|Posted on August 13, 2016 at 4:50 PM|
I cannot understand how some ex-gays tour the world with spreading the biblical message of freedom from same-sex attractions when at the same time they married a divorced woman while being divorced themselves. That alone takes away pretty much all of your credibility.
|Posted on January 7, 2016 at 12:20 AM|
Why Gays Cannot Speak for Ex-Gays
Written By: Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D.
(Posted April 2014)
This summer, a British television network called to interview me for a show about efforts toward sexual-orientation change. The host of the show, they informed me, was a gay man. I declined the invitation, stating that the host’s gay identity would disqualify him from a fair evaluation of the ex-gay experience.
To refuse participation because the host is gay may seem unreasonable, until we recognize that the adoption of a gay identity typically prevents someone from honestly assessing the experience of the other man who has taken a different developmental route-- i.e., the ex-gay person.
Why would this be true? Let me explain.
According to the literature, the “coming out of the closet” process begins in early adolescence with the discovery of same-sex attraction. The teenager then usually rejects his homosexual feelings because of the negative social values around him. His painful and lonely efforts to suppress, repress and deny his feelings result in guilt and shame, which eventually culminates in self-loathing.
But shortly thereafter, this teenager discovers that there are others like him, and often through the support and encouragement of a gay counselor, coach, teacher or religious leader, he decides that gay is “who he is.” The adoption of this gay identity necessitates the abandonment of any hope that he could ever modify his unwanted feelings and develop his heterosexual potential. He must surrender his earlier wish that he could have a conventional marriage and family. So in order to internalize this gay identity he must mourn the possibility of ever resolving his unwanted homosexuality; i.e., he must grieve the loss of what he yearned for.
It is this process of grieving his own hopes and mourning his own dreams which prevents the person who later identifies as gay from believing that change is possible for others: “If I myself could not change, how could they?” Perhaps on a deeper level, this thought is also rooted in anger: “If I cannot have what I wanted for my own life, neither should they.”
Explaining this inherent bias of the gay-identified person against the ex-gay person’s experience, an Orthodox Jewish friend of mine commented: “It would be like a group of rabbis deciding that they themselves would determine if Jesus really was God.” “Worse,” I responded. “It would be more like a person desperately trying to find God in his life, abandoning the hope and adopting atheism, then setting himself up as the person who determines the reality of God in the lives of others.”
And it is that grieving process, that painful letting-go of one’s dreams, that has biased the gay person’s evaluation of the ex-gay experience.
However, public-policy decisions on homosexual issues are, in fact, typically determined by gay activists who carry this intrinsic prejudice. It is gay teachers who determine policy for homosexual students; gay librarians who determine what books are permitted on the library shelves; and gay mental-health professionals who get to tell the world whether any sort of sexual-orientation modification is possible. For example, anyone who has a comment or question about APA (American Psychological Association) policy is referred to the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns, which does not recognize ex-gays or the concerns of people struggling to change. In fact, the most grievous and damaging example of this prejudice is the recent APA Task Force Report on the treatment of homosexuality, written by a panel that consisted entirely of gay mental-health practitioners -- all of whom admitted, at the start, to being opposed to reorientation therapy. No reorientation therapists who applied to be a part of the Task Force--and there were several distinguished and scholarly psychologists who did apply-- were permitted to join the committee.
This dominance of gay-identified homosexuals on panels that determine policy for non-gay homosexuals is due, in large part, to the larger community’s intimidation and subsequent avoidance of the whole polarizing issue. Faced with policy decisions, the straight person, ignorant of the fact that gay-identified homosexuals are a category that is quite distinct from non-gay homosexuals, readily relinquishes his authority to a gay co-worker, and takes the easy way out. “I don’t know about such things myself, of course; but Steven is gay-- he’ll know the best policy for the library collection.” (Needless to stay, “Stephen” is all too ready to comply.)
An additional result of gay activism’s power to determine public policy is the fact that ex-gays are then marginalized and intimidated into silence. Gays see them as “gays-in-process,” or gays with a small “g,” and not entitled to claim a valid identity in their own right. Ex-gays, they believe, are merely gays who have not yet come out of the closet; they are simply “inhibited by their own homophobia.”
But the emergence of the ex-gay person can change this balance of power. Despite the intimidating influence of gay activism, society is beginning to recognize the ex-gay person’s existence, as ex-gay men and women are telling us about their lives. Further, there is an impressive group of ex-gay websites, such as peoplecanchange.com, restoredhopenetwork.com, and voices-of-change.org, where ex-gay men and women tell their stories.
People Can Change continues to offer its JIM (Journey Into Manhood) Weekends, scheduled in 2013 for several locations in the U.S., as well as one in Israel. The ex-gay person was also recently legally acknowledged by Washington D.C. as a distinct sexual minority. And soon, we will see the first- ever Ex-Gay Pride March in our nation’s capital (scheduled for Summer 2013).
The new support group Restored Hope Network has also emerged, vibrant and powerfully committed, to replace the faltering Exodus Ministries (which recently closed down). Further, the Executive Director of HA (Homosexuals Anonymous), Dr. Douglas McIntyre, is launching a 10-day tour this summer to lobby for freedom of choice for youth to pursue counseling for unwanted homosexuality.
Every social movement has used as a tool toward its success, the shaming and intimidating of others who do not agree with them. Those who disagree with them are stigmatized and excluded from the cultural discourse. As time goes by, I believe this swing to extremism will ultimately right itself. But in the meanwhile, we must look to that core of committed individuals who understand that our bodies tell us who we are-- that humanity was designed and created for heterosexuality, and we must support those men and women who are brave enough to speak out and say, “We have changed.”
|Posted on June 29, 2015 at 12:05 AM|
So I just watched "Audacity". To make it short: I will not join the ranks of those who praise this movie on "homosexuality". It's just bad. If you think this is what it takes to reach out to people with same-sex attractions, you are very wrong. First, it focuses completely on the spiritual side of the issue. So, let's begin with that. The guy behind it follows a very annoying formof street-evangelism that reminds me of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Aside some serious theological errors he seems to believe in (like regarding salvation), you do not win over or even help people by winning a Bible verse competition by throwing set patterns at them much like the JWs do. Even if you "got them around" for now, they will be faced with serious problems soon afterwards - and most likely feel worse than ever before, because now they have guilt as an additional area to struggle with. Guilt of not being able to "make it". Human sexuality is influenced by many different factors, and so are same-sex attractions. Spirituality is just one of many causes that have somehow to do with the development of same-sex attractions (I deliberately do not use the word "homosexuality", as there is not such thing. There are people with same-sex attractions - for whatever reason - but no homosexuals. Anyway - there are unmet needs these people have, maybe hurts in their lives, and much more. None of those legitimate needs, problems and hurts will be met or even addressed just by throwing a Bible verse at them. To think that giving them flyers or tracts and winning them over like that is something we should all do, is an approach that I reject with all of my heart. This reminds me of those terrible "Chick-Tracts". So for all those who really have questions - go to a serious ministry and ask for help there. Whatever you do, please do not believe that the approach displayed in "Audacity" is in any way helpful. It will likely cause more hurt and damage and thus miss its great goal: winning souls over for Christ. Yes, I believe the authors had the best intentions, but as the saying goes: The opposite of "good" is "well intentioned".
Munich, June 28th 2015
|Posted on May 22, 2015 at 4:40 PM|
Shouldn't the ex-gay movement be more than a group of ministries whose leaders wave with psychological titles, meet in secret circles, give wishy-washy press releases that are too slick to be attacked and too weak to provide real help and guidance - and charge money for services that tend to be more something like "low-level psychology" or "wellness with a Christian touch" than substantial physical, psychological and spiritual pastoral care? Sometimes it looks like some of those ministry programs are too weak to cope with the world - and even weaker to offer spiritual guidance. It's not about us and how we feel better. It's not about becoming straight or accepting whatever and whoever one is. It is not about following psychological programs designed by individuals that try to explain the whole world in simple terms. And most of all it is not about cash. It's about holiness. It's all about Him.
|Posted on October 31, 2014 at 11:45 AM|
How do we deal with attacks from the world?
It is quite common that Christian (or non-Christian) ex-gay ministries are under attack. Lots of people do not like what we are doing because if there is one, only one person that has successfully managed to leave his or her gay life and find freedom from same-sex attractions, then you do not have an excuse anymore for not doing the same or calling what you are doing “natural” as you cannot change your ways anyway.
Gay activists, politicians, even church folks, family members, celebrities – lots of them have something against us. They might threaten us, insult us, take us to court, raise the whole world against us or whatever else is in their minds. So how deal with that?
Let’s start with how not to deal with it: You do not counter worldly attacks by becoming like the world and using worldly means. If you organize your ministry like any other worldly company, where is the difference? You enter their game, you play their game.
You do not win people for your cause by using worldly fundraising methods (like whining and begging with subtle and not-so-subtle means).
You do not win them over by praising yourself and pointing out what a good person you are.
And you do not counter attacks by defending and justifying yourself and your ministry all the time and throwing a pitty party once things get rough. They nailed the Son of God onto the Cross – why should they treat us differently? I don’t want a crown of jewels for myself when my Lord wore a crown of thorns.
So what to do?
Well, let’s take a look on what Jesus did. That should be a pretty good source and role model to begin with.
He did not use tricky means or whine to get people to donate Him money so He can hire more apostles. He did not point out what a great job He is doing to impress rich donors. Actually, from a fundraiser’s point of view and for publicity reasons He could not have done any worse than by what He did: Using absolute “losers” or “no-names” as apostles, saying and doing the most inappropriate things at the wrong time, getting in trouble with the big shots, talking in offensive ways or in ways hard to understand, doing things that ticked lots of them off…
Jesus did not figure out the best ways to counter attacks. He did what He did – knowing that would get Him into deep trouble.
So what does that mean for us?
We do the same. We do not focus on who will or might attack us and how to counter those attacks. We do not whine and beg for money once they happen (and just for the record: there is nothing wrong with accepting donations. But begging and focusing on the money certainly is). We focus on God – and Him alone. We do what is the right thing to do and put our trust a 100% in Him. We give Him praise and show people through our own example what a better alternative looks like. We become the sign of contradiction in a world that goes with the flow. We give Him our everything and love Him and our neighbor like ourselves. We go out and make disciples.
This might sound radical to some, but Jesus did ask us to give our everything. He never said it would be easy, He only said it would be worth it. And if we are under attack, we will love our aggressors even more. They might rob us of everything – including money – but that will only free us to show them that we love and follow our Lord even more so. We do not follow the world and worldly things. Being followers of Christ, we are new creations and made of different stuff. We do not “take care” of the “marginalized” by raising costly ministries and hiring staff and lawyers, but by being with them and by serving and loving them like Christ would.
We do not focus on the attacks, but on our Lord and how we best serve Him by serving the least of our brothers.
We are just crazy enough to believe what He said.
|Posted on August 28, 2014 at 1:25 PM|
What about ex-gay events? Are they a good thing? Well, yes and no. If you are talking about events where ex-gay leaders (and those close to them) talk to other ex-gays (and those who share their views), I hesitate to say yes. I do not like events where we are preaching to the choir and padding our own shoulders - even if that might raise some interest in the public arena. For years I have seen the ads of the usual "ex-gay train" (pretty much the same speakers) going here and there and saying things that the audience has heard before and does not have to be convinced of to begin with. If you need money to fund your projects, say so - but don't waste time and energy for something that has little lasting effect (and by lasting effect I am not talking about the reaction of gay activists). So what ex-gay events should we go for? Well, let's think about those we are planning to reach out to: people that are either out there in the gay scene or still in the closet, political parties, churches, schools, opinion multipliers, anybody interested, parents, kids, youth pastors, pastors in general, muslims, people of other religions or no religions, psychiatrists and psychologists and their lobbies, the military and the police, the youth and whoever else. So whatever event addresses them and is called "ex-gay event" is something we can and should support.
|Posted on July 29, 2014 at 11:15 AM|
I can already see the frowns. “Strategy”? What for? Well, do you think the gays got to the point where they are now without any strategy? So here some points to ponder:
1) Don’t just copy what worked for gay activists. The end does not justify the means. Quite on the contrary: the means should always point to the end.
2) Stop being nice. This is over. “Tolerance” does not mean you cannot criticize somebody else’s opinion. We are followers of Jesus, so let’s take Him as a role model. He was far away from being nice when it came to exposing evil.
3) Stop preaching to the choir. I am sick and tired of those “ex-gay trains” where usually pretty much the same speakers address an audience that already knows and shares their views. If you want money for your ministry, say so. Nothing wrong with that. But stop wasting our time and energy. Instead:
4) Fulfill the Great Commandment! Go out and make disciples! Shout our message from the roofs! Expose false teachers wherever you meet them! Don’t be afraid of losing everything – look forward to what you might be gaining!
5) Structures, rules, guidelines and programs of an ex-gay ministry are means to an end – they are NOT the end itself! Our goal is neither fulfilling organizational standards nor “turning gays to straights” – our goal is holiness!
6) Unite! If we are divided, we will not stand. It is not about our individual organizations, it is about saving souls for Christ!
7) If you are out there, be sure you are always prepared and ready. Seek regular accountability and (in case you counsel people) also supervision. Make sure you meet your own physical, emotional, relational and spiritual needs! Set up a spiritual structure for your life and follow it no matter what! Know your adversary’s arguments and know how to counter them! Be humble enough to seek other people’s advice and guidance! Inform yourself so you know what you are talking about!
Don’t expect the world – or the Church – to be always nice to you. They nailed the Son of God onto the Cross – why would they treat you any differently?
9) There was a time when it was alright for some of us to withdraw into our own save havens – be it support groups, Christian media, churches and the like. This time is over – and the sooner you understand that, the better. We have a mighty enemy, so get into the ring and learn how to fight!
10) Be out there. Be present on all levels and in all areas – media, work, Church, family, politics, legal system, science, whatever. Seek allies. Stay humble. Remember that Christian love is not a fuzzy feeling, but a tough love that tells people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. This is not about Christian wellness, this is a spiritual war. Get your armor on, gather and fight!
|Posted on June 8, 2014 at 9:35 AM|
I just talked to Doug (Dr. Douglas McIntyre, co-founder & director of Homosexuals Anonymous) and a local pastor in Uganda on Skype. Doug is doing great and working on some projects there, among others teaching & training pastors and talking the Ugandan government into accepting and working with the 14-step program of H.A. instead of just throwing people with ssa into jail (up to 14 years - and then they are expected to come out straight!) or even executing them.
Please pray for him. Doug wants to send some more information as soon as he can.
|Posted on May 29, 2014 at 1:50 PM|
Dear Holy Father,
my name is Robert. I am 46 years old and a Catholic (even though it took me a little detour to come back to the Catholic Church). My past is not as bright and shining as that of others I guess: I used to embrace the “gay” life for many years until the Lord set me free about ten years ago with the help of a Christian ministry called Homosexuals Anonymous (www.homosexuals-anonymous.com).
The reason I am writing you today is because I love you like I loved my earthly father who passed away 20 years ago and because I believe you can get things going where others stay silent.
I am so thankful and feel so blessed that the Lord brought me to Homosexuals Anonymous. The people there did what actually the Church should do: They loved me enough to help me out of my gay life and (back) into the Church. I now serve the Jason Ministries (http://jason-online.webs.com), an international Christian ex-gay ministry affiliated with Homosexuals Anonymous.
Having received Christian truth, love and care abundantly, I firmly believe that many others could find help as well through our services and the organizations we are working together with – if the Church only let us. Considering the many factors that contribute to the development of long-term and predominant sexual and emotional attractions towards the same sex, we do not help people with same-sex attractions (wrongly called “homosexuals” at times – there is only one sexuality and that is the God-given one!) by staying passive and silent or even encouraging them to embrace a “gay” life. Yes, ministries like ours are being attacked and usually put into a radical corner. But then again – they nailed the Son of God onto the Cross, so why should they treat His followers any differently?
Holy Father, soon the bishop’s synod on family will start. Please give us a chance to make our voice heard and love others with unwanted same-sex attractions with the same unconditional love Jesus has for us.
From what I get to read in the media, you also reach out to “people like us” and you seem to have a heart for us as well. Maybe you even give us a chance to talk to you in person? I am sure you will hear many voices of “gay”-affirming people – wouldn’t it be good to hear the voice of freedom too?
I really hope and pray you will be able to read this letter and it will touch your heart like God touched mine years ago.
With brotherly love,
Phone: +49 (0)89 78018960
|Posted on May 4, 2014 at 8:55 AM|
That question raised quite some concern among ex-gays even not so long ago. Some groups (like Homosexuals Anonymous) have completely abstained from taking an active part in politics, others have been out there from the beginning.
So where are we now? Does it even matter?
It does – very much so.
I don’t know if there ever was a time where it might have been understandable to focus only on being a “safe haven” for those seeking help in dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction. If there was, this time is over now. We simply cannot afford staying silent anymore and concentration on therapy, counseling or pastoral care.
I was born and raised in Germany. We got some idea of how wrong and dramatic it can get if you think you are living on an island – separated from the rest of the world – and this world with all that it brings along will leave you in peace then.
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” John Donne
We are never separated from the world – and as Christians we must not even think of being so.
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Pastor Martin Niemöller criticizing German intellectuals for being coward during the Nazi area
Ex-gays cannot and must not stay silent – and neither must the Church.
Matthew 28:16-20 King James Version (KJV):
“16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.“
That includes standing up for what we believe in – whatever the cost may be. If we as Christians don’t have something to shout from the roofs, then I don’t know who has.
I am not talking about founding or supporting a political party, mind you. However, I am talking of being the voice for Jesus, of putting on the armor of faith and stand firm like a rock, of being the light put out there for everyone to shine. These things won’t happen if we hide in supposedly “safe havens”. The world out there needs to hear our voice! We are responsible for one another and we are called to run after each and every sheep that is in danger of getting lost.
When I heard of something like ex-gay ministries for the first time (after I had spent many years embracing a gay life which led me to hitting rock bottom at the end), I was really steaming mad when I started reading all those homepages. Why had nobody ever told me about that? Why did they not stand up for what they believe in so those in need can hear their voice and message? How come we have to go and find out on our own by stumbling over it “by chance”? How come gay activists force their beliefs on the whole world and ex-gays are hiding in secret circles? How come we have no problem cheering on the top of our lungs for soccer or football teams but stay awfully silent when it comes to proclaiming our faith – the faith in Jesus, the Son of God, who gave everything – including His own life – to pull us out of the mud and save our butts – sorry, lives?
If you think you can stay silent and separate from the world, don’t be surprised if it comes breaking into your doors. If you claim to be responsible for those seeking help in dealing with unwanted same-sex attractions, how come you shut up when they pass laws preventing us from doing so? Is it really the love and care for people with unwanted ssa you are worried about – or more your own safety and comfort?
And if you happened to find help in ex-gay ministries, shouldn’t you get your own butt up now and help others – just like every Christian should pass on the love He receives from Christ and his brothers and sisters each day?
I am sick to death with being silent. Now it is time for war. This is a battle cry for everyone to take on his or her spiritual armor and stand firm for the Son of God that became man so men and women can become children of God! How dare we settle with less?
Revelation 3:16 New International Version (NIV):
“16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”