Pure Choices

Church Culture

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Mike Carducci (Host), Ron Woolsey, Wayne Blakely


Series Code: PC

Program Code: PC000036

00:01 The following program discusses sensitive issues.
00:03 Parents are cautioned that some material
00:05 may be too candid for younger children.
00:41 Hi, I'm Mike Carducci with Coming Out Ministries,
00:44 your host today on Pure Choices.
00:46 I have with me my fellow colleagues
00:48 Ron Woolsey who is a pastor in Arkansas
00:50 and Wayne Blakely who resides in Washington State.
00:53 I'm from Tennessee
00:54 and together we have Coming Out Ministries.
00:56 And what we have gone through is our lifestyle
00:59 of misunderstanding of our own gender
01:03 and it led us into the homosexual lifestyle.
01:06 And God reached on and plucked us
01:08 out of that lifestyle.
01:09 And He did it in such a profound way,
01:12 basically, without
01:14 the influence of the Christian community
01:17 that we had left many years ago.
01:18 All three of us were raised in Christian churches.
01:21 We are raised in Christian education
01:24 and because of our history
01:27 there were no resources that were available.
01:29 No way for people to recognize what was going on,
01:33 the hurt that we were experiencing.
01:35 And so if you would we were almost like--
01:39 we were kind of like shuffled under the rug if you would
01:41 or actually out the door.
01:43 So as we have had these experiences
01:46 we just want to explore a little bit.
01:47 Our program today
01:49 is Church Culture and Homosexuality.
01:51 Welcome to our program.
01:52 Thank you.
01:54 So first question that I have for you guys,
01:56 "how are you treated by a Christian culture?"
01:58 And if you would-- let's talk a little bit
02:00 about the history when you were a child.
02:03 Well, you know, it's interesting that
02:06 in Christian culture we think that
02:08 a lot of things don't happen that would ordinarily happen
02:10 out there in the world.
02:12 But the fact of the matter is, is that it's happening
02:15 we're just weren't talking about it.
02:17 And so in my near to, to early teen
02:23 I actually had two guys that were friends of mine
02:29 through my parents friends
02:31 who introduced me actually to sex.
02:34 They were heterosexual men, you know,
02:37 as I look back on it now they weren't having--
02:38 Are we talking about men or boys?
02:40 Boys. Yeah. Okay, all right.
02:41 They weren't having the issues in identifying
02:44 with their gender like I was.
02:46 But it was an affirmation to me
02:48 as they introduced me into masturbation,
02:52 they introduced me into getting together
02:54 every time we would go camping.
02:56 We would look forward to this time together.
02:58 We would sleep together.
03:00 This went on for about two years
03:03 before they began to identify with the opposite sex.
03:07 And when they started saying, "Oh, I have a girlfriend now"
03:10 I was going, "Oh, what happened, you know."
03:12 I thought for a while there that I was normal.
03:15 But let's establish something
03:17 that while you are also participating in sex
03:20 outside of what God had ordained,
03:22 they were also
03:24 not only experiencing the homosexual act,
03:27 but even when they got girlfriends
03:28 they were experiencing sex with them as well
03:30 and they weren't married.
03:32 Is that what you're saying? I don't know.
03:33 I actually don't know that, that was taking place
03:36 but, I know that what was happening
03:39 in my life and in our exploration
03:42 is something that happens in many young men's life today
03:46 that we don't talk about.
03:47 And we're just starting to come about as you--
03:50 as deans find out about this at our academies
03:54 that are boarding academies.
03:56 You know, it maybe even happening
03:58 in our church environment.
03:59 And the fact of the matter is that
04:01 today now we are redeemed,
04:03 we've been returned back to Jesus Christ
04:05 and while the church didn't approach
04:08 and talk about this issue,
04:09 now they're beginning to realize
04:11 in our return the danger
04:15 and having left that under the church pew.
04:18 Wow. Ron, what was your experience?
04:20 Well, I would probably say-- preface my experience
04:23 by going back to the fact
04:25 that I was molested at the age of four
04:27 which left me in a vulnerable state
04:31 so that I believed that once a person is victimized,
04:35 he is easily or she is easily victimized again.
04:40 It sets us in a path,
04:42 a vulnerable path of victimization.
04:44 And so when I was in grade school,
04:47 I had a friend who was an older student
04:51 who happened to be the pastor's son.
04:54 Excuse me.
04:55 And we were in a singing group and on weekends
04:58 because I lived across the State Line in Mississippi
05:02 and the school was in Tennessee.
05:04 And I would spend the weekends at the pastor's home
05:08 with my friend because we had singing gigs on the weekend.
05:12 And I was repeatedly sexually victimized
05:17 in the pastor's home by the son while just the two of us there.
05:22 And I was very vulnerable.
05:25 I didn't know how to say no. I didn't know how to stop it.
05:27 I would just freeze and just let it happen
05:29 and get over with and what-have-you
05:31 but there are other--
05:32 just a couple of other instances
05:34 that I would like to bring out
05:36 as examples that our church,
05:39 the Christian Church needs to be aware of.
05:42 Summer camp, we would have a group of boys
05:47 staying in a cabin together
05:49 and the counselor did not sleep in the same cabin
05:52 and so at night the boys are left alone.
05:55 To their experimentation, their curiosity
06:00 and some of the boys were very experienced already
06:04 and this was a shock to me, the whole idea of masturbation
06:08 had never even come into my mind
06:10 until I was at summer camp
06:12 and this was going on.
06:14 I didn't participate
06:15 but I was introduced to the concept
06:17 and it was very shocking. And in one--
06:19 For one second, Ron, what I'd like to point out
06:21 is that we're all over 50 years old.
06:25 We're not talking about situations
06:26 that have happened within the last couple years,
06:28 we're talking about things 30, 40 years ago
06:32 that has happened in our denomination
06:34 and I believe that there's still
06:35 so much darkness about this
06:37 that, you know, I can only imagine,
06:39 you know, the depth of what's going on
06:41 even in our own Christian culture.
06:43 So let me let you continue on that.
06:45 My children refer to that as the olden days,
06:46 by the way.
06:48 They constantly reminding me how old I am,
06:50 but also, one other instant
06:53 when or example, in the boy's dorm in academy,
06:58 the shower in the boy's dorm
07:01 was one big open shower room where everyone showered.
07:06 I mean, anyone showered. It was open, you were exposed.
07:09 This was a really bad situation for someone like me
07:15 who was confused already and struggling in my mind
07:18 to daily be showering with other guys,
07:22 you know, that our jocks
07:23 or very attractive and all of that
07:26 and the games that go on in the showers
07:28 and the playing around and messing around--
07:30 So it added to the confusion? Right. Yes.
07:32 And so these are things that were happening
07:34 within the realm of church.
07:37 Church academy, church camp, the pastor's home.
07:41 And we just need to really realize
07:45 that this is not something
07:46 that, that we are protected from within our church.
07:52 I mean, this is, this goes on behind the scenes
07:55 within our church culture.
07:57 In my own experience, I remember feeling inadequate.
08:01 I was a small kid.
08:02 I grew two inches at a high school
08:04 so I'm still 5'5" which isn't much.
08:06 Still growing. Right. Right.
08:08 But I remember I went to this one school,
08:10 it was a public school.
08:11 And they had a built-in swimming pool,
08:13 an Olympic-size pool
08:14 and so every other weekend in the winter time
08:16 we would go swimming.
08:17 Only the boys would swim
08:19 from seventh, eighth and ninth grade
08:21 they swam naked for that week.
08:23 It's shocking when I think about what we endured
08:26 because I remember bringing my bathing suit
08:28 and I remember being taunted
08:30 because I brought my bathing suit.
08:31 I hadn't even reach puberty yet when we started this.
08:34 And so here I am surrounded by other guys,
08:37 they were more developed than me,
08:39 feeling incredibly insecure
08:40 and then the only way that I could find acceptance
08:42 was to take my bathing suit off.
08:44 We did jumping jacks by the side at the pool
08:47 and we paired up with another kid
08:49 to do our sit ups.
08:50 Incredibly humiliating and in my opinion,
08:54 inappropriate for children to do.
08:56 Wrong signals. Right.
08:57 So then in high school my junior senior year
08:59 I went to a academy, the summer before that
09:01 at, you know, Christian summer camp
09:04 there was a kid who had some juvenile detention issues
09:07 and he picked up on me right away.
09:09 I didn't choose him as a friend,
09:10 he just kind of showed up
09:12 and I remember we were in the pool
09:14 there at summer camp
09:15 and he swam underneath the water
09:16 and he grabbed me in my groin.
09:19 I remember just, you know, it wasn't what I wanted.
09:22 I knew it wasn't right,
09:23 you know, and I told him don't do that again.
09:25 And so he was the only person I knew.
09:27 I started off an academy with him my junior year
09:30 and again, he was experience in homosexual activity.
09:33 He saw something in me
09:35 and before, probably we'd been there a month,
09:37 I had engaged in homosexual sex with him.
09:41 What was so shocking to me
09:43 was that when I went to bed that night
09:44 I was crying.
09:46 I knew, I knew that, that I given into something
09:49 that God said was not right.
09:50 The worst part about my anguish that night
09:53 was to know that, that it actually affirm something,
09:56 it felt good.
09:57 And so I can see
09:59 how being exposed to homosexual activity
10:01 at a very young age,
10:02 it does such a mind game with you
10:04 and it causes such great confusion.
10:06 However, it still felt good and it confirmed something else
10:10 which I think makes us vulnerable
10:12 for that kind of abuse again.
10:13 Well, we need to just understand
10:15 that sin is attractive or no one would do it.
10:19 So we're talking about a perversion here
10:22 but of course, it is something that is attractive
10:25 or we would not be here.
10:28 And we wouldn't have these testimonies.
10:29 But even in your situation, Ron,
10:31 as a child that wasn't even sexual
10:33 to be introduced to it at four years old,
10:35 not only did it open up that issue of sexuality
10:40 but it even identified and educated you that way
10:43 and influenced your wiring.
10:45 So I want to move on.
10:46 How did the church ministered to you as a young adult?
10:51 And I can see, Wayne,
10:53 you're already filled with emotion.
10:56 What was that like for you?
10:58 It didn't minister to me.
11:01 There was nobody addressing this.
11:04 I was finding that while the, the sexualness
11:11 that was taking place was laying a foundation.
11:15 And I began to read in my Bible
11:18 and see that various texts were pointing out
11:21 who I was beginning to associate with
11:22 and I thought well, I didn't choose this.
11:25 And God's calling these people sinners
11:27 and that being wrong behavior, why is this happening to me
11:31 when I haven't really chosen it.
11:34 And so there was nothing coming from our school system,
11:37 there was no nothing coming from our church system
11:40 and when I was late teen,
11:44 I had already kind of slipped away
11:47 and had come back to the church
11:49 to talk about reengaging with the church
11:51 and mention to the pastor what my sin was
11:55 and he just said to me, "You need to stop."
12:00 You need stop sinning.
12:02 Wow, great advice. Right.
12:04 I was like well, can you expound upon that.
12:08 I mean, what do you mean?
12:09 You know, this is who I am inside,
12:11 what do I do with who I am?
12:13 You know, there was no understanding
12:14 about this problem.
12:15 And, Ron, for you as a young adult?
12:17 As a young adult?
12:20 As a young adult,
12:21 in my situation it is a bit different
12:23 because I was so private about my confusion
12:28 and though I was--
12:29 Was your privacy
12:31 do you think that, that was really covering up shame
12:33 that you or maybe even that you didn't feel safe
12:37 to share what was going on?
12:38 Yes. Okay.
12:40 And when I was teased and mocked
12:43 it was not-- I was even call sissy
12:45 because of being musical
12:47 and playing the piano and so forth.
12:49 But it was more of just bullying
12:52 than really accusing me of being gay.
12:54 No one had any idea
12:55 what I was struggling with in my mind.
12:58 And I grew up, even with all of my confusion,
13:00 I was a very spiritual young person.
13:03 I was always involved in church activities.
13:06 I was a church, in Sabbath school pianist
13:09 when I was very young
13:11 and very involved in all of these things.
13:13 And so there was no-- I would say in my case,
13:17 there was no ministering to me because no one knew
13:22 and we'll talk about that a little bit later,
13:24 but the ministering that I received
13:26 was just general ministry
13:28 about growing up in the church culture.
13:31 I know that I wanted Jesus in my heart
13:34 I wanted deliverance from the feelings
13:36 that, that I was experiencing.
13:39 I know that as a young adult person
13:41 I did the behavior modification thing.
13:44 I got a girlfriend, you know, I looked apart, you know,
13:48 I am sure that I had mannerisms that people were picking up on
13:51 but I had a good cover.
13:53 And so I remember being 17 years old
13:55 praying that God would take my life.
13:57 I was doing behavioral things like not watching TV,
14:00 I was a vegetarian
14:02 and, you know, all these outward things
14:04 that would look like I was spiritual
14:06 but I was still struggling
14:07 with fantasy and masturbation inside
14:10 and I prayed that God would take my life.
14:12 And because He didn't take my life at 17,
14:14 I knew what was coming.
14:15 I need a boy who gotten hit in the face with a pie
14:18 because of gay activists,
14:20 the riots at Stonewall were happening.
14:23 I saw homosexuality coming to the forefront.
14:26 I didn't want it.
14:27 But I knew I was going towards that.
14:30 And even when I came into the gay life,
14:32 being in the gay pride parades and marching on Washington
14:35 when President Clinton was inaugurated,
14:38 I remember looking at the Christians
14:39 on the side of the road
14:41 holding up their signs that said
14:42 "God hates homosexuals" and "Burn in hell"
14:46 and I thought to myself,
14:48 wow, here I was in a community
14:50 of homosexuals, with friends of mine
14:52 and I thought this is who my family is
14:55 and I remember thinking
14:56 how sad that I was once connected
14:58 to those type of people.
15:00 Even though they only represented
15:01 a very small percentage of Christian community,
15:04 the sad thing was
15:06 that was the only voice I was hearing.
15:07 I wasn't hearing about redemption for homosexuals.
15:10 All I was hearing about was the damnation
15:12 and the-- and the judgment.
15:15 And so what changed that for you?
15:17 What I want to talk about now
15:19 is how was it that God was able to reach you?
15:25 Well, you know,
15:27 God will intervene thankfully.
15:30 You know, God intervenes in our lives.
15:32 You know, when the church hasn't been successful
15:34 at reaching out, you know, God is taking somebody
15:38 who was in the gutter and has brought them back
15:41 and said, "You know what,
15:43 I'll lift you up into high places."
15:46 If your mind is on focus on me
15:50 and the healing that I am giving you
15:52 I'm providing you,
15:53 God is taking and doing something
15:57 that I never dreamed possible.
15:59 But if God reached me through,
16:01 through this divine intervention,
16:02 you know, He was through the process of elimination.
16:05 All the distractions of the world
16:06 finally came to an end with the dying of all of my friends
16:11 and I recognize that none of them were alive
16:13 and I sat there and I contemplated--
16:15 Why were they not alive, Wayne?
16:16 Due to AIDS. Okay.
16:18 And I had
16:22 just the same reason as to as them,
16:26 I should not have been alive. That's right.
16:27 I should not have been alive.
16:29 I've engaged in more sexual activity in my life
16:33 than anybody I know, you know.
16:36 Wait, Ron, for the record
16:38 what was your occupation also, during this time?
16:41 I was a male prostitute. Thank you.
16:44 Ron, would you fill us in quickly if you could about
16:47 where you were at when Jesus found you?
16:48 Okay.
16:50 First of all, I mean-- like you were talking about
16:51 the behavior modification, I did all of those things.
16:53 I graduated from college with a degree in theology.
16:56 I'm married. I had children.
16:58 I made all those good choices and still went into the world.
17:02 Yeah.
17:04 But it was through divine intervention.
17:06 The Lord reached out to me,
17:08 specifically through recurring nightmare
17:10 of living through the coming of Jesus as a lost person
17:13 and I didn't know where to go
17:14 when I was wanting to come out of it for help because
17:18 everyone thought I could not be changed.
17:20 So I ended up just going to the Word.
17:22 I went to my knees, I went to the Word of God
17:24 and the Lord and I worked this out together
17:27 and I think that's why all three of us
17:28 have such a powerful presentation here is because
17:32 we dug for our answers.
17:35 We didn't go through therapy. We went to God
17:40 and God gave us the answers through His Word.
17:42 Yeah, I think you'd agree with me but God came to me,
17:46 I wasn't looking for it.
17:48 I believe that that like both of you,
17:50 you had parents that we're praying for you,
17:52 I had sisters they were praying for me
17:53 and when that time was right
17:55 God knew that He was bringing it around again
17:57 and He plucked me out of that.
17:59 He was pursuing me long before I pursued Him.
18:01 But we went to Him for the answers.
18:02 That's right.
18:04 He drew us to the point
18:05 where we decided we need answers.
18:07 We find them in the Word of God
18:09 and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
18:10 Thank you.
18:12 So for me, when I came,
18:13 when I got baptized into the church culture again,
18:16 I basically assumed the things were the same way
18:19 that they were when I left church when I was 20.
18:21 So now I'm 40-years-old, I'm back in church culture
18:24 in the same denomination
18:26 and I was very closeted even about my coming forth because
18:30 again I didn't think I could change
18:31 and I basically understood, you know,
18:34 the biblical understanding of homosexuality.
18:36 So while I still had a boyfriend
18:37 and a sexual addiction, you know, my shame kept me
18:41 going to church and then running home.
18:43 But what happened is God was still reaching out
18:44 and He's still brought into on my understanding.
18:48 I could glean something from a sermon
18:49 or from something that I was reading
18:52 where I started to see that He had more in store for me
18:54 than I did for myself.
18:55 Well, I didn't choose to be straight,
18:57 I just chose Christ
18:58 and He brought me on this journey
18:59 into more understanding.
19:01 So the church again,
19:03 wasn't able to minister to my need.
19:05 They didn't recognize what I was going through
19:07 and they didn't even have a cure.
19:10 One of the things that we say in our ministry
19:12 is quit telling me what I'm doing is wrong
19:14 and show me that there's a way out.
19:16 And so what I want to establish now very quickly
19:18 because our time is running short
19:19 and we have so much to cover.
19:21 Wayne, quickly what was church culture like for you
19:24 when you first came in?
19:26 Well, it was the expectation that you would be baptized
19:30 going to the water gay and come up straight.
19:33 I thought--
19:34 How did that work for you, Wayne?
19:35 It didn't work out real well.
19:37 Excuse me.
19:39 There was this expectation there, you know,
19:41 since God had done the work, right,
19:43 God done the intervention.
19:44 The church was kind of like, we didn't have to do this.
19:47 And so they weren't ready for me.
19:50 They weren't ready for the fact that God was gonna turn around
19:52 and use me to begin to show ways
19:55 that God can reach out to people
19:57 who are same-sex attracted.
19:59 There's no resources, there are no,
20:01 there's nobody there that has the experience to know
20:04 what the walk is coming back to Jesus Christ.
20:07 Wayne, one of the things that I've heard you say
20:09 as we've talked before
20:11 is there was actually a church official that said,
20:13 "I know you've got a really great story
20:15 but can't you just keep it to yourself?"
20:17 Yeah. Is that right?
20:18 Yes, he thanked me for my courage to be able to share
20:22 what was on my heart but he said, you know,
20:26 while you have this going on in your life, you know,
20:28 do you really have to talk about it?
20:31 And, you know, of course, I picked up
20:32 my jaw off the ground I said, you know,
20:35 "This is exactly why we are in the predicament
20:39 we're in because if we don't talk about this,
20:42 we don't help another child in the church,
20:46 a young teen, a young adult.
20:49 They're gonna keep this inside,
20:50 they are gonna keep this bottled inside,
20:51 but they're gonna bolt at some point because
20:54 the church isn't providing them
20:56 with the, what they need to come back
20:59 and engage in with Jesus.
21:02 Right.
21:03 So, Ron, Wayne and I, one of issues
21:05 that we have is this high sensitivity.
21:08 You know, we find offense easily because
21:11 up all the offense that we've incurred along our young life.
21:13 But it seems that your experience
21:15 come back into the church very quickly,
21:17 you were able to bulldoze through some of that.
21:19 Yeah, it was different. Okay.
21:22 You know, when I came back into the church,
21:24 they were not there to assist me.
21:26 I came in with so much zeal and so much excitement
21:30 because of the answers that I had found for myself
21:33 even before I was baptized
21:35 it was like the church was more in awe rather than to help,
21:39 they had me teaching.
21:40 But before I was baptized I was teaching Sabbath school,
21:43 they didn't know I had not been baptized
21:44 because I was visiting a church participating so much,
21:47 they assumed that I was an active church member
21:50 and I had not even been baptized.
21:52 Is it possible that the moving of the Holy Spirit
21:54 allow that circumstance?
21:56 Yes. Yes, absolutely.
21:59 I think the Lord, because of the way
22:01 He brought me in through divine intervention,
22:03 He realized I had something to offer
22:05 and I really believe that that's what strengthens us
22:09 is that we get involved,
22:10 and we help others to overcome sin,
22:12 we share what the Lord has done in our lives
22:14 and the church sits-- not sits back but I mean,
22:17 they are receptive
22:19 if they are not equipped to help
22:21 they were open to hear.
22:23 And I think that was very important for me
22:25 to find a receptive.
22:26 They received me with open arms
22:29 but they didn't know what to do to help,
22:32 so I end up helping them.
22:33 So, Ron, that's a perfect point
22:35 because that's where I want to go with this.
22:37 You know, God was already moving in your life
22:39 and He brought you an opportunity
22:40 to experience more restoration by getting you busy.
22:43 And so what I want to ask now
22:45 for me coming back into the church,
22:47 I've actually been involved in a church
22:48 that knew what my history was
22:50 and I had an elder doctor who was on the board
22:54 as I was a Sabbath school superintendent,
22:56 as I was asking for men's ministry
22:58 look down his nose at me and say
23:00 "I don't want to be running around in the woods
23:02 like a bunch a gay men."
23:03 And I knew that that was pointed at me specifically.
23:06 That was incredibly crushing
23:07 not only to my spirit as a fellow Christian
23:10 and a member of this body, I totally felt isolated again.
23:14 All of the history of rejection came back again
23:17 but it forced me on my knees to reconcile with God
23:20 that I was serving Him and not the church.
23:22 And that as I, as I followed Christ
23:25 He restored forgiveness for this,
23:27 this doctor that was on the board
23:28 and also gave me a purpose
23:30 and I recognize that that purpose came from Him.
23:32 What would have made the biggest difference,
23:36 very quickly if you would,
23:38 when you were coming back
23:39 that would have made a huge difference in your recovery,
23:42 Wayne?
23:43 Communication showing that we love you,
23:47 we are God's children, we're as His family,
23:50 we want to embrace you,
23:51 we want you to know that we are all level at the,
23:54 at the foot of cross.
23:55 Amen. And, Ron?
23:57 I believe that had the church been at least
24:00 talking about the issue,
24:03 people like us would have known, at least
24:05 the church is interested, they're trying.
24:08 They didn't even have to have all of the answers.
24:10 If the church had just been open to talking about it,
24:14 researching it, being willing to find answers if so
24:18 but see, we didn't know anyone even talking about it.
24:21 There is just this silence on the issue.
24:25 What's incredible is Wayne said yesterday
24:28 that you can't give what you don't have
24:31 and how sad because what happen is we've met with resistance
24:35 even when we came back into church culture because
24:39 Jesus was working on our hearts bringing us back in.
24:41 But then we come in
24:43 and then we're feeling the resistance again
24:44 and Jesus has to push past what should be the agents
24:48 that are cooperating with Him
24:49 which should have been God with skin on if you would
24:52 to reach out and pull us in
24:54 and instead what happens is
24:55 as we come back in to church culture,
24:57 we're feeling this resistance,
24:58 this tide if you would to go against us
25:00 which basically pushed us back into Christ arms.
25:03 But for someone now who's watching out there,
25:05 they're maybe struggling with the same things that we are
25:08 or maybe be entering back into church culture,
25:10 whether they struggle with homosexuality or adultery
25:13 or whatever sin is out there.
25:15 What would you say,
25:18 would make the biggest difference
25:19 for their church culture
25:20 to bring around this attitude of love and acceptance
25:25 and what did you say, Wayne,
25:26 it kind of level the playing ground at the cross
25:29 that we all recognize that we're sinners
25:31 and that we have needs?
25:32 Yeah, begin to look to ministries on this issue.
25:37 You know, Coming Out Ministries
25:38 is one of those ministries where we are a resource now
25:42 where there have been no resources.
25:44 Now we are able to go out,
25:46 we are able to speak in churches
25:48 and colleges and schools and--
25:49 Wayne, what's that scripture in Revelation
25:52 that ties into that?
25:53 Come on say. Revelation 12:11.
25:55 That's right. Say it.
25:57 They overcame--
25:59 "They overcame him by the word of their testimony."
26:00 And?
26:02 "And the blood of the Lamb of Jesus Christ."
26:03 That's right. That's right.
26:04 And so, Ron, what would your advice be?
26:07 To what equip the church? Yes.
26:10 What would make a difference for somebody
26:12 coming into church culture
26:14 instead of getting the resistance
26:15 from the church itself but to receive them in,
26:18 what would you say would be
26:20 something that the church itself
26:21 could focus on to make that transition easier?
26:24 Well, again, I just say that the church needs to be open
26:27 to deal with a sinner with whatever issue he has.
26:31 We need to not exclude any sinner
26:34 because it's something that we feel squeamish about.
26:36 Yes. Yes.
26:38 Because every one of us finds in someone else
26:40 a repulsive sin.
26:43 My sin is not repulsive to me but yours maybe
26:47 and the church needs to be a place
26:48 where we don't push anyone away because of repulsion.
26:52 We need to get above that, get over that
26:56 and accept that the church is like a hospital
26:58 and you bring in people of all levels of spiritual need
27:01 and spiritual growth and work together
27:04 for the betterment of the Christian community.
27:06 So, Ron, how perfect because what that does say to me
27:09 is at we don't have to focus on particular sense
27:12 and we don't have to necessarily have classes
27:14 just for redeeming homosexuals
27:16 or just for redeeming prostitutes
27:18 or just redeeming gossipers
27:20 whether they're in the church or not.
27:21 But what we do is as we recognize that
27:24 we're all on the same playing field
27:25 that that we're all sinners
27:26 then what that automatically does,
27:28 is that starts to create this need
27:31 to be filled with the Holy Spirit
27:33 and allow the Lord to lead us and to love every human being
27:37 no matter what background that they're from.
27:39 So, Wayne and Ron, from Coming Out Ministries
27:42 along with myself on a thank you guys,
27:44 for this incredible conversation that we've had
27:47 and we invite you to come back
27:48 and enjoy more programs with Pure Choices
27:51 and thanks again for coming.


Revised 2016-02-25