“Change is possible,” goes one common slogan of the ex-gay movement. Survivors of so-called reparative therapy counter that while behavioral self-control may be possible, changing one’s core identity is not. For every anecdote that my conservative friends can share about someone who’s been “delivered” from homosexuality, I can point to another testimony from someone who only found peace in their relationship with God after accepting themselves as a same-gender-loving individual.
A similar debate is occurring in a discussion thread at Gay Christian Fellowship, a new website for open and affirming evangelicals. The site’s lead author, Pastor Weekly, shared a video of a woman performing her poem about being freed from lesbianism, hoping to provoke discussion. Some commenters responded that the only deliverance they needed was from the closet, while another visitor respectfully supported the ex-gay poet. A commenter identified as “Kudo451” made these wise observations:
…[A]s deliverance goes I think it is just as unfair for us to assume that her claims of having been delivered are doubtful based on our experience. I am a gay man but I have meet and have friends who are straight or even bi, that have been delivered from a gay lifestyle. Just as I know gay men and women who have been delivered from a straight life style. We are talking about human beings and once we take off the blinders of gender identity and sexuality and even abuse and trauma, you begin to realize that anything is possible.
The problem with most people who claim deliverance from anything is the assumption that what they have been delivered from is bad for everyone’s life. Yet just because God heals a blind man doesn’t mean that such a man has the right to accuse every other blind person of leading a sinful life that cannot glorify God unless they are healed as well. Nor should he accuse those who go blind in life of sinning while using their blindness as proof. I think that is what Jesus spoke of when he spoke of the Eunuchs and also when he spoke of the sick. Prior to Jesus most people felt that anyone who wasn’t “normal” was assumed to be either caught in their own sin or caught in some generational or family related sin (curse). It was Jesus who really changed that sort of thinking for all of Western Civilization, including the heathen.
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