Showing posts with label homosexuality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label homosexuality. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The APA is Wrong about Homosexuality and Gender Identity Disorder

I often hear people refer to the APA (American Psychological Association) and their stated beliefs that Homosexuality and Gender Identity Dysphoria are no longer "mental disorders." 

I want to discuss this, but first let me explain that in MY view, the term "mental disorder" or "disorder" is not intended as an insult or a shaming statement at all. In fact, for me personally, it was a huge relief of shame - because I finally realized and was affirmed in the fact that my Same-Sex Attraction was not my fault and was not a "choice" nor was it simply a spiritual problem that I "just hadn't prayed enough." 

I also want to point out that for something to be a "disorder" does not necessarily mean that there is an easy "cure."  Many physical and mental challenges are not "curable" and most that are today were not even treatable a few hundred years ago. The effectiveness of therapy or other remedies is something I can discuss later in an other post. It is not relevant to the question of whether Erroticized Same-Sex Attraction or Gender Dysphoria are or are not "disorders." 

When I started Joel 2:25 International (Facebook.com/Joel225International) I consulted with over 200 psychologists, psychotherapists, and licensed professional counselors who assist individuals like myself with healing from Same-Sex Attraction Disorder.  Most of them are also members of the APA - even though they publicly disagree with some of the APA's current positions.
The difference between their views and the APA is a philosophical viewpoint. The APA has adopted a Social Constructionist philosophy and rejected the original Essentialist philosophy.

Here is a perfect example of the Social Constructionist philosophy at work in the mental health field: 

A 30 year old lady named Jewel Shuping went to a Social Constructionist therapist and said that she had always believed she was "supposed to have been born blind." At the time, Miss Shuping had perfectly good eyesight. 

Miss Shuping went to an psychologist who ascribes to the APA's current philosophy of Social Constructionism. This APA-approved psychologist gave her eye-numbing drops and then sprinkled drain cleaner into each pupil - which caused her to go blind.

If she had gone to one of the 200 psychologists that I identified, who subscribe to the Essentialist viewpoint, they would have focused on treating her "Body Identity Integrity Disorder" and at least attempted to help her accept her own body and her own eyesight while working to resolve whatever emotional traumas or wounds may have caused her to desire to be blind.

Essentialists such as myself, believe as Plato, Aristotle, and all monotheistic religions have taught for the past 5,000+ years that for any specific entity (human or animal), there is a set of attributes which are necessary to its identity and function.

We believe that gender identity and sexual orientation are grounded in biological reality. Our body tells us who we are.. I believe it is harmful (and an act of Shadow) whenever we attempt to construct or assemble/ disassemble a different reality in which gender and sexual identity are out of synchrony with biology. 

Let's examine a hypothetical situation (which is probably already real life example in some places) 

"John," a teenager in California, says that he believes he was born to be a coffee table and that he desperately wants to be a table. He goes to a therapist for "help." 

An Essentialist therapist would get to work to understand what led him to this and what wounds or traumas he has that may need healing.

A Social Constructionist therapist would arrange for him to have his legs amputated at the knees and for him to undergo multiple surgeries so that his arms and legs will bend at the same angle and reach the same level so that he can more resemble a coffee table. - After all, that's what he was "born to be." 




If a man has male genitalia and male chromosomes (XY) and yet believes that he was born to be a female, he has a disorder. I believe he needs compassion and it is likely he has suffered a LOT of emotional pain in his life which has led to this. I do not know if there is a "cure" but I do know that injecting hormones and mutilating his body is not the answer. It is also the opposite of compassion to send him to the Ladies' restroom. There is nothing compassionate about that. What he needs is real compassion and to eventually accept the reality that he is a man.

The "gay" identity that I embraced for over twelve years of my life was a false construct. The human body is designed very clearly for heterosexuality. There are no men or women whose reproductive systems are designed to create new life through sexual intercourse with members of their own gender. The primary purpose of sexual intercourse in the creation of new life. The secondary purpose is the marital bond and life-long relationship between the husband and wife. 

Even if one rejects pro-creation and marriage, there are psychological injuries that occur when sexual relationships occur without monogamy and without the gender compatibility of male and female. "Gay" identified psychologist Daryl Bem explains in his "Exotic Becomes Erotic" model that
  "what is exotic - that is, mysterious - to a boy in childhood is what will become erotic to him in adulthood." 
This Social Constructionist gay activist does not seem to recognize the fact that it is at least problematic for a boy to see masculinity as "exotic" something outside of himself. He clearly does not understand that normality is that which functions according to its design. 

Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a Catholic psychologist who embraces the Essentialist viewpoint responded to Bem: 
"When a man finds masculinity mysterious and exotic, and seeks it outside himself, we believe he is living in a false self and something is not working.”
By design, two members of the same gender are also incompatible for romantic love. The draw to this type of relationship is driven by emotional wounds and unmet emotional needs. Pursuing that type of bond deepens those wounds, destroys real love, and causes psychological harm to both individuals. That does not mean that individuals in theses situations are incapable of real love,  but to the extent that real Love is present, it is despite the nature of the relationship, rather than because of it.

I realize what I've said here will offend many people. This is more than an abstract argument or judgement. In addition to looking at 5,000+ years of human experience, I also came to this conclusion after examining all of my own past relationships and that of everyone else I had observed over several years. These included (most especially) those "long term gay couples" who had stayed together for 20+ years. They seemed even worse off than the individuals who simply "hooked up" randomly. The emotional harm from this arrested state of development was really pronounced in every aspect of their lives.



The viewpoint that humanity is designed for heterosexuality is not a phobia or pathological fear and it is not bigotry. Natural Law philosophy says that this view derives from humankind's collective, intuitive knowledge - a natural instinctive conscience.

Social Constructionism in the Religious Context
When I was in my teens and 20's, I went to several "gay friendly" churches and tried to convince myself that they were right. All of them attempted to explain that (in their interpretation) the scriptures were not really referring to homosexuality or at least not "committed monogamous gay couples."

Even though they seemed to convince themselves that the behavior was not a "sin," they never even attempted to explain how this was some new kind of "vocation" or calling and/or that it was part of God's plan. The best they could do was make the assumption that God just didn't have a plan. They were applying the same Social Constructionist logic to the divine and this manifested itself in several areas.

The "gay friendly" churches I attended all initially seemed to be like a normal mainstream Christian church with the only exception being their "enlightened" views on homosexuality. In a very short time though, I began to notice many other changes. In one church, for example, they began skipping over large sections of the Bible within our bible study groups. In another, they initially had been ending their prayers by saying "in Jesus name we pray" and then changed this to "In your many names, we pray."

At the root of Social Construction and the attack on Essentialism is the denial of the existence of absolute Truth. Atheist Richard Dawkins repeatedly refers to Essentialism as a "moralistic infection." In a 2014 article here he argues for why Essentialsm should be forceably "retired:"
"does an embryo become a 'person'? Only a mind infected with essentialism would ask such questions. An embryo develops gradually from single-celled zygote to newborn baby, and there’s no one instant when 'personhood' should be deemed to have arrived. It would be better—though still not ideal—to say the embryo goes through stages of being a quarter human, half human, three quarters human . . . 

Abortion would no more be 'murder' than killing a chimpanzee—or, by extension, any animal. Indeed an early-stage human embryo might defensibly be afforded less moral protection than an adult pig, which is clearly well equipped to suffer. The essentialist urge toward rigid definitions of 'human' (in debates over abortion and animal rights) and "alive" (in debates over euthanasia and end-of-life decisions) makes no sense in the light of evolution and other gradualistic phenomena."

- atheist Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion
Since Social Constructionism elevates human will above physical reality and even God's will; it does not take long before it attempts to deconstruct monotheism in its entirety. I have personally come to the conclusion that to believe people are "born TO BE gay" really requires a fundamental denial of the existence of God.
Pax Christi,

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Setting Love in Order

One book that has helped me tremendously is Setting Love in Order by Fr. Mario Bergner. 



This is his personal journey out the "gay" identity and life and through healing of his Same-Sex Attraction. This is a powerful book and quick read. It details many of the common underlying emotional wounds that drive Same-Sex Attraction, but also provides a blueprint for understand the path of healing. I highly recommend it. You can order the book here: http://www.redeemedlives.org/books
(It is available in printed and electronic formats in English, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Latvian, Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish


Anyway, I am excited to announce that Fr. Mario Bergner will be our special guest speaker for our Joel 2:25 full-group video-conference this coming Sunday January 24th at 3:00 PM Texas time (21:00 GMT).
https://rightsignature.com/forms/Joel-2-25-Partici-55e0b2/token/410568c383a







If you would like to join us, please email me at: Jeremy@Joel225.org  

Note: You will need to sign our Participant Agreement form which is available here: 

Pax Christi,
Jeremy

Jeremy@Joel225.org
http://www.Joel225.org

P.S.: We have a full-group meeting with a guest speaker on the fourth Sunday of each month. Here are our upcoming guests: http://www.Joel225.org/j225_003.htm

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Harvest is Plentiful


"The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few." - Luke 10:2

I'm exciting about the ministry work that God has called us to in Joel 2:25. We have been reaching wounded hearts in 104 countries over the past year and seen lives transformed by unconditional love. There is still so much work to be done though. The Harvest is plentiful, but the workers (and resources) are few. 

While there are no paid staff, we have significant costs including video-conferencing, publishing, webhosting, training, and eventually we hope to provide sponsorships for those unable to pay for conferences and retreats.

Based on very conservative estimates (3%), there are at least


217 Million who struggle with Same-Sex Attraction




Many churches refuse to talk with them.  

Others tell them lies.




They are by far the largest DELIBERATELY un-reached people group in the World.





Pax Christi,
Jeremy Schwab
Founder & Executive Director
Joel 2:25 International, Inc.
http://www.Joel225.org
Like us on Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/Joel225International







Joel 2:25 International, Inc. was incorporated in the state of Texas on November 26, 2013 and is a non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors and operating under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. All donations to Joel 2:25 International, Inc. are tax deductive.  EIN: 46-4342662

Friday, January 9, 2015

TLC's new reality show “My Husband’s Not Gay.”

Several of my friends are in this. (Actually, I think I know everyone on the show.)
http://nypost.com/2015/01/05/these-women-married-men-who-like-men-and-theyre-all-ok-with-it/

I'm thankful for the courage and bravery of my friends Curtis & Tera, Prett &MeganTy, Jeff & Tanya and others from NorthStar and Joel 2:25 who have been willing to share their testimonies with many of us for several years and now in a very public way. We may have differences in theology, but I have always been proud of their faith and courage to live authentically and now their willingness to share their stories, especially with the backlash they face.

Next week's Journey into Manhood weekend is completely FULL



Journey Into Manhood is a 48-hour immersion in intensive emotional-healing work, designed specifically for men who are self-motivated and serious about resolving unwanted homosexual attractions.



I went in 2009 and it opened up a whole new world for me - leading to major healing and restoration. 



Here is a short interview I gave about my own experience: 


Next week's Journey into Manhood weekend in Israel is completely FULL, but there are still a few opportunities for 2015: 

  • Feb 27-Mar 1, 2015: Florida
  • Mar 20-22, 2015: Arizona
  • May 22-24, 2015: Utah
  • May 29-31, 2015: Pennsylvania
  • Sep 11-13, 2015: Indiana
  • Oct 2-4, 2015: Texas
  • Oct 16-18, 2015: Poland
Click here to register: http://www.PeopleCanChange.com/jim


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New Groups & Opportunities for Healing in Indiana, California, & Texas

Hi, 
In our Joel 2:25 Online Chapel, we have been meeting every day for Lauds and Compline in English and Spanish. We are hoping to add a few new groups soon including Vespers and at least one Women's Prayer Group (our others are co-ed). If you or anyone you know would be interested in joining us, please let me know or check out our Online Chapel at: http://www.Joel225.org/JoelPrayer 

Also, I just found out that there are only a few spaces left for the upcoming Journey into Manhood (JiM) weekends in California, Indiana, and Texas.
  • September 19-21, 2014:  near Bloomington, Indiana
  • September 26-28, 2014: Southern California
  • October 17-19, 2014: near Houston, Texas


I would HIGHLY recommend this experience. It was a huge breakthrough for ME and many others that I know. Here is a short video where I talked about my own experience: 




To register for the JiM weekend, click here: http://www.PeopleCanChange.com/jim  There are sponsorships available and I have been told that everyone who applies for financial aide receive some kind of help - so don't let that stand in your way. It is worth 100 therapy sessions and well worth a flight, etc. 


Also, if anyone here (or anyone you know) can benefit, we are starting a new video-conference group in Ukrainian that will meet every Wednesday.  http://joel225.org/j225_016.htm Please email: Ukrainian@Joel225.org for more info. 

Pax Christi,
Jeremy Schwab


P.S.: Here is another video with more information on Journey into Manhood


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Republican Party of Texas - Platform for 2014 - please pray and help, if you can

I would like to share with you this resolution which I drafted and submitted for consideration to be added as a plank in the Republican Party of Texas 2014 Platform. I've drafted resolutions and lobbied the legislature for conservative causes in the past, but never for such a personal issue.  

Here is one news article explaining the situation: http://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbrown/2012/06/01/another_outrage_in_california  

As you know from my other blog posts, I lead a ministry based here in Texas, but with national outreach and we and many others have already being impacted by this new law that liberals are pushing in all 50 states.

Reparative Therapy and this type of ministry work played a significant role in saving my life and I have been blessed to help many others over the past four years. Recently though, this ministry work has been under attack across the country and in some states Republican legislators and Governors have been silent or complicit in passing these laws. 

After California and New Jersey passed these laws last year, I began reaching out to Republican State Legislators and State Senators to discuss the law. In Washington State, the bill flew through their House without any opposition from Republicans, but once we talked with the GOP state senators and they came to understand the full story, they stood up and blocked this awful bill. The same has been the case now for eleven other states. 

In each case, it took significant efforts to educate GOP legislators and rally grassroots support before their GOP lawmakers realized the importance of this issue to religious freedom. Since this bill is being introduced in all 50 states, it is a critical and unique addition to the State GOP which is not fully covered by the current language.  I presented the resolution and my explanations to the Texas Republican Assembly and the Eagle Forum and they both agreed and endorsed this resolution. I would have asked for other endorsements as well, but I wasn't sure who to contact.

Anyway, I have been told that this issue is one that many people have additional questions about so I drafted this brief packet to supplemental information explaining the reasons behind this platform amendment.

If (by chance) you are a delegate or alternate to the upcoming Republican State Convention here in Texas this weekend, please take a moment to review. This was approved unanimously by the Platform Committee and will be presented for approval by the full convention this coming Saturday. I will be there and I really hope I can count on your support for this important platform amendment. If you are in another state (or party), I would love to talk with you about how you can adapt this for your upcoming state convention and party platform. This shouldn't be only a GOP or Texas issue. Hopefully, we can ALL agree on the importance of protecting Free Speech and the Freedom of Relgion for ALL. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2014 RPT Platform Amendment Resolution Supporting the Right to Reparative Therapy / SOCE
1)       Proposed Platform Amendment
2)       Why this platform amendment is crucial for protecting free speech and religious freedom in Texas.
3)       What is “Reparative Therapy” and “SOCE” (Sexual Orientation Change Efforts)?
4)       Original (long version) of the resolution – includes additional “whereases” intended to inform
5)       Letters from Psychologists and therapists in Texas and California.
6)       Final version endorsed by the Texas Republican Assembly and Eagle Forum (same “Therefore” fewer “whereases”)

1)       Proposed Platform Amendment
“SUPPORT THE RIGHT TO REPARATIVE THERAPY
We call upon all elected officials in the State of Texas to ensure that licensed therapists, psychologists and counselors in the state of Texas cannot be forbidden or penalized by any licensing board for practicing reparative therapy and supporting clients of any age with sexual orientation change efforts. 

We support the rights of self-motivated teens and urge the passage of laws to protect the right to self-determination by those who experience Unwanted Same-Sex Attraction and seek to live out their values of chastity and/or restoration to heterosexuality.”

2)       Why this platform amendment is crucial for protecting free speech and religious freedom in Texas.
Activists have drafted a bill to be introduced in all 50 states which will ban or severely restrict access to Reparative Therapy and all other SOCE (Sexual Orientation Change Efforts) including religious counseling.  A similar bill is currently under review in the British Parliament which goes much further. A version of the bill will be introduced in the Texas legislature during the next term.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

"Born this Way" ?? hmm...

This should be self-evident, but unfortunately today's philosophy has caused so much confusion. 
"Gender identity and sexual orientation are grounded in biological reality. The body tells us who we are, and we cannot 'construct' - assemble or disassemble - a different reality in which gender and sexual identity are out of synchrony with biology. We cannot have been 'created' for same-sex relationships whose very design makes biological parenthood impossible.
My clients have found homosexual behavior to be maladaptive to their lives. Their impetus for change comes from their deep conviction that underneath it all they really are heterosexual men, and they seek a therapist who sees their inner potential.
These men have an internal conviction that homosexuality is not merely wrong but that - on yet a broader dimension - homosexuality simply isn't 'True.'"
                                  - Dr. Joseph Nicolosi


I found this (above) while re-reading the introduction to 
Shame and Attachment Loss: The Practical Work of Reparative Therapy by Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D. of the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic.


This is one of the best, most comprehensive books on understanding Same-Sex Attraction. I highly recommend it!

Pax Christi,
Jeremy
http://www.Joel225.org

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Please join us in prayer or let us pray for you


In Joel 2:25, we would like to keep YOU in our prayers. In addition to the video-conference support groups, participants gather in small groups at several different times each day to pray using our 24-Hour Prayer Teleconference line.

Currently, we have two establish daily groups that meet at the same time each day for Lauds (Morning Prayer) and Compline (Night Prayer). The prayers we use for each day are available online at:http://universalis.com/

Our dedicated prayer line is up 24/7 so we hope we can add more daily groups soon including Charismatic, evangelical, and Greek Orthodox groups.

If there is anything we can pray for you about or if you would like to join us in one of our prayer groups, please contact us: http://joel225.com/joel_021.htm

Saturday, January 4, 2014

"Becoming a Whole Man" - by David Matheson

Here is a great new resource which is really excellent: http://becomingawholeman.com
Also the website for the "Center for Gender Wholeness": http://genderwholeness.com/

I highly recommend the book and the interactive website. The "Masculine Archetypes" that David Matheson describes are the "King, Warrior, Magician, and Lover." They are also referenced in many other men's programs - including the Promise Keepers

I actually have 8 books on my shelf right now about the "Masculine Archetypes" as well as one on the feminine archetypes. 

Anyway, this website is really awesome!  David Matheson is also one of the creators of the JiM weekend (Journey into Manhood) http://www.PeopleCanChange.com/jim I hope to have him come to one our Joel 2:25 meetings (http://www.Joel225.com) as a guest speaker later this year. 

Pax Christi,
Jeremy

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 has been an Amazing Year!

2013 has been an amazing year!

I have continued to be bless abundantly with opportunities to reach out, encourage, and support others who are making this same journey. I have also received more support, friendship, and real love than ever before. 


The group I has started (originally in my living room) has grown to over 320 men and women from 63 countries who participate via video-conferences. We have formed a non-profit corporation with bylaws and a Board of Directors and have begun the process of becoming a 501c3. Our 15 Small Groups are doing well and I'm blessed to know so many wonderful men and women who have been willing to volunteer to help lead groups and minister to others.

Our nightly prayer group has been meeting every night at 10:30pm for about six months now and my dad has even started joining us. That has been really AWESOME!  We are also starting a Morning Prayer group in January. 

While ALL Joel 2:25 meetings, video-conferences, and support services are FREE and ALWAYS WILL BE, there are many costs that incur to support the growing needs. There are also many things we would like to be able to do to provide more help if the funds were available.

IF you feel led, please consider partnering with us in prayer and if possible financial support: http://joel225.com/joel_021.htm. Also (regardless of whether you can help us), please let us know if there is anything we can be praying for YOU about.

Pax Christi and have a blessed 2014!

Jeremy

http://www.Joel225.com
Map of Joel 2:25 Participants:


Thursday, November 7, 2013

NEW group for PARENT's of Teens with Same-Sex Attraction

I got another email yesterday from a 16 year old seeking help with Same-Sex Attraction (SSA). In addition to the two 15 year olds who emailed a while back, this is starting to weigh on me. All of teens who have emailed me so far have said that they're parents were aware of their SSA and willing to give their written permission for them to participate in a support group. I've sent them all the links/resources as I knew of, but had to explain we do not yet have a Joel 2:25 group for them. I think it's time I stopped stalling though on getting the Parent's group together. 

If there are any Christian Counselors or pastoral leaders who might be willing to volunteer to help lead these, I'd love to talk with them.  I'm also asking guys in our "Young Adults" Small Group (under 27yo) to volunteer to help join these video-conferences and share THEIR experiences and insights with the parents.

I am envisioning this as being separate groups for Fathers and Mothers of Sons and Daughters with SSA or other confusions. 





Pax Christi,
Jeremy
http://www.Joel225.com

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

NEW Group for WOMEN with Unwanted Same-Sex Attraction (Joel225.com)

This is EXCITING NEWS!!!!!


The WOMEN of Joel have tentatively scheduled their first Small Group Video-Conference for Saturday November 16th at 2:00PM CST (20:00 GMT).

http://www.Joel225.com

 If you know a woman with SSA who would be interested, please encourage them to contact Carol at:  info@joel225.com

Here is our website with resources for Women with SSA: http://joel225.com/joel_014.htm
We will be adding a LOT more resources and information soon. :)

Pax Christi,
Jeremy

P.S.:  Here is a link for the Time Zone conversions (Event Time Announcer) for the Women's video-conference group. This covers every major city: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?p1=34&iso=20131116T22&msg=Women%20of%20Joel%202%3a25%20-%20Small%20Group%20Video-Conference&sort=1



Friday, October 11, 2013

National "Coming Out" Day

Today (October 11th) is supposedly "National Coming Out Day." I'm not sure WHO came up with that, but since some many people are talking this new holiday, I wanted to share a different message. This is from my friend Blake, who has been participating in our Joel 2:25 Young Adults Group.  Blake also has many other AWESOME videos on his YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/BlakeSweet1/videos  so I'd encourage everyone to Subscribe and check these out. They are really powerful! 




Also, here is a great article by Andy Comiskey about the trend in some Christian circles to encourage men and women with Same-Sex Attraction to embrace the false identity and the modern "Gay" label:



Andy is the creator of "Living Waters" a program that has helped many of my friends find healing and restoration. http://www.desertstream.org

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

To Change or Not to Change. Is that REALLY the question?

For those of us with Same-Sex Attraction who have chosen NOT to embrace a "Gay" identity or pursue gay "relationships" there often appears to be a great divide. This was going on long before the closing of Exodus and Alan Chamber's apologies last summer. It has also long been a source of contention with the Courage Apostolate, the Catholic equivalent and to a certain extent with JONAH, the Jewish version, StraightWay, the Muslim ministry, and Evergreen (LDS).

There are many of us who have strong convictions and emotions regarding one or the other "side." There are many others who would be somewhere in between these extremes and/or have not formed an opinion. I saw a blog post recently that referred to them as "Side A" and "Side B." 

I have found myself at different times on both sides and there have been times when I have felt strong emotions (Anger, Fear, Sadness, and Joy) at the mere mention of one or the other. I have also received strongly worded emails (10+ pages) from people who very upset with me for mentioning one or the other. 

I doubt I will be able to adequately address the "arguments" in one blog post, but I'd like to examine the underlying emotional charges. I'll try my best to do this objectively, but if you see any biases or errors in my analysis, please let me know. ;)

Past Wounds and Shame from Others
While society's overall attitudes toward Homosexuality and people who experience Same-Sex Attraction has changed rapidly over the last ten years, most of us have at one point in our lives still experienced significant external pressure to "change" and to become "100% heterosexual." This is especially the case for most of us who grew up in Conservative Christian homes where homosexual inclinations themselves (not just immoral homosexual acts) were seen by many churches as "evidence of a reprobate mind." 

I had this experience when I was 14 years old. I had already been struggling with my gay thoughts and feelings for over two years and praying incessantly that God would "change me" when I came home one day to discover that my parents had found and read my journal. 

The next few months were hell on earth for me. My parent's view of the development of SSA (fed by the rhetoric of the preachers they listened to, like John Hagee) was that FIRST, a person sells their soul to the devil and THEN, they eventually develop SSA (Same-Sex Attraction). They could not reconcile how a Christian who REALLY believed could experience any SSA. It was beyond their comprehension at the time. 

Since I KNEW that I had already been pouring my heart out to God and pleading with him for the previous TWO years to cure me of homosexuality, I found especially hurtful that they believed the reason I had SSA was that I obviously didn't really mean it when I had been baptized and professed Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. 

For our family, some relief came when my parents finally talked to a real therapist who was training in Reparative Therapy. It was only then that they began to realize that my Same-Sex Attraction might have some other causes other than just ME being EVIL. 

By that point though, it was too little, too late. I had completely shut down emotionally and was unable and unwillingly to even attempt to discuss the issue with them or anyone else. I managed to convince them that it had all just been "a phase" and we all agreed to not bring up the topic again. It would 19 years before I mentioned the subject to them again.

When I was in my early twenties, I often tried to join "Gay Churches" but always soon realized they had truncated the Gospel significantly in order to make it fit their desires. This grew tiring and I would always try to find my way back to a REAL church. 

The conservative Christian Churches I tried, were usually a little more tolerant than my parents had been, but they also still couldn't seem to understand how my SSA (and by that point Sexual Addiction) had not been completely CURED by my answering the altar call. When I tried to be authentic and explain where I was STILL struggling, it often caught them by surprise and they seem to insist that the answer was more prayer ("and this time REALLY mean it."). 

My own experience is very different from many of my friends who were part of Exodus and/or other Ex-Gay Ministries. Most of them never embraced the Gay identity and many of them never acted out on their homosexual inclinations. They experienced positive nurturing support and love from Church-led ministries which at least understood that they did not CHOOSE to have Same-Sex Attraction and that they were not "EVIL" or "Reprobate" for having experienced SSA.  I probably would have had this experience myself IF I had talked with an actual Ex-Gay ministry instead of trying to find understanding and support from Christians who had never experienced Same-Sex Attraction. 

I believe the attitudes of most Christians have changed over the years, but there are still many who would not really understand how SSA is different from Opposite-Sex Attraction (OSA) and  cannot be controlled or channeled in the same ways. It is VERY different from the OSA struggles described in the book Every Man's Battle (a book that I would now recommend for OSA friends, but discourage my SSA friends from reading). 

For a long time, my own gut reaction to any Church-led or faith-focused ministry addressing SSA was that they were saying what my parents had said that I "Chose to be this way" and/or that I would be 100% straight IF ONLY I had really meant it when I prayed. I realize in retrospect that most faith-based programs are NOT saying this and most of them never have said anything of the sort. 

Reactions to "Reorientation Therapy," "Reparative Therapy" or "Sexual Orientation Change Efforts": I have often received visceral emotional reactions from my Christian SSA friends whenever I have mentioned anything regarding "Orientation Change" or even emotional healing programs like "Journey into Manhood"In almost all cases, the individuals with the biggest emotional charges have NEVER actually experienced any form of Reparative Therapy. The reactions vary slightly, but the biggest emotional charge tends to be regarding the expectation of "change." It seems likely that their reactions are based on the same emotional wounding that I received (although from a different perspective). One friend of mine said it best in this sentence: "How dare you suggest that I need therapy?!"  - In essence, most of them feel that the mention of Reparative Therapy or any form of Psychological assistance for reducing Same-Sex Attraction is implying that they are Mentally Ill.

They seem to think that the purpose of "Reparative Therapy" or other emotional healing and "change programs" are to FIX THEM or make them 100% straight. While there are some people who have experienced this complete change through therapy and/or prayer, it is usually not the case that we experience 100% change instantaneously. 

This is the case for every other area of life as well. Many times a drug addict will answer an Altar Call at a church and surrender their lives to Christ. This is where the healing BEGINS, but it is not necessarily where it ENDS. As Christ works in their heart and transformation begins to take place, they may also be able to benefit from Rehab or working through a 12-step program. That does not diminish Christ's healing power. He could choose to instantly heal them if he wanted to, but often he has benefits for us and lessens to teach us through our obedience and gradual healing process. 

With regard to Reparative Therapy and Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) there is a lot of debate about whether it really "works." Almost everyone thinks though that for it to "work" it must be an instantaneously 100% change. That is a ridiculous and impossible standard to judge anything. For me, I can say that I have benefited TREMENDOUSLY from Reparative Therapy and everyone I know who has actually tried it would say the same. Even those I know who gave up and went back into gay relationships, say it was "helpful and positive experience." 

The Pro-Gay groups often try to argue that Reparative Therapy and other forms of Reorientation are "harmful" because they do not produce 100% change instantaneously. If you look closely at any of their claims, ALL of them are based on the idea that people will be "disappointed" and therefore "depressed" if they continue to experience some aspects of homosexual inclinations. They conclude that it is therefore better to encourage someone to embrace a "Gay" identity and avoid getting real help. That is such a ridiculous thing to say. If we used the same logic, we would say that Insulin should be banned and Diabetes is "Healthy and Natural." - After all, Insulin has not been proven to permanently CURE diabetes with one shot - therefore it MUST be "harmful."

My Same-Sex Attraction has been significantly reduced over a short period of time. It is now no longer a major struggle in my life. I am grateful for that. I have studied every aspect of Reparative Therapy and there is no possible way that any aspect of it could ever be "harmful." Nonetheless, it is a human scientific endeavor and does not rise to the level of Infallibility that the Christian faith relies on. The Christian Faith and in fact all monotheistic religions have always acknoweledged that homosexual "relationships" are harmful to the emotional well being and spiritual lives of everyone involved. This truth is independent of the effectiveness of any particular human effort to reduce or "change" homosexuality. Diabetes was harmful to the human body even before Insulin was discovered as a treatment in 1921. 

It is possible that Reparative Therapy could be replaced eventually with other therapies even more effective, just as Insulin might eventually be replaced by something else. These are tools that God has enabled us to use to enhance our lives, but they are not the focal point of the Christian life. We do not have to choose one "side" or the other. We simply need to focus on Christ, follow his will, and be open to the gifts he sends our way (which for ME, happened to include Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, Reparative Therapy, Joel 2:25, and Journey into Manhood), but most importantly prayer, the sacraments, and spiritual healing through Christ. 

Pax Christi,
Jeremy