Twenty years ago, I worked with these men, all of us proclaiming that Jesus could help people overcome homosexuality. Yes, I understood that they continued to experience same sex attractions, just as I continued (and still continue) to struggle with my own sinful passions. But back then we all looked to the Lord, choosing to obey Him by putting aside our carnal desires. Though many who came through our ministry turned back to homosexuality, a few learned to put it behind them enough to either enjoy heterosexual marriages or accept celibacy.
Now three of these men, frustrated by residual attractions to men, have reclaimed homosexuality as their "identity," divorced the women they married and publicly denounce the type of ministry we once devoted our lives to. Another time, perhaps I'll blog about my personal reaction to how they have discredited the work I'd loved so passionately, but the grief I feel concerning "losing" that part of my past pales in comparison to my anguish over how they've shipwrecked their lives and perverted God's Word.
Two of these men still consider themselves Bible-believing Christians, but all three now determine truth, not only through the grid of personal experience, but specifically through the grid of homosexuality. In one sense, I honestly do understand the pain of yearning for things that the Lord forbids. Really, don't all Christians battle sexual lust? Yet, few of us, if we take the Lord seriously, dare to manipulate Scripture until we believe He excuses (or even approves) of sexual conduct outside the structure of heterosexual marriage. My friends have allowed their sexuality to seriously warp their theology.
Sadly, each of them has a high-profile media and internet presence, which they use to discourage others from repenting of homosexual behavior. Not content with their own rebellion, they actively work to discourage others from submitting their homosexuality to the Lord Jesus Christ. One even insists that churches modify Scripture to endorse "committed" same sex relationships.
Twenty years ago, we trusted God's Word. Now, my three friends mangle God's Word (or reject it) in favor of their sexual desires. Their choices sadden me as I fear for their relationships with God, and anger me as they put Scripture in second place to their desires. They know better.