used or abused, than you do like a beautiful woman worthy of being desired, pursued, and loved, then God will work to restore the inward beauty you've felt so devoid of, and had sought to gain back again through your lesbian behaviors.
And for all of us who have ever felt the pain of being fatherless in some way, then God will indeed be a loving Father to us in all of the places where our human father has either failed us, or could not be there for us.
Such hurts, among many other things, form the substance of what we've sexualized into homosexual emotions and behaviors, through a troubled and unsure awareness we all have of them, and our misguided desire to be truly healed or forgiven for them. These are the things that form our self-perception of the incomplete person that we see ourselves to be. And they quite often also work to destroy the inwardly masculine or feminine characteristics, confidence, and makeup of our biologically-assigned gender, having been born into this world as either a man, or a woman. This "gender confidence" is an essential, inward strength and self-awareness; a "knowing" that allows us to relate and interact in confidence with other persons of our same gender.
To say all of that in a much simpler way that may be easier for people to grasp and understand: It's that God helps each of us to address the individual root causes of our own homosexual behaviors, which were never really about sex at all. As men, God knows that our sexualized longing for male love is actually a deeply-rooted and unmet need, from our childhood and youth... A longing for a father's affirmation, perhaps, or for a mentor's guidance. Or maybe it's wanting to be included in our peer groups, or to have our own internal sense of just being "one of the guys." In other words, to simply feel like we belong.
So God helps us to legitimately fulfill, rather than suppress, those underlying, core needs of our homosexuality: A need not for sex or romance with other men, but for brotherly love; for male community; for self-acceptance and affirmation, as a man among men.
More simply put, you'll find that change is made possible...
...by healing buried pain,
...by authentically meeting our core needs for love, acceptance and masculinity,
...and by surrendering the rest to God.
At a group-based web site called, People Can Change, the many men there who share with and encourage one another about the ways they have experienced change, call this process, "a M.A.N.S. Journey," which is...
...a journey of masculine connection
...of rigorous authenticity
...of genuine need fulfillment
...and of courageous surrender.
And that's also how you change! It's through practical, daily application of these principles into your life, all of which are godly and biblical in their nature. And just as it is God who forgives all of our sin, so also it is God himself who gives us the actual grace and ability to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to him. All of it is from God, and all of it is ultimately for his own glory! And that is why He helps us in the actual "doing" and "living" part, as well. So, why wouldn't God help us! To neglect us would be to counteract His own heavenly desires for the human race. All of it is so that our changed lives here on Earth might bring glory to God, through our faith in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ.
For the women who may be reading this chapter, in similar ways, God also sees every one of the broken, inward needs that a soul-damaged woman has sexualized into her lesbian behaviors. And those inward feminine needs also have nothing at all to do with the sex itself. So I encourage you to also apply these same principles toward your unwanted lesbian behaviors, and you'll find that they will work just as well for you in your own situations.
So now, let's address a legitimate question that many of you will have: What will "change" look like when it comes? And is "complete change" actually possible?
"Change," of course, will mean different things to different people. But what your first primary focus should be, especially as a Christian, is to see an inward heart-change. This is something that will be quite easy for you to detect, early on in your relationship with Jesus Christ. You will know in your own heart that your views, attitudes and understanding of homosexual behaviors are drastically changing, to reflect more and more of a Christ-centered opinion and position. A change of behaviors has to come from a change of heart!
Then, a change of behavior will occur gradually, over time, as you learn legitimate and godly methods of fulfilling the real inward needs that you have, knowing that they are actually needs for something different than homosexual sex. Change of behavior is a re-learning process that transforms your mind to be able to processes your real need in non-sexual ways. And it is often accomplished through making deliberate choices, in spite of many lingering and familiar feelings that will try and pull you back toward the comfort and familiarity of your homosexual habits. So, change of behavior will manifest itself through a reduction of your addictive, homosexual patterns.
I believe that the overall level of change that each person will eventually experience, will depend mostly upon their own increasing ability to recognize and differentiate between those legitimate desires they do have for fulfillment, and the ways that they have sexualized each of those desires... To acknowledge the real desire for what it is, while learning to avoid the addictive habit of seeking fulfillment in a sexual way. Being able to differentiate the truth of our actual need, from that of our own distorted emotions, is a power of God's grace inside of you, rather than a power of your own self-will. But God's grace has been freely deposited into the heart of every believer in Jesus Christ. And our belief in Jesus Christ equates to having faith in God, and in the promises He's given to us. And we all know that, "without faith, it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6).
As your thoughts begin to change, you will probably still find other guys "attractive" to you, but hopefully not so much for sexualized reasons any longer. In other words, you will likely still notice, admire, and appreciate all of those traits and qualities in another man which you've felt inadequate about within yourself. But you'll know in your heart not to covet after such things with a sexualized lust toward him... things like confidence, good looks, his physical masculinity itself, his strong character, or his good heart. And there will be an ever-increasing awareness that such things could never be gained sexually, anyway.
And in the grace of knowing this truth in your heart, that same grace of God will help you to begin to see legitimate, non-sexual ways of finding and accomplishing the legitimate fulfillment for such desires. A very big part of that process may actually be a newfound appreciation of yourself for those qualities you have been blessed with, but have continually overlooked or become blinded to, because of your constant preoccupation with your faults and weaknesses. But again, all of this is from God, and it's all for His glory!
With change, you will indeed see your sex drive for homosexual encounters diminish, and eventually stop all together, over time. But, to some degree, you will probably also live with an inward awareness that this is your "weak area" of temptation. Therefore you will still be susceptible to your weaknesses at times, especially during times of depression or loneliness, much like the alcoholic would remain susceptible to the habit of drowning his loneliness and depression in the alcohol. So you will need to remain somewhat "guarded" during those times. But you will also learn to recognize when those times come so that you are more readily able to guard yourself from a fall, and thereby also remain more relaxed during less susceptible periods of your life.
And you will, at times, still experience all of the "urges" that you use to sexualize... all of the same desires to be validated, to be noticed, to be appreciated, to be loved, to be the hero, to follow through, indeed, to be a "man." But again, you will learn to have far less insecurities about such things, and to not use sex as your means of seeking them out. Instead, you will learn to emulate such behavior as you see it in other men, and as you begin to interact more often, openly, and normally with other heterosexual men.
Simply put, "change" is a life-long, progressive, and continual process. Each individual person sets their own pace, and that pace may quicken, become steady, or even slow down at times, as other events also impact your life. Yet, throughout every person's journey toward change, God will remain right there beside you, all the way through it, if you choose to allow him to be.
What About Therapy?
There was no "formal therapy" involved here, except for the spiritual renewal that I experienced while learning how to completely trust in God, mostly on my own. I had to learn that He could be trusted to take care of me, and to lead me all the way through this mess I had created for myself... and He can be trusted, my friend!
Yet that is not to suggest or imply that we don't need someone else to talk to for human companionship, or that I would not have greatly benefited by seeking out a professional, Christian therapist or psychologist, in my own situation. Because there were many times that I desperately wished that I had that "someone" to confide in... a trusted shoulder to cry on. But I was a person who was afraid to reach out for that kind of help.
So I am encouraging those of you who are reading this, if you desire to turn away from your homosexual behaviors, not to make that journey alone like I did. I'm not saying that every one of us needs "formal therapy" to get through it, because I do believe that God can become all the "therapy" that we will ever actually need, if we really do trust him. But we all also need someone to talk to and confide in, while we make this journey. So trust in God without ever looking back, yes... but also find a close friend to lean on, through it (and some professional help too, if you think you may need that as well).
Faith, Grace, Individual Choices, and Mercy
The one key that unlocks the true freedom that we are all looking for in this journey, is our own individual level of faith. If you can trust and believe that it is God's sincere desire for you to be made into a healthy and whole person, not just sexually, but mentally, emotionally, and in every other aspect of your life as well, then this journey will become much easier to you. Because that is not only God's sincerest desire for us, but it is also what God has paid such a high price for on our behalf, by giving the life of his own Son. And by his grace, it's also what God has given every believer in Jesus Christ the freedom and complete ability to become.
This part may sound like petty semantics, but it is important that you understand that the way in which we must obtain any spiritual goal is through faith (by simply believing God), rather than through our human effort. So, don't make the same mistake that I did at first, in "trying" to be heterosexual. It doesn't work! But rather, simply believe and trust in God's promise that says that you have been delivered from homosexuality, as a believer in Jesus Christ! It's just like the Apostle Paul also admonished the Christian believers in Galatia:
"You foolish Galatians!... I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law [the law that calls homosexuality a sin], or because you believe what you heard [the Gospel message that you have been set free from homosexuality through Jesus Christ]?"
Galatians 3:1-5, NIV ©1984 (additional wording for emphasis - mine)
As a human being, God created you with freedom of choice. The Bible explains that we make many of the wrong choices we make, because it is an unyielding part of our fallen, human nature to do so. This actually identifies the sense of helplessness that is so often expressed by persons who argue that they can't control their sexual passions toward other persons of their same gender. In fact, the Bible actually expresses this human tendency toward sin as a condition of "slavery" to sin.
As I said before, in the Bible, we are told that it is impossible to please God without faith. Because anyone who comes to God must first believe that he exists, and that he is the "rewarder" of those who diligently seek relationship with him. So, if fear is an expectation of something dreadful, then faith is the exact opposite of fear. Faith is the expectation of something hoped for. And because God himself is "faithful", God's hope does not disappoint us!
It's by "faith" that we approach God to receive the free gift of salvation that he offers to us, through the sinless life, death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus. We make a choice either to receive that gift by believing in it, or to reject it by choosing not to believe. But within the "washing and rebirth" experience that comes to a person when the individual choice to believe is made, God's grace then enters the picture, where there once was none.
Grace can mean many different things, to many different people. But what does the Bible actually say about it? Most people understand that grace offers us an unearned and unmerited favor with God, which we did not have before we believed in his Son. In fact, it's that kind of grace that God extends to us, in order for us to be able to have any hope of salvation at all, while we were still in our sinful condition, before a person ever calls upon the name of Jesus Christ.
But the fullness of God's grace that we then receive through knowing Christ in our daily relationship and interactions with him, also offers us an additional choice that, as I said above, we were incapable of making because of our fallen, human nature, before we had believed in Christ.
According to the Bible, grace is what also gives us the power and the ability to "crucify" our sinful nature, and say, "No" to the ungodliness and sin that often tempts us in this life. And it's grace that gives us the Christ-like self control it takes to actually follow through in denying the pleasures of sin to "self."
But just as it took faith to believe in Jesus for salvation, so also it takes faith to believe in the power of self control that God's grace gives to us, along with that salvation. The Bible says that because of our relationship with Jesus Christ, we are no longer "slaves" to sin. Unlike the person who was once held captive to the relentless demands of your homosexual desires and passions, the person who receives salvation in Jesus Christ now has a freedom of choice to say "No" to those homosexual behaviors. In other words, homosexual passion itself no longer has the power to simply rape you whenever it comes to tempt you! As a believer in Christ, "you" are the one with the power and control over "self" now, and it is God's grace that gives you that power.
Freedom of choice is a gift that God gave to each and every one of us, through life itself. But grace (the power to make the right choice) is something that Satan stole away from the human race, through the sinful choice that mankind made, back in the Garden of Eden. Through the gift of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, God has given grace back to those who have believed.
So God calls every believer to trust him, and to endure. To endure is the part that we don't like, because it causes us to become very uncomfortable when old homosexual feelings, responses, and habits fight against the new motivation we have in pursuing Christ and his desire that we'd become free from the sin and control of homosexuality. And then many of us loose heart and become discouraged, because we wanted or expected an instant change. And God never promised that!
But the Bible does assure us that this "testing of our faith" develops the perseverance we lack, and so "perseverance must be allowed to finish its work in us," so that we may be "mature and complete, not lacking anything" in our Christian life or ability. (James 1:3-4)
So, we are all called to endure the discomforts that will sometimes become a daily part of this journey. It's all a part of the spiritual maturing process. But it is also a process that God promises to go through with each one of us.
But what if a person sins again... what then? We know that just as Satan deceived mankind back in the Garden, by making a sinful choice seem enticing to us, so Satan continues to entice us with sin's temptation today. Becoming a believer in Jesus Christ does not change that fact, and sin will still seem to be enticing, in many ways, to the fallen human nature that is still very much a part of our physical being, even after becoming a believer in Jesus Christ. Grace gives us the all-sufficient empowerment of God to make the right choice once again, but grace won't make that choice for us. God has made us able, and so we have to do that part. And then, God's mercy is also made available if we fail even in that. In fact, God's mercy is brand new, each and every morning of a believer's life! It's not there as a loop-hole, so that a believer in Jesus Christ should ever remain in slavery to their sinful behavior. But mercy is provided by our loving God, so that we always have the means to return to him if, in our own human weakness, we do fall to sin's deceptive temptation again, after becoming a believer.
Our obligation is to God, and not to sin any longer. And so we must be willing to make the choice to be obedient, having faith that God has given us the ability to do so, through our belief in Jesus Christ.
Biblical holiness is what we're called to in life. But it's not some far away, or distant and unreachable thing. It is simply a series of right choices. You're being "holy" when you choose not to sin. And if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then you are free from the power
"For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good."
"We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
"Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."
2nd Peter 1:2-4
Don't Deny What You Feel, but Recognize What You Actually Desire!
I can't say it enough! This is really not a journey out of homosexuality, as much as it is a journey of discovering "who" God calls and enables you to be, through your faith and belief in his Son, Jesus Christ; and then actually choosing to "be" that newly created person. Even as a true Christian believer, you still can't "be" that person by your own strength. But you choose to be that person by having faith in God, and knowing by faith that it is only His grace that empowers you to do so. Grace is a spiritual empowerment that God gives to us, simply by believing in a promise that God has made to us.
The things that we allow (or don't allow) to come out of our mouths are also very crucial to our faith and believing. If we consistently verbalize our unbelief, by saying things like, "I just can't break free of these homosexual lusts," or "I'm not strong enough to do this," then that is what you will continue to experience. But if you verbalize what you believe by faith (because God has promised it to you), then you will have what you say, when you say, "God has freed me from slavery to homosexuality! I am no longer a homosexual… I Am a Child of God!"
This freedom and obedience that comes from our faith, does not deny the sometimes difficult realities of those familiar homosexual feelings and temptations. But what it does do is that it allows us to look at those temptations more honestly and truthfully, as the Holy Spirit living inside of us also encourages, and gives us a renewed inward strength. This new strength is not just a means to resist those familiar temptations, but it is also a determination to seek after the highly prized inward peace, that can only come through finding genuine brotherhood, friendship, and spiritual connection, with another brother who loves you just as deeply from his own heart. Because, rather you can see clearly enough yet to admit it to yourself at this point, that is exactly what you've been looking for through homosexual sex. And if you are completely honest with yourself right now, you'll also admit to yourself that you still haven't found it there. In fact, homosexual sex is actually robbing you of the peace that you're looking for, because of the deep guilt and inward shame that sin always brings with it, immediately after the sensual enjoyment is gone.
So, my friends, you are the only person who can ever really stand in the way of you walking into this freedom from your own homosexual behaviors, which God has already provided to you through your faith and belief in Jesus Christ, and through the power and strength of God himself, who comes to live inside the heart of each and every believer, through the person of the Holy Spirit. The change process itself is much more a journey of learning to simply receive these things into your heart as truths, rather than a work of trying to obtain or achieve them as attributes. But with God himself living on the inside of you, how could you possibly fail! Therefore, choose to be "free" through your faith in Jesus Christ, and you are free! So your part as a believer is to simply begin acting like it; doing so one day at a time, with one good choice at a time, every time.
If you are ready to pray and ask Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your life, but you are not sure how, I have included a prayer that you can say, in the final chapter of this book.
Dealing With Homosexual Temptations as a Believer
The Apostle Paul, Romans 7:18-21
"My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world."
The Apostle John, 1st John 2:1-2
Please realize this from the very start: Temptation is a very real enemy to every believer's individual journey toward God, and to their journey away from enslavement to sinful behaviors like homosexuality.
When God delivers us (sets us free) from homosexuality's control over our life, he does not deliver us out of this world's environment, or away from its lure and temptations toward homosexual sin and behaviors. In fact, no person escapes this world's temptations toward any kind of sin, just because they become a Christian believer. And men are very visually-oriented beings, where our sexuality is involved. And so our temptations will always be right here with us, in our own, every-day human environments.
What God does give us, however, is the power to make righteous decisions, with regard to our sexual purity. But the daily temptations toward sin will remain. And so this is sometimes a very frustrating and difficult, day-by-day battle that takes time, commitment, and steadfast determination to gain the victory in. It will be very challenging to you at first, but don't allow that to discourage you! Find yourself a support network of good, reliable Christian friends to confide in and be accountable to, who will help you through those tough times that you will encounter.
In the first set of verses above, taken from his letter to the believers in Rome, it is plain to see that even the Apostle Paul struggled with temptation and sin. So, as a Christian, please don't ever fall into Satan's trap of discouragement, by having a false expectation that you won't ever be tempted toward sinning again in your areas of weakness, or that your salvation demands any kind of insusceptibility to human temptations. But instead, realize as Paul did that You are no longer defined by your sins, and that the temptations you face are not to define who you are as a believer in Jesus Christ. Instead, allow Jesus to define who you are, and believe what God's Scripture says about you as a believer, in spite of the temptations that will still come to assault you.
The freedom God gives us, to choose to deny our self of the pleasures of homosexual sin, is an obedience that is learned through our faith relationship with God, over time, both in and out of temptation. It is this concept of Christianity that causes many homosexuals to reason that God does not free people at all from homosexuality. Their wrong reasoning believes that because they still experience the temptations, that they are not truly delivered from homosexuality's control. And so they abandon their faith that started out believing in God's promise, without ever exercising the faith it takes to actually walk into that freedom and grace. In other words, they expect for God to do it all, instead of trusting that God has given them all the power that they need to accomplish and complete their journey, by faith. But holding on to our faith will always be our part in all of this, because God also desires our belief and trust:
"When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death... Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says! Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do... What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?... In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."
James 1:13 - 2:17 (paraphrased)
"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."
You'll have to see this journey, at least initially, as a commitment to engage yourself in spiritual battle. So, buckle your chin-strap! And I'll share some biblical strategies with you on just how a person begins to practice this discipline of faith through obedience, and of fighting off temptations.
Sexual Temptations & Redeeming Our Sexuality:
"Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body."
1st Corinthians 6:18 (emphasis mine)
Sexual sin, especially for men, is a whole different level of temptation. It brings with it an often intense longing to be satisfied. Therefore, as the Scripture indicates above, there is no shame in running to escape from such temptations, rather than trying to face them down. If you are able to do so, then completely remove yourself from the tempting environment, in other words. And the most effective way of doing that is by actually choosing something else over the temptation, rather than just trying to struggle with it, or resist it.
And it is not difficult to figure out "where" and "what" and even with "whom" your most tempting environments are. So make a determined decision to stay far, far away from those sorts of people, places, and things, and never compromise that decision. You have to choose to protect your own self from temptation environments, because no one else is going to do that for you!
"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."
As this Scripture directly above indicates, one effective strategy of fleeing from sexual sin is to purposefully begin to focus your mind and your thoughts onto other activities and things. But don't wait until a temptation comes to begin training your mind to function in this manner. Instead, be proactive! Because, when your mind becomes idle, that's when temptations can most easily creep in. So, try memorizing a favorite passage of Scripture. Or, as I also did, try focusing your frustrations and emotions into poetry writing, especially if you don't have someone close by to confide in. Poetry writing, believe it or not, is both challenging and time consuming. And so it is a good outlet to use to focus your mind away from sexual temptations, even before they come.
"The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ."
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you."
Like the Bible also says, "those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." But if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then the Spirit of God is living on the inside of your heart! "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature."
Therefore, find something, anything that is good, that can serve to occupy your thoughts and your free time. And then actually go and do that good thing, instead of simply allowing your mind or your time to remain unoccupied by something good. Again, be proactive in this! It will keep your mind away from those tempting thoughts. And it will train your mind to think about other things when a temptation does come at you.
Of course, the most important thing you must feed your mind with, in order to see a biblical transformation begin to take place, is the truth found in the Word of God itself! How can our minds ever begin to think the way that Jesus thinks, if we don't deposit his thoughts into our minds first, through daily reading and meditating on God's Word? We can't! So, if you don't already have a daily regiment and discipline of Bible reading taking place in your life, then it is time to make that change today. You'll never be successful at resisting homosexual temptations without having the truth of God's living Word, active and present within your daily thoughts, to always fall back on.
"So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light... clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh!"
Romans 13:12 & 14
You'll soon realize that in Christ, a believer is no longer helpless to be able to choose good over evil. In fact, God empowers every believer to be able to do so. A believer is no longer a "slave" to sin!
"For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."
2nd Corinthians 1:20-22
Another spiritual tactic that works well to strengthen yourself and overcome temptations, is biblical fasting. Biblical fasting is denying nourishment to your flesh, while focusing on God to bring glory and honor to him, and to bring nourishment to your own spirit inside of you, so that your spirit has more influence over your soul than your flesh does. And it works! (Read the Book of Isaiah, chapter 58, to learn the biblical principles of fasting).
The practical side of fasting is that if you deny your flesh of its physical food, and drink only water, you will experience hunger pangs that will usually begin to dominate any sexual temptations within your flesh. I have fasted this way for 1, 3, or even 7 days in a row before, when God inspired me to do so. But the spiritual side of fasting must be followed as well. It is not a time to focus on self, but a time to focus on God. So, spend the time you normally would at meals and such, either praying or reading the Bible, instead. Or go out and do that good deed for someone that you have been feeling a tug in your heart to go and do. Just keep your heart focused on God while fasting, and to the greatest extent possible, keep the fact that you are fasting just between you and God. I encourage you to at least try a 24-hour fast, if you have never done so before, and see how God strengthens your spirit-man during that time. And also take notice of how your other temptations also diminish.
During a biblical fast, you are taking back control from your flesh, and giving it back to your spirit. And biblical fasting can break the cycle and addictive control that any sexual sin has over you, such as masturbation, pornography, or even homosexual cruising and one-night stands. The key is to press into God during your fasting, remain in the fast until you sense in your spirit that God is allowing you to end it, and then remain close to God after the fast is over.
One more important Health Note: You should always increase your normal water intake while fasting, and also seek the advice of your doctor first if you are not in good health. And when you end your fast, eat your first meal in light moderation, rather than over-indulging.
In the beginning, most of my own encounters with temptation were from the many mental images, memories, habits, and in craving the unlasting, empty excitement, and false comfort I had come to depend so much upon, during homosexual activity or pornography viewing. And all of these things left their psychological and emotional scars on my soul, through experiencing this orientation. And the temptations were usually always accompanied and intensified by my feelings of insecurity and inferiority.
That is why we also have to learn to have a healthy love and appreciation toward ourselves through all of this, and not measure our self-worth through how well we deal with temptation. Always realize that our self-worth is measured by Christ's sacrifice, and by his unending love for us! And be aware that one of Satan's best tactics is to try and make us feel discouraged and down on ourselves, when we fail at resisting temptation. "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1st Peter 5:8). But God wants us to have a healthy love and appreciation toward ourselves, because we are only able to love and appreciate other people to the same level that we are able to love and appreciate ourselves.
What we have to do is to learn to allow grace to step in, so it can empower us to change the things that we are powerless to do or to change on our own. And, "where sin increased, grace increased all the more!" (Romans 5:20). Does this mean that we should just give in to sin so that grace may increase? Of course not! It means that we are not to get discouraged if we fail, because there is plenty of grace and mercy to get back up, ask for God's forgiveness, and move forward again on this journey with him.
Once I recognized and admitted my own inability to God in my weak areas of temptation, and asked him for his grace to overcome each one, then I discovered that God's grace would rise up right there on the inside of me, and I'd find the strength I needed to be able to choose to glorify God, by choosing something other than the temptation. So it is through faith and humility, during the times of our inabilty and weakness, that we will find the most power is made available to us by God. Because, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6, NIV ©1984).
God himself declared, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. And that is God's sure promise! (2nd Corinthians 12:9-10). Therefore,
"continue to work out your salvation with [reverent] fear and trembling (with a humble acknowledgement of your own vulnerability, and a faithful dependence upon God's grace), for it is God [himself] who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose."
Philippians 2:12-13 (clarifications mine)
Friends, we couldn't save ourselves... God saves us! And grace is the substance and power of God Almighty that makes us new, in very the moment that we invite Jesus Christ to become our Lord and Savior. But we can't keep ourselves saved, either... God must do that part too! And what many Christians fail to realize (and what our modern day church leaders have, by and large, failed to teach us) is that his grace is also the substance and power of God Almighty that keeps us saved, and works his salvation in us by faith!
We joyfully believed and received the message of the Gospel, and followed the instruction that the Apostle Paul gave us, to confess with our mouth, the Lord Jesus, and believe in our heart that God has raised him from the dead, so that we would be saved (Romans 10:9-13). But then we completely overlook Paul's instructions to continue living in Christ, in the exact same way that we first received him into our hearts as Lord; which is to live our daily lives in Christ, through the same kind of faith-believing, and by continuing to confess God's Word with our mouth. (Colossians 2:6).
So, let's compare the way most of us are trying to live our lives as Christians today, with the mighty workings of God's grace that we read about in the Book of Acts, among the first Christian believers. By comparison, the Church we see today is in sharp contrast to the early Church that we read about in the Book of Acts. We are not operating in the same power and grace of God that they did, because we have lost our faith in that very same grace that is still available to each of us, still today! "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8).
In fact, you might be amazed to learn that we (the corporate modern day Church of Jesus Christ) are supposed to be doing even greater works than Jesus himself did:
"Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father."
Jesus Christ himself speaking - John 14:12
So, why aren't we doing and seeing those greater things? The flaw is not with God, but with our own believing! When you get way from westernized Christianity, and go to remote places in the world where people are simply believing God's promises by faith, you will still see God's power working among those believers through miracles and wonders, because of their great faith. And it's not that their faith is of any greater measure than ours is. It is that they are operating by faith, and living their daily lives by faith, while we here in the Americas and in Europe (by and large) are not!
"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you."
Romans 12:3 (emphasis mine)
This verse tells us to think soberly of ourselves (with clarity of thought, influenced by biblical truth). In other words, don't think more lowly of yourselves than you ought to either! As a believer in Jesus Christ, you are a Child of the King of all creation!
"Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God."
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."
1st Peter 2:9-10
The Airplane Analogy:
I'm going to borrow an analogy from John Bevere's book, Extraordinary. Being a pilot myself, I thought it was an excellent parable for beginning to understand what Scripture is actually telling us, when it speaks of living our lives by faith, and in God's grace.
We are all familiar with the natural law of gravity that God has placed within this Earth. The law of gravity forces things back down to the Earth's surface. If a person was unfamiliar with the law of gravity, they would have a rude introduction to it the very first time they stepped off of a ledge, expecting to remain at their current height above the Earth below them. Because gravity is always going to work, rather we believe in it or not.
But there is also a dynamic law in the Earth that is called the law of lift. Dictionary.com defines the word "dynamic" to mean, "pertaining to or characterized by energy or effective action; vigorously active or forceful; energetic." And all you have to do to see the evidence of this dynamic law being applied, is to look overhead at an airplane, as it flies across the sky.
The law of gravity does not cease to exist while the law of lift is being applied. The law of lift simply overcomes the law of gravity, while it is being applied! But if the jet fuel that feeds those jet engines was to stop flowing, then the jet engines of our airplane would stop working. The airplane may be able to glide on its own for some distance after the engines quit, but the law of gravity would indeed take over again, and bring the airplane back down to the Earth... sometimes catastrophically!
Likewise, our own thinking and ability is a natural and human way of dealing with our temptations and sin. But our faith and God's grace are a supernatural and dynamic way of dealing with our temptations and sin.
So, our faith is like the jet fuel that feeds those jet engines. And the jet engines themselves represent God's grace. Because, God's grace will only overcome our natural abilities when we have the faith to believe that it will! And this is how grace works on our behalf... It works by overcoming our own natural abilities and human limitations, through our faith in God's Word and his promises. As long as we have faith, then we will find the grace we need to overcome all temptation. But if our faith stops flowing, then we will succumb to the temptations we face... and sometimes catastrophically.
If that happens, then God has given us another provision, called Mercy. And God's mercy is new every single morning! But it is better by far to operate in God's grace, knowing that God's mercy is always there to catch us if we fall, as we determine by faith, not to fall.
Know and believe that God's grace is freely available to you as a believer in Jesus Christ, in every temptation you face. It does not matter how well or poorly you may have come through the last temptation you faced, or even what sin it is that you are struggling to overcome. It doesn't even matter how well you think that you are doing at fitting the mold of a true "Christian." The availability of God's grace to you is not based upon any of that! The availability of God's grace to you is based upon one thing, and one thing alone... Your faith! God simply wants us to believe that his word is true, and to trust that he will do something, simply because he said it. He desires to be trusted, and not doubted.
If you can learn to use your faith for living, in the same way you used it to receive Jesus Christ as Lord, then you will be well on your way to dealing with homosexual temptations as a Christian believer. And not just the homosexual temptations, but you'll deal effectively and victoriously with every other temptation that you face, as well. May God open your eyes to see His Grace!
Homoerotophobia & Touch Deprivation ~ Contributing Factors
This socially and culturally-based (and not so irrational) fear of being labeled, "gay," is most common among the males in western cultures, and it has become especially noticeable today within our American culture and society. It has had a crippling effect upon the men in our culture, within our basic human need to express, give and receive godly, physical affection among one another. In other words, there exists a rational fear today, specifically because of increasingly unrestrained homosexual behaviors, that any form of physical affection between men may run the risk of being labeled as homosexual or homoerotic in some way. And so it has resulted in a growing reluctance among heterosexual men to express any godly form of physical affection at all toward one another. Because of this trend, many men have grown up in our society craving male affection. This certainly doesn't mean that any of these men are "gay." But the stigma of the "gay" label is still there, and consciously avoided, nonetheless.
Open homosexuality in our society has created an environment wherein some men may worry about being perceived as being "gay," or may actually come to believe that they are homosexual, when all they are craving is for normal, non-sexual male affection. And there is evidence that some of them have then turned to homosexual experimentation, in order to find that affection or get it back.
So, not only was this trend first brought about by open homosexuality, but can you see how it can also self-perpetuate its effect to come full circle, so that it also becomes a contributing factor toward the increasing prevalence of those very same homosexual behaviors in our society, which were responsible for bringing about the stigma in the first place? The way it works is that open homosexuality creates a stigma; the stigma fosters an environment of caution and fear among men toward their physical interactions; the reluctance of male affection among men causes many of us to crave it; and that craving for affection is then misinterpreted by some of those men to be a sign of homosexuality that they'll eventually act upon in a sexual way; and more homosexual behavior among men is then one of the sexually-confused results. And so, the trend repeats itself.
Because of this trend, and also because of the many others that I bring to light throughout this book, homosexuality is indeed becoming more and more prevalent in American society today. And since the addition of this self-proclaimed, "gay" identity among those who practice the behavior, self-identifying as "straight" has subsequently also become an identity that people claim. But "straight" is an identity which is often mentioned in a defensive, rather than in a self-defining manner. In other words, saying, "I'm straight," especially among men, is often a response back toward homosexuality that is not intended to say, "I'm heterosexual," in so much as it is really intended to say, "I'm not gay!"
My theory (which is based upon my own, well-traveled observations) is really quite simple: There is a direct correlation between the increasing prevalence of open homosexuality within a culture, and the decreasing level of healthy, non-sexual affection that remains outwardly visible among the heterosexual men of that same culture.
Open homosexuality causes the heterosexual men of a culture to begin to be more cautious about being openly affectionate toward one another, because of their growing concerns that their affections toward each other may become misconstrued by other men within their society to be "gay". But in cultures where there is still a common and outward, public display of non-sexual affection between the males of that region, then the prevalence of "open" homosexuality is usually non-existent. And where homosexuality does exist in those cultures, it is still rightfully considered a shameful behavior, and thus it is kept hidden and more removed from public view and awareness.
South Korea is one example of a very, male-dominant society. But in contradiction to our American society, there are two extremely noteworthy things to mention about the men of South Korea: One is that the percentage of homosexuals in that society is much lower; and second is the fact that the men there openly express physical affection for one another, throughout their society! It is not at all abnormal there, to observe two, heterosexual men, walking along a public street, holding hands, or to see one with his arm around the other's neck and shoulders. Young and old alike, their men grow up knowing open affection among one another. And arguably, this is one of the things that has, in turn, contributed to a much lower homosexual population in South Korea. In fact, most of the homosexuals in South Korea are foreigners to that society, who grew up some place else!
"Longing to be cared for or to feel close to other men does not make you gay or homosexual at all. Whether it's hugging, wrapping your arms around your friends, or even embracing each other, there is nothing odd or strange about it, except to this very sad and shallow culture.
Do you like to hug, embrace, or hold other men? You're not alone, and you're not gay! While society, along with the gay agenda, may say otherwise, these things were once "allowed" in our culture, and looked at as normal. In other countries, it's extremely common to see members of the same sex embracing each other, whereas in America and some other countries, this kind of behavior would automatically be labeled as "gay."
It's very fascinating as well that in these countries that do accept this kind of behavior as normal, based on observations, the gay and lesbian population is much lower as well."
I've heard what amounts to basically the same story from several different men over the years, in passing conversation, when topics of this nature come up. They recount a story of when they were boys, and they had innocently held hands with another boy who was one of their friends. And then their dad or some other male adult sees this, and tells the boys, "Stop that! Boys don't hold hands! You don't want to be called a 'sissy' do you?" And so the affection stops from that moment on, and friends of the same gender keep each other at an "acceptable" distance to avoid the labels and name calling. And later, when many of us desire such affection again, then we believe that there must be something wrong with us for desiring to be affectionate and closer to our friends. And tragically, the only explanation our society now offers to these impressionable and somewhat confused young men is, "You're probably gay. Why don't you give it a try, and find out for sure?" And so our society has attached a completely innocent desire together with the perverse behaviors associated with homosexuality itself, and the line that use to so clearly separate the two has been erased.
Homosexuality can indeed be learned in such situations. Because men sometimes turn to any number of different sexual behaviors to try and satisfy their underlying needs. And when homosexual behavior seems to satisfy the emptiness they've felt, then it becomes sexually addictive.
Although none of these sources are written from a Christian perspective, it is quite clear from the evidence of the photographs themselves, that heterosexual men in America once interacted quite differently with one another... displaying an innocent and often physical affection for each other that is practically unthinkable today. But then this innocent behavior suddenly begins to disappear from the photographic record, around the late 1950's. This was, of course, the period just prior to the "sexual revolution" of the 1960's, and the beginnings of the radical, homosexual movement in America that came along with it. So it is no coincidence to me that the photographs show us that heterosexual men began to fear being affectionate with each other, right around the same time that homosexuality began to be an issue in America that people were becoming more and more aware of. And this is but one example of how any campaign to legalize and normalize a perversion will only serve to damage us all.
Now, homosexual activists will try to use older photos, such as the ones in these books, to contend that homosexuality has been "prevalent" in America for a long time. But there is zero evidence to suggest that any of the men in these photos were homosexual, since the overwhelming percentage of all older photos seem to show American men being more affectionate in front of the camera, prior to the 1960's. But then, many of the other assertions used to try to support their activism are borderline to ridiculous, as well.
Nonetheless, just as he has also done with so much of what God originally created to be "holy," Satan has also succeeded in deceiving the human race into perverting our affections toward one another, as well. But I believe the men in the Bible often greeted one another with "a holy kiss," because God originally intended such affection to be both masculine and strengthening to us, as men. Therefore, American society would also certainly benefit from a restoration of this godly, physical affection between men, without us having to fear what others may think of us, or name-calling, or the labels that we, as men, seem to fear. Granted, there is a sexual line that must not be crossed. But don't we realize that already, without having to be fearful of it, or intimidated by homosexual accusations?
When I first noticed it, interaction like this seemed so mysterious to me, that I even found myself day-dreaming about it on more than one occasion, trying to imagine myself living back there in that era and time... "What would it be like," I wondered to myself? As I looked at those photos, I guess I'd been hoping that somewhere there might still be other "normal" guys out there, who I'd eventually find and befriend (or who would befriend me), who also desired to find and experience the closeness of a friendship in the ways it is so clearly evidenced in these candid old photographs; in the way I imagine that it probably once was between the "real men" of that day. But for now, it seems that this kind of quality interaction within male friendships will continue to remain a substance of our relationships that was mostly abandoned to another, more innocent time. At least this certainly seems to be the case in our American culture. But I also believe that awareness is half of the battle in returning again to the way things once were.
Seeing the loss of that kind of interaction among non-gay men saddens me deeply. And I'd argue the point that this change in male behavior took place for the exact same reason that it is mostly prevented from returning today: That being because of our own reformed, and now somewhat distorted attitudes toward male interaction, relationships, and intimacy, within this wake of open homosexual behavior and activism that has been steadily pervading our society during this time, and in our own defensive unwillingness to become associated with the "gay movement."
Perhaps I am more keenly aware of the differences in male interaction from place to place, because of the paths I have walked going into, and coming back out of homosexual behaviors, myself. But, as I mentioned above, there are some places I've visited in the world, where I have observed that the heterosexual men of those cultures are still far less reserved about their public displays of physical affection toward one another. In addition to seeing these closer interactions among the men of South Korea and other Asian cultures, I have also observed it among the men of Arabian and middle-eastern cultures, and in at least one European country as well. And while I'd often notice it and become somewhat envious of the physical interactions those men freely shared within their own culture, there were other American men with me at various times, who were actually repulsed at seeing this kind of masculine affection, even though they knew that the men they were observing were not "gay". Some American men were bothered by it so much, that they even seemed to go out of their way to voice their objections to the rest of the group. But after seeing all of this for myself, it only lends more evidence to support the fact of the very negative impact that homosexuality is having upon our society, as a whole. What has taken place is that over time, our awareness of the increased freedoms and openness of homosexual behavior, has also had the negative effect of changing our perceptions of what is "normal" for male interaction, among the non-gay men of North-American cultures and society.
The irony of the situation is that many of the homosexuals who desire to turn away from their sexual behaviors have now also made the mistake of cutting themselves off completely from all forms of male affection, because they, like our society, have come to reason that even legitimate forms of non-sexual affection are "gay". But I still strongly believe that legitimate, godly affection is one of the things that absolutely must be learned again, and disassociated from what is sexually perverse in our human nature, in accordance with Scripture. I don't see how complete healing, or a life free from suppressing desires, could truly come about otherwise.
There is a completely understandable concern to want to keep one's self from falling back into unwanted sexual behaviors, through an over-amount of affection. But you may be surprised at how plenty of normal, non-sexual affection from close friends of your own gender will have just the opposite effect on you, and you'll notice and experience a decreased lust for homosexual behaviors. So I believe that accountability through a pastor, support group, or a trusted friend, together with a little common sense applied toward where, when, and with whom one shares such affection, is really the only caution that need be applied.
There are indeed legitimate, non-sexual ways for men to share physical affection between each other... Just sitting close beside one another, a hug, a non-sexual embrace, an arm around a buddy's shoulder, a father and son (or two friends) holding hands, or even the biblical example of two men greeting each other with "a holy kiss." So let us not avoid all affection for fear of what is sexually perverse, or Satan will have robbed us of our innocent affections toward one another also. And complete avoidance will only serve to contribute more to the environment of actual homosexual behavior in our society, which is mostly responsible for these phobias in the first place.
If you would like to learn more about the biblical principles of Covenant Friendship, and the personal sacrifice it takes to pursue this kind of a relationship, then you should consider visiting my additional article on this subject, by clicking on the link within this paragraph.
This topic will seem somewhat similar to homoerotophobia. But the difference is that touch deprivation involves a situation where touch has been or is being withheld, as opposed to a situation wherein the touching is feared to be erotic in some way.
Touch has been scientifically and medically proven to be an integral part of our physical and emotional health and well being. It is also known to be a multiplying factor in the healing from many sicknesses, injuries and also from severe depression. And the necessity for it has even been observed among certain species of animals. And so it is no coincidence that prolonged deprivation from meaningful human touch can have a profoundly negative impact upon a person, in more ways than one.
In a book that he simply entitled, "Touching," author, Ashley Montagu, writes, "The communications we transmit through touch constitute the most powerful means of establishing human relationships, [which are] the foundation of experience." In fact, one of the most commonly cited risk factors for violence in American youth is early neglect and abuse. And in many studies, aggression and antisocial behavior problems have been found in neglected or abused children and adolescents. These behaviors become barriers to friendships and healthy relationships, and thereby also tend to feed one's proclivity toward homosexual behaviors.
The most common trend I've seen in many of the men I've spoken to who've experienced SSA, is that they never received the meaningful touching and physical affection that can come from being in a healthy relationship with one's father and/or peers. Likewise too, some of the women who have spoken to me about their SSA issues have also mentioned similar voids within the relationships that they experienced with their mothers.
Some men seem to develop an unquenchable and addictive need to touch others sexually, or to be touched by others sexually, because their cravings for touch have become so intense after being deprived of it for so long. And touch deprivation issues often become exacerbated when emotional or sexual abuse lurks in the background of the individual.
For those who were sexually abused, intimacy stimulates painful memories. So in order to avoid emotional intimacy, many people seek physical gratification through anonymous sexual encounters, instead of within committed and healthy relationships and/or friendships (this is a very common practice among homosexual men).
Other people who have been deprived of touch have reacted to it by developing a pattern of defensive detachment (holding people and relationships at a distance in order to protect one's self from being hurt by them). But this, of course, also only further complicates the touch deprivation issue. Defensive detachment often leads men through a repeating cycle, with periods of over-indulgence, followed by periods of guilt and shame (another common trend among men who engage in anonymous, homosexual behavior).
Men who experience guilt and shame over unwanted same-sex attractions, and especially those men who try to suppress their desires for affection without addressing any of the real issues that are driving their behaviors, will resist healthy, non-sexual relationships and male touch, only to eventually reach a breaking point where they over-indulge their craving for it by fulfilling it sexually. In turn, this then leads to more feelings of guilt and shame over their actions, and so they begin keeping people and relationships at a distance, and repeat the cycle all over again.
Even the idea of receiving a non-sexual hug from a man, as a sign of affection, can make many of these men feel uncomfortable in some way, when their perceptions of human touch have become so distorted, or when they have become uncomfortable with their own behaviors. Therefore, such men continue to feel more and more "touch deprived," because they continue to resist physical affection in normal relationships, in addition to all of the other unfilled emotional needs they experienced during their childhood. This is also why it is necessary for true healing and freedom from homosexual behaviors to involve a season of relearning and restoration, with regard to human interaction and meaningful human touch, as they are more commonly shared and experienced by heterosexual persons of the same gender.
Affection ~ Overcoming Westernized and Religious Thinking
And even after I began to slowly recognize that such a culturally-based wall existed, and that it was this wall that still stood in the way of my complete and true freedom as a man, it then took me several additional years to figure out how to climb over it, and land firmly on the opposite side of it, where I belong. But it was only by working my way beyond the limits of that cultural wall, that I could finally begin to experience the complete feeling of restoration that I had desired, after what had seemed by then to be such a long time trying to find my way there.
Looking at homosexuality through the eyes, thoughts and mindset of my western-born, born-again Christian, and "masculine" world viewpoints, I had many pre-conceived notions about a wide range of things that I would encounter along the way. They were things that varied from the initial mental pictures I had of what "recovery from homosexual behaviors" was actually supposed to look like, to my pre-conceived notions of what the "acceptable" and "Christian" moral limits are for male-to-male affection and intimacy.
For me personally, as a Christian-American male, the standard "church hug" between men was typically the quick and never lingering, upper-body embrace, with its reaffirming three to four "I'm not gay" slaps on each other's back or shoulders. And then, perhaps (if we really liked each other), we would follow it up with a firm handshake and a smile, in order to get past any of the remaining awkwardness. What a joke... What hypocrisy!
I knew early on that I still deeply desired to be physically affectionate with the men who were imparting genuine friendship into my life. But an unholy mixture of my own western and religious ways of thinking had led me to believe that the inward desire I still had for the male affection itself was wrong, and certainly not to be included in any part of what my complete "healing" from homosexuality was supposed to look like. And so I began to experience a great amount of guilt and frustration within the seemingly genuine desire I sensed to pursue the ways of Christ, while continuing to experience what I thought were lingering SSA issues and homosexual attractions. But I was being deceived by my own culture's inward destruction of masculine affection! I had arrived at the resistant wall of my own western-religious thinking, and I didn't even know that I'd been predisposed into thinking that way by my very own culture and surroundings.
And so, much like the Apostle Paul did, I began crying out to God, asking him to take away this "thorn" in my flesh. And just like he answered Paul, so also God answered me, "My grace is sufficient for you." So let's look deeper into what God was saying and revealing to me, through his grace.
As I was looking back on all of this, and trying to document its life-lesson for others to also learn from, I was reminded of these two specific passages of Scripture:
"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
"We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God's wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:
'What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived,'
the things God has prepared for those who love him, these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us."
1st Corinthians 2:6-12
I prayed many times, (and quite earnestly, I might add), for God to deliver me from my homosexual desires and behaviors. And I could clearly see that what I had prayed for was something that lined up with the Bible. I had prayed, "God, please deliver me from homosexuality," knowing that it is contrary to God's own character within me, because of what his own Scripture had already said so directly about it.
But what I couldn't see for years after praying this way, was that God began to answer that sincere prayer from the very moment I first prayed it! The passage from Luke, just above, gives evidence to this truth. I didn't realize it at first, because I was looking for my answer to prayer within what I thought would surely be a diminished inward desire for male affection. But that God-given desire we have for male affection has absolutely nothing at all to do with homosexual sin! It's true that homosexual sin is, in many ways, a perversion of that inward desire, yes. But it was our western culture and misguided religious thinking, rather than God or the Bible, which has somehow associated the two into being one and the same. And that distinction, my friends, is an understanding that we must all comprehend, if we are to genuinely walk into the complete deliverance and healing that God has already made available to each of us, through the new freedom that this simple understanding brings.
As the passage above, from 1st Corinthians, also indicates, it takes the Spirit of God to help us see clearly to move beyond that wall, within our westernized way of looking at how men share affection with each other. God didn't deliver me from my desire for male affection, because it is very much a part of who he created me to be, as a man. The same is true of women, with regard to their desire for feminine affection.
Once I moved past this broken and stereotypical, western way of thinking, I began to experience the freedom of sharing in non-sexual male-to-male affection, while keeping clear of the biblical lines that set that affection apart from homosexual sin and debauchery. And we do have to draw that biblical line!
In each situation, you'll have to draw a line at a place that is both comfortable for you and for the individual you are being affectionate toward, as well as it being a boundary that always remains biblically appropriate. If you can't say with an assurance of faith that comes from God's own Spirit, that what you are doing has not crossed that biblically moral line, then you've gone too far. Because any affectionate behavior toward another person that does not spring out of faith, and remain at total peace within your faith relationship with God, my friends, that affection is "sinful!" (see Romans 14:23).
For me, first it took clearly identifying where those biblically appropriate boundaries are. And then it took also searching out and finding another male friend who agreed with me about such things. I had to be willing to speak openly about such things with him, so that we could discuss them beforehand, and so that I could be honest about my desire to share a closer level of affection with him. It took admitting things like, "Hey, when I hug you, I'd like for it to linger on for just a moment in time, and not feel as though we have to let each other go so quickly, just because we're afraid of what it may look like to someone else." It took admitting, "I have grown to love you as a brother and friend, and sometimes I desire to kiss you on the cheek when I greet you or say goodbye, in order to show it." And then, of course, it took actually practicing such affection with each other, and then eventually with the other male friends I'd developed that kind of a closeness and bond toward, as well.
This was all immediately awkward to me at first, not just because of the intense sexual confusion that homosexuality itself had brought about, but also because of all the years that most of us American men have spent living within the boundaries of this very same stereotypical wall, which has also stood between us in the purest affection of our friendships. But that wall came down through the truth of God's Word, and by simply being honest and real with each other, because I was finally becoming a man who was willing to openly admit the deep desire I have for godly, non-sexual, male affection. And it was also amazing to me how very quickly that momentary awkwardness faded away, and how the shared affection started to become very comfortable and wholly fulfilling to the both of us, once we actually took that leap of faith to engage in the affection we had both desired so deeply from each other, all along.
So, in your own healing from homosexual behaviors, know that your God-given desire for male affection has been twisted and distorted into a bad sexual choice that you made, and have long since become addicted to in its sensual intoxications, within your own sexual behaviors. But you can no longer view the godly desires you will always have for male affection, through the lenses of this westernized, homosexual and erotic way of looking it. It will take time to unlearn this way of thinking about same-gender affection. But it is well worth the task of taking on that journey, in order to find complete restoration in this area of your life.
How should we share proper affection with a male friend?
I heard a peculiar thing recently, as I was listening to my car radio one afternoon, while I was on my way to a restaurant. An intentionally humorous commercial aired, and the satire in the commercial had one man requesting to give the other man in the radio add, a "man hug." My ears perked up to the commercial immediately, because that peculiar phrase caught my attention. I couldn't even tell you now what the actual commercial was selling or advertising. But the male interaction I heard in the commercial was meant to be humorous, because we often find humorous satire in truth.
Why would we call it a "man hug" when one guy wants to hug another guy? You probably already know the answer without me expounding on it to explain it, because I've already covered it in the previous chapter. We'd call it a "man hug" because we don't want it to be thought of as gay or erotic. And it is humorous to us because, deep down, we do desire to hug one another. Many straight men actually do seem to desire that kind of affectionate interaction with each other! But how should we interact affectionately with each other, as recovering homosexuals?
While individual comfort levels will certainly come into play with regard to sharing physical affection with a friend, a very simple guideline to use when determining what is godly, and what isn't, is our own waistlines. In other words, keep your expressions of physical affection above the waistline, and it's pretty much common sense that you're keeping that intimacy on a godly, non-sexual plain.
For example, if you want to hold hands, then hold hands. If you desire to wrap your arm around a friend's shoulders, then do so. If you want to sit close to each other, then sit close to each other. There is absolutely nothing wrong with two men sharing non-sexual affection with each other, as long as both men are comfortable doing so, and it doesn't cause anyone else to become unstable in their own walk of faith (consider the principle found in 1st Corinthians 8:9-13).
If kissing each other comes into play, then do it on the cheek. But if you are both comfortable with a kiss on the lips, then keep it brief, closed-mouth, and non-sexual. Common sense will apply with kissing, too. And then, of course, keep your clothes on. Certainly, keep your clothes on below the waistline! Again... "common sense."
These are just some of the guidelines that I use, knowing my own individual boundaries, comfort levels, and limitations with regard to homosexual temptation itself. And it is not my place or intent to dictate to you what is or isn't appropriate levels of male-to-male affection, other than what the Bible already says about such things. But again, individual common sense must still always be applied to your own situations of sharing physical intimacy and affection.
One last thing I'll say about this specific topic is to express a personal opinion, and caution you that any "therapy" which is designed to help you to overcome your awkwardness in, or fear of such affection, is somewhat limited in its ability to allow you to actually walk in the freedom that I'm talking about, and which overcoming your own awkwardness and fear is meant to give back to you. In other words, the therapy can show you what it is supposed to look like on the surface, but it can't become the actual environment for the affection that you genuinely desire and need. Because "touch therapy" is to show you how to engage in appropriate affection, rather than becoming the source of the affection that you actually need. And therapeutic touch, simply for the sake of touching another human being, to me, is an awkward, empty and unfulfilling thing.
The genuine experience of a godly friendship, in my opinion, is the most enriching environment to share in the affection that we all need, because such affection is grounded in the brotherly love that you already share toward each other within the friendship. And such friendships are normally found beyond the environment of the therapy itself, and they take time to develop.
I am not suggesting that therapy can't be a very beneficial step to you in this specific area of the complete recovery process. All I am saying is to learn from the therapy, and then move yourself back out into the world you belong to, and become an engaged part of it again. Engage it with a masculine character and integrity that chooses an external behavior which matches your core values and Christian beliefs, in spite of the stereotypical western thinking that so often tends to view male-to-male affection in an erotic or homosexual manner today.
The One Question that Many of Us Are Thinking About, But None of Us Wants to Ask:
"But, what if I get an erection?"
So, what if you do get an erection? So what!
First, perhaps I should stop to clarify here that I am only speaking to you about momentary times in the sharing of masculine physical affection. I'm not suggesting very prolonged, or ongoing single episodes of it! Again, common sense and your own individual comfort levels must always apply. And then, always keep in mind that your hope and goal here is toward the complete restoration of this area of your life, rather than toward eroticism. And not only that, but you must also remember that you have an obligation and responsibility toward your friends in such matters, to honor your friendships by intentionally choosing to never sin against them. You are in control of your own actions!
But look... here's the real deal: Experiencing an erection is not a sin, in and of itself. The male human body can and will experience an erection for any number of different reasons, and at the most embarrassing or unexpected times throughout the day and night, even while sleeping. And for men like us who have been so inwardly confused in this area, those reasons will almost certainly include the initial pleasures and stimulation of physical affection, especially if one has been starving himself of it for any length of time, or has been absent of it for any length of time, while continuing to crave it, or while you've been trying to mimic some stereotypical idea of westernized heterosexuality.
It is your chosen response to the erection that could then become sinful. But guess what? You are still in control of your own sexual responses to an erection, especially if the onset of the erection is in any way unwanted, frustrating or embarrassing to you. I mean, you didn't act out sexually when you were younger, and it happened to you in school, while you were in a classroom full of other students, did you? Of course not! So then, don't worry about acting out sexually now, either, if it happens to you while you are experiencing physical affection with another guy. And it probably will happen to you, if you are a man who has struggled with homosexuality, or who has been keeping himself at a distance from male physical contact, while continuing to crave the genuine male intimacy that physical affection brings.
This is all a very big part of the initial awkwardness that I already mentioned above, and also had to work through myself. But I will tell you this: As I experienced non-sexual masculine affection on a more and more consistent basis, the onset of an erection because of it occurred less and less frequently. So this is something that you will also probably have to work through the awkwardness of, as you pursue genuine and godly, non-sexual masculine affection within your own friendships. I guarantee you that you are not the only guy who this has happened to, nor will you be the last. Even those men who have never experienced any homosexual issues at all, have had to deal with the embarrassment of an occasional erection in the presence of another guy, or of many other guys (like in a locker room setting). So it's certainly not the end of the world if this happens to you while you're trying to get back the legitimate intimacy that has been lost to you, both because of your own homosexual behaviors, and because of the influence that open homosexuality has had upon our western cultures. And there are several different responses that you can take, if and when it does happen to you:
Obviously, you don't want to work yourself up into a sexual or erotic tension in any of this. So if you sense that things are moving, or that they have the potential to move in that direction, then it's obviously time for you to disengage from that moment of affection.
And you may, of course, want to keep this awkward little embarrassment all to yourself, as you continue to try and work your way through it. But, if you need to, I also found that it really does help to talk, even about this embarrassment, openly and honestly within your trusted and closer friendships, just as I suggested talking openly about the desire you have for affection itself. There is certainly no requirement to talk about it, and it may even be best for you within your own friendships if you didn't! But chances are likely that any friend who openly admits having the same deep desires for physical masculine affection as you do, will also be battling the very same embarrassment as you do, with regard to the onset of an unwanted erection because of it. And talking about it, I found, seemed to take away the power it had to embarrass me; or worse yet, push me right back there into those harmful periods of seclusion from any affection at all.
So, all of that being said, would anyone care to take a guess at what the Bible passages in Romans 16:16, 1st Corinthians 16:20, 2nd Corinthians 13:12, and 1st Thessalonians 5:26, all have in common with each other? Each one of these four passages of Scripture admonishes Christian believers to greet one another with a "holy kiss." And in all four accounts, that advice was written by the very same Apostle Paul who so clearly condemned homosexual sin, within the beginning of his letter to the Roman believers (in Romans 1:18-32). So, Paul was clearly making a biblical distinction between godly masculine affection, and homosexual behaviors.
Bottom line: We all need affection, my brothers! So I encourage each of you to face that fact, and face it head-on, as a very necessary step in recognizing and prudently dealing with your own SSA issues. Appropriate affection, of course, is not the complete answer to solving all of our homosexual issues. But it is certainly a big part of the balanced life that is made up of that complete answer, as you continue to rely upon, and trust in God.
Lesbianism and a Mother's Role in Homosexual Behaviors
What is similar between male and female homosexuality is that the father wounds are felt as inward gender inadequacies. And so that is why these emotional, engendered longings that do become sexualized are then so easily noticed, and become so attractive, in other persons of the same gender. And the subsequent homosexual addictions that can easily form during sexual experimentation will begin to set the course of that person's entire life toward homosexuality or lesbianism, unless the real underlying issues are identified and also dealt with effectively.
So I suspect that female homosexual behavior also finds its roots in those insecurities and wounds which are received during their childhood, predominately through the relationship that is experienced with their father, and/or male role models. Then again, those insecurities are carried into female adolescence and sexualized, but in a different way. The insecurity a young lady develops is that of not being able to trust male companionship, rather than a craving for it. This is often because of verbal, psychological, emotional, physical and/or sexual abuses experienced during her childhood either herself, or in seeing her mother abused in these ways. And it is usually at the hands of some significant male figure or trusted man, whose role should have been to love, nurture and protect them both from such things.
Also, when a father is not present in the home, or worse yet, abandons a young girl in her childhood, then that can also become internalized as a lack of desirability inside of a little girl's heart, and later sexualized into lesbian behaviors.
What so often becomes sexualized in young adolescent women, is their longing for a sense of femininity, after their sense of it was wounded or crushed in some way, during their youth. It's that longing to be desirable as a woman; to be pursued as a woman; to be protected and provide comfort to others as a woman. To be the "damsel" who is the central part of a man's attention and desire, in a bigger story. To have her own sense of beauty, and to feel confident as a woman among women, from deep inside of herself. And this kind of wounding to the soul can come from fathers or from mothers, or from both parents.
You may recognize it as the very same classic tale we've heard in so many of our childhood stories, or seen depicted in the classic movies we all enjoy. It's the story of the princess who is pursued and rescued by the noble prince, or of the cowboy who wins the heart of the beautiful lady, and then makes a home for them in the wilderness. But no matter what the setting is, the man and the woman in such stories go on to share a happy life together, in their happy "forever after." Both of them get to be a vital part of the bigger story. This is our heart's desire, don't you see! And that is why we've seen it repeated in so many different ways, within the stories and movies that we all enjoy hearing and seeing... They're the movies where the guy gets to be the hero, and the fair lady captivates him with her beauty, and becomes just as much a central part of the story as he is.
When young women have been emotionally scarred inside of their soul in this way, their sexual adaptations to it can turn them in either direction. Some women turn toward promiscuous sexual encounters with multiple, abusive men, while others turn toward a sexual attraction for the feminine traits they see in other women, all because they are actually longing for those feminine traits within themselves.
The additional damage a mother figure can do to a daughter who has been wounded by a male figure in such circumstances, will usually take the form of not believing her, or in discounting the daughter's cry for help in some way, when it comes. To a little girl, her mother will be seeming to choose sides against her, by failing to acknowledge or resist the abuses of the male figure.
But it can also be a mother-wound to a daughter, when a mother never bonds with her in a meaningful or intimate way, leaving the daughter to feel emotionally detached from her.
In the case of a son, an over-protective Mom might have been much too reluctant to allow nature to take its course, when at a young age, the son begins to naturally desire to wean himself from her, and spend more time with his Dad, and other male role models.
And again, for any number of reasons, both good and bad, there may also be those situations where there was no "Dad" at all living in the home that a son or daughter could be loved and mentored by. And this can certainly play into homosexuality and other behaviors.
Just "Tradition," or was it God's Perfect Design?
Now please don't presume that I am implying anything more than a simplistic, biblical truth in what I am about to say next. But I believe that these Absent Dad situations, and the negative effects that they so often have on children, show us exactly why God places such an emphasis upon the different masculine and feminine roles we find throughout the Bible... Men taking on their responsible role of leadership within their own homes as both husbands and fathers in their families, and women fulfilling their very necessary "help" roles as both wives and mothers. It's not because men are any better or any more capable than women are! It's simply because that is the role that God gave specifically to men! And he gave nurturing roles to women for a specific and very good reason, as well. It's what they're great at! And this is simply God's divine order and engendered design for the family, rather our confused and twisted society chooses to accept that or not.
And while I have never been accused of being against "women's rights," one of the tragic mistakes that the Women's Rights Movement has certainly made, is in distorting those very necessary, biblical roles of men and women within the family and home, and also in certain kinds of work environments (military combatant roles, for example). After all, nearly any man can father a child. But it takes a dedicated and committed man to be a "Dad" to his children. And no nanny or daycare can ever replace the nurturing role a mother could otherwise provide to her own children, by just being there for them as a "Mom."
Ladies: Please also be sure to read the chapter above that is entitled, The Father Wound
Epinephrine ~ A Sexual Addiction Factor in Men
Our most powerful sex-organ is actually our mind, gentlemen. It actually controls everything else that is happening physically, and once our minds get stimulated toward sexual things, there's almost no changing the course of our thoughts from that point. And I think most of you will agree with me on that.
In men, many of the sexual behaviors that tend to become so addictive to us, are those things which provide extreme pleasure, or which provide the means to carry our minds away from those things which are troubling to us. Other kinds of addictions tend to be rooted in a chemical, physiological, or mental dependency. But our sexual addictions are "pleasure highs." And this is certainly the case with sexual addictions like masturbation, pornography, and homosexual behavior. But these "pleasure highs" are actually chemical addictions too, in the way that our body and mind works together, as we see and experience sexual pleasure.
First of all, men are very visually-oriented. And we receive a pleasurable, chemical-high from sexually-charged images. What happens is that, with sexual stimulation, emotion, and pleasure, a naturally occurring hormone called epinephrine is released into our male bloodstream. And this chemical causes an indelible memory to be created of whatever the stimulus was (sight, touch, sound, smell...) at the time of the emotional excitement and sexual high. That is why it is so easy for men to daydream about sexual things, and why it is so very difficult to purge such things from our memories, if we desire to stop thinking about them.
When I learned this, I immediately thought back to the first time I was exposed to sexual activity, as a boy, and how I can still vividly recall it. It was emotionally pleasurable to me at the time, and it occurred with another boy. So it's no wonder that the memory of that event is still there, and that the original pleasures I associated with it became addictive to me later on in life, as I sought that pleasure again. The emotional pleasure I'd experienced had eased both the emptiness I'd experienced in my relationship at home with my Dad, and the restless desire I had to bond in friendship with other boys at school.
Just the thought process of recalling emotionally pleasurable things from our own memory, alone, is sufficient to begin to release epinephrine into our bloodstreams, all over again. And so, if that pleasurable memory involved sexual activity, then we'll readily think about and gravitate toward that same sexual activity again and again, in order to feel the same comfort and pleasure we associated with it the first time. And this is why a very broad range of sexual activity is so easily addictive to men, in general. And it's also why, once exposed to them, homosexual behaviors can easily become so very addictive to boys who sensed some gender-inadequacy about themselves, be it real or just imagined. Because the homosexual activity provides a sense of the gender-connection and fulfillment with other males, that such boys have been deprived of in some way.
Chemically speaking, this is the way men were designed by God! But God's intent was for these chemical reactions to be released, experienced, and associated within the sexual pleasure we would find in being with a woman... More specifically, it was designed by God to bond us pleasurably with the one woman we'd share our lives with in marriage. Perhaps, this created internal mechanism of sexual imprinting is also what actually creates this "thing" inside of certain people like us that the rest of the world is labeling as a homosexual "sexual orientation".
So it's sad, to me, that so many men have been hijacked of experiencing what God originally intended, through some unfortunate situation or activity that awakened their sexual passions much too soon. It sent us all off in the wrong direction, toward homosexual behaviors, while we were still just impressionable young boys. So, no wonder homosexuality is almost like a growing "fad" today among high school and college students. And is it any wonder now that we need the help of the God who created and designed us in the first place, to undo this damage and sexual imprinting that we've done to ourselves.
The Male Sex Drive:
Also working against us, within this sexually addictive arena, is the cycle and persistence of our own male sex drive. I have read numerous books on the topic, and there have been many conclusive sexual studies which also prove beyond any reasonable doubt that a man's sex drive is much more intense and focused than a woman's tends to be.
When it comes to our sex drive and sexual arousal, men are wired so completely different than women are that most women simply can't understand the very persistent nature of a man's sex drive. But there is, nonetheless, that very common and distinct difference between the stimulation and mechanisms of male and female sexuality, in human beings. And there are also some very good internet articles on the subject, available through WebMD, if you'd like to research it there for yourself.
Physically speaking, most studies show that a sexually active man will sense an intense sexual desire to ejaculate, about every three to five days. Younger sexually active men may actually feel that desire even more frequently, at a rate of once daily, if their bodies can handle the physical activity involved. But men who have become addicted to things like masturbation and pornography can even be addicted to the point that they are fulfilling that urge multiple times in a single day. And again, women just don't understand how this could be possible.
A woman's sex drive is much more subjective to her hormones, feelings, constantly changing surroundings, and levels of romance. And it seems to depend on just the right combination of those things coming together, in order to cause an actual urge for sexual activity, within a woman. Because of this, women are more likely to "crave" sex far less frequently than men do, with most women saying that they are sexually satisfied if it only happens on an average of every 21 to 30 days. And that's a huge difference!
Sexual inactivity for prolonged periods of time will eventually curb that male sex drive of ours, and make it far more manageable. If we can manage to keep from masturbating, then our bodies will eventually begin to manage the buildup of sperm all on their own, and we would begin to experience nocturnal ejaculations during sleep. For men, this involves the release of seminal fluid. And for women, it involves the internal lubricating of the vagina.
Nocturnal ejaculation can happen with or without erotic dreaming, and it can also happen with or without an erection in men. There is no conclusive study to define how often it may or should occur from individual to individual, and most studies show that the "normal" frequency is extremely varied among men, as is the amount of seminal fluid that is released when it occurs. But studies do seem to show that the frequency of nocturnal ejaculations in individuals will normally increase in correlation with a decrease of external sexual activity (sexual intercourse and masturbation).
The point of all of this is that sexual activity itself will increase the intensity of a man's own sex drive. So it is best to never allow it to get out of control in the first place, through things like pornography and masturbation, or through sexual exploits with multiple sexual partners. But I would guess that many men who may be reading this book are probably already beyond that point, and so you are looking for the lifeline that will pull you back to sexual manageability and sexual purity.
This is very common in men who experience homosexual temptation or engage in sexual experimentation. So, if you are already trapped in a cycle of habitual masturbation and pornography viewing, or in a cycle of seeking out anonymous and multiple sexual partners, then you may not be able to break that cycle without some external help. Because, the best way to firmly break the holds that these kinds of addictive cycles can have on you is by going "cold turkey" with it. In other words, it's by cutting yourself off completely from the addictive sexual activity, rather than "weaning" yourself away from it gradually.
Mental preparation is the first step in the process. You have to come to the place that you can admit to yourself that you have a serious sexual problem. And in order to ask for help, you have to be able to admit that fact to another person as well. The second part of mental preparation is in understanding your problem from a more spiritual standpoint. And the biblical account of Jesus' conversation with a Samaritan woman, at a drinking water well (John chapter 4), is a good place to start.
That story speaks of a woman who had been trying to satisfy her spiritual thirst with sensual things. According to the conversation, she had managed to go through five different husbands, and was then having sexual relations with a sixth man, by the time that Jesus spoke to her about it.
So, Jesus spoke directly to the heart of her real "problem" by likening the natural well water to her repeated attempts to satisfy her spiritual thirst with sensual things.
"Jesus answered, 'Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.' "
We have been doing the exact same thing in our own sexual addictions, as the woman at the well had been attempting to do in her own lifetime. We are trying to satisfy a spiritual thirst with sensual things, and it will never work! Ultimately, we have to also realize that only Jesus can completely satisfy the deeper thirst we have for things like fulfilling human connection, companionship, and relationship. Only Christ can ultimately satisfy the inward cravings and human need that we all have for experiencing genuine agape love. We may think that we can eventually find what we are looking for through homosexual relationships. But deep down inside of us, we already realize that we never will. And that is why we are so disturbed by our own sexual behaviors.
One definition of insanity is that a person tries again and again to get a desired result, by repeating an unsuccessful pattern of behavior, over and over again. And each and every time the cycle is repeated, they try again to achieve the same hoped for result, through the already failed pattern of behavior that has never worked before. And that kind of insanity is what is at the heart of our sexual addictions.
Over and over again, we are guilty of drinking from a well that can never truly satisfy our real need. Oh, it may seem to satisfy it for awhile, because sexual activity provides sensual pleasure and physical comfort. But our real need is for unconditional love and acceptance, in spite of every negative thing that we know about ourselves. And that is a deeply spiritual need, rather than a sensual one. So, only God can ultimately provide that kind of love, or place it within us so that we are capable of loving another person that deeply and sacrificially, from the heart.
Sensual and erotic love, by itself, can never be completely fulfilling to us while it remains outside of the boundaries that God clearly defined and established for it, when he created it, and gave it to us so that it could be both experienced and enjoyed. But every form of homosexual behavior falls well outside of those established boundaries, just as heterosexual behaviors also do, when they are not confined to the sacred covenant of a marriage relationship between one man and one woman.
So, you have to realize that the deepest root of your sexual addiction is toward a spiritual need that it can never satisfy. You need this understanding to gain the motivation you'll need to stop drinking from the well of your addiction, and to begin drinking from the spiritual water that will satisfy your real thirst. This is what Jesus was explaining to the woman at the well. Jesus is that spiritual water. And so it is only through a relationship with him that our truest thirst will ever be truly satisfied.
The next step in the process is in choosing to be accountable to another trusted person, as you begin the daily process of feeding your spirit with the spiritual water that flows into us by consuming the truth of God's written word, through a practice of daily Bible reading and devotions. If you've never read the Bible before, I recommend reading the Gospel of John first, and then the Book of Romans after that. And use a translation that you can easily understand. If you are not sure which one to use, then Biblegateway.com is a free place on the internet that provides searchable online versions of nearly every English translation of the Bible that is currently available.
I recommend that you find a quiet place where you are not easily distracted, and read at least a chapter a day. Then take at least five minutes to meditate or journal on it, and to pray and seek God about your experience and understanding in reading it. This is how we curb the appetite of sexual addiction, and overcome it. We replace it with spiritual truth!
Sexual pleasure was a gift from God which was meant to be experienced and fully enjoyed, within the confines of a committed marriage relationship, between a man and his wife. But outside of that relationship, or when sex is used in ways that God never intended it to be used, then its sensual pleasures can become addictive and far less controllable, especially in men. This is why God set such clear boundaries around it. He did it to protect us from things like sexual addiction, and from the self-enslaving patterns of homosexual behaviors.
An additional word of advice: It may very likely take the help of a qualified Christian counselor to fully overcome the strong persistence of sexual addictions, in both men and in women. So, professional help is well worth the expense and investment. But it never hurts to talk to a friend or family member who you can trust, either. And having someone else to confide in and be accountable to may be all the additional help that you need. Either way, don't give up or get discouraged if you find that you need help!
When Sex Becomes a Pacifier
Just as a crying and demanding infant child can often be quieted down by sticking a pacifier in their mouth when they are hungry or discontent, so also our own inward discontentment can be temporarily quieted down through the sensual pleasure that is experienced through homosexual activity. But just because homosexual behavior can make some of us feel better, that doesn't mean that the real discontentment is no longer there, or that homosexuality is the answer to our problems. All it means is that a sexual behavior pattern has become our pacifier. And pacifiers are habit-forming and addictive!
In like manner, we can also view homosexual behavior as a sexual "binky" of sorts—a pacifier that is used by both men and women, to temporarily ignore the inward hunger pangs of the real discontentment that lies deeper inside of us. And this pacifier trait is also true of the habitual masturbation, pornography viewing and drug use that so often accompany the homosexual behaviors within the young and adult men who are struggling with their sexual identity in this manner.
In a society like ours, which is becoming more and more prone to accepting homosexual behaviors, most of these men and women will remain unaware that they were originally struggling with something else which was profoundly affecting their sexuality, rather than struggling with their sexual identity itself. The deeper and more difficult obstacle to overcome for most of the people affected by this trend afterward, however, is this: Once our sexuality is affected in this manner, then we are indeed struggling with the challenge of changing our sexual orientation as well, while all of the other original internal issues, which led us into homosexual behaviors in the first place, have remained unhealed. And while the road to come out of this pacifying trend may be a very difficult one to travel for most of us, it is never an impossibility to make the journey toward the freedom from homosexuality that is desired, when we place our trust in God. Because, "Everything is possible for him who believes!" (Mark 9:23)
What God Intended Sex to Be:
God is the one who gave us the gift of life. And Christ taught us that it was God's desire that we should experience this life to the fullest extent and enjoyment. And in creating us as beings who have the ability to express ourselves sexually, I believe God also intended for sex to be enjoyable to us, beyond just the satisfaction that may come to us through the procreative aspects of it.
But just as God did in placing boundaries and rules upon the precious gift of life itself (though life is meant for us to experience and enjoy), so also with sex, God placed boundaries upon the enjoyment of our sexuality that are not to be crossed, either. God is the one who designed our sexuality, and He set those sexual guidelines in place to protect us, rather than to keep us from sexual pleasures. So we would do very well to follow, and adhere to them.
Sex was created and intended by God to be a sacred, shared experience and physical expression of the agape love that two people have toward each other, within a marriage relationship. It was never intended to be demanding or selfish in its nature, but something mutually given and shared. And God set the boundary for sex within a marriage, because sex is meant to be a sacred expression of the permanent and unending love commitment that is entered into within a marriage covenant. The covenant is sacred, and so the sexual expression of that love is also sacred.
When sex loses its sanctity, and we reduce it to something recreational, then the natural effect is what we see taking place all around us: Marriage is no longer seen as a life commitment between two people, such as it was once more properly and biblically understood to be. And now we have children being born out of wedlock, who will face life without two dedicated, loving and committed parents to raise them up in the way that they should go; or worse yet, children who will never experience life at all, because their parents refuse to face up to the responsibility of their sexual actions, and so choose to murder the unborn child they've both created instead, through agreeing to an abortion. And in the world's idea of marriage relationships, we have pre-nuptial agreements rather than life-long commitments and covenant, and the divorce rates have skyrocketed. But sex was created by God to be sacred, just as the marriage itself is sacred. And they can become sacred again if we'll only move back inside of the unchanged boundaries which God has set for them both.
Since God confined sexual expression to remain within the marriage relationship, then we also know that sexual expression was always intended to be shared and take place between one man, and one woman, within that marriage relationship. No where in the Bible is the marriage relationship ever described in any context other than between one man and one woman. The "homosexual marriage relationship" simply does not exist in the Bible! Can two men or two women have a shared love for each other? Yes! And can that love form a bond that becomes a life-long commitment between the two? Also, yes! But the boundaries God set for that kind of love is that it is not to be expressed sexually. Such relationships and commitments are to remain brotherly or sisterly in both their nature and physical expression. It is the selfish nature of our own insecurities that cause us to think otherwise.
In turning away from homosexuality, one of my greatest fears and apprehensions seemed to be that I'd find a lesser level of life and love, by doing things God's way-that God was trying to take something away from me, rather than heal me and help me to experience life on a much higher level, just as He intended it. It is difficult for us to see that hope at first, because all we've known is the pacifying nature of what we've experienced so far. But trust me (or at the very least, trust God) in knowing that all God ever wanted was for us to have and experience his very best for us. And so he set these sexual boundaries in place to protect us from something harmful, rather than to keep us away from something good, within the nature of how he has purposefully designed all of his creation to best function and operate.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope, and a future."
God set boundaries because of his own agape love toward us! But you can't know that for yourself until you'll trust God long enough to experience it for yourself, giving Him the opportunity he needs to heal you from the inside out, and to transform your way of reacting to and thinking about these things.
And here's a reality check: Trusting God is not an instant, "microwave" fix to any of this. No, trusting God is a life-long relationship and commitment... a covenant relationship with God himself! So, if you've lived your life for "X" number of years up to this point, are you willing to give God just as much time to heal and undo the damage that may have been done to your soul in the process of having lived those years in ignorance and disobedience to his sexual boundaries? It's a difficult question for many people to answer. But God is willing to walk with you for that long, and for the rest of your life if you'll trust him. And He really is worth trusting for that long, I assure you!
"Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name... who redeems your life from the pit, and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."
Psalm 103:1, 4-5
Addressing the Issues of "Hate Speech" and Homosexual Suicides
Now on the one hand, there are indeed unscrupulous people in America today, like "Pastor" Fred Phelps and his band of followers. Phelps is a notorious preacher from Westboro "Baptist" Church of Kansas, who has organized national protest groups to deliver a consistent, unbiblical message that, "God hates fags." And his followers proudly and unapologetically display such words upon their hand-held signs, at their demonstrations outside of such places as the funerals of our fallen, American servicemen and women.
Such people have chosen to deal with homosexuality through propagating a diatribe of religious hatred, and have done very serious damage to the genuine forgiving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in the process. I certainly do not condone such behavior, nor do I believe that it is in any way inspired by God. And I sincerely doubt that any of Phelps' followers have ever led even one person to the true saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, through "preaching" such a distorted, uncompassionate, and unloving message.
God does not "hate" any person, but has instead clearly demonstrated, through the death of his own Son, just how much he dearly loves each one of us, unconditionally! But God's Love is a love that also calls each and every person to an acknowledgement of their sin, and to live a life of repentance.
So, on the opposite end of the activism, there are also numerous "gay rights" groups out there who are pushing the distorted agenda of homosexual, "gay safe-zones" and "gay-straight alliance clubs" in our public school systems, and using the issues of "intolerance" and "gay suicides" as an excuse to indoctrinate our children into accepting homosexual behaviors. So let's be honest here... Their message is just as wrong! Theirs is a blinded and narrow-minded message, focused only on the complete and unopposed acceptance of the gay lifestyle. It is harmful in a way that completely ignores any research that hinders the goal of acceptance, as well as ignoring all of the moral and health implications of homosexuality. "We need this indoctrination and these safe zones," it is argued, "to stop the spread of hate crimes against homosexuals."
While I do agree that there are a limited number of incidents where homosexual victims of harassment and crime are singled out because of their sexual orientation, and while I can agree that there may arguably be a higher rate of suicides among younger and older homosexuals alike; it is my sincere belief that one issue has absolutely nothing to do with the other.
I have personally experienced both the suicidal-level of depression that comes from experiencing the homosexual orientation itself, and I have also been the victim of various forms of hate speech. And again I say that one has nothing at all to do with the other!
The real cause of the suicide rate among homosexuals, in my opinion, is more directly related to their homosexual orientation itself, and especially with any of the unresolved internal issues that caused it, rather than it being related to any real or perceived endangerment that a homosexual student or adult faces from his or her peers, because of the awkward awareness of their sexual orientation.
There are already numerous laws in place in every state to protect all persons from harassment and assault, no matter what their sexual orientation may be. So we don't need special, "hate crime" legislation on the books to protect homosexuals.
Take the Netherlands, as an example. Homosexuality is legislatively an accepted and protected way of life there. Homosexuals there have achieved the accepted status in their society, to which the homosexual activists in America are still actively fighting for and lobbying our government to obtain. And yet this legislated and legalized acceptance has not lowered the suicide rate among homosexuals there in the least. Why? Because it was the unresolved pain from those issues that influenced and brought on their homosexual behavior in the first place, which was feeding their depression and leading them to consider suicide... That's why! And no amount of legislation will ever change the deep, moral convictions that so many people do attach to this issue, whether they clearly understand the underlying causes of homosexuality or not.
So please don't accuse me of fostering hatred through this book. Telling the truth, and speaking about it with compassion as I have done here, neither serves to endanger homosexuals, nor does it drive them further toward a suicidal depression. But rather, it educates an otherwise naïve and uninformed public on the real issues of homosexuality. In this way, we do away with the hate speech and animosity by fostering a genuine compassion toward the homosexual, unlike the false and misguided, "live and let live" philosophy derived from these "gay safe zones," and from the other kinds of indoctrination toward acceptance of homosexuality that is taking place today inside of our public schools. And it also begins the process of giving a real hope of freedom back to those who do feel trapped and bound up by their unwanted homosexual behavior, and the many other sexual, psychological and physical addictions that are related to it. It says to them, "There is another Way, freely available to you, and to the whole world. And His name is Jesus Christ!"
Addressing the Myth of Animal Homosexuality
However, all of the scientific evidence shows that such behaviors and interactions in the animal kingdom, though they may appear to us to be homosexual, are actually crossovers between sexual and other animalistic instincts, most particularly that of social dominance. In other words, one male animal may mount another male of the same species in order to demonstrate his dominance over the mounted male. And even the females will sometimes engage in this exact same behavior, by mounting another female animal of their same species. But the primal animal instinct toward sexual reproduction is always directed toward an individual animal of the opposite sex. Thus, any conclusion of "homosexual orientation" within the animal kingdom is completely false.
If you ask me, this kind of animalistic display of dominance would more accurately be described as a "rape" if someone was actually going to try and relate this mounting activity back toward human beings. And when one also considers other animal instincts, such as those that sometimes cause animals to eat their own offspring, then it becomes obvious why it is so very fallible to try to equate animal behavior to that of human beings for any purpose, and not just the main topic at hand. And it is also why human beings are called to place godly reasoning above that of mere, animal instinct:
"They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord... these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them!"
Jude, verses 4 & 10
In addition, we must also remember that in the Genesis account of creation, the animals were all created, "each according to its kind." But when God created us, he said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness. And let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground," the point here being that people were created in God's image, and the animals were not. And so for us to mimic any of our own behavior after that of an animal, rather than from that of God's own character, is behavior that is overtly contradictory to our true selves.
Even still, the scientific fact is that there is simply no such thing as a homosexual orientation within the animal kingdom to mimic.
For more information, you can link here to visit the N.A.R.T.H. Article about this specific topic.
A Note on Gays in the Military
The Pentagon indicated that the military will be "trained" in three major phases. First, lawyers, chaplains, administrators and civilian personnel will be briefed on what the changes mean for their jobs. Next, the leadership, including commanding officers, will be briefed. And finally, the rest of the military will then receive its "training" at the soldier and troop levels.
I place the word "training" within quotation marks on purpose, because it's really not "training," but rather, forced indoctrination that our US Military Forces are receiving here... nothing more, nothing less!
The final nail was placed into the DADT coffin, on September 20th, 2011, when all of these changes went into effect. And since then, the Pentagon has even issued official memos that give permission for military chaplains to conduct same-sex unions, within military chapels, on federal military installations. And this is in spite of the fact the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) remains in place as federal law, and recognizes "marriage" to be a union only between a one man and one woman. But there is no conflict to worry about between the military and DOMA either, because the very same Obama Administration also refused to defend DOMA in federal court.
This was a presidential administration and congress that did not care about federal law, and they arrogantly violated the wills of the majority of the American People here. So, through this careless act of an activist-minded liberal congress, which had already lost their Democrat majority to the Conservative Republicans, by the voting will of a fed-up American public, DADT was repealed before the voted-out congress adjourned for the year, against the will of the American people at large, and against the will of the far greater majority of our combat troops, who honorably serve to defend our country voluntarily.
I realize that homosexuals were indeed serving in the US Military services, prior to the repeal of the DADT policy. In fact, homosexuals have chosen in the past, and will continue to choose in the future, to join the military services, regardless of what current policy on homosexual behavior is. And granted, most of them have served, and/or will continue to serve their country honorably. So the question of whether gays should be allowed entry into the military, or of the honor of their service when they do serve their country, are not so much the real questions here, as it is, "Should they be allowed to serve openly?" It was the Obama Administration that insisted and then dictated to our "straight" service members that they should be allowed to do so.
For those who may be unfamiliar, the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy itself was actually not the tallest barrier among the legislative roadblocks, which stood in the way of allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military. The biggest legislative obstacle was the fact that it was against federal law for a homosexual to serve in any capacity, within the US Military. Then, once instituted under the Clinton Administration, what the DADT policy stipulated with regard to the federal law, was that we (meaning the US Government) would not ask about your sexual orientation or enforce the federal law, so long as you (the homosexual) agreed to serve without revealing your sexual orientation to us, and would also refrain from engaging in open homosexual activity while serving. If either of those discretionary requirements was ever proven to have been violated, then the federal law was enforced, and the homosexual military member was usually always discharged from military service, under less than honorable circumstances, for having violated the federal law. But the federal law itself was indeed repealed by Congress, right along with the DADT policy.
New military policies will now be put into place and enforced, which will allow and defend a homosexual's ability to serve openly, and which will define exactly what the military boundaries of serving "openly" actually means, with regard to punitive considerations for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), which still apply equally to all military service members.
But even before the repeal of DADT, the last review of the UCMJ in 2009 had ended with provisions to remove the UCMJ "sodomy" statutes, which would certainly have restricted the sexual behaviors of most openly homosexual military members. Still, most people completely missed that indicative "writing on the wall" as it happened, although it was a clear and blatant indication of what was coming next, under the Obama Administration.
Also keep in mind that homosexuals who did serve discretely in the military, under the rules of the DADT policy, had chosen to do so voluntarily. No one forced them to be there! And if you have read the rest of this article, then you already know that my position on homosexuality has been thoroughly explained as being a person's sexual behavior, rather than a person's identity. So the honor, capability or recognition of one's military service is in no way validated by their sexual behavior, nor invalidated through the proper discretion of such behavior. Therefore, their sexual behaviors should never have become an issue of their military service either then or now, which the Department of Defense should ever have needed to acknowledge, or much less, cater to!
Some will try to argue the point that the military has always been a place for social experimentation, with regard to civil rights issues. And then they will point back to the desegregation of the military, and also to the integration of women into the combat arms branches of our armed forces. But you see, that is a flawed argument, because homosexuality is not a genuine civil rights issue! I've dedicated an entire chapter to the civil rights discussion, and so I won't discuss it again here. But homosexuality is a basic moral issue, rather than a civil rights issue.
It is now that the military branches will begin the very real nightmare of actually making accommodations for these sudden changes in federal law and military policy. Military leaders are now faced with a situation wherein they must force "straight" soldiers to live and shower alongside openly-declared homosexuals, because there are no provisions even being considered to provide for separate living or hygiene facilities for the homosexuals. And let's face it… most "straight" male service members will probably still loudly object to being forced to live with, or worse yet, forced to shower in the same room where an "out of the closet" homosexual can step in at will, and share the shower stall right next to theirs. And many "straight" female service members will probably have just as much of an objection to being forced to accept these conditions with self-declared lesbians, too.
The clear and distinct difference between what once was, and what now is, is that before this policy change, straight soldiers were never troubled with the factual knowledge that the guy in the shower stall right across from theirs is a self-declared homosexual. But now, with open homosexuality suddenly allowed, straight soldiers will now have to live and go to combat with the added intimidation factor that their expectation to modesty and sexual privacy is being openly violated by their military leadership, because the military is now catering to soldiers who've "come out of the closet."
The "shooting the bad guys" analogy that Barack Obama used while signing this legislation into law, was a completely invalid and weightless analogy when it comes to the "down time" experienced by soldiers within a combat zone. Because, while the bullets are flying, chances are you're probably not standing naked in a shower room, directly across from the stall where a naked homosexual now happens to also be standing, with the freedom and now-protected ability to "check you out" if he wants to.
The current military practice of having all of the males live and shower together, and of likewise having all of the females live and shower with other females, is no longer a viable solution for many "straight" service members, and certainly not for the military either (although it will insist that it is), if the military intends to control the newly heightened potential that will now exist for promiscuous sexual activity, among openly gay service members, in such environments.
Think about it. Housing gay males together with other gay males, and/or allowing them to shower in the same facility together, will really be no different than allowing co-ed living and showering arrangements among our "straight" service members. In doing so, the military would be providing an environment with a greatly increased potential for sexual activity and sexual assault, in either case. But you can't house a declared homosexual with their opposite gender either, for obvious reasons of modesty and "right to privacy" considerations that will always exist between the two genders. And then these problems only become more complicated as military units are deployed, and set up their operations in areas where access to such facilities becomes the only option, because they are often so limited in availability.
And where does the line of fairness and equal treatment begin and end, should our future military decide to provide open homosexual service members with their own, individual living and shower facilities? Wouldn't the "straight" service members then have good reason to demand equal treatment, and have grounds to insist on those very same benefits? I believe that they certainly would.
In the interim, military units are probably looking at a new living environment of having to assign male and female "shower-guards" within their respective shower rooms, in addition to returning to the once common practice of designating fire-guards within group sleeping areas again, for reasons that extend beyond that of having adequate smoke detectors and fire alarms in place or not. But even with the shower-guard solution, there should still have to be designated times and/or shower facilities for the homosexual service members to use. Because (and this is not just me), I would no more want to shower in the same room with an openly declared male homosexual, than I would want to shower in the same room with a strange woman, since I am now a happily married man who desires to keep it that way. And no other military service member, who is also uncomfortable with that potential situation, should have to worry about being exposed to it or encountering that situation, either. Have our leaders fully considered the costs and logistics of these kinds of situations yet? If not, they had better start soon! Because I don't believe this will be as easy a transition as the Obama Administration envisions it to be.
And what of affirmative action and equal opportunity practices? Do our military leaders honestly believe that the gay-rights machine will leave that one alone? I think we can all expect that these new homosexual federal laws will also eventually require that the military branches promote a minimum number of declared homosexuals to higher ranks, based upon the percentages of those serving. And we will eventually see a controllable sexual behavior elevated to the same status as those considerations which are taken into account, with regard to the permanent and unchangeable condition of one's race and ethnicity. Again, this is all just speculation. But with the "gay rights" machine flying high the banner of "civil rights," this is exactly the pathway I envision that the military services will eventually be forced to venture upon, as a logical progression in the course of events that are likely to follow this repeal of the DADT policy.
But the biggest obstacle of all, and one which will always remain, even now that DADT is repealed, is the human factor itself. New military and federal policies can always dictate the acceptable, outward behaviors, from the far greater numbers of "straight" military service members who will indeed be affected by these changes in law and policy. But what they can't do is change their individual attitudes toward homosexual behavior itself. And from what I have observed, there is still an often unyielding sentiment among a majority of military service members, with regard to the immorality that is associated with the homosexual lifestyle and behaviors. That sentiment will remain. The survey analysts who reviewed the surveys that were taken of service members, prior to the DADT repeal, went out of their way to ignore this fact. But until that very personal, human factor changes, I suspect that not every gay service member who has served discretely under DADT, will even want to take advantage of this opportunity to suddenly "come out of the closet," to his or her peers within their military units. In fact, some gay service members might actually think it best to have left the DADT policy in place, considering the thought that the military work environment may actually be better off for everyone involved, if things were left just the way they were. I realize that I can't actually speak for those gay service members, and so I'm just speculating. But no "gay" service member can ever unequivocally speak for every gay service member, either.
And the timing of these changes does have a negative impact upon the chronic stress and fatigue, which are already present throughout each of the military branches of service, due to so many other personal issues that have arisen, in the wake of multiple deployments over the past ten years, within a military that is stretched thin. Repealing DADT will actually add to all that stress for many active duty service members, by encroaching upon their individual views of morality, religious freedoms, their faith in God, and their individual right to sexual privacy.
I do understand the desire expressed among many of those gay or lesbian soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines, to be able to carry on a relationship with another person openly, and not have to hide it from other service members and peers, or having to fear any peer-backlash or legal consequences, should his or her sexual orientation be discovered or disclosed in some way. But there are opposite and equally negative considerations for the straight service members when one considers such things, and the fact remains that far greater numbers of them will be affected by these policy changes.
I also wonder, quite frankly, just how many of those "gay" service members (or any other persons among the gay population in general) are open to the consideration that just because a "straight" person is uncomfortable or resistant to open homosexuality, it may not be because of the intolerance and "homophobia," that any person who objects to the homosexual lifestyle, for any reason at all, is so often and quickly accused of today? Their resistance, like mine, is often based upon quite reasonable objections, and personal moral convictions. And the constitutional freedoms that we all share do indeed allow us to maintain deeply held moral and religious values such as these. Have military leaders even considered the fact that there is an abundance of current, respectable research available, which questions homosexual behavior with regard to its actual origins and development within a person's traits? That is why many people simply don't buy into this whole mantra of "civil rights" that has been attached to this entire issue of "gay rights."
And will this mandatory "sensitivity" training also include a session that highlights the need for sensitivity on the part of the gay service members? In other words, will gay service members also be instructed, with regard to their own attitudes, to become more accepting and "tolerant" toward those military service members who are still morally opposed to homosexual behaviors, because of valid faith-based and other personal reasons? Or do our military leaders intend and plan a completely one-sided and politically-correct approach toward these issues of homosexual behavior, during this transition period? Again, I'm just speculating here. But my guess is that what we can all probably expect is the one-sided, "you must comply, or else..." approach.
Even the politically-correct American Psychiatric Association, which is now so opposed to the thought of changing one's sexual orientation, is not in complete agreement with the gay activists, or with the whole idea that homosexuality is undeniably genetic or biological in nature. What the APA says is this:
"There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation."
Taken from the online APA pamphlet:
"Homosexuality and Sexual Orientation - Answers to Your Questions for a Better Understanding" (see page 4)
And so there are those in the military who will remain uncomfortable with accepting open homosexuality, because the fact is that the foundation for so much of what the activists have told the rest of us about it has simply never been proven to be true. And not only that, but there remains an overwhelming amount of research and evidence that directly contradicts it! Granted, the opposing evidence has not been scientifically proven either. But the opposing evidence is, nonetheless, based upon a preponderance of the facts, and upon the high percentages of background similarities among the people who have experienced homosexual attractions. And many of those who've questioned their own sexual behaviors have actually been successful in their desire to change their homosexual behaviors and orientation. And they've done it in much the same way that any clinically diagnosed sex-addict or alcoholic might go about fighting their behavioral addictions, as well as through faith-based support programs and encouragement.
Such evidence and information is "politically incorrect" to even mention among the majority of gay activists today, at any time, or for any reason. And yet it is exactly this kind of one-sided, gay activism that has pushed for these changes in US military policy, with regard to homosexuals being allowed to serve openly.
It might also be worth pointing out here that the Department of Defense has never once had to acknowledge the sexuality of any heterosexual service member, in order to somehow quantify their service to our nation in a "fair" manner, or validate the honorable nature thereof. So, neither should the DOD now be required to make these accommodations for the homosexuals who also serve their country honorably. So, it seems to me that the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy wasn't quite so bad after all. And it seems to me that DADT has been accommodating enough to maintain good military order and discipline, until such a time that homosexuality is actually proven to be just as uncontrollably genetic as our racial diversity is known to be.
Until such a day, I could have continued to feel compassion for the dilemma that many homosexuals serving within the military might have faced, while serving under the DADT policy, though each one of them volunteered to obey it when they signed up. But haven't all our service members agreed to give up certain individual freedoms when they volunteered to serve? Why, then, is homosexuality now being given such special considerations?
And I have never agreed with or condoned the behavior of any person who chooses to do harm to another person over this issue, from either side of the fence. But what I won't do at this point is agree that homosexual behavior itself is unharmful, or that it is as equivalently moral and "normal" as heterosexuality is. Nor can I agree that it is in no way harmful to the rest of society to simply accept it, just because there is a group of concerned people out there who are insisting that the rest of society needs to do so, or even because the US Military will now try and force its members into compliance and acceptance.
In my view, forcing military service members to simply accept such behaviors, based upon the current activism and information that the gay activists are pushing, is really not an advancement of "civil rights" at all. But rather, it is more likened to a communist-minded, government-controlled thought-policing action, designed to force acceptance of an immoral sexual behavior among soldiers who are bound by duty and oath to obey the lawful orders of their commanders.
Doing away with the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy will not benefit our military in any way right now, or in the near future, for just that reason. All it will do is gain more political ground for the activists who are trying to normalize a still questionable sexual behavior, in spite of all of the information that discounts the claims they make about its pre-supposed normalcy.
The very necessary level of "brotherhood" and trust that is (and indeed must be) maintained among our nation's soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, especially while depending upon one other during times of war, can become an issue of jeopardy to our national security, when such behavioral issues were allowed to come out into the open among the ranks. Such revelations will place a strain on that necessary bond of unity, and distract military service members from their mission. Because the fact is that most active duty service members still regard such behavior as an issue of immorality, and one that is largely disruptive to, and incompatible with the closeness of most military service environments. As a military veteran myself, this will always be my position and stand.
The US Military services are simply no place for open homosexuality!
A Note on "Gay Marriage"
One major threat that gay 'marriage' imposes upon our society and way of life, is that such a union would require our government to sanction and protect it. But the only way our government can accomplish that is by suppressing our deeply-held family values and religious (more specifically, Judeo-Christian) beliefs. And that would turn into an open assault on religious liberty and freedom itself. In fact, open your eyes and you'll see that this is already happening right here in America... people actually being hauled off to jail, for simply expressing their Christian viewpoint that the practice of homosexuality is morally wrong. If you don't believe me, then you should really consider viewing the video titled, "Speechless - Silencing the Christians," which is available in the dedicated Resource Links area of this web site.
Marriage is not something that human governments and societies can redefine on a whim. The marriage relationship has always existed between a man and a woman, because they can become "one flesh" within the relationship! Human governments have historically recognized and regulated marriage relationships in that context, because of the fact that in the marriage union, another human life was often created. And so governments recognized that it was in the best interest of the child for him or her to be nurtured and raised by the same two people who had brought the child into the world.
But no two men or two women can create human life together. And therefore, whatever one chooses to call their homosexual cohabitation, such unions are not marriages, nor can they ever be! And yet our government is now trying to redefine marriage itself, in order to include homosexual behavior. But homosexual behavior will always be just that: homosexual behavior! It has nothing to do with a marriage covenant, even if our society does succeed in attaching the "marriage" label to homosexual relationships.
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves."
Romans 12:9-10 (emphasis mine)
Our definition of "love" is often tied to emotion. But the Bible defines real love quite differently. The Bible defines love in what we do, not in what we feel. And God demonstrated His own love for us most vividly through what Christ chose to do for us, by going to the cross in our place.
One clear reason that God does not condone homosexuality is because it is a perversion of what he intended in giving us this gift of sexual intimacy. Just as Biblical salvation is by Christ alone, so also God intended exclusively through the joining in a marriage relationship between one man and one woman alone, to present the world with a picture of the love relationship between the Christ and his bride (the Christian believers). The 5th chapter of Paul's letter to the Ephesians, in the New Testament, clearly teaches this. Because the "Bride of Christ" is the collective body of all the people who have ever been reconciled to God, through their faith and belief in Jesus Christ, who was and forever is God's promised Messiah:
" 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church."
In sharp contrast to that, however, is the distorted and flawed picture presented to the world through homosexuality. It says that mankind need only be joined to and in love with his self, in order to be saved. And in essence, what that says is, "God, I don't need you!" So it makes a mockery of the loving sacrifice God has made, in order for us to be reconciled back to him.
God himself chose to die in our place on that cross, centuries ago, taking upon himself the punishment that we deserved, so that the full penalty was paid, and so that we could now live by believing in the sacrifice He's already provided for us, rather than in working throughout our life to try and become "holy" enough.
So, in a homosexual relationship or encounter, you are not "loving" your partner, but rather, you are using them sexually to fulfill your own desires. I'll even go so far as to say that in many ways it also becomes idolatry. Because the ultimate dependency is placed upon the person created in God's image, rather than upon the Creator himself.
Another biblical image that marriage gives to us is that of the triune nature of God himself. Since we place God at the center of the biblical marriage covenant, we actually have a bond of three—a husband and a wife both trusting in God, who is at the center of their individual lives, as well as at the center of their marriage covenant to each other. And so, just as God is triune as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the biblical marriage itself is a picture of the godly Trinity, in its makeup of God, husband, and wife.
Homosexuality distorts this biblical imagery by leaving either Christ out of the picture, who is represented by the husband in a marriage, or by leaving the Holy Spirit out of the picture, who is represented by the wife in a marriage covenant.
At this point, you might well be screaming within yourself, "I can't accept this! I know that I love my partner! So how could God condemn that?" But try to understand again that Biblical "Love" does no harm to the one who is loved. And yet in doing something that the Bible has clearly defined as "sinful" towards your partner, harming them is what you've actually done. So how can you say you "love" your partner by the Biblical standard, when you sin against them, and they against you in this way? You can't! Nor can they!
Our love for people of the same gender can indeed grow strong and remain over the span of a whole lifetime. But the Bible also makes it clear that this level of love and commitment is to remain brotherly or sisterly in its nature, rather than becoming sexual. And it is simply not our place to dictate to God what is or isn't sinful. That is God's place to dictate such things:
"It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit."
1st Thessalonians 4:3-8 (emphasis mine)
Yet, if you would trust God, and allow Him to help you, I promise you that He will bring you safely beyond any and all of the emotional upheaval you may now sense inside of yourself, because of your feelings toward a sexual partner. And in a relationship with God, he will bring a calming peace and quiet back into your heart again through his own presence there. It won't all just happen over night, of course. But it will happen if you'll give it time, and allow his transformation to take place in you.
Is This Truthfully a Civil Rights Issue?
Jesus speaking, Matthew 18:18 (Amplified Bible)
The only reason that the gay rights movement has been so successful in gaining the momentum that it has here in America, is because gay activists have been successful in deceiving our judicial courts, and lobbying our elected officials into associating "gay rights" with "civil rights." This is happening both here in United States and in other places throughout the world. But what exactly are "civil rights?" And why is it that I've taken such a strong stand against homosexuality with regard to giving it a civil rights status?
Civil rights are those rights which are expressly enumerated in the U.S. Constitution, and are considered to be unquestionable; deserved by all people under all circumstances, especially without regard to race, creed, color, gender and disabilities. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits all forms of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in all aspects of employment. These civil rights categories have since been expanded by later state and federal laws to include "civil right's protection" on the basis of ancestry, physical or mental disability, and age 40+.
But most recently, under the yet to be proven, readily discredited, and always questionable guise that homosexuals are helplessly born into their sexuality, these categories of civil rights protection are being expanded to also include sexual orientation, gender identity, and spousal affiliation (homosexual unions).
One can easily argue that since these civil rights laws have been changed and expanded to include sexual orientation, that homosexuality is a civil rights issue. But just because homosexuality is being brought underneath an umbrella of civil rights protection, that does not, in fact, automatically deem it to be a "civil right" granted by the United States Constitution! Look again at the definition of civil rights, and you'll see that homosexuality still does not fit the proper mold, nor pass the common sense test with regard to civil rights.
Homosexuality is yet to be proven to be an unquestionable sexual orientation and behavior. Race is unquestionable as a civil rights issue, because people are indeed born into their race. Gender is unquestionable as a civil rights issue, because people are generally born into this world either as a male or a female (rare documented cases of births with dual genitalia, aside). But homosexuality remains a questionable behavior pattern, and there is an abundance of credible research available that completely discredits the genetic nature of homosexuality that has been assumed, in order to associate it with civil rights issues at all.
It is completely disingenuous of our elected officials to categorize such a harmful, questionable, and arguably controllable sexual behavior and choice, underneath the protective laws of civil rights. Doing so forces employers, landlords, and even some religious organizations who view homosexuality to be undeniably immoral, to have to accept persons into their work places, rental properties and/or employed staffs, who choose to unashamedly flaunt their homosexual behaviors in the face of the otherwise genuine civil rights of those persons who protest and disagree with the morals of that lifestyle. In other words, granting civil rights status to homosexuality is actually an egregious violation of the moral and religious civil rights which have longer since been granted to all of the citizens of the United States, throughout the history of our nation's very existence.
But someone will still argue, "yeah, but they're not hurting anybody and they should have the right to pursue happiness too, so, what's the harm in it?" As I said directly above, this has been at the direct expense of the long-established and genuinely recognized civil rights of a larger majority of other citizens of the United States of America, which date clear back to the founding of our nation. But in addition to that, and as I detailed previously in the section about homoerotophobia, this movement has also done psychological harm by releasing a stigma of fear among non-gay men in America, who use to interact quite differently together, being far less reserved in their affections toward one another, prior to the growing prevalence of open homosexuality in America. And once homosexuality is indeed shown and proven to be an issue of upbringing and environment, rather than biological in nature, you can't then just turn back the clock and so easily undo all of the freedoms that were extended to the behavior under the guise of civil rights, nor the moral damage and decay that has been inflicted upon our society as a result.
A glaring example of this irresponsible political trend, in our own recent history, was the repeal of the U.S. Military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy. I already spoke in detail about the ramifications of that repeal, in the previous chapter about gays in the military. But what I want to draw attention to here in this chapter, are the arrogant remarks of President Barack Obama, and the "shooting the bad guys" analogy he used while signing the DADT repeal legislation into law.
To set up his civil rights spin, the President first told a war tale from the time of the Battle of the Bulge (WWII), and of how one soldier had been carried to safety by another soldier, during an intense firefight. Years later, the rescued soldier apparently learned that the soldier and friend who he'd credited with saving his life, is gay. The story was, of course, chosen to justify open homosexuality in the military, and gain the support of his listening audience. But this is nothing more than disingenuous political rhetoric.
This President, who has never served a single day of military service in his entire life, conveniently forgets that the rescued WWII soldier had no idea at the time that his rescuer was gay. And that is the entire point of having "Don't Ask Don't Tell" in place! Most soldiers don't want to know that information about another soldier. It makes them uncomfortable! And that is why this policy reversal is not really about allowing an insignificant percentage of the numbers of our soldiers to freely "be who they are," as much as it is actually about forcing the acceptance of their sexual behaviors upon the greater majority of each one of the other soldiers who freely volunteered to serve in our military.
President Obama then continued talking down to his audience, by making the arrogant suggestion that it doesn't matter rather the soldier in the foxhole next to you is gay or not, when the bullets are flying. But, the foxhole experience is only a brief moment in time, Mr. President. And, as a retired wartime veteran myself, I will counter your ridiculous assumption, and assert right back that, "Yes, it certainly does matter!"
When soldiers leave their foxholes, and return to their community living environments, they'll want to take care of their personal hygiene and other essential needs. And during that time, they'll want to unwind without the additional stress of being subjected to standing naked in a shower room, in full view of an openly homosexual soldier's wandering eyes. With heterosexuality still being the biologically accepted, and yet to be disproved sexual "normal", our "straight" soldiers do have a legitimate sexual expectation of privacy, with regard to their living environments. So, what all of this is actually doing is infringing upon the civil rights of our "straight" soldiers.
And I will further suggest that this war tale of rescue and friendship had nothing at all to do with the sexuality of the soldier who did the rescuing. If that soldier had not come to the aid of the soldier who was rescued, then any other honorable soldier would have done so for the very same reasons as the first one did it. Such acts of bravery have nothing at all to do with allowing open homosexuality within our military ranks, and it never will! An act of true bravery is to place a higher value upon the life of the person or people who are being rescued, rather than an act to somehow justify the deviant sexual behaviors of the person who did the rescuing. And this all makes the President's war story a very weak argument for repealing DADT, and for trying to disguise it as a "civil rights" issue.
So, homosexuals will then argue that one group of citizens can't impose their morality upon another. But open your eyes! It is first of all hypocritical of them to use this kind of argument, because this is exactly what is happening with gay rights: It is a situation wherein the minority is being granted governmental permission to impose their own morality upon the majority! And secondly, their "imposing of morality" argument holds zero weight at all within our established system of laws, anyway.
Look at all of our other laws which are, in fact, morally based, and remain in force because that's what the majority, rather than the minority, wants. So again, why is homosexuality so special here, that it bypasses those long established standards of governing and law making? The statues we have outlawing murder, for example, are based upon one of the biblical, Ten Commandments. So it can easily be shown that one group of people (that being the majority) is imposing their moral views upon another group of people (that being the minority who choose to commit murder) by enacting such laws and biblically moral statutes to prohibit murder. Likewise, the statutes we have in place to outlaw theft are also based upon the biblical commandment against stealing. And those theft statutes are, again, kept in place by one group of people (the majority) who are imposing their morals upon another group of people (that being the minority who choose to commit thefts). Well, guess what! Homosexuality is identified as an immoral behavior in the exact same Bible that identifies murder and theft to be immoral behaviors. So, don't try to tell me that our laws are not based upon biblical morals and standards, or that the majority cannot impose their morals upon the minority by enacting those laws, because that is the very foundation of our judicial system of laws and governing, right here in America, and it always has been!
We once had laws in every state that prohibited various forms of homosexual behaviors and activity, for exactly that reason. Yet it was not the majority who chose to strike down those laws... The homosexual activists, (the minority who choose to engage in homosexual behaviors), managed to bypass that long-standing system of laws and governing, through activist-minded judges in our judicial courts, who struck down those laws against the will of the majority, under the guise of civil rights protection. And they did it without ever once proving that people are helplessly born into the homosexual lifestyle. If providing proof of such things had been the case, then I could agree with the civil rights approach. But it hasn't been, nor will it ever be proven to be a biological trait, because God simply does not create people to be homosexual!
So, wake up, America. Homosexuality is not a civil right! Those activists who claim that it is are only deceiving themselves, and the thousands of other naïve people who have bought into that twisted way of looking at it, while it is actually stripping away the legitimate moral and religious civil rights of a vast majority of our citizens, in the manner and process in which it was accomplished.
I do wish that there was some easy way that a homosexual could deal with and free their self from the real issues that have brought the person to this place of sexual addiction, confusion and depravity. But there isn't! Yet that does not change the fact that "normalizing" this behavior is still not the correct answer, hard as that may be to accept for some people. And until our society begins to take responsibility and deal with homosexuality truthfully, then no genuine healing can take place within the people who deal with these same sex attraction issues, rather homosexuality becomes "normalized" or not. And that's why this movement is not an advancement of civil rights... It's an irresponsible travesty!
A Quick Look at Bisexuality
If, as they say, people are born into their sexual orientation or preference, then how does one explain bisexuality in that context? I mean, would you describe such persons as heterosexuals who also dabble in homosexual behavior, or would it be the other way around? Or will they actually try to convince us that people are born this way too?
In essence, bisexuality is very much the same behavior pattern that homosexuality is, only on a part-time and often more discrete level. But they are indeed one in the same, within the sets of circumstances that cause such behaviors. And the very existence of bisexuality itself goes a long way toward proving that homosexual behavior can be taught, learned and enjoyed by otherwise heterosexual persons.
There really isn't much more that can be gained or said in further discussing bisexuality than that. And everything within this book that can be applied to homosexuality can just as accurately be said of bisexuality as well.
Plain and simple: Bisexuality is a form of homosexual behavior.
Intersex Conditions and Hermaphrodites
And yet, this is still one of the big "what if" questions among the gay activists, which they will sometimes use to try and justify their behaviors. The question asked is, "What about people who are born as both male and female... What about hermaphrodites?"
First of all, let's not use the term "hermaphrodite". Because hermaphrodite is a legendary term that implies that a person is born fully male and fully female, and this is a proven physiological impossibility within the genetics of our human race! So, we will use the term "intersex" instead, which can refer to a number of different genetic or anatomic conditions, depending on the varied medical opinions among diagnosing intersex experts. And again, this is according to the ISNA.
Intersex conditions (in the small fraction of a percentage of the people in our society who actually have them) can range from being completely undetected, involving some of the X or Y chromosomes of just some of their human genes, all the way to the actual presence of a second, underdeveloped and far less pronounced set of external genitalia, which is the opposite gender from the dominant or most pronounced external genitalia. The internal reproductive organs of such a person can also sometimes be affected by an intersex condition, according to the ISNA. And the diagnosis of an actual intersex condition within a person can often be debated or disagreed upon, from one medical expert to another.
Suffice to say that when an intersex condition is indeed diagnosed, that it is usually always agreed upon by the medical experts, together with the parents of the child (and after thorough medical examinations and tests, of course) that there is indeed a clear and distinct, dominant gender present within the physical and biological anatomy of the child. And their gender is determined to be either male or female, based upon their clearly dominant anatomy. After this point, metabolic concerns, medical treatments and surgical recommendations can then also be discussed with the parents of the infant child.
Just how an untreated intersex condition may affect the adolescent sexual development of an individual is arguable. But I can imagine how both metabolic hormonal imbalances, as well as some psychological gender and sexual inferiority complexes, might then develop in such children. And so, my heartfelt compassion goes out to each of them. But let's be fair and honest in also saying that these are very rare and individual cases of a birth defect, rather than some biological proof of homosexuality. And it disturbs me that homosexual activists would resort to using this extremely rare condition in order to promote their own sexual deviancy and behaviors.
For more detailed information on intersex conditions and statistics, you should consider visiting the FAQ area of the ISNA website, at www.isna.org.
HIV / AIDS and Other Health Issues
Information for this section is cited from the AFA article:
Compassionate Society Should Discourage Deadly Homosexual Behavior
The first known cases of AIDS appeared in the early 1980's, and spread most rapidly through the male, homosexual population, and also through intravenous drug abusers.
Now I do not believe that HIV nor AIDS itself, are a form of punishment from God upon homosexuals. In fact, I believe that point needs to be made both loudly and clearly. However, it is both a biblical principle, and a fact of everyday life, that there are indeed consequences to be faced for our actions. And the consequence of unprotected sex with multiple partners, and of sharing dirty needles with other drug users, was that the HI Virus spread very rapidly through those populations, and continues to do so today. But try to convince the child who has been infected through a blood transfusion, or the medical professional who was infected through an accidental needle stick, that this is God's punishment upon homosexuals... that's simply ludicrous!
Our "modern" society imposes significant social and legal restrictions on, and also spends millions of dollars urging Americans, particularly our children, to avoid life-threatening behavioral choices such as smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, drunk driving and promiscuous sex.
This rational, logical, and common-sense commitment to protecting our children from life-threatening activity is irrationally discarded, however, when it comes to any mention of the arguably deadly practice of homosexual behavior. Through the negligent pandering of enabling politicians and bureaucrats, particularly within our public schools, homosexual activists are still adamant on teaching our children, "it's okay to be gay," with no mention at all of the health implications so clearly proven to be associated with the lifestyle. For example:
Oxford University's International Journal of Epidemiology reports: "Life expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality continues, we estimate that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged 20 will not reach their 65th birthday."
The Medical Institute of Sexual Health [Executive Summary, "Health Implications Associated with Homosexuality," 1999] reported:
- "Homosexual men are at significantly increased risk of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, anal cancer, gonorrhea and gastrointestinal infections as a result of their sexual practices."
- "Women who have sex with women are at significantly increased risk of bacterial vaginosis, breast cancer and ovarian cancer than are heterosexual women."
- "Domestic violence is... probably more common among homosexuals than among heterosexuals."
- "Significantly higher percentages of homosexual men and women abuse drugs, alcohol and tobacco than do heterosexuals."
The Advocate, a "national gay and lesbian newsmagazine," concurs that "lesbians are at higher risk of breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer."
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention report that men who engage in homosexual behavior are 860% more likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD), increasing up to 500% their risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. Men who have sex with men "have large numbers of anonymous partners, which can result in rapid, extensive transmission of STDs," the CDC warns. "Control of STDs is a central component of HIV infection prevention in the United States; resurgence of bacterial STD threatens national HIV infection prevention efforts."
Gay Health reported that men who have sex with men are 320% more likely than heterosexuals to have unprotected sex, without telling their partners they're HIV-positive.
And from Reuters: "'Gay men of all ages remain at an alarming risk,' a CDC spokesman told a news conference. Another CDC study confirms that young bisexual men are a 'bridge' for HIV transmission to women."
If society truly cares about homosexuals, and other people whom their high health-risk behavior threatens, should society play the role of "enabler" and tell them it's only "natural" to continue their self-destructive activity? Certainly not!
We wouldn't try to convince society that "it's only natural" if someone we cared about had convinced themselves that it's okay to smoke, do drugs, drive drunk, engage in promiscuous sex, or play Russian Roulette! And we certainly wouldn't allow them to teach this to our children. So my question is, "Then why are we allowing homosexuals and homosexual activists to do so?"
The Metropolitan Community Church and "Gay Christians"
By its full name, the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, or UFMCC, claims to be a "Christian" church. However, this organization completely ignores and abandons biblically-sound theology and teaching, with regard to the clearly defined sinfulness of homosexual behavior, which is found in the Bible. And the Bible clearly warns us to guard against these kinds of humanistic departures from our Christian Faith:
"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron."
1st Timothy 4:1-2
"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves... lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people."
2nd Timothy 3:1-5 (paraphrased)
"For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths."
2nd Timothy 4:3-4
"To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good."
"But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping."
2nd Peter 2:1-3
"For certain individuals, whose condemnation was written about long ago, have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord."
Jude, verse 4
The MCC was originally founded in 1968, in Los Angeles, by a man named Troy Perry (a homosexual), and it now has congregations in many major cities throughout America, and in other countries as well. It boasts a membership of over 50,000, and it is considered to be one of the largest LGBT organizations in the world.
As a church, it is known for it's complete acceptance of homosexuality, without any call to biblical repentance for the behavior. To the contrary, the doctrinal teachings of this organization actually encourage homosexuals to proudly accept their behaviors, and to continue participating in their life of sin, convincing their deceived, homosexual members that God created them "gay."
Their teachings and doctrine do this by pulling certain biblical verses out of their passage context, in order to distort their message into one that seems to condone homosexual behavior and relationships. They also take biblical teachings on topics such as love, and purposely fail to teach the whole council of the Word of God on the subject, so that homosexual behavior then seems to be acceptable under godly standards of biblical love.
So let's learn a spiritual lesson more correctly from an appropriate Bible passage, in the Gospel according to John. In that story, we know that Jesus did not condemn the sinful acts of a woman who was caught in the sin of adultery. But Jesus did not condone the sin either! After he forgave her, Jesus clearly told her, "Go now and leave your life of sin." (John 8:11)
Likewise, yes, homosexuals need to be taught the loving forgiveness that is available to each of them through Jesus Christ. But they need to be taught this truth together with Jesus' command that they also repent of their sinful behavior!
The very same grace that was made available to the adulterous woman that day is also available to every believer, to overcome sin! And so it is also made freely available to every believing person who has been entangled by the sins of homosexuality.
Once again, "gay Christian" is a misnomer; a huge contradiction of terms. In a word, the Metropolitan Community Church organization is all about "compromise," where homosexuality and the Bible are concerned. But Jesus taught us about having a faith, hope and love-based repentance, through an ongoing relationship with him, rather than about having a compromising form of religion to suit one's own expectations, as it merely pretends to follow after him.
I'm Not Gay, So Help Me to Understand All of This
What took place was that he came toward a group of three of us, in order to share in some conversation with me, and the two other friends of his who were both standing there with me at the time. And in greeting the three of us, he gave the other two men a hug, but then only gave me a smile and a nod. So it was the difference in the type of greeting he gave to me that had made me feel so awkward.
Had I been standing there by myself in that moment, receiving a hug or not receiving a hug from him would not have mattered much to me. But what hurt me was the fact that I had been treated differently than the other two men, when he was willing to hug the both of them, but then chose not to hug me. And so I felt dejected, as if I no longer fit in, and reasoning to myself that it was because of what I'd shared with him about myself that he'd treated me differently that day.
Once I mustered the courage to ask him about it later, he assured me that I was over-reacting, and that the things I'd told him about myself hadn't even been on his mind when he approached us at the time, and that I needed to stop worrying so much about the loyalty of his friendship toward me. I agreed that I had over-reacted (and there go my insecurities getting the better of me, once again).
I still felt like there was a bigger learning point for me to gain, beyond just realizing the same, typical over-reaction I'd experienced through my own insecurities. So I began to think through what had happened again, hypothetically this time... "What if I hadn't over-reacted... what if he had intentionally treated me differently? And what if it wasn't even his fault... could I have avoided the awkward situation?
It took turning the tables like that, and imagining myself in the other guy's shoes, before I began to understand my own responsibility when I confide in, or seek support and accountability from a trusted friend. We all need to realize that they may not know the best ways to help us in overcoming such unfamiliar things to them as homosexual temptation, unless we also try to explain those aspects of our struggles to them as well. So it is in our own best interest that we clearly communicate the need and desire we have for normal male affection and interaction, so our friends understand that they don't need to withhold such things from us, wrongfully thinking that they are helping us by doing so.
Looking back, I'd never told my friend exactly how I needed and desired his encouragement and support, through his own normal levels of affection... In other words, simply telling him to go on interacting with me in the same manner as he did with his other male friends, and certainly no differently than he had interacted with me previous to me having confided in him.
All I'd really told him about were some of the things I regretted having done, the struggles I'd faced in trying to overcome such behaviors, and those things I'd experienced in my childhood that I believed had contributed to my behaviors. So, if my friend had intentionally reacted differently to me, he may have just been trying to help me in the way that he thought was best for me at the time (by protecting me from the kinds of affection that he reasoned would become a temptation to me in my struggles).
And I asked myself, "How could he have known that what I actually desired and needed from him was the same level of affection that he'd show toward any of his friends in that situation, if he knew nothing beforehand about how to help someone like me?" Unless I'd taken the time to explain such things to him first, he wouldn't know!
The lesson here is that open and honest communication is the best way to avoid any kind of misunderstanding, on either side of a friendship or relationship between two caring people, no matter what the issue may be.
In the two portions of this section that follow below, I will attempt to address some of the dilemmas that could surely be faced, as two friends would try to interact in their relationship, while dealing with the unwanted same-sex attraction and behavior issues that one of them seeks to overcome.
As a suggestion, perhaps talking with your friend about some of the various sections of this article you most identify with, or which have touched you personally, might be a good place to start such a conversation.
I know it can be awkward and difficult to talk about such things at first, especially if these are issues that one person has kept hidden from the other for a long time. But open communication is a needed foundation in the journey toward genuine healing from homosexuality.
"How Do I Help Someone Who Struggles With Unwanted Homosexual Behaviors?"
If you are a "straight" person who desires to help a friend or a relative through the difficult process of overcoming such issues, then the first thing you will need to understand is that you can't "change" your loved one. Your loved one must have the desire to want to change their homosexual behaviors for his or her own self, or you will only find yourself driving a wedge between the two of you, in the relationship you've shared.
The best you can hope to do, for a friend or loved one who is not already aware of the underlying issues that may have contributed to their own homosexual behaviors, is to perhaps discuss some of them. You might even want to do this by reading together with them, some of the sections of this article that you felt best described their situation. And then, hopefully, you can talk with each other about such things in a supportive and caring way. But if they still don't want to seek change, then you can't force them to desire to.
The most important thing you can do for them otherwise, is to continue to love them, pray for them, and be a good friend to them, without seeming to condone sexual behaviors which you know and believe are harmful to them. And realize too that rejecting them as a person, because of their homosexual behavior, will probably only exacerbate some of the issues that caused their behaviors in the first place.
When someone does confide in you about their homosexuality, or the struggles that they have had with homosexual desires, believe me... the very real fear of rejection is lurking over them in that moment, until they get some reassuring response back from you. So please, don't delay in assuring them that you feel even closer to them, that they would trust you enough to confide in you about such things. Some people will also be looking for your acceptance of their sexuality through such a confession, while for others, this is their cry for help to understand and overcome such issues. But either way, this really is a huge and frightening step for those people who have kept such struggles hidden from other people, over the years. So they will desire your reassurance more than anything else, immediately after sharing such things with you. And you can reassure such a person of your love for them, rather you personally condone their sexual behavior, or understand their struggles, or not.
If a friend or loved one is seeking your support in understanding and overcoming such issues, through a desired change in their sexuality, then treat them the way you would treat any person whom you love and care about, especially in the presence of other people of their own gender to whom you would give your affection toward. Withholding affection will only give them the feeling that they are being rejected, or that you are now uncomfortable to be as close to them as you once were. Because those who desire to change their homosexual feelings or behaviors also desire to feel accepted and included, especially by persons of their own gender.
So if there is some situation you face where you are unsure of how you should respond to, interact with, or support your loved one, then simply ask them! Ask them in a loving way how you can best help them, or respond to their needs in a legitimate way. Ask how you can best help them to feel accepted and loved by you. But absolutely avoid any misguided "help" of just trying to encourage him or her to go on being homosexual, or to accept their homosexual feelings and attractions, when it's something that they have indicated to you that they don't feel comfortable in being.
And if you are a person who faces the unexpected news that your spouse has either had a homosexual affair, or is dealing with homosexual behavior issues, you must not blame yourself for any of their behaviors or feelings. And hopefully, over time, you can find the compassion and forgiveness to understand that they probably don't even understand it themselves, and that there are indeed underlying issues of confidence, hurt, and pain from their childhood, that have contributed to their homosexual attractions and/or behaviors, rather they are willing to see this fact or not.
And for my brothers and sisters who are Christian, faith-believing church members: I can't begin to describe to you here, the degree of damage that has so often been done inside of our own sanctuaries, all across America, within the unloving attitudes that have been presented verbally toward homosexuality, and toward those who've experienced such attractions. Whether it be from casual conversation before and after church, or from out of a sermon itself that made mention of the issue, when such persons get any sense at all that there is even a hint of a lack of love or compassion in our words, then such persons will shut down permanently, and will probably be driven to eventually leave, with the expectation that they would never be able to turn to the members of our congregations for the help that they may have actually been hoping to find there. Because, in their own hearts, many of them have become convinced of the lie that "God hates me." So our words need to offer them real hope again, and not just conviction. Our compassion needs to see and love the person who is hurting on the inside, beyond just looking at the sin that seems to draw most of our focus and attention, on the surface. And if we, as believers, won't love them back to Christ, then they will seek acceptance outside of our congregations, from a world that will only continue to convince them that it's best to just accept homosexuality, and remain exactly as they are.
"How Do I Seek Help From Someone Who is Unfamiliar With Homosexual Temptations and Sin?"
When you are the person who wants to be free from your same-sex attractions and homosexual behaviors, you will quickly find that you'll desire and need at least one other person whom you can confide in, and talk to about such things. If you are married, then you should certainly try to talk to and confide in your spouse about such things, when the time is right. But my recommendation is also that you find a trusted friend or relative of the same gender to confide in, who is not "gay."
And then, as I discovered in the awkward situation that I detailed for you in the beginning of this section, there are some additional things we'll also need to clearly communicate, so that we don't just lay issues like these into another person's lap, and then expect that they should automatically respond in the ways that we wanted them to. So you will need to clearly communicate your desire and need for normal affection and acceptance, along with your desire for change, as you confide in them about the struggles you have had with homosexual feelings and/or behaviors. This will help you to avoid the false expectations that I had, that friends and relatives are automatically going to understand how to provide the love, encouragement, and support that we need from them the most.
A person who has never had to deal with same-sex attractions before, for example, might not realize that the best thing they can do for us is to treat us "normally." Granted, "normal" will most certainly look different from one person to another, especially when it comes to their affections toward other people of the same gender. But the important thing for us to express to them, is that we want them to love us and to show us the same affection that they are comfortable with, and would normally show toward any one of their closest friends.
Without us communicating this to them, the other person may actually believe that they need to withhold affection from us, in order to protect us from having the feelings that we are trying to overcome, when what we actually need and desire is legitimate affection from them, to replace the illegitimate sexual behaviors that we've looked to for comfort in the past. So you'll have to explain such things to them clearly.
When you finally do decide to confide in another person about the struggles you have had with homosexual feelings or behaviors, I know that the very real fear of human rejection is a lurking reality, as you take this giant step toward the changes you desire. But the person you choose may not know what to say to you right away. So if you want to avoid the added anxiety of waiting several days for their reaction, then you should also be honest in telling them something like this: "Take all the time you need to process this. But please let me know right now that you don't think any less of me for confiding in you about this, because I need your friendship more than ever, right now. And then later we can talk more about the support I'm seeking from you in our friendship, once you're ready. But I'm not asking for you to change me. I'm just asking for your love and encouragement, and a trusted friend to talk to, in support of my desire to change."
The person you confide in will surely respond quickly to such a plea, if they care anything about you at all. And then you'll be less anxious about the next time you communicate with them. But if you do get anxious anyway, then try not to assume the worst, and continue to have faith in their friendship until they actually give you a valid reason not to.
A person may also try to "help" us by encouraging us to accept our homosexuality, with the added reassurance that they don't think any less of us because of it. So you will need to be prepared to explain why homosexual behavior is not right for you personally, and that your desire is to change, rather than to become comfortable with such behaviors. So ask them to support your desire to change, rather than hold you back by encouraging you to accept and remain in a behavior pattern that you are uncomfortable with, and don't want to participate in any longer.
A spouse who suddenly becomes aware of such issues in your life will also be an emotional dilemma. So, hopefully, you would be honest and share such things with your spouse prior to the marriage, and certainly before any incident takes place that might then jeopardize your marriage, in order to keep your spouse from blaming his or herself in some way for your homosexual feelings or behavior. And I can certainly add here how very fortunate I am today, that I was honest with my spouse about such things, prior to our marriage. She has been a big encouragement to me throughout our marriage, because of that honesty.
But in the unfortunate event that you do betray the trust of your spouse through a homosexual affair, then it is very important to let your spouse know, without a doubt, that your behavior issues are not their fault, so that they will not feel guilty themselves, thinking that their own actions have caused your behavior in some way. So you will need to come to grips with your own actions by taking responsibility for them first. And then you'll have to try to sort through and understand your own behaviors, so that you can clearly explain them to your hurting spouse. Because there are root issues that have caused you to seek acceptance from people of your own gender, in a sexual way; issues which really have nothing at all to do with sex. Again, this article might be a good place to try and discuss such things with a spouse.
We who struggle with such things also need to have the compassion toward our brothers and sisters in Christ, to help them understand what it is that we're dealing with, without seeming to rationalize it, condone it, or make excuses for our sinful behavior. More simply said, this is a complicated issue for those who simply can't relate to the struggles we have had with homosexual attractions, as well as it is for us. After all, they have never experienced it themselves. So how could they possibly understand something we ourselves are still trying to understand, unless we speak of it more openly?
On both sides of the fence (the Christians who struggle with homosexual attraction, and those who don't), the fear of dealing with this issue, or of even bringing it up, I believe, is the real obstacle for Christians to overcome. That's because of the way it's been spoken of so very often, without any compassion at all, in most of the "church" conversations and sermons I've often heard about this issue.
So the "taboo" over the subject is there, no doubt. But we need to be willing to openly discuss this with one another, if indeed we are to be the loving Body of Christ that Jesus commissioned us all to be. Because we all need each other's support through our personal struggles, no matter what they are. And our brothers and sisters who have not struggled with homosexuality, have surely struggled with something else that they, just as much as we, may fear admitting to us.
These are just a few of the situations that we may face, in trying to confront this issue directly. But compassion and loving communication is the key that will overcome these, and many other awkward situations which weren't addressed here.
The Final Analysis ~ Because It All Boils Down to This
Jesus Christ, Matthew 7:13-14
In the final analysis of life itself, either you believe, as the Bible tells us, that there is only one true God who is the Creator of us all, or you don't. There really is no room for middle-ground there.
And if, in fact, you are willing to acknowledge a faith and belief in "the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" (the God of our Judeo-Christian Bible), then you must also be willing to acknowledge the fact that this very same Bible tells us clearly that homosexual behavior is a sin! The logic played out through that fact alone should be enough to steer our human reasoning to conclude that our God would certainly not create any of us to be born "gay," when he has spoken out against homosexuality in the Bible. Therefore, we must conclude that mankind himself must be directly responsible in some way, for the homosexual condition that is found within us, here inside of our fallen human nature.
Biblically speaking, this reasoning leaves us with only two basic groups of people that we can be divided into, and only two different positions that any person can hold, with regard to homosexuality:
The Two Groups of People are:
1. Those who have experienced homosexual attractions, and
2. Those who have not
The Only Two Positions to Hold are:
1. Either you believe the Bible on this issue
2. Or you don't
Choosing to accept any other, "middle of the road" position is to, in essence, live in Laodecia on this issue (a reference to Revelation 3:14-16). In other words, if we're being "lukewarm" in our acceptance of God's clearly defined position on homosexuality, then, just as the Laodecian believers turned Christ's stomach sour in their own lukewarm approach to Christianity and other spiritual matters, we also run the risk of turning Christ's stomach sour if we would try and reason that homosexuality is acceptable to God. So, my suggestion is that you don't "live in Laodecia," in the Christian stand you choose to take towards homosexuality, rather you have personally experienced its temptations, or not.
And as you use my story for comparisons toward yourself or another person, know that there is no single set or combination of circumstances which are a "formula" that will always lead to homosexual behavior, in every individual. Because most situations are as individually unique as are the persons who are shaped by them. And the ways in which different people will respond to the same set of events, situations and/or circumstances, will always vary to some extent from person to person, because of that uniqueness. But the fact remains that such trigger patterns to homosexual behavior do indeed exist within our humanity; patterns such as those I've described here, and others, which have common factors and parallels among them.
But the most common thread among them all is that these situations each caused brokenness, scars, and misinterpreted feelings inside of the people who were touched and shaped by them, which led them to a wrong sexual choice, which then became a sexual orientation and addiction. And homosexuality has clearly proven itself to be just one of a larger number of different behavior patterns, which are often cultivated in such environments.
Given the right circumstances, history has proven to us that such behaviors can even be just as easily taught and learned, when whole societies cast off moral convictions and restraint to embrace eroticism, in man's sinful and fallen state. Societies like ancient Rome and ancient Greece demonstrated this to be true. And let us not too quickly forget about the biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah, either!
Nonetheless, ultimately and biblically speaking, it is we ourselves who are individually responsible for the choices and decisions we've made. Therefore we must also each take an individual responsibility for who we'll choose to be from this moment on, my simple point being this: Even though homosexual desires come about mostly through environments and circumstances which are well beyond one's own control, the choice to actually engage in homosexual behaviors remains just that... a choice!
You do, of course, still have the free will to live your life, trying to heal your wounded soul and trying to fill up your need for God, by chasing after unhealthy, sexual passions and lusts. And you certainly wouldn't be alone in your pursuit. People all over the world try again and again, everyday, to fulfill their basic human need of God, with everything but God himself! But such things can never fulfill our deeper need of a true and intimate relationship with God restored back into our daily lives. And still, in spite of the many wrong choices we've made, and in spite of the many wrong choices we'll probably make again in the future, God continually inspires and invites each of us to find a new identity and our true fulfillment in Him, through Jesus Christ, his Son.
Whatever it was that first caused you to look to homosexuality for a deeper inward sense of fulfillment, it no longer matters at this point. What matters now is that you come to a place where you see yourself, and your behaviors, through the eyes of God, and realize that it was Him you were actually looking for, all along… and it still is! It will always be God that you truly seek, as you wrestle with different things in your life, to try and find your fulfillment in them.
If you would like to, you will be able to see an outline of the Biblical salvation I spoke of within these Scripture verses:
Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9-10 & 10:13
Matthew's Gospel 6:33
John's Gospel 3:16-18
1st John 5:11-12 and
Defining Your Life-Principles:
"And the LORD answered me, and said, 'Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run [with it] that readeth it.' "
Habakkuk 2:2 (KJV)
In this journey toward freedom, here are some of the necessary conclusions I have arrived at, chosen to accept about myself, and thus, began living my life by them.
Based upon the verse from Habakkuk, just above, I believe it is very important for us to write such things down. So, perhaps these principles can also give you some direction in forming a similar list of your own:
1. I was not born "gay".
I was not born homosexual, nor do I desire to live my life in that manner.
2. I need masculine intimacy and affection.
I have both a need and the desire to give and experience physical masculine affection, within my male friendships and interactions. But that affection need not be sexual to also be satisfying and wholly fulfilling.
3. Masculine affection is not homosexual.
Such expressions of healthy, non-sexual, physical affection between men is biblically acceptable, and they are not a sign of a homosexual orientation. There is a distinct and biblically-defined difference between such affection, and acts of homosexual sin.
4. My own feelings can deceive me.
Without exception, every single one of the feelings that I have ever sensed, interpreted or acted upon in a homosexual manner or behavior, can be traced back to an insecurity I've sexualized in some way, or to an immature sexual choice that I'd made. I must accept that fact and try to deal with my insecurities legitimately, rather than using sex to try and pacify or avoid them. What I truly need and desire can't be found in homosexuality.
5. I desire covenant friendships.
Friendship is a two-sided commitment and relationship, between two different people. It only takes one person to initiate, but it takes a mutual giving of time, effort, and personal sacrifice, to grow and develop a godly one. Homosexual behavior has no place in such a relationship.
6. I am Dane, and God is my judge.
I often worry too much about what other people may think of me. But the only thing that is truly important is what God thinks about me. God's Word is always final, and his Word is Truth. Homosexual behavior can still be a familiar temptation to me, in my own understanding. So I must avoid that self-deception by relying upon God's understanding, instead of my own.
(re: the name "Dane" - see my footnote below)
and the most important principle of them all:
7. God loves me!
Beyond the knowledge of God's love toward the human race, it was important to understand how much God loves me personally and individually. He always has, and he always will! I was created to love God, and to experience his love for me. And it's only through God's love that I will ever learn what it is to truly love another human being.
There is powerful meaning in a name, and God sometimes changed a man's name to make a God-statement about him (such as when God changed Abram's name to "Abraham" and Jacob's name to "Israel"). The name "DANE" is the new name that I heard in my spirit, the day that I asked God to tell me what my name is (a prayer that was inspired through reading the book, "Wild at Heart"). The meaning of "DANE" is, "GOD IS MY JUDGE." This had significant personal meaning to me, because of the ways I had lived my life, so often worried about the opinions and judgments of other people toward me. And what this New Name spoke into my heart was that the only opinion that ever truly counts is what GOD thinks of me... and GOD Loves Me!
What Should I Expect? Where Do I Go From Here?
Because [I] loved you so much, [I was] delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but [my own life] as well... You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless [I was] among you who believed. For you know that [I] dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
And [I] also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from [me], you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe."
1st Thessalonians 2:1-13 (personalized, as if written from me to you)
Sexual impurity is a series of bad decisions on our part. But I found my new identity at the age of 19, through a right decision to believe in the person and Deity of Jesus Christ. This first right decision is the "narrow gate" that Jesus spoke of in the four Gospels. And living for Christ is no different. I found that God's grace freed me to do so, by enabling me to make a continuous series of right decisions, to follow the leading of God's Holy Spirit within me. And this new way of living is the "narrow road" that Jesus also spoke of in the Gospels. "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)
The confidence I found in God's unconditional love assures me today that God never held my homosexual sin to any greater weight or bearing against me, than he holds any one else's sin against them. The same is true for you. Because all sin is filthy and utterly evil in God's eyes, no matter what it is! And so it is all equally unwelcome in God's Holy presence. Bottom line: We all sin... We all need to be forgiven.
I was also a person who desired to become free from my homosexual tendencies and behaviors. If that desire also describes you, then you already have a distinct advantage that I didn't have, just by having all of this information compiled for you here in one place. It is the benefit of sharing with you in the span of a single book, much of what it took me years to discover and sort out, as I was learning it all. And I'm still learning! This was not an overnight process of change for me. I made mistakes, took wrong turns, and I don't believe that I could ever have continued on without God's love, help and faithfulness, or the added support of genuine friends.
God not only desires us to acknowledge him as God Almighty, but he desires to be endeared within our hearts as Abba Father (like a "Daddy" or a "Papa" is, to a child). So I also had to work around my previous expectations of what a father-figure had been to me, and realize that God's love and character is perfect. His way of fathering is not at all like the previous example given to me of a Father, by my own Dad.
God was not angry or resentful toward me for failing to live up to some standard. God's complete willingness, rather, is in demonstrating his love to each of us through grace, so that we in turn can learn to love others, and love our own children, in the very same way he has first loved us. In short, I had to swallow my pride and become completely dependent on and trusting toward God, and trust in the complete reliability of his love toward me. In other words, we learn to trust God in the exact same way that a little child completely trusts his mom or dad, before either one of them has done something to wound, crush, or destroy that child-like trust.
I say all of that to say this: The title of this chapter asks the question, "Where do I go from here?" The simple answer is, forward. We keep right on trusting in God's love for us, and in the truth and reliability of His inspired, written Word. We keep right on praying and believing, no matter how good or bad our surroundings, circumstnces, or progress may look to us, and no matter how long our journey takes us. Because, we know and believe that God is faithful!
There was a lot of mental renewing I had to work through, mostly in understanding the truth of God's own Word about the new person I actually am, so that I could begin to see myself differently through the eyes of Jesus Christ, and stop thinking of myself as "gay." And while I do hope and pray for an easier journey for others, there will most probably be these same kinds of setbacks and struggles for you to work through as well. So the Bible says to "work out your salvation." In other words, don't just "test the waters" of God's love and grace toward you, expecting only to give up on him, or that he will give up on you. But rather, jump in with both feet and submerge yourself in Him, knowing that God is joyfully committed to loving you all the way through this journey! And His promise is that he will never leave you alone or abandon you.
With my continued commitment to Jesus Christ and His ongoing commitment to me, I did learn about God's abundant grace. And those habits, temptations and scars have all diminished, one by one, as I continued to walk in a right relationship with Jesus Christ.
Whenever an occasional feeling of loneliness or inadequacy tries to steer me back in the opposite direction back toward homosexuality, I've learned now that I can trust God's grace to control such temptations rather than allowing them to control me. And God's grace is always completely sufficient to do that! And I've learned to trust God that my real comfort is always found in Him, rather than in any of those superficial things which are now behind me.
It all sounds impossible, I know. And on our own it would be! But Jesus never asked any of us to take this journey alone. Jesus takes every step of this journey with us. And there comes also a fellowship of other believers who are called to lock arms with you and encourage you along the way, if you'll share your struggles with them. Because each of them also has their own struggles with sin. But in the end, the miracles done are God's doing, not ours, so that it will be plain to everyone that what has been done in us has been done by God, through our belief in Jesus Christ.
You see, in Jesus we find a very personal God who is not at all unfamiliar with our weaknesses, or our daily struggles with sin as human beings. Because God himself became human through Jesus Christ! And the Bible assures us that Jesus was "tempted in every way, just as we are." And yet He was without sin! So Jesus is well able to understand what we face when we are tempted, and he is also able to help us overcome each temptation that comes at us.
I had sometimes wondered to myself if Jesus was ever actually tempted by homosexual sin? And you will probably never hear a sermon preached in any church over that one! But think about it... the Bible itself assures us that Jesus was indeed tempted "in every way." And so Jesus also understands the struggles with homosexuality that some of us must face.
And on that same note, here's another passing thought of my own, that I think also goes hand-in-hand: Many biblical scholars also say, because Joseph (Jesus' earthly father) is never mentioned again later on in the Gospel accounts of Christ's ministry, as is his birth mother, Mary, then Joseph most probably died earlier in Jesus' human lifetime, while Jesus was still a boy. If this is true, then Jesus also understands and experienced the void in earthly, father-son relationships that so often contribute to homosexual behaviors. Indeed, Jesus understands every part of who we are.
I assure you, by the awareness of God's own Spirit in my heart, and by the promise of God's love toward us, that all of this is true. And so I know that it is God's good pleasure to also do the very same things for you that he has done for me, and for so many others! But you'll never know for yourself until you ask him to, and receive the gift of the life he's offered to us through believing in his Son.
The new self-image I adopted is this: "God has made me a Child of God! And now I am a new person in him!" So then I refused to identify or think of myself any longer as "gay" or "homosexual," in spite of the many temptations I still faced. And I had to realize that having a mere human temptation does not in any way diminish or invalidate the complete Salvation that Jesus provided for us. God remains with us, in and out of temptation! And the godly inspiration of his Spirit inside of us continues to drive us toward becoming more Christ-like, by clinging to God when we feel as if we want to give up or give in. So when temptations come, I've learned to cry out to God for his help, admitting my own inability to overcome homosexual desires, and seeking his gift of grace to do what I knew I could not do. This is extremely important to remember in the battle to overcome any sin, not just homosexuality. Please allow me to explain why that is so.
At the very moment I put my hope and trust in Christ, he saved me just as I was, just as he promises to do, right in the middle of all of the dirt and filth from my homosexual and other sins. So, from that moment, my own spirit was alive again; clean and reborn at that point, and no longer separated from God. But my soul, (the mind with which I think, the emotions with which I feel and the free will with which I choose), my soul was still conditioned by the ways of this world and my life as I had known it up to that point. But this is true of all new believers. The Apostle Paul calls it the "flesh," and the "old nature." And so the Bible says to the Christian, not to allow themselves to be conformed any longer to that old pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind with God's truth, and God's Word is Truth. And in like manner, the Bible also says that our faith, which is of greater value than gold, comes by hearing and continuing to hear the Word of God. Relationship is the key on both counts.
It has been said, and rightfully so, that religion is what we do to try to win God's favor and draw close to him, while Christianity is what God, in fact, did to draw close to us and win our hearts back to himself. So rather than through religion, it is the Spirit of God's own Son, and his Word, that together accomplish the task of renewing our minds from our old nature and way of thinking, to a new and higher way of thinking within a personal relationship with God, through Jesus Christ.
Since God's Word is always true, this is what I have found to be true in my own relationship with God, through his Son: When I assert myself to stay close to Christ, he stays close to me. When I take the time daily to listen to God by reading his Bible, and take the time daily to talk with God through prayer, then I find that temptations come less frequently and are not so powerful an influence over me any more, because of the self-control God's Spirit of Grace gives to me. But when I neglect my relationship with God by not doing those things; as within any relationship, then I begin to loose touch with him, and we become like strangers all over again. And soon the temptations would return, coming more often and becoming much more difficult to overcome again.
Will the temptations toward homosexual behaviors ever completely cease to come at us? In this lifetime, I honestly don't know. But I do continue to find hope that they will, because I can indeed assure you that they have significantly diminished over time, as I've continued to live my life by turning to Jesus Christ, and finding in him a Father who is slowly healing me from each of those specific things in my childhood that actually caused my homosexual desires. But since Satan knows of our vulnerability and weakness towards this sin, and because of the addictive hold it has had upon us, I suspect that its temptations will not cease completely, so long as we do remain in this body, where sin also still lives as an inward traitor, within our own flesh.
After this life, the Bible tells us that we will have a new body, without sin, that can never die. And so sin's power over us will finally be gone, forever. But here, I suspect that there will remain a need to always stay somewhat guarded against opening ourselves up to the lures of sin, especially in those areas where we are more vulnerable. That is why Jesus teaches us, as we walk with him in daily fellowship: To "die" to the sins that live in us, and to "live" our lives for God through him; and with the help of his Holy Spirit who lives inside of those of us who have become believers in Jesus Christ. Because the personal act of loving God, and living for him, is a choice we will each have to continue to make daily, even after becoming a Christian.
Those times that I do regret, when I did fall back into sin; it's not that God ever left me. Because God was never more than a prayer away, and his Spirit was always inside of me, constantly whispering to my conscience, "I miss you. When are you coming home, son? Please return to me, and know in your heart that I have always loved you." Yes, it was always that I had abandoned my relationship with him in some way, rather than the other way around. So, "Remain in me and I will remain in you," Jesus promised. And he always has!
My friend, Christianity is a way of life. It's not something we only do for a couple of hours on Sunday, or for just a couple of weeks to try and overcome homosexuality. Christianity is a daily walk and relationship with God himself, that God himself actively participates in with us. It's not just another form of religion. And it's so much more than I could ever begin to describe to you here. But I hope that I have somehow encouraged you to want to experience Christianity for yourself.
There is a prayer offered in the "Closing Remarks" section below, that you can say in order to ask Jesus Christ to come into your life. If you have not yet done so, I encourage you to take that step of faith and become a Christian. And also, there is a link provided in the resources section, to the courses offered at Setting Captives Free. It is an excellent place to begin to learn how to apply these biblical principles in your life each day, with an online mentor available to help you through the process. So I invite you to see about enrolling into the "Door of Hope" course as you link there.
In closing, here are just a few more Scriptures that form the foundation for the things I have shared with you about Christianity, directly above:
John's Gospel 15:4-5,
Romans 6:6-14, 7:21-25, 8:5-17 & 12:1-3,
1st Corinthians 6:9-1 & 14:33,
2nd Corinthians 5:16-21,
Philippians 2:12-13 & 3:12-14,
Hebrews 4:15, and
1st Peter 1:3-9
Stereotypes from Both Sides of the Issue
Stereotyping is something that we are all guilty of from time to time. And when speaking of the two groups of people that we typically identify as "Christians" and "Homosexuals", there is no shortage of stereotyping present in either of these groups toward the other. I see it all the time in the perceptions that people have of one another, as they look across the walls of those things that divide them. I am also aware of it, and have even seen it in myself at times. But I believe that this self-awareness is probably the key to moving past it.
Stereotyping becomes a hindrance to good and positive communication, if we are unaware of its presence within our own thoughts and attitudes. The most common thing that occurs is that we become afraid to even speak to another person, for fear of a confrontation and conflict arising. But the unwillingness to communicate only breeds more stereotypical thinking. Even while being personally familiar with my own homosexual feelings and behaviors, I found this to be true of the effect that stereotypical kinds of behaviors have had on me at times.
One such incident I remember is being at a large amusement park, years ago, and seeing a group of about ten younger homosexuals, who all looked to be in their early to mid twenties. I felt spiritually inspired to approach a particular person among them, in order to strike up a conversation, and share with him some of the things that I had learned from out of my own journey into, and back out of homosexuality. I truly believed that it was God who was doing the inspiring, and so my intent was simply to offer the young man the benefit of my knowledge and experience, in hopes that it might help him in some way.
I approached him in a friendly manner, and I tried to be cordial and unthreatening. But just as the young man seemed to become genuinely interested in what I had to say to him, a second young man who was standing close by became loud, inciteful, and militant, which immediately drew the attention of the rest of their group. Before I knew it, they had surrounded me, and I couldn't get a peaceful word in edgewise, over the din of their combined verbal assault. And I certainly couldn't have the peaceful one-on-one conversation I'd felt inspired to have with just the one individual from among them. The confrontation ended as the second young man took the first by the arm, and physically began to pull him away from where we were both standing, so that he could not listen to anything I desired to share with him.
I can understand all the reasons behind everything that happened that day, in those moments at the amusement park. And I can even find compassion for the manipulative actions of the one person who incited the rest of their group. But the incident itself still left its stereotypical mark in my memory, to resurface again in feelings of apprehension, every time I've desired to speak to a different individual in the same manner, since then.
Becoming aware of our own stereotyping is not a reason to begin to compromise our own deeply held values or beliefs. So, that is not what I am suggesting here. But what I am suggesting is that we become more willing to understand one another's viewpoints, without assuming what the attitudes of another person are, before communication actually takes place. And I am also suggesting that our disagreements are not automatically a threat to our own beliefs. But people on both sides of the Christian vs. Homosexual dividing line have been guilty of holding to this kind of attitude.
A note on communication too, and what it is. Once something has been said, communication has only just begun. Communication is not complete until the listener has clearly understood what the speaker intended to communicate. This is not to suggest that a person who has spoken is not responsible for what he or she has just said, in the moments before it has been understood in the way that the speaker intended it to be. What it means is that we should all think about what we are going to say before we say it, and choose our own words carefully. We should consider the reactions of those listening, prior to saying what we desire to say.
I'm also not suggesting that something should not be said, just because there is a risk that it will offend another person. What I am saying is that we should avoid saying things for the expressed motive and purpose of offending another person. If there is a different way to make a valid point that is less likely to bring about an offense, then it may be prudent to choose the different way of saying it. I know that I have certainly tried to choose my own words carefully during the writing of this book. But I have not done so to the point that I would completely avoid making a necessary and valid point toward any of the immediate issues at hand, or that I would avoid speaking truthfully and honestly about any of the other issues that may surround what it is that I desire to communicate to my readers.
As an example, there was an HBO special I viewed a portion of recently, which covered the history of the creation, enactment, and subsequent repeal of the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy. And it was quickly clear to me, through what was being said by the people that HBO had selected to air their opinions, throughout the program, that HBO's was a position that supported the repeal. I certainly don't share that viewpoint. But I also deeply resented HBO's biased characterization that everyone who disagreed with the repeal was acting out of "homophobic views", and standing in the way of "progress". That, my friends, is stereotypical of HBO. And it was also stereotypical of the persons who were being interviewed for that particular HBO program.
The program was clearly one-sided, which is fine. This book is one-sided as well. But the difference is that this HBO program characterized everyone who disagrees with them under stereotypical labels and buzz words like, "homophobic" and "intolerant". I don't, on the other hand, believe that every homosexual out there desires to be "set free" from their homosexual behaviors. What I do believe, based upon my widely-shared biblical beliefs, is that homosexuality is still wrong today, and that it is still a sin. And what I also believe is that there are indeed other people within the homosexual community, who also desire to seek out a change of their own homosexual behaviors, just as I did. And so it is not at all "homophobic" for me to hold to that viewpoint. But it is certainly stereotypical of HBO to have implied it.
It is preposterous for HBO, or for anyone else to suggest that any person, such as myself, who spent years looking for a way to biblically justify his own homosexual behaviors, would be "homophobic." One could just as easily suggest that I was "Bible-phobic" (if that's even a word). But you get my point: Both are ridiculous, stereotypical assumptions! And stereotypical accusations like these, which are spun to such a large viewing audience, only leads to more stereotypical thinking from the people who were stereotyped. It leads them to believe that everyone in the other group feels that way about them, since these are the only viewpoints that are being aired in the program.
Here's an example of what I mean. It just so happened that I was staying at a hotel in Colorado, during a business trip, when that HBO program aired. And there was also a young man staying somewhere in the hotel, who I frequently saw and observed during mealtimes, in the hotel lobby. I guessed that the young man might be gay because of his mannerisms, and because of the fact that the male friend who was often with him had the same kinds of mannerisms. And the second young man was also wearing a rainbow-colored wristband. In other words, the male friend was flaunting and advertising the fact that he was gay. That young man would probably call his wearing of the wristband, "gay pride." But suffice to say, it was not difficult to reason that the two of them were probably gay. But I could not know that for sure unless I was willing to actually speak with them.
Some stereotypes are based upon mere presumption or fear, while others are based upon commonalities that we see all around us, every day. So, stereotypes are not always a wrong presumption, or even a negative presumption simply for thinking it. And until I was willing to speak to the first young man myself, to know for sure, I remained open to the possibility that he might not actually be gay, himself. But enter in the fear factor that has been brought on by things like the airing of that HBO program, and I admit that I was reserved about speaking to the young man, even though I truly desired to. I wasn't afraid of him being homosexual. What I feared is that if he was homosexual, then he may automatically label me to be "homophobic" because of my own views, and quickly become annoyed at me. But can you blame me! And can you see how it all works to destroy us, if we allow it to do so?
There was also an older gentleman who regularly interacted with the two young men, and who the first young man often hugged goodbye. And so again, through what could probably be labeled as more stereotypical observations, I reasoned that the older gentleman was probably the first young man's father. I was right! I know I was right, because it was the father of the first young man that I eventually chose to approach, and strike up a brief conversation with him. The father also confirmed my previous observations about his son, and I was able to share my own story with the father, believing that he could eventually share it with his son, with far less confrontation than I may be able to avoid bringing about, and at a time that the father thought his son would be more open to hearing about it.
Now, my own motive for doing so was not that I desired for that young man to abandon his homosexual behaviors and become like me. Lord knows there's only one of me, and sometimes even that is too much! But, humor aside, my motive was that I saw myself in that young man, and I wanted him to have the information of my story available to him, if he desired to know about it... If he ever became as discontent with his own homosexual behavior as I had become those years ago with my own. The truth is that I had biblical compassion for him, knowing what I know now of my own very troubled past.
The really awesome thing is what the young man's father said to me in that moment, as I shared with him: "It took a lot of courage for you to come over here and share that." And then he shook my hand as he said, "I appreciate it."
I will never know what comes of that brief conversation, unless the young man or his father later recognizes their self within this account of those events, and writes back to tell me. But the point is that I was willing to move beyond my own stereotypical thinking, in order to have a civil conversation with a fellow human being. I learned not to fear him, and I hope that he also learned not to fear me. What other people may or may not do, neither of us really had any control over. But our own conversation certainly bridged a stereotypical wall. And we all need to do that if we ever hope to make any progress at all, here inside of our stereotypical world.
How Do I Minister to a Homosexual?
Out of curiosity, I looked on the internet just before writing this chapter, just to see what kind of advice is floating around out there, for answering this same kind of question. And I found that there was no shortage of articles available, where the writers had shared an abundance of familiar "repentance" scriptures that their readers might use to intimidate a person, or to offer them an extra little dose of self-righteous "Christian" condemnation.
An excellent article by Dennis Jernigan was the powerful exception to that trend, and our stories are remarkably similar. So, first I want to thank Dennis for his inspiration in the writing of this chapter of my book. And I will strongly suggest that the sin itself is not where we need to be focusing our attention first, if we truly desire to minister to a person who is struggling with homosexuality. We need to focus our attention on loving the broken person back to Christ. So, let's see if these two passages can simplify things for us:
"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
and also, "Love must be sincere."
So, the way you minister to a homosexual is just the same as how you minister to any other person: By sharing the message of Christ through sincere love. You do that by loving the person, rather than immediately focusing in on their "sin". "For in Christ Jesus... the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." (Galatians 5:6, paraphrased).
If you do sense a Spirit-led need to address their sin later on, then do that after you've found a genuine love and compassion for the very real person who is entangled by the sin, soberly remembering that you were also once entangled by sin yourself. So, address the topic of their sin with the same love, compassion, and proper discretion that you would desire to be confronted with, regarding your own sins and personal struggles. Most people will have already been inwardly convicted of their personal sins numerous times before you ever speak to them about it, anyway. So, what they'll need from you at that point is to be shown the love of Christ through a compassionate and caring person who wants to help them, and befriend them, rather than wanting to pick apart their faults.
I've already spoken in a previous chapter, about the conversations that I've overheard in different churches I've attended, about the topic of "homosexual sin", and how it was usually characterized within those conversations. And most of the time, it was the men I had come to know and respect in the church, who were doing the talking. So, I was deeply convicted, of course.
None of them was aware of it at the time, but when they spoke of "those people", they were talking about me. And the "abomination" they were so bravely condemning had become my own great inward "struggle". And none of those men ever did find out about my struggles, because I would forever be afraid to seek any of them out to ask for their help, after hearing them talk about it in such an uncompassionate way. In fact, I purposely kept people at a distance for years, for fear of them getting too close, and finding out about my inward struggles with this sin.
In Christian circles we often say, and I have even mentioned it in another place in this book, that we should love the person, but hate the sin. This is true. But we must also remember that to a homosexual person, they are their sin... It's "who" they believe themselves to be, and they've found no hope at all for changing their life! For them, it is just as it is written in the Proverbs (27:19), "As water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the heart!" And Christians are too often the ones responsible for taking that hope away from them, when we use this kind of thinking as an excuse to say whatever we want to about the sin of homosexuality, in our open conversations about it.
Because of the way homosexuality had been so demonized within many of the "Christian" conversations I'd heard about it, it was easy for me to conclude, "God must feel the same way about me that these men do." I do not hesitate to take responsibility for my own wrong choices in life. But can you see now why I also urge you to watch what you say, and to take a completely different approach, altogether? You just never really know who may be listening and being deeply affected by what is being said.
In a church setting, it should not be that difficult of a thing to minister to a person. I mean, after all, if the person is in church, then they probably already know that what they are doing is sinful, and they're probably there because they want the spiritual help that they already realize they need. So the big question becomes, "Will they find it there… Will they find it through you?"
And what about someone who is struggling with homosexuality, who has never even set foot inside of a church before? What about them? They may not be "struggling" with homosexuality in their own mind's idea of the way things seem to be. But rather they know it or not, they are deeply entangled by sin, just the same. Yet, I still believe, if you can find a love and compassion for them, then you can minister the love of Christ even to those on the outside of our church walls, rather their sinfulness is homosexuality, or anything else. All it takes is seeing within them a longing and thirsty soul who has never experienced the love of Christ in a genuine way, and to have a willing heart that determines to show them that love.
I'm not suggesting that you completely ignore their sin, or that you allow them to unashamedly or mockingly flaunt it at you. What I'm saying is that you have to see things through their eyes before you can have the compassion it takes to love them. Allow the Holy Spirit to show you the hurt that may be inside of each person, before you resort to focusing in on their behavior. Because, outside of our church walls, expect that their behavior can get ugly, offensive, and nasty. And when that happens, remember that it's never "personal" when you're standing there as an ambassador of our Savior. It's not about "you", in other words. What it's about is each one of them, and the deep love that Jesus Christ has for each of them!
I have personally found that it is always easier to minister to people when you can have a one-on-one conversation with just one person, or, two at the very most. When there are greater numbers of people together, the spirit behind homosexual sin is often very boisterous, loud, and disrespectful of the conversation you may be trying to have with just one or two people within the crowd, and it will be very difficult to accomplish much of anything in that kind of situation, without the grace, power and authority of Christ himself rising up on the inside of you. And with God, we know that all things are possible for them that believe! But still, there is never any need to stand there and argue with a militant homosexual, and you have to know when it's time to simply walk away, and just pray for them.
If you can help a homosexual person to see that they are just like you, and that you see them no differently than you see yourself, then you are making headway into their heart. And indeed they are a person just like you or me! That's why Jesus commanded us to Love, and not to judge. But we do become guilty of judging them in our hearts, if we look at their sin, and somehow see it as being more "sinful" than our own.
If you or I suspect that a fellow believer may be involved in homosexual behaviors, then we need to follow the restorative steps found in Matthew 18:15-17. First, we go to our brother or sister in private. If he or she listens to us, then we have won them over in Christ's love. If they won't listen to us, then we take one or two more believers with us to try and convince the person, and we hold ourselves accountable to continue to be discrete and share the truth in Christ's love. If they still won't listen to us, then we should tell the body of believers they belong to, in order for the whole body to come together and love the person back into repentance. But if they still refuse to listen, then we are to treat them as any pagan or tax collector (the people who are usually despised by their society). But that doesn't mean that we ostracize them, because that isn't what Jesus did to the pagans and tax collectors! Jesus spent most of his time among such people, and he built relationships with them to win them back into the kingdom of God.
It was my great fear of rejection from people inside of our church walls that caused me to continue to struggle with my homosexual sin in secret. And it was the unconditional love I finally experienced from just one or two genuine brothers in the Christian Faith that caused me to walk into the desire I had for a life of truth and repentance, more and more.
You don't have to know all of the answers to their dilemma or situation, or even how to understand their homosexuality. All you really need to know is how to share "The" Answer with them, and be willing to share His love. If all of us would take the time to find just one homosexual person, and become a Christ-like friend to them, then we could turn this thing around! We would see the love of Christ begin to deliver people from out of this growing captivity to homosexual sin.
That is my compassionate hope for each one of them. I hope that it is also yours.
God has blessed me with a loving wife and two wonderful children since coming to know his Son. This is now our 20th year together as husband and wife, and Jesus remains not only the center of my life, but of our marriage and of our family as well. He is Lord over it all. And as Paul Harvey so eloquently puts it, "Now you know the rest of the story."
But here is some final food for thought that also fits: In spite of the stand our culture is now taking on this issue, remember that most of the common, civilized world, apart from Christopher Columbus and a few others, once held to the reasoning that the Earth was flat. But in opposition to that once held popular belief, in the Bible, God has always said that the Earth is a round sphere. So the truth of the matter was right there in the Bible all along. I say that to make this point:
I know that in and of myself, I am incapable of changing anyone's mind on this issue. Besides, that is the Holy Spirit's job, not mine. However, the truth of this issue has also been right there in the Bible, all along. Yet the simple fact of the matter is that no one will ever change who is unwilling to do so, because God will not force his will upon anyone who rejects it, in this lifetime. God can and will persuade you in your heart to make the right choices and decisions, but he won't make those decisions for you.
Your life is a precious gift from him. And the freedom God gave to each of us is in having this life's opportunity to choose for ourselves where the boundary lies between absolute truth, and shades of gray.
Knowing in my heart that God is willing to do for others what he has done for me, I share my life openly here in the sincere hope that someone else who desires it might also find the freedom that I now have in knowing Jesus Christ. So I want to invite you to join me on that journey of knowing him in your own life, right now, before you exit this page. It's in leading hurting and broken people into this personal relationship with Jesus Christ that has always been my heart's first ambition in sharing my story, both here and one on one with people.
God's Word is still alive today every bit as much as God himself is alive. And God continues to show me new and more wonderful truths from his Word each day that I read it, even in passages I have read through a hundred times before. It all continues to make this journey with Him all the more worth while and enjoyable, and the final rewards of it more and more enticing with each passing day.
It's the homosexual sin itself that God hates. Not the person who is enslaved by the sin! Because God despises the sin but loves the person. God loves us all and only desires what is best for each one of us. He is against sin not because it is enjoyable, but because it will kill us in the end, and keep those who've embraced it separated from God throughout all eternity.
We were created to have a relationship with God before Satan ever introduced the human race to disobedience and sin. And God wants his children back! So he is looking for a family of children in as many of us who will trust him long enough to discover again just how long, how high, how deep and how wide his love for each one of us truly is.
The painting directly below is a powerful image called, Forgiven, by Thomas Blackshear. In the image you see a broken man, not at all unlike any one of us, collapsed into Jesus' loving arms. Look closely and you'll see that the man is still holding the mallet and a large nail by which Christ was crucified, and which also symbolizes his many sins. And of course we see Jesus Christ, holding onto him tightly in forgiveness, and promising never to let him go.
You too can begin your own wonderful journey of forgiveness and new life with God, right now, by saying this simple prayer to him, and meaning it from your own heart:
A Prayer for Salvation in Jesus Christ
I also welcome your comments, and I will be happy to share more about a relationship with Jesus Christ, with anyone who desires to know more about him. You may contact me by e-mail below. Godspeed, and may God Bless you all!
If you just linked to the salvation prayer above, from the chapter of the book titled, "The Biblical World View ~ Accepting Life on God's Terms," then you can now return to that portion of the book by clicking your mouse here.
If you linked to the prayer from the chapter, "But How Does Change Take Place," then you can link to the next chapter by clicking your mouse here.
I offer now my sincere thanks to God Almighty, and to his Son, Jesus Christ, for giving me the courage to complete this project. May it help, encourage and inspire all who visit here, for God's own glory. In Jesus' wonderful name, amen. <><
An Open Letter and Update
Much healing has transpired in the ten years since I originally set my heart to the task of writing down my testimony here. So I thought I should also share with readers, some of the healing that has taken place since then, just by praying and trusting in God, and allowing him to lead me forward.
In the summer of 2003, a strange thing happened to me shortly after reading a book called, Wild at Heart. I enjoyed the book so much that I actually read it twice, just to absorb anything else I might have missed when I read it through the first time.
One afternoon shortly thereafter, I was relaxing in a warm shower and still meditating over the many things I had learned and identified with in reading this book. And in my pondering, God really began to deal with me in my heart over some of the relationship issues I'd had with my Dad. And as God dealt with me, I just broke down and started uncontrollably crying and grieving over him, almost as if my Dad had died. And in a very big way, I guess my Dad had died to me many years earlier, within the environment that was created through his alcoholism. While I was growing up it had been as if the person I knew as my Dad had died to me even while he lived on, because my relationship with him had not been what I desired for it to be for such a very long time. But that day I was suddenly able to see my Dad in a different light, finding compassion and forgiveness for him as a hurting and broken person, in the very same way I knew that I had also felt like a broken person for most of my own adult life.
I think it was in that moment that I realized how much I still loved my Dad, and that I missed him terribly, knowing then the great cost in all that had been lost in our relationship to his addiction. And also in that moment, I feared for the first time that I was going to loose him all over again when physical death came. To me, this was a miracle God was able to work in me through my ongoing willingness to forgive past hurts, and take responsibility for my own sins.
But greater still, is the miracle in what God has simultaneously begun to do in healing my Dad's broken relationship with his Dad, thereby working to heal the entire chain of hurts and brokenness that spanned three generations to reach me.
My Dad has begun communicating with his biological father again after they'd gone 45 years of not speaking with one another, and their relationship is being restored because of it. And my Dad has also cut way back on his drinking as well, so that the real person I remember as my Dad is once again becoming visible to me in his renewed soberness. And words can't fully express the joy and healing of scars that all of this has brought to me.
And in just the past two years, God has also allowed me to experience new friendships with other men that have been affectionate and intimate in godly and non-sexual ways that I'd never experienced before. They were as God intended them to be.
I do find that such friendships are rare, and that the stigma of homosexual behavior among American men greatly adds to their reluctance to show godly affection toward one another. Not wanting to be thought of as "gay" in my own interactions, I also had to work through my apprehensions over male intimacy, and the fear I had of that stereo-typical kind of thinking that suggests any male affection could be viewed by other men as "gay."
Such friendships helped me work through those fears and become more confident in being the affectionate person I am called to be, in my walk with Christ. And having experienced this higher and much more genuine level of intimacy, within the greater confidence of God's acceptance and approval of it, has lifted me to the place where I never want to experience the distorted, misleading and twisted interactions of homosexual behaviors ever again. Godly male companionship is longer lasting indeed, and it is far more fulfilling to the soul.
I am just so thankful to God! His faithfulness to me has been awesome and wonderful, and I love him for it.
With Love in Christ Jesus,
Additional Self-Help Resource Links:
Helpful Note: When linking to the web pages and organizations where a type-in "search" box is available, an on-site search using the word "homosexuality" will assist you in finding their specific information related to that topic, at each of those individual websites.
The Biblical, Theological Facts on Homosexuality:
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Many years back, I remember opening a newspaper to glance at the political cartoon. The cartoonist had drawn his own rendition of Michelangelo's painting, "The Creation of Adam," which is pictured above. In the cartoon version, however, the cartoonist included a caption with God speaking to Adam, that read, "Sorry son, you're gay."
First, let's have a little demonstration to show just how easily our own perceptions can deceive us. FINISHED FILES ARE THE RESULT OF MANY HOURS OF ORGANIZING So, how many F's did you count? Most of you will agree that there are at least four of them: One in the word FINISHED; another one in FILES; another F in FASHIONABLE; and the final one in the word, INFORMATION. But who saw five? Or even six? Would you believe me if I told you there were seven of them? In like manner, many people just like us have been sexually misguided, and we have been conditioned into a pattern of homosexual behaviors through a misinterpreted and misunderstood desire within ourselves to bond, to be accepted, or to find a sense of belonging with someone else who is our same gender (someone else who is like us). These unexplained desires can become sexualized as we enter young adulthood and become sexually active. To those people who experience this inward longing, it seems very much like normal sexual attraction and desire to us, because of the way it feels. And the only encouraged response we hear toward such attractions today is to say, "I have these same-gender attractions, so I must be gay." Little by little, our society's overall sense of repulsiveness and offense at the behavior itself has been systematically targeted and numbed down, in an unrelenting campaign for complete acceptance. Activists have used a deceitful, civil rights-like approach, in order to accomplish this goal, mostly through television and magazine articles, and also through civil law suits within our Federal Courts System. So, one intent of this article is to oppose that move in such a way that will still foster compassion and understanding, but through an accurate description of homosexuality and homosexual behavior. We will begin by defining homosexuality itself.
FINISHED FILES ARE THE RESULT OF MANY HOURS OF ORGANIZING So, how many F's did you count? Most of you will agree that there are at least four of them: One in the word FINISHED; another one in FILES; another F in FASHIONABLE; and the final one in the word, INFORMATION. But who saw five? Or even six? Would you believe me if I told you there were seven of them?
In like manner, many people just like us have been sexually misguided, and we have been conditioned into a pattern of homosexual behaviors through a misinterpreted and misunderstood desire within ourselves to bond, to be accepted, or to find a sense of belonging with someone else who is our same gender (someone else who is like us). These unexplained desires can become sexualized as we enter young adulthood and become sexually active. To those people who experience this inward longing, it seems very much like normal sexual attraction and desire to us, because of the way it feels. And the only encouraged response we hear toward such attractions today is to say, "I have these same-gender attractions, so I must be gay."
Little by little, our society's overall sense of repulsiveness and offense at the behavior itself has been systematically targeted and numbed down, in an unrelenting campaign for complete acceptance. Activists have used a deceitful, civil rights-like approach, in order to accomplish this goal, mostly through television and magazine articles, and also through civil law suits within our Federal Courts System. So, one intent of this article is to oppose that move in such a way that will still foster compassion and understanding, but through an accurate description of homosexuality and homosexual behavior. We will begin by defining homosexuality itself.
The basic truth I desire to reveal in this chapter is actually very simple to understand. It's so simple, in fact, that most of us who have ever had the misfortune of dealing with homosexual desires and behaviors (unwanted or not), have completely overlooked its simplicity within our own human existence.
I opened this book with a discussion about perception vs. reality. And through the political cartoon I mentioned, the cartoonist had implied that one is created or born "gay." Now there is absolutely zero scientific evidence to support this view. And the Bible certainly doesn't support that view. But in making that suggestion, the cartoonist did touch on the fact of a very powerful self-deception, which is this: To the gay man or lesbian woman, their perceived identity is built, either in whole or in large part, upon their same-sex attractions. It is "who" they honestly believe that they are. And so they build their own world view and a self-image around those attractions, instead of searching for where such attractions might have actually come from, in an honest and much deeper sense of life, of moral stability, and of them self as a person.
For me personally, "truth" is much more than someone's imposing point of view. Genuine truth comes ultimately from God. And absolute truth is always "black and white" in contrast to what is false. So I have never been satisfied with "shades of gray" where the truth is concerned. And you shouldn't be satisfied with gray areas or half-truths either, that is unless you're willing to be swayed by every deceptive yet convincing argument that is shoved your way. The Father Wound is so named because of the fact that this type of wound is almost always inflicted upon us at the hands of our fathers, or by a significant, male role model. Our mothers can of course also wound us in similar ways, or they can further deepen the father wound. But a "mother wound" happens less frequently, and it seems to have a lesser impact when it does happen... at least upon young boys, it does. So, perhaps the impact of the mother wound is more deeply felt by young girls (once again, I am writing from a male's perspective). Looking back on the time when I was a boy, the obvious environment of coping with my own father's alcoholism, and the father wounds that came out of it, were the most obvious influences upon the emotions, feelings, and personal choices that led me into my own homosexual behaviors. I talk about that environment in great detail, in the chapter that contains my testimony. And so I won't go into all of those aspects of my journey just yet. This was a difficult section for me to sort through and actually put into words. There were even times when I debated with myself over the real need for it to remain in the book, because it didn't seem to convey the real substance of what I desired to communicate, when I would go back and proof-read it back to myself. In fact, it seemed overly harsh, and absent of the Grace of God that always balances and brings a greater understanding to the truth of a biblical edict, law, command, or standard.
The Father Wound is so named because of the fact that this type of wound is almost always inflicted upon us at the hands of our fathers, or by a significant, male role model. Our mothers can of course also wound us in similar ways, or they can further deepen the father wound. But a "mother wound" happens less frequently, and it seems to have a lesser impact when it does happen... at least upon young boys, it does. So, perhaps the impact of the mother wound is more deeply felt by young girls (once again, I am writing from a male's perspective).
Looking back on the time when I was a boy, the obvious environment of coping with my own father's alcoholism, and the father wounds that came out of it, were the most obvious influences upon the emotions, feelings, and personal choices that led me into my own homosexual behaviors. I talk about that environment in great detail, in the chapter that contains my testimony. And so I won't go into all of those aspects of my journey just yet.
This was a difficult section for me to sort through and actually put into words. There were even times when I debated with myself over the real need for it to remain in the book, because it didn't seem to convey the real substance of what I desired to communicate, when I would go back and proof-read it back to myself. In fact, it seemed overly harsh, and absent of the Grace of God that always balances and brings a greater understanding to the truth of a biblical edict, law, command, or standard.
"This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God."
In a nutshell, the Bible proclaims that all people are born into this world with a spiritually rebellious, human nature that we all inherited from the father of our human race, the first man, Adam. Adam wasn't created with a rebellious nature. But he was created with a free will, and he fell into sin when he listened to Satan and chose to disobey God. In that moment of disobedience, Adam's own spirit experienced spiritual death (a severed relationship and connection to God), and his soul inherited its fearful and rebellious nature by that disobedient choice. Because of Adam's disobedience, every human child is born with two natures within them: a human spirit that is alive and connected to God, as well as having that same rebellious nature, which was passed down from Adam and is now present in all of us.
"So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation." And while homosexuality is certainly contrary to true Christianity, it must also be said here that salvation is found only in Jesus Christ; not in heterosexuality! So these passages of Scripture are not meant to imply that the homosexual who turns to Christ and becomes a Christian will never again be faced with a homosexual temptation. That's unrealistic. In fact, you don't know what temptation is until you've tried to overcome a persistent temptation like homosexual dependency and addiction. You didn't become homosexual in just one night, and so you can't expect God to undo the deeply engrained patterns of your homosexual behavior in just one night, either. Compromise... My Own Worst Enemy: "This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 'Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message.' So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: 'Can I not do with you as this potter does?' declares the Lord. 'Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand.' " "For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me."
And while homosexuality is certainly contrary to true Christianity, it must also be said here that salvation is found only in Jesus Christ; not in heterosexuality! So these passages of Scripture are not meant to imply that the homosexual who turns to Christ and becomes a Christian will never again be faced with a homosexual temptation. That's unrealistic. In fact, you don't know what temptation is until you've tried to overcome a persistent temptation like homosexual dependency and addiction. You didn't become homosexual in just one night, and so you can't expect God to undo the deeply engrained patterns of your homosexual behavior in just one night, either. Compromise... My Own Worst Enemy: "This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 'Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message.' So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: 'Can I not do with you as this potter does?' declares the Lord. 'Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand.' "
"For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me."
Homoerotophobia: Now here's a word you're probably not familiar with. And it is distinctly different from the more familiar and abused term, "homophobia." The American Heritage Dictionary defines erotophobia as, "an abnormal fear of love, especially sexual feelings and their physical expression." Therefore, homoerotophobia would be defined as that same type of abnormal fear, between persons of the same gender.
Another writer who found freedom from homosexuality had this to say:
Given the perspective of our current generation and time, can you believe that even American men were once far more intimate and physically affectionate with one another, before this new era of openly public homosexuality began demanding our moral acceptance? The photographic evidence is actually quite clear on that, as it is chronicled in several books, such as, "Affectionate Men: A Photographic History of a Century of Male Couples, 1850-1950", by Russell Bush; "Picturing Men: A Century of Male Relationships in Everyday American Photography", by John Ibson; and also in, "Men of WW II: Fighting Men at Ease", and, "At Ease: Navy Men of World War II", both by Evan Bachner. I will also recommend an excellent online commentary toward this topic, titled, "Bosom Buddies: A Photo History of Male Affection."
I've spent some time looking at many of those old WW2 photos of American soldiers and ship-mates, such as these you see to the left, and I am just amazed at the level of physical intimacy that is so common, and so innocent, in so many of them... Soldiers and sailors, resting and relaxing with each other, one with his head lying on another's stomach, or one leaning back against the chest of his friend, and another who is pictured sleeping on his buddy's shoulder, for example. Yet none of the men in these photos display even a hint of visible concern over their level of closeness. And isn't that the way it should be? But it has become more and more uncommon to see this level of closeness displayed today among heterosexual American men.
Though it is often an entirely separate issue all on its own, touch deprivation is certainly not absent from among the many issues that can contribute to same-sex attractions (SSA), and homosexual behaviors. So it is also worth mentioning here.
Being a product of my western culture and upbringing, by the time I began the long task of sorting through the issues of my same-sex attractions and homosexual behaviors, our western culture had already built a huge and nearly impenetrable wall between me, and the genuine recovery from SSA issues that I desired to find. I didn't know it then, but it would take me nearly twenty years to identify what that "wall" is, let alone coming to realize that it could actually exist as an unholy thing.
I have been speaking here mostly from my own male perspective of male homosexual behavior. And given the things I have described, one might logically presume, then, that female homosexual behavior would always find its roots from similar voids in mother-daughter type relationships. I do believe that the relationship with one's mother can and often does have some influence upon both male and female homosexuality. But more often once again, it seems to me that there was usually also always a father wound of some sort that has impacted the lives of such women as little girls, just as much as I've described that it does so to little boys. Care to take a guess at what a man's most powerful sex-organ might be? When I first heard this question, I immediately began to think about the various physical parts of my body that seemed to bring on sexual arousal when stimulated, and of course the penis seemed to be the logical, "first choice" there... But if your mind went in the same direction that mine did, well, think again.
Care to take a guess at what a man's most powerful sex-organ might be? When I first heard this question, I immediately began to think about the various physical parts of my body that seemed to bring on sexual arousal when stimulated, and of course the penis seemed to be the logical, "first choice" there... But if your mind went in the same direction that mine did, well, think again.
The subtitle that appears beneath the main title of this article reads, "Homosexuality is a Symptom, Not a Solution." What's meant by this statement is that homosexual behavior is not anyone's real answer for filling up the internal emptiness that it is being used to pacify. This is because the void itself, at its core, really isn't about the sex! But rather, it is an emptiness caused by other (and quite often, many other) personal underlying issues. And so sex itself can become an addictive pacifier when a person begins to use it as the outlet which numbs the emotional responses they've felt, because of those other underlying issues. And so in that sense, homosexuality becomes an outward symptom of those internal issues, rather than the solution that can actually heal them. This is always true of homosexuality to some degree, because it is unnatural sex, as our sexuality is defined under God's order of created things. But this trend can sometimes be true of heterosexual sex as well, when the sex is used in this same manner.
Gay activists tell us that there is a reportedly high incidence of hatred toward, and suicides among homosexuals. So, this is a related issue worth also addressing here.
Occasionally, animals can be observed to mount another of the same sex and engage in seemingly "homosexual" behavior. And so it is often argued that homosexuality is naturally occurring in nature, and therefore in human beings as well.
On Wednesday, December 15, 2010, the US House of Representatives made the horrific decision to vote and repeal the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) Policy, along with the federal law which prohibited homosexuals from serving openly in the armed services. On December 18th, the US Senate then followed suit, and on the following Wednesday, December 22nd, President Obama signed the new legislation into law. The Pentagon then released a report in late January, 2011, saying that "training" would begin in February, and would take three months to compete, before the new law would be implemented.
By this point in the book, it should not come as any great surprise that I do hold to the traditional, biblical definition of marriage. It is a union that is a God-ordained institution and spiritual covenant, strictly meant to be between one man and one woman.
"Truly I tell you, whatever you forbid and declare to be improper and unlawful on earth must be what is already forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit and declare proper and lawful on earth must be what is already permitted in heaven."
Bisexuality is a sexual preference toward partners of either gender, with the bisexual person having the trait of easily switching back and forth between their same or opposite genders, any time there is an opportunity for a new sexual partner to be chosen. In other words, it is really the absence of a fixed heterosexual or homosexual "orientation." So it is somewhat surprising to me that bisexuality is so often readily defended by advocates who support homosexuality. Because it seems to me that bisexuality itself tends to disprove some of their own arguments. The argument that people are born gay, for example.
I will not pretend to be an expert with regard to how an intersexed genetic or anatomic condition, which is actually present in a person at birth, may or may not play into the tendency of a person toward homosexual behaviors, later on in life. But one strong point I will make is this: Intersex is an extremely rare and uncommon condition, and it occurs in only a small fraction of a percentage of the human population. This is far less frequently than the whole percentages of people within in our human population who admit that they practice homosexual behaviors. So, the statistics just don't line up at all, if an activist is going to try and use the "cause and effect" argument here. And this is according to the statistics available from the Intersex Society of North America (or, ISNA) itself, as compared to the far greater numbers of people within our surrounding populations who claim to be homosexual.
The origin of HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), is now widely accepted to be the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) which infects monkeys. SIV itself is not harmful to humans, however. And so there remain several different theories as to how SIV mutated into HIV, and then actually made the jump from a monkey to a human being.
As I have also mentioned in a previous chapter of this book, there are mainstream Christian denominations today which are abandoning their once biblical stand toward homosexual behavior, and are becoming more and more accepting of homosexuality as a non-sinful and valid form of human sexuality and relationships, some of them even ordaining openly "gay" clergy members into their ranks. All of these are abandoning sound biblical, Judeo-Christian doctrine, for the sake of appeasing the world and its own ways. But the Metropolitan Community Church has always been on the extreme end of this spectrum, with regard to its open and unparalleled acceptance, and encouragement, of homosexuality.
The day I decided to add this section, I had faced an awkward situation that I took too personally, allowing it to hurt me emotionally. It hurt me because it was during a normal interaction with a trusted friend, whom I'd just recently confided in about my struggles with same-sex attraction issues. And I felt that day like he had begun treating me differently than he had before.
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
FOOTNOTE to PRINCIPLE #6 ABOVE:
"You know, brothers and sisters, that [my message] to you was not without results... With the help of our God [I] dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. For the appeal [I] make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor [am I] trying to trick you. On the contrary, [I] speak as [a person] approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. [I am] not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. You know [I] never used flattery, nor did [I] put on a mask to cover up greed—God is [my] witness. [I was] not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else... Instead, [I was] like [a young child] among you...
Stereotype: An often oversimplified or biased mental picture held to characterize the typical individual of a group. A generalization, usually exaggerated or oversimplified, and sometimes offensive, that is used to describe or distinguish a group.
"How do I minister to a homosexual?" There is such a simple answer to this question. And yet the question itself reigns as seeming to be one of the most difficult for us Christians to answer. Why do we complicate simple things like that?
"You are to help them until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land the Lord your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land..." If there is any good to be found in the journey and struggles that I've faced, then that greater good is certainly to be found in the way it has equipped me to help other people who are facing these same kinds of difficulties in their own lives. Because God's purpose is to show his love toward people, through people. And one way he does that by bringing other people into our lives, who've also been where we are in our own struggles. And people return God's love by being willing participants in helping one another. And so all of this has been written to help you, simply because God has helped me in the way that he has, and I know that he loves and cares about you, just as much. "God, I realize that I am a sinner. So I'm asking you for your forgiveness. I don't understand everything about this new relationship with you right now, but I'm willing to trust you for the answers I don't yet have. What I do believe is that Jesus is your Son. And I believe that Jesus gave his good and perfect life for mine, as a ransom payment for all my sins, when he died in my place that day, on the cross. And God, I believe that you raised Jesus to life again, from death. Jesus lives his life for you today, and he will help me to also live my life for you from now on, because you raised him to life again as Lord over all things. So I choose to make Jesus the Lord of my life. Please also send your Holy Spirit, to live inside of my heart from this moment on, so that he will help me to become more like Jesus in my every day character and love. Thank you for making me one of your own children, Father, and for receiving me back into your family forever. All of these words I pray are in the name of your Son, Jesus, the Christ whom you sent to save us all. Amen."
If you said that prayer, I welcome you to the Family of God! February 5th, 2011 I hope that my book and personal journey have been helpful to you personally, or that it can be useful and helpful to someone else you had in mind, as you purchased the book. With that hope in mind, I have provided a list of additional resources that are available to you, if you visit the Beyond the Shades of Gray Resource Links Area as a source of additional self-help. Each link provided offers you some additional, helpful information on the topics of homosexuality or Christianity. Click the image to the left to be taken to an excerpt from the Baker Theological Dictionary Of The Bible. This additional information on homosexuality is offered as a theological supplement to the testimonial information contained in the article you've just read.
Do you want to look up a Bible verse? You can do so at no cost by simply clicking on this link. But I also encourage you to purchase your own Bible very soon, and to begin reading it daily as a healthy practice of devotion and study.
If there is any good to be found in the journey and struggles that I've faced, then that greater good is certainly to be found in the way it has equipped me to help other people who are facing these same kinds of difficulties in their own lives. Because God's purpose is to show his love toward people, through people. And one way he does that by bringing other people into our lives, who've also been where we are in our own struggles. And people return God's love by being willing participants in helping one another. And so all of this has been written to help you, simply because God has helped me in the way that he has, and I know that he loves and cares about you, just as much.
"God, I realize that I am a sinner. So I'm asking you for your forgiveness. I don't understand everything about this new relationship with you right now, but I'm willing to trust you for the answers I don't yet have. What I do believe is that Jesus is your Son. And I believe that Jesus gave his good and perfect life for mine, as a ransom payment for all my sins, when he died in my place that day, on the cross. And God, I believe that you raised Jesus to life again, from death. Jesus lives his life for you today, and he will help me to also live my life for you from now on, because you raised him to life again as Lord over all things. So I choose to make Jesus the Lord of my life. Please also send your Holy Spirit, to live inside of my heart from this moment on, so that he will help me to become more like Jesus in my every day character and love. Thank you for making me one of your own children, Father, and for receiving me back into your family forever. All of these words I pray are in the name of your Son, Jesus, the Christ whom you sent to save us all. Amen."
If you said that prayer, I welcome you to the Family of God! February 5th, 2011 I hope that my book and personal journey have been helpful to you personally, or that it can be useful and helpful to someone else you had in mind, as you purchased the book. With that hope in mind, I have provided a list of additional resources that are available to you, if you visit the Beyond the Shades of Gray Resource Links Area as a source of additional self-help. Each link provided offers you some additional, helpful information on the topics of homosexuality or Christianity. Click the image to the left to be taken to an excerpt from the Baker Theological Dictionary Of The Bible. This additional information on homosexuality is offered as a theological supplement to the testimonial information contained in the article you've just read.
Do you want to look up a Bible verse? You can do so at no cost by simply clicking on this link. But I also encourage you to purchase your own Bible very soon, and to begin reading it daily as a healthy practice of devotion and study.
I do accept donations for outreach ministry efforts. 100% of any amount you desire to give (less PayPal's transaction fees) will be tagged and used for the purpose of Christian evangelical outreach ministry to the homosexual community. Since I am not an official ministry organization, however, though greatly appreciated, your donation is not tax deductible. The button below will allow you to give a financial gift through a secure, online PayPal transaction. Thank you, and God bless!
You are invited to contact me with any comment, question or concern that you may have as a result of reading my testimony or this book. Please, communicate any disagreement in a civil tone, and I will try to address your concerns. Vulgarity or rude comments will only result in one reply, and the blocking of your e-mail address from our mailbox.
Dean, the author of this book, is a Member in Good Standing of the