Saturday, August 18, 2007

What Next?

The Agora Forum is abuzz with activity in response to the 'gay church' issue. After all that is said and done, would the Msian church make a more concerted effort in reaching out to the homosexual community? Here are some practical ways you can be part of the solution by Pastor Edmund Smith

"Dear Church of Malaysia,

Greetings in Jesus name from an exgay ministry (Real Love Ministry "RLM")!

Since we (RLM) are a ministry that reaches out to homosexuals in Malaysia; we are continuously receiving both the emails below (by Rev Allen Tan) from so many troubled Malaysians... wanting to hear what are RLM's thoughts on Oyoung and his plan to start a progay church in Malaysia.

In respond to the situation, we have a few things to say...

1. Exgay vs. Progay: When we talk about "reaching out" to the homosexual community, it is vital that the Body of Christ realize that there are 2 very different kinds of approaches that are going on all over the world. There is the exgay approach and there is also the progay approach. RLM takes the exgay approach. The Body of Christ in Malaysia - need to make a choice on which approach we as a Body would want to take. We can't afford to say - "we have no approach". Making no choice is going to bring a lot of problems.

2. The exgay approach: proclaims that...
a. Gays can change (if they want to)
b. With Jesus NOTHING is impossible
c. Homosexuality is NOT God's intention
d. etc

3. The progay approach: proclaims that...
a. Gays cannot / should not change
b. The church should hold the progay stance
c. Homosexuality is a gift from God - so celebrate it
d. etc

To be honest, we are totally not surprise to hear the story of Oyoung and his dream to start a progay church in Malaysia. We knew that this will happen in Malaysia (sooner or later) either through Oyoung or through someone else. The progay church already exist in so many countries all over the world (even in Asia) - who are we to say that it will not happen in our own country.

We are not surprise that this is happening in Malaysia because;

1. Generally speaking, the Body of Christ in Malaysia- is not seriously interested and has very limited knowledge on the subject of "Homosexuality and the Exgay lifestyle". RLM has been around since 1999 but there are less than 8 churches in the whole of Malaysia that have shown interest and seriousness in what we are doing. We thank Jesus for each of those 8 churches in Malaysia that have partnered/is partnering with us in one way or another.

2. Most churches would suggest that gays should not be gays. But what next? By simply commanding gays and lesbians not to be in a homosexual lifestyle - a church leaves the homosexual strugglers with no choice but to get interested when they hear another church (the progay church) that is willing to do something for them.

3. RLM started an exgay church in 2006 - and guess what? After sharing the need to have such a church with Malaysia with so many people - only a hand full step out to encourage us. We were treated (by many) as though we are wasting our time.

4. But when the news about a progay church is about to begin - the Body of Christ in Malaysia - begins to seriously start talking about the homosexual community! To us in RLM... that is heartbreaking. I hope we learn a lesson from this situation. The Body of Christ in Malaysia needs to realize that gays and lesbians have to make a choice - be exgay OR progay. Whatever choice we hope they will make, we have a
role to play. We have to be responsible in helping them make the right choice & journey with them in their JOR (Journey of Recovery).

5. Rev Allen said "The reason that Oyoung is so bold to confront the Malaysian churches because our leaders usually don't want to be so-called "busybody"! Matters concerning the Body of Christ are our business. If we don't do take care of our people - who will? In other words, lets be busybodies for Jesus!

Below is some information about RLM (for those who are interested)... RLM Mission
Our Mission is to educate, motivate and give opportunity to individuals into becoming Befrienders (Care Givers); thus bringing real love to the marginalized community (e.g. the homosexuals).

RLM Vision

Our Vision is to see marginalized individuals all over Malaysia experiencing real love; thus stepping up into becoming respected citizens of this country.

Introduction
RLM is a Christian, non-profit, voluntary & charitable organization that works closely with the marginalized community particularly the homosexual community all over Malaysia.

The ultimate goal of RLM is to bring "real love" or in other words, the unconditional love, into the lives of the marginalized community. Love is real IF love is the element that motivates an individual into doing something good for someone else. In other words...it is always about WHY we do it - more that WHAT we do.

Members of RLM consist of two groups of people which are...
1. The Befrienders (Care Givers) - Individuals who commit to be
trained into becoming Befrienders to the homosexual and etc.
2. The Befriendees (Care Receivers) - Marginalized individuals who
seriously choose to receive help from RLM.

For more information on RLM, visit our Website at www.r-l-m.com or email us at rlm@streamyx.com"

19 comments:

Yuki said...

May I have the opportunity to ask a highly honest question. All these while you have only been hearing from a fundamentalist group like Real Love Ministry on what is a 'pro-gay stance' and all of RLM's self created sciences.

Instead of hearing from a second party, have you ever asked from Christian homosexual affirming groups what exactly is the pro-gay stance? As far as my experience goes with them, there is no such thing as a pro-gay stance.

More dialogue is needed to understand this church forsaken community, especially when homosexuality is not as 'unnatural' as it seems, except from prejudicial stances.

I have with me tons of authoritive sources, even from current ex-gay leaders such as Alan Chambers of Exodus International, and former ex-gay leaders to back the stats and facts up.

And what if all the Christian gay community in Malaysia wants is totally different from what RLM is projecting? Perhaps in fairness and non partiality, should you ask for a second opinion? Or as a ministry you choose to let prejudice masked in faith get in the way?

I fear the answer from you is only going to be another show of double standard and discrimination. I hope you prove me wrong. Thank you.

The Hedonese said...

Hi Yuki,

I agree with you that more dialogue is needed and covet the wisdom you possess on tis topic. Glad your voice is here to contribute to our education, and hope you continue to do so in a spirit of humility and mutual understanding. If it's of any value, I have been in dialogue with the folks at Credo_my for some time, just hearing them out from their own experiences and views for some time now.

Yet I dun think that RLM is by default fundamentalist or prejudicial simply because their stance is different from yours. if we are not careful, prejudice and "only i have all the authoritative sources and facts' attitude can work both ways..

Wud u care to share with us where you feel we have misrepresented views of the 'pro gay stance'? :) I've heard of people who affirm homosexuality as a god given orientation to be affirmed. Havent' you? Look forward to the interaction

May our words be seasoned with salt and grace!

Yuki said...

I can say RLM quote from self made sciences. I can testify on that, having been on the end of it as a transgender. I could will put up a long article soon on their misinformation.

As for the talk of God and homosexuality, seriously, I am tired of it. I am removing the Christian label out of my life, and just concentrate on my relationship with God at a personal level.

To have a Christians bash a person who have AIDS, and insult the partner standing beside him through thick and thin, is utter insanity and I am ashamed. For example:

http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2007/08/13/gay-pastor-leads-service-in-kl/#comment-9914

This boy has yet to apologize, and seems proud to have made the remark.

As for the word 'pro-gay', nobody in the LGT circles use the word. It is coined when fundamentalists claim that LGTs have a 'gay agenda.

The only 'agenda' homosexuals have during my interaction with them worldwide, is having equality and civil rights, like marriage. But the discomfort caused by the tag 'unnatural' caused many to justify actions beyond the scope of humanity.

My hope is Christians would learn to love unconditionally. Thanks for responding, and take care.

Scott said...

As Yuki has raised this accusation against me, I feel that I owe an explanation.

The 'insane bashing and insulting' that Yuki implies refers to the following that I wrote in my own blog:

---Perry promising to stay by his partner De Blieck when the latter was diagnosed with HIV? And how does a real Christian justify the free sex that led to getting HIV? How does Perry reconcile the fact that De Blieck must have been having fun on the side?---

My remark above referred to the Star report, which said:

---Perry believed the church would be a blessing for the gay and lesbian communities in Malaysia.

He also spoke of his promise to his partner that he would stand by him, when De Blieck was diagnosed with HIV two decades ago.---


Perhaps I was insensitive in the way I put forward this remark. But I will reiterate my three points above in a more neutral manner:

1) Issues of homosexuality aside, Christianity prohibits sexual relations outside of marriage. How did De Blieck then get the HIV virus without breaking Biblical precepts? (I admit that this is assumption on my part - De Blieck could have been nonChristian at that time)

2) Homosexuality and even marriage aside, how did De Blieck get HIV? Perry is not mentioned as having HIV, otherwise standing by his partner De Blieck would not be a noteworthy point at all. The assumption then is that De Blieck had unprotected sex with someone other than Perry. How does this reflect on his integrity and moral conviction? (Acccording to The Star, Perry was there when De Blieck was diagnosed with HIV two decades ago, implying that they were already together as partners when the HIV was discovered.)

3) Their devotion to Christian standards of godly behavior thus in question, how does this reflect on their ability/willingness/authority/ to correctly guide believers on matters regardgin the Christian faith? (Repentance of past sins notwithstanding)

The above questions do nothing to forward a discussion of Biblical interpretation on homosexuality. I thus admit that it was an ad hominem attack, designed to call into question how devoted to the precepts of Christianity the church leaders really are. However, there are NO INSULTING LABELS AT ALL.

The Star's sentence on Perry's devotion to De Blieck was crafted to put them in favourable light - homosexuals are faithful partners just as much as heterosexuals.

What I did was to point out that this 'favourable light' situation could not happen if unfaithfulness had not taken place in the past (rape, IV injection and etc notwithstanding).

I have not apologised as I did not make any insulting remarks, nor was I asked to apologise by Perry or De Blieck - the persons allegedly 'insulted'.

Had I called into question the moral standards of ALL HIV sufferers or homosexuals IN GENERAL, then Yuki might have a valid basis to ask me to apologise.

And of course, I have the right to air my opinions ON MY OWN BLOG. If anyone wishes to file a complaint with Wordpress, along with concrete evidence of my breaking any rules, they have the right to do so.

<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>

In contrast to my single instance of arguable insulting, Yuki has been shown to regularly partake of such ad hominem attacks on me.

In this very post's comments, Yuki insinuates that I am 'proud' of my 'insult'. Yet nowhere will you find that I stated my smugness over my remarks, nor are there even any condescending terms in my entire post.

If I am proud of anything, it is that I did not use any deragotary terms against these men - a point of integrity that I always carefully uphold, knowing this plural and politically correct Net that I inhabit.

Forgive my defensiveness, but I contend back that Yuki commonly uses insults, condescension and smear terms are used against me instead of focusing on my arguments points. Just look to Yuki's comment above for the condescendingly used term boy, used to discredit me with its connotations of being inexperienced, naive and immature.

An entire list of insinuations that I am bigoted, prejudiced and anti-homosexual-persons can be found in this post of Yuki's, which was reposted in full and replied to by me here:
http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2007/08/17/final-replies-to-yukis-remarks/

A few examples, all Yuki's own words:

---In my last reply to Scott which everyone can read here, I felt we reached the half way point in which we can dialogue. But sadly, he transformed into somewhat the discriminative creature.---

---You hereby state this: You have the right to go to church, serve in the ministry, while praising and worship God. You also reserve the right to deny homosexuals the right to go to church, serve in the ministry, while praising and worshiping God. Yes?---

---You hereby state this: Any positive mention of civil rights for homosexuals would infringe your comfort zone, and you feel that, while maintaining your civil rights, it is your right to deny homosexuals their civil rights. Yes?---

---Please believe me; you are just not in this field even scientifically to talk about it. All you can do is prejudice and say God says so and so, that homosexuals are not Christians, when God says barely anything.---

---I think this misinformation campaign will suit you. They are very disturbing and I must admit I am not fit to discuss anything with them. It is that exasparating. Perhaps, you can put your thoughts on it, They have a forum there too: http://www.whydoesgodhateamputees.com/ .---

The site quoted is obviously a polemic against Christianity, basically ridiculing the notion of God being loving and just - because He won't instantly and miraculously restore the limbs of amputees. Therefore, He eitehr doesn't exist or is mean and spiteful. In short, Yuki is equivalating me to mockers who intentionally quote Scripture out of context to suit their own purposes - only I of course do it against homosexuality.

And some from Yuki's blog at http://yuki-thejourney.blogspot.com/2007/08/prejudice-may-be-forever.html :

---Again Scott Thong replied. And again based on personal dogma. It is amazing the measure of blind faith partaken by this young boy. I am not that free like him to bang dogmas down on people, therefore I will put it point to point. I always refrain from using Bible verses up to this, but I choose to do so to inform Scott Thong this prejudice is over.---

---Scott Thong has finally admitted why he hates homosexuals, it is because of his disgust on 'two gay partners have sexual acts together, or are thinking of it, or have the intention.'. As we can see again and again, the bigotry exists mostly on men, and less on homosexual women, again , proof of Scott Thong's own own discrimination.---

<<<< >>>>

If you ask me, Yuki's probing and accusatorily structured questions reveal more about Yuki's own preconceptions about how much of a bigoted fundamentalist I must be.

For otherwise, where did I say anything to paint myself as such a firebrand anti-gay rights activist? What did I do to incur such wrath, when I always try to be as non-confrontational as possible?

Especially the last quote, taken out of its context and used as 'proof' of my homophobia! Simply for not using gender-neutral language to include lesbians in my argument against homosexuality, therefore I MUST be motivated solely by personal disgust at the idea of male homosexual love!

And all these despite the fact that I REPEATEDLY made the claim that I am not opposed to homosexuality in and of itself, merely holding the opinion that the Bible does not advocate it. My interpretation of Scripture that does not agree with Yuki's own interpretation therefore makes me an irrational bigot.

Even though nowhere in our series of replies did I ever state that I oppose homosexuality - other than from viewpoint of Bilical interpretation - I am repeatedly smeared as wanting to remove all human rights from homosexuals. It got pretty tiring, I can tell you.

Judge for yourself, and decide if Yuki debates rationally and unbiasedly as Yuki claims, and by implication whether Yuki's quoted resources are as neutral as claimed - all things that Yuki ironically accuses fundamentalists of NOT BEING CAPABLE OF DOING.

(On a personal note, I found Yuki's logic and reasoning to be quite convincing until they wee substituted with the onslaught of attacks. Now I have to judge all information I receive with a few grains of salt.)

In closing, forgive me host for posting a long comment. I felt that I had the right to defend myself from any accusations. Note too, please, that I make no attacks against Yuki of my own, save to point out that Yuki regularly demonises me - despite my huge efforts to be neutral and polite as I understand it.

PS. I have minor prophetic powers! I predict that Yuki will attack my character and make accusations of homophobia against me again on account of my comment! Bottom line is, whatever I say is wrong and full of my seething internal prejudice.

Yuki said...

On the contrary, Scott already explained himself again. Of course he has prophetic powers, he can suddenly be SO SURE that Terry's partner 'SLEPT?' his way into HIV.

Scott, like I said, could just say sorry and everything ends. In any case, he is still bothered by what two men do in bed. Instead of reading back what he written, he went on to justify it? How low.

Dogmas will be dogmas, but the lust to justify dogma is ridiculous indeed. ALL of Scott's remarks that would hurt a good Christian gay is here in his first post:

http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2007/08/10/gay-pastor-wants-to-start-church-in-kl/

Ironically, all of what I write is not for Scott to read.

My audience of my writings is not Scott. My audience are those who are born homosexual, only to be accused of having a 'lifestyle', and asked to 'renounce' it, like being born homosexual is equivalent to being born a devil .

My audience are those who are born homosexual, to have Scott tease them that they are having a habit likened to a drug addiction that should not be 'fed'.

My audience are those who are born homosexual and accepted Christ, only to have Scott judge them, in bold letters, that they cannot be who they are and believe in Christ.

How dare he? How could he? You would say, but I just could not be bothered or angered. Scott is straight. He will never know how a homosexual feels being punched down by bigoted tyrants. I will know how a homosexual feels; more so, being a transsexual female.

Many Christians like Scott would lust after what human beings do in bed, or lusting after everything that has the word homosexual in it; instead of lusting after God. Serves him, I have no time for such people.

Christians who are unfortunately born children of a lesser God all over the world will understand. And I am affirming it to all who are reading. We are here ready to love and to be loved in peace and joy. Lets show it to the world. : )

Scott said...

I, Scott Thong, hereby officially apologize unconditionally for any hurt or aggrievance I have caused with my remarks.

I especially apologize to Ou Yang, Perry and De Blieck for any personal attacks I have made against them, and to Yuki for my argumentative and arrogant manner and any accusations made.

Below are the posts in which I am likely to caused the offense:

http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2007/08/10/gay-pastor-wants-to-start-church-in-kl/

http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2007/08/13/gay-pastor-leads-service-in-kl/

http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2007/08/13/comment-to-yukis-remarks-on-my-gay-pastor-post/

http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2007/08/14/more-comments-to-yukis-comments/

http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2007/08/16/personal-clarifications-to-yukis-third-set-of-remarks/

http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2007/08/17/final-replies-to-yukis-remarks/

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=8503927&postID=7366209580494657698

Although I still hold to my personal convictions regarding the issue, I admit my fault in speaking without gentleness or respect. I have been a shame to myself and Christians as a whole. I will no longer attempt to defend myself with regard to my insensitive choice of words.

I humble myself now, and ask the forgiveness of all who have been offended by my rudeness. I promise before God and all who read my words to watch my words with care and grace.

These are my own words, and can be verified at the following link:

http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2007/08/23/scotts-unconditional-apology-for-any-hurt-caused-by-remarks-on-homosexuality/

alwyn said...

It's rare to see a full-hearted apology like that given by Scott here.

I trust this will go a long way towards cementing the kind of support and love and respect the church needs to show (even/especially??) those it disagrees with doctrinally.

Yuki said...

To Scott:

I am proud of you Scott. (Hugz!) And I am sorry as you are for both of us making both our blogs a stinking corner. You are a good writer with a strong gift. Use it with wisdom and I believe you have the ability to make the world a better place for our next generation.

To The Agora:

Please be vary of an organization whose unconditional love consists of attempts to change sexual orientation. Let us not focus on the minor 'ex' or 'pro', but just the major on concentrating to assist those who has same sex attractions to just let them draw close to God being just the way they are.

Give them a third choice, to just be human beings; not ex-gay or pro-gay, not influenced by any militant groups, no pressure by stigmatization, discrimination and prejudice; and most importantly no more condemnation, not in God. The comfort they, and we seek, should be with God and not men. I am no longer Christian, but I will still share all of your joys. Take care.

Dave said...

Hi Yuki

Thanks much for your grace shown and the last comment I just wanna say a hearty Amen to it.

Edmund is a good friend, and I think he's doing a great job helping our friends find liberation. (something i'm definitely not good at)

But I'd agree with you that not everyone can find complete healing this side of heaven. One great Christian author Nouwen was celibate all his life and struggled with his sexual orientation, but never gave in. I think we need to embrace them as they are, walk with them thru the struggle without insisting on making them 'straight'...

Tis may surprise u, but that's how my pastor wud look at it too even though he firmly believes that gay practice is not God's intent/design for human sexuality.

Dave said...

Scott, that's very brave of you. Humility and willingness to admit our wrongs is a great quality of an apologist :)

1 peter 3:16

Yuki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yuki said...

Hi Dave, back to the topic, I appeal to you, that we must separate homosexuality that is inlearnt and homosexuality that is inborn.

By Edmund's testimony, his is obviously environmentally built. Therefore I have totally no doubt he would know how to deal with those whose homosexuality is really socially constructed like him.

I part ways with him when he confuses his case with those who are biologically constructed, claiming all are the same. Not everyone is. Which is why his insecurities was uncovered for all to see at the recent dialogue in Singapore:

http://yuki-thejourney.blogspot.com/2007/08/video-christian-perspectives-of.html

He failed to answer all the questions from those whose homosexuality are inborn, and just continue with his mantra of 'I am, therefore you are'.

Which is why results of attempts to change orientation have a high failure rate. And for those who are biologically built, it could have mental and health consequences.

We all should be sure of who we are before we choose to partake on such therapy. If you have a past like Edmund's, it is worth consideration, and then trying out. But if you are born into a normal puberty, and homosexuality is the core orientation, these transformational ministries and reparative therapies are to be avoided at all costs. If you are not sure at all, it is better to consult a psychiatrist than an untrained religious counsellor.

As for God's stance, I heard so much about how homosexuality, and even transsexuals, came about because of the fall of humans to sin and other opinions. Likewise, it is the reason for some who are born handicapped. It is another tricky minefield to negotiate, but I believe if God is there he will reveal it in time. Peace. :)

Hedonese said...

Hi Yuki,

Thanks much for the conversation on this topic, appreciate the tone and mutual learning we had here

Do come by the Agora when u are free

Imho, there is a growing consensus today (in the midst of rhetorics) tat homosexual behavior cannot be traced back neatly to ONE socio-psychological or biological cause... It's likely that it's a combination of social and biological factors, so the environment AND personal choice cannot be eliminated.

in the case of Edmund, what seems obvious to some may not be as obvious to others, perhaps he and God would be the best judge of his own inner life. We're all 'outsiders' pronouncing judgment on something we've no direct access to.

Yuki said...

Actually, I partially already agreed with you. I have seen some homosexuals, even transsexuals, that are socially constructed.

But all I am asking for is please remember that we must overcome the idea that everyone is the same. Because some ARE born as homosexuals; as much as I am sure I am a girl born with a birth defect.

To say that we are living only 'lifestyle', or we can 'choose', or we are all 'inlearnt' is in equivalence in saying we as who we are do not exist.

We know who we are, what we are, and what we are going through. We come to accept no one would trully understand us or know how we feel. Especially in the company of straights. But the last thing we want is self contructed thoughts and feelings imposed upon us.

As for Edmund, I know his relatives and friends, and only lately know much about his life; enough to know that his 'homosexuality' is socially constructed. It is not that I am judging. In fact, it is no longer a wonder to me why he thinks homosexuality is a 'lifestyle'. It is because he is never gay in the first place.

My hope is The Agora never take the minority science, as such presented by RLM, as a representative of the majority science. This I humbly plead from you. We have had enough of stigma already. Thanks. :)

Tim Stafford said...

An Older, Wiser Ex-Gay Movement
The 30-year-old ministry now offers realistic hope for homosexuals.


Since its beginnings in the 1970s, the ex-gay movement has engaged gay advocates in a battle of testimonies. Transformed ex-gay leaders are the best argument for their movement. Likewise, those who've left the ex-gay movement in despair and disgust are the best counterargument. The debate continued this June, when Exodus International held its 32nd annual conference in Irvine, California, featuring dozens of speakers and seminar leaders who have quit homosexuality. Down the road outside the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, a news conference featured three former Exodus leaders saying "ex-gay" is a delusion.

Related articles and links



New research may change the terms of debate. Psychologists Stanton Jones of Wheaton College and Mark Yarhouse of Regent University released today a book detailing their findings from the first three years of an ongoing study. They are investigating participants in 16 different ex-gay programs associated with Exodus, the largest ex-gay ministry group.

The results show that some participants experienced significant change, though the change was usually partial, not complete. Furthermore, participants showed no additional mental or spiritual distress as a result of their involvement in the ex-gay program. This study is the first to use multiple interviews and questionnaires over a period of years, assessing participants from near the beginning of their involvement in an ex-gay program.

Jones and Yarhouse launched the study to try to resolve differences between their professional community, which warns that "reparative therapy" for homosexuals is both impossible and dangerous, and testimonies they have heard from those involved in ex-gay movements. Though critics of ex-gay movements sometimes cite research findings in warning against reparative therapy, Jones and Yarhouse found that published research did not actually bear out their claims. The existing research about homosexual change, though mostly dated, indicated some possibility of change. New research meeting contemporary research standards was needed.

Some of Jones and Yarhouse's key findings:

By most measures, the average participant experienced statistically significant change in his or her sexual identity and sexual attractions.
Such changes were generally modest, though, with decreasing homosexual attraction more significant than increasing heterosexual attraction.
Exodus can describe 38 percent of its programs' participants as successes, changing to either a "meaningful but complicated" heterosexuality (15 percent) or a stable chastity (23 percent).
Surprisingly, a "truly gay" subpopulation showed the clearest changes in sexual identity and attraction.
No evidence of increased mental distress was found.
Jones and Yarhouse take pains to emphasize that their study does not clarify the likelihood of successful change for any particular individual. Participants were self-selected—a highly motivated, highly religious group working with Exodus. (For a more complete review of this research, see "The Best Research Yet.") Still, the study marks a crucial point in the ongoing maturation of the ex-gay movement. Once a small experiment, the movement has endured growing pains, learned from setbacks, and achieved a stable pattern of ministry.

Ex-Gay Comes of Age

The breadth of the ex-gay movement can be seen in PATH (Positive Alternatives to Homosexuality), which claims 13 groups from across the Judeo-Christian spectrum. PATH includes Courage (Roman Catholic, with an emphasis on chastity), Homosexuals Anonymous (modeled on aa as a confidential lay organization), JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality), and NARTH (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, a non-religious organization of mental health professionals). Largest of the groups is Exodus, a coalition comprising more than 100 local Christian ministries in the United States, linked to similar ministries overseas.

Exodus began in 1976. Frank Worthen, a San Francisco homosexual who found his life transformed by Christ in the early '70s, joined forces with Melodyland Church. The Southern California church had begun counseling homosexuals through two men in their early twenties, Michael Bussee and Jim Kaspar. Exodus was born at a weekend conference sponsored by the two groups. At a second conference a year later, Exodus attracted gay protestors. Within three years, Bussee had renounced the group's goals and recommenced a gay lifestyle, claiming that nobody ever really changes. Worthen, now in his seventies, has continued his ministry to homosexuals alongside his wife, Anita.

Exodus, at 31, has settled into adulthood. Its most prominent leaders—Alan Chambers, Joe Dallas, Sy Rogers, Andy Comiskey, and Alan Medinger, among others—have been out of homosexuality and engaged in ministry for decades. Most are married with grown children. Scandals among leaders are far less common than in the early days, probably due to increased organizational accountability and growing awareness that those ministering in their area of temptation are vulnerable.

Perhaps nothing has brought Exodus into the mainstream of evangelicalism more than its embrace by James Dobson's Focus on the Family. Alan Medinger, the semi-retired founder of Regeneration (a sexual freedom ministry in Baltimore), remembers calling on Focus early on and finding the door completely shut. "I still don't know why," Medinger says. "When they swung around and began the Love Won Out conferences, it made a huge difference. They're a tremendous support to us now."

Focus's endorsement is an important seal of approval for conservative churches. Focus sponsors regular conferences for church leaders, drawing pastors who might never attend an ex-gay event. Growing cultural acceptance of homosexuality has also, paradoxically, helped Exodus in its relations with churches. Joe Dallas, founder and director of Genesis Counseling, notes that ex-gay leaders help churches "articulate a response to pro-gay theology. … People in most denominations never thought they would have to address a biblical view of homosexuality, just as many parents never thought they would have to respond to a daughter who came home and said, 'I'm a lesbian.' " Not only that, but "the prevalence of Internet pornography has opened up an honest discussion [about many sexual issues] within the church," Dallas says. "More Christians are saying immorality is not just a cultural problem; we have a problem."

As churches and Christian colleges have opened their doors to ex-gay ministries, the ministries have in turn begun to rethink their approach. "We do need sexperts, counselors who can do things that small groups cannot," says Andy Comiskey of Desert Stream Ministries. "But for the church to say that help exists only outside our walls, that is not optimal. I think it has to be body life."

"If I were completely successful," says Exodus president Alan Chambers, "the church would take over. The traditional pattern within Exodus has been a stepping-stone or launching pad to leave the homosexual lifestyle or a life of secrecy, to find camaraderie with others facing the same struggles, and then to go on to embrace the church. What if a church was so dynamic that a Sunday school class could do the same thing? What if people in church could become transparent, and people in those Sunday school classes became comfortable to share their stuff as well?"

How Transformed?

An older, wiser ex-gay movement is certainly clearer about what it has to offer. Early hopes for instant healing have given way to belief that transformation occurs through a lifetime of discipleship.

Tanya Erzen, a professor at Ohio State University, spent 18 months studying New Hope Ministry, a live-in program led by the Worthens in San Rafael, California. Though unsympathetic to ex-gay goals, Erzen came to empathize with the people she met. In Straight to Jesus: Sexual and Christian Conversions in the Ex-Gay Movement, she describes their view of change.

"Ex-gays undergo a conversion process that has no endpoint, and they acknowledge that change encompasses desires, behavior, and identities that do not always align neatly or remain fixed," she writes. "Ex-gay men and women are born-again religiously, and as part of that process, they consider themselves reconstituted sexually. … In the words of Curtis [one of the program's participants], 'Heterosexuality isn't the goal; giving our hearts and being obedient to God is the goal.' … Desires and attractions might linger for years, but they would emerge with new religious identities and the promise that faith and their relationships with one another and God would eventually transform them."

As Alan Chambers puts it, "In the early days [of ex-gay ministry], nobody knew what to expect. They were hoping for something, and some went back because what they were hoping for wasn't reality. Four decades into this ministry, people have a much better way to talk about change. I was once an immature person, and I responded immaturely. Now I've grown as a believer and as a mature man. It was inevitable that my feelings and outlook would change. When I set my goal not as being heterosexual but as being the best child of God I could be, accepting his grace, my identity changed."

Chambers is frank that change does not eradicate temptation. He wonders if change is ever 100 percent complete in this life. "One thing we can expect as Christians is a life of denial," he says. "I don't think we're afraid to tell people that they may have a lifetime of struggle. Freedom isn't the absence of struggle, but the life of struggle with joy in the process."

The ex-gay movement seeks to integrate the reality of same-sex attraction into a life of discipleship. In that lifelong journey, they expect many changes, including changes of feeling and attraction. But they emphasize that each person's experience is different, and that instant transformation is extremely rare.

Not surprisingly then, ex-gay ministries appeal almost exclusively to Christians. Most participants come from evangelical backgrounds and can't resolve their Christian faith with a gay identity. Jones and Yarhouse's research found that many tenaciously seek help and invest years in the process.

The ex-gay movement does not speak with one voice on the causes of homosexuality, but most believe that early childhood deficits are crucial—often a poor or nonexistent relationship with a father, prepubescent sexual experiences, or sexual abuse, especially for women. Many believe that homosexuality is fundamentally a crisis of masculinity or femininity—a subconscious attempt to meet legitimate emotional needs for relationship and affirmation through sexual means. Ex-gay groups are usually single-sex, because supportive friendships within your own gender are believed to be an important component of repairing damaged sexual identity.

Given the uncertainty and difficulty of change, some like the Roman Catholic group Courage prefer to emphasize chastity over change. Exodus leaders speak positively about Courage and its goals. Nevertheless, Exodus leaders are reluctant to limit their hopes to a life of chaste celibacy. Andy Comiskey writes, "We must renounce the unbelief prevalent in certain evangelical circles that resigns homosexual strugglers to little if any release from their tendencies. That perception of God is too small!"

Common Struggle

On June 26, on the serene campus of Concordia University in Irvine, California, about 800 people gather for this year's Exodus conference. Mostly young, mostly white, two-thirds male, dressed in SoCal casual, they might be a crowd at an Angels game. "Revolution," as the conference is called, seems like any other Christian conference: hands raised for rock-and-roll worship, testimonies, prayer, speakers, seminars galore.

But this conference features little motivational hyperbole. Alan Chambers, the low-key opening-night speaker, emphasizes that there is no step-by-step formula for overcoming homosexuality. "Hear me loud and clear: You're not going to get cured this week. … We don't choose our feelings, but we do choose how we are going to live. I choose every day to deny what comes naturally to me. … I have to rely on Jesus Christ every day." In a hundred different ways, conference speakers and seminar leaders say that healing only comes through a life of obedience to Christ.

Cheers greet Sy Rogers, who speaks on the second day. Rogers is extremely entertaining, but his rapid-fire staccato delivery communicates a serious message of Christian discipleship. "God didn't say, 'Stop being gay.' He said, 'Walk with me.'" Rogers talks with searing frankness of the contempt he has endured his whole life. His delivery is confident, almost aggressive, but his vulnerability is startling. Painful as this stuff may be, he seems to say, it is nothing more than what God knows about me—God who loves me and gives me life.

Which sums up much of ex-gay ministry today. No hype. Limited faith in techniques. No gay bashing. No detectable triumphalism, religious or political. Just serious discipleship. This may be the only group in America that realizes all the way to the bottom that when you decide to follow Jesus, you don't always get to do what you want to do.

The ex-gay movement runs against the cultural tide. Given adverse public opinion, the ambivalent support of conservative churches, and the common assertion that ex-gays condemn themselves to a life of frustration, you would think the movement would shrivel. Yet Exodus affiliates have doubled in number over the last 18 years. Many of its leaders have been in the public eye for 20 to 30 years. They show every sign of stability.

They live by radical ideas about sexuality—that we are not, as our culture would have it, defined by our desires, heterosexual or homosexual. Rather, we are defined by our Creator and Savior. Our attractions, always disordered to some extent, must be submitted to Christ, who alone can redeem us. For those who feel strong same-sex attractions, that task is especially difficult. But it is the same basic struggle every Christian must face.

Yuki said...

Exposing lies of ex-gay groups

Brian Cook, Cavalier Daily Associate Editors

ALL OVER the country, so-called "ex-gay" groups wildly claim that they can turn gay people straight. Through this hoax, religious conservatives have spread lies and misinformation across the country at the expense of gays and their families.

These "ex-gay" groups claim to be able to convert gays to a life of heterosexuality through religious and psychological methods. Not only are these programs a hoax, but they are destructive, hurt innocent adolescents, and reinforce the flawed belief that homosexuality is something "wrong" and something that can be changed.

Groups such as "Exodus International," the largest of the ex-gay ministries, claim a 30 to 50 percent conversion rate on their Web site (http://www.exodusnorthamerica.org). Despite this, these groups will not publicly state their techniques or give any hard data as to their success rates. This secrecy is inconsistent with Exodus's self-reported success.

Recently, ex-gay groups have lauded a report released by Columbia University psychiatrist Robert Spitzer. It claims that many gays "can change from gay to straight," through reparative therapy. These ex-gay groups purported that Spitzer was also very pro-gay, and that he had fought in the 1970s for the American Psychological Association to support homosexuality, which then was listed as a disorder (http://content.gay.com/channels/news/heads/010509_exgay_studies.html).

The APA blasted the study for its unsound techniques. Spitzer got a list of "ex-gays" from the ranks of the ex-gay ministries themselves, and spoke to them on the phone for 45 minutes each. There was no personal meeting, no follow-up, and no guarantee that any of these people, who were selected by the ex-gay groups, were telling the truth. The report itself was not even submitted for professional review, which did not stop it from being universally criticized in the psychiatric community.

The claims that Spitzer is pro-gay also are absurd. Although he sat on the board that voted to remove homosexuality from the list of disorders, he was opposed to the idea. And since, he has been a puppet for conservative groups, constantly speaking out against homosexuality.

On the other hand, a study done by two New York City psychologists show that of 202 gays and lesbians who wish to convert themselves, less than 3 percent successfully converted to heterosexuality. This study, in contrast to Spitzer's, was done through in-depth interviews over the course of five years, and showed that an overwhelming majority of gays who tried to convert failed. If this study is sound, which it is, Spitzer's is disingenuous.

The ex-gay leaders show the folly of these movements. John Paulk, former chairman of Exodus International and the so-called "poster boy" for ex-gays, was found soliciting sex in a gay bar in Washington, D.C. last summer. The two founders of Exodus International, "recovering" homosexuals, ran off with each other, and now preach about the danger of reparative therapy.

It has been well established that these "ex-gay" programs do not work. The APA has asserted that these ex-gay movements are flawed and psychologically dangerous. It is easy to dismiss these ultra-conservative groups simply as flawed, were it not for the damage that they have done. Reports show that people coming out of ex-gay groups have a higher rate of suicide, depression and substance abuse than other gays. Those who manage to escape from the lies and deceit of the ex-gay groups, ex-ex-gays, have asserted the failures of reparative therapy.

These campaigns for reparative therapy target closeted gays, who are dealing with rejection and self-loathing. It's easy to convince someone who hates himself that there's a way to change. But ex-gay programs also target gay teens, using their parents as a tool for misinformation.

Many teenagers under the age of 18 are being forced into ex-gay ministries by parents who don't know the truth or the dangers involved. It sounds great to parents; those who don't want to have a gay child can send them off to this program, only to have them come back a whole new heterosexual person.

Of course this is not how it works. All the scientific evidence points to the contrary. But ex-gay groups prey on the disappointment and negative reactions toward homosexuality that are present among many middle-aged parents today. In California, there is an underground railroad for gay teens, keeping them away from their parents until they reach the age of 18, to help them avoid ex-gay programs.

As a society, most of us have come to the consensus that homosexuality is not a choice. "Coming out," in many cases, opens people up to a world of prejudice, intolerance and rejection.

These ex-gay groups put forth the false and misleading notion that sexuality is as easy to change as a light bulb. In doing so, these groups are exploiting gay teens and self-loathing, closeted gays to further their own radical conservative agenda.

(Brian Cook is a Cavalier Daily associate editor. He can be reached at bcook@cavalierdaily.com.)

Yuki said...

Making Money "Curing" Homosexuals

Written by Trish Wilson
Published November 23, 2005

I've long known that the so-called "ex-gay" movement is a sham. I've heard of supposedly "ex-gay" folk being discovered in gay bars, cruising for dates. As Pam Spaulding at Pandagon wrote,

How many gays and lesbians, desperate to avoid being ostracized from their fundamentalist families, seek out bogus outfits like Exodus International and Love in Action. The organizations promote "reparative" or "reorientation" therapy prey on the poor souls that turn to them, hoping the gay can be chased away. Using a combination of prayer and ludicrous exercises, the aim is to help homos in crisis "attain the goal of reaching their heterosexual potential."
Spaulding includes a bog-full of nasty Freeper quotes with Freepers doing what they do best - spewing bile.

The American Psychological Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 1973. In the APA's statement on Uses of Diagnoses "Homosexual" and "Ego-Dystonic Homosexuality", it says "homosexuality implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social or vocational capabilities". The APA has specifically urged its members "not to use the "302.0 Homosexuality" diagnosis in the current ICD-9-CM or the "302.00 Ego-dystonic Homosexuality" diagnosis in the current DSM-III or future editions of either document." Psychologists and other therapists such as those in the ex-gay movement who seek to "cure" homosexuals violate APA standards.

Spaulding described the recent conference of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). The conference was packed with "more than 1,000 therapists, sociologists, and psychoanalysts who believe homosexuality is not inborn and can be changed."

Now, how's that for a cash cow? All those therapists, sociologists, and psychoanalysts who can't make a decent living with a plain old practice treating people for garden-variety depression or listening to patients go on and on and on about their lousy jobs or their sucky love lives... they can rake in the cash trying to "cure" homosexuals. Since homosexuality isn't a disease that can be cured, these people are bound to be in business for a long time. I bet this cottage industry of "curing" homosexuals makes even more money for therapists, sociologists, and psychoanalysts than the burgeoning "divorce industry." When they aren't raking in hundreds of dollars per hour draining the pockets of parents with custody and psychological evaluations, they can "cure" homosexuals. What a racket!

According to the blog Ex-Gay Watch, "The City Councilman for the surrounding area, Bill Rosendahl, an openly gay man and practicing Catholic, protested outside the NARTH convention along with a group of therapists and students."

Rosendahl called their research and their methods "unproven, unsafe and abusive," pointing out that the American Psychiatric Association stopped classifying homosexuality as a condition to be cured more than three decades ago."
"It's another form of rationalization for the continued persecution and prejudice against gay people, and it has to stop," Rosendahl said. "That's why we're here."


Ex-Gay Watch disputed Spaulding's contention that 1,000 people had shown up for the NARTH convention, claiming that only 100 had shown up, including therapists and some of the allegedly ex-gay clients.

I thought that Spaulding should know exactly how that ex-gay racket has played out. This press release just about blew my socks off when I first read it in January. Read the whole thing. Note that Richard Cohen, founder of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (P-FOX), once was conservative talk-radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger's advisor.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2005

website: www.WayneBesen.com

ANTI-GAY P-FOX PRESIDENT RICHARD COHEN EXPELLED FOR LIFE FROM THE AMERICAN COUNSELING ASSOCIATION

Revealing, Never-Before Seen Document Is a Devastating Blow For Outdated Pseudo-Science That Tries To Turn Gay People Straight, Says Besen

NEW YORK - Author Wayne Besen today released an explosive, never-before seen letter he uncovered from the American Counseling Association that "permanently expelled" reparative therapist Richard Cohen in 2003 for serious ethics violations. ...

As the outspoken president of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Dr. Laura Schlessinger's ex-gay advisor, Cohen's expulsion casts a dark shadow over the disreputable practice of trying to change sexual orientation.

"The Right wing should be ashamed for promoting the work of a therapist who has been officially rebuked for egregious ethical lapses," said Wayne Besen, author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth. "That Cohen is the best the far right can find in support of their position that gay people can change underscores the quack-like pseudo-science that they rely on. It is time they end the charade and admit that reparative therapy is harmful and ineffective."

According to the ACA's letter: "Mr. Cohen was found in violation of the following code sections A.1.a; A.1.b; A.5.a; A.6.a; C.3.b, C.3.f, and has not elected to appeal the decision taken by the ACA Ethics Committee within allotted timelines." (Please see below for full explanation of violations)

The letter referred to Cohen's violations which included inappropriate behavior such as fostering dependent counseling relationships, not promoting the welfare of clients, engaging in actions that sought to meet his personal needs at the expense of clients, exploiting the trust and dependency of clients, unethically soliciting testimonials from clients and promoting products to clients in a manner that is deceptive.

"It is no surprise that Richard Cohen violated the ACA ethics because reparative therapy itself lacks integrity and attempts to meet their agenda's need, not the needs of client's," said Joe Kort, psychotherapist and author of 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do To Improve Their Lives. "Of particular note is that Cohen's violations are self-serving as he is accused of violating standard ethics of protecting his client from dual relationships, marketing purposes, and testimonials."

Richard Cohen is the president of P-FOX, a group that recently placed an >ex-gay billboard in Virginia (www.Pfox.org ) and sponsored a controversial ad campaign in Washington DC's subway system. His website is www.gaytostraight.org and he is a conference instructor for the National Association for the Research and Therapy for Homosexuality (NARTH). Cohen is also the author of Coming Out Straight, a book in which Dr. Laura Schlessinger wrote the forward.

"With intellect and care, he [Cohen] offers invaluable insight into the reason for same-sex attractions and, for those willing to brave it, he illuminates a challenging journey from isolation," wrote Dr. Laura in Cohen's book.

Cohen has also been prominently featured on Larry King Live, The Ricki Lake Show, The Sally Jessy Raphael Show and 20/20. The sound bite he often uses on these shows is, "Born gay? No Way!" Reparative therapy is rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health organization in America.

The Rules Violated By Cohen

Section A: The Counseling Relationship
A.1. Client Welfare

a. Primary Responsibility. The primary responsibility of counselors is to respect the dignity and to promote the welfare of clients.

b. Positive Growth and Development. Counselors encourage client growth and development in ways that foster the clients' interest and welfare; counselors avoid fostering dependent counseling relationships.

A.5. Personal Needs and Values a. Personal Needs. In the counseling relationship, counselors are aware of the intimacy and responsibilities inherent in the counseling relationship, maintain respect for clients, and avoid actions that seek to meet their personal needs at the expense of clients.

A.6. Dual Relationships
a. Avoid When Possible. Counselors are aware of their influential positions with respect to clients, and they avoid exploiting the trust and dependency of clients. Counselors make every effort to avoid dual relationships with clients that could impair professional judgment or increase the risk of harm to clients. (Examples of such relationships include, but are not limited to, familial, social, financial, business, or close personal relationships with clients.) When a dual relationship cannot be avoided, counselors take appropriate professional precautions such as informed consent, consultation, supervision, and documentation to ensure that judgment is not impaired and no exploitation occurs. (See F.1.b.)

C.3. Advertising and Soliciting Clients
b. Testimonials. Counselors who use testimonials do not solicit them from clients or other persons who, because of their particular circumstances, may be vulnerable to undue influence.

f. Promoting to Those Served. Counselors do not use counseling, teaching, training, or supervisory relationships to promote their products or training events in a manner that is deceptive or would exert undue influence on individuals who may be vulnerable. Counselors may adopt textbooks they have authored for instruction purposes.
I'll say it again: What a racket!

Yuki said...

All the above are self explanatory. I will just comment on these blanketed lies.

No hype
- but would hype all around billboards and advertisements throughout the world about gays can change, and publish scandalous reports about gays.

Limited faith in techniques
- but already without techniques.

No gay bashing
- but hopes that gays and lesbians continue to be unemployed and not be given protection with hate crime laws, and strongly oppose the upcoming Employment Non Discrimination Act which dispels discrimination against sexual orientation and gender identity.

No detectable triumphalism,
religious or political
- Florida and California ex-gays were really happy when their respective governors vetoed bills on discrimination against gays and lesbians. Heterosexual 'ex-gay' dictatorship.

Just serious discipleship.
- Yeah, just say it together now. JESUS CAMP.

What glorious groups Ex-Gays are.

Ps Amanda Smith said...

Attention Church in Malaysia…
There is an individual by the name of Vivian @ Yuki @ Anonymous @ etc who is going international via internet to destroy the name and ministry Ps Edmund & RLM (www.r-l-m.com). This individual is a transgender (a male who believes that he is meant to be a female) who was once helped by Ps Edmund but became vicious because Ps Edmund refused to condone to his pro-gay and pro-transgender believes. Vivian stalks the internet to see where Ps Edmund / RLM are mentioned. And like below – he will condemned Ps Edmund / RLM. Below is just one of the hundreds of schemes of Vivian. He is dangerous & definitely an instrument of the devil. What can you do?
1. Pray for him
2. Do not entertain him (many Christians are interacting with him – online)
3. Pass this email to everyone you know.
Real Love brings Real Life,
Ps Amanda Smith (wife of Ps Edmund Smith)
Continuation of girls camp 2007 --- Homosexuality and the Ex-gay Lifestyle
I wanted to separate the posts because I think my previous post is too long. So anyway...

I also joined the workshop “The Heart of Worship” by Pastor Ng Wah Lok and “What do you do when no one is watching” by Pastor Edmund Smith. The heart of worship workshop was really interesting. Pastor Ng Wah Lok taught about how to plan songs for worship. Pastor Edmund Smith’s topic was a little bit shocking at 1st. It was Homosexuality and the Ex-Gay Lifestyle. I really didn’t expect it. And actually I didn’t choose it. I chose The heart of worship. But Pastor Ng can only come on the 1st day, and Pastor Edmund can only come on the 2nd and 3rd day, so both workshops were joined. And I’ve learnt a lot from Pastor Edmund Smith about gays and he has really changed my perspective of gays.

If you've read my post entitled "What would YOU do?", I had this thinking that gays are born like that. I had this perspective that gays cannot be changed. But through the workshop, I've learnt that there are people who were gay and now they're not. For example, Pastor Edmund Smith himself was gay. He had 3 elder brothers. So when his mother was pregnant with him, his parents expected him to be a girl. But when he was born a boy, his parents rejected him, especially his father. He told us that his mother rejected him at 1st but then later accepted him. But for the 1st 5 years of his life, his mother treated him like a girl and later treated him like a boy. So he was very confused about his gender. He told us he hated being a guy. He wanted so badly to be a girl. And he lead a gay lifestyle for almost 11 years. He later stopped being gay because he said he suffered and was depressed during the 11 years he was leading the gay lifestyle. But of course he said it was not easy to change from being gay to straight. But he said soon after he left the gay lifestyle, he found Jesus. And his life changed from there. And oh yea, he's married by the way. Blessed with 2 kids. =)

He taught us a lot of terms and also shared with us the issues that could lead to a person being gay. First he taught us about 2 stances : the pro-gay and ex-gay stance.
• Ex-gay stance = promotes ex-gay lifestyle and discourages gay lifestyle
• Pro-gay stance = promotes and encourages gay lifestyle
Then he taught us some terms :
1. gay = (for male and female) others drawn to a person of the same sex in a way of romance and sex
2. lesbian = specifically for female homosexuals
3. Gay friendly = to be friendly to gays, but hold the ex-gay stance. Aka do not hurt or reject gays, but be friendly to them and at the same time do not encourage their gay lifestyle/do not encourage them being gay.
4. anti gay/homophobic = afraid of gays/hate gays. opposite of gay friendly
5. hermaphrodite = one who is born with both genitals.(not necessarily gay)(due to genetics)
6. Transgender= transfer of gender. one who has a Gender Identity Disorder. a female who wants to be a male and vice versa.
7. Transsexual = transgender who go for sex change operation
8. Transvestite = transfer of vest (clothes). a male who dresses like a female (or vice versa) mostly for fun/ performance.
9. Androgynous = one who appears in the middle. Eg, a person looks a little like a man but at a certain angle looks like a woman.(not due to genetics)
10. homophyllic = one who loves others of the same sex but has nothing to do with sex or romance.
11. Deep Platonic Relationship = relationship whereby a person loves another of the same sex deeply without involving sex or romance.
12. pedophile = adult who is drawn to children in a way of sex/romance.
13. metro sexual = a man who is in touch with his feminine side.(eg man who cook, do facial, do sewing, cry, etc) it is usually a term for men and it is perfectly normal.
14. fetrosexual = same as metro sexual but this term is used for girls (eg, girls who are strong, who love to play football/rugby etc etc
15. butch = a girl who wants to be a guy. they will bind their breasts, cut their hair short, act like a guy etc
The issues that could most probably lead to homosexuality :
• SELF ISSUE
This issue is the rejection in the area of gender or appearance. Eg, a person who hates his/her own gender. In the area of appearance means that a person who hates the way he/she looks like. Eg, a person who feels that he/she is ugly or fat etc. Pastor Edmund was saying that don't ever hate yourself. Thank God for making you a girl/guy. Never say that you wish were the opposite gender. It really woke me up because there were times where I hated being a girl (it was not serious/severe). But yea, his words made me thank God everyday that I am a girl. I am who He made me to be.

And also Pastor Edmund said, don't complain you're ugly, but rather remember that you are beautiful in God's eyes, and that's all that matters. God made all of us beautiful, so don't ever say or complain that you're ugly. He also said don't complain about being fat. But instead, exercise, eat well and rest well. (A big bang to my head for that. LOL)
• VACUUM ISSUE
This issue is basically about the absence of love of a parent/relative of the same gender. For example, Pastor Edmund did not have love from his father. His father was there physically but he didn't love Pastor Edmund. So Pastor Edmund was looking and wanting love from a person of the same gender.

Pastor Edmund said that many people always look for Mr/ Miss Right. And he was stressing that there is no such thing as Mr/ Miss Right, because no one is perfect. And he also said that no one completes us. He said for example, his wife does not complete him, but compliments him.

During one of the night sessions (not connected to this workshop), Pastor Eric Lau came to speak and he quote a saying from Pascal : "In the hearts of every men and women there is a God shaped vacuum that can only be filled by God the creator through Jesus Christ". This is so true.
• BARRIER ISSUE
This issue is where a person is unable to be romantically involved with another of the opposite sex because the person has been abused verbally or sexually. For example, a girl may have been molested or raped. She will look at men as monsters and she won't be comfortable being romantically involved with a man. If this issue is not resolved (through counselling), she will stick to girls and this can lead to lesbianism.

*phew* So yea, he was telling us that gays are not born. God doesn't make gays. A person becomes gay mostly because he/she has not resolve either one, two, or all of these 3 issues. A person can also become gay because of influence from the world. He also taught about Deep Platonic Relationship. It is normal and possible, to love a person of the same sex deeply without involving romance/sexuality. So yea, don't get confused between admiration/ deep platonic relationship and love for the same sex in terms of romance.

He also taught us to be gay friendly but to stay strong to the ex-gay stance. We can be friendly to gays but it doesn't mean that we encourage that person being a gay/ leading a gay lifestyle. He also taught us not to reject gays or to mock gays.

Anyway, to learn more about Pastor Edmund's work (it's called the Real Love Ministry) , check out his website www.r-l-m.com
You can also check out this website www.exodus.to

I really found this workshop and the things Pastor Edmund taught very useful. I think now that gays and their lifestyle are beginning to be such a norm, these notes are very useful as awareness to the public. And also hope that a gay can be changed. Though it is not easy and it also depends on whether that person is willing or not. But yea, it is an interesting topic, and an important one too.

Hope you'll find this post useful. Do comment and give your opinions.
Posted by JoJo at 15:04

5 comments:
Anonymous said...
Was Edmund Smith gay?
No, he was a heterosexual who has relationships with men for experimentation.

What is homosexuality?
Just Same Sex Attracted Individuals.

What is the gay 'lifestyLe'?
Ask any real gay men, and they would tell you eat, go to the gym, study, sleep, watch movies, swim...

Why the term progay then?
It is used for people who wants to have rights to get married, employment, non-discrimination.

Is Edmund lying?
Yes, just google on definitions like transsexual and transgender, and you would find different meanings to it.

Somethings wikipedia has to say:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality

What does 477000 medical and health professionals say about homosexuality and chanches for change?

Homosexuality is normal, and change causes harm, that could be emotional or phychological.

www.apa.org/pi/lgbc/facts.pdf

[In 1998, December 12, the American Psychiatric Association meeting.

“The potential risks of ‘reparative therapy’ are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient.”
“Many patients who have undergone ‘reparative therapy’ relate that they were inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely, unhappy individuals who never achieve acceptance or satisfaction.”

“The possibility that the person might achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alternative approaches to dealing with the effects of societal stigmatization discussed.”

“Therefore, 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. The American Psychiatric Association recognizes that in the course of ongoing psychiatric treatment, there may be appropriate clinical indications for attempting to change sexual behaviors.”]

But Edmund changed?

Changes are either 1. Bisexual people reconciling to just be straight. 2. Heterosexuals who feel they do not really want to have sex with men. 3. Celibacy.

Until now, there has been many 'supposed' changes, but non are peer previewed, and scientifically prove, that a shift from orientation from homo to hetero happened. It is as impossible as a shift from hetero to homo.

The Bible is used to condemn many others before; slaves, women, african americans, but the truth is what is written is never understood fully.

Even Christ himself said nothing in red about homosexuality.

The writings of the apostle Paul that has verses that is against homosexuality, also has verses that is against women...

example:

1 corinthians 34-35

34women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 35If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

1 timothy 2 : 11 - 15

11A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15But women[a] will be saved[b] through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

You are too young to know this, but understand this fact, the bible had been used for centuries to go against minorities. it is what drives the church, fear.

Edmund Smith needs to go against gays to sell his CD's, one after another, also his preachings, and also to be popular and ge. Very few of ht support from th church. His 'sermons' are sometimes not free. It is his career and we should respect it.

But I am talking as a Christian, Jesus would not murk a prostitute, neither use the Bible to condemn people EXCEPT self righteous priests. What is the Christian thing to do here? Think, question.

1 Thessalonians 5:21

21Test everything. Hold on to the good.

Lastly, is it fair to listen to only one person who claims to be gay to represent every gay in the world? Everyone is different. Everyone is an individual. God sees the minds and hearts of people. Therefore, do not talk about people behind them and assume; but when there is a chance to meet gays, talk to them. You would be surprised how different a gay person is than the one perpetuated by Edmund Smith.

PS - I used to hate gays too, and find a lot of reasons to do so. I was wrong. They are just ordinary human beings like you and I. In fact, I am starting to find it is heterosexuals that are deceitful, fighting to control homosexuals, while not looking into the speck of their own eyes. I was one of them. And I know that I am wrong by misusing His Name to condemn people who have a place in His Kingdom. Hope you learn from this too.
17 December 2007 18:18
JoJo said...
Dear anonymous,

Thank you so much for giving your point of view. I do agree with some things you have said.

However I do have to point out that Edmund Smith is not lying(that is a very strong word to say).

I've checked wikipedia and it says that:
"One common definition is that a transsexual is a person who believes that his or her body does not reflect his or her true 'inner' identification of physical sex or gender.
Another common definition is that a transsexual is a person who has had or plans to have medical or surgical treatments that alter his or her body to better reflect what the individual believes is his or her true gender."

So Edmund Smith is not lying. He may not be totally right, but lying is definately not what he was doing.

And I do agree with this "Homosexuality is normal, and change causes harm, that could be emotional or phychological." But as you yourself said, "Lastly, is it fair to listen to only one person who claims to be gay to represent every gay in the world? Everyone is different. Everyone is an individual."

I am not saying that Pastor Edmund Smith represents every gay in the world. Everyone is different. And the most important thing about changing a person, whether gay or not, is willingness. You can talk to a gay, tell him/her that change is better, so on so forth, but at the end of the day, it depends whether the person is willing to change him/herself.

Maybe you're right, that change in homosexuality causes harm, but not all gays feel that way. It is not easy leading a gay life (although many have already been opened-minded about them), and some may actually feel much better and more free coming out of the gay life. I don't think you should judge Pastor Edmund and say that he has not changed. How do you know his heart? For all you know, maybe he really felt better/more free after being not gay. Then again, I might be wrong. But only God knows his heart and his true feelings. And we don't have the right to judge him.

Lastly, I agree that gays are normal human beings like you and me. I do not see gays as monsters or weirdos or anything like that. I don't mind at all talking with a gay. That's why Pastor Edmund taught us about being gay-friendly. To be friendly towards gays, not to mock them or reject them. I would also like to encourage other Christians to love them...like Jesus would.

Thanks again anonymous for your comments. I really have learnt alot from it. And though I agree with what you said, that I might be too young to understand/know this, I am indeed very eager to learn new things everyday. It is the awesomeness of life. :)

Ps: to all, I really hope you will post your comments too. Do share your opinions though it might be against my post. I am eager to learn and to hear your voices. Thank you.
19 December 2007 19:24
Yuki said...
Hi, my name is Yuki. I have known Edmund Smith for quite some time and have been observing the comments coming in here.

I would like to highlight something here, especially when I am a pre-op transsexual female.

Transgender= transfer of gender. one who has a Gender Identity Disorder. a female who wants to be a male and vice versa.

(Transgender is just an umbrella term that emcompasses every human being that does not fit into a specific gender category. It is NOT G.I.D.)

Transsexual = transgender who go for sex change operation

(I am diagnosed as a person with Gender Identity Disorder, or known as Harry Benjamin Syndrome. It is caused by the chromosomnal being, the psychological being, the hormonal being or the biological being being variant from the birth sex. The only cure for that constitutes HRT or hormone reparative therapy then to SRS surgery. That puts me as a transsexual)

(Unlike mentioned by Edmund, a transsexual may not go to surgery, example the Muslim transsexuals in Malaysia who cannot because of their religion. The surgery is just part of the journey, the transition is a lifetime. Therefore, Edmund Smith is incorrect to drag the term transgender and mashes it with transsexual)

Transvestite = transfer of vest (clothes). a male who dresses like a female (or vice versa) mostly for fun/ performance.

(A male who dresses as a male or vice versa is called drags and drabs. It has nothing to do with transsexuals, because they are sure with their sexuality.)

I am sure Edmund is not lying, but there are political things you cannot see in his 'motion', even for ex-gays.

I give you just one simple question, let's just say you have a left hand. But suddenly someone comes and says it is caused by your parents who are distant or psysical brokeness. How do you feel? Now put that to gays, you have gays who come from normal families and childhoods, only to be accused of being abused or distant from their parents? Is Edmund being fair?

Lastly, on your comment:

"You can talk to a gay, tell him/her that change is better, so on so forth, but at the end of the day, it depends whether the person is willing to change him/herself."

That is the problem. How would you feel if someone comes to you and ask you to be a homosexual? And are you fair in stating here that the person 'should' change? No one should be compelled to be who they are not, or be assumed they are to change to something they are not.

If I were to have listened to Edmund and try to be a boy... I would have lost a lot of years in my life in pursuing a transition, and missed a huge part of my years being who I am.

But of course I cannot speak for gays for I am not, but you can check here - www.beyondexgay.com. These are ex gay survivors, who have wasted precious years and finances, only to realise they have wasted years (some to decades) of their life trying to be who they are not. And who have they to thank for? People who come and tried to change them like Edmund.

And dear, Edmund IS lying. There is no change. Only supression, and a life of denial. But to Edmund, that is his right, to deny himself to take up his cross to follow HIM. But in another different corner, does denying yourself to take up the cross include 'changing' to become a homosexual (lesbian) for you? Do you understand now?

Are you doing justice then to your homosexual friends? The best thing to do for your homosexual friends treat them as human beings without compelling them to do something they will regret for the rest of your life.

Imagine, a girl, one day, someone may come and slap her in the face and said 'you ruined my life You blurred my mind saying that I would be better of to change. Well, I was willing to. Now I wasted 20 years of my life. And what do I get? NOTHING! If is all because of you and those false promises by EDMUND SMITH!...

Do you want to be that girl?

I am sure Edmund can help very few people who were sexually confused like himself, but for the majority, he does nothing but throw wrong representations of what homosexuality really is.

One last question. As you know I am a transsexual. You can say I am an ex-boy. Do you trust me if I tell you I can teach everyone about being a boy?

Likewise, can you say ex-gays can tell you about being a gay? Ex-gays are never gays, or they are lying to themselves.

I agree with the 'annonymus'. You need to question, and think. The world is never simple, but I am sure everyone will get their share of wisdom someday. Even you me, and Edmund Smith.
19 December 2007 22:21
JoJo said...
Dear Yuki,

Thank you so much for your comments and I have to say, some things you have said have got me thinking.

"Imagine, a girl, one day, someone may come and slap her in the face and said 'you ruined my life You blurred my mind saying that I would be better of to change. Well, I was willing to. Now I wasted 20 years of my life. And what do I get? NOTHING! If is all because of you and those false promises by EDMUND SMITH!...

Do you want to be that girl?"

No, I would not want to be that girl. And I most probably would not. Because honestly, I don't think I have enough knowledge or experience or maybe even courage to go up to any gay and ask them to change. This post I put up in my blog is just to share with people something I have learnt in camp. Not to change anyone. And of course I would like to have some feedback from others and to learn more, to think more, to question more.

"And dear, Edmund IS lying. There is no change. Only supression, and a life of denial. But to Edmund, that is his right, to deny himself to take up his cross to follow HIM. But in another different corner, does denying yourself to take up the cross include 'changing' to become a homosexual (lesbian) for you? Do you understand now?"

I still do have this believe that there IS change. That change is possible. However, I do agree with you that change may not be beneficial to others.
But like I said, neither me nor you nor anyone else knows Pastor Edmund's true heart. Only God and himself. Whether he is living a life of denial, we don't know, and we definately cannot judge him.

I have visited your blog and I have to say, I am very encouraged by you. About how strong your relationship with God is. And I do very much agree with you. That gays are normal human beings, and I will take your advice "The best thing to do for your homosexual friends treat them as human beings without compelling them to do something they will regret for the rest of your life."

Tell you the truth, I don't have any homosexual friends. Or for all you know maybe I do but I don't realise. But one thing is for sure, I will definately follow your advice in treating them as normal human beings. And I will love them...as Jesus would.

Thank you once again, Yuki for sharing your comments, your opinions, and your knowledge. I have learnt alot. From both you and anonymous. And I will question and think about this topic. And I will most definately learn from views, opinions, and knowledge from other people. Thank you once again and God bless :)
20 December 2007 12:41
Yuki said...
You are wellcome. Perhaps you are right too, to say it is only for God to judge him. Only God can see the mind and the heart of everyone.

And perhaps I am speaking in despair in seeing many homosexuals that goes to someone like Edmund and his myths, and instead of changing their homosexuality, they even lost their belief in God.

I fortunately leart a lot about Edmund, from his family and relatives; but I am not going to say anything except it is his life and God has shown many of us his fruits. He has to face Him one day.

My concern as I say, is a notion that homosexuals CAN and SHOULD change. Change to what by the way? It is not a choice. The Bible's writers has no understanding of homosexuality, or women and slaves for that matter. What more human beings.

We are all individuals, living in the age of the fall of sin. Heterosexuals sin too, and heterosexual acts are all over MTV, add with girls in skimpy bikinis all over the place with men. So what right has heterosexuals got to judge homosexuals?

We are all sinners, we should stop claiming to represent God and define people as who we want them to be. Let God define themselves. Our Saviour bless you, He will show you everything in His time and give you wisdom. Take care.

"I put no stock in religion. By the word religion I have seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called the will of god. I have seen too much religion in the eyes of too many murderers. Holiness is in right action, and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves, and goodness. What god desires is here [head] and here [heart], and by what you decide to do every day, you will be a good man (person), or not. - Quote from Kingdom Of Heaven.
21 December 2007 15:13