Earlier today a young man that I mentored sent me a link to an unsettling, but not surprising blog post. Apparently, it came out that Randy Thomas, the former Vice President of Exodus International, well, “Came Out”. My friend was emotional. To be honest, it upset me for a millisecond and then I went back to reading my daily devotion. As the day wore on, I felt no need to write an impassioned blog response, adding fuel to a fire that was smoldering at best. While some may see this a great opportunity to dialogue about the woes of gay Christianity, I felt like God was simply saying, tell them about my Son Jesus and what He did for you; about His plan of redemption and mercy for humanity. Don’t trouble yourself with the people who have ultimately rejected God’s plan laid out in the scriptures. That last line wasn’t a dig at anyone. We either say, Yes to Jesus and follow God’s plan for our lives, or we allow sin of any kind to gain a foothold in our life and reject God’s plan by making Jesus a contributor to our plan instead of the Savior of our life.
First off, let me just say that Jesus Christ is still working on me. I’m terrible with finances, I drink too much soda and I used to secretly take pictures of larger people at Golden Corral while they weren’t looking. I’m a work in progress, but I fully admit there are areas where I need work. I don’t sit back and try to convince anyone that they should accept and celebrate my faults.
For example, take the area of my sexual brokenness. I lived as a gay man in my mind a lot longer than the actual ten years I lived as a gay man after coming out. I tried to convince everyone that I was “born gay” and then that I was a “gay Christian”. I couldn’t explain my same sex attractions away, so I tried to convince people that God had created me gay. Why?
I felt my same sex attractions deeply, down to my very core.
Thank God there was nobody reinterpreting the bible to validate homosexuality back then. Satan is using so many people as mouthpieces today in an effort to twist scripture and legitimize homosexuality. I knew the bible spoke out against homosexuality and that the only thing supporting my decision to be gay was the aforementioned, “deep-seated” feelings of unknown origin. In my thought life, “they just were there”. This led to the belief that I had no choice, I just had to build a life around them, because they weren’t going away.
I eventually walked away from my gay life. Why would I walk away now when I couldn’t bring myself to walk away before? Had my feelings changed? Did God appear me to in a cloud or a bright light on the highway? No and no. God simply allowed my gay life to lead me to the dead end where it will eventually lead everyone. Though my feelings had not changed, every ounce of belief that I could be fulfilled and happy as a gay man was gone. True, there was nothing that could separate me from the love of God, but God never placed His blessing on the gay life I was leading. It was outside of His will for my sexuality and the whole of His creation. The grace and mercy of God was that He kept His protective hand on me as I defiantly lived a life that screamed, “NO GOD”, until I was ready to return to Him humbly whispering, “Yes God.”
Every day of my life as a Christian, Jesus gives me the choice to choose life or death. He encourages me to choose life, but He gives me the option to choose death if I want to, it’s the beauty and the curse of Free Will. The choice seems like a no brainer to all those folks out there with minor struggles, but satan has honed his skills since his first act of deception in the garden. He has managed to cloud the choice between life and death by disguising death as a better, more palatable version of “life”. Its troubling to see anyone choose death, but no man who has ever spent time at the altar of an Exodus conference ever walks back into homosexuality easily. They deserve our prayers, but not our judgment or approval. Jesus suffered and endured the pain and anguish of the cross so we could have a choice to wholeheartedly follow God’s will or allow the cares of this world and the allure of sin to cause us to reject His will. Manage your own decision well before ever casting a vote in someone else’s election.
My relationship with Jesus is where my heart rises and falls every day. There will always be temptations to return to the places I was comfortable, no matter what, but I rest assured that temptation is not sin nor does it define my sexual preference or identity. In Christ there will always be a choice as well. The bible I read, speaks of redemption from every manner of sexual sin, including homosexuality. It says that God has a purpose and a plan for man and satan screwed that all up. It says that Jesus Christ came to earth, was crucified and was resurrected from the dead so that you and I can have life and have it more abundantly.
To me that says that I can choose not to live a life forever looking through the viewfinder of homosexuality. All sinful, sexual practices in the bible are still categorized together, because they are all outside the only God ordained sexual expression, which is between a married man and woman. Homosexuality has only been separated out, because it has one heck of a public relations team and thousands of testimonials from “satisfied” customers.
It is not God’s will that anyone live a life based on homosexuality or any other sinful practice. We have the choice to surrender all the broken, sinful parts of our lives to God. He will show each of us the path He has chosen for us to follow based on the bible, or we can choose to follow a path and a god of our own design based on thoughts, feelings and flawed human reason.
Deuteronomy 30:19 “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live…”