Monday 19 July 2010 20.00hrs
Michael Glatze totally self-identified as gay from the age of 13. He founded a media outreach group for young gays. He never questioned his same-sex desires. He questioned everything except his homosexuality. He simply assumed that he had been born like it.
But the death of his own father made Michael look at his own health and literally put the fear of God into him. He even began to question his sexuality, something he was told never to do. Just looking at ex-gay websites felt like he was breaking some kind of unwritten law. It was like a taboo subject, like a form of social control.
'I believed in things that made no sense'
As soon as Michael began noticing the nature of his desires and believing they could change, the realisation, he says, 'became very religious'.
'When I started moving through the process of seeking God's will, and trying to understand what that meant, I was buying less into things I had long believed. I had believed in things that made no sense - they held no weight.' He saw the life he was living was a fraud.
Michael found a sense of freedom. He also began making up his own mind: 'When I started to read the Gospels and specifically what Jesus wrote, that's when I started to gain an understanding of what was actually happening to me - the notion of a new life.'
He says: 'In the Gospels, Jesus was giving up his life for my sake - giving me a new life.'
Campaigning lesbian questioned her life
Charlene Cothran was a campaigning lesbian for 29 years, organising and participating in marches, editing a gay periodical and lobbying for gay rights.
Like Michael, she experienced for herself the power struggles within gay relationships - so much so that her close friend was shot dead by that woman's lesbian ex-lover. Charlene witnessed some of the violence that led up to the murder and said afterwards: 'I stood at the very gates of hell',
'Oh my God!' is a common expression of surprise but by the grace of God, Charlene began to question her life and knew that God was asking her whether she would give him her heart and soul. And that's what she did.
'We were NOT born this way'
Charlene says: 'Know that we were NOT born this way. This myth was fashioned by the gay establishment as a basis for changing laws in favour of gay rights.
'Do not resist God's call on your life; get alone with God and let him minster the truth directly to you. Accept Jesus Christ - enjoy your life to a new degree, without the burden of sin and with all God's promises on your side. Break free.
'It's possible to have a better time than you did in the clubs, in the parks, better than all those secret encounters with folks whose names you've long forgotten.'
What did Jesus say about human sexuality?
When Jesus spoke about sexual morality, he quoted from the two first chapters of the first book of the Bible, Genesis, about heterosexual 'one flesh' marriage!
'Have you not read', Jesus asked, 'That he which made them at the beginning made them male and female? And said: For this cause shall a man leave father and mother and cleave to his wife and they twain shall be one flesh?' (Gospel of Matthew Chapter 19)
So Jesus taught heterosexuality. And that 'one flesh' union the Bible speaks of is something only a man and a woman can achieve. Our private parts are designed by God for each other, just as he designed man and woman for each other spiritually and emotionally as well.
Trying to solve the puzzle with only half the pieces
In the words of psychiatrist Dr David Reuben, gays and lesbians are 'trying to solve the puzzle with only half the pieces'.
Try as they might, a man can never be 'one flesh' with another man, and a woman can never be 'one flesh' with another woman. That search for what has never existed might explain the rampant promiscuity in the gay world, orders of magnitude greater than among heterosexuals, even according to homosexual researchers.
Messing up the body God gave us
And of course the promiscuity brings in its wake a raft of sexually-transmitted diseases. Gay men are now the main reservoir for syphilis and rectal gonorrhoea. It is a disgrace that children are now being told in our schools that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality.
According to the surveys, fewer than 2% of adults are homosexual, although you would think it was more from the noise the media make about it. But around 25% of adolescents can be confused about their sexuality. Most grow out of that phase but some can be persuaded that it is their 'true identity', and once in, it is hard to get free. So never label yourself as gay.
It's time to speak of freedom, freedom from unnatural desires and freedom from sin. As Michael Glatze and Charlene Cothran showed, a 'gay identity' is a lie. They walked away from it by the power of Jesus Christ.
Jesus, friend of sinners, is tough on sin
You will hear Jesus described as 'friend of sinners' but that's not because he ever condoned sin. It's because He showed sinners the error of their ways and said that through him they could get right with God. Jesus's first words in his public ministry were 'The
is at hand. Repent and believe the Gospel.' (Mark 1:15)
Jesus is tough on sin and tough on the causes of sin. He condemned those who lead the young astray by saying they should have millstones tied around their necks and be thrown into the sea.
So homosexuals are going to hell?
All sinners are going to hell. God's Commandments can never be repealed: sin is worshipping anything other than God, blasphemy, pride, disrespect to parents and those in authority, murder, stealing, lying, adultery, envy, lust and all sexual sin - not just sodomy. To break any of God's Commandments is to stand condemned.
But we are bringing good news! If you repent of all you have done wrong, believe and call out to Jesus for mercy, He will forgive you. In Jesus, who never sinned, God became one of us, and died on the Cross to reconcile to God all who would believe in Him. When He was crucified, Jesus took our evil deeds - our sins - upon Him and clothed us in his righteousness.
However far we have gone away from God, He will welcome us back if we recognise that we have done wrong and are ready to put things right. 'For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.'
'All' means you too, but Jesus has the power to forgive you and give you a new life. Turn from your sins, call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Jesus gave his life on the cross so that all those who believe in Him could be justified before God by faith in His once-for-all sacrifice of Himself.
Ye shall be free indeed
But it did not end in his death. Jesus rose from the dead and Christians live in His risen life, through the power of the Holy Spirit whom Jesus sends.
We have seen that men and women have been released from homosexual desires. No-one has to stay gay. Every person identifying as gay or lesbian can walk away to freedom through belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. 'If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.'
After he rose from the dead, Jesus ascended into heaven, and now has the right to rule over all the kingdoms of the world. Not only is Jesus King, but He is also the righteous judge. One day He will return in judgment, to redeem his own and condemn the wicked and the unbelievers. How will you stand in that day?
'The way, the truth and the life'
You can't cover your own sin, only Jesus Christ is the way to heaven. He said: 'I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.' He also said: 'For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' That promise still stands today.
Bible quotations, from the Authorised Version: Matt 19:4-6; John 3:16, 8:36, 14:6; Romans 3:23, 10:13.