Gay Pentecostal/Revival Kiwi in Japan

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Youth Coordinator
Joined in 2008
August 8, 2008, 08:00

Now I am wondering whether I am strong enough to come out to the church, and then stay and be a witness to the fact that you can be fully gay and also be fully anointed and filled with the Holy Spirit. I hate the fact that everyday people preach against being gay without the Holy Spirit or anointing at all backing up or confirming that “word”, and that young guys and girls struggling with the issue hate themselves and commit suicide as a result. I believe there are thousands and thousands of gay Christians sitting in the pews of charismatic/pentecostal/renewal/revival churches and that if all of us came out, told our stories and then stayed in our church with forgiveness and love (not hiding or running away like I want to), it would be revolutionary and attitudes would change over time. I am just battling internally over whether I am ready to take that step personally.

Hey buddy,

Can I just say that on what you wrote (above) that I completely understand. I have chosen to come out and yet stay in my church. I would be lying if I said it was easy to stay in a church where I still feel very unwelcome but at the same time I feel a calling to be in that church and just be me. Showing others that it is possible to be gay and still live a life devoted to Jesus Christ. This is a very hard task and going to church isn’t always easy as I have some people that are very supportive and others that discriminate and just kind of ignore me. BUT God is doing some amazing things and already I have seen what God wants to do through me – Change attitudes, beliefs and put to rest the negative stereotype about GLBTIQ people.

Sure it’s hard but someone has to stand. Anthony was the first in Australia to do this and because of him so many gay men and women right around Australia and even the world are standing up for their place in the church and showing other Christians that we can live a life devoted to our God and be unashamed of our sexuality at the same time.

I am not trying to tell you what you should do but rather just let you know that we are here for you no matter what. It is a hard road ahead but it is so worth it.

Take care mate,

😀 😀

Joined in 2008
August 8, 2008, 12:10

Thank you HillsBen,

Your words and support really do help. You are inspiring and courageous. It was actually your testimony I was thinking of when I wrote that. I believe 100% in what you are doing (or God is doing through you). You have already won the gold medal in God’s eyes. He delights in you.

I am starting to dialogue with my pastor via email now. I got a reply last night and am writing a reply now. We seem to be in two totally different worlds on this issue, which is understandable, but I now think there is hope. I have such a peace right now and no fear anymore.

I probably won’t go back this Sunday, but they said I am still welcome to attend, so that is encouraging. I won’t be able to minister it looks like (I wonder if I can take communion?).

Bless you.

Joined in 2006
August 9, 2008, 07:38

Im glad they didnt ban you at least Rivers, has there been any more outcome to this?

I cant see why you couldnt have communion 😯 What denomination is the church?

Joined in 2008
August 9, 2008, 11:24

Hi magsdee, not much more progress yet, but we are only communicating via email at this stage. I haven’t called the pastor or his wife or spoken in person yet. The church is affliated to a network of Word of Faith churches. I feel a bit uneasy getting any more specific on the forum, but you can private message me and I will tell you more if you like.

The exchange so far has basically been my extremely long “coming out” email – my testimony, a bit of biology/science and my understanding of the “clobber passages” – his reply (my lifestyle is sinful, I can’t minister in sin, others have been “delivered” and they would believe for me to get “set free” and are “interceding” for me – still a loving tone throughout though) and my response to his misconceptions and misinformation about being gay, while also trying to create space for further dialogue and discussion. He said a lot of things I knew were factually wrong, so I pointed him to press releases and other information, but tried not to sound too arrogant or defensive and maintain the love. I don’t want to get into long intellectual fights on it. We need to heal and maintain an atmosphere of love and forgiveness. Anthony has been inspiring, like with his slideshow on how to bridge the gap and try to create spaces for understanding.

On the train yesterday I thought about how funny it is having them “interceding” and possibly trying to do “spiritual warfare” for one thing, and now having other new friends like you praying too (my mum too now haha). Like some praying for rain while others pray for a sunny day! Anyway, I am at peace, have a lot of joy now and feel more in love with Jesus. My mind and heart feel protected, like they are wrapped in bubble-wrap. Also, I don’t know if this is related, but the last couple of days I am starting to feel more caring about people around me. People I used to kind of ignore I am starting to have really cool conversations with, and really feel a genuine love for them. I guess being honest and dealing with secrets unblocks the wells. Anyway, thank you for your prayer and support. You don’t know how much it has helped me. What a week!

Joined in 2008
August 22, 2008, 12:29

Hi everyone,

Thought I should share an update. Things are a lot brighter and more positive than a few weeks ago! It hasn’t been easy, but honesty is bearing fruit. I am so much happier and peaceful now.

Since coming out to the pastor here in Japan (we are still emailing back and forth), I decided to face my fears and come out to those I was afraid of being outed to, out of a desire to hopefully have real relationships, not fake ones.

The first was my best friend at bible school in the U.S. who now works as a pastor at the church there and knows all my friends there. I woke up one Saturday thinking about it, but then decided not to actively do anything, just wait. Last Friday, he suddenly got in contact with me via Skype after a long time. He said he had been thinking about me and felt it would be good to talk. I came out to him and we talked for a couple of hours. Yesterday he got in contact again. We did argue a little (which we both then apologized for later), but then lightened up and joked around and prayed and it was good. At one point he asked “Do you think God is gay?” and I replied “No, but He is fabulous”, and we both laughed. At the end of the conversation we agreed that God could take care of everything – even both of us. Very healing, happy and positive.

On Tuesday I emailed my pastor in NZ and then called last night. On the phone he said “What you shared strengthened and encouraged me. Thank you for sharing so honestly and openly where you are at. You are not the first person to share those ideas with me. It is not my place and for the 30 years I have been in ministry I have tried to never judge what another person believes. Your honesty and desire for integrity have put you up several notches in my book. We will always be friends. As far as I am concerned I have no problem with it.”

This morning he emailed (I have edited it a bit and cut some bits): “Thanks for your e-mail and your honesty and admitting where you are going in life and your acceptance of your self and with your Christian walk. As I said during our phone call I respect our friendship and love you un-conditionally. I have over the last 30 years met many women and guys who have had to confront the same issue … and have met a number who came to a similar acceptance as you have. Some of your conclusions are not what I personally hold but in the end I never judge anyone else. I am to judge myself daily and like all believers in Jesus, love Him every day with all I am and love all people [never judge them]. I want to keep in contact with you. I value you as a friend and want to remain one. Please know your life and how you live it and what you do is not and will never be my business. It would be awesome to meet you and your friend and I trust that will happen.”

I have also had some more healing with my Mum after I called her last Friday night. We talked for ages and it was the best, most healing conversation we have had about my sexuality (or anything for that matter) ever. It was amazing. She started to talk about the journey she has taken, the fears and emotions she went through after I came out and how, once she got over the fact that “you are still saved, so are not going to hell”, she calmed down and began to accept certain things.

I guess I had been afraid to come out to the Christians I had been closest to, because the risk of losing their friendship seemed too great, but they have turned out to be the most accepting, even though we still disagree on a lot. In my approach and emails I know I made a lot of mistakes in some of the things I have said, but I’m learning. One of the biggest lessons has been to lose any kind of agenda or desire to change others, and not try to win arguments or try to make them accept what I believe.

“It is in the being that the power comes … not in the words I speak or the arguments I win” (avb). So true.

Joined in 2007
August 22, 2008, 13:14

How awesome to read all of this, Rivers!

I’m so glad that these people are respecting you for your honesty.

*sends cyberhugs*

Joined in 2006
August 22, 2008, 14:25

This is all very encouraging Rivers 😀 Your integrity and “guts” (sorry youre soooooo courage and faith filled in God working all things for good for you 😀 ) I find all of this very inspirational……Thankyou 😀

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
August 22, 2008, 23:42

Hi Rivers… is all very encouraging. I think we are all learning there is a way to bring change and there is a way to hinder it.

Silence allows ignorance to exist. 🙁

Words spoken in anger, hate or resentment never bring healing. 🙁

Living a life of integrity is powerful because it means you are living in harmony and congruent with your values. No one can argue with a person who has peace and resolution. 😀

Keep telling us about what you are learning in your journey….I’m sure it will help others who lurk in the shadow of our forum……looking for answers

Joined in 2008
May 10, 2009, 23:56

Hey rivers… I just had to go and find your thread and I went through and read it all in one go. And wow, you are amazing. Actually, your story sounds very similar to mine, or actually, it is exactly what would have happened to me if I had not accepted myself when I did (when I was 15). I see a lot of myself in your story. Your faith is just so real and alive, it’s refreshing and encouraging. 🙂

Anyway, so what is going on with you now? Update! 🙂

Joined in 2009
May 11, 2009, 17:27

I too would love an update. I’m glad gettingthere posted to this thread, because it brought it to my attention, being a newer member. Rivers you are an inspiration to me also right now as I try to work through some similar issues with a charismatic pastor in my neck of the woods. It is so wondefully affirming to see how God has worked in your life since you decided to commit to full honesty and integrity. I also loved your anology of God coming out through Jesus.

Would be great if you could post to let us know where you are at now.

God bless


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