Is “Ex-Gay” Really “Anti-Gay”

This article was originally published in a 1987 Reconciliation Ministries newsletter and is part of our new Vintage newsletter series – a series of newsletter articles that were published in the early days of Reconciliation Ministries which are still relevant for today.  It was written by the founder, Jack Hickey, who continues to celebrate over 30 years of walking in sexual and relational wholeness.

 And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them. 1 Ephesians 5:11

 Recently our staff has had the opportunity to serve on a committee studying homosexuality for a major denomination.  One of the questions raised is whether we are to be called “ex-gay” or “anti-gay”.

An article entitled “homophobia” by Dr. George Weinberg, distributed by the National Gay Task Force, refers to those who would oppose the stand of gay rights advocates as, “The conservatives, adhering to a literal interpretation of the bible that condemns homosexual acts as evil, conceive of homosexuals as sinners and demand that they be punished.”

In a tract distributed by Evangelicals concerned, a pro-gay organization, Dr. Ralph Blair states, “Some Fundamentalists say it’s un-American and their solution is to fire ‘em and lock ‘em up and maybe even kill ‘em.  People are swallowing this baloney. Some Evangelicals and Charismatics say it’s un-Christian and that homosexual should get delivered and if that doesn’t work, they should just sit and be quiet and forget about romance and sex for the rest of their lives.”

Are Christians who hold to the moral statues set down in Scripture really bigots at heart?  Is to oppose homosexuality to hate homosexuals?  Do we believe gays should be punished and locked up?  Is sitting quiet and forgetting personalities our only advice?  No, this is in no way true at all.

I will be the first to agree that some, who call themselves Christians, do preach a message of hate against gays.  They see no hope for change and have no desire to help them find change.  There are others who preach a message of acceptance and compromise.  They also see no hope for change and have no desire to ever want to change.

For those who do hold to the Bible as the Word of God, we can only come up with one conclusion.  Homosexuality is contrary to God’s standard for sexual expression.  Christians have always held this position and always will.  God’s Word does not change.  But the message doesn’t stop there.  Scripture is also clear about a way out of homosexuality.

When we see sin as sin, we can see hope.  Jesus died not only to forgive our sin, but to cleanse us and free us from it.  “And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.  No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.  Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.  The one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning.  The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:5-8).  Sin here means to practice sin as an on-going sinful behavior.  This does not mean the sins we see in our lives daily or when we stumble or fall.  It is because of not being able to practice sin and be in Christ, that I believe one cannot be a Christian and practice homosexuality at the same time.

This call to repentance is not only directed to the gay community.  All people have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard.  God is calling us out of all sin.  We focus on the gay community because that is our burden and our calling.  We do not believe homosexuality is any different than other sins.  Any sexual activity outside of a heterosexual marriage is sin according to God’s Word.

Please understand that I may deal with difficult issues and make tough statements.  That is not because I am bitter or hateful toward homosexuals.  I have a deep love and concern for those in the gay life style.  I was in that life myself for 10 years and I know the pain and confusion.  My anger is to those who would lie and manipulate others to stay in that bondage.

True love does not sugar-coat poison.  I do not want people to think for a minute that homosexuality is OK.  It is sin, and as all sin, it is deadly.  Nowhere in Scripture will you see God calling someone to preach an inoffensive message to repentance.  Sin is a very serious problem and must be dealt with accordingly.

It is the first and main purpose of this and other “ex-gay” ministries to bring hope and healing to those dealing with homosexuality.  Wholeness is not a dream but a reality in Jesus.  Yet, there are those who do not wish to leave their homosexuality.  I cannot do anything about them any more than I can for anyone who rejects the Gospel.  But there are many who do wish freedom, and for those we are here.

We are not the answer to homosexuality.  It is not a case that one must agree with us.  I am not the mouthpiece of God (no one knows that better than me).  Only Jesus can set the sinner free.  He and He alone is the answer to the homosexual.  And He is the mouthpiece of God.

Throughout this series of messages, I will be addressing many issues.  I do believe we as Christians must take a firm stand on these things and stop compromising the standards of God.  Yet, we want to be sure to offer the hope that is ours in Christ Jesus.  Throughout Scripture you will see Jesus dealing head on with sin.  He used hard words and never tried to cover sin up with some emotional reasoning.  Yet, all that Jesus did (and does) was in the spirit of redemption.  He gave His life for the same people He rebuked.

We are not against homosexuals.  It is not our purpose to lock them up or put them down.  It is our deep burden to get the truth of freedom in Jesus out to all who are in bondage.  “Once gay, always gay” is a lie.  Jesus can and will make you new.

We are all faced with making the choice that Joshua confronted Israel with.  Think about it, and choose.  The time is over for walking the fence.

Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the river and in Egypt; and serve the Lord.  And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  Joshua 24:14-15