If you hang out with me long enough, I hope you’ll see this passion or drive for my Christian faith. I’d say I’ve had this passion for a long time. My church friends have seen this firsthand, as well as my gay friends! I can also sense it myself whenever I’m at my small group or Bible study group.

This passion just comes spewing out of me, and I have a desire to pour out my heart and share it with others — whether it’s words of encouragement or correction.

I grew up in a Christian household where I heard the Bible day in and day out! Mostly because my father is a pastor. I’d be under his teachings, and I’d see firsthand his passion from the pulpit. He shared expositional Bible studies with his congregation and challenged them each Sunday to live out the Gospel.

At times I’d see him cry, and other times I’d see him angry, and still other times I’d see him happy! It wouldn’t click with me then that his drive was the Holy Spirit; later in my twenties, I’d discover that same drive.

When it was my turn to accept the faith, I found the same passion that my father had whenever he was preaching. Though I didn’t always follow through with the teachings of Christ and basically fell away from the faith for a while, that passion was always there — even when I didn’t feel it or think I had that passion anymore!

While in my phase of hooking up with different guys, I’d often get into these deep, background conversations with them, even talking about my Christian beliefs. I shared my story with them — and, of course, they were surprised!

Once I started talking, it was like this thing inside me clicked, or turned on, and I couldn’t stop it! This joy inside me lit up, and I got very excited talking about my Christian faith, telling the other person how I grew up. I’d somehow even end up sharing the Gospel with that person!

Of course, I never led one of these guys to Christ because we’d just had sex! Oh, hypocrite me!

Once I’d open up about my faith, the other person would also open up about his own brokenness. He’d tell me how he ended up hating Christianity, hating the church, or hating God all together.

Each guy I met had his own story, but they all came from the same strand of brokenness.

These stories burdened me to keep going in my own faith, even though I was sinning! I knew I couldn’t stop believing in God and Jesus like these people did; thus, their stories actually helped drive my desire to follow and know Christ even more — to want His Holy Spirit to consume me as I slowly stop hooking up with other guys!

Honestly, I didn’t want my story to be like theirs: to be broken for a long time and not have any solution to help them in their brokenness.

Jumping to today, gay guys who know I used to sleep around and now see me occupied with church ministry question whether I’m actually a Christian. Why I’d still want to serve God and other people.

This is what I say to them:

Growing up, I heard stories from my dad or saw firsthand what kind of hurt people go through. Even when I was hooking up, I’d hear from other guys their past or current troubles.

You don’t know the stories I’ve heard and seen; you don’t know who these people are.

People said, “Pray for me. I just found out my boyfriend is cheating on me.”

Or: “Pray for me. I just found out I have HIV, and I don’t know what to do.”

Or a mom coming to my dad: “Pray for my son. His father just told him that he doesn’t love him and wants nothing to do with him.” I’d see that boy slouched over, my dad hugging him and praying for him in Navajo.

Bottom line: I know why my dad had this passion that drove him to share the Gospel with his congregation. All my life, I saw broken people, but I never noticed it. It never clicked until I experienced things for myself.

Hooking up with a 30-year-old man, being desperate for money and hooking up with “generous” guys, being told by my own church that I couldn’t serve or work in my own congregation because of my past — yes, I now know it was the Holy Spirit giving both me and my dad this passion to share the love of Jesus to anyone we meet. But it’s also mixed with pain.

These are the stories that drive me to share the Gospel no matter how it’s presented. Sometimes I’m harsh when I’m challenging my friends to dive deeper into their faith. But I know what it’s like to be on the other side. I don’t want anyone to go through horrible consequences for their bad mistakes.

On the other hand, I know what it’s like to hurt, to have nowhere to go. This is why I keep ministering to people who need to hear that Jesus loves them. I see myself in these people!

I’ve listened to one pastor regularly — almost every day — for the past year-and-a-half. Almost every sermon he preaches makes me tear up. He describes how he grew in his faith during his pastoral ministry years, and it’s the same way I grew up as as pastor’s kid. When he preaches, I can sense his passion as the same as my dad’s.

This quote is from that pastor, David Rosales, and it’s on point with everything I’m writing about today:

“You wanna know where passion comes from? It comes from pain….the burden of the Word of the Lord. Where does it come from? It comes from seeing people hurt, who could have been blessed, but decided to reject. It’s the voice crying in the wilderness, because in the wilderness of sin, people sometimes don’t listen very carefully. That’s ministry.”

If you hang out with me long enough, I hope you’ll see this passion evidently. I’m proud of it!

Do you have a passion to share the Gospel with unbelieving friends? What drives you to share — or not share — what Jesus has done your life? Do you believe the pain of your past could serve you in ministering to people with the same pain in the present?

* Photo courtesy Thomas Rodenbucher, Creative Commons.

  • What a great post. I know of this passion you speak from that could only come from God Himself. However, one of the biggest problems I see is having trouble sharing the word of Jesus to someone who has seen you sin, repeatedly (I can’t even imagine what it was like for you, Matthew, in bed with another man and sharing). I wish it were easier to share the Gospel without feeling like a hypocrite.
    Actually, that’s what my pastor preached on today, so it’s funny that sharing the gospel should come up. He said that God uses “broken clay pots” to share his word. Anyone who shares the Gospel is broken because that’s the whole point of it- the Gospel is for broken people, including us. We do not call people from an “ivory tower” to come and repent and be saved. We are at the foot off the cross, begging others to come join us and find healing by the grace of Jesus and repentance. Hope this helps somebody.

    • “We do not call people from an “ivory tower” to come and repent and be saved. We are at the foot off the cross, begging others to come join us…” Well said, good sir!

    • Here’s the thing, everyone has their own way to evangelize to people. Some speak with their mouths, and some speak with their actions, though it’s good to have a balance of both. My advice to you is to own your hypocrisy! Be real with yourself, and if you need to change something, then do it. You can only go so far with having this “woe is me” attitude and do nothing about it. At the same time, be real with others, especially those you’ve slept with. It’s all about baby steps man. Hope that helps!
      Oh! Dude, you’re pastor is so on point with God using “broken clay pots” to share His word. Bravo!

  • My exboyfriend heard me talk about God many times, even after sex. He decided to get into the act, even going so far as to call our encounters holy. Stupid me, I fell for it every time. After the last time we were together (12 and a half years ago) he let me know that I was only good for sex, I swore off gay sex and pretended that this aspect of my life never happened. Then the stroke happened and totally erased my memory. About a month after I got out of the hospital I got back the memory that I was gay (imagine finding out you are gay twice in your life) and was confronted with all that I had done. Still I hadn’t dealt with it and wouldn’t start till January of 2016, when a young person in our congregation asked for prayers because he was dealing with this. That event caused me to start counseling young people, some over the internet, some face to face, about being gay, and that they don’t have to believe the lies and propaganda of the media and the LGBT community, that because one is SSA doesn’t mean they have to have gay sex. Sex and love are not the same thing.

    • “…they don’t have to believe the lies and propaganda of the media and the LGBT community…”
      You seem to have a very negative view of other gay people. Painting them all with a large generalized brush stroke is rather harsh. We are all different and believe different things.

      • It isn’t a negative view of gay people. It is a negative view of the media and the LGBT community. I have that view, because I wasn’t viewed as individual, but as someone who was EXPECTED to live a certain way because I was SSA, and that way was a living hell..

        • I am a part of the LGBT community and I see you as an individual. I think you formed this view because of the people that you encountered. I am sorry that you had that bad experience. I think you need to live as your conscience dictates, as we all do. Hopefully you will meet some different people and realize we are all different.
          Living as a gay man, or however you choose to identify, never looks the same in any two people. The “living hell” for you might look incredibly different to some one else. It is good to remember that. The media isn’t the enemy because they believe different than you. The LGBT people you encountered are not the enemy due to their expectations or beliefs. The first thing to realize is that there is no enemy. They were probably offering solutions to you that brought them their own best happiness. Unfortunately they did not know what “best” looked like for you.
          Wider eyes and open minds benefit us all, on any side of the spectrum. 🙂

          • I would agree. I have also experienced those unfortunate things. I hope you realize that those situations are not the norm in the gay community or in LGBT relationships. Healthy friendships and good relationships exist. They take work, just as in the hetero world. The whole cannot be judged by the negative.
            I am sorry that those were your experiences and hope that you can heal and live past them as time goes on. The “gay lifestyle” always seems to be a common boogie man in some faith based circles, when in reality it is “poor life choices” that contribute to the pain, hurt and negative experiences that some go through. Don’t blame a community for the actions of some of its members. That is all I ask. I extend to you the same courtesy as well. Specific people hurt you. They are to blame, not a group of people that you do not even know.

          • I don’t exactly understand that comment, but I guarantee you I am not trying to fool you and have no tactics. I am not the person who hurt you. “They” are not after you. No one is after you. I hope you heal from whatever trauma and pain you are in that colors your world view and find peace, both with yourself and others.

          • I won’t go back into the gay life again. The guilt does not work. Being called a betrayer does no work. Being told that I’m in self-denial does not work. I am SSA. That is all. Iam at peace with that.

          • That is certainly your choice to make. I am not sure where you ever got the idea that I would have thought otherwise. I told you one must live by their own conscience. There is no guilt from me being leveraged at you. There is nothing in our conversation that could have alluded to betrayal. There is no recrimination or accusation of self denial. I feel you are projecting your past experiences with people onto me. I would appreciate you not doing that. The entire gist of this short conversation is me simply asking you to not generalize all gay people, the entire LGBT community and me specifically as an individual based on your past experiences with a person and people who treated you wrong.
            You accused the gay community of not treating you as an individual and wanted them to respect your choices in how you identify and choose to live. I have treated you as an individual and respected your choices through out this entire discourse and yet, you do the very thing to me that you accuse others in the past of doing to you. Respect is a two way street. Until you get over what has happened to you in these past relationships and incidents, everyone you meet and come in contact with will continue to wear their face in your head. I am not those people. We are not those people.
            I repeat again, I hope you heal from this and find peace.

          • Are you simply trolling here? I have shown you nothing but grace and concern and this is how you respond? What is wrong with you?

          • I have never called you a traitor or insinuated that you are.
            “I agree with you, just because you are gay doesn’t mean you have to have sex or be in a relationship. Sex and love are certainly not the same thing.”
            That is a direct quote from me in the conversation above in my very FIRST reply.
            Now please show me “guilt”, “betrayer”, “traitor”, “self-denial” or any inference that you are “crazy” in anything that I have posted.
            You will not find it, because it is not there.
            I hope you seek and find help for whatever causes you to read this perspective into a civil and grace filled conversation. I cannot help believe that either you are simply trolling for an argument or have a horrible skewed perspective on others that causes you to imagine offense and writes this pre-conceived story you have ingrained in yourself into every interaction with someone who does not bolster your self belief.
            You are and always have been free to be you. I have never contradicted that. In fact, I have encouraged it.
            I do realize now why I refrain from talking to certain sects of Christian gay people. They imagine an enemy in everyone they meet. There is no enemy here but the one of your own making.
            Peace on you.

          • You may not have, but others have, and therefore I trust NOBODY in the gay lifestyle, because it seems that they all want is for me to go back into it, and I don’t. I have been called a traitor, self deniar, unhappy, just to name a few. The propaganda of the LGBT community is one of just love, and NEVER speaking of the realities of the gay lifestyle: violence, prostitution, self loathing, substance abuse, criminal behavior, promiscuity, mindless sex; need I go on. I have witnessed all these things. How many more people do I need to see die due to disease? How often do I need to put myself at risk for HIV? How many people do I need to see go to prison because they were trying to support their drug habits? How many people do I need to see get mutilated because they are told that God made a mistake? How many people do I need to see get injured during the course of gay sex? These are realities of the gay lifestyle and its trappings.

          • I believe you need to make the best decisions for yourself and I whole-heartedly support you in whatever path you believe aligns with your conscience and faith.
            I disagree on your perspective and conclusions but realize that they are based on the experiences you have had with the people that you have met. Everyone’s experience in this life is vastly different, so consider the possibility that your experiences are not the reality that others live in. Their own experiences are just as different as those you have lived through. To write them off and consider their ideas and opinions as null and void is only being as close minded yourself as you accused them as a group of being. Everything you have shared is your opinion based on the facts you have witnessed. Everyone else’s opinion is just as valid based on the facts that we have witnessed in our own lives.
            Only you can live your present and future and with your determination, you will succeed at what you put your heart and mind to. I wish the very best success for you and hope that your faith will help you over come the fear and trauma that seems to consume you. You have experienced the worst side of parts of this world. Know this…it is not all like that, and that is what makes life worth living. 🙂

          • Heya Bradley. I see your responses on here and elsewhere. I can tell you’re a sensitive bloke like I am. Something occurred to me today after I’d seen the earlier exchanges and your general feelings of what you’ve been through, and it got me thinkin and this may be an odd question and I don’t want to psychoanalyze (I tend to do that) you. Let me ask you: Do you forgive yourself? The question is a lot simpler than it might seem. (:

          • Hey Joshua, I don’t think I have ever been asked that question, and it is poignant. Do I forgive myself? I buried a lot of what happened in the recesses of my mind. It has all come back to me in flashbacks, and I relive these moments daily; but I don’t think I have ever forgiven myself. I know God is forgiving. But to forgive myself – that is something I have never contemplated. Do you think I need to? Be honest, because I respect you.

          • Yessir. I have come to realize that grace is a real thing. Just as Jesus offers it to us, we have to experience it. This is much deeper than I can go theologically, but sin has such great weight to it, that only sinless Jesus, God Himself, could bear that weight, brother. There are so many theological issues that I overthink. I cannot add to or subtract from my salvation. I am either a forgiven child of the Most High or I am not. I have done and said disgusting things that I wouldn’t want anyone to know about. There’s one guy from almost 4 years ago that I would give anything to say sorry to one more time. Maybe in Eternity.

          • You’re going to have to help me out here. I only came back to God a few years ago after nearly dying. When I started getting my memory back, I started having flashbacks of my past, and I not proud of anything from it. God forgives, but I need to forgive myself too. How? The things I did, the things that were done to me…it is all so overwhelming. I can scarcely believe that God can love me and forgive me, that I am not His pet faggot. It’s so hard to take in.

          • Not cool man, not cool. @usnstang:disqus was trying to have a civil dialogue with you.
            (I know you’re gonna probably explode with angry emotions, reading my whole comment on here, and are going to think that I’m on his side, and “am in sin” or whatever. So here’s the thing, after you read my whole comment, think about what I said, and go take a walk, or talk to yourself if you need to, and step away from the computer or your smartphone for awhile until you’re ready to try to understand where @usnstang and I are coming from.)
            I do understand what he’s trying to say because most people I meet, who live in the “gay lifestyle”, do not exhibit the behaviors you’ve experienced yourself. Plus, with the whole violence, prostitution, substance abuse, criminal behavior, HIV, etc, I see those more in the “straight community,” than in the gay community, and it’s sad. We’re just more aware of the gay community because we either deal with it ourselves, it’s kind of brand new in realizing there are people who are SSA/gay, or we’re so used to saying Homosexuality is an abomination, and we’re so used to sins in the “straight community” (e.i fornication, adultery, etc). But drug abuse, HIV, violence, criminal behavior, etc, I deal with in my own family, and they’re straight!
            You can have a healthy friendship with a gay guy or have gay friends, I wrote a post about that awhile back. We’re all human beings! That’s one of the things I don’t like about this group sometimes. We have this mentality of the “gay community” are the bad guys or the boogie man, but instead they’re just guys who like guys! I even have to apologize to them because they read everything on here, and they get turned off by Christianity with some of the comments what other people say on here. Having this negative view of the LGBT people and seeing them as the bad guys.
            So what if they’re have a different mindset than us, or are in a relationship with each other! I have two friends, who are great great friends to me, and are in a homosexual relationship, yet they are very respectful acknowledging my beliefs and values. Does this mean I’m on the Side A or whatever the other side is on, NO! But I don’t need to be bashing them over the head of what the Word of God says. My job is to be a servant to them, and God will open they’re hearts to the Gospel. (Which is a preview of what’s to come in a future post)
            I’m sorry you had to go through what you went though with your ex-boyfriend, and other people who hurt you. I do understand why you’re saying what you’re say. But frankly, I know there’s gonna be a time in your life, if it hasn’t already come, that other people like @usnstang, who is going to have a different mindset than you have, and do want to have a normal conversation with you. Are you going to have a civil conversation, and know when to just leave things alone, and learn how to agree to disagree? Or are you going to do what you did to @usnstang in this whole conversation? That’s my challenge to you.
            Another challenge is, if you’re freaking with what other people are trying to make you do, then do you really have that strong of a faith that you proclaim? Or is your faith weak? You’ve seen me say this to others, “own your weakness,” meaning you’re responsible for your own downfall, and you need to realize you can’t blame others for your own mistake. If you’re worried about others making you fall, then you need to take a hard look at yourself and the faith that you have. If it needs to be strengthen, then start exercising your faith, make it stronger. If you fall again, then you dust yourself off, and get back up because I ain’t gonna baby you if you fall. I’ll tell you what I tell the other YOB Authors on here if they do fall, “you get back up and you keep going.”
            Honestly, reading this whole conversation with you and @usnstag, I like his conversation better. He’s not forcing his belief on me or anyone else, and he’s not freaking out too! He’s just giving his point of view on stuff, and showing that sometimes words do hurt other people we are trying to reach. Hopefully you can understand that; if you can’t, then oh well!

          • Honestly this whole conversation opened up a whole can of worms that I didn’t care for. I have been celebate for twelve and a half years now. I am not bitter about my past experiences, but I do have flashbacks about them (and the feelings become raw about them). However I do see the entire LGBT community criticizing me for not living the lifestyle (hence the name calling from them), and I do get defensive. I don’t ever want to go back, and for this I get called “ex-gay”, ‘”unhappy”, “self denier”, “traitor”, etc. I get tired of all these insults, and tired of people trying to get me back into the life. The propaganda I speak of is of the idea that if you like guys then you must want to have sex with them (from the media) and if you don’t then you are in denial (the LGBT community) (I have heard it plenty of times, in fact just last week). I saw usnstang as someone else who was trying to get me back in (which he clearly wasn’t), but others do, not knowing the things I saw and what I went through.
            As far as a civil dialog, not sure what that means, because they always seem to start out the same; light and friendly and then condemning me for not indulging, and breaking down into name calling. Frankly, I am tired of it all. I don’t want to go back and I am tired of being condemned for that. The criticism is out there (on BOTH sides). I have to deal with Christians too, high and mighty, who think I lead a bad life and am not worthy to even step in church. So what do I do? I am in a no-man’s land, attacked on all sides.

          • Hey, Bradley. I sympathize with whatever attacks you’ve fielded from gay individuals or communities in the past. But in reading @usnstang:disqus’s comments, I don’t see that he was ever condemning you for anything. I only read him repeatedly wishing you would follow your conscience and spirit while sharing some of his own perspective. Just my thoughts from the outside reading this back-and-forth.

          • While agree that usnstang did not attack me, I am always on the defense from being attacked, always waiting for that ‘but’. I just came back to the Lord and get it from both sides, from the right and the left. Few (except for YOB) seems to care that I am just a person and on no one’s side (maybe usnstang, I am still wary).

          • What you are promoting, USNTANG, is a concept called “Cultural Conquest” and this is something that I have watched from a front-row seat for 38 years, because up until then I was a gay man. It was only by the will of God that I was delivered from sexual attraction to men or to women. Let me get make this clear, it is not being gay that is the sin, it’s the lust and action that one fulfills that is the sin.
            As i said I saw the process of Cultural Conquest happening everyday and it happens in 5 steps:
            1. The group makes a humble request for Tolerance. (How many times growing up did I see on the news or talkshow a gay man, dressed like “EVERYMAN”, with a masculine voice telling how he just wanted be able to, in the privacy of his own home, live in peace. Often he also would say, ” I’m not saying that I want to force others to be like me or even agree with my choices.”)
            2. Soon after the dust has settled, people will begin to notice small changes within the group. Tolerance is becoming a hindrance and people, outside the group, begin to hear Acceptance. The main difference is that this is no longer presented as a request but is given as a demand. Equal rights, equal status and something new is added, the right not to be offended by the outsiders. This is one of the first signs of the ultimate agenda of the group, demanding a privilege that no others have, or would except to be considered a ” Right”.
            3. This step takes time because the group must begin to divide the outsiders against themselves by convincing some to see the group as victims. This strategy is well thought out and planned by the leaders and is based in psychology and by knowing who to target. (In the group we are considering here the targets would be people who are on the sidelines of the society, because of feeling rejected they are quickly won by acceptance from the gay group. Those who have an “open-mind” (open-minded is a misleading term, it would be more accurate to say that they have no ideas or standards that are their own.) When the number of supporters from society are high enough the 3rd step is inevitable, Celebration! Which now means everyone must not just accept the gay community and lifestyle, but also promote it as a good and valuable way of living.
            4. Knowing these steps one can probably guess the last 2. It is predictable that what must come next is Forced Participation. This is another sign that should open everyone’s eyes that this group has had an agenda to not only obtain the same rights as every other person outside of the gay community has but that the LGBT has set about to surpass equal rights becoming favored above non gays.
            5. The last stage is going on now all around the globe. Punishment of every person who disagrees with the ideals or whims of the new society.

  • This is amazing. Great post Matthew.
    I too feel this brokenness inside me, like nothing I do or have ever done “fixed me”.
    It is really an intese trip, to find our faith, our passion, our drive. Just by writting this I can feel myself shaking. God is the truth we must pursuit everday.
    I always try my best to guide folks who have walked the same road as mine. I feel their spirits still burning inside them, but lost on a void, spaced away.
    I have much anxiety talking about my problems with others, but the Holy Spirit is taking care for me, with me. We must try to help others, to be loving and patient.
    This, right here may be my saving road. I love this community, and even though I’m across the world and might not know you personally, I still feel connected. Hope everyone in this group of brothers always find a way to bless and love others.
    Thanks for being here.

    • Dude, thank you for that encouragement. I know it’ll help a lot of people who read this sections on the blog.

  • Matt, dude you are a riot!I don’t think I’m nearly as extroverted as you are (I do have my moments because I use being a goofball to my advantage and I def have not had the amount of relations you have), but I understand that passion for the Lord and how it just flows out sometimes. I have come to love God’s Word and to share it. Even when I hooked up with an older guy 2 years ago, I was always telling him about my love of Christ (he was a slightly grouchy 50 year old waayyy lapsed Catholic, and come to think of it, I do think he had some $ haha). Needless to say when I did talk about Jesus, he looked at me like I was a lunatic, especially after we’d just….yeah. Matt, your father sounds like a true blessing, brother. My dad loved Jesus, too, but he decided fatherhood and being a husband was too much so he left us, especially me, his only firstborn child and only son to fend for myself.
    Anywho, the idea of an older guy taking care me does at times seem pleasant, but it’s just a fantasy. What if he and I are both broke, and living on some dumpy farm somewhere instead of traveling the world and acting all bougie. Haha!!…But seriously, if what the Word says about us redeemed Christ-followers being pilgrims and just passing through this quick life is true, then praise God for that, and I thank Him also for YOB.

    • Haha! Thank you for that comment! I love it! You almost have the same story as me with the whole telling about Jesus after you hooked up. Dude! You’re so on point about the whole weirdness vibe going on, that’s just freaking hilarious! LOL! But honestly, if you did live with an older man, living somewhere on a dumpy farm, acting all bougie, then you’re living on a farm with an old man, acting all bougie! That’s the reality of it, to be honest! Lol. What I’m trying to say is that’s basically your choice. Same thing with having that fantasy of wanting someone older to take care of you, if you let it fester in your mind, you’ll have that longing always! So, what are you going to do about it? Are you gonna let that fantasy stay in your head, or are you going to be your own man? Remember, you’re a strong independent woman who don’t need no man! *snap snap* LOL. But seriously, time will go on, and you’ll become older. There’s going to be a time where you do need to shake off that fantasy because soon, you’ll be that old man. Do you really want to have that same fantasy all the way until you’re and old man? Something to think about.

  • What we have here are two irreconcilable viewpoints, based on two irreconcilable theologies. One is the orthodox, biblical view, that has been the church’s teaching for 2000 over years. The overwhelming majority of our bloggers at YOB hold to this view. By and large we come from Evangelical Protestantism or conservative Roman Catholicism.The other viewpoint comes from liberal Protestantism, the basic theology of which is radically different from either Catholicism of Evangelicalism. “Gay theology” took hold within Liberal Protestantism because of it’s low view of scripture and Universalist views on salvation. I know – I grew up in a Church where, in my confirmation class, the teacher told us that Jesus did not lead a sinless life. We never heard the Gospel on Sunday morning. In my High School youth group – and this was back in the early 70s – the youth group leader told us impressionable teenagers that he was looking for sexual alternatives to marriage. When I asked the pastor what he thought, he refused to take a stand. It is not surprising, therefore, that this pastor’s successor opened the door to that Church’s becoming gay-sex affirming. Many – if not most – of the leaders of the larger church (which I left) flagrantly denied the essential doctrinal statements of their own denomination. Those who pushed the agenda that accepted homosexual practice as Christian also denied the virgin birth, redefined or denied the Trinity, rejected the doctrine of the substitutionary atonement of Christ and the necessity for receiving Christ for salvation. Many went so far as to reject Christ’s bodily resurrection. They held joint services with Muslims and other non-Christian religions, believing that there was salvation offered through those other religions. It is through this theological lens that Gay theology emerged and morphed into the norm of liberal Protestantism. Yes, in recent years there have been “gay affirming Evangelicals” like Matthew Vines and, more recently, Tony Compolo. However, what these men are doing essentially is to create a hybrid of Evangelicalism and Modernism. They are borrowing a view of Scripture from the same radical theologians who deny the essentials of the faith, combining them with a significant number of Evangelical distinctives. You cannot mix the two. The two theologies are, essentially, contradictory. You can embrace the “re-imaged” Jesus of the radical theologians and live the gay lifestyle. You cannot, however, embrace the Jesus of the Bible – the whole Bible – and continue, unrepentantly, in that lifestyle. Repentance is not an option. Always remember where Gay theology is rooted. East is east and West is west. Instead of arguing back and forth, why don’t we simply recognize that we are not all going to be on the same page without one side changing its basic, essential theology. Most of us are here because we want to follow the Christ of the Bible. Our belief in Holy Scripture compels us to reject homosexual practice. We come to YOB for support and encouragement in our battle against SSA-related temptations. IF I BELIEVED IN GAY-SEX AFFIRMING THEOLOGY I WOULD HAVE NO NEED TO BE HERE. I would just dive into the gay lifestyle. I would be on the gay-porn websites, not YOB. How grateful I am that, when I became a Christian in 1975, I was discipled by brothers who held to a high view of scripture. If I had simply embraced the liberal religion of my family’s church, I would probably have died from AIDS years ago. So, why don’t we just accept the fact that the two sides are based on incompatible theologies. Oil and water do not mix.

      • About 15 years ago I attended a debate at the University of Rhode Island, a debate focused on the issue of gay marriage. One speaker in the debate was a prominent Evangelical, the other was a pastor from a very liberal Rhode Island church. Although there were some Biblical issues brought up in the debate, the overwhelmingly secular nature of the audience kept the debate from getting heavy into theology. Then, during the question and answer time, a woman stood up and asked the liberal pastor “Do you believe in the Virgin Birth?” Most people in the audience probably wondered what in the world this question had to do with gay marriage, but I knew instantly why she asked it. The pastor’s response was “no.” With one quick question, followed by an even quicker one word answer, the liberal pastor’s credibility as a Christian was completely undermined. If you don’t believe in the Virgin Birth, then you don’t believe in the Incarnation which, in turn, means you are not a Christian. This woman knew instinctively what question to ask – finding a pro-gay-sex pastor who actually believes in the Virgin Birth is a most daunting task, I assure you. She demonstrated her point well, namely that the gay movement within the church is rooted in the rejection of core Christian doctrine and the authority of scripture. Enough said.

        • I do meditate on God’s word daily. One topic that honestly fascinates me is Heaven and Hell. They both mean different things to different people. Even when I was agnostic, I always believed in 2 eternal destinies for people, even though I’d wrestle with things like reincarnation, or even some solipsistic worldview. Now, either Heaven is very real, a far off kingdom so far removed from this sinful world, and painfully exclusive, and Hell is as real and worse than any suffering we could experience now. I wouldn’t be surprised if peoples’ individual views of either destiny are directly proportional to how they evaluate their “God’s” love, His holiness, His wrath. He’s eternal, and His judgment of sin is as well. R.C. Sproul has to be one of my fave theologians currently. Seeing coworkers, people at the store or mall, people I know & don’t know, who will either be God’s presence worshipping Him, or in a Lake of Fire, I can’t say, but I’d be lying if I said I looked into their eyes and didn’t wonder. Anyway, without the Virgin birth, there couldn’t possibly be a Savior. Those same folks need to define what a savior is! I believe it’s just as simple as looking for 2 people in an obvious homosexual relationship in Biblical history and not finding one. That’s a hard pill to swallow for me, but: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” – Proverbs 27:6

          • “One topic that honestly fascinates me is Heaven and Hell.” Hey Joshua, me too, at least finding the reality of it. Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is within, that’s it here now. I let both the good and bad things that happen on this journey cloud or distort the better thing Jesus invites us to draw near and enter into. Too often I need more faith to see things as they are, especially others, as God already sees all of us. What you wrote about seeing others reminded me something CS Lewis wrote that you might enjoy.
            “It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbour. The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbour’s glory should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.”

    • “…Those who pushed the agenda that accepted homosexual practice as Christian also denied the virgin birth, redefined or denied the Trinity, rejected the doctrine of the substitutionary atonement of Christ and the necessity for receiving Christ for salvation. Many went so far as to reject Christ’s bodily resurrection. They held joint services with Muslims and other non-Christian religions, believing that there was salvation offered through those other religions…”
      Yikes. To ALL of that. (I still wrestle with same sex civil unions/ Side “A” vs Side “B”) Five years ago, I was not a born again/regenerated believer. Jesus offended me, I had not been to church since the early 90s when I was a kid, and I def kept my Bible on a dusty shelf. In 2013, something happened in my life I can’t explain. Since the summer of that year, I’ve spent an amazing amount of time reading about theology, prophecy, current church topics and trends. I’m not in any way currently involved in a church (umm, people. Eww. haha), and if someone had told me just a few years ago that my desire to pursue same sex physical relations was sin, I’d get heart palpitations and more than a little irritated because it’s such a deep part of me that I don’t (didn’t…?) want to let go of. I dunno if it’s discernment or what (I thank God I was raised with a Christian foundation), but reading about islam, and religious syncretism/polytheistic false worship, humanistic dualism and all that crap, I really believe that apostasy is here. During my long period of being a borderline atheist and living in my own bubble, I had no clue this stuff was occurring in the world at large. I believed all religions were silly, and I nearly looked into going to a Unitarian church. I cannot fathom why someone who knows and loves God Himself, Jesus Christ, would even dare to worship the god of islam. This is something I have been totally against, and this was even way before I read the news of last year (coinciding with the presidential race) of muslims throwing gays off buildings. Whether there’s a certain amount of anti-muslim propaganda there, I don’t know. I’d never heard of Campolo, Vines, Rob Bell, Knox, etc until 2014. Hearing some not so great stuff about these gents. I believe we may see Jesus coming really soon. This should either be greatly comforting to Christians, or extremely terrifying.

      • What is important to note here is that, for many of us, the gay-sex-affirming church is a serious temptation in its own right. I have an ex-evangelical friend who went over to that side and it brought great heartache. He thinks that he can have his cake and eat it too. The fact that Mathew Vines and company are infiltrating Evangelicalism with the false teaching of radical theologians opens the door to potentially fatal temptations for men like us. We need to sound the alarm on this. The survival of our souls is at stake.

  • Ok, we’re kind of getting off topic here. Some of these are good conversations, and good discussions, but we do need to focus or get back on what the topic is. I’m going to pick on @buckdipper:disqus, and @BryanSept20:disqus, since both of you guys are writing the longest. Haha. So my question to you guys, (mostly me wanting to know if you guys get what I’m trying to say) what is my post about? What am I trying to convey?
    From that point, going back tot he questions up above, mostly for application purposes, “Do you have a passion to share the Gospel with unbelieving friends? What drives you to share — or not share — what Jesus has done your life? Do you believe the pain of your past could serve you in ministering to people with the same pain in the present?”
    I’m not trying to put you two on blast, but I do want to know what you guys get out of this post. That way I know you guys aren’t side tracked too much.

    • Matt,
      In answer to your question, if I understand what you are saying, yes I do, but it also brings up questions on my own for you. I want you to be sure that I know exactly what you are talking about so let me explain. I was saved when I was 7 but being that young I didn’t really know what was expected of me from the Lord and looking back now ( you know hindsight is 20/20 ). I think it was more along the lines of Christ introducing Himself to me. My parents were Christians so I heard about Jesus from them and since both worked we, my sister and I, were brought up by our Grandma and our Aunt. They were Christians as well but where you heard about God’s goodness, mercy and willingness to forgive, God’s wrath was where the emphasis was placed. I don’t think that it was done to terrify us about God, but more of a way of controlling 2 overly hyperactive kids by a 75 year old woman. It is no exaggeration when I say we were hyperactive, we both have ADHD, but back then it was not know like it is today. I still have to take medication for it or my mind will try to process so much that it overloads like a computer. I expect you know what the mind is capable of conjuring up and before my left temporal and frontal lobes were damaged an IQ of 168 didn’t make for an easy ride.
      Then around the age of 22 I fell under conviction and was given salvation by the Holy Blood of Jesus and as a new Christian I was hungry to know and draw close to God. The preaching I sat under was very harsh most of the time, so trying with everything I had to please God, then to be told in every sermon that I had failed, one one reaches a point where you think, with some help from satan, that there’s no point. I remember that night that I walked down the Church steps and knew I was not going back. What added to my stress was that from the age of about 8 I had known that I was attracted to men, and trust me it’s not something that you have to wonder what others think about gay (when you live in the country, in the South, on a huge farm).
      There’s more to my story so I’ll continue tomorrow.

  • Sorry, Matt, for getting so far off track. However, what I wrote was actually intended to get us back on track! Usnstang and Bradley were constantly going back at each other, so I thought I would interject to show that this kind of wrangling will never work because we are coming from two radically different belief systems that cannot be reconciled. My lengthy discourse was meant to demonstrate this fact, urge us to accept the irreconcilable natures of our world views and then stop arguing. East is east and West is west; no amount of emotional wrangling will ever bring them together. That being said, my emotional pain regarding my SSA issues has opened the door for me to minister one on one with believers, as recently as this week. God has used my pain to bring healing and encouragement to those who have suffered as I have suffered. The passion is indeed there. As for witnessing to unbelievers, the non-Christians within my social circles (mostly at work, but not entirely) are not SSA affected, or at least not open about it. However, the pain I have gone through as a Christian struggling with SSA gives me a heightened sensitivity to various forms of emotional suffering that inflicts OSA as well as SSA individuals. I usually haven’t shared my SSA struggles with OSA unbelievers but instead have focused more on the miraculous things God has done in my life. They have proven to be the best testimony I have to offer unbelievers from my own life. And, yes, there has been a lot of non-SSA pain from my life that God uses in this testimony. Hopefully, my brother, we are now back on track!

  • (From my blog)
    “The best comment I ever heard was “Opinions are like a$$holes: everybody has one.” But how often do we become an a$$hole by standing by our opinion and not hearing someone else’s?
    I go to a site on the internet called Your Other Brothers (https://www.yourotherbrothers.com). It is a place where others who are gay (SSA) and seeking Christ can come together. I usually post on their blog, making little comments about my life and my experiences.
    A relative stranger posted on my comments about counseling youth and propaganda of the LGBT community, saying that I shouldn’t paint them all in a generalized term. I immediately became suspicious because of my encounters with Angry Activist and Detractor. I wouldn’t listen to him, because I was sure that I was right. I became angry, just sure that he was trying to get me to go back into the gay lifestyle.
    I berated him and falsely accused him.
    I had become the one thing that I abhorred. I had become a fascist a$$hole.
    I had not served the Lord, and because of me, someone did not hear the message of salvation. I was wrong.
    I wish I could take it all back, but I can’t. I didn’t watch what I said.
    Is my faith in God and my pride in celibacy really threatened by someone who has a different opinion? Maybe I’m just an a$$hole.”
    https://brokenbutredeemedblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/on-fascism/

  • Yeah, I have that passion. No I realize the starting place to share Christ with another is by touching them where their pain is. For me, this often means coming alongside men with sexual brokenness and sharing my own story of brokenness and the hope I have through Jesus. I pray for them and try to be Christ with skin on-the body of Christ. This includes men with pornography addiction and men with SSA. I am a “pastor” for straight men, gay men and men with unwanted SSA. I am a spiritual leader for men of other faiths too–and hope that my love will one day lead them to their Savior.
    This journey of faith dealing with my SSA the past few years has made me seek the Lord like I never did before. I hate the pornography that I became addicted too, but the Lord used this to help me seek Him in a new and passionate way. Yeah, I cry when I worship Him. I know the depths of my own sin and the even deeper depths of His amazing love for me. I am in. No going back.
    My SSA has shaped me in amazing ways and equipped me to reach out. So, I get your passion, Matthew! And I praise God for your own brokenness, pain and ministry to men. Praise Him for all that He is doing in our lives! Amen.

  • Matt, I am so glad that you are finding a renewed passion for the Gospel! I can resonate with your story, as I am also a pastor’s kid; plus, I lived overseas when I was little (in South America). You mentioned that your Dad spoke Navajo? Is that your native language? Blessings!

  • Do you believe the pain of your past could serve you in ministering to people with the same pain in the present?
    This question….I’ve run circles around it. Many times (when I’m down of course) I can only see the pain and wonder what good could ever come from this struggle, this loneliness?
    Yet, in my short life, I have already had several times where I’ve gotten to see the benefit of sharing my life (and faith) with others. I was the first SSA guy to talk to the young adult pastor at a church I attended, and since I moved, he’s told me of multiple college guys sharing with him – and he thanked me for helping him have a basis to start with for walking alongside them.
    Pain, struggles are never easy and rarely understandable in the moment. But, there are so many times that it pushes us into growth, more authentic community.

    • Amen to that! He makes ALL things work together for our own good, no matter how bad it seems in the moment. Not “most” things. ALL things. It’s kinda crazy if you think about it.

  • Matthew Áshįįhí

    Hey y'all! Just an SSA, full-blooded Native American, ESTJ, Enneagram 8 here. I'm a very blunt person but know when people can't handle the whole truth. My job here is to tell you guys my story which is set up like a typical coffee shop, one-on-one talk. I'm here to challenge the way you think and encourage you spiritually. Hope you guys are ready!

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