Homosexuality: The Leprosy of Christianity
In 1999, the Lord laid on my heart to start this ministry. I didn’t know much at the time. All I knew or had heard from Him were short things that led me forward. It was like a breadcrumb trail that led me slowly, step-by-step through a process the Lord was preparing me for.
I was listening to one of the presenters at a Promise Keepers conference in 1993, when I heard the Lord say to my spirit, “That’s what I want you to do.” I responded, “Do what?” “Be a public speaker.” Almost shocked at His statement, I asked, “And talk about what?” Silence, for the next four years. Finally I heard, “This is what I’ve called you to.” A message of hope that I wasn’t ready for, but the Lord was saying it was time.
That day in ‘93 was the beginning of a journey the Lord started me on to share a message of hope with anyone who was willing to listen. I guess that makes you one of those willing. Welcome!
What is this message of hope the Lord has me sharing? Is this message about people being delivered from same-sex attractions and any other forms of temptation plaguing them? No. Have all of your temptations ceased to exist? Me neither.
However, there IS GREAT HOPE!
What is this message of hope? Is it a message of people leaving homosexuality? Is it about helping Christians to come out of isolation and fear who are struggling with homosexual feelings? Is it to support parents in loving their gay-identified or struggling children as Jesus does? Is it to educate the Church on the issue of same-sex (sexual) attractions? Is it to assist the Body of Christ in helping people walk with the Lord and away from homosexuality? Yes. That’s a LOT. Yes, yes it is.
We do a LOT with the small amount of funding we’re very fortunate to receive. Yet, we receive only a small amount of exposure for all the work we do. Despite this, people’s lives ARE being touched, and aimed towards Jesus, daily.
I’m going to share about three recent incidents that have propelled me to seriously reevaluate what I’m saying, what I’m teaching, and how I’m communicating this message of hope to others.
The first situation involves a very intelligent 24-year-old man who recently met with me and eagerly started reading my book, The Transparent Life. He tore through it, reading the 210 pages in just a few days! He’s been texting and asking me questions on a regular basis. On several occasions I’ve called him back. During one of those calls, he shared, “I did what you suggested in your book and shared with my guy friend. He rejected me.” Ouch! I had to console him. I told him his friend had not rejected him, but the issue of homosexuality.
I told him, “Homosexuality is the leprosy of Christianity.”
The second incident that clued me in that I needed to start doing something different, was when an older family member recently spoke with me. She is someone who has read every newsletter I’ve ever written. (There’s probably not too many people who can claim such!) She called me very upset, because someone close to her had “come out” as gay, and had done so publicly. I asked her a series of questions to try to understand why she was upset. It was obvious to me that she did not understand the issue at all—even after reading all of the newsletters and my articles over the many years of ministry. Ouch again!
The third situation occurred earlier this month at a church where numerous ministries were represented, ours being one of them. There came a time for all of us to be prayed over by the congregation. I went down front with the other leaders and found a clear spot to stand. Adults surrounded all of the ministry representatives, but no one was coming near me. I was trying my best to protect my feelings, I knew the Lord would show Himself true. Eventually, a small group of TEENAGERS came forward, yet, no adult ever came. One young man laid his hand on me, and prayed over me. I was touched, yet equally saddened. Ouch once again!
The sad part is, this was not the first time Christian adults have shunned me over this issue. It’s as if I smelled bad, like I had “leprosy.” I had to remind myself of the same truth I had told the young man—they’re rejecting the issue of homosexuality, not me. BUT, it’s very difficult when it’s happening to you.
These three cases, plus countless similar instances over the years, exemplify a world-wide stigma towards homosexuality and ignorance of same-sex attraction, especially within the Church. I’m not saying ALL Christians are ignorant. But, I AM saying that WAY TOO MANY are treating people—like me and the 24-year-old young man—as lepers used to be treated.
Jesus NEVER did this. He talked with them. He listened to them. He touched them. He healed them. He loved them! In other words, He interacted with them as humans (who happened to have leprosy), rather than as lepers (who happened to be human).
There are two actions I’m going to take to address the ignorance and stigma within the Church. One, I’m going to start focusing more on educating people through the newsletter and full-length teachings that will be available. The second is, we are introducing Hope Rising, a one-day experience of our annual five-day Hope for Wholeness Conference. We will travel around the country and would love to come to your city, so invite us! Go to our website > Events > Hope Rising!
In addition to these new changes, we’re also thrilled to share that the ministry and network are growing—praise God! At the same time, we’re also dealing with the reality that funding has not increased. Yet, we will thank Him even for that, as Ephesians 5:20 exhorts us to thank Him for ALL things. You may or may not realize, but this ministry touches lives every day, and you play a HUGE part with your prayers and support. If you aren’t currently, will you consider partnering with us through both your heartfelt prayers and your sacrificial giving?
YOU ARE NEEDED AND APPRECIATED! Thank you!