October 13, 2005

Equipping the Church to Evangelize and Disciple the Homosexual

That is the mission statement of an organization called "Cross Ministry," founded by an evangelist named Tim Wilkins. He tells a harrowing story of his childhood and a terrible home situation and details how his anger at his father led him to reject masculinity and embrace homosexuality.

After graduating from seminary, Wilkins talks about how he stayed celibate for years and was finally led to met a woman who he later married and now lives a happily heterosexual lifestyle. God bless him for opening himself up to the healing power of the Lord and emerging through the pain and heartbreak of his youth.

Now Wilkins, through his ministry, wants to deliver ALL homosexuals from their lifestyle, believing it is sinful back even when he was leading it himself. He means well.

What is they say about good intentions? Could Wilkins have mistaken deep psychological scaring as a young man for TRUE same-sex attraction, not being born with but developing it out of rebellion or escape or whatever his damaged psyche was processing? Could be, and there can be little doubt there are people out there with similar experiences that Cross Ministry could be of great benefit to.

There are many others, however, who are attracted to people of the same gender not because of psychological trauma but natural instincts. Cross Ministry is merely one of a growing number of "Ex-Gay" organizations that are trying to "free people from their homosexual desires." In other words, these ministries are determined to make a gay or lesbian person into someone who can totally subjicate their natural desires and follow the path that the ministry believes God wants them to. The blog "Ex-Gay Watch" covers this issues in great depth and is an excellent resource if you care to read more about this issue.

In one of the recent postings on the ministry's website, Wilkins writes about the arguement that Jesus did not directly address homosexuality, therefore he cannot be considered to have condenmed it. He correctly points out that, of course, not every word Jesus said was recorded, so maybe he did actually get around to speaking out about that lifestyle and those words just didn't make the cut in the Bible. That could very well be true, but Wilkins neglects the fact that Scriptures are inspired by the Holy Spirit, so if Jesus did speak about homosexuality, God determined it was not significant enough to include in the Bible. I'm content to trust God's judgement on that one.

Wilkins also says that, since Jesus spoke out about "child molestation, domestic abuse, or rape," then certainly he would have condemned homosexuality. Do people who make statements like this ever go back and realize how misguided they are? There is an enormous diference between the sins he lists and homosexuality--the sins are where someone forces their will upon another person. Homosexual acts are between two consenting adults, and I have seen monogomous, loving same-sex relationships flourish with God's blessings within our church.

I hope God will bless organizations like Cross Ministry as they reach people who are confused about their sexual identity and lead them to seek the Lord's guidance to resolve that question. For individuals who find out they are gay or lesbian, I pray that they are delivered from an "Ex-Gay" ministry without any lasting psychological damage.