Sunday, July 9, 2017

On Sale: Pray Away the Gay Fruitcake

“Mr. Howard is not writing for gay people. He is writing about gay people. The framing is as dishonest as the content.”
Deon Howard
One Deon Howard writes: “The John 15 Key to Leaving Same-Sex Lust in Your Past.” Once again those ancient chronicles are a source of gay conversion therapy.

Sarcasm aside, sites advocating gay conversion or pray-away-the gay are more potentially harmful to children than the porn that the self-righteous crowd are perpetually fretting over. Parents who attempt to change their gay kids into heterosexuals are likely to raise miserable, neurotic children who will carry resentment into adulthood.

Mr. Howard writes:
I know what it's like to lead a song service and put down the mic, only to indulge in homosexual acts hours after the conclusion of a worship service. I know what it's like to be bogged down with shame—maintaining a closeted, secret life with no intentions of reaching out for help because of the fear of being condemned by others in the church.
The proper takeaway is to be less concerned about the judgment of judgmental people and more concerned with finding happiness. The closet is a dreary place that is full of darkness and anxiety. The gay community is a “come as you are” affair.
People continually ask me for advice for overcoming sexual immorality, mostly in terms of homosexuality. … In addition to trusting and believing God for freedom, I do believe there are certain safeguards that must be in place to guard against sexual immorality, but no method or formula outweighs the power behind intimacy with Jesus.…
That is not freedom. That is constraint.
I had a dream recently about a guy whom I have not spoken to in quite a while. In the dream, he was making sexual advances towards me. When I woke up that morning, I just went about my daily routine. Didn't really think much about the dream. Several hours into the day, I received a text notification on my phone. If you're thinking ahead, you already know who it was—it was the guy in the dream. He was informing me that he would be coming to Texas in the next two weeks and wanted to hang out. I simply didn't respond to the text because I knew its true purpose, and I was not interested in entertaining the schemes of the enemy.
First off, no one has, and no one has ever had, the power to foretell the future. Not awake and not dreaming. This is likely a “pastor's story.” If he does dream of gay friends, what does that tell you? The “enemy” is not the fictitious Satan. The real enemy is the artificial need to conform to the expectations of other people.
When you become intimate with God, you become engulfed by His nature, so much so that temptation is likened to an ant that manages to crawl on your body, and you just gently wipe it off with hardly any effort because you have no desire for it. Basically, when tempted, I didn't have to pray tongues and war in the heavenlies because my relationship with Father God had become priority.…
Howard is “tempted” because he remains a gay or bisexual man. He will be “tempted” for the rest of his life. “Tempted” is the wrong word. From time to time I am tempted to defy my internist and have a two-inch steak. Sometimes I yield to that temptation. In contrast our sexual orientation is at the very core of who we are as human beings. It is innate and immutable. When we deny who we are as humans we become less human. Sadly, in an attempt to prove something, this guy will probably enter into a miserable marriage and raise even more miserable children.

In any event I am sure glad that Deon did not have to “pray tongues and war in the heavenlies” (whatever that means). The ability to express himself might come back when he puts this behind him. It might not.
Friends, the fruit you're searching for, the fruits of righteousness that you have been crying out for, the deliverance that you have been seeking after, awaits you at the place of abiding. You must make your relationship with Jesus a priority and continue therein, day by day. …
I erased to fruit sarcasm. Some things are just too easy to exploit.

Mr. Howard is in the shame business and his polemic forms the basis for discriminating against gay people even though it is dishonest — and it is profoundly dishonest. To sate his ego Mr. Howard is not writing for gay people. He is writing about gay people. The framing is as dishonest as the content. “I have changed and every other gay person should change.” He hasn't and they should not have to — not in a just society where people really care about each other.

Judging others based upon sexual orientation  is superficial. While it is an important component of who we are it has little bearing on what we can offer others. That might consist of our humor, intellect, artistry, honesty or just the ability to be a good and reliable friend. One cannot accept others' gifts unless one accepts others for who they are.

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