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a peek in my inbox...dialogue with an ex-gay

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Anthony Venn-Brown
 
Joined in 2005
June 20, 2008, 18:57

I guess I like to learn from lots of sources. the bible has taught me many things…….but I’ve also learnt heaps through the learning of others, my life experience, the expertise of others etc etc. …….so to have an argument quoting scriptures at each other is quite limiting.


in some areas……I just have an inner knowing…..call it intuition or the spirit of God…..but for me……i just know.


To dialogue with this gentleman I’d have to refer to all the sources that have enabled my to now live such a wonderful life…..i wouldn’t change for anything.



Sandy
 
Joined in 2007
June 20, 2008, 21:56

Obviously I read way too much into the concept. I do that, pick a small detail and blow it out of preportion just because it irks me, its not intentional so if I have made a mountain out of a molehill then forgive me.


It’s unwise to expect anyone to cite all their various sources of wisdom in detail in a situation like this so I conceed your point…. this time 😆 😆



Anthony Venn-Brown
 
Joined in 2005
June 21, 2008, 11:52

😆 😆 😆


I feel like I’ve just had a win……but as you know its not about winning…….if it was then it might make the other person the loser……..and I wouldn’t want that.



Sandy
 
Joined in 2007
June 21, 2008, 17:11

Well since the other person is me I don’t want that either 😆


There is nothing wrong with being pleased you are right, I remind people when I am all the time 😀 Every once in a while probability gets the best of me and I need to conceed a point to someone else. It’s not often I make a point of telling you you are right, so you get full permission to gloat 😆 😆



Anthony Venn-Brown
 
Joined in 2005
June 22, 2008, 10:54

LMAO! 😆 😆 😆



Anthony Venn-Brown
 
Joined in 2005
June 25, 2008, 11:33

The dialogue continues.…..if you have a lot of time on your hands you may like to read this exchange.


From: Anthony Venn-Brown [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: Wednesday, 18 June 2008 14:21

Subject: RE: CHRISTIAN TESTIMONY


HI David


When I resigned from the ministry and left the church I really believed I was walking out on God. I had no intention of ever being a Christian again and considered that I was probably going to hell. I’d actually planned committing suicide at 50…….that way I didn’t think I would end up a lonely tragic old gay man. In 1998 God came to my quite unexpectedly and I felt like I was born again….. again. It was a profound, very real life changing experience David. At that point I knew that God accepted me as I am and that my sexual orientation was not an issue to him only the life I live.


I have a quite extensive knowledge of the bible…..have had that for years ……and of recent years gained even greater understanding……once I began to read beyond the English version I had for years and begin to dig deeper into the contexts of history, culture and the original languages. The verses I think you are referring to do not condemn same sex orientation as we know it today…..it does however issue warnings about homosexual rape, idolatry and prostitution. These are all the same for the heterosexual. Maybe you haven’t studied these verses in depth as you are a relatively new Christian and possibly applied certain verses to your negative experience as a gay man. If you are interested in learning more so that you are not condemning people that God has not condemned then I can suggest further reading.


From what I read in the NT every human being is saved by grace. Homosexual, heterosexual, male, female, transgendered, Jew, Greek, Gentile etc etc. The bible doesn’t exclusively condemn homosexuals…..although many Christians feel it is there right to do so.


Anthony Venn-Brown


Sent: Wednesday, 18 June 2008 17:02

To: [email protected]

Subject: Re: CHRISTIAN TESTIMONY


Anthony, thank you for your reply. Can you clarify what you mean by ‘my sexual orientation was not an issue to him only the life I live’. I want to rebuke you and say that at no stage have I condemned an individual on the basis of sexual orientation. My comments come from my view of the inerrancy of the bible. People without Jesus are condemned despite a homosexual orientation. You may be familiar with ‘the way of the master’ evangelising program. As you are aware I have many Christian friends who struggle with same sex attraction and many unbelieving friends who act out on that attraction in the Gay ghettos of the major Australian cities.


I do not believe in Universalism. This is a convenient doctrine enabling people to be master of their own life. I can understand your view on this given John 12:32 and Romans 11:32 and Romans 5:18 and 1 Tim 2:3f. We could go on for hours on this. Anyway I have to go now and look forward to further conversing. Blessings, David.


From: Anthony Venn-Brown

To:

Sent: Wednesday, 18 June, 2008 11:18:53 PM

Subject: RE: CHRISTIAN TESTIMONY

Hi David…….if we are going to have a dialogue then I expect that you will speak to me respectfully as I would you. Even though we have different beliefs it doesn’t mean we have the right to put each other down.


“I want to rebuke you” is not very respectful in my books.. I would never say something like that to you. Have a read of my comment again and you’ll see that I made no such accusation of you personally.


If you want to communicate respectfully we can continue……otherwise its over.


I don’t waste precious time and energy communicating with people who don’t respect me. I’d rather give my time to people I can help.


From:

Sent: Tuesday, 24 June 2008 09:25

To: [email protected]

Subject: Re: CHRISTIAN TESTIMONY


Anthony, please forgive me if I offended you. My view is that rebuking in love is biblical. I would be interested in your reply to my previous email. I do not believe at all that Jesus came with a message of assurance that God loves everybody just the way they are and expects everyone home in whatever way they choose to get there. The central theme of the New Testament is the division of humanity between the sheep and the goats. Humankinds default destination is hell not heaven. Anthony, God is gently prodding you to turn your back on homosexuality and that is why I have been annointed by God to reach you. I am healed and fully love my wife the way God intended only because I have opened myself up for deep and profound spiritual surgery. Anthony deep within you is a fully functioning heterosexual man. Many blessings and love in Jesus, David.


Sent: Tuesday, 24 June 2008 11:14

To:

Subject: RE: CHRISTIAN TESTIMONY


You’re forgiven David. I am of course familiar with the verse you quoted. I think that rebuking a brother is something we need to do use rather sparingly (balanced out with the words of Jesus ‘judge not’) and possibly not the most appropriate thing to do with a person you have a limited knowledge of over the internet.


I’m not really aware that God is prodding me to turn my back on homosexuality. Its not something that is possible to do. Heterosexual people aren’t asked to turn their backs on their sexual orientation……only some behaviours. My homosexuality doesn’t cause me to be immoral.


Its kind of you to think that God has anointed you to reach out to me. That is either true or a delusion. Only time will tell.


I’m glad to hear that you and your wife have such a loving and intimate relationship. I pray that will continue. You may however be like the 1000’s and 1000’s who thought the same for a while, people who I call ‘situational heterosexuals’. Are you familiar with ‘situational homosexuality’? its when heterosexual men are in prison and engage in homosexual behaviour. When they come out of prison they are still heterosexual. So you may be in situation like I was where I could behave in a heterosexual way, ie , always with my wife, surrounding myself with accountability, making sure I was not in situations of temptation. Etc etc……it was only the situation that made me heterosexual. I was never, probably much like you, a normal heterosexual male (eg tempted to fantasise about other women). I might have noticed another woman’s dress, or how attractive she was but never had a desire to have sex with anyone but my wife. If you talk to other men in your church and they are honest with you, you will see the difference between them and you. So as a gay man who is in Christian and in a heterosexual marriage it can be quite convenient because we don’t’ experience the temptations that other men battle with.


You can sustain the current situation. History tells us that the only ones who can do this on a long lasting basis are those who are employed in ex-gay ministries….but even for some of them it was impossible.


God has also done deep and profound spiritual surgery on me as well. But I’m still gay and don’t find my sexual orientation a problem at all or that it restricts me from living a moral life. It seems it was different for you.


I have to say that I chuckled a bit at your comment. Anthony deep within you is a fully functioning heterosexual man. It really would be helpful in this dialogue if you’d actually read my story and then you would not be making all these kind of false assumptions. Believe me, if there was a fully functioning heterosexual man inside me then he would have come out during the 22 years I tried doing everything to find him. In the end I realised he didn’t exist……and I had to start loving me instead of rejecting and hating me.


I’d be interested to know what program you’ve been working with to make the changes in your life. Your denominational background also intrigues me…..knowing you’ve been recently converted.


Anthony Venn-Brown (ACC ICF)


From:

Sent: Tuesday, 24 June 2008 15:00

To: [email protected]

Subject: Re: CHRISTIAN TESTIMONY


Thank you Anthony. I do not understand that if you have had the healing you claim to have had that you still believe you are gay. For me, and I can only speak for me, a total transformation has taken place over 4 years. Even though I may be triggered into old thought patterns as a coping mechanism for childhood trauma, I do not desire men sexually at all. I do also need to be watchful of any lust emerging over women. I now enjoy far greater freedom, peace, confidence, and joy as a heterosexual male. Many I know personally share this testimony.


I do plan on reading your testimony and please forgive me if I have jumped to any conclusions..


I have been part of Andy Cominsky’s Living Waters program and have attended a healing ministry and multiple prayer counselling sessions.


I was raised a Roman Catholic, but I belong to the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement now.


I am also personally aware of men who partake in ex-gay ministry including Living Waters and Exodus and Liberty Christian ministries but to no success and resume having sex with men.This however should not preclude all homosexuals who want to change to give these ministries a go. These ministries in no way guarantee a smooth transition out of homosexuality.


If you do not mind me asking are you in a monogamous relationship and if so for how long? For me, out of the hundreds of homosexuals I personally knew, not one was in a monogamous relationship. I personally found that those who were in relationships were all engaging in sex outside of the relationship. I was with one man for 2 years and another for 5 years and both of us engaged in sex outside of the relationship. I found depression, alchohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, pornography, and sexual diseases so common amongst my homosexual friends. It was not unusual to find amongst my friends those that had sex with in excess of 500 men by the time they reached 30 years of age. Bathhouses, toilets, group sex, masturbation addiction, all burning in lust for one another. I personally found the spiritual death ussually preceded the physical death amongst my friends.The emotional nausea that crippled many of my friends and yet so silent in the ghetto’s, stirs my heart with the greatest of compassion now that I have crossed over from death to life in Jesus.


Are you finding similar statistics?


I would be interested if you have met Sy Rogers, and your views on the success of his worldwide ministry.


Please be advised that I am not here to set out to condemn only to share my personal testimony and experiences. It reminds me of Sy Rogers describing how Christian fundamentalists in Arkansas ,

USA , demonstrated outside a gay club and men inside responded by giving free drinks to those who went outside to accept a Christian tract. They also responded by holding a competition to come as your favourite televangelist. It was a roaring success, but the message is of course never to condemn.


Many blessings for now, David.


From: Anthony Venn-Brown

To:

Sent: Tuesday, 24 June, 2008 4:40:32 PM

Subject: RE: CHRISTIAN TESTIMONY

Thanks for the info David.


I do respect your journey and the path you have followed. I also followed it for many years. Like you there were times when I felt things had shifted for me. Like God had done a miracle. But alas it could never be sustained long term. Rather than giving in it was more about me being honest. I knew that in essence I hadn’t changed at all. I said in my autobiography that it was like I’d been peddling on a stationary bike for 22 years. When I got off I was still gay. I choose to no longer pretend I guess. Being honest with everyone in my life cost me everything I held dear…….but I’d make the trade again any day knowing that God loves me just as I am.


I’m certainly familiar with some of the things you’ve said about gay men’s lifestyle but my experience has been different in that I’ve discovered there are two worlds. There is the scene you speak of and then there is the gay community. The majority of my friends are in long term relationships……and most of those are monogamous. Sounds like you got in with the wrong crowd. Maybe there were deeper issues at play that caused you to live such a destructive lifestyle. You mentioned childhood trauma…..this certainly complicates things and caused people to act out their sexual orientation at times in unhealthy ways. We have to acknowledge though that this is not exclusively gay or lesbian. Many heterosexuals lead that kind of lifestyle as well. I know many of them.


I’m a single gay man. Have been for 10 years. A very happy fulfilled gay man I might add.


Yes I know Sy. We met up when he was in Sydney last. We had a good time together….my only regret was that it was so brief. There is a long and complex story about Sy that I can’t go into here.. But many people make assumptions about Sy that he would not agree with. He doesn’t publicly come out and correct them though.


Unfortunately for a lot of gay men who come out of ex-gay programs unsuccessfully or get married and it doesn’t work……….they go through a terribly traumatic time afterwards. Considering the success rate is so low, probably non-existent (success being defined as a fully functional heterosexual male who is exclusively attracted to women) and the emotional and psychological damage caused by trying to change…..then it makes me wonder if this is really what God wants. I am completely at peace as a gay man.


Its good to know that if it ever doesn’t really work out for you then God will not reject you even though others might.


Anthony VB


From:

Sent: Wednesday, 25 June 2008 10:34

To: [email protected]

Subject: Re: CHRISTIAN TESTIMONY


Hello Anthony. I appreciate your comments and maybe you have not experienced enouph of the gay lifestyle to know its destructiveness. Remember I used to mix in the Gay businessmans association. For me the ex gay program has worked as I go from strength to strenght in Jesus. Praise be to Jesus who is the great restorer. I pray that one day your eyes will be open to the truth. Many blessings for now, David.


From: Anthony Venn-Brown [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: Wednesday, 25 June 2008 11:19

To:

Subject: RE: CHRISTIAN TESTIMONY


Once again David……I think when you read my entire story……you’ll see that I have virtually experienced every part of life as a gay man, including losing a partner through AIDS. There ain’t much out there I haven’t done. As one reviewer of my autobiography wrote: “Anthony shares his life with us with all the colour that a story-telling evangelist can capture. The honesty of his story is compelling . . . Anthony doesn’t claim to be ‘right’, he simply tells his story. You can’t argue with it. It is neither right nor wrong, it simply is. His story faces the hard issues, HIV/AIDS, Suicide, Sexual Assault, Relationships, Marriage, Parenting, Domestic Violence, Loneliness, Guilt, Shame, Rejection, Love and Sex. He has nothing to hide and it is refreshing. I recommend this book as a non-threatening way to understand and process the issues of sexuality and spirituality; however, I can’t say you may not experience discomfort as the honesty in these pages invites you to be honest in your own life. Read it if you dare.” Dr Wendell Rosevear – O.A.M., M.B.,B.S., Dip. RACOG., FRACGP.


Some of the darkest days for me while I was a Christian with a secret life and a sexual addiction. All that ceased when I came out though, as the darkness of the closet, along with self hatred, is often the root cause of those kinds of behaviours. I’ve had so many emails from readers who’ve told me there is experience was the same. Bring the gay self out into the light and love the gay person you are and the dark, obsessive, addictive and self destructive behaviours cease. I’m only assuming here as I don’t know all your story, but my guess is that there was something else at a deeper level than your sexual orientation that brought about such an unhappy life for you.


I’ve been on the board of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Business Association and have met many wonderful people through the organisation. I derive a great deal of pleasure from serving my community and doing what I can to make a difference in peoples lives and in this world.


My openly gay life is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling, no darkness no destructiveness as you appear to constantly assume…….just a wonderful sense of resolution with myself, others and God.


In my life I believe I’ve had four major miracles.

1. I’m still alive

2. I have no bitterness or resentment

3. I have no mental health issues

4. I still have a faith


I am very very blessed.


Anthony VB



Sandy
 
Joined in 2007
June 25, 2008, 12:14

This is all very interesting. Good on you for taking the time to talk to him, keep us all posted on what happens next… this is like watching one of those daytime soaps… 😆



Anthony Venn-Brown
 
Joined in 2005
June 25, 2008, 12:31

LMAO! ROTFL! 😆


I’m certainly not out to convert him or make him leave his marriage…….just working to change some misconceptions. David is unusual, in that he lived as an “openly” (my assumption) gay man….then later in life was converted to Christianity. He seemed to be living on the dark side. (some similarities to your journey Sandy, minus feeling the need to get married)


If I treat him respectfully…….and if at some time he falls or realises that no matter how long he is married the gay never goes away……and if he wants to live that honestly…….then hopefully he might contact me for some support.


This is the reason I spend time dialogging with people like David even though its always repetitive. Its very time consuming but important none the less. at least putting the dialogue here means all that time and effort responding to his emails is getting more use.


I wonder how many are reading it and in the same situation. Lurkers (observers)……come here for some answers but never post or identify themselves.



Anthony Venn-Brown
 
Joined in 2005
June 25, 2008, 12:41

then this arrived


From:

Sent: Wednesday, 25 June 2008 11:59

To: [email protected]

Subject: Re: CHRISTIAN TESTIMONY


Hello Anthony. Thank you and I do look forward to reading your book. Blessings, David.


From: Anthony Venn-Brown [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: Wednesday, 25 June 2008 12:38

To:

Subject: RE: CHRISTIAN TESTIMONY


Thanks David. I’m sure it will raise lots of questions……even trigger some stuff for you……so feel free to email me after you’ve got the whole picture if you have any questions. Some people find it particularly challenging.


When Koorong banned it last year I went up there and bought 6 books to see what was being said. I have to say I was quite appalled at the sensationalism of some and the misinformation of others.


So I’m not afraid to read from both sides of the debate……..and I’m glad to know you aren’t either.


Till next time…..God bless.


Anthony Venn-Brown



magsdee
Disabled
Joined in 2006
June 25, 2008, 12:51

cant wait to hear what he thinks of your book.


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