Monday, August 01, 2005

Another Ex-"Ex-Gay" Speaks Out

John Evans, co-founder of Love in Action (LIA), wrote the following letter to current LIA President, John Smid. Love in Action is the unlicensed program that Zach's parents sent him to in Tennessee, in an effort to change his sexual orientation.
July 30, 2005

Love In Action
ATTN: John Smid, Director
Memphis, TN

Dear Mr. Smid:

We as born again Christians believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God. We Basically agree on the fundamentals of salvation. I've been a born again Christian for over 50 years and I've noticed Christians reading the same scriptural passages, yet arriving at different personal interpretations regarding moral issues. Some of these issues that have divided Christians within recent years have been slavery, women's rights, the Charismatic movement and other issues, including divorce.

Within my lifetime, I've known members of my own family being asked to leave churches they had attended for years over issues of divorce and re-marriage, yet later welcomed back when a different interpretation of scripture was explained.

Today, the subject of homosexuality is being discussed among Christians. Most Christians find the subject too uncomfortable to make a personal investigation, but rely upon the traditional Christian condemnation of homosexuality. There are more scriptures dealing with divorce than homosexuality, yet, today, Christians give each other the freedom of personal interpretation regarding divorce. I'm sure homosexuality will be added to the long list of disagreements among Christians.

In 1973, when I helped organize the "ex-gay" ministry called Love In Action, I admit I had never heard of a different view of homosexuality or made an effort to research the issue. I held to the traditional Christian condemnation that all homosexuality was sinful.

One day, I read a booklet by Dr. Ralph Blair called, "An Evangelical Look At Homosexuality." I prayed before reading this booklet and was shocked, yet refreshed, because I had never heard such remarks regarding this subject from another Evangelical Christian.

I wrote Ralph Blair that I would like to discuss his views regarding this matter and his return letter informed me he could meet with me at my home in San Raphael, Calif. The night he arrived I invited several of my friends who were also involved with Love in Action to join us. We studied the scriptures dealing with homosexuality. I had struggled most of my life with this matter and I would continue to try to be "ex-gay" if it were God's will. Over the past 30 years I have studied both sides of this subject and now know it's not my sexual orientation that's wrong or sinful. But one should allow the Holy Spirit to guide his or her life whatever one's sexual orientation. I challenge other Christians to study the scriptures to show yourself approved unto God and don't be afraid to challenge the traditional condemnation of homosexuality.

The Church has been wrong in the past regarding other issues and I'm sure there will be others before Jesus returns. I know my views regarding homosexuality and being Christian does not agree with most Christians and I've been accused of being "deceived and tricked by the Devil."

God alone knows my heart and Jesus Christ means too much to me to go against the leading of the Holy Spirit as he guides me as a born again Christian. Someday, each of us will stand alone before God to give an account of our lives and I want Him to be satisfied with me.

I just returned from the 25th annual Conference of Evangelicals Concerned, a group of gay Christians who know that it is possible to be both gay and Christian. In the past 30 years since leaving the "ex-gay" ministry I have seen nothing but shattered lives, depression and even suicide among those connected with the "ex-gay" movement.

At the E.C. conference I met gay Christians who have an even closer relationship with Jesus. The Holy Spirit seemed to hover over the entire conference. The closing communion service seemed as if Jesus Himself was there saying, "Come to me all who labor and are laden with the burden of trying to conform to the impossible conclusions of others, and I will give you rest."

Again, I challenge Christians to investigate all sides of the issue of being gay and Christian. The Church has been wrong in the past regarding moral issues and I'm sure there will be more before Christ returns.

Love in Christ,

John Evans
Original Member of Love In Action, 1973


Christine Grewell


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