WHY SEEK FREEDOM FROM HOMOSEXUALITY?
Have You Thought About Your Options?
So, you think you may be “gay”. Or perhaps you’ve decided you are and feel a sense of relief that you’ve finally been able to reach a conclusion to the matter. Or maybe you’ve tried the “gay” life and found it hasn’t worked for you, but are wondering if there is anything else for you.
I would ask you, as you read this book, to please think of me as a friend who cares about you deeply, as one with whom you’ve shared just what you’re feeling. I know something of what you are going through because I’ve faced the same problem. I followed my feelings, and doing so made me so unhappy that I finally attempted suicide. That may cause you to feel uneasy, but please read on.
You see, you have good reason for that uneasy feeling. My unhappiness in homosexuality was not unusual. Dr. Arno Karlen writes, “No one knows better than homosexuals that gay is a euphemism. There is a squalid side of the life—lavatory gropings, prostitution, rampant venereal disease, play-acting, promiscuity, mercurial and crisis-ridden romances, abuse of alcohol and drugs, guilt, suicide. Almost all homosexuals except gay militants have said to me that the causes are as much inherent in homosexuality as the anti-homosexuality of the rest of society. The gay world has a bruising, predatory quality that gives many in it a far grimmer view than their heterosexual sympathizers hold.” The reason I’m sharing with you is that I’ve found a better way. It’s not quick or easy, but it has brought me joy and peace, whereas homosexual behavior brought me grief and misery.
You do have options! You are not shut up to just one course of action. You don’t have to live a homosexual life if you don’t want to. You can find freedom from homosexuality, as I now have, and I recommend that course to you without reservation.
You might be asking, “Why should I seek freedom from homosexuality? The road is usually long and sometimes painful. I will have to deny myself something I find extremely pleasurable. Is it worth it? Why seek freedom?”
That’s why I’m writing this. I want to share with you not only my own experience, but the findings of many others—psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists, other gay people —findings that may answer your questions and spare you a great deal of pain and disappointment.
WHY SEEK FREEDOM FROM HOMOSEXUALITY?
Seek freedom because you want true love!
If you and I were talking face-to-face, and you were to ask me, “Why should I seek freedom from homosexuality?” here is what I would try to tell you. The first reason is because if you do not, it is virtually certain you will never find true love.” Let me explain.
The testimony of two homosexual men.
Listen to two homosexual men, Donald Webster Cory and John P. LeRoy, who warn that if a homosexual “expects that his casual sexual partner will, somehow or other, turn out to be a lover or life companion, his chances of having these hopes fulfilled by reality are rather small. In the few instances in which this sort of thing does happen, it is an event that excites widespread excitement among gay circles. Stories, true or exaggerated, are handed down to the effect that the...[man] met his lover at a gay bar, bath, or what have you, and is now ‘happily married’ for umpteen years. The impressionable young homosexuals who hear these stories see it as the realization of the Cinderella legend and do what they can to try to make it come true for themselves.... Unfortunately, far too many homosexuals view gay life as a means of finding a lover when its function is primarily one of finding a trick!”
They note further, “Homosexuality can sometimes be a world fraught with jealousy, envy, and conquest. When it becomes known that so-and-so has a lover, he immediately becomes a greater prize than he was before.... Would-be suitors are led to become more intensive and subtle in their efforts to have a sexual affair...or perhaps even to win the lover for themselves. Intense jealousy, secrecy, covetousness, and suspicion become more and more manifest.... It sometimes takes a week or two for the partners to find out that they cannot stand each other. Those with greater endurance take longer—sometimes several years.”3
The testimony of secular sociologists.
Listen to these words of a secular (non-religious) sociologist. “It is almost impossible for an observer to fail to note the divergence between the homosexual’s romantic fantasies and his life experience. On the one hand he projects (particularly through the homophile movement) an image of romantic love; on the other, he shares knowledge of an extraordinary amount of male prostitution and compulsive searching for partners (or cruising, as this activity is called). Homosexual pornography has a wide market; sexual interest in strangers, particularly in adolescent strangers, knows hardly any bounds.... Every homosexual is aware of the ubiquity of casual relationships, ones that last a few minutes or at most one night, of the hunger for love that meets constant frustrations, and of the fleeting nature of relationships that start with great promise and vows of fidelity.”4
Another secular sociologist, himself homosexual, writes, “While the idea that all lesbians seek totally monogamous relationships while all gay men reject monogamy is clearly a myth, it does seem clear that among gay men a long-lasting monogamous relationship is almost unknown. Indeed both gay women and gay men tend to be involved in what might be called multiple relationships, though of somewhat different kinds.”5
The testimony of a secular psychiatrist.
“...Most homosexual contacts are often nothing more than mere spurts of physical intimacy, lacking in anything other than a transient, symbolic, hedonistic gratification. When closely examined these episodes are often part of a complex psychodynamic system which, despite appearances to the contrary, is actually designed to avoid being emotionally bound or committed to another person.... Mere orgasm itself becomes the limited aim of the relationship. The partner is often treated as an expendable object to be quickly replaced or discarded.”6
The testimony of a secular psychologist.
“One of the benchmarks of homosexuality is promiscuity… The need for ‘proof’ of desirability is insatiable. Driven from partner to partner, the gay skips from one ‘conquest’ to the next along the interminable yellow brick road to ‘love everlasting.’ His sexual compulsion is like the drug addict’s need for a fix or the alcoholic’s unquenchable thirst. ‘To be gay is to go to the bar,’ lamented one male in a series of profiles of homosexuals, ‘to make the scene, to look, and look, to have a one-night stand, never really to love or be loved, to know this and yet to do this night after night year after year….’ Two-thirds of gay men are constantly on the hunt for instant sex, according to Kinsey…. Three out of ten homosexual men have never had a relationship that survived the one-night stand, and most gay men have never had an exclusive relationship with another gay that lasted as long as six months. Gay magazine pertinently remarked that what ‘starts early in one’s experience as a way of avoiding involvement can become a life-style that leaves in its wake a genuine emptiness.’… Lesbian relationships are likely to be more stable…. Most of the unions last three years or less.” 7
The testimony of a secular nurse
“...Research... indicates that total monogamy in gay male couples is rare.... In the study of Blumstein and Schwartz, 82 percent of the gay couples were nonmonagamous in their current relationships and in later years, monogamy was virtually nonexistent...”8
The testimony of a study by two homosexual men.
In 1984, Dr. David P. McWhirter, and Dr. Andrew M. Mattison, published The Male Couple, “an in-depth study designed to evaluate the quality and stability of long-term homosexual couplings. Their study was undertaken to disprove the reputation that gay male relationships do not last.... After much searching they were able to locate 156 male couples in relationships that had lasted 1 to 37 years. Two-thirds of the respondents had entered the relationship with either the implicit or the explicit expectation of sexual fidelity. The results show that of those 156 couples, only seven had been able to maintain sexual fidelity. Furthermore, of those seven couples, none had been together more than five years. In other words, the researchers were unable to find a single couple that was able to maintain sexual fidelity for more than five years.”9
McWhirter and Mattison admit, “The expectation of outside sexual activity was the rule for male couples and the exception for heterosexuals. Heterosexual couples lived with some expectation that their relationships were to last ‘until death do us part,’ whereas gay couples wondered if their relationships could survive.”10
The testimony of the Kinsey Institute.
Alan Bell of the Kinsey Institute found that “A modal view of the white male homosexual, based on our findings, would be that of a person reporting 1,000 or more sexual partners throughout his life-time, most of whom were strangers prior to their sexual meeting and with whom sexual activity occurred only once. Only a few of these partners were persons for whom there was much care or affection or were ever seen socially again.”11
The testimony of the Centers for Disease Control.
Drs. Harry W. Haverkos and Robert Edelman wrote in The Journal of the American Medical Association, “In early studies conducted by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), homosexual men with AIDS reported a median of 1160 lifetime sexual partners...”12
The testimony of the homosexual magazine The Advocate.
“In 1995, the largest gay magazine in America, The Advocate, published the results of questionnaires returned by 2,500 of its adult male homosexual readers. In the course of the relatively short average life span of the respondents (thirty-eight years old), only 2% had had sex with just one man. Fifty-seven percent had more than 30 male sex partners, and 35% had more than 100. In the past year alone, about two-thirds (63%) had more than one male sex partner and the large majority of these (over 60%) had five or more; only 28% had just one partner. About half (48%) said they had engaged in three-way sex in the last five years, 24% group sex (four or more).”13
The reasoning of a man who found freedom.
These considerations led William Aaron to seek a way out. He wrote, “The high mortality rate among the marriages of my friends...was...nothing to compare with the attrition rate among homosexual liaisons. Two men would discover each other—the love of a lifetime—find an apartment together, set up house-keeping, and before the paint was dry on the walls, one of them would move out. It appeared that fidelity among homophiles was impossible; that those who managed to stick it out as life partners did so only if they agreed to wink at extramarital escapades.”14
What am I saying?
No one can say that you are guaranteed true love in heterosexuality. Sin makes finding true love difficult anywhere. But what I am saying is that you are far more likely to find true love if you work through a recovery program, get free of your homosexuality, find someone of the other sex who truly loves God, and truly loves you, and marry them “after God’s own ordinance.”
What about homosexual marriage?
You might be thinking, “What about all those people who are seeking homosexual marriage?” Please consider these thoughts.
First, the number of people who sought to be “married” was very small compared with the number of people who have same-sex attractions.
Second, among those who did seek to be “married,” many did so to champion the cause of “gay liberation” rather than because of a deep-seated desire to be married. Others came because it was a chance to get their name in the papers and to boost low self-esteem. Not everyone was there because of “true love.”
Third, the experience of other countries throws light on the question. World magazine notes that in Scandinavian countries where “de facto” gay marriages (actually called “civil unions”) are legal, they are rarely entered into by homosexuals. “A study published by Yale’s William Eskridge in 2000 showed that after nine years, only 2,372 homosexual couples took advantage of the Danish law allowing gay unions. After four years only 749 gay Swedes and only 674 gay Norwegians bothered to ‘get married.’ Today’s gay activists in Scandinavia, having gotten what they wanted, now admit that their case for homosexual marriage—particularly that allowing gays to marry will encourage a monogamous life-style—was only a tactical argument. The goal, says Mr. [Stanley Kurtz, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution], citing two prominent gay thinkers, ‘was not marriage but social approval for homosexuality.’”15
Fourth, we need to watch for “the rest of the story.” Consider this from a recent liberal news-magazine: “A Toronto lesbian couple has filed for what would be Canada’s first same-sex divorce. The women—identified in court papers as M.M., 41, and J.H., 61—got married in June 2003, a week after the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that the Canadian constitution guaranteed gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. M.M. and J.H. had been together 10 years; they separated five days after their wedding. But the divorce could be tricky. The Federal Divorce Act still defines a married couple as consisting of a man and a woman, so a judge would have to rule the law unconstitutional before same-sex spouses could legally part ways.”16 Gay marriage does not guarantee gay bliss!
Ronald G. Lee spent many years trying to make homosexuality work for him. It didn’t! He writes about a friend of his who was in “a disastrous same-sex relationship” for five years. “His partner was unfaithful, and an alcoholic with drug problems.... When Vermont legalized same-sex ‘marriage,’ Wyatt [not his real name] saw it as one last chance to make their relationship work. He and his partner would fly to Vermont to get ‘married.’ This came to the attention of the local newspaper in his area, which did a story with photos of the wedding reception. In it, Wyatt and his partner were depicted as a loving couple who finally had a chance to celebrate this commitment publicly. Nothing was said about the drugs or the alcoholism or the infidelity. But the marriage was a failure and ended in flames a few months later. And the newspaper did not do a follow-up. In other words, the leading daily of one of America’s largest cities printed a misleading story that probably persuaded more than one young man that someday he could be just as happy as Wyatt and his ‘partner.’ And that is the sad part.”17
I find no joy in the unhappiness of others. I am sad for these people and for all who think the answer to their pain is some kind of “marriage”. You see, I have found that the real answer is in finding freedom from homosexuality. I only write these things in the hope that you might be spared some of the pain I have experienced.
The testimony of an avowed lesbian.
Listen to Camille Paglia, an avowed lesbian, who writes, “After a period of optimism about the long-range potential of gay men’s one-on-one relationships, gay magazines are starting to acknowledge the more relaxed standards operating here, with recent articles celebrating the bigger bang of sex with strangers or proposing ‘monogamy without fidelity’—the latest Orwellian formulation to excuse having your cake and eating it too.”18
As you think about these things, please remember that I have purposely used secular and gay sources that no one can accuse of being anti-gay. The picture they paint is a powerful argument for seeking freedom from homosexuality.
Seek freedom because you don’t want to be hurt.
There’s more! Not only are you unlikely to find true love if you choose to live as a homosexual, there is a fair chance that you may find violence.
Look at the statistics concerning violence among homosexual men.
Two gay men tell us that violence among gay male “lovers” is “one of the best kept secrets in the gay community.”19 Island and Letellier lament that only a handful of articles have been published by the gay press including “Battered Lovers” published by the Advocate in 1986; “Breaking the Silence: Gay Domestic Violence” by San Francisco Coming Up! (now the Bay Times) in 1989; “Naming and Confronting Gay Male Battering” by Boston Gay Community News in 1989; “The Other Closet,” by the Dallas Observer in 1990; “Till Death Do Us Part: Domestic Violence Strikes Gay Relationships,” by San Francisco Sentinel, in 1990; and “Domestic Violence: A Serious Problem Lacking in Resources,” by the Washington D.C. Blade in 1990.”20
If so little has been written on the subject, could it be because it is not a real problem? Island and Letellier say “No!” “Domestic violence is a big problem for America’s 9.5 million adult gay men. We estimate that as many as 500,000 gay men are victims, and, of course, equal numbers are also perpetrators.”21 “Therefore, the probability of violence occurring in a gay couple is mathematically double the probability of that in a heterosexual couple.”22 Their figure of “500,000 annual victims of gay men’s domestic violence represents a likely, reasonable, and non-speculative estimate. We hope it is too high, but we suspect that it is right on the mark.”23 “Thus, only substance abuse and AIDS adversely affect more gay men, making domestic violence the third largest health problem facing gay men today.”24 “The Director of the Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project at the Community United Against Violence (CUAV) in San Francisco stated that domestic violence may affect and poison as many as 50 percent of gay male couples.”25
A recent publication of the Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists, a militant pro-gay group, further confirms this problem. Kenneth V. Dodgson, M.D., writes, “Gay men, as well as adolescent gays, report high incidence rates of violent or abusive behavior, either as recipients or perpetrators, usually involving their same-sex partners.”26
Look at the statistics concerning violence among lesbians.
Nor are the statistics more encouraging in lesbian relationships. “Bologna, Waterman, and Dawson...discovered a high incidence of abuse in their survey of a self-selected sample of 174 lesbians. About 26% of their respondents reported having been subjected to at least one act of sexual violence; 59.8% had been victims of physical violence; and 81% had experienced verbal or emotional abuse. At the same time, 68% of the respondents reported that they had both used violence against their current or most recent partner and had been victimized by a partner. Similarly, in a survey of a nonrandom sample of 1,099 lesbians, Lie and Gentlewarrior...found that 52% of the respondents had been abused by a female lover or partner and that 30% admitted having abused a female lover or partner. Of those who had been victims of abuse, more than half (51.5%) reported they also had been abusive toward their partners.”27
As Renzetti states, “It is doubtful that researchers will ever be able to measure accurately the prevalence of homosexual partner abuse, but this is not to say that these studies have no value. Their importance lies in the fact that they clearly demonstrate that lesbians and gay men not infrequently aggress against their intimate partners in ways that are physically and emotionally abusive and sometimes violent.”28
There’s an old saying: “Hurt people hurt people.” Professor Robert Gagnon says, “The high incidence of ‘other destructive’ behavior in homosexual circles (unsafe sex, sadomasochism, ‘fisting,’ high rates of non-disclosure of HIV/AIDS status to partners) may be attributable in part to buried anger arising out of the pain of rejection...”29
Men and women who are tempted to engage in homosexual behavior are usually so tempted because they were hurt when they were children, either in their relationship with their same-sex parent, or through sexual abuse. The result is defensive detachment—a wall of anger and fear with which they seek to protect themselves. Their unmet needs from childhood drive them to seek love from persons of the same sex, but their defensive detachment makes it impossible for them to find it. If anger is the major part of their detachment, they may become abusers; if fear is the major part of their detachment, they may be abused. And, of course, anger and fear can change places from time to time so that one can at one time be the abuser and at another the abused!
A word of encouragement.
Please understand, I’m not saying there is not hope for you. Listen again to William Aaron, a man who got out of homosexuality: “If you’re homosexual and unhappy about it, believe me you don’t have to stay that way. Cut your ties with the old life and get yourself reconditioned. If you can do it by yourself, fine. If you need help, get help. But don’t sit around saying, ‘Poor me, here I am stuck with being a faggot.’ You don’t need to be stuck with it, any more than you need to be stuck with alcoholism, or pills, or acrophobia, or xenophobia, or any other unwelcome response or habit pattern. Discover your endless potential for change and development.”30
Seek freedom from homosexuality because you don’t want disease and early death!
Look what can happen!
Think about the tragic experience of Ken Horne, a young man who moved from Oregon to San Francisco in search of love, looking for a man he could “marry.” “When he did not find a husband,” wrote homosexual journalist Randy Shilts, “he took the next best thing—sex—and soon sex became something of a career. It wasn’t love but at least it felt good.... As the focus of sex shifted from passion to technique, Ken learned all the things one could do to wring pleasure from one’s body. The sexual practices became more and more esoteric; that was the only way to keep it from getting boring.”31 Yet he still felt, “Life is a disappointment.”32 Ken Horne was the first reported AIDS case in San Francisco33 and “at 1 A.M. on November 30, 1981, George Kenneth Horne, Jr., gasped one last tortured breath and lapsed into perfect darkness.”34
If you and I could sit down together and talk, not only would I urge you to seek freedom from homosexuality because, if you do not, it is virtually certain you will never find true love, and may experience violence, but also because, unless you seek freedom, there is very real danger that you may get AIDS or some other sexually transmitted disease.
The alarming truth from the Centers for Disease Control.
The most recent (at the time of writing) report from the Centers for Disease Control states, “Of the estimated 342,148 male adults and adolescents living with HIV/ AIDS, 61% had been exposed through male-to-male sexual contact, 18% had been exposed through injection drug use, 13% had been exposed through high-risk heterosexual contact, and 7% had been exposed through both male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use.”35
The warning of a militant homosexual man.
Gabriel Rotello, a militant gay man, wrote an important book sounding the warning about AIDS. He states, “Despite the fact that by now virtually everyone knows how AIDS is spread and how to avoid it, it is continuing to saturate the gay male population at the same levels it always has.”36
To those who trust in condoms to keep them safe he says, “In fact, the condom code does not seem ever to have been very successful in containing the epidemic. The drop in new infections in the mid-eighties, for example, probably occurred because most of the susceptible gay men were already infected. Now that a new generation of susceptible young men have entered the gay world, they are getting infected at rates that indicate that about half will eventually get AIDS, which is about the same ratio as in the older generation.”37 He warns, “But if gay men mistakenly believe that the epidemic is waning and return to the habits of the past, rapidly transmitting, new, drug-resistant strains of HIV across newly reconstituted viral highways, the potential for tragedy is almost unthinkable.”38
A psychiatrist warns of what lies ahead for those who do not seek freedom.
Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons writes, “Research indicates that 50 percent of men with same-sex attractions will be HIV-positive by age fifty, the majority will have more than twenty sexual partners per year, and less than 9 percent of those with same-sex attractions will have relationships that last more than three years.”39 He continues, “...In one study, nine percent of homosexual males between the ages of twenty and twenty-two were already HIV-positive.”40
Humanly, I wish AIDS did not exist! But it does. I’ve seen five friends die from it. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please visit an AIDS hospice and see the people there who are in the last stages of the infections this terrible disease makes them vulnerable to. I plead with you; don’t let this happen to you!
What about medical help?
Someone may ask, “But what about all the new drugs I hear about?” These drugs do prolong healthy life, but they are not cures. They do not work for everyone. They have side effects which some find almost impossible to tolerate. They postpone the final stages of the disease, but do not rob it of its power to kill—to kill slowly, painfully, terribly!
Listen to an educator’s review of a gay magazine for persons with AIDS. “Not surprising is the conglomeration of HIV ads in the opening third (24 pages out of 33) of the 10th-Anniversary issue of POZ, the journal founded as the morale booster for those who...now test positive for the lethal HIV infection. All of the major drug companies are apparently competing in what is now a lucrative enterprise in a large and growing market, selling medication that may suppress the destruction of the human immune system and thereby prolong the lives of the HIV-infected. These lifetime medications are costly (up to $1200 a month), but give no one the promise of a cure. Their side effects are so severe that many of the infected cannot continue the medication; as many as half of those on HIV medication suffer from the three debilitating side effects, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting (‘Top 10 Side Effects,’ POZ). And thus the life-prolonging drugs may lead one to mountainous debt and bankruptcy, and may turn life into extreme pain and misery. In the same issue, POZ declares that ‘Sex is the most powerful force in the world, to be worshiped and learned from...’ Although it’s as plain as the nose on your face, POZ refuses to see that the sex god is a devouring god.”41
The reports from the scientists seeking a cure for AIDS state that none is on the horizon. No vaccine against it is in the offing. I beg of you, don’t play Russian roulette with your life. Seek freedom.
The problem of other venereal diseases.
But there’s more. Consider the life of Michael Callen. In June of 1982, age 27, Michael Callen “collapsed from dehydration and was admitted to the hospital with a high fever and violent, bloody diarrhea.”42 It was then that he learned that he had AIDS.
He writes, “It wasn’t until I was officially diagnosed with AIDS that I faced squarely just how much sex, and how much disease, I’d had. With the gentle prodding of a doctor who was filling out my CDC AIDS case report form, I calculated that since becoming sexually active in 1973, I had racked up more than three thousand different sex partners in bathhouses, back rooms, meat racks, and tearooms. As a consequence, I had also had the following sexually transmitted diseases, many more than once: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis non-A/non-B; herpes simplex types I and II; venereal warts, amebiasis, including giardia lamblia and entamoeba histolytica; shigella flexneri and salmonella; syphilis; gonorrhea; nonspecific urethritis; chlamydia; cytomegalovirus (CMV), and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) mononucleosis; and eventually cryptosporidiosis and, therefore, AIDS.”43
Tragically, despite his book’s brave title, Surviving AIDS, his own energetic efforts to survive AIDS, and the best efforts of a wonderful doctor, Michael Callen died of AIDS-related complications in December of 1993. He was thirty-eight years old! As I read his book, I could not but think that, had I known him, I would have liked him!
I do not share his story because it points out the promiscuity that is part of homosexuality, though it does that. I do not share his tragedy because it points out the dangers of AIDS, though it does that. I share his experience because it reveals that in addition to HIV/AIDS, one who engages in homosexual behavior runs the risk of a host of other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, “Men who have sex with men are at greater risk for many life-threatening STDs, including HIV infection, hepatitis B virus infection and anal cancer compared to heterosexual men. Other STDs of concern among men who have sex with men include anal syphilis, urethritis, and a range of oral and gastrointestinal infections.”44
The gay newspaper, New York Blade News, warns, “Reports at a national conference about sexually transmitted diseases indicate that gay men are in the highest risk group for several of the most serious diseases.”45
Why is this something you should be concerned about? The Medical Institute for Sexual Health writes, “STDs pose a major public health problem for many reasons. First, many people have no visible symptoms to warn them or any potential sexual partner of infection. Undetected, the diseases often spread between sexual partners and from mother to newborn. STD infections can result in serious, even life-threatening problems. Cancers, infertility, pregnancy and birth complications, neurological problems, chronic pain and death can all result from STD infection.”46
What does all this mean? The Centers for Disease Control reports “outbreaks of hepatitis A among men who have sex with men (MSM) are a recurring problem in many large cities in the industrialized world.”47
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 1976 to 1994 suggest that the prevalence of hepatitis B is about five times the rate among men who have sex with men as it is among those who are exclusively heterosexual.48
Human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause genital and anal warts. “Anal warts occurring alone are strongly associated with anoreceptive intercourse. Therefore, although they are found in women, they are much more common in homosexual or bisexual men.”49 In fact, “in one series of 260 homosexual men seen by proctologists, 134 (51.5 percent) had anal warts.”50 Infection can also occur in women.51
Why is this significant? At the Fourth International AIDS Malignancy Conference at the National Institutes of Health in May of 2000, Dr. Andrew Grulich stated, “most instances of anal cancer are caused by a cancer-causing strain of human papilloma-virus through receptive anal intercourse.” HPV infects over 90 percent of HIV-positive gay men and 65 percent of HIV-negative men, according to a number of studies. He called “the rising rates of anal cancer the next great health threat to homosexual men.” 52
Rectal gonorrhea infections are frequently found in homosexual men. One study found this rectal infection in 25 percent of homosexually active research participants. Today, about one-third of gonorrhea strains are resistant to treatment with penicillin and tetracycline.53
One study found that homosexuals contracted syphilis at three to four times the rate of heterosexuals.54 This causes special concern because Dr. Ronald O. Valdiserri, deputy director of the Center for Disease Control’s National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention, has warned, “Syphilis outbreaks among gay and bisexual men, while a major concern in and of themselves, also signal the potential for a resurgence in HIV transmission.”55
Then there is “Gay Bowel Syndrome,” a term first used in the 1970s to describe various gastrointestinal problems. “Gay bowel syndrome constitutes a group of conditions that occur among persons who practice unprotected anal intercourse, anilingus or fellatio following anal intercourse.”56
Lesbians are also at risk for venereal diseases.
Lesbians are also at risk. A study of the medical records of 1,408 lesbians “demonstrated a higher prevalence of BV (bacterial vaginosis), hepatitis C, and HIV risk behaviors in WSW (women who had sex with women) as compared with controls.”57
What we’ve shared illustrated.
I could go on with more studies of more sexually transmitted diseases, but I hope what you have read has been sufficient to help you think. Perhaps this illustration by Professor Thomas Schmidt based on secular studies in a chapter titled “The Price of Love” will make things clearer. He writes, “Suppose you were to move into a large house...with a group of ten randomly selected homosexual men in their mid-thirties. According to the most recent research from scientific studies, whose authors are without exception either neutral or positive in their assessment of homosexual behavior, and with the use of lower numbers where statistics differ, the relational and physical health of the group would look like this. Four of the ten men are currently in relationships, but only one of those is faithful to his partner and he will not be in a year. Four have never had a relationship that lasted more than a year, and only one has had a relationship that lasted more than three years. Six are having sex regularly with strangers, and the group averages almost two partners per person per month. Three of them occasionally take part in orgies. One is a sadomasochist... Three of the men are currently alcoholics, five have a history of alcohol abuse, and four have a history of drug abuse. ...Five regularly use at least one illegal drug, and three are multiple drug users. Four have a history of acute depression, three have seriously contemplated suicide, and two have attempted suicide. Eight have a history of sexually transmitted diseases, eight currently carry infectious pathogens, and three currently suffer from digestive or urinary ailments caused by these pathogens. At least three are HIV-infected, and one has AIDS.”58
William Bennett, former Secretary of Education, on ABC's "This Week," November 9, 1997, stated, "...Smoking takes seven years off your life. If you're a homosexual male in this country, it takes 30 years off your life...66 is life expectancy for smokers, 43 for a male homosexual. This is tough news. It's not pleasant to hear. But it's very important, and it's part of telling the truth... The last numbers I looked at from the C.D.C. and The New England Journal of Medicine was that HIV was 430 times more likely to occur in a homosexual male, [age] 20 to 30, than a heterosexual male... Death is what we are talking about."59
Surely you value your health. Surely you value your life. Then please, seek freedom from homosexuality, and start today. To engage in homosexual behavior, or to refuse to deal with the causes of your desires for such activity, makes no sense at all from the standpoint of your health!
Seek freedom because you don’t want to end up old, unwanted, and alone.
What does the future hold for those who abandon themselves to homosexuality?
If you are finding it difficult to think about seeking freedom from homosexuality it may be that you are shutting your eyes to some unpleasant facts. You may be refusing to ask yourself what the future of such choices holds. Surely this is not wise. As Charles F. Kettering put it, “My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.”60
The testimony of a gay man in counseling.
Consider the experience of a psychologist who was counseling a young man called Bill, age 26. As they worked together, one day Bill said, “Do you see why AIDS is not a major concern for me? I’m getting older and my body isn’t as attractive as it used to be. Sometimes I feel like it doesn’t matter if I die early because by the time I am thirty I’m dead anyway. I won’t be attractive to the people that matter to me and I am not sure I can handle the rejection.”61
The testimony of two other gay men.
Extreme? Perhaps, but listen to these words by two gay men who looked ahead. “Numerous psychologists, sociologists, and men of letters have written at great length on the aloneness of man in today’s impersonal mechanized world of gadgets, technology, and scientific management. The homosexual is perhaps even more alone because of...his homosexuality... He needs a life mate even more desperately, he feels, because of his increased need for communication with others like himself. As a result, he searches assiduously for the ideal type of person, who, he imagines, might help put an end to his problem and his search. He may not be a drinker, but he goes to gay bars, cruises the streets, and makes regular appearances at other places where homosexuals congregate, in hopes of meeting his ideal type. Each passing sexual encounter is hoped to be the ‘one and only,’ but numerous short-lived affairs are usually the result. Time goes by. Years pass. The attractiveness of youth fades. The muscles become flabby. Gray hair increases. Bald spots appear. The affairs continue. As the man gets older, he must work harder to coax others to take an interest in him. If this fails, there is the despair of old age, to be ended only by the inevitability of death.”62
The testimony of a gay newspaper editor.
A gay newspaper editor in his mid-sixties says, “Regarding my sex life, I put zero effort into the chase. I am not interested in pursuing paths that inevitably lead to rejection. And ninety-nine out of a hundred times, the older man is rejected sexually—not only by the young, but by the old. We are the discards, wanted by few and feared by many.”63
The testimony of a gay hustler.
“’Nobody loves you,’ goes the sad refrain, ‘when you’re old and gay.’... ‘I’ve never seen such desperate faces on men over forty,’ marveled one young hustler. ‘Hanging around the gay bars night after night with the look of death in their eyes. I, myself, don’t dare look in a mirror.’”64
The reasoning of a man who sought and found freedom from homosexuality.
As you think about this, do what Mario Bergner did. He looked around the gay bars he frequented. “In the many shadowy corners hid older homosexual men. Their eyes were glassed over and deeply empty. Hopelessly, they stared at the younger men in the bar. The younger gays, myself included, referred to these men as ‘trolls.’ Trolls were subhuman creatures who never saw the light of day. They lived in the night and were fed by the memories of their long lost youth.... The glassed-over hopelessness in the eyes of the trolls grieved me. Still drinking my vodka martini, I thought, Surely God loves these men. Surely God intends more for their lives than this. Then, looking at my reflection in a nearby mirror, I asked myself, Will my eyes one day be dark and empty like theirs?”65
On another occasion Bergner read a one-person play by Joe Orton, a gay playwright, The Passion of Lady Bright. “The play tells the story of an aging male homosexual who is no longer young enough to attract bed-fellows. His walls are covered with the signatures of all the one-night stands he has brought home over the past twenty years. As the play unfolds, he tries to remember the faces attached to the hundreds of signatures that adorn his walls. Some he remembers; ...others he cannot. It is a sad play, but a truthful one, as in the end he realizes he is an aging homosexual with no one to love. In the play, Lady Bright is really a burned-out old queen living in a monologue, utterly alone and without hope.
“After finishing...this play, I fell to my knees in horror.... At that point, I remembered one of my most frightful memories from the gay lifestyle.
“It was Christmas Eve, four years earlier. Several friends and I went out for a drink at one of our favorite gay bars. The city was covered with a layer of freshly fallen snow, and large flakes quietly and slowly dropped from the sky. As we walked from our car to the bar, a church bell struck midnight. ‘Hey, it’s Christmas morning,’ one of my friends said. ‘Merry Christmas.’
“Just as we approached the front door of the bar, it swung open and out stumbled a drunken older homosexual man. He fell on the snow-covered sidewalk, let out a profane expletive, managed to return to an upright position, and then staggered past us. The same friend who had wished us all a Merry Christmas contemptuously sneered, ‘how would you like to be that old fag on Christmas morning?’
“As he said this, a shocking stillness came over me. With piercing sincerity I spoke out the thought I knew we all feared. ‘In thirty years, I am going to be that lonely old fag on Christmas morning.’ Without a doubt, if we continued as we were, we would all one day become...old trolls hiding in the shadows of gay bars. What we become when we live our lives apart from God is horrible.”66
Mario Bergner looked ahead and decided to seek freedom from homosexuality. Married and a father today, he writes, “Nancy and our children are my greatest personal treasures here on earth”67
How will you spend your life?
Ask yourself this question: “When my life is over, what will I have to show for it if I have wasted it, looking for love in all the wrong places, and not finding it?” Seek freedom from homosexuality so you won’t be plagued, not only by terrible loneliness, but also by grief over a life that was wasted for nothing. Think what you could accomplish with the hours you spend cruising, looking for a sexual partner. Think what you could accomplish in the time you spend on the internet, looking at pornography, or turning yourself on with sexual banter in a chat room. How will you feel as your life draws to its inevitable close when you think of these things? Are there not things you could do that you will rejoice over, rather than sorrow about, in your final hours? As Benjamin Franklin said, "Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time; for that's the stuff life is made of."68 Missionary statesman Frank C. Laubach has said, “I have this minute in my control. It is all I really have to work with.... It is magnificent or drab or vile as the thoughts which fill it.”69 Someone has put it this way: "...Life....is a succession of opportunities....which we may seize and handle and turn to our profit, or which we may neglect to our loss." 70 Muriel Spark wisely observes, "If I had my life to live over again, I would form the habit of nightly composing myself to thoughts of death. I would practice, as it were, the remembrance of death. There is not another practice which so intensifies life. Death, when it approaches, ought not to take one by surprise. It should be part of the full expectancy of life.”71
What does your future hold? The choices you make today shape the life you will live tomorrow and the thoughts you will have when life is over. Look around you. You can see what lies ahead as age overtakes you, if you will. Won’t you change course while you still can?
Seek freedom or you may become a slave!
In addition to losing your chance for true love and family, risking contracting HIV and/or some other venereal disease, becoming a victim of violence, and finding yourself in a life with no future, I urge you to seek freedom from homosexuality because, if you do not, you run a high risk of becoming a slave.
Many homosexual persons become addicted to alcohol and/or drugs.
There is an extraordinary amount of addiction among those who identify themselves as homosexual. Dr. William Wilson refers to a number of studies of alcoholism and drug addiction among male and female homosexuals, which “were recently summarized by Israelstam and Lambert, who reported a 30 percent incidence of alcohol and drug abuse among male homosexuals and a 40 percent incidence among lesbians. These are much higher rates (approximately 3 times for males and 20 times for females) than for the heterosexual population.”72 What are they trying to escape? What pain are they seeking to numb?
The reality of sexual addiction.
You might be thinking, “I use sex for my escape!” Dr. Harold Wahking, a psychotherapist, and Gene Zimmerman write, “Some people....hope that sexual love will heal their inner child’s wounds and thus crave sexual experience much like those similarly addicted to drugs.”73 They ask, “’What is your favorite defense against emotional pain?’ Some people cover hurt with anger. Others cry. Bulimics may make themselves vomit. Others get drunk. Others turn to sexual experience. The common thread relating these all too human behaviors is ‘self-medication’ for pain. When a bulimic induces vomiting, endorphins (forms of a kind of morphine that the body naturally produces) are released. This chemical protects from pain somewhat and may even, at first, trigger a mood of elation. The ‘high’ generated may become addicting. Sex addicts use sexual contacts to release these endorphins.... This is a very difficult disorder to restrain...”74
Applying this to the problem of same-sex attraction, they write, “Homosexuality usually takes on the characteristics of addiction. Over time, sex usually becomes the center of the homosexual’s life just as alcohol or cocaine may become in another person’s life. A strong tendency is established to use sex as a kind of self-medication. Whenever the homosexual person is emotionally distressed by such experiences as work disappointment, fear of illness, or rejection by a friend, he or she may seek sexual experience in order to obtain a chemical high to mask the emotional distress.... Gradually, having a normal homosexual experience is not enough, and so there is a tendency to ‘increase the dose,’ first by more frequent sex and then by increasingly dangerous sex.”75
You may be asking, “How does one tell if one is an addict?” Dr. Arnold Washton and Donna Boundy, both specialists in treating addictions, write, “...The four cardinal signs of addiction” are (I) obsession; (II) negative consequences; (III) a lack of control; and (IV) denial “(1) that the...activity is a problem they can’t control and (2) that the negative consequences have any connection whatsoever to the...activity.”76
They note that people get trapped in stages. “Stage 1: Infatuation. Our early experiences with a drug or activity leave an imprint on us—it provides a welcome effect. Stage 2: The Honeymoon. Under stress, we seek out that remembered experience for comfort or relief. We get only its positive effects and expect them to last. Stage 3: Betrayal. The drug or activity that has served us so well turns on us. We no longer get the ‘high’ from it. Stage 4: On the rocks. Ignoring mounting evidence of the drug or activity’s negative effects, we try to recapture the honeymoon by increasing our involvement with it. Stage 5: Trapped. Now, the more we struggle to break the addiction by willpower alone, the tighter its grip becomes.”77
They point out, “Usually the addiction-prone person has massive unmet dependency needs left over from childhood... As an adult...he relentlessly searches for something or someone to make him feel safe, secure, and whole.”78
Dr. Grant Martin writes: “A common component of alcoholism or substance abuse is that the person has a pathological relationship with a mood-altering chemical. The same is true for the sexual addict. The sexaholic substitutes a deviant relationship with sexual thoughts and behavior for a healthy relationship. In many ways, addiction derives its compelling force from a failure to achieve intimacy. The obsession with sex replaces human bonding and caring. For the addict, preoccupation with sexual things....progresses to where sex in some form is necessary to feel normal. But to feel normal is also to feel isolated, guilty, and powerless, since the mood-altering activity is destructive and unhealthy. The person becomes dependent on sex to cope with life. Sex becomes the only source of nurturing that is within the control of the addict. Obtaining the mood alteration becomes the primary focus of life to which everything else is sacrificed or compromised.”79
If heterosexuals can be sexual addicts, why not homosexuals also?
I know how one’s mind can rebel at such notions, but let me ask you this. If there are heterosexual sexual addicts, why could there not be homosexual sexual addicts? Dr. Patrick Carnes, the pioneer in the field of sexual addiction, writes about Jim, “a Lutheran seminarian. He went to school full-time and worked part-time as a youth director in a parish. He was sensitive, intelligent, and committed to his career. He was also driven by his sexual compulsion. His pattern was to frequent at night a well-known park area by a local river which was known as a gay ‘cruising’ area. He would stand by the same tree each time and allow himself to be picked up. His sexual contacts were in the dark with strangers. He always felt humiliated. One time he was severely beaten. What prompted Jim to seek help was not a ‘river’ incident. Rather, he was sexual with one of the young adults in the parish he served who had visited him at his apartment. He became aware of how vulnerable he was and in his fear sought therapy. Once in therapy, he realized he really had two issues. First, his homosexual orientation would be a problem in his ministry. And second, his sexual compulsiveness was an obstacle to developing significant relationships. His issues around homosexuality were compounded by his sexual addiction.”80
The nature of an addict.
What happens when one is sexually addicted? “Charlotte Eliza Kasl says, ‘Addiction is, essentially, a spiritual break-down, a journey away from the truth into emotional blindness and death.’ ... As the thinking and the behavior of the addict moves further and further away from reality, thinking processes become impaired.... Sexual addicts become progressively dishonest, self-centered, isolated, fearful, confused, devoid of feelings, dualistic, controlling, perfectionistic, blinded to their disease (denial), insane, blaming (projection), and dysfunctional. In short, their lives become progressively unmanageable.”81
The process that leads to addiction.
What’s the process that leads to addiction? Dr. Mark Laaser, a therapist and recovering sex addict, says the three building blocks of sexual addiction are fantasy, pornography, and masturbation. “Fantasy is created by a need to satisfy deep longings. Pornography displays images of how to do that. Masturbation is the physical expression of perhaps the only touching or nurturing...the addict receives. The three...are involved in a cycle. Pornography stimulates fantasy. Fantasy needs to be expressed. Masturbation allows a ‘release’ of that need. There is a problem in this cycle. While it may satisfy the physical need for sex, it never satisfies the emotional and spiritual hunger that rests deep in the soul. Addicts have never learned to feed that hunger in a healthy way. Instead, they try to gratify this need in the easiest and most accessible way. Sex...allows the addict to escape and thereby cope temporarily with his feelings.... More and more sexual activity, however, also creates more and more negative feelings. This vicious cycle makes sexual addiction a degenerative process. It gets worse.”82
Beware of denial!
It’s natural to think, “Addiction could never happen to me!” Can you be sure? I was so sexually addicted that I attempted suicide because I could see no other way out.
The life of Montgomery Clift.
Think about the life story of Montgomery Clift, handsome, gifted, more affluent than you or I are ever likely to be, and one of our great actors. His biographer writes, “He was mesmerizing to watch in Red River and A Place in the Sun, in From Here to Eternity and The Young Lions.”83 Yet, when he died, aged 46, “he was an uninsurable, unemployable joke.”84 What happened?
He was born on October 17, 1920, in Omaha, Nebraska. After his twin sister had been delivered, his mother, Ethel, known as “Sunny”, was reported to have screamed, “No! I don’t want another child, not now, not ever...”85 She “had an extremely unhappy and disturbed childhood, one she spent her adult life trying to resolve in ways that had direct and catastrophic effects on her three children.”86 His father, Bill, was “a peripheral figure” in the Clift family.87 He “was a docile, henpecked workaholic who sat on the sidelines…”88 “’Monty always thought of Bill as sort of weak and helpless compared to his mother,’ remembered actor friend Billy Le Massena.”89
He discovered a love and talent for acting and began a career in the theatre. When he was eighteen, he went to Mexico with thirty-year-old Lehman Engel with whom he “began a full-blown affair.”90 By the time they returned from Mexico, their “affair was already on the wane...”91
By late 1948, “the first faint glimmers of Monty’s self-destructiveness became perceptible... Billy Le Massena noticed that his drinking was more pronounced, and his libido was soon out of control too. Rumors flew around that he had been spotted in gay bars and bathhouses, and his lawyer only just managed to hush up a scandal when he was arrested for trying to pick up a boy”92 He became close friends with torch singer Libby Holman and together they ingested “prodigious quantities of drink and drugs...”93
His downward spiral accelerated, so friends advised him to get therapy, but there is therapy, and there is therapy. Dr. Larry Crabb and Dr. Dan B. Allender write, “Picking a therapist is like picking a restaurant. They all serve food, but the menus can be very different.”94 Not all counseling helps. Some therapists hurt. Monty’s therapist was “New York analyst William Silverberg, a fifty-three-year-old homosexual who subscribed to something known a ‘liberal behaviorism’. Unfortunately, Silverberg’s belief that analysis of childhood problems was unnecessary, and that the key to mental health and happiness lay in what he called ‘effective aggression’, was to prove disastrous for Monty. Without trying to halt what everyone else could see were the early stages of chronic alcoholism and addiction, the doctor more or less recommended that Monty do what he liked. Repeatedly Monty’s friends and family would plead with Silverberg to do something about his patient’s drinking; repeatedly the doctor would ask them not to meddle.... As Billy Le Massena observed, ‘It was clear to everyone that Silverberg was actually encouraging Monty into excesses rather than preventing them.’ Sexually, too, Monty behaved in a more compulsive way than he had ever done....and was prey to more than one blackmail threat. Monty continued to see Billy Silverberg, whom he called ‘my Mephisto’, for fourteen years.”95 The result? “...Chemical oblivion, sexual depravity and mental torture...characterized the last fifteen years of his life.”96 “Even when the newly sober Billy Le Massena managed to drag him along to a few Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, Monty still clung to Billy Silverberg’s diagnosis that he was not an alcoholic.”97 This despite the fact that “each night Monty would get paralytically drunk by himself and scarcely manage to find his way back to the hotel in the early hours of the morning: the next day he would wake up with the shakes.”98 He “rented a house up in Ogunquit, a Maine equivalent of Long Island’s gay enclave, Fire Island, and gave himself up to bouts of sado-masochistic sex with boys he picked up on the beach”99
He spent the last “six and a half year of his life, leading what he called a ‘phenobarbital existence’ in his own personal twilight zone. ...He was in bad shape, losing his memory and his balance and suffering from alcoholic hepatitis.”100 “...The drug intake began to include illegal substances as dangerous as heroin, and his sexual debauchery resulted in frequent beatings from male prostitutes.”101
“Montgomery Clift’s last weeks were excruciatingly painful and desperately lonely.”102 “On the weekends of the 9-10 and 16-17 July he went...to the Fire Island house he had rented the two previous summers. Fellow homosexuals in the Pines community called him a ‘sad faggot’, and he hardly strayed out of doors.”103 “...By the end his only friend was the Demerol he was pumping into his body with ever greater frequency.”104 On July 23, 1966, he was found dead in his bed, the victim of a heart attack.
Having seen the misery that addiction to homosexual behavior, alcohol, and drugs brought Montgomery Clift, you might be tempted to ask, “But what choice have I? My feelings are real and powerful. I can’t just ignore them. What can I do?”
There is hope! There is another option!
Please don’t despair. Let me share the true story of a young man I have known and worked with for nine years who found a better way. His name is Joseph C. and he lives in Canada.
“At home my father didn’t exist for me. Most of the time he didn’t even live at home but stayed at his camp. My brothers often stayed at the camp with him, but I didn’t go with them.
“My older brothers and my father would wrestle in our kitchen—finger-fighting, pushing, shoving—and it would get out of hand. Chairs would be pushed over, the table shoved across the floor, the Fridge knocked over, while my father shouted, “You bring blood on me, I’m going to bring blood on you.” He would never let them get the upper hand, and I watched all this in fear.
“I always felt unsafe and afraid, especially at night. My older brother (he was seven years older than I) would scare me by telling me there was something in the corner and saying, “I hope your hands and feet are under the blanket so it can’t get you.” He tortured me. One way he tortured me he called the sun torture. He held me down on the ground on a sunny day and forced me to stare at the sun while his fingers held my eyes open. He liked to squirt milk up my nose from a baby bottle. I was afraid to be near him because he would hit me or pinch me, and it hurt!
“I was too close to my mother, taking responsibility for things that were beyond my control. When I came home from school, she often got me to knit, crochet, sew, and cook. While I was very good at these things, I felt deeply ashamed about doing them.
“School was sheer agony. Sitting in my classroom on my first day at school, I was lonely, afraid, and shy. I put my lunch box on the floor next to my chair and the boy behind me slid his leg up next to it and kicked it. I remember thinking, “He doesn’t like me.”
“Recess and lunch time were also lonely and painful time for me because I didn’t know how to make friends with the boys. They already seemed to know each other and I was an outsider.
“The girls seemed more friendly and less threatening. Two of them approached me and said, “Little boy, what is your name? You’re so cute.” I was too shy to respond.
“When the teacher told us to form two lines—the boys on one side, the girls on the other—I wasn’t sure what line I should be in. I knew I wasn’t a girl but I didn’t fit in with the boys.
“As the years passed, I was pretty much a loner. Sometime I would play with other children, but I could never let anyone get close to me even though I longed for a male friend. I can remember thinking, “Isn’t there someone like me that I can become friends with?
“In the eighth grade I became the target of a bully. I was frightened and embarrassed as this went on for about two years. I prayed to God for help but nothing happened. Day after day I faced fresh humiliation until I thought the only way out was to kill him. Fortunately he moved, but the fear and nightmares continued for years.
“I had always felt different but when I went through puberty at age thirteen, I felt a strong, sexual attraction to men. I was horrified. I was trying to be a good Christian and tried hard to suppress those feelings but my mind and my body were always betraying me. I began the round of praying, begging, repenting, failing—year after year. I thought that since God had made me this way, he must hate me. I didn’t choose to be this way and I didn’t want to be this way. What else could explain it? Was I possessed? Was I the Anti-Christ?
“On my first day of school in the tenth grade, a boy asked me if I was gay. I didn’t answer but it hurt! I quit school after that year and went to work to earn money to help the family. We were very poor.
“Life started to get a bit better. I met a girl who was working at a convenience store. She was fifteen and I was seventeen. I liked her. She was everything I wanted in a woman—cute and nice—but I could see she had been hurt too. She knew nothing of my pain and I saw no reason to tell her anything about it. We began dating and got married a few years later.
“I lived my life ignoring my pain and hers too. I often lost my temper and then became depressed. She didn’t know what was wrong with me and neither did I. We just existed—doing what we had to do to survive. We had two children, but they weren’t the answer either.
“After several years of marriage, we came to a place of crisis. Something had to change. I explained to my wife that I was sexually attracted to other men. She couldn’t believe it and I was numb—I couldn’t believe I had told her of my struggle. But it was the turning point for us. It was the first step on the road to healing.
“I saw a book in our local Christian book store titled, How Will I Tell My Mother? by Stephen Arterburn which told the story of his brother’s struggle with homosexuality and eventual death from AIDS. In it were listed the address and phone number of Homosexuals Anonymous. I called and asked if there was really hope and help. John J. was on the line and explained the process of healing, telling me it would take time but that it would pay rich dividends if I chose to walk that road.
“I was thrilled and have been walking that road now for nine years. It hasn’t been easy. Sometimes it’s been downright difficult. But John J. stayed with me through all my ups and downs and the rewards I am experiencing today make it more than worthwhile.
“For the first time in my life, I understand myself and God has been rebuilding my life, changing me, and making me the man He created me to be. Fears have been overcome, wounds have been healed, family relationships have been improved, anger has been forsaken, and depression has been overcome. My marriage is on track and recovery is teaching me how to be a good husband. My children are a blessing—I’m so proud of them—and recovery has equipped me—a man who had almost no fathering—to be a good father. This loner is developing good and loving friendships with other men and I’m finding them to be a great treasure that I wouldn’t trade for anything sin ever offered. It’s been quite an adventure.
“God is also using the things I have learned in recovery to help other people—both those who struggle with same-sex attractions and those who have been wounded in other ways—and it’s thrilling to see Him work through me in their lives, mending what sin had broken and helping them become whole persons.
“Is life perfect? No, because I’m not in heaven yet and I still have to grow up into Christ in many things. But I am so happy I cannot find the words to express it. I’ve found such joy in Christ’s new life of freedom.
What will you choose?
I hope you too will trust God. He wants to heal your pain and set you free to be the person He created you to be. As for me, I would describe myself as follows: Once bound but now set free! Please join me.”
You may be asking, “Are you guaranteeing that all will be joy for me if I enter recovery?” There are no guarantees in this life. I can’t guarantee I’ll live to finish this book. I might have a heart attack and die before I write the last word. You can’t guarantee a drunk driver won’t kill you the next time you go out on the street. Nevertheless, we go on with what is best for us whether we have a guarantee or not. So let’s not prattle about guarantees.
Ponder the statistics.
But do look at the statistics and let them guide you to a reasonable decision. Kathleen Erwin, in what I would have to describe as a pro-gay article in the International Journal of Health Services states, “...studies continue to show significantly higher rates of depression, substance abuse, and attempted suicide among lesbians and gay men than among heterosexuals in the United States.”105
She cites a study by Jay and Young “of over 5,000 lesbians and gay men in the United States and Canada, ranging in age from 14 to 82. They reported that 40 percent of gay men and 39 percent of lesbians had attempted or seriously considered suicide; to those who attempted suicide, 53 percent of the men and 33 percent of the women said their homosexuality was a factor.”106 “Gibson and others have calculated the risk of suicide among gay and lesbian youth to be three to six times that of heterosexual adolescents.”107 “High rates of alcoholism and other drug abuse are also reported among gays and lesbians...”108 “Gays and lesbians also frequently report feelings of self-hatred, isolation, depression, and low self-esteem.”109 “These data point to high levels of emotional distress among gays and lesbians...”110
That is not the picture of a happy group of people. Compare their life with that of Joseph and ask which you want. Then ask yourself whether or not you are willing to engage in some hard work to get it, or will you simply allow yourself to float, taking what seems to be the easy way, but proves in the end to be very painful.
Of course you will not always be happy in recovery. No one is always happy. Further, your wounds may have to be probed and cleaned out. Antiseptics may sting. But think of the long-term outcome. Choose freedom, choose joy, choose life—and work for them, even if the road be steep and rocky at times.
As Dr. Louis Bisch says, “Nobody’s life is smooth and easy. Everybody has ups and downs. We’ve got to expect that. And, since we should expect it we should also be ready for it, prepared for it. Then, when it happens we accept it naturally, as a challenge, as a measure of the stuff of which we are made. Indeed, we should even be eager to try ourselves out, to discover how capable we really are.”111 After all, “Nothing but courage can guide life.”111
Seek freedom because you want a real relationship with God.
As we’ve been sharing reasons you might want to seek freedom from homosexuality, you may have wondered, “Why hasn’t he said anything about the Bible? He’s a Christian. Isn’t what God says all-important here?”
Yes, it is, but I’ve not talked about the Bible so far for two reasons.
First, I’ve met a number of people with same-sex attractions who have complained about Christians “hitting them over the head with the Bible”. Sometimes the complaint is deserved because the person who talked to them was harsh, unfeeling, and did not manifest the love of Christ while sharing what the Bible says. At other times this was just an excuse to do as they pleased and blame a Christian for their continuing behavior about which they felt guilty. Blame is always a major part of denial in any addiction, and those of us who struggle with homosexuality are often not exceptions.
Second, I wanted you to see some reasons why God says what he does about homosexual behavior so you could hear Him with an open mind. Ask yourself, “What father would be indifferent to whether or not his child entered a lifestyle characterized by tendencies to promiscuity, sexual addiction, alcohol and drug abuse, suicide attempts, violence, venereal diseases–including AIDS—and the prospect of a lonely old age without love?” As Dr. Arno Karlen has noted, “Homosexuals themselves, despite expressions of contentment with being homosexual, almost all say, sadly or fervently, that if they had children they wouldn’t want the children to be homosexual.”113 If homosexual behavior is bad for you, doesn’t it make sense that God would give you fair warning?
I don’t want to turn you off with a dry-as-dust theology lecture, so may I first ask you some questions that may give you some insight into why the question of what the Bible says on this and other matters is so important?
Think about these two statements. Henry David Thoreau said, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”113 Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10b NIV). The Bible describes the life God offers as one of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22,23).
Which of these two statements comes closest to describing your life today: “quiet desperation” or life “to the full”?
Ask yourself some more questions. Are you longing to be loved? You might answer, “Why on earth do you think I go out night after night, cruising the streets, looking for someone to show me at least something that for a few minutes feels like love?” The Bible offers a personal relationship with the God who is love (I John 4:16) and who alone can fill that aching void in your soul. As Augustine, speaking to God, said long ago, “You have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”115
Perhaps guilt and regret are poisoning your life. That used to be a real problem for me. The Bible offers full, free forgiveness from the Judge of the entire world. “Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man [Jesus] forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything” (Acts 13:38).
Are you tired of broken relationships? God promises those who cling to him, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5b).
Do you find yourself doing what you hate but cannot stop? The Bible offers freedom so that you can fight the bondage that overwhelms you with ever increasing effectiveness. As Jesus, speaking of sin, said, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
You may be asking yourself, “If such a wonderful life is offered, why don’t people come into it? Why is there so much unhappiness in the world? Why am I miserable?” The Bible answers those questions in these words: “My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13). When we turn away from God, we turn to something or someone else only to find disappointment and more emptiness and despair.
I am one who turned away from God and tried to find satisfaction elsewhere. I had not had sex with a man for nearly twenty years, though I knew nothing about finding freedom from homosexual feelings. A man who I thought was a friend, who I’d looked on as a sort of second father, suddenly turned on me when I did not follow some of his advice. I now see he had a sick need to control, but then I only knew I was deeply hurt. I did not go to “the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction” (II Corinthians 1:3,4). I did not turn to the human sources of comfort He provided: “A friend loves at all time and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17). I went back to homosexual acting out. The result? Momentary relief, then terrible, ever increasing pain that finally became so intense I tried to take my life!
But there is a way back. Jesus invited me and invites you, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV).
God has given us a roadmap, as it were, in the Bible so that we can find our way to him. But I had ignored its directions and gone my own way. You may have too. But there is hope. The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119—a psalm praising God for this roadmap the Bible and the blessings that come from following it carefully. Since he knows this world is a dark, confusing, dangerous place, the writer rejoices that God has taught us how to go through life so as to find God and the life of fulfillment He offers. “Your word,” the writer exults, “is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). He further rejoices that it is clear instruction. “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130).
“Wait a minute,” you may be saying. “I tried to understand the Bible and I got nothing out of it.” The psalmist knew that he needed God’s help to understand His Word and so he prayed, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18) and “Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments” (Psalm 119:73). He also understood that it is foolish to ask God for guidance if one does not intend to do what God says, so he prayed, “Direct my steps according to your word: let no sin rule over me” (Psalm 119:133 NIV).
The writer saw clearly the connection between following God’s roadmap, the Bible, and abundant life. “Your testimonies are righteous forever, give me understanding that I may live” (Psalm 119:144). He wrote, “Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart” (Psalm 119:111) and “Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble” (Psalm 119:165).
God is a good Father. He is all-wise. He created us—wired us up (so He knows what will work in our life, and what won’t). He loves us (so He warns us away from the rocks on which others have made shipwreck, knowing where those rocks are and how destructive they can be). Because He is all-wise, He cannot be mistaken about what will harm us; because He is love, He will not withhold anything that is truly good from us. We must decide whether we will trust Him and walk in His way or turn from Him and lose the rich, fulfilling life He wants to give us.
Of course God wants us to follow His roadmap in everything, not just sexuality; but since this is the area with which you are concerned, we will concentrate on it.
WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT SEXUALITY IN GENERAL
Our Lord Jesus and the Apostle Paul, when dealing with sexual questions, went back to the first two chapters of Genesis—to life in the Garden of Eden before sin entered the world and created all the horrors we know today—things like adultery, divorce, rape, incest, abuse (see Matthew 19:3-9; Ephesians 5:28-33). These passages in Genesis tell us how God intended things to be.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it...”
As you can see at once, right here, in the very first chapter of the Bible, the Bible asserts and repeats a basic fact of life: that God made us sexual beings—male and female. A key reason for God’s doing this was that humans might be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth so that they might subdue it—something Adam and Eve could not have done by themselves. As psychiatrist Erik Erickson says, “generativity, pouring our life back into future generations, [is] adults’ most meaningful function. And that occurs most profoundly in procreation. There, in an ongoing way, we function ‘in the image of God’ by participating in His act of Creation. But this participation is restricted through Creation itself to the union of the two sexes.”116 Thus, as Donald Williams says, “A community of simply one sex does not reflect God’s intention for us or His character in the world.”117
This is reinforced in the expanded account of the creation of humankind in Genesis 2.
“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’ So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
Notice that though Adam had daily fellowship with God and though he was in the midst of a garden with all sorts of animals, God said he was in a real sense alone and God said that was not good. God was too far above him and the animals were too far beneath him to give what God knew he needed.
Notice also that the solution for Adam’s aloneness—a woman—was God’s idea. And Adam, in his unfallen state, was delighted. His first recorded words (Genesis 2:23) say that he thought “...the woman to be the perfect...companion to share his life and divide his labor.”118
What God brought to pass in Eden is, He says, His purpose for all time. Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
Dr. John Stott explains, “heterosexual intercourse is much more than a union of bodies; it is a blending of complementary personalities through which, in the midst of prevailing alienation, the rich created oneness of human being is experienced again. And the complementarity of male and female sexual organs is only a symbol at the physical level of a much deeper spiritual complementarity. To become one flesh, however, and experience this sacred mystery,...certain preliminaries are necessary, which are constituent parts of marriage. ‘For this reason a man...will leave his father and mother...and be united to his wife...and they will become one flesh...’ Jesus himself later endorsed this teaching...(Mark 10:4-9). Thus Scripture defines marriage in terms of heterosexual monogamy. It is the union of one man with one woman, which must be publicly acknowledged (the leaving of parents), permanently sealed (He shall ‘cleave to his wife’) and physically consummated (‘one flesh’). And Scripture envisages no other kind of marriage or sexual intercourse, for God has provided no alternative.” 119
WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY
Dr. Ron Sider has written, “The biblical case against practicing homosexuality....rests primarily on the constant pervasive biblical teaching that sex is a gift intended for the committed relationship of a man and a woman in life-long covenant. Never is there a hint anywhere in Scripture that God intended sex in any other relationship.”120 While this is true, it is not the whole story. There are a number of texts that speak clearly about homosexual activity.
THE OLD TESTAMENT
“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman [have sex with another man (CEV)]; that is detestable. Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion” (NIV).
“If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads” (NIV).
It’s important to understand that these verses do not say that God detests you! He loves you, but He detests homosexual behavior!
Nor do these verses teach that homosexual behavior is the only behavior God detests. As the book of Proverbs tells us, “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers’ (Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV).
These verses do, however obviously say that God detests homosexual behavior and opposes it in the strongest way possible. The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the New English Bible explains: ‘Homosexuality and bestiality bring about uncleanness because they are a violation of nature...: men should only have intercourse with women and human beings with human beings.”121
It will not do to seek to evade the force of these words by pointing out that there are a number of commandments in the Old Testament which the New Testament makes clear were temporary, and are no longer binding. As we shall see, the New Testament also condemns homosexual behavior. Thus God’s prohibition of homosexual behavior is not some temporary law which we can overlook as outmoded, but is part of His eternal moral law which is for all people in all times. As you consider the unhappiness that accompanies homosexuality that we discussed earlier, you see that this prohibition is an important part of His roadmap to an abundant life.
You may be wondering, “What about the death penalty attached to the prohibition?” The Bible says, “The wages [what is deserved] of sin [all sin, any sin] is death” (Romans 6:23). Notice, however, that the verse continues: “But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” As Ed Hurst writes, speaking of those who trust in Christ, “As to the death penalty, it has already been served in Christ.”122 In other words, if you will turn away from living for yourself and trust Christ to forgive your sin and direct your life, He will give you abundant life by making you into the person God created you to be. He will also take away all God’s righteous judgments against you because He suffered that curse in place of all who will entrust themselves to Him as Lord and Savior when He died on the Cross.
THE NEW TESTAMENT
“For this reason [because they worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator (1:25) God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were confused with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
Paul is arguing that all men, from the most immoral Gentile person (Romans 1:18-32) to the most religious Jewish person (2:1-3:9), are lost without the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (3:10-26). He says that God is angry (1:18) because, though he has clearly revealed himself in nature (1:19,20), men have willfully turned from Him to idols, things of their own making. Because of this, God gave them up to whatever they wanted to do: to heterosexual sins (1:24,25), to homosexual sins (1:26,27), and to various other kinds of sin (1:28-32). All of these deserve death (1:32), as do all the sins of human beings.
Homosexual behavior is clearly not the only sin that destroys a real relationship with God, but it is clearly condemned as sin. These verses tell us that God views all homosexual activity, whether by females or males, as “dishonorable”, “contrary to nature”, and “shameless”; and it says that such acts bring a “penalty”.
Some have tried to evade the force of these words by saying that the Bible does not condemn loving homosexual relationships, but only homosexual relationships that are not based on love—exploitive, abusive, or promiscuous ones. This is a distortion of what the Bible says because: (1) it requires that we add words like exploitive or abusive or promiscuous not found in the passage to make the Bible say what it does not say and, (2) it does not fit the context. Remember, Paul is dealing with heterosexual (1:24,25) as well as homosexual (1:26,27) sins. Can you imagine him teaching adultery is only forbidden if the relationship is exploitive or abusive or promiscuous? Or saying, “It’s all right for you to fornicate so long as you are not exploitive or abusive or promiscuous”? Nonsense!
Others have sought refuge in saying Paul is condemning heterosexual men and women who engage in homosexual acts, but not people with a homosexual orientation who are simply following their nature. This ignores the fact that the passage says these acts are the result of people “consumed with passion for one another” and that the Bible teaches our fallen natures are “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV). Rather than telling us, “If it feels good, do it,” the Bible tells us to “put to death... what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). Please remember that the same demands are made on heterosexual persons who are tempted to pre-marital sex or adultery. God is no respecter of persons or of sins!
To be true to the Scriptures we must face the fact that homosexual behavior—whether by men or by women—is condemned without equivocation in this passage! As Dr. Richard Lovelace wrote, most Bible scholars “who are not themselves homosexuals readily conclude from this passage that Paul considered homosexual acts to be sinful by their very nature. Even those who defend the legitimacy of some homosexual practice tend to conclude that Paul believed this but was mistaken...”123 And that involves denying that the Bible is the Word of God! Are you really willing to stake your life here on earth and in eternity that God’s Word is not true?
Don’t let the words “God gave them up” frighten you. As Dr. C. E. B. Cranfield explains, they simply mean “...God allowed them to go their own way in order that they might at last learn from their consequent wretchedness to hate the futility of a life turned away from the truth of God. ...Paul’s meaning is neither that these men fell out of the hands of God...nor that God washed his hands of them; but rather that this delivering them up was a deliberate act of judgment and mercy on the part of God who smites in order to heal (Isaiah 19:22), and that throughout the time of their God-forsakenness God is still concerned with them and dealing with them.”124
As another writer puts it, “...We can use the parable of the prodigal son to illustrate what this means and what it does not mean. There the father gives up the son who forsakes him. In other words, the father lets him go; the Father in Heaven does not hold anyone back by force either.... But the Father does not forsake or abandon when He gives up: He waits and keeps watch for the one who has run away, waiting for him to turn back from his perversity, for the Father does not give up in order to destroy, but in order to save...”125
Remember, the Father in Heaven condemns all sin—homosexual sin, heterosexual sin, pride, hypocrisy, self-righteousness, judgmentalism—to bring fallen people to the point where they see that when the Bible says, “None is righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10), it includes them—you and me! We have done what God said we should not do, and failed to do what He said we should do. He wants us to come back to Him. But first we must face the fact that we have wandered away. “There is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:22b, 23). “The wages of sin (all sin, any sin, your sin, my sin) is death” (spiritual and eternal death, the opposite of eternal life) (Romans 6:23). God tells us this because He wants us to call “on the name of the Lord” and be “saved” (Romans 10:13).
What God is telling us is that we need the forgiveness He offers in Christ to whose account He has charged all the sins of all believers (II Corinthians 5:21). He promises that if we truly trust in Christ, He will joyfully receive us, forgive us, and credit the sinless life of Christ to our account so that we no longer need to fear God’s judgment (Romans 3:21-5:21). He will give us His Holy Spirit who will begin making us perfectly like Jesus (Romans 6:1-8:30). He will take us into His family and will make us his heirs—joint-heirs with Jesus Christ if we will suffer with Him that we may be glorified with Him (Romans 8:16-18). We will experience a love that none of the horrors of a sin-cursed earth, none of the demons of hell, nothing in time or eternity, not even death itself, can take from us (Romans 8:31-38). That is abundant life!
But we must make a choice. Christ Himself proclaimed, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
What does that mean? C. S. Lewis explains, “...Man....tried to set up on His own, to behave as if he belonged to himself. In other words, fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must lay down his arms. Laying down your arms, surrendering, saying you are sorry, realizing that you have been on the wrong track and getting ready to start life over again from the ground floor—that is the only way out... This process of surrender—this movement full speed astern—is what Christians call repentance. Now repentance is no fun at all.... It means unlearning all the self-conceit and self-will that we have been training ourselves into for thousands of years. It means...undergoing a kind of death.... This repentance...is not something God demands of you before He will take you back and which He could simply let you off if He chose: it is simply a description of what going back to Him is like. If you ask God to take you back without it, you are really asking Him to let you go back without going back. It cannot happen.”126
I Corinthians 6:9-11
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality [footnote: The two Greek terms translated by this phrase refer to the passive and active partners in consensual homosexual acts], nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, not swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Two words were used to forbid homosexual behavior because many in the Greek world of Paul’s day believed that the person playing the female role (the passive partner) in homosexual intercourse was doing something shameful, but the one who played the male role (the active partner) was perfectly proper. As the New Bible Dictionary puts it, “It seems beyond reasonable doubt that Paul intended to condemn homosexual conduct (but not homosexual people) in the most general and theologically broad terms he knew.... As Creator, Law-Giver and King, the Lord’s condemnation of such behavior was absolutely plain.”127
Some try to evade this passage’s teaching by arguing that the words translated “men who practice homosexuality” mean something else. This approach is like that of Humpty Dumpty who told Alice that “glory” meant “a nice knock-down argument.” When Alice protested, “’glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’” Humpty Dumpty replied scornfully, “When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”128
As Michael Green says, “For the Christian, active homosexual behavior is not legitimate. If this seems very hard..., Paul has some good news. Homosexuality can be changed. 'Such were some of you,' writes the apostle... I have seen both male and female homosexuals come to Christ, and...I have seen them either change in sexual preference so that they become oriented toward the other sex and in due course marry, or else remain single and content for Jesus' sake. It simply is not true to say that the homosexual orientation cannot be broken. It can and it is...once people commit themselves to Christ, welcome his transforming Spirit into their lives, and are willing for the change to come about."129
Note that this passage teaches: (1) that homosexual behavior is unrighteousness; (2) that homosexual behavior is not the only form or the worst form of unrighteousness—it is no better and no worse than the other sins listed; (3) that all forms of unrighteousness, including homosexual behavior, bar one from the Kingdom of God, unless turned from; (4) that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God, and the love of God’s people can set men and women free from homosexuality—“And such were some of you”; (5) that anyone can be washed (made clean) from any and every form of unrighteousness, including homosexual behavior; (6) that anyone can be sanctified (set free) from any and every form of unrighteousness, including homosexual behavior; (7) that anyone can be justified (forgiven because of the death of Christ; counted righteous because of the obedience of Christ) from any and every form of unrighteousness, including homosexual behavior—this is good news!
Look at the wonderful things that come to the person who trusts in Christ! Do you feel dirty? When you come to Christ, you are “washed.” “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isaiah 1:18). “The blood of Jesus... cleanses us from all sin” (I John 1:7).
Do you feel unlovable? When you come to Christ, you are sanctified which “means...you were claimed by God as his own and made a member of his holy people—in Paul’s language, a saint...”130 Think of it! God wants you for His own! He wants to make you into the person He created you to be. He wants to help you become like Jesus!
Do you feel guilty? When you trust in Christ, you are justified. God says, “My Son lived and died in your place. He paid for your sins. He provided the righteousness you need to stand before Me. You have nothing to fear. You are no longer guilty in My sight! I look upon you as completely innocent and utterly righteous because of my Son.” And so we are back to the abundant life Christ promised—called the Kingdom of God.
C. S. Lewis writes, “...If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”131
I trust you understand that no one is barred from the Kingdom of God because he or she has been an adulterer, has engaged in homosexual behavior, has been a drunkard, or thief! The sins themselves are not the real issue. Men and women perish because they will not entrust themselves to Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. The real issue is the lordship of Christ—will He rule us or will our desires dominate us?
As Gordon Dalbey has written, “It is not a sin to be born of a possessive mother and a distant father, nor to have consequent homosexual fantasies. It is a sin to refuse to surrender yourself to Jesus and let God begin to shape you into His image as a man.”132
The question we must face is this: Will I surrender my life, including my sexuality, to Jesus Christ as Lord, or will I live as if I belonged to myself and owed Christ nothing? Is indulging my sexual desires more important to me than He is?
WHAT DOES CHRIST SAY ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY?
Some people have argued that since Christ Himself said nothing about homosexuality it cannot be wrong. That’s a really foolish approach. If you read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, you will find that Christ also said nothing about rape or incest. You surely would not read into His silence on those issues any approval of such activities!
You may ask, “But why doesn’t He speak against these things?” There was no need to. The Old Testament had already forbidden such sexual behaviors (see Deuteronomy 22:25-29 for rape; Leviticus 18:6-18 for incest) just as it had forbidden homosexual behavior (see Leviticus 18:22; 20:13). There was no controversy among the Jewish people about any of these subjects, so there was no reason for Christ to say anything about them. It was only when the Church moved into the Gentile world where homosexuality was rife that homosexual activity was once more addressed and clearly outlawed.
As a matter of fact, Christ’s silence on the matter of homosexuality should be seen as evidence that He had no quarrel with the view of the Jewish people drawn from the Old Testament. Christ did not hesitate to correct current misunderstandings of the Old Testament on such matters as the Sabbath (see Mark 2:23-3:6) or what constitutes murder (see Matthew 5:21,22) or adultery (see Matthew 5:27,28). His silence on rape, incest, homosexuality, and a host of other subjects simply means He saw nothing in these matters that needed correcting in the current views of the Jewish people drawn from the Old Testament. He agreed with them on such matters and therefore passed over those issues in silence.
Furthermore, He made it very clear that He accepted the binding authority of the Old Testament moral law. He clearly stated, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law of the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees (the religious leaders of the day who prided themselves on mere external right behaviors), you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-19).
When Christ spoke about the law in this passage, He was not speaking of Old Testament dietary, ceremonial, or civil laws, but of the moral law—things like murder (5:21-26), adultery (5:27-32), honesty (5:33-37), revenge (5:38-42) and love (5:43-48). Far from abolishing the moral teaching of the Old Testament, Christ saw that that moral teaching was far stricter and more inward than the Pharisees imagined.
One would think that everyone would know that all forms of immorality were unacceptable to Christ. While He was far more tender and forgiving to those who sinned than were his contemporaries (John 8:1-11), He was also far stricter in His sexual ethics than were the people of his day. Witness His stand on the matter of divorce (Matthew 5:31,32; 19:1-9), His teaching that lust is adultery in the heart (Matthew 5:27,28), and His statements about how serious one should be in the battle to abstain from all forms of sexual immorality (Matthew 5:29-30).
Further, Jesus taught that what defiles a person is what comes from his or her heart and lists those things as “evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickednesses, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man” (Mark 7:21-23 NASB). On the word “fornications” Professor Robert Gagnon writes, “No first-century Jew could have spoken of porneiai (plural) without having in mind the list of forbidden sexual offenses in Leviticus 18 and 20 (incest, adultery, same-sex intercourse, bestiality).”133
The Gospels show us that Jesus did not overturn any prohibitions against those things the Mosaic Law branded as immoral. They show us One who regarded sexual ethics as being highly important and who demanded even more than the Torah did in this area. As Professor Gagnon says, “The idea that Jesus was, or might have been personally neutral or even affirming of homosexual conduct is revisionist history at its worst.”134
We’ve looked carefully at several of the passages in the Bible that make it quite clear that homosexual behavior is contrary to the will of God. We did not look at all the passages we might have. In addition to those we have studied together, Dr. Robert A. J. Gagnon mentions Genesis 9:20-27, 19:4-11; Deuteronomy 23:17-18; Judges 19: 22-25; I Kings 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; II Kings 23:7; Job 36:14; Ezekiel 16:50 (possibly too 18:12 and 33:36); Jude 7; II Peter 2:7; Revelation 21:8; and 22:15.135 As R. A. Starbuck says, "Scripture speaks with one voice that homosexual practice is sinful and beyond the scope of God's will for his children, or to quote F. Dale Bruner, 'homosexual practice is not the design of God's creation, is abhorred by God's Law, and is proscribed in God's Gospel.'"136 “’Only towering cynicism can pretend that there is any doubt about what the Scriptures say about homosexuality,’ writes Michael Ukleja.’”137 “...The Scriptures throughout in a variety of cultural and historical contexts spanning some 1,500 years, teach uniformly that homosexuality is contrary to the divine will.”138 As Dr. Stanton L. Jones has stated, “The only way to neutralize the biblical witness against homosexual behavior is either grossly to misrepresent the Bible or to undermine its authority."139
Remember what Christ taught about the Bible. After His resurrection He rebuked His disciples as “foolish” “and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” [Luke 24:25, emphasis ours]. He told the Jews “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). As He prayed to His Father for His disciples He said, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).
WHAT ABOUT GAY CHURCHES?
“But,” you may say, “aren’t there gay churches?” There are. As Leanne Payne warns, "We live in an age that reconciles good and evil.... This is what makes the plight of homosexuals so treacherous. They live in a time when even the church has received into itself a false light, a false compassion that is as cruel as death. And rather than being empowered by a holy God to call the sinner to repentance and then heal the needy soul, the church at large babbles on in the language of a lost society."140 Bishop Joseph Hall has written, “False prophets care only to please...”141 They tell you to do whatever you feel like doing while the Gospel tells you to do whatever God says.
Didn’t Christ Himself charge us to “enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” and then solemnly warn us to “beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” [Matthew 7:13-15)?
Didn’t the apostle Peter warn against false teachers who “indulge in the lust of defiling passion” and “will be destroyed”, who “have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unstable souls...by sensual passions of the flesh,” promising “freedom” while “they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved” (II Peter 2:1,10,12,14,18-19).
You may ask, “How can I tell those who teach truth from those who teach error?” Christ Himself told us, when, praying to the Father, he said, “Your Word is truth” (John 17:17). The Bible is God’s roadmap, and you can’t go wrong following it.
Think about what Andrew Comiskey found. He still struggled with homosexual feelings after Christ had drawn him to Himself when, at university he “met pro-gay representatives from almost every Christian denomination. I heard dramatic testimonies from several who professed a kind of ‘born again’ experience upon coming out of their Christian closets and into homosexuality. I met a wonderful woman from the gay church... I even attended a couple of services at her church. Their testimonies moved me—the wilderness experiences of seeking Jesus in powerless and ignorant religious climates, wanting deliverance but finding none, then leaping to the conclusion that Jesus must want to bless their homosexuality.
“Not only did their experiences move me, but they also tempted me. How great! I thought. The blessings of faith combined with the strong arms of a male lover. The prospect had a powerful appeal, for although Christian life was improving, I still longed for tangible, masculine love. But something struck me in their stories that seemed inherently alien to the gospel. Little, if any, glory was given to the transforming power of Jesus. I drew on my limited knowledge of Jesus and how He called people to Himself; He demanded they submit to Him all that they were, so that He might reorient their personhood and purpose.
“In contrast, these pro-gay Christians were expressing more of the glory of their gayness than the honor of Jesus. Their homosexuality was no longer submitted to His scrutiny but held fast as a kind of personal right. In short, I intuited a profound lack of inspiration in their
faith. However wounded by the church and sincere in trying to heal the pain, these pilgrims were not anointed. I left that group...”142
There are churches that will tell you to do whatever you feel like doing and there are churches that will tell you the truth—that if you want Christ and the abundant life He offers you must follow His directions: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mark 8:34,35).
I understand that it will be difficult for you. It is for everyone. It may help you to think about this prayer written by a great Christian who also found it difficult, A. W. Tozer: “Father, I want to know You, but my coward heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from You the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that You may enter and dwell there without a rival.... Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for You will be the light of it, and there shall be no night there. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”143
A man once came to Christ desperately needing help. Jesus told him that all things were possible for the one who believes. The man immediately cried, “I believe; help my unbelief!’ (Mark 9:34). Christ met his need. Copy that man’s resolution. Refuse to be denied. Pray with the fervency and determination of Jacob who cried, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Genesis 32:26). That kind of faith is never denied.
THE ROAD TO FREEDOM FROM HOMOSEXUALITY
Don’t let your feelings stop you from thinking!
Some people ask, “If homosexuality is as hurtful as you say it is, why do so many people continue in it?”
Of course no one answer will fit everyone, but here are several you might want to think about.
Many seek “a softer, easier way.”
Remember the warning of Christ in the Sermon on the Mount. “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13,14). As someone has said, “The crowd’s not going to heaven!” The same Savior who said, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16) also said, “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him” (John 12:25,26). He said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it: but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24,25). Most people, whether heterosexually inclined or homosexually inclined, are not willing to live this kind of life—and it is the only Christian life there is.
Please don’t let these words frighten you. When the disciples heard them they said, “’Who then can be saved?’ But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’” (Matthew 19:25,26). As D. L. Moody wrote, "I prayed for faith and thought that some day faith would come down and strike me like lightening. But faith did not seem to come. One day I read in the tenth chapter of Romans, 'Now faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.' I had closed my Bible and prayed for faith. I now opened my Bible and began to study, and faith has been growing ever since."144 Ask God for faith. Read the Bible. Study the Bible. Meditate on the Bible. Go faithfully to a church where the Bible is believed, reverenced, loved, taught and preached. Saturate your soul with prayer and Scripture—faith will come and bring that abundant life with it.
Some are already ensnared by addiction.
Then again, do you remember our talk concerning addiction? To get an idea of addiction’s power, consider the story of William H. Crisman, a Roman Catholic priest who was addicted to alcohol and drugs. He writes, “From the time I was nineteen until I was thirty-eight, the continuing, daily, ordinary, unifying thread to my life was chemical dependency. Those nineteen years began with a psychiatrist’s prescription for Valium and petered out on the dregs of a vodka bottle.... Starkly put, I could not do my life without my chemicals.”145
“Quite a while before I quit drinking and drugging, my head told me that the chemicals were killing me. I rationally understood that objective truth. But my far more profound level of perception—my gut—told me that I had to have them or I’d die. I believed my gut....
“All of that wasn’t necessarily conscious or thought out, but on that core level of intuition and adrenaline that guards our very survival, it seemed obvious and was completely persuasive. My life was disintegrating around me, but my use of alcohol and drugs was not, could not be, why....
“Note the paradox. In plain fact, the use of booze and drugs was killing me; or rather, I was killing myself in slow motion by using them. But even though I could rationally see that fact, I could not believe it because my gut told me that my survival depended on continuing to use the stuff. And the more dependent I became, the more I believed my gut.”146
“What kept me convinced with granite like stubbornness that I needed my drugs and alcohol to live, even as they were killing me?... Denial.
“You see, habitual denial is not just a symptom—or even ‘the identifying and presenting symptom’—of... addiction. Rather, it’s the very bedrock, the foundation, the channeled riverbed of belief without which...dependency cannot exist.”147
Some say, “You’re talking about substance abuse and we are talking about homosexuality. Aren’t they different?”
They are, and yet please remember our talk about sexual addiction. A sexual addict gets hooked on his own body chemistry—on the adrenaline rush of arousal and the endorphins that are released at such times—just as a drug addict gets hooked on cocaine.
I was a sexual addict.
My own story brings me feelings of intense shame. That is always painful—but I want to share it with you hoping it will help you choose wisely as you consider what to do with your same-sex attractions.
My father, the adult child of an alcoholic, wanted me, his firstborn, to be exactly like he was—strong, tough, a fighter, and a medical doctor. These were things God had not equipped me to be.
I remember desperately wanting him to be proud of me. Once when I was seven years old the family went to a fair. They had a boxing ring into which they put any kids who wanted to slug it out. “Here’s my chance,” I thought. There was, however, a problem. No one had taught me how to fight. The other kid knew what he was doing and beat the tar out of me. I couldn’t even defend myself. All I did was cry. I can still hear the shame in my father’s voice as he told me to stop crying. I was being a baby.
As for being a doctor, for some reason I have always been extremely sensitive to other people’s pain. While that helped me be a good friend and counselor, it did not fit me to be a medical doctor. When I was a sophomore in college, our biology lab instructor decided to dissect a live frog in front of the class so we could see its beating heart, etc. We had dissected dead frogs, and that had been no problem for me, but, as we all crowded around the table and he pressed the knife into the base of the frog’s neck, the frog’s legs shot straight out as if from a jolt of pain. I fainted dead away in front of the whole class! Obviously God had not designed me to be a doctor! Yet my father always told me, even the last time I saw him before he died, how disappointed he was in me that I had not become a doctor.
So I grew up feeling I was not what my father wanted and that he did not love me. I put up a wall between us which resulted in my missing the love I needed from my father to develop a healthy gender identity.
I first became aware of homosexual feelings when I was twelve, but I hid them from everyone except for two male friends with whom I was sexually involved during my teen years. At eighteen I became a Christian, and that stopped all outward homosexual activity for over twenty years. It did not, however, end the inner struggle. Neither did intense religious activity or marriage and children.
Temptation continued until a time in my late thirties when, experiencing great pain, I felt I could no longer fight my feelings. I gave in to them. Once I yielded, I could not stop acting out no matter how necessary to my own well-being or how hard I tried.
I was a pastor in a small town. Once, when one of the people I was involved with threatened to expose me, I determined to summon all my strength, seek God with all my heart, and stop. To continue in homosexual activity was to risk my reputation, my job, my family, my very sanity! I fasted, I prayed, yet I went crawling back to the very same person in less than two weeks!
The result was blackmail, exposure, the loss of family, reputation, job, and an attempted suicide. How can one explain all that except in terms of addiction—which the Bible calls bondage and slavery?
Fortunately a friend told me about Homosexuals Anonymous and I found support and answers there as I worked their fourteen-step program. I went to a Bible-believing Church which, while holding the Bible’s teaching that homosexual behavior is wrong, did not treat it as somehow worse than any other sin, but warmly encouraged me in my recovery. I drew near to God, found good counseling, and God graciously set me free.
Of course there are people who do not want out of homosexuality for the same reason that there are people who do not want out of drug addiction or alcoholism—they’re hooked and have become so enslaved that they not longer even desire to be free. Stephen Arterburn, the founder and chairman of New Life Clinics, the largest provider of Christian counseling and treatment throughout the United States and Canada, puts it this way. “I know sex addicts who have refused healing. They knew they were sick. They knew they had destroyed their character, respect, marriages, jobs, relationships with God, and even their health. They knew all of that, but they chose to stick with being sick. They refused to make the choices that recovering sex addicts make when they decide they want to be healed and be well. The intensity and disconnection of the addiction remained a stronger lure than the hope of authentic intimacy and a loving relationship, so they chose to stay sick.”148
Some strugglers think they have no option.
Another reason people stay in homosexuality is ignorance. One young man who has found freedom writes, “I became disillusioned with gay life, realizing that I was never going to find ‘the one’ and live happily ever after. Surprisingly, this truth was told to me numerous times by many long-time ‘life partners’ I knew. I knew them because they met me in bars, at parties, or on the internet, and took me home to sleep with them. I lived this way basically from age 16 to 21, miserable but truly believing there was nothing else out there for me.”149
Some have tried to be free on their own and failed.
Others stay in homosexuality out of despair. They have tried earnestly to free themselves by themselves and found that they could not do so. They reasoned falsely: “Since I cannot get free on my own, try as I might, I can never get free.” The flaw in that reasoning stems from the fact that homosexuality is a relational problem and can only be solved through healthy, non-sexual, emotionally intimate relationships that match what good family relationships should be. We have problems because of flawed relationships; we can only get well in healthy ones. “Harry Stack Sullivan was a pioneer in what is called interpersonal psychology. He used to tell his students, ‘It takes people to make people sick, and it takes people to make people well.’”150 We just must be certain that we choose the right people with whom to have right relationships. Some can make us worse; others can help us heal
Of course the really important question is not, “Why do others remain in homosexuality?” but “What will you do with your life?”
Don’t continue to be victimized!
As we will see in this chapter, homosexuality is an unhelpful response to real and painful hurts. To surrender yourself to your homosexual feelings is to allow whoever it was who victimized you to continue controlling your life.
The struggler’s dilemma.
To see what I’m talking about, consider these thoughts by a man wrestling with whether or not to seek freedom: “...If I am gay because I was abused emotionally and physically by my dysfunctional alcoholic family, do I want to be gay? If I’m gay because I was pushed into it by circumstance, I want to be what normal is. If it was not a free choice, then I don’t want it.”151
As you can see, this man is thinking about an important question—one most of us have asked ourselves repeatedly. Why?
There is no real evidence the problem is biological.
First, there is no real evidence for the oft-repeated “big lie” that we were born this way. Dr. William Byne, of the Department of Psychiatry of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons states, “...Recent genetic, hormonal and neuroanatomical evidence pertaining to sexual orientation...is far from compelling. ...Reports that homosexuality tends to run in families and that identical twins are more likely to share the same sexual orientation than are fraternal twins....are absolutely useless... Protestantism runs in families too, but no one would suggest it is genetic.... The tenacity with which these researchers hold to their hypothesis in the face of the overwhelming evidence against it suggests that it is something other than science that is operating here.”152
The idea that we were born “gay” or that God made us “gay” brings despair, not joy and freedom. I spoke to the mother of a young man who struggled with unwanted same-sex attractions. She knew nothing of his problem. He went to a therapist who told him there was no hope for change (keep reading and you’ll see how false that is) and that he had to learn to live with his homosexuality. He went home and attempted suicide. That was how his mother learned of his pain.
If you are still troubled by the propaganda that is constantly being pushed at us and feel you need more information than I can give in this short book, let me suggest you read the following books which thoroughly refute the notion that we were born “gay” and are doomed to remain so. Dr. Neil Whitehead, a research scientist with a Ph.D. in biochemistry has written the book, My Genes Made Me Do It: A Scientific Look at Sexual Orientation with the help of his wife Blair; and Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, a Jewish psychiatrist with degrees from M.I.T., Harvard University, and the University of Texas, and who has been a Fellow in Psychiatry at Yale University and past William James Lecturer in Psychology and religion at Harvard, has written Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth. These books will put your heart at rest and encourage you to find freedom from homosexuality, if you decide that is what you want.
There is a great deal of evidence that the problem is emotional.
If our problem is not the way we were born, what is it? Dr. Elizabeth Moberly, a brilliant research psychologist who received her Ph.D. from Oxford University, has done the most important research to date into the causes and healing of the homosexual condition. On the basis of that research she states, "...A homosexual orientation does not depend on a genetic predisposition, hormonal imbalance, or abnormal learning processes, but on difficulties in the parent-child relationship, especially in the early years of life."153
Problems with one’s same-sex parent.
While the Scriptures make it clear that all humankind struggles with sin because, as fallen creatures, we have turned away from God, when one asks why a particular sin is a problem for some and not for others, we must consider environmental and psychological factors. Dr. Moberly's research revealed "...one constant underlying principle...: that the homosexual—whether man or woman—has suffered from some deficit in the relationship with the parent of the same sex...”154 "The parent may or may not be culpable, but in either case the child has been genuinely hurt. The difficulty arises when such hurt is accompanied by an unwillingness to relate any longer to the love-source that has been experienced as hurtful.... The tragedy is that subsequent to this effect the behavior of the same-sex parent becomes irrelevant, since the child is no longer able to relate normally to him or her. Even if love is offered, it cannot be received.”155 "...The homosexual condition is itself a deficit in the child's ability to relate to the parent of the same sex which is carried over to members of the same sex in general.”156 The result is that "needs for love, dependency and identification which are normally met through the medium of such an attachment, remain unmet.”157
Early sexual trauma.
Further, some people detach because of sexual trauma. Dr. Robert Hicks states, "...In counseling gay men for twenty years, I have not had one yet whom I would say had a normative childhood or normative adolescent development in the sexual arena. More often than not I have found stories of abusive, alcoholic, or absent (physically and emotionally) fathers: stories of incest or first experiences in sex forced upon them by older brothers, neighborhood men, or even friends. I sometimes find these men have had early exposure to pornography, along with devastating experiences with the opposite sex wherein they were accused of violation, or were utterly rejected or refused sexually. I agree with Leanne Payne that most of the gay issues are, in fact, major identity issues that are the result of traumatic experiences that have created significant amounts of grief and loss in the gay's personhood.... For men, their masculinity was stolen, so they go looking for it in other men..."158
Dr. David Finkelhor found, "Boys victimized by older men were over four times more likely to be currently engaged in homosexual activity than were non-victims...”159 He reasoned, "It may be common for a boy who has been involved in an experience with an older man to label himself as homosexual (1) because he has had a homosexual experience and (2) because he was found to be sexually attractive by a man. Once he labels himself homosexual, the boy may begin to behave consistently with the role and gravitate toward homosexual activity."160
Drs. Robert L. Johnson and Diane K. Shrier reported on "a six year experience in an adolescent medicine clinic in which all medical interviews of adolescent males included questions about sexual molestation. Forty adolescent males reported sexual victimization during their preadolescent years. This study group of forty was compared to a randomly selected age-matched group whose responses were negative to the same questions."161 Those who had been molested "identified themselves as currently homosexual nearly seven times as often and bisexual nearly six times as often" as those who had not been molested.162
Dr. Ralph H. Gundlach, in a study of forty-eight lesbians compared with thirty heterosexual women, all of whom had been the object of rape or attempted rape, writes, "The most striking fact was that of 17 women molested in their childhood (ages 4 to 15) by a relative or close family friend, 16 became homosexuals.... For women 16 years old and older who were raped, the proportion of homosexuals to heterosexuals is about the same."163
Poor peer relationships in childhood.
Others detach because of painful experiences with their peers. Dr. Richard P. Fitzgibbons states, “The most common conflicts at different life stages that predispose individuals to homosexual attractions and behavior are loneliness and sadness, mistrust and fear, profound feelings of inadequacy and a lack of self-acceptance.... The most frequently seen cause of sadness in the past leading to homosexual attractions in males was the result of childhood and adolescent rejection by peers because of very limited athletic abilities.... The craving for acceptance and love from peers results in strong emotional attractions to those of the same sex, which leads many youngsters to think they may be homosexuals.”164
Unmet needs don’t just go away.
Whatever went wrong, unmet needs for love, security, and identity from childhood do not just go away because one gets older. "...The repression of the normal need for attachment has to contend, like every repression, with the corresponding drive towards the undoing of the repression—in this case, the drive towards the restoration of attachment."165 "This reparative attempt is...the solution and not the problem."166 "An attachment to the same sex is not wrong, indeed it is precisely the right thing for meeting same-sex deficits. What is improper is the eroticisation of the friendship.”167 “Homosexual activity implies the eroticisation of deficits in growth that remain outstanding, and this is fundamentally, a confusion of the emotional needs of the non-adult with the physiological desires of the adult.”168
From what has been said it might seem that resolving a homosexual problem would simply be a matter of providing the love he or she did not receive in childhood. Would that it were that simple. There is a problem that makes it far more complicated and difficult.
Here’s what makes recovery difficult.
Unresolved conflicts with one’s same-sex parent and the anger and fear which are the result of these conflicts make receiving the love one needs to resolve his or her homosexual struggle very difficult. Not only are there the unmet needs of childhood pulling one towards others of the same sex, but there is the fear of being hurt again as well as the anger at having been hurt which pulls the struggler in the opposite direction.
As Dr. Moberly points out, “...The homosexual both runs from and seeks for men, in consequence of and in order to resolve detachment from the father.”169 “...The homosexual condition is one of same-sex ambivalence.... The overall structure of ambivalence involves various distinct components. Firstly...the defensive detachment from the same-sex parental love-source will be marked by hostility, whether overt or latent, towards parental figures and towards other members of the same sex.... At the same time, there is a reparative drive towards the restoration of attachment and hence towards the meeting of unfulfilled needs for love, dependency and identification.”170 “It is this same-sex ambivalence which we...take to be the essence of the homosexual condition in both the male and the female. The only difference would be one of greater or lesser degree in individual cases.”171
The road to addiction.
From this analysis it is easy to see how a homosexual person can easily become a sexual addict. Dr. Patrick Carnes, a pioneer in the understanding of addictive processes as they apply in sexuality, lists four core beliefs that drive every sexual addict: “1. I am basically a bad, unworthy person. 2. No one would love me as I am. 3. My needs are never going to be met if I have to depend on others. 4. Sex is my most important need.”172 Feeling that unworthiness makes one unlovable, and believing that unlovableness guarantees others will not want to meet his or her needs, the addict looks to sex as the only hope of satisfaction. But sexual acting out yields feelings of guilt and shame, increasing the sense of unworthiness; the pain of guilt and shame leads to more acting out to numb those feelings; this leads to more guilt and shame, leading to more acting out—on and on. Further, the addict finds that he or she is doing things they thought they would never do to get the temporary relief sought, thus increasing the guilt and shame. It takes more and more to get less and less. This downward spiral must be broken if one is to recover. The addict must find people with whom it is safe to be open and honest, and then find the courage to be so. When others do not consider him or her unworthy (though they do not approve of everything done), do love knowing all, and do try to meet his or her legitimate needs, the addict no longer sees sexual activity as the only road to emotional fulfillment and the power of addiction is broken.
Resolving the problem.
Dr. Moberly writes, “Just as the problem of homosexuality is twofold there must be a twofold therapeutic goal. This twofold answer must be the undoing of the defensive detachment, and making up for unmet needs.”173 “The homosexual is not to stop loving members of the same sex, but to meet his or her psychological needs deeply and completely without sexual activity.”174
All too often, people have tried to force opposite-sex contacts prematurely. Dr. Moberly points out, “Attempted heterosexual relationships, or social contact with the opposite sex, are not the solution to homosexuality, since increased opposite-sex contact can do nothing to fulfill same-sex deficits.”175 “To ‘stop being a homosexual’ means to stop being a person with same-sex psychological deficits. This can only happen through the fulfillment of such needs and the resolution of any barriers to such fulfillment.”176
What is needed for one to “stop being a homosexual”? Dr. Moberly states, “Love, both in prayer and in relationships, is the basic therapy. A defensive detachment from the same-sex love source, and consequent unmet needs for love, constitute the homosexual condition. Love is the basic problem, the great need, and the only true solution. If we are willing to seek and to mediate the healing and redeeming love of Christ, then healing for the homosexual will become a great and glorious reality.”177
There is no “quick fix.”
Dr. Moberly warns against looking for a “quick-fix”. “...It should be borne in mind that the normal process of growth for a young child takes the better part of the first two decades of life. Where unresolved trauma has blocked the normal process of growth since the age of two or three, it is quite unrealistic to expect this to be made up for in less than a few years. The process may be somewhat accelerated by the relative social maturity of the client, but it is bound to be lengthy. Length combined with intensity make this a difficult therapeutic proposition... But the task of reconstructing a human life can hardly be less than demanding, and would undoubtedly be an immensely rewarding enterprise.”178
Take Heart! Since others have found freedom, why not you?
You might be thinking, “Wait just one minute! I hear you talking about freedom from homosexuality and the healing of homosexuality. Are you saying that changing not only one’s behaviors but also changing one’s feelings is possible?”
Yes, and before you close your mind, please let me share with you some scientific information you may not be familiar with.
A highly respected history of psychiatry, written before it was politically correct to suppress such findings, states, "The fact that one-fourth to one-half of all homosexuals who seek psychotherapeutic treatment can effect a reversal of their sexual interests attests that at least in these cases early psychogenic influences were most important in the development of the condition.”179
Dr. Arno Karlen
Noted researcher, Dr. Arno Karlen, says, "I have heard many clinical psychologists say they take for granted that they will get complete change in a third of their...[homosexual] patients and partial change in another third."180
Dr. Ruben Fine
Dr. Reuben Fine, a highly respected Jewish psychoanalyst, who received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Southern California, was one of the founding fathers and served as Director of the New York Center for Psychoanalytic Training, served as a Visiting Professor at Adelphi University, founded the Division of Psychoanalysis of the American Psychological Association (Division 39), and was instrumental in the founding of the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis and the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research Center wrote, "I have recently had occasion to review the results of psychotherapy with homosexuals, and been surprised by the findings. It is paradoxical that even though the politically active homosexual group denies the possibility of change, all studies from Schrenck-Notzing on have found positive effects, virtually regardless of the kind of treatment used...”181 “Thus, whether with hypnosis..., psychoanalysis of any variety, educative psychotherapy, behavior therapy, and/or simple educational procedures, a considerable percentage of overt homosexuals became heterosexual. Of course, only the psychoanalytic cases are really understood, since the others present no dynamic picture. But it is striking that if the patients were motivated, whatever procedure is adopted a large percentage will give up their homosexuality. In this connection public information is of the greatest importance. The misinformation spread by certain circles that 'homosexuality is untreatable by psychotherapy' does incalculable harm to thousands of men and women.”182
Dr. Gerard J. M. van den Aardweg
Dr. Gerard J. M. van den Aardweg received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Amsterdam, has taught in universities in the Netherlands and Brazil, and has more than twenty years experience in research concerning homosexuality and its treatment.
He made the following observations from an extensive analysis of 101 homosexual persons he has treated. “Of those who continued treatment— 60 per cent of the total group—about two-thirds reached at least a satisfactory state of affairs for a long period of time. By this is meant that the homosexual feelings had been reduced to occasional impulses at most while the sexual orientation had turned predominantly heterosexual, or that the homosexual feelings were completely absent, with or without predominance of heterosexual interests. Of this group, however, about one-third could be regarded as having been changed 'radically.' By this is meant that they did not have any more homosexual interests but had normal heterosexual feelings...”183
He acknowledged, "These results are still far from perfect, but...the radically changed cases—from complete homosexuality to normal heterosexuality—refute the theory that therapy of homosexuality is pointless. Indeed since relatively few homosexuals seriously try to change and few therapists encourage them to do so, the notion that homosexuality is irreversible is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If nobody tries, nobody will succeed. ...Why would we take a fatalistic attitude toward the possibilities of improvement of homosexuality when an acceptable percentage improves substantially?”184 He stated emphatically, "...It is not true that a homosexual neurosis is irremediable...”185 “No matter how much remains to be learned in this field, it is evident however that people can and do recover from this neurosis.”186
He concluded, “Working at oneself, let alone fighting one’s undesirable, self-centered habits and attachments is not a popular issue in our permissive and overindulgent age.... The specious exhortation ‘accept yourself’ becomes....tantamount to surrender to immaturity on the one hand and repression of one’s better self on the other.... The alternative, to work at yourself, is more difficult, but it is the only way to inner happiness and peace of mind.”187
Dr. Robert L. Spitzer
In October of 2003, a bombshell exploded on the psychological/psychiatric world. That was the month that Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, chief of the New York State Psychiatric Institute’s Biometrics Research Department, and professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, New York, published a paper in Archives of Sexual Behavior titled, “Can Some Gay Men and Lesbians Change Their Sexual Orientation? 200 Participants Reporting a Change from Homosexual to Heterosexual Orientation.” This study is fascinating for a number of reasons.
First, no one can accuse Dr. Spitzer of “religious bias”. “He describes himself as a Jewish atheist.”188
Second, no one can accuse Dr. Spitzer of “anti-gay bias”. He has been described as “the psychiatrist who led the team that deleted homosexuality from the diagnostic manual [“the official system for classification of psychological and psychiatric disorders prepared by and published by the American Psychiatric Association”189] in 1973...”190
Third, the story of how Dr. Spitzer came to do this study is important. He attended an annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association where it was being argued by the politically correct that reorientation therapy should be banned. “Dr. Spitzer had been convinced that sexual orientation is unchangeable.”191 “...I spoke to some ex-gays who were picketing the meeting. They explained how they had changed. And that got me interested.”192
As a result Dr. Spitzer designed a study that “involves systematically interviewing a large group of individuals who report that their sexual orientation had been predominantly homosexual, but who now report that because of some kind of therapy they have sustained for a least 5 years some change to a heterosexual orientation.”193
He was able to recruit 200 individuals (143 males, 57 females) who had experienced “predominantly homosexual attraction for many years, and in the year before starting therapy, at least 60 on a scale of sexual attraction (where 0 = exclusively heterosexual and 100 = exclusively heterosexual…”194 “Almost half of the participants (41%) had at some time prior to the therapy been ‘openly gay.’ Over a third of the participants (males 37%, females 35%) reported that they had serious thoughts of suicide, related to their homosexuality.”195
Dr. Spitzer noted that the most commonly reported reasons for seeking to change “were that the individual did not find life as a gay man or lesbian emotionally satisfying (males, 85%; females, 70%...), conflict between their same sex feelings and behavior and the tenets of their religion (79%), and desire to get married or stay married (males, 67%; females 35%...).”196
“Although all of the participants had been sexually attracted to members of the same sex, a small proportion had never engaged in consensual homosexual sex (males, 13%; females, 4%...). Significantly more males than females had engaged in consensual homosexual sex with more than 50 different sexual partners during their lifetime (males 34%; females 2%...). Significantly more males than females had not experienced consensual heterosexual sex before the therapy effort (males, 53%; females, 33%...)”197
Dr. Spitzer’s subjects were asked about their same-sex attraction, sexual orientation identity, same-sex lustful thoughts, yearning for romantic emotional intimacy, same-sex masturbatory fantasies, same-sex thoughts during heterosexual sex, gay pornography, homosexual behavior, and being bothered by homosexual feelings in the 12 months prior (PRE) to the effort to change and the 12 months prior to the interview (POST). What was the outcome?
First, Dr. Spitzer found that “typically the effort to change did not produce significant results for the first two years. Subjects said they were helped by examining their family and childhood experiences, and understanding how those factors might have contributed to their gender identity and sexual orientation. Same-sex mentoring relationships, behavior therapy techniques and group therapy were also mentioned as particularly helpful.”198
But many of those who persevered found what they had been seeking. “To the researchers’ surprise, good heterosexual functioning was reportedly achieved by 67% of the men who had rarely or never felt any opposite-sex attraction before the change process. Nearly all the subjects said they now feel more masculine (in the case of men) or more feminine (women).”199
“’Contrary to conventional wisdom,’ Spitzer concluded, ‘some highly motivated individuals, using a variety of change efforts, can make substantial change in multiple indicators of sexual orientation, and achieve good heterosexual functioning.”200
“He added that change from homosexual to heterosexual is not usually a matter of ‘either/or’ but exists on a continuum—that is, a diminishing of homosexuality and an expansion of heterosexual potential...”201
“The great majority (90%) of the participants reported using more than one type of therapy. Almost half (47%) reported that seeing a mental health professional was the only or most helpful kind of therapy.... About a third (34%) of the participants reported that the only or most helpful type of therapy involved attending an ex-gay or other religious support group.”202
“Participants were also asked, ‘How did you translate what you learned into actually changing your feelings?’ Often mentioned were linking childhood or family experience to the development of their sexual feelings, having nonsexual relationships with individuals of the same sex (often in the context of an ex-gay support group), thought stopping (e.g., ‘When I got such thoughts, I didn’t go down that route’) avoiding ‘tempting’ situations, and gradually falling in love with a member of the opposite sex.”203
And how did all this work out in terms of marital satisfaction? Dr. Spitzer sent the married couples the Dyadic Adjustment Scale that measures marital satisfaction and found that the instrument’s Overall Adjustment Scale was not significantly different from the instrument’s normative group... “On average, participants reported the same degree of marital adjustment as the instrument’s normative reference group.”204
He noted, “Depression has been reported to be a common side effect of unsuccessful attempts to change sexual orientation. This was not the case for our participants, who often reported that they were ‘markedly’ or ‘extremely’ depressed at PRE (males 43%, females 47%) but rarely that depressed at POST (males 1%, females 4%). To the contrary at POST the vast majority reported that they were ‘not at all’ or only ‘slightly’ depressed (males 91%, females 88%).”205
What was Dr. Spitzer’s conclusion? “Although initially skeptical, in the course of the study, the author became convinced of the possibility of change in some gay men and lesbians.”206 “...It surprised me how convincing the accounts were.... From the very first people that I talked to, I had the feeling they were talking about something real.”207
I know you’ve heard that change is impossible. In the time we have had together, I’ve only been able to give you a small portion of the evidence available showing that change is possible. You can see more, if you wish, by ordering Once Gay...Always Gay??? listed on page 1 of the HA Book Ministry List.
Dr. Stanton Jones
I think you’ve seen enough to give you hope and to enable you to see why Dr. Stanton Jones, Chair of Psychology at Wheaton College, has written: “Anyone who says there is no hope is either ignorant or a liar. Every secular study of change has shown some success rate, and persons who testify to substantial healings by God are legion.”208
As our time together draws to a close, let me share a true story that illustrates and summarizes why I have been encouraging you to seek freedom from homosexuality.
Joe was a pastor, a gifted counselor, and a man who struggled with homosexuality. The man who spoke from the pulpit Sunday morning often spent most of Saturday night in a gay bar cruising for a sexual contact.
Why? When Joe was six, an older man sexually abused him. As a result, he felt different from other boys. They frightened him. In high school he began having frequent sexual encounters with other males.
A deep longing to please God and make up for these desires led him to study for the ministry. Looking for a “cure”, he married. The early years were happy as he and his wife raised their two children. But the desires did not go away. They had merely been repressed. Eventually they came back. Joe fought these temptations but times of stress seemed to drive him to a sexual encounter. He would repent but later go through the whole cycle again and again.
He asked God to take the feelings away thousands of times. He tried to bury them in his work and family. He went to the altar at church. He fasted and prayed. He did everything he knew to do, but the struggles continued. There seemed to be no way out.
Convinced there was no hope, Joe decided he would not live a lie any longer. He felt he was on his way to hell, so it didn’t matter what he did. Leaving his wife, children, and church, he began living an openly gay life. During the day he worked at any job he could find. At night he went to the bars. He said, “It was a completely selfish life—promiscuous sex, alcohol, hard drugs. My total preoccupation was with being gay.”
Looking for friends, he went to a homosexual church where he was welcomed with open arms. “At first I felt a tremendous relief and it felt really good to be accepted, but the good feelings didn’t last long and a lot of problems emerged. I kept having to deal with broken relationships. I got put in jail. I went to a psychologist. I became suicidal. I tried to kill myself three times.”
He relocated, got a job as a florist, and moved in with a man who became his lover. This relationship, however, became a nightmare. The man turned out to be seriously disturbed and violent. By the time Joe realized what he had gotten into, he was trapped.
The man was irrationally jealous. One night he and Joe had an argument which ended in Joe being viciously beaten, “lying in a bed soaked with my blood, having had two objects broken over my head—a wooden sculpture and a large glass ashtray—I was being slapped and punched by my ‘lover’ who spat out these words: ‘You are being punished for the life you have lived…’”
Joe was beaten so badly that blood was everywhere. He took it helplessly, expecting to die. He felt he had no right to call out to God because he had brought this on himself.
It was only the beginning. For the next five months the man literally imprisoned him. In a desire to totally possess Joe, he got him fired from his job and forbade him to leave the house, make phone calls, or get the mail. If Joe moved an object in the house while he was gone, the man would accuse him of having brought in a rival lover. He forced Joe to do whatever he wanted with threats of violence.
Fear paralyzed Joe. Escape seemed impossible. He was numb from the pain, shame, and horror of the situation. His lover worked only two blocks from the house and threatened Joe with death if he tried to run away.
“All I did was cook and clean house. I because an avid fan of soap operas—and of the 700 Club.” Joe spent half the time cursing the hosts in cynical rebellion and the other half crying and hoping that something on the show would get through to him.
He began secretly reading the Psalms and praying that God would get him out of the situation. After six months, there was another argument and another beating. This time one of Joe’s ribs was cracked. He was expected to endure the pain as proof of his love.
Joe decided the only way out was to kill himself. He took a long carving knife from the kitchen and held it just below his ribcage. Before he could thrust the knife into his body, the story of the prodigal son started to play through his mind as though he was watching a movie. For the first time he felt a deep sense of the love of God. He dropped the knife, sobbed, and turned on the 700 Club, which that day featured the testimony of a man who had found freedom from homosexuality.
That did it. Joe called the 700 Club and asked a counselor to pray that he could escape alive. He threw a few possessions into a suitcase and waited on the street corner for a cab, petrified that his lover would see him. He went to the bus station and caught the first bus out of town. Three days later he was home, not knowing how he was going to give up homosexuality, but certain that he wanted God more than anything.
God led Joe to Homosexuals Anonymous and he committed himself to working its 14 Step program. Reading and sharing helped him with emotional and spiritual growth. He got involved in a Bible-believing church. He attended weekly counseling sessions where he learned that the deepest roots of homosexuality are not sexual, but arise from unmet love needs, that the condition itself was not sin, but that indulgence in homosexual activity was.
When Joe learned he was not born a homosexual, that the condition was a result of early influences and choices, something exciting happened. As he forgave those who had hurt him, he experienced tremendous release. The strength of the homosexual desires significantly lessened and Joe could describe himself as “delivered from homosexuality”.
We all love a happy ending, but Joe’s story does not have an entirely happy one. Joe had already contracted the HIV virus and later developed full-blown AIDS. After a difficult period of illness, Joe succumbed and went home to be with the Lord.
As you think about Joe’s story and the things we’ve talked about, you may be tempted to say, “The question of whether or not to seek freedom from homosexuality is a no-brainer! Who wouldn’t seek to be free from something that will destroy your fellowship with God in time and eternity; destroy your chances for true love and lead to a lonely old age with no one to want you; can lead to sexual addiction which will progress from one terrible bondage to another; puts you at risk for physical attack and sexually transmitted diseases, some of which (like AIDS) are fatal; results in significantly higher rates of depression, substance abuse (drugs and alcohol), and attempted suicide; and is the result of unhealed wounds from childhood which can wreck one’s life if not recognized and dealt with?
The problem of the deceitfulness of sin.
You’re right, of course. But it’s not quite that simple. We’re not always rational beings. We often deceive ourselves. That is why the Bible warns of “the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13). As Dr. Philip Edgecumbe Hughes notes, “Sin...is a constantly present reality which makes its inroads by means of deceitfulness. …Sin first deceives and then hardens, leaving its victims in an irretrievably hopeless position...”209 William Gouge warns, “All the devices of sin are as fair baits whereby dangerous hooks are covered over to entice silly fish to snap at them, so as they are taken and made a prey to the fisher.”210
How does sin deceive us?
How does sin deceive? In the Bible, James tells us, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted of God.’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:13-15).
Sin begins its tempting us to avoid the hard work of recovery by suggesting that we blame God for our struggles. William Barclay writes, “From the beginning of time it has been man's first instinct to blame others for his own sin. The ancient writer who wrote the story of the first sin in the Garden of Eden was a first-rate psychologist with a deep knowledge of the human heart. When God challenged Adam with his sin, Adam's reply was, ‘The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.’ And when God challenged Eve with her action, her answer was, ‘The serpent beguiled me, and I ate.’ Adam said, ‘Don't blame me; blame Eve.’ Eve said, ‘Don't blame me; blame the serpent (Genesis 3:12-13). Man has always been an expert in evasion.... Men blame their fellows, they blame their circumstances, they blame the way in which they are made, for the sin of which they are guilty.”211
James rebukes such nonsense and places the blame right where it belongs, on our own lust! As Thomas Manton put it, "Sin knoweth no mother but your own hearts"212 Bernard of Clairvaux said, "Everyone is Satan to Himself."213
Note the five steps to destruction in James 1:13-15. (1) The mind is dragged away from God and truth by lust. (2) The affections are enticed by lust. The mind is fascinated. The desires are inflamed. The dangers are hidden. (3) Next the will consents to lust and conceives sin. (4) Finally sin is born in one’s thoughts and/or actions. (5) Sin grows, and, when full-grown, destroys!
What are you preparing yourself for?
C. S. Lewis wrote: “People often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain in which God says, ‘If you keep a lot of rules I’ll reward you, and if you don’t I’ll do the other thing.’ I do not think that is the best way of looking at it. I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to one state of the other.”214
And to end my life, with my back turned toward the God who created me, embracing sin, is to die eternally! To see how Satan uses our lust to destroy us, consider how an Eskimo destroys a wolf. When an Eskimo wants to kill a wolf, he coats his knife blade repeatedly with blood allowing it to freeze until the blade is concealed by a substantial thickness of frozen blood. Then the knife is buried in the frozen ground with the blade up. The marauding wolf follows his sensitive nose to the scent and tastes the fresh-frozen blood—and licks it—more and more vigorously until the keen edge is bare. Feverishly now he licks harder in the arctic night. So great becomes his craving for blood that he does not notice the razor sharp sting of the naked blade on his own tongue—nor does he recognize the instant at which his insatiable thirst is being satisfied by his own warm blood! More!! His carnivorous appetite craves more!—until the dawn finds him dead in the snow.
And so, as you see, you must choose. It is a matter of life and death. Will you surrender to our Lord as best you can, or, will you live for your lusts? Lust is strong in everyone. Because it is so powerful, a choice that looks like a no-brainer, considered rationally, can be extremely difficult. Yet it is a choice which all must make whether they struggle with heterosexual lust, homosexual lust, greed, anger, pride, the lust for power, selfishness, or any of a thousand other sins which crave to be our masters.
What will you choose? Understand that you will have to renew this choice every day, as do all Christians. As C. S. Lewis wrote, “Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.”215
Don’t be discouraged if you do not succeed quickly. Lewis also wrote, “We may, indeed, be sure that perfect chastity—like perfect charity—will not be attained by any merely human efforts. You must ask God for help. Even when you have done so, it may seem to you for a long time that no help, or less help than you need, is being given. Never mind. After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again. For however important chastity (or courage, or truthfulness, or any other virtue) may be, this process trains us in habits of the soul which are more important still. It cures our illusions about ourselves and teaches us to depend on God. We learn, on the one hand, that we cannot trust ourselves even in our best moments, and, on the other, that we need not despair even in our worst, for our failures are forgiven. The only fatal thing is to sit down content with anything less than perfection.”216
And please don’t let fear of the battles ahead overwhelm you. You only have to live one day at a time and fight one battle at a time. As A. B. Simpson put it, “A little clock which had just been finished by the maker was put on a shelf in his wareroom between two older clocks who were busy ticking away the noisy seconds. ‘Well,’ said one of the clocks to the newcomer. ‘So you've started on this task. I am sorry for you; you're ticking bravely now, but you'll be tired enough before you get through thirty-three million ticks.’ ‘Thirty-three million ticks!’ said the frightened clock. 'Why I never could do that!' And it stood still instantly with despair. 'Why, you silly thing,’ said the other clock... 'Why do you listen to such words? It's nothing of the kind. You've only got to make one tick this moment. There now, isn't that easy? And now another and that is just as easy, and so right along.’ ‘Oh, if that's all,’ cried the new clock, ‘that's easily done, so here I go.’ And it started bravely on again, making a tick a moment and not counting the months and the millions. But at the year's end, it had made thirty-three million vibrations without knowing it. Oh, if...(we) would only live by the moment, not the year!... ‘Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof,’ said the Lord. And ‘as thy days, so shall thy strength be’ is the promise which four thousand years have not exhausted."217
Finally, you don’t have to recover all by yourself or with just you and God (as a matter of fact, I found that to try to do that was to virtually guarantee failure). Here are some places where you can find good help:
If you ask for information, everything they send will come in a plain envelope with no mention of homosexuality of Homosexuals Anonymous on the outside.
Other sources of help are:
If you are protestant you might wish to contact: Exodus International, PO Box 540119, Orlando, FL 32854, (407) 599-6872
If you are a Roman Catholic you might wish to contact: Courage, % Church of St John the Baptist, 210 West 31st Street, New York, NY 1001, (212) 268-1010
If you Jewish you might wish to contact: Jonah, PO Box 313, Jersey City, NJ 07303, (201) 433-3444
If you are a Mormon you might wish to contact: Evergreen International, 307 West 200 South, Ste. 4006, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, (800) 391-1000
If you are looking for professional (sometimes secular) counseling by people who believe in change you might wish to contact: NARTH, 16633 Ventura Blvd. Ste. 1340, Encino, CA 91436-1801, (818) 789-6452
Don’t worry about where these offices are located as each may be able to refer you to help closer to home. Call whoever seems most likely to you to be able to offer you help. If those you try first don’t seem to work out, keep trying.
Whatever you do, please get help and get free! As the Bible says, “...I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life...” [Deuteronomy 30:19]. “As I live declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die…?” (Ezekiel 33:11) Please, choose life!
1 Arno Karlen, “Homosexuality: The Scene and Its Students,” The Sociology of Sex edited by J. M. Henslin and E. Sagarin, (New York: Schocken Books, 1978, p. 232-233]
2 Donald Webster Cory and John P. LeRoy, The Homosexual and His Society: A View From Within, (New York: The Citadel Press, 1963), p. 29-30, emphasis theirs.
3 Ibid., p. 12-13
4 Edward Sagarin, Odd Man In: Societies of Deviants in America, (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1969), p. 100
5 Dennis Altman, The Homosexualization of America, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1982), p. 187
6 Stanley E. Willis II, M.D., Understanding and Counseling the Male Homosexual, (Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1967), p. 9
7 Robert Kronemeyer, Overcoming Homosexuality, (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, Inc., 1980), p. 30, 32, 41
8 Robert J. Kus, “Sex, AIDS, and gay American men,” Holistic Nursing Practice, (August 1987), p. 45-46
9 Joseph Nicolosi, Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality, (Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson Inc., 1991), p. 111, emphasis in original.
10 David P. McWhirter and Andrew M. Mattison, The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop, (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1984), p. 3
11 Alan Bell, “Homosexuality: An Overview,” Male and Female: Christian Approaches to Sexuality edited by Ruth Tiffany Barnhouse and Urban T. Holmes III, (New York: The Seabury Press, 1976, p. 139
12 Harry W. Haverkos and Robert Edelman, The Journal of the American Medical Association, (October 7, 1988), p. 1926
13 Robert A. J. Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice, (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2001), p. 455
14 William Aaron, Straight: A Heterosexual Talks About His Homosexual Past, (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1972), p. 137
15 Gene Edward Veith, “The Nordic Track,” World, (March 6, 2004), p. 22
16 The Week, (August 6, 2004), p. 7
17 Ronald G. Lee, “The Truth About the Homosexual Rights Movement,” New Oxford Review, (February 2006), p. 34
18 Camille Paglia, “I’ll Take Religion over Gay Culture,” (Salon.com, June 1998)
19 David Island and Patrick Letellier, Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them: Battered Gay Men and Domestic Violence, (New York: Harrington Park Press, 1991, p. 36
20 Ibid., p. 35-36
21 Ibid., p. 1
22 Ibid., p. 14
23 Ibid., p. 15
24 Ibid., p. 1
25 Ibid., p. 12
26 Kenneth V. Dodgson, “Homosexuality: A Review of Recent Medical Research Papers,” The InSpiriter, (Summer-Fall, 2003), p. 5]
27 Claire M. Renzetti, Violent Betrayal: Partner Abuse in Lesbian Relationships, (Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 2002), p. 18
28 Ibid., p. 19
29 Gagnon, op. cit., p. 411
30 Aaron, op. cit., p. 211
31 Randy Shilts, And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic, (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1987), p. 46
33 Ibid., p. xiv
34 Ibid., p. 100
35 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report 2004. Vol. 17, (Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006), p. 7
36 Gabriel Rotello, Sexual Ecology: AIDS and the Destiny of Gay Men, (New York: Dutton, 1997), p. 3
37 Ibid., p. 9-10
38 Ibid., p. 7
39 Richard Fitzgibbons, “The Origins and Therapy of Same-Sex Attraction Disorder,” Homosexuality and American Public Life edited by Christopher Wolfe, (Dallas: Spence Publishing Company, 1999), p. 85
40 Ibid., p. 86
41 Leland D. Peterson, “May You Live To See Your Children’s Children,” New Oxford Review, (November 2004), p. 42
42 Michael Callen, Surviving AIDS, (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1990), p. 1
43 Ibid., p. 5-6
44 The hidden epidemic: Confronting sexually transmitted diseases edited by T. R. Eng and W. T. Butler, (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997), p. 38
45 Bill Roundy, “STD Rates on the Rise,” New York Blade News, (December 15, 2000, p. 1
46 Health Implications Associated With Homosexuality, (Austin, TX: The Medical Institute for Sexual Health, 1999), p. 34
47 “Hepatitis A vaccination for men who have sex with men, 1996-1997,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 47, Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 4, 1998), p. 708
48 G. M. McQuillan, P. J. Coleman, D. Kruszon-Moran, L. A. Moyer, S. B. Lambert, and H. S. Margolis, “Prevalence of hepatitis B virus infection in the United States: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 1976-1994), American Journal of Public Health, volume 89, number 1, p. 14-18
49 D. Oriel, “Genital human papillomavirus infection,” Sexually Transmitted Diseases edited by K. K. Holmes, et. al., (New York: McGraw-Hill Information Services Company, 1990), p. 434
50 T. C. Quinn and W. E. Stamm, “Proctitis, proctocolitis, enteritis and esophagitis in homosexual men,” Ibid., p. 674
51 Rhonda Smith, “HPV Can Be Transmitted between Women,” Washington Blade, (December 4, 1998), p. 18.
52 Richard A. Zmuda, “Rising Rates of Anal Cancer for Gay Men,” Cancer News, (August 17, 2000)
53 E. W. Hook III and H. H. Handsfield, “Gonococcal infections in the adult,” Sexually Transmitted Diseases, op. cit., p. 154
54 C. M. Hutchinson, A. M. Rompalo, M. T. Reichart, and E. W. Hook, “Characteristics of Patients with Syphilis Attending Baltimore STD Clinics,” Archives of Internal Medicine, (volume 151) (1991), p. 513
55 Susan J. Landers, “Syphilis Rates Rise among Gays: Will Increases in HIV Follow?” American Medical News, (November 25, 2002), p. 29
56 G. E. Hastings and R. Weber, “Use of the term ‘Gay Bowel Syndrome,” American Family Physician, volume 49, number 3, p. 582
57 Katherine Fethers et al., “Sexually Transmitted Infections and Risk Behaviors in Women Who Have Sex with Women, Sexually Transmitted Infections, (volume 76), (2000), p. 345
58 Thomas Schmidt, Straight & Narrow? Compassion & Clarity in the Homosexuality Debate, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995), p. 127]
59 NARTH Bulletin, Vol. 5, No. 3, (December 1997), p. 34
60 Powerful Thinking for Powerful Living edited by Bob Phillips, (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1991), p. 126
61 Earl D. Wilson, Counseling and Homosexuality, (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1988), p. 27
62 Cory and LeRoy, op. cit., p. 19
63 Alan Ebert, The Homosexuals, (New York: Macmillan, Inc., 1977), p. 309
64 Kronemeyer, op. cit., p. 40-41
65 Mario Bergner, Setting Love in Order: Hope and Healing for the Homosexual, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1995), p.22, 23
66 Ibid., p. 93-94
67 Redeemed Lives News, (Summer 2004), p. 1
68 Bartlett's Familiar Quotations 15th edition edited by Emily Morison Beck, (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1980), p. 347:26
69 David E. Mason, Frank C. Laubach, Teacher of Millions, (Minneapolis: T. S. Denison & Company, Inc., 1967), p. 258
70 Great Texts of the Bible XVII edited by James Hastings, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, n.d.), p. 253]
71 Muriel Spark, Momento Mori, 1959, in Light on Aging and Dying selected by Helen Nearing, (Gardiner ME: Tilbury House Publishers, 1995), p. 76
72 William Wilson, “Medical and Psychological Evidence on Homosexuality,” Answers To Your Questions About Homosexuality edited by Cynthia Lanning, (Wilmore, KY: Bristol Books, 1988), p. 148-149
73 Harold Wahking and Gene Zimmerman, Sexual Issues, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1994), p. 48-49
74 Ibid., p. 92-93
75 Ibid., p. 179
76 Arnold Washton and Donna Boundy, Willpower’s Not Enough: Understanding and Recovering from Addictions of Every Kind, (New York: HarperCollinsPublishers, 1989), p. 21-27
77 Ibid., p. 31-32
78 Ibid., p. 78
79 Grant Martin, When Good Things Become Addictions, (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1990, p. 64-65]
80 Patrick Carnes, Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction, (Center City, MN: Hazelden, 1992), p. 35-36
81 Anne Wilson Schaff, Escape from Intimacy: Untangling the “Love” Addictions: Sex, Romance, Relationships, (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1989), p. 10-11
82 Mark Laaser, The Secret Sin: Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992), p. 29
83 Barney Hoskins, Montgomery Clift: Beautiful Loser, (New York: Grove Weidenfield, 1991) p. 8
85 Ibid., p 19
86 Ibid., p. 18
87 Ibid., p 19
88 Ibid., p. 20
90 Ibid., p. 34
92 Ibid., p. 71
93 Ibid., p. 73
94 Larry Crabb and Dan B. Allender, Hope When You’re Hurting, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996), p. 80
95 Hoskins, op. cit., p. 193
96 Ibid., p. 16
97 Ibid., p. 178
98 Ibid., p. 113
99 Ibid., p. 119
100 Ibid., p. 160
101 Ibid., p. 179
102 Ibid., p. 186
103 Ibid., p. 188
105 Kathleen Erwin, “Interpreting the Evidence: Competing Paradigms and the Emergence of Lesbian and Gay Suicide as a ‘Social Fact,’” International Journal of Health Services, Vol. 23, No. 3, (1993), p. 437
106 Ibid., p. 438
107 Ibid., p. 439
111 Distilled Wisdom compiled and edited by Alfred Armand Montapert, (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1964), p. 106
112 Vauvenargues quoted in Timeless Quotations on Hope compiled by John Cook, (Minneapolis, MN: Fairview Press, 1997), p. 199
113 Arno Karlen, Sexuality and Homosexuality: A New View, (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1971), p. 532
114 The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, fifth edition, edited by Elizabeth Knowles, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 776
115 Saint Augustine, Confessions translated by Henry Chadwick, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), p. 3
116 Ed Hurst with Dave and Neta Jackson, Overcoming Homosexuality, (Elgin, IL: David C. Cook Publishing Company, 1987), p. 17
117 Donald Williams, The Bond That Breaks: Will Homosexuality Split the Church? (Los Angeles: BIM, 1978), p. 57]
118 Dwight Hervey Small, Christian: Celebrate Your Sexuality, (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1974), p. 136
119 John R. W. Stott, Homosexual Partnerships? Why Same-Sex Relationships Are Not a Christian Option, (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1984), p. 16-17]
120 Ron Sider, Completely Pro-Life, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1987), p. 114
121 J. R. Porter, “Leviticus,” The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the New English Bible, (Cambridge: At the University Press, 1976, p. 148, emphasis his.
122 Hurst, op. cit., p. 24
123 Richard Lovelace, Homosexuality: What Should Christians Do About It? (Old Tappan, NY: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1978), p. 91
124 C. E. B. Cranfield, “A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans,” International Critical Commentary I, (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1975), p. 110
125 Walter Luthi, The Letter to the Romans, (Richmond: John Knox Press, 1961), p. 24
126 C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, (Westwood, NJ: Barbour and Company, Inc., 1952), p. 49
127 D. H. Field, “Homosexuality,” New Bible Dictionary, second edition, edited by J. D. Douglas, F. F. Bruce, J. I. Packer, H. Hillyer, D. Guthrie, A. R. Millard, D. J. Wiseman, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1962), p. 488
128 Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, (New York: Bloomsbury, n.d.), p. 110-113
129 Michael Green, To Corinth with Love, (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1988), p. 121
130 C. K. Barrett, “The First Epistle to the Corinthians,” Black’s New Testament Commentary, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1968), p. 142
131 C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1975), p. 26
132 Gordon Dalbey, Healing the Masculine Soul, (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1991), p. 107
133 Gagnon, op. cit. p. 191
134 Ibid., p, 228
135 Ibid., p. 432
136 reNews, (March 1996), p. 5
137 John Jefferson Davis, Evangelical Ethics: Issues Facing the Church Today, (Philipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing Company, 1985), p. 114
138 Ibid., p. 123
139 Stanton L. Jones, “The Loving Opposition,” Christianity Today, (July 19, 1993), p. 24
140 Leanne Payne, “Foreword,” in Andrew Comiskey, Pursuing Sexual Wholeness: How Jesus Heals the Homosexual, (Lake Mary, FL: Creation House, 1989), p. 11-12
141 Joseph Hall, Contemplations on the Historical Passages of the Old and New Testaments II, (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1833), p. 232
142 Comiskey, op. cit., p. 25-26
143 A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, (Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1948), p. 31 altered. I modernized the Old English thee, thou, thy, mayest, and shalt.
144 D. L. Moody, Thoughts From My Library, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, n.d.), p. 258
145 William Crisman, The Opposite of Everything Is True, (New York: William Morrow, 1991), p. 12
146 Ibid., p. 22
147 Ibid., p. 31
148 Stephen Arterburn, Healing Is a Choice, (Nashville: Nelson Books, 2005), p. xx
149 Mike Ensley, “Real Life Stories: True Love Changes You,” The Exodus Impact, (September 2005), p. 54
150 John Ortberg, Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003), p. 54
151 Quoted in Jennifer P. and Burt Schneider, Sex, Lies and Forgiveness: Couples Speaking Out On Healing From Sex Addiction, (San Francisco: Harper-Collins, 1990), p. 196
152 William Byne, M.D., Ph.D., “Interview: The Biological Evidence for Homosexuality Reappraised,” AMCAP Journal, Vol. 19, No. 1, (1993), p. 18-19
153 Elizabeth Moberly, Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic, (Cambridge: James Clarke & Co., Ltd., 1983), p. 2
155 Ibid., p. 4
156 Ibid., p. 5
157 Elizabeth Moberly, Psychogenesis: The Early Development of Gender Identity, (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Limited, 1983), p. 67
158 Robert Hicks, The Masculine Journey, (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1993), p. 62
159 David Finkelhor, Child Sexual Abuse: New Theory and Research, (New York: The Free Press, 1984), p. 195
161 Robert L. Johnson and Diane K. Shier, “Sexual Victimization of Boys: Experience at an Adolescent Medicine Clinic,” Journal of Adolescent Health Care, Vol. 6, No. 6, (1985), p. 372
162 Ibid., p. 374
163 Robert H. Gundlach, “Sexual Molestation and Rape Reported by Homosexual and Heterosexual Women,” Journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 2, No. 4, (1977), p. 383-384
164 Richard P. Fitzgibbons, “The Origins and Healing of Homosexual Attractions and Behaviors,” The Truth About Homosexuality edited by John F. Harvey, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1996), p. 308-309]
165 Moberly, Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic, p. 6
166 Ibid., p. 22
167 Ibid., p. 20
169 Moberly, Psychogenesis, op. cit., p. 51
170 Moberly, Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic, p. 6-9
171 Ibid., p. 6-7
172 Patrick Carnes, Contrary to Love: Helping the Sexual Addict, (Minneapolis, MN: CompCare Publishers, 1989), p. 87
173 Moberly, Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic, p. 18-29
174 Ibid., p. 42
175 Ibid., p. 18
176 Ibid., p. 40
177 Ibid., p. 52
178 Moberly, Psychogenesis, op. cit., p. 76
179 Franz G. Alexander and Sheldon T. Selesnick, The History of Psychiatry, (New York: Harper & Row, 1966), p. 358
180 Karlen, Sexuality and Homosexuality: A New View, op. cit., p. 583]
181 Ruben Fine, “Psychoanalytic Theory,” Male and Female Homosexuality: Psycho-logical Approaches edited by Louis Diamant, (Washington, D.C.: Hemisphere Publishing Corporation, a subsidiary of Harper & Row Publishers, Inc., 1987), p. 84
182 Ibid., p. 85-86
183 Gerard J. M. van den Aardweg, Homosexuality and Hope: A Psychologist Talks About Treatment and Change, (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1986), p. 105-106
184 Ibid., p. 107
185 Gerard J. M. van den Aardweg, On the Origins and Treatment of Homosexuality, (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1986), p. 257
186 Ibid., p. 197, emphasis his.
187 van den Aardweg, Homosexuality and Hope, op. cit., p. 89-90
188 Douglas LeBlanc, “Therapeutically Incorrect: Atheist psychiatrist argues that gays can change,” Christianity Today, (April 2005), p. 94
189 Arthur S. Reber, The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology, (New York: Penguin Books, 1985), p. 197
190 Linda Ames Nicolosi, “Historic Gay Advocate Now Believes Change is Possible,” NARTH Bulletin, (August 2001), p. 1
193 Robert L. Spitzer, “Can Some Gay Men and Lesbians Change Their Sexual Orientation? 200 Participants Reporting a Change from Homosexual to Heterosexual Orientation,” Archives of Sexual Behavior, (October 2003), Vol. 32, Issue 5, p. 405
195 Ibid., p. 406
196 Ibid., p. 407
197 Ibid., p. 408
198 Nicolosi, op. cit., p. 28
202 Spitzer, op. cit., p. 407
204 Ibid., p. 412
207 LeBlanc, op. cit., p. 94
208 Stanton Jones, “The Loving Opposition,” Christianity Today, (July 19, 1993), p. 25
209 Philip Edgecumbe Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1977), p. 148
210 William Gouge, Commentary on Hebrews, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1650), p. 275
211 William Barclay, “The Letters of James and Peter,” The Daily Study Bible Series, (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1976), p. 52
212 The Complete Works of Thomas Manton IV (London: James Nisbet & Co., 1871), p. 95
213 Quoted in Thomas Watson, The Lord’s Prayer, (London: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1692), p. 296
214 C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, op. cit., p. 78-79
215 Letters of C. S. Lewis edited by Walter Hooper, (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1966), c. September 1949
216 C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, op. cit., p. 86
217 Quoted in Mrs. Charles E. Cowman, Traveling Toward Sunrise, (Los Angeles: Cowman Publications, 1952), p. 200