Tuesday, February 12, 2008

100Revs Origins

Ministering in a community where about 35% of people are gay, we are very conscious of the barrier that the church has been in putting this community in touch with Jesus. The idea began more than a year ago and we finally went public in November 2007 with Mardi Gras 2008 as our target. Now the Mardi Gras looks really close!

23 comments:

Peter Breen said...

I read of your bold plan of grace to ask forgiveness of the gay community for hurts you/we/the church have caused over the years.

It struck a chord of deep disturbance with me. Here's why:

As a passionate local church minister in Bundaberg in 1995, I organised and led a rally through the streets of Bundaberg against the screening of the Mardi Gras on ABC TV in prime family viewing time. We marched to the local office of the ABC and I presented a request that, for the sake of families, the ABC not go ahead with their [tax-payer funded] idea.

There is lots of stuff there and I have had a long time to think and reflect since then. Some of my paradigms have changed, some of my hardness has softened. I am no longer a local pastor, but still ordained with the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia. That too is coming to a close but that is another story.

All this to say that I would like to put my name to the list of 100 Revs. I doubt I can get to Sydney on the day but will nevertheless support it 100%.

May God have mercy on us all
Kind regards
Peter Breen [Rev]

Anonymous said...

hey Peter.....that is really encouraging. Can I ask what caused your change of heart and perspective.

Nathan Keen said...

Peter says,
"Some of my paradigms have changed, some of my hardness has softened"

I think that our softness of heart should be towards God, and all the good that he promotes--we ought to be like He is and be full of grace and forgiveness as you say.
However, at the same time God was not tolerant of sin. Being a part of this 'diversity' and 'tolerant' behaviour shows your lack of discernment in what is of God and what is not.

A loving and forgiving and gracious response is most certainly not parading alongside lewd dress-ups - or should I say, dress-downs - and trying to be accepting in this way. No matter your intentions, you will be accepting the degrading lifestyle of homosexuality: which I think you well know is wrong.

We do not give ground to such unwholesome behaviour (just look at their newspapers MCV, and Pride) to show we accept or love them. If we loved them, we would denounce their practice, but show them the right way to live. We might actually read or listen to people's conversions out of homosexuality and act on their advice. We might actually expose the lies that people believe that it is normal, or that it is genetic, or that you can't get out of it--but rather it is a choice, and people have gotten out of it.

Please, for the sake of any godly integrity, don't go.

Anonymous said...

anyone who believes that people have been converted from homosexual to heterosexual are very naive.

People have changed behaviours but not sexual orientation.

From the American Psychiatric Associations website.
http://www.healthyminds.org/glbissues.cfm

Is It Possible To Change One’s Sexual Orientation (“Reparative Therapy”)?
There is no published scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of “reparative therapy” as a treatment to change one’s sexual orientation, nor is it included in the APA’s Task Force Report, Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders. More importantly, altering sexual orientation is not an appropriate goal of psychiatric treatment. Some may seek conversion to heterosexuality because of the difficulties that they encounter as a member of a stigmatized group. Clinical experience indicates that those who have integrated their sexual orientation into a positive sense of self-function at a healthier psychological level than those who have not. “Gay affirmative psychotherapy” may be helpful in the coming out process, fostering a positive psychological development and overcoming the effects of stigmatization. A position statement adopted by the Board in December 1998 said:

The American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as “reparative” or “conversion” therapy, which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder, or based upon a prior assumption that the patient should change his/ her homosexual orientation.”

Nathan Keen said...

If you didn't know already, modern psychology does not believe in the word sin at all. So, even if a murderer came to the psychologist, it would merely be a 'behaviour' to be appropriately guided against, or something like that, rather than something actually to repent of.

Now, hopefully you should know well of the Bible's teachings on rights and wrongs. Clearly the call was and always has been to repent, rather than that person being a victim of something or other.

I also happen to personally know someone who has gotten out of the homosexual lifestyle, and have his testimony on cd -- he would be happy to burn you a copy if you like, if you want proof--if you have ears to hear.

Anonymous said...

Nathan

Your resposnse is equally disturbing for one who claims to serve Christ. Whatever you think the "gay lifestyle' might be it is very clear to me you do not understand and have sided with those that hinder Christ's love and grace to all gay folk.


You mentioned you know of someone who has left their homosexual life - bolox! I could name 1000's that tried reparitive therapy and found it never did anything more than greater damage. The mistake you make is to believe that being homosexual is a sin.

Sadly your position is a hinderance and lacks any real insight to the lives of gay folk. I woner how many gay friends you have Nathan. How many people are in your life that are gay? And yet you judge us from afar not unlike a Pharisee

Peter said...

'Anonymous'says "Nathan, You mentioned you know of someone who has left their homosexual life - bolox! I could name 1000's that tried reparitive therapy and found it never did anything more than greater damage. The mistake you make is to believe that being homosexual is a sin."

Firstly, what a pity you have no name - that actually suggests a lack of credibility.

Secondly, I sincerely doubt that you actually know 1000s that have tried - but even if that were true it proves nothing. I know many people who tried to give up smoking and could not. But I did. Am I real - of course I am. I smoked for 15 years and have not smoked for 32.
There certainly are many people that have left the homosexual life. Friends of mine have totally turned from homosexuality through the saving grace of God - those who have not completely made it yet and are still tempted with same-sex thoughts know those thoughts are wrong and know they must resist them like any sinful thoughts.
The good news is that God is forgiving and ready to pick you up, but you have to acknowledge your sin, turn from it and receive His love.
Yes, it can be a hard journey, and yes, some people do not make it - just as I heard of a drug addict that went to rehab 42 times before finally realising that he was the problem - He had to work harder at it.
One of my friend thought she was a lesbian - eventually she even went as far as to have both breasts removed in an attempt to become a man. BUT she then met God who told her He loved HER. SHE is now married to a MAN and the mother of three children. Despite the doctors telling her she would never have children because of what the medical butchers had done to her.
They were wrong, GOD was right. He can heal and restore what satan tries to destroy.

Anonymous said...

Peter I think you might be getting sexual orientation mixed up with Transgenderism. they are two different wirings.

Can I ask if anyone can actually difine what is this 'gay/homosexual lifestyle' .....most of my friends are gay....but all live very different lives.

Max Beresford said...

Secondly, I sincerely doubt that you actually know 1000s that have tried - but even if that were true it proves nothing. I know many people who tried to give up smoking and could not. But I did. Am I real - of course I am. I smoked for 15 years and have not smoked for 32.

There certainly are many people that have left the homosexual life. Friends of mine have totally turned from homosexuality through the saving grace of God - those who have not completely made it yet and are still tempted with same-sex thoughts know those thoughts are wrong and know they must resist them like any sinful thoughts.


I think you are right Peter. I doubt whether Nathan knows 1000’s who have tried. Unless he was of course running an exgay ministry. Then he would be aware of the failure rate. I don’t think the smoking example is a good one. After all most of the gays and lesbians I know live healthy lives, some even more healthy than my obese heterosexual friends, so we have sick heterosexuals and sick homosexuals. I’m trying to loose some weight myself so I’m feeling a bit convicted about that.

I have a Christian for 20 years now and attend a large Pentecostal church in Brisbane. I’ve seen some of my friends struggle with same sex attraction and attempted through various methods to overcome it. Because they are my friends I’ve followed them on their journey. Even from the US ministries like Exodus it seems that no one ever claims to be exgay anymore. I see on Anthony
Venn brown’s blog that the exgay leaders in Australia apologized last August http://alifeofunlearning.blogspot.com

What it seems happens is that people leave sexual addictions and a self destructive lifestyle but they never actually become heterosexual even after they marry someone of the opposite sex. I have heterosexual friends that have also left the same lifestyle. I don’t think it’s a gay thing, I think its just human beings. It seems unfair to target a group like the gay community which is what interests me about this apology.

Maybe 10 years ago Peter I would have been with you on this, but I think you’ll find you are fighting a loosing battle. I’d heard so many bad things about gays and lesbians in Christian books and from preachers. I now know these are not all true. And after I’ve been through all this with my friends and see the way they’ve been treated, if I was a minister today then in all honesty I’d have to sign the statement because it’s a true statement. I think you are making things worse not better.

Nathan Keen said...

max says,
'I doubt whether Nathan knows 1000's who have tried'
--you read the above posts wrong! I never said that. This was in reference to someone's comment "I could name 1000's that tried reparitive therapy and found it never did anything more than greater damage."

You are right that there are many sick heterosexuals. But that is not the issue at hand. We certainly need to tell those people that they too, need Jesus Christ.

"they never actually become heterosexual even after they marry someone of the opposite sex"
This 'sexual orientation' is simply unfounded. You are not born homosexual. There is simply no scientific evidence for it. In fact, there is much against this view. I can provide an excellent research document called '21 reasons why gender matters' for such evidence, if you are interested.

People like Venn-Brown simply fly in the face of what the Bible calls sin. THis is not 'unfair to target'-- this is just one example of a destructive choice. A choice which needs compassionate people to give the facts that homosexuality can be left.

I refer you to Peter Stokes' response on the topic 'Revs AND Pastors AND Ministers' regarding the book 'You Don't Have To Be Gay' by Jeff Conrad.
and i'll repeat some of it here:

"You Don’t Have To Be Gay contains the understanding, wisdom and direction I used to change my homosexual identity. And I’m not just talking about behaviour or surface stuff. I’m talking about deep-down change. I no longer have the feelings, desires, temptations, orientation, or identity of the past. I am convinced you can experience this also.
You may find this change hard to believe. But once you have grasped the concept of gender identity development, I trust you too will conclude that you don’t have to be gay, and that you also can overcome your homosexual feelings and desires. I sincerely hope You Don’t Have To Be Gay will provide that spark, that hope, to all who read it.
Join me and discover the causes of homosexuality and the ways to overcome them."

Max Beresford said...

From what I've read Nathan there is no evidence that homosexuality is caused by a persons environment. I think there is lots of evidence that there are natural factors that make one either same sex attracted or opposite sex attracted.

I haven't read the book you mentioned but I found one site helpful as it talks about the pro's and con's on both sides of the debate. http://www.borngayprocon.org/

From what I've read and my contact with gay people and Christians now I know that no-one chooses to be gay and that of the many who at some time claimed that they had become heterosexual eventually most turned back. It is unsustainable it seems.

Nathan Keen said...

Yeah max, I think you would seriously benefit from reading an actual research document (see above) than a bunch of quotes stuck on a website.
Email me with a postal address, and I will send you a copy of 21 reasons why gender matters.

Myself, I just listened to a friends testimony of his change from homosexuality to hetero. It was difficult, he had times where he went back and forth, but in the end submitted himself to Jesus Christ who broke all those addictions that he was into.

He believed the lie from early on when he first had homosexual desires that he was 'orientated' that way, and this brought him very low indeed, over a period of a few years.

But thankfully he is now free, and getting married to a wonderful wife.

Andrew said...

Nathan

Once gay always gay.

You don't have to push the ex-gay barrow for the sake of gaining God's approval and keeping yourself "pure".

Nathan there may be parts of the Mardi Gras parade that are lewd, but mark my words the majority are not lewd. Come along and check it out.

Do you have any gay friends Nathan or are they considered triggers for your former self?

Peter said...

Max says
From what I've read Nathan there is no evidence that homosexuality is caused by a persons environment.

I don’t agree and nor do the scientist. Max

What the APA says at: http://www.apa.org/topics/orientation.html
Q. "What Causes a Person To Have a Particular Sexual Orientation?
A. There are numerous theories about the origins of a person's sexual orientation; most scientists today agree that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors. In most people, sexual orientation is shaped at an early age. There is also considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person's sexuality. In summary, it is important to recognize that there are probably many reasons for a person's sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people.”

Firstly, note the word “theories” - in other words, despite considerable research, much of it by pro homosexual researchers trying desperately to prove a “born gay”. gene theory, the fact remains there is no evidence.
Secondly, note the following statements…
1) “most scientists today agree that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors.”
2) “In most people, sexual orientation is shaped at an early age.
3) “There is also considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person's sexuality.

Sadly, their only positive statement above No 3) carries no footnote to any evidence.
Frankly, this is one of those PC qualifications that ‘Seinfeld’ was always good at. Why do I say that? Because, as well as no substantiation, the summary does not appear to agree - it states; “it is important to recognize that there are probably many reasons for a person's sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people.”
There you have it – many reasons - research continually suggests many reasons!!!
I strongly suggest you look up Neil E. Whitehead, Ph.D. Scientific Research Consultant Author, ‘My Genes Made Me Do It!’ It is downloadable, as is a lot of other good research on this issue, from http://www.mygenes.co.nz

Neil’s conclusions? – many reasons, and like the APA, he states ‘environmental’ factors are considerable.

The APA is an organisation that accepts environmental causes, yet it continues, for no justifiable reason, to deny that changing ones sexual orientation is possible by dealing with the effects of those environmental causes.

There are many “environmentally caused” negative social behaviours - addiction to gambling, prostitution, drugs, smoking, alcohol, bestiality, paedophilia and heterosexual promiscuity. Yet we don’t give up on them and accept them as ‘normal’.
.
Why are we so easily prepared to accept something that is clearly against nature and that the Bible states is wrong? Especially when, like any sin, God says change is possible if the person is committed and prepared to struggle against temptation. No this is not an easy journey for many but Paul reminds us that suffering brings perseverance. perseverance character and character hope. Not pleasant but true.

This is a complex issue, probably too complex for an emotional ‘blog’ atmosphere. We must not lose sight of truth simply because the urge for compassion is so strong. We all want to help, but that help cannot, must not, contradict God Himself.
There is NO evidence that God has changed his mind and this should challenge us to think long and hard before we do – no matter how hard our heart strings are pulled by personal struggles.

I apologise for the length of this blog but not for its contents – we need to be more concerned about fearing God than fearing man.

Craig said...

I read all the postings. I'm Gay and Christian myself and in a relationship with my partner who is also a Christian for nearly 14 years, we are devout Christians.

Saying sorry is the most powerful thing - it enables us to process it and move on in our lives. It puts a smile on our face that's God given. It's a healing process too for us. We can choose to ignore you and yet we would never have the opportunity to gain true healing of the hurt inflicted on us by ignorance - typically the ones who wrote really bad stuff and attacked you intention to march in the Mardi Cras.

I read all the posting including the ones who were negative and not so supportive. My answer to them is to get over it and stop hating us for what we are and come to a realisation that we didn't have a choice. I'm Deaf, with ADHD and I'm Gay. Most people are interested in seeing me healed of my Deafness or my ADHD and I say no... I rather be healed of being Gay and quite happily stay Deaf and live with ADHD. And I'm still Deaf, with ADHD, Gay and a Christian.

Thank you for doing what Jesus would do. Thank you for admitting and asking forgiveness. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to choose to forgive so that we can move on in our lives.

The injustice towards us still lives and continues to marginalise us all and I have learnt not to expect much from my Christian community. I get more support from those outside the Christian community who are actually more christ-like and great to be with as well as very few Christians.

I am deeply touched and honoured with your intention to march extending your apologies to those who have been afflicted by doctrines that seeks to harm us spiritually and psychologically as well as physically.

Jesus said to God to "Forgive them for they do not know what they do". I too forgive those who act recklessly and quick to judge without considering their own actions.

Again, thank you so much!

Craig. said...

Nathan Keen said...
Yeah max, I think you would seriously benefit from reading an actual research document (see above) than a bunch of quotes stuck on a website.
Email me with a postal address, and I will send you a copy of 21 reasons why gender matters.

Myself, I just listened to a friends testimony of his change from homosexuality to hetero. It was difficult, he had times where he went back and forth, but in the end submitted himself to Jesus Christ who broke all those addictions that he was into.

He believed the lie from early on when he first had homosexual desires that he was 'orientated' that way, and this brought him very low indeed, over a period of a few years.

But thankfully he is now free, and getting married to a wonderful wife.

February 20, 2008 1:04 PM

My answer to that is the person was not Gay. It is likely the ones you described were confused about their sexuality and it sort itself out.

I too went to that type of rally I did confront the person. He was not gay, never was and never will. What he failed to say was that he experimented with it... its totally different from being Gay and not having a choice.

On the other hand, we do have the ability to act against our orientation in other word, we become unnatural to ourselves inorder to function like heterosexuals in the same way hetrosexuals perform unnatural acts... its gross but with the pressure, and hard work... we can act hetrosexual. I just pray for God's kindness that they have children who are hetrosexual.

Orientation is not a choice. Its who we are in life.

Nathan, you have no idea what it is like to be Gay. The concept of two men kissing repulse you just as the injustice against us is repulsive and unforgivable.

Craig. said...

Peter said...
'Anonymous'says "Nathan, You mentioned you know of someone who has left their homosexual life - bolox! I could name 1000's that tried reparitive therapy and found it never did anything more than greater damage. The mistake you make is to believe that being homosexual is a sin."

Firstly, what a pity you have no name - that actually suggests a lack of credibility.
February 17, 2008 6:09 PM

Peter, with the current climate against us and the irrepairable damage to ourselves I would never use my real name. It's you that lacks the credibility.

How silly do you think we are? Who in their right mind would reveal their true names knowing fully that you might just rock up at our place and beat us senseless, burn us like Christians did to Witches many centuries ago, committ horrible acts in the name of Christ. It would very silly for us to reveal ourselves and so we use anonymous or pick a name.

You actions and attitude continues to inflict harm on many of us who are struggling with our identity as Christians and Gay.

Anonymous said...

Wives of former homosexuals tall their story

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bm9hLVjpZno

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoPnc-P_OIU

Anonymous said...

former homosexual

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kErxagsuRQs

Nathan Keen said...

Craig,
just one comment: if you find it so easy to just assert that "orientation is not a choice" then surely you would equally find it easy to refute all the evidence put forth before.

and re second post: How silly do you think we are? If you had actually read the postings before and had at least some knowledge of the Bible and Jesus you would know that the behaviour you describe is far from Christian. For those who know that what they do is wrong, and are willing to admit that, there is help. However, as with any rebellion against God, if you do not admit that what you do is wrong, then God, not us, will condemn you, and we become people who warn you to flee from his wrath. But it is your choice.

I know there are some stories of people who continue to struggle with homosexuality, and go back into that behaviour (re youtube videos) but equally there are many stories of those who have had permanent changes (as talked about above).
It is valid to point out that no amount of psychology or reparative therapies will change the nature of a sinful person--a pig, once washed, will just go back to its mud. However, if the nature is changed, if one is born-again, he no longer has to submit to the lusts of the flesh, and he can be cleansed fully and forever. Just because some people haven't been cleansed doesn't mean that Jesus Christ is not real in His power.

Anonymous said...

Gay relationships don't last and every attempt for equality should be opposed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iyW4GbfN8k

Anonymous said...

Gay relationships are godly, full of love, challenging, and are good!

Nathan Keene thinks he is straight but he's not! But let him go down the path that so many have before him and let him find out how wrong he really is. Marriage is treated like a trophy, but he isn't cured of his homosexual orientation. He fights hard to convince himself and others he is not gay but who is he really kidding? Nathan adds pain and injury to so many young gays and lesbians ... he has no magnitude for the unecessary pain he inflicts at this stage becuase he is hell bent on not falling from grace himself in the eyes of the church and god.

Gay folk deserve equal standing before the law and their relationships recognised. Those that oppose are lost souls ... they have a terrible affliction but have only themselves to blame. Anything Ex-gay is a lost cause. Too many former ex-gay leaders have left their positions and confessed to the lunacy of the entire ex-gay program.

Nathan wants to keep sporting some research. Not even worth reading to be honest. Its bias is so obvious.

Andrew Jones

Anonymous said...

35% gay ? where is the evidence for that statistic ? perhaps 3.5%.
I do not support the Mardi Gras nor eg "gay marriage" (in contrast to civil unions)nor gay adoptions. But I am glad that the idea of saying sorry - or expressing great regret - has come to my notice, and this acknolwedgement of great wrong I do think needs to be made by far more of us, perhaps most of all for the appalling treatment of homosexual people not only in the Nazi death camps, but before that in earlier centuries by powerful men in the Church, and today in eg the grave civic disabilities imposed in eg Nigeria, supported by Anglican Archbishop Akinola &c (close ally of Archbishop Jensen : has he condemned Akinola?).