29 M gay - out in the ACC (AOG)

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Joined in 2010
September 16, 2010, 19:23

I grew up in a non-religious home (eldest of three brothers) and became a Christian in my first year of uni after reading a Gideons New Testament. I was baptized almost immediately and started going to a Uniting Church. After about a year and a half there, I felt I wanted more and left to join a Pentecostal church.

So I have been a Jesus follower now for about 11 years.

Unlike a lot of stories that I have read, I don’t think I really realized that I was gay until I was probably about 18, shortly after I became a believer. In the early days of my Christian walk, being gay just wasn’t an issue at all. I just didn’t think about it.

It wasn’t until I was about 24-25 that I went through the “God, make me straight” stage, spurned on by stories from the web of people who claimed that they had changed. It was also about this time that I finally came out to my parents. It was emotionally draining but they accepted it fairly readily. I was lucky.

I actually was spurned to come out by another story on the web. It was one of a teacher (I am also a teacher) who came out (to the whole school, mind you) in his 50s. He subsequently described it like starting a new life. I didn’t find the prospect of coming out in my 50s very appealing, and so I came out very shortly after reading that story.

I have been progressively coming out at church for about a year now. The fact that I support gay marriage was a concern to a person of influence in my group, and I was “encouraged” to go and see the pastors, since I was preaching and had a finger in a couple of leadership-type pies. So I went. I was removed from preaching (though not roughly), but told I could continue on the other behind-the-scenes things that I was doing for the time being. These things finished themselves, and I was thus left with nothing.

Rather perturbed, I went and explained that the decision to not have me preach was having a negative effect on me. The decision hurt at the time, but I went back because it continued to hurt. Thankfully my mentor, a person of influence in the church, while not being supportive of gay marriage, is supportive of me, and having him there helped add credibility to the conversation.

So I am currently in the process of negotiations with the church about making the church a safer place for GLBT people. The pastors have given me their commitment that they will seek to learn more about homosexuality from some of the resources that I have given them, and hopefully we will continue to meet to discuss things.

I still don’t preach, but I hope in time the church will build bridges. Whether my presence there ends up having a significant impact on the acceptance of GLBT people (particularly young people) in the church remains to be seen. But I remain hopeful, and act with patience, imbued with the confidence that my church has a different character to many others, and spurned on by the thought that I could make a difference to the generation of GLBTers coming after me.

Joined in 2008
September 16, 2010, 21:14

Hi BrisBen,

Welcome to freedom2b[e]! Thanks for sharing some of your journey with us.

The desire to serve in some capacity can be a powerful motivating force within us. I hope that you can resolve the situation you’re in with the church in question.

Let us know how it goes.

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
September 16, 2010, 23:31

Hi BrisBen

What a trailblazer you are! I’m very impressed that you’re seeking to bring about change in your church despite the difficulties and heart ache you’ve encountered there. 🙂

Your story is really inspiring. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to hearing more.


Ann Maree

Joined in 2007
September 17, 2010, 04:15

Hi BrisBen,

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. I am greatly encouraged to hear that your pastors have at least agreed to try and learn more about Homosexuality.

I’ve recently come out to my (Wesley Methodist) Pastor too, and was very encouraged by his response to me which is coming from love, and a desire for us both to learn from each other in this situation.

I’m sensing a change in attitudes and that’s why I felt I needed to go back to church. Not saying this path is for everyone, but it’s where I feel I should be right now.

I pray that your continued journey with your church will be one of mutual benefit to you, and to the wider GLBT community.

Joined in 2010
September 18, 2010, 12:48

Hola Ben!

Your story truly moves my spirit and heart. Your patience and compassion in the face of those who do not understand you, is truly a model to all Christians everywhere. You have sought to build bridges and open hearts. By definition, you have sought to be a peacemaker.

Matthew 5:9

Blessed are the peacemakers, because it is they who will be called God’s children.

Welcome to the board, and thank you for sharing your story!

Yours in Christ,


Joined in 2009
September 18, 2010, 22:31

As one Brisbanite to another, welcome to Freedom 2b(e).

What a great story and I really admire the way you are trying to make a difference with your church.

It would be great to meet you someday.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
September 19, 2010, 10:14

hey Brisben… great of you to tell your story here…….and encouraging to know that even though your church is not totally accepting of things at this stage they are willing to talk and learn……we have a new climate developing in the australian christian churches…..I’m currently in London…..and well I tell people about some of the stories of change…..they are blown away.

Please ignore my email to you……I see you have posted your story……hope to see you more in this wonderfully supportive community.

BTW……was that story you read here on the forum

Joined in 2010
September 19, 2010, 11:58

Thank you all for your encouraging words. (David, it looks like we will get to meet soon!)

I can’t remember exactly where the story was that I referred to… it was a number of years ago now.

Incidentally, I have just converted the action plan that I wrote and used for negotiations with the church into a website, which I will post on another forum.

Here it is anyway.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
September 19, 2010, 21:10

looking forward to meeting you face to face one day soon Brisben

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