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Re:[ExExGayMinistry] Re: My Faith Journey

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  • nyguy_1225
    Thanks for your gracious words re: the post, Don. I m afraid this particular one wasn t from Norm, but from me. It was my reply to our brother Jerry who
    Message 1 of 12 , Aug 27, 2002
      Thanks for your gracious words re: the post, Don. I'm afraid this
      particular one wasn't from Norm, but from me. It was my reply to
      our brother Jerry who responded to an earlier post I wrote. He
      wanted to know why I had a "militant attitude" (I think that was the
      term he used) toward the "ex-gay" movement. I thought it was a
      fair question deserving an honest answer. Sadly, though Jerry pops
      in from time to time and communicates a sincere interest in
      discussing some of these critical and timely issues, he never seems
      to stick around long enough to dialog. Hopefully he'll return...

      --- In exexgayministry@y..., calldon2k <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > --- In exexgayministry@y..., nyguy_1225 <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > > That's an excellent question, Jerry. And if you're sincere in
      > > wanting me to answer it, I would say yes, they may become more
      > > adjusted in some ways but no, homosexual people do not become
      > > heterosexual. Let me try to explain: Their gravest error is
      > > confusing a change in behavior with a change in orientation.
      > > people in our society generally grow up feeling "different from"
      > > and "less than" their non-gay counterparts. They're often made
      > > feel they do not measure up and often suffer rejection, ridicule
      > and
      > > often incur deep hurt -- physically, emotionally,
      > > and/or sexually. And gay people are strongly affected by the
      > > negative attitudes of the church on homosexuality. It's hard
      > > enough growing up under the best of circumstances but when this
      > > other stuff is added to their plate the resulting poor self-
      > > depression and fear can be a severe blow to a fragile
      > Norm...EXCELLENT POST!!!
      > I sent this to a couple of friends, one, of whom, is a Baptist
      > preacher with whom I used to be associated. (I worked with his
      > brother) We were out of touch for almost 20 years, since I left
      > ministry in the middle of the night back in 1982. He has had a
      > transformation and sees the futility in the strong, legalistic way
      > both used to approach the Scriptures. He now knows my story and
      > attitude. I think he will appreciate hearing someone else (you)
      > almost EXACTLY what I said many times, almost word-per-word!
      > Thanks for the excellent way you expressed yourself.
      > D*
    • Mike Dark
      I have totally rejected all the ex-gay stuff as it never began to deal with my needs as a sexual and spiritual being. I have been greatly helped by the
      Message 2 of 12 , Sep 20, 2002
        I have totally rejected all the 'ex-gay' stuff as it never began to
        deal with my needs as a sexual and spiritual being. I have been
        greatly helped by the exposition of Scripture from a different
        standpoint. I would heartly recommend
        http://www.reluctantjourney.co.uk/. It is written by an evangelical
        Methodist lay preacher who has come to accept gay people and their

        God bless you all.

        Yours in Christ,

        Mike Dark

        --- In exexgayministry@y..., Jerry <BearJER@j...> wrote:
        > Norm and Dave, I don't mean to butt in, but you mentioned about
        having feelings of inadequacy and guilt from your experience with the
        ex-gay movement. Nothing could be farther from the truth in my
        experience. I went to a conference today and heard testimonies of
        guys and gals that gained a lot of freedom in the area of sexual
        identity problems they went through, but there was no condemnation,
        no guilt. They are decidedly more happny and content now then they
        were before. I'm not sure why you guys had such a bad experience.
        Apparently, there must be legalistic groups out there who made you
        feel that way. But the group I went through in Michigan did not in
        any way make me feel guilty or more inadequate. Just the opposite.
        Don't lump all ex-gay ministries together. There are a lot of
        differences on all sides of the fence.
        > Thanks for listening, --Jerry in Michigan
        > ---------- "nojam75" <nojam75@y...> writes:
        > From: "nojam75" <nojam75@y...>
        > To: exexgayministry@y...
        > Subject: [ExExGayMinistry] Re: My Faith Journey
        > Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2002 05:39:04 -0000
        > David, I just read you journey. I hope you don't mind if I ask
        > questions. I'm just courious to hear how others have overcome the
        > ex-gay experience.
        > - When you determined that your straight marriage was not working
        > out, did you feel like an ex-gay failure or that the ex-gay ideal
        > failed you? (In my experience, I felt like a complete failure even
        > though I knew that leaving the ex-gay lifestyle made more logical
        > sense.)
        > - How have you dealt with the ex-gay teaching regarding the
        > roots of your homosexuality? (For me, it has taken me quite a
        > to overcome the guilt and feelings of inadequency that were
        > reinforced by ex-gay teachings.)
        > - Do you ever have doubts like: "Maybe the promoters the ex-gay
        > movement were right"? (I have to admit that there are times when
        > this thought occurs to me and I have to go through the entire
        > thought process again.)
        > I'm glad you found us (it's been slow around here lately) and
        > for sharing your journey.
        > - Norm! (nojam75@y...)
        > --- In exexgayministry@y..., "DavidPlunkett" <davidplunkett@y...>
        > wrote:
        > > Hello Christian men and women,
        > >
        > > It's wonderful to have found this site, and to be able to speak
        > > intelligently about our faith journeys being both lesbian or gay
        > and
        > > Christian. A forum of like minded people is an oasis when it
        > feels
        > > like so many are not "on track" with what's going on.
        > >
        > > My journey of faith started when I was a small child. I accepted
        > > Christ around 8 years old in San Jose, California and was quite
        > > enthusiastic to do so. I still remember the inexplicably
        > wonderful
        > > feeling after making my committment to Christ, not knowing any
        > > theology at the time other than Christ loved me and gave me life,
        > and
        > > not knowing the conflicts I would later face as I emerged into
        > > man God created.
        > >
        > > I was born the first of two nonidentical twins in Northern
        > California
        > > of Southern parents. When my brother and I were ten, our
        > > moved us to rural Oklahoma, where they were both from, and the
        > first
        > > of many culture shocks began in our lives. I found it incredibly
        > > tough (this was 1974 and everything was very Wonder Yearsy!)
        > > from an area as urban as anywhere and knowing only that
        > environment
        > > to a backward, rural, Southern, provincial quasi-town with less
        > than
        > > a thousand people, all of them knowing each other way too well
        > > having too little to do.
        > >
        > > During this time of readjustment, I learned to mask a lot of who
        > > really was and try to fit in the best I could (still 10 years
        > > because the kids in that town and in my school were extremely
        > cruel
        > > because I talked different than they did (I lacked the
        > > Hound dialect) and perhaps other reasons that I was too young to
        > > understand at the time. There were times that I really only had
        > one
        > > friend, Tammy, and I suppose I repressed the rejection and
        > > the remarks for longer than I really remember.
        > >
        > > By the time I reached high school, I became very interested in
        > > Christianity and began a search that would lead me into the
        > > charismatic movement for more than a decade. My friend from age
        > 10,
        > > Tammy, joined the same church I did and for awhile we sang in a
        > trio
        > > called the "Sounds of Faith" along with the pastor's daughter.
        > > managed to become so involved while in high school that I was
        > doing
        > > the weekly bulletin, and the church newsletter, and was the
        > pianist,
        > > and was teaching Sunday school to high school kids my own age,
        > > invaribly a whole array of other things.
        > >
        > > For the most part, my local church accepted me and loved me and
        > made
        > > no demands, requirements or hurtful remarks regarding my
        > orientation,
        > > which by this time was probably apparent to many. I thrived
        > in
        > > some ways, while drowning in loneliness in others, and it was a
        > safe
        > > haven throughout high school.
        > >
        > > After high school, I made the mistake in my zealousness to change
        > > churches .... I wanted something more progressive, I thought.
        > > church I belonged to was pretty backward (I was still in the
        > middle
        > > of no where!) and I longed for a more relevant Christian
        > experience
        > > with people who I thought were more spiritually attuned. The new
        > > church also offered me the chance to become much more active in
        > > music, which I had developed during this time. I spent a few
        > years
        > > here, still dealing with my sexuality very strongly (and all
        > alone)
        > > and also beginning to face opposition and rejection from other
        > church
        > > members who often made up lies about me to prove their theory
        > I
        > > was gay.
        > >
        > > As the lies and half-truths began to surface in church, I somehow
        > > held closer to God than I ever did. It never made sense to me
        > > people could judge someone so harshly over something they had no
        > > control over (I had still never had a relationship nor dated
        > anyone
        > > ever!), which was my very orientation. Sex had nothing to do
        > wtih
        > > anything at this point.
        > >
        > > During the middle 1980s, I was kicked out, chased out or made to
        > feel
        > > unwelcome at 3 or 4 different churches. I somehow saw the need
        > > find another one, each time carrying more baggage and history of
        > an
        > > abused Christian with me. I found that some Christians were
        > > uncomfortable with someone wounded. It was very tough, then,
        > > because the inevitable questions always came up. Very few
        > I
        > > encountered were understanding enough to really listen, to
        > consider
        > > that I didn't one day wake up and make being gay my choice (just
        > love
        > > that rejection!), or that most of what they were judging me for
        > would
        > > never really change, because they judged based on outward
        > > characteristics, not my private life, which they could not see.
        > >
        > > In 1988, I left Oklahoma for good. I relocated in Arkansas in a
        > > college town of 50,000 people that is small to me now, but was a
        > > major happening place back then. It was a time of change for
        > me ...
        > > I continued in church, and at the same time tried to "come out"
        > the
        > > latter 3 months of the year, but found the outside world and the
        > gay
        > > culture I experienced too shocking from the sheltered church life
        > I
        > > was raised in.
        > >
        > > While in college, I decided to study matierals by the ex-gay
        > > movement, reading books I bought while on vacation so that no one
        > > would know who I was. I read stories of people who testified of
        > > overcoming homosexuality, and though it sounded hopeful, it
        > > too good to be true and overly simplified. Nevertheless, I met a
        > > wonderful Christian woman a few months later in a photography
        > class
        > > who really took a liking to me, and we began dating. I had
        > > really dated before, so a lot of what we experienced was really
        > > exciting. Before long, we got married in a beautiful church
        > ceremony
        > > (but only had 24 people there to my dismay!)
        > >
        > > Before we married, I told my wife a bit about my feelings, and
        > > did not judge them. She encouraged me to allow myself to love
        > > and perhaps that would make me "straight." Although I did truly
        > love
        > > my wife, I was never the least bit sexually attracted to her.
        > > could have been Julia Roberts, and I don't think I would have
        > > responded differently in that area. We began to grow apart after
        > > about six months, and though our marriage lasted 2 1/2 years, I
        > was
        > > the loneliest I have ever been in my life during that time. My
        > > marriage to her was not fair to either one of us, but I've found
        > > people will do a lot based on hope. If I could have read even
        > > story such as this I might have thought things out a bit
        > differently.
        > >
        > > The last six months of our marriage, my wife and I moved to
        > > Rock when I accepted a job there. Wow .... this was a real city
        > and
        > > there seemed to be a lot of gay people around. I was at this
        > > pretty bitter with the church, life in general, and perhaps God
        > > well. Not knowing what else to do, and seeing that my marriage
        > was
        > > ending, I began to explore what it was like to be gay.
        > >
        > > At this time in 1992, I told my parents again (The first time was
        > > 1988) and they were very fearful and nonsupportive. My twin
        > brother
        > > didn't know what to make of it either. They had no skills on how
        > to
        > > cope with this themselves, and none which gave them the needed
        > > strength to help me either. The rural areas that they lived in
        > were
        > > breeding grounds for judgementalism, especially of the religious
        > > kind, and I think their concern over what other family members
        > would
        > > think didn't help much either.
        > >
        > > By '94, I was in a relationship with a nice guy and we decided to
        > > move to Denver. I transferred with my job there, and we
        > > there excited for a new future. By the fall, though, it was
        > clear
        > > we were not going anywhere in our relationship, and we became
        > > friends, which we remain today.
        > >
        > > About this time, I attended a gay-affirming church I saw
        > advertised
        > > in Denver. It was my first experience seeing truly worshipful
        > people
        > > in a predominently gay congregation, and it moved me greatly. I
        > > became involved there, and the next January, met my future
        > partner,
        > > Timothy. One Sunday morning, he came with a friend (wearing the
        > > visitor tag) and sat on the front row. I thought he was cute and
        > > left it at that.
        > >
        > > But after that service, I was invited to another event where he
        > was
        > > attending, and we happened to ride in the same car, both of us in
        > the
        > > backseat, and we visited the whole trip there. The next
        > Saturday,
        > > the second time I saw him, he was at a birthday party I was also
        > at
        > > and he asked me out, nervously as he would drag his shoe in the
        > > gravel. It was so cute, I couldn't bear to say no, and didn't
        > want
        > > to, either.
        > >
        > > The rest is history. Tim and I have been together nonstop for
        > > years. We opened a printing business together over 6 years ago,
        > and
        > > we founded our relationship on Christ from the start. God has
        > > blessed what we have done together in so many ways. Our
        > > alone was grown from 3 employees in May, 1995 to over 25 this
        > >
        > > We also found perhaps the most amazing Christian community
        > > totally by accident. When we decided to open our printing
        > business,
        > > I kept my ears open for people selling equipment or fixtures.
        > > day the end of '95 -- when we had been together less than a year
        > and
        > > had already decided to go into business together (Were we
        > nuts???), I
        > > found out that a print shop in Little Rock, where I used to live,
        > was
        > > closing and had their equipment for sale.
        > >
        > > We announced to friends in Denver we were driving to Little Rock
        > to
        > > pick up fixtures. A friend said, "How close is Little Rock to
        > > Sherwood?" I said, "It's a suburb, why?" She said, "You just
        > have
        > > to go see these guys!"
        > >
        > > Now, Tim and I are not the type to just go visit with strangers,
        > but
        > > we had already made arrangements not only to look these guys up
        > while
        > > we were there, but stay with them, something very unlike
        > > and something I don't think we've ever done since. But timing
        > > everything, and we met Randy McCain and Gary Eddy, two friends
        > > would be instrumental in our lives in many ways.
        > >
        > > Randy had recently been fired from a church he was on staff of
        > > being gay, and he and Gary had made the decision to begin a
        > in
        > > their home. The week we were there was the first service, and
        > > felt led to begin being a part of it from day one. That was Open
        > > Door Community Church in it's earliest days.
        > >
        > > We have watched Open Door grow from a small Bible Study of 4 or 5
        > to
        > > over 100 people worshipping in a beatiful building. Tim had
        > > been to Little Rock before we met; now we have made dozens of
        > trips
        > > back there, both by flying and driving, and we continue to long
        > for a
        > > way to live there. One of the most exciting things that is
        > > happening there is that there is a really great mix of gay and
        > > straight, male and female and old and young there; something I
        > > not seen in predominently gay churches. And instead of being a
        > > storefront, they are a suburban congregation spreading the Word
        > > the Bible-belt South in a manner which is almost unheard of.
        > >
        > > My hunger for God and my love for Jesus Christ was completely
        > > restored. The last few years I have studied grace and what the
        > New
        > > Testament church was founded on, and when I found Open Door, it
        > was
        > > exactly what I was looking for. To make the story even better,
        > > extreme love for worship music made the experience there complete
        > as
        > > that bunch is incredibly talented and anointed. The feeling
        > there
        > > is simply inexplainable.
        > >
        > > Tim and I press forward each day, knowing we are accepted by God
        > > through Jesus Christ, not for who we are, but through what Christ
        > did
        > > for us. It is a privilege to share with you. We have posted
        > pics
        > > in this site's photos section.
        > >
        > > I currently host an MSN community which is an outreach of Open
        > Door
        > > Community Church called "Grace Online". If you would like to
        > check
        > > out our community, the URL is
        > We
        > > have an active chatroom and good message board discussions. I
        > plan
        > > to spend some time in this site, too, and hope to meet many of
        > > here!
        > >
        > > In Christ,
        > > David Plunkett
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        have them do unto you."
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