Conversations at the Diner
On our way to our friend Amy's house to celebrate Thanksgiving, we stopped by a diner I have been eyeing for awhile now. My friends eat way healthier than me. Well, except for Ethan. He believes that McDonald's forms the base of the food pyramid. Anyway, I convinced, aka begged, them to stop and have dinner. They relented and we stopped. We are a friendly bunch and can basically talk to anyone about anything. The sign at the front invited us to seat ourselves; so we did. Our first waitress was quickly displaced by a second, feistier one. The new waitress was 3 inches shorter than your average kindergartner. Upon asking what she recommended, her tiny fingers danced about the menu faster than Hillary Clinton can hit the delete button after checking a classified email. The guys decided on a few of her recommendations, but I broke rank, deciding instead to go with liver and onions and green beans. This selection produced a gnarly scowl from our waitresses once smiling face. She placed our orders, returned to the table and the witty banter ensued. At some point, she received a text from a very, needy 16 year-old boy that we were informed was just one of 10 potential suitors.
The laughing and joking subsided a bit when she commented to Ethan that he must have a lot of boyfriends. Say what? We all heard it, laughed nervously and chose to brush it aside, but later on she broached the subject again, this time with all of us. She asked if any of us had boyfriends. I quickly said, I hadn't had a boyfriend for 18 years, since I left homosexuality behind. The scowl returned to her face, this time accompanied by a brow so furrowed it would have stifled even Joyce Meyers' plastic surgeon. She asked Ethan and Samuel if they had left homosexuality, too.
At this point I produced a business card so she could research Big Fish Ministry a bit. Ethan also produced a card for Revelation 12:11, his ministry. She asked about the card. I told her it would take her to my blog. It might help answer the questions her scrunched up face said she might have. She asked a few more questions like: "Have you stopped liking boys?" and "Have you started liking girls yet?" I explained how homosexuality developed in my life and she mumbled something and flitted off, never to return. It wasn't our goal to rock her world, but we had triggered an emotional "earthquake" of epic proportion.
Never being one to let an interaction like this go, I began to analyze and dissect the interaction. Questions ran wild in my mind: "Did we freak her out?", "Why was she more interested in chatting when she thought we were gay?", "Why hasn't the world heard stories like ours?", "What do we need to do in order share our testimonies on broader scope?"
The truth is, testimonies like ours are uncomfortable and odd. Churches steer clear of letting us share for fear of offending people. Heck, even at Donald Miller's Storyline Conference I just attended, a gay pastor was allowed to share his coming out story. When I questioned the conference organizer if the narrative of my story would be welcome, all I received was silence. More often than not, when we try to share our testimonies they are met with resistance. The world has been conditioned to accept and protect sin rather than taught to recognize sin in it's many forms according to scripture.
Knowledgeable, compassionate Christians and devout Christian men and women who have walked away from homosexuality should be establishing the churches dialogue on sex and sexuality. Justin Lee and Matthew Vines, two prominent false prophets of the gay Christian movement, should be called to repent by the Christian church at large, rather than having their twisted versions of the bible accepted into mainstream church culture. Satan is working through these men. The same way that satan comes as an angel of light, these smooth talkers are weaving a web of deception leading many churches into a "reformation" movement that will ultimately destroy and split the church.
As I sat there in those moments after our waitress left, I knew a few things very clearly. The course of my life and that of other men and women who have left homosexuality behind, is not determined by our attractions, past or present. The course of our lives is determined daily by our sacrifice to Jesus Christ. Also the fact that we believe God's word as it relates to homosexual sin. We lead lives as attacked by the gay community as the gay community believes the church attacks them. After 17 years of saying Yes to God and no to my homosexual desires, I can honestly say that my life and times are very different than they were when I took those first few trepidatious steps out of homosexuality and into God's arms.
God spoke a promise over me many years ago. It involved continually having one person after another say they felt like God wanted them to share Isaiah 61:1 with me. “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;” It was written as prophecy about Jesus and I am nowhere near Jesus status when it comes to this life. But, I know that God allowed all my hurts, hangups and struggles in life for such a time as this.
In the process of redeeming my life, God's Holy Spirit is working through me and He has anointed me to bring good news to those trapped in the same sin that held me captive for so many years. God has sent me to heal the brokenhearted with the good news and truth of the gospel to those who are willing to hear and contend with it. God has challenged me to proclaim freedom for those trapped in any kind of sinful pattern. He has given me authority to march into prisons of sexual sin everywhere that satan serves as warden, judge, jury and chief medical officer to release those bound up in the seductive poison of homosexual sin. I will live up to this calling and endure whatever persecution necessary to ensure that men who struggle with homosexuality hear the life giving word of the gospel.
This blog may not be popular with too many, but I choose to live according to my calling. Galatians 1:10 says “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? or am I striving to please men? if I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ.” Our greatest calling is to dispense grace and truth to those living without Jesus in equal measure. Our directives do not come from the vast, stifling, politically correct, worldly rhetoric of today's sin friendly culture, but from every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. The kind, deceptive pill of love the world serves will only prolong a person's agony until they die and enter eternity without God. If it is presented boldly and compassionately, the gospel is the only tool that will forever change and save the hearts of mankind.