Jason International

Christliche Selbsthilfegruppen und Seelsorge für Lesben und Schwule, Ex-Gays und ihre Lieben

Blog

The Gay Cross

Posted on March 29, 2014 at 12:15 AM

The idea of carrying a cross and denying myself has been on my mind a lot lately, and I just read a book this week that had an excellent chapter about it.

 

Nowadays there is such a move on for an easy religion where we decide what parts of the Bible apply to us and what parts don't. There are too many Christians who are reasoning around Scripture, instead of taking it as God's inspired Word.

 

I have been of the thinking for a long time, that if we truly love God, want to do His will, and live a life that pleases Him, we aren't going to try to weasel around as much Scripture as we can. We won't live as close to the edge as we can.

 

There is such a move on in this day to throw out what the Bible says about homosexuality being a sin. They use all kinds of excuses:

"Its not fair for God to let me be born this way and not give in"

"As long as its a loving relationship, God doesn't condemn that" Oh really? Where does it say THAT?

 

And other excuses.

 

Being a Christian isn't supposed to be easy. That whole carrying your cross thing.... that doesn't mean warm fuzzies. It means dying out to everything - even ourselves and our sexuality - and serving God no matter what.

 

It took me a while to decide I needed to get serious about serving God, and casting aside the life I have been living. I knew what it meant to do that:

Celibacy

No sexual fulfillment at all

Loneliness

Rough days

Rougher days

 

It doesn't sound fun. Picking up my cross means battling what comes so naturally to me, being gay, lusting after guys, fulfilling that lust. Will it be hard to stop? A thousand times yes. Am I alone? No, and there could be worse crosses than to carry a gay cross.

 

Look at Nick Vujicic. He was born with no arms or legs. Does he have a heavy cross to carry? For sure, and if I had to pick, I'd pick homosexuality. Its a hard thing to deal with, but I can't imagine dealing with what he does.

 

Joni Earekson Tada. Paralyzed from the neck down since 1978. What a heavy cross. How difficult it must be to serve and trust God, a God who I am sure she has prayed to for healing many times and never got......... sound familiar? If you struggle with same-sex attractions, you have probably done the same. I have. I have begged God to make me "normal", begged him to fix me. He hasn't. And maybe there is a reason.

 

God has used, and is using these two individuals in ways they could never have been used if they didn't have the physical limitations that they have. If I had gotten a true relationship with God and determined to serve Him no matter what, picked up my very heavy cross and kept going, who knows how God could have used me...... and who knows how He still could use me if I get total victory over my desires and stay surrendered to God.

 

Those among us who deal with same-sex attractions and want to reason around what the Bible says, who want to "have their cake and eat it too" - have a sexual relationship with the same sex and be a Christian...... they aren't taking up their cross and denying themselves. They have decided they are going to make the Bible fit into their lifestyle, and have tossed the cross aside. How sad it will be for them when they face God.

 

I wish it weren't so. I wish I could be gay and Christian, as in give into my desires and serve God, but that isn’t  possible. God wants it all, even my sexuality. It isn’t easy, but those who truly sell out for God rarely do have it easy. It could be worse. I could have no limbs, or be paralyzed, or be in prison for my faith, being beaten and tortured. Same-sex attractions/struggles? We have it easy compared to many, and who do we think we are claiming we are the exception to carrying our cross and denying ourselves? God wants us to pick up our cross, our gay cross, deny ourselves and our sexuality, and follow Him. It won't be easy, but it will be worth it.

 

Mark B.

I'm Free!

Posted on March 27, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Last year, I was privileged to see a great production of the Bible story of Jonah. It was both entertaining and moving. They brought out the Gospel in it like I never got from reading the Biblical narrative of the story. It was powerful.

The best scene was after Jonah gave his message to the people of Nineveh. They repented, stripped off their outer armor and royal robes and sang the following song:

I’m Free

By Don Harper

I was shackled in the chains of my own making

Drowning in a sea of all my woe

Somehow I knew a reckoning was coming

Bitter tears would only sting this ravaged soul

Then the God of earth and Heaven

He showed Himself among us

And falling to my knees, I finally prayed

“Jehovah God on high

If I live or if I die

Take this burden of my sin away”

And now I am free

I’m finally free

With a mercy amazing

A miracle’s been given me

‘Cause now I’m free

By the hand of my Savior

My debt has been redeemed

And far as the east is from the west

This God alone is the difference in me

For now I’m free

I am free, oh yes I am free

I am free, thank God I am free!

In the mercy and grace that You give each morning

We will sing Your praise

Every voice we will raise

To the end of our days

We will bless Your name

And now I’m free

I am finally free

With a mercy amazing

A miracle’s been given me

‘Cause now I’m free

By the hand of the Savior

My debt has been redeemed

And far as the east is from the west

This God alone is the difference in me

For now we’re free

Free, we’re free

Oh we’re free

Now we’re free

Yes we’re free

Free, we’re free.

Oh we’re free

Now we’re free

Yes, we’re free

Free, we’re free

Oh, we’re free

We’re free!

They sang this song twice. The second time, Jonah led it as the closing song of the production. The song is powerful and I cried both times. It loses some of its power on a CD. It was so much more seeing people in repentance singing it. It really hit me hard.

I had some thoughts I wanted to get down as I watched the show, and will do my best to get them across in my bumbling way:

1) Everyone has a Nineveh.

At some point in any Christian's life, there is going to be something He fears to do, yet knows that he needs to. There is going to be something God wants him to do that he doesn't want to do.

Right there in that theater, my Nineveh came to me. Homosexuality. I know God wants me to walk away from it forever, yet it is so hard to do so. It has woven its chains around my heart, soul, and mind.

And they aren't the only chains I wear. I told someone recently that I am in bondage to my family, especially my parents. They want to keep me close by where they can monitor me, make sure I am living up to their expectations. I have had this strong feeling lately that I need some space between them and I to be what God wants, not what they want. That will be hard, and although I can't claim to be where I need to be with God yet, I am already praying to Him about it. I made the statement to a friend of mine, and it is true: if it came down to knowing God wanted me to do something, and my parents didn't want me to do it....... I'm not sure I could do what God wanted me to do.

Another chain is religion. I was raised in a strict conservative church. A lot of focus is on the outward. Too much. I grew up judging people's Christianity by how they look. Is the outward important? Yes. The Bible does talk about modesty, and I believe it is Biblical that men should look like men and women like women. If you can't tell what gender someone is, how is that pleasing to God........ but should men tell us how to dress? What to do and what not to do? If people really want to please God, they won't need rules from their church. They will let God show them. And if they really love God and want to please Him, they won't try to get as close to the edge of what is right or wrong.

The day may come when I need to change churches, or just get away from the church and seek out what God expects from me. I would face a lot of pressure and be fought on that, but can I run from that? Should I just do what my church says and what my parents expect to keep others happy?

Another Nineveh: I have felt for some time that God wants to use my struggles. That scares me. I don't mind talking about them on a blog where I am anonymous or even talking one on one, but to come out in public.... yikes. I feel like running already.

2) When you are running from something, you are running to something else, and often that is worse than what you are running from.

This thought isn't original with me. That statement was made in the Jonah production, and it really hit home. And it is true. Not just for Jonah. I thought about this, and it is true for me.

This may sound I like I made it up, but when I heard that statement, it was if God leaned down and told me that I had been running toward homosexuality all these years, and it was worse than what I was running from.

For years, I have been running. Running from loneliness, from negative feelings. Any time I felt those emotions, I'd turn to pornography and anonymous sex to ease the loneliness and emptiness within me.

But the thing is, what I ran to was worse than what I was running from. I cannot describe the feelings I have experienced with so many sexual encounters. Many were with guys whose names I didn't even know. There were times I dabbled in things that I never thought I would, just to fill a void. But the void got worse.

Can a gay guy find a solution to loneliness in homosexuality? Can they find love? Some may for a while. Gay relationships just don't last very long. And I have to wonder about the ones that do. Is it really love, or is it just a really close friendship. From what I have seen, most gay relationships that last a long time have a few things in common:

1) One or both of the couple is cheating on the other.

2) The couple has a 3rd or more in to have fun with

3) Sex is rare and sometimes non-existent

God has never, and will never, ordain a sexual relationship between people of the same gender, and that is why I believe the relationships don't last. I have thought about totally walking away from what I know is right, embrace my gayness and seek a relationship, but it wouldn't last. In the end, I would be worse off than ever, and more broken.

How much better off I would have been if I had run from homosexuality instead of running toward it. I haven't escaped loneliness or emptiness. I felt more lonely than ever and more empty and broken than I was before I took those steps to pursue my desires, instead of God's. What I ran toward is indeed worse than what I ran from. And in running toward my sexual desires, I ran from God and what He wanted for my life.

3) God gives second (and more) chances.

Through Jonah. God said He was going to destroy Nineveh in 40 days. After they repented, God let them live and did not destroy them. And Jonah got a second chance to do what God had commanded him to do. Where would any of us be if God did not give us more than one chance? Most of us would not be alive. And He has given me countless chances.

4) We don't always get what we deserve.

Jonah didn't deserve to get out of the whale. He was a prophet of God who was determined to not do what God wanted him to do, yet God gave him a wake-up call instead of death. And the people of Ninevah deserved to be destroyed. They were wicked, yet God forgave them when they repented and did not destroy the city.

I hate to think of what I deserve. AIDS, death...... yet I am healthy. I've had a few scares, yet I am alive and healthy. After having sexual encounters with 200+ men...... could it be because God has a plan for my life in spite of all my mess ups, all my sin, all my running?

5) God can and will forgive anyone.

The devil is a powerful and smart enemy and strategist. He doesn't just have one weapon, he has countless weapons. One is lies. If he can get us to believe certain lies, most of his battle is won. He had had me convinced that God didn't care, didn't love me, that I had sinned to badly and too often to ever be completely forgiven. But that is a lie.

God can and will forgive anyone. He forgave the wicked people of Nineveh. He has forgiven me. Yes, I sinned and was far from what God wanted, but I was not beyond redemption, I have not done anything God will not forgive. And I need to remind myself of that daily.

6) God can use anyone. After running from what God asked him to do, and being swallowed by a fish, Jonah didn't seem like someone that God could use, but he was. And a whole city repented and found God.

When I look at myself, I can't see anything that God could possibly use. My talents seem few and small. I have failed him more than I haven't. I feel below average. But if I surrender to Him, who knows how He could use me.

The story of Jonah is much more than just a story about a man that ran from God and got swallowed by a big fish. Read it and think about it.

It has really resonated in me. I wanted to run to God and beg His forgiveness after the production. I didn't do that, but it changed me, and was one more thing God used to bring me back to Him in a whole new way.

I hope I got across the thoughts I have had on my mind since seeing the production of Jonah. It truly was a powerful message.

Mark B.