Pure Choices

Set Apart

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Wayne Blakely (Host), Michael Carducci, Ron Woolsey, Danielle Harrison


Series Code: PC

Program Code: PC000123A

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.
00:40 Welcome to Pure Choices.
00:41 I'm Wayne Blakely from Coming Out Ministries,
00:43 and I'm here with all of my colleagues today,
00:46 Ron Woolsey, Danielle Harrison and Mike Carducci.
00:50 I welcome to each and every one of you.
00:52 Thank you. Thanks, Wayne.
00:54 You know I suddenly had a conversation with some people
00:58 that had a different view about homosexuality than I did.
01:01 And one the questions that I ended up asking them,
01:04 if we're fine just the way we are with same sex attraction
01:09 and finding someone who we want to love
01:12 and have a monogamous relationship.
01:16 What do we need to redeem it for?
01:18 If the word of God says something completely different,
01:20 how can I settle in the idea
01:23 that I'm fine just the way I am.
01:25 And, you know, I couldn't get a response to that question,
01:30 and today as we share our testimonies
01:34 and we talk to people in churches
01:37 and as many places as will invite us.
01:40 We're seen as some, like something different,
01:44 something that set apart.
01:45 And I found in John 15:19, it says,
01:49 "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.
01:53 As it is, you do not belong to the world,
01:56 but I have chosen you out of the world,
01:59 and that's why the world hates you."
02:02 So I want to talk today
02:04 about how it is that we're set apart
02:07 and what can we say to the person
02:10 who may be never ventured out into a life like ours,
02:14 may be they never left the church,
02:16 but they come to us and they say, you know,
02:18 I want to have what you guys have.
02:21 What is it that you have?
02:23 And as we explore this,
02:26 I want to talk to you individually
02:28 about your relationship outside of Coming Out Ministries.
02:32 So today, Ron,
02:34 what would you say it means to you as been set apart?
02:39 Well, I have been redeemed from the life that I was living
02:43 which I discovered was total bondage.
02:46 When I... And who showed you that?
02:48 What?
02:49 Who showed you that that it was total bondage?
02:51 Well, I realized it was total bondage
02:53 when I tried to come out of it.
02:54 First of all when in going into it,
02:57 I went into the gay life and I left the Lord,
03:01 because I wanted to,
03:02 I was just tired of all the thou shalt not.
03:05 So I wanted freedom from the law.
03:08 But we're told in the Bible
03:09 that the law of God is the law of liberty.
03:12 So in getting freedom from the law of liberty,
03:18 I was really finding freedom from freedom
03:21 which equals bondage.
03:23 And after years of living in that life,
03:26 I realized that I wanted out of the bondage.
03:29 And it wasn't until I started trying to come out of it
03:32 that I realized how entangle I was.
03:36 And it was absolutely impossible for me
03:38 to come out of that on my own.
03:40 A lot of people who read just certain portions of the Bible
03:45 see it as restrictive like,
03:47 oh, God doesn't want me to be happy
03:49 because I can't do what is natural to me.
03:52 And so, we get the idea
03:54 that what's natural to us must be right,
03:56 and then in that I think
03:58 it's where so many people adopt the idea
04:01 that they don't even think that it's coming from Satan,
04:05 they don't recognize it,
04:06 and so the church didn't come and get us.
04:10 And I think a little bit about the church today
04:12 in terms of being like Israel are or being a little bit
04:18 like Laodicea that they're sleeping a bit
04:20 and not recognizing the true value of God's word
04:24 and His great love for us.
04:27 And why He would ask us to give up some of the things
04:30 that do come natural to us.
04:32 Danielle, I mean, your life was much different
04:36 than it is today, and people can see that
04:38 by looking at a contrast picture of you
04:41 from how you used to dress,
04:42 as to how you would wear dress now.
04:45 And some people would say,
04:46 oh, look at her, she is so modest,
04:47 she doesn't have the personality
04:49 and the flash and the flair that she had.
04:52 You know, why?
04:54 Why?
04:56 Well, you know, I will answer through an illustration.
05:03 I went to a youth conference and I had been praying
05:08 as I did every time I went to mea that God would give me
05:11 a divine appointment their at the lunch table.
05:14 And as I came and I sat down at this table,
05:17 there were a few younger girls and then an older lady,
05:21 and all the girls were sitting around
05:23 talking to this older woman.
05:25 And they were just chatting amongst themselves
05:28 and they acknowledged me when I came and sat down,
05:30 but they just continued on with their conversation,
05:33 and our meal was almost over
05:35 and I was just kind of like okay, Lord,
05:37 well, you know, so much for, you know,
05:40 a divine appointment at this lunch table,
05:42 because it just seem that they were kind of involved
05:45 and I wasn't going to be brought in at the conversation.
05:47 Well, the Lord did bring it around,
05:49 and I started talking with those young girls,
05:52 and to make a long story short,
05:53 I ended up giving them a little flyer
05:55 that I had printed up
05:57 to share with some universities and academies
06:00 to hopefully have opportunity to speak to the students.
06:04 But I just fell inspired to give them
06:06 one of my little flyers,
06:08 and one of the girls at the table,
06:09 when she saw that before and after picture,
06:11 she looked at it
06:12 and she looked up at me with this look on her face,
06:17 and I'll never forget the expression
06:20 and she could not believe
06:22 that I used to be the person that I was.
06:24 She said, when you came and you sat down,
06:26 I saw this piece and this just joy
06:32 that was shining out of you,
06:34 and she said when I looked at you,
06:36 and I just saw this atmosphere around you,
06:38 I thought to myself, that's what we can have
06:40 when we truly walk with Jesus.
06:43 And so for her to see that in me
06:45 and then to see who I used to be,
06:46 she was utterly dumfounded
06:49 and I think that is really the essence of why,
06:52 you know, because before I came to the Lord,
06:55 I thought that I was liberated in walking in my own way
06:57 and making my own decisions.
07:00 But I realized very quickly that I was enslaved in that,
07:03 I wasn't happy that my depression only got worse,
07:07 my anxiety attacks got worse.
07:10 I started struggling with
07:11 eating disorders and multiple addictions,
07:13 and my life just spiraled completely out of control.
07:17 And I think that's why God is calling us to be set apart,
07:22 and to walk in a new way
07:24 because He wants us to experience life the way
07:27 that He designed it to be experienced.
07:30 And when we walk in the ways of the world,
07:33 that's what we are losing out on.
07:34 And what we're receiving in exchange is not the picture
07:39 that Satan has so masterfully painted us to think it is.
07:43 And, you know, I know you today,
07:45 and I didn't know you then.
07:47 But in the pictures that I've seen, I see a flair.
07:51 The only word that comes to my mind is,
07:53 it's a bit of a demonic flair because it just had that,
07:58 you know, a little bit of an evil twinge,
08:00 like looking out of the corner of your eye.
08:02 And yet today, I see you and I know you,
08:06 and a little about your walk with God,
08:08 and I see a sparkle in your eye
08:10 and I see genuine love
08:12 that transcends to the person that you're speaking to.
08:17 And sometimes that I'm fortunate is me.
08:21 And I'm blessed by how you interact with God today
08:25 and a little bit about how close that walk is
08:30 and I'll come back to that.
08:32 Mike, there is a verse in God's word that says,
08:36 it's Jeremiah 1: 5, this says,
08:38 "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you."
08:41 Do you really believe that?
08:44 Absolutely, one of the things
08:46 that I find so intimated about God now,
08:49 I didn't understand Him before, I couldn't relate to Him,
08:53 because I related to God as I related to my father.
08:55 I rejected my father before I was even conscious,
08:58 so I wanted nothing to do with him
08:59 and nothing he did even interested me.
09:02 So, as I grow up, I thought, well, God must be like my dad
09:05 indifferent, arbitrary, judgmental.
09:08 And so it wasn't until after I begun this journey,
09:10 an intimate journey with Jesus Christ,
09:12 that I, as I saw Jesus' longsuffering,
09:15 as I saw Jesus love for me and His compassion.
09:20 And then I also read in John 14:9,
09:21 it says, "If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father."
09:24 So it was like, it took until I was 47 years old,
09:27 before God could introduce Himself to me as my father,
09:30 but now that I read the word
09:32 and now that I understand a greater picture of the God
09:34 that I thought I knew, that I knew nothing about.
09:38 I can understand that, yeah, before the earth was made,
09:41 He knew me and He saved me to live,
09:43 you know, during this time.
09:45 And again, I didn't know you, none of us know each other
09:49 when we lived in a life that was much different than this.
09:53 But today, I see you share
09:56 and I see the contrast of the relationship that was,
10:00 that you struggled with your father,
10:03 and then I see you interact with people
10:07 that are drawn to your testimony.
10:09 And people that contact you, you know, often to get counsel,
10:13 and you're so patient with them,
10:16 and so loving, and so kind, and so articulate,
10:21 and you help people understand.
10:23 I see God working through you,
10:26 that they begin to see the values
10:28 that God has for them.
10:30 You have a presentation that I always,
10:34 when we're doing something, group together,
10:37 I never get tired of hearing,
10:39 and that's called the lost father.
10:42 And so can you tell me that at one point
10:45 you were a part of the world
10:47 and how you see yourself set apart from the world,
10:50 and how did you came to love that heavenly Father?
10:55 Wow, Wayne, you know, if we had more time,
10:58 I could probably elaborate more,
10:59 but just of the top of my head, I wanted only what I wanted.
11:05 And living in that life I'd learned that
11:08 because of all the rejection that I'd experienced
11:11 that it was a doggy dog world,
11:12 and you've got to sink your teeth in
11:14 and get everything that you can get
11:16 because you will get nothing.
11:18 And so then coming into a relationship
11:20 with Jesus Christ and then learning
11:21 that I'm supposed to view myself as least
11:24 and to put other people first.
11:26 You know, thanks, Wayne,
11:27 for all those glowing attributes,
11:29 but it's taking the whole long time
11:32 to learn to be more patient and to learn to be more loving
11:34 because I was only in it for what I could get.
11:38 And so as I...
11:40 Here comes, as I behold who Jesus Christ was,
11:44 and as I see His unlimited supply of patients for me
11:49 and His love for me
11:51 and as that draws in me into Him,
11:54 then I realized that He says in His word,
11:56 He says. I'm faithful and just.
12:00 I wasn't faithful or just.
12:02 But His faithfulness and His justification drew me to Him
12:06 and help me to desire to even want to be more like Him.
12:11 But while, Wayne, it,
12:12 it's taken years and I'm not there yet.
12:15 I'm familiar with it.
12:17 The process it seems long,
12:19 I think it seems long to each of us individually
12:22 and we don't recognize the changes
12:26 to people from the outside,
12:30 you know, and I noticed this
12:33 when I was younger, and I would go
12:34 to various presentations or specialty groups
12:39 that would come to our church or something,
12:41 I would go, I just want to be like them,
12:43 that's just so wonderful.
12:44 And it looks like that, you know,
12:46 that everything is just, it's just perfections.
12:50 And yet each of us know that we struggle,
12:54 we have struggled along the way
12:56 as we have walked with each other,
12:58 that it's like a family.
13:01 And there are various attributes,
13:04 and there are various things in families
13:06 that some things you like and some things you don't like.
13:10 And it is been interesting to me
13:13 how God has walked with us,
13:19 and how He hasn't let us down,
13:22 and that He holds us together.
13:24 And we have hit some hills and some valleys
13:29 and, you know we, I know the enemy is totally
13:33 after our ministry like this.
13:34 It's really one of may be two,
13:37 that I know in this denomination.
13:41 For the great length of time that they were set silence,
13:44 all of the sudden God raises up this little army,
13:47 you know, it's like the mod squad for Jesus,
13:51 and we go together and we share,
13:55 and we do so joyfully.
13:57 But at times there have been tensions,
13:59 and yet God has personally shown me that
14:06 if my focus is on myself,
14:10 I'm going to miss out on the real gift,
14:14 the real value of what he wants to do in my life,
14:18 and I think He has revealed that on to each
14:22 and everyone of us.
14:24 So I do believe that we are called to be separate
14:28 and to come apart.
14:30 I know that we've struggled to get to some places
14:32 where we would like to go.
14:34 And that's to speak with people that are young,
14:40 that when we were young,
14:42 we so desperately wanted to hear from people like us
14:45 that got some answers and some solutions.
14:49 And so today we have on campuses,
14:52 on many Christian campuses,
14:53 you know, these straight gay alliances,
14:56 and the people have come out on campus
14:59 and identified as gay,
15:01 but I think what's missing is that,
15:02 while they have a love for God.
15:06 In many cases, this is certainly the truth.
15:08 They do love God,
15:10 but what they haven't been able to come to grips with
15:14 is their feelings versus God's word.
15:18 And for some reason
15:20 it seems like many of our institutions
15:22 have either feared or failed to go forward and say,
15:29 here is who you really are in Jesus Christ,
15:31 while you attempted it,
15:33 it doesn't make you as though you are someone
15:37 who lived in this
15:38 an that simply did the temptation itself
15:40 doesn't have to identify you.
15:42 Each of us identify
15:44 as new creatures in Jesus Christ,
15:45 and for some reason in certain places
15:47 that holds us at arms distance.
15:50 And what I so desperately want to do,
15:53 and I pray that God will open the doors,
15:55 so that we can do is to go into these places
15:59 and say Jesus is the safe place, you know.
16:03 It's all about finding out
16:05 the fact that Jesus loves you so very, very much.
16:08 He knows what you struggle with,
16:10 and He has solutions.
16:11 Are you interested in the solution?
16:13 Are you interested in finding that?
16:15 While you have same sex attraction,
16:18 or while you might be immersed in pornography,
16:21 or while you might be having pre-marital sex.
16:26 You don't have to identify on these things
16:29 that there is actually a way out.
16:31 God is true to His word, He provides a way out,
16:35 and that we can all become new creatures in Jesus Christ.
16:39 And as James 5:16 says that
16:41 we can go to somebody else and say,
16:43 you know I really struggled with something,
16:45 and I need you to pray for me,
16:46 because here James 5:16 says that "healing is mine."
16:51 I know in your conversion, Mike, that you said,
16:54 "It is up to you God to reveal Yourself to me.
16:56 I have come to you.
16:58 Fine, I'm giving my heart to You,
16:59 I repent, but now You got show me You.
17:02 And I find that Jesus will do that,
17:05 when we hold Jesus to a promise
17:07 that He has given to us,
17:09 He will not let us down.
17:10 Wayne, He delights to reveal His promises, doesn't He?
17:14 He is just looking for an opportunity to bless us,
17:17 to bestow those things on us.
17:19 He is not wanting to withhold anything good from me.
17:23 But the thing that He waits for as Danielle says,
17:25 He is a gentleman.
17:27 You know, He is waiting for the opportunity
17:29 or the invitation,
17:30 or maybe the response to the invitation
17:32 because whenever we open up our heart to God,
17:34 it's because He invited us first.
17:36 Right.
17:38 I came to the person who is suffering.
17:41 I was talking to someone recently,
17:44 who is dedicated to God
17:46 and we were talking about failure,
17:49 and if someone falls,
17:50 and how devastating that can be sometimes,
17:54 because the enemy makes you feel worthless.
17:56 You know that now you need just to go back
17:58 and live the life that you once lived,
18:01 and that there is no hope for you.
18:04 But the words of God tells us, wait a minute hold on,
18:07 I love you
18:09 and that I even advised to forgive 70 times 7.
18:13 And so God is showing that in His ways,
18:18 is He is always there ready to forgive
18:21 if we will just seek His forgiveness,
18:24 He will help us get back up on our feet,
18:26 and walk with Him
18:28 that He is our biggest fan, you know.
18:31 So it's absolutely amazing.
18:34 I was considering with this wave of ISIS,
18:40 and you know, and like the racial cleansing,
18:43 and all the different things that they tried that,
18:45 you know, people get upset with each other about,
18:47 and people start killing each other over it.
18:50 That we began to, have seen how much
18:54 we and our message is much different
18:58 than the trend of the world today.
19:00 And actually a little bit different than
19:02 the trend in some
19:03 of our larger denominations today
19:05 who are just saying, "Ah, it just doesn't matter."
19:08 So as we become more peculiar,
19:12 and we began to think about some of the persecutions
19:16 that are even coming from within.
19:20 Can you tell me how you see that, Ron?
19:23 What did...
19:24 You know, persecution is coming,
19:26 how are you gonna respond to that?
19:29 To persecution?
19:30 Let for instance,
19:32 you claim to be a new creation in Jesus Christ,
19:35 you don't live by your feelings anymore.
19:37 You're saying that gay behavior is sinful behavior,
19:40 that's just warped.
19:42 Well, if you're talking about feelings and emotions
19:46 you were talking early about.
19:49 Letting feelings and emotions identify who we are.
19:52 You know, a murderer that comes to Jesus has to learn
19:56 to overcome his feeling and emotions,
20:00 and a thief has to overcome his feelings and emotions,
20:05 and an adulterer needs to get control
20:07 of his feelings and emotions,
20:09 it's same with the pedophiler or any other sinful behavior.
20:15 But with the gay issue,
20:16 it seems that feelings and emotions
20:19 are supposed to identify us.
20:22 But when you're talking about persecution,
20:24 we know that all who will live godly
20:27 in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
20:30 And persecution comes in many different forms,
20:33 and some times we meet up with opposition.
20:36 We don't think of it as persecution,
20:38 but it's kind of a beginning of that thing,
20:41 when you are meeting up
20:42 with slander and false reports,
20:47 misrepresentations of who you are.
20:49 Those are forms,
20:51 they are light forms of persecution.
20:54 But how we deal with that now
20:56 I think will determine how we will deal with
20:58 greater persecution as it comes later.
21:01 And we must love our enemies and pray for them,
21:05 and just like Jesus prayed,
21:07 "Father forgive them
21:08 for they know not what they do."
21:10 We need to have that same attitude
21:12 when we are being wronged,
21:14 misrepresented and slandered, and yes, even persecuted.
21:19 How about you, Danielle?
21:20 You know I...
21:22 As I look at the political climate,
21:24 as it surrounds the all LGPT wave,
21:29 that's been moving across our country.
21:34 You know, we already have seen
21:35 a level of persecution with the, you know,
21:39 the bakery is the one that always comes to my mind
21:42 that was closed down
21:43 because they wouldn't do the gay wedding cake,
21:46 and now basically everything
21:48 that family owned has been taken from them.
21:50 And, you know,
21:51 we see anything other than complete acceptance
21:56 considered bigotry and hate,
21:58 and so we no longer have
22:02 really the freedom to hold our own views.
22:05 I think that religious freedoms
22:07 are being taken away from us.
22:09 In the storm
22:12 that we are facing here on this topic,
22:15 and so, we've seen the persecution began already,
22:17 and I think it's only going to continue.
22:21 And I really feel that ourselves and ministry,
22:25 the voices like us that hold to these beliefs
22:29 were really on the frontlines of a greater war
22:32 that's I believe going to lead into,
22:34 into greater persecution,
22:36 but I believe that
22:39 we won't see the end concluded,
22:42 and Christ come
22:43 and tell the persecution is rekindled,
22:46 because as we stand for the right,
22:50 as we're willing to be set apart
22:53 and stand for the right of the heavens fall,
22:55 it's only when that happens
22:57 that the persecution will come,
23:01 and I think that needs to happen
23:02 so that Jesus can come.
23:04 So I really love what Ron said in the documentary about,
23:08 you don't hate gays,
23:09 you know, that's where we came from.
23:11 Ron, would you say that again, the part, right.
23:13 Well, we are not homophobic, we are homoagapic.
23:17 That's why we are doing what we are doing
23:18 and set up our love
23:20 for people that are where we used to be
23:22 that don't have the answers we now have.
23:25 What you said though, as you said,
23:27 we don't hate gays.
23:29 If I hated gays, I wouldn't talk about it,
23:31 I wouldn't even care what happen to them.
23:33 Just leave it alone.
23:34 That, leave it alone, that's right.
23:35 And, you know, I think that really,
23:37 it sums it up, if we didn't care,
23:39 you know, we wouldn't even address it,
23:41 I just go home and wait for Jesus to come.
23:45 So, Mike, if a president of a Christian university
23:49 came to you and said,
23:51 you know, there is just no way
23:52 that we are gonna allow you speak here,
23:54 because you guys have extremist views,
23:57 and that's damaging.
23:59 And so,
24:01 I mean that's kind of persecution too
24:04 in not being able to get the word out
24:09 that young people so desperately need to hear.
24:11 How does that affect you? How does that fall on you?
24:15 You know, Wayne, what?
24:16 How it really...
24:18 I guess affects me is the fact that
24:20 I think of when somebody does come to me,
24:23 and says, you know,
24:26 I don't know what to think, I don't know where to go.
24:27 You know, I hear the world telling me that this is okay,
24:30 and then I hear the word of God telling me
24:31 that it's wrong,
24:33 you know, and there is no resources.
24:35 I think about that child because that person was me.
24:39 You know, I walked right out of Christian culture
24:41 at 20 years old
24:42 because I couldn't get my sexuality
24:44 and my religion to come together.
24:45 And because I found no resources
24:47 or even an open ear
24:49 that I felt that I could trust.
24:50 You know what they did is that plunged me
24:52 into a world of experience
24:54 that God had never intended for me.
24:57 And while it took a long time
24:58 that because of what I have been put through,
25:02 that my sadness actually comes
25:04 when a university is unwilling to even
25:07 just consider the options
25:09 that the word of God expresses are available.
25:13 I remember reading
25:14 and believe it's in 1 Peter that tells me that
25:19 God doesn't
25:21 smile on even the slightest tint of sexual immorality,
25:27 and it reminds me again that
25:28 His word is very definitive about this topic of sexuality,
25:33 and how God who created us wants to uphold
25:37 His perfect plan for us,
25:39 that really does mean an awful lot to Him,
25:43 and it should mean an awful lot to us as well.
25:47 For somebody who contemplates their life
25:50 and their destiny today,
25:52 I find that there was great power
25:54 in 1 Peter 1:14-16, Ron, do you have that?
25:58 Yes, I have it here,
26:00 "As obedient children,
26:03 not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts
26:06 in your ignorance.
26:08 But as he which hath called you is holy,
26:11 so be ye holy in all manner of conversation,
26:15 Because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy."
26:22 To me that for a long time
26:24 I thought while be holy like God,
26:29 and I couldn't hold a candle to that.
26:31 And yet when I...
26:33 And I found some other people,
26:35 I got to mention this too,
26:36 they were even offended by that,
26:38 to that being drawn, be holy.
26:40 You know, that was like something that
26:41 we certainly couldn't attain.
26:44 But when I went and I looked up the word,
26:47 one of the definitions for holy meant set apart.
26:51 Doesn't it just mean follow me,
26:54 just follow me, be like me.
26:55 Yes.
26:56 Try, you know, to stay with me.
26:58 Yeah.
26:59 So, as we each one walk with God,
27:02 I know that every single one of us have personal devotions.
27:08 Time away with God when,
27:10 when we're not even speaking together.
27:12 In fact sometimes speaking together,
27:14 I find distracts from our devotion time.
27:17 We get wrapped up into a schedule.
27:19 But when I come back
27:20 and I have all that precious time with God,
27:23 and I recently had that privilege,
27:25 that God really does speak to our hearts
27:28 and He does tell us that we are set apart.
27:31 And it gives new meaning to my experience with Him,
27:34 I reflect on His promises.
27:37 It gives me inspiration and motivation
27:39 as to why He has set me apart
27:41 for I believe preserving me and preserving us
27:45 for such a time as this.
27:48 Find your true meaning in Jesus Christ,
27:50 and find that He has set you apart.
27:52 Thank you so much
27:54 for joining us again in Pure Choices,
27:56 and God bless you.


Revised 2016-06-16