While attending a conference team meeting at the Exodus Freedom Conference I heard Alan Chambers say something like: “The world [media] doesn’t understand us even though we give them everything we possibly can.” I totally get what he was saying.
Much of the world doesn’t understand our message because our message is of a spiritual nature and is discerned only by those who have spiritual ears to hear. However, it really hurts when other believers do not get our message either; and many do not. I want to make a simple point to address one aspect of our message.
I have been involved with the issue of same-sex attractions (SSA) in some way my entire life. I have been involved with SSA issues openly for nearly 17 years. During this time I have spoken to a lot of people about sexual issues. Sometimes I merely want to have the tires on my car rotated or I simply want to read a book on my flight to wherever. But the issue comes up all the time!
I can’t remember ever hearing any male say to me that they have absolutely no sexual temptations or impure sexual thoughts. Every male I’ve ever spoken with about sexual issues has confessed to me his personal battle with sexual lust issues. Some of these men are deeply spiritual men and some of them are serving in ministry in some capacity.
Just because a person loves Jesus and is truly Spirit-filled does not mean all their sexual temptations, battles, struggles and lusts toward the opposite gender instantaneously go away. However, their sexual temptations do not control them and do not define them. And it is critically important that they are transparent with at least some trusted community of faith. It is important for the Church to extend God’s grace in such a way that no one feels pressure to put on a mask or to remain hidden in a closet and in bondage.
Why would we expect things to be any different for a person who battles with same-gender attraction issues? Just because a person loves Jesus and is truly Spirit-filled does not mean all their same-sex temptations, battles, struggles and lusts instantaneously go away. However, their sexual temptations do not control them and do not define them either. And it is equally important that they have opportunity to be transparent with a community of faith somewhere so as not to continue wearing a mask or living in the closet and in bondage!
For over 45 years I wore a mask and I lived in a closet! As a result I made many serious mistakes and lived a dysfunctional life and caused great harm to many people as well as to myself. I will NEVER return to the closet again.
The desire of my heart is to love GOD with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my mind. A fruit of that desire has been to walk in the freedom of truth, authenticity and transparency in the midst of my battle against SSA issues without compromising what GOD’s word says about homosexual behavior. In this kind of walk I am finding freedom and I am experiencing healing.
I can’t control what the media or culture thinks or says about me. But CHURCH, please do not pressure me to wear a mask or to live in a closet. I will not!
I am thankful for a community of faith I attend in Nashville, TN, that not only allows me to walk in transparency but expects it! Thank you to my Restoration Church family and thank You LORD for this incredible gift!