EX-GAY: Fact, Fraud, or Fantasy ?
"Ex-gay" is a term which always brings a response. For the most part, the
gay community believe this is a total lie. They deny that it is possible
to become ex-gay. It is their belief that "ex-gay" is a fraudulent term.
Most come from the stand-point that a homosexual orientation is inborn,
that it cannot be changed. They frequently equate the homosexual
orientation with being left-handed, or with the colour of one's skin.
Others who are not so hostile believe that ex-gays are simply engrossed in
a fantasy situation. They think that one day, the "former homosexual" will
come back to reality and realize that he is still just as gay as he ever
was. Each time an ex-gay falls back into sexual sin, the skeptical critics
hold this up as proof of their position that the ex-gay was living in a
state of euphoria, that he was simply brain-washed and has finally come to
Understanding The Term.
What is the meaning of this term that many people are using to announce
that their life has been changed? To begin to understand the meaning of
"ex gay", we can correlate it with the sanctification process described in
1 Corinthians 1:10, "Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth
deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us." The ex-gay knows
that something has definitely happened in his life. Change has come.
Perhaps the most important change is that he has come into agreement with
God that homosexuality is a sinful pattern of moral behaviour. Attitudes
have also changed, so that what was once called love is now seen as
possessiveness. The ex-gay can agree with Paul. that he has been
delivered. So there is now a new position in Christ, where the ex-gay is
freed from sin by the atoning blood of Jesus on the cross. God now views
that person through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. At the same time, the
change is also a process of growth that goes along day by day, even minute
What About temptation?
Becoming ex-gay does not guarantee that there will be no stumbles. Daily,
each Christian needs to be delivered from tempting thoughts and sexual
availability. He knows that Jesus will deliver him from these things,
because Christ has already begun the change process in his life. When one
has already seen the Hand of God at work in his life, it is easier to trust
God and to rely on Him in times of trouble.
"I will yet be delivered." The ex-gay person sees his homosexual responses
diminishing and has the confident hope that he will be fully delivered in
the future. But nowhere does the Bible promise that a person will come to
the place where they are never again tempted. In fact, the Scriptures
promise just the opposite: the Christian faces a lifetime of trials and
temptations. We must rejoice in our trials, for they build Christian
maturity. The former homosexual who enters into temptations also rejoices,
for he has seen God deliver him and he knows that each time God provides
the way out of the temptation, he becomes stronger in his faith.
In Love In Action, we do not attempt to make heterosexuals out of
homosexuals. Rather, we attempt to change a person's identity, the way a
person looks at himself. It is not Biblical to use our past sin as our
God-given identity. We encourage the former gay to drop the label
"homosexual" from his life. However, we do not ask him to become dishonest
about his struggle with homosexuality. He is a Christian who has a
homosexual problem, rather than a homosexual who believes in Jesus Christ.
It is our hope that a person struggling with homosexuality will come to a
place of wholeness in Christ. Then, from a position of strength, he can
decide whether to marry or whether to remain single. We hope that each
person will keep an open mind on marriage until they come to that place of
maturity where they know that they could handle a marriage situation
properly, if God led them into it.
What Do We Really Want ?
An important part of the change process is the "belief principle". Jesus
said in Mark 11:24, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe
that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." We encourage people to
joyously welcome Christ into their heart, to have a positive spirit about
Christ and to expect changes to occur. We point out that Christ works
daily, even minute by minute. An awareness must be developed to see what
He is doing. He has not abandoned us, but is daily cleansing us. If it is
the desire of your heart to marry and raise a family, Christ most certainly
will make this possible. We have seen this happen time and time again. It
is disbelief that traps and discourages and brings on a state of
hopelessness. Disbelief effectively stops the change process and blocks
the Holy Spirit when He attempts to reach us, to bring important life-
changing messages. II Corinthians 5:17 in the Amplified Bible reads,
"Therefore if any person is in Christ, the Messiah, he is a new creature
altogether, a new creation; the old previous moral and spiritual condition
has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!"
Why is it that the term "ex-gay" so threatens the gay community? It
implies that one remains homosexual by choice. So the gay person need not
continue in the homosexual lifestyle. It is far easier to believe that
there is no way out, than to contemplate the rigours of the change process.
Let no one deceive themselves by thinking that leaving the homosexual
lifestyle is an easy thing to do. It is extremely difficult. It is only
when we totally give up and say, "Lord, I can't do it on my own", that we
allow God the opportunity to come in and begin to remake our lives. The
process is slow and the gay person encounters much in the way of spiritual
warfare. The enemy does not allow anyone to easily slip out of his
control. Indeed, the ex-gay person passes through the fire.
How do we, those of us who are ex-gay, bear up under such a label? First,
I have never found anyone who is enthusiastic about the label. It is a
scar on the side and nail prints in the hands. It is insufficient identity
and a poor trade-off for the former identity of being a homosexual. Again,
just as it is not valid to use our sin as our identity, it is also not
valid to use our former sin to form our identity. We are Christians who
were formerly homosexuals. We may be Christians who still struggle with
homosexuality, but we are first and foremost Christians. We are the
property of Jesus Christ, no longer our own. Why then the label "ex-gay'?
What purpose does it serve? It is our witness to the life-changing power
of Jesus Christ. It is the ray of hope that flickers within the gay
community that homosexuality is not a terminal condition, In itself, it
says, "There IS a way out!"
Change Is Real.
The changes Christ makes in a life are fact, not fraud or fantasy. The
changes continue from the moment we accept Christ as Lord of our life until
the day we see Him face to face. We can never expect perfection in this
life, yet we can have every reason to expect continual change that brings
us ever closer to the image of Christ. The idea that the ex-gay person is
claiming to have arrived at perfection is a wrong comprehension of the
term. What does "ex-gay" mean? It is a statement of fact: I am no longer
the same. God has changed me, He is changing me, and He most certainly
will continue to change me.
- - Frank Worthen
For further information about homosexuality or about other areas of sexual
brokenness, please contact:
LOVE IN ACTION
G.P.O. Box 1115
ADELAIDE SA 5001
Phone (08) 371-0446
This article is reprinted by permission from:
Love In Action
P.O. Box 2655
San Rafael California 94912
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