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Re: [ExExGayMinistry] Re: Ex-Gay on TBN today

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  • Joiner Rex
    ... REPLY: While you may not agree with James Kennedy, TBN and others on the subject of being ex-gay, it is incorrect to think they are all believe what they
    Message 1 of 28 , May 4, 2002
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      <nojam75@...> wrote:

      > > Brother, there is too much $$$ involved for them
      > to change their
      > > mind now and accept reality. The anti-gay issue
      > is a real money-
      > > maker. James Kennedy still uses the issue
      > regularly for fund-
      > > raising!

      REPLY: While you may not agree with James Kennedy,
      TBN and others on the subject of being ex-gay, it is
      incorrect to think they are all believe what they
      believe for the money. That just doesn't make
      sense,in my opinion. There may be other issues they
      believe, like the properity message so many teach, but
      I think you are wrong to raise the money issue in this
      context.
      >
      <nojam75@...> wrote:

      > I know, it seems that whenever one of these
      > "Christian" organizations runs low on funds they are
      quick to send out the old
      > "gay agenda"
      > mailers. Pat Robertson is also notorious for using
      > the gay card when
      > running low on cash.

      REPLY: The fact that you put "Christian" in quotes
      indicates that you may feel these people are not true
      Christians. You may be guilty of exactly the same
      thing you accuse them of - that is, not accepting them
      as brothers and sisters just because they don't see
      eye to eye with you. Jesus said, "He that is not
      against us is for us."

      If you really believe God is ok with your gayness,
      then how does it please God for you to criticize other
      sincere Christians, just because they don't believe
      God wants them to act out homosexual desires?

      Food for thought, ok?

      God bless,

      Jerry in Michigan
      >
      > Gay scare tactics are pretty effective in
      > fundraising with
      > fundamentalist/conservative Christians. So, it
      > would seem that as a
      > money-hungry broadcaster, TBN would be quick to
      > promote anti-gay and
      > ex-gay message in its broadcasts. But it TBN is
      > relatively quiet on
      > the topic (not that I'm complaining). I don't
      > monitor TBN, beyond
      > flipping past it during my channel-surfing. But its
      > seems the 700
      > Club and James Kennedy devote more time to anti-gay
      > broadcasts than
      > TBN.
      >
      > You mentioned that you spent some time at TBN, is
      > homosexuality a
      > taboo topic? There have been rumors that secret gay
      > encounters were
      > rampant in Jim Bakker's PTL and the Assemblies of
      > God Church during
      > the 80s. Could it be that TBN is relatively quiet
      > about
      > homosexuality because they are reluctant to deal
      > with some of their
      > own closet cases? (Just look at some of these guys'
      > wardrobs?)
      >
      > Just pondering,
      >
      > Norm! (nojam75@...)
      >
      >


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    • Joiner Rex
      ... Steve, I don t know whether Paul and Jan are sincere or not (I think only God know that). But flamboyance does not automatically equal lack of sincerity
      Message 2 of 28 , May 4, 2002
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        SEE REPLY BELOW:

        --- Steve Boese <steve@...> wrote:
        > calldon2k said:
        > << After planning to move and after publicizing the
        > move so they could raise
        > money, they had a few shows from Calvary Temple. I
        > was playing piano there
        > at the time and did some of the pre-show music,
        > praise and worship stuff to
        > pump-up the crowd before the REAL "Paul and Jan
        > Show" started. >>

        Steve, I don't know whether Paul and Jan are sincere
        or not (I think only God know that). But flamboyance
        does not automatically equal lack of sincerity and we
        all feel good in any legitimate venue when we are
        "pumped up" as you put it. I'm sorry if you witnessed
        some lack of sincerity perhaps, but a great many
        "evangelical" Christians and many who have the
        "fundamental" label as well are wonderful, sincere
        Christians. I find that the ex-ex-gay movement is
        becoming far too critical of their brothers and
        sisters in Christ who happened to disagree with them
        on this issue. In that sense, they are exactly the
        same way as the very radical, pro-gay agenda who is
        trying to get homosexuality taught in kindergarten.
        Even if God accepts us just the way we are, I don't
        think he wants to see us encourage homosexual activity
        by those who may not have a pre-dispostion to
        homosexuality. Well, that's my thought for now.

        God bless,
        >
        > I was curious about the history of TBN's Texas
        > facility -- was it originally
        > touted as a the new headquarters or a partial
        > replacement for the palaces in
        > Santa Ana?
        >
        > --Steve
        >
        >


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      • Michael Airhart
        I agree with Jerry that there s some knee-jerk hostility in the ex-ex-gay movement. Some of it is understandable -- many people have been injured by various
        Message 3 of 28 , May 4, 2002
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          I agree with Jerry that there's some knee-jerk hostility in the
          ex-ex-gay movement.

          Some of it is understandable -- many people have been injured by various
          ex-gay ministries' unprofessional or irrational tactics.

          But some of it is simply a denial of personal responsibility. Some
          ex-ex-gays won't admit that they joined ex-gay ministries of their own
          free will, and whatever happened there was partly a matter of personal
          choice. In most cases, no one made them spend years in poorly designed
          ministries. It was their choice.

          As far as I'm concerned, sincerity is a non-issue. Whatever their faith
          perspective, most people are sincere. But they still hurt people. The
          road to hell is paved with good intentions.

          For example, Paul and Jan are sincere, and they have done good works.
          They have also wasted literally tens of millions of dollars on luxuries
          for themselves. Most Christians agree that is a sin, and all Christians
          must repent of their sins. Correct?

          Likewise, the progressive National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and GLAAD
          claim to uphold freedom and human rights. In some respects, they
          accomplish that. But they frequently seek to thwart the right of
          moderates and conservatives (both straight and gay) to speak freely.

          Jerry, I don't know of anyone seeking to get homosexuality taught in
          kindergarten. I do know that most Christians -- indeed, most Americans
          -- want kids to stop bullying and bashing each other, lest tragedies
          like Columbine keep happening.

          Regarding James Kennedy: A Christian acquaintance of mine has stood in
          prayerful witness outside James Kennedy's operation, Coral Ridge
          Ministries, bringing attention to Kennedy's promotion of discrimination
          and imprisonment of homosexuals. James Kennedy has made promises to meet
          with this acquaintance, then broken his promises. Kennedy is not
          motivated by money, but rather by sincere belief in a brand of
          Christianity that believes it must take political control of the United
          States and selectively enforce Old Testament law against a nation of
          infidels.

          That is not true of all fundamentalists or evangelicals, by any means.
          But it is true of certain segments. Likewise, there are leftist and
          Marxist Christians around the world (especially in Latin America) who
          view selective discrimination and political action against Americans
          (especially evangelicals) as a viable means of living out the Gospels
          and achieving Jesus' vision of a just world.

          It would be nice if these factions of Christianity would spend less time
          stereotyping one another, and more time communicating.

          Sincerely,
          Mike Airhart
        • calldon2k
          ... No one here has made that generalization. The criticism was because of the way they use pet issues (abortion, homosexuality, communism, liberalism,
          Message 4 of 28 , May 7, 2002
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            --- In exexgayministry@y..., Joiner Rex <rexjoiner@y...> wrote:
            > REPLY: While you may not agree with James Kennedy,
            > TBN and others on the subject of being ex-gay, it is
            > incorrect to think they are all believe what they
            > believe for the money.

            No one here has made that generalization. The criticism was because
            of the way they use "pet issues" (abortion, homosexuality, communism,
            liberalism, etc.) when they need to raise funds for something.

            > REPLY: The fact that you put "Christian" in quotes
            > indicates that you may feel these people are not true
            > Christians.

            You should do some reading-up on Ole Anthony and the Trinity
            Foundation in Dallas. They provide housing and services for homeless
            people. Awhile back, they were having people come to them who had
            given all of their money to these ministries, then, when they were in
            need, the ministries turned them away!!!

            Brother, where there is money, there is power. James Kennedy, James
            Dobson and others know that and work the religious system to get it.
            Many who post on this group have come out of those ministries. Many
            here have seen what happens after the crowd is gone, after the TV
            cameras are turned off. Many here have been with those ministers
            away from the pulpit...and observed them in real life, driving in
            the car, ordering in a restaurant, dealing with people one on one.

            The issue is NOT the "gay thing." The issue is that the bigger
            ministries, as a rule, operate by one set of standards while the
            local church and the people in the pew operate by another set of
            standards. The issue is hypocracy!

            > If you really believe God is ok with your gayness,
            > then how does it please God for you to criticize other
            > sincere Christians, just because they don't believe
            > God wants them to act out homosexual desires?

            You are missing the whole point. The issue is NOT homosexuality.
            The issue is practicing in real life what you preach in public!!! My
            friend, THAT is where "the big ones" are revealed for what they
            really are...and to those of us who have been there with them, it is
            NOT a pretty sight.

            A close friend want's me to write a book entitled WHEN CHRISTIANS
            ATTACK! I think it would be easy to get personal stories from those
            wounded by the big Christian ministries...not just the disgruntled
            employees...but those who have really been deceived, hurt by them.

            The issue is not homosexuality...the issue is hypocracy!
          • calldon2k
            ... Here is some info for ya about flamboyance. QUOTE:===The Crouches — who declined to be interviewed — are hands-on executives, occupying two of three
            Message 5 of 28 , May 7, 2002
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              --- In exexgayministry@y..., Joiner Rex <rexjoiner@y...> wrote:

              > Steve, I don't know whether Paul and Jan are sincere
              > or not (I think only God know that). But flamboyance
              > does not automatically equal lack of sincerity and we
              > all feel good in any legitimate venue when we are
              > "pumped up" as you put it.

              Here is some info for ya about "flamboyance."

              QUOTE:===The Crouches — who declined to be interviewed — are
              hands-on executives, occupying two of three seats on
              the TBN board of directors and earning six-figure
              incomes. He is paid $159,500 a year as president, while
              she gets $165,100 as vice president, IRS records show.

              ===END QUOTE!

              >I'm sorry if you witnessed
              > some lack of sincerity perhaps, but a great many
              > "evangelical" Christians and many who have the
              > "fundamental" label as well are wonderful, sincere
              > Christians.

              Yes they are. But they do not get on TV and CRY AND BEG for all the
              little "Grandmas" to send in their social-security checks, do they?

              But here's another comment on the actions of a couple of "Christians"
              who constantly beg for money from little "grandmas" and others.

              BEGIN QUOTE:==="Paul and Jan Crouch recently purchased a $5 million
              estate in Newport Beach, CA. The palatial home was described in an
              Orange County newspaper as "a palatial estate with ocean and city
              views." The Crouches, founders of the Trinity Broadcasting Network,
              have lived in a smaller home in Newport Beach for many years.

              Sources say Jan Crouch wanted a bigger yard for her dogs. The new
              9,500 square-foot home is situated on more than an acre.

              The new Crouch home has six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a billiards
              room, a climate-controlled wine cellar, a sweeping staircase and a
              crystal chandelier.

              The three-story home also has an elevator, a six-car garage, a tennis
              court, and a pool with a fountain.

              It was not reported whether the Crouches personally paid for the
              estate or whether the nonprofit ministry purchased the property. The
              Crouches have used TBN money to purchase numerous properties across
              the country to provide the couple with a luxurious tax-free
              lifestyle.

              One of the Crouch estates is TBN's ranch in Colleyville, TX, just
              minutes away from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The 80-
              plus acre ranch is located between the city limits of Colleyville and
              Southlake – two of the wealthiest cities in Texas. The ranch, which
              contains eight houses and horse stables, is estimated to be worth
              about $10 million.

              The ministry also provides luxury automobiles – both his and hers –
              at each location. For example, the Colleyville ranch has two
              Landrovers parked in the garage for Paul and Jan. The Crouches
              usually visit the ranch about four times each year."

              ===END QUOTE!

              >I find that the ex-ex-gay movement is
              > becoming far too critical of their brothers and
              > sisters in Christ who happened to disagree with them
              > on this issue.

              So do you know how many homeless people Paul and Jan could have fed
              with the money spent on that "six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a
              billiards room, a climate-controlled wine cellar" home? And realize
              that THIS WAS THEIR VACATION HOME!!! This wasn't their real home.

              >I don't
              > think he wants to see us encourage homosexual activity
              > by those who may not have a pre-dispostion to
              > homosexuality. Well, that's my thought for now.

              You are reading things into these posts that no one said. Please
              have your vision checked. NO ONE ever tried to encourage any
              activity, other than responsibile actions!
            • calldon2k
              ... own ... personal ... designed ... Mike, that simply is NOT true. First you need to consider WHY they went to an ex-gay ministry in the first place. It
              Message 6 of 28 , May 8, 2002
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                --- In exexgayministry@y..., "Michael Airhart" <mairhart@i...> wrote:
                > But some of it is simply a denial of personal responsibility. Some
                > ex-ex-gays won't admit that they joined ex-gay ministries of their
                own
                > free will, and whatever happened there was partly a matter of
                personal
                > choice. In most cases, no one made them spend years in poorly
                designed
                > ministries. It was their choice.

                Mike, that simply is NOT true. First you need to consider WHY they
                went to an ex-gay ministry in the first place. It CERTAINLY was NOT
                because they were emotionally well adjusted and content with their
                life and their walk with Christ.

                In general, people who enter an ex-gay ministry think they might be
                gay (or they know), they have been taught that "gay folks" are
                an "abomination to God," homosexuality is an abomination to God,
                reprobate, etc., etc., etc. Many of them were told for years that
                they would not inherit the kingdom of God, that they were going to
                hell because of what they are, not because of what they have done.

                THAT is STRONG motivation!

                Now, consider yourself. Suppose your loved ones, your spiritual
                leaders had been drumming this into your head for many years.
                Consider that every time you walk into church, you hear the words
                from the pulpit about the sins of the ambiguous "gay lifestyle."
                Consider that your pastor said to your face, YOU ARE GOING TO HELL
                because you are gay!

                The message is...either become heterosexual or GO TO HELL!!!

                Brother, THAT would be strong motivation for you to "seek help" from
                an ex-gay ministry, from a witch doctor, from Benny Hinn, from the
                fortune teller, from ANYBODY...just so you won't go to hell. Sorry,
                but people are pushed into those ministries by fear, brought on by
                the words and actions of others. It is NOT as simple as you are
                trying to claim, it is far more involved than "personal choice."

                (We haven't even discussed those gay guys who get married, thinking
                marriage will "cure" them.)

                > As far as I'm concerned, sincerity is a non-issue. Whatever their
                faith
                > perspective, most people are sincere. But they still hurt people.
                The
                > road to hell is paved with good intentions.

                You might consider studying a book such as "The Subtle Power of
                Spiritual Abuse" by David Johnson and Jeff Vanvonderen. The issue is
                control. People who enter "ex-gay ministries" have to surrender even
                more control than they have already surrendered to God. If
                they "slip-up" in any way, even if they dare question the leadership,
                they are rebuked strongly and often banished from the ministry. I
                know several who have been that route.

                ONE PERSONAL EXAMPLE: I knew a kid in another state where I used to
                live. (I was not much older at the time) Nice guy who didn't fit in
                the "norm" of society. His parents were Bob and Betty Baptist, very
                traditional yet somewhat cold towards their two kids. After living
                away for a few years, I received a phone call from this kid (now a
                young adult) who had been sent to town by his parents. As it turned
                out, he was GAY and his parents sent him to a clinic to be cured!!!
                To make a long story shorter, he was not cured at that famous
                Christian counceling center. But his parents refused to allow him
                back home. So, he stayed in town and eventually entered one of
                the "Exodus" related ministries. Within a few months, he had been
                seduced by one of the leaders in the group. After a few more months,
                they moved away, eventually settled in Florida as a couple. AFAIK,
                they are still living there...the Exodus leader and the kid whose
                good, Baptist parents would not allow to come home...because he was
                gay! (I have more examples if you need them.)

                So you are saying that people enter these ministries "of their own
                free will?" Not hardly!

                > It would be nice if these factions of Christianity would spend less
                time
                > stereotyping one another, and more time communicating.

                Amen!
              • nojam75
                ... To clarify, I specifically stated Christian organizations . My point was that I question whether the practices of these organizations necessarily fall
                Message 7 of 28 , May 8, 2002
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                  --- In exexgayministry@y..., Joiner Rex <rexjoiner@y...> wrote:
                  > REPLY: The fact that you put "Christian" in quotes
                  > indicates that you may feel these people are not true
                  > Christians. You may be guilty of exactly the same
                  > thing you accuse them of - that is, not accepting them
                  > as brothers and sisters just because they don't see
                  > eye to eye with you. Jesus said, "He that is not
                  > against us is for us."

                  To clarify, I specifically stated "'Christian' organizations". My
                  point was that I question whether the practices of these
                  organizations necessarily fall within the teaching's of Jesus. I
                  have a hard time believing that Jesus would advocate the building of
                  these huge media & political empires. I could be wrong, but it
                  seems to me that televangalism and parts of fundamentalism are based
                  more on consumerism than love of one another.

                  I did not intend to imply that the leaders of these organizations
                  are not Christians, but I understand how my statements could be
                  interpreted in that manner. Again to clarify, I would never attempt
                  to determine who is or is not Christian. However, I do think it
                  legitimate to discuss whether a person's or organization's actions
                  coincide with Jesus' message. All people and organizations fall
                  short simply because our own humanity may undermine our intentions.

                  > If you really believe God is ok with your gayness,
                  > then how does it please God for you to criticize other
                  > sincere Christians, just because they don't believe
                  > God wants them to act out homosexual desires?

                  How does it please God to be silent? Did not Jesus loudly speakout
                  against the temple money changers and the religious establishment?
                  Although I do question the intent and effectiveness of many
                  Christians' actions, I do recognize that many ex-gay promoters
                  sincerely believe they are doing God's will and are helping gays.
                  But sincerity does place a person or organization above criticism --
                  whether they be ex-gay, ex-ex-gay, etc.

                  Again, we all fall short and I didn't mean to be so one-sided.
                  More "liberal" and "progressive" Christian organizations are just as
                  suspectible to criticism. In fact, I often ask myself what it means
                  to be a "Christian" or a "gay Christian". Self-examination is often
                  more beneficial than criticing others.

                  -- Norm! (nojam75@...)
                • nojam75
                  ... Some ... their ... I have to agree with Michael. In my case, I fully admit that I willingly chose to participate in ex-gay programs. The Christian
                  Message 8 of 28 , May 9, 2002
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                    --- In exexgayministry@y..., calldon2k <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                    > --- In exexgayministry@y..., "Michael Airhart" <mairhart@i...>
                    wrote:
                    > > But some of it is simply a denial of personal responsibility.
                    Some
                    > > ex-ex-gays won't admit that they joined ex-gay ministries of
                    their
                    > own
                    > > free will, and whatever happened there was partly a matter of
                    > personal
                    > > choice. In most cases, no one made them spend years in poorly
                    > designed
                    > > ministries. It was their choice.

                    I have to agree with Michael. In my case, I fully admit that I
                    willingly chose to participate in ex-gay programs. The Christian
                    community I was involved with did encourage me to deal with my same-
                    sex desires, but they were not familiar with ex-gay programs.
                    Certainly, my Christian friends pressured me to uphold my
                    fundamentalist Christian values and abstain from sex outside of a
                    heterosexual marriage. But I can't say they pressured me to convert
                    to heterosexuality. In fact, they fully acknowledged the notion
                    that I may be homosexual for the rest of my life. So I really
                    pressured myself to seek ex-gay treatment and I take responsibility
                    for that.

                    CallDon has a valid point that Christian culture can exert powerful
                    pressure on gays to seek ex-gay treatment. But in my experience, I
                    can't say Christian culture necessarily force gays into ex-gay
                    programs. There are extreme examples of families forcing their kids
                    into ex-gay programs. However, the ex-gay programs I dealt with are
                    aware such extremes and are careful to emphasize that ex-gay
                    participants must be self-motivated. Christian culture and
                    Christian families can knowingly and unknowningly force gays into ex-
                    gay programs, but only when a gay Christian *allows* Christian
                    culture/family to exert such pressure. The gay Christian who
                    passively allows such pressures is choosing to accept such pressure
                    as valid. The alternative for the adult, homosexual Christian is to
                    reject such pressures and deal with the consequences (minors are in
                    a much more difficult situation and may not have such freedom).
                    Also, gay Christian fundamentalists are in a more challengingly
                    situation because fundamentalism tends to discourage alternative
                    thinking and questioning.

                    So, I don't consider myself and most other ex-ex-gays as innocent
                    victims of ex-gay programs. I think most of us, for a variety of
                    reasons, chose to pursue ex-gay treatment. But this acknowledgement
                    does not mean ex-gay programs are off-the-hook when it comes to the
                    effects of their programs. In the same way they publicize their
                    handful of success stories, they need to acknowledge the devastating
                    effects of their programs.

                    - Norm! (nojam75@...)
                  • calldon2k
                    ... Correct me if I am wrong, but you did this as a relatively mature adult who was secure in your walk with Christ. ... convert ... I would say that your
                    Message 9 of 28 , May 9, 2002
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                      --- In exexgayministry@y..., "nojam75" <nojam75@y...> wrote:
                      > I have to agree with Michael. In my case, I fully admit that I
                      > willingly chose to participate in ex-gay programs.

                      Correct me if I am wrong, but you did this as a relatively mature
                      adult who was secure in your walk with Christ.

                      >The Christian
                      > community I was involved with did encourage me to deal with my same-
                      > sex desires, but they were not familiar with ex-gay programs.
                      > Certainly, my Christian friends pressured me to uphold my
                      > fundamentalist Christian values and abstain from sex outside of a
                      > heterosexual marriage. But I can't say they pressured me to
                      convert
                      > to heterosexuality. In fact, they fully acknowledged the notion
                      > that I may be homosexual for the rest of my life.

                      I would say that your experience is different from many. Back in the
                      1970s and even into today, there is much pressure among the followers
                      of Dobson, James Kennedy, Falwell and most charasmatic groups to "be
                      healed" or "be delivered" from your homosexuality with all that it
                      implies. Consider that a new Christian, a "babe in Christ" does not
                      have decades of spiritual growth to understand "whosoever will" and
                      principles as that. Your group may have accepted your "celebate
                      homosexuality" but most of the groups I have been associated with
                      usually proclaim loudly 1Cor6:9-11 as PROOF that YOU CAN CHANGE, you
                      CAN be delivered and BE NORMAL. Just look at Dennis Jernigan as
                      PROOF that you CAN BE DELIVERED from homosexuality and pop-out eight
                      or ten babies, securing your manhood.

                      Yes, there is much pressure. Either be healed, be delivered or go to
                      hell. Sorry if I sound like a broken record, but I have obwerved it
                      since the seventies. I have dealt with the "failures" who were
                      never "delivered." As an entertainer/musician, I work with many gay
                      people every day, most of whom came from solid, conservative
                      Christian backgrounds. After years of spiritual, emotional and
                      personal conflict, most of them finally said "SCREW YOU" to God, to
                      the Church and many, to their unaccepting families. The stories are
                      heartbreaking and so sad.

                      You said your group "fully acknowledged the notion that [you] may be
                      homosexual for the rest of my life." Where is your group now? What
                      do they think about you now? How many have remained your friend?
                      How many think that you have "gone off of the deep end?" How many
                      think that you have given in to those abominal desires?

                      > CallDon has a valid point that Christian culture can exert powerful
                      > pressure on gays to seek ex-gay treatment. But in my experience, I
                      > can't say Christian culture necessarily force gays into ex-gay
                      > programs.

                      Then I would say that you probably come from a very
                      moderate "Christian culture." Few conservative churches would accept
                      you for very long if you continued to entertain the idea that your
                      homosexuality might be acceptable in any way. THAT has been my
                      observation over the years.

                      >Christian culture and Christian families can knowingly and
                      >unknowningly force gays into ex-gay programs, but only when a gay
                      >Christian *allows* Christian culture/family to exert such pressure.

                      Consider the alcoholic who has been convicted of two or three DUIs,
                      has lost his job three times, has spent several months in jail, his
                      wife left him and took the kids to another state and he is now living
                      in one room.

                      Did he finally attend AA meetings on his own free will? Or was
                      there "culture,family" pressure to attend AA?

                      > The gay Christian who
                      > passively allows such pressures is choosing to accept such pressure
                      > as valid.

                      "Gay Christian" is a broad term. A "newer" Christian does not have
                      the years of spiritual growth to assure him of his relationship with
                      Christ. The message he hears from the pulpit, from TV ministries,
                      from his Christian family is always...KNOW YOU NOT that the
                      unrighteous will NOT inherit the kingdom of God...HOMOSEXUALS will
                      NOT inherit the kingdom of God!

                      Valid or not, that is pretty strong pressure for a new Christian,
                      especially for a younger Christian!!! I would not consider
                      submitting to THAT kind of pressure to be considered "passive."

                      >fundamentalism tends to discourage alternative
                      > thinking and questioning.

                      That's an understatement!

                      >In the same way they publicize their
                      > handful of success stories, they need to acknowledge the
                      devastating
                      > effects of their programs.

                      Notice that they only publicize the "handfull of (pseudo)success
                      stories." They NEVER discuss the devastating effects of their
                      programs. Right now, I am dealing with several people who have "come
                      out" to family, most of whom I have known for many years. It was a
                      surprise to me when most told me they were gay. The parents of all
                      of them are pushing the ex-gay ministries. In one case, it is a girl
                      in her late 30s who came out to her parents around 4 years ago. I
                      love her parents as dear friends for 30 years. But her Mom is broken-
                      hearted and is really pushing for her to enter one of the live-in
                      Exodus-related ministries. Her sweet Baptist mom refuses to accept
                      the fact that no-one in that ministry actually changes. It is so sad
                      to hear both sides of the conversation and hurt for daughter and
                      Mother.


                      ============================
                    • nojam75
                      ... I confessed my struggle with homosexuality and enrolled in an ex-gay program when I was 19. I was raised as a Christian, but was still trying to live up
                      Message 10 of 28 , May 10, 2002
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                        --- In exexgayministry@y..., calldon2k <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Correct me if I am wrong, but you did this as a relatively mature
                        > adult who was secure in your walk with Christ.

                        I confessed my struggle with homosexuality and enrolled in an ex-gay
                        program when I was 19. I was raised as a Christian, but was still
                        trying to live up to my faith. So, I wasn't a new Christian, but I
                        wouldn't say I was mature in my faith either (whatever "mature"
                        means).


                        > I would say that your experience is different from many. Back in
                        the
                        > 1970s and even into today, there is much pressure among the
                        followers
                        > of Dobson, James Kennedy, Falwell and most charasmatic groups
                        to "be
                        > healed" or "be delivered" from your homosexuality with all that it
                        > implies. Consider that a new Christian, a "babe in Christ" does
                        not
                        > have decades of spiritual growth to understand "whosoever will"
                        and
                        > principles as that.

                        I think I understand your point that relatively new Christians who
                        are gay may *feel* forced to seek gay conversion therapy. However,
                        I would not say they were "forced" into ex-gay programs. I
                        think "misled" or "pressured" are more appropriate descriptions.
                        The distinction is that at some point one has to take responsibility
                        for acting on their beliefs -- even when such beliefs are wrong or
                        misleading. I agree that as a fundamentalist/conservative
                        Christian, I had few alternatives to ex-gay therapy. However, that
                        was because I chose to maintain a specific set of beliefs. I freely
                        chose not to consider other options such as becoming a
                        more "liberal" brand of Christian.


                        > You said your group "fully acknowledged the notion that [you] may
                        be
                        > homosexual for the rest of my life." Where is your group now?
                        What
                        > do they think about you now? How many have remained your friend?
                        > How many think that you have "gone off of the deep end?" How many
                        > think that you have given in to those abominal desires?

                        I have lost touch with most of my Christian friends I knew during
                        the ex-gay time in my life. Although it hurts to lose such
                        friendships, I feel that the basis of such friendships (Christian
                        fundamentalism) is no longer a common bond. So, in some ways, the
                        loss of these friendships is somewhat mutual -- although I had
                        attempted to maintain some kind of communication.

                        It also hurts to know that you are probably right in that my former
                        Christians friends now think of me. From our last conversations, I
                        think they probably consider me a "lost Christian".

                        Having said that, I would not say they were responsible for my
                        attempt at ex-gay therapy. Certainly, their attitudes influenced
                        me, but I chose to consider their opinions.


                        > Then I would say that you probably come from a very
                        > moderate "Christian culture." Few conservative churches would
                        accept
                        > you for very long if you continued to entertain the idea that your
                        > homosexuality might be acceptable in any way. THAT has been my
                        > observation over the years.

                        I don't know if my former Christian friends would view homosexuality
                        as "acceptable", but they would recognize it as an unfortunate
                        sinful temptation to be burdened with. They, and most other
                        conservative Christians I'm aware of, distinguish between homosexual
                        temptations and sinful homosexual behavior.


                        > Did he finally attend AA meetings on his own free will? Or was
                        > there "culture,family" pressure to attend AA?

                        It depends on whether he chose to stop drinking and chose AA as a
                        suitable method. Certainly his culture and family pressured him to
                        stop drinking (and rightfully so), but ultimately he is responsible
                        to decide why and how to stop drinking. One of the essential
                        principles of AA is personal responsibility. So, I can't see how
                        one could go into AA feeling "forced" into it. There is always an
                        alternative which in the AA scenario is to continue drinking.


                        Ultimately, my point about the importance of taking personal
                        responsibility is to avoid a victim mentality. It is true that we
                        all face seemingly overwhelming pressures. For instance, we all
                        have to deal with they way we were raised (ex: religious beliefs,
                        economic status, race, family, etc.). While we can acknowledge the
                        challenge such difficulties can bring, it is childish to constantly
                        say we are the victims of our childhood. At some point, each of us
                        recognize that we must take personal responsibility for our lives.
                        Similarly while we can acknowledge the damaging effects of ex-gay
                        therapy, it is important for former ex-gays to acknowledge that each
                        of us have the power to unlearn the ex-gay messages.

                        - Norm! (nojam75@...)
                      • calldon2k
                        ... gay ... I understand, mature is a subjective term also. For many years, I was in youth work. Even now, I observe the mold into which we attempt to
                        Message 11 of 28 , May 10, 2002
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                          --- In exexgayministry@y..., "nojam75" <nojam75@y...> wrote:
                          > I confessed my struggle with homosexuality and enrolled in an ex-
                          gay
                          > program when I was 19. I was raised as a Christian, but was still
                          > trying to live up to my faith. So, I wasn't a new Christian, but I
                          > wouldn't say I was mature in my faith either (whatever "mature"
                          > means).

                          I understand, "mature" is a subjective term also. For many years, I
                          was in "youth work." Even now, I observe the mold into which we
                          attempt to force others to conform. You are a good Christian if you
                          fit this mold. You are not a good Christian if you don't. I am one
                          of those former right-wingers who thought Southern Baptists were
                          liberal. So...I was on the front row in the arena of trying
                          to "encourage" others into certain behaviors...thinking that those
                          behaviors were "Christian behaviors."

                          Fortunately, I allowed grace a bigger hold on my life. For a control-
                          freak like me, it is difficult to realize that God really does love
                          all of those other people who do not look and act and dress exactly
                          like I think they should!!! What a shock!

                          It is difficult to sometimes admit that there are Methodist and
                          Catholic and even Prestyterian folks who LOVE THE LORD just like I
                          claim to...and they are not trying to get me to act like them.

                          > I agree that as a fundamentalist/conservative
                          > Christian, I had few alternatives to ex-gay therapy. However, that
                          > was because I chose to maintain a specific set of beliefs. I
                          freely
                          > chose not to consider other options such as becoming a
                          > more "liberal" brand of Christian.

                          I understand. "Liberals" were all going to hell anyway. Why would
                          you want to become one? Believe me when I say, I understand!

                          > It also hurts to know that you are probably right in that my former
                          > Christians friends now think of me. From our last conversations, I
                          > think they probably consider me a "lost Christian".

                          Too bad that they cannot understand that a person can be a believer
                          even if they don't believe point-by-point as they do! It is a shame
                          that they have lost a good friendship and a good friend.

                          > Ultimately, my point about the importance of taking personal
                          > responsibility is to avoid a victim mentality. It is true that we
                          > all face seemingly overwhelming pressures.

                          Unfortunately, many who come from the ultra-fundie-type backgrounds
                          see no middle ground spiritually. They have been taught "if you are
                          not FOR God (in our image of Him) then you are AGAINST God...and
                          us...and all things good and holy. I have seen so many of them just
                          discard all spiritual things and ideas completely. Too bad for that.

                          >At some point, each of us
                          > recognize that we must take personal responsibility for our lives.

                          Amen!
                        • nojam75
                          ... believer ... shame ... One of the best benefits of coming out of fundamentalism was realizing that I no longer had to classify everyone in Saved ( One of
                          Message 12 of 28 , May 11, 2002
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                            --- In exexgayministry@y..., calldon2k <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                            > Too bad that they cannot understand that a person can be a
                            believer
                            > even if they don't believe point-by-point as they do! It is a
                            shame
                            > that they have lost a good friendship and a good friend.

                            One of the best benefits of coming out of fundamentalism was
                            realizing that I no longer had to classify everyone in Saved ("One
                            of Us") and Unsaved ("Them") categories. It's liberating to know
                            that I don't have to automatically stigmatize someone who may not
                            hold the same faith as my own.

                            > Unfortunately, many who come from the ultra-fundie-type
                            backgrounds
                            > see no middle ground spiritually. They have been taught "if you
                            are
                            > not FOR God (in our image of Him) then you are AGAINST God...and
                            > us...and all things good and holy. I have seen so many of them
                            just
                            > discard all spiritual things and ideas completely. Too bad for
                            that.

                            More importantly fundamentalism tends to discard non-fundamentalist
                            people. Other than viewing them as potential new recruits,
                            fundamentalism does not value non-believers.

                            Hope is probably the most liberating aspects of leaving
                            fundamentalism. Hope in finding value in other people and hope in
                            the here & now. The message of Jesus was the hope of experiencing
                            the kingdom of God in this life -- not in the afterlife or during
                            the end of the world.

                            - Norm!
                          • calldon2k
                            ... You got it right!!! Way back in the olden days...I participated in a concert sponsored by The Christian Church-Disciples of Christ. SHOCK...those
                            Message 13 of 28 , May 11, 2002
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                              --- In exexgayministry@y..., "nojam75" <nojam75@y...> wrote:
                              > One of the best benefits of coming out of fundamentalism was
                              > realizing that I no longer had to classify everyone in Saved ("One
                              > of Us") and Unsaved ("Them") categories.

                              You got it right!!!

                              Way back in the olden days...I participated in a concert sponsored
                              by "The Christian Church-Disciples of Christ."

                              SHOCK...those pseudo-Campbellites actually LOVE God like I claim to
                              love God.!!! That was one of those "light-bulb" experiences, helping
                              to "shake me" out of my little fundi mold!

                              > More importantly fundamentalism tends to discard non-fundamentalist
                              > people. Other than viewing them as potential new recruits,
                              > fundamentalism does not value non-believers.

                              Unfortunately, what you say is true. The world of true
                              fundamentalists is a VERY small world.

                              > Hope is probably the most liberating aspects of leaving
                              > fundamentalism. Hope in finding value in other people and hope in
                              > the here & now.

                              True.

                              >The message of Jesus was the hope of experiencing
                              > the kingdom of God in this life -- not in the afterlife or during
                              > the end of the world.

                              I would say both...in this life AND in the afterlife, at the end of
                              the world.
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