Rather than spend time explaining how I, a heterosexual woman with Cerebral Palsy, wound up as a correspondence counselor for an ex-gay ministry, I’ll refer you to Answering God’s Call, which I wrote for the Love In Action newsletter in 1992. I want to spend our time today discussing how I misused my position in the ministry without making this a sleeezy tell-all article that wouldn’t point anyone to Christ, so I don’t want to get bogged down in a lot of history that I’ve already written.
I believe I initially joined the LiA staff with fairly good motives. Not perfect–but who (with the obvious exception of Jesus) does anything from pure motives? I did feel compassion for people who struggled with homosexuality. I felt even more compassion for straight women who, like me, had fallen in love with gay men. I wanted the Lord to use my pain to extend His comfort to other hurting people (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
Those good motives became corrupted as my superiors, co-workers and colleagues from other ex-gay ministries showered me with affirmation. My work subtly shifted from being my offering to the Lord to a tool to receive attention and praise. Of course, I denied it, feeling offended when a friend pointed out that I’d turned my job into an idol. But in reality, the job was far worse than an idol–I used it to flatter myself.
Looking back, I believe I squandered any eternal rewards I might have gained through working for Love In Action in favor of earthly rewards. I’m not talking about salvation, please understand. But I could have done that job with a desire to advance God’s kingdom instead of using it to inflate my own sense of self-importance. I grieve over the knowledge that, in the Believers’ Judgment, my time with Love In Action will amount to wood, hay and stubble.
10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. ~~1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (ESV)
But I don’t tell you all this to make a show of my contrition, for again that would put the spotlight on me instead of honoring the Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed, I write to warn others against perverting ministry into a means of self-fulfillment instead of recognizing ourselves as unworthy servants who do nothing more than our duty (please read Luke 17:7-10).
Christ deserves our service. He indeed would call us to minister to sinners of all types, including victims of either their own homosexuality or the homosexuality of a loved one by showing them how to walk in obedience to Him. Gays need assurance that their sexual preferences do not constitute their identity, and that the Holy Spirit will give them the resources to resist their overwhelming temptations. The Lord would call us to serve them humbly, not for our own glory, but that His glory might shine through them.