Father, please forgive me for my sins. My pride. My hatred. My jealousy. My unhealthy cynical annoyance with your children. I don’t care for your people well. I am sorry for indulging and liking my sinfulness and bathing in the filth of my sin. I have no want to not want my sin. I want the pleasure of it. The rush of it. I am a sinner in need of your daily mercy, grace, justice, and rebuke. Please sanctify me, even though I really don’t want you to do that.
Please help me and please help your Church.
Exodus International, Alan Chambers, Mike Haley, Joseph Nicolosi, Richard A. Cohen, Tim Timmerman, Christopher Yuan, Julie Rodgers, Sam Alberry, Wesley Hill and Henri Nouwen, all the non-Christian gay men I know are people you have used in my life. People who have helped me in my walk as I win and lose everyday fights with indulging in sinful sexual behavior that goes against your beauty and creation.
You have given me a glass half full of wisdom and knowledge at such a young age so I can live to pass the trauma of dealing with same-sex lust and understanding the goodness of same-sex attraction.
Exodus International was my go to as a 16-year-old learning about my same-sex attraction and my same-sex lust.
Learning from Alan Chambers about what you were doing in my life as I am being sanctified by you to become more like your son was a blessing. He was a blessing to thousands as well.
Mike Haley being the one to open up the door in my life that helped me realize there was a lot more than my own sinfulness that leads to my same-sex attraction and same-sex lust.
Joseph Nicolosi and Richard A. Cohen giving my psychological insight into my trauma as a child.
Tim Timmerman opening up the door to all sorts of ideas of how Friendship can be beautiful and life-giving and redeeming and be a tool for inner healing!
Christopher Yuan meeting with me twice! Relating to my pain and want for your kingdom to be fully here. Another beautiful person who has helped thousands of your children.
Julie Rodgers when she wasn’t gay affirming reminding me what was important especially through our loneliness.
Sam Alberry being a leader and trying to help The Church remember the importance of Friendship and Celibacy, especially in such a narrow-minded community such as the Gospel Coalition writers.
Wesley Hill and Henri Nouwen helping me process the falling out of my best friend and I (and a community) who met deep deep needs in my life the Church wasn’t ready to meet yet.
Especially the last two people, Thank you for inspiring them to write beautifully about the deep intimate connection of Friendship.
Father, your Church is beautiful. Your Bride is beautiful. You have given me everything I needed to understand what the hell was happening with me and my same-sex attraction and same-sex lust.
You have given me a glass half full. All these Christians have taught me your truth and all these men have told me the same truths using different language and experiences!
But your Bride became divisive with the community of the Nashville Statement and what seemed to be a reaction to that through the community of the Revoice Conference.
I thought the Church was one for a while on this topic (just lacking on the meeting the needs part of Christians that deal with same-sex attraction and lust) until these two crowds formed.
I know you used the Exodus International Conferences to meet the very deep needs of thousands of men and women that just needed to tell someone,
“I'm attracted to the same sex.
You were there. You helped thousands of thousands of Christians. Men and women came out of sexual addictions and dealt with childhood trauma. Thank you for giving me the chance to meet those children of yours. You used Exodus to save marriages and church relationships.
Exodus was your hands and feet for a time.
But God, there was baggage there. “ex-gay baggage.” “Wanting to change attraction” baggage. I know it changed its stance towards the end of its ministry, but it's not seen as a good time in this story.
Father, you used the Nashville Statement to help the Church know to some extent, some theological truth. You apparently brought together all the great modern day evangelical leaders to write a statement of Truth. Father, in my opinion, it was a missed opportunity to help your churches deal with this topic pastorally, which seems more important than making statements that we already have in local churches.
And God, you used a group of men, including some above that I mentioned, to affirm such a sloppy statement of sexuality not addressing the idol of marriage in your church and not to mention, none of them talked about meeting the practical needs of Christians that deal with this.
and now Father, you are making me deal with Revoice.
I don’t like it, but I know you are there using it.
Using a community to meet the very needs of Christians that feel deep deep pain as they deal with this. I saw your children crying as we worshipped you.
I thought, “Father, why are you not meeting their needs at a local Church and doing it at a Conference?”
I met so many Christians that went to this conference in secret because they are afraid to trust their own local church community with this, such a tragedy. I felt the pain of this burden more than usual this week knowing so many of your children at this conference will be going home hiding and crying waiting to be fully known in a safe church.
As Tim says, “To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”
This conference seemed to be the only time that some Christians actually feel one with the Body of Christ. It’s not something I identify with because I fight so hard to feel one with your Sons’ body through my local church and friends, and sometimes it feels true. But it was a fight not all can handle. Straight men truly don’t think like me, neither do their wives.
So I get the unity these Christians felt as they ask why is the Church like this.
“Where are you God?”
We evangelicals stress the local church, and devotion to it, why conferences for Christian community? Why statements for the whole country disregarding city culture and modern terms and language?
Father we all live in different contexts, cultures, denominations, cities with better weather year round than others,
Why do all these WHITE MEN from last year and this year who speak at Revoice get the power to generalize your Church? Act as if their narrative is the right narrative, they say it's not, but they seem to act like it.
They are not talking about Hispanic Churches, Black Churches. Their ideas will never fly in my home church in Norwalk, Ca which is all Hispanic.
“Celibate Partnerships? What the hell? Do we now need to accept these ideas? Ideas that have no room in a Los Angeles Hispanic church context or Black Church context.
Father, “Why was there 600 Christian men and women who are Gay/SSA/ etc. who feel so much pain and grief and trauma and joy the only ones meeting together to affirm your church needs help with this topic?
Father, Where are your pastors? Where are you Gospel Coalition leaders? Where are your Nashville Statement signers? They should have been there to see the heaviness of this community, yet the beautiful devotion they have to you and your ways.
It is true, something was different worshipping you with these brothers and sisters that "get it." They know the agony I have been through. The imperfect sacrifice I try to make to you daily. It felt like the worship I gave to you with MY OTHER BROTHERS at the YOB retreat.
Father, why don’t my own friends want to go to this Conference? They go to marriage retreats, marriage conferences, anniversary trips, why can’t they go and learn about the struggles in my life. Meet and see the hundreds of Christians that deal with homosexuality. Father, I want them to feel the weight of this burden that will one day give us glory.
Why does their marriage always come first?
All the fuckin time.
Lord, I didn’t want to hear the heavy TRUTHFUL jabs that Revoice speakers said about your Church’s idolization of marriage. It fed my want for justice. It fed my anger and bitterness. I wanted my friends and YOUR church leaders and Nashville Statement signers to hear these jabs. These statements are truth filled with pain and anger. I wanted my friends to hear everyone laugh so they can know how ridiculous and caught up they are in their own marriage. They hear me bitch and complain on facebook, but there was power in these jabs at the conference. When we laughed at the idolization of marriage jokes and the loneliness your church puts us in, our laughter was like a beautiful choir of pain and sorrow and strength.
But as I have learned from Dallas Willard’s Renovation of the Heart, “No amount of justice can satisfy my needs in my life.” As an Enneogram 8, that’s rough for me, but I know it’s true for my life.
But how can you gift of marriage become such a demon against your New established Kingdom?
This crowd got me, they understood me, I was no one special dealing with something unique, I was “Normal.”
God, it’s true, YOUR CHURCH idolizes marriage! Everything revolves around their want for marriage and their system of marriage.
We can’t fit in that system. We are dying here.
Father, I hated the feeling of tribalism I saw when the Revoice Crowd cheered and laughed and mocked at the mentioning of Christopher Yuan and Rosario Butterfield. I didn’t want to be in this tribe.
Christopher Yuan, a man that has helped me soooo much in my life was thrown under the bus.
A tribe that is supposed to be accepting of all GAY/SSA Christians and labels we want to use accept any EX-GAY label or any Christian that found reparative therapy principles or techniques helpful for them.
DAMN anyone who uses labels of EX-GAY or found reparative therapy helpful! ( I don't find reparative therapy helpful all the time, but it is insightful)
Father, I hated the Tribalism! That speaker apologized, but the crowd showed its heart. Or at least some of the crowd.
This Side B Community.
Father, they are hurting, in pain. They have been hurt, pushed aside, left to die, told they can be straight, abandoned.
We all have been given Washed and waiting (which is a beautiful book) because reading that will solve all our relational and theological needs.
Pastors don’t want to deal with us, elders don’t want to change the systems of the church, congregations don’t want to acknowledge the idol of marriage in their life.
and we are left to defend ourselves. So we have another Conference, not Exodus, Revoice, what at times seemed to me like a prep rally.
Nashville Statement Signers and Revoice speakers don’t want to accept each other’s ideas about language.
They won’t even meet together. At least not publicly.
Father, these are your leaders.
Please, Replace them if they can’t work together!
Give us leaders that are charitable to each other. Leaders that will go on retreats with each other and not condemn each other.
Father, Revoice is good for your Church! It’s good for your Church leaders. Your Children. MY brothers and sisters.
I accept it. I accept ideas that are not like mine. I accept the redefining of the word GAY, although I think it is offensive to GAY people who believe attraction and behavior are synonymous.
I accept, I accept, I accept.
If this is your will! Your will to help your Bride meet the needs of your children that are GAY/SSA/EX-GAY don’t want any attraction to the same sex…..
Bring this Conference to Orange County, CA!!!!!
We need it! WE are ready for this conference. We don’t have much pride in our Denominations here!
Use the NON-DOMS to host this Conference and learn from Nate Collins and his team that has sacrificed and worked hard for this to take place!
Use the Korean Churches to bring loads upon loads of Christians to learn about this topic!
Rebuke the Hispanic and black churches for their hidden Homophobic attitudes here! Call their SHIT out Father! Use Revoice to deal with the toxic ideas of male leadership in our Los Angeles Orange County Culture.
Father, use Orange County to show the rest of your American Evangelical Churches that we can get along and deal with a very important topic.
That we can cross denominational lines and team up with the non-doms and come together.
As Pastors, Elders, Professors, Friends, Family, Therapists, Church members, help us come together and learn from Revoice about how to meet the needs of Christians and non-Christians that are LGBTQ/SSA/EX-GAY, etc.
Because when we can meet their needs, I hope that means we can meet the needs of anyone who is a sexual minority.
Heterosexual crossdressers who hide this deep within their souls.
Men and Woman who deal with pedophilia.
Men and Woman who deal with wanting to be an animal or have sex with an animal.
Father, we are broken! Teach us true grace and acceptance of all sinfulness we have as humans.
So many of us have been mortality wounded as a child and that causes us to go down such a wicked and evil path away from you and your heaven.
Let the Church know they can do this! They can be your hands and feet!
They can cast down the idol of Marriage.
They can accept the great GIFT of Celibacy!
A gift that frees us up to love and love and love!
Teach a proper view of Celibacy! A historic view of Celibacy.
Not a view that says all Christians who are not married are celibate. Teach singles the need to practice chastity and learn what that means to be in a period of singleness.
Let Celibacy be a calling that is taught in Sunday schools, private Christian schools, statements from parents, “One day if you’re celibate you can love so many of your non-Christians friends, a way that your Father and I can’t do.”
Let Celibacy not be a reaction to a consequence the way Revoice speakers see it.
Let it be an acceptance of a lifestyle of service the way the beginning of the Church saw it.
and Teach your Church that you love when we honor you with our singleness through chastity.
Striaght, Gay, SSA, Widowed, Young, Old, divorced.
and you Love when Married folks practice chastity.
Father, we are a mess, I am a mess. We need your help. We need you. Revoice is complicated and complex and rebellious and helpful and thought-provoking and needed.
Father, and please bless the 4T’S and the Church, may it be a way in which the church can have some practical steps in meeting the needs of all your Children through Touch, Time, Transparency, and Teamwork.
Father, please Revoice to your Bride. And help bring Revoice to Orange County so it can help everyone here. We are ready to be involved in your plan.
"Your Kingdom Come, Your will be done"
And help us forgive our enemies and brothers and sisters.
and help us prepare the table for when your son's kingdom is fully here.