Continued from last week…
Something happened in the midst of this ‘process’…
I started to grow up, to question and to apply the critical thinking. My initial reservations centred around the phrase “change your sexual orientation”, which became increasingly clear to me was a lie. What was meant in this phrase was not about changing what you felt, but about what you did…which, because I wasn’t doing anything anyway…I didn’t see this as very helpful! I also felt angry that a Christian group would be deceptive by promoting the change of an “orientation”, when what they really were promoting was a change in “behaviour”…one that I did not exhibit at that time, though I was certainly bursting with desire. And here lies the main conflict between what moderates and liberals versus conservatives regard as homosexuality; the former recognise the internal emotional/sexual aspect as defining one’s sexuality (what you feel) while the latter tend to only recognise the act (what you do). I confronted my counsellor with this issue and he assured me that with continued prayer I would possibly be healed of my homosexuality and if I was not, it would mean that I was being called to bear that cross as an example for others. I asked if, after his prayers, dedication and marriage of 10 years, had his desires gone away…and he replied “he still had weak moments”. This further angered me because he had presented himself as a “whole and complete heterosexual”!
I realised then and there these people were not teaching healing but were teaching queers how to lie about themselves, to live a lie, and to use wives, children and same-sex friendships to protect a lie. I was honest enough with myself to realise that if I loved a man as an “X-gay”, my emotional feelings were still gay regardless of whether I had sex with him or not. Additionally, if homosexuality was wrong, then my feelings had to be wrong, but I had these feelings and they were not being changed and they weren’t just about sex but about love and companionship, mutual respect and appreciation, passion and fulfilment. I pondered that if an 11-year-old boy with the aspirations, dedication and sexual purity of St. Paul cannot be changed, then how can you hope to change an adult male who has known the joys, passions, and love of another man?
I went to see Thom one last time, and he expressed his concern that there was a demonic influence involved. He asked if he could pray over me; I consented. He warned me that demons could evacuate themselves from a person as a fart or burp so I sat in this room with my eyes closed, while this guy prayed over me. I sat wondering if my skin was turning green like in the Exorcist? Did I hear any evil voices in my mind? Had I eaten any gas causing foods? And then it just hit me like a tonne of bricks, straight people fart! Straight people burp! Straight people have gas and it doesn’t mean they are possessed by a demon of heterosexuality!
I wanted to laugh my head off at this whole bizarre “thing”! And the heretical questions kept popping in my head all while Thom prayed… Noah’s son Ham had sex with him while he was drunk, hmmm, debauchery? Ham was Noah’s son! Could the sin here be incest rather than homosexuality, or perhaps rape, or both? Could Sodom and Gomorrah have been destroyed because the men of the city wanted to rape angels of God, rather than because they wanted to marry them and have a nice little house in the suburbs? Has anyone ever considered that the raping of the angels thing could be what pissed God off in the first place rather than the homosexual thing? Could rape be a worse sin than homosexuality? Could homosexuality not be a sin at all?!
I am not sure how I left Thom that day – as quickly as I could, never looking back? I realised at that moment there was a whole avenue that I had not explored. I had never considered that it might be ok to be gay, that the church I had grown up in could be wrong.
Thom did cast out a demon that day…or at least he helped the scales fall from my eyes and I saw things in a very different way.
By Chris Sibley