about Me

about Me

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I posted this article a few weeks ago about Alan Chambers, the President of EXODUS INTERNATIONAL, who officially closed the doors of the ministry and offered a public apology to gay people who have been hurt over the last 37 years by it and its unfulfilled promise/hope of conversion and sexual orientation reassignment.

CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/exodus-international-closes-article-1.1378129

I have been extremely outspoken about EI over the years, and was even very opinionated about Alan, personally, after seeing him interviewed by Lisa Ling for the documentary, 'Pray the Gay Away' some time ago. My thought was that people like him (he is married to a woman and has two adopted children) just continue/reinforce the illusion that gay people can change their orientation, or that orientation is a choice. Without even knowing him, I judged him as being a liar, a coward, and a hypocrite because he just seemed to me like another gay man in denial, and I'm so far on the other side of coming out that I want to tell every gay person (including every gay Christian) who is married to the opposite sex to stop the delusion and the delaying of the inevitable, and just come out so that both they and their spouse can stop living a lie and get on with their authentic lives...

And in the last three years since coming out, I have received so many letters from gay people who have told me horror stories of being put through conversion therapies, shock treatments, exorcisms and what have you, and nearly every one of those letters included a reference to being a part of EI at one time or another...so my already negative opinion of it was greatly colored to be even more intolerant of it.

In a word, I rejoiced when I read that Mr. Chambers had ended the ministry.

But I was invited to a retreat last week of mostly ministers, and Alan Chambers was there and we spent some time together and talked very openly and candidly over a couple of meals during the week, and what I found from meeting him and talking to him was that I still have a lot to learn.

As it turns out, Alan is a good man, and from what I can tell, seems to be a good husband and a good father. In our initial conversation I was very free in expressing my ideas about what I thought about him and about people that I perceive to be like him, and I said several things that he could have easily been offended by or taken issue with, but he seemed fine with everything I said.

He listened very calmly and intently to me, and never took a defensive posture about his marriage and/or about what it represents, especially in the Christian church-world. He was very open minded about everything that we talked about, and even gave me a better understanding of what EXODUS actually was and was not.

And even though he is on somewhat of a different theological page, he never got argumentative over my interpretation of Scripture, and never passed judgment on me for my decision to come out and live as an openly gay man (and stay in the ministry...)

Most importantly for me, he never denied that he has SSA, and knows he always will.

I was so impressed with him, that by the end of the week I offered him an apology for all I had thought and said about EI and about him, and thanked him for educating me about several things that I needed to know.

Don't get me wrong, I still think the world would be a better place if all the gay people in it would just go ahead and come out and stop trying to be something that they are not and never will be. And I still do not believe in conversion therapy (although, according to Alan, EI never actually dealt in that, which was news to me)...I still believe that it is very dangerous.

But I met a man at that retreat who was and is in a different place in his life than I am, and I understood that he has to do what he feels is right for him, just like I had/have to do what was/is right for me. He loves his wife. He loves his kids. His children are still small, and he is very engaged in their lives, which I certainly understand (been there, done that), so his commitment to his home-life is the product of a very different paradigm from mine (one with grown kids)...

What I realized after talking to him is that every person's (including every gay person's) journey is completely different, and is, frankly, none of my business. If Alan Chambers chooses to stay married to his wife for the rest of his life, live in the heterosexual relationship model, and raise his children in a more traditional home setting, then more power to him...especially because he is telling the truth about his innate sexual orientation, and not pretending that it is something that it is not. And, even more especially, because he is not condemning of those of us who could no longer live that way.

It was good for me to meet him and talk to him.

I learned a lot.

And I'm still rejoicing that EXODUS INTERNATIONAL is no more (by the way, it was very brave of Alan to close it)...

And I'm happy that Alan Chambers is my brother...

 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less.
That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought."
(Matthew 5:5 - The Message)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

FIRST THE GOOD NEWS: A Thorough Examination

Hi Bishop!

Kevin Main blessed me with a copy of your book and I finally got it on Thursday. Read almost half of it in the first sitting that same day, then finished it off on the second pick-up on Saturday (yesterday). I had felt like I was the last person on earth to get to read it and so the anticipation was huge. I had avoided, as much as I could, reading your early blogs that shared parts of the rough draft and I think I only read one. So I really wasn't sure what to expect.

What I discovered was a book that captivated me, kept a smile on my face faithfully, brought me to tears more than once and continued to confirm what I've always said before: you are the most anointed and relevant minister I've ever known.

This is a well-crafted masterpiece. Rare and original. I'd often toyed with the idea of creating such a book based on my own studies and life. But in the past few years when I finally discovered that there were believers who had already published such affirming books I felt it was not necessary, nor did I feel any longer qualified as theirs were so good.

Yours certainly joins the ranks as a "must read" and adds so much more to it that, as you said, it's not really just a book about being gay. You had something to say that no one else could have said.
I also appreciated the fact that you shared opinions/beliefs that are not necessarily in alignment with those of other authors of gay-affirming books. Such as what certain verses really say. Example, if Jesus really did (even thru implication) say anything about gays, if the word Eunuch could imply both gays AND physically mutilated men, if Paul ever had in mind any same-sex oriented men in  his writings, etc.

I'll admit when I first read books such as Gay Christian 101 (by Rick Brentlinger), The Children Are Free (Connely & Tyler?), Pastor Sandy Turnbull's latest (God's Gay Agenda), etc, I was quick to agree with their findings. We often do that, don't we? We can get so eager to "prove" our beliefs, so when we hear anything that adds weight to our argument we eat it up! "See! See! They see it too! Why can't you?!" hehehe.

But you have helped me to appreciate, once again, a diversity of perspectives. Even concerning bisexuality. So I'm still digesting all you said and of course will begin reading it again probably later today or tomorrow. I'm still shaping and forming my beliefs as we all are. Right now I DO think the books of the Bible contain many affirming passages (including things Jesus said) and that in it's original language and context none of the "clobber" verses were referring to the committed love relationship found between two people. But again I take your thoughts into consideration and value them equally as well.

As I've said before, our personal stories aren't identical but they do have points that are similar, so your personal letters at the end to your kids and Terri and Debye moved me personally as well. Your pain from venom-laced messages from "concerned friends" is a pain many of us have felt for decades, yet I think you probably get top-prize for volume. Take what I dealt with from others and multiply it by a gayzillion and that's probably what you went thru. Hats off to ya again! You stood your ground, kept your cool (as much as you could) and are still standing!

Finally, I thought your book was complete and covered much of my favorite issues within religion, fundamentalism, and current mainstream theology. I loved the way you kept the GOOD NEWS thread clear through it all. You wrote about what you knew and that was powerful! I only have three questions that lingered in my mind as I finished.

1. You had mentioned in Chapter 9 that you'd talk about David & Jonathan but you didn't get a chance to or perhaps changed your mind about addressing your thoughts on their relationship. I'm just curious what you see there between them, if anything.

2. You mentioned not really seeing others as bisexual. I, myself, don't use that label anymore, but I still have to admit I have an attraction to women. I've read studies on how its all on a scale and that someone can be like 80% attracted to the same sex and 20% to the other or 60% to same and 40% to opposite and so on. From an early age I recall attractions to both and they were genuine. So I can't deny its a real issue for some. If we flat out deny there is such a thing as a bisexual, isn't that the same as when others flat out deny that we are born gay or that we could have possibly started having same-sex attraction at an early age? Which brings me to the final question:

3. You mentioned believing that we are born gay. I believe the same also. But do you think its hereditary? In the genes? From what limited studies I've found on it, there does seem to be some findings to suggest it, and in my own family I've seen a match on what I read but I was just curious what you think.

So once again you have created a gem, worthy to stand alongside all your other classics. Your mind, your writing style, your "realness", your wit, your ability to talk TO this generation and not over them or down to them (us) is always refreshing and once again I'm changed, encouraged, built up, inspired and more determined. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

In Christ,

Mike Gordon

Gordon Family Ministries, Philippines

Thanks so much for your very thorough, thoughtful, and insightful review, Mike...I really appreciate it...I was going to answer your three (very good) questions here on the post, but I think I'll just write them to you, personally, for now...again, thanks!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Great Message!

Thank you for allowing God to work through you. I watched your interview on TV and tears rolled down my eyes, I sobbed. I didn't accept who God made me since the time I was taught that who I am wasn't right. Yes, I got to a point I felt suicidal. But then you coming up an speaking out saved my life. I started to study the bible in context I learnt again that God told Moses that He is who he is, and then I began to accept myself that I am that I am. I came to conclude that Moses was homophobic when he wrote that law and some of his scholars like Paul echoed it... Paul used some of Moses laws to persecute the Christians. Moses was raised and educated by Egyptians, took up some of their habits too, how they wrote their laws and build their temples. Yes He met God and wrote the first five books from the creation story and he was used by God in an amazing way but.. We all are imperfect with a perfect God. We can't put God in our box. We can try to define God using human language and understanding and give Him names as we have always done over thousands of years and even write books but He is who He is as he told Moses. If u literally translated it from the Hebrew bible it is "I will be what I will be" or shall be. But despite what I have come to learn, there is still more and God still speaks. I want to Thank you for the step you took You brought down the images that governed my mind And I came to understand God better.

God Bless you

You and Ken are a beautiful couple and I love you

Thank you for accepting my friend request

Yours in Christ,