Man in the Middle

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Joined in 2010
July 15, 2010, 15:27


My name is Raul. I am 25, Cuban (now living in the United States), Christian, and Heterosexual.

The comedian, Jane Lanning once said that, “Unusual turns of fortune make for unusual people”. So it is with me, I find.

I converted from Atheism due in large part to one of my college professors (himself an Irreligious person) who advised me to study the argumentation for and against religious belief on all sides and to look deeply within my own mind for answers. Two years of study and meditation later I converted to Christianity, brought into the faith via the same avenue of Chesterton and Lewis.

While I was a nominal Christian at first, my faith took an upward swing when I became interested in Apologetics. In studying the Scriptures, the history of my faith, and the context they all took place in, I found myself growing closer to the body Christ, both intellectually and spiritually.

But more often than not I found myself defending my faith, not from the outside, but from my own brothers and sisters in Christ. I appealed to Scripture, to reason, to the very heart of all that we knew and loved about our trust in Christ.

As a result, I find myself alone more often than I would before. Oh, I belong to a church that welcomes my brothers and sisters just as they are, irregardless of their orientation. But I still feel the hurt.

“Burn in hell, you f$# enabler!”

“Eat @#$%, xian! All you sheeple are the same!”

“Why would a straight man care about gay people? We don’t need or want your help.”

…and so on.

I know that to be a Christian is to always be on the outside of society: to be with those in pain and to bear their pain along with them, to stand up to the corrupt and to bear the buffeting winds of oppression, and to know that all throughout it, the Lord walks with us.

But it still stings.

Many of my former friends from my Atheist days have rejected me. One of them even called me a “Faith head traitor” and threatened to put a bullet in my skull if he ever saw me again.

Even amongst my brothers and sisters in Christ, I find so many that are either misinformed about the passages often used to condemn homosexuals or don’t care to listen.

Sometimes, in my darkest moments, I begin lose hope.

But then I see people standing up. I see gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons who have stood up and embraced the cross, either for the first time, or returning to the faith. I see other heterosexuals who have felt the love of Lord and have embraced our homosexual brothers and sisters. I see religious leaders from the Catholic Church, to the Protestant Denominations, to countless independent churches standing up and saying in one voice, “No more! We are standing up for the children of God”.

I see people like you and communities like this.

Thank you. Thank you for giving me strength and hope.

I hope to talk to you soon!



Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
July 15, 2010, 16:05

Hi Raul…..there are some very angry, aggressive, disrespectful people on both sides of the debate about sexual orientation. I’ve coped it from both sides myself.

hope you like our space……we prize respect highly here.

Joined in 2007
July 15, 2010, 16:10

Thanks for your story Raul and welcome to F2B.

I find it amazing that an atheist could find God. I have lots of atheist friends and praying that somehow they too will see the reality of God in their own lives.

You are not alone in your journey so hang in there and keep on believing


Joined in 2010
July 15, 2010, 16:30

To Mr. Brown,

Thank you. I am glad to hear that at least here, respect is alive and well. While the real world certainly has it’s share of unpleasantness, I find that it is dwarfed by the vitriol on display in many forums.

By the way, I will be praying for your success in Melbourne.

To Nick,

Surprised? I quickly learned that the Good Shepard seems to excel at surprises: creating systems of life and forming reality,healing the sick, rising from the dead, inspiring the broken, and even getting a certifiable pain in the ass like moi to see his glory.

Keep praying, Nick. But be ready for the unexpected surprises the Lord may bring! :bigsmile:



Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
July 15, 2010, 18:53

Hi Raul

A warm welcome to you!

You have a beautiful spirit and I’m really moved by what you’ve written.

The atheist friend who called you a “faith head traitor” (strange phrase, I must say) and threatened to put a bullet in your head is rather attached to his ideas and perhaps more fanatical than religious fanatics!! Why should it matter to him what you believe in or not?

I’m interested to know what has given you strength and hope in discovering our site.. Can you say more about that?


Ann Maree

Joined in 2007
July 15, 2010, 20:20

Hi Raui,

Thank you for standing up.

I’m sorry for your pain and the abuse you have experienced from both sides of the debate.

It’s good to have you here.

Joined in 2008
July 15, 2010, 20:54

Hi Raul,

I’ll add my voice to the list of welcomes here on the forum.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Joined in 2010
July 16, 2010, 05:47

To Ann,

I was brought to this place after discovering the work of Mr. Brown (which I have to thank the folks over at Soulforce for doing).

Lurking around, seeing the stories of courage and faith in the face brutal adversity, and seeing the compassion which poured from every person who responded so genuinely to these brothers and sisters in pain, revitalized my soul.

Once again, thank you for that!



Joined in 2009
July 16, 2010, 17:47


Thank you for being ‘the man in the middle’ – rather like Jesus!!

You are obviously in a very special position of having come to the Christian faith without interference from any man- and then you have to deal with all the Christians (gay and straight) who have brought a whole lot of cultural and church baggage along with them.

There are a number of straight Christians who are part of this online community- bless you all!!

I look forward to more of your insights!!


Joined in 2010
July 17, 2010, 00:13

Dear Ian,

Thank you for your kind words. I look forward to speaking with you more!



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