Question: “How do I, or should I, come out to my fellow believers as an Ex-gay who has been born again and recently rebaptized because I believed God wanted my love for HIM, (and also for my wife of 30 yrs), to be a witness to all sinners, gay or straight, that God can ‘change that kind’? Someday, if HE wills, all sinners here in San Luis Obispo County, CA, (with the help of the Holy Spirit), can hear how God can heal and cleanse one such as I once and completely for all time.”
Reply: Thanks for your question. It is a good one, but somewhat difficult for me to answer.
I have been sharing my testimony now for a number of years. But even though I have published my story with details and have a web site which specifically addresses the issue of my past, to this day in my public appearances and testimony I only speak of my life of “self-destruction and degradation.” In this way people know that I have been saved from something really bad, but I don’t offend people with the specifics that may make them uncomfortable or turned off to the testimony, which really is about what God has done in my life, not what Satan did all those years.
It was nine years after leaving the gay lifestyle that I finally was called to write my book and start sharing openly my testimony, which, as I said, I still do with great discretion. The Lord saw fit to hold me back until I had years of victory so that I would be a credible witness when called upon to be more open. Up to that point I shared my testimony everywhere I went, but still referring to “self-destruction and degradation”, not “homosexuality”. If people knew about, or found out about, the “gay” thing, they would have to admit that I had been honest in my testimony, because “gay” fits within the parameters of “self-destruction and degradation.”
Does that make sense? When sharing with others about Christ in your life, be quick to admit that your past was really bad, but don’t be so quick to share details. Spend your time sharing the power of Christ Who is mighty to save, the “whosoevers”, from “whatsoever”, even “to the uttermost”, you being a prime example. In this way your testimony can be a blessing not only to people who are struggling with the gay issue, but those dealing with other major sin issues in their lives as well.
The Holy Spirit seems to make it very clear to me when I am to share the nature of my life of self-destruction and degradation. Usually it is with someone privately. And always it has then been made clear that my revelation was exactly what that person needed at that time. By my sharing privately under the leading of the Holy Spirit, the other person was not embarrassed, but rather greatly impressed that the Lord had spoken directly to him/her about his/her need of Christ or about His power to help their loved one or friend for whom they were concerned.
As you stay really close to Jesus, He will make the times and places for giving your testimony very clear to you. Don’t think it a denial of your witness to use the better part of discretion. On the other hand, don’t hesitate to share if under conviction. After all, Psalm 107:2 says, “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy…” But even then, it does not say that you need necessarily to share sordid details. You can share what the Lord has done without shining too much light on what Satan has done. You can talk about how He has brought new meaning into your marriage and made it a blessed relationship after years of stormy seas, for example, acknowledging that you were the cause of the unrest without going into detail.
Too often, people get up to share their testimonies and go on and on about the sin in their lives which tends to glorify the sin. Young people can come away from such a session thinking, “Wow! That man spent years in the fast lane, sowing his wild oats, getting it all out of his system, and then came back to the Lord before it was too late! He got to have his cake and eat it, too! Perhaps I have time to spend the years of my youth and my prime that way, too. Then I can come back to the Lord when I’m older, and after I’ve gotten all this stuff out of my system…!”
Do you see how we can be a stumbling block to others, especially the young, if we are not very careful how we reveal the sins of our youth and the details of our testimonies?
I hope these thoughts will be of some help to you, D___. Thank you for sharing with me.
All Power to you!