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Ex-gay Ministries Coming to an End? (Please Reply With Your Comments)

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  • Thomas Morey
    Dear members, The following excerpt was written recently by Anthony Venn-Brown at his website: . I would like you
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 24, 2007
      Dear members,

      The following excerpt was written recently by Anthony
      Venn-Brown at his website:
      <www.anthony.venn-brown@...>. I would
      like you to reply here to his comments using an
      insightful and compassionate manner, which all of you
      who are proactive here have shown me and many others
      in the past. Hopefully, this will involve some very
      hard ex-gay ministry assessment on your part, and your
      own self-examination, as well as the obviously
      necessary critique of his excerpt. I do covet your
      replies, no matter what you may have to say. I will
      then give you my own.

      Blessings,

      Tom

      Anthony Venn-Brown is the author of "A Life of
      Unlearning". He is a former pastor in the Assembly of
      God pentecostal denomination, until he chose to go
      public about living a gay identity and lifestyle,
      which he was previously and deceitfully living while
      pastoring, having been married, and raising two
      daughters. He claims that he was always an effective
      speaker and teacher, in the AG at the time, and still
      is now for pro-gay causes.

      He is Australian, and, yes, he will be a speaker along
      with Mel White and Wayne Besen, at the upcoming
      counter-conference in the LA area. Although very much
      willingly taken in by, and convinced of, the evil
      one's lies and accusations, he is by no means anything
      like noisemaker Wayne Besen in his approach with
      others. He has shown me that he has a therapist's
      heart for people, even those he opposes in theory. He
      and I have had some exchanges over the internet, all
      of them have been very respectful, albeit quite
      polemical in nature too.

      Here is the excerpt:

      "Ex-gay Ministries Coming to an End

      A statement. Just one statement. Yes it only takes one
      statement to undermine the credibly of the ex-gay
      ministries and it was possibly made last Monday in the
      Los Angeles Times.

      In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Alan
      Chambers, the director of Exodus (the global umbrella
      for ex-gay ministries), sent shock waves through
      religious circles, when he stated that, "By no means
      would we ever say change can be sudden or complete,"
      and that he was uncomfortable with the term 'ex-gay'
      as he doesn't think he's ever met one.

      It's been three decades now since the birth of
      Christian ex-gay ministries, which have continued to
      hold on to the outdated belief that
      same-sex-orientation is the result of a dysfunctional
      upbringing or sexual trauma and that through therapy
      homosexual people can become heterosexual. Whilst
      science was changing it's understanding these groups
      were making sure ignorance remained entrenched in the
      church.

      Next weekend in Los Angeles there will be two
      conferences at the same time. I will be attending an
      Ex-gay Survivors Conference (see below) whilst Exodus
      is running a Freedom Conference in the same suburb
      proclaiming 'Freedom from homosexuality through the
      power of Jesus Christ'. It should be an interesting
      time. I'll be going with not only my story but also
      the stories of 100's of readers who found there time
      in these ex-gray programs mentally damaging. One
      person told me that whilst in an ex-gay program here
      in Sydney, he attempted suicide three times, after his
      failed efforts to change kept him in depression.

      The writer in the Los Angeles Times says 'His (Alan
      Chambers) personal denunciation of the term "ex-gay" -
      his organization has yet to follow suit - is just one
      example of shifting ground in the polarizing debate on
      homosexuality'. We may actually be ahead of America in
      some ways as I've noticed a shift in the Australian
      ex-gay ministries over the last three years. Possibly
      the honesty of my story has helped bring some sanity
      into the debate. I spoke openly about the almost daily
      battle I went through trying to be heterosexual. The
      constant monitoring of my voice, hand movements,
      posture and wardrobe to never give any hint that I was
      not the person I was trying to be, a heterosexual.
      Looking back now, I realise how tiring and stressful
      that was.

      In Australia, the most important shift has been in the
      language used. It's very rare for anyone from that
      movement these days to actually claim they are 'now'
      heterosexual. They will be honest enough to admit
      their thought life still contains traces of gay and
      they have mechanisms and accountability in place to
      protect them from falling. The language used
      recruiting others has also changed. They now use the
      term 'unwanted' same-sex-attraction as opposed to
      telling every gay person they should change. Small
      shifts but significant none the less. They can never
      go back now to the old position. Also, over the last
      12 months I've been collecting testimonials from
      former leaders of Australia's ex-gay ministries
      admitting they were acting in ignorance and
      apologizing for the unnecessary suffering their
      previous beliefs had caused. There has even been some
      talk of the ministries here in Australia separating
      themselves from Exodus as they are coming to the place
      where they realise you can be gay, live a fulfilling
      life and be a believer.

      I've endeavoured to reach out to those who minister in
      these groups as I know one day it will all come undone
      for them and I want to be there to support them. It's
      often in mid-life but I've had emails from men coming
      out in their 60's. There comes a time when that real
      person inside you screams out, "Set me free, time is
      moving on, I want to live some of it too". It's better
      to live one day on this planet as a real person than a
      life time that is a lie.

      If people want to spend the rest of their lives
      'struggling' with their inner thoughts I guess it's
      their choice. We live in a free country. But I've
      found the most fulfilling life is to be authentic and
      have integrity, and I can do that as an openly gay
      man. I've told some leaders of these groups that I'm
      happy for them to work with peoples sexual abuse and
      sexual addiction issues but the moment they tell a
      human being they are flawed because they are gay or
      promise them that they can become heterosexual then
      I'll oppose them all the way."






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    • Laura Miers
      I think ex gay ministries are maturing and that some are better than others. The thing that makes ex gay groups unique is that they say to the culture by there
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 25, 2007
        I think ex gay ministries are maturing
        and that some are better than others.
        The thing that makes ex gay groups
        unique is that they say to the culture
        by there vvery existence thats Change
        is possible..not that people are obssesing
        with this possibility.

        There are many reason why a person
        who was gay seeks change and given
        those reason teh outcomes may vary.
        But what ex gay minstries should try to
        be is a place of peace from the chaotic
        gay world, it should be a place of rest
        and comfort.

        Some ex gay groups may want to overly
        indoctrinate in ex gay 101but what the
        person needs is just a freindor a hug..not
        the latest Spitzer study.

        They need accountabily partners and
        a network of support and encouragement
        even should they fall.

        I prefer to call it a journey not a struggle
        because we all are sinners in need of a saviro,
        and were we not inflicted with one sin
        we would be witha nother.

        People like Venn seek to opine about the
        improbable becase it make sthem feel right
        and superior. The truth is since the eary days
        of teh church former homosexuals have
        been around and will always be here.

        As long as there are gay people there
        will be those who want out..also there
        will always be those to help them out.
        I would say in contrast to what Venn
        belives as the gay population gets
        bigger I susect the ex gay movement
        will also...not diminish

        Alan Chambers says he was misquoted
        in the LA paper have no problem when young
        people "struggle" with there sexuality, they are the
        first to introduce young ones to there new family.

        Yet they are nerved byjust one ex gay tract
        this is hypocrisy by any standard.

        What people want to do is spend the rest of their lives
        'struggling' with there fellow brothers and sister
        because in our weakness chirst makes us stronger.
        This is what the gay chirtsian movemt fails
        to understand about out choice.

        And yes Venn is right "we do live in a free country" and
        as a result we choose the paths we want not
        any other person.

        The apostle paul was afflicted yet he found life to
        most fulfilling, authentic and full of integrity, and he
        did so even until death...as an openly prossesing
        Christain

        Laura

        s Morey <moreytom@...> wrote:
        Dear members,

        The following excerpt was written recently by Anthony
        Venn-Brown at his website:
        <www.anthony.venn-brown@...>. I would
        like you to reply here to his comments using an
        insightful and compassionate manner, which all of you
        who are proactive here have shown me and many others
        in the past. Hopefully, this will involve some very
        hard ex-gay ministry assessment on your part, and your
        own self-examination, as well as the obviously
        necessary critique of his excerpt. I do covet your
        replies, no matter what you may have to say. I will
        then give you my own.

        Blessings,

        Tom

        Anthony Venn-Brown is the author of "A Life of
        Unlearning". He is a former pastor in the Assembly of
        God pentecostal denomination, until he chose to go
        public about living a gay identity and lifestyle,
        which he was previously and deceitfully living while
        pastoring, having been married, and raising two
        daughters. He claims that he was always an effective
        speaker and teacher, in the AG at the time, and still
        is now for pro-gay causes.

        He is Australian, and, yes, he will be a speaker along
        with Mel White and Wayne Besen, at the upcoming
        counter-conference in the LA area. Although very much
        willingly taken in by, and convinced of, the evil
        one's lies and accusations, he is by no means anything
        like noisemaker Wayne Besen in his approach with
        others. He has shown me that he has a therapist's
        heart for people, even those he opposes in theory. He
        and I have had some exchanges over the internet, all
        of them have been very respectful, albeit quite
        polemical in nature too.

        Here is the excerpt:

        "Ex-gay Ministries Coming to an End

        A statement. Just one statement. Yes it only takes one
        statement to undermine the credibly of the ex-gay
        ministries and it was possibly made last Monday in the
        Los Angeles Times.

        In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Alan
        Chambers, the director of Exodus (the global umbrella
        for ex-gay ministries), sent shock waves through
        religious circles, when he stated that, "By no means
        would we ever say change can be sudden or complete,"
        and that he was uncomfortable with the term 'ex-gay'
        as he doesn't think he's ever met one.

        It's been three decades now since the birth of
        Christian ex-gay ministries, which have continued to
        hold on to the outdated belief that
        same-sex-orientation is the result of a dysfunctional
        upbringing or sexual trauma and that through therapy
        homosexual people can become heterosexual. Whilst
        science was changing it's understanding these groups
        were making sure ignorance remained entrenched in the
        church.

        Next weekend in Los Angeles there will be two
        conferences at the same time. I will be attending an
        Ex-gay Survivors Conference (see below) whilst Exodus
        is running a Freedom Conference in the same suburb
        proclaiming 'Freedom from homosexuality through the
        power of Jesus Christ'. It should be an interesting
        time. I'll be going with not only my story but also
        the stories of 100's of readers who found there time
        in these ex-gray programs mentally damaging. One
        person told me that whilst in an ex-gay program here
        in Sydney, he attempted suicide three times, after his
        failed efforts to change kept him in depression.

        The writer in the Los Angeles Times says 'His (Alan
        Chambers) personal denunciation of the term "ex-gay" -
        his organization has yet to follow suit - is just one
        example of shifting ground in the polarizing debate on
        homosexuality'. We may actually be ahead of America in
        some ways as I've noticed a shift in the Australian
        ex-gay ministries over the last three years. Possibly
        the honesty of my story has helped bring some sanity
        into the debate. I spoke openly about the almost daily
        battle I went through trying to be heterosexual. The
        constant monitoring of my voice, hand movements,
        posture and wardrobe to never give any hint that I was
        not the person I was trying to be, a heterosexual.
        Looking back now, I realise how tiring and stressful
        that was.

        In Australia, the most important shift has been in the
        language used. It's very rare for anyone from that
        movement these days to actually claim they are 'now'
        heterosexual. They will be honest enough to admit
        their thought life still contains traces of gay and
        they have mechanisms and accountability in place to
        protect them from falling. The language used
        recruiting others has also changed. They now use the
        term 'unwanted' same-sex-attraction as opposed to
        telling every gay person they should change. Small
        shifts but significant none the less. They can never
        go back now to the old position. Also, over the last
        12 months I've been collecting testimonials from
        former leaders of Australia's ex-gay ministries
        admitting they were acting in ignorance and
        apologizing for the unnecessary suffering their
        previous beliefs had caused. There has even been some
        talk of the ministries here in Australia separating
        themselves from Exodus as they are coming to the place
        where they realise you can be gay, live a fulfilling
        life and be a believer.

        I've endeavoured to reach out to those who minister in
        these groups as I know one day it will all come undone
        for them and I want to be there to support them. It's
        often in mid-life but I've had emails from men coming
        out in their 60's. There comes a time when that real
        person inside you screams out, "Set me free, time is
        moving on, I want to live some of it too". It's better
        to live one day on this planet as a real person than a
        life time that is a lie.

        If people want to spend the rest of their lives
        'struggling' with their inner thoughts I guess it's
        their choice. We live in a free country. But I've
        found the most fulfilling life is to be authentic and
        have integrity, and I can do that as an openly gay
        man. I've told some leaders of these groups that I'm
        happy for them to work with peoples sexual abuse and
        sexual addiction issues but the moment they tell a
        human being they are flawed because they are gay or
        promise them that they can become heterosexual then
        I'll oppose them all the way."

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      • cgdone1
        Honestly, I really prefer to use ex-heathen above ex-gay since it encompasses more fully the life I used to live. I believe in the days ahead there will be
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 25, 2007
          Honestly, I really prefer to use "ex-heathen" above "ex-gay" since it
          encompasses more fully the life I used to live.

          I believe in the days ahead there will be a mass exodus of gays
          leaving the life behind. Why do I believe this? Simply because the
          greatest work, the greatest out-pouring of the Holy Spirit is yet to
          come.

          When this happens, conviction will fall like never before and people
          will see God for Who He really is, not how we've portrayed Him in the
          past. Reverential fear of God and a greater understanding of
          Holiness will come.

          If we allow ourselves to compromise in any area of our lives, it
          opens a door to deception. We can allow ourselves to be deceived in
          such a way as to justify our actions. We can say good is evil and
          evil good. Compromise always promotes increase. And by that, I mean
          it will promote more compromise and more sin.

          I believe that some ex-gay ministries do a better job than others but
          I'm glad they exist. They show those that want another way that it
          is possible, that they aren't alone in their struggle and fight to be
          free...it is a fight!

          With that being said, we need one another in the body of Christ and
          we all can use more revelation on God's heart and His strategy for
          winning this battle. I hope and pray more ex-gays will step up to
          the plate with boldness and courage to speak out for Jesus Christ and
          proclaim the Good News of change. It's very important for us to have
          unity and it grieves me to hear of one brother openly criticizing
          another in this arena. It serves only to fan the flames of the
          enemy. After all, we're not fighting against flesh and blood here and
          we need to be reminded of that often.






          --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, Thomas Morey
          <moreytom@...> wrote:
          >
          > Dear members,
          >
          > The following excerpt was written recently by Anthony
          > Venn-Brown at his website:
          > <www.anthony.venn-brown@...>. I would
          > like you to reply here to his comments using an
          > insightful and compassionate manner, which all of you
          > who are proactive here have shown me and many others
          > in the past. Hopefully, this will involve some very
          > hard ex-gay ministry assessment on your part, and your
          > own self-examination, as well as the obviously
          > necessary critique of his excerpt. I do covet your
          > replies, no matter what you may have to say. I will
          > then give you my own.
          >
          > Blessings,
          >
          > Tom
          >
          > Anthony Venn-Brown is the author of "A Life of
          > Unlearning". He is a former pastor in the Assembly of
          > God pentecostal denomination, until he chose to go
          > public about living a gay identity and lifestyle,
          > which he was previously and deceitfully living while
          > pastoring, having been married, and raising two
          > daughters. He claims that he was always an effective
          > speaker and teacher, in the AG at the time, and still
          > is now for pro-gay causes.
          >
          > He is Australian, and, yes, he will be a speaker along
          > with Mel White and Wayne Besen, at the upcoming
          > counter-conference in the LA area. Although very much
          > willingly taken in by, and convinced of, the evil
          > one's lies and accusations, he is by no means anything
          > like noisemaker Wayne Besen in his approach with
          > others. He has shown me that he has a therapist's
          > heart for people, even those he opposes in theory. He
          > and I have had some exchanges over the internet, all
          > of them have been very respectful, albeit quite
          > polemical in nature too.
          >
          > Here is the excerpt:
          >
          > "Ex-gay Ministries Coming to an End
          >
          > A statement. Just one statement. Yes it only takes one
          > statement to undermine the credibly of the ex-gay
          > ministries and it was possibly made last Monday in the
          > Los Angeles Times.
          >
          > In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Alan
          > Chambers, the director of Exodus (the global umbrella
          > for ex-gay ministries), sent shock waves through
          > religious circles, when he stated that, "By no means
          > would we ever say change can be sudden or complete,"
          > and that he was uncomfortable with the term 'ex-gay'
          > as he doesn't think he's ever met one.
          >
          > It's been three decades now since the birth of
          > Christian ex-gay ministries, which have continued to
          > hold on to the outdated belief that
          > same-sex-orientation is the result of a dysfunctional
          > upbringing or sexual trauma and that through therapy
          > homosexual people can become heterosexual. Whilst
          > science was changing it's understanding these groups
          > were making sure ignorance remained entrenched in the
          > church.
          >
          > Next weekend in Los Angeles there will be two
          > conferences at the same time. I will be attending an
          > Ex-gay Survivors Conference (see below) whilst Exodus
          > is running a Freedom Conference in the same suburb
          > proclaiming 'Freedom from homosexuality through the
          > power of Jesus Christ'. It should be an interesting
          > time. I'll be going with not only my story but also
          > the stories of 100's of readers who found there time
          > in these ex-gray programs mentally damaging. One
          > person told me that whilst in an ex-gay program here
          > in Sydney, he attempted suicide three times, after his
          > failed efforts to change kept him in depression.
          >
          > The writer in the Los Angeles Times says 'His (Alan
          > Chambers) personal denunciation of the term "ex-gay" -
          > his organization has yet to follow suit - is just one
          > example of shifting ground in the polarizing debate on
          > homosexuality'. We may actually be ahead of America in
          > some ways as I've noticed a shift in the Australian
          > ex-gay ministries over the last three years. Possibly
          > the honesty of my story has helped bring some sanity
          > into the debate. I spoke openly about the almost daily
          > battle I went through trying to be heterosexual. The
          > constant monitoring of my voice, hand movements,
          > posture and wardrobe to never give any hint that I was
          > not the person I was trying to be, a heterosexual.
          > Looking back now, I realise how tiring and stressful
          > that was.
          >
          > In Australia, the most important shift has been in the
          > language used. It's very rare for anyone from that
          > movement these days to actually claim they are 'now'
          > heterosexual. They will be honest enough to admit
          > their thought life still contains traces of gay and
          > they have mechanisms and accountability in place to
          > protect them from falling. The language used
          > recruiting others has also changed. They now use the
          > term 'unwanted' same-sex-attraction as opposed to
          > telling every gay person they should change. Small
          > shifts but significant none the less. They can never
          > go back now to the old position. Also, over the last
          > 12 months I've been collecting testimonials from
          > former leaders of Australia's ex-gay ministries
          > admitting they were acting in ignorance and
          > apologizing for the unnecessary suffering their
          > previous beliefs had caused. There has even been some
          > talk of the ministries here in Australia separating
          > themselves from Exodus as they are coming to the place
          > where they realise you can be gay, live a fulfilling
          > life and be a believer.
          >
          > I've endeavoured to reach out to those who minister in
          > these groups as I know one day it will all come undone
          > for them and I want to be there to support them. It's
          > often in mid-life but I've had emails from men coming
          > out in their 60's. There comes a time when that real
          > person inside you screams out, "Set me free, time is
          > moving on, I want to live some of it too". It's better
          > to live one day on this planet as a real person than a
          > life time that is a lie.
          >
          > If people want to spend the rest of their lives
          > 'struggling' with their inner thoughts I guess it's
          > their choice. We live in a free country. But I've
          > found the most fulfilling life is to be authentic and
          > have integrity, and I can do that as an openly gay
          > man. I've told some leaders of these groups that I'm
          > happy for them to work with peoples sexual abuse and
          > sexual addiction issues but the moment they tell a
          > human being they are flawed because they are gay or
          > promise them that they can become heterosexual then
          > I'll oppose them all the way."
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          ______________________________________________________________________
          ______________
          > Get the free Yahoo! toolbar and rest assured with the added
          security of spyware protection.
          > http://new.toolbar.yahoo.com/toolbar/features/norton/index.php
          >
        • Thomas Morey
          Dear Laura and cdgone, Thanks so much for your views. I ll definitely keep in mind why you both believe the ex-gay movement will flourish, rather than pine, as
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 30, 2007
            Dear Laura and cdgone,

            Thanks so much for your views. I'll definitely keep in
            mind why you both believe the ex-gay movement will
            flourish, rather than pine, as Anthony Venn-Brown
            suggests. If I'm getting this right, Laura you said
            since the gay communities will become larger, so will
            the ex-gay movement due to those many who then choose
            to leave their old ways. Sort of like where sin
            abounds, grace all the more! And, cdgone, you are sure
            that in the near future an outpouring of the Holy
            Spirit is coming to America, and, of course, this will
            include many more of those getting saved and being
            made whole from a gay lifestyle.

            The other insights contained in your respective posts
            are the following:

            Cdgone- "I really prefer to use 'ex-heathen' above
            'ex-gay' since it encompasses more fully the life I
            used to live." Yep, this is definitely more accurate
            for any formerly gay-identified Christian.

            Laura- "What people (ex-gays) want to do is spend the
            rest of their lives 'struggling' with their fellow
            brothers and sisters, because in our weakness Christ
            makes us stronger. This is what the gay Christian
            movement fails to understand about our choice." Bingo,
            this is THE crux (pun intended? I'm not so sure) of
            the matter concerning their spiritual blindness.
            Absolutely! :-)

            Apparently, Anthony is ignorant about Exodus and the
            ex-gay movement as a whole. To me he appears to still
            be referring to the days just before and during
            Exodus' inception into Australia, back in 1976.
            However, I believe he's right in a sense about Exodus
            in the early days. I believe that it wasn't until Ed
            Hurst from Outpost Ministry in the Twin Cities of
            Minnesota in the early 80's did anyone officially
            representing Exodus actually admit in public to
            present and ongoing SSA struggles.

            Sy Rogers used to be based in Singapore in the late
            80's until the late 90's, just north of Australia, and
            headed up the Exodus South Pacific region for most of
            those years. I'm sure that he wouldn't allow any
            ministry to hold to such preposterous positions to
            which Anthony suggests. It appears that, according to
            his story, he never even went to an Exodus ministry to
            really find out what they believe, let alone attempt
            to get help. Rather, it does seem as though his fund
            of information came at least second hand, if at all.


            Now, I have decided to break up here a critique
            response that I have written about Anthony and his
            autobiography "A Life of Unlearning" into three
            sections. The critique, which I am calling "A Life of
            Misleading: An Empathic and Sobering Analysis of
            Anthony Venn-Brown's Life as Recorded in His
            Autobiography" will hopefully lay out for all who read
            it where I believe at particular junctions Anthony
            sadly got derailed in his life pilgrimage.

            The first, which I hopefully will post later today,
            will discuss the errant theological tenets he was
            taught and he unfortunately continued to choose to
            believe. I am convinced that this began the derailment
            from the highway of holy living. The second, will be
            about the grave psychological errors he apparently was
            never able to recognize and get beyond while he
            continued to struggle against SSAs. Then finally, as a
            capstone and a seal of demise to this deception, I
            will post here what appears to me to be his
            socio-political views that he finally bought into, and
            apparently do keep him today trapped in an insidiously
            dark form of circular reasoning.

            Each of these three topics of human knowledge about
            God and human behavior appear to me to be
            predominantly encountered by him in a fairly
            chronological order throughout his account of his
            life. Hopefully, this chronology will bring further
            enlightenment to how error gradually can have its way
            in any of our lives, and to which not one of us is
            really immune, unless we choose to hold fast to the
            hope we have by His grace!

            So, why am I so invested in writing this? I guess my
            primary motivation was to bring to light the schemes
            of the evil one, as they were evidently and
            illustratively at work successfully with Anthony,
            according to his story. You know, how the devil uses
            as fuel for his fires errant beliefs, especially about
            our views of Who God is and who we are to Him, in an
            attempt to destroy us. Any readers who are presently
            holding to the same or similar views will hopefully be
            forwarned, and their friends and family members,
            forearmed.

            Blessings,

            Tom








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          • cgdone1
            Tom, Thanks for your views on this. I think in our case renewing the mind by the Word of God couldn t be stressed enough! Paul knew what he was talking about
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 30, 2007
              Tom, Thanks for your views on this. I think in our case renewing the
              mind by the Word of God couldn't be stressed enough! Paul knew what
              he was talking about when he stated as much in scripture. Joyce
              Meyer's book "Battlefield of The Mind" has been a great resource for
              me because I know where the mind goes the man follows.




              -- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, Thomas Morey
              <moreytom@...> wrote:
              >
              > Dear Laura and cdgone,
              >
              > Thanks so much for your views. I'll definitely keep in
              > mind why you both believe the ex-gay movement will
              > flourish, rather than pine, as Anthony Venn-Brown
              > suggests. If I'm getting this right, Laura you said
              > since the gay communities will become larger, so will
              > the ex-gay movement due to those many who then choose
              > to leave their old ways. Sort of like where sin
              > abounds, grace all the more! And, cdgone, you are sure
              > that in the near future an outpouring of the Holy
              > Spirit is coming to America, and, of course, this will
              > include many more of those getting saved and being
              > made whole from a gay lifestyle.
              >
              > The other insights contained in your respective posts
              > are the following:
              >
              > Cdgone- "I really prefer to use 'ex-heathen' above
              > 'ex-gay' since it encompasses more fully the life I
              > used to live." Yep, this is definitely more accurate
              > for any formerly gay-identified Christian.
              >
              > Laura- "What people (ex-gays) want to do is spend the
              > rest of their lives 'struggling' with their fellow
              > brothers and sisters, because in our weakness Christ
              > makes us stronger. This is what the gay Christian
              > movement fails to understand about our choice." Bingo,
              > this is THE crux (pun intended? I'm not so sure) of
              > the matter concerning their spiritual blindness.
              > Absolutely! :-)
              >
              > Apparently, Anthony is ignorant about Exodus and the
              > ex-gay movement as a whole. To me he appears to still
              > be referring to the days just before and during
              > Exodus' inception into Australia, back in 1976.
              > However, I believe he's right in a sense about Exodus
              > in the early days. I believe that it wasn't until Ed
              > Hurst from Outpost Ministry in the Twin Cities of
              > Minnesota in the early 80's did anyone officially
              > representing Exodus actually admit in public to
              > present and ongoing SSA struggles.
              >
              > Sy Rogers used to be based in Singapore in the late
              > 80's until the late 90's, just north of Australia, and
              > headed up the Exodus South Pacific region for most of
              > those years. I'm sure that he wouldn't allow any
              > ministry to hold to such preposterous positions to
              > which Anthony suggests. It appears that, according to
              > his story, he never even went to an Exodus ministry to
              > really find out what they believe, let alone attempt
              > to get help. Rather, it does seem as though his fund
              > of information came at least second hand, if at all.
              >
              >
              > Now, I have decided to break up here a critique
              > response that I have written about Anthony and his
              > autobiography "A Life of Unlearning" into three
              > sections. The critique, which I am calling "A Life of
              > Misleading: An Empathic and Sobering Analysis of
              > Anthony Venn-Brown's Life as Recorded in His
              > Autobiography" will hopefully lay out for all who read
              > it where I believe at particular junctions Anthony
              > sadly got derailed in his life pilgrimage.
              >
              > The first, which I hopefully will post later today,
              > will discuss the errant theological tenets he was
              > taught and he unfortunately continued to choose to
              > believe. I am convinced that this began the derailment
              > from the highway of holy living. The second, will be
              > about the grave psychological errors he apparently was
              > never able to recognize and get beyond while he
              > continued to struggle against SSAs. Then finally, as a
              > capstone and a seal of demise to this deception, I
              > will post here what appears to me to be his
              > socio-political views that he finally bought into, and
              > apparently do keep him today trapped in an insidiously
              > dark form of circular reasoning.
              >
              > Each of these three topics of human knowledge about
              > God and human behavior appear to me to be
              > predominantly encountered by him in a fairly
              > chronological order throughout his account of his
              > life. Hopefully, this chronology will bring further
              > enlightenment to how error gradually can have its way
              > in any of our lives, and to which not one of us is
              > really immune, unless we choose to hold fast to the
              > hope we have by His grace!
              >
              > So, why am I so invested in writing this? I guess my
              > primary motivation was to bring to light the schemes
              > of the evil one, as they were evidently and
              > illustratively at work successfully with Anthony,
              > according to his story. You know, how the devil uses
              > as fuel for his fires errant beliefs, especially about
              > our views of Who God is and who we are to Him, in an
              > attempt to destroy us. Any readers who are presently
              > holding to the same or similar views will hopefully be
              > forwarned, and their friends and family members,
              > forearmed.
              >
              > Blessings,
              >
              > Tom
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              ______________________________________________________________________
              ______________
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              >
            • ctickle777
              WOW, Tom. Thanks for posting this very telling and unfortunate excerpt, courtesy of Anthony Venn-Brown. I am going to touch on a handful of his statements,
              Message 6 of 7 , Jul 1, 2007
                WOW, Tom. Thanks for posting this very telling and unfortunate
                excerpt, courtesy of Anthony Venn-Brown. I am going to touch on a
                handful of his statements, just because they really illustrate to me
                just how confused this man is…not necessarily about his same-sex
                attraction, but more so about who God is and how he as a human being
                relates to God. I find it somewhat less than shocking, however, that
                he views himself as a "gay man" and detests the ex-gay community.
                After all, the ex-gay community exists, in part, to discredit his
                own philosophy on same-sex attraction.

                His self-description essentially boils down to cultural norms, does
                it not? Our society and culture defines people based on their
                behavior and "feelings," as do so many other people who are blinded
                by the veil of deceit that Satan has so masterfully used to trick
                all humankind around the world. In America, and even abroad, we are
                taught to view ourselves as by-products that are defined by 1.) what
                we feel, 2.) what we do (professional job/trade, gifts/talents,
                mistakes, temptations), and 3.) how we think (our rudimentary system
                of beliefs). This is why religious fascists consider themselves to
                be smarter, hierarchically advanced, chosen peoples…they believe
                that their religion gives them an identity and dictates their
                status.

                But, I'll get back to the subject of Anthony and his "cause." It is
                a very sad shame that Anthony, having been a minister in the church
                for quite some time, has willfully chosen to believe this universal
                lie: He is defined by his sexual preference toward the same sex
                (men). He then bases all of his philosophical beliefs (religious
                beliefs included) on this lie. (Let's recognize first and foremost
                that he doesn't realize he believes a lie…or in the rare event that
                he does realize he is at fault, he simply tries to avoid the Holy
                Spirit's urgings that he is wrong by way of his pro-gay activism).
                He reports, i.e.: I am gay. I "found the most fulfilling life"…by
                being outwardly gay. In essence, his "gayness" defines WHO he is,
                even so much as defining his Christianity and relationship with God.
                It controls what he does, how he thinks, and what he says. The lie
                (Satan) controls him. And, yet, this very lie is being propagated
                through Anthony and peers, via so many outlets. Indeed, they are
                taking their false teaching to new heights through their counter-
                events, internet blogs, and other venues.

                Hence, the backwardness of Anthony's entire argument is revealed to
                the TRUE Christian who places higher value on what God says than
                what he/she feels. Anthony, being a self-endorsed (or should I say
                Satan endorsed?) man of God and the church, is nothing more, in my
                honest opinion, than a false teacher. This is, essentially who he is
                based on God's Word. He is a FALSE TEACHER; a snake-oil salesman. He
                claims to have the elixir of life, the essence of happiness, and yet
                he sells this product under a false pretense: a lie! He is
                preaching, endorsing, and teaching a lie that is entrenched solely
                upon his emotional perception of who he thinks he is according to
                the world's cultural standards. What does God's Word tell us about
                false teachers? Scripture makes it extraordinarily clear that false
                teachers exist, and we are not to engage or take part in their
                instruction. I think a very applicable description of false teachers
                may be found in 2 Timothy 4, 3-4, which states, "For the time will
                come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have
                their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in
                accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from
                the truth and will turn aside to myths" (NASB).

                Another relevant point may be found in Colossians 2:8, which
                states, "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy
                and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to
                the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to
                Christ." Isn't this exactly what Venn-Brown, et. al., are doing?
                What is their fruit? How many people with SSA have bought into their
                Satan-inspired lies? How many spirits have remained separated from
                God by way of their teachings, all in the name of giving into
                temptation by indulging in their "feelings, emotions, and fleshly
                desires!"

                Although Anthony isn't as blatantly callous and/or vindictive as
                many of his troublemaking Besen-inspired peers, his fruit still
                contradicts all I have been taught through God's Word. It truly
                saddens me that he, himself, has been duped, even after all his time
                spent as a "leader" in the church. That just goes to show how Satan
                can deceive anyone, regardless their position. At this point, I
                would have to question whether or not Anthony has ever truly
                accepted Christ, simply because his fruit strongly suggests
                otherwise.

                Having said that, I want to comment specifically on some of
                Anthony's specific statements. For starters, how do we know what he
                says about Australian ex-gay ministries is actually true? He is a
                false teacher, after all, so how can we believe his word is in any
                way more truthful regarding the health and vitality of ex-gay
                ministries in his geographical area? We simply cannot take his word
                on this, especially since he has a knack for propagating lies based
                upon his own deceptions.

                Anthony also writes that he had to act heterosexual at one point in
                time. He stated, "The constant monitoring of my voice, hand
                movements, posture and wardrobe to never give any hint that I was
                not the person I was trying to be, a heterosexual." Give me a break!
                As if he was born effeminate to this degree? That's absolutely
                absurd! His "gay" behavior was learned, not inherited, to this
                extent. I would suggest that rather, he has spent more time "acting"
                effeminate than acting like the man God created him to be? Again,
                aren't we seeing a consistency in lying here? Another lie he tells
                is that having "gay" feelings is considered in ex-gay circles as
                being "flawed." Someone tell me if I'm wrong here, but isn't this
                the opposite of what is truly taught in most reputable reparative
                therapy sessions? The SSA isn't sinful itself, but more so, a
                temptation. Even Christ was tempted…and yet He never sinned. So,
                Christ Himself was flawed then, simply b/c He experienced
                temptation? I don't think so.

                He then goes on to say that ex-gays have traces of gay thoughts and
                that "they have mechanisms and accountability in place to protect
                them from falling." Interestingly, he uses the term "falling," to
                describe the ex-gay struggle to resist falling into temptation. I
                thought that was a rather un-canny remark. Clearly, Venn-Brown
                doesn't understand the fallen state of man that was passed down to
                us by our spiritual father, Adam. He doesn't understand that
                temptation requires resistance, or that we as Christians must all
                seek to be held accountable for our sinful desires, otherwise, we
                would never be able to resist any temptation.

                Finally, Venn-Brown says ex-gays should, "realise you can be gay,
                live a fulfilling life and be a believer." Okay, that's interesting.
                One can have same-sex attraction, live a fulfilling life, AND, be a
                believer! What truly is a fulfilling life? Life here on earth is the
                here and now…but what about the afterlife? We haven't lived the
                afterlife yet, but all of us will live it. It is far longer than the
                life we have on earth, and yet, we choose while we are here on earth
                how we want to live in the afterlife. We can live in one of two
                ways, based upon God's Word: 1.) We live in the presence of God; or,
                2.) We live separated from God. We choose where we will be not based
                upon our behavior during this lifetime, but based solely upon who we
                will choose to serve.

                This is the biggest flaw of Venn-Brown's argument. He says, one can
                live a fulfilling life here on earth by living the gay lifestyle. He
                also says one can be a believer, and also be "gay." But, what does
                he have to say about life after death if he chooses to live his life
                here on earth to simply enjoy it living in the gay lifestyle? How
                much of his gay lifestyle will he take with him when he dies? Sure,
                he may believe God exists, but how far does mere belief take a
                person in this lifetime if it is not also accompanied by repentance
                and service? Satan himself believes in God! Yet, Satan chose to
                disobey Him, and to revolt and reject God's commands. Satan chose to
                SERVE HIMSELF rather than serve God! Temptation isn't the real issue
                here…the real issue is this: Whom will I serve? Will I serve myself
                during this lifetime, indulging in all the things that I want to
                try, giving in to my greatest temptations, or will I strive to
                please the Lord? Will I honor my commitment to Him by continually
                repenting, continually turning and confessing when I do wrong?
                Ironically, Venn-Brown may "believe" in God, but believing in God
                and serving Satan (willfully enslaving oneself to Satan) is
                altogether another issue. Sad to say, Venn-Brown doesn't recognize
                the true choice he has made by openly accepting to live a life that
                does not edify or glorify God, but one that instead makes a mockery
                of God's Word.


                Curious to read some of your responses to Tom's question…

                In Christ,
                Christa : )


                --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, Thomas Morey
                <moreytom@...> wrote:
                >
                > Dear members,
                >
                > The following excerpt was written recently by Anthony
                > Venn-Brown at his website:
                > <www.anthony.venn-brown@...>. I would
                > like you to reply here to his comments using an
                > insightful and compassionate manner, which all of you
                > who are proactive here have shown me and many others
                > in the past. Hopefully, this will involve some very
                > hard ex-gay ministry assessment on your part, and your
                > own self-examination, as well as the obviously
                > necessary critique of his excerpt. I do covet your
                > replies, no matter what you may have to say. I will
                > then give you my own.
                >
                > Blessings,
                >
                > Tom
                >
                > Anthony Venn-Brown is the author of "A Life of
                > Unlearning". He is a former pastor in the Assembly of
                > God pentecostal denomination, until he chose to go
                > public about living a gay identity and lifestyle,
                > which he was previously and deceitfully living while
                > pastoring, having been married, and raising two
                > daughters. He claims that he was always an effective
                > speaker and teacher, in the AG at the time, and still
                > is now for pro-gay causes.
                >
                > He is Australian, and, yes, he will be a speaker along
                > with Mel White and Wayne Besen, at the upcoming
                > counter-conference in the LA area. Although very much
                > willingly taken in by, and convinced of, the evil
                > one's lies and accusations, he is by no means anything
                > like noisemaker Wayne Besen in his approach with
                > others. He has shown me that he has a therapist's
                > heart for people, even those he opposes in theory. He
                > and I have had some exchanges over the internet, all
                > of them have been very respectful, albeit quite
                > polemical in nature too.
                >
                > Here is the excerpt:
                >
                > "Ex-gay Ministries Coming to an End
                >
                > A statement. Just one statement. Yes it only takes one
                > statement to undermine the credibly of the ex-gay
                > ministries and it was possibly made last Monday in the
                > Los Angeles Times.
                >
                > In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Alan
                > Chambers, the director of Exodus (the global umbrella
                > for ex-gay ministries), sent shock waves through
                > religious circles, when he stated that, "By no means
                > would we ever say change can be sudden or complete,"
                > and that he was uncomfortable with the term 'ex-gay'
                > as he doesn't think he's ever met one.
                >
                > It's been three decades now since the birth of
                > Christian ex-gay ministries, which have continued to
                > hold on to the outdated belief that
                > same-sex-orientation is the result of a dysfunctional
                > upbringing or sexual trauma and that through therapy
                > homosexual people can become heterosexual. Whilst
                > science was changing it's understanding these groups
                > were making sure ignorance remained entrenched in the
                > church.
                >
                > Next weekend in Los Angeles there will be two
                > conferences at the same time. I will be attending an
                > Ex-gay Survivors Conference (see below) whilst Exodus
                > is running a Freedom Conference in the same suburb
                > proclaiming 'Freedom from homosexuality through the
                > power of Jesus Christ'. It should be an interesting
                > time. I'll be going with not only my story but also
                > the stories of 100's of readers who found there time
                > in these ex-gray programs mentally damaging. One
                > person told me that whilst in an ex-gay program here
                > in Sydney, he attempted suicide three times, after his
                > failed efforts to change kept him in depression.
                >
                > The writer in the Los Angeles Times says 'His (Alan
                > Chambers) personal denunciation of the term "ex-gay" -
                > his organization has yet to follow suit - is just one
                > example of shifting ground in the polarizing debate on
                > homosexuality'. We may actually be ahead of America in
                > some ways as I've noticed a shift in the Australian
                > ex-gay ministries over the last three years. Possibly
                > the honesty of my story has helped bring some sanity
                > into the debate. I spoke openly about the almost daily
                > battle I went through trying to be heterosexual. The
                > constant monitoring of my voice, hand movements,
                > posture and wardrobe to never give any hint that I was
                > not the person I was trying to be, a heterosexual.
                > Looking back now, I realise how tiring and stressful
                > that was.
                >
                > In Australia, the most important shift has been in the
                > language used. It's very rare for anyone from that
                > movement these days to actually claim they are 'now'
                > heterosexual. They will be honest enough to admit
                > their thought life still contains traces of gay and
                > they have mechanisms and accountability in place to
                > protect them from falling. The language used
                > recruiting others has also changed. They now use the
                > term 'unwanted' same-sex-attraction as opposed to
                > telling every gay person they should change. Small
                > shifts but significant none the less. They can never
                > go back now to the old position. Also, over the last
                > 12 months I've been collecting testimonials from
                > former leaders of Australia's ex-gay ministries
                > admitting they were acting in ignorance and
                > apologizing for the unnecessary suffering their
                > previous beliefs had caused. There has even been some
                > talk of the ministries here in Australia separating
                > themselves from Exodus as they are coming to the place
                > where they realise you can be gay, live a fulfilling
                > life and be a believer.
                >
                > I've endeavoured to reach out to those who minister in
                > these groups as I know one day it will all come undone
                > for them and I want to be there to support them. It's
                > often in mid-life but I've had emails from men coming
                > out in their 60's. There comes a time when that real
                > person inside you screams out, "Set me free, time is
                > moving on, I want to live some of it too". It's better
                > to live one day on this planet as a real person than a
                > life time that is a lie.
                >
                > If people want to spend the rest of their lives
                > 'struggling' with their inner thoughts I guess it's
                > their choice. We live in a free country. But I've
                > found the most fulfilling life is to be authentic and
                > have integrity, and I can do that as an openly gay
                > man. I've told some leaders of these groups that I'm
                > happy for them to work with peoples sexual abuse and
                > sexual addiction issues but the moment they tell a
                > human being they are flawed because they are gay or
                > promise them that they can become heterosexual then
                > I'll oppose them all the way."
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                _____________________________________________________________________
                _______________
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                security of spyware protection.
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                >
              • ctickle777
                Sorry for the three posts! I m not sure what happened?! I deleted two from the database. : ) Christa ... me ... being ... that ... does ... blinded ... are ...
                Message 7 of 7 , Jul 1, 2007
                  Sorry for the three posts! I'm not sure what happened?! I deleted
                  two from the database. : )

                  Christa

                  --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "ctickle777"
                  <ctickle777@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > WOW, Tom. Thanks for posting this very telling and unfortunate
                  > excerpt, courtesy of Anthony Venn-Brown. I am going to touch on a
                  > handful of his statements, just because they really illustrate to
                  me
                  > just how confused this man is…not necessarily about his same-sex
                  > attraction, but more so about who God is and how he as a human
                  being
                  > relates to God. I find it somewhat less than shocking, however,
                  that
                  > he views himself as a "gay man" and detests the ex-gay community.
                  > After all, the ex-gay community exists, in part, to discredit his
                  > own philosophy on same-sex attraction.
                  >
                  > His self-description essentially boils down to cultural norms,
                  does
                  > it not? Our society and culture defines people based on their
                  > behavior and "feelings," as do so many other people who are
                  blinded
                  > by the veil of deceit that Satan has so masterfully used to trick
                  > all humankind around the world. In America, and even abroad, we
                  are
                  > taught to view ourselves as by-products that are defined by 1.)
                  what
                  > we feel, 2.) what we do (professional job/trade, gifts/talents,
                  > mistakes, temptations), and 3.) how we think (our rudimentary
                  system
                  > of beliefs). This is why religious fascists consider themselves to
                  > be smarter, hierarchically advanced, chosen peoples…they believe
                  > that their religion gives them an identity and dictates their
                  > status.
                  >
                  > But, I'll get back to the subject of Anthony and his "cause." It
                  is
                  > a very sad shame that Anthony, having been a minister in the
                  church
                  > for quite some time, has willfully chosen to believe this
                  universal
                  > lie: He is defined by his sexual preference toward the same sex
                  > (men). He then bases all of his philosophical beliefs (religious
                  > beliefs included) on this lie. (Let's recognize first and foremost
                  > that he doesn't realize he believes a lie…or in the rare event
                  that
                  > he does realize he is at fault, he simply tries to avoid the Holy
                  > Spirit's urgings that he is wrong by way of his pro-gay activism).
                  > He reports, i.e.: I am gay. I "found the most fulfilling life"…by
                  > being outwardly gay. In essence, his "gayness" defines WHO he is,
                  > even so much as defining his Christianity and relationship with
                  God.
                  > It controls what he does, how he thinks, and what he says. The lie
                  > (Satan) controls him. And, yet, this very lie is being propagated
                  > through Anthony and peers, via so many outlets. Indeed, they are
                  > taking their false teaching to new heights through their counter-
                  > events, internet blogs, and other venues.
                  >
                  > Hence, the backwardness of Anthony's entire argument is revealed
                  to
                  > the TRUE Christian who places higher value on what God says than
                  > what he/she feels. Anthony, being a self-endorsed (or should I say
                  > Satan endorsed?) man of God and the church, is nothing more, in my
                  > honest opinion, than a false teacher. This is, essentially who he
                  is
                  > based on God's Word. He is a FALSE TEACHER; a snake-oil salesman.
                  He
                  > claims to have the elixir of life, the essence of happiness, and
                  yet
                  > he sells this product under a false pretense: a lie! He is
                  > preaching, endorsing, and teaching a lie that is entrenched solely
                  > upon his emotional perception of who he thinks he is according to
                  > the world's cultural standards. What does God's Word tell us about
                  > false teachers? Scripture makes it extraordinarily clear that
                  false
                  > teachers exist, and we are not to engage or take part in their
                  > instruction. I think a very applicable description of false
                  teachers
                  > may be found in 2 Timothy 4, 3-4, which states, "For the time will
                  > come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have
                  > their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers
                  in
                  > accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears
                  from
                  > the truth and will turn aside to myths" (NASB).
                  >
                  > Another relevant point may be found in Colossians 2:8, which
                  > states, "See to it that no one takes you captive through
                  philosophy
                  > and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according
                  to
                  > the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to
                  > Christ." Isn't this exactly what Venn-Brown, et. al., are doing?
                  > What is their fruit? How many people with SSA have bought into
                  their
                  > Satan-inspired lies? How many spirits have remained separated from
                  > God by way of their teachings, all in the name of giving into
                  > temptation by indulging in their "feelings, emotions, and fleshly
                  > desires!"
                  >
                  > Although Anthony isn't as blatantly callous and/or vindictive as
                  > many of his troublemaking Besen-inspired peers, his fruit still
                  > contradicts all I have been taught through God's Word. It truly
                  > saddens me that he, himself, has been duped, even after all his
                  time
                  > spent as a "leader" in the church. That just goes to show how
                  Satan
                  > can deceive anyone, regardless their position. At this point, I
                  > would have to question whether or not Anthony has ever truly
                  > accepted Christ, simply because his fruit strongly suggests
                  > otherwise.
                  >
                  > Having said that, I want to comment specifically on some of
                  > Anthony's specific statements. For starters, how do we know what
                  he
                  > says about Australian ex-gay ministries is actually true? He is a
                  > false teacher, after all, so how can we believe his word is in any
                  > way more truthful regarding the health and vitality of ex-gay
                  > ministries in his geographical area? We simply cannot take his
                  word
                  > on this, especially since he has a knack for propagating lies
                  based
                  > upon his own deceptions.
                  >
                  > Anthony also writes that he had to act heterosexual at one point
                  in
                  > time. He stated, "The constant monitoring of my voice, hand
                  > movements, posture and wardrobe to never give any hint that I was
                  > not the person I was trying to be, a heterosexual." Give me a
                  break!
                  > As if he was born effeminate to this degree? That's absolutely
                  > absurd! His "gay" behavior was learned, not inherited, to this
                  > extent. I would suggest that rather, he has spent more
                  time "acting"
                  > effeminate than acting like the man God created him to be? Again,
                  > aren't we seeing a consistency in lying here? Another lie he tells
                  > is that having "gay" feelings is considered in ex-gay circles as
                  > being "flawed." Someone tell me if I'm wrong here, but isn't this
                  > the opposite of what is truly taught in most reputable reparative
                  > therapy sessions? The SSA isn't sinful itself, but more so, a
                  > temptation. Even Christ was tempted…and yet He never sinned. So,
                  > Christ Himself was flawed then, simply b/c He experienced
                  > temptation? I don't think so.
                  >
                  > He then goes on to say that ex-gays have traces of gay thoughts
                  and
                  > that "they have mechanisms and accountability in place to protect
                  > them from falling." Interestingly, he uses the term "falling," to
                  > describe the ex-gay struggle to resist falling into temptation. I
                  > thought that was a rather un-canny remark. Clearly, Venn-Brown
                  > doesn't understand the fallen state of man that was passed down to
                  > us by our spiritual father, Adam. He doesn't understand that
                  > temptation requires resistance, or that we as Christians must all
                  > seek to be held accountable for our sinful desires, otherwise, we
                  > would never be able to resist any temptation.
                  >
                  > Finally, Venn-Brown says ex-gays should, "realise you can be gay,
                  > live a fulfilling life and be a believer." Okay, that's
                  interesting.
                  > One can have same-sex attraction, live a fulfilling life, AND, be
                  a
                  > believer! What truly is a fulfilling life? Life here on earth is
                  the
                  > here and now…but what about the afterlife? We haven't lived the
                  > afterlife yet, but all of us will live it. It is far longer than
                  the
                  > life we have on earth, and yet, we choose while we are here on
                  earth
                  > how we want to live in the afterlife. We can live in one of two
                  > ways, based upon God's Word: 1.) We live in the presence of God;
                  or,
                  > 2.) We live separated from God. We choose where we will be not
                  based
                  > upon our behavior during this lifetime, but based solely upon who
                  we
                  > will choose to serve.
                  >
                  > This is the biggest flaw of Venn-Brown's argument. He says, one
                  can
                  > live a fulfilling life here on earth by living the gay lifestyle.
                  He
                  > also says one can be a believer, and also be "gay." But, what does
                  > he have to say about life after death if he chooses to live his
                  life
                  > here on earth to simply enjoy it living in the gay lifestyle? How
                  > much of his gay lifestyle will he take with him when he dies?
                  Sure,
                  > he may believe God exists, but how far does mere belief take a
                  > person in this lifetime if it is not also accompanied by
                  repentance
                  > and service? Satan himself believes in God! Yet, Satan chose to
                  > disobey Him, and to revolt and reject God's commands. Satan chose
                  to
                  > SERVE HIMSELF rather than serve God! Temptation isn't the real
                  issue
                  > here…the real issue is this: Whom will I serve? Will I serve
                  myself
                  > during this lifetime, indulging in all the things that I want to
                  > try, giving in to my greatest temptations, or will I strive to
                  > please the Lord? Will I honor my commitment to Him by continually
                  > repenting, continually turning and confessing when I do wrong?
                  > Ironically, Venn-Brown may "believe" in God, but believing in God
                  > and serving Satan (willfully enslaving oneself to Satan) is
                  > altogether another issue. Sad to say, Venn-Brown doesn't recognize
                  > the true choice he has made by openly accepting to live a life
                  that
                  > does not edify or glorify God, but one that instead makes a
                  mockery
                  > of God's Word.
                  >
                  >
                  > Curious to read some of your responses to Tom's question…
                  >
                  > In Christ,
                  > Christa : )
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, Thomas Morey
                  > <moreytom@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Dear members,
                  > >
                  > > The following excerpt was written recently by Anthony
                  > > Venn-Brown at his website:
                  > > <www.anthony.venn-brown@>. I would
                  > > like you to reply here to his comments using an
                  > > insightful and compassionate manner, which all of you
                  > > who are proactive here have shown me and many others
                  > > in the past. Hopefully, this will involve some very
                  > > hard ex-gay ministry assessment on your part, and your
                  > > own self-examination, as well as the obviously
                  > > necessary critique of his excerpt. I do covet your
                  > > replies, no matter what you may have to say. I will
                  > > then give you my own.
                  > >
                  > > Blessings,
                  > >
                  > > Tom
                  > >
                  > > Anthony Venn-Brown is the author of "A Life of
                  > > Unlearning". He is a former pastor in the Assembly of
                  > > God pentecostal denomination, until he chose to go
                  > > public about living a gay identity and lifestyle,
                  > > which he was previously and deceitfully living while
                  > > pastoring, having been married, and raising two
                  > > daughters. He claims that he was always an effective
                  > > speaker and teacher, in the AG at the time, and still
                  > > is now for pro-gay causes.
                  > >
                  > > He is Australian, and, yes, he will be a speaker along
                  > > with Mel White and Wayne Besen, at the upcoming
                  > > counter-conference in the LA area. Although very much
                  > > willingly taken in by, and convinced of, the evil
                  > > one's lies and accusations, he is by no means anything
                  > > like noisemaker Wayne Besen in his approach with
                  > > others. He has shown me that he has a therapist's
                  > > heart for people, even those he opposes in theory. He
                  > > and I have had some exchanges over the internet, all
                  > > of them have been very respectful, albeit quite
                  > > polemical in nature too.
                  > >
                  > > Here is the excerpt:
                  > >
                  > > "Ex-gay Ministries Coming to an End
                  > >
                  > > A statement. Just one statement. Yes it only takes one
                  > > statement to undermine the credibly of the ex-gay
                  > > ministries and it was possibly made last Monday in the
                  > > Los Angeles Times.
                  > >
                  > > In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Alan
                  > > Chambers, the director of Exodus (the global umbrella
                  > > for ex-gay ministries), sent shock waves through
                  > > religious circles, when he stated that, "By no means
                  > > would we ever say change can be sudden or complete,"
                  > > and that he was uncomfortable with the term 'ex-gay'
                  > > as he doesn't think he's ever met one.
                  > >
                  > > It's been three decades now since the birth of
                  > > Christian ex-gay ministries, which have continued to
                  > > hold on to the outdated belief that
                  > > same-sex-orientation is the result of a dysfunctional
                  > > upbringing or sexual trauma and that through therapy
                  > > homosexual people can become heterosexual. Whilst
                  > > science was changing it's understanding these groups
                  > > were making sure ignorance remained entrenched in the
                  > > church.
                  > >
                  > > Next weekend in Los Angeles there will be two
                  > > conferences at the same time. I will be attending an
                  > > Ex-gay Survivors Conference (see below) whilst Exodus
                  > > is running a Freedom Conference in the same suburb
                  > > proclaiming 'Freedom from homosexuality through the
                  > > power of Jesus Christ'. It should be an interesting
                  > > time. I'll be going with not only my story but also
                  > > the stories of 100's of readers who found there time
                  > > in these ex-gray programs mentally damaging. One
                  > > person told me that whilst in an ex-gay program here
                  > > in Sydney, he attempted suicide three times, after his
                  > > failed efforts to change kept him in depression.
                  > >
                  > > The writer in the Los Angeles Times says 'His (Alan
                  > > Chambers) personal denunciation of the term "ex-gay" -
                  > > his organization has yet to follow suit - is just one
                  > > example of shifting ground in the polarizing debate on
                  > > homosexuality'. We may actually be ahead of America in
                  > > some ways as I've noticed a shift in the Australian
                  > > ex-gay ministries over the last three years. Possibly
                  > > the honesty of my story has helped bring some sanity
                  > > into the debate. I spoke openly about the almost daily
                  > > battle I went through trying to be heterosexual. The
                  > > constant monitoring of my voice, hand movements,
                  > > posture and wardrobe to never give any hint that I was
                  > > not the person I was trying to be, a heterosexual.
                  > > Looking back now, I realise how tiring and stressful
                  > > that was.
                  > >
                  > > In Australia, the most important shift has been in the
                  > > language used. It's very rare for anyone from that
                  > > movement these days to actually claim they are 'now'
                  > > heterosexual. They will be honest enough to admit
                  > > their thought life still contains traces of gay and
                  > > they have mechanisms and accountability in place to
                  > > protect them from falling. The language used
                  > > recruiting others has also changed. They now use the
                  > > term 'unwanted' same-sex-attraction as opposed to
                  > > telling every gay person they should change. Small
                  > > shifts but significant none the less. They can never
                  > > go back now to the old position. Also, over the last
                  > > 12 months I've been collecting testimonials from
                  > > former leaders of Australia's ex-gay ministries
                  > > admitting they were acting in ignorance and
                  > > apologizing for the unnecessary suffering their
                  > > previous beliefs had caused. There has even been some
                  > > talk of the ministries here in Australia separating
                  > > themselves from Exodus as they are coming to the place
                  > > where they realise you can be gay, live a fulfilling
                  > > life and be a believer.
                  > >
                  > > I've endeavoured to reach out to those who minister in
                  > > these groups as I know one day it will all come undone
                  > > for them and I want to be there to support them. It's
                  > > often in mid-life but I've had emails from men coming
                  > > out in their 60's. There comes a time when that real
                  > > person inside you screams out, "Set me free, time is
                  > > moving on, I want to live some of it too". It's better
                  > > to live one day on this planet as a real person than a
                  > > life time that is a lie.
                  > >
                  > > If people want to spend the rest of their lives
                  > > 'struggling' with their inner thoughts I guess it's
                  > > their choice. We live in a free country. But I've
                  > > found the most fulfilling life is to be authentic and
                  > > have integrity, and I can do that as an openly gay
                  > > man. I've told some leaders of these groups that I'm
                  > > happy for them to work with peoples sexual abuse and
                  > > sexual addiction issues but the moment they tell a
                  > > human being they are flawed because they are gay or
                  > > promise them that they can become heterosexual then
                  > > I'll oppose them all the way."
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  _____________________________________________________________________
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                  > >
                  >
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