I Acknowledge! – Part Two

I Acknowledge! – Part Two

JohnSmidReflectiveShotB&WFantasyBackgroundThis is the second part in a series I am writing to acknowledge mistakes I have made through the ministry of Love In Action, Exodus International, and the Ex-gay movement and the harm and discouragement that resulted.


I Acknowledge

Through the ministry of Love In Action I worked to develop an addiction, twelve step approach with the mindset that we were helping men and women to “recover” from homosexuality. With an addiction model we began to teach that homosexuality, same sex attractions, and behaviors, were addictions. I taught that homosexual attractions were a result of unhealthy and unresolved feelings from childhood wounds. Subsequently I believed that if healing could occur for those wounds, it would take the power out of the homosexual compulsions and allow someone to live free from homosexuality.


We wrongly applied therapeutic tools and structures that were designed to help people who were faced with chemical dependencies and sexual addiction and were never designed for use with homosexuality.


I have learned how an “addiction” model makes the assumption that people who are gay need recovery. This mindset can produce confusion, shame, guilt, and can perpetuate the faulty message that gay people  are damaged goods and deceived. I am now aware of how this conflicts with what God is trying to say to his children about who they are in Him, loved and adored as His children.


I acknowledge that this program model was woefully misguided. This model paid little attention to what a person was truly experiencing. We as the staff held to a “we know better” reaction to their lives. I also acknowledge there was harm done and pain inflicted due to using the wrong model and wrong tools. We often had closed ears to hear the hearts of those we said we “loved.”


How Did This Come About?

In 1995 Love In Action began a new season of ministry after moving to Memphis. In the previous years we had been focused on a relational approach with Christian teaching and community based ministry model. The ministry was more of a “discipleship” program with some special teaching about the origins of homosexuality and Christian principles to learn to live obediently in Christ. As the director I was constantly evaluating the outcome of our effort. I honestly could see that there was great room for improvement since the evidence was stacked against us that not many had experienced real change from a homosexual orientation. I believe the men and women who came to us often received encouragement and in some cases changes lives and improved relationships. However we didn’t evaluate what we were doing as it related to harm done.


When we began to settle into Memphis we were introduced to another ministry that was deemed “the cream of the crop” in treatment for adolescents with chemical dependencies. Their track record was noted as one of the most successful in the country. We were invited to sit in on their ministry groups and staff meetings. So for many weeks and months, out staff rotated in and out of their groups and believed what we were seeing was solid and provided changes. But as I look back, honestly, I saw a legalistic approach and disrespectful communication from the staff to the clients.


It was very uncomfortable at times to hear the exchanges but actually most of our staff were swept into the “successful reputation”  and didn’t really look at the harm being done in many cases. As I looked at the lack of success we had experienced previous to our move, I hoped to find something that might work better. They seemed so confident in their work and were very well supported.


Also around this time, Exodus ministries had begun to discuss the importance of becoming more main stream within the professional counseling realm. The ministry with the addiction model utilized trained, licensed counselors so it seemed to be just the ticket to help us move forward. I believed they would certainly know better than we did how to do this!


I was taught about dual relationships within the counseling field being harmful for recovery and counselor / client relationships. So it seemed we had been doing it all wrong and would never be recognized as a professional organization in counseling networks. Our staff and counselors had previously been very relationally connected to our clients. Within a few months I made a knee jerk decision to change virtually everything we had in place. The counseling director was shocked at our previous practices that were open, honest, and more relational. She made it very clear we were unethical and needed to change what we were doing. I was motivated by what we had been told was harmful to our clients and felt compelled to do whatever it took to do it “right.”


The Beginning of A New Model – Surely it will be better.

We decided to implement the model, the tools, the ethics and practices we learned through our time with the other program. It appeared that most of our staff was on board with what we had seen and so we worked hard to change it all around. I thought we were now coming into a whole new level of accomplishment and that we would see much better outcomes and changes in our client’s lives. I also thought we had entered into “adulthood” in ministry.


The program became more rigid, less relational and far more clinical. Just as we had hoped, it seemed we were gaining more credibility within the Christian world. We used terms they understood that were common in recovery worlds, such as “therapy”, “client” and “counseling practices.”  This is where we began searching incoming clients for what we called “False Images.” These were otherwise known as “contra ban” but we found other terms that seemed to fit what we were doing. We had professional counselors as guides and teachers. Our staff worked on finishing degree programs in counseling and therapy. We had a seasoned and licensed therapeutic counselor as our “clinical director” so it all felt so legitimate and healthy. It all seemed so positive to us.


Little did I know we were using the wrong methods, wrong tools, and we had the wrong heart as we related to those in the gay community. We were arrogant, thinking we knew best how to “treat” those who came to us for understanding and hope. We felt proud that amongst Exodus International circles we had the better approach.


We had our critics as well. Many outsiders, especially family members, really disagreed with our approach. Those who were “less knowledgeable than we were” had the sensitivity that we were crushing those that came to us with rules and stringent expectations. But, we did all we could to explain the value of our program and structures. We were so confident that I think we dominated over them with our words and strength. So, many were silenced just to go along with the program because they wanted so badly for their loved ones to change, to get fixed.


A we researched other addiction programs around the country it appeared we were as good as they were. We had many of the same structures, we now had licensed counselors on staff.  We didn’t charge nearly as much as they did!  Our $6000 price for three months of “residential treatment” was certainly a bargain compared to other programs that were charging $20,000! So we had no problem encouraging our program and receiving the fees along with it.


All of this was based on the foundation of homosexuality being an addiction and that some of our clients were truly presenting addictive behavior. For those who weren’t, we tried to get them to see their value in being part of the accountability needed to keep the structures in place for the “real” addicts.


Affirmation of our Approach

People in the Christian community spoke highly of our approach because we seemed so confident we knew all the answers to relieving the burden of homosexuality from their churches, families, and in their own lives. After all, we were Exodus’ oldest and most established ministry!


Through this experience I began a teaching that homosexuality was a facade, an ambiguous cover up for internal issues that remained unresolved. I wrote a lengthy teaching series entitled “The Homosexual Myth.” It was based on the idea that there was no such thing as a “homosexual person” rather only actions and behaviors. I taught that each man and women was created as heterosexual but during some time in their lives they began to experience same sex attractions. All of these teachings completely minimized the reality of life experience as a gay person. It placed a grid over the life of a man or woman that completely ignored the unique experiences that most gay people have lived.


I set off a firestorm within the gay community against me, against us. They felt invalidated, unheard, and minimized. I felt arrogant about having found the truth about homosexuality. I remember many talks amongst our staff where we arrogantly believed we had the cutting edge on these issues. Well, they were invalidated, unheard, and minimized!


Again, many Christians spoke of how they understood our perspective and how much clarity it gave them to better understand their homosexual loved ones lives. We tied all of this in to another teaching on Child Development. We held heavily to a developmental origin of homosexuality and spoke often that we didn’t ascribe to a “born homosexual” theory. Of course we also gave room for the lack of scientific evidence to the contrary. The “Child Development” teachings caused a lot of confusion, guilt, unanswered questions and at times created an environment for upsetting families due to searching for the problems that caused the homosexual condition in the first place.


Evaluation and the Truth

It wasn’t until I left Love In Action that I began to evaluate this perspective. I began an effort to reconnect with former Love In Action clients and really tried to open my ears to hear their real feelings. I tried hard to understand their pain, confusion, and overall disappointment in the outcome of their program experiences.


As I listened, I often heard they felt invalidated. One man that I met with looked me right in the face, and with passions said, “John, I am NOT and addict!!!” He followed up with explaining he was never sexually active and how confused he had been in the program since we spoke so often about addiction. It just didn’t apply to his life at all. But we held to the theories that even his attractions fit our addiction model, which of course didn’t resonate with his kind and sensitive heart.


Other folks I talked with spoke of how hard it was to connect with God on an intimate level when there was so much emphasis on how “their hearts were deceitful and wicked.” We referred to that Old Testament passage in relationship to our human experience. They said it was so hard to trust themselves, their own life experience, feelings and other factors when we taught they were always going to be deceived, and wicked.


There were some who thrived in the addiction model because they were clearly struggling with addictive behaviors. These folks found deep levels of freedom from the compulsions they suffered. Of course, because it was a helpful model to deal with addiction! But the problem was confusing the issues. Were they dealing with addiction, or homosexuality as the presenting issue?  When they were combined, then they saw their humanity as the problem and since their homosexual desires didn’t change, then it became a serious spiritual problem in relating to God.


Many others referred to the coldness of the environment at Love In Action. Of course, again, this was after we implemented the addiction model, because there was a time when Love In Action was a loving, connected, relational community. During those years prior to 1995 there were far less complaints on the program and less wounding.


I Felt Convicted

As I write through these realities I feel disappointed in myself. I feel convicted of my wrong ideas and their application that were so wounding for many men and women that in my heart I truly wanted to help. I feel embarrassed to admit the depth of my own deception!


An Inevitable Trap

For most of my life I have heard “gay men are such sensitive people.” Many have known people within the gay community that are caring, loving, and relationship wired. The significance of these truths plays out in why an addiction model is so wounding and harmful.


Often addiction models coincide with traditional “intervention” models. This is a strong confrontation of the presenting problem, and drawing strong boundaries that threaten separation and a loss of connection.When people have personalities that are socially, and relationally wired, traditional “intervention” models can be deeply wounding. The fears of rejection and separation are extremely painful for many, if not most gay people when they experience threats from people that they will no longer be with them if they “continue in their behavior.” The approach based on a threat almost always causes an emotional “shut down” and prevents a working atmosphere and hopes are lost all around.


When presenting someone who is gay with an intervention model it says, “you had better change your homosexuality or else you will lose me.” Oh, my, this is an impossible trap!  This will never be accomplished, therefore, the relationship with people whom they love the most will be forever lost because they know that they will not likely ever see a change in their homosexuality.


I Believe

And, of course, I know retract my theories that there is “no such thing as a homosexual person.” I now believe in intrinsic homosexuality that many people experience that is virtually unchangeable with the exception of a miracle.


This is only the second in this series and I am beginning to feel overwhelmed myself. Take some time to think through this and allow yourself to ponder the goodness of God in a very faulty world.  I must do that myself as I evaluate all of these challenging things that I have been responsible for.


To read other parts of the “I Acknowledge” Series – Click here



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19 Responses to “I Acknowledge! – Part Two”

  1. Karen McNeil says:

    John,

    This is the 2nd time I’ve noticed your saying…. “I now believe in intrinsic homosexuality that many people experience that is virtually unchangeable with the exception of a miracle.”

    Why do you add the phrase….”with the exception of a miracle?” That says to me what we know from scripture….that sin is intrinsic in each of us and virtually unchangeable except for a miracle….a miracle that can make us into new creature.

    You seem to be using this forum to work out your own beliefs about all of this. That is why I’m drawn to it and look forward to it every Friday. I want to see where you are going and it feels as though we are on the journey together.

    I don’t think you’ve “arrived” and I believe you may find truth somewhere in the middle between what you taught at LiA and where some in the homosexual community hope you will go. I’d like to be with you when you find that truth. Then, perhaps I can find it too.

    Because of Him,
    Karen

  2. Jeremy says:

    I think the question of many who read this is — Does John Smid think it’s okay to be gay now, with no need to change or pursue anything differently? It’s all fine and good that you wish you would have used a different (or no) model, but most of the people reading this are wondering if you now endorse the homosexual lifestyle and “scene.” Hopefully your next blog will focus on what you believe NOW and, if you believe the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, what should gay people do.

    Another thing I think you should do, because only you can do it, is write a blog that serves as a letter to the hundreds of clients who came through LIA for years. What do you say to the people who benefited from LIA and are now living lives either married or consistently celibate for years. Also, what do you say to those who lost heart after trying to implement what they learned at LIA?

  3. John Smid says:

    Jeremy,

    I think your request for a letter to be written to the “satisfied” clients of Love In Action is a good one! My intention is to continue this series through it’s completion. I will then see what should come next. This is certainly a process that I am going through and as I do, I will keep listening, writing and sharing.

  4. John Smid says:

    Karen, you are absolutely right! I haven’t arrived and this is a deep process I am going through. A good friend approached me this week and said, “John, are you changing your perspective?” My reply, “Oh, yes. I am rethinking everything.”

    I use the ending “except for a miracle” because I always want to leave room for God to do what He wants to do in someone’s life. It is my “Holy Spirit” escape clause. And, you are correct, we are all born in need of the gift of salvation, and oh, my, yes that was the miracle of miracles! However, in life, it seems God has us all on a journey which most often has us working through life over time, with His abundant grace, thankfully. It is due to the miracle of the gospel that I can live each day with hope even in the midst of a complicated, challenging life.

    You know, I find it interesting. Some have mentioned that I am following where the gay community wants me to go. Actually, I stand on an island at this time, somewhere in between where I was and where the gay community is that have seemed to have settled this issue for themselves. Most within the gay community are not begging me to join them. Actually some are so confused, and wounded they don’t want me near them. Contrary to what some may believe, the gay community is not “wooing” John Smid over to their “side.”

  5. Michael Cooley says:

    A few lines from a poem as we “ponder the goodness of God in a very faulty world”–

    “What stays with you latest and deepest?

    of curious panics, Of hard-fought engagements or sieges tremendous

    what deepest remains?”

  6. John Smid says:

    Ah, Yes, Michael. What deepest remains. How soothing, true, and affirming.

  7. Warren says:

    John,

    Hi, brother. Long time since we connected and I felt I needed to weigh in here. There are many of us who minister to homosexual people who understand the uphill battle you are describing. And, I could not agree with you more that blending the gold and silver of the Egyptians into the discipleship model that was/is so effective was the wrong move. But, brother, I see a dangerous pattern of error in your logic – the conclusions you are drawing do not necessarily flow from your premises.

    Be very careful to not believe what is clearly contrary to the Word of God. Those who know and love you know that you are a “feeler”, but feelings are not fact. Your contrition and repentance for wounding those you were trying to help is commendable, but the illumination of the error in your approach and delivery does not require an abandonment of the clear teaching of the Scriptures.

    We are following and praying for you, John, walk this path of discovering and healing – but tread carefully. There is a line you dare not cross if you seek to have God’s mind and heart about these matters.

    Love in Christ – always,
    Warren

  8. Kim McKee says:

    As a person who still quakes at the word ‘religion’ (a recovering religious person)… I have read with great interest the writings of this man who is my long lost cousin!

    I need to express here to all who read his ramblings… that for the first time EVER (in religious context), I hear the voice of someone who really cares about his fellow human beings, no MATTER the label, sexual orientation, street address, ice cream preference, political party, or boxer vs brief lifestyle!

    To hear someone say ‘I’ve learned something new…’ ‘I’ve realized that the old model might not be working…, ‘Bare with me while I try to find the BEST (not the RIGHT) way to love and reach out to others with that love’…
    Is one of the most amazing moments of humanity and truth I’ve ever read!!!

    The supposed ‘TRUTH’ that Jesus, or any other holy person from anywhere in the world has ever taught… LOVE, LOVE, LOVE…

    No place will you find… go ahead judge, or limit, or condemn, interpret _____ (whatever words you want to impose) or speak out against… simply accept and LOVE…. just that simple. Yet there are those who take a few words, and cling to them with a death grip to make sure they are ‘right’. In one moment, with one breath… is being ‘godlike’ meaning we go down with the bible in our hands declaring our righteousness? Or do we stand up holding the hands of others, with humble awareness that all we can do is do our best to LOVE… which do we suppose will be best received in ‘heaven’….

    John, I am so proud of who you are, and for being a meaningful voice in this bleak world of ’systems’,'dogma’, ‘rhetoric’ and ‘beliefs’ that refuse to move through this world with an open heart and mind!!!

    Excommunication for believing the world is flat comes to mind… knowledge and change are God given as well… thank you for your flexibility of soul… and for the courage to stand up to those who would remain stone stumps, arguing instead of loving….
    Cousin, Kim

  9. John Smid says:

    Warren, we met long ago over your desire to learn to love others that were challenging to understand. Your heart was being molded and changed during the process. I have known your love and care for me personally while we didn’t really know each other from up close, it was a valuable relationship during a time that I really needed that connection. Thank you for being there, and for following me somehow through the “bloggosphere.”

  10. John Smid says:

    Glad to see you here again, Kim! There’s nothing like blood “kin” in life. I am so glad that we have been able to reconnect at this time and during this season of our lives. As I walk this journey of life, I am thrilled to have you alongside.

  11. StraightGrandmother says:

    Well this is hands down THE most amazing acknowledgement of wrongdoing I have ever read in my life. If there was a “Sincerity” award given similar to an Academy Award, just these first two installments would win the Global Sincerity Award.

    First let me say that I don’t have a dog in this race. I don’t know any sexual minorities that struggled to reject that part of themselves. I don’t even know a single member of my extended family or circle of friends who would reject a family member or friend because of their sexual orientation, or ask them to change. I know of no one personally who ever went to an ex-gay ministry or ex-gay therapy. And I am a Christian.

    What I observe is a man literally bearing his soul with no chance at all of personal gain. Rationalization is the greatest human need. When we do wrong we often rationalize it to relieve ourselves of guilt. We need to feel better about ourselves so we rationalize. I see no rationalization in John’s statement.

    I feel so sorry for him, do you know how awful he must feel. He is looking back over years of work, years, when he thought he was doing good an realizes, it wasn’t right. He got it wrong, and he knows he hurt many many people he scared many of them for years, some for life. I am not attacking him, only repeating what he himself has said. I don’t know why he is doing it. I think I would just quietly make amends to as many people as I could in a private manner. Just think of what he is doing here. Look at what he has written, what he is acknowledging.

    I also agree with John and so does science, it is extremely rare for men to change their sexual orientation. Now you can hem that and haw that all you want, but that is the scientific truth. It is unfair to tell the person who is a sexual minority that they should then cling to celibacy in order to be “God’s Best” After all the person who is heterosexual leading a chaste life who never happens to marry always knows in their lifetime that maybe it WILL happen for them, a mate, a life partner to love. They have Hope.

    It is not the same “celibacy sentence” to a sexual minority, as you are telling them that they are to go through life without ever having a compatible life partner to love and hold. They are denied this dream for the rest of their life if they want to be acceptable to God. Even a priest knows that if he wants to, at any time he can leave the Priesthood and marry and God will still love him. He has a choice in the matter of his celibacy. There is no group of people on earth you condemn to a life of celibacy than sexual minorities who Did.Not.Choose.And.Cannot.Change.How.They.Are. In order to be pleasing to God.

    And to the people who write here that you are in a Mixed Orientation Marriage and it IS working for you, that does NOT mean it will work for others. Sexual orientation is like a rope stretched between two poles, on one end homosexual, on the other end heterosexual, and in the middle bi-sexual. You may be more towards the middle while the person you are preaching to is at the end of the rope on the homosexual side, he is never going to get to the other side of that rope.

    Not only that, your life is not over with. There are many many examples of people in Mixed Orientation Marriages who run into a person of their same sex late in life, and they fall in love and leave their spouse after 35 and 40 years of marriage. They don’t plan on doing that, it just happens. Your life is not over with yet, the most you can say is that you have accomplished this for XX number of years.

    So what are the choices?
    #A. To require celibacy in order to be “God’s Best” I believe is cruel, just cruel. It’s not beautiful, ask people who are celibate not by choice how great it is. They will tell you, they wish they could meet the right one and have a life partner.

    #B. To attempt to pair up with a person of the opposite sex, with very little chance of success, not that it doesn’t happen but again a very low percentage. And for the ones who it doesn’t work out for which is the majority by at least 80%+ the pain and lost years to both the husband and wife who tried it. I read divorce stories from the straight spouses of women and men in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, and their stories are heartbreaking.

    #C People who are sexual minorities are loved, respected and accepted, and they feel secure in who they are and the do like any other heterosexual person, they search for a “compatible” life partner.

    John I read these comments and I have a vision, a vision of you trying to walk away to a peaceful green meadow and your old friends and acquaintances are throwing ropes around you gently but firmly trying to pull you back, they don’t want to loose you. I see you gently but firmly removing the ropes and slowly walking to where you want to go. This is what the Bible passages are that they ask you about, those are the ropes. I think you ARE going to walk into that peaceful green meadow and there you will sit down by yourself and think and reflect.

  12. Will says:

    There are so many good reasons for you to be writing this series, John, and I am glad to be able to read it. I am not part of GCN or much of anything Evangelical these days, however I have enjoyed participating in the dialogue at Michael Bussee’s “ex ex gay” facebook page, and then today to view the video of the panel in which you participated this past weekend. Your presentation in every way was so credible and a great blessing to hear,and I thank you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Peace .. Will

  13. John Smid says:

    Will,

    Thank you, I am glad that my story was a blessing for you. I continue to evaluate whether or not I am searching after man’s world, or God’s. I find that there is great opportunity for men to let me down through organizations, churches, and other things like that. I am learning more each day that my trust must be in God. I may not always understand His ways, but at the core, i do trust in His goodness. GCN, evanglicalism, and other man made structures can be very disappointing at times. But, I am moving through it all with his grace. I hope you are too, Will. It’s been good to have been in touch with you over these last couple of years.

  14. StraightGrandmother says:

    Coincidentally I just came across a comment on another blog from a married man who after 30 years in a Mixed Orientation Marriage, has fallen in love head over heels with another man and is cheating on his wife.

    So again to all of you who say how great Mixed Orientation Marriages are, and this is a solution for sexual minorities in order to be considered “God’s Best,” be aware that it is only a very very small minority of these marriages that make it till death do us part. Just because you are holding it together now doesn’t mean you always will be able to.

    http://wthrockmorton.com/2012/01/09/alan-chambers-99-9-have-not-experienced-a-change-in-their-orientation/comment-page-1/#comment-429546

  15. John Smid says:

    S-G
    Over the last couple of years, I have certainly changed my approach in counsel for any man getting married if he is strongly attracted to men, meaning he isn’t clearly “bi-sexual.” About 15 to 20 years ago, the advice was, “Oh, don’t worry, the plumbing will work when it is time.” Well, maybe the plumbing will work but what about the heart and the soul? And this advice was given with a background of hope that the orientation may change. Really unprepared!

  16. StraightGrandmother says:

    Yes John and look at what happens 15 to 20 years later, it is so sad for all involved. I am so naive I never even knew until this last year, that gay men would marry straight women. It never occurred to me. I found out about it by reading at Warren Throckmorton’s blog which is an excellent source for getting scientific research on sexual orientation and particularly if it is possible for anyone to change their sexual orientation.

    I don’t know anyone, and have never known anyone, who would want to change their sexual orientation. I read at Dr. Throckmortons blog because the scientific answer to that question, can people change their sexual orientation is a civil rights issue for sexual minorities and I am very interested in that. Is it immutable or not, is the question I went over there to learn the answer to.

    I have been a regular commentor for only about a year now over there, but I have learned a lot, a real lot.

    I think it is safe to say that Dr. Throckmorton, an Evangelical Psychology Profesor at an Evangelical college, has done a 180 on his views if sexual minorities can change their sexual orientation. He used to be a member of NARTH and Exodus, and now he writes about them all the time exposing their lies and distortions of scientific research. He writes about the Evangelical blackout of sexual orientation science here, it is a very interesting read.
    http://wthrockmorton.com/2011/12/15/the-evangelical-blackout-of-sexual-orientation-research-part-2/
    And remember, he is an Evangelical!

    There has to be some commonsense here, you just can’t cling to religious dogma in the face of irrefutable science. It is wrong to insist that sexual minorities waste their time on their knees praying and praying to be straight when that is very very very rare for men, women have a bit more fluidity, because it ain’t gonna happen. It is like asking a black man to pray to be white, and to keep on praying until he turns white.

    Even if people sometimes do move along that sexual orientation scale a little bit from one side to the other (and I do mean a little) we do know one thing, people do not have a “choice” in their sexual orientation just like the black man does not have a choice in the color of his skin. People do not choose to be gay, I did not choose to be straight I just am. And no, it is not well, just change your behavior then. Change it to what?

    I’ll better stop and let you continue on with your blog John, don’t mean to take up so much real estate here.

  17. Brian says:

    John,

    I was one one of your LiA “clients,” and I wanted to extend a “No apology necessary, you were forgiven before time began!” We all have our journeys, and I want to respect yours. As you say “I’m sorry,” know that it’s important for many, many people. For me, it’s good to hear. I certainly forgive you, and you have certainly always been forgiven. We were both deceived.

    Deceived like only an angel of light can. The man-made institution of the ex-gay ministry is religion at its best: beat down, brainwash, control = elicit response to increase numbers. Many, many innocent victims. But, it is what it is, and all we can do is effect change within ourselves and be authentic about the process. A big harm from reparative therapy for me was the innocent victims—the people I was encouraged to “blame” for making me gay. While the intent was to repair relationships, it came across as “I’m struggling with same sex attractions, and it’s because of you…”

    In any event, I appreciate your transparency. Truth is the foundation of Love, and in this pursuit of Truth we find commonality. I have since transitioned from a man struggling with same sex attractions, to just plain gay. Gay as in orientation. Christ has set me free from my own worst enemy–myself! The whole time I was praying for freedom from same-sex attractions, the only thing God wanted to set me free from was my own religion-induced slavery, condemnation, and judgment! Transformation is HERE, and my “gayness” is the same as it’s ever been! Who knew that giving my life to Christ would entail coming out of the closet. He works in mysterious ways, for sure.

    Thank you again for sharing; I’m glad I found your blog!

    Brian

  18. karl dobermann says:

    God’s word never changes; no matter how you, John, “feel”. It is an irony to think that your struggle is any different than any-one else’s. God promises deliverance, but, all so-called Christians, have to follow God’s rules, commandments, covenants, not your own personal “feelings”… there is no other way for deliverance, no matter how much pain anyone may suffer at the loss of a false identity.
    Science proves nothing about the incapability of homosexuals to change… that is false religion and grandmother is dead wrong.

    If anyone wants change in their stinking thinking and behavior, stop “feeling” and start acting like you say you believe. Miracles only happen when you are in direct partnership with God, owning up to your errant living, confessing it to God and publicly, and renouncing any connection with that life style. It doesn’t work any other way…

    Read the scriptures again; you, John, and the rest of the folks you are “trying” to help may actually have the spiritual revelation of God’s holiness.

  19. John Smid says:

    Of course, you didn’t say who you are other than a first name, but thank you for writing. I am glad that my writing has been a source of encouragement for you. I’ve been reading a book called “The Velvet Rage” which is about gay men growing up in a straight world. It is ringing my bell in many ways. If you haven’t read it, consider it something to pick up.

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