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20 Questions for "Ex-Gay" Ministry Leaders: A Response - Part 1

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  • Thomas Morey
    The following is my answers to the first 5 of Anthony Venn-Brown s 20 questions off of a recent blog on his website, www.alifeofunlearning.blogspot. I will
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 3, 2008
      The following is my answers to the first 5 of Anthony Venn-Brown's 20 questions off of a recent blog on his website, www.alifeofunlearning.blogspot. I will respond to the other 15 questions in future posts.

      Question 1: "Do you know of anyone who was completely gay (not a bisexual) who has become completely heterosexual?"

      Response 1: Yes, but it has been my experience, having witnessed this phenomenon for past 30 years of ministry, to be a rarity, rather than the norm for those who undergo any shift or change in their sexual orientation. Most folks who experience any change at all, which research indicates to be about one-third of those who attempt it, come to experience a dimunition in some measure of their same sex attractions, and at least a satisfactory sexually active life heterosexually, if not significant change or even the complete eradication from their history of same sex attractions.

      There is also from the research about a third of the population of folks who attempt to undergo change, but don't experience any in the direction of their sexual attractions, but do experience the dimunitive affects of their SSA's from such attempts, as well as reporting great personal resolution and benefit from all areas of life functioning.

      Then, there is approximately a third who report no change, resolution, or benefit, who also usually drop out of treatment early on.

      What is very significant here is that these results are quite similar, maybe even slightly better, than those depressed patients who seek treatment from a combination of cognitive and psychopharmaceutical therapies, which is widely known to be the most effective form of treatment for such a common clinical disorder.

      Question 2: "Considering that scientific research demonstrates that homosexuality is not caused by sexual abuse or by poor parenting, what do you think made you gay?"

      Response 2: Although just exactly what factors are causal or influential in nature regarding same sex attractions is still being debated among researchers, it is quite clear that environmental factors are in fact predominant; and not biological, which appears to be implied in this question. Monozygote studies from the 90's up to the present indicate concordance rate outcomes that range from 24% to 0%. 100% indicates the likelihood of overwhelmingly predominant, if not complete, biological factors. Thus, the lower the concordance rate, the more environmental factors are influential, if not totally so. Therefore, the outcome range of concordance rate results here indicate at least predominantly environmental factors being influential. Through a plethora of anecdotal clinical evidence, a biopsychosocial model seems to be the most comprehensive approach concerning the etiology of one's ssa development, such as one's temperment type, and sexual, religious,
      family, and socialization histories in childhood and adolescence.

      Question 3 and 4: "Would you honestly say that you are a 'normal' heterosexual person at every level of your being?", and, "Can you guarantee me that if I go through your program that I will be completely heterosexual? Would I be completely heterosexual without being married, or would I have to become married to prove it?"

      Response to 3 and 4: No; and no. But then being like ever-straights should not even be a desirable objective nor goal of treatment. Why do I say this? Why should anyone consider being completely opposite sex attracted (OSA), a "0" on the Kinsey scale, thereby attaining one's own full potential for erotic desires towards the opposite sex, to be the apex of mental health or normalcy, or even a moral standard for that matter, when there are clearly many sexually addicted folks, even pedophiles, ephebophiles, and rapists serving life sentences who are fully OSA. Our goal or standard should be sexual and relational wholeness, or as the Bible puts it, holiness, as Jesus was. ALL human beings are relationally and sexually broken in some manner. All fully OSAd are in similar need of healing as us who are SSAd.

      This question appears to reveal the very obstacle of its posers' attempt to experience change, that being an unrealistic objective or goal to treatment. His distorted and myopic focus on experiencing full heterosexual inclinations, with the corresponding eradication of all that is homosexual, as being tantamount to normalcy, health, and even that which is moral, that he apparently had when he tried to experience change, appears to be a major reason why he failed so miserably. (And, I say thank God he did, for there's still hope for him!) It is apparently why he also projects on to ex-gay ministries in upcoming questions, whether those of the past or those presently, as possessing these same errant objectives and goals.

      Question 5: "What accountability mechanisms do you have in place to ensure that you don't "fall"? If you were truly healed, would this be necessary?"

      Response 5: Many; and yes, they still would be essential. The poser apparently holds to the errant, commonly Western, view that healing, and being healed, involves a phenomenon that occurs only in an individual, in isolated form from one's own resources and supports. No, growth and healing ALWAYS take place corporately, interdependently and organistically. Even nature makes this law quite clear to us, as in Jesus' parable of the vine and the branches in the book of John, chapter 15. When does a branch come to a place of growth that it stops relying on the vine?

      Humanly speaking, let's use the example of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is the individual alcoholic who tries to go it on his own in order to experience control over his desire to drink that finds himself NEVER experiencing the very thing he seeks: sobriety, peace of mind, healing and growth. It is when he decides to abdicate this tendency towards going it alone, that he begins to find the very power to overcome, and that being for the rest of his life! So it is with any other compulsion, including SSAs. God made us to be social beings just like Him. When we don't reflect this aspect of His likeness in our lives, then we ALL will begin to experience behavioral symptoms that are not in accordance to His will.
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