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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Out of the Closet and Into the Church

So sometime last week, I posted some perspectives on homosexuality, and one of my readers - I'll call her Dianne - left a comment in which she mentioned that she herself had come out of a homosexual lifestyle. Hmm... that's not something you hear about everyday!

Since I'm always interested in firsthand accounts, I asked her if she'd be willing to tell me more about her experiences, and the conversation that followed was fascinating. So much so that I asked if she'd be willing to let me post her reflections here. She agreed, so here it is, cast in the form of an interview...

Christian: Hi Dianne, I'd be very interested in just hearing more of your story - where you were, where you are now, and how you perceive yourself as having moved through this process (what was helpful? what wasn't?). Basically, I'd love to have you tell me about yourself and then just answer any questions that might pop into my head as a result.
Dianne: Ok, here's a basic summary.

Where I was...
In high school I started having thoughts, feelings about it. But I dated guys then and was generally okay with that. My parents really, really sheltered me growing up, so by the time I graduated HS, I felt like there was a sort of parallel universe happening, full of both excitement and fascination, as well as despair, poverty, suffering and darkness -- all of which I had just never experienced or encountered, but want to. At first, just to see 'how the other half lived' but then soon after found its allure too strong, and became committed to it myself.

So, when I moved out on my own and started experiencing the world, I was totally unprepared for what I would be facing - the partying and all of the accompanying revelry. It sucked me in fast, just like quicksand. Of course it would take many years before I could have any perspective at all on the darkness and sinfulness of it all .

Geographically, I was in Philly, Baltimore, New York, Wilmington, in the bar and club scene and going to parties and such. I was a successful manager by day, being promoted and moved into opportunities. However, as a sort of weekend warrior, I lived an exciting and daring life in a culture that was both taboo (from normal society) and the only place where I really felt like I "fit in" and was unconditionally 'loved' and accepted (of course my frame of reference was tainted and twisted by having been raised in a broken family by non-Christians).

"Moving thru this process"...
For me, it was a mire, a trap, an entire lifestyle and worldview that I bought into hook, line, and sinker - including binge drinking, which turned into alcholic/black out drinking. By the time I was 29, the fantasy had started caving in around me and I felt the crush.

I didn't want the life I had anymore, but it was all I knew.

It drove me to AA. I was scared, but found a bit of refuge in going to "gay AA". For the first year, I enjoyed fellowship that was soooooo much better than anything I had before that - people who shared their past, their shortcomings, their fears, and who were geniunely trying to be humble. We spoke of "God" generically, which made me completely aware of God's grace working in my life, but also inflamed my hunger to REALLY know God.

Then, I was invited to a Bible study by a couple of evangelical Christians I worked with. Studying the Bible in fellowship - that was the turning point.

Two particular evenings stand out as definitive:

The first night, when we studied Romans 8:1: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

What? I wanted to know what about all of the other religions. All of the EE Trained people in the room had a great time with me that night. Within a week, I realized that the "unnamed god" who had brought me out of the pit into AA and who had brought me to Bible study was in fact Jesus Himself. I prayed to accept Christ in November 1995 and continued to go to Bible Study.

Then a couple of months later, the second passage that was definitive in this "process" - John 3:19: "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

(I still start to get teary-eyed over that one.)

Here I was sitting in a Bible study. And the conversation immediately went to homosexuality. Not by me though; by someone I didn't even know at that point. It was like someone had shined a halogen spotlight on me and turned up the furnace to 150 degrees, then took all my clothes off and put me in the middle of Times Square.

The Holy Spirit has never been so convincing to me. Before that, I had argued on internet discussion forums, in letters to editors of all sorts of magazines and papers, with people in all types of venues (including the PTL club, you name it!) all of the arguments about context, about texts speak of men not women, about the 'original Greek', about Sodom being unwelcoming, on and on.

But at that moment, I had nothing. Just deep sorrow. There were more than 30 people at Bible study that night, when I confessed, repented, and believed God's Word. (It was the begining of 1996)

Right after that happened, I found Romans 12. Instead of churning to know completely what all of God's Word meant on this subject and what He wanted from me - ie, to go out with guys, to get marrired, etc., the Holy Spirit led me to my battlecry - Romans 12:1-2 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer 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."

Those three encounters with our wonderful, amazing, triune God through scripture changed my life.

Where I am now...
Fast forward to now. Well, I love the Lord, I love His Word, and I love worshipping Him. If there was one thing that I could just do and do nothing else, it would be to studying His Word in fellowship with other believers and singing songs to Him. Someday, I would really like to attend seminary, but until then I stay plugged into the opportunities we have at GRPC (my church), outreach at work, through volleyball and other ways.

I admit that sometimes I still struggle with a few things. One is the idea of being a "Real Woman" (whatever that means :). The other thing I struggle with is every once in a while I find myself drawn to another woman emotionally and intellectually. It’s never a physical or sexual thing per se, but it is very overwhelming – consuming. I connect much better/ more naturally with men than I do women, so when I’m really connecting spiritually or emotionally with another woman, sometimes I don’t understand how to process it.

In summary, I still struggle, but not with knowing that my identity is NOT gay or homosexual. (That just sounds so foreign even just to write it.) My struggle is more about my identity in Christ and in relationship with His people. How to love? How to trust? How much to trust? How to serve? How to serve them? How to serve Him? These are all open ended questions that I'll just keep asking every day (Lord willing).
Christian: First and foremost, I really appreciate your willingness to respond. This is personal stuff, and you've been very open and forthright. I appreciate that. (I think we need more candor in the church).
Dianne: No problem! I need it too.
Christian: Ok, a couple of followup questions, starting with some simple ones for context. How old are you now? married? still single?
Dianne: 42, not married-yet.
Christian: Have you experienced any change in your sexual desires? (eg towards men rather than women? were the desires for women ever really sexual? or was it more a desire for acceptance / relationship / intimacy? what I'm really wondering about here is how you would quantify / describe the change that your Christ has worked in you)
Dianne: Yes. I really don't experience much nowadays in the way of sexual desires, but, yes, I have found that I have a general desire to be with a man.

Yes, I had life-dominating sexual desires for women for years. I would even go so far as to say that it was a serious addiction. I can't even count the number of women with whom I’ve had various encounters, not mention those I propositioned. (Sidenote: most women tend to be much more monogamous than I was, more like Melissa Etheridge or Ellen DeGeneres).

I believe the change Christ has worked in me is indescribably enormous. The emotions, intimacy, and acceptance issues I sometimes have today are blessings in comparison with the unbridled idolatry that characterized my past.
Christian: Ok, you sit down at a bar and order a beer - a woman sits down beside you: a) would you be able to tell whether or not she was a lesbian? b) what would you say to her if she was? what would you most want to convey?
Dianne: Okay, well, besides the fact that I don't drink alcohol anymore :) - I would have to say that this is an interesting and possibly illuminating analogy. I’ve often thought that sharing your faith is a lot like picking someone up in a bar. And I also think that you can have a sense of another gay/homosexual person in a way very similar to how Christians know that they are talking to other Christians. The kingdom of darkness is really sneaky like this.

a) Sometimes you can tell. But many lesbians look nothing like ‘lesbians’ and many straight women look a lot like ‘lesbians.’ It has more to do with the way they look at you, the way they talk to you, the way they relate to you. Then, you can tell sort of how they think of you.

b) What would I say? First and foremost, I must remember above all that I’m Christ’s ambassador, especially at that moment. Not to compromise the God’s Truth in anyway, but to come beside her, build a friendship, hope that she might open up about where she’s at and try to build a bridge or connection from that. Start with a neutral conversation but try to transition into where she is spiritually.

Build trust and then invite. (Actions speak louder than words). Our church has a lot of sports programs. I’d invite her to play volleyball or softball. Or if she is open to it, see if she would like to get together with friends from my small ‘house church’ and go to a museum or park or some kind of social outing: fellowship with others. Introduce her to other Christians and make sure our relationship is not exclusive in anyway. Build relationships that show her what godly men and godly women can look like when you actually get to know us (because most have only seen what the media shows them.)
Christian: If your church leaders came to you and said "We want to create a church culture that is welcoming to homosexuals, while at the same time being true to the Scriptures (eg. we're not going to stop calling it sin when asked)" - what would you tell them?
Dianne: Teach and preach the Gospel, because we need to hear it all of the time. Be different than the world in the ways that matter (love, openness, humility) by remembering the one Who makes us different. Worship that is engaging and heartfelt is also critical.

We need to confess our sin one to another, and stay vulnerable. If we give people the impression that we are ‘super-Christians’ – that we don’t struggle, we don’t hurt, we don’t sin, that we are on a higher level because of how long we’ve been going to church, or any other thing, then they will probably either run away or just try to polish the outside of the cup to try to fit in. But if we open our lives, they too may open theirs and find forgiveness, healing, & transformation. (for me, this is a MUST do).

Have stuff to invite them to. Do things that include both men and women: don’t separate all of the ‘programs’ into all of the men go do this, while all of the women go do that. There are a lot of gender identity issues and this would make it much more comfortable for people who are just coming in. Do stuff outside of the four walls of the church too, maybe within the communities that these people live in. Also, I would make sure married couples are involved in singles ministries.
Christian: Have you run across any books that would be particularly helpful (to people like you, or to people still struggling w/ homosexuality)? or would you just point people towards Scripture?
Dianne: I would have people come to a Bible study, in fellowship, rather than a plucking out verses. Sit together with the Bible, open it and read it together.

As far as books: “Coming out of Homosexuality” by Bob Davies and “Out of Egypt” by Jeannette Howard were both excellent for me. COH confirmed what I had been going thru. About 80% of that book was exactly what I had been experiencing, so when I read it, it was a huge relief to know that I was not the only person in the world who was leaving “the lifestyle.”

Two more books that I've found helpful recently:
Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave and When People Are Big And God is Small, both by Ed Welch.

The Bob Davies book I mentioned before was really helpful early on, as he is writing from experience and has a way of being very practical and relevant. However, I would say the Ed Welch stuff is probably better theologically, depending on where the people are coming from.
Christian: Do you think there's any real difference between homosexual struggles and heterosexual struggles? do people struggling w/ chastity, fidelity, etc need to hear something different? or do they really need to hear the same thing?
Dianne: Great question. I do think there’s a real difference between the two struggles. Chastity and fidelity are certainly a huge part of both issues. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that in a culture that abounds in sexual impurity – the worship of created things, rather than the Creator (who is to be praised forever, amen!) -- the progression of God giving them over to ‘shameful lusts’ (Romans 1:26) seems almost inevitable. I believe that the further we get from Godly heterosexual, monogamous relationships, the more homosexual activity in that culture will increase.

But, in terms of the message – turn to God and worship Him, turn from idolatry. That message is the same.

With homosexual struggles, we often deal with excessive shame and guilt (ie, “shameful lusts" – Romans 1:26.), years of hurt, rejection and abandonment or trust issues that turned us away from trusting authority. I’m not as sure whether these deeper issues are as common for heterosexual strugglers, they might be, but I wouldn’t know about it.
Christian: Any final thoughts?
Dianne: Yeah, the one other thing which made a huge difference for me is prayer - I missed that. We had prayer meetings a lot back then. It's a weak area for me these days, but back then - it was huge!!

Also, have you checked out the Exodus Int'l website? They have a lot of info online. Harvest USA in Philly also has some stuff on their website.
So there you have it - a first hand account from someone who's been there and back again. And rather than say any more about what I think, I'd like to open it up to you, the readers (all three of you). Have any thoughts? Feedback? Additional questions? Feel free to fire away...


At 8:13 AM, March 26, 2007, Blogger aaronjasonsilver said...


It seems to me that in the wake of so many men in high profile positions, even including very conservative members of the clergy that have been “outed” as of late, would lead me to believe that simply condemning homosexuality does not work in stopping or preventing homosexual activity. It obviously will never work in preventing or stopping homosexual behavior given the many facts we have available if we dare look. If the clergy themselves who vehemently condemn homosexuality on the pulpit and then they themselves in private engage in homosexuality and fantasy I believe provides some important evidence. The evidence of which I speak is that homosexuality goes much deeper than simply acting out physically. There is not a gay man that I have ever talked to that hasn’t admitted to trying or wanting to change their homosexual fantasies even before they have their first experience. We, as gay people learn very early on what behaviors are considered normal and which are considered not only abnormal but actually abhorrent. I, like so many other young children and some are soon to become seminary students tried with all of our might to pray these powerful yet disdainful feelings away. Many clergy members choose the clergy for the very reason of trying to rid themselves of these overpowering natural urges. Privately hoping that if the join the clergy they will be closer to God and then perhaps he will rid them of these feelings. This is what is meant by “the closet”. The closet is an emotional place that many homosexuals choose to live in, in order to prevent anyone from finding out or discovering their deeply hidden feels. Both men and woman often do this. In fact most gay people start out in the closet once they have been socialized enough to understand that society does not permit these types of activities or feelings of desperate yearning to let the world know who they love or have a crush on. Instead these young boys and girls are forced into pretending that they have “normal” feelings of attraction like all the other kids. Unfortunately many choose to live in the closet for varying lengths of time.

The length of time one chooses to live in the closet has to do with so many variables. Some choose to live in the closet for religious reasons. They may be from deeply religious and socially conservative families. They may feel that by exposing their true nature that they may lose the love of their parents, families or their caretakers and are terrified of being shut out in some way such as losing their love or being punished for their feelings. Another reason may be that they come from a macho background of a military family. They may also choose the closet for professional reasons. They may carry fear of losing their jobs or have fear of moving up in a company that they are very well qualified for but because they are gay the job may then go to someone with lesser qualifications but are heterosexual. So economics can be a very powerful reason for staying in the closet way into their adulthood. Even rid themselves of this so called “disorder” provides some evidence that it is much deeper than just the homosexual act. Not only the act or fantasies are impossible to control. Also given the fact that homosexuality, no matter how hard some tries to rid themselves of these powerful feelings of attraction, will not go away. Therefore this topic of “the closet” needs to be addressed and understood. I believe it is essential to discuss “the closet” to provide the necessary context from which to view this issue and the scandals. The closet, meaning the emotional place where people hide their true sexual orientation from others, whether one is a man or woman. Particularly now however I am speaking of men at this time. The reason being is because I believe men use the closet even more often than woman because of societies more narrow view and expectations of what behaviors are considered acceptable and “normal” for men. This discussion needs to be civilized, and our knee jerk reactions and judgments held in check. We need to discuss this subject with compassion because there is a lot of emotional pain involved in living in the closet. We have to discuss this with a very sincere desire to try and understand why so many men are seemingly suddenly becoming gay. Of course this is an impression to some but far from the truth. These men have been living extremely lonely double lives, riddled with guilt in “the closet”. Woman can be tomboys much easier than men can be sissies. Of course not all gay men are effeminate by a long shot but that is a stereotypical image of gay men and therefore many men attempt to cover up any behaviors they may have and believe may bring unwanted suspicion onto them. Therefore men, whether they be gay or straight, will practice stereotypical masculine behaviors to thwart any suspicion out of fear and/or necessity. This is especially true if they feel pressure to do so to protect their careers, career advancement, fear of social denunciation or they have difficulties reconciling their religious views with their natural inner feelings and same sex attractions etc. These are however the most common reasons for men to join the astounding numbers of other men that are also hiding in the closet.

The fear of being discovered can be enormous and absolutely terrifying. These men will often then do whatever they believe society expects from them. They will marry and have children out of desperation in an always unsuccessful attempt at suppressing these natural longings and hoping that they will eventually go away. Since we have very conservative members of the clergy who are also unable to control these powerful inner urgings we perhaps need to at least try and understand these powerful feelings of attraction that we all know very well and have all experienced ourselves whether toward the same sex or the opposite sex, it’s all still the same. To Gays these attractions feel perfectly normal and are. Would we rather they try and unsuccessfully continue to hide by getting married and have homosexual secret liaisons with men and feel terrible guilt in doing so. They will do their very best to compartmentalize their lives the best that they can. However I believe and have found while researching my book that the longer one stays in the closet the more damage is done. It is generally very difficult to compartmentalize ones life for long without some emotional problems begin developing in varying degrees and manifesting in a variety of ways. Many closeted men develop coping mechanisms such as addictive behaviors of all sorts whether they are alcoholism, prescription or non prescription drug abuse. They may develop addictions to pornography, sexual addiction or other self-destructive ways of acting out. Once again unfortunately the longer one stays in the closet there will then also generally be more victims because of their closeted lifestyle choice. This is the only place where the word choice can be used correctly within the context of this subject. They can either “choose” to live in the closet or “choose” to live out their truth of who they really are. The victims may be their wives and children, their friends, parents and siblings. All feeling like they have been betrayed and deceived when the closeted individuals true nature is discovered as it was for ex-governor of New Jersey, Mr. McGreevy, ex-congressmen Foley and now the president of the Evangelicals, to name just a few of the staggering number of men that have also been hiding their true selves. I feel very sad for the victims as well as I very much understand the humiliation, despair, and profound depression that the closeted individual feels that soon follows once that door to the closet is flung open. For some, the shame and fear is just too unbearable and suicide seems like the only alternative to ending their unbearable pain and shame.

Society needs to take some responsibility with this matter of the closet by being more accepting of alternative lifestyles. Without the closet, try and imagine how much less pain many people and families would have to endure. Not only the ones that feel that living in the closet is their only alternative, but for the victims that find themselves feeling betrayed and the breaking up of families that soon follows. We as a culture have some soul searching to do on this matter and not be so self-righteous. There are a variety of ways of loving and living. We need to accept the fact, that which seems to be normal for some is not necessarily normal for all. However, as I said the closet can cause deep and very troubling emotional problems that can eventually manifest in abhorrent behaviors. Unfortunately homosexuality is still frowned upon by many in American culture, which in turn renders same sex marriage completely out of the realm of possibilities for especially the conservative religious right.

For gays that feel the need to come to terms with their same sex attractions, I generally do not recommend discussing these issues with clergy. The reason I feel this way is because it can cause further damage due to their religious agendas which can deepen one's guilt, shame and depression. This is a very complicated issue that society has to become more compassionate about. If we do not, we will continue to shame many people with same sex attractions enough that will perpetuate their confusion. It will also inhibit many from being true to themselves from the beginning and also prevent them from seeking the appropriate help for any specific personal issues in which they may be struggling with. Thank you, Aaron Silver Fennville Mi 49408

At 8:46 AM, March 26, 2007, Anonymous toots mcguire said...

thank you for your wonderful comments.You have warmly validated my feelings. As a lesbian who attempted to live a heterosexual lifestyle until I was 30, I cannot begin to tell you the agony of living a life that isn't true. So thank you for your comments, they are appreciated.

At 1:32 PM, March 26, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Toots or Aaron: How is your relationship with God? Would either of you want to comment about that? Just curious.

At 3:32 PM, March 26, 2007, Blogger aaronjasonsilver said...

I would love to comment about my relationship to God. I am a deeply spiritual man but I will not be confined to a boxed set of beliefs that someone else created for me. I believe in individual thinking. I don't allow or need someone to do that for me. It says in the bible that man was made in the image of God. Many people have I believe misinterpreted that to mean that God is human-like. I believe that dimishes the greatness that God is. We were made I believe with the spiritual or divine energy that god is. There is no face or even human emotion that God is confined by. It is impossible for we finite beings to truly understand anything infinite as God is. Even a discussion about God automatically dimishes the greatness God because we are confined by language to discuss God. Language is limiting because it is meant for humans. God has no language but his essense in infused in us all. I believe that we humans are related to one another in the same way that the leaves on the trees are related through the essense of the tree. The tree, metaphorically being God carries the essence of divinity and therefore the leave created by the tree do also. I hope this makes sense and answers some questions clearly about my beliefs. A wonderful book to read is "the book of Thomas". It was striken from the bible in 533a.d. by the bishops and church heads because it reveals very clearly that Jesus said that he is no more wholly that we. We are all one. It's a wonderful book. Thank you, Aaron Silver

At 3:47 PM, March 26, 2007, Blogger Brian said...


Excellent post. Thanks for sharing.

Interesting that if I read your comment, Aaron, and simply insert any other vice for the word "homosexuality," what results is a pragmatic ethical justification for anything whatsoever. So, for instance, "simply condemning adultery [lying, theft, pedophilia, child-abuse, you name it] does not work in stopping or preventing [said] activity." Take your pick and read accordingly.

I'm sure many pedophiles, child-abusers, alcoholics, drug-addicts, you name it, are also forced into these metaphorical "closets" because of deep embarrassment and societal shame. Does that mean they should be "true to themselves" and embrace their respective behaviors all the more? That doesn't make sense, and I don't think, Aaron, you'd want to argue that. So in order to keep this argument from validating just *any* behavior, it needs a few more ethical premises; like, for example, a standard or norm by which behavior should be evaluated. What norm should we use? You seem to suggest each individual's deepest desires are the ultimate standard; they "be themselves." But that cannot work, unless you want to endorse all kinds of destructive behaviors, like, say, sexual abuse, drug abuse, rampant adultery, etc. So, for instance, you wrote: "Society needs to take some responsibility with this matter of the closet by being more accepting of alternative lifestyles." Well, just how "alternative" are you willing to go, Aaron? Who decides? Each individual? Society at large (you obviously don't want that)?

Just something for you to think about, perhaps. Without the God's-eye view provided by Scripture, we can never know ourselves truly; we are all so easily self-deceived. We need God's universally applicable standard. The bad news is, none of us look too good under those lights. The good news is, Jesus has handled that for us, if we despair of ourselves and look to him.


At 4:28 PM, March 26, 2007, Blogger aaronjasonsilver said...

Thanks for your commment Brian, First I would like to address the psychiatric disorders such as pediphilia etc that you mentioned and why there is no way to compare them to homosexuality. The most important and obvious reason is that these disorders cause unsuspecting victims. Homosexuality and hetersexuality do not unless abused. These are between consenting adults. Adultery as you mention should not be outlawed even though I have not engaged in it myself I do not like to pass judgments on others for choices that they make. It too is between consenting adults. Sure there may be some lying and cover-up when engaged in this behavior but it's my problem and I don't believe one can legislate morality unless the behavior as I mentioned causes victims. Then it is our goverments responsiblity to protect it's citizens,especially children against such deviant behavior. I hope you have done some homework about pediphelia and have learned that heterosexual males are the most likely perpertraters of this deviancy, not homosexual males as many would like to believe. Thanks though for you candor. Aaron Silver

At 10:38 AM, March 27, 2007, Blogger Christian said...

Hi folks, as the primary author of this blog, I'd like to chime in w/ a couple of thoughts (mostly directed to Aaron).

1. first and foremost, it doesn't seem Aaron's comments have any reference at all to what Dianne said (other than the fact that they are both talking about homosexuality).

Perhaps I'm just jaded, but I REALLY hope that Aaron's not just sitting at home searching blogger for any posts that mention 'homosexuality' and then leaving comments in hope that people will go check out his website and buy his book.

Say it isn't so, Aaron, or at least be open up front about the fact that you have a financial interest in this discussion.

2. regarding the _content_ of Dianne's comments, she is asserting (from her own experience) that

a) it's actually possible to experience change in regards to one's sexual orientation(and I think she might describe this in terms of liberation or freedom), and that

b) she experienced this precisely because of her encounter w/ the Jesus of the Bible.

I'd really like to hear Aaron (and others) interact with Dianne here, rather than talking about your own agenda.

3. regarding standards for discerning right from wrong, good from bad - No offense, Aaron, but it sounds like you've dodged Brian's question.

a) You've labeled pediphilia a 'psychiatric disorder' - but isn't that exactly what used to be said about homosexuality?

b) Wouldn't most pedophiles simply say 'Hey, that's the way God made me'? (eg. what happens when we discover a biological dimmension to pediphilia?)

c) What's your standard for saying pediphilia is wrong but homosexuality (or as Brian said, 'any other vice') is ok?

d) And what if pediphilia is consensual(eg. kids and teachers) and no one gets hurt (eg. it's safe sex)?

At the end of the day, you still haven't told us what your _standard_ is, other than its what seems right to YOU. And why is your opinion any more valid than a pediphile's?

[please note, though - I really don't want this particular post to degenerate into an argument over how you answer these questions - so if you want to answer them, please do so in an email to me, and allow me to ask some followup questions, and then we'll post YOUR thoughts as a separate post.

I'm more than happy to offer a platform for you to air your side of things, but I'd ask you not to try and co-opt Dianne's]

At 6:16 AM, August 20, 2007, Blogger Steve F. said...

Hi, Christian - it's been a while since I've been back to check your posts. Hope all is well in the beautiful northwest...

While I celebrate Diane's story, and rejoice in her new life, stories like hers almost always tear me a couple different ways. First, there is the Well, I'm glad it happens for some "good" people - evidently I just wasn't "good" enough... thought. That never goes to a happy place, as you might imagine.

I have a friend who was told, "Well, when it comes to working for your 'change,' you haven't even made it around the block yet." His response: "I've spent thousands of dollars on Christian counselors, hundreds of hours fasting, praying, even an exorcism. So I have to wonder... just how big is this block?..."

I've come to the same place about changing orientation that I'm at with faith healing. Two Lutheran pastors, 150 miles apart, with Parkinson's disease. Both were mighty servants of God; both were great prayer warriors and evangelists; both were loved desperately by their congregations. One experienced a massive remission, and spoke around the country about his experience. The other, my faith mentor, continued to degenerate and finally died from PD-related heart problems.

In the end, my choice is the same as Pastor Tom's - realizing that change or healing was not coming, and choosing to live with the cards we've been dealt. God, it seems, still can use broken tools...

At 1:23 PM, September 10, 2007, Blogger Christian said...

Hey Steve - I just want to say thanks for posting, and I want to apologize for being so slow in responding (on vacation, then frantically trying to catch up after being on vacation). My blogging seems to be getting more and more sporadic.

I appreciate what you've said, especially for keeping it focused on what Dianne shared.

I certainly won't disagree with you that for some people, change might not come for years (if at all).

What I do want to say, though, is that change is _possible_. Dianne's experience (along with a couple of others I know), coupled with Scripture, certainly seems to support this position.

What I find interesting, is that so few people (either in media, or in homosexual circles) want to talk about this - the mantra seems to be "Nope, it's impossible, I tried everything. This is genetic. It can't happen. And if you suggest it can, you are simply being a homophobe, etc..."

Why do you think that is? (please note: I'm not saying you think this; I just think you might have insight into that question)

And why aren't more people in the homosexual camp interested in homosexuals who have come out of the lifestyle, experienced change, etc?

I think if I was a homosexual, and I read an article like this, I'd be picking up the phone and talking to Dianne, saying "I want to hear what happened for you..."

But I don't get that vibe from homosexuals I've talked with.


At 2:02 PM, September 11, 2007, Blogger BentonQuest said...

I think the reason gays don't get on the phone to Dianne is that we have done the same things and have not had them work. We get tired of being told that we are damaged goods and that God does not love us unless we pretend to be straight. How long do we have to live a lie before we realize that God has plans for us too and these plans involve partners, love, and purpose.

If we judge by the fruits, then the fruits of my life show that God is present. Since I have come out, I have found a partner that I love and who loves me. I have gone from extreme depression to happiness and contentment. People who meet me can tell that I have changed and the change has been for the better.

At 7:38 PM, September 11, 2007, Blogger Christian said...

Really? Are you saying that you
a) actually know "gays who are no longer gay" (as Dianne described herself), and
b) that you've actually talked to them about it, to conclude that
c) "I've tried all that but it didn't work for me"?

I'm asking because most gays I've talked to seem reluctant to admit that someone like Dianne even exists, let alone acknowledge that they've talked to them.

So can you just clarify that for me? How many former-gays do you know personally? And what was the way they experienced change?



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