God Calls In Love

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
I thought this was a helpful and worthwhile testimony of this lady to share:

https://www.exodusglobalalliance.org/janetboynesp1075.php

God Calls in Love

Janet Boynes

A big factor that drew me into a lesbian lifestyle was the abuse I witnessed and experienced as a child. My parental figures were my single mother and the four men who fathered her seven children. I was the middle child of the seven, and saw my mother repeatedly abused by "big men.” Determined to avoid that same fate for myself, I became a tom-boy. I hung out with guys and became known as a bully.

I moved from Philadelphia to St. Paul to attend college, and gave my life to Christ at Jesus People Church. Although I dated men, I still had a fear of them. Then I became engaged to a great Christian guy and we enrolled in pre-marital counseling at our church.

But I was lonely. My fiancé traveled extensively, so I spent a lot of time with girlfriends. When a girl I’d met at work initiated a sexual relationship one night, I was caught off-guard and went along with it. Immediately I knew how Eve must have felt. Condemned! I sought out my pastor the next day, and he told me that, of course, the wedding had to be cancelled.

Devastated and repentant, I told my fiancé everything. "No, that’s not you,” he protested. "You just made a mistake.” But I had such a strong sense that God had turned His eyes away from me that I walked away from the Lord. It was hopeless, I thought, so I might as well have "a season of fun.”

Now, years later, I know I was mistaken on all counts. God never left me. He continued to protect me and work in my life. I never found the satisfaction I was looking for in the gay lifestyle. Instead, I went from relationship to relationship and became totally confused.

Was being gay OK with God? Should I have a sex change? Was the Christian life I had previously enjoyed over for good? Would I die before I could repent and come back to the Lord?

Deep down I knew only the Lord could rescue me. Didn’t the Bible say Jesus seeks any of His sheep that get lost? I’d see people on the bus reading their Bibles, and I’d want to run up to them and say, "Help me! I’m a backslidden Christian and I don’t know how to get right with the Lord.”

Fourteen years went by. I had a cleaning business and owned my own home in Maple Grove.

Whenever I’d pass the Maple Grove Assembly of God Church near my house, an inner voice would tell me that someday I’d be going to that church. The suggestion was so strong that I even mentioned it to my girlfriend and we laughed about it. Yet the idea stayed with me even though I was doing drugs, cheating on my steady girlfriend, suffering from an eating disorder, and extremely unhappy. I knew the Lord was knocking on the door of my heart (Revelation 3:20), but I didn’t know how or even "if ” I should respond.

One night I ran to the grocery store, and noticed a woman in the parking lot with her groceries at 3 a.m. She said she’d been helping her son move into the dorms at Northcentral Bible College, so I knew right away she was a Christian. We talked and talked, and then she invited me to come to her church — Maple Grove Assembly of God!

I accepted her invitation, and a few days later went to her Bible Study. I came in late, and there sat nine feminine women. I was dressed like a boy in an old shirt and jeans with a hairband around my cropped hair. I wanted them to like me.

I knew I wanted Jesus, but I had no idea how to get back to Him. Those nine women loved me as I was. They answered my questions and helped me every way they could. When I asked them, they gave me pointers on how to dress and apply make-up.

They educated me about spiritual warfare, and helped me break the stronghold the devil had erected over my life.

The change in me was so dramatic that I sold my home and moved in with a Christian family for a year. I needed that role-modeling of a healthy family life and being held accountable. I never could have survived as a Christian without it. Gradually, my mess became the message of salvation. It was a real struggle, but I wanted God more than I wanted the lesbian lifestyle.

Six years later, I still stay in the Word of God and pray daily that I won’t slip back into that lifestyle. I try to stay transparent, accountable, and control my thoughts. I never could have changed my life by myself, but now I can say, "Look at what the Lord has done!” I know God wants me to speak out about these things. Hollywood makes the homosexual lifestyle look so glamorous. Gay activists are aggressively pushing for society to condone their agenda. But we need to remember that God is "in the changing business” and wants to transform lives. The Christian women at Maple Grove Assembly loved me and spent time with me, and that made me want to grow spiritually.

Too many gays and lesbians "hate” Christians and feel condemned. But it’s the love of Christ - not condemnation - that draws us toward repentance. After all, everybody wants the same thing: love and acceptance.

When God calls us out of darkness and into the light (I Peter 2:9), He calls in love.

After attending Exodus International’s conference on homosexuality this past summer, I was greatly encouraged by their ministry and look forward to working with them to reach the African-American community.

My message and my heart will continue to be for helping those struggling with homosexuality by bringing the church together across racial lines to minister to the hurting in love. I truly believe that what God has done in my life, He can also do in the lives of everyone who calls on His name.

When God calls us out of darkness and into light, He Calls in love.
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
From a man's perspective:

https://www.exodusglobalalliance.org/onceahomosexualp4.php


Once A Homosexual
Johan van de Sluis (The Netherlands)


I was born in 1938 and lived as a homosexual from the age of fifteen until I was twenty-eight. According to Dr. Van Emde Boaz, a well-known Dutch sexologist, I was a core-homosexual. I grew up in a Christian family and from my early childhood I longed for peace with God. This peace left me when I started to live as a homosexual. I frequented homosexual bars and dance-halls, and chose homosexuals as my friends. I also had a homosexual relationship with a man that lasted three years.

I could have continued this lifestyle for many more years, but I gradually discovered that even this 3-year relationship did not make me happier. I started to realize that for me the gay lifestyle implied disharmony and sterility. The last year of this particular friendship was one of inner conflicts. I felt that the lifestyle was out of line with my religious convictions and I often had arguments with my friend.

I started to think that I wanted to get out of this and eventually I broke off the relationship. In retrospect I can say it was God who showed me that this lifestyle was not according to His will. For years I had not had that insight. Yet, at a certain moment I decided that I wanted to be more obedient to Him than to people who tried to convince me that there was nothing wrong with having a sexual relationship with a male friend in love and faithfulness.

New creation

I then came in touch with Christians and after a while I wanted to be baptised. After the baptismal service a couple of believers prayed for change of my homosexual orientation, while laying hands on me. From that moment on I could start to believe I was free. However, the next morning I felt as much gay as the day before. I panicked and phoned some friends, a married couple, who had been among those who prayed for me. They told me I was really free, and that I could start believing this, even though my emotions gave me a different message. They drew my attention to some words from the bible, 2 Corinthians 5:17: "When anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come”.

From then on I persevered in faith that I was free indeed. My old nature was now crucified with Christ, Roman 6:6. As a result, in the course of time, my perception of myself and my nature began to change. Was it all the power of suggestion? No, it was through the power of faith in God and His promises.I was actively involved in this process. I had to learn to disassociate myself from my former gay friends; I broke off all my relations with them. I also stopped going to places that reminded me so vividly of my past. I felt I also had to throw away all reminders of my past life, like books and photographs. I felt I couldn’t be radical enough in severing my associations with my sinful past.

Especially in the beginning the risk of falling back was very big, because for a long time my personality was undergoing a healing process. My soul had been wounded and needed to be healed. However, the process was not only one of doing away with negative things. At the same time, a whole new world opened itself up to me in living with Christ. I was a new creation and that made me intensely happy. To experience this was a great help in my struggle against my homosexual feelings. I started to discover too that not everything that I had labelled ‘homosexual’ was wrong. For instance, I found out that my special taste for clothes and furniture etc, was not linked with my homosexual feelings and not sinful.

The more I recovered and grew into heterosexuality, the less I needed other men to make up for the deficiency in my personal development. Sometimes it still happened that seeing a man gave me feelings of admiration, and a certain satisfaction. At such a moment I needed that person to see myself as a complete man, But gradually I started to feel a man to the full, based on my relationship with Christ. I no longer needed identification with other men for that. On top of that, heterosexual desires developed. I had prayed that God would lead me in a way that I would fall in love with a woman spontaneously.

Five years after I had broken with the gay lifestyle and my feelings had started to change, I got married. That is now more than thirty-two years ago. My wife and I have three children, one daughter and two sons. In my married life I have experienced that heterosexuality is much richer than the gay lifestyle.

My life story has been published in more detail in a Dutch book, entitled ‘Ik ben niet meer zo’, and in the brochure ‘Eens homofiel,’ also translated in English ‘Once a homosexual.’

Since 1969 I have been helping homosexuals; the first five years from my home and since 1975 I worked as the project leader (director) of EHAH (Evangelical Help for Homosexuals). Over the last thirty-two years more than a thousand people with homosexual problems have been helped by me and staff members from EHAH. Since February 2003 I am retired.

I was also chairman and am now board member of the organisation Onze Weg (Our way), promoting the interest of ex-homosexuals in churches and in society and explaining how to leave the homosexual lifestyle. Every three months we give out a magazine with relevant articles on different subjects concerning sexuality.

In 1982 some colleagues and I took the initiative to start Exodus Europe after attending the Exodus North America conference in Las Vegas. After that I was a board member and president of Exodus Europe for some years.

Exodus International helped us out of a rather isolated position and from its start to the present we have found it encouraging being an Exodus member.
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
Let me be plain: according to Scripture no man or woman is to condemn another for the sin they are prey to. We are to pray for them and help them as we can, and as the Spirit leads. Therefore, nobody who is not homosexual is in a position to condemn those who are. We are all sinners and have dealt with—and are often still dealing with—some type of sin, be it anger or impatience or gluttony or anything else that falls short of God's glory and His intention for us. The fact is that sin is sin, be it big or small, sexual or otherwise. So why is sexual sin particularly focused on in the Bible? Well, all sexual sin leads to the diminishing of the value of a human being by objectifying them and perverts the thoughts and act that is intended to give a physical dimension to a husband's and wife's spiritual bond. Engaging in homosexual activity—which by its very nature and practice is unnatural and depraved—is an abomination because it is both sexual sin and destroys the potential of a godly familial bond. Worse, it is an act against God's natural plan for men and women. What makes it worse is that it is a sin that carries a great bondage with it ... although it is not the only sin that carries bondage. BUT ... that said, it is a sin like any other, in the sense that it is a choice to follow the flesh rather than choosing to follow God's Word. And many sins carry like bondages.

The beauty of testimonies like the two above in this thread (and they are by no means rare testimonies: I have heard and read MANY), the beauty of such testimonies is that they confirm God's Word that if we choose to follow Him, He will break the bondage we have placed ourselves into.

Many men and women find themselves in bondage to Satan in some way. It may manifest in an addiction of some sort— alcohol, drugs, pornography, other sexual immorality (including incredibly disgusting things to most people), or homosexuality. In some cases, the person him or her self is largely responsible for having chosen that thing. But many people find that drive within them without ever consciously having chosen the thing they become addicted to. That is why some people say "I am born this way." Well, biblically there is truth to that: we are ALL born in sin! But why does one person go into one specific sin while another avoids it? Why does one person windup in alcoholism while another becomes homosexual? Why does one become addicted to drugs while another is hooked on some form of pornography? (Not to say that some do not have more than one type of addiction.) I do not know the answer to that; but I DO know that such people deserve our compassion and our prayers. God reached down to each of us in the depths and depravity of our own sin and gently and lovingly lifted us up and into His bosom. He calls us to do the same. And if we indeed have "the mind of Christ" (Romans 15:5; 1 Corinthians 2:16) then I believe we will seek to do just that.
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
https://www.exodusglobalalliance.org/lynns-story-p1681.php

Here's another very good one. I won't paste the whole story here, the link is sufficient, but will share what wasn't and was helpful from the church for this woman. I think it's important to understand what can propel a person into this direction, and think it's worthwhile to read these stories.

Usually the lifestyle is actually a symptom of a deeper issue, whether abuse in the past of some sort or needing affirmation in some way, or response to the sins of others, etc. Therefor, it's imperative to reach people struggling in this way with Christlike love and kindness, lest more pain is heaped upon the poor soul already struggling with deep pain, and various scars and wounds that we cannot see.

As the church, if we can understand these deeper issues than we can compassionately reach out to others and create a safe place to allow people to grow in Christ and heal. And, as the church compassionately (with healthy boundaries) continues to reach out in love, those in Christ struggling begin to see good changes in their hearts and lives over time as they are supported and healed. I believe this is a way that we can carry one another's burdens as talked about in Scripture.

Here's what she said about the church in her journey of becoming Christlike, her story of support reminds me of those who struggle with alcoholism and how a support group is very helpful, especially when still struggling. Just as alcoholics will fall off the wagon several times before recovery so too will other people with their various struggles
:

...Many of my friends, including Christian, non-Christian and even Christian Lesbians had been telling me that I could be both Christian and Lesbian and that I had been brainwashed to think I couldn't – all I had to do was to believe that it was ok. Oh, how I wanted to believe this. I tried to convince myself of this time after time. It just never worked - after a few months I became really tired of the duplicity and decided that I would tell my German youth pastor.

I figured he would tell me how sinful I was and then I would have a good excuse to break ties with an unloving church and not feel compromised. He surprised me with a response that was full of Grace and said how he praised God that after my abuse, I was even able to experience any intimacy with another human being. I responded that I didn't feel at peace with the relationship in my deepest conscience and I wanted to discover who I would have been if I hadn't been abused. I knew I'd been broken by it but I didn't want to continue to live as a victim of my past.

He found an excellent Christianpsychologist for me and thus began my year and ahalf journey of discovery - wading throughthe kind of technical psychobabble German I never expected to be able to understand. In time I began to realise that although I was genuinely a Christian from age 14, I had refused to let God into some pretty dark and horrible rooms of my soul and it was time to open them up now at age 22.

...I realize that I have brothers and sisters out there who may genuinely desire change in their own sexual desires and may be seeking to be obedient with all their strength but it just seems like there has been no perceptible change and it's still a real hard slog. I had long periods of time like that. Hang in there. Sin is Sin and let's face it - I still have that with other things I know in my life as sin. I am regularly in anguish over the selfishness in my heart – I have prayed numerous times that I be cured of my selfishness but it always rears its ugly head time and again.

God is the refiner and He wants to see us refined even more than we want to be. I have learnt that often the greatest refining takes place in the struggle. We may see a lot of sanctification, even miraculous this side of heaven, and yes, we have confidence that "Behold, He is making all things new” and that the battle against sin is already won but we will only see the fullness of it when he returns again.

If you feel you are willing but waiting for change, I can wholeheartedly recommend a new book by Wesley Hill called ‘Washed and Waiting' – Reflections on Faithfulness and Homosexuality, that is written to encourage you. As we transition from being Christians Struggling primarily with same-sex attraction to being a Christians struggling primarily with selfishness or some other such sin, I hope that you like me will realize that as a Christian first and foremost, we are set apart for good and purity, we are fearfully and wonderfully made and we are deeply loved by God.

The second aspect is that we are part of a body and are to care and be cared for, support and be supported by the other members. We are to be Jesus to each other. Fellow Christians have been a huge part of the change process in my spiritual identity and as a result my sexual identity. But sadly, the Church can really let Same-sex strugglers down.

Things from Christians that hindered me in my struggles were:

* Over-reactions to and Judgment of people struggling with sin that led me to my own conclusions about how my confessions of same-sex struggles would be received. I was not able to be transparent in a safe environment. Somehow we think that by making severe punishments and consequences for a sin, people will avoid it. But I think that having a safe place to share our struggles would stop people from going underground to a place where they are cut off from the rest of the body and the help that is meant to come from that Christian community.

* People's specific and general reactions to Homosexuality made me never want to claim a struggle. It is a sin listed many times alongside other sins. We tend to just gloss over the rest and fixate on this one. *In Church circles I noticed an obvious valuing of women, who were gentle, meek and nice in the Church when I saw that in contrast, I was strong, analytical and passionate about my vocation. Jesus had all of these qualities yet there is often a very two-dimensional view of what kind of Women God loves.

* Any general gossip that made me fear the wildfire spread of any admission of sin. Gossip is toxic to a transparent Christian Community.

Things from Christians that helped me in my struggles:

* When Christians surprised me with love instead of judgment, allowing me to feel my own or the Holy Spirit's judgment in my heart and conscience instead.

* Christian Women (in particular) and Men who had well developed boundaries and embraced me without shying away from me physically or emotionally because of my sexual history.

* Those that in turn shared their sins and struggles and showed me that we all struggle against our nature regardless of the form our rebellion takes.

* Those who told me how much God loves me and how he sees me because of the Gospel and prayed and cried with me.

I thank God for any changes he has made in me, for the way he so wonderfully used his Church in my life and I challenge us all to be that kind of Community to others.
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
Things from Christians that hindered me in my struggles were:

* Over-reactions to and Judgment of people struggling with sin that led me to my own conclusions about how my confessions of same-sex struggles would be received. I was not able to be transparent in a safe environment. Somehow we think that by making severe punishments and consequences for a sin, people will avoid it. But I think that having a safe place to share our struggles would stop people from going underground to a place where they are cut off from the rest of the body and the help that is meant to come from that Christian community.

* People's specific and general reactions to Homosexuality made me never want to claim a struggle. It is a sin listed many times alongside other sins. We tend to just gloss over the rest and fixate on this one. *In Church circles I noticed an obvious valuing of women, who were gentle, meek and nice in the Church when I saw that in contrast, I was strong, analytical and passionate about my vocation. Jesus had all of these qualities yet there is often a very two-dimensional view of what kind of Women God loves.

* Any general gossip that made me fear the wildfire spread of any admission of sin. Gossip is toxic to a transparent Christian Community.

Things from Christians that helped me in my struggles:

* When Christians surprised me with love instead of judgment, allowing me to feel my own or the Holy Spirit's judgment in my heart and conscience instead.

* Christian Women (in particular) and Men who had well developed boundaries and embraced me without shying away from me physically or emotionally because of my sexual history.

* Those that in turn shared their sins and struggles and showed me that we all struggle against our nature regardless of the form our rebellion takes.

* Those who told me how much God loves me and how he sees me because of the Gospel and prayed and cried with me.
I pray we as representatives of Christ in this world all take these points to heart!
 
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