I serve as an admin for an online accountability group for men who struggle with same sex attractions. We pray for each other, confess our faults and try our best to live in community. As many of you also know, I have devoted the biggest part of my life to helping young men walk away from homosexuality. (Hold your applause.) I do this, because I have been called by God to minister Jesus to the gay community. I lived a broken, hardcore, sinful, sexual life. Luckily Jesus found me and gave me a chance to keep others from traveling the same road.
The other day I ran across a blog post written by a guy who has also walked from a gay life like I did. It was garnished with a catchy title to grab one’s attention, so I took the bait. That’s when the feeling started. A twisting in my gut, that I couldn’t shake. As I read the last paragraph, the whispers of the enemy had grown strong. “Your ministry is an idol!” “You focus too much on people’s struggles.” “This guy has a bigger audience than you, so he must be right.” Argh!!
The crux of the article was a subtle yet effective attack on those of us who have chosen not only to walk out of homosexuality, but to return and share the redemptive power of Jesus with those still lost in the fray. By the end of the article I had more questions than feel good Jesus moments. I felt the article was misdirected and a little idealistic. He was basically saying that many men who have walked away from the gay community are now spending vast amounts of time in their Christian walk still focused on homosexuality.
The subtle barrage didn’t end there. Among his points that we don’t speak about Jesus enough, he would throw in qualifiers like, “Now I’m not saying that the Lord doesn’t call some people to start ministries or write books…. but I do not think that He calls as many as are currently in pursuit of these things.” As I read this, the words of Revelation 12:11 came to mind. “They overcame by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony…” I believe that the Lord calls all who are healed to share, speak and shout triumphantly how Jesus Christ healing power brought them back from a life of sin and restored their life. Otherwise we are simply a selfish, needy, Christian consumer treating Jesus like a spiritual free clinic. How many times has anyone gone back to thank those people?
I am at a place where I can’t read this young man’s blog any more without a bible in hand and an old priest and a young priest waiting on the porch. I’m kidding. Well…maybe. Anyway. In Luke 17 finds Jesus on his way to Jerusalem. “11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.”
Here are the verses that clinch it for me. “15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
Jesus healed me from the debilitating, life altering condition of homosexuality. You’re gonna to have to fuse my lips together before you’ll ever convince me to keep quiet and live a subdued Christian life. I am more of the come back, “Praising god in a loud voice type.” Not to be flashy and showy, but because God deserves all the glory, honor and praise I can muster. Jesus didn’t just heal me from an illness. He brought me back to life. Will you be one of the nine with the consumer mentality of get what I need and get out? Or will you be the 10th Leper; forever indebted to Jesus for restoring you back to life? It’s all about Jesus my friends!