Kevin, a member of a Metanoia support group, was seen by Dan, another group

member, at the Brass Connection, a gay bar. In the group Kevin admits to

having "a difficult week." Slowly, details emerge. Change is difficult;

he's tried hard; no one cares, and suddenly he is back on Capital Hill --

looking for something to do. "I just went in for a beer," he protests.

The group agrees -- change is difficult. No one really understands -- or

cares what we're going through. Slowly, despair, and self-pity set into

the whole group. Stories of failure begin to abound at group meetings.

One by one, members drop out, others pick up a new partner -- from the very

group that is supposed to help people find a way out of homosexuality.

What's going wrong?

Answering this question calls for self-examination. Where are the Metanoia

counsellors failing in their responsibilities to their clients? As the

director of Metanoia, I am constantly examining our programme and

counselling philosophy. Is it consistent with God's proclamation of hope

and healing? Are we using the best counselling models available to us? Do

we continue to improve our skills? Upon reflection, I have a clear

conscience that the staff is doing the best job possible and that we are

consistently working at improving our skills. We do care, and we are

consistent in expressing that personally and corporately.

Still something is not quite right. I believe the problem is two-fold and

the solution lies with the client:

1, there is a failure to implement the tools available.

2, clients are engaging in a transference of responsibility.

Too often, they want the hard work to be done by others.

Besides being given the opportunity for the expression of emotion and

identification of behaviour patterns, the client is given many tools and

resources ranging from educational helps to support groups and seminars.

Within each of these categories, the client is given several practical

steps to implement these tools.

In counselling, feelings are uncovered and motivational dynamics are

explored. Techniques are taught to identify and disrupt former destructive

behaviour and thought patterns. Frequently, clients say, "I had a bad

week, I fell." They almost appear shocked when asked, "How did the event

take place? What led up to it?" Possibly this is the question the

counsellor may ask -- but seldom does it appear to be a question that the

client has taught himself to ask. The client should be asking himself

regularly, "What can I do about my life -- as I am living it?"

In support group meetings the same dynamics occur. Each week the step is

taught; frequently with the challenge to do something during the week: "I

learned, I came to believe, I praised, I made my fearless inventory, I

confessed, I made direct amends, I lived, I matured, I sought, I carried."

Yet when asked, "How do you do a step?" -- the response is often a blank

stare! Attending the support group is not the answer to freedom from

homosexuality; implementing the program is!

Besides support groups and counselling, Metanoia offers many educational

resources -- books, a newsletter, seminars, etc. How often are these used

by our clients? Used to discover what is going on? For some, Nexus (the

newsletter) is the only support they have. They often write back saying,

"I use the articles as a devotional daily! I live my life by them!"

Praise God! That's why they were written and published!


This leads to the second issue which arises out of our culture, the

transference of responsibility. Doctors are responsible to provide the

perfect, painless cure. If treatment is not 100% successful, then sue!

Doctors practice medicine,however, because they don't know exactly what

will happen with any particular patient. Education only insures an

educated guess.

Locally, a logging company is being held responsible for the death of a

number of its loggers in the May, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. Who

was responsible for knowing exactly what the mountain would do? I do not

deny that the logging company and doctors have responsibility. The issue

is, they can only do so much and no more. A doctor's responsibility ends

when his patient does not follow through on his part. A doctor cannot

prevent a heart attack when the patient refuses to practice good health


As a result of our society's tendency to blame others, people tend to

transfer responsibility to someone else. The doctor is responsible for

physical health, the psychologist for emotional health and the pastor for

spiritual health. This phenomena was known from the beginning of creation:

Adam transferred his responsibility to Eve, who in turn passed it on to the


Transference of responsibility springs from bitterness. "I'm gay because

my father didn't love me," some will say. But, Dr. Moberly has pointed out

that the love deficit often resulted because the client built a defense

mechanism, a defensive detachment, to protect himself from perceived, as

well as actual, hurts from the same-sex love source. The client created

the deficit by withdrawing from the relationship himself! His bitterness

actually precipitated the break!

Freedom from homosexuality will not occur until one takes responsibility

for what is happening in his life. Coming to counselling sessions,

attending support group meetings, reading the newsletter, etc., will not

free a person from homosexuality. Freedom only comes as the client takes

the information learned and radically applies it to his life.

Many steps to owning responsibility and working it through are fairly

straightforward and simple. Review the step card daily or whenever hit by


The steps out of homosexuality are designed to be used personally.

Meetings are a time of encouragement, but if the teachings are not put to

practice, they will do nothing to bring health or freedom from

homosexuality. Those who have made the most significant gains are the ones

who have applied the program in every way they could figure out. They have

taken responsibility for their actions, for their life.

The Metanoia counsellors are not responsible for the success or failure of

their clients. The counsellors are responsible to know their material, to

be skilled people helpers, to encourage and prod along a client, and to

facilitate their relationship to Christ. That is all.

The tools are available, but one has to take the responsibility of using

them. Those who do, make significant gains in their process to health.

Those who don't, tear everyone down. Let's resolve to take responsibility

for our own healing process.

-- Douglas A Houck


For further information about homosexuality or about other areas of sexual

brokenness, please contact:


G.P.O. Box 1115


Phone (08) 371 0446


This article is reprinted by permission from

Metanoia Ministries

P O Box 33039

Seattle WA 98133-0039



Database Listing - Ministry To Homosexuals.
Christian Resources on Homosexuality on the web

These documents are free from
the complete christian resource site with more than 5000 webpages.