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Trapped In Deception

"God created us this way," the gay priest told me, "and He loves us just the way we are."

Sex became a distorted issue for me at an early age. I was molested about age six by a male friend of the family who was baby-sitting me. I was also exposed to some pornography at the same time. The porn was heterosexual, yet very devastating to my understanding of real love and God’s design for sexuality.

At age seven, I was exposed to more pornography. My brother’s friends had come over to our house to look at Playboy magazines. One of my brother’s friends was reading an article about testing yourself to see if you might have homosexual tendencies. The article asked if you were attracted to men or women in very explicit ways.

My mind was reeling from the pictures and the feelings that I was having. Then the older boy showed the pictures to me and asked, "Who would you kiss, the man or the woman?"

I became very frightened, convinced that I was going to get in real trouble. I remember wanting to answer what I thought he wanted to hear. Well, we are all boys, I thought, and boys are not supposed to be interested in girls. So I told him, "The man."

My brother’s friends all laughed and began calling me a "queer." They ridiculed both my brother and me. I was confused and felt so dirty as they repeated over and over, "You homosexual, you queer." Their voices of ridicule rang in my mind for days.

Several years later, our next-door neighbors had some out-of-state visitors. I was playing at their house, and was followed into the garage by the adult male visitor. He grabbed me from behind and began to molest me while warning me to keep quiet.

After struggling with him for a few minutes, I got away. I was terrified at what had happened. I went home and never told anyone. I thought it was my fault, because in the heat of the summer, I had been wearing cut-off shorts with no shirt.

About a year later, my family went on a trip to Colorado. We stayed with friends who had a son several years older than me. At bedtime, he began telling me about a "game" he had learned from a friend. That night, I was molested again, except this time I submitted to it because it was just a "game." A year later, he came to visit at my house and we "played the game" again.

When I was 12, I switched from a private Catholic school to public school and soon was introduced to drugs. I started smoking marijuana and listening to hard rock music. I totally rejected what little I knew of God. This opened the door for a constant influence of demonic activity in my life. I became sexually active with a girl from school and surrounded myself with peers who encouraged me to continue in sin.

About a year later, I went into a deep depression because I kept having homosexual thoughts, desires and dreams. My family and friends became very concerned. I wouldn’t talk to anyone, afraid of what they would think.

One night in my depression, I started praying to God to change me. I believed the lie that I had been born gay; I blamed God for making me gay and was very angry at Him.

Finally I decided to kill myself. I probably would have succeeded if a friend hadn’t come over that night. I was headed out the front door when he drove up and asked, "Where are you going?" I told him the truth: "To kill myself." "Come inside," he responded. "I need to talk to you. I know what’s wrong."

We went to my room. Sure enough, he correctly guessed my struggle—then told me be was bisexual and it was perfectly normal. I was shocked! A false peace settled over me as I realized that one of my closest friends understood my struggles.

I broke off my relationship with my girlfriend and pursued a relationship with this male friend. As I went through high school, I met other homosexual men and started going to gay bars. Soon I had a new goal: to be "married" to another man.

Over the coming years, I pursued a marriage-type relationship with several men. I had one relationship that lasted two years. During this time, I started going back to the Catholic church. I was going to college and began living openly as a homosexual. My lover, Mike, was very wealthy and we lived in a beautiful home. I drove a new convertible and traveled to a lot of places.

Then a friend from high school heard the reason why I had broken up with my girlfriend and sent me a Christian tract on homosexuality. It was very convincing, but Mike told me to toss it in the trash. "It’s garbage," he said, and so I threw it away—but continued to think about its message for several days.

Several months later, my little brother died. We were only 18 months apart and, for the first time in years, I began praying earnestly. Mostly I complained to God, convinced that He had taken my little brother.

At the funeral, I noticed Mike talking with the priest. It ended up that they knew one another well, and the priest knew many other gay priests and ministers. When I talked with this man, he told me that being homosexual was okay with God. "God created us this way," he said, "and He loves us just the way we are."

Now, more than ever, I believed that my homosexuality was predestined. But I became depressed again for several months. I was filled with guilt, convinced that I should have died instead of my brother.

My relationship with Mike ended in a horrible fight; then I joined a health club, where I met a guy I thought was straight. But he had been exposed to homosexuality one other time earlier in his life, and was plagued with gay thoughts. Before long, we were sexually involved, even though he was married. I was torn up with guilt and developed an ulcer.

This man wanted to divorce his wife and move to another state with me. But I decided to end the relationship—I could not stand the guilt. I tried to force myself to be heterosexual, throwing myself into a relationship with a woman who was trying to help me out of homosexuality. But being involved in heterosexual sin carried just as much guilt for me, and it didn’t work. I still longed for a relationship with a loving fatherly man.

Then I got a phone call from Mary, an old high school friend. The next day she took me to visit her sister who was "real religious." Several people were there, and they talked about Jesus in a familiar way that I had never heard before. He was real to them, an intimate friend. The Jesus I knew was dead on a cross, and found in a wafer on Sundays.

Suddenly I sensed God speaking clearly to my heart: "If you do not accept me tonight, you will die." My heart started pounding.

Everyone else but a man named Steve left the room. I turned to him and said, "I need to know Jesus like you do." We prayed together and I accepted Jesus Christ into my life.

Later that night after returning home, I went to my bedroom with the old family Bible and prayed for God to show me where homosexuality was wrong. I opened the Bible, came to Leviticus chapter 18, and my eyes fell upon verse 22: "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female, it is an abomination." I didn’t know what "abomination" meant, but I knew it had to mean something God hated, so I knelt beside my bed and cried out to God for forgiveness. Then I asked Jesus to totally change me. It was February 6, 1983, and my new life had begun.

The Lord started working in my life, but victory did not come without lots of struggles. My former lover would call me up, crying over the phone and begging me to reconsider my decision to leave him. But the Lord led me to a wonderful church where people really loved Him. I found out later that these people had even been praying for me before I arrived! My supervisor at work visited my home one time and noticed some of my things in my roommate’s bedroom. He correctly guessed that we were gay, and asked his prayer group at the church to begin praying for me.

After I became a Christian, I told this same boss that I had been gay. He had been a good friend, and he kept loving me. "Jesus can change your life if you submit totally to Him," he told me. His in-laws were so excited to hear that I’d become a Christian that they invited me to live with them while I became established as a new believer. I stayed with them for the next year.

I began meeting weekly with my pastor, who became a spiritual father to me. He helped me to deal with the underlying root issues of my homosexual struggles, such as lust, anger and unforgiveness.

I also had to deal with the reality of being sexually abused as a child. When the anger and bitterness came pouring out, several men and women in my church prayed with me and ministered God’s healing to my broken heart.

After I had been a Christian for over a year, I began thinking about marriage. "God," I prayed, "if You want me to be married, You will have to bring a woman into my life who loves You as much as I do!

Some months later, Robin began attending my church and the Lord revealed to me that she would become my life partner. We became friends and were eventually married on May 25, 1986. Today we have a very fulfilling marriage, and enjoy being parents to three children (Robin had one daughter when we married).

Some may wonder how much my children know about my past. The two youngest (8 and 6) do not know about my sexual past yet; they are too young to know details about sexuality. I told our oldest daughter when she was ten. My children understand that I was in deep sin before I gave my life over to the Lord and that Jesus Christ has delivered me. They also understand that their daddy helps others be comforted with the same comfort that I have received from the Lord (2 Cor. 1:4).

Marriage has brought me a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man. And marriage has revealed how selfish I really was, and how much I need to die to myself every day and love my wife like Christ loves the Church (Eph. 5:25). From my own experience, I know that deliverance from homosexuality comes only through a new lifestyle of absolute surrender and complete dependence upon the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s blessings never cease when we are open to Him, walking in obedience to His will.

Stephen Black is an ordained minister and was formerly an Executive Director of First Stone Ministries, a Restored Hope Network Ministry in Oklahoma City. Copyright © 1996 Stephen Black. Used by permission.