Tired of Fighting
I am so glad I fired Cable TV years ago. I get so frustrated when conversation with another human revolves around “Do you watch that show…?” instead of “How are you really doing?” then I think we might be missing the point of relationship. As I was sitting for free breakfast in a random hotel somewhere in the Florida Keys, CNN brought a random nugget of information into my world. The news ticker hurriedly proposed a question: “Iraq Armed Forces Grow Weary of Fighting?” 7 little words held the key to unlocking a treasure chest of inspiration in my cerebral recesses. Tired of fighting. Oh my goodness, who hasn’t been there? Tired of fighting. YES! That describes so many people. The bible challenges us in Galatians 6:9 to “not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
In Ephesians 6:9-12 10 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” There is a war going on for our very souls; for the souls of those people around us. Even those people we can’t stand to be around. Prayer is a good idea in today’s world.
I have been in and around the world of “ex-gay” ministry for about 16 years now. I have known of God much longer. I only got serious at my chronological mile marker of 27. For so many years I fought against God and my Father and not against the real enemy, satan. I allowed the enemy to separate me from God and my family far too long. I wasn’t in the place of being tired of fighting. I was so bitter and angry that I lived for the fight. Over the years I have gotten to know many men and women who decided, like me, to leave homosexuality behind. At one point we were tracking with one another that we had not been born gay and we wanted to honor God with our sexuality. As is always the case, the stress of the fight got to some people. Their temptations got the best of them and they started dabbling once again in the fires of sexual sin. They grew weary of taking up the cross of their sexual sin and following God’s design for their lives and not their own. To watch this was sad and discouraging. I could almost hear the laugh of the enemy as one after another fell back into sin and fell away from God.
As I watched great mentors of my own fall away and claim a different gospel than I had been taught and believed. I also felt the eyes and accusations of the world closing in on those of us who were choosing to remain true to our convictions. I experienced an array of emotions from anger to bewilderment. “How could they be so stupid?” or “Don’t they know what the bible says?” I would go from legalistic in my approach to overly gracious in a desperate attempt to bring them back to the fold. The false deity of gay Christianity began to emerge. It was a movement that would change the fight forever. It was the enemy’s way of concocting a tasty, noxious cocktail capable of sedating my friends and colleagues into a religious stupor. satan still uses the truth tinged with lies and seduction to lure hurting men and women away from God. The conversational serpent of Adam and Eve’s garden has grown and matured into the two-headed dragon of political correctness and one-way tolerance.
I am asked all the time my opinion of what happened to Exodus International. Daily queries emerge about Alan Chambers and Randy Thomas. One shining ray of hope is that some folks I talk to have no idea of the tumultuous events of the past few years in the ex-gay movement. At the end of the day, it comes down to the fact that men and women have grown tired of the fight for good reason. They have exchanged the truth of God for a lie. They misunderstood that homosexuality, though maybe not a conscious choice for them, was still a matter of choice with God. All questions of sexuality can only be answered fully and finally in relationship with God. The standards set forth by the bible are the only standards by which all men must live. If we follow God wholly and diligently, then He makes sense of our sexuality. If we follow our sexuality wholly and diligently, then the standards of God make absolutely no sense.
I would hazard a guess to say that many of my friends have fallen away not because they are perverts or bad people, but simply because they underestimated both the seductive power of satan and the redemptive nature of God. I myself have experienced times where I am indeed “Tired of fighting”. I have not always responded well to the evidence of that fight in myself or others. One thing I have done, is consistently referred back to the standard set by the bible, regardless of my horny feelings or feelings of desperation. Alan Chambers himself always told me that my feelings were not an accurate way to measure my progress. He said that your feelings would more often than not lie to you. While it appears he has not followed his own advice to me, he lead to me God's design for my homosexuality. He deserves my prayers not my criticism. I follow Jesus, not Alan Chambers or Steven Furtick or any other fallible man.
If we are not living our Christian lives under the template of Jesus, then we are subject to the waxing and waning standards or absence of standards set by this crazy, broken world we live in.
The answer my friend if you are tired of the fight, is not to keep trudging through the mud hoping that “It Gets Better” as Dan Savage would have us believe or to simply give in to sin and temptation. The answer is to cry out as I did to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and watch Jesus Christ take the fight out of our hands, because He has indeed, already won.