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Logo of Love in the Making 2019

LGBTQ Issues and the Church

Michael Carducci

Presenter

Michael Carducci

Co-Director, Coming Out Ministries

Recorded

  • April 13, 2019
    4:00 PM
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Father I thank you Lord for this opportunity to share about the church and Lord there's a lot going on that we are not prepared for and Lord I believe that education is one of those ways that we can not only brace ourselves for what's coming but also Lord to be redemptive it's not just enough to protect ourselves Lord we want to be reaching out to others that we either don't understand or maybe even some of us might be disgusted with and so Lord work on our hearts and your Holy Spirit I pray in Jesus name in man all right I have a great opportunity to be in the presence of a very dear colleague of mine this is Wayne Blakely who helped start coming up ministries 8 a half years ago almost 9 years ago and then also we have Miguel Harris who we've had the opportunity to work with in Peru and other places it's an honor to to be with these men as well so any way you have any questions for them feel free to ask them we want to talk about in the church and take a look at this photograph it's shocking to me I was in Belgium and I was coming up out of the out of the subway area and we hit the streets it was a beautiful gorgeous day and I look up and I'm with people from from Belgium and for them it was nothing but I'm looking at this church and go what and they go oh yeah every year they put the gay flag on the Presbyterian Church of the the Protestant churches and so right now middle of the city the biggest steeple that you could see and they're waving the gay flag on that and for them they're very comfortable with it the couple that I was with were 7th Day Adventists and to them it was nothing we are becoming a NASA ties by the movement that's going on in the world as a matter of fact Keyes you know who is now working with coming out ministries when I met her 2 years ago in Cuba we were talking and I basically was hearing her testimony about how she was addicted to pornography masturbation and even premarital sex she was actually having sexual relations with some of the young men that were in her youth group at church and I said wait a minute you do know what the Bible says about about sex don't you and she says Well not really because the church isn't. King about it and so You Tube is talking about it all the world is talking about it but the church and its silence I realize now is giving permission for our young people to explore and to experience these things that God had never intended for us to do I can see now how the how the world is breaking down the borders but the church is doing just as much by refusing to talk about the situation and so I use this as an illustration about L G B T and the church our identity drives our actions and we know that because that's what the world is screaming now is you are your identity and a lot of people don't realize what's been slowly seeping into society for probably the last 4 generations an overwhelming global issue religion doesn't have a prayer when it comes to equality L G B T activists and their job judicial allies have made more have made sure the sexual behavior trumps religious liberty every time and you can see that in your own lives and how it's affected even in your own churches what I've found now is that we have groups in every Protestant denomination that are driving and pushing this agenda and I believe that that's been specific we have these 2 positions in the church the we have the what is it the West moral Baptist churches said God hates fags fags die God laughs and then we have the other side Jesus had to dad dad's and he turned out OK so what we found as we came into this ministry came back into religious culture I coming back at 40 years old after I'd been out for 20 years is I thought that there was nothing more than rejection going on in the church and then I come back and I find that that that is still alive and well there either people rejected and think that we're going to burn in a hotter hell than everybody else but now the other side is that all it's no problem God's fine with it and that God loves homosexuals that are in monogamous relationships and so now we have these 2 opposing positions in the church but what really is the truth we also have kinship Now that's that's been around for 30 plus years and they are international and kinship is a group as a matter of fact when I was talking about in. In the commercial for the movie I said to me lies lie to me I remember one day I had walked into the church culture and I'd given my heart to the Lord but I had also been in a relationship with a man and the Lord led me into realizing that I had to give up this relationship so now I'm without a relationship I'm still not straight I'm struggling with this I have another friend who's in the same position that I am and I said hey look I found kinship on on the Internet and we looked at my set fantastic Now I can have a boyfriend and Jesus and so as I started looking at this this website I really didn't care much about what the Bible said about homosexuality anyway but I did have a relationship with Jesus Christ so my friend was looking at it he said well look at the way that they've translated these verses it just doesn't make sense they go I don't care and he goes No really my take a look I've got really I don't care just tell me I can have a boyfriend and Jesus and that was when I was like Lie to Me tell me these lies and I believe that many innocent people just like myself have been trying to find a way how can I have Jesus in my life and still have the things of the flesh and especially when the only thing you ever grew up with was same sex attraction and even I struggle with transgenderism I wasn't necessarily thinking that there was a solution for my problem acceptance was the only solution for me especially after 20 years of praying that God would change me so again thinking this it made it very easy to start understanding and accepting and believing that I could have a boyfriend and that God would still accept that I remember that my boy from was so shocked that I become an advocacy went out of town on a business trip and when he came back here his lover is a 7th Day Adventist baptized Christian and he did the research that I did not and he said you know your church doesn't accept homosexuality at all I don't care really I mean I'm a hairdresser OK so he said he said look at this is what they say and he showed me all this stuff and he said it doesn't matter I didn't get baptized to be a straight person I was baptized because I was following Jesus Christ I don't care what the Adventist message was in my heart sincerely in my heart I was hoping the guy. I would convert my boyfriend who is Jewish who already understood the Sabbath but I was hoping that God would convert him and that we would be this mighty team for Jesus right OK And so you know that didn't wear so well with him and so because I was keeping the Sabbath and now I'm a vegan you know it interfered with a lot of our fun and so eventually I was frustrated I said to God If you want me out of that relationship you're going to have to do it yourself I didn't even have the nerve to do it myself and I said if you want me you have to do it and he said All right Mike I'll get right on that and about 3 weeks later my lover and I were opening up a salon and we were in the space that we were going to decorate and we were sitting there and he has arms around me and he said You know Mike he said the relationship has really taken a direction that I really wasn't ready for he said I need a break and this peace came over me and I knew that God was speaking and that he was intervening in my life and this peace came over me and we broke up but then all of a sudden I went home and I'm still not straight I'm still homosexual and started started to think to myself well I never know what it's like to love again I'm I just going to have to be single for the rest of my life and then the tears started to flow and I would sob in this lasted for months and as I was crying out thinking why would you ask me to leave something that was so good and the Lord started to reveal to me not only the reasons why but he started to comfort my heart and as he started to comfort my heart it was Jesus that was holding me it was Jesus that was loving me and for the 1st time experiencing his love started to transform my life had I not gotten to that point had I not realized that this was not God's intention that I would be comfortable in a same sex relationship that was monogamous I would never have invited Jesus to come into my heart so fully and I believe that that yes the the physical pull is so strong that it pulls us in one direction as a matter of fact many recovered homosexuals that become heterosexual live that lives can also relapse and fall back into that life why not because the power of God is still not restraining it's the fact that God has given us free will and if free will He will never interrupt and go past that and so the pull of sexuality the pull of sexual experience is so strong that it can even pull us away and God still respects that but that doesn't mean that he stops working. Right even today Dr Jackson was talking about an everlasting love that no matter what our behavior is his love doesn't change and I praise him for that because there were many times in my experience as I found out about kinship and was still struggling was a sexual addiction that I still had to keep coming back to God as I was broken defiled and filthy and I asked him again I go Lord do you still want me and again his answer was always the same to me Yes Mike I still want you and so that's what won my heart that's what really convicted me that you know what he's in it for the long haul and if he can do it I'm willing to work out my salvation with him in that process and so we were speaking at a at a Mennonite church and they have what's called the Pink minnows So the kinship for us his The same is S.T.A. kinship for us is the same as the Pink minnows for the men and Mennonite church and they have the same agenda and so now we're seeing that in across multiple denominations that they're having this conflict in their churches as well 2 institutions that were established at creation that was even discussed this morning in the sermon Genesis 127 and 28 So God created man and women and then in Genesis 2 verse 3 he blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it so what about that now we know that marriage is definitely under attack with with the movement of the issue and then how about the fact that heterosexual people haven't done such a great job with the blessing either you know we have polyamory we have premarital sex we have divorce it's the same rates inside the church as they are outside the church and so we know that definitely marriage is under attack and so what if God were watching the Christian church to find out how they deal with the one issue to know how we're going to deal in prophecy when we know that the Sabbath is under attack as well biology it's interesting Wayne and I were in Germany and we were about to speak at this conference and it was pretty much a pro gay conference in northern Germany they were very very supportive and we knew that so we go to church the day before and the secretary to the president picks as well that are not hello hello. Hello So here we are here we were at this church in cervidae. At this church in Germany on the Sabbath and the people that hosted us they brought us and they introduced us to this couple this lovely couple and they were doctors and they spoke fluent English as well as German They were very highly educated and the lady that was talking to well you know I kind of came into the conversation and I could tell that Wayne was a little stressed by the situation and she was talking about how oh my husband and I are doctors and we believe that this conference is pathetic and worthless it isn't even necessary and I'm thinking OK yeah that makes sense if your doctor you understand biology right I don't have to explain that to you and then she was saying because it doesn't matter people should love who they want to love and I looked at her and I go really and she said yes and had this like in light an attitude that I wish I could imitate but. I asked her that I said you're a doctor right and she said yes I am and I said well the biology alone says that it's not right I said you can look at that of course she was and then amused and neither was her husband and so that was just the beginning of our time there in Germany and I don't want to be condescending in any way about that because as a practicing homosexual I learned that that behavior was not only something that I enjoyed but it was also something that created an addictive drive for me and let me explain the things that I wanted as I wanted love from men I was rejected by my dad I was rejected by the kids in school they called me Sissy queer little girl and so what I was desperate for is I needed the affection of men to be affirmed in my masculinity Well that kind of got twisted through puberty because when puberty comes the sex it is a mystery becomes the attraction I was raised by a single mother and 3 sisters and so I knew everything about girls I played jump rope and hopscotch and Barbie dolls with them and I was rejected by the boys in school so then when puberty came for me the sex was the mystery was actually my own so then you can imagine as this became sexualized for me as I came out in 1981 when I was 20 years old the only thing that I. On it is I wanted love from men and that became sexualized through puberty but I didn't want to engage in the sex act now of course when when I would go out to the bar and you know these men would say these wonderful nice things and I would go home with them even the sexual situations I wasn't interested in what I wanted was the holding the loving and the caressing However I realized very early on in the gay culture that if I didn't participate in the sex I didn't get the love and the affection that I desired how sad because in the process what was happening is that as I was trying to find somebody that would love me and take care of me I realized that it was pretty vacant in the gay culture that it was a basically a dog eat dog world and if you understand cannibalism it's a little bit like that you go out to the bar and basically you would look across the crowd and you say wow that guy's got you know really nice eyes or that guy's got really great hair you know you start picking out these pieces like cannibalism and the idea of cannibalism isn't just to satisfy my hunger cannibalism is about attaining your attributes and if I have no masculinity of my own that if I sleep with you because you've got great eyes then I will attribute your masculine characteristics for myself and so what happens is that 2 men who are vacant with their masculine identity if you're looking to get something from me and I'm looking to get something from you and we're both fake and we're never going to be able to satisfy that for each other and that's what creates the addictive drive so every night in the gay bars it was about finding somebody else that could affirm my own masculinity because of my vacancy and what I realized is that in the process of trying to find love and affection and affirmation I found that it was vacant and so the addiction drove. Me for the next 20 years so at the end of those 20 years being a sexual addict and acting out as often as 3 times in a way in a day and as many times as 3 or 4 times a week. It came down to this if I was picking up some by somebody in traffic or in a grocery store or in a park the bottom line was listen don't talk to me Don't tell me your name don't tell me about your lover let's just get this over with in my mind the intimacy had become the thing that was the most elusive but my addictive drive which was the thing that I didn't even have the desire for now was the whole desire can you see why homosexual practice and let me make that clear God does not condemn the homo sexual he condemns homo sexual practice because what it does is it creates cannibals right there where you're hooking up and you're never going to find the one thing that got him intended for you to find and that was intimacy between one man and one woman not only through the biology but also how beautifully Thomas Jackson brought that about this morning about protecting the heart of God The image of God which is that kind of love that doesn't use people but it's a giving love instead of a taking Love does that make sense I think that was a little bit of a revelation for me even this afternoon so let me explain while this is going on so basically you're looking in suburbia and these are you see the mom and the dad there with the babies right but would it surprise you to know that there's way to make it so sit up and just like a 3rd mom or 2nd mom right 3 parents and 2 kids. They are the Steins. So just to give you an idea this is what's now coming down the pike they're now dedicating television shows to polyamory where they're featuring 3 different people in one relationship so now that the rights is on the scene and they've been given. They've been given the right to marry now we have other people on the fringe groups that are coming in and saying the same thing so once we've torn down the walls protecting what marriage was the institution between one man and one woman now you have other people that are other groups of people that are clamoring for attention and for acceptance as well we also I remember marching in the gay pride parades and I would see this little marginalized group in the back of the parades every year that I would March and they were called now and NAMBLA stands for male man boy love basically saying now that these people are coming forward saying you know what I was born attracted to younger men and so I should be given the same right to marry as well and so I'm not trying to make the connections that homosexuals are pedophiles and that's not true there are just as many heterosexual pedophiles are as there are homosexuals and what we find so shocking is that in Christianity people just make that connection they think that if somebody is a homosexual that the naturally a pedophile as well so let's dispense with with that with that lie but again it is true that there are people that are rich attracted to that that are actually pushing now that there's gay rights there should be the right to actually engage in sex with underage men or boys and so this is what the world is full of now you have love is love and gender is age blind some people are pedophile get over it and we see all of this being pushed forward now we have where did you hear about the little trans vested boy that was dancing in a gay club and this is considered to be normal and natural the Bible in Isaiah 520 it talks about how how good is evil and evil is good right that people turn bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Repaired of therapy we have this now this movement talking about the damage of repaired of therapy and we have we definitely get linked in with that in the in the Christian church if you sit there and say that God can change somebody you automatically get lumped with the repaired of therapists and these therapies are horrible here we go we have a picture I feel I represent fabulous gay cure really works and here you have Christian and gay I was harmed by anti-gay therapy and we believe that fortunately for those in coming out ministries none of us actually submitted to repair of therapy and what those therapy modalities include is hooking up electrodes to your genitals and every time you look at male porn that these app you so that you know you you won't be attracted to gay porn or what was another one another one was to take a heterosexual man and to hold the homo sexual naked as the father son love until the homo sexual attraction passes. Give me a break you know that stuff just doesn't work and another one where you take a bat and you start beating this pillow or this wall or whatever that is and that represents your father your same sex parent that you have trouble with and until the anger passes here's the difference that that we promote we're not trying to make gay people straight it's not my job I can't do that I couldn't even make myself straight but what we're talking about is not behavior modification because behavior modification is a good thing you can learn to quit smoking you can learn to over quit over eating but Jesus is interested in so much more than that we're talking about an intimate God He wants restored intimacy and he knows a certain behaviors keep us from that intimacy but here's the beauty of God is that he's not looking for behavior modification he's looking for relational restoration is not what God is looking for and so by telling somebody that oh you're gay Well you should be accepted by that and got a lender stand then what you've done is you cut that individual off from knowing the repairing the restoring and the intimate relationship that Jesus wants to have with each one of us to see the connection there does that make sense and so gay now we have this Christian identity that I'm a gay administering a gay Christian and when I want to want to talk about that a little bit and just the fact that it's a prefix now it's a prefix Christian putting gay in front of your identity in Christ and so the Bible says that that in Christ I'm a new creature says that the old things are passed away behold everything becomes new so if I'm going to sit there and talk about the fact that now I'm a Christian and put a prefix for it the prefix is actually the primary identity that describes the latter wouldn't you agree as to a prefix saying that I'm gay 1st of all and then I'm a Christian let's you know that my primary identity is in my home a sexual attraction and I understand that there are reasons why people are attracted to the same sex I still struggle with it today but I deny it and I refuse to be identified as a gay Christian just because I have those attractions if I'm not live. That life of living in that practice then why would I want a sinful temptation identified as my prefixing Christ and so let's give the example all right maybe some of you struggle with adultery you know would you call yourself an adulterating Christian maybe some of you struggle with lying are you still a lying Christian Right you start to see how it just doesn't make sense but what we've done is we've we kind of separated out the term. With but the fact that it's still described in the Bible as sinful behavior and so now we've tried to legitimize the fact that somebody has same sex attraction when what we've done is we've negated the fact that it is an issue that needs redemption and that it's not unloving to point people to the healing that comes from Christ but now what's happening is there's this motivation in this movement to say that if you say that change is possible that that's hate and let me give you a new light in it that I received just a couple of months ago stop and think about it what was the old attitude the old attitude right according to 1st Corinthians Chapter 6 it talks about all the abominations it won't but won't be in Evan and homo sexual practices in there but what Christianity did is they took homosexuals out of that makes and they put it up here and they said this is the sin that God just can't stand this is the one that there's no hope for as a matter of fact our colleague Ron was told that he said he the pastor told his wife he said you know what that kind can never change and so basically this was the original lie that was spread in there and so then there was condemnation and rejection on a Friday night I was in a gay bar after I'd left the church at 20 years old and as I was sitting there I ordered my drink and as I ordered my drink there was a brother to the right of me and he ordered his drink and we're sitting there and then this other gentleman walks up to the bar and he says hey you know happy Sabbath to the bartender and I looked and then this guy looked in this guy goes Oh yeah happy Sabbath and I piped into I go yeah happy Sabbath and we realized that all 4 of us were X. 7th Day Adventists and we started to share our stories about how we were either kicked out of the church or left the church or. Or ignored out of the church and how sad that on a Friday night the only place that we found that we could celebrate the Sabbath was in a gay bar and of course I'm stretching that a bit but the point being is that the old attitude was that there was no way that they could be saved that they were condemned that way so then I come into the church 20 years later and guess what message is the same the message never change only now we're loving them we're saying you still can't change and that you shouldn't have to change and that God loves you so the issue is the same the gays can't change but isn't that interesting we went from hating them to loving them but the problem is that we've denied the restoration power that God alone provides Do you see the difference do you see how that the issue hasn't changed we just change our attitude towards it and I believe that just by loving someone isn't helping them because they're still lost right to see the difference. So here we have either for beloved seeing you know these things be for be where lessee also being led away with the air of the wicked fall from your own steadfastness How sad that the church now I believe the Adventist Church is now dangling this carrot for people like me that definitely wanted to. Affirm that not only would homosexuals be accepted but that God accepts that too and so we're misleading people they're still lost and isn't it interesting that I find a very this amusing that this is actually the truth before homosexuality was sin but now it's in you see the connection. Scriptures as support the gay Christian mission as I was talking with my my boyfriend took me to the gate church and we were sitting in front of a gay priest and she started to explain all of the different scripture attacks on homosexuality and as I was sitting there as a hairdresser who didn't read the Bible at all even I was enlightened by the Holy Spirit to know that that didn't make sense some of the way that she explained some of the Scripture verses to me I said come on that's a stretch you know even though I wanted to affirm my boyfriend even though I wasn't interested in leaving my boys. And or my identity I still could see the fact that even the lame way that she was explaining these Scripture verses it wasn't really it wasn't even realistic to me but I think that there are a lot of people that would buy into that that for them it might be just the thing that they that they needed to hear to affirm the direction that they wanted to stay in so Acts chapter 10 in verse 15 well God has made clean you must not call profane and so this is a very ambiguous text this to me is not the text that I would hang on to to show that God would approve of homosexuality about Genesis 126 Let us create a human kind in our image what is that they've even changed the wording of the Bible and they took mankind to make it human kind so human kind is androgynous it's not specific to a gender and so therefore not only does it approve of homo sexual practice but also transgenderism. Galatians 3 verses $23.00 to $29.00 there is no longer Jew or Greek there's no longer slave or free there's no longer what male or female for all of you are one in Christ Jesus so you can see how somebody would pull that text out of there to say what they want it to say but we're not talking about the context of male and female We're talking about the identity in who in Jesus Christ OK So let's talk about identity for a minute unless I've missed it so identity was not a term until the late forty's early fifty's and with a man named Alfred Kinsey who had done research by the way Alfred Kinsey was funded by the United States government and he still protected to this day but he actually was exposed for the fact that he was a homosexual pedophile masochist and what that means is that he was doing a lot of his research to basically try to affirm and to promote his own attractions what he did is he actually paid men to abuse sexually abuse their own children and he was paying them and he would give them stopwatches to record how long their orgasms were and what their behaviors was as a matter of fact some of his research showed that for a 6 month old baby girl an infant child that they found that this little girl had $23.00 orgasms within a 24 hour period of time is child abuse alone to keep a child awake that long for 24 hours just to see what kind of behavior they would have and in his and in his research he found that what he determined was an orgasm was screaming passing out vomiting. And that's how we determine what an orgasm was for this child can you imagine that and in his research he used digital in oral stimulation I'm sorry brothers and sisters but this is where we get our ideas for human sexuality now from the results of this man he had a book that came out in the early fifty's called human sexuality basically talking about male sexuality and a lot of the research he said that one in 10 men are homosexual but that research came from prisons he was doing as a lot of his research from the prisons so it wasn't even taken from a normal populous and then he was compiling all of this information that was already tainted and that's where we get our sex education from as a matter of fact in Europe they have a new promotion of the sex education that they want to implement in the 10 countries of Europe in the in Eurasia what's called the European Union and basically from from 0 to 4 they want to teach children masturbation they want to teach them not lustful masturbation so they don't don't want to just teach them how to do it they want to teach them how to enjoy it so then from the ages of 6 to 8 they want to teach them homo sexual practices let's just get it out in the open let's get it over with and so what they'll do is put the boys in one room in the girls in another room and let them experiment and the idea is that the sooner they recognize that their same sex attracted we can you know not judge them and we can give them the freedom to be who they are but here's what's really interesting is that you can educate and train somebody to be homosexual there's a group of people in Afghanistan what they do is they kidnap prepared best Some boys between the ages of like $8.11 and what they do is they read repeatedly sodomized these boys and the idea is to groom them to be male prostitutes because in Afghanistan it's it's taboo to actually have sex outside of the marriage with another woman so if you have it with a boy I guess it's OK but they interviewed some of these male prostitutes and they ask them they said you know are you gay and they said some of them said no I was never gay however as I experienced that behavior repeatedly over and over again I don't mind it it's not a problem and so you can actually train people in homo sexual behavior which I believe. When you take a prepubescent child and you expose them sexually you awaken in them something that was in a that was naturally not to be explored I was never molested as a child when I was never molested as a child but our colleague will see was 4 years old he was molested by a male that was an adult and that began for a 4 year old can you imagine that a 4 year old he became sexualized and that became something that he fought for the rest of his life for me I never even had a sexual thought until I saw my 2 best friends and gage in a in a sexual. Situation but I was already 12 years old and before that it was disgusting to me it was something that never even occurred to me I remember my mother sat me down at 10 years old and told me the the facts of life and I looked and I go that's ridiculous nobody's ever going to do that you know thinking that this was disgusting right why would you put anything down there where you go to potty you know like that was him inside my head but again to point out the fact that children before puberty don't even have sexual thoughts and so the results of what this man did Alfred Kinsey I believe that he's brought this onslaught around the world thinking that children are sexualized which also has been the promotion of L G B T rights around the world as well. For as he think of them as hard that so he is Proverbs 237 so why would I sit there and call myself a gay Christian if I'm trying to leave that identity and if I'm not practicing in that identity even if I struggle with temptation does that mean that I'm a homosexual Of course not Jesus was tempted into the very last moments of his life but did he sin. You know the answer what's the answer of course not and so there has to be a difference between temptation and sin and behavior and I think it's important to know that even if I'm tempted for the rest of my life with same sex attraction the fact is that I no longer practice at and God gives me the strength to keep me from going into that as a matter of fact the Lord's actually given me healing to where I have attraction to the opposite sex so now you can imagine what it's like to go through puberty twice right so even though I still struggle with same sex attraction it's learning the power of Jesus Christ to hold me to keep me from running back into that and so just because I may have that temptation I refuse to be identified by that but let me take it just a little bit further if I call myself a gay Christian I remember that I went to these as I was struggling with pornography as an elder in my church I couldn't tell my pastor I couldn't tell the leadership and so I went to sex addicts anonymous classes about an hour away and the meeting was a 6 so that meant I had to be on the road by 5 and I did that for a year and I sat in a group with other men and sometimes women and we would sit there and say Hi I'm Mike I'm a sex addict you know and then we would speak what I found in that group is I found incredible transparency I was so relieved to at least know that I wasn't the only one and that there were other people that were struggling but what I didn't find in their eyes didn't find victory in my sin because every time I raised my hand I had to say Hi I'm Mike I'm a sex addict and while I understand the principle the principle is that I recognize that I could be tempted at any moment and by verbal E. saying that I'm vulnerable yes that's necessary but every time I said that high on my come a sex addict it's just the same thing is if I said Hi I'm a gay Christian that means that I identify with the thing that I'm trying to leave do you see the conflict that I'm creating and so the Bible says Whatsoever man think if in his heart that's so he is so if you keep saying that you're a gay Christian then you continue to connect yourself to the one thing that you're trying to leave so when I left that group I remember being frustrated and I said to God I cried out to God I said Lord this isn't working and while I found some Tran. Parents see I'm not finding victory in my life and it wasn't until I started to realize that my identity was no longer in my struggle my identity had to be in my Savior and as I put my identity in my Savior because he said in ministry of healing on the 1st page alone page 17 he says that he he restored men completely said physically spiritually and mentally and I circled that in my book in my margin and I said Lord this is on you you said that you could restore me because I can't and what that did is a started change that instead of thinking of myself identifying in my sin temptation I now started to put my identity in Jesus Christ and I found victory once again and so this is from Leonard Raven Hill I think it's amazing says oh I'm just a saved sinner and he said that's like saying you're a married bachelor That's like saying you're an honest thief or a pure harlot you can't be a save sinner you're either saved or you're a center and so you can't be a gay Christian right you're either gay or you're a Christian and I don't mean to be offensive in any way or to to denigrate people that have same sex attraction or that choose to be gay because you know what I respect anyone that chooses to be gay I get it but you know you can't be both and that's the one thing that I realized through the Word of God is I had to make a decision was a going to keep my boyfriend or was I going to keep my Savior and that conflict was really really difficult It wasn't like a light switch on the wall that I could just flip for my convenience what I had to do is I really had to struggle this out and through finding these precious promises that God had to give me not only truth but he had to give me truth that was bathed in love and that's what I found in ministry of healing let me tell you the difference. We may have the truth but it's the way we present the truth that I think that makes it so offensive and the Christian community has earned the reputation of being haters and judgers and forgive me if you will I belong to a black church I'm in a black conference and and it's very evident the the the prejudice against homosexuals practice or whatever I mean it's even a very taboo topic to talk about in black churches however what I do see is that not only do we have the truth but the truth has to be better than what the world's offering one of the things that I realized 18 years ago is as desperate as I was to hang on to my identity and my boyfriend as I started to leave those things because that's what God's word demanded I started to realize that what he was giving me was far better than what I got in that world how was it that I could be a single man after 18 years of being a Christian and still choose to live this life rather than my sexual attractions there was one night I was coming home from a Sabbath I was in my Sabbath suit and I took my friend to a store she had kids and she want to get some stuff to entertain them with in the evening and so they didn't have a bathroom simple as that and I thought well I need to find a bathroom so I left that store and I went to the 1st store that I thought was open that had a bathroom simple as that happen to be a biker bar like I didn't know right and so I spent my twenty's and thirty's in gay bars 3 nights a week that was my life and so as I run into this bar to use the bathroom I was in and out in 5 minutes of still in my Sabba suit right but as I go when I see the lights you know the disco balls going and I hear the music I can smell the alcohol in the cigarettes and I went into the bathroom and I came out that's how quick it was and went back to the store I picked up my friend I dropped her off at her house but I live in the country I live in the Smoky Mountains and so for that 12 mile ride into the woods into the dark woods where there's no street lights there's no houses it's just my little lonely log cabin in the woods as I'm driving out there I thought to myself on a Saturday night at 930 like what am I doing you know I should be waking up from my disco nap ready to get all my clothes ready to set the stage put the music you know on low and put the lie. Sonnen you know get ready to have an illicit situation and go out to the bar and as I'm having this struggle inside my mind and now I'm an elder in the church I'm a Christian right have been a Christian for about 67 years of a sudden I started to have this dialogue with God and I say 100 says come in let us reason together he gave us intelligence he said I'm not here to drag you into heaven kicking or screaming it has to be your decision each and every time but then Jesus said didn't I relieve you from a neighborhood where you live within 2 miles of 5 gay bars did not relieve you from addiction where you would get on the Internet and you would have an illicit lover over within 15 minutes didn't I get you debt free didn't move you to the country didn't I And he started to list all of these wonderful things that in my relationship with Jesus Christ that I had been experiencing and as I pulled into my driveway that night I said you're right Lord this is my decision I love my life and even though I was distracted for a moment by the things that used to call my name for 20 years that it was my decision to pull into my drive and to go to bed at 10 o'clock on a Saturday night in the arms of my savior every night that I go to bed I say Lord. If you got a woman for me you better get ready because I come from a bad history I said But Lord if you don't I'm OK How is it that our relationship with Jesus Christ and the in the intimacy that he provides for me is still far better than anything I've ever experienced before and I say Lord if you'll just be with me I can do this if you don't have someone for me I'll be all right as long as I have you he's a flask voice or he's a 1st he's the last person that I speak to at night and he's a 1st voice that I hear in the morning when I wake up and you know what he's far more faithful to me than I am to him but he reasons with me any reason says South for me and helps me to understand again that this is my choice and so if somebody identifies as gay and if that's your choice I have to respect that and it's not my position to condemn them because you know something it's my position to let them know what the love of Jesus does and I have the right to show them what that's like in my life because people have looked at me and they make judgments too and they say oh you know there's no way that you can be straight and you know it's just a matter of time before you go back into the gay life and you know what I can't argue with them because that's their judgment of me but I don't have the right to make the same judgment of them either I have to show them as a ministry of healing I keep coming back to that I hope to write that in your notes that I believe is the textbook to healing I hated that little book that would sit on my shelves my little ugly red book you have a bunch of I'm right and then the title alone of course is a turn off you know the only books you ever read was The Autobiography of Elizabeth Taylor that's not going to pull much much of your attention but. The even the title of ministry of healing and in that book I think it's around at page $0.15 that Christ method alone brought lasting results and so there you have a formula in a lot of times I would say to God you give me the formula I can follow it and the formula says that Christ method alone brought lasting results there you go and so I looked at it and there were 4 distinct things that Christ did that I believe really helped me number one he met people where they were and so guess what if you have a situation with a transgendered person and their name is Heidi when really they're a man then guess what you're not hurting anything to call them Heidi if that continues to keep the walls down so that they can hear what you're saying so that they know that you love them that's what they need to hear and so the 2nd thing that Christ did is he met them where they were and then he ministered to their needs what's their need they need to see Jesus Christ being lived out in somebodies life they need to know that Jesus Christ is in this pariah or someone that hates them and so guess what that's going to take time not only is going to take time to meet them where they are but then to minister to their needs and to show them who Jesus Christ is as Wayne says you might have to go over to your neighbor's house and knock on the door and invite him to dinner but don't put your bible at the end of the dinner table thinking that you can have a Bible discussion after the 1st meal is going to take several meals to not only win their confidence which is the 3rd step the 3rd Step right 1st step is meet them where they are 2nd step ministered to their need 3rd step when their confidence in that comes over time and then the 4 step is then bid them to follow Jesus Christ let me give an example Yeah let me give you an example there's a wonderful young lady names Lisa and probably some of you would know where. And so she was studying with this gay couple for 2 years 2 years every Friday night this gay couple is in her house Friday night and she called me and she was panicked and she said listen my God why do they want to talk about they want to study about homosexuality and I said bowl well what's the problem and she said Well I've been studying with them for 2 years I purposely avoided it I wanted to know the love of Jesus and you know something I really love them now they mean a lot to me and I don't want to hurt them in any way and she said you know the 2 guys they've accepted the Sabbath the state of the dead and these guys are so excited about Jesus Christ they said hey we're ready to be baptized we want to be baptized and Lisa's like OK and she's like is there any reason why we couldn't be baptized and and before she could answer they said Is it because we're we're gay and then the comment was Well what does the Bible say about homosexuality and she said well it hasn't been my issue so give me some time you know let me study and I'll get back with you and they said fine they trusted her and I was and I said to her and I believe it was all these because I'm not that bright but the Holy Spirit impressed me like wait a minute if you've been studying with them for 2 years in the Holy Spirit has been working in your living room on Friday night and you love them and you don't want to say anything to hurt them I said why don't you let the Holy Spirit discover that for them I said instead of you studying it and then getting it 2nd hand why don't you give it to them 1st hand and just say you know what because you're interested let's study this out together and that's what she did the following week they got together and because they were friends because they had or she had their confidence they trusted her and instead of making her own comments instead they open up the word and they started to discover it themselves in every verse that they went to the reaction of these 2 men was oh my oh my oh my. She didn't have to say a word the Holy Spirit was doing his job but she did her part she was doing the method of Christ she she met them where they were She ministered to their need she won their confidence and then she bid them to follow Christ to see the process so it's not like a microwave gospel you know we can't just pop them in the microwave and think that OK you're ready to leave your lover it takes time we have to invest in people and let them know that they matter what is the way you matter you belong and you are loved you know what happened I'm not sure I don't know the end of the story but let me let me let me ask you that is let's give you the let's give you a synopsis what if they said no we're not going to leave but if we're going to stay in our relationship what if they have children mortgages car payments together all right raise your hand if you're married in this room what if your relationship was illegal to God How easy would it be for you to walk away from that. And so these are real concerns and I'm really glad that you brought that up because all of that has to be taken into consideration and let's say that you study for 2 years with a gay couple and they decided you know what we're gay that's who we're going to be then what should your response be OK It's your right that's right we still love you come back next Friday let's continue to study and you know what it's not my job to change you it's his job to change you but my job never changed my job is to love you right where you're at and to be that good Christian for you and if I've got a 2 year relationship with you and I love you and you love me then we can weather this through and even if you never change it shouldn't change if. There is the door see and all those 2 years was a waste I don't think so and even if it that night they were willing to give their heart to the Lord that doesn't mean that I didn't do my job my job is just to plant the seeds and water them is not right and I may not be able to bring in the harvest but let me tell you they won't miss they won't forget Lisa for a long time. Is that fair. OK. All right how how far open does a door have to be for a snake to get in. And how much of the snake can get in the sea if you're if you don't always get this much how much of that snake could get in all of it right and so we have to recognize that if we if we sacrifice the standard of God then what we've done is we have compromised to the point where the whole the whole snaking get inside and I believe that we have to hold that better up I am crucified with Christ Nevertheless I live yet not I book Christ lives in me and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me I see this verse all bathed in intimacy the intimacy that Christ alone wants with each one of us and you know what I'm not the only one the struggles of being single raise your hand if you're a single person in this room now you guys are young you god you got to stop strong and hormones that are raging through your body your minds waning and giving away. So I still I still struggle with these sexual thoughts that come in my head but I also believe that if God can do it for me he can do it for you and he can give you the same singleness and I love what Dr Jackson was talking about today about the fact that it's that relationship with Christ when you have that relationship with Christ you don't need anything else and then that's when you're ready for something more and who knows what God has in store for your life one of when I was a G Y C and one of the things that I really see as an issue is 2 beautiful well educated women came up to me and they were sobbing I mean sobbing the snot cry and they thought that they had missed another year of not being able to find a husband because here they were they were G Y C thinking this is the best pool of single Christian men that I could find and it didn't happen for me again it was on the final day and I looked at them and I could see their pain and I could see their anguish and I thought to myself Wow how come I don't feel that way and I really started to take stock of my own life and in the last 18 years and there's been a few women where the Lord has brought to my. Attention and I thought wow I could actually see myself in a relationship with them in a marriage with them and you know what didn't work out in the Lord took them away and as I'm looking at these young women and of course for them they have concerns or near 30 they want to have families they want to have children and the only the only thing that came into my mind is I thought All right well you want to godly man you know that's why you came to a godly place to find a god godly man and I thought if your focus is all about family and getting married and having that right guy in your life then your focus is still off of Christ and if you put your focus back on Jesus Christ then 2 things will happen either number one you'll get so close to Christ and this man will show up and he'll see your dedication of Christ and guess what you'll be the right woman for him or what if you got so invested in working for Jesus Christ that all of a sudden you found yourself 60 years old and you're beholding Jesus coming in the clouds and you never worried again about whether you have the intention to be married and to have a family I don't know what that is for you I don't know what that is for each person but I do know this that when you're pining and wasting precious time wishing that you were married when you're not then the devil's got you he's discouraged you to the point where you're not even effective in working for God And so if the affection and the attention is in the right place then I believe that God can do miraculous and wonderful things for you I have a friend she's a single mother of 3 and she has this piece of paper on her mirror and it says I want to man so hitting Christ Oh no no no let me take away I want to be so hid in Christ that a man would have to find him to see me in that beautiful I want to be so hitting Christ that a man would have to find him to see me and that beautiful and so 2 things will happen either you'll find that right man because God will be able to to to reveal that to you or you'll be so dedicated in ministry you'll still live a successful and godly and a good life in a fulfilled life you know the Bible gives blessings for people who are single and I think that we put this on real. Mystic expectation on single Christian people oh who are you dating now oh you know you know a pretty girl like you and you're not married yet I mean we say these things and you don't even know the power of what you're saying you don't think that person knows are single it's like someone coming up to me and saying Oh Mike what happened here is like really. You don't think I know right oh how come you're so short whatever that is is like we don't realize the damage that we do to individuals with even those simple little comments. Anyway I don't know where that came from. I want to share with you this video but I can't cause there's no sound so we're just going to have to bypass it but it's really great so what's wrong with this picture oh did it come up yeah. Anyone see what's wrong with this picture other than whining OK Yes Paris. So what does that mean what's wrong with that what's wrong doesn't Jesus want to cover my sins. I'm picking on your parents. I'm. OK Did everybody hear that why does that make sense but this is the picture that we see and everybody like you know who goes over there they go oh isn't that compassion isn't that wonderful but Jesus doesn't want to cover up our sins we have to recognize our nakedness Isn't that right I love this this verse in Genesis $3711.00 it says they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden of the cool of the day and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden what are we talking about they had sinned right that's right said then the Lord God called to the man and said to him Where are you and what I love about the compassion of God Is it even comes through the revelation of their sin do you think God knew what they do do you think it escaped his attention what was going on when Eve was being tempted I would have loved to just snatched that fruit right out of her hand but God had to allow her free will to take place is not right but even after they'd sin even after they had implemented the plan of redemption where Jesus had to die on the cross and live a perfect life. Jesus' response to them instead of judgment is like what to do this time instead it was like Where are you right who had separated themselves from Christ they did by their circumstances and it's that compassionate that God didn't condemn them he just said where are you I'm sorry I just see so much compassion in that end and what is it he said Where are you and he said I heard the sound of you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked so I hid myself Revelation 3800 says I advise of you to buy of me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed and I said to anoint your eyes so that you may see and so how like the devil because he wants to expose us but isn't that beautiful that Jesus wants to cover us it's the devil that exposes us and makes us naked but it's Jesus that wants to clothe us. Deny him the power of Jesus Christ acceptance of the Gay Christian or approval of homo sexual practice is to say that the Word of God is null and void and that Jesus is all love and no power making Christ impotent is job number one for the devil and he knows that diluting the righteousness restoration in man is going to be the devil's throw down on the issue to draw men away from the sanctification process that is needful for heaven and communion with God the Father every time that I was in struggling with my temptations as a. Young Brother would you come up here and I use you as an example. It's not a speaking part so all you have to do is just stand there all right. So one day as I was struggling with my with my pornography and the struggle is the it's all right to stand there you'll be all right. I'll be the villain you'll be the good guys so so in a situation I one day as I was struggling with temptation it was coming and I knew I knew that this was wrong and again still knowing that I was a Christian because before I was a Christian it didn't matter but now I'm a Christian and just then I said you know what I don't care what it does to Jesus I'm just going to indulge it and so for the next hour or so I indulged it of course masturbation included that and as soon as it was all over of course the guilt in the condemnation came in and I prayed the only person I knew how to pray they said Lord will you show me what my sin does to you. Just show me what my sin does to you and because I was so cavalier I didn't care what it did to my savior it was a few days later and in my meditation time all of a sudden had this image in my mind and and sometimes the Lord will do that for me I'll have my devotion and I'll think about what Jesus accomplished for me on the cross and all the Senate get these images in my mind and the next image that I had is kind of your wrist this one and him and in this meditation I'm just holding somebodies wrist I'm thinking well how silly is that and I'm not holding their hand I'm just holding the wrist will who's wrist of my holding and in this image I look down the arm of the wrist that I'm holding and I look into the face of Jesus and as I'm looking into the face of Jesus he's looking at me and I'm looking at him and he can read my mind and I can read his mind and when I look into his eyes I see nothing but goodness and love for me it's a depth an intimacy that's just so mind blowing I struggle to look away but it's so intense that I just can't stop be holding his love for me there's nobody else in the room where the situation is just me and Jesus and that love for me is so intense and then I realized that that he's not standing up that Jesus is actually lying down and that he's lying down and thinking why am I not holding Jesus hand why am I holding his wrist and I look down and Jesus reveals to me through this look he says Mike because you indulge pornography the other day he said I have to die for that. Because of what you did in that one hour you were so cavalier you didn't care what mattered or what I had to go through he says I now have to die for that and I recognize that Christ died once for the for the sins of all mankind is not right but the fact that I asked him what my cavalier sin did to him he was willing to show me that so it's now my job to take that spike and run it through his wrist because of my behavior what I did and I look into his eyes and I expect condemnation I expect judgement and rejection but instead I still see this face of love and just then he turned his face away from me and he just looked straight forward and as you look straight forward it wasn't a rejection it wasn't like I'm so disgusted with you Mike Oh again I have to go through this instead what it was it was it was a dedication to me that was so deep and profound it was a determination it's like all right I'm ready I'm ready Mike I'll take this for you and that broke my heart thank you and what that did is it showed me it showed me not only what my sin did but it it helped me to realize that that what I was doing I was breaking this connection between my Savior and me it's not the sin that God find so disgusting what he finds so disgusting is a fact that he created you to be in an intimate relationship with him and that what sin does is it it interrupts this ability to relate intimately to me and that by allowing this sin to come in not only did he create me but then he redeem me back after sin came into the world and so he said the reason why Sin is an abomination isn't because of you and what you've participated in God sees it all the time he sees it how many times a day by countless millions around the world but he recognizes the true abomination is anything that interrupts my ability to relate to my creation not only did he create too but that he redeemed you wouldn't that be an abomination to you if you sent your child to die for somebody else and they still chose death instead. Do you see the power of that and so I had to understand the true definition of what an abomination really was Isaiah 521 to them they call evil good and good evil that put darkness for light and light for darkness that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter why because it sells you out to sit there and say that God's word is null and void then what you've done is you've cut me off from the opportunities for salvation and restoration and an intimate relationship with my Savior. 1st Corinthians 69 to 11 and we talked about this earlier their one attitude that when I came back into the church culture was was that God hated gays and that they were going to burn in a hotter hell than everybody else and you know that's the message that we got but why wasn't anybody talking about verse 11 and such were some of you and you know what I'm in pretty decent company because guess what you may not struggle with same sex attraction but I guarantee you you could probably find something in that list that it would apply to you and so instead of isolating me or ostracizing me why not come from an attitude of Christianity where you know what brother I don't struggle with what you struggle with and I've got my struggles too but Jesus hasn't verse 11 he's got a way out you know what let's help each other get there and you know what that does is it takes a condescension of Christianity out that I've arrived and I've been doing this you know what you poor lowly sinner you probably need a savior. Do you see the difference in that and when that appealed to you if you had somebody that was willing to get along side of you and just say hey we can find this out together and I don't have a perfectly because you know what the minute I start seeing Christians trying to act perfect it's pretty easy to see their downside right but what if I told you that I was vulnerable what if I told you that you know what I'm in the process of. Sanctification just like you are would that change it for you and instead of thinking that I have to be just like you and be perfect in be just like you instead I can be myself and that we can find this out together we only need one savior right. But we have a responsibility we have I believe we already have a. We call it a reputation they already have a reputation and that what we've done for years of we use the Bible to bust people over the head and to tell them that their only sin is going to hell and that you know that didn't work for them then and it's not working now and I believe that the devil has set us up to expose us now to now we are the ones that are the haters we have to have another game plan but that game plan is not give up the word of God because behavior modification is a good thing right and you can change things but we have to offer something better to the world otherwise you're not giving them anything you might be able to give them truth but that truth has to be better than what they're being given today in the world. This is our vision of coming out ministries to ignite an unquenchable movement restoring all men and women back to the image of their creator god. So what is the church what is the state of the church today. This is something that I found Look at this a liberal church says that you are welcome here and you do not have to clean up your life and illegal this church says that you are not welcome here until you clean up your life but Jesus says you are welcome here and I will change your life from the Inside Out Isn't that beautiful. So Sam 2nd Timothy 3 Verse 5 I believe is the the capstone for the pro gay movement in Christianity it says they have a form of godliness but deny the what the power it's one thing to be loving and that represents a 1st part because God is love and Dr Jackson made that very plain today that God is love but he's also a power and that power is a transformation and you may not struggle with same sex attraction your struggle might be something else but the power that you're experiencing in your walk of life has to be available for everyone and that if God calls it a sin he'd better have the answer for it otherwise he's no god at all and that was what I said to God as I started walking this walk away from my boyfriend walking into a relationship with Jesus Christ there were no resources in our denomination there was nobody talking about the victory that could be found but God was faithful to me and that he was willing to show that to me and as I began a ministry I met Wayne Blakely my pastor actually showed me an article that he had written for the review was that your 1st one and when I read that article I was shocked I thought you mean there's another person that came out of homosexuality and became an Adventist and as I started talking away and we started to find that there were other people as well and that's how coming out ministries was born because we realized that the power of God is still alive today but maybe many of you don't realize that a lot of people don't know that those options are still available. I believe that this is the pro gay movement in Christianity Isaiah Chapter 4 verse one it says in in that day 7 women shall take hold of one man saying we will eat our own bread we will wear our own apparel only let us be called by the name to take away that report our reproach and so what does the church represent. A woman is represented by a church right and so what is what is the bread represent I think I have it on here sure enough. Right bread is the Word of God is not right and then what is our own apparel the garment the robe the righteousness of Christ and so let me break this down if I can let me go back again focused too far so 7 women 7 what churches write a church says we will take hold of one man being Jesus and saying we will eat our own bread What does that mean will interpret the Bible the way we want to write and will wear our own apparel What does that mean we've rejected the righteousness of Christ and we have our own righteousness and says only give us your name and what is his name Christian that's right to take away our reproach I believe that this represents the pro gay movement in Christianity far more than anything else and what it does is it destroys that power that's in Christ so let me go past this again. I'm actually get through this whole presentation. So membership in leadership and so here we are now now we can't fight it it's coming there's no turning away from it but we have to be able to meet it head on I love how my colleague Ron Woolsey talks about how the church should be like a hospital or a Follow me on this and I'll try to break it down in a hospital you have 2 kinds of people you have health professionals and you have those that are sick is not right what would a hospital be if you didn't have any sick people closed would be OK all right and so a church is a same way we have 2 kinds of people that are coming in and I'm not in any way making any judgments about this but you have people of that that accept the Bible that are living in courting to that Bible right and those principles and those are the ones that are teaching Sabbath school those are the ones that are doing the sermons those are one that are leading out and they were baptized members and so a lot of times the question is you know when do we baptize homosexuals and can't wait and so here's my understanding is just like a hospital what would happen in the hospital Walvis and you put the sick in charge of healing the sick. They would die OK they would and so here's the problem we need people that are grounded in the Word of God to be able to minister to those and so somebody this actively living at home a sexual life is not ready for membership they're not ready for baptism However they belong in our churches they should feel comfortable they should feel welcome they should feel like they have a belonging but they're not ready for leadership because leadership gives them a vote it also gives them a voice and it gives them influence and so we have to make sure that we have the the the the the line drawn very clearly but they should feel welcome and they should feel loved and so let me take for an example a woman that was a prostitute and an alcoholic and a pill popper and she comes to church and she's stone and high all the time what job do you think she's really appropriate for. Changing diapers that's the best I could give her you know what you can go to the baby's room is a huge church and they said you can change diapers and she said you know what I was changing diapers for Jesus you know she's changing these baby diapers for Jesus and all of a sudden guess what she started to feel important and so she started to drink less she wouldn't drink at church and she would only drink at home and she would say to God she goes Lord I need my drink I need my drink and he say read the words she said but I need the alcohol and he read the word and she said but I mean the I'll call he goes hold the glass and read the word so while she is drinking the alcohol she's reading the Word of God and as she's reading the Word of God and going to church and changing those diapers then one day somebody said hey would you like to help out in the puppet in the puppet show I just need to work the hand of this one puppet and as she started to work the puppet she was really good at that and then one day she was the the puppet master and she was doing the plays for the little kids or whatever and one day she was standing up there with her glass in her Bible and she said Wait a minute I'm a teacher I don't need the same are you know that's the process of what God is and there's a process to that there definitely is a work that we can give people that aren't ready for baptism but as they are following the Word of God and as you're finding change in the light what is the Bible say meat showing meat for repentance right that means that a gay couple will have to split up their home that means that a gay couple that has children they're going to have to get divorced to be able to be ready to have membership in the church and that's a very painful and difficult process it's going to take time and it's going to take time for them to get to that understanding in your question maybe wait a minute that's us it makes sense why would you say that divorcing a same sex couple that have children how would you say that that's beneficial for the children let me give you an example I was talking to a young woman named Lisa who who's also working with coming out ministries and she was a lesbian for about 15 years she was in a relationship she was she was now starting to read the Word of God and she was convicted that she needed to to leave her girlfriend Well her girlfriend was infirm she had back surgery she was unable to work Lisa was the breadwinner in. The relationship and Lisa's lover also had a daughter that was 15 years old and pregnant with with a disabled baby and she's saying Lord I can't leave her because you know I have to support them they they rely on my monetary existence you know to be able to you know to stay safe and the Lord said to her he said if you don't leave I can't reach her to see the difference even in a gay relationship if we live according to God's word that even splitting up a home to do it 2 to 2. To follow God's word allows the blessing of God to come in there while we're still living in a simple situation God's hands are tied from the blessings that he wants to give to your family or to that family and so doesn't that make sense that even in a situation like that God was telling Lisa if you don't get out of that relationship I can help them and that starts to help me understand that even when to me it doesn't look right why would you split up a perfectly perfectly good home that was loving that has children when we live according to the Word of God Let me take an example of a couple that's just living together maybe a couple living together they're heterosexual maybe they have 2 or 3 kids and you say listen if you if you don't get married you're not ready for baptism and what if they realize that the only connection that they have is these 3 children you know all of a sudden they stop doing the drugs and alcohol and they realize that they're not meant to be together if they were to split up that home they were ready to be baptized if they weren't ready to be married and God still can put a blessing in that does that make sense. Church culture men's ministry I don't want to be running around the woods like a bunch of games so let me tell you the reaction that I had when I came into my church so the church I was baptized and I just want to say this I was baptized into a black Caribbean church and let me tell you something I experienced an immense amount of love in that church and so when I moved to Tennessee I don't have any problem sharing what I'd been through and I told everybody freely Well this white church and I can say that because I am this white church their response to me was very much different I went to the pastor asking for men's ministry and they said well you know will make you the head of it and I said No no I need a man's ministry I need to know how to relate to men in a nonsexual when they said oh well we'll make you the head of it or you said OK I get it he said why don't you come and give your idea to the to the group there was a local camp where we could go camping Father's Day weekend I had a speaker arrange that could come and talk to the men about men's issues so I brought it up to the team and there was this highly esteemed Dr on the board and he sat there and he looked right at me any pointed at me and he said I don't want to be running around the woods like a bunch of gay men in the past or didn't defend me neither did the head elder they allowed this man to say what he said to me and I got in my car and on my way home that night after I've been in the church for 4 or 5 years now I said to God I hate your church and I hate your people. And the Lord said to me so why do you go I said why go because that's where the truth is and he said So what do you do when you go I said why go to worship it was not what you asked they said Jack they said Keep going there and in the process learn to forgive them because they are my people too God didn't give me a pink slip and tell me that I could go to another church that I could act out sexually or leave the church behind he said that I needed to stay there and learn the process of forgiveness myself as a blessing to myself and it took 3 years sorry I'm a slow learner. But after 3 years there were these 2 sisters and we were studying the Bible together and they didn't really like the big church they like the smaller black church in my community and I prayed to God I said Lord I'd just take them to the little black church and then go back to mine and he said no it's time for you to go and so he blessed me and I went to the head elder of this little black church he was a 70 year old man that worked in a factory and basically the church members were his family there was about 17 of them and I said to my said you have any room in your church for an X. homosexual X. sex addict and he looked at me and he said Well have a seat with all the other centers miking can you preach every now and then because we don't have a regular preacher and his reaction to me was completely different yeah yeah yeah but you know I needed to learn the process of forgiveness in that church and so as I as I talk about the transition of the different churches let me give you a final illustration and then we'll bring it to a close talking about the power of what those men were able to give me their only male 5 men in this church and there was a little guy I would see him walk into the story had one leg his name was Willie we called him one legged Willie that wasn't hard right and so I'd see him hobbling to the store and he'd have his groceries and so I give him a ride and he lived in a house that didn't have any running water and so he smelled really bad in my car and so I invited I said Listen come to my house I said you can take a bath and I'll cut your hair and shave your face and I'll make you something hot and so we did that for a few times and as we would talk about God Eventually he I asked him I said Would you like to go to church with me sometime and he said I don't have a suit and I said I'll get just 2 so I went to a secondhand store got him assume we dressed up Willie you know I. Work in the beauty industry I can make him look good so we went to church that weekend Ironically it was communion Sabbath so I sat him down I washed his foot and I tell people that I got 50 percent off a foot washing that week. And I didn't expect him to reciprocate because of course he was a visitor but one of the men in that church he came up to me and there were only 5 of us in that room very small church and he said Mike let me serve you and I said it isn't necessary I'm with Willie and I was so used to rejection from men that didn't expect anything I you know most of the time I was I was fearful to give a man a hug for fear that he might think that was copping a feel but this man he was moved by the Holy Spirit he didn't know how to help somebody like me but the Holy Spirit said washed up Brothers feet nobody Servan him and so he insisted and so I sat down and he washed my feet I wasn't afraid to touch me the Holy Spirit was moving on him all he said was just some kind real things he said Mike I love your enthusiasm for Jesus what a blessing you are in our church that's all he said and then as he said he started to pray over me and the other men in that room they were touched by the Holy Spirit too and they didn't know how to help somebody that came from homosexuality but the Holy Spirit said Get up and touch up brother and every one of those men came over to me and while my brother was praying for me they just really put their hand on my shoulder and as that man prayed for me they were pronouncing over me this masculine blessing and for the 1st time in my life I realized that I wasn't part of the ladies' lunch club anymore that was being included by the men and that brought me great healing and of the Bible says that that iron sharpens iron so does the countenance of a man sharpen another one's And I needed to know how to legitimately be loved by men and to love men in a non-sexual way because that's what God wants us to express to each other and you know what the Lord was able to bring that to me so while the other church cut off that opportunity to help me Isn't it amazing that God still brought me to the point where I could be affirmed by men and they're still able to do that for me today we have an obligation we have a job it's not our job to to reject people or to accept them in their sin. Our job is to love them and to show them that God's way is not only truth but it's got to be better than what they're being given out that makes sense we have to become informed so thank you for coming I think that you're starting that process let's pray that we stand together as we close. As it's been beneficial Amen amen All right let's pray. Heavenly Father thank You Lord for the challenges that we have on a daily basis and my heart is touched by Andrea and the comment that she made that we have to praise you we don't have to Lord it's our delight it's an honor and an opportunity to praise the Lord in all things and how is it Lord that we can see our church is crumbling apart and we see the world under attack and we know Lord that things are not going to get better but I praise you Lord for the opportunities that we have to not only hear testimonies but also to experience through your word Lord that you have the solution already worked out how wonderful Lord that that you're not asking us to. Excuse me to be people over the head but instead Lord to offer them something better than what they've experienced and Lord had there not happened to me I wouldn't be here I mean all Lord that I'm here at all and even if you just gave me that freedom Lord and allowed me to live in the country until you came I'd be happy but to give me a voice Lord to be able to tell people around the world your goodness the power to save and that that power never came for me and it never could come from me but the Lord if we connect people to the power of Jesus Christ that all kinds of miraculous things can happen even to a person that same sex attracted and so Lord I pray that these men and women here today that they have come with a curiosity maybe with their own experiences their own lives and I pray Father that you will begin this journey that you will help to equip the church so that we can be able to stand up there and instead of rejecting Lord or accepting that we can show the redemption that only comes through you that you would be honored and glorified and we know Lord. That when we get that message that there is going to be great trials and tribulations for us but Lord thank you thank you for the wonderful promises that you've given to us and the opportunities to see lives changed and I pray Lord that your team will be full because of these meetings that we have experienced today may you be honored and glorified forever is my prayer Jesus' name amen this media was brought to you by audiotapes a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a Visit W W W dot audio Verse dot org.

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