Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ex-Gay Therapy Debate: The Truth Matters

Ex-Gay Therapy Debate: The Truth Matters

Ex-Gay Therapy Debate: The Truth Matters

August 27, 2014|5:48 pm

  • Peter Sprigg
    Peter Sprigg is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council.

The fact that some people change their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual (some as a result of professional therapy) is a problem for the homosexual movement. It seriously undermines the myth that homosexuality is a characteristic like race, which people are born with and can never change.

Homosexual activists have attacked the ex-gay movement, using legislation to outlaw "sexual orientation change efforts" (or "SOCE") with minors by licensed mental health providers. Such bills have passed in California and New Jersey, but have died or remain pending in several other jurisdictions—including the District of Columbia.

Most "sexual reorientation therapy" today consists of "talk therapy"—a client simply talking with a counselor about his or her feelings, experiences, relationships with parents and peers, etc. Some therapists add other positive techniques that have been validated in a variety of contexts—not just SOCE.

However, to generate opposition to SOCE, its opponents have reached back decades to techniques some therapists once used called "aversion therapy"—attempting to associate homosexual feelings with some sort of negative stimuli. No one has been able to identify a single therapist actually practicing today who uses "aversive" techniques in SOCE—but that hasn't stopped homosexual activists from pretending that they do.

In a hearing before the New Jersey legislature, one witness was a young male-to-female transgender who goes by the name Brielle Goldani. Christopher Doyle, an ex-gay therapist, described Goldani's testimony, and his efforts to verify it:

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"Twice a week I was hooked up to electrodes on my hands," she said. "I, a child, was shocked repeatedly by people who had my parent's permission to torture me."

 . . . Goldani claims that an Assemblies of God Church in Columbus, Ohio, ran the True Directions conversion therapy camp:

"We were forced to masturbate to heterosexual images and soft-core pornography . . . . Twice a week, my hands were hooked up to electrodes for two hours at a time while we were shown positive images such as a nuclear family . . . . I was also subjected to forced IV injections twice a week for two hours each while being made to watch negative images . . . . The injections made me vomit uncontrollably."

However, the Assemblies of God in Ohio denied that any such camp or program existed. The state government of Ohio could find no record of a camp named "True Directions." Goldani's former pastor scoffed at the claim that the church had paid for Goldani to go to the camp.

Doyle found one reference to a "gay conversion camp" called "True Directions," though—in a fictional 1999 movie called But I'm a Cheerleader, which starred drag queen RuPaul. A logical conclusion is that Goldani took the plot of this far-fetched film, and tried to pass it off as his/her own life story.

Another eerily similar—and equally dubious—horror story is still in use. One witness at a recent hearing on DC's proposed therapy ban, "gay identified" psychologist Dr. Gregory Jones, included this quote from a recent article on the SOCE bans that appeared on Time's website:

Sam Brinton says that his father first tried physical abuse to rid his young son of homosexual feelings. When that didn't work, Brinton's parents turned to something called reparative therapy. Some of the memories are hazy more than 10 years later, but Brinton does remember . . . there was aversion therapy, during which pictures of men touching men would be accompanied by the application of heat or ice. "It was pretty much mental torture," Brinton says.

Earlier, two pieces about SOCE appeared in Politico. One included this:

One former patient described his course of electroconvulsive therapy, in use today, as "The Month of Hell." The treatment, he told the Huffington Post, "consisted of tiny needles being stuck into my fingers and then pictures of explicit acts between men would be shown and I'd be electrocuted."

This also refers to Brinton, who was quoted three years ago in The Huffington Post:

I would be strapped down with blocks of ice or heating pads placed on my hands while pictures of men holding hands were shown. The conversion ended when I told my parents I was straight to stop the electrocution by needles in my fingers while gay sex acts where shown to me.

Some pro-"gay" media tried to verify this report—and couldn't. Even Wayne Besen, the most rabid "anti-ex-gay" activist, declared, "[U]ntil he [Brinton] provides more information to verify his experience, he makes it impossible for us to use him as an example. Indeed, it would be grossly irresponsible for us to do so."

Yet what Besen called "grossly irresponsible" (using Brinton's implausible story as an example), some opponents of therapy freedom (and their allies in the media) are perfectly willing to do.

It's easy to make false statements, baseless and unverifiable, to denigrate your opponent and sway hearts and minds. An understanding of what really happens in therapy is needed for individuals to understand their options and for legislators to vote wisely.

Peter Sprigg is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council.

McDermott Delivers Decisive Blow to 'Pono Choices' Sex Ed Program - Christian Newswire

McDermott Delivers Decisive Blow to 'Pono Choices' Sex Ed Program - Christian Newswire

McDermott Delivers Decisive Blow to 'Pono Choices' Sex Ed Program - Christian Newswire

Contact: Bob McDermott, 808-371-4605

HONOLULU, June 12, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Hawaii's Department of Education has pulled its controversial sex education curriculum entitled 'Pono Choices' from public schools. Some critics had labeled it an attempt at gay indoctrination directed at eleven-year-olds.

When it comes to writing the game plan for resisting unwanted political incursions into schools; Ohana Policy Group President and Hawaii State Representative Bob McDermott has developed a winning formula.

"We don't get into debates about morality or religious conviction; we go after medical inaccuracy and misrepresentation of facts," said McDermott.

McDermott said that the involvement of parents of school-age children drove the DOE to make changes and retreat from what he has labeled "social engineering."

"This is a return of parental empowerment," said McDermott. "State government should have never been competing for control of children's moral development, or their version of it."

In addition to what McDermott calls promoting homosexual lifestyles, he also listed specific inaccuracies and omissions that he wanted the DOE's review committee to specifically address. In their recent report they retreated from several assertions present in the Pono Choices curriculum.

  1. The anus will no longer be defined as a genital. Although it took them almost 8 months, with some committee members arguing against, they have stated that according to all medical definitions they studied there was no support for such an obvious misrepresentation.
     
    "Finally, biology has trumped social philosophy," said McDermott.
      
  2. They acknowledged elevated risk of disease from anal sex.

    "You can't deliberately replace actual disease statistics, and real facts about safe sex with political correctness," added McDermott. "Ironically, in their desire to 'normalize' homosexual lifestyles, they put those very students at risk by withholding these critical facts."
     
  3. Making the program a parental opt-in will increase transparency of materials and processes surrounding sensitive curriculum. The DOE acknowledged that the parental disclosure process was flawed and incomplete, and stacked deck against informed decisions by parents.
     
    "The acknowledgement that these programs were not fully disclosed, and should have been opt-in all along is perhaps the biggest win for our families," said McDermott.

About the Ohana Policy Group
The Oahu Policy Group is an independent 501c non-profit organization that funds the research and documentation of questionable government policies. Hawaii serves as an early warning sentinel for progressive assaults on our constitutional rights, infringement of our religious liberties and politicization of our public schools. Ohana Policy Group Website.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Will the Church Show Justice and Mercy to the Same-Sex Attracted?

Will the Church Show Justice and Mercy to the Same-Sex Attracted?

A Clarion Call for Genuine Salvation and Biblical Hope; Not Compromise!

Church Leaders, Please Truly Love the Same-Sex Attracted Person

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8.

church_and_gay2

God commands us to love one another, yet only through the divine influence of the Holy Spirit living in us and moving us to love as the Lord Jesus Christ loves are we able to fulfill that command and walk out love.  The Holy Spirit creates this kind of love within God's diligent surrendered repentant people, enabling them to walk out true love without denying true justice.  Only in His love can we avoid the great compromise of our age.

God is looking all over the Earth to find a people whose hearts are completely His to pour out His love and mercy. (2 Chron. 16:9)  As God pours out His love and mercy on people whose hearts are completely His, this love manifests in Spirit-filled believers who, by striving to embrace a lifestyle without compromise for themselves, are then free to love others fully, yet without compromising the holy justice our Lord requires.  As His divine influence works in us, we are able to walk out a Heaven-birthed love that reflects the real grace of God.  Lest we forget, God gives His grace to the humble (James 4:6), not to the proud or compromising.  His grace, and therefore His power, is given to those who put their faith in Christ alone. (Eph. 2:8-9).

How do we walk humbly? The Lord showed us how in the example of His own life as he truly and justly and consistently loved people with His great mercy.  It is proven that only this long-suffering love, lived out through discipleship care and inner-healing ministry can bring real transformation for people seeking to be free from homosexuality.  A distorted and compromising love being embraced by many Church leaders across America will not bring freedom. Some leaders may believe it is kind and loving to empower the idea of "gay Christians" or to proclaim "same-sex attracted" or "gay" as legitimate titles, labels and identities, but they are separating justice and mercy from love.  This is tragic.  Encouraging people to embrace a distorted image is not loving and is certainly not just.  It is actually unloving, spiritually wounding, and could eventually be eternally harmful to souls.  (Rom. 1:18-28, 1 Cor. 6:9-11, Gal. 5:19-21, Eph. 5:5-6, 2 Thess. 2:10-12).  

Same-Sex Attraction:  Temptation, Lust or an Identity?

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape (freedom), that you may be able to bear it."  1 Corinthians 10:13

gay gag flag

The mercies of God in His extravagant grace are deposited into the humble heart.  God gives a way of escape to those tempted; however, He resists the proud. (1 Peter 5:5-10)   Many today in the Church, rather than wrestle with the issue of same-sex temptation and same-sex lust, argue instead that same-sex attraction must be recognized as a legitimate identity. There is no biblical basis for this surrender.

"We are human, but we don't wage war as humans do. We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ."  2 Cor. 10:3-5.

A loving and just leader will help a person overcome lust by teaching them to take every thought captive.  A discerning and spiritual father will teach spiritual warfare to a same-sex attracted person so he or she can walk in freedom over tormenting temptations.  A Christ-led leader will not embrace temptation as an identity, misleading people in slavery to further sin and lust.  No one in the Body of Christ should have to live a life overwhelmed by attractions that keep lust operating in the soul.  Love empowers the soul to overcome temptation; anything less is evil. Unfortunately, instead of teaching the truth—that same-sex attraction is a condition of the soul as a result of fallen humanity and is typically a result of a distorted and painful history which needs Godly care—many today promote the idea that same-sex attraction is a legitimate identity. This is wrong.

There is a great need for ministry, love and understanding for the homosexual and the person who is attracted to their same-sex. Most same-sex attracted people, with the longing-hearts of broken-souls, become consumed by lust as they deal with a wounded history, trying to repair a broken image.  This attraction and its fulfillment through lust can never be the identity of anyone who is completely surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  Still, many well-meaning Church leaders promote the idea that being "gay" or a "gay Christian", or being attracted to one's same-sex is a legitimate 'orientation' and/or an identity based on modern psychology and their own appetites.[1]  This promotes a false-self in fallen humanity as something to be acknowledged as a personality or as a part of the identity. This deceptive teaching promotes distortion in the Church and leads many astray with a false compassion.  Coining new and comforting terms, such as "mixed orientation marriages" and other forms of sexual "orientation" only further strengthen the strongholds in souls.

Gay-activists have browbeaten the Church with words like homophobic, bigoted, intolerant, unloving and unkind, making anyone who desires to be uncompromising in Biblical orthodoxy subject to scrutiny and a demonic pressure to be swayed into a man-pleasing spirit.  After-all, what sincere Christian is willing to wear the unloving labels cast on them by gay activists?  No one!  Reactionary leaders introduce deception, subtly legitimizing same-sex attractions and lust under the ever-growing cheap-grace teachings.  Well-meaning compassionate people are being seduced by false teachings about grace and mercy, thus promoting a distortion of Christianity—the 'kind-license' to sin—which actually makes an allowance for sins of the heart and mind to remain. We should show great compassion to all sexual sinners in the Church, but these cheap-grace teachers align themselves with demons to turn the grace of God into lasciviousness. Some of them even joke outrageously about lasciviousness and mock grace.[2]   "For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness (lasciviousness) and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ." Jude 1:4  

The Grace of God is Transformational

Flee from sexual lust and fornication for every other sin is committed outside the body, but sexual immorality is a sin against your soul, your identity and body. 1 Cor. 6:18.

spiritual-transformationThe Apostle Paul used the word "flee" for a reason.  Sexual sin is very dangerous and very damaging to the soul and humans should flee as fast as humanly possible.   Teaching acceptance of gay Christianity is equally dangerous.  Gay-Christian advocates teach lies; they are blind and deceptive guides keeping the souls of many in bondage to same-sex lust.[1]  And from these teachers we should flee.   Jesus' way is to submit the soul through faith to His amazing sacrifice on the cross, resulting in righteousness. (Rom. 10:10).  A true faith in God embraces inward holiness of thoughts.  His divine call for salvation is to a new lifestyle of turning (repenting) to Him for the joy of a deep intimate relationship with Christ as Creator.  This requires us to die to all self-promotion of the fallen Adamic nature of the flesh (orientations) and its desires, which includes same-sex attraction, homosexuality and all forms of sexual sin and brokenness.  The grace of God is transformational.[3] He always makes a way of escape from temptation for those who are completely His.  This is a very good test to see if in fact you are truly born again: do you desire to live purely in your thought life every day? Do you desire transformation?  

We Are Created in the Image of God—Imago Dei!

imago_dei_1

As I have oft-written, we are created in the image of God—Imago Dei! Using a "sexual orientation" for a person's identity—such as "same-sex attracted" or "homosexual"—indicates viability for behavior outside of God's original intent for human sexuality.  I have never agreed with the notion that "sexual orientation"—our sexual direction or desires—is equivalent to how we are sexually created to be. Using terms like "sexual orientation" and "mixed orientation marriages" communicates a distorted truth based solely on human attractions and feelings, not on God's creation and intent. Modern psychology has provided these terms. The only intent for human sexuality or orientation is from God.  That is "heterosexuality," a term also given to us by modern psychology. What we call heterosexuality, God calls holy relating between one man and one woman in a covenant marriage relationship with the potential to create life in His image through human sexual intercourse.  God calls this relationship holy—two becoming one—a holy relationship that can be only between one man and one woman. We are never more like God in His creativity as humans than when we are in concert with God in creating life.

One cannot create life through homosexuality. We are most like God in His creation when as 'heterosexual' married couples, we produce children, also created in God's image (Imago Dei). All other "orientations" are, at the very least, distorted emotional wounds from psychological (soulish) problems with accompanying desires.  Modern psychology, at its very worst, gives us "sexual orientation" as a way to legitimize sinful behavior.  Under this diabolical plot, the "orientation" message can culminate with the potential for mutilation of the body as we see in gender-reassignment surgery. This evil is very deceptive and tormenting for people. 

Humans are created male and female. Heterosexuality is an innate created biological fact and therefore cannot change. It is simple biology 101, and an orientation idea given to us by modern psychology does not change the truth that we are created human beings, male and female at every level (Imago Dei).  Being human and under the curse of original sin, however, we are able to have distorted attractions and very sinful behaviors.  Humanity is fallen and, as fallen human beings, the orientation we have is a "sinful orientation," not a "sexual orientation."  Very simply, homosexual behavior and other"sexual orientations"outside of God's divine intent for human sexuality are sinful. However, there is hope! Jesus Christ came into the world to save us from all our distorted thinking. He gave us the Word of God, so our minds could be renewed by His Spirit and so transformation can occur to the surrendered soul.[3] The Holy Spirit abides in those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  Isn't it good news to know we do not have to be defined by modern psychology or our feelings, attractions, appetites or lust?  We are defined by the Creator, Who created us in His image, to be like Him in a holy identity as man and woman; and we are created as His children.  Yes! In fact, one can "change" from a 'homosexual' existence and live a holy and healthy life created in the image of God as 'heterosexual' men and women.  Imago Dei!  

Realigning with the Words of Jesus Christ and the Holy Scriptures

reading-bible-blue

The Church is in need of a great revival.  A revival to give justice and mercy to the same-sex-attracted person and all sexual sinners. A revival where souls are truly transformed! We must base our message upon the sound words of the Lord Jesus Christ in giving a genuine message of salvation, a gospel message that conforms the soul to godliness.  The new ideas of outreach coming from Church leaders are heartbreaking.  They use the methodology of the world, through cute slogans and clever sayings to convince same-sex-attracted people they are invited and welcomed, offering no help in redemption, thus allowing the Church to become an unholy place without change.  They proclaim a message of grace where repentance is not 'really' necessary, where you merely pray a prayer and have your ticket punched for Heaven.  This is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

"If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself."  1 Tim. 6:3-5. Jesus said, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female'" – Jesus also said, "from the beginning it has always been this way." (See Matthew 19:1-10).

There is a better way, expressed through the very words of Christ in Matthew's gospel account, and on The Sermon on the Mount. His words are very clear about confronting the motivations of the heart, especially in regard to sexual attraction and lust.  The clarion call from our Savior is to present the beautiful truths of the Gospel for a genuine salvation and a Biblical hope that brings transformation in these last days.  His grace is transformative, not leaving people with an out-of-control lust for their identity. If we compromise these truths, we do an injustice to the very people we say we want to help. Don't fall into the psychological trap of placing the labels of fallen humanity onto people concerning their sexuality. It is not mercy, justice or love!

church decision

We should at least embrace an intercession of sincere love with great sorrow and tears as the Apostle Paul told the church in Rome.  Read his words: "I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow, weeping and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymenaccording to the flesh…"  Yet the Apostle Paul's love—so profound—is willing to be accursed from Christ; willing to go to hell so others would be saved!  Most in the Church are not weeping and praying, never mind being willing to be accursed from Christ on behalf of another's potential for salvation. Rather, they are too afraid to call out how destructive homosexuality is to our society.

A clarion call and warning from the Lord concerning this day is found in Jeremiah 6:14-15 – "The Shepherds (Church leaders) have healed the hurt (deep wounding) of My people slightly, saying, 'Peace, peace!' When there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abominations (homosexuality)? No! They were not at all ashamed; nor did they know how to blush (blush or show shame over abominations or sexual sins). Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time I punish them, they shall be cast down,' says the LORD.  Thus says the LORD: 'Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.' But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'"

Beware of believing that the old ways of preaching the Gospel are not relevant. You may find yourself as a false shepherd, not really calling for holy repentance and a sincere healing of your own soul or the soul of the person who struggles with same-sex attraction or homosexuality.  The Lord requires that we do justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him in bringing souls sincerely to Christ in complete abandonment.  "No greater love than this, for a man to lay down his own life for his friends." John 15:13.  In this, is true justice, love, mercy and a humble walk.

written by Stephen Black, Executive Director -- First Stone Ministries, Oklahoma City, OK --  


Adam Hamilton, Alan Chambers, Tony Jones, Wesley Hill, Justin Lee, Matthew Vines, Andrew Marin, Brian  McLaren, Tony & Peggy Campolo, Mel White, Rob Bell, Jay Bakker, Ray Boltz, Gene Robinson and many others.

Clark Whitten, Chairman of the Board of Exodus International's teaching on 'Grace' at the National Exodus Freedom Conference, July 15, 2008. (EXODUS08-D)

Transformation of Persons with Same-Sex Attraction: Becoming Who We Are

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Come and Celebrate! New Speakers Added, Early Registration Deadline Extended to 9/10




Sunday, August 24, 2014

The New and Improved PFOX


The New and Improved PFOX
 

The New and Improved PFOX

Dear PFOX Friends –

If you've visited PFOX.org recently, you probably noticed a new look! With expanded resources, a video library of personal stories, our new logo, and the latest news and information, our new site will ensure PFOX can continue to serve as an encouragement to ex-gays, gays, and their families and friends who are searching for hope, truth and answers in the desire to leave the homosexual lifestyle.

We hope you will take a moment to visit the new PFOX.org, and thank you for standing with us in the belief that every person seeking positive life change deserves the love and support of family, friends, the community and the church. www.pfox.org


Follow PFOX on Facebook   Follow PFOX on Twitter

Remember to read the PFOX blog regularly for ex-gay views and news. See http://pfox-exgays.blogspot.com/


If you like what you read here, please forward it to a friend.

Visit us at PFOX.org.

PFOX is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization. Your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent provided by law.


 
 

Legal notice

Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX)

Regina Griggs, Executive Director
P O Box 510, Reedville VA 22539
E-mail: info@pfox.org



 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Once Gay, Always Gay? Not Necessarily

Once Gay, Always Gay? Not Necessarily

Once Gay, Always Gay? Not Necessarily

William Dobson
A long journey home: William Dobson, 54, decided to walk away from the gay lifestyle.

People who struggle with gay feelings are usually told they should simply accept their homosexual identity. Many psychologists believe it's wrong to suggest that homosexuality could be or should be treated as a problem. You're gay. Big deal. We accept you. Have whatever kind of sex you want.

But what about people who struggle with same-sex attraction and yet genuinely want freedom from homosexuality because they believe it violates Christian morals? These people face a triple dilemma because (1) some Christians are prejudiced against gay people and don't really care; (2) many churches just aren't equipped to offer counseling; and (3) our mainstream culture believes that once you're gay, you're always gay.

But this didn't stop my friend William Dobson from abandoning the gay lifestyle. His story needs to be considered.

William was a sensitive boy. So when kids his age started calling him "sissy" and "queer," he was emotionally scarred. He gave his heart to Jesus at age 12 and found safety and security in a world of bullying. When he was filled with the Holy Spirit as a college student, he admitted to a pastor that he struggled with gay feelings. He found a measure of freedom after being honest about his secret. He began pursuing God.

William became a successful architect in Tampa, Florida, and served as a volunteer worship leader for many years. But he suffered shipwreck in his faith at age 44 after a pastor he trusted experienced a moral failure. William quit church, and his anger grew to the point that he stopped resisting his unwanted sexual impulses. He threw himself headlong into a gay lifestyle.

He went to gay bars, dated men and became fully immersed in Tampa's gay community. He also got hooked on Internet pornography and lived with his gay boyfriend for three years. But he never found true satisfaction, and he always knew deep down in his heart that he was running from God.

"I had no peace at all during my time in the gay lifestyle," William told me last week. "My coping mechanism was alcohol. But even when I would get plastered, I could still hear the still small voice of Jesus calling me back to Himself."

William sought help and ended up at a Methodist church in Tampa. But the pastor who offered counseling told him it was OK to be gay and encouraged him to accept the lifestyle instead of offering an exit strategy.

Says William: "I never bought into that [pro-gay] teaching. First Corinthians 6:9-11 is clear that those who practice adultery, idolatry, drunkenness, stealing or homosexuality will not inherit the kingdom of God. That same scripture also declares that to believe such practice is acceptable is deception."

William struggled for a while. But one day while driving to work he began to sob while listening to the song "You Are Holy" on a Hillsong recording:

Here in Your courts /

where I'm close to Your throne /

I've found where I belong.

"In that moment, I made the decision to break up with my partner," William says. "I decided I would not yield any longer to my sexual passions, and I acknowledged that God had a calling on my life. I had walked away from that calling. I had been living for myself, and that life had left me empty. I begged God to lead me away from my own derailed life of bad choices and back to Him."

William's deliverance didn't come overnight. His journey was slow, but God proved to be patient. A breakthrough came three years later when William worked up the courage to leave his network of friends in Tampa and isolate himself for a while. During that time, he asked God to help him break free from his porn addiction.

"I was addicted to internet porn for years, even for some time prior to me diving into the gay lifestyle," admits William. "Today I am completely free of that addiction. I no longer search the internet for the videos and photos of naked men that at one time gripped and fed me. I have no desire for that any longer. I have been free of that addiction for more than a year now."

William did not find his freedom alone. He called a local Tampa ministry, New Hearts Outreach, and spilled his guts to a man who understood his struggle. He joined a support group, enrolled in counseling, and started spending time with God every day. Today he no longer identifies himself as gay. He traded his old life for a new one—in Christ.

"My relationship with Jesus is more intimate than it has ever been," says William. "I've connected with a ministry that has offered real tools to overcome my misplaced sexual identity. I have found leaders who love Christ. And I have found within myself the very Spirit of the Living God, who calls, leads, teaches, confirms, loves, affirms and accepts me."

William does not fit the stereotype of a narrow-minded Christian who wants to force his beliefs on gay people. He's not "homophobic," and he doesn't stand in the streets holding signs condemning gay marriage. He still loves his gay friends and even stays in contact with his former live-in boyfriend.

But this story raises an interesting question: If our culture demands that we accept homosexuality in the name of freedom, should we not also respect the rights of people like William Dobson if they want to leave the gay lifestyle? The answer to that question might prove whether or not all the talk about "tolerance" in our culture today is actually a smokescreen for intolerance.

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma. You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. He is the author of 10 Lies Men Believe and other books. If you'd like to talk to someone about a struggle with sexual identity, you can go to restoredhopenetwork.com or hopeforwholeness.org. These websites list local ministries that offer counseling and small-group support.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Texas Values | Standing for faith, family, and freedom in Texas

http://txvalues.org/

FRC Blog » Robin Williams, Rehab, and Reorientation

FRC Blog » Robin Williams, Rehab, and Reorientation

Robin Williams, Rehab, and Reorientation

Robin Williams, the brilliantly talented comedian and actor, was found dead in his California home on August 11, the victim of an apparent suicide.

News coverage of his death reviewed his eclectic career, from the 1970's TV hit Mork and Mindy to his Oscar for Good Will Hunting.

However, the media also reviewed his long history of drug and alcohol abuse. That began during his early days of television stardom. Williams reportedly gave up cocaine and alcohol, though, after his friend John Belushi died of an overdose and Williams became a father.

Williams spoke candidly about his addictions in a 2010 interview with the British newspaper The Guardian while on a publicity tour for his film World's Greatest Dad (in which, ironically, he played a writer who fakes a suicide note and journal and attributes them to his late son).

MercatorNet: Is the gay bullying plague in schools a myth?

MercatorNet: Is the gay bullying plague in schools a myth?

Is the gay bullying plague in schools a myth?

An open letter to the Australian Education Minister   

The Hon Christopher Pyne 
Minister for Education  
Dear Mr Pyne,

I trust you, or your advisors, will give serious consideration to the medical evidence below and reconsider your decision to fund the so-called Safe Schools programme throughout Australia.

The political justification for 'Safe Schools' programmes, or the associated 'Gay-Straight Alliances', is that there is a plague of gay-based bullying in our schools, and the only way to counter that is through celebrating homosexuality. That justification, however, is doubtful.

In one large study comparing a thousand homosexual and heterosexual adults in the UK, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2003, the researchers found no increase in bullying of gay men compared to heterosexual men, whether at school or subsequently, whether verbally or physically. "Reports that gay and lesbian people are vulnerable to such experiences because of their sexuality are often taken at face value", these researchers noted, with other studies failing to draw a comparison to heterosexual students.

In other words, there are many reasons to be bullied at school – for being too smart, too dumb; too fat, too weak; or for being "gay" even when you are not gay. A report in the news only last week finds one-third of 10-year-olds in Australia report being bullied for various reasons. That is something many young people go through, and the claim that homosexual people suffer disproportionate bullying appears to be "taken at face value".

Another contentious claim of the gay lobby used to justify the 'normalisation' of homosexual relationships and behaviour in schools (as well as the goal of normalising homosexual 'marriage') is that depression and suicide among gay men is the fault of homophobic society, so that if society rejects gay marriage and does not celebrate homosexuality in schools, it is responsible for the despair and death of homosexual citizens. This same British study was more circumspect:

"It may be that prejudice in society against gay men and lesbians leads to greater psychological distress… Conversely, gay men and lesbians may have lifestyles that make them vulnerable to psychological disorder. Such lifestyles may include increased use of drugs and alcohol."

The Australian Institute of Health and welfare in 2010 found the prevalence of illicit drug use by homosexuals to be more than double that of heterosexuals (34 percent to 14 percent) while the rate of excessive alcohol intake was 25 percent to 16 percent. Such behaviours are certainly risk factors for depression and suicide, but are they somebody else's fault? In Canada, where gay marriage was legalised in 2005, homosexual lobbyists in 2009 still cited drug and alcohol abuse as several times higher amongst gays.

So are we to understand that substance abuse by heterosexuals is their own fault, but the elevated rate of intoxication in the gay scene, with its consequences for depression and suicide, is the fault of homophobic society?

From my observations as a family doctor, the pressures that depress a young gay man are more intrinsic than extrinsic: the sense that something has gone wrong deep inside; the depressing and degrading effect of his compulsive sexual encounters; the unresolved anger at what he sees to be the cause of his sexual confusion, such as childhood abuse by a male.

Psychiatrist Dr Jeffrey Satinover brings a sense of proportion to this multi-factorial suffering:

"Some of this is in fact, as activists claim, because all-too-often he experiences from others a cold lack of sympathy or even open hostility. But it is not true, as activists claim, that these are the only or even the major stresses. Much distress is caused simply by his way of life - for example, the medical consequences, AIDS being just one of many (if also the worst). He also lives with the guilt and shame that he inevitably feels over his compulsive, promiscuous behavior; and too, over the knowledge that he cannot relate effectively to the opposite sex and is less likely to have a family."

It trivialises a homosexual person's suffering to blame it primarily on the external environment – or alleged excess of bullying at schools. There are less insidious means to address the perennial problem of bullying -- for all students -- than by normalising homosexual behaviour in the curriculum.

Yes, the Australian Education Union's 2006 gender identity policy declares that: "Homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism and intersex need to be normalised." (Section 3.3.3). But two questions arise: first, why is the Coalition implementing AEU policy? Second, and more profound: if same-sex attraction is correctly understood as a complex irregularity of sexual development that causes deep grief to many of those affected, is "normalising" that irregularity only going to cause more grief?

The American College of Pediatricians, a conservative medical group represented across 47 states, makes the following observations "on the promotion of homosexuality in the schools":

Consider: confusion over sexual feelings is quite common among teens but it is usually a passing phase. The extensive National Health and Social Life Survey across the USA in 1994 found that some 8 percent of sixteen year olds identified as gay – but, significantly, the number halved within two years to just over 4 percent, and halved again by age 25 so that only 2.8 percent still thought they were gay. What that means is that most sexual confusion in adolescence – a full three-quarters in this study -- clears away if left to itself.

The American College of Paediatricians comments on some more recent large studies that also show some two thirds to three quarters of young people who thought they might be 'gay' subsequently change and go 'straight':

"Adolescence is well recognized for its sexual fluidity and instability of homosexual attractions. In 2007, Savin-Williams and Ream conducted a large longitudinal study that documented changes in attraction so great between the ages of 16 and 17 that they questioned whether the concept of sexual orientation had any meaning for adolescents with homosexual attractions. Seventy-five percent of adolescents who had some initial homosexual attraction between the ages of 17-21 changed to experience heterosexual attraction only.
"This is in stark contrast to the stability they found among adolescents experiencing heterosexual attractions. Among these adolescents, fully 98 percent retained their heterosexual-only attractions into adulthood. Another study demonstrating significant change away from homosexual attractions in adolescence involved 13,840 youth. Of those initially 'unsure' of their sexual orientation, 66 percent became exclusively heterosexual. "

Initiatives to "celebrate gay identity" among confused adolescents would, in my view, be likely to encourage some young men to "come out" at school when, left alone, they might have got over their confusion and avoided the harm of a homosexual lifestyle.

Even using the simplest, most objective measure of harm - the burden of venereal disease (and in Australia it remains the case now, as for the last 25 years, that around 85 percent of new cases of HIV/AIDS are in "men who have sex with men") – it is obviously harmful to lock a young man into a lifestyle that he might have avoided, were it not for the assertion of homosexual normalcy, by programmes such as 'Safe Schools'.

I ask you to reconsider the sincerely held but erroneous premises that are justifying a Coalition government using public funds to further the agenda of normalising homosexual behaviour to our children. On behalf of many parents and grandparents, I express my dismay and strongest objection.

Yours sincerely,
Dr David van Gend    
Toowoomba

David van Gend is a family doctor and head of the Australian Marriage Forum

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