I would like to tell you about some people who are often treated as if they do not exist. While they flourish as citizens and are active in our churches across the nation, it is as if they lack reality as far as the so-called mainstream media are concerned.
These people are former homosexuals, sometimes known as ex-gays, who have prevailed over their previous existence.
I imagine they are the most politically incorrect people in our nation.
They do exist, though, and there are untold thousands of them.
But when former homosexuals are depicted on the networks, they are typically unhappy or anxious to return to their former lives. On NBC’s “Law and Order: SVU,” an ex-gay man returns to his former lifestyles but murders another gay man to hide his backslide. On NBC’s “Will & Grace,” a meeting of former homosexuals ends with everyone present running off with a same-sex member of the group.
So you see, when these individuals are not being completely ignored, they are being demeaned and put down by those who argue that one cannot overcome homosexuality.
Ex-gay ministries attempt to reach homosexuals with the Gospel of Christ so they can find fulfillment in Him. Former homosexuals learn to overcome their same-sex attractions and often marry and have children.
I am proud to know several former homosexuals. It is thrilling to see them joyously living out their lives. I have actually had the privilege of working with a few individuals who have turned their backs on homosexuality so that they can live fully in Christ.
I actually addressed a rally of ex-gays last year and can tell you that they are living out their faith as fearlessly as any group of people I have seen in quite some time. It is a great pleasure to see people discover true peace, true purpose in Christ.
This isn’t a popular notion, by any means. But it is imperative that the Church of Jesus Christ boldly confronts the issues of homosexuality and the power of Christ to enable change.
As Stephen Bennett says, “Jesus never tolerated sin. He confronted it – in love.”
Stephen lived the homosexual lifestyle until he was 28. And then he gave his life to Jesus Christ. Today, 16 years later, he is happily married, the father of two, and one of the nation’s most courageous spokesmen on overcoming homosexuality through Christ. You can learn more about his story at: www.sbministries.org.
New education effort
This week, the Orlando, Fla.-based Liberty Counsel and Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, or PFOX, kicked off their “Change is Possible Campaign.” Liberty Counsel, an affiliate ministry of Liberty University, is a national public-interest law firm with offices in Florida and Virginia and hundreds of affiliate attorneys in all 50 states. PFOX is a national organization that supports families touched by homosexuality, advocates for the ex-gay community and educates the public on sexual orientation.
Mat Staver, founder and president of Liberty Counsel, says that in the past several years, as “tolerance” and “diversity” have become popular buzzwords, there has been a corresponding increase in discrimination and intolerance toward those who have made the decision to leave homosexuality. He says that former homosexuals have lost their jobs and been physically assaulted because they dared to tell others that people can and do overcome same-sex attractions.
The two groups are targeting our nation’s public schools, many of which have become sectors for promoting homosexual teachings. Mr. Staver says that in many public schools, staff display “Safe-Zone” stickers with pink triangles, and schools hold diversity days to present the message that people are “born gay,” but schools consistently exclude the message that people can, and have chosen, to change.
In a recent case, a “diversity day” was actually canceled instead of allowing former homosexuals to attend the school event. That’s how adamant many school officials are about homosexuality.
Staver said, “We are confident that this project will help root out intolerance that exists under the guise of tolerance and diversity. There is an ongoing battle over the hearts and minds of our youth. We have an obligation to protect them from the harmful message that people are ‘born gay’ and cannot choose to change.”
In the face of incredible opposition, former homosexuals are declaring to the world that there is hope for change. They are living proof of it, even though, as I earlier noted, they are often treated as if they do not exist. I encourage pastors across this nation to invite people like Stephen Bennett to their churches to confront this modern-day cultural phenomenon. We must address this issue head-on and educate people that change is possible and real.
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