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  • candyclark2000
    This is the story of a friend of mine who was/is quite well known in many circles for his testimony of freedom from homosexuality. It is quite moving and took
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 24, 2003
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      This is the story of a friend of mine who was/is quite well known in
      many circles for his testimony of freedom from homosexuality. It is
      quite moving and took a lot of courage for him to restate his
      beliefs. I posted this on another group that I am a member of and
      thought "who knows who else this letter may reach, perhaps someone
      else who was affected by his former beliefs will find something of
      value in his letter.

      Remembering Why

      As I begin for the first time in my life to write down the true story
      of my finding freedom in Christ I am trying to remember why. Why the
      pain was so horrific. Why the despair of massive depression. Why the
      desperate search for freedom and truth. But most of all, why the long
      years of denial and embracing a deadly, misinformed, guilt-ridden,
      judgmental form of belief which resulted in a self-imposed alienation
      from the truth, both spiritually and just the plain ole' truth about
      life.

      I am the youngest of six children raised in a relatively "normal"
      environment. And, even though I'm aware of most if not all the
      arguments about why people end up where they do sexually, ultimately
      I must admit I have no clear understanding at all why people end up
      the way they do. One thing I do know is that I have never been a
      heterosexual.

      The condemnation I received in Church about being homosexual
      motivated me to pursue change and a way to do it. This drive did not
      come from just spiritual reasons but also from my family and society
      in general. My childhood was not filled with TV shows or commentaries
      about the "gay lifestyle" or any attempt to influence me to be
      homosexual. To even find the word homosexual, I had to secretly go to
      the dictionary. I knew when I read the definition what my sexuality
      was, even though I could never describe the emotions and dread that
      dictionary definition brought into my mind.

      My earliest memories are not ones that surround my sexuality. Those
      early thoughts were of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I so remember
      praying as a child literally every night for wisdom and
      understanding. Not so much to gain insight about my sexuality but
      about how my life could be best used to serve and help others. You
      see, I was already convinced that I was evil and would burn in hell
      forever for it.

      The desperation that was mine is truly that of every human who is
      convinced of a day of reckoning that lies in the future.

      So, I found my self in the home of a noted minister by the name of
      Norvel Hayes. I was there to be delivered from the demon of
      homosexuality. I was informed that people who get delivered from
      demons sometime vomit during the process. So, I squeezed my gut so
      hard during the exorcism that I threw up. I was immediately declared
      to be free from homosexuality, and we were all off to the races with
      denial. And even though I told Mr. Hayes several times that nothing
      had changed and asked that I NOT be asked to tell everyone I was a
      delivered homosexual, he insisted that I stay with it and say it
      anyway.

      I was 21 yrs old. And the doctrine that I was being taught by Mr.
      Hayes required him to teach and promote that constant confession of
      change would bring the change. "That's what faith is Mike", I was
      told. "You have to say it before you receive it".

      The affirmation that came from the crowds was so what I wanted. The
      praise for my "brave" stance was relentless and so fed my soul.

      Then the "confirmation" that I was free came with my first daughter
      and then again with my other two girls. However, nothing about
      Michael Williams' sexuality had changed.

      I have learned much about the warped thinking that can come from the
      approval of people when you are on a stage. It is so empowering.
      Finally, I had to accept that they were responding to what I was
      saying not who I really was, because you really don't know who any
      particular speaker or teacher is unless you KNOW them.

      As far as I or anyone has been able to ascertain, I was the first
      person in history to make a public and international declaration
      of "freedom" from homosexuality as a "formerly" gay man. At that same
      time my views of the Gospel were changing drastically.

      I never, ever attempted to understand the Scriptures through the
      prism of my sexuality. Instead, my sexuality was always subject to
      the teaching of the Scriptures and is to this day.

      My most poignant reality check came with the news that a young man
      had killed himself after having listened to my "testimony tape". He
      had failed to achieve the freedom from his sexuality that I had
      claimed to. Then I heard about another tragic loss, then another. I
      remember being in a hotel in Philadelphia and literally collapsing to
      the floor in grief. How much did I contribute to the agony of these
      young peoples lives? I may never truly know.

      I just can no longer take a chance on this misinformation adding to
      the complex and difficult issue of one's sexual orientation.

      Why? Yes, I wonder why. Why did I take such a turn to profess such a
      lie? My friends, the answer is summed up in only one word:
      acceptance. No matter who or what we are, acceptance is a very basic
      need in the human experience.

      Please understand. I am no longer looking for the kind of acceptance
      that can cause one to lie about basic truths. I have found an
      acceptance that promotes and, yes, compels one to truth and personal
      responsibility.

      My next defining moment was how do I tell my wife and three beautiful
      daughters? Believe me the process wasn't easy. Today, my children's
      Mom is my former wife and will remain the only woman in my life. She
      is one of my closest friends, and we parent together to the level
      best of our ability. My daughters have embraced their Dad for all
      that he is and is not. My adorable grandchildren, of which there are
      presently four, are being raised to understand that Grandpa is a gay
      man, as we help them understand what that means as they grow.

      For the most part, wherever I travel to teach the people inviting me
      understand that I am a gay man. Should there be a situation where I
      am invited to speak that they do not know, it is inadvertent as this
      is not a topic of discussion in any of my public meetings.

      I've totally embraced my path to this point. It has given me the
      awesome experience of being a Husband, Dad and a Grandpa. I do not
      curse this path, far from it. I just wish to correct the lies that
      were a part of it. I'm currently single and live alone in
      Fredericksburg, VA. I spend about a week each month with my kids in
      Illinois. Can I get a witness from the Grandparents out there! Yeah,
      I know yours are awesome and handsome and beautiful. But, ya outta
      see mine!! :)

      At this point I don't see how anyone else could fit into this bit of
      an admittedly unique life. But, you see, the motivating force in my
      life is not the issue of being with a partner or single. My "raison
      d'etre" is this magnificent Gospel that we have had the unmatchable
      pleasure of discovering. My goal is to spend and exhaust the rest of
      my years sharing the good news of this Gospel.

      Finally, to Norvel Hayes, I forgive you. I forgive you for using me
      and exploiting my youth and my deepest fears and weaknesses. And I
      forgive myself, for the desperation that led to such hurt in so many
      lives.

      To all who heard the story of a "delivered homosexual" and grasped at
      it as an answer for your loved ones, and especially for those who
      embraced it as hope for acceptance with God, how do I say I am so
      very sorry? I do not excuse myself. I just ask for your forgiveness.
      There is a Gospel that gives hope. But, the good news is that this
      Gospel does not require you to become a compulsive liar to be
      accepted.

      And to my friends who were so concerned about my doing this kind of
      open testimonial, I can only say I am finally at peace with myself.

      Let's move forward together.

      With much love,

      Michael Williams


      www.gospelrevolution.com is Mike's website.
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