Oh Facebook. Bearer of News: good and bad. Officializer of relationships. Savior of the modern world. Keeping people from feeling less lonely as they isolate away from real, life community.
Who doesn’t get excited about friend requests? I received one yesterday from the brother of a guy I am mentoring. The guy and his brother are both gay. First I thought, “Thank you Jesus, he has seen the light. He is ready to talk about Jesus.” Then I opened up the first of his two messages. Was I ever wrong? I was reminded of the old footage of a very unsuspecting Anita Bryant on Youtube as she was hit in the face with a cream pie, thrown by a gay activist, during a television interview. I am sure that pie left a better taste in her mouth than what had just hit me square in the face.
The first thing he told me was how terrible his family had treated him. Then he accused me of aligning myself with them. He then bashed his sister, told me how much of a slut his brother was and then turned his attention to me. Joy! He had just begun to pick up steam. His exact words to me were, “Is this what fags do when they get to old and ugly to get anyone anymore…turn “straight”? To be honest, my first thought wasn’t hurt; it was that he had misspelled the word “too”. Always the consummate writer, I put aside my grammar rules and read on. Fortunately, his rage didn’t stop there and I got a bonus PS to the message. “PS. only FAGS go by their full names. RICHARD…MICHAEL…STEPHEN…MATTHEW…”
How about that? And I was just signing on to change my status for the night. Whew!! Can I tell you about the silver lining in the clouds of his message? I have only recently begun to embrace my middle name, which is Aaron. Aaron was a name I hated, because I associated it with all the pain I endured at the hand of bullies in high school. I have always preferred the name Matthew over the slang or abbreviated term of Matt. My full name Matthew Aaron means “Gift of God. A teacher, lofty, exalted, mountain of strength.” My name, my full name has meaning and power. It isn’t simply a cutesy moniker repeated to evoke a response. It is the very essence of God’s calling on my life that I aspire to live out every day.
My friend’s gay brother isn’t the enemy, but he was sure used by the enemy. He attacked me in every area I have celebrated victory in lately. My charitable foundation is called the Matthew Aaron Foundation. Satan attacked me at the core of my calling. And I don’t know a person out there who doesn’t struggle with self-esteem issues concerning their age or their looks. Thank God has helping me place more emphasis on the content of my heart, rather than the shell that it is house in. His attacks on such superficial things, reminded me of my days in the gay life, where I had to wear the right clothes, have the perfect hair and make sure I looked the part. In one fell swoop satan attacked my age, my looks and my testimony. If that surprises anyone…well…let’s just say it shouldn’t. That is what he does my friends.
I was a little shaken up, but when God revealed satan’s plan of attack I did two things. I prayed for my friend’s brother more. Then I set up a boundary so that further attacks could be prevented. I also let my friend’s brother know how I felt about his unprovoked attacks. I told him I thought it was kind of funny that it seemed perfectly acceptable for a gay person to call someone a FAG, yet if someone calls a gay person a FAG it’s considered hateful. I have mentioned it before, but it seems tolerance to the gay community is forever, a one-way street.
I didn’t expect the enemy to leave me alone. After all, in a few short weeks I am quitting my dream job to go into full time ministry helping men who struggle with unwanted same sex desires. I am going to be a target for the enemy. It seems that anyone who endeavors to speak the truth about sin these days, is abruptly ridiculed, labeled a hater and a bigot and told that God is only “love”. I don’t plan on changing the message of the bible anytime soon, so I guess this is something I am going to have to get used to. After all, Jesus himself said we would be persecuted just like he was persecuted. When he sent out his disciples, he told them these things. Matthew 10:8 “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” I share the message of my delivery from homosexuality, not to cast judgment on the world, but because I have received life from my Father. It is my calling and my honor to share that with all who will hear it and “listen”.