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  • Brod <brodwayj@yahoo.com>
    Hello, I am new to this grroup and hoping that I can find someplace to seek advice and tips to my problems.I am a very happily married man and father and would
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 20, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      Hello, I am new to this grroup and hoping that I can find
      someplace to seek advice and tips to my problems.I am a very happily
      married man and father and would like to resolve my gay tendecies .I
      am a Christian and would like to be saved again and wash away my
      sins.I truly am tired of having gay thoughts toward men.My desires
      have got me addicted to porn and I need help to steer my way away
      from it all.Why me? I have struggled so many years with my faith
      believing that this was wrong to have.I was raised up in an Episcopal
      church,but strayed out into Baptist.through my journey to different
      churches the one belief that i stuck in the most is Baptist.Why
      wwould I stay with a religion that is so against myself and sexuality.
      I know that bisexuality fits my sexuality and I have chose
      to stay with my wife and son.The desires for men are strong,but I
      feel like I am putting more into it than I should.Please I beg for
      help that I turn more faithful to my Lord than the desires for men.
      Brod
    • Steven Hopesharer
      Dear Brod: Welcome to the group. I both empathize and sympathize with you and others who are having or have had to struggle with their sexual orientation when
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 2, 2003
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        Dear Brod:

        Welcome to the group.

        I both empathize and sympathize with you and others who are having or have had to struggle with their sexual orientation when it opposes their desired religious beliefs.

        Oft times “we want our cake and eat it too,” the jest, of which, is that we frequently want to have it both ways, but the reality is that we can’t.

        Some want to be able to lead a heterosexual life, at least in appearance, in order to be free from the anxiety caused by religious beliefs in particular and societies condemnation of homosexuality in general while at the same time they want to have homosexual relationships without the guilt and anxiety, that comes with knowing they are attracted to the same sex, and perhaps accept that fact, in spite of the mores homosexuals are confronted with daily.

        Others want to be completely free from even being attracted to the same sex all together in order to avoid the constant conflict in their lives which causes them to feel abnormal, worthless, depressed, anxious and guilty for having those desires believing they are sinful as a result of being in conflict with what their preferred religion teaches, yet deep down inside, if they are truly honest with themselves, they cannot escape knowing that they continue to have sexual attractions for the same gender.

        Sadly, that is true for many who struggle with their sexual orientation because it is not acceptable within a particular set of religious beliefs, values, teachings and societal mores.

        Some, for example, like I was, went so far as to get married hoping the desires would leave by sincerely attempting to live a heterosexual life according to a particular religion’s beliefs, values, teaching and societal mores, but soon discover, even though they might even be happily married with children, like you are, and like I was, that they still have same gender sexual desires.

        There are certainly plenty of organizations, almost all of which are religious based and not spiritually based, that are more than willing to perpetuate feelings of guilt, worthlessness and depression by trying to transform homosexuals into heterosexuals in an attempt to make everyone just like they are because they cannot feel comfortable around others who are different from them.  They refuse to accept that anything outside their beliefs could possibly be condoned by God.  They think theirs is the only way to “salvation” or to be in God’s will. 

        I feel sad for those people, too.  They need our prayers and spiritual enlightenment, also, as far as I have come to understand and accept our Creator’s unconditional love.

        Many struggling with their sexual orientation end up going through denial or seeking counseling all the while hoping and praying to be magically or miraculously cured and subsequently freed from their same gender orientation to avoid the pain of having to live a lie constantly battling with the reality of who they are.

        Even after all that, many, if not most, resort to destructive behaviors like drinking, drugs, social withdrawal and so forth, to no avail, and in some cases they choose suicide as solution to their dilemma.

        Testimonies of those who have had a near death experience indicate suicide is not the answer to any problem.  They also testify that God is not out to get us and is not the judgmental entity that many religions make God out to be.  Rather, they indicate God is pure light, warmly accepting, pure, inclusive, infinite and unconditional love, pure spirit energy, our Creator and our source of strength to become all that God created us to become, lovingly enticing us to become more like Him, although in spirit God is genderless.

        I highly recommend a visit to www.near-death.com/ for some insights to possible spiritual enlightenments.

        I believe one cannot escape their God given sexual orientation and must make a decision either to live a heterosexual life style knowing they have homosexual desires and accept living with the pain that goes along with it, even though they might be “happily married”   OR   they have to decide to accept who they are and begin living and fulfilling their lives willing to accept the consequences for having made that choice in order to be free from their anxiety by overcoming religious abuse.

        There are consequences with either choice, but the feelings of same sex attractions ( or tendencies as some, like you, call them) don’t disappear, from my experience and according to the testimonies of others, many of whom have gone through psychiatric and/or psychological counseling, gotten married, tried becoming celibate or participated in  Ex-gay programs only to end up worse off than had they not participated in them at all.  One can only control their sexual orientation, if they so choose, which some do choose to do out of a sacrificial love and respect for who they are married to and their children, but they cannot change their sexual orientation  or desires, even though some claim that they can.  More and more are coming out of such programs confessing their sexual orientation or desires were not changed. Others who professed it did change them have been caught secretly having same sex relationships, but denying they were.

        Being gay or bi-sexual and choosing to lead a heterosexual life is not in the best interest of all concerned as most in that predicament come to learn.  One really needs to be completely honest with themselves and those they are married to.  By doing so, some have found they can remain married, even happily married and take care of their children as a family while both partners, more or less, going their own way as far as being fulfilled sexually, like in your case viewing porn on the internet and probably masturbating while doing so along with fanaticizing about having sex with a person of the same gender.  Subsequently they try to satisfy their opposite gendered partner at other times as best they can.  I doubt it is completely fulfilling for either of them, however, if the full truth be known and shared with each other.  It seems impossible to give your all if your all is not in it which seems doubtful if a same gendered oriented person is having sex with an opposite gendered person unless they are totally bi-sexual.  Even many of those admit they are not satisfied because they want both, but can’t have it without the same frustrations already mentioned.  Partners pick up on something being wrong whether verbalized or not, so getting away with the lie is only apparent and not real unless one is a really a good actor.  Being a good actor, though, doesn’t change one’s orientation.  If one is completely honest with their partner about such desires, their partner may not be all that willing to go along with it. It may still lead to breaking up the marriage.  No doubt that is a painful decision to have to make. 

        The fact is, only you can decide what is best for you and what you are willing to live with.  You can’t have it both ways and be completely at peace, is would seem, based on the facts and testimonies of others who have gone through what you are going through. .

        Many heterosexual men lust after other women outside their marriage, but they control that urge out of a committed love for their wife and family.  Likewise homosexual couples look lustfully at others besides their partners, but if they are committed, they do not act on that lustful impulse.  Some do so sacrificially, not naturally, easily or even willingly, but each person has to come to their own conclusions as to what they are willing to live with in order to remain in the marriage or some other relationship. 

        I pray God’s speed for you in resolving your conflict.  I do understand how painful it is to be in your predicament.

        However, I do not profess to understand and know what your situation is.  Only you and your partner know the truth for sure or can know the truth by being honest with each other.  Honesty is always a risk, although I believe it is the best way to be and the only way, which can lead to eventual peace.  So you, alone, must decide how honest you want to be with another.  Keep in mind that it is never a risk to be honest with yourself and with God.  I am convinced, and know from experience, that God will love you and accept you regardless of what you end up doing about your situation.

        Please understand I am in no way trying to influence you to choose one way over another.  I am merely presenting some things for you to think about, not that you haven’t already thought about them, but perhaps by hearing them from someone else, it might be helpful and that is why I share what I do here and elsewhere.

        The ultimate decision has to be one you think you can live with and hopefully come to feel at peace about.  I only know what worked and what didn’t work for me.  We are all different and I am not into judging where others are or what they choose to do with their lives.

        For what it is worth, I will now share my experience and where I am on my spiritual journey in case it may be useful to you or others.  If it isn't that is ok, too.

        I experienced much of what I shared above as a gay man married with two children who was pursuing the Christian ministry as a Southern Baptist until the last few years of my marriage when things began to fall apart after only seven and one half years of being married because of the unavoidable stress of living a lie most of my life.

        Eventually, I had to accept who I was and make changes because I could no longer live a lie nor could I continue to control my sexual desires through denial and certainly not my orientation … an orientation I now accept and understand is acceptable in my Creator’s eyes, also, because that is who God created me to be.  To go against that is to go against my Creator’s will.

        Thus, I had to decide whether or not I wanted to continue to live a lie and appease others, at my expense, in order to avoid hurting my wife and children while at the same time hurting inside myself to the point it eventually crippled my ability to function as a loving husband and father, productively contributing to the advancement of society.  The other choice was to experience the consequences of becoming who I was.  I chose the latter.  It wasn’t easy, but looking back now the only regret I had for awhile was that I didn’t do it sooner because a lot of pain and hardship might have been avoided.  I might not have gotten married and put my wife and children through the experience of me coming out.  Fortunately, I eventually came to understand that all are experiences in life, both the positive and the negative, have value in our learning process and it is beneficial for our spiritual development, regardless of how they may have seemed at the time we were going through them.  Thus, I no longer have any regrets about where I have been on my journey.  In fact I can praise God and thank Him for allowing me to experience what I have.  I am a stronger and a more spiritually enlightened person because of them.  As it turned out, my children love and are both happily married and I am a proud and happy grandfather even though my children active in their religion of choice which by the way does not approve of homosexuality although they do tolerate it at least with diplomatically, appropriate, loving words, but still try to change their orientation <smile>.  My wife died a few years back and my children asked me to officiate at her funeral, which I gladly did.  I loved my wife, she was my best friend through high school and college.  I just never fell in love with her.  I didn’t understand the difference between loving someone and being in love with them when we were married, shortly after I graduated from college and received my first of three degrees.  She had difficulty understanding and accepting that, but eventually found her own peace.  I have been with my current same gendered partner, who I consider my life mate, in a very loving mature and emotionally, psychologically and spiritually healthy relationship for nearly 15 years.  That experience has been the happiest time of my life and the most rewarding and fulfilling.  We are more compatible than most heterosexual couples we know of.

        I have now come to understand my sexual orientation and my gender is what God created me to be and if I rebel against that, I would be going against God’s will for me which is just as sinful as it would be for a heterosexual to want to be a homosexual.

        While the Church and the world throws the biblical words at us that God created man and woman, or Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve, Paul emphatically indicates there is no longer any gender significance for those in Christ for we are all genderless in God’s eyes and genderless in our spirit, as is God.  Gender served its purpose in propagating a species in a physical world, but it is no longer needed and has no significance for those in Christ as Paul pointed out to the Galatians.  It is only the Church and society that has reverted to legalism like the Galatians fell into until Paul re-explained the meaning of the Gospel and being freed from the law, by grace through faith as a gift from God through Christ.

        I have finally learned that we are to love God, and acknowledge God as our Creator worthy of praise and worship.  Next we are to love ourselves by accepting His unconditional, inclusive, and infinite love for us realizing we were created with worth, purpose, and the attributes of love and forgiveness having been created in His image.  Finally we are to love others which we can’t do until we learn to love ourselves first.  It is also only after we come to a point of loving God, then loving ourselves that we are finally able to put others before us unlike what is taught in most Christian religions which teaches we are always to put God and others before ourselves.  Coming to that realization allowed me to sincerely love my wife and forgive all those who had hurt me throughout my life.  By loving God and others we fulfill the entire law of God.  See Mathew 22:36-40 and Gal 5:14 and 18.

        I felt sad reading your statement that you are a Christian, but doubt your salvation in that you want to be "saved again and wash away your sins."  All sins have already been washed away by God through Christ.  We only need to accept that fact in order to experience peace.

        Salvation has to do with eternal life and how we will spend it, either glorifying God or not.  Eternal life and salvation are not based upon what we do or what we don’t do.  It is only based upon our belief in the Gospel of Christ.  However, The Gospel of Christ is all about the Good News of God’s glory and love.  It is not about salvation as most elude to.  God has already dealt with our salvation once and for all persons as a finished work providing reconciliation with Him.  It is now up to us to accept his work, love, glory and forgiveness in order to experience peace or reject it and feel worthless and anxious.  God wants us to be anxious for nothing whatsoever, trusting only in His Love, Grace and Forgiveness.  Our being or not being homosexual or heterosexual has nothing to do with our salvation.

        Paul aptly taught the Galatians, who had become tempted to return to justification by the law, good works etc. that they were not saved by the law or good works and that the law only condems, but that our faith in His good news and finished work is what saves us and provides us with eternal life in His presence. And that if we love God and others we have already fulfilled all the law. 

        Thus, dear brother, I am convinced you do not have to be saved, AGAIN  AND HAVE YOUR SINS WASHED AWAY AGAIN by ridding yourself of same gender attractions.  You are saved and your sins have alreadya been washed away and it grieves God for you to keep asking for that to take place when it already has been accomplished by God.  God says to you as He said to Paul “My grace is sufficient...”

        I am no longer in bondage to religion, afflicted by its abuse nor consider myself a victim asking God, “why me?”  I recognize I am on a spiritual journey learning how to become more like my Creator by understanding how to evolve my personality, how I relate to others and how to be a positive influence letting peace be my testimony.  I realize I am a spiritual being having a physical experience, not vice versa.  I know my spirit (my true actualized self) is the same loving, loveable, accepting, forgiving entity, absent of gender, perfect in every regard as it was when I was first created by God and that it is my purpose to get in touch with that fact in order to be at peace and not fear the consequences after bodily death, nor be hung up on religion or the ego or the lusts of the flesh because I am not under the law.  I am under grace learning how to become more mature in my faith.  I have been set free in God’s eyes by God even though my flesh (ego) wars against my spirit just as Paul experienced.  Finally realizing that and accepting it has caused me to totally reevaluate and redefine my belief system which is drastically different from the teachings of the Southern Baptists and most other Christian teachings and doctrines which I also taught at one time.  Doctrines are man made and not necessarily spiritual in nature.  By abandoning most of those religious teachings, doctrines, and traditions, I in no way abandoned my belief in God or the value of what Jesus taught us to do.  Rather, I came to realize just how close He is to me and how much he loves me and all others each and every moment of this part of my eternal spiritual journey and that my sexual orientation is not of any concern to Him, unlike what I was conditioned to believe earlier in life.

        My prayer is that you will find peace as you continue on your spiritual journey deciding what path you will choose to take next.

        Feel free to let us know if you want further information to help you make those decisions.

        Hoping this helps, I remain non-judgmental, loving and accepting of all regardless of where they happen to be on their journey through this part of their eternal, spiritual journey on a quest for the truth.  Jesus declared He is the way the truth and the life and the only way to know God by what ever means or spirit He chooses to manifest Himself as.

        Meaningfully,
        Stephen Hopersharer (Steve H.)

        At 12:32 PM 1/20/03 +0000, you wrote:
                 Hello, I am new to this grroup and hoping that I can find
        someplace to seek advice and tips to my problems.I am a very happily
        married man and father and would like to resolve my gay tendecies .I
        am a Christian and would like to be saved again and wash away my
        sins.I truly am tired of having gay thoughts toward men.My desires
        have got me addicted to porn and I need help to steer my way away
        from it all.Why me? I have struggled so many years with my faith
        believing that this was wrong to have.I was raised up in an Episcopal
        church,but strayed out into Baptist.through my journey to different
        churches the one belief that i stuck in the most is Baptist.Why
        wwould I stay with a religion that is so against myself and sexuality.
                   I know that bisexuality fits my sexuality and I have chose
        to stay with my wife and son.The desires for men are strong,but I
        feel like I am putting more into it than I should.Please I beg for
        help that I turn more faithful to my Lord than the desires for men.
                                       Brod



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      • Life Coach
        Wow Steve…………..ask a question and you certainly get and answer……hehe. Thanks for taking the time to respond in such depth to Brod. Anthony
        Message 3 of 10 , Feb 6, 2003
        • 0 Attachment

          Wow Steve…………..ask a question and you certainly get and answer……hehe.

           

          Thanks for taking the time to respond in such depth to Brod.

           

          Anthony Venn-Brown

          Life Coach

          NSW Training Director

          Personal Success Australia

          Tel: 02 9669 2448  Mobile: 0416 015 231

          anthony.venn-brown@...

          www.psalifecoaching.com

          I assist people on their journey of self discovery, personal empowerment and creating the life of their dreams.

           

           

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Steven Hopesharer [mailto:hope@...]
          Sent: Monday, 3 February 2003 01:54
          To: Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [Exex-gay] Newcomer

           

          Dear Brod:

          Welcome to the group.

          I both empathize and sympathize with you and others who are having or have had to struggle with their sexual orientation when it opposes their desired religious beliefs.

          Oft times “we want our cake and eat it too,” the jest, of which, is that we frequently want to have it both ways, but the reality is that we can’t.

          Some want to be able to lead a heterosexual life, at least in appearance, in order to be free from the anxiety caused by religious beliefs in particular and societies condemnation of homosexuality in general while at the same time they want to have homosexual relationships without the guilt and anxiety, that comes with knowing they are attracted to the same sex, and perhaps accept that fact, in spite of the mores homosexuals are confronted with daily.

          Others want to be completely free from even being attracted to the same sex all together in order to avoid the constant conflict in their lives which causes them to feel abnormal, worthless, depressed, anxious and guilty for having those desires believing they are sinful as a result of being in conflict with what their preferred religion teaches, yet deep down inside, if they are truly honest with themselves, they cannot escape knowing that they continue to have sexual attractions for the same gender.

          Sadly, that is true for many who struggle with their sexual orientation because it is not acceptable within a particular set of religious beliefs, values, teachings and societal mores.

          Some, for example, like I was, went so far as to get married hoping the desires would leave by sincerely attempting to live a heterosexual life according to a particular religion’s beliefs, values, teaching and societal mores, but soon discover, even though they might even be happily married with children, like you are, and like I was, that they still have same gender sexual desires.

          There are certainly plenty of organizations, almost all of which are religious based and not spiritually based, that are more than willing to perpetuate feelings of guilt, worthlessness and depression by trying to transform homosexuals into heterosexuals in an attempt to make everyone just like they are because they cannot feel comfortable around others who are different from them.  They refuse to accept that anything outside their beliefs could possibly be condoned by God.  They think theirs is the only way to “salvation” or to be in God’s will. 

          I feel sad for those people, too.  They need our prayers and spiritual enlightenment, also, as far as I have come to understand and accept our Creator’s unconditional love.

          Many struggling with their sexual orientation end up going through denial or seeking counseling all the while hoping and praying to be magically or miraculously cured and subsequently freed from their same gender orientation to avoid the pain of having to live a lie constantly battling with the reality of who they are.

          Even after all that, many, if not most, resort to destructive behaviors like drinking, drugs, social withdrawal and so forth, to no avail, and in some cases they choose suicide as solution to their dilemma.

          Testimonies of those who have had a near death experience indicate suicide is not the answer to any problem.  They also testify that God is not out to get us and is not the judgmental entity that many religions make God out to be.  Rather, they indicate God is pure light, warmly accepting, pure, inclusive, infinite and unconditional love, pure spirit energy, our Creator and our source of strength to become all that God created us to become, lovingly enticing us to become more like Him, although in spirit God is genderless.

          I highly recommend a visit to www.near-death.com/ for some insights to possible spiritual enlightenments.

          I believe one cannot escape their God given sexual orientation and must make a decision either to live a heterosexual life style knowing they have homosexual desires and accept living with the pain that goes along with it, even though they might be “happily married”   OR   they have to decide to accept who they are and begin living and fulfilling their lives willing to accept the consequences for having made that choice in order to be free from their anxiety by overcoming religious abuse.

          There are consequences with either choice, but the feelings of same sex attractions ( or tendencies as some, like you, call them) don’t disappear, from my experience and according to the testimonies of others, many of whom have gone through psychiatric and/or psychological counseling, gotten married, tried becoming celibate or participated in  Ex-gay programs only to end up worse off than had they not participated in them at all.  One can only control their sexual orientation, if they so choose, which some do choose to do out of a sacrificial love and respect for who they are married to and their children, but they cannot change their sexual orientation  or desires, even though some claim that they can.  More and more are coming out of such programs confessing their sexual orientation or desires were not changed. Others who professed it did change them have been caught secretly having same sex relationships, but denying they were.

          Being gay or bi-sexual and choosing to lead a heterosexual life is not in the best interest of all concerned as most in that predicament come to learn.  One really needs to be completely honest with themselves and those they are married to.  By doing so, some have found they can remain married, even happily married and take care of their children as a family while both partners, more or less, going their own way as far as being fulfilled sexually, like in your case viewing porn on the internet and probably masturbating while doing so along with fanaticizing about having sex with a person of the same gender.  Subsequently they try to satisfy their opposite gendered partner at other times as best they can.  I doubt it is completely fulfilling for either of them, however, if the full truth be known and shared with each other.  It seems impossible to give your all if your all is not in it which seems doubtful if a same gendered oriented person is having sex with an opposite gendered person unless they are totally bi-sexual.  Even many of those admit they are not satisfied because they want both, but can’t have it without the same frustrations already mentioned.  Partners pick up on something being wrong whether verbalized or not, so getting away with the lie is only apparent and not real unless one is a really a good actor.  Being a good actor, though, doesn’t change one’s orientation.  If one is completely honest with their partner about such desires, their partner may not be all that willing to go along with it. It may still lead to breaking up the marriage.  No doubt that is a painful decision to have to make. 

          The fact is, only you can decide what is best for you and what you are willing to live with.  You can’t have it both ways and be completely at peace, is would seem, based on the facts and testimonies of others who have gone through what you are going through. .

          Many heterosexual men lust after other women outside their marriage, but they control that urge out of a committed love for their wife and family.  Likewise homosexual couples look lustfully at others besides their partners, but if they are committed, they do not act on that lustful impulse.  Some do so sacrificially, not naturally, easily or even willingly, but each person has to come to their own conclusions as to what they are willing to live with in order to remain in the marriage or some other relationship. 

          I pray God’s speed for you in resolving your conflict.  I do understand how painful it is to be in your predicament.

          However, I do not profess to understand and know what your situation is.  Only you and your partner know the truth for sure or can know the truth by being honest with each other.  Honesty is always a risk, although I believe it is the best way to be and the only way, which can lead to eventual peace.  So you, alone, must decide how honest you want to be with another.  Keep in mind that it is never a risk to be honest with yourself and with God.  I am convinced, and know from experience, that God will love you and accept you regardless of what you end up doing about your situation.

          Please understand I am in no way trying to influence you to choose one way over another.  I am merely presenting some things for you to think about, not that you haven’t already thought about them, but perhaps by hearing them from someone else, it might be helpful and that is why I share what I do here and elsewhere.

          The ultimate decision has to be one you think you can live with and hopefully come to feel at peace about.  I only know what worked and what didn’t work for me.  We are all different and I am not into judging where others are or what they choose to do with their lives.

          For what it is worth, I will now share my experience and where I am on my spiritual journey in case it may be useful to you or others.  If it isn't that is ok, too.

          I experienced much of what I shared above as a gay man married with two children who was pursuing the Christian ministry as a Southern Baptist until the last few years of my marriage when things began to fall apart after only seven and one half years of being married because of the unavoidable stress of living a lie most of my life.

          Eventually, I had to accept who I was and make changes because I could no longer live a lie nor could I continue to control my sexual desires through denial and certainly not my orientation … an orientation I now accept and understand is acceptable in my Creator’s eyes, also, because that is who God created me to be.  To go against that is to go against my Creator’s will.

          Thus, I had to decide whether or not I wanted to continue to live a lie and appease others, at my expense, in order to avoid hurting my wife and children while at the same time hurting inside myself to the point it eventually crippled my ability to function as a loving husband and father, productively contributing to the advancement of society.  The other choice was to experience the consequences of becoming who I was.  I chose the latter.  It wasn’t easy, but looking back now the only regret I had for awhile was that I didn’t do it sooner because a lot of pain and hardship might have been avoided.  I might not have gotten married and put my wife and children through the experience of me coming out.  Fortunately, I eventually came to understand that all are experiences in life, both the positive and the negative, have value in our learning process and it is beneficial for our spiritual development, regardless of how they may have seemed at the time we were going through them.  Thus, I no longer have any regrets about where I have been on my journey.  In fact I can praise God and thank Him for allowing me to experience what I have.  I am a stronger and a more spiritually enlightened person because of them.  As it turned out, my children love and are both happily married and I am a proud and happy grandfather even though my children active in their religion of choice which by the way does not approve of homosexuality although they do tolerate it at least with diplomatically, appropriate, loving words, but still try to change their orientation <smile>.  My wife died a few years back and my children asked me to officiate at her funeral, which I gladly did.  I loved my wife, she was my best friend through high school and college.  I just never fell in love with her.  I didn’t understand the difference between loving someone and being in love with them when we were married, shortly after I graduated from college and received my first of three degrees.  She had difficulty understanding and accepting that, but eventually found her own peace.  I have been with my current same gendered partner, who I consider my life mate, in a very loving mature and emotionally, psychologically and spiritually healthy relationship for nearly 15 years.  That experience has been the happiest time of my life and the most rewarding and fulfilling.  We are more compatible than most heterosexual couples we know of.

          I have now come to understand my sexual orientation and my gender is what God created me to be and if I rebel against that, I would be going against God’s will for me which is just as sinful as it would be for a heterosexual to want to be a homosexual.

          While the Church and the world throws the biblical words at us that God created man and woman, or Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve, Paul emphatically indicates there is no longer any gender significance for those in Christ for we are all genderless in God’s eyes and genderless in our spirit, as is God.  Gender served its purpose in propagating a species in a physical world, but it is no longer needed and has no significance for those in Christ as Paul pointed out to the Galatians.  It is only the Church and society that has reverted to legalism like the Galatians fell into until Paul re-explained the meaning of the Gospel and being freed from the law, by grace through faith as a gift from God through Christ.

          I have finally learned that we are to love God, and acknowledge God as our Creator worthy of praise and worship.  Next we are to love ourselves by accepting His unconditional, inclusive, and infinite love for us realizing we were created with worth, purpose, and the attributes of love and forgiveness having been created in His image.  Finally we are to love others which we can’t do until we learn to love ourselves first.  It is also only after we come to a point of loving God, then loving ourselves that we are finally able to put others before us unlike what is taught in most Christian religions which teaches we are always to put God and others before ourselves.  Coming to that realization allowed me to sincerely love my wife and forgive all those who had hurt me throughout my life.  By loving God and others we fulfill the entire law of God.  See Mathew 22:36-40 and Gal 5:14 and 18.

          I felt sad reading your statement that you are a Christian, but doubt your salvation in that you want to be "saved again and wash away your sins."  All sins have already been washed away by God through Christ.  We only need to accept that fact in order to experience peace.

          Salvation has to do with eternal life and how we will spend it, either glorifying God or not.  Eternal life and salvation are not based upon what we do or what we don’t do.  It is only based upon our belief in the Gospel of Christ.  However, The Gospel of Christ is all about the Good News of God’s glory and love.  It is not about salvation as most elude to.  God has already dealt with our salvation once and for all persons as a finished work providing reconciliation with Him.  It is now up to us to accept his work, love, glory and forgiveness in order to experience peace or reject it and feel worthless and anxious.  God wants us to be anxious for nothing whatsoever, trusting only in His Love, Grace and Forgiveness.  Our being or not being homosexual or heterosexual has nothing to do with our salvation.

          Paul aptly taught the Galatians, who had become tempted to return to justification by the law, good works etc. that they were not saved by the law or good works and that the law only condems, but that our faith in His good news and finished work is what saves us and provides us with eternal life in His presence. And that if we love God and others we have already fulfilled all the law. 

          Thus, dear brother, I am convinced you do not have to be saved, AGAIN  AND HAVE YOUR SINS WASHED AWAY AGAIN by ridding yourself of same gender attractions.  You are saved and your sins have alreadya been washed away and it grieves God for you to keep asking for that to take place when it already has been accomplished by God.  God says to you as He said to Paul “My grace is sufficient...”

          I am no longer in bondage to religion, afflicted by its abuse nor consider myself a victim asking God, “why me?”  I recognize I am on a spiritual journey learning how to become more like my Creator by understanding how to evolve my personality, how I relate to others and how to be a positive influence letting peace be my testimony.  I realize I am a spiritual being having a physical experience, not vice versa.  I know my spirit (my true actualized self) is the same loving, loveable, accepting, forgiving entity, absent of gender, perfect in every regard as it was when I was first created by God and that it is my purpose to get in touch with that fact in order to be at peace and not fear the consequences after bodily death, nor be hung up on religion or the ego or the lusts of the flesh because I am not under the law.  I am under grace learning how to become more mature in my faith.  I have been set free in God’s eyes by God even though my flesh (ego) wars against my spirit just as Paul experienced.  Finally realizing that and accepting it has caused me to totally reevaluate and redefine my belief system which is drastically different from the teachings of the Southern Baptists and most other Christian teachings and doctrines which I also taught at one time.  Doctrines are man made and not necessarily spiritual in nature.  By abandoning most of those religious teachings, doctrines, and traditions, I in no way abandoned my belief in God or the value of what Jesus taught us to do.  Rather, I came to realize just how close He is to me and how much he loves me and all others each and every moment of this part of my eternal spiritual journey and that my sexual orientation is not of any concern to Him, unlike what I was conditioned to believe earlier in life.

          My prayer is that you will find peace as you continue on your spiritual journey deciding what path you will choose to take next.

          Feel free to let us know if you want further information to help you make those decisions.

          Hoping this helps, I remain non-judgmental, loving and accepting of all regardless of where they happen to be on their journey through this part of their eternal, spiritual journey on a quest for the truth.  Jesus declared He is the way the truth and the life and the only way to know God by what ever means or spirit He chooses to manifest Himself as.

          Meaningfully,
          Stephen Hopersharer (Steve H.)

          At 12:32 PM 1/20/03 +0000, you wrote:

                   Hello, I am new to this grroup and hoping that I can find
          someplace to seek advice and tips to my problems.I am a very happily
          married man and father and would like to resolve my gay tendecies .I
          am a Christian and would like to be saved again and wash away my
          sins.I truly am tired of having gay thoughts toward men.My desires
          have got me addicted to porn and I need help to steer my way away
          from it all.Why me? I have struggled so many years with my faith
          believing that this was wrong to have.I was raised up in an Episcopal
          church,but strayed out into Baptist.through my journey to different
          churches the one belief that i stuck in the most is Baptist.Why
          wwould I stay with a religion that is so against myself and sexuality.
                     I know that bisexuality fits my sexuality and I have chose
          to stay with my wife and son.The desires for men are strong,but I
          feel like I am putting more into it than I should.Please I beg for
          help that I turn more faithful to my Lord than the desires for men.
                                         Brod



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        • Brod Hinton
          Now that I have read your email or should I say that I have had time to read your email.I have a very busy work schedule but I try to pull myself away from
          Message 4 of 10 , Feb 6, 2003
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            Now that I have read your email or should I say that I have had time to read your email.I have a very busy work schedule but I try to pull myself away from time to time.Thanks so much for your letter.It meant alot for me to hear the things that you were saying and it is true whats best for me is what is in my heart.I am not going to throw away my wife and son over desires that are just simple desires.I do accept myself for who I am now and I do not hate myself anymore.Now that I know that there are many other men out in this world that suffer through the same thing that I do it is a comfort to know that God created us all and that we are only human.As long as I think of him as my Creator and work toward my way as a better being I do believe that I will go to Heaven.I do have one question more.Are there any sites or religious groups on the internet that people like me can learn the bible and find a spiritual path?I really want to be a part of  a Christian group where I feel comfortable reading assignments in the Bible and learning more on the bible.I am a Christian and not ashamed anymore of my identity and thank you for letting me see the true meaning.Everyone serves a purpose on this earth and though we might not know what it is,but Our Creator knows our path and when we come back to him.

            I must be going for now,but will write again.

            Brod



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          • Steven Hopesharer
            Anthony: This will probably be one of my shortest messages: You re Welcome. Steve H.
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 7, 2003
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              Anthony:

              This will probably be one of my shortest messages:

              You're Welcome.<grin>

              Steve H.
            • Samuel Dittmar
              Brod, I have been aqssociated with a group founded more than 25 years ago called Evangelicals Concerned. It has been very helpful to me for a couple reasons --
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 10, 2003
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                Brod, I have been aqssociated with a group founded
                more than 25 years ago called Evangelicals Concerned.
                It has been very helpful to me for a couple reasons --
                finding Christian friends and getting good Biblical
                grounding in all areas, not just dealing with
                homosexuality.

                If you want information about them, there are two
                websites: www.ecinc.org (for NYC area) and
                www.ecwr.org for the rest of the USA.

                Trust they are useful.
                Sam
                --- Brod Hinton <brodwayj@...> wrote:
                >
                > Now that I have read your email or should I say that
                > I have had time to read your email.I have a very
                > busy work schedule but I try to pull myself away
                > from time to time.Thanks so much for your letter.It
                > meant alot for me to hear the things that you were
                > saying and it is true whats best for me is what is
                > in my heart.I am not going to throw away my wife and
                > son over desires that are just simple desires.I do
                > accept myself for who I am now and I do not hate
                > myself anymore.Now that I know that there are many
                > other men out in this world that suffer through the
                > same thing that I do it is a comfort to know that
                > God created us all and that we are only human.As
                > long as I think of him as my Creator and work toward
                > my way as a better being I do believe that I will go
                > to Heaven.I do have one question more.Are there any
                > sites or religious groups on the internet that
                > people like me can learn the bible and find a
                > spiritual path?I really want to be a part of a
                > Christian group where I feel comfortable reading
                > assignments in the Bible and learning more on the
                > bible.I am a Christian and not ashamed anymore of my
                > identity and thank you for letting me see the true
                > meaning.Everyone serves a purpose on this earth and
                > though we might not know what it is,but Our Creator
                > knows our path and when we come back to him.
                >
                > I must be going for now,but will write again.
                >
                > Brod
                >
                >
                >
                > ---------------------------------
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                > Yahoo! Mail Plus - Powerful. Affordable. Sign up now


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