“I’M NOT GAY NO MORE!” (But…um…see…)

| November 12, 2014 | 2 Comments
"I'm not gay no more! I've been deliverT!"

“I’m not gay no more! I’ve been deliverT! I don’t like mens no more! I like women!”

There is an internet video sweeping America right now from the 107th Church of God in Christ’s (COGIC) Holy Convocation about a man being delivered from homosexuality and telling everyone at convocation about it. There has been a lot of back and forth from supporters and critics of the video and I think there is room for discussion here about the Church of God in Christ, deliverance, and a more proper Christian view of homosexuality.

The COGIC is a denomination within the Pentecostal Church. Pentecostal churches believe in worshiping with their hands raised, speaking in tongues, and other outward signs to show salvation, and emphasize holy living, which often is shown through the wearing of elaborate hats.

The higher the hat, the closer you are to Jesus.

The higher your hat, the closer you are to Jesus.

Holy living is a mixture of what the Bible says and some other some-use-these-and-others-do-not man-made rules and laws on top of that – no makeup for women, no jewelry for anyone, no tattoos, all ankle-length and wrist-length skirts and shirts, and for many black women, you’re not allowed to wear pants or have a perm or style your hair unless it’s in a short Afro. You also have to look “holy” at all times and that means that you rarely ever smile, because you’re so focused on God that you don’t have time for other things like daily human living.

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This is only a slight exaggeration of the “holy, sanctified” faces I would see when I attended a COGIC.

I was COGIC in college for a brief stint. I loved the music and the church. I always felt like I “had been to church” whenever I went to a service. I got delivered from something every week. We were always getting delivered from something. I also had no clue what a proper relationship with Jesus looked like. I only knew what Pastor told me and if I challenged his word (or service ending times – COGIC people stay in church from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at a minimum, and have about 3-4 other services they have to attend during the week, which all last 2-3 hours), I was an unbeliever and not “truly saved.” I’m not against the Church of God in Christ, but I don’t get some of the…well…what I call antics that didn’t help me have an authentic and loving relationship with my Lord and Savior. I looked at Jesus as someone waiting to strike me down instead of meeting me where I was and loving me and guiding me into an abundant life with him. I couldn’t stay delivered from whatever it was I needed freedom from that week – porn, lust, overeating, laziness, procrastination, gossip, etc. Something must have been wrong with me, right? Once delivered, always delivered, right? Deliverance meant that I was one step closer to perfection, right? If I messed up that must mean that either I wasn’t truly saved or that a demon was controlling me (which is impossible once Jesus saves you – you’re covered).

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COGIC is always talmbout deliverance. It’s the reason I left the church in college. I went home on summer break, came back, and 10 weeks later the sermon was about deliverance. When do we learn how to stay delivered? It’s like we got dropped off after being set free and never looked after again. That’s now how this thing should work. It’s not how Jesus treats you after deliverance.

For the young man in the video, my heart hurts for him. His expression of his homosexuality never allowed him to be fully himself. He’s worn makeup. He’s dressed in women’s clothes. He’s probably expressed his homosexuality with a lot of meaningless sex. I can see the pain and panic in his eyes. He’s “done” and doesn’t know what else to do. He’s over it. The party life didn’t give him what he needed and the church treated him like an outcast. He’s been told for so long that he’s controlled by a demon, less than human, and not worth God’s time (paraphrasing, but that’s how it sounds to a gay person sitting in a church like that not feeling any unconditional love from anyone). He’s been told that God won’t love him unless he’s 100% straight, which…well…will not happen. (I wrote on that link last year about how the gay-to-straight movement either de-powered can-do-anything Almighty Jesus or just got it all wrong from the start. Read it. It won’t take long.)

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He’s grown up like this tree – twisted by others’ opinions and influences instead of straight up in the air led by God.

That young man has never been allowed to be comfortable with who he is, find out who that is, and live it authentically and carefree in Jesus. He’s been twisted by so many internal and external gay and straight forces twisting him to their liking. I don’t even know him but I can see it. I’ve seen men and women like him go through this, get “delivered” and they’re back to being gay in a week or month or so. (Being gay is more than sex and isn’t a simple on/off switch.)

I’ve been that young man. I fasted, prayed, cried, yelled, begged, pleaded, threatened suicide, planned the suicide, went to therapy – and nothing helped. It’s me. It’s a part of me. I didn’t want it, but after I embraced it and felt Jesus’ love for me regardless and a sense of understanding and Him still using me for his purposes and good? Man, look, I ain’t worried ’bout nothin’. The problem is YOU, not me. God and I are good. Believe me.

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Christians, you’ve got to stop telling gay believers that they are demonically possessed and controlled just because you don’t like the thought of two men having anal sex. Many gays are not even having sex, but when you hear they’re gay, that’s the first thing you think of. Gay people are more than the piece of biology between their legs – just like you. I really wish that someone would have stopped that young man and said, “Even if you do like men, Jesus still loves you and will help you live your life however you two work out.”

Christians have to accept that gay believers exist and they’re not going away. Gay believers love the Lord and are the body of Christ just like straight believers. Gay believers have left the church not because of the 8 verses that seem to speak against homosexuality in the Bible, but because of attitudes among believers that regard gay people as nothing but gutter scum. That whole, “Love the sinner, hate the sin” nonsense is just that – nonsense. You’re telling someone that you can’t accept them as a whole person when no one tells you that. You might not like what you think happens in their bedroom, but aside from that, what else do you have against the person to constantly harp on them about their lifestyle? Who does that to you?!

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When the Holy Spirit is pulling gay Christians out of their closets and letting them know that they have unconditional love and a more real relationship with the Lord than you might have as a heterosexual Christian hiding in your “deliverance” and the gay believer can back it up with proof of how God is real and moving in their lives more than your life as an “I did everything right” straight Christian, you have no foundation to stand on. If God called them out of the closet and they’re happier and freer in Him than before, who are you to try to push them back in just to make you feel comfortable, straight Christian?

Sure, God can deliver this man from homosexuality. He can do anything. This man can also go on to marry a woman. You can do anything you put your mind to as a human being, even if it means lying to yourself for 20-25 years, marrying the opposite sex, having some kids, and then saying, “I just can’t take it anymore,” one fateful divorce-filled day. For whom were you proving that you were delivered – God (who knows who you fully are already) or people (who only know you in bits and pieces and support your “delivered” facade)?

I pray that this young man finds peace in God above all else, in whatever form that takes.

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Category: Christianity, Gay

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  1. Very very good, sensitive article

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