Same sex attracted and Christian (Episodes)

A while ago, I set out to write an article on what same sex attraction/homosexual orientation looks like in real life. I knew that by the end of that weekend, I would be done writing it, have it edited and hopefully post it in the week that followed. Well, many days have passed and my original thought pattern faded. However, the topic has remained something I would want to still explore and thus the birth of this article.

Experiences of a Christian experiencing a homosexual orientation
This title is a mouthful, I hope to do justice to it. Now, let’s get started… Sorry, one more thing, am not writing this from a journal recording , I wish I was but very few times especially when I am experiencing negative experiences do I wish to record in my journal. But, trust my brain because it has a tendency of holding on to things especially those I wish it would release. Lastly, I do not wish to generalize my experience as one that is experienced by all but I believe many can relate to it.
So,here we go….

Acceptance; then what..
In the previous articles, I wrote of the important lessons I had learnt on coming into terms with my sexuality and being open about it. This I called acceptance, meanwhile a question lingered in the background. After acceptance, then what? Well in some way I knew the answer to it; I knew it meant God still loved me and that he was in the process of working in me the holiness that he desires and I knew I was more than willing to submit to him in seeing this happen. It was also clearer that this was not a licence to being sexually active with people of the same sex but rather, more than ever, take my purity bar even higher. At least for now the pressure to date a pretty lady in order to please the ever demanding community around me had diminished. The ground rules were already set and with much hopes, I launched into the future.

A few days/weeks/months later:-

Getting attracted

We stood next to each other as we waited for the Fight. Our very own Zarika would be defending her WBC title that evening and we were sure of her win but decided to watch anyway. From the sides, I caught a glimpse of my neighbour, he smiled; the smile seemed to draw a nice curve on his dark face, I noted quickly that his set of white teeth settled perfectly on his face. That had an effect on my hormones and in that moment of confusion I stole a second glance at him again and this time round our eyes met; his gaze had an image of innocence, some form of radiance seemed to emanate from his eyes, a force stronger than gravity seemed to draw me nearer to him. In the next few minutes I longed to engage in a conversation with him, I wished to know what he thought of the fight and yes I wanted to know whether I would be seeing him for the last time or if there was going to be a possible common hangout again. In a glimpse this was my thought flow, I knew if not controlled the flow would continue to paths that were more dangerous, I needed to do something. I could not deny the attraction since it was so real. Most probably I would still have a repeat of the same in the days that followed and for that there was a need to be prepared. But was there a way to be prepared for this? “May be”, I thought, “May be this could be channelled for good , may be”…..

To be sincere I am still figuring out, but so far I have had a good share of successes, all thanks to the Holy Spirit guidance on every occasion.

Longing for intimacy

I never saw this coming and being a Christian I had the comfort of having Jesus Christ as my all time friend. Additionally, being highly melancholic and thus in some good way introverted I knew that I would not struggle being my own friend. It was thus unexpected when I started developing a yearning to be wanted. Let me explain, I recount of evenings I sat in my house feeling emotionally distant from my room mate; though a good guy and very caring I felt a distance. Being a friend to many, I was still having the normal WhatsApp chats; getting actively involved in various discussions online. Having one or two calls, someone either following up on an assignment earlier given or someone generally wanting to know my current state. Despite all this, I still felt a longing to be sold out to someone, a friend I could talk to, call at any time, have hangouts together. One with whom I could share my joys and pains again and again without having to worry about becoming burdensome. Yes, I longed for intimacy with someone, someone that I liked and was emotionally attracted to. I knew I had lady friends that I could choose to let this happen with but it demanded so much strength. Emotionally I felt closer to my male friends, our random chats with my friends left me longing for me. I wished that I was David and was enjoying the intimacy of Jonathan, I yearned to be Frodo and Sam in the Trilogy Lord of the Rings and enjoy the companionship of a dear friend in a land that threatened of death with him being the flicker of hope. A friend I would want and be wanted in return.
I know there is a thin line between what I am craving for and same sex partnership/gay marriage. But my stand doesn’t change on the latter, I already said No to it and am not ready to give in to it.This i believe I’ll conquer by the grace of God.
But is there a way that my longing can be purely satisfied?
Well, I’m on a journey of finding that wholly and so far my reading has comforted me in so many ways one being, that mine is a reality that many in my path have lived and it did/has not stopped them from living whole, fulfilling and godly lives. God has also created a family for me and people like me. A family of friends who I can be devoted to. This is what one my distant friend call ‘spiritual friendships’, and I am on a mission of exploring them.

The Battle of lust

This is the last thing I would wish to speak about. In this article. . Like many of you, I really do wish to have a black and white story of before and after. Well, I think I kind of do but my after has been and still is a journey. Painted with moments of victory, struggles and sometimes falling. My after has at times, made me wear faces. It’s something that creeps without warning, very spontaneous. It could start with let’s say some little fantasy of a past experience. A weak moment exhibited by a continued nursing of these fantasies leads to having these experiences re-played in my mind. In no time, guilt starts creeping in and instead of leading me to repentance, more than once I have found myself visiting the sites plus the areas which I had committed not to. I cannot explain the pain and despair brought by all these. The feeling of loss of fellowship with God, the distancing I seek to create with friends after such an episode and the despair that hits me. That which play games with my mind, telling me that I can never live to be true to what I believe in and hold dearly. In all these struggles though, I can’t help but give much thanks to God who has fetched me from that pit more than a million times. The times I have been carried by flesh, the moments of deep guilt and regret, God has ALWAYS fetched me. Sometimes using the community of friends who have continually assured me that it is well.
More than ever I still join the preacher Jonathan Edwards in making this resolution that “I will never give up, nor in the least slacken my fight with the corruptions of my body no matter how unsuccessful I may be.

CONCLUSION

That happens to be my experience thus far, on this eastern side of Eden. I have tried to summarize it in the three areas though there remains a lot that I have not said. It’s already clear as I may have noted in the other previous articles that I have not always considered my orientation as purely ‘evil’ in itself, for it is the thorn that has enhanced my devotion to God, the very one that has made me understand His grace and the foundation on which I have been able to extend compassion to many others as I have received from God.
It however remains a temptation that can lead to a grave sin. A sin that can destroy credibility especially in the body of Christ. The very one whose guilt would have adverse effects on my relationship with my creator. The very one that I should fight with all Christ’s energy that works in me.
Meanwhile that is my pre-resurrection reality, one that I live not in despair, pity or shame but in Faith on to the one who died and rose again. To the one who said ‘it is finished’ a reality fulfilled now and that which will manifest fully at the end of time. Though I groan I do so in eager expectation of the redemption of this mortal body.
And he who promised is faithful .

Now, may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1st Thessalonians 5:23-24)
Advertisements

Coming out, to who and how?

My last blog focused on the idea of Coming out or being known. As I noted the term has a secular connotation of embracing sexuality as identity and choosing to pursue romantic and sexual relationships with those of the same sex, both of which don’t fit with a Christian understanding of sexuality. I then went ahead to highlight the dangers of Choosing to remain silence and some of the benefits that associated with letting yourself to be known.

In this particular article, I borrow the thoughts of Andrew Bunt who blogs on thinktheology and Living out website on the advice to Christians who wish to come out (be known) and to those who will be their audience. You can read the whole article on https://thinktheology.co.uk/blog/article/coming_out_some_advice_for_christians

For those coming out/Choosing to be known

  • Remember your identity is in Christ. There is nothing more important than this. You are not defined by anything internal (who you are attracted to) or anything external (how people respond to you), you are defined by being a child of God, eternally loved and eternally secure. No matter what happens, that cannot change.
  • If you’ve never told anyone about your sexuality, start by telling someone with whom you feel comfortable. Don’t feel you have to tell everyone straight away.
  • Try to choose a situation where you will have good time to share and to talk through what you share. You don’t want to open up and then suddenly have to move on to something else.
  • If you want to come out to someone, but are not sure how to do it, pray that God would give you a good opportunity. In my experience, (Andrew Bunt) the awkward gear change moment is usually still there, but I have been amazed at how God has answered some of my prayers and provided moments where the gear change was slightly less awkward.
  • If you are particularly worried about coming out to a specific individual or group, ask someone whom you have already told to be alongside you as you speak to them.
  • If you know what you think about how your faith and your sexuality interrelate, share this as you feel comfortable to do so. If you’re still wrestling with it, it’s ok to share that too.

For those to whom others come out

  • Thank them for sharing with you. However lovely you are, it was probably still a big, scary thing for them to do.
  • Stress that you love them and that God loves them and that their sexuality doesn’t change this. If this is as far as you get in your first conversation, it’s enough.
  • Let them talk. They may have carried this for many years without telling anyone or having only told a few people. Let them share what they want to share and listen carefully. If they seem comfortable, ask questions, but don’t interrogate them. You don’t need all your questions answered straight away.
  • Acknowledge pains, difficulties and frustrations they have felt are legitimate. Express God’s heart of love and compassion.
  • Help them know that they are not alone. They are not alone because they have you, and many others, who will walk alongside them, and they are not alone because there are many people who are same-sex attracted and who are seeking to follow Jesus. As time goes on, it may be good to point them towards stories of other Christians who have been in the experience; websites like Living out, Spiritual Friendship or True Freedom Trust could be of much help.
  • Don’t say you had always wondered. It is more likely to make them stress about why you wondered and whether everyone else is also wondering, and it offers little comfort.
  • Ask how you can best love and support them.
  • Always be listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying.

Conclusion

I completely agree with the above thoughts from Andrew Bunt and I offer them to us all we battle with this question of sexuality.

Share- We care

Coming out- Being known

Coming out is a term mostly used by the LGBTQI community to mean people’s self-disclosure of their sexual orientation or of their gender identity. When this happens, most of the time, the individual has to come out of the closet and embrace the ideology that this who they are which often involves marrying the lifestyle therein.

Sometime in my first year in Campus I met this young man who was happily pursuing his studies, he had no fears of being found out nor the agony of having to struggle through his feelings that were different from many of his peers simply because he had come out. He had embraced the fact that he was gay, and that was him. Though a Christian, he was not actively involved in the University christian Union unlike when he was in High school where he was actively part of the CU. I suppose that this was because of the fact that he was still “in the closet” in High school and with him coming out and now actively pursuing his gay lifestyle in campus, it kind of detered him from being part of the CU.

At the same time I had read about the story of Ray Boltz, a Christian song-writer and singer who is behind the song I pledge allegiance. At 55 years of age he finally decided to come out. During an interview he was quoted saying “I’d denied it ever since I was a kid. “I became a Christian, I thought that was the way to deal with this and I prayed hard and tried for 30-some years and then at the end, I was just going, ‘I’m still gay. I know I am.’ And I just got to the place where I couldn’t take it anymore — when I was going through all this darkness, I thought, ‘Just end this.’ ” And ooops! He came out.

What is it with coming out? How come those who choose not are seen as closeted and labelled cowards? Should a Christian Come out? And when it happens does one need to embrace a different theology than one which he has been taught overtime?

The dangers of being closeted

Heeeeeelp!!

From the stories I have read or listened to, anyone who has come out as gay finally seems to be coming out of an air-tight box. A box in which we can say that the individual was suffocating in, and they would have died if they stayed in there any longer without taking a step to come out. . Is that it? May be.

Imagine living a life of secrecy and not being able to be open about someone’s key are of their life such as sexuality? This leads, as you would expect, to internal emotional turmoil because the individual is constantly having to wear a mask and be in public, someone they are not in private. You cannot share your struggles with anyone and only have God to talk to. When you go to Church, they will definitely talk about sexual struggles, but no one mentions your struggle. You hope to hear a testimony of someone who ever experienced what you are experiencing but none seems forthcoming. Once or twice your Pastor mentions something that is almost similar but totally different from what you are experiencing; the Story of Sodom and Gomorrah, he adds that those are perverts and their end is destruction. Though you do not want to rape someone or are actively pursuing your feelings, this is the most he has come near to touching on what you are feeling and loudly, with much sharpness you can hear the echo of the verdict in your ears- eternal fire! Eternal fire! You choose for the 10th time now to do a 7 day prayer and fasting, climaxing it with a deliverance service. That evening you head home happy, full of faith, it’s gone, am now free. Two days later you see this charming young man, your mind cannot help but think of him, you try to fight this thought with all that you have, unknowingly you start fantasizing about him. You cannot stomach this, was it not dealt with? Was I not freed? Or God has finally, ‘given up one me…..’

What’s the danger in this silence:-

Shame– I am to blame for this and it would be such a mistake for my friends to know.

Hopelessness– Failure to achieve the desired result. This may lead to a breakdown in other segments of one’s life e.g.. Studies.

Self-loathing– This may lead to suicidal attempts or other addictions.

Benefits of Choosing to be known

I choose the term ‘being known’ simply because of the baggage that the term ‘coming out’ carries with it.

You do not have to struggle alone any longer– It is said that the battles that the devil seems to win in our lives are those that we fight in isolation. No wonder he will try to ensure that you see your problem as your very own and that no one can help you. The very moment I told someone what I was struggling in, I felt much relieved, I was sure that now I was not an hypocrite and had someone to help me fight this. You will start thinking, after opening up, about how others are struggling through other things different or similar to yours and how together you can strengthen each other in the walk of chastity.

You do not have to live in denial any longer. By this I mean, you are able to face what you are experiencing and ask yourself hard questions like:- what does it mean to be a Christian and experience this? What is the discipleship journey that I should be prepared to face in this path? And finally, what more about what I feel do I need to know and am I really defined by it? I have seen this helpful in my life especially when some friends come attacking me as one who is in denial. I quickly point them to the fact that I am not denying anything only that I have faced what I may feel inclined to but chosen a path that is in line with what I believe.

You allow yourself to be loved and love others. This has been one of the most astonishing thing that happened, many would think that once they open up about this part of their lives to their friends, then they will be deserted and labelled all manner of labels. My experience has been different, I have experienced love, sincere love from friends. They have continued to interact with me freely, no negative judgement has been passed on to me and some are more open to sharing their deep seated struggles with me. I do not to claim this as the universal experience of everyone but I believe that God has a community in our lives through which, he is ready to show his love to us.

CONCLUSION

It is a personal decision to choose to be know. No one should be pressured to do this even if your friend is doing it. And while at it, have these in mind………

Do not think you know how people will react—certainly.

Do not think that you know why they are reacting as they are.

Do not think that everyone will respond in the same way.

Do not think that an individual’s first response will necessarily be their ongoing response.

And so yes, Christians can open up about their same sex experience, they can face these struggles without any sense of denial and they can stand true to the Sound Doctrine as God continues to work in them in their specific community.

What if I choose to be known, to whom and what’s the environment for this? Check out the next article…

Choice or not? Before you ask…

Looks good, should I?

Everyday when dawn breaks, the decision of waking up or coiling further in my bed is usually thrown at me. Waking up on cold mornings especially, is always a major battle. All in all though, after the mental battle, I always have to choose to wake up regardless of what the circumstances are. I choose this, not because it’s what I want at that time, but because it is the right thing to do. On top of that, no one wants to be seen as a lazy person!
Let me take you back to your childhood days. Do you remember the moments you played with your sister and sometimes your immediate cousin who was a year older than you? You really enjoyed playing hide and seek and would be so hurt when mum pulled you indoors with the claim that it was already late in the evening. She would come up with reasons like, let’s say you catching a cold if you remained outside. A few years later, you started noticing how you and your sister or brother were a bit different from each other; in behaviour or physical characteristics. You were probably in your puberty or adolescence. How about the thrill that you felt when you sat next to your classmate of opposite sex that you really liked? By then, chances are, your mum or dad had started warning you against the opposite gender. A few times, may be, this was hard to resist and you had talks and hangouts all behind their back. Wasn’t it exciting, a moment worth dying or living for? But your parents and the society insisted that you needed to complete your studies first, get good grades and go to the university or college before you get the freedom. They quickly pointed out role models who had followed the path. I am sure the amazing life that they lived was enough to put a comma or let’s say a regulator to what you felt could not wait. The Choice was worth it.

Really? In Africa? How?

Now, why would someone go for what has never been presented by the society as the right thing to do or the right way to follow? Why would a person follow what is greatly considered a taboo that is worthy of being stoned for? Why? We all want to be celebrated but why would someone choose a path that he/she knows would be a lonely path to walk in? Or…. I could be asking the wrong questions here. Let me put them this way; Did this person really choose to be like this? Did they wake up one day and decide that they wanted to explore what is considered a taboo? Or is their joy derived from being social outcasts and thus chose this path in order to find their joy?
I am talking about those in our circles or in our country or in the larger world who identify themselves as lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender or people who have any other sexual orientation that is generally considered ‘weird’. There seems to be a generally agreed opinion that these people are perverts who have chosen to be like this; perverts who love evil for evil’s sake or as post- moderns who are simply being influenced by the trends from the west. No wonder, when Obama came to our country and the talk about legalizing same sex marriage was in the air, some of us were heard publicly saying, “There are so many ladies/men in the world, why would a man go after another man/woman?” Yes, this is a valid question, and it deserves a listening ear especially from these people who some of us are shouting “solutions” to.
The aetiology of the homosexual condition is still debate and no final agreement has been reached so far. Many studies have been conducted but they have failed to establish a single cause whether inherited or learned, so scholars have tended to turn to theories of multiple causation , combining a biological disposition with cultural and moral influences, and a childhood environment and experience(I hope to dig deeper into this question of ‘Origin’ later on). It is for this reason that I think there are no quick answers or reverses to these people. As I mentioned earlier, a listening ear and a non-judgemental heart are key when I am engaging with individuals who experience these feelings. It is only after this that I may have the guts to lay any proposal to these people. This comes with a resolution not to just be a key spectator and shout orders to them but rather be willing to walk with them in this very unique journey.

However, even though the attraction as I said earlier may be largely unchosen, our response to what we do with them is largely a choice. It is for this reason that some have gone ahead and embraced these feelings by being sexually active. They have cited abstinence as impossible and opted to either enter into a same sex partnerships/ marriages (this is more prevalent in the West). Others, as it is publicly rumoured, enter into an heterosexual marriages and continue to engage in hidden homosexual practises. The only words of love that I could direct to this category are the words of Paul to the Corinthians when he says, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the men who practise homosexuality nor thieves, nor drunkards nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God. 1st Corinthians 6:9-10. You must have noted from the above scripture that active and unrepentant homosexuality activity is a serious sin that can bar you from the Kingdom of God just as many other sins that are outlined with it, both sexual (Sexual immorality and adultery) and non- sexual (drunkenness, greed, theft…). But a word of Hope is given in verse 11 of the same chapter, which says and I quote, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified and you were justified in the name of the LORD Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God.”
It’s clear that some Corinthians had this kind of a lifestyle before, but Paul tells them that they are now set apart for God and hence are not justified to revert back to their former ways. There is a call to repentance because it is a serious sin.

On the other hand, there are those who will choose the path of abstinence from the feelings that are so real in them. Those who may seem to be saying no to ‘fulfilment’ and yes to ‘agony’ and ‘loneliness’. To these, I would offer the words of Jesus to his disciples, “Truly I say to You, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the Kingdom of God who will not receive many times more in this time and in the age to come eternal life. (Luke 18:29-30). The underlying word is; it is worth it and God’s reward is more than what giving in to these feelings can offer. May your walk demonstrate a purity of mind and action. If you stumble, let him wash your dust quickly and allow him to put you in the right track. Waste no time.

CONCLUSION

If experiencing same sex feelings is largely unchosen, then there are no quick solutions to it. To the person experiencing these feelings, this is not a licence to sin but a time to stop condemning yourself for what you did not do or do and lay yourselves to the saviour who is at work to save all mankind. To those who do not know what experiencing these unwanted attractions feels like, it is a time to yearn to listen before you speak, whisper before you shout and walk along before you give orders. When this has happened we can now start exploring the questions of is it innate or learnt? Nature versus nurture? A disorder or condition? And is the language of ‘healing’ the best in this environment?

Who will win?
More in the forthcoming articles, be in the look out for the next article and make sure you click ‘follow the blog ‘ for notifications when blogs are uploaded.

MY STORY

Valentine Njoroge has a weekly column in the Star and answers people’s sex questions. I do not follow her column closely but the other day I came across this question that someone had posed to her.
Dear Valentine
I have these feelings of being gay. I have kissed a man but never had sex with one. I also love women. I am just confused. Please help.
Case two; someone shared with me of how after delivering a sermon on Fatherhood, a certain lady approached him, this is what she had to say:-
“I am not romantically attracted to guys but there is this closeness and attraction that I experience especially to fellow ladies and especially grown up ones”. Please help.

Case 3:- SteveM’s Story

Sweet and Sour

“By the time I was joining Campus, one thing was very clear to me; that I was born again and was zealous to follow Christ’s teachings with all of my heart, mind and strength. On the other hand, I was much aware of this one thing that was often ripping me this joy of obedience, I could not explain it to anyone since it seemed abnormal and not worthy, even to be mentioned in the company of believers. I thus opted for the default option of being silent about it.
I however, could not maintain this for long, and since now I had a smartphone, I found myself typing this “Is it normal for a man to be sexually aroused by another man?”
That is the question I had grappled with for a long time-probably since my 13th birthday. And now, thanks to technology, specifically smartphones,I had a chance to ask someone, Mr Google. I knew he had an answer.
Let me explain, like other boys, my adolescence came at it’s normal time and produced the thrills that it did to other peers of mine. We had stopped fearing girls and now wanted more closeness with them . Some of my friends started experimenting with them but since I was the proverbial good boy-both at home and church, coupled with my timidity, I dared not follow them. At the same time when this was happening, I remember getting excited by the sight of shirtless bodies of the older boys in a way that often produced almost the same or even stronger thrill as that which I felt towards the girls. I found myself wanting to check out in them how it looked like to experience the changes that I was learning in my science lesson. At that time, I hoped it was a passing stage of my life which would be done away with once I satisfied my curiosity. If you told me that many years later I would still be battling with the same, I would have snubbed you even before you uttered it.
Fast-forward, Now, as at the moment when I was conversing with Mr Google, in my first year in Campus. You could be asking, what was the progression in the high school life?Well, nothing much to narrate, save for the fact hat I continued to battle and nurse these feelings but in secret. I supplemented this by immersing myself in my studies and actively serving in the Christian Union as I continued to katia-girls from our neighbouring schools just like everyone. Being in a Boys School I had heard the term ‘homo’ being mentioned in some discussions but it seemed distance from what I felt and after all it seemed as the worst thing that one could possibly do. For these and many other reasons I successfully transitioned through high School un-suspected and never having had an encounter with anyone else whose state I could relate to.

At the centre of nowhere

As I had suspected, Mr Google did not miss an answer to my question, he told me that I was either a confused teenager who was trying to understand my sexuality or that I had an homosexual orientation and was in a state of denial. At least I could embrace the first answer, but the second one- not me,not even an angel could convince me that.
For the couple of months that followed, I searched all over the internet to check out what this really meant. I read many stories that seemed to affirm the answer that I had received. I was not prepared for this and worse still, the river seemed to have started taking its course. I now spent many hours online checking nude images of my fellow men as well as checking out what gay sex really meant and if it was worth a practise. All this happened in private and I cannot explain the guilt and shame which I felt when I was in public. I felt like an hypocrite and I tried all ways to save the dying me.
In the year that followed, I marshalled all the courage that I could and was able to open up to someone who was discipling me. His response was beyond anything that I had imagined. He did not demonize me nor condemn me. Instead, he admitted that he had not dealt with such a case before but he was willing to trust God with me for deliverance. The secret was now out, it was now the moment to battle in a community.
I would have gone on and on about my years in campus, but time fails me. In a nutshell though, I can say that in my fours years in Campus I met several guys who identified themselves as either gay or bisexual. Their stories resembled mine to some good extent but even then, I could not bring myself to accept and live like them since this was contrary to the Biblical beliefs that I held. I confess that despair and depression captured me time after time and since my praying and fasting did not seem to take this away, I slowly started contemplating of suicide. Praise be to God that I am alive to narrate this to you.
As I write this article, I am still born again. I have grown in the knowledge of God in great ways and he has opened for me avenues of service in his kingdom where he has mightly manifested himself through me. Socially, to some extent, I am still attracted to ladies and have pursued some for a relationship though not yet been able to be a fiancee for one. As for my same sex attractions, I would have wished to report that I stopped struggling with them and that I finally was prayed for and got delivered . But that would be an outright lie, sadly, I still do experience them and in some way in a more stronger degree. More than once I have messed up in my walk of chastity. But then, what makes me different from any other pervert that you know or have heard of?
1. That I have come to terms that this is how the fallness that happened on the garden of Eden (Which affected all humanity) has found its expression in me.When I talk about coming to terms with what I am naturally inclined to, this is what I mean, that I do not consider same sex especially non-sexual desires as a sin to themselves. I believe that if these desires are submitted to Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit they are able to be stewarded in ways that please the Lord. I thus detest, shun and endeavour to flee from all lustful homoerotic acts, I consider them as sin and as long as I live in this body, I will not submit to any.
2. I have received the truth of God as is revealed in the Bible- I believe that God created male and female, and that only this union for marriage and sex is blessed of God. Gay marriage whether monogamous or polygamous is contrary to God’s order and hence never an option for anyone’s Life.
3. Though not being a gift in itself, my experience has been an avenue where I have learnt what it means to receive God’s grace and how his power is made manifest in us as we trust him at every moment- By this I have chosen to wait patiently for his appointed moment of fully shedding off especially of my lustful feelings. Meanwhile, I live a day by itself as I immerse myself in worship and service to him.

Conclusion

That’s my story which is not a fairy tale (they lived happily ever after) but rather a developing one. And since God is the author, I believe he will bring it to a good end, Meanwhile, I surrender to the Holy Spirit for the work of sanctification in me. I very well believe this, that identity does not lie in what I experience in the flesh and that very soon, this very tent will be swallowed by what is immortal. In the meantime, the Holy Spirit who is a guarantee for this will lead me to all truth, all holiness and all that pleases my Lord and saviour.

NOTE

  • My idea of laying myself bare, is to let those who visit this site- whichever question of sexuality you are battling with know that I relate to some good extent with you and hopefully trust that together we can walk this journey as we tackle this issue that affects real people. Indulging in truth and steering one another towards purity and righteousness.
  • This is just my story and how it has unfolded in the past years, I do not claim to generalize it to be the exact experience of all that have at one time have had to face a question or two about their sexuality.
  • Lastly I hope to answer more questions that may arise out of reading this article in the subsequent blogs.

To anyone who would wish to do a follow up on the same, be free to email me at stevemwendia1@gmail.com or WhatsApp me/sms me 07 01 148 485

Meanwhile, let’s talk.

Oops! it’s out now

Is there hope for Change?

Do not promise too much or hope for too little”. (John Piper)

One of the questions that mostly arises from people struggling with their sexuality; whether they experience exclusive same sex attractions or are attracted to both genders, or those that feel as if they are stuck in a body that is not generally theirs is, ‘What’s my hope? How does the future look like for me? Will I really be free from all this?

If someone approaches you with those type of questions, how are you likely to respond? Mmm, if you are an evangelical like me who believes that ‘nothing is impossible with God, you may first quote Luke 1:37 and follow it up with other verses of how God is able to do all things. You may go ahead to believe with the person that what they are experiencing is contrary to God’s original intention of mankind and that Jesus came for such cases. You may conclude the talk by offering the person these words of hope. “I think…….”

Are you sure?

This is where I stop speculating and hit the nail on the head. When I first started wrestling with my unwanted same sex feelings, the question of how it would be like 10 years from then, roamed my mind. From everywhere and nowhere in specific, the answer was always one;- “you should have stopped experiencing those evil feelings and by then the Lord will have showered you with endless craving for the opposite gender, and the result would be, one wife, and two kids living in a three bedroomed house in one of Nairobi Leafy-suburbs. A near perfect picture, where we’d ride to Church on a four wheel drive car; coupled with regular retreats on five-star hotels with hopes to cut down my overwhelming six digit salary (Sorry that’s an exaggeration but laugh at the fun in it without missing the truth therein). And yes, a hope was given to me, a hope of change, from what I could say bluntly, an homosexual or bisexual orientation to Heterosexual orientation or what others could call straight. That was the hope I was given, and I woke up every day thinking that was the day of its fulfilment. But….

Almost 5 years down the line, these are the honest ‘hopes‘ that I wish someone shared with me back then and which I believe everyone who has questions on their sexuality would want to hear :-
1. That a change from a homosexual lifestyle to a heterosexual lifestyle is all possible– I wish someone shared with me Rosaria Butterfield’s story then. Rosaria is an English professor who has authored a Book called ‘Secrets thoughts of an Unlikely convert’. Her story is one of a kind. Before encountering the saving message of the cross, she was active in the Lesbian world and was infact living with her partner. At the point of her conversion, which was a process of following Jesus and trusting him, she left her former lifestyle, met her (now) husband and is happily married. Her husband is a Pastor and together they have been blessed with two Children. What a beautiful story! A working that can only be possible in God! But someone could ask, has this been the universal experience?? Next point…
2. That becoming a Christian did not necessarily mean an end to my same sex/ homosexual cravings- Wesley Hill serves as an Assistant professor of Biblical studies at Trinity school of Ministry, he has written a Book called Washed and Waiting- Christian faithfulness and homosexuality. His story is different from Rosaria’s. Wesley was born into and brought up in a Christian family, trusted Jesus as his saviour and Lord even before his teenage life. When he hit puberty,he already had come to realize that he had a steady, strong, unremitting, exclusive sexual attraction to persons of the same sex. But like I mentioned, his story differs from the one I just gave above, because unlike Rosaria, he has not experienced a dramatical healing of his homosexual desires despite moments of tearful and fervent prayer to God to take them away. He therefore, has embraced the path of immersing himself into the journey of discipleship just like other believers, and while at it, chosen not to nurture his homosexual desires through any private fantasies or any physical homoerotic engagements. His story resonates with other stories featured in Websites like True Freedom Trust or Living out or Spiritual Friendship. These are testimonies of Christian women and men who bear witness of what Christ has done for them despite their on-going same sex desires. I wish I had been told this. That there was hope even if the feelings did not suddenly fade away. But was anyone willing to tell me this or was it thought to be a low exercise of faith? How about the one-size-fits-all narrative of the origin of same sex desires?

Dad-Son Tings.

3. That whether there was a specific or multiple cause of what had led to all this, there was no quick fix to it. There exists a tendency of people trying to look for a gap in a person experiencing questions in regard to their sexuality. This is because many of us believe that when a loophole is found then he/she can easily be fixed. But I have this to say…And with all due respect to this ( because I have benefited immensely from forums that have affirmed my gender and the roles and responsibilities therein), when this is presented as the absolute cure for same sex feelings, it can be quite harmful to the individual. An example is the commonly held understanding that the idea of a distant father or a domineering mother is the very cause of this. One may think that when they explain this out then they have already found a solution for someone battling with the question of Sexuality. They may then offer a hope that when this is mended then change is inevitable. On psychological levels when such a hope is offered, failure to produce the heterosexual change promised is likely to lead the individual to depression, shame, self-loathing and even worse, suicidal tendencies. What if, instead of us channelling all our efforts in speculating what the causes of same sex desires are chose to be content with ignorance. And taking a cue from Jesus in the Book of John 3:9 not be at pressure to explain why this man was born blind but rather pointed them to what God could do to and through this blind man.
4. That though I may not necessarily get over it, by God’s grace I can control my expression of it. On this, how I wish someone had told me that I was not a captive to my feelings and that though I may not necessarily have a choice of who I got attracted to, I had a choice then, and have a choice now, on whether or not to act on my desires. A false idea which has been popularised over time is ‘I feel therefore I am’. Those who propagate this then go ahead to point that any suppression of the same is all self denial is likely to be damaging over time. No Christian should ever believe this, our ideology is one, ‘We feel therefore we need ‘, the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and that not every appetite is worth satisfying.
5. That continuing to experience same sex feelings did not mean that I was a lesser Christian or that I had less faith. That I could be included in the narrative of all believers where we live in this present age that is evil (Gal 1:4) and marred by sin and death but in the death of Jesus Christ the new creation has dawned (2nd Corinthians 5:17) and now exists as an invasion of the future into the present. But as Romans 8:23 says, we still eagerly wait for the consummation that has been inaugurated. I hope that those who continue to struggle with their sexuality will be looked at in light of this gospel narrative. That their experience is not in anyway less to that of another believer struggling to remain chaste in his/her heterosexual experiences. This would give more hope for one to press on even when their life is not marked by all time successes.
6. That I could still enjoy chaste friendships with members of my same sex– I wish someone had told me that not all my feelings towards people of my sex were entirely sinful. That the Bible offered examples of same sex friendships that gave God much glory; the Story of David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi and that of Jesus and his beloved disciple John. That I did not need to shy away from affectionate feelings towards another man. In this I mean that I could submit them to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and steward them in ways that honoured him.

Conclusion

In summary I wish to end with a quote from a Baptist pastor, John Piper, who commented on the findings made by Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse’s research. The findings shows that as far as change is concerned, “ there are likely to be significant shifts on orientation, but most likely this may occur on a continuum rather than a one time decisive reorientation change. This was his comment:

“This is a wise and cautious balance. It is wise not only because with God all things are possible, but also because “either-or” thinking is especially unsuitable when dealing with sexual orientation.
There are not simply three groups: Heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual. There are hundreds of variations of impulses that make up our peculiar sexual identities. This means that “change” is not a movement from one of three groups to another of three groups. Rather, it is a totally unpredictable reconfiguration of dozens of impulses and desires. And these desires and impulses are interwoven with dozens of personal and relational and spiritual realities, all of which are moving and shifting as God and his word and his people come to bear on the totality of a person’s life.
Is change possible? From this perspective change is inevitable. We are all changing — in a hundred ways including how sexuality fits into our lives. And for the Christian, the Spirit of God and the word of God are gloriously in the mix. It is a lifelong quest. Jones and Yarhouse sound a warning not to promise too much or to hope for too little.”

Is there hope? Yes, a lot of it, Romans 5:5-6
[5]And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
[6]When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.

Keep on- Keeping on.

LGBTQI- what’s that?

LGBTQI; to some, these are just alphabetical letters written in no order. To another group; these are just but perverts who have teamed up to licence their evil behaviour. And to some other group whose my heart dearly goes out to, they are real life experiences, not just issues but real people- may be their siblings, friends or even themselves, any mention of those alphabets sends chills in their body.

Whichever class of group you identify with, I welcome you to this site where I hope you will informed, encouraged, challenged and stirred to worthwhile convictions.

LGBTQI is an acronym for- Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex. Throughout my highschool and campus life and now life away from school, the following are the questions that have popped up once the topic of Sexuality has come into discussion:-

  1. Is it normal?
  2. What is the source- Is it Biology or psychology?
  3. Is it a choice?
  4. Can you get over it, that is, is there a gay to straight procedure?
  5. Is it a learned behaviour and can it be mitigated?
  6. Does the Holy Book not condemn it?
  7. Can you be a Christian and still experience same sex feelings? Is it a demon?
  8. Is it African or just a learned behaviour from the west?
  9. What does coming out mean and what is it’s effect?
  10. Being in the Closet- what does this mean? Is it a safe place to be?
  11. …………….?
  12. ………..?
  13. ………?
  14. ……?

I leave the last four numbers blank since I know you could have a question that I have not yet considered there, feel free to speak it out.

In this regard, I invite you to start this journey with me as I seek to shed light on this topic. I promise to provide as much information as possible while at the same time remaining as practical as I can by relating my discussions with real life stories . In all these, God’s word will remain supreme to all my (our) opinions and will endeavour to divide it rightly under the power of the Holy Spirit whom I believe will save us from all human biasness.

And so, do not just be a visitor to this site, get a space and lodge here. After reading the posts, digest the info and then go to the comments column, I beseech you, leave a comment. Let’s agree and disagree, let’s scream at each other, let’s pat each other’s back, All because, LGBTQI is not just a group of alphabets but rather, real people who are asking real questions that demand right answers.

Let’s go.