Help. I reckon that after wondering about it for some time that I believe the “ex-gay” thing is a sham. However, I wanted to ask how many of these schemes use “laying on of hands” etc. Because I have very little self-confidence to make judgments and because I saw a Leanne Payne book called something like “Restoring Sexual Wholeness Through Healing Prayer” I find myself thinking that maybe God still does require change – even though the thought depresses me. I enjoy being who I am but this at times threatens my whole spiritual life – it’s a really depression at times. Also, I’ve just met someone and don’t want these doubts to poison new relationships.
Your help would really be valued.
Let me first say that your conclusion about ex-gay ministries being a sham is exactly correct. Laying on of hands or not these ministries are not about healing but rather power and control with an unhealthy dose of fear.
Does God require that we change? What God requires of us is clearly spelled out in the Old Testament:
“He has made clear to you, what is good; and what is desired from you by the Lord; only doing justice, and loving mercy, and walking without pride before your God.” Micah 6:8
This applies to every aspect of our lives, including our sexual experiences. The only changes you need to make are along these lines. Are you are acting with justice to God’s people, are you merciful (forgiving) and are you living and walking humble with your God? If not, then changes need to be made! That is the truth of our God. Jesus reinforced this in this conversation with a religious leader;
“And one of the scribes came, and hearing their argument together, and seeing that he had given them a good answer, put the question to him, Which law is the first of all?
29 Jesus said in answer, The first is, Give ear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord;
30 And you are to have love for the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.
31 The second is this, Have love for your neighbor as for yourself. There is no other law greater than these.
32 And the scribe said to him, Truly, Master, you have well said that he is one, and there is no other but he:
33 And to have love for him with all the heart, and with all the mind, and with all the strength, and to have the same love for his neighbor as for himself, is much more than all forms of offerings.
34 And when Jesus saw that he gave a wise answer, he said to him, You are not far from the kingdom of God. And every man after that was in fear of questioning him any more.” Mark 12:28-34
Finally, my dear child of God, do not be depressed about what others say you should be or how they think you should act, rather hold onto this sure promise of The Christ:
“I have said all these things to you so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble: but take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Editor-in-Chief of Whosoever and Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church of Atlanta, Rev. Paul M. Turner (he/him) grew up in suburban Chicago and was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1989. He and his husband Bill have lived in metro Atlanta since 1994, have been in a committed partnership since the early 1980s and have been legally married since 2015.