http://www.recmin.

org/ Reconciliation Ministries Mission Statement To impart the hope and healing power of Jesus Christ to the sexually and relationally broken and those affected so that they may be transformed and empowered to be passionate followers of Jesus Christ. Vision Statement To establish a Christ-centered counseling, support, and education-based network of professional counselors, lay ministers, and select others working together to bring Christ s hope, healing power, and freedom to those who struggle with sexual and relational brokenness, their lo!ed ones, the church body, and the community. Reconciliation Ministries Doctrinal Statement ". #e belie!e the $ible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritati!e #ord of %od. &. #e belie!e that there is one %od, eternally existent in three persons: 'ather, (on and )oly (pirit. *. #e belie!e in the deity of our +ord Jesus Christ, in )is !irgin birth, in )is sinless life, in )is miracles, in )is !icarious and atoning death through )is shed blood, in )is bodily resurrection, in )is ascension to the right hand of the 'ather, and in )is personal return in power and glory. ,. #e belie!e that for the sal!ation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the )oly (pirit is absolutely essential. -. #e belie!e in the present ministry of the )oly (pirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to li!e a godly life. .. #e belie!e in the resurrection of both the sa!ed and the lost/ they that are sa!ed unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation. 0. #e belie!e in the spiritual unity of belie!ers in our +ord Jesus Christ. Dan Hitz Executive Director Dan Hitz is the Executive Director of Reconciliation Ministries of Michigan. )e is an ordained minister through The 1nternational 'ellowship of Christian 2ssemblies and a +icensed 3rofessional Counselor in the state of 4ichigan. )e and his wife, 4arianne, ha!e been married since "56. and ha!e fi!e children. 7an began his 8ourney out of homosexuality after being sa!ed in "56,. )e has been affiliated with 9econciliation 4inistries since "555 where he assists men and women who are o!ercoming sexual sin, sexual abuse, and difficulties with relationships. 7an has been in the ministry for o!er fifteen years ser!ing as a teacher, pastor, and prayer minister. )e has a 4aster of 2rts in Counseling from (pring 2rbor :ni!ersity, a $achelor in (cience in Tele!ision 3roduction from 'erris (tate :ni!ersity, and has attended The )ebron 'ellowship $ible (chool. 7an )it; is a!ailable to speak and present 1

workshops at churches, conferences, and ci!ic meetings. 'or more information, call 9econciliation 4inistries at 586.7 !.5""#, or e-mail 7an at DHitz$recmin.org. NO LONGER ALONE – DAN HITZ, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR This is the story of Dan Hitz’s deliverance from a life of homosexuality and desperate emptiness. The story of how God reached a lonely, broken man with the transformin power of !esus "hrist. #nce in bonda e, isolated and full of shame, Dan is now happily married, has five kids, and is full of hope. Dan is the executive director of $econciliation %inistries of %ichi an, a ministry dedicated to helpin people stru lin with sexual and relational issues. %s the &oungest in a famil& of t'o (o&s an) three girls* + remem(er feeling left out an) isolate) as + 'atche) m& (rother an) sisters get on the school (us. 2t four years old, 1 didn t understand why 1 couldn t be a part of that group. 1 felt !ery alone. 4y father worked a lot of o!ertime to get out of the house and a!oid my mother s bouts with mental illness that would occur at fi!e-year inter!als. #hen 1 was in high school, her illness progressed into paranoid schi;ophrenia. Though she was !iolent towards my father, she grew inappropriately affectionate towards me. The long process of my father committing my mother to a psychiatric hospital increased the feelings of hopelessness within me. #hen 1 testified at her mental competency hearing, she rose from the table and yelled, <=ou re not my son>? (he left the room. 1 sat there numb. 4y father was a good pro!ider, but his emotional detachment left me longing for intimacy. 4y mother s beha!ior made me terrified of true intimacy with a woman. + 'ante) so )es,eratel& to have frien)s* &et + 'as emotionall& una(le to ste, outsi)e the 'alls + ha) (uilt for ,rotection. The dark emptiness grew as 1 entered college. 4y sexual encounters were extremely limited because 1 was afraid of further re8ection from potential partners who would see the scars from cystic acne on my back, arms, and face. 1 placed myself inside a world of homosexual fantasy, and tried to create the intimacy that 1 longed for through masturbation. 4y feelings of inade@uacy and loss of control drew me into anorexic and e!entually bulimic beha!ior. The Jesus that 1 had learned about, and e!en asked into my heart years earlier, had been assigned to the same category as false religions and useless beliefs. 4y sal!ation came a year after 1 graduated from college. 1 was en!ious of a co-worker. )e was e!erything that 1 wished 1 was A handsome, creati!e, and most of all well accepted by others. %od seemed to do extra fa!ors for him <8ust because he prayed and went to church?. -ne )a& he tal.e) to me a(out /esus. The main thing that 1 remember him saying is that e!eryone will one day ha!e to say <yes? or <no? to %od. 1 didn t know what would happen to me if 1 said <no? to %od, but 1 knew it would be !ery bad.

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1 began to learn what would happen to me if 1 said <yes? to %od. The +ord instantly deli!ered me from bulimia as the emptiness inside began to be replaced by the lo!e of my )ea!enly 'ather. :nfortunately, my homosexual lusts did not instantly fall away. 4y feelings of inferiority remained as 1 struggled to feel like <one of the guys?. 2t times 1 was comfortable with the new male friends the +ord pro!ided/ other times 1 was terrified that 1 would ha!e a lustful thought toward a Christian brother. 2s 1 learned more about holiness the shame of my sinful heart deepened, and battles with condemnation came. There were seasons when 1 felt like a prisoner in my own body A so full of shame and fear that 1 was afraid to reach out to others. %radually, the +ord dealt with the woundings. He (egan to sho' me that sex 'as not the ultimate issue* an) that the lust 'as a s&m,tom of hol)ing onto the )ee, hurts. Bne by one, )e would call up the deep hurts within my heart, help me to confront them, and soothe them by )is (pirit. 1 was able to forgi!e my mother for the pain she caused/ and the +ord, )imself, for allowing it to happen. 2s my healing continued, 1 met a lo!ing, caring woman who became my wife. The di!orce of her parents when she was fi!e and the detachment from her mother helped her to understand my feelings of re8ection and inferiority. 2s my 8ourney progressed, the +ord began to show me that other sins 1 had been holding onto perpetuated the homosexual drawings 1 was trying to a!oid. )omosexual lust was also a symptom of not glorifying %od as %od, and not allowing )im to make some difficult choices for my life. #hen 1 didn t accept what %od chose for my life, 1 grew angry and resentful. 1 became en!ious of others who had what 1 wanted. That en!y lead to lust as 1 tried to fill up the hurt in my own broken way. Cot only was my constant inferiority a sin, it caused me to be drawn to men who had the character traits that 1 wished 1 had. The +ord in )is mercy took the sinful identity that 1 was holding onto, and replaced it with )is pure, holy image. Much li.e the +sraelites 'ho longe) to return to the familiarit& of Eg&,t* ex0homosexuals must resist the ten)enc& to hol) onto the 1securit&2 of their 'oun)e) i)entit&. The +ord helped me to lay aside the <security? of dwelling within my sinful past and learn my true identity as 1 embraced the image of Christ in me. 1 thank the +ord for my first pastor who was an excellent source of support and encouragement in my 8ourney and was instrumental for laying the foundation for my Christian walk, but he did not understand the intricacies of same sex attraction. 2fter many years on the 8ourney out, 1 still wrestled with residual issues which were not o!ercome simply by crying out to %od for deli!erance. #hen 1 met Tom Cole of 9econciliation 4inistries, the +ord added a crucial ingredient in my healing A the +i!ing #aters program and the $ody of Christ. + learne) the im,ortance of (eing o,en a(out m& struggles 'ith others 'ho have (een )o'n the same ,ath that + have 'al.e)* an) 'ho can share insights into 3hrist4s cleansing ,o'er s,ecific to m& issues. 1 also learned the importance of being open about my past with my family and friends who then accepted me for who 1 was A not who 1 pretended to be. 1 thank the +ord for the +i!ing #aters program that has confirmed and 3

expanded many of the precious truths the +ord has taught me in my 8ourney out of homosexuality, and into )is perfect plan for my life. + am than.ful that the 5or) has ta.en a 'oun)e)* (ro.en man6 an) has transforme) me into a ne' creation in 3hrist 'ith a loving 'ife an) five ha,,& chil)ren. The +ord has taken me out of the prison of loneliness and has gi!en me a heart for the body of Christ and the lost. 2s a minister, 1 thank )im for a heart that longs to reach out and touch others with the healing message of the cross/ and tell them of a hea!enly 'ather who desires to gi!e them the lo!e they re crying for. Jesus Christ can set y u !ree !r " the a##icti$e % &er ! sin'

1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE* DELIVERED (RO) DE*+AIR – TO) COLE Tom and his wife, Donna, are the founders of #nly the "ross %inistries, in &ansas "ity. He and his wife are on staff at the 'nternational House of (rayer where Tom serves as the head of pastoral care. He was the director of $econciliation %inistries for ten years. 1 was the third son in a family of six children. 4y parents had been hoping for a girl/ from the time 1 was !ery young, my mother told me that, if 1 had been a girl, my name would ha!e been 7ebbie. 4y lack of interest in contact sports alienated me from the other boys in the neighborhood. #hen we lined up to pick teams, 1 would be last and someone would remark, FBh no, we got stuck with Cole. )eGs a sissy.F Hach time my heart grew colder and harder. ;gl& <ames 2s far back as 1 can remember, 1 was called names like fag, @ueer and sissy. 4y gentle demeanor and compassionate nature, on the other hand, made me compatible with the neighborhood girls/ soon they became my sole source of friendship.

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Bne day in fifth grade, our teacher tried an experiment in communication. (he had the class gather in a circle and talk about the things that bothered them. (uddenly 1 became the sub8ect of con!ersation. The boys in the class began to complain, FCole is a fag. #e donGt want to sit by him or work on pro8ects with him.F #hen the teacher asked me how 1 felt about these comments, 1 ran from the classroom, crying and feeling sick to my stomach. (chool became a dichotomy: 1 lo!ed to learn, but 1 feared the daily harassment. Bne day 1 came home scraped and beaten, and my father said, F1f youGre going to make it in this world, youGre going to ha!e to fight.F F$ut 7addy, 1Gm afraid to fight.F 1n response, his face turned red with anger. )e forced my hands up and started 8ousting with his fists, but 1 only stood there and cried. 1 hated my father for forcing me to be something 1 could ne!er be. 1 despised other males and !owed in my heart that 1 would ne!er be like them. =% <e' >ame= Then an older boy in the neighborhood began to show attention to me and 1 was elated. $ut one day when we were playing in his back yard, he led me into his tent and said, F1 ha!e a new game for us to play.F )e began to undress and told me to do the same. 2s he sexually molested me, 1 felt fear, re!ulsion and the need to get away. 4ixed with these negati!e feelings were sensations of physical pleasure. 2fterward 1 a!oided my friend and buried the incident deep in my memory. 2bout age "&, 1 began to experiment sexually with other boys in the neighborhood. Bne neighbor and 1 began a six-year physical relationship. 1 felt cheapened by these experiences/ now 1 had friends, but 1 saw that they only wanted me for their sexual release. Visiting >a& ?ars 1n college, 1 ma8ored in music and drama. 1 8oined a !ocal 8a;; ensemble and met a male singer who was Fout of the closetF with his homosexuality. Bne day 1 asked if he would take me to a gay bar, and he readily agreed. 1 felt fear and excitement as 1 anticipated the experience. 1 was "5 years old, but most people thought 1 looked ", or "-. #hen we entered the bar, 1 noticed that many of the men were staring at me. 1 felt like an animal on display in the ;oo. $ut 1 also lo!ed the attention. 1 met a much older man and we planned a date for the following week. )e la!ished attention on me, and 1 lo!ed it. $ut after a few times together, he seemed to lose interest in me/ the next week, 1 saw him with another guy who looked e!en younger than me. 1 found it difficult to enter into a long-term relationship with other men. Bne time 1 asked a group of gay friends, F7onGt you think itGs a little strange that all we talk about and think about is sexI 1s that what the a!erage heterosexual is likeIF Co one responded, but 1 knew that what we were experiencing wasnGt right. 5

% Shoc.ing Discover& Bne night 1 was shocked to see my younger brother at the club. #e had both experienced many of the same things in our li!es and we shared a close friendship until his death eight years later in a tragic car accident. 1 saw my brother in a seemingly healthy gay relationship and thought, 4aybe it can work after all. $ut then 1 watched the relationship deteriorate to a !iolent end, and 1 lost hope for a long-term gay relationship. 'rom the age of "5 until 1 was &., 1 had *EE-,EE sexual partners. 7epression set in/ 1 began to drink and use cocaine to deaden the loneliness. Bne night, in total despair, 1 decided to end my life. 1 took a large amount of painkillers and a fifth of !odka. 1 awoke the next day feeling like 1 had been run o!er by a truck. 1 was ali!e -- but still miserable. 9elationship with Jesus (oon after, 1 met a woman at work named 9osie who constantly talked about a personal relationship with Jesus. #hen 1 brought up some of my Cew 2ge beliefs, she always responded in lo!e--and ne!er condemned me as a homosexual. Bne night she said, F4y husband and 1 will be praying for you.F 1 was shocked. F=ou pray for meIF 1 asked. F=es,F she said. F#e pray for you e!ery night.F 2s she was lea!ing, she added, FTom, 1 lo!e you.F (omething broke inside/ the lo!e of %od reached out through 9osie and touched my heart. 1 hid my head under a counter, pretending to clean, while 1 wept. @in)ing Something Different in 3hurch #ithin a few weeks, 1 asked 9osie if 1 could attend church with her. That (unday, 1 sensed something different. 3eople hugged one another and sang with such lo!e to Jesus. 2t the end of the ser!ice, 1 went forward to recei!e Jesus Christ into my life. 1 began telling people of my life before Christ and asking for their prayers. Then 1 met 7onna, a former lesbian, at a prayer meeting and we began a prayer partnership. 2fter two years of studying the $ible and praying together, 1 knew my feelings for her were more than friendship. Bne day 7onna came to !isit me at work. 'or the first time, 1 noticed her wellendowed figure and felt strongly attracted to her. 1 reali;ed that, at age &., 1 was experiencing something most boys go through at puberty. (oon 7onna and 1 were dating. Three months later, we were married. Entering Marriage00an) @in)ing <e' Aro(lems Bur first year of marriage was torture as my insecurities poured out. 1 began to seek solace in phone sex with men. Then 1 heard a broadcast on homosexuality, featuring an inter!iew with 7r. Hli;abeth 4oberly. 2s she spoke about same-gender deficits, 1 reali;ed that 1 had many close female friends in my life, but no significant male friendships. 1 asked %od to send men to me 6

with whom 1 could share my struggles. The +ord was faithful and sent two men within the next year. They were gentle and compassionate, and held me accountable. %od also sent me another friend to whom 1 would ha!e been strongly attracted back in my gay life. 1 was ner!ous and uneasy as we attended a weekend conference together. 1 decided to share my insecurities with him and said 1 was afraid of getting close to other men. )e responded with wisdom and gentle lo!e. FJust because 1G!e ne!er struggled with homosexuality doesnGt mean that 1 donGt fear intimacy.F Then he explained that men often talk about weather or sports to a!oid discussing their feelings and what is really happening in their li!es. 1 was shocked and relie!ed. (lowly 1 was learning that 1 could be intimate with a man without being sexual with him. #hen my wife ga!e birth to our first child, 1 asked %od, F)ow do 1 raise a sonIF 1 sensed )is response in my heart: FJust lo!e him.F Today 1saac is "EE percent all boy. (hortly after him came another son, then two daughters. 4y children are one of lifeGs greatest 8oys. /o& in Hel,ing -thers 2s my wife and 1 both found freedom from a gay past, we began to minister to others seeking the same experience. 'our years ago, we 8oined the board of directors of 9econciliation, our local Hxodus ministry in 7etroit. Two years later, 1 became the director. Today our !ision is to help Christians who long for change in their homosexual desires. #e donGt force our beliefs on anyone, but seek to display the compassion of Jesus Christ to anyone who is interested. 1 know )is lo!e can draw others out of despair, 8ust as )e did for me. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. ) "ouple’s Testimony of God’s Healin This husband and wife have experienced lon term healin and rowth as a result of their participation in the *ivin +aters pro ram. Throu h the separate men’s and women’s small roups, the *ord was able to touch each of their hearts in their specific area of need. 'f you know an en a ed couple, or a husband and wife who would benefit from the *ivin +aters pro ram, please have them call ,-../01.,223. ) new roup will be startin in 4eptember. J#ifeK Though my husband and 1 ha!e both had sexual brokenness in our li!es, all things considered, we ha!e had a !ery good marriage. This is because of our strong lo!e for %od and each other. 2ll of our Christian li!es we ha!e 7

both looked to the +ord to meet our deepest needs, because we knew that we couldn t find it in each other. %od kept us in )is hands because of this, always forgi!ing our sins and struggles. $ut, )e couldn t heal us this way. #e had to face the pain and bring our sinful struggles into the light and work through them before healing and freedom would come. 4y husband hinted at his sexual ambiguity before we were married. 1t scared me about what 1 might be getting myself into, but by then 1 was in-lo!e with him and belie!ed that %od had led us together and somehow would make it work. 1 had had homosexual struggles myself as a teenager and since then had walled myself off from intimate relationships with women. Hmotional dependency on another woman was too risky and 1 felt !ery !ulnerable to it. 2s long as 1 maintained the wall of self protection, 1 was BL. Cow finally %od had blessed me with a man to lo!e. 1 was sexually attracted to him and was ready for marriage. 4y husband told me out-right, after , years of marriage, that he struggled with homosexual pornography. )e was !ery broken up about it and repentant. 1 forga!e him and confessed my teenage sexual in!ol!ement with another girl. Co more was e!er said about it for many years. J)usbandK 1 ha!e worked in Christian work since 1 was &- years old and ha!e always felt 1 had to hide from this shame of habitually needing to !iew porn because <nobody would understand?. 1 struggled and hated myself all those years. 2s you can imagine, 1 was !ery self focused for many years. 4y brokenness was causing casualties in my relationship with my wife and kids. 1 couldn t focus on trying to meet my wife s needs, and 1 was not honest or open with her about my problems. 'inally, in my @uiet time with %od 1 said that 1 wanted )im to free me from this emotional prison 1 was in. The next week %od would not let me rest until 1 told my wife what was going on. 1t was hard to do that and it pulled at e!erything in me to run from the reality. $ut, 1 somehow inside knew that 1 needed to do this. 1 told her about the details of my addiction to porn. Bf course it seriously affected her, as now she was not the <only? one that 1 desired. 1 felt terrible that the woman 1 ha!e always lo!ed abo!e all else in this world now felt that 1 had not truly cared for her. J#ifeK Though he told me often that he was sexually attracted to me, 1 couldn t trust him. 1n my own brokenness as a child 1 had learned to shut down my heart and feelings when things were too painful to handle. (o 1 would deny myself the right to be hurt - e!en if he was 8ust pretendin to be attracted to me. (o, for many years we both li!ed in a state of denial about our true feelings while trying to please the other one. %od couldn t heal us from our brokenness, though, because we were too ashamed to go to anyone about our pain. The Church didn t feel like a safe place to go for help.

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The turning point for us came when, after years of emotional isolation in terms of women friends, 1 became emotionally star!ed - to the breaking point. 1 desperately needed to find someone who would take away the terrible longing for intimacy and feminine lo!e. 1 cra!ed the close lo!e of a mother, and found a friend whom 1 tried to get it from. $ut after she mo!ed away, 1 became so desperate that it became homosexual in nature. 1t was at the peak of obsessi!e sinful thinking that %od sent me to a Christian friend who was <Jesus in the flesh? to me. (he walked the 8ourney of reco!ery with me and got me to +i!ing #aters. 7uring this point, 1 confessed my struggles to my husband, and he went through +i!ing #aters, too. J)usbandK 2s my wife admitted her emotional struggles with her friend, we started to talk honestly about my sexual problem, too. 1t was then that 1 started my 8ourney to sobriety from porn. 1 now had faced my worst fear Jbeing honest about my addictionK and had made it through. Cow 1 needed to keep facing it. )owe!er, 1 was more inclined to hide from it again and to belie!e that 1 was now free and, didn t ha!e to deal with that anymore. 1 felt better, e!en lighter, than e!er before. 2nd, %od started dealing with me on a regular basis. 1 was asked to go on a spiritual renewal weekend entitled The #alk to Hmmaus. Bn the #alk %od specifically called me to confess this deep, dark secret to a spiritual leader, who was a pastor. #as 1 e!er sweating> $ut, this confession brought e!en more awareness that <the monster? was not so big, and 1 had to deal with it. #hat an anxious time> 2 number of months after the #alk, my wife informed me that she was going to attend +i!ing #aters, a sexual and relational healing ministry. 1 thought that was great for her, but 1 was not sure if 1 wanted to <sweat? any more honest disclosures. $ut, 1 saw how %od seemed to be speaking to her and setting her free from her brokenness. Then she asked me if 1 wanted to be part of the next session. Then the world wind from (atan hit again. <1 can t share with a whole group of people.? #ell, you can imagine that %od was drawing me to +i!ing #aters, too. J#ifeK Bur sexual identity problems are our indi!idual problems, and don t basically ha!e anything to do with the other person. Therefore, %od had to work on us indi!idually first. Bur broken identities stem from painful childhood experiences and how we interpreted them. #e are learning to recogni;e the lies we !e belie!ed from our wounds, and to allow the +ord to replace them with )is truth. Through +i!ing #aters, 1 !e seen my husband grow a lot in his self acceptance and feeling good about who he is as a man. Lnowing that he is off of pornography and working on his healing is !ery encouraging to me. J)usbandK 1t was a slow process. 1 was stubbornly not letting the group into my pri!ate world. )owe!er, 1 had a commitment that this was going to be the <last thing 1 tried to get free?. 1f this didn t work, 1 felt nothing would work. 9

The group of guys 1 was in seemed to ha!e the same approach. #e called it <do or die?. =ou know, %od honored the commitment. 2s we 8ourneyed through the chapters and sessions together, as we laughed, cried, prayed and encouraged each other, we saw that %od was setting us free. 1 started to notice that the addicti!e desires were starting to subside and that %od was becoming more dynamic in my life. That experience is now a few years ago. Cow, 1 think both my wife and 1 can testify that %od is freeing our marriage and brokenness of the past. J#ifeK B!er time in +i!ing #aters all of my obsessi!e sinful thinking peeled away completely, as 1 surrendered and confessed and learned to trust the +ord to meet the needs )imself. 2s a Christian, captured in the enemy s camp, 1 found the hope of %od s merciful lo!e for me expressed at +i!ing #aters. To ha!e a body of belie!ers willing to be in!ol!ed with me in my most humiliating state, was a tremendous healing balm. 4y husband and 1 still ha!e a way to go in our trust of each other. $ut, now we can be honest with each other. 1t s sometimes scary and painful, but we are able to talk and ha!e the direction and insight from +i!ing #aters to help steer us in our 8ourney. #e are accepting the fact that we are a <work in process?, that it s BL, that our 'ather hasn t cast us off, that in fact, )e is wooing us to )imself. #e ha!e also seen %od open up doors of ministry for us in deeper ways than e!er before. #e are seeing that %od does use <$eing )ealed Bnes?. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE. ) 5ear of %ilestones 6 07 5ears of 8reedom 6 !ack Hickey !ack Hickey is the founder of $econciliation %inistries. He is presently the "hurch 9usiness )dministrator at 8aith "hristian )ssembly in %elvindale. !ack and his wife, &ate, were honored at $econciliation %inistries :7th )nniversary "elebration on #ctober 23, :773. Be all have milestone &ears in our lives. 'or some it is anni!ersaries, birthdays, or celebration of an e!ent. &EE, is a milestone year for me in two ways. Bne was brought home to me through the kindness of others. 1 may ha!e forgotten it had it not been for good friends. The other 1 ha!e been looking forward to and will celebrate in @uietness and with a humble heart. 10

Che first 'as recentl& cele(rate) 'ith the t'entieth anniversar& of Reconciliation Ministries. +t 'as (ac. in the fall of "!8# 'hen + officiall& incor,orate) a 'or. that + ha) )one for some time. 2t that time 1 had been ministering to people who were struggling with homosexual issues for a few years. Through counseling, support groups and speaking at churches and Christian gatherings 1 was telling others of the great healing power of Christ to set the capti!es free. 1 knew of other ministries around the country connected with Hxodus 1nternational. 1 was doing the work of ministry, howe!er, it was not anything official. 1 had attended a weekend conference with two friends Jboth were men 1 had been counseling withK in 4inneapolis sponsored by a ministry called Butpost. 1t was a time where %od had really blessed and showed the three of us that there was to be a ministry in 7etroit. Bn the way home we were talking about the reality of & Cor. -:"0-"6 in our li!es. ,There! re, i! any ne is in Christ, he is a ne& creati n- the .# has / ne, an# the ne& has c "e0 A.. this is !r " G #, &h rec nci.e# us t Hi"se.! thr u/h Christ an# /a$e us the "inistry ! rec nci.iati n'1 This still thrills me right to the core. 1 happen to belie!e e!ery word that %od tells me. This scripture speaks of such freedom and !ictory that 1 can t help but shout> %od is so incredibly wonderful> 2nyway, it was from that scripture that the name 9econciliation 4inistries came about and the beginning of a twenty year 8ourney. #here in that twenty years the ministry saw se!eral leaders, good times and times of struggle, the consistent element has been the faithfulness of %od. 4en and women struggling with life dominating sin ha!e found true and lasting freedom. 'amilies torn by hurt and the bondages of lo!ed ones found healing and peace through Jesus. Christians who once ignored sins like homosexuality now see that the freedom of Christ extends to 2++ people no matter the sin. =es it has been twenty years on the miraculous. 1 said that it was brought to my attention by the kindness of others. =ou see, 1 had lost track of the ministry since 1 stepped down. %od in )is grace lead me away from the ministry in the same way )e had lead me to it. #hat many do not understand about what is called an ex-gay ministry is that you as a leader ne!er really escape the old identity. =ou en8oy the freedom you ha!e found in Christ, but you are always identified by your testimony. This is a burden to those who come out of any life dominating sin and are called back to minister to those who are still trapped there. %od called me to go and li!e the freedom 1 ha!e faithfully proclaimed. (ince that time 1 ha!e ser!ed )im in se!eral fields and ha!e seen )is faithfulness daily. 1 had not howe!er gi!en my testimony, or talked about my past. 4any friends and co-workers do not know anything about my past. 1t is not that 1 seek to hide it, but 1 li!e as that new creation in Christ Jesus. The old has passed away and 1 identify it no more. Then one day %od brought a dear brother into my life. )e came to speak at my church about the ministry he was in!ol!ed in. That was 7an )it; and the ministry was 9econciliation 4inistries. 1 was so blessed by his powerful 11

ministry and commitment to the +ord. 7an became a fast friend who 1 lo!e and respect deeply. (ometime later 1 was gi!en a great honor when allowed to pray with 7an at his ordination ser!ice. #hat a thrill not only to see that the work 1 had started was still going strong but %od allowed me to be part of commissioning its leader. %od is so good> 7an asked if 1 would gi!e a greeting at the twentieth anni!ersary dinner. #hen my wife Late and 1 arri!ed we thought it would be a greeting and that was it. #e found oursel!es sitting at the head table and treated with honor by 7an and those there. 1 was o!erwhelmed and humbled by their kindness. H!en more, as 1 sat there seeing folks who 1 ha!e not seen in many years, 1 was o!erwhelmed at the +ord s goodness. 1 thought of 3salm "&":0-6 which says, <The +ord will keep you from all harm A )e will watch o!er your life/ the +ord will watch o!er your coming and going both now and fore!ermore.? 1t is )is goodness alone that has kept me. Chat (rings me to the secon) milestone of 9::#. -n the fourth of <ovem(er + 'ill have (een a (eliever in /esus 3hrist for thirt& &ears. 2t the age of &,, after years of drugs, drinking, and homosexuality. 2fter trying e!ery religion and spiritual experience 1 could find, 1 thought 1 would gi!e Jesus a try. 1n the thirty years there ha!e been mountain tops and deep !alleys but %od has remained faithful. )e has kept me and allowed me the great pri!ilege of ser!ing )im. 1f you ha!e any doubt about how good )e is, in that thirty years 1 went from being broken and alone to a life so full at time 1 fear 1 can not contain it all. 1 walk in !ictory with a sa!ior who 1 lo!e and ha!e a great relationship with. 1 ha!e an incredible wife who lo!es me and 1 lo!e her. (he has brought a richness and excitement to my life 1 ne!er thought possible. 1 ha!e two daughters who ha!e always been and still are the absolute 8oy of my life. $oth are ser!ing the +ord and ha!e married wonderful young men who 1 am !ery proud to call my sons. %reatest of all, )e has rewarded me with two granddaughters, a grand-son, and one on the way Jgender unknown at this timeK who fill my life with more lo!e than can be imagined. + remem(er so man& times 'hen those see.ing free)om 'oul) as.* 13an >o) reall& set me freeD2 1Bill this lastD2 1+s >o) reall& intereste) in meD2 Che ans'er to all is a resoun)ing &es. + can tell &ou first han) that He is faithful to forgive sin* set the ca,tive free* change a life* an) (less &our soc.s off. Cothing in my life happened because 1 deser!ed it or earned it. 1 ha!e let )im down countless times and fall far short of what )e deser!es. )e blessed because of )is grace. $ecause )e is merciful. $ecause )e lo!es us, e!en while we are away from )im. 1 thank %od for 7an )it; and the work of 9econciliation 4inistries. The world is still filled with those who need to hear the message of freedom. 1 pray for him and the work %od has for him to do. 1 thank 7an for his kindness and willingness to ser!e the +ord e!en in the dark places.

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To those who are still struggling or who wonder if %od can set them free, 1 want to encourage you. Jesus is real and so is )is power. Bill surren)er to Him (e eas&D <o it 'ill notE Fou are at 'ar m& frien). % 'ar for &our ver& soul. Chere is an enem& 'ho is not out to u,set &ou (ut to )estro& &ou. 3hrist offers &ou life an) a chance to (e all >o) create) &ou to (e. 9emember the scripture tells us we are new in Christ J& Cor. -:"0K. The old will pass away and the new has come. Bh if 1 could only help you see the glorious freedom there is in Christ Jesus. 7o what 1 did, gi!e Jesus a chance. 1n thirty years you will not regret that decision for one moment. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE, ( un#ati ns Rest re# – A Li!e Trans! r"e# 6 "rai 9eickelman "rai was a raduate of our :770 session of *ivin +aters. He is a licensed minister and has served as a campus pastor at +estern %ichi an ;niversity and a teacher and counselor for Teen "hallen e in )rizona. 'n addition to servin on our *ivin +aters leadership team, "rai leads the $econciliation %inistries leadership team trainin s and the +alkin 8ree support roup for men. 1 first knew that the +ord had a call on my life for ministry when 1 was a 8unior in college. Though 1 lo!ed the +ord, my plan was to go into the theatre and make it big in )ollywood. The +ord made it clear that this was not )is plan during my freshman year. #ith my dreams of going into the theatre shattered, 1 struggled in college with direction until the +ord laid out )is plan. 2fter graduation, 1 started my ministry career in campus ministry at #estern 4ichigan :ni!ersity and lo!ed it. 2fter working in campus ministry for six years, the +ord mo!ed me onto working in Teen Challenge as a teacher/counselor. 1 had a sense that the +ord s plan for my life was to work with hurting people, but that was about all 1 understood at that time. The +ord drew me out of ministry for a number of years to teach me about the e!eryday challenges that present themsel!es in the secular work place. 7uring my many years out of ministry the +ord has taken the time to work on me. 2s the youngest of three boys in an extremely dysfunctional and abusi!e home, 1 had always been the care taker and strong one. 1 started <counseling? people when 1 was in 8unior high and had taken care of hurting/needy people all of my life. 1t was easier to take care of others than to face my own pain. 13

1 had always been different growing up and my dad ne!er accepted me. 2nyone not like him was wrong. )e was a !ery logical accountant and 1 was a creati!e, sensiti!e boy. 1 wasn t the normal rough and tumble kid like my two older brothers. 4y dad was in his own world which consisted of work and ha!ing a <$etter )omes M %arden? yard. 4y brothers and 1 were on our own to figure things out. 4y mother was !ery stressed out with * boys !ery close in age and had no support from her family to help raise us. #hen 1 was !ery young, my mother had a ner!ous break down from the pressure. 1 <learned? at a !ery early age not to be a burden to anyone. 4y mom became !ery depleted emotionally and started to turn to me as the youngest and most sensiti!e child for her emotional needs of intimacy and support. #e became so enmeshed that 1 had no identity of my own. (he affirmed me for being @uiet and sensiti!e A not like my rough and tumble brothers who dro!e her cra;y. 1 began to belie!e that it was bad to be male. 4y brothers and dad hurt my mom a lot and that was not a good thing. 1 began to want to be a girl and to dress up in my mom s old clothes that 1 found in our basement. 1 e!en ga!e my Len doll a sex change. 1 struggled with wanting to be a girl all the way through grade school. 1 had a lot of trouble with my male peers and tended to ha!e more girls as friends. #hen 1 was "E-years old, my middle brother started to molest me. The abuse continued for about three years. 1t destroyed me. 1 didn t know how to deal with the shame, confusion, and de!astation so 1 learned to shut down and become numb in order to sur!i!e. 1 walked into 8unior high school and was immediately labeled as <gay? and treated as a leper. 4ost of my friends split and 1 was left to exist on my own. 1n an effort to try and make sense of e!erything that was happening to me, 1 turned to the world of make belie!e A the theatre. 1 could pretend to be someone else and that people liked me. 1 reached out for a male image to become and grabbed onto the male model image presented in <%N 4aga;ine?. 1 latched onto this persona with all of my might and transformed myself into this pro8ection. 1 ran into the theatre and held onto the hope of being a star someday. The %N image brought a lot of problems as men and some women started responding to the alluring person 1 had become. $eing propositioned and sexually desired by others was now a normal thing and was !ery confusing for me. 1 e!entually accepted the label of being gay in my 6th or 5th grade year of school. 1 knew it was wrong to act on these feelings, so 1 tried to ignore them. 1 had become a Christian in 0 th grade, but ne!er allowed the +ord to do much in my heart because 1 didn t trust anyone A not e!en )im. 1 didn t disco!er the $ible until 1 started to go to a youth group in high school. 1 kept asking the +ord to take my gay desires away, but that ne!er happened. H!entually 1 8ust decided to do whate!er it took to not act on them. The battle was intense. 4y brother had introduced me to hardcore porn during the years of my molestation, and 1 began fre@uenting the local bookstore and found a whole world of gay porn that 1 immersed myself into to try to deal with e!erything. 1n college the propositions became more fre@uent. 1 lost myself in helping others all the more and let go of ha!ing any life of my own. 1 did grow a lot in my walk with the +ord in college, but didn t know how to address my struggles or my life. 14

1 tried e!erything 1 could think of to get some help A counselors, pastors, and books. #hile 1 learned many facts about my struggles, 1 really didn t recei!e any healing. 2 friend of mine told me about +i!ing #aters. 1 will admit that 1 didn t ha!e much hope that the program would do anything for me. 1 cried my way through my first +i!ing #aters in &EE*. 'or the first time someone was speaking right to me and the +ord was gi!ing me some hope for change. 7uring the program bondages were broken, walls started to come down and many years of pain were beginning to be remo!ed. 2fter my initial session, 1 continued as a member of the leadership team. The +ord has kept working in my life through +i!ing #aters and !arious counselors. )e has healed my fractionali;ed identity and helped me accept not only my gender, but who 1 was created to be. )e healed my broken heart and taught me how to forgi!e the many people who had hurt me. 1 am en8oying healthy male friendships and de!eloping a genuine attraction to women for the fist time in my life. 2s my in!ol!ement with 9econciliation 4inistries has grown, the +ord has started to speak to me about my calling to work with those coming out of sexual and relational brokenness/ especially homosexuality and abuse. 1 was a little leery when )e first started to show me this, but 1 am excited now. 1 ha!e grown as a Christian man and leader. 1 am one of the teachers and group leaders in +i!ing #aters. 1 lead the men s #alking 'ree support group and the 9econciliation 4inistries leadership team trainings. 1 am looking forward to all that the +ord has for me in the years ahead at 9econciliation 4inistries and in the body of Christ. 'f you are stru lin with your sexuality, there is hope and healin in the power of !esus "hrist. "all $econciliation %inistries at ,-../01.,223 and find out what options are available for you. !esus "hrist can restore your foundations and empower you to stand in your true identity in Him. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE5

4et 8ree This testimony tells the author’s story of the devastation of emotional and sexual abuse and the power of !esus "hrist to deliver him from the bonda e of dru s, alcohol, and homosexuality.

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Bhen + 'as five &ears ol)* m& ,arents )ivorce) )ue* in ,art* to m& )a)4s issues 'ith alcohol an) )rugs* leaving m& mother* m&self an) t'o &ounger (rothers on 'elfare su,,ort. The few occasions spent with my dad were usually marked by some sort of trauma. #hether it be destroying my toys because of his curiosity to know its contents, throwing a li!e mouse in the fireplace, Oplay wrestle until 1 was in serious pain or spanking to the point of beating, 1 usually felt unsafe and insecure with him. Shortl& after the )ivorce* m& mom soon marrie) m& ste, )a). He an) + 'ere never reall& a(le to get along. Bne of my earliest memories in!ol!ed him throwing me into the middle of a backyard swimming pool when 1 wasn t yet able to swim. 2s 1 sank, my uncle pulled me back up to the surface. 'or them, the e!ent was funny, but for me it was traumatic. 1 resented the authority that my step dad had in the house. )e attempted to control us kids with a sort of militant approach. )e had a cold, sarcastic personality about him, and an attitude that reflected his annoyance with taking on three additional kids. 'amily and friends were often intimidated by his irritable demeanor. 4y mom somewhat controlled their relationship, usually critici;ing him, lea!ing him @uiet. 4y brothers and 1 would rely on mom to control the situation. )owe!er, there were times when mom wasn t always there. #hen 1 was about eight years old. 4y step dad must ha!e heard me make a derogatory remark about the human body, because the next thing 1 knew, he was calling me into his bedroom. )e exposed himself to me and asked what 1 thought was so funny. Bhen he finall& let me leave the room* an unex,laina(le feeling of shame came over me as + ,on)ere) the thought of ho' m& )a) an) gran)father 'oul)4ve reacte) in the situation. (ometime later, 1 remember telling my mom about it, but she sort of dismissed the whole thing. 2 few years later, my step dad again asked me to come into his bedroom after o!erhearing my brother and 1 talking about girls. This time, there was a friendly tone to his !oice as he candidly approached the discussion of sexuality. 1t was almost like a father/son talk about sex, except that towards the end of the discussion, he asked if 1 d like to experiment sexually with him. But of embarrassment, 1 declined, howe!er it set the stage for a number of other scenarios that would e!entually take place, including the sexual abuse that followed o!er the next four years. 1n school, 1 was usually @uiet, gi!ing ample opportunity for peer ridicule. Cot being able to turn to a male figure 1 trusted, 1 @uickly became the target for a number of shame-filled assaults to my masculinity. )arassment often plagued me, lea!ing me feeling separated from my peers. 1 gra!itated toward friendship with girls and felt much more comfortable relating to them than with the Ocompetiti!e nature of boys. 1n the midst of an already confused gender identity, 1 found myself becoming attracted to other boys. + )esire) a connection 'ith other males* (ut felt that + coul) reall& onl& gain their a,,roval (& ,leasing them sexuall&* instea) of rel&ing on m& a)eHuac& as a male frien). 4y relationship with my step dad didn t help. 7uring those 16

times, 1 remember crying out to %od, asking )im why he put this man in my life. (hortly after high school, 1 disco!ered the gay bar scene. The attention and admiration 1 recei!ed from other men @uickly drew me into the lifestyle. 1 wanted my whole life to re!ol!e around this new experience which seemed to offer an escape from my past inade@uacies and failures. Chough + )ee,l& 'ante) men to (e attracte) to me* + also foun) that + 'ante) to ,ush them a'a& emotionall&. Relationshi,s soon (egan to (e an em,t&* lonel& game of cat an) mouse. 3ornography and !ideo stores became my main outlet. Bne night, as 1 was dri!ing to the !ideo store, 1 remember thinking how intent 1 was on going. Thinking to myself, that 1 would probably enter that store e!en if 1 knew there was a bomb on the premises 8ust so that 1 could feel that <rush? of release. The thought somewhat scared me and was likely one of the promptings that caused me to reali;e that something needed to change. 1 had contracted a contagious skin disease called scabies. 4edication was prescribed which temporarily alle!iated the problemP until 1 would go back to the bars and contaminate myself all o!er again. +ooking back, 1 belie!e %od used this time to separate me from the lifestyle and its surroundings. 1 began to ha!e discussions with my mom about Jesus. 1 knew about Jesus from going to church as a kid, but ne!er really ga!e much thought of )im in my life. Bne night, after a discussion we had at a coffee house, 1 found myself dri!ing home thinking how 1 was li!ing my life. (pecifically, how much 1 had hurt other people in my life. 1 began to sob. 1 wanted to change. 1 pulled into my garage, looked up and accepted Jesus Christ as my (a!ior. 2t that moment, a rush of warmth and peace flooded my entire body and 1 began to say, ?this is realP.this is realP?. + (egan sa&ing to >o) that He 'oul) have to (e the one 'ho 'oul) change me (ecause + .ne' that + coul)n4t change m&self. 1 tried in the past, but it ne!er worked. 2 couple days later, my grandfather ga!e me a book about a man who left the homosexuality by following Jesus. 1 related to many of the experiences he went through both as a child and as a man in the gay community. >o) 'as ans'ering m& ,ra&er for change (& sho'ing me that even someone 'ith m& (ac.groun) coul) (e given a ne' life. (ince then, the +ord has faithfully brought me out of drugs, alcohol, and sexual promiscuity. The walk hasn t been without its many challenges, but )e is still faithful to pick up the pieces. Chrough 5iving Baters* + learne) a lot a(out the root causes of m& sexual (ro.enness. (eeing how my need for same sex connection and affirmation had been misplaced by broken boundaries. 1 also learned that %od can reach us where weGre at and how )e can truly lift up a heart that is humbled before )im. Bne of the most awesome experiences in my walk as a Christian was when %od taught me to lo!e another person, despite of what they had done to me. +t 'as the .in) of love that 'ent (e&on) the offense an) sa' the ,er,etrator as another (ro.en* sin0scarre) (eing* 'ho nee)e) to .no' 17

that there is forgiveness an) love* even for them* as there ha) (een for me. 'reeing me from the torment of hate and releasing me to lo!e compassionately. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE, Trustin/ G # A/ain – Rec $erin/ !r " *%iritua. A2use – Dan Hitz (art #ne of a Two (art 4eries The effects of spiritual abuse are very similar to the effects of sexual abuse 6 distrust, fear, lost hope, and inhibited development. %any survivors of childhood sexual abuse find themselves susceptible to stron church systems that seem to provide an ark of safety and protection, but they lack the discernment to understand why they continue to feel the familiar sense of control and manipulation. This article is the result of many years spent in a spiritually abusive church, walkin throu h the aftermath, and receivin healin and hope throu h the power of !esus "hrist and safe members of the 9ody of "hrist. Those who have been wounded throu h a spiritually abusive system can learn to trust and live as God intended. There are safe pastors and churches in the beautiful 9ody of "hrist with whom they can thrive. (art #ne of this article detailed the characteristics of spiritually abusive churches. (art Two explains the process of recovery from spiritual abuse and the characteristics of healthy a church. )a!ing found Jesus Christ after growing up in a dysfunctional family, 1 was yearning for spiritual boundaries and a father figure to lead me in life. Bhen + entere) His 3ha,el 7not the real name of the church8* + foun) a strong lea)er 'ho love) /esus 3hrist an) committe) his life to lea)ing others into the Ging)om as he un)erstoo) it. The holes in my heart from my disconnect from my own father seemed to be filled by a pastor who cared enough to step in and direct the life of this young &,-year old, broken man. 9egardless of whether the rules were clearly defined or simply implied, e!ery member of )is Chapel knew what was expected of them and who wasn t li!ing up to the rules. #e truly belie!ed that we had the truth that other churches weren t willing to pay the price to li!e. 1f we followed the teachings of this system, we would be safe in %od s presence and be like the fi!e wise !irgins who had readied their lamps when the $ridegroom came J4atthew &-:"-"*K. 1f we strayed or left the system, not only would we be like the fi!e foolish !irgins 18

who found themsel!es lost when the $ridegroom arri!ed, we would open our hearts up to demonic influence that would lead us astray. #e needed this system to make it to the Lingdom of %od. %s the &ears 'ent on* m& contact 'ith others in the ?o)& of 3hrist continue) to )ecrease as other 3ha,els in our fello'shi, sho'e) themselves 1un'illing to ,a& the ,rice2. 1 began to notice inconsistencies in the system rules and the beha!ior of those in authority, but was taught not to @uestion the 8udgment of those %od chose to place in authority o!er me. 1 obediently did not address A or acknowledge A things which seemed unhealthy. 1 was charged by %od to ensure that my wife followed the teachings of the system and to teach them to my children. #e needed )is Chapel to hit %od s mark for our li!es. This pastor had known my worst failures and had truly led me to the grace and forgi!eness of Jesus Christ. (urely others in the $ody of Christ would re8ect me if they knew my past struggles A and those in the present. 5i.e an ena(ler in an alcoholic famil&* + ex,ecte) m& 'ife an) .i)s to avoi) roc.ing the (oat an) to continue su,,orting the )&sfunction. +n a health& church* the lea)ers function is to su,,ort the mem(ers of the s&stem. %od is the source and the leaders are ser!ant resources, helpers, from the source to the members. +eaders use their strength to help and e@uip the members of their church to fulfill the calling of %od on their li!es. The needs of the leaders are met by the +ord and the other leaders that )e has placed o!er them. +n an unhealth& church the thoughts* feelings* an) )esires of the mem(ers )on4t matter. Cheir nee)s go unmet as the mem(ers exist to meet the nee)s of the lea)ershi,. +eaders attempt to find spiritual and emotional fulfillment through the religious performances of those whom they were called to empower and set free. Those who resist A or @uestion A the teachings of the church are labeled di!isi!e and shamed into compliance. The place intended by the +ord to be the safest place becomes the least safe place A the person intended to be the safest becomes the most damaging. 4embers of spiritually abusi!e systems lea!e such systems at a great emotional cost. The cost of remaining in the system is greater. 1n their book, The 4ubtle (ower of 4piritual )buse, 7a!id Johnson and Jeff QanQonderen J"55"K define spiritual abuse as <the mistreatment of a person who is in need of help, support or greater spiritual empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining or decreasing that person s spiritual empowerment? Jp.&EK. The website www.spiritualabuse.com states, (piritual abuse occurs when someone in a position of spiritual authority, the purpose of which is to Ocome underneath and ser!e, build, e@uip and make %od s people 4B9H free, misuses that authority placing themsel!es o!er %od s people to control, coerce or manipulate them for seemingly %odly purposes which are really their own. Sim,l& ,ut* s,iritual a(use is 'hen church lea)ers get their o'n nee)s met (& using >o)4s name to mani,ulate other ,eo,le to )o 'hat the& 19

'ant them to )o. %od has a lot to say about such leaders in H;ekiel *, and 4atthew &*. To those of you who ha!e suffered the de!astating effects of spiritual abuse 1 want to make one thing clear: Che &ears &ou s,ent in the s,irituall& a(usive s&stem 'ere not a total 'aste. 5i.e most a(usive families* most s,irituall& a(usive s&stems have (oth ,ositive an) negative Hualities. =es, my family and 1 did suffer in the system/ howe!er, there were some benefits as well. 1 would not be in the ministry today without the positi!e lessons learned at )is Chapel. Bne of the first sermons 1 heard when 1 walked out of the unhealthy church system and into a healthy place was out of the book of Cehemiah. The pastor had tied a rope around the chandelier and talked about the times in our li!es when we see our walls in utter destruction as Cehemiah saw the walls of Jerusalem JCehemiah &:""&EK. 1t is during those times that we need to hold onto the rope that is unra!eling as we walk with %od through the rubble to discern the foundational truths that we still belie!e. =ou may find as 1 did, there are many. Those who ha!e been wounded by spiritual abuse demonstrate the spiritual aspects of the symptoms of childhood sexual abuse. %s a 'oman 'ho 'as sexuall& a(use) (& her ste,0father ma& mistrust safe men in her life* those 'ho en)ure) s,iritual a(use ma& mistrust all ,astors an) church lea)ers in general. 1 ha!e a godly lo!e for the pastor that %od has placed me under today, but when 1 first started attending the church that was not the case. 1 didn t trust spiritual leadership. H!ery mo!e this pastor made was scrutini;ed for safety. (ix months after attending the church 1 walked into his office and told my entire story. 1 was watching to see if the grace presented at the pulpit was walked out in the daily life of the church. 1 pushed the en!elope and ga!e him the chance to destroy me or build me up. 1 wanted to know if he was safe then and there. 1 m happy to say that nine years after that day 1 ha!e a deeper lo!e and respect for him then 1 e!er did. )e continues to pro!e himself safe A complete with his admitted human frailties. Those who ha!e endured spiritual abuse may ha!e a )istorte) image of >o). Hither )e is seen as impotent, tired and apathetic for allowing the abuse in the first place, or he is seen as a mean and !indicti!e %od 8ust hoping that we ll sin and gi!e )im the chance to punish us. #e can acknowledge the <se!erity of %od?, but seem to struggle seeing the <goodness of %od? J9omans "":&&K. This can lead to li!ing under the <7ot Theory? of Christianity where we are con!inced that we either figure out exactly what %od wants us to do or we ll miss the mark for our li!es and end up in a spiritual train wreck. #e don t reali;e that %od is merciful and leads us graciously. (piritual abuse sur!i!ors may also ha!e a )istorte) self0i)entit& as a 3hristian, ne!er feeling good enough or truly lo!ed. They ha!e a har) time receiving grace as many of their years were li!ed out in condemnation of <gooey grace? or <sloppy agape?. %od may get angry with us and deny us the 3romised +and 8ust like )e did with most of the 1sraelites in the wilderness. (ome in!ol!ed in spiritual abuse ha!e )ifficult& 'ith ,ersonal res,onsi(ilities. Their performance orientation tells them that they are only as good as the works they are doing, so they may take on too many spiritual responsibilities and/or a!oid starting others fearing they won t be able to do them well. Their family responsibilities may suffer because they are re@uired to fulfill their responsibilities at church. The fears and restrictions 20

of the religious system limit their in!ol!ement with others which inhibits learning through experience and creates a lac. of life s.illsP Lids shouldn t argue, so the parents inter!ene without gi!ing them a chance to learn how to resol!e issues on their ownP (ecular college is unsafe so don t go... 4uch of life is learned outside the classroom in our interaction with others. )ealthy spiritual systems allow safe trial and error. (ur!i!ors may ha!e a )ifficult time a)mitting the a(use for many reasons. They ha!e been taught not to @uestion authority A not to <touch %od s anointed? A or they may suffer the fate of 2aron and 4iriam who were 8udged for talking against 4oses JCumbers "&:"-"-K. 2cknowledging the problem and lea!ing the system would rock their entire world. <Could it really be that badI? <1 8oined this church !oluntarily and accepted the teaching, how can it be abuse if 1 embraced itI? 'ear of reprisal from %od and others may follow them long after they ha!e left the system. Che characteristics of s,irituall& a(use) ,eo,le ,la& into the characteristics of s,irituall& a(usive churches. Ao'er ,osturing among the leadership demands instant obedience rather than obedience because it is earned. The pastor ele!ates himself abo!e the )oly (pirit and may e!en e!aluate the words that his congregants recei!e from the +ord to see if they fit the !ision he has for his own kingdom. True %od-gi!en authority does not micromanage or ha!e to demand obedience. )ealthy Christians gladly follow healthy leaders because of the anointing %od has placed on their li!es and ministries. 2busi!e systems implement the 1<o Cal. Rule2 in which complete obedience is demanded and members are not allowed to @uestion authority or hold them accountable. Johnson and QanQonderen J"55"K explain that under the Co Talk 9ule, the problem isn t the problem, you are the problem for pointing out the problem. The implication is that you are bad for ha!ing a problem with the problem. Aerformance ,reoccu,ation means that a Christian s spirituality is measured by how well he/she performs external spiritual tasks rather then the true spiritual condition of his/her heart. Bbedience and submission to spiritual authority are strongly emphasi;ed as the needs of the church are more important then the needs of the family. 4embers are re@uired to be at church e!ery time the doors are open as absences are duly noted. 2busi!e church systems employ uns,o.en rules because if the rules were spoken out loud e!eryone would recogni;e how foolish they were. Bne abusi!e church pastor prohibited his members from attending mo!ie theaters, e!en if the mo!ie being shown was an acceptable film, because the demons who were present during the <9? rated horror films are still in the theater when the <%? rated mo!ies are shown. 1f someone were to ask why the same rule doesn t apply to motel rooms when illicit sexual acti!ity has surely been performed in almost e!ery hotel room at one time or another, he would be @uickly dismissed or labeled di!isi!e. (piritually abusi!e churches demonstrate a lac. of (alance. They may be either dogmatic or hyper charismatic with more balance placed on the sub8ecti!e rather then the ob8ecti!e or !ice !ersa. Bb8ecti!ism ele!ates education and dogmatic interpretation o!er and abo!e (criptural life experiences. (ub8ecti!ism ele!ates feelings and experiences o!er $iblical teaching. %odly leadership re@uires the balance of a heart submitted to the )oly (pirit. 2busi!e spiritual systems operate under a shroud of isolation an) ,aranoia which is often paired with 21

a sense of elitism and distain for others. Congregations not in the same system are !iewed as polluted streams and system members may be discouraged from !isiting them because they may pick up e!il spirits which will lead them astray. 4embers may also be discouraged from seeking help from counselors, support groups, and public agencies who may point out the dysfunction and talk against the system. 1f a leader is @uestioned by an outside agency for an actual problem, it is presented as an attack from the e!il secular society or demonic opposition for upholding righteousness. 2busi!e systems demand mis,lace) lo&alt& as the church is ele!ated abo!e family members. 2t )is Chapel, those who missed the Haster (unday ser!ice to spend the holiday with family members were rebuked from the pulpit. Those who lea!e abusi!e systems are routinely shunned A e!en if they are members of one s own family. Scare tactics are used to keep members compliant to the system. 2busi!e pastors may publically announce the trials of those who ha!e left the church to instill fear on current members who may be considering lea!ing themsel!es. )e/she is upheld as an example of what will happen to anyone who walks out from under %od s umbrella of protection. Those who lea!e the church and do well are presented as blessed by the de!il who will gi!e them whate!er they want to keep them away from %od s blessing. The bottom line is that the members belie!e that lea!ing the church puts them in spiritual danger. Those who remain are careful to follow the church rules lest their misdeeds be used as sermon illustrations on (unday morning. % ,erson 'ho has never ex,erience) an a(usive s&stem ma& have a har) time un)erstan)ing 'h& someone 'oul) choose to remain in one. The !ery characteristics of the system influence members to remain. They fear the shaming they ha!e witnessed of others who ha!e left. <1f 1 lea!e, what will be said about my issuesI? 2busi!e churches often seek to discredit the theology of those who lea!e to create the illusion that the problem was with those who left rather then the system itself. +n)ivi)ualit& is )econstructe) as members conform to the image of the system rather than the image of %od. (elf expression is unwelcomed. @ear of loosing >o)4s blessing runs deep in the hearts of the members. 4embers are sociall& investe) in the system and ha!e deep relationships with other members which will be lost when they choose to lea!e. They may also be emotionall&* financiall&* an) s,irituall& investe) and ha!e gained status from playing by the rules. 1n the case of an employee in an abusi!e church, his income, social interaction, the education of his children, and e!en housing may be solely controlled by the system. 1f he/she lea!es, the effects are felt not only by him, but by his family as well. Through )enial, the person may try to con!ince him/herself and others that it can t possibly be that bad A or that things seem to be getting better. 2fter one more year of hope, the situation remains 8ust as bad. S,irituall& health& churches )o exist. They are places where the leaders ,o'er an) authorit& are use) to serve* eHui,* an) em,o'er the members to reach their full potential in %od. Jesus spent many hours teaching his disciples, yet he still took the place of the lowest ser!ant and washed the feet of the disciples at the +ast (upper JJohn "*:*-"0K. 1n healthy churches, rules are s,o.en out lou) and they are $iblical. The belie!ers are fighting 22

the <good fight of faith? with $iblical actions rather then answering charges for oppressi!e practices. 4embers are free to res,ectfull& as. the ,astor Huestions about teachings they don t agree with, and to present problems with church policies that may need to be ad8usted. Honest& an) o,enness are present with no double standards. There is )eference to 3hrist as the true )ead of the Church, )is agenda, and )is methods. The leadership of the church recogni;e that 3hrist is in each one of us and that each one of us is !alued by %od and worthy of respect. 5o&alt& to 3hrist ta.es ,rece)ence over lo&alt& to the s&stem and the human desires of the pastor. #hen %od does call members of a healthy church to lea!e the local body and 8oin another church, they are (lesse) an) encourage) as the& (egin a ne' cha,ter in their li!es. (art Two of this article explains the recovery process and the characteristics of healthy churches. Re!erences an# Res urces The *u2t.e + &er ! *%iritua. A2use, 7a!id Johnson M Jeff QanQonderen, $ethany )ouse 3ublishers, 4inneapolis, 4C, "55". 2 workbook is also a!ailable. &&&'s%iritua.a2use'c " 6 This website offers informative articles, resources, and forums on recovery from spiritual abuse. htt%344&&&'nacr n.ine'c "4$i#e 5& r6sh %s 6 This resource page from The Cational 2ssociation for Christian 9eco!ery offers !ideos on reco!ery from spiritual abuse and other issues which may be !iewed online for free or purchased on 7Q7. The Grace A&a6enin/, Charles 9. (windoll, #ord 3ublishing, 7allas, TR, "55.. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"E Trustin/ G # A/ain – Rec $erin/ !r " *%iritua. A2use – Dan Hitz (art Two of a Two (art 4eries The effects of spiritual abuse are very similar to the effects of sexual abuse 6 distrust, fear, lost hope, and inhibited development. %any survivors of childhood sexual abuse find themselves susceptible to stron church systems that seem to provide an ark of safety and protection, but they lack the discernment to understand why they continue to feel the familiar sense of control and manipulation. This article is the result of many years spent in a spiritually abusive church, walkin throu h the aftermath, and receivin 23

healin and hope throu h the power of !esus "hrist and safe members of the 9ody of "hrist. Those who have been wounded throu h a spiritually abusive system can learn to trust and live as God intended. There are safe pastors and churches in the beautiful 9ody of "hrist with whom they can thrive. (art #ne of this article detailed the characteristics of spiritually abusive churches. (art Two explains the process of recovery from spiritual abuse and the characteristics of healthy a church. 1n their book, The 4ubtle (ower of 4piritual )buse, 7a!id Johnson and Jeff QanQonder!ine J"55"K define spiritual abuse as <the mistreatment of a person who is in need of help, support or greater spiritual empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining or decreasing that person s spiritual empowerment? Jp.&EK. The website www.spiritualabuse.com states, (piritual abuse occurs when someone in a position of spiritual authority, the purpose of which is to Ocome underneath and ser!e, build, e@uip and make %od s people 4B9H free, misuses that authority placing themsel!es o!er %od s people to control, coerce or manipulate them for seemingly %odly purposes which are really their own. (imply put, spiritual abuse is when church leaders get their own needs met by using %od s name to manipulate other people to do what they want them to do. 4any spiritual abuse sur!i!ors find it difficult to find a healthy church after lea!ing spiritually abusi!e systems. There are many good suggestions in the article, 5earning to 5ive %gain. @in)ing a S,irituall& Health& 3hurch. Jhttp://www.spiritualabuse.com/IpageSidT&K. The article notes that regaining trust ,ro(a(l& ta.es longer than an& other ste, to'ar) recover& from s,iritual a(use. (ur!i!ors may be afraid of getting pulled back into another unhealthy system as they see healthy community and hear some of the same !ocabulary they heard while in the abusi!e system. #e also ha!e to trust the same %od who <let the abuse happen? to lead us into a healthy place. 1n time we reali;e that 8ust as some in the $ody of Christ wounded us, others in the $ody are used to bring healing and strength. #e also learn that %od is good, and worthy of our trust. 9eco!ery from spiritual abuse is a process that takes time and effort. ?rea.ing the 1)on4t tal.2 rule is vital to recover&. 2lthough Christians should not share their story maliciously, it is important for sur!i!ors to find a safe pastor, a safe counselor, and healthy Christian friends they can share their story with in the context of finding healing and support. 'ar from incurring %od s wrath, sur!i!ors will recei!e strength as they confront the lies, wounds, and strongholds created by the abuse. +t is im,ortant for s,iritual a(use survivors to grieve their losses. The price of lea!ing such a system is high. 4any ha!e lost years of emotional in!estment, friends, positions, and finances. Their security in %od and others is shaken. (ur!i!ors may also ha!e to grie!e the false doctrines that ha!e brought them security. )a!ing the 24

church system dictate %od s will for my life allowed me to escape the personal responsibility of ha!ing to discern %od s will for myself. 2ccepting personal responsibility for the direction of my life was a frightening prospect for a man who grew up without learning basic life skills. 2 healthy spiritual system recogni;es the needs of its members and seeks to strengthen them in the areas of lack. 1 ha!e been blessed to ha!e many in the $ody who ha!e walked with me A not for me. <ot ever&thing taught in the s,irituall& a(usive s&stem 'as error. 1t will take time for a sur!i!or to ree!aluate e!erything he/she has been taught and come to terms with the teachings he/she will ha!e to dismiss as well as those that he/she will bring with him/her into his new community. This will include both (criptural interpretations as well as cultural standards. 2 healthy Christian community will walk with a brother or sister while he/she sorts out truth from error. They will not condemn, but will properly challenge him/her to search the (criptures to see if the things taught to him/her are true J2cts "0:""K. 1t is important for sur!i!ors to recognize that goo) an) (a) characteristics can exist in the same s&stem. 2ll is not lost. #hen people begin their 8ourney out of an abusi!e system, most of their thoughts are focused on the harm that the system has inflicted upon them. They can easily identify many of the characteristics of the system that hurt them. 2s time goes on, it is important for them to begin to focus on the healthy things that they ha!e learned from their experiences. 2s the +ord continues the rebuilding process, )e can draw on all of the experiences that a person has had during their difficult years and use them for good J9omans 6:&6K. 2s 1 wrote in part one, 1 would not be in ministry today without the good training that 1 had while in the spiritually abusi!e system. The painful aspects of spiritual abuse ha!e taught me how to minister more compassionately to those who ha!e suffered other forms of abuse J& Corinthians ":*-,K. Twel!e step programs encourage their participants to make a <fearless moral in!entory?. This acti!ity would be helpful for anyone reco!ering from spiritual abuse so that they can learn to identify not only the harmful effects they ha!e suffered, but the benefits that they recei!ed from the abusi!e system. Survivors of s,iritual a(use must recognize that the& are ca,a(le of a))ing to the ,ro(lem even if the& are not in an 1official2 ,osition of church lea)ershi,. 2buse is often filtered down into the family. 1 had to recogni;e that my actions had spiritually abused others. 9egardless of why we did what we did, we must take full responsibility for our own hurtful actions. 3art of our healing 8ourney includes the need to seek the +ord to help us recogni;e where our own actions ha!e wounded others and to make amends when appropriate. 1 knew that my beliefs and character would be dismantled after 1 had left the system because 1 had been a part of that system and had done the same thing to others. 2fter 1 left, 1 called a friend who was ser!ing on a foreign mission field and apologi;ed for the treatment 1 had gi!en him concerning his calling after hearing the <official position? of the church leadership against his decision. H!en though the abusi!e system declared that he would fail, he and his family continue to ser!e the +ord in a foreign land to this day. 4ost importantly, 1 ha!e had to apologi;e to my wife who tried to 25

point out the harmful effects of the system years before we left, and to my kids who were wounded by my own spiritually abusi!e actions. Che 'oun)s go )ee, an) >o) is still in the ,rocess of healing m& famil&* (ut He is faithful. Chere is forgiveness for all 'ho have sinne) I inclu)ing us. Jeremiah &5:"" reads, <O'or 1 know the plans 1 ha!e for you, declares the +B97, Oplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to gi!e you hope and a future. ? Be cannot (e entirel& free from our s,iritual a(use ex,erience until 'e forgive our a(users. There were days when 1 would dri!e past the church that 1 was abused at hoping to see a fireman on the roof chopping a hole to release smoke from a de!astating fire. 1 had been hurt and 1 was angry/ howe!er, 1 came to reali;e that my bitterness was only hurting me. 1 knew that 1 had to forgi!e my former pastor. 1 wrote a letter thanking him for the benefits that he had gi!en me throughout the years of my attendance. 1 had already discussed my disagreements with him on two separate occasions, but up to this point had not fully forgi!en him. 'orgi!eness is a process. The +ord has ordained multiple seasons to help me walk in forgi!eness. 1 had to be willing to fully take an account of what was to be forgi!en. 1 had to be willing to walk through some painful memories and present them to the +ord. 2s 1 did, 1 was able to truly forgi!e. M& healing has come through the ?o)& of 3hrist. The +ord pro!ided a support system before 1 left the church. (ome had been former members of the same church, and some 1 had met through my participation in the +i!ing #aters program at 9econciliation 4inistries. 1 was supported by friends li!ing in California and Cew =ork A both sides of the country. 1 was strengthened by safe people in the $ody of Christ who li!e half way around the world as 1 participated in a +i!ing #aters leadership training in the 3hilippines. 2nother season of my healing began when 1 attended a Christian, experiential men s retreat. 1 had !owed that 1 would <=>=$??? do a trust fall where 1 would fall backwards and trust that someone else would catch me. 7uring that retreat they asked me to trust them to blindfold me and lead me on a walk. The only reason 1 said yes, is that a friend whom 1 trust deeply had attended the retreat months earlier and had highly recommended it to me. 4y fear and self protection came out in the form of sarcasm as they led me outside through some bushes and asked me to climb a ladder. 1 arrogantly did so muttering how 1 knew they wouldn t push me off the thing because they were so worried about their own liability. 1t was then that 1 reali;ed what they were going to ask me to do. 1 stiffened. They asked me to fall backwards and trust them to catch me. 4y past came flooding back and 1 was gripped with fear. 4y toes seemed to grab the rungs through my shoes. 1t took me many attempts to allow myself to fall backwards. #hen 1 finally did fall, 1 screamed as 1 imagined myself crashing to the ground in pain. 1nstead, 1 found myself falling into the arms of fellow brothers in the $ody of Christ. + 'e,t as + realize) ho' all m& life those 'ho 'ere su,,ose) to catch me )i) not* (ut these men 'ho + (arel& .ne' ,rove) themselves faithful to catch an) su,,ort me. 1t broke something in me. 1 sought out more healing prayer from others in the $ody of Christ and can now feel safe, lo!ed, and protected in the $ody of 26

Christ. 9ecently the +ord mo!ed on my heart to spend an hour at a restaurant across the street from the church where 1 was abused and pray for them. 1nstead of resentment or anxiety, 1 felt peace. Che s&stem ha) cause) a lot of emotional ,ain for me an) m& famil&* (ut the 5or) has (rought me into a ,lace of ,eace. +t ma& still (e a s,irituall& a(usive s&stem* (ut + am no' free. Re!erences an# Res urces The *u2t.e + &er ! *%iritua. A2use, 7a!id Johnson M Jeff QanQonderen, $ethany )ouse 3ublishers, 4inneapolis, 4C, "55". 2 workbook is also a!ailable. &&&'s%iritua.a2use'c " 6 This website offers informative articles, resources, and forums on recovery from spiritual abuse. htt%344&&&'nacr n.ine'c "4$i#e 5& r6sh %s 6 This resource page for The Cational 2ssociation for Christian 9eco!ery offers !ideos on reco!ery from spiritual abuse and other issues which may be !iewed online for free or purchased on 7Q7. The Grace A&a6enin/, Charles 9. (windoll, #ord 3ublishing, 7allas, TR, "55.. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"E 7here D es the J urney 8e/in9 – Dan Hit:, Direct r This article hi hli hts a son or dau hter’s @ourney from the be innin of hisAher sameBsex attractions, throu h the disclosure to hisAher parents, and beyond. 't is meant to be a eneral overview for both parents and those stru lin with sameBsex attraction. #hen a son or daughter announces that he/she is gay, most Christian parents go through a time of turmoil. They are riddled with guilt, shame, anger, and confusion. This newsletter will help explain many of the issues that a son or daughter probably wrestled with for years, and help Christian parents respond in the most producti!e way possible. Cot e!eryone who experiences same-sex attraction is exactly the same, but these are the most common traits that are noticed throughout the years of ministry. =ou will ha!e to decide what the best 27

course of action is for your particular family. Bne of the most important things to remember is that sin is sin. %od does not !iew homosexual sin any differently than )e !iews heterosexual sin. $oth need repentance. 8e! re y u ! un# ut y ur s n r #au/hter is /ay, he r she " st .i6e.y; &rest.e# &ith un&ante# sa"e5se< attracti n ! r years' 4ost people dealing with homosexuality will say that they ha!e always felt <different? from other boys and girls. #hen the hormones begin to flow in 8unior high school, they are often filled with shame and fear when they reali;e they are attracted to the same sex. 4ost young kids don t know how to express their feelings so they keep them to themsel!es and struggle in silence. %raye# "any ti"es, ,L r#, ta6e these !ee.in/s a&ay01 This is a prayer most of my clients ha!e prayed countless times. #e learn from our early (unday school classes that Jesus always hears and answers our prayers. #e hope that one day we will wake up and our homosexual attractions will be gone. 2fter years of praying and waking up the same, many teens gi!e up on %od. Bthers get angry because they assume %od made them this way, yet condemns the !ery way )e made them. 4any walk away from %od altogether and gi!e themsel!es to their feelings. %od does answer our prayers, but )e re@uires action on our part. assu"e# they &ere 2 rn this &ay 2ecause it !ee.s natura. t the"' Those who ha!e ne!er struggled with homosexuality may not understand this but to those of us who ha!e, same-sex attractions feel as natural as breathing. Bur personality is largely formed by the time we are fi!e by things we had nothing to do with A things we can t e!er remember. Those things ha!e influenced our attractions, and since we can t remember most of them we assume we ha!e always been that way. Cone of us ha!e lain awake in bed at night trying to decide which besetting sin we want to wrestle with. 2nger is <natural? to a rageaholic. #e may not choose our temptations/ howe!er, we can choose how to respond to the temptations we face. &i.. thin6 they ha$e ,trie# e$erythin/1 in r#er t chan/e, 2ut ha$e %r 2a2.y t .# n ne a2 ut their stru//.e unti. they ha$e /i$en u%' 7uring our first meeting, many of my clients will tell me that they ha!e tried e!erything to change. #hen 1 ask them if they ha!e e!er talked to an Hxodus minister before, they say no. #hen 1 ask them if they ha!e e!er talked to a pastor or counselor, they say no. 1n reality, they ha!e usually tried to work through their feelings on their own. 4any of us ha!e struggled with issues we can t con@uer on our own, and unwanted homosexuality is one of them. #e need the $ody of Christ. t .# "any ! their !rien#s, " st ! &h " &i.. su%% rt their h " se<ua.ity – e$en in the church' :nfortunately, there are many gayaffirming churches today. =outh group kids are exposed to so much liberal thinking in our culture that e!en many Christian kids ha!e a hard time clearly delineating %od s intent for sexuality. (trugglers also seem to ha!e an uncanny built-in radar system to know who will support them and who will re8ect them. Bb!iously, they aren t likely to open their hearts up to someone who will shame them. ta.6e# t a /ay a!!ir"in/ r/ani:ati n, c unse. r, r teacher' 4any high schools ha!e %ay-(traight 2lliance groups that encourage students to embrace 28

homosexuality. 4any other community groups and high school counselors promote homosexuality. 1n their latest position statement, the 2merican 3sychological 2ssociation acknowledged that one s sexuality may fluctuate between heterosexuality and homosexuality during one s adolescences. #hen a student experiments with homosexual acti!ities, he/she teaches his/her body to respond to the stimulation in ways which he/she would not ha!e if they did not perform the sexual acti!ities. (tudents may condition themsel!es to ha!e homosexual attractions through experimentation e!en if they didn t lean that way in the past. "a#e %.ans t te.. the !a"i.y #urin/ the !a"i.y h .i#ay ce.e2rati n r a $isit h "e !r " c ..e/e' 3arents often feel like their son/daughter is 8ust plain being selfish when they come home and tell the whole family that they re gay in the middle of the family reunion. 4ost don t actually mean to spoil the holiday. They are simply taking the opportunity to make one announcement while e!eryone is together, rather than se!eral smaller announcements. They usually don t really ha!e the understanding of the emotional impact their announcement makes on the parent. He.%!u. a#$ice t %arents &hen they ha$e t #iscuss the su2=ect &ith their s n4#au/hter' +ray' This may sound ob!ious, but it is critical to pray and seek %od s heart in order to a!oid a knee-8erk reaction which may push your child away. 4ost of the time, our initial reaction comes from the pain, fear, and guilt in our own hearts. 3rayer helps us to lay down our hurt and seek %od s heart in the matter. =ou will need to seek the +ord to help you truly understand where )e stands on this issue. 3ray for the grace to speak the truth in lo!e. D n>t react &ith %anic r an/er – cool )o'n. This goes hand in hand with the suggestion to pray. 1f time permits, it is best to wait until the initial reaction dies down and you can discuss the issue more calmly. 1f you did react in anger and say things you regret, admit your wrong and ask for forgi!eness. This will go a long way to keep the lines of communication open. D n?t "a6e it a2 ut y u – there &i.. 2e ti"e t #ea. &ith y ur !ee.in/s .ater' 4any parents react out of their own sense of shame. <#hat will e!eryone think of me for ha!ing a gay childI? <)ow could you do this to the familyI? 1t is important to remember that this issue is about your son or daughter A not you. =ou will need to take time to process your own feelings later, but the initial con!ersations are about them. D n?t 2 "2ar# the" &ith *cri%ture' 1f they ha!e grown up in the church, they will know what you think. 4any parents ha!e pushed their children away by emotionally hitting them o!er the head with 9omans, Chapter Bne. 3ray for a time when you can discuss their spirituality and sexuality producti!ely. :sually churched kids ha!e their defenses up against the $ible at this point and you will be speaking to an emotional brick wall. @ u can .et the" 6n & ! y ur unc n#iti na. . $e, yet .et the" 6n & that y u # n?t a%%r $e ! their 2eha$i r' The initial con!ersations are a time for reassuring your son or daughter that you lo!e them unconditionally. +o!ing them does not mean that you condone their homosexual acti!ities. Calmly state that you belie!e that homosexual acti!ities are a sin. :sually con!ersations about what beha!iors you will and will not accept in your house will occur in a later discussion, but be ready for the sub8ect at the beginning. 2 29

special note to dad sP (ometimes a father will remain silent because they simply don t know how to respond. 1n these situations, it is best to be honest with your son/daughter and 8ust let him/her know that you don t know what to say but you lo!e him/her. Graci us.y .et the" 6n & that there are "any %ini ns ut there, an# there are "any %e %.e &h 2e.ie$e they can chan/e' They will probably be resistant to this option, but offer it anyway. 1f your kids are adults, you can t force them into counseling. 1f they are younger, you can tell them that you want them to meet with an Hxodus counselor or minister so that they can hear the side that they won t hear in school. Hxodus ministries don t try to brainwash or manipulate someone into change. They simple share their story of change and the negati!e truth of homosexuality. They can also offer to help the person with other life issues aside from homosexuality. $e careful when choosing a therapist or minister who is not an Hxodus referral. :nfortunately, e!en many Christian counselors will tell the person to embrace their homosexual attractions. 1t is important that whate!er counselor the parents choose truly belie!es that one can o!ercome a homosexual orientation. A!ter the re$e.ati n r c n$ersati n; C ntinue t %ray ! r y ur 6i#s an# y ur !a"i.y' The other members of your family will be affected as well. (ome siblings will be accepting of homosexuality A others will be shamed. (ome ha!e been afraid that they will be harassed at school because of their gay brother or sister. Bthers may be fearful of their sibling s eternal destiny and may not know how to handle the fear. 3arents can pray 4atthew "&:&E for their gay-identified children. <2 bruised red he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads 8ustice to !ictory.? 3ray that the +ord will strengthen the godly areas that remain in your lo!ed one s heart and bring him/her to repentance. 3arents can also pray that the +ord will send someone to their son/daughter that he/she can recei!e from. %od knows what personality will reach your child and )is people are all o!er the world. Co one is beyond )is reach. @ ur chi.# "ay #e"an# that y u i""e#iate.y acce%t &hat has ta6en the" years t rec nci.e' 4any parents ha!e been frustrated by their son/daughter s demands that they fully accept their homosexual orientation e!en though he/she took many years to come to terms with their sexuality. 1t is okay for the parent to remind his/her child that he/she will need some time to process his/her emotions. @ ur 6i#s "ay e<%erience a ti"e ! eu%h ria 2ecause a &ei/ht they ha$e carrie# ar un# ! r "any years is !ina..y !! their sh u.#ers' 1f you ha!e e!er carried a huge emotional burden and had the chance to talk to someone and get if off of your chest, you can relate to the relief your son/daughter is feeling now that his/her secret is finally known. 4any strugglers say that they felt like nobody knew the real them prior to their coming out. 9egardless of the response, your son/daughter has finally shared his/her heart and gotten a huge burden off his/her chest. )e/she may also be gi!ing into acti!ities that he/she has wanted to experience for a long time and are en8oying the initial pleasures of sin J)ebrews "":&-K. 1f you respond properly in the beginning stages of the re!elation, you will increase the chances that he/she will feel safe discussing the pain of the sin with you later on down the road. 30

@ u "ay !ee. a &i#e ran/e ! e" ti ns' 4ost dads will want to <fix this problem? right away. 4oms want to <make it all better?. 1t will take time. Christian parents often !acillate between despair, numbness, guilt, anger, disgust, and hope. 4any times they begin to @uestion (cripturally and scientifically what seemed so clear before homosexuality touched their own family. They will experience a sense of loss as they remind themsel!es that they didn t raise their kids to li!e like this, and they reali;e that their son/daughter won t be gi!ing them grandchildren. 1t is alright to let your kids know how you feel about their choice to embrace homosexuality at the appropriate time, 8ust remember to speak the truth in lo!e. Get s "e he.% !r " a truste# church .ea#er an# !r " s "e ne &ith e<%erience in this area' The Healin Hearts group for parents of gayidentified persons fre@uently says, <#hen kids come out of the closet, most parents go into the closet.? This is especially true for Christians. 7on t get stuck in depression and isolation A reach out for help. =our local church should be a source of strength and encouragement for you. There are many ministries, therapists, and resources for Christian parents and families of gayidentified children who can help them lo!e their son/daughter without condoning his/her sin. *tu#y the su2=ect – there are / #.y res urces a$ai.a2.e' The 9econciliation 4inistries website at www.recmin.org has articles on a !ariety of sexual issues on the <life stories? section of the website. 4others usually spend many hours studying the sub8ect and hand the father a huge stack of materials to read. 1f one parent isn t the type to read on the sub8ect, it is best to pick one resource which seems to be the most helpful and ask him/her to read it. That way he/she won t become o!erwhelmed and not read anything. Bther helpful websites are listed below. 9econciliation 4inistries www.recmin.org Hxodus 1nternational A www.exodus.to Hxodus =outh A www.exodusyouth.net Hxodus $ooks A www.exodusbooks.org Cational 2ssociation for 9esearch and Treatment of )omosexuality A www.narth.com )a6e sure that y u an# y ur s% use are n the sa"e %a/e an# stic6 t /ether' 7on t get stuck in the blame game. There will be time to make ad8ustments to the family dynamics later, but right now you will need each other s support. =ou will both need to decide what beha!ior you will and will not accept in your home and/or allow your child to participate in. Try to do this before the situations arise. (ometimes with a resistant teenager, it is best to put a beha!ior contract on paper and ha!e both parents and the son/daughter sign it. 9emember, kids seem to know instincti!ely which parent to ask about different situations. $oth parents need to be on the same page as much as possible. 1t is difficult if the parents are di!orced with one being permissi!e and the other ha!ing $iblical boundaries. 1f this is the case in your family, seek the assistance of your local church leadership, determine which boundaries you will ha!e at your house, and stick to it regardless of the other parent. =our son/daughter may resist your boundaries now, but they will know who to go to if they e!er choose to repent and seek help.

31

Rea.i:e that this is a %r cess an# there &i.. 2e "any %ea6s an# $a..eys' There is no @uick fix. 4any parents get all excited when their child takes some steps forward and then become utterly de!astated when he/she takes some steps back. 9emember, this is a process and e!en when the son/daughter is trying to change there will be good seasons and challenging seasons. 9ealistic expectations can help you a!oid being crushed by false hope. I! y ur s n r #au/hter sti.. %r !esses !aith in Christ; :nfortunately, there has been an increase in the number of gay-affirming churches in the past few years. #hen these churches encourage people to embrace their homosexuality, they keep them away from the $iblical truth that can set them free and bring healing. )owe!er, it is much easier for %od to touch someone s heart when he/she is open to )im. There ha!e been a number of Hxodus leaders who ha!e been con!icted of the sin of homosexuality while attending a gay-affirming church. Therefore, 1 always tell parents to speak the truth in lo!e and tell their son/daughter that homosexuality is a sin, but to encourage him/her to continue to pursue %od. Jeremiah &5:"* reads, <=ou will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.? Hncourage your son/daughter to seek %od with all their heart, and continue to pray that the )oly (pirit will con!ict him/her of his/her sin, and that the kindness of %od will lead him/her to repentance J9omans &:,K. Remem(er I Che Journe& is not over &etE >o) is 'ith the ,ro)igal even in the ,ig ,en lea)ing him to re,entance. 1Che 5or) is not slo' in .ee,ing his ,romise* as some un)erstan) slo'ness. He is ,atient 'ith &ou* not 'anting an&one to ,erish* (ut ever&one to come to re,entance.2 9 Aeter K! 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE5 Hea.in/ the Hearts ! +arents – +a" an# Ju#y (am and !udy are both members of the Healin Hearts parents’ roup and friends of $econciliation %inistries. (am shares her heart from the perspective of a parent who has recently found out that their son or dau hter is ay identified. !udy shares her heart as a mother that has walked this @ourney for many years 6 throu h the tears and throu h the @oys. The heart of wisdom and love inside both of these ladies is priceless. +a" 5 The Heart ! a +arent Ne& t This J urney

2re you a parent who 8ust found out that your son/daughter is a homosexualI #ell, if your swollen tear-filled eyes can focus on reading this A then there is hope for your hurting heart. 'irst of all, 1 want to be clear that 1 am no expert on this matter, 8ust a parent who is in your same shoes. 1 do feel prompted to 32

write this article to hopefully be of help for those of you who ha!e 8ust found out about your child. $efore my son broke the news to me, 1 had not gi!en the sub8ect of homosexuality much of a thought. 1t existed out there and that is where it stayed. Then on that fateful day in January &EE. my ".-year-old son told me he was gay. 2ll of a sudden, life came to a screeching halt, homosexuality was no longer <out there?. 1t had entered our home and life would ne!er be the same again. +et me say that again, <+ife would ne!er be the same again.? 7id you read that with a negati!e tilt to itI 1t was all negati!e in the beginning. The tears, the pain, the sleepless nights, the days consumed by thoughts, thoughts, thoughts. 1t took all 1 had to make a grocery list, let alone put a box of )amburger )elper together for dinner. 4ind you, there is a natural and needed grie!ing process that must take place before we mo!e on, and once we ha!e picked oursel!es up off the floor there is no guarantee that we won t end up in a heap all o!er again A and that is BL too. #alking through this is a process. 4y first suggestion to a new parent is to do some research on the sub8ect of homosexuality. The Hxodus 1nternational website Jwww.exodus.toK is a great resource to start. Bne of the comforting facts that 1 learned early on is that homosexuality is CBT all about sex. 1t is a relational issue. The homosexual has a cra!ing for same sex affirmation and it is a legitimate need. =ou will also find first hand testimonies of men and women who ha!e successfully walked away from homosexuality. Cothing is impossible with %od. (econdly, lo!e your child with all your heart. They need you to lo!e them unconditionallyP Can you imagine what they ha!e been going throughI %od really put my selfish grief into perspecti!e when my son turned "0. )e blew out the candles on his cake and looked at me and said, <Cow 1 guess you know what 1 !e been wishing for all these years.? #ham> Bh %od, forgi!e me for all my complaining and moaning and @uestioning and playing the <what if? tapes o!er and o!er again in my head. 1 ob!iously can t fix this, my son can t fix this/ 7ing-7ing-7ingPit s time to turn to %od> =ou know that little word called <trust?I #ell, it s all throughout the $ible. 2nd you know when 1 said, <+ife would ne!er be the same again.? #ell, glory hallelu8ah, life can be way more meaningful when you are in a deep relationship with your Creator. #hen lifealtering e!ents happen to us we can let them shape us or shatter us. Bur first and most powerful line of defense is prayer. Caturally our first prayer is for %od to change our circumstances, but if it endures then we ha!e to change our attitude. (tart by changing the things you say. =our mouth has power> (top reaffirming your misery and choose to praise. Celebrate the greatness of our %od e!en if the pain you are feeling is o!erwhelming, try to utter out something positi!e. 9emember that e!erything that happens to us is not a surprise to %od. 1t has been sifted through )is hands first before it has e!er hit us. %uess whatI %od has entrusted this circumstance to us. 1t is now our decision how we will handle it.

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Thirdly, share your feelings with someone you can trust. There is a wonderful group of parents called <)ealing )earts? that meets in !arious locations in the area. 3hone numbers are a!ailable for immediate concerns and an online email group is open &,/0 to ask @uestions, get ad!ice and offer insights. #e are all on this 8ourney together A some longer than others A but %od has us all in the palm of )is hand. There are no @uick fix answers, but talking to other parents who are walking the same path is a great comfort. +ifting each other and our children in prayer is our most powerful ally. Conse@uently, 1 ha!e learned to lo!e the homosexual as Jesus does without condoning the sin. 1 ha!e let %od mold my heart, change my attitude and hopefully be used by )im for )is glory. Ju#y?s *t ry – Our J urney as +arents *tart ! Hea.in/ Hearts ! T& Gay Chi.#ren an# the

#hen our second child came out, my husband and 1 spent o!er a year in Christian counseling trying to find out what we could ha!e done wrong to ha!e two gay children out of four. #e had gone to our 3astor and asked him if he knew of any support groups or other parents in our situation and he said, <(orry, 1 donGt.? 1 had been told by a friend about $arbara JohnsonGs books so 1 picked up one and began reading it after se!eral weeks of crying and 8ust feeling so ashamed and alone. 1 made a frantic call to $arbara Johnson and much to my surprise, she answered the phone, 1 told her my situation and asked her if she knew of a support group in our area. (he said, <Co, but 1 talked with a lady at my last conference and she sounded like she might try and start one?. (he said, <1Gll gi!e you her name and number and you can see if she has started one and if she hasnGt, then why donGt you think about itI? 1 called this gal named 'ran who was still looking for a support group and 1 said, <1f 1 were to ha!e you o!er to our house would you comeI? (he 8umped at the chance and within a couple of days she called me back and said we ha!e two other couples that would like to come. (ept "", "55, four hurting couples sat in our family room where 1 had boxes of Lleenex on e!ery table thinking we would all be crying. 1nstead we reali;ed that because we were no longer alone and had each other we were already feeling better. #e decided we better plan our next meeting but first we would ha!e to ha!e a name for this group. #e put se!eral names on a paper but couldnGt decide that night. Bne morning my husband got up and said, <#hat about )ealing )eartsI? #e ran it by the others and they lo!ed it. #hat we all agreed on at that first meeting was that we lo!ed our children, but as ChristianGs didnGt know how to deal with them because we didnGt accept their homosexual beha!ior. #hat 1 learned more then anything else during this 8ourney is that itGs not until we as parentGs ha!e a healing heart, can we then talk and calmly mo!e forward with our children. (tanding firm with no flexibility 8ust puts up walls and dri!es them further away. 1t wasnGt until we decided after a long 8ourney that this decision in their life is between them and 34

%od that we were able to F+HT %B 2C7 +HT %B7 F. Bur group has ne!er and will ne!er bash our gay children. 1nstead we try and learn how to work with them to keep the family together. 2bout three years ago our gay daughter died suddenly and the thing that helped us the most to get through this terrible time other then our strong faith in %od was that she knew that we lo!ed her and she lo!ed us. 2fter her death, while going through her personnel belongings, 1 found this taped inside her wallet, F=our 'amily 1s Bne Bf CatureGs 4asterpiecesF. #ould 1 want her back today if she were still gayI =ou bet 1 would. Bur son who was in a committed relationship for o!er eight years left his partner about two years ago and has been li!ing alone. #hen my husband died last year my son went into grief counseling with a chaplain. (ince this counseling he has had some ma8or breakthroughs and says he has ne!er been happier with his life and is finding his own identity. 1 pray daily he will continue to heal and grow in his own identity. Co matter what, 1 will still lo!e him. 1 told my son 1 had been asked to write this story and he said, <4om can 1 suggest a few things because 1 know people that ha!enGt talked to their parentGs in yearsI (ome of their parents ha!e died and they didnGt e!en attend the funeral because of the years of re8ection in their life?. )ere are my son s suggestions for parents: ". 7onGt blame yourself. &. 7onGt put walls up. Leep the communication lines open so that you and your kids can be a family. *. 2lways tell your kids you lo!e them when you see them. =ou can lo!e the sinner and hate the sin. ,. The more you force an issue the further they may run. 2fter losing both my daughter and my precious husband 1 ha!e come to reali;e that life is a gift from %od and sometimes too short - start taking those walls down now. Fou ma& not have tomorro'E 'inally we canGt thank %od enough for Tom Cole and 7an )it; who ha!e gi!en us hope, !aluable information and continued support. Healin Hearts, is a confidential "hristian support roup for parents and families of those stru lin with homosexuality. 'f you would like someone to talk to, call or eBmail one of the leaders listed below. %ike C $enee B 020B10/B03:: B rcboyleDsbc lobal.net Dou C Ginny B ,-.B/-0B1.,- B d porter-:2Dsbc lobal.net (cott M Hdie - -6.-00--E-E, - tabea$D/,Daol.com 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868

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7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE0 *ove 6 The &ey to a Healin Heart 6 $enee 9oyle $enee and her husband, %ike, are two of the foundin members of Healin Hearts, a confidential support roup for the parents and the family of persons dealin with same sex attraction. 1n "55E 1 started praying specifically to learn what unconditional lo!e looked like. 1t had ne!er been modeled for me as a child, and 1 really had no idea what it was. +ittle did 1 know that two years later real lessons about lo!e would begin. =ou see, it was in the fall of "55& our son told us he was gay. Those first two years were rough. 4y son and 1 had always been close and now we were estranged. 4y husband and 1 told no one, afraid of how people might react. 2s Christians we didn t know how we were supposed to act. (hould we kick him out of the house and preach to him at e!ery opportunityI Br did %od want us to do something much more radicalI Could it be that %od wanted us to lo!e himI =es, of course we were to lo!e him. 4y prayer to learn how to lo!e was being answered. 2fter hearing $arbara Johnson speak in "55*, 1 contacted her hoping 1 could connect with other parents in the 7etroit area who shared the same burden. (adly, there were no groups she could refer me to. $ut she did gi!e me the name of another lady who was also looking for support. #e didn t feel capable of starting anything as formal as a real support group, but apparently the +ord had other plans, and a year and a half later, on (eptember "", "55,, )ealing )earts was born, when , couples met in a home in (terling )eights. 7uring that first meeting, we found understanding and much comfort knowing we were not alone. Three of the four couples talked about their years in counseling and thoughts of suicide/ we discussed our pain and grief due to estrangement from our children/ and we shared our concern and desire for our kids to know and honor %od. #e wanted to know how our Christian faith would sustain us. That one meeting helped more than years of therapy. (hortly after that meeting, we decided we wanted to reach out to other parents, to get the word out that they are not alone and to pro!ide the same comfort to them that we 36

had found in one another. #e wanted Christian parents to know that they don t ha!e to make a choice between their faith and their child. #e wanted to gi!e them permission to lo!e their kids and still hold on to their faith. (ince then, we ha!e offered support through monthly meetings, e-mail, phone calls, and pri!ate meetings on re@uest. #e ha!e established partnerships with $arbara Johnson, 9econciliation 4inistries, 'ocus on the 'amily, and !arious churches in the (outheast 4ichigan area. #e ha!e met parents from Toledo to Tra!erse City/ from 3ort )uron to +ansing/ and we !e e!en talked to parents from other states, and ha!e reached out to our children s partners. #e treasure the support we ha!e recei!ed from 9econciliation 4inistries as Tom Cole, 7an )it; and others ha!e helped us to understand our kids a little bit better. Conferences like +o!e #on But ha!e pro!ided in!aluable information/ facts that counter the popular, but mistaken !iews about homosexuality in our society and the media. #e know now that change is possible A not only change for our children, but also change for oursel!es. #e ha!e hope A hope for our families, and hope in our +ord who does immeasurably more than we can think or ask. 4ost importantly, we are learning what %od s unconditional lo!e really is. 1f you are a Christian parent who is struggling with your child s homosexuality, please contact us at one of the numbers below. #e would lo!e to talk to you and make sure you recei!e in!itations to our monthly meetings. Hach day that you suffer alone is one day too many. %ike C $enee B 020B10/B03:: B rcboyleDsbc lobal.net Dou C Ginny B ,-.B/71B7/3, B d porter-:2Dsbc lobal.net 4cott C =die B ,-.B//,B7,73 B tabea$D/,Daol.com !udy B ,-.B/01B7.07 B hopeand loryDwowway.com $ecommended $eadin 6 $enee 9oyle 7here D es A ) ther G T Resi/n9 I 8ar2ara J hns n This is the first book )ealing )earts recommends to hurting parents. 1n her own uni@ue and !ery honest approach to all the wrong ways of handling de!astating news, $arbara Johnson shares her story of disco!ering her son s homosexuality. =ou will laugh and cry with her as she takes you from being disowned by her son, and then reconciled after "" long years. =ou will find release for your own pain, and you will learn to wrap yourself in %ods comfort. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66.

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9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE* Ten *te%s ! r the +arent &ith a Hea.in/ Heart This list was written by a father on our Healin Hearts eBmail list, and was used by permission. 't contains practical helps that he has learned while processin throu h the emotions that he feels in relatin to his son who is stru lin with homosexuality. I! y u & u.# .i6e t = in the Hea.in/ Hearts e5/r u%, sen# a %ara/ra%h e<%.ainin/ &hy t #hit:Arec"in' r/' )e"2ershi% in! r"ati n "ay 2e 2taine# !r " the sa"e a##ress' ". +o!e our children unconditionally. 'or us, this means we donGt 8udge one sin o!er another. &. (tate the truth, but once it is stated, no need to keep hitting him with a rock. Bur message is, F#e think you can change with the power of Jesus Christ. 1 know you donGt think you can, and we will respect your feelings, but we also expect you to respect ours.? *. +o!e their new friend as Jesus would. This doesnGt mean that we like the relationship. 2s my wife says, <1 see his new friend as 8ust that --his best friend. 1 donGt want them to focus on our sex li!es, so why should we focus on theirs.? ,. 3ray, 3ray and 3ray. 2s we turn to %od for strength, )e gi!es us peace beyond our own understanding. (ometimes 1 ha!e to do this daily, and sometimes hourly. -. 9ead, 9ead, 9ead. 1 am reading on the topic and reali;ing that 1 donGt know much about this. .. Talk with others that ha!e gone through this. The )ealing )earts e-group is great, and so is parentsUexodus.to. 2 !ery good bulletin board with -E-"EE messages a day. 0. 1gnore the 3harisees in the church. 1 know it sounds bad, but most people in the church ha!e been taught to condemn homosexuality and not lo!e the person. 1 will ne!er say, <+o!e the sinner, and hate the sin,? this 8ust pushes those with same sex attraction away, but 1 will reach out to them like Jesus does A without condoning their sin. 6. 9ead the $ible. %od talks about a lot about all sin, not 8ust homosexuality. 5. $reathe... and li!e one day at a time. Cone of us know what tomorrow will bring. "E. +et go and let %od. 1 8ust think if 1 can get this issue resol!ed life would be perfect, that is when 1 am reali;ing 1 am playing %od. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 38

9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE. Hea.thy *e<ua.ity – The Gi!t ! Re.ati nshi% 6 Dan Hitz This article is a part of the Hscaping the 7ungeon of 3orn conference and newsletter series. 't is much easier to walk out of sexual sin when one has a clear oal for healthy sexuality in si ht. 't is our prayer that this series will help you be in or continue your walk into sexual and relational inte rity. %ore newsletters included in the Hscaping the 7ungeon of 3orn series are available on the E*ife 4toriesF section of the $econciliation %inistries website at www.recmin.or . 'f you would like more information about hostin a conference at your church, call Dan Hitz at ,-../01.,223. The most important ingredient of healthy sexuality is also one of the most difficult for addicts and many others to exercise. 1t is relationship. This applies to those who are married as well as to those who are single. 9elationship is learning to know and be known by others while we express and experience the good of the masculine and the good of the feminine. 9elationship is worked into the !ery foundation of marriage and healthy sexuality. The )ebrew word for <knew?, yVda , has many uses. %en ,:" reads, <P2dam .ne' H!e his wife/ and she concei!ed, and bare CainP?. )ere the word refers to the act of sexual intercourse between 2dam and H!e. %en *:0 reads, <2nd the eyes of them both were opened, and they .ne' that they WwereX naked/ and they sewed fig lea!es together, and made themsel!es aprons. 1n this use, the word refers to a re!elation of something they had not formerly known. 7eut *,:"E reads, <2nd there arose not a prophet since in 1srael like unto 4oses, whom the +ord .ne' face to face.? )ere the word refers to a deep interpersonal relationship of trust and deep emotional intimacy A not a physical act. 1t is in godly relationships that we learn to know and be known by safe others. #e learn to be appropriately !ulnerable in the sharing of our deepest desires, our hurts, our hopes, and our !ictories. 7eut **:"" reads that <Pthe +ord would speak to 4oses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.? 1t is a perfect example of the relationship that %od wants to ha!e with all of us, and us with each other. True masculinity and femininity is not becoming a reflection of Jason $orne or 3amela 2nderson. J9ambo or $o 7errick for those of us in the older generation.K 3opular culture has distorted %od s intent for the good of our gender to symboli;e illicit sexuality or the tough guy who destroys all who get in his way. This is far different from the masculinity and femininity that %od designed and modeled in the person of Jesus Christ. +ike Jesus, we are all intended to li!e our li!es with a godly blend of both the masculine and the feminine while primarily exhibiting the traits of our birth gender. 1n healthy

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relationships we are able to recei!e the blessings of the other which we, oursel!es, do not posses. True masculinity is comprised of multiple elements. "K The power to do. This includes the power to lead others along the path that %od has designed for them. 1t is the power to initiate the plans that one has recei!ed from %od, and to gi!e shape to others. &K The power to prevail in the face of adversity. True masculinity is the power to stand strong on %od s truth without compromise and to walk in radical obedience to that which is 8ust and true A e!en when others attack us for doing what is right. *K The masculine father calls the children into their ifts and purposes in their lives. Hach child in a family has different gifts and callings. 1t is the 8ob of the father to recogni;e those gifts and assist the children as they learn to exercise them. ,K $ationalAanalytical thinkin . 4ost men tend to think analytically. They are usually action oriented and are not usually led by their emotions. The traits of the masculine are seen as the man comes home from work and finds his wife at home fra;;led. )e immediately wants to <fix? the problems for her and starts to gi!e her his <priceless? unsolicited ad!ice. 1n reality, she simply wanted him to listen to her heart rather than to fix her problems. True femininity is also comprised of multiple elements. "K The power to be. 'emininity possesses a greater ability to @uiet the spirit and to hear the heart of %od. &K The power to respond. 4ary was able to @uiet her heart, hear the instructions from the angel, %abriel. (he was able to accept %od s plan for the !irgin birth of the (a!ior e!en though she knew that she would bear the reproach of being an unwed mother. *K The ood of the feminine nourishes relationships and values emotional interaction. #omen tend to en8oy con!ersations that go well below the surface and touch the heart of the issue. They are usually more comfortable with emotions and !ulnerability then men and spend time reinforcing heart connections. ,K 'ntuitive thinkin skills. %odly women are gifted at percei!ing hidden struggles in the li!es of others. They are able to recogni;e deeper issues which are hidden from that which is readily obser!able. The traits of the feminine are seen when the man comes home from a long, hard day at work and wants to crawl into his manca!e and hide. The intuiti!e wife senses that he is upset and wants to hear all about his struggles. (he feels re8ected as the best he can offer is a brief mumble. %od designed males and females to be interdependent A mutually beneficial A to each other. 1t is in relationship that men and women walk in complementarity. Complementarity is both genders assisting and completing each other as they interact in relationship. 1t is necessary for healthy heterosexuality. %en &:"6 reads, <The +B97 %od said, O1t is not good for the man to be alone, 1 will make a helper suitable for him. ? 1n this !erse, the phrase <helper suitable? means one corresponding to him. Bne is not better than the other. They are both strengthened and blessed by the relationship. The good of complementarity is seen as the infant learns that he is cared for and protected by the mother. 2s the child grows, he learns to crawl and walk away from the mother, to explore the world and return to the mother for comfort. The father then calls the child away from the mother to initiate the giftings in his heart and the good of his gender. 2s the father announces that 40

he is going to build some skateboard ramps, the mother demands that he be wrapped from head to toe in bubble wrap. The father perse!eres and builds the ramps. #hen the kid wipes out, the mother comes running with the antibiotic ointment and the bandages while the father exclaims how <awesome? the crash looked. Lids need the complementarity of the parents. The feminine keeps them from self-destructing, and the masculine encourages them to boldly go forth. There are times when men and women must demonstrate both masculinity and femininity. Jesus modeled both aspects for us throughout )is life. 1n John "":*- )e demonstrated the feminine as )e wept for )is friends lamenting +a;arus death. 1n 4att &":"& he demonstrated the masculine as he o!erturned the money changers tables and demanded that )is 'ather s house be a house of prayer. $oth traits were wo!en together in 4ark .:*, which reads, <#hen Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. (o he began teaching them many things.? )e demonstrated the feminine as he had compassion on a lost group of people. )e demonstrated the masculine as he began to lead them and empower them to do )is 'ather s will. )ealthy sexuality expressed in godly relationships empowers us to stand in the good of our masculinity or femininity and to exhibit the traits of the other when necessary. There are $iblical parameters for physical sexual expression in marriage. (exuality was gi!en to us as a gift from %od. %en ":&6 says that %od <blessed them and said to them, O$e fruitful and increase in number. ? The !ery design of our bodies indicates that %od intended physical sexual expression to be extremely pleasurable. The angles, bumps, and ridges were put in 8ust the right places. 3hysical sexual expression is also a type, or shadow, of the spiritual intimacy that %od wants to ha!e with us. 1t is the only means that two human beings can come together and create an eternal being. 1t is no wonder that the enemy attacks sexuality so fiercely. %od ordains physical sexual expression only within the context of the marriage co!enant between one biologically born male and one biologically born female. J4ark "E:.-5K 1n %en *:0, when 2dam and H!e ate from the Tree of the Lnowledge of %ood and H!il <the eyes of both of them were opened, and they reali;ed they were naked/ so they sewed fig lea!es together and made co!erings for themsel!es.? This !erse pro!ides an insight into %od s idea of modesty. 2t this point, 2dam and H!e were alone in the garden and they still sewed fig lea!es together as a co!ering. The problem is that fig lea!es secrete oil that causes a nasty skin irritation on contact. 4an s best efforts to co!er his sin always produce more irritation and suffering A in this case where 2dam and H!e would want it the least. 3hysical sexual expression includes !isual, hand/genital contact, hand/buttocks/breast contact, oral sex, anal sex, and sexual intercourse. :nfortunately many in the church today accept any and all sexual acti!ity outside the marriage co!enant except for sexual intercourse itself. 1n &EE*, ##J radio reported that the rates for sexual acti!ity is only -Y less for church 41

teens than it is for unchurched teens. 4y guess is that those numbers are e!en closer together in &EE5. 1n my years of pastoral care, 1 ha!e heard of a <Christian? nudist colony and a <Christian? website that promotes lo!e between adult males who are sexually attracted to underage males. Bthers were told by counselors to use pornography in their marriage bed to enhance their sex li!es. These things should ha!e no place in the li!es of Christians. )eb "*:, has been used to 8ustify sin in the marriage bed. 1n the CLJQ it reads, <4arriage WisX honorable among all, an) the (e) un)efile)/ but fornicators and adulterers %od will 8udge.? )owe!er, in the C1Q it reads, <4arriage should be honored by all, an) the marriage (e) .e,t ,ure?. )ere we see that %od calls us to preser!e the sanctity of marriage and to a!oid any acti!ities which would corrupt his design for sexual acti!ity. %odly sexual acti!ities are not sinful, and do not shame, cause physical hurt, or cause infection. 1n writing about healthy sexuality for single people, 1 sought the ad!ice of a friend and ministry team member in his ,E s who has ne!er married. )e stated that many churches don t know how to minister to older singles and that most church singles groups lack spiritual depth. )e shared his frustrations o!er the challenges of trying to relate to his married friends and to fit fellowship time into their busy schedules. 1t is critical for single men and women to culti!ate healthy social relationships with the same and opposite sex. 1n healthy relationships, there is a balance of meeting the needs of the other and being blessed by the other, as well as a balance of working on mutual pro8ects and recreational interaction. There also needs to be a healthy balance of spirituality and relaxation. (ometimes we need to pray, and sometimes we need to go out to eat. 1 asked my friend how he would suggest handling his physical sexual urges as a Christian. )e acknowledged the reality that we are created as sexual beings with sexual energies and desires. <1f 1 were angry, 1 would be told to enroll in anger management classes where they would teach me to handle my angry energy in a socially acceptable manner.? 1n regards to our sexuality, it is important to engage in challenging mental and physical acti!ities to channel our sexual energy in an appropriate manner. 2s we begin to walk in holiness and learn to bounce our eyes and thoughts, our sexual stimulation and temptation le!el will actually decrease. The book =very %an’s 9attle notes that %od has designed our bodies to get physical sexual relief through periodic nocturnal emissions. #e don t need to engage in sinful sexual acti!ities to <get a release?. #alking in accountability relationships pro!ides support, encouragement, and strength as we seek to li!e sexually pure li!es. 4any of the concepts for single people also apply to those who are married. 4en and women find out @uickly that marriage doesn t cure sexual sin or take away the temptations. Ceither do married people ha!e sex as often as they would like, especially once the kids arri!e on the scene. The sexual desires and energy must be submitted to the +ord. 1t is important for both the husband and wife to ha!e healthy same-sex friendships outside the family. Bpposite sex friendships should be limited to 42

couples interaction to guard against fueling improper emotional connections which may lead to emotional dependency or crossed boundaries. 2lthough the husband and wife should be each other s best friends, interaction with others of their gender strengthens him/her as a person and increases their ability to be a blessing to the family. :nderstanding how the male and female brains work will enhance relationships and the marriage. 9emember how men are more logically and action oriented while women are more intuiti!e and relationalI #e must learn to step outside of our personal method of operation to court our spouses and help them to feel understood. 4en tend to operate out of a physical perspecti!e and feel lo!ed when they ha!e sex. #omen tend to operate out of an emotional framework and want to engaged in physical intimacy when they feel lo!ed and !alued by their husbands. 4y wife has told me many times that <sex begins in the kitchen?. 2lthough 1 sometimes think she 8ust says this to get me to do the dishes, it underscores her desire for relationship and feeling !alued by recei!ing my help with her chores. 2 husband will do well to reach out to his wife if he desires physical intimacy and pro!ide an atmosphere of emotional intimacy first. 4y wife ga!e me permission to @uote her when she said, <7on t think you can ignore me all day, then plop into bed, put your arm around me and say, O)oney, are you tiredI ? That s when 1 reali;ed that she actually was serious about helping her with the dishes. (he wasn t kidding or being manipulati!e, she desired relationship. 2 word to the wi!es/ there may be times when a wife may need to minister to her husband s need for physical intimacy prior to the emotional intimacy. )e may desire intimacy with you, but be under so much stress on occasion that he is ha!ing a difficult time reaching out prior to the physical intimacy. The relationship is strengthened as each spouse ministers to the needs of the other. These are 8ust the basic ideas for sexual and relational integrity. 1llicit sexuality whether it is through pornography or physical sexual encounters destroys healthy intimacy, relationships, and integrity. =ou can find practical ad!ice in the =scapin the Dun eon of (orn series on the 9econciliation 4inistries website at www.recmin.org, or though a conference or small group brought to your church. 1f you or someone you lo!e is struggling with sexual sin, get help. 7on t keep digging yourself deeper into the pit. (peak to your spiritual authority, and call 9econciliation 4inistries today at -6..0*5.-"",. 4any men, women, and adolescents ha!e found freedom through the power of Jesus Christ. =ou can start walking in sexual and relational integrity today. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. 43

D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE5 The Chains of 3ornography A 7an )it; This article is adapted from our new teaching series <Hscaping the 7ungeon of 3orn?. This series can be taught in men s groups, (unday school classes and (aturday seminars. 1f you are interested in hosting an <Hscaping the 7ungeon of 3orn? class at your church, call 9econciliation 4inistries at -6..0*5.-"",. The battle for pornography is a battle for our souls. 3ornography ensla!es and di!ides. 3ornography turns the hearts of husbands from their wi!es, and dads from their kids. 3ornography corrupts the image of women in the heart of a teen. H!en those less ensla!ed find their walks crippled by guilt and lust. 1t is time for men in the body of Christ to li!e the word of Hphesians -:",b, <#ake up. B sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.? 1f you or someone you lo!e is in the dungeon of pornography, reach out for help. 9epent, rise from the dead, and put on the armor of %od. The battle for men s souls begins early. The a!erage age of first exposure to pornography is "". The a!erage age of men getting help for pornography addiction is **." 4any of those finally seeking help are moti!ated by the disintegration of their marriage, seeing the effects of their own sin on their sons and daughters, or arrest. :nfortunately, many young boys who !iew porn find it in their own homes. )osley and #atters, report <4ost men confess their first introduction to pornography resulted from finding a stash of maga;ines belonging to either their father or friend. This early exposure set many men on a path toward sexual addiction.?& 7on t e!er hide pornography in your house A your kids will find it> They will also share it with their own friends. :nless interrupted, the cycle continues. The morals of popular culture ha!e infiltrated into the church. 2 report on ##J stated that churched teens are only fi!e percent less sexually acti!e then unchurched teens.* $arna research reports that one in six pastors struggle regularly with pornography., #e must ask oursel!es what type of example we are setting for our own kids. 1n another report, $arna found the following: )alf of all adults stated that watching a mo!ie with explicit sexual beha!ior is morally acceptable. That !iew was shared by three out of ten born again adults. 1n like fashion, more than four out of ten adults J,*YK claimed that reading maga;ines with explicit sexual pictures and nudity is morally acceptable. )alf as many of the born again adults embraced that perspecti!e J&"YK.3ornography use and addictions has many roots. 3rimarily, we are fallen beings li!ing in a fallen world. Bur own sexuality, which %od intended to be a blessing, has been corrupted by our own sinful choices and desires. #e ha!e sought to fulfill our legitimate needs and desires in !ery illegitimate ways. %od

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will not take our sexuality away. 1nstead, )e intends to teach us to fight our sinful desires by )is strength and bring our sexuality in line with )is design. (ome men engage in pornography to a!oid intimacy. 1ntimacy is risky. 2lthough we desire it, we often run from it out of fear of re8ection, manipulation, or the effort re@uired to maintain it. 3ornography offers us the illusion of intimacy. The images will ne!er re8ect us or demand anything from us. :nfortunately, we willingly surrender to them what we would ne!er willingly yield to another. #e gi!e them our purity, our hearts, and our relationships. 3ornography use inhibits healthy intimacy and erodes marital fidelity. The Cational Coalition for the 3rotection of Children and 'amilies writes: %etting along with the opposite sex is often difficult and sometimes downright exasperating. That s when pornography can begin to seem more interesting. $ut no matter how alluring or in!iting the scenario, it s a poor substitute for the real thing. 2nd frankly, it s a cop-out from building a meaningful relationship with a real person.. 3ornography numbs. (ome use it to anestheti;e inner pain A pain that %od wants to heal. #hen the pressures of life begin to build up, an illicit sexual release dri!es the pain deeper into the soul. 'or a time the addict is numb, but sooner or later the pain o!erwhelms and is met once again with porn. Cot e!eryone began their 8ourney into pornography to a!oid pain or intimacy. (ome simply stumbled upon it. #hat began as a simple di!ersion became a long-term habit. #e may ha!e been too busy engaging in our <hobby? to learn how to interact with other people. #hen our hormones began to flow, we ga!e them the wrong outlet. 1t was much easier to make friends with the images rather than humans. :nfortunately, pornography is a possessi!e friend with e!er increasing demands. Bne day we reali;e that we !e ne!er learned to connect with others the way e!eryone else seems to. Bther interests and relationships ha!e grown shallow while the dungeon of porn grew deeper still. Bne of the main foundation stones in the dungeon is the addicti!e nature of pornography itself. )osley and #atters write that, <1nternet pornography has earned itself a reputation for being the crack cocaine of sexual addiction.? 0 The addiction is progressi!e. Those who !iew it find that they @uickly become desensiti;ed to the images that originally brought arousal and must search out more intense images to continue the thrill. There are men who cannot climax during sexual intimacy with their wi!es unless they !iew or fantasi;e about pornography. 1f you are trapped in the dungeon of porn get help now> The worse thing you can do is to keep feeding the hidden beast. 9epent and ask Jesus into your pit. " John ":5 says, <1f we confess our sins, he is faithful and 8ust and will forgi!e us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.? =ou will need help to break the addicti!e cycle. 7on t let shame con!ince you that you can walk out of this problem on your own. $ring your struggle into the light by telling trusted others A especially someone on your church leadership team. =ou may or may 45

not be asked to step down from your church responsibilities for a season, but freedom from the addiction of pornography is well worth the price. 'ind an accountability partner who will help you uphold personal boundaries. 3ut a blocker and/or accountability software on your computer. 4ost important of all, begin now to deal with the unresol!ed issues in your heart that are keeping you bound to sin. %roups are a!ailable from 9econciliation 4inistries and other ministries to help you meet Jesus Christ at the foot of the cross to rebuild the broken foundations in your life. Co matter how long you !e spent in the dungeon of porn, help is a!ailable.
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%od and (ex seminar brochure, Cew +ife Church, &EE&. 7angers and 7isappointments of 3ornography, 9yan )osely and (te!e #atters, 4.2., &EE,. retrie!ed from www.pureintimacy.org on ,/&/E0. * ##J radio report, &EE*. , $arna 9esearch. 9etrie!ed from www.family.org/pastor/resources/sos/aEE.,,*.html in ""/E*. 3ractical Butcomes 9eplace $iblical 3rinciples 2s the 4oral (tandard, The $arna :pdate, 5/"E/E". 9etrie!ed from www.barna.org on ,/&/E0
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1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE0 The 8 #y, * u., an# *%irit 8att.e!r nts – Dan Hit: This article is the second in a series adapted from our new teachin series Hscaping the 7ungeon of 3orn. This series can be tau ht in men’s roups, 4unday school classes and 4aturday seminars. 'f you are interested in hostin an E=scapin the Dun eon of (ornF class at your church, call $econciliation %inistries at ,-../01.,223. 4ay %od himself, the %od of peace, sanctify you through and through. Ma& &our 'hole s%irit, s u. an) 2 #y (e .e,t (lameless at the coming of our 5or) /esus 3hrist. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. B Thessa. nians C'DE5DF GNIVH %od created us as three-part beings A spirit, soul, and body. 1n our battle with pornography, we ha!e to fight each front with different weapons. This article will help you recogni;e some of the challenges that you might face as you are walking away from your addiction to pornography and into the will of %od. 46

The 9attle of the 4pirit <1t is finished>? Three powerful words spoken by Jesus Christ as )e died on the cross. Three powerful words that gi!e us !ictory in the spirit realm the moment we ask Jesus Christ to be our (a!ior. & Corinthians -:"0 reads, <Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation/ the old has gone, the new has come>? Bur spirit is now ali!e in Christ who has gi!en us !ictory o!er all the demonic forces that come against us. #e can take authority in the name of Jesus and stand against the forces of the enemy. 1t is finished> )owe!er, we ha!e exposed our hearts to certain things that ha!e created open doors in our souls A our mind, will, and emotions A where the enemy can harass and decei!e us. =ou ll read more about this in the section on strongholds. The 9attle of the 4oul 4ost Christians know the basics of battling sin in the realm of their wills Jpart of our soulK. #e know that when we spend time with the +ord reading our $ibles and in prayer we are stronger to fight the temptations that come. #e also know that o!ercoming sin in!ol!es personal boundaries, accountability, and a determination to bounce our eyes and thoughts in the appropriate direction. Lnowing is one thing A doing is another. #e soon find our wills weak and begin making pro!isions for our flesh. Bne reason for this is that we simply like our sin. 2nother reason is that is 8ust plain old habit. 1t s what we do when we re board or we feel emotional pain. Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted and to set at liberty those who are capti!e. )e wants to heal the emotional pain that many of us are trying to medicate through sin. Bur souls are <in process? and being transformed line upon line through sanctification. 9omans "&:& tells us not to be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. #hen something happens to us that reminds us of a past wound or struggle, our minds may get <triggered? to think and respond out of our old patterns of beha!ior. #e conform to the world. $y allowing the )oly (pirit to minister to our hearts and renew our minds, it changes our way of thinking. #e no longer see things through the dirty filters of the past/ we begin to understand things with the mind of Christ. #e are transformed. Bur old wounds are no longer triggered and we see the lies of the enemy for what they are. #e no longer feel compelled to self-medicate. 1f we want to be fully freed from the bondages of pornography and sexual sin, we must ha!e our mind renewed and be willing to deal with our emotional issues or we will be a sexuali;ed !ersion of a dry drunk. #hat are some of these emotional issues in our hearts that get triggeredI 3eople who struggle with sexual sin ha!e many str n/h .#s in their souls that %od wants to heal. (trongholds are habit structures of thinking that shape the way we feel, think, act, and react. There are se!eral types of strongholds including unforgi!eness, bitterness, and word curses. 1f you !e grown up with parents who constantly tell you that <you re dumber than a mule? you ll 47

e!entually start to belie!e them and act the part. Co matter how successful you are at work, something inside of you tells you that you 8ust don t make the grade. 4oul ties are another stronghold that keep our hearts connected to others in an unhealthy way. $ecause of past sexual or emotional interaction, we may find oursel!es battling fantasies of specific people or situations from our former way of life. %other and father wounds are like holes left in our souls because we ha!en t recei!ed the lo!e, instruction and discipline that %od intended our parents to gi!e us. #e may be adults now, but there s still a part of our hearts that feel like little boys or girls longing for a mother and/or father figure to step into our li!es and sol!e all of our problems. Co matter how much lo!e gets poured into us, it 8ust seems to leak out. These are 8ust a few of the strongholds that keep us bound to sin. 'ortunately, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty to the tearing down of strongholds and taking e!ery thought capti!e to the obedience of Christ. )ow do we deal with issues of the soul and break free from wounds, lies, and strongholdsI The first step is to reali;e that %od lo!es us right where we re at. )e is the same %od that went looking for 2dam after he ate the fruit A the same %od who gently restored 3eter after 3eter denied )im in )is time of need. The second step is to confess our sins and repent of our sinfulness. " John ":5 reads, <1f we confess our sins, he is faithful and 8ust and will forgive us our sins and ,urif& us from all unrighteousness?. Cext, we must forgi!e those who ha!e sinned against us. :nforgi!eness keeps us bound to the torment of our past J4att "6K. 2 male sur!i!or of childhood sexual abuse on our ministry team says that he suffered far more at the hands of the tormentors by his own unforgi!eness than he e!er did at the hands of his sexual abuser. 'orgi!eness helps to break the chains of the past. 'ourth, we must accept our own responsibility for our sinful reactions to the sins against us. #hen we were !iolated, we could ha!e run to the +ord for help. 1nstead, many of us ran to sin. #e ha!e compounded our own problems. 'ifth, we must own our pain and bring our past hurts, wounds, and strongholds to Jesus Christ. Time doesn t heal our wounds. The ministry of the )oly (pirit heals our wounds. 2s we meet the +ord at the foot of the cross and talk to )im about our painful past, )e carries our burdens and heals our wounds. 2s )e increases, our need to medicate our pain through sin decreases. True healing empowers us to li!e 3hilippians *:"*-", and truly forget that which is behind and press on toward the goal that %od has for us in Christ. 1f you recogni;e strongholds in your life, contact someone who is experienced in prayer ministry or pastoral care and ask him or her to walk with you in this healing process. The 9attle for the 9ody %od created us as sexual beings by nature. This includes our bodies as well as our souls. 1n their book, =very %an’s 9attle, (te!e 2rterburn and 'red (toeker explain that <the human male, because of sperm production and other factors, naturally desires a sexual release about e!ery forty-eight to se!enty-two hours?. 9ealistically speaking, many married people don t ha!e sexual intimacy with this fre@uency. 1f a man resists this desire and keeps his eyes, mind, and hands where they belong, the dri!e will become less and less. )owe!er, if a 48

man feeds his sexual fantasies, desires, and beha!iors illicitly, the body will become addicted to the chemical release in the pursuit of sex as well as the orgasm. #hen men begin to wrestle with the temptation of sexual sin, their body becomes flooded with adrenaline which raises the heart rate and heightens the senses. 2drenaline continues to flood the body until the sexual act is committed, after which endorphins are released. Hndorphins are the feel good hormones that tell your body, <That felt good, do it again>? Bur physical bodies don t know the details of our sexual release. They don t know if the orgasm was legitimate or illicit. They simply know that it felt good and they want another one. #hen a person stops engaging in pornography and masturbation or hypersexuality, their body experiences withdrawals and starts whining. #e ha!e to accept that as a part of the reco!ery process and seek %od for the grace to be !ictorious. 1n time, the body o!ercomes the addiction and the whining resides. 1t also helps to understand how the brain reacts to continued stimulation. 1n his !ideo series *essons *earned, (y 9ogers explains how the human brain burns chemical pathways which create <default? settings for our beha!ior. )e notes that the a!erage brain is made up of 6E to "EE billion cells, each of which stores up to *E times the data found in a typical encyclopedia. Cell to cell impulses happen in "/"EEE of a second allowing us to think at o!er "&-E words per minute. J#e normally speak up to &-E words per minute.K These facts help in the automatic thought processes we experience throughout the day. 2s we walk into a crowded room, we automatically scan the room to see who is present, how they are dressed, and what they are doing. 1f it is safe, we continue walking into the room and decide if we will sit by people we know, people we don t know, or people we like. #e also na!igate to our chair while a!oiding obstacles that could trip us up, simultaneously carrying on a deep con!ersation o!er our cell phone while we carry our o!erfilled cup of coffee. This all happens in less than a minute thanks to the default settings created in our brains. This same principle determines our decisions and actions in regards to our sexuality. #hate!er a person is !iewing while ha!ing an orgasm is programmed to be sexually arousing to them in the future. (ome men who are addicted to internet porn can become sexually aroused when they see a computer monitor e!en if it happens to be turned off. Their default settings simply urge them to do what they are accustomed to doing. )ow do the chemical reactions in the brain get formedI #hen an e!ent happens, a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine tra!els from one ner!e receptor to another processing information and de!eloping patterns which become default settings. #hen a similar e!ent happens, our brain follows the same pathway it did in the past. #hen the addict s wife backs out of the dri!eway lea!ing him home alone, his brain urges him to do what he usually does when he has the house to himself A !iew pornography on the 1nternet. 1n this situation, there s no spiritual battlefield. Co strongholds or triggers. Just habits and default settings telling him to do what he always does. The characteristic of our brains to adopt default settings is meant to make our li!es easier/ howe!er, when we are addicted to pornography, it often works 49

against us. H!en after becoming a Christian, the brain still wants to follow the established default settings. The good news is that as the person reco!ering from sexual sin makes the conscious decision to interrupt the former settings and establish a new pattern of beha!ior, a neurotransmitter named %2$2 Jgamma aminobutyric acidK begins to o!erride the former chemical pathways and to establish new default settings. This takes time, determination, the grace of %od, and the support of friends. 1n time, the default setting urges him to pray when he has the house to himself rather than to search the internet. 8i htin the Good 8i ht of 8aith 9ecogni;ing the characteristics of all three battlefields helps us to understand our dependence upon the )oly (pirit and the many tools that )e has gi!en us in our 8ourney. #e need discernment and a well rounded arsenal to confront our addictions. #e may be able to walk in !ictory for a season if we ignore our damaged emotions and white knuckle our way through life, but we won t experience the peace of %od unless we meet with )im and allow )im to heal the hurts and wounds in our hearts. #e will struggle with sin fore!er if we concentrate only on tearing down strongholds and fail to seek %od for the grace to trust and obey and o!erride our old habits and chemical pathways. 'inally, none of this will work if we fail to meet %od, spirit to (pirit and unite our hearts with )is. #e need %od in e!ery aspect of our reco!ery in order to walk in !ictory. Rec ""en#e# Res urces (a..in/ ( r&ar#, The +ursuit ! *e<ua. +urity , Craig +ockwood, 7esert (tream 3ress, %rand!iew, 4B, &EEE. E$ery )an?s 8att.e, (tephen 2rterburn and 'red (toeker, #ater $rook 3ress, Colorado (prings, CB, &EEE. Less ns Learne#, 1Rene'ing the Min)2* (y 9ogers, www.wyrogers.com, &EE". 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE0 The Cyc.e ! A##icti n – Dan Hit: 50

This article is the third in a series adapted from our new teachin series Hscaping the 7ungeon of 3orn. This class can be tau ht in men’s roups, 4unday school classes and 4aturday seminars. 'f you are interested in hostin an E=scapin the Dun eon of (ornF class at your church, call $econciliation %inistries at ,-../01.,223. %uch of this article was adapted from 'alling 'orward, The 3ursuit of (exual 3urity, "rai *ockwood, Desert 4tream (ress, Grandview, %#, :777. Cem,tations an) failures often ha,,en in c&cles. #hen (atan tempted Jesus after his forty-day fast and was unable to make him sin, (atan <left him until an opportune time? J+uke ,:"* C1QK. 4en struggling with sexual addiction often !acillate between a period of relati!e freedom and extreme failure. Times of holy determination may be short li!ed A broken by a nosedi!e heart first into the pit of despair. This article pro!ides insights into the addicti!e cycle, exploring the escalation into sin and the desolation of its aftermath. :nderstanding the addicti!e cycle helps the struggler learn to break free of the usual patterns and begin to walk a new pathway of freedom. This article focuses on the addicti!e cycle from the perspecti!e of a male sexual addict, although it is !ery similar for all types of addictions. 7e .i$e in a & r.# ! sensua.ity an# te"%tati n' #ounds and unresol!ed issues pierce our hearts and cause pain. 1n an effort to a!oid the pain, addicts ha!e learned to shut off their hearts and lose touch with the source of their pain. The head separates from the heart where a callous shame core de!elops. $ecause the addict has learned to medicate himself through sin, he ne!er learns to express emotions properly. )e is afraid of true intimacy which re@uires an open heart. Hxternal masks keep people from seeing the true self and he becomes an expert at running from pain. 2n addict can exist in this state for a long time while numbness and stress build simultaneously. +re ccu%ati n *ta/e – Intense *e<ua. +ressure #hen something happens in the addict s life that pierces his heart and penetrates his shame core, he begins to feel his suppressed pain and the cycle begins. The addict subconsciously begins to think of ways to <medicate? the pain and a!oid it. (exual pressure builds and looks for an escape !al!e. 4ental images begin to bombard the addict as he begins to think about sex and gratification without actually acting out. )e may be remembering <the good ol days? and wondering how close he can get to the cliff without falling off. 2drenaline now starts to enter his bloodstream as the focus continues to shift from pain to the <solution?. 'nterventions are still very possible durin the preoccupation sta e if the addict makes an effort to implement them. The most important thin he can do is to reco nize what is happenin and call someone who is familiar with his stru le. 8ully confessin the temptations and desires to an accountability partner helps brin the stru le into the li ht. 't is important to discuss the trigger 6 the event that started the addictive cycle 6 and learn proper ways to handle the emotional situation. The tri erin event may not be resolved, but

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talkin to a trusted brother will help the addict navi ate throu h his emotions successfully and avoid sexual selfBmedication. Rati na.i:ati ns an# E<cuses 7uring the next stage of the addicti!e cycle, the addict begins to <create reasons? A rationalizations A why his illicit sexual beha!ior is really okay. )e may tell himself, <1f my wife would put out more, 1 wouldn t be in this mess? or <1f 1 8ust ha!e one little look and masturbate, 1 ll be able to get some sleep?. 2drenaline continues to enter their bloodstream. The addict talks himself into belie!ing his own rationali;ations pa!ing the way for the actual beha!iors. Tunnel !ision begins to de!elop. 'nterventions become less possible as the addict’s rationalizations become stron er. 't is critical that the addict immediately removes himself from temptations and calls his accountability partner. The rationalizations must be replaced by 9iblical truths. The accountability partner can help the addict look at his rationalizations to see where his vulnerability lies. Ritua.s – Actin/ Out 7uring the next phase of the additi!e cycle, the addict mo!es from thinking to doing. Co full sexual encounter occurs/ howe!er, he engages in high risk beha!ior that opens the door for the encounter. )e may lock his office door and look at <eye candy? on the 1nternet or intentionally pick a fight with his wife, storm out of the house, and go for a dri!e in the bad section of town to <cool off?. 2ddicts often set themsel!es up for further pressure by creating high risk situations or self-sabotaging careers or relationships. (uch actions increase the likelihood of failure. 9ituali;ations further dilute the truth and thoughts of conse@uences <disappear?. The addict s heart is racing, and tunnel !ision has reduced his thoughts to a single focus. ;nless there is a miracle at this sta e in the addictive cycle, failure is almost inevitable. The addict must immediately remove himself from the hi h risk situation and call for help. The accountability partner can help him realize what he stands to lose from his hi h risk behavior and arran e for further intervention. *e<ua. Act is C ""itte# 1n the next stage of the addicti!e cycle, the sexual act is committed. 1n his book 8allin 8orward, Craig +ockwood defines the sexual act as <a compulsi!e action with person, place, or thing which normally ends in orgasm?. The addict s denial and rationali;ations gi!e way to a stunned reality. Li!e Da"a/in/ C nseIuences 1n this stage, the addict recogni;es some of the life damaging conse@uences to his sin. )is primary relationships may be destroyed. )e may ha!e de!eloped )1Q or some other (T7. 1f he is honest with himself, he will reali;e that his life is out of control. 1n the downward spiral of the cycle, denial is shattered by guilt, despair, and isolation. The addict s new guilt and despair produces contempt for himself and others. (elf contempt <confirms? that he is hopeless. Contempt for others produces anger at %od for <not stopping him? and en!y towards those who are successful. The shame core in his heart grows stronger. 52

'nterventions are sli htly more possible at this point due to his loss of denial. )lthou h the interventions cannot undue what has @ust happened, they can help to prevent future sexual failures and be in to restore the addict’s foundation. The support system in the stru ler’s life can help him to view the conseGuences of his sin as an incentive to overcome. The addict must choose to commit to full repentance and accountability to his support system and spiritual authorities. The Res .uti n *ta/e 7uring the resolution stage, the addict feels terrible about what he has done and !ows once more <ne!er to do it again?. )e is now faced with two choices. )e can choose to tell someone and seek external help in his reco!ery, or he can rationali;e his decision not to tell anyone and go it alone. The later choice only ser!es to strengthen his denial and self-protecti!e walls, further perpetuating the addicti!e cycle. )e will experience a period of <!ictory? as his resolution holds temporarily and his shame core is hidden behind self-protecti!e walls. This type of !ictory is always short li!ed. )e has set himself up for the entire cycle to begin all o!er again. ,I can # a.. thin/s thr u/h Christ &h stren/thens "e'1 J3hilippians ,:"* C1QK Co matter where someone is in the addicti!e cycle, %od can inter!ene A if the addict lets )im. )e must choose to be honest about his struggle and reach out for help. 'reedom is a!ailable for all. Bne of our ministry team leaders made a profound statement during a teaching when he said, <H!ery leader has a day when they acted out for the last time.? 4any on the leadership team were hardcore addicts. $reaking the additi!e cycle wasn t easy, but they did it. 2nyone who has learned to self-medicate their pain has become addicted to that medication. They will go through withdrawals. They will also ha!e to learn to handle the emotional pressures that they ha!e ignored for many years. )owe!er, they <can do all things through Christ who strengthens them?. 2s they choose to forsake their sin, they will become more in tune to the mind of Christ. )e will lead them through their trials to !ictory. 'f you have a loved one who is a sexual addict, you will need help as well. "onfide in the pastoral care staff at your church. $econciliation %inistries is available to help. 5ou will need someone to walk with you and help you learn proper boundaries and expectations. 5ou will also need to deal with your own hurts and sense of loss. 'f you are a sexual addict, don’t try to walk into victory on your own. 5ou need the body of "hrist. !ames ,H2. reads, E"onfess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.F 'nform the pastoral care staff at your church that you need help. $econciliation %inistries has many options to help you overcome sexual addiction. Re.i/i sity &i.. n t set y ur !ree – true re%entance an# /ut &renchin/ h nesty &i..' $ecovery from sexual addiction does not happen overni ht, but by takin one step at a time you can overcome. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868

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7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE0 Creatin/ @ ur +ers na. Acti n +.an – Dan Hit: This is the fourth article adapted from our new teachin series E=scapin the Dun eon of (ornF. This series can be tau ht in men’s roups, 4unday school classes and 4aturday seminars. 'f you are interested in hostin an E=scapin the Dun eon of (ornF class at your church, call $econciliation %inistries at ,-../01.,223. %uch of this article was adapted from 'alling 'orward, The 3ursuit of (exual 3urity, "rai *ockwood, Desert 4tream (ress, Grandview, %#, :777. Bne of the most important steps toward walking in sexual and relational wholeness includes making a personal action plan A a list of the steps that you will take to walk away from the old patterns of sin and to guard against relapse. This article will help you create such a plan. Bnce you do, share it with your trusted friends and ask them to hold you accountable to implementing this plan in your life. 7rite ut y ur %ers na. #e!initi n an# / a.s ! r se<ua. %urity'

=ou need to be clear in your own mind about what %od is telling you to walk away from and what )e is asking you to walk in to. 7etail your specific sins and what it is that you must surrender to %od. 2fter that, list what %od wants as a replacement for the sin in your life. 1f you ha!e been engaging in pornography on the internet and masturbating, then part of your personal definition and goals will include no longer !iewing pornography online and installing blocking or accountability software on your computer. 2s Christian men, we are called to honor and protect women and children. )onoring women means that we will no longer !iew them as ob8ects of our illicit sexual desire, but as %od s daughters to be guarded from those who would de!our. (exual purity also means purposefully casting sinful images and fantasies into the cross and replacing those images with godly thoughts and actions. The important thing is to seek %od in prayer to ask )im what sexual and relational purity specifically means for you in the context of your walk with )im and clearly delineate it in your plan. 7rite ut s "e ! the n n5sin!u. acti$ities &hich y u ha$e ! r"er.y %artici%ate# in &hich are n & !! .i"its t y u'

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4any of us engage in acti!ities which are not inherently sinful, but that may make us !ulnerable to sin. 1t is important to identify yours. 7ri!ing through a certain section of town may actually sa!e you time in your commute, but if seeing some of the establishments starts filling your mind with fantasy it would be far better to dri!e a few miles out of your way than to put yourself into a place of warfare. Channel surfing in the motel room may seem like a great way to relax after a business meeting, but are you really hoping to see an eyeful in the processI #here are you compromising with non-sinful acti!ities to gi!e yourself that reminder of the sinful pastI %i!ing into these types of beha!iors is like riding in a canoe near the top of a waterfall. 1t may be exciting, but it s not a good idea. List s "e ! y ur tri//ers an# hi/h ris6 2eha$i r'

#hat makes you !ulnerable to sinI +oneliness, inade@uacy, in!alidation, and unaccompanied business trips are some of the primary triggers A 8abs to the heart A that lead many to acting out sexually. 1t is important to identify your triggers and high risk beha!iors when you are emotionally strong so that you may make other plans and/or take precautions when you know a precarious situation is possible. 1f you struggle with pornography when you ha!e long periods of time alone, it is important to plan for the next time that you know you will ha!e the house to yourself. (ome high risk situations may be una!oidable, but if the weariness of staying up late on the weekends lea!es you susceptible to sexual sin you are creating a high risk situation when you do so. 7rite ut s "e ! the rati na.i:ati ns that y u ha$e use# t =usti!y y ur sin!u. 2eha$i r in ne c .u"n, then &rite a 8i2.ica. truth in an ther c .u"n &hich y u can use t c unteract y ur rati na.i:ati n' 9ationali;ations are lies that we tell oursel!es to make it easier to sin. <4y week has been so stressful/ a little pornography will help me relax.? <1 wouldn t ha!e to try to pick up another woman if my wife would 8ust put out a little bit more.? 1t is ama;ing how men who lo!e %od and worship )im freely at church can con!ince themsel!es of a lie so easily. #rite down the rationali;ations that you use when you re tempted to sin, and seek %od for a specific (cripture to counteract that lie in your heart. <(o 1 say, li!e by the (pirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.? J%al -:".K 7rite ut the ste%s that y u &i.. ta6e t achie$e y ur / a. ! se<ua. %urity' Inc.u#e &hat y u %.an t # t a$ i# tri//ers, an# &hat y u %.an t # &hen y u are tri//ere# There are many beneficial steps one can take to a!oid falling into sexual sin. 1f you ha!e internet access in your home, filters and/or accountability software is crucial. Co!enant Hyes is the best internet accountability software a!ailable. 1t lists each site !isited by the user, ranks them for acceptability, and sends 1nternet logs !ia e-mail to two accountability partners. (ites which ha!e a high probability of illicit content are listed separately, along with the date and time 55

the site was !isited and the number of hits. There is a subscription price per month with discounts for additional user names, but it is well worth it. RRRChurch also offers accountability software which may be downloaded for free, or an upgraded !ersion is a!ailable for a one time cost of Z&E. This software is not as extensi!e as Co!enant Hyes, only lists sites which may be @uestionable, and is not as easy to read. $oth programs store the browsing history in a way that is inaccessible to the user. 2nother crucial step is to commit to full accountability with a member of your home church leadership team. 1t is important that your struggle be brought into the light with someone in authority that can walk with you and ask the tough @uestions. $e sure to share your specific struggles openly and honestly. The sins that you keep hidden from those %od sends to help you will become the ball and chain around your ankle. 1n addition to your pastoral staff, you will need to make a list of at least three people that you can call when you are tempted, or when you reali;e that you are in an addicti!e cycle. =ou will also need to pick two people that you will engage in regular accountability meetings with at least e!ery two weeks. These accountability relationships will differ from the one that you ha!e with your church leadership in that they will be two way accountability relationships where you will hold them accountable to sexual purity as they hold you accountable. 1n these relationships you will learn to know others and to be known by them. =ou will grow in purity together as you share your !ictories and failures with those you can trust. The hardest aspect of accountability relationships is creating them. 3ray and ask the +ord for the names of men that he wants you to approach. 1t may be difficult initially to be !ulnerable to others, but the benefits of an accountability relationship are in!aluable. 2 sample list of accountability @uestions is included at the end of this article. List s "e acti$ities an# /r u%s that y u %.an n %artici%atin/ in t 6ee% y urse.! acti$e an# en/a/e# in a s cia. en$ir n"ent' Those engaged in sexual sin often de!elop tunnel !ision and are only able to focus on their next sexual fix. 1t is important to create healthy social outlets for relaxation and fellowship as you walk away from the illicit sin that once filled those !oids. 1f you don t currently ha!e a lot of social contacts, your church men s group may be the best place to start. Qolunteering will also help connect you to men with similar interest. 7on t forget the most important social network of all A your family. Qery often the spouse and children of sexual addicts are themsel!es feeling the robbery of addiction. (pend time rebuilding those relationship and learning to share your heart in a healthy way with your family. They need their father. =our wife needs her husband. 7rite ut in #etai. the s%eci!ic thin/s in y ur .i!e that ha$e 2een a#$erse.y a!!ecte#, an# &i.. 2e a!!ecte# " re i! y u c ntinue t en/a/e in se<ua..y ina%%r %riate 2eha$i rs' +ay s%ecia. attenti n t the thin/s y u stan# t . se i! y u # n t c nIuer y ur se<ua. sin'

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The cost of addiction is high. 2 powerful tool in relapse pre!ention is to be e!er mindful of the price that you ha!e paid for sexual sin and the chains that once held you capti!e. 1t is astounding what we will gi!e up for an illicit orgasm. #rite a detailed account of what you ha!e lost and what has been tainted by your sin. 1t may also be helpful to 8ournal what may happen if you ha!e another fall A e!en taking it to the extremes of being confronted by a di!orce lawyer, an angry husband, or the police. =ou can contrast this by 8ournaling what you ha!e gained, or stand to gain, as you walk in purity and holiness. 2s you weigh the loss with the gain, you can de!elop a deeper moti!ation to continue in your reco!ery. )aintain an# a#=ust y ur %ers na. acti n %.an as necessary' 2s you progress and gain !ictory in your reco!ery, you may be temped to set aside the !ery boundaries and actions that the +ord has used to gi!e you the !ictory in the first place. 2s people finish our support groups, they are told that their most dangerous period may come six months to a year after they ha!e been walking in sexual and relational wholeness. $oundaries and accountability take concentrated effort and strength. #e may think that we don t need them anymore when we !e been walking clean. 7on t grow weary in well doing. 4aintaining our boundaries and accountability is part of the battle that we will be in until we meet Jesus fact to face. 1t is worth it. 2s you may !ery well write in your 8ournal when following the step abo!e, we can feel our hearts connected to Jesus so much more intimately when we aren t filling our souls full of the poisons of pornography. %od has opened the doors to the dungeon of porn. 7on t let the enemy throw you back in. Acc unta2i.ity Juesti ns Esca%in/ the Dun/e n ! + rn Rec nci.iati n )inistries %od mo!es through the $ody of Christ to bring healing and reco!ery. %i!e your accountability partners permission to look you in the eyes and ask you some specific, blunt @uestions: ". )a!e you felt W insert your emotional trigger X since our last meetingI 1f yes, how did you manage your feelingsI &. )a!e you had a W insert your negati!e emotional habitJsK which are responses to your triggers X since our last meetingI *. )a!e you )'elt on any lustful thoughts since our last meetingI ,. )a!e you masturbated, or started to masturbate, since our last meetingI -. )a!e you been on any @uestionable websites, watched any unacceptable !ideos, or used pornography since our last meetingI

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.. 7id you engage in any unacceptable beha!ior, including flirting, innuendos, or sexual encounters with anyone other than your wife since our last meetingI 0. )a!e you had your daily @uiet times since our last meetingI 6. #hat is %od teaching youI 5. )a!e you prayed with wife and kids regularly since our last meetingI "E. )a!e you told any other accountability partners anything you are a!oiding with me/usI "". )a!e you done any of the abo!e prior to our last meetings and not yet confessed itI "&. )a!e you lied about any of the abo!e @uestions or withheld information to a!oid telling the whole truthI 3lease modify these @uestions to specifically address your areas of need. 7etermine in your heart that you will answer these @uestions truthfully. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE0 Re.ati nshi%s Are *cary0 – Ken +atriIuin &en has been a friend of $econciliation %inistries and a valuable member of our leadership team for many years. He and his wife, 9arb, are the directors of The 3lace, an ei htBweek pro ram in *apeer, %ichi an for overcomin childhood wounds and stron holds. 7e!eloping healthy, godly relationships can be scary> )owe!er, %od has told us many times through the Bld and Cew Testaments that we need to connect with and be in!ol!ed with the $ody of Christ. 1n fact, ha!ing personal connections and in!ol!ements with other people are the most significant ways that %od meets our emotional needs for lo!e and self worth. )e says that, <it s not good for man to be alone?. )e created us to need in!ol!ement with other people. 58

#hen a person has been through some soul searching Jfor instance, through attending one of the 9econciliation 4inistries programsK s/he starts to understand 8ust how broken s/he really is. 2nd then the @uestion comes up, <#hat do 1 do nowI 1 am told that 1 need to be in!ol!ed with the world around me. $ut that s what made me feel my brokenness in the first place. 4y selfconcept got all messed up during my childhood, and my experience in school taught me to hide my real self, and now my work life has been so painful 1 8ust stay to myself.? Stan)ing in -ur Crue Self A 2t +i!ing #aters and The 3lace 4inistry, we emphasi;e getting help from mentors or accountability partners who can encourage and help us along the way as we learn to <stand upright in our True (elf?. (tanding in our true self means believin what %od says about us and li!ing out of the identity )e gi!es us, as we connect intimately with Jesus Christ. 1t also means being able to be real before others and not feel that we ha!e to hide our true feelings, or pretend to be someone we re not. The big @uestion is this: How do we learn to live in our GodB iven identities even while we still have broken areas of our lives to work throu hI The Church and the $ible encourage us to lo!e others and to do acts of ser!ice for others. Truly, learning to li!e in our true identities means that we ha!e to start working on de!eloping healthy relationships, even while we’re still not feelin all that healthy or stable . #e ha!e to walk into healthy relationships. 1n other words, we learn to ha!e healthy relationships by experiencing them A by walking through them. (ome of us, because of abuse or promiscuous in!ol!ements in our past, don t really know how to engage in healthy, godly relationships. This is why we encourage you to first find a trustworthy mentor who is mature enough to help you learn about healthy relationships through how they relate to you. Bal.ing into <e' Relationshi,s I 1f we are struggling with re8ection and negati!e feelings about oursel!es, we fear being re8ected again. #e don t know if we want to make oursel!es !ulnerable by trying to de!elop new friendships. 1t s easy to assume people aren t interested in being friends with us. 'eeling the emotional need for significance and lo!e doesn t feel comfortable. 1t feels safer 8ust to stay away from people. The reality is that we may be hurt again by others as we get in!ol!ed in other people s li!es. $ut, that s where we need to take small steps of faith, belie!ing that %od s grace is big enough to take care of us as we go out on a limb and connect with others. The Christian life is always li!ed out by acts of faith. J<2nd a righteous person will life by faith. )ebrews "E:*6aK +e need to choose to put ourselves into situations where friendships can be developed and where we can learn to Ewalk outF of our relational immaturities and insecurities. 1n the *ivin +aters manual 2ndy Comisky writes: <Jesus, who is present in the body Wthe ChurchX, calls us out of illusory and immature ways of expressing our brokenness/sexualityP.Wthis isX the 59

redempti!e role that the marvelously broken body of Christ plays in pro!oking old wounds and in healing themP Through the pre!ailing presence of Christ in his body, we will be set free togetherP? Jp. &E5K #hat 2ndy is saying here is that we need the Church of Jesus Christ to express %od s lo!e and presence to us as we let them get to know us for who we really are. )s we radually share our problems with safe and mature "hristians , these lo!ing people help us break away from destructi!e patterns of immaturity and we become more and more free and whole. H!eryone, e!en the most healthy and stable people, ha!e emotional needs for lo!e and connection and to ha!e significant others in their li!es. The $ible clearly teaches us that we need healthy friendships with other belie!ers, so that we build each other up in our faith and gi!e each other the support and lo!e that we all need. )ebrews "E:&&-&- reads, <+et us think of ways to moti!ate one another to acts of lo!e and good works. 2nd let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of )is return is drawing near.? Aushing Chrough I Co, it is not easy for us to reach out to others and to seek to de!elop new friendships. =es, there may be times when you feel like the odd ball and don t know what to say or do to fit in. $ut that s BL. #e all feel that way at times, and it is likely that there are others with you who feel the exact same way you do. 9ut, if you push throu h those uncomfortable situations, you will radually feel more and more comfortable with the people around you and more and more part of the lives of those you are with. 1t takes time, effort and patience to de!elop healthy and meaningful relationships. Cobody can lay out an exact plan for you to follow in your 8ourney to connect with others. #e are all uni@ue indi!iduals. %od does ha!e a plan for you, though, and )e needs to re!eal it to you, and walk through it with you. )owe!er, there are some common factors in how relationships are built and maintained. @actors in Ho' Relationshi,s %re ?uiltK ". 'riendships are based on mutual respect, trust, lo!e and common interests. &. There are many different types and le!els of friendships. Hach type/le!el is important to maintain. *. 'riendships take time and effort to culti!ate and deepen. ,. B!er time and experience relationships may, but not necessarily, mo!e from one le!el of in!ol!ement to the next. -. )ealthy and mature intimacy and closeness are not instantaneous A infatuation is. .. Jumping o!er stages of de!elopment, from the casual to emotional or sexual intimacy is destructi!e and often ends in a painful mess. 0. The best way to make friends is to be one. 1t s your mo!e. C&,es an) Stages of @rien)shi,s I There are different types of relationships with different le!els of intimacy and in!ol!ement. 2s relationships grow the 60

intimacy le!el becomes more and more intense and personal. 4any people touch our li!es on the surface, but few actually become intimate friends. 1t is important for healthy relationships to de!elop o!er time, following the fi!e stages of de!elopment. Stage -ne I Very Casua. AcIuaintances. These people in your life are ones you may see fre@uently but ha!e no significant relationship with. These would be gas station attendants, store cashiers, other coworkers you see but do not communicate much with. WThere is no reason for you to feel that there is any commitment to that person.X Stage C'o I +e %.e ! r Acti$ities. This is the stage where you know people because of the common acti!ities you do together, for example: members of the bowling team, work pro8ects, or church acti!ity. W1n this stage you learn a bit more about the other person but are still not in a trustin relationship. The relationship is based on the shared acti!ity.X Stage Chree I (rien#s. 1n this stage you are doing things with these people, but now there is a minor commitment to each other. 1t might be where you ask your neighbor to use one of his tools, or ask a person on your bowling team to help you work on your car problems. WThere still will be some struggles with fully trusting that person and, though closeness may be de!eloping, you do not ha!e the full trust needed to feel particularly lo!ed or to share personal problems with them.X Stage @our I 3. se (rien#s. 1n this is the stage you ha!e de!eloped a trusting relationship where you feel it s safe to share problems and hardships with that person, knowing they will accept you and care about you. =ou now ha!e people in your life who ha!e some commitment to you. They know you, what makes you sad/happy, and know basically what s going on in a lot of areas of your life. =ou ha!e weathered a lot of life together o!er the years. They would defend you before others if you needed it, and you would defend them. =ou turn to them for support when you need it, and you try to be there for them when they need it. Stage @ive I ) st Inti"ate Re.ati nshi%s . :sually a person only has a couple of people who they consider intimate friends. These are the ones with whom you share your deepest secrets and who know all about each other s personal struggles and heart issues. =ou trust their unconditional lo!e for you and you know that your failures won t cause them to re8ect you. They are your confidants, your <kindred spirits?. =ou o!er-look one another s faults and feel completely loyal to each other. Health& +ntimacies I )ealthy intimacies are built on commitment and mutual respect and trust that comes from the safety of gradually opening up your life in honest disclosure of who you are. The commitment of unconditional lo!e is paramount. 1f you are married to someone, you should not go outside of that relationship to an opposite sex friend to fulfill your intimacy needs. JThis is especially risky if you or your friend ha!e struggled with unholy or unhealthy 61

relationships in the pastK +earning to ha!e close friendships and meaningful relationships are best learned from same sex friendships. (uch relationships can help you to relate better with the opposite sex as you learn about healthy, godly intimacy. 2t the center of healthy intimate relationships is the intimacy each person has with the (a!ior, from whom we all draw our sense of being and worth. The most stable marriages ha!e Jesus Christ at the center, where the couple knows that they each must find their true identity through a !ital connection with the (a!ior. Bne expression that is heard a lot these days is <friends with benefits?. Those of us who are older used to call it <casual sex?. #hat happens in these relationships exemplifies the problems that occur when you do not go step-bystep into healthy relationships. :sually the <casual sex? relationship is considered safe by the people engaging in the beha!ior A until things go badly. )owe!er, as we look at the !arious stages of relationship de!elopment, it becomes clear that we are mixing two le!els of relationships A the >ery "asual )cGuaintances sta e J"asualK M the %ost 'ntimate $elationships stage J4exK. 1 ha!e noticed that those who engage in these relationships end up e!entually being emotionally damaged because they ha!e skipped some stages and ha!e not established a strong commitment to each other that will withstand the hard times in life. They ha!e not de!eloped a healthy emotional connection that is based on the foundation of mutual respect, trust, lo!e and common interests. 1nstead, their relationship is based on a physical and sexual experience that cannot truly meet their emotional needs o!er time. @inal 3omments I 2s 1 shared this diagram in +i!ing #aters my friend, 2aron, said that he felt that Jesus modeled this type of relationship/friendship process. 1 ha!e used his explanation as part of my teaching e!er since that day. )ere is what 2aron shared with me: (tage (tage (tage (tage (tage " & * , A A A A A >ery "asual )cGuaintances: The #orld of 3eople (eople for )ctivities: The 7isciples 8riends: The "& 2postles "lose 8riends: The Three Closest to Jesus/ 3eter, James, and John %ost 'ntimate $elationships: The $elo!ed 7isciple - John

Cow it is time for you to consider where your relationships are. =ou may ha!e been damaged from relationships that ha!e gone bad J<fallen out the bottom?K. 1n the past we ha!e 8ust exited relationships or chosen not to ha!e any relationships because of the pain and struggles we ha!e experienced. )owe!er, the +ord calls us to <Pnot neglect our meeting togetherP? )e has made us relational and if we do not ha!e healthy relationships then we end up cra!ing anything that can substitute for that A usually whate!er we are addicted to that helps us to deal with pain. (o my challenge to all of you reading this article is to step out, trust %od and try to de!elop these relationships. 2s 1 consider this in my own life 1 find that %od has truly pro!ided people in many of these stages, 1 8ust ha!e not paid attention to who is in what stage. 2lso, as we cra!e and try to de!elop healthy relationships we need to remember to not <rush? the relationship. 1f %od wants to ha!e you 62

mo!e from one stage to another in a relationship, )e will make that clear to you. The greatest guide for the de!elopment of your relationships will be the Bne who walked through these stages )imself when )e was in a human body A Jesus Christ. 1 ha!e found that as 1 ha!e de!eloped relationships <%od s way? )e has pro!ided some !ery positi!e and en8oyable times as 1 relax about <me? and 8ust let )im do the work. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"" The 8ui.#in/ 8. c6s ! H " se<ua.ity The debate continues about the cause of homosexuality 6 nature, nurture, choiceI Dan Hitz, Director of $econciliation %inistries, presents this brief overview of the buildin blocks of homosexuality. =ach person’s life story is different, yet !esus "hrist has an answer for every man, woman, and adolescent that finds himAherself stru lin with unwanted sameBsex attractions. ;nderstandin the roots of homosexuality helps us understand the steps to recovery. Chose of us 'ho have struggle) 'ith un'ante) homosexual attractions .no' that 'e )i)n4t lie a'a.e in (e) one night tr&ing to )eci)e if 'e shoul) (e ga&. -ur attractions Just ha,,ene). 4any of us felt different than the other kids of our gender for as long as we can remember. (ome of us were called faggots long before we e!en knew what the word meant. 1t can feel like we re born this way. Hspecially when our personality is de!eloped at a young age by life experiences that were completely out of our control A the ma8ority of which we cannot e!en remember. This article will present a brief o!er!iew of the basic building blocks of homosexuality. :nderstanding what some of the foundational issues are, helps us to know what areas of our hearts are most in need of the grace of Jesus Christ and )is healing presence. Bh& is the secular communit& aggressivel& ,resenting the i)ea of a genetic lin. to homosexualit&D (haron $egley summed up the answer in her &EE6 <ewsweek %a azine article entitled <7oes 7C2 4ake (ome 4en %ayI? when she @uoted 7r. 9osenberg. <$y linking homosexuality to the genes, says Cew =ork psychiatrist Lenneth 3aul 9osenberg, )amer s (tudy shows that being gay is not Oa de!iant choice and Wthe result ofX a lack of will. 63

1t is at least partly a biological orientation, as important to one s constitution as eye color. ?" 1n the *ove +on #ut series, 'ocus on the 'amily explains the error of accepting beha!ior based on a biological predisposition. <2 genetic link to some beha!iors does not pro!e the idea of normalcy or rightness. +ook at alcoholism or propensities towards anger. #hile these ha!e been promoted as ha!ing a genetic linkage, there are few, if any, in our society who would promote these beha!iors as BL 8ust because they are linked genetically.? & The truth is that a genetic link to homosexuality has not been found. 1n the latest position statement on homosexuality, The 2merican 3sychological 2ssociation writes, <2lthough much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, de!elopmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings ha!e emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors.?* (imply stated, no biological cause for homosexuality has e!er been found. Co matter what the cause of homosexuality, (cripture is clear that it is one of many sins that can be o!ercome. " Corinthians .:5-"" reads, <7on t you know that those who do wrong will ha!e no share in the Lingdom of %odI 7on t fool yoursel!es. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexual, thie!es, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers A none of these will ha!e a share in the Lingdom of %od. Chere 'as a time 'hen some of &ou 'ere Just li.e that* (ut no' &our sins have (een 'ashe) a'a&* an) &ou have (een set a,art for >o). =ou ha!e been made right with %od because of what the +ord Jesus Christ and the (pirit of our %od ha!e done for you.? #e may not ha!e chosen to ha!e same-sex attractions, but we can choose what to do with those attractions. ?efore 'e loo. at some of the environmental (uil)ing (loc.s of homosexualit&* + 'ant to tal. to the ,arents 'ho are rea)ing this article. 1 ha!e fi!e kids A three of them are teenagers and two are in their early twenties. 9aising teenagers is the most difficult thing 1 ha!e e!er done in my life. 1t is more difficult than growing up with a paranoid schi;ophrenic mother, and more difficult than walking away from homosexuality. #e ha!e all made mistakes when raising our children, and we ha!e all done things we wish we could undo. The important thing is to admit our mistakes and repent to those we ha!e wronged. 9emember that your child s perceptions were !ery influential in shaping his/her world!iew, and may not reflect the reality of how he/she was raised. 3lease do not read this list as an indictment against you or your parenting style. 1t is simply intended to be a brief look into the heart of one struggling with homosexuality. 1f you made mistakes, put them on the cross and let the +ord work in your own heart as well as the heart of your son or daughter. )e or she is responsible for his or her own decisions. Chis list is inten)e) as a (rief overvie' of the most common environmental factors contri(uting to male homosexualit&. Hach person has his/her own life experiences which may or may not be included in this list. Che emotional roots of homosexualit& often (egin in a (rea.)o'n in the relationshi, 'ith a same0sex ,arent. 'or males, the father may be either extremely passi!e or demeaning. The boy feels disconnected from his father and fails to de!elop a sense of maleness as he grows up. This in turn 64

hinders him from connecting to other male peers. Che mother ma& (e over,rotective an)Lor tr& to gain emotional fulfillment from the son that she cannot get from her hus(an). 4any of the men 1 !e talked to through the years explain that their mothers seemed to place them in the role of being the emotional support or pseudo-husband. The boys feel uneasy about this unnatural relationship, but are often unable to express their own feelings and desires. Che (o& ma& relate more to his mother* sisters* an) other females in his life than other males. #hen the hormones hit at puberty, he is then drawn to the gender that holds the intrigue and mysti@ue. Some (o&s are sim,l& more creative an) less athletic than the average (o&. Che reaction of ,arents an) ,eers is critical here. 1f the neighborhood boys begin to tease him for expressing his creati!ity and/or demonstrating his lack of athletic ability he may feel less masculine than they. 2 wise father will recogni;e the specific giftings in his son and reaffirm his masculinity as expressed in the son s own skill set. Env& an) Jealous& are often .e& factors in homosexualit&. Qery often, males with same-sex attraction are drawn to other males with the @ualities they feel are lacking in themsel!es. The boy in the locker room who feels physically weak and insecure may be drawn to the other boys who are more physically fit and more confident. +eanne 3ayne calls this concept 1canni(al com,ulsion2 noting that cannibals historically consumed the people whose attributes they desired. , This is also demonstrated as older men may be drawn to the youthfulness and percei!ed innocence of a younger man, while the younger man may be drawn to the fatherly nature of the older male. -ccasionall&* men 'ith same0sex attraction ma& crave sexual encounters 'ith other males out of anger an) a )esire to )estro& in others those traits that the& feel lac.ing in themselves. 4ultiple clients ha!e explained their desire to ha!e a sexual encounter with specific types of men with the intent of destroying the percei!ed attribute that they feel is lacking within themsel!es, such as the idea of the perfect family or the image of perfect masculinity they idoli;e in the other. % vast maJorit& of clients 'ho are struggling 'ith un'ante) homosexual attractions have also (een the victim of chil)hoo) sexual a(use. #hen a child s sexuality is awakened early, it has a de!astating effect in the heart causing a confusing whirlwind of emotions with deep seated emotional scars. The booklet The Truth "omes #utH The $oots and "auses of %ale Homosexuality from 'ocus on the 'amily- lists the following en!ironmental factors in male homosexuality: ". (exual !iolation or experimentation with men or boys &. 1ncest or molestation *. Hxposure to pornography ,. Cegati!e spiritual influences -. 4edia influences .. 3ersonality temperament 0. Cegati!e body image 6. 3eer labeling, harassment or alienation 5. 'ear of A or an inability to relate to A the opposite sex

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Chere are some )ifferences (et'een male homosexualit& an) female homosexualit&. Males often feel ina)eHuate in their masculinit& an) 'ish to connect 'ith other males in a su(conscious attem,t to receive a))itional masculinit& from them. @emales on the other han)* ten) to see their femininit& as a lia(ilit& or an inferior Hualit&. 2 woman may ha!e grown up seeing her mother as a !ictim of abuse by the father or she may ha!e recei!ed mistreatment from significant males in own her life. (he may percei!e that being feminine is unsafe and detach from her femininity while simultaneously withdrawing from males whom she may percei!e as predatory. )er desire for relationships leads her toward other women. @emales* more often than males* ma& )evelo, same0sex attractions later in life. Chis ma& ha,,en as a 'oman receives mistreatment from significant men in her life* cuts her heart off from men* an) turns to another female for emotional su,,ort. 1f the other woman offering the support is unhealthy herself, a codependent relationship may form. 4any women ha!e been drawn into a lesbian relationship as the emotional attachment turns to codependency which then becomes erotici;ed. -ther (uil)ing (loc.s of female homosexualit& are similar to those in males including the breakdown in relationship with the same-sex parent, difficulty connecting to same-sex peers, personality and interests more commonly associated with the other gender, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. The booklet The Heart of the %atterH The $oots and "auses of 8emale Homosexuality from 'ocus on the 'amily. pro!ides the follow statistics from a study of responses from &.- women to look at some of the factors that may ha!e contributed to their lesbian attractions: --.0Y recei!ed emotional trauma including sexual innuendoes and specific sexual remarks that made her feel !iolated .5."Y experienced emotional abuse ...,Y were !ictims of sexual abuse -*.&Y were !erbally abused *5..Y felt abandoned *&.-Y were !ictims of physical abuse &E.EY felt utterly neglected Regar)less of the s,ecific causes of homosexual attractions in a ,erson4s life* an o,en an) honest relationshi, 'ith the 5or) is the first ste, in overcoming un'ante) same0sex attraction. 9emember the words of " Corinthians .:"" co!ered earlier in this article, <There was a time when some of you were 8ust like that, but now your sins ha!e been washed away, and you ha!e been set apart for %od. =ou ha!e been made right with %od because of what the +ord Jesus Christ and the (pirit of our %od ha!e done for you.? @or those 'ho have (een 'oun)e) (& their earthl& ,arents* @ather >o) is a(le to ,rovi)e 'hat their earthl& mother an) father 'ere una(le to give. )e can heal the wounds they ha!e inflicted. 3salm &0:"E reads, <#hen my father and my mother forsake me, then the +ord will take care of me.?

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4any people who are raised in the church keep their struggle to themsel!es out of fear and shame. HeLshe must (e honest 'ith their (attle an) share it 'ith safe* mature 3hristians 'ho 'ill 'al. 'ith himLher to'ar)s 3hrist. Che church must (e a safe ,lace 'here 'e can o,en our hearts an) receive the hel, an) )isci,leshi, 'e nee). " John ":5 reads, <1f we confess our sins, he is faithful and 8ust and will forgi!e us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.? The o!ercomer will need trained prayer ministers, pastors, and counselors who are familiar with the 8ourney and can help the struggler bring the wounds and strongholds to Jesus at the cross. )e/she will also need other safe Christians who will simply walk with him/her and show the lo!e of Christ. + have (een crucifie) 'ith 3hrist an) + no longer live* (ut 3hrist lives in me. Che life + live in the (o)&* + live (& faith in the Son of >o)* 'ho love) me an) gave himself for me. Galatians :H:7 M(eing confi)ent of this* that he 'ho (egan a goo) 'or. in &ou 'ill carr& it on to com,letion until the )a& of 3hrist /esus. (hilippians 2H$eferences " $egley, (haron. Does D<) %ake 4ome %en GayI, Cewsweek 4aga;ine, :pdated &/&E/E6. 9etrie!ed from http://www.newsweek.com/id/""*5,* on 5/*/&EE6. & 4trai ht )nswersH =xposin the %yths and 8acts about Homosexuality, +o!e #on But (eries, 'ocus on the 'amily 3ublishing, Colorado (prings, CB. &EEE, p. "E. * 2merican 3sychological 2ssociation. )nswers to 5our LuestionsH 8or a 9etter ;nderstandin of 4exual #rientation and Homosexuality. #ashington, 7C. &EE6, p&. 9etrie!ed from www.apa.org/topics/sorientation.pdf on 6/&6/&EE6. , 3ayne, +eanne. The 9roken 'ma e, )amewith $ooks, %rand 9apids, 41. "55.. - The Truth "omes #utH The $oots and "auses of %ale Homosexuality, +o!e #on But (eries, 'ocus on the 'amily 3ublishing, Colorado (prings, CB, &EE&. pp. "E-"". . The Heart of the %atterH The $oots and "auses of 8emale Homosexuality, +o!e #on But (eries, 'ocus on the 'amily 3ublishing, citing 2nne 3aulk, ) 4tudy on the $oots, "auses and Treatment of *esbianism, Colorado (prings, CB. &EE". 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. 67

D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"E The +ercei$e# 8ene!its ! *in – Dan Hitz )ll of us sin. )ll of us know it’s bad. Therefore, somewhere deep inside, all of us think we’re ettin somethin ood out of our sin. The sooner we find out what our perceived benefit is, the sooner we can seek the *ord !esus "hrist for His true answer to our need. This article was adapted from a teachin series on addictions that Dan Hitz, Director of $econciliation %inistries, presented at "hrist "ommunity "hurch and a sermon which he presented at $iver’s =d e "hurch. Bh& )o 'e serve >o)D :sually when 1 ask this @uestion in a group, 1 get the usual assortment of true, (unday school answers likeP <$ecause )e s worthy.? <$ecause )e +o!es us.? <$ecause )e s the #ay, the Truth, and the +ife.? 2ll of these answers are true, but there are plenty more answers deep down in the core of our soul that we aren t so @uick to shout out loud. #e also ser!e )im because we don t want to go to hell. #e ser!e )im because )e s the only one who can meet our needs. #e ser!e him because we !e looked e!erywhere else and ha!en t found any better answer. #hen we are so stressed out that our head is going to pop off of our neck, )e is there to hold us together. Bh& )o 'e .ee, sinningD 2gain, the first answers tend to be the polished, churchy answersP <$ecause all ha!e sinned and ha!e fallen short of the glory of %od.? <$ecause we re e!il.? <$ecause the de!il tempts us.? The truth isP we sin because we want to. #e like sin. (in feels good. #hen we are so stressed out that our head feels like it s going to pop off our neck, our sin helps us to escape reality. #hen doing the right thing seems to cost too much or doesn t seem to be paying off, sin offers us the @uick payoff. #e sin because we think it is the only thing that is going to hold us together. (in is our security blanket, our comfort. 1t becomes the idol that we thought would pro!ide for our needs. Bhat ha(itual sins )o &ou i)olize an) serveD #e all ha!e our own particular idoli;ed sin that we thought seemed like a good idea at the time. To those who are lonely, a @uick anonymous sexual encounter seemed like it would fill the !oid without any long lasting re@uirements. 'or those who aren t seeing %od pro!ide as @uickly as they seem to need the money, the casinos offer a @uick fix. 2lcohol can numb our brains to the stresses and failures of life. This is the percei!ed benefit of our sin A our idol A which we thought would pro!ide for all of our needs. +uke ".:"* reads, <Co man can ser!e two masters. 'or you will hate one and lo!e the other, or be de!oted to one and despise the other.? =ou cannot ser!e both %od and sin. They are mutually exclusi!e. =our sin will re@uire that you get rid of %od. %od re@uires that you get rid of sin. 1 m not talking about a religious, legalistic work of the flesh. 1 m talking about a lifestyle of repentance and lo!ing the +ord Jesus Christ and handing our sins to )im while )e touches our hearts and does a holy work in us to fulfill our deepest needs.

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Take the time to pray throu h this sentence meditatively, and make a note of what the *ord speaks. ,)y ha2itua. sin ! LLLLLLL %reten#s t %r $i#e LLLLLLL'1 The thought of ha!ing a <besetting sin?, or one sin that we struggle with more than any other particular sins, comes from )ebrews "&:". <#herefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside e!ery weight, an) the sin 'hich )oth so easil& (eset us* and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.? #e are working on the premise that we as Christians will abstain from things that the $ible calls sinful and from all things which are physically and/or psychologically damaging whether they ha!e reached an addicti!e le!el or not. 2ll sin is harmful. " Thessalonians -:&& tells us to <keep away from e!ery kind of e!il.? Bhat are some of the main roots of our (esetting sinsD 4ometimes we sin to avoid pain. (exuality is !ery pleasurable. Bur body parts are amoral. 2n orgasm feels good. 3ain feels bad. Bur brokenness simply wants to a!oid emotional pain and 8ump into what feels good A an orgasm. 4ometimes we’re afraid of intimacy. #e may be afraid to get too close to someone or become !ulnerable because we risk getting hurt again, so we escape to fantasy land. Bur fantasies will do whate!er we ask of them and will ne!er re8ect us. #thers want to escape the anxieties of life. (in can ser!e as our little escape pod. #hen the anxiety gets too high, we 8ust climb inside of our own little world of sin and get away from it all. 'f we want to avoid loneliness, responding to peer pressure will help us fit in. There are other reasons we en a e in habitual sinM rebellion, believin the advertisin and marketin lies, respondin to our culture. (ometimes we !e simply entrenched ourselves in a decades old habit and don t know how to escape. #hate!er the roots of our sin, it often ser!es to help us a!oid something we don t really want to face head on. Take the time to pray throu h this sentence meditatively, and make a note of what the *ord speaks. ,)y ha2itua. sin ! LLLLLLL %reten#s t %r $i#e LLLLLLL an# he.%s "e a$ i# LLLLLLL'1 Sin is ver& costl&. 9omans .:&* reads, <The wages of sin is death, but the gift of %od is eternal life through Christ Jesus our +ord.? #hen 1 meet with people who are struggling with addicti!e sin, one of the most somber sessions we will ha!e is when we consider the cost of their sin. 2lthough many will confess that they ha!e spent multiple thousands in their idolatrous worship of sin, they are well aware that there are other costs far more expensi!e. (in has cost many their spouse and their kids. (in has cost others their six figure 8obs, and/or their homes and cars. (in keeps us from boldly standing in our rightful place in the Lingdom of %od. 2lthough we are truly !ictimi;ed by our idols, our sin has also hurt others. (econdary !ictims are those who are wounded by the !ictimi;ation of others. They are the family of the sexually exploited person who witnesses the effects of abuse and li!es with those who are hurting. 1t is the child of the alcoholic who loses his father to drink and goes through life without a godly role model to teach him to lead his own family. )e walks 69

through his adult life not knowing how to trust others. (in cost the one who sins greatly. 1t usually costs the innocent much more. Take the time to pray throu h these sentences meditatively, and make a note of what the *ord speaks. ,)y ha2itua. sin ! LLLLLLL %reten#s t %r $i#e LLLLLLL an# he.%s "e a$ i# LLLLLLL' It a.s c sts "e LLLLLLL an# 6ee%s "e !r " 2ein/ a2.e t LLLLLLL'1 Bhat )oes it ta.e to changeD #hen Jesus walked up to the paraly;ed man in +uke, Chapter 'i!e and asked if he wanted to be make whole, )e knew there was a cost to change. Cot e!eryone is willing to pay the price. 1f 1 change and walk away from my besetting sin, 1 ll ha!e to face my giants. The things that 1 ha!e been self-medicating to a!oid will come roaring up in me. The battle may be way too o!erwhelming. These are 8ust a few of the honest answers that may be in our hearts as we face the reality of walking away from our besetting sin. #hen Caaman the +eper went to Hlisha for healing in & Lings, Chapter 'i!e, he wanted the healing to come his way. )e wanted his healing to reflect the honor of his high military position. Hlisha didn t work with his agenda. 1nstead, he told Caaman to humble himself and embrace some unpleasantries. #hat are the unpleasantries that you will face if you decide to walk away from your sinI 2re you afraid that you won t ha!e anything if you don t ha!e your struggles, and you would rather ha!e struggles than nothing at allI 2re you afraid that you won t know how to do normalI 2re you afraid of the increased responsibilities you ll ha!e if you aren t broken anymoreI Those fears are !ery real in the hearts of one who is considering walking away from a life long security of sin. Just as Caaman resisted his own heart s demands to find healing his way and obeyed the prophet Hlisha to find healing %od s way/ you will find hope and healing as you walk in the truth, grace and mercy of the +ord Jesus Christ and seek healing )is way. Take the time to pray throu h these sentences meditatively, and make a note of what the *ord speaks. ,)y ha2itua. sin ! LLLLLLL %reten#s t %r $i#e LLLLLLL an# he.%s "e a$ i#LLLLLLL' I! I /i$e it u%, the thin/ that scares "e the " st is LLLLLLL' G # has a 2etter /i!t ! LLLLLLL ! r "e t &a.6 int , an# I &i.. trust Hi" t e"% &er "e t 2tain it'1 I! y u nee# he.% &ith se<ua. an#4 r re.ati nshi% sins, ca.. CMN'OEP'CBBF an# ! un# ut h & Rec nci.iati n )inistries can he.% y u &a.6 in se<ua. an# re.ati na. &h .eness' 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential.

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-ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"E Re2ui.#in/ the Ruins This article was written by 7an )it;, 7irector of 9econciliation 4inistries. 1t is adapted from a sermon that 7an deli!ered at 9i!er s Hdge Church in (terling )eights, 4ichigan. 8or ' know the plans ' have for you,N declares the *#$D, Nplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to ive you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and ' will listen to you. 5ou will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. ' will be found by you,N declares the *#$D, Nand will brin you back from captivity. !eremiah :1H22B23a, <ew 'nternational >ersion 4any of us wake up one day and reali;e that our li!es are a train wreck. #e may ha!e been wounded by others or broken by our own sin. Bther times we are blindsided by the trials of life while we are walking in obedience and sincerely following the +ord with all of our hearts. )owe!er it happened, we begin to wonder, <)ow did 1 get here from thereI? The rebuilding process can be o!erwhelmingP <There s so much work to doP? <1 !e always been a useless looser, what hope do 1 ha!e that anything will e!er changeI? <1 don t know how to do normal. #hen is the next bomb going to go offI? 9egardless of our fears, we must make a conscious effort to reach out for godly help and begin to rebuild. The book of Cehemiah offers us many insights into the rebuilding process. 2fter the Jews returned from exile to Jerusalem, the walls of the city were in ruins. Cehemiah heard about the poor condition of Jerusalem and boldly asked Ling 2rtaxerxes if he could return to his people and rebuild the wall. 2lthough the book of Cehemiah deals with a corporate rebuilding process, the many lessons learned also apply to the indi!idual rebuilding process of repentance and reco!ery. Nehe"iah B3F A <ehemiah first had to reco nize that there was a problem. #e see in this !erse that others went up to him and told him of the destruction. Cehemiah didn t respond with denial, rather he accepted the fact that there was a problem and went to %od in a time of intense prayer to ask for direction. Nehe"iah B3C5BB A +e can see many in redients in <ehemiah’s prayer that we need in our own prayers for recovery. 'irst, there is worship. )e acknowledges that %od is a %od of mercy and that )e cares for )is people. Cehemiah then begins a time of confession and repentance. Co denial, no 71

excuses, no blame shifting. )e clearly states, <$oth my father s house and 1 ha!e sinned.? 2fter his repentance, Cehemiah is clearly broken and accepts the conse@uences of sin while asking the +ord for mercy and deli!erance. #hen you read this section of (cripture, you ll also notice that Cehemiah includes (criptures and the promises of %od in his prayer. This is something that we can also include in our prayer life A a (criptural acknowledgment of what we truly deser!e A and the acknowledgement of mercy, hope, and calling. 'inally, Cehemiah prays for fa!or with the rulers who can truly help him in the rebuilding process. Cone of us can rebuild our shattered li!es on our own. #e all need the help of faithful leaders o!er us, as well as peers who are willing to walk with us as they also rebuild their li!es. Nehe"iah D3D5N - $ecovery involves risk. Those around us may not understand or support us in the process. Bthers may ha!e a !ested interest in our remaining broken. Cehemiah risked execution by appearing before the king hea!y burdened. 1n this con!ersation we can see that Cehemiah prayed his way through. )e acknowledged boundaries which the king expected him to follow. (ometimes the hardest thing for a person in reco!ery to accept is that they now ha!e boundaries and accountability. They must call their spouse or accountability partner and account for their whereabouts at all times. H!en good things they used to do are fre@uently called into @uestion. Those who are broken and accept the conse@uences for their sin, are willing to work within the boundaries and accountability set up by their leaders. 'inally, Cehemiah ac@uired letters of authori;ation and the necessary pro!isions for his rebuilding pro8ect. )e had to rely on the authority and e@uipping of the king to be successful. Nehe"iah D3P5BQ +hen evil men named 4anballat and Tobiah heard that <ehemiah was oin to restore the walls of !erusalem, they became incensed. #hen we start our reco!ery, the de!il is not going to stand around and watch A neither are certain people in our li!es. 3eople in dysfunctional groups don t like someone upsetting the way they !e always done things. They don t like it when they can t get away with the same old sins anymore. This shouldn t come as a surprise, we !e gi!en the enemy permission to trample o!er us for a long time and he likes inflicting pain on us. #e should seek %od for strength and protection and hold up our shield of faith. Cehemiah again went to safe men he could trust for support. Nehe"iah D3BP5DQ A The attacks be an with ridicule and accusations of rebellion. There are additional places in (cripture where those who are doing wrong accuse others of being the ones who are doing the wrong. 1n Hxodus, Chapter & when 4oses confronted the 1sraelites who were fighting, it was the offender who accused 4oses. 1t s no surprise that the de!il is called <the accuser of the brethren?. 1f he can throw us into fear and condemnation we become impotent. Cehemiah stood on the authority of the king and knew that his success would not come from human effort, but through <the %od of )ea!en?.

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Nehe"iah F3B5N The attacks of ridicule and condemnation intensify. <#hat are these feeble Jews doingI? They are thrilled to point out the huge amount of work to be done and the <heaps of rubble? that must be cleared out. Tobiah ridiculed the workers by saying, <1f e!en a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones>? (ong of (olomon tells us that <little foxes spoil the !ines? J( of ( &:"-K. The foxes represent the little sins in our li!es. )ow often ha!e you had someone point out your sin to @uestion the sincerity of your faithI Cehemiah didn t flinch. )e again turned to %od and asked )im to fight the battle for his people. H!en with this opposition, the people of 1srael built the wall to half its height because <the people worked with all their heart?. #hen we trust in the righteousness of the +ord and in )is strength alone, )is strength becomes ours. Nehe"iah F3O5P The enemy becomes an ry at their pro ress and launches a spiritual attack. #hen the wall JboundariesK reached half its height, a group of enemies got together and tried to <stir up trouble?. Bther !ersions read <create confusion? and <hinder?. )a!e you e!er experienced this type of struggle right after a great !ictory. Hphesians .:"&-"* tells us that we aren t struggling against flesh and blood, but against rulers and authorities who ha!e a !ested interest in our utter failure. Hphesians instructs us to <put on the full armor of %od? and stand our ground in the authority of Christ. 1n Cehemiah ,:5, we see the 1sraelites doing 8ust that, <we prayed to our %od and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.? 9emember, Cehemiah didn t try to fight this battle alone. 1t is always critical to get the help of faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. Nehe"iah F3BQ5BE Discoura ement and exhaustion take their toll. H!en successful spiritual warfare takes a lot of strength. 3roper boundaries also take a lot of strength. 4any twel!e-step programs use the phrase )2+T A hungry, angry, lonely, tired A to remind people of when they may be more !ulnerable. (atan knows this and is ready to pounce. Cehemiah s response to this was to post the workers by families, <with their swords, spears and bows. These three different weapons represent how we must fight our addiction A in our bodies, our souls, and our spirits. 1n our bodies it is important to recogni;e that there are times when they will be <throwing a temper tantrum? to get the illicit sexual release they ha!e been accustomed to. 1n our souls, it is important to deal with the issues in our hearts that made us susceptible to our bondages in the first place to a!oid being the sexuali;e !ersion of the <dry drunk?. The more these roots are dealt with, the less energy it will re@uire to resist the temptations that come our way. #e shouldn t be surprised that demonic forces will hurl some fiery darts at us e!ery now and again. 1t is important that we don t open the door to this harassment by our own sin, and that we stand on the authority of Jesus Christ who stated, <1t is finished,? as )e died upon the cross to secure our !ictory. Nehe"iah F3BF5DB +e fi ht this warfare for others as well as ourselves. Cehemiah urged the 1sraelites to <fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wi!es and your homes?. 2 key to our !ictory is getting our eyes off of our own problems and on onto the +ord Jesus Christ. 2n important 73

key to our reco!ery is to start pouring out to others. =ou may not be ready to teach a (unday school class or preach a sermon, but e!eryone can set up folding chairs and clean the church on a !olunteer work day. The spiritual side of this can apply to those of us who are fathers and therefore the spiritual co!ering for our families. 1f we aren t willing to fight this fight for our own reco!ery, are we willing to resist the enemy so that we don t open the door for the enemy to gain easy access to our sons and daughtersI 2re we willing to fight so that others in ministry under us are co!ered by the umbrella of protection in an authority structure properly aligned in ChristI The responsibly that comes with our calling is high. #e can t do it in our own strength, but we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us J3hilippians ,:"*K. Qerses "- through &" show how e!eryone exercised their specific talent to complete the task set before them. " Corinthians "& shows us that e!eryone is needed, and that e!eryone is 8ust as important as e!eryone else. Nehe"iah C3B5BP #pposition from those closest to us. #ounds inflicted by those we lo!e, or those who were supposed to keep us safe, ha!e the potential to cause the most pain. 1t is ama;ing how many people 1 meet who were wounded decades ago by their parents and who continue to carry the emotional scars years down the road. Bthers ha!e recei!ed wounds from church leaders and those in the church that ha!e made them cynical and withdrawn from the $ody. Judas, one of Jesus intimate twel!e disciples, chose to betray Jesus with a kiss A something that should ha!e meant lo!e and loyalty. The same Jesus who was betrayed with a kiss prayed <'ather, forgi!e them for they know not what they do,? and came to heal the broken hearted. The )oly (pirit can help us to reco!ery from the wounds of the past and learn to lo!e and trust again. %od can send Cehemiah s into our li!es A leaders who ha!e remained faithful to their calling when others around them were taking ad!antage of the !ulnerable. Cehemiah wasn t tooting his own horn in this section of (cripture. )e was demonstrating to others who were in the same desperate times that %od s ways will work to carry us through the !alleys. Nehe"iah N3B5F Dan erous unity. 6 'f you can’t beat Oem, @oin Oem? #hen the 1sraelites completed the wall, but before they could finish the doors, the enemies were trying to get Cehemiah to go outside of his boundaries and into dangerous territory. The enemy lo!es to lure us out of the safe places and into the land of sin. (ometimes the subtle lies sound !ery appealing and we try to con!ince oursel!es that little excursions outside of our boundaries won t hurt us. (anballat and %eshem were persistent in their efforts to lure Cehemiah outside the walls to engage in dialogue. Hach time he replied that he was too busy to walk away from the place where he belonged. (ometimes people from our past will try to get us to re!isit the dialogues of the past. Bthers seem to lo!e the challenge of targeting Christians to get them to fall. (ometimes %od will call us out of our comfort ;one to talk to people that we aren t @uite sure about/ but when )e calls, )e protects. #e need to rely on the )oly (pirit to show us who is safe for us and who isn t, and when )e warns we need to obey. Nehe"iah N3C5P #pposition throu h slander. 6 The enemy creates a fi ht and tries to dra us into it. (anballat started making false accusations towards 74

Cehemiah and made it sound like e!eryone else was saying the same thing. )e was hoping that Cehemiah would stop rebuilding and start defending himself. Cehemiah didn t fall into that trap. )e merely told (anballat that his accusations were untrue and continued doing what the Ling had commissioned him to do. The enemy lo!es to pull us into unfruitful arguments that separate close friends. )e tries to make us afraid of the conse@uences of the lies so that we will take our eyes off of %od, focus on the lies, start defending oursel!es, and loose our strength. Think back at how drained you were during your last intense conflict. =our anger may ha!e gi!en you strength to argue, but your energy at work and with those you lo!e was drained. #e need to follow Cehemiah s lead, pray that %od will defend us, and continue what our Ling has called us to do. Nehe"iah N3M5BF The enemy tries to entice us to sin. 6 "ome on, everybody’s doin it? Tobiah and (anballat hired a man to go to Cehemiah and try to get him to sin. Cehemiah reali;ed their deceit and wrote, <)e had been hired to intimidate me so that 1 would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would gi!e me a bad name to discredit me.? The stories of betrayal that we hear in the church and by family members are stunning. Those who are 8ealous of us, or who may benefit from our failure, may try to get us to compromise so that they can point it out to others at a later date and destroy our reputation. Bthers who were once a part of our sinful past may feel condemned by our rebuilt li!es and entice us to fall so that they can 8ustify their continued addiction. #e must respond like Cehemiah and reinforce our boundaries. Those who want to !iolate our boundaries will tend to push against them, so it is important to rely on %od s strength and stand in )is authority. Nehe"iah N3BC5BN The wall is finally done? 2s Cehemiah was faithful to work within the boundaries and the authority of the king, there came a day when the rebuilding process was completed. Qerse ". reads, <#hen all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their selfconfidence, because they reali;ed that this work had been done with the help of our %od.? Cot only did Cehemiah recogni;e where his strength and ability came from, so did all of his enemies. 3eople in our li!es may not e!er embrace our reco!ery, but they won t be able to deny that there has been a change that %od alone could ha!e accomplished. =ou won t know how many times they ha!e tried to get out of their addiction in their own power and failed. #hether they admit it or not, they ha!e seen the power of %od at work in your life. Think of 1srael s 8oy in that day. They were able to look back and remember how %od had pro!ided for them and empowered them to ha!e !ictory o!er their enemies. 9emembering our !ictories can gi!e us the strength to continue rebuilding our walls, and to expand on that foundation. Bnly %od can empower us to succeed. )e is willing> 9emember 3hilippians ":., 1Mhe 'ho (egan a goo) 'or. in &ou 'ill carr& it on to com,letion until the )a& of 3hrist /esus.2 Nehe"iah N3BO5BP The enemy continues to attack even after we’ve completed our walls. H!en though Cehemiah and the 1sraelites completed their walls and were walking in !ictory, the enemy continued harassing them. 1n 75

Hphesians ., 3aul reminds us to hold up our shield of faith so that we can <extinguish all the flaming arrows of the e!il one?. (atan doesn t gi!e up. )e knows we can be pretty !ulnerable after we !e experienced a great !ictory when we !e let down our guard. 1t is important to utili;e the whole armor of %od that Hphesians tells us about. #e may still be in the battle, but %od has already gi!en us the !ictory. The rebuilding process is not @uick, and it s not easy. Through it we will learn !aluable lessons about oursel!es and %od that we would ha!e ne!er learned any other way. The battles fought, won, and lost ha!e taught us to depend on %od. 1 would not choose to walk through the painful destruction the enemy caused in my early days, but 1 m thankful for the redemption that the +ord has brought. 1t has made me the man that 1 am today. 1f you are walking in bondage, or 8ust beginning your reco!ery, 1 can assure you that the battle is well worth it. Jesus Christ will gi!e you !ictory as you walk in )im. 1f you ha!e been walking in reco!ery for a while now, you know the precious times spent in the 'ather s arms as )e carries you through the fire. Be at Reconciliation Ministries 'ant to strengthen &ou in &our Journe&. +f &ou nee) hel,* call 586.7 !.5""#. %ay God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you throu h and throu h. %ay your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the comin of our *ord !esus "hrist. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. 2 Thessalonians ,H:0B:3 <ew 'nternational >ersion 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE5 (i$e Characteristics ! Th se 7h En#ure (ree# " This article was adapted from a teachin by %ike Haley, 8ocus on the 8amily staff member and =xodus board chair, at the :77: =xodus 'nternational B <orth )merica =ndurin 8reedom "onference. %ike asked several =xodus ministers what Gualities they found in people who were the most successful in their @ourney out of homosexuality and presented his findin s en - ) r - to hold up under pain or fatigue free [ duhm - an exemption or liberation from the control of some other person or some arbitrary power

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There are 222 references to freedom in 4cripture. Then y u &i.. 6n & the truth, an# the truth &i.. set y u !ree' John 6:*& * i! the * n sets y u !ree, y u &i.. 2e !ree in#ee#' John 6.*. It is ! r !ree# " that Christ has set us !ree' *tan# !ir", then, an# # n t .et y urse.$es 2e 2ur#ene# a/ain 2y a y 6e ! s.a$ery' %alatians -." B' Th se &h en#ure !ree# " ha$e a #i!!erent " ti$ati n' 8 2 Da$is - F%oes beyond 8ust a commitment to change to a no matter what mentality. Co matter what, no matter how hard it is, no matter how long it takes.F A.an )e#in/er - F1tGs a willingness to endure prolonged struggles and deal with hurts of the past - a willingness to walk through the fears and the failures that ine!itably accompany growth.F Je!! K nra# - F3eople that seek to endure freedom, these people are desperate for change.F True change occurs when the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Cobody told us that the process would be easy, or that there would be no disappointments along the way. 1n John, Chapter - we read about the man who lay paraly;ed at the pool of $ethesda for *6 long years. Though he wanted to be the first to enter the pool when the water was stirred, time after time he saw others recei!e the healing that he longed for. )e didnGt become disillusioned with the pool and lea!e. )e kept trying. JesusG offer of healing encompasses so much more than our physical healing. 1t re@uires forsaking the familiarity and sinful security of our brokenness. #e can no longer remain on our matt disengaged from the responsibilities of life. 3eople who endure lasting freedom are willing to undergo the trials they will face between Hgypt and the 3romised +and. They reali;e that only Jesus can empower them to walk into the unfamiliar and embrace the new challenges. D' Th se &h en#ure !ree# " ha$e #i!!erent / a.s' *y R /ers - FThey ha!e a perse!ering determination towards the right goal in order to make it regardless of setbacks, struggles, or being misunderstood. 2nyone who o!ercomes any ma8or life controlling issue must ha!e the guts to be uncomfortable for a season, accept that growth and reco!ery both take time, and one must ne!er gi!e up. 2 key factor is knowing that the goal was not o!ercoming homosexuality, it was drawing near to and obeying %od.F J hn +au.6 - FThose who make it successfully out of homosexuality donGt merely want the @uality of their li!es better by lea!ing homosexuality, their moti!ation to lea!e must be lo!e for %od alone. The goal is to align your life with Jesus in obedience. #hen we put our healing as a main focus we are often let down.F The true goal of those who experience enduring freedom is to walk with Jesus Christ in lo!e, holiness and obedience. They reali;e that the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, it is holiness. 1f, in the midst of their walk with Christ, they happen to recei!e freedom from their same gender attractions, that is an added blessing. #ould we be willing to walk with )im if we knew that we would struggle with same sex attractions with the same intensity for the rest of our li!esI Those who put their relationship with Christ 77

and their obedience to )im first say, F=es>F 1n all our temptations, Jesus pro!ides a way of escape. 3hilippians *:",-". reads, F + ,ress on to'ar) the goal to win the pri;e for which %od has called me hea!enward in Christ Jesus. 2ll of us who are mature should take such a !iew of things. %n) if on some ,oint &ou thin. )ifferentl&* that too >o) 'ill ma.e clear to &ou. Bnly let us li!e up to what we ha!e already attained.F 4any of us think differently than %od on many issues in our li!es. Bur life of faith calls us to lo!e and trust )im and walk in obedience to )is ways. 1n due time, %odGs wisdom will become e!ident to us as we see the results of li!ing our li!es for )im. $reathe each breath li!ing up to what Fwe ha!e already attainedF in )im and )e will gi!e you much more. E' +e %.e &h &a.6 in en#urin/ !ree# " ha$e #i!!erent re.ati nshi%s' *y R /ers - FCo one achie!es success in reaching a goal all by themsel!es.F Ric6y Che.ette - FThey ha!e a willingness to participate and gi!e to the community of belie!ers.F J hn *"i# - F3eople who mo!e forward ha!e a successful connection to others like and unlike themsel!es.F )ebrews "E:&- reads, F5et us not give u, meeting together* as some are in the habit of doing, (ut let us encourage one another A and all the more as you see the 7ay approaching.F #e need healthy interaction with those in the $ody of Christ that are both like us and who are different than us. Those who are like us pro!ide the encouragement and common ground that we need to be refreshed. Those who are different than us challenge us to make the necessary changes in our li!es and teach us new ways of thinking. They also teach us new ways to make !aluable contributions to others. #e also need accountability. James -:". exhorts us to Fconfess our sins to each other an) ,ra& for each other so that we may be healedF. Those who hold us accountable are the precious few members of the $ody of Christ that we ha!e gi!en special permission to ask us the difficult @uestions and to pray with us when we re in the battle. They know our strengths and weakness/ our !ictories and failures. They are the ones who lower us through the roof to Jesus when we donGt ha!e the strength to reach him on our own. The $ody of Christ is not responsible for our healing - that is between us and %od - but they walk with us and point us to the Bne who can heal. 1t is our 8ob to respond. 1t is also our 8ob to initiate and gi!e back to the $ody of Christ. That is something that anyone can do no matter what stage of their 8ourney they are on. #e donGt ha!e to be completely healed to help with the chair ministry or sweep the floor on a church work day. (uch 8obs can gi!e us an emotional boost as they get our minds off of oursel!es. F' +e %.e &h &a.6 in en#urin/ !ree# " ha$e #i!!erent acti ns'

A.an )e#in/er - FTheyGre willing to suffer pain, willing to deal with hurts of the past, and will walk through the fears and failures that ine!itably accompany growth.F Anne +au.6 - FThey are willing to face and forgi!e sins committed against them.F

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*y R /ers - FThey ha!e taken responsible action, getting educated about the issues and the solution/ understanding the practical, responsible, and beneficial ways of managing human issues like loneliness and lust, culti!ating self-control under pressure, and depending on %odGs grace in time of weakness.F Je!! K nra# - FThese people are proacti!e and not reacti!e.F Those who walk in enduring freedom push through and perse!ere during the hard times by the grace of %od. They donGt gi!e up when change doesnGt seem to be happening as fast as they would like, or when %od doesnGt do things the way they think that )e should. They continue to pray and share their hearts with %od. They continue to read their $ible, worship, and li!e a holy life. %od could make our wounds and illicit attractions disappear instantly, but )e has a deeper, eternal purpose in mind. John (mid, director of Hxodus ministry +o!e in 2ction, calls & 3eter ":*-"" the F9eco!ery 3assageF. )e notes how many parts of that passage call us to take action and accept responsibility in our own reco!ery. )is di!ine power has gi!en us e!erything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has gi!en us his !ery great and precious promises, so that through them &ou ma& ,artici,ate in the di!ine nature and esca,e the corruption in the world caused by e!il desires. 'or this !ery reason, ma.e ever& effort to a)) to &our faith goodness/ and to goodness, knowledge/ and to knowledge, self-control/ and to self-control, perse!erance/ and to perse!erance, godliness/ and to godliness, brotherly kindness/ and to brotherly kindness, lo!e. 'or if you ,ossess these Hualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffecti!e and unproducti!e in your knowledge of our +ord Jesus Christ. $ut if anyone does not ha!e them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, (e all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. 'or if &ou )o these things* &ou 'ill never fall* and you will recei!e a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our +ord and (a!ior Jesus Christ. C' Th se &h &a.6 in en#urin/ !ree# " ha$e a #i!!erent %assi n' 8 2 Da$is - FThey possess a personal and growing relationship with Jesus Christ.F Anne +au.6 - F3eople who are successful are people who rely on what %od says and not on their own errant feelings.F Anita 7 rthen - FThe people that succeed are people who ha!e a hunger for %od.F A.an Cha"2ers - FThey ha!e a desire to be obedient to Christ first and foremost.F Ric6y Che.ette - F2 wholehearted commitment to Christ.F Ran#y Th "as - FCot 8ust knowing %od, but lo!ing )im.F Jerry Ar"e..i - FThose that endure freedom are those that personali;e JesusG life death and resurrection in their reco!ery dynamics.F There are forces that are constantly working against us. #e need a passion for Jesus to keep us mo!ing forward. "3eter -:6 reads, F$e self-controlled and alert. =our enemy the de!il prowls around like a roaring lion looking for 79

someone to de!our.F The enemy is trying to completely destroy us with any means necessary. 1f he canGt keep us addicted to sin, he will try to get us addicted to religion. 1f he canGt keep us from reaching out to those in the $ody of Christ who can walk with us and encourage us, he will try to use the $ody to inflict wounds. Bnly an undying passion for Jesus Christ can carry us through the difficult times. 1t is critical that we spend time sharing our hearts with %od in openness and honesty. 2s we spend time in )is presence, we will become more like )im. #e need to keep our focus on Jesus and not on the things of this world. & Timothy &:, says, FCo one ser!ing as a soldier gets in!ol!ed in ci!ilian affairs - he wants to please his commanding officer.F 1t is critical for us in reco!ery to keep our minds focused on the things in our li!es that are important to Jesus and not on di!ersionary pleasures. Jesus came so that we may ha!e an abundant life. )e will gi!e us times of recreation and pleasure, but they will be in pursuits that will be safe for us and pleasing to )im. 3assionate enduring freedom is a strong desire to li!e, taking on the form of a readiness to die to our own desires. #hat is our +ord commanding us to doI The famous missionary, 7r. +i!ingstone was ser!ing the +ord in the deep 8ungles of 2frica. )e recei!ed a letter from his missionary society in Hngland which asked him, F7r. +i!ingstone, ha!e you found a good road to where you areI 1f so we want to send some other men to 8oin you.F 7r. +i!ingstone replied, F1f you ha!e men that will come only if they know there is a good road, 1 donGt want them. 1 want men who will come if there is no road at all.F That is what the +ord is calling us to do. There are times in our walk when we donGt see the road. #e may not e!en be con!inced that %od has a road for us at all. 1t is during that time that we need to be passionate for )im and trust )im to lead the way. Are y u .i$in/ s%eci!ica..y ! r Jesus Christ9 )re you desperateI Do you have the ri ht oalI )re your relationships what they need to beI )re you bein proactive or reactiveI )re you passionate for "hrist and Him aloneI Do you desire to walk in endurin freedomI 5ou do have a choice? 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE0 Re.a%se +re$enti n – Dan Hit: This article is adapted from a messa e Dan presented at a "elebrate $ecovery meetin at +oodside 9ible "hurch of Troy. "elebrate $ecovery is a "hristian step pro ram to help those recoverin from a wide variety of issues includin substance abuse, sexual addiction, codependency, and much more. 8or more

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information on "elebrate $ecovery, or meetin s in your area, visit www.celebraterecovery.com . 2 while back 1 was meditating on what reco!ery looked like fi!e or more years down the road. 1 was asking the +ord how people were doing long after they had completed the +i!ing #aters program. 1 wondered what made someone successful in their reco!ery and why others faced a much more tenacious battle. Those of us who ha!e been bound by sin will be in reco!ery fore!er, but it will not always look the same. #e will always need accountability. #e will always need proper boundaries to protect us. #e will always be !ulnerable. 2t the same time we can stand strong A strong in the +ord and the power of )is might to keep us from falling J!ude :3K. 2s 1 was thinking about these things the +ord spoke to my heart and said, <=ou went through +i!ing #aters in "555, look in the mirror. #hat makes you strongI #hat happened in those times when you became weakI? )e began to show me some aspects of relapse pre!ention that we will need for the rest of our li!es. 4y heart for the graduates of +i!ing #aters is that they will mo!e beyond their brokenness and take their rightful place in the $ody of Christ. #hen we are done with our reco!ery groups, we will still need to practice what they ha!e taught us. #e will still need to implement relapse pre!ention. This article will co!er three aspects of relapse pre!ention/ the spiritual aspects, the reco!ery aspects, and the emotional aspects. The *%iritua. As%ects – The spiritual aspects of relapse pre!ention can often be the most o!erlooked ingredients of our reco!ery. 1t s easy to spend a lot of time on our knees when the world around us is falling apart, but when things began to get better and we ha!e so many demands on our time we seem to rely on %od s grace to carry us. #e forget that )e expects us to do our part. <%od knows that 1 ha!e so many appointments this week, so 1 m sure that )e ll be fine with me praying while 1 m dri!ing to work and listening to praise music.? #e seem to forget that it is in the intimate, uninterrupted times with the +ord that )e can reach into those dark, protected areas of our hearts and set us free. There is simply no substitute for our personal de!otion time with )im where we pour our hearts out to )im and wait in his presence for the touch we need. $ible reading, worshiping )im in song, and waiting on )im gi!es us the answers and strength we need for the battle J'saiah 37H02K. 3ersonal repentance and accountability are 8ust as important. 1t s easy to confess our sins or desires to %od and take ad!antage of )is grace, but it s much more difficult to confess to someone who will look us in the eye the next time we see him and ask, <)ow s it goingI? Those of us with accountability partners always know what that means. Bne time 1 was struggling with thoughts and knew that 1 was in a !ulnerable spot and the +ord told me to go to my accountability partner for prayer. <Co, +ord, pleaseP 1 !e talked to him so many times in the last few months 1 feel like an idiot. 1 don t want to tell him the same stinking things again.? H!en though 1 knew the +ord was asking me if 1 wanted the thoughts to continue or be broken, 1 8ust didn t want to talk about it any more. 1 was willing to embrace the silence and keep the battle going. 1 was still arguing with the +ord as 1 was walking down the hallway 81

towards my accountability partner s office 8ust hoping that he would be gone or in a meeting. That way 1 could feel 8ustified in holding on to my struggle. %od had mercy. )is door was wide open, he was sitting at his desk facing the door, and let out a loud, <)i, 7an,? as 1 walked by. 1t was hard to keep arguing with the +ord after that. 1 shared my heart with him, recei!ed prayer, and found !ictory in that season. 9epentance and confession are both processes that bring life. They are a critical part of our relapse pre!ention. %etting our minds off of oursel!es by ser!ing others, and attending church regularly are also important parts of our 8ourney/ JHebrews 27H:3B:,K howe!er, there is no more important part of our Christian li!es than maintaining our relationship with Jesus Christ. #hen we find oursel!es doing our <mourning obligations? rather than our morning de!otions, or we find oursel!es too busy <praying? to share our hearts with the +ord it s time for a change. 4echanical Christianity brings boredom and makes us weak. Bpening our hearts to a li!ing (a!ior makes us strong. #e all need times of separation from our routines. 'asting and realignment with %od helps us stay focused and ali!e in )im. 1 ha!e a friend who has said to me many times, <%od is far more interested in you, than )e is in your ministry.? Cothing is more important than our time and relationship with Jesus Christ J*uke 27H0-B3:K. The Rec $ery As%ects – The reco!ery aspects of relapse pre!ention are 8ust as important six years after the program as they are in the middle of it. #e must ne!er forget that we are !ulnerable J2 "orinthians 27H1B23K. 1 often tell people that our struggle with sin can mo!e from a place where it is no longer debilitating, but under our feet through the power of Jesus Christ/ howe!er, we must always keep our foot down. #e will always need to maintain our emotional and physical boundaries to keep us away from the people and places that can cause us to stumble A or bring us back into those memories of our days of sin. 1 was on a bus riding back from an out of state men s e!ent one time when the guys began gi!ing their testimonies. The problem was that it @uickly shifted from declaring the glorious things %od had done in their li!es to strolls down memory lane reli!ing the pleasures of their sinful past. #hen we find oursel!es desiring the pleasures of sin, we must @uickly reset our boundaries, find our accountability partners, and get prayer. There is a reason if we are still drawn to specific encounters and incidents in our li!es. Those are the ones we must seek help for and ask the +ord to re!eal the <bait? hidden in those memories. 4any of the reco!ery aspects are simply mechanical. =very %an’s 9attle by (tephen 2rterburn and 'red (toeker J#ater $rook 3ress, &EEEK pro!ides some good ad!ice on <bouncing the eyes? and <bouncing the thoughts?. This simply means that when we re tempted to check someone out that we mo!e our eyes somewhere safe. #e don t need to know what the person walking down the store aisle looks like/ we 8ust need to know they are there so we don t bump into him/her. #hen our thoughts drift to fallen memories or desires, we 8ust bounce our thoughts back where they belong. 1t takes work to de!elop this habit, but it a!oids a lot of struggling later on down the road. 8allin 8orward by Craig +ockwood J7esert (tream 3ress, &EEEK pro!ides some !ery good 82

insight on managing the addicti!e cycle and dealing with one s emotional triggers. 2s we reali;e that we are heading into a period of !ulnerability, we can put an action plan into effect to call trusted others into our relapse pre!ention and get back on the right path. 4any of the triggers can be processed by implementing the next aspects of relapse pre!ention, the emotional aspects. The E" ti na. As%ects – The emotional aspects of relapse pre!ention, also called the inner healing aspects, deal with some of the issues that fueled our struggle with addiction in the first place. Through +i!ing #aters and other reco!ery programs, we learn not to bury our emotional pain, but to <own the pain? and allow it to come to the surface so we can bring it to Jesus Christ for healing. 2lthough the intensity of our painful feelings should subside o!er time, 1 thank %od that )e wants to heal us on a deeper le!el as we progress in our walk with )im. The +ord seems to work in stages. 2t times we are in the !alleys and desperately hanging onto )im for our strength. Bther times we are on the mountaintop where )is blessings ne!er seem to end. )e also brings us to plateau seasons where we learn to walk out the healing that )e has brought us so far. 3lateau seasons seem rather mundane. #e face routine challenges and gain some basic !ictories. #e become stronger as we see the fruits of our reco!ery playing out in our relationships and emotions, but we may also be tempted to lessen our focus on reco!ery. 9elapse pre!ention means that we continue and maintain our spiritual walk, boundaries, accountability, and bouncing the eyes and thoughts e!en during the plateau seasons. Through the years, 1 ha!e always maintained an accountability or prayer partner. #ith my accountability partner, 1 can discuss my status with the spiritual and reco!ery aspects of my walk. 1 can recei!e help in the emotional aspects of my walk and the issues that may be increasing my !ulnerability to the <self-medication? of the past. #hen my unhealed pain gets triggered, 1 can go to this person and ask him for help casting my burden on the +ord JGalatians .H2B:P $omans 2:H2,B2.K. 1t is important that you ha!e an accountability partner who can assist you with discipleship, talking about your !ictories and battles, and seeking help through prayer. E(rayin beyond the temptationF is an important ingredient in the emotional aspects of relapse pre!ention. #e all ha!e seasons when our temptation is higher than usual. 1t is during those seasons that we can confess our specific temptation to the +ord and ask )im what the root issue is that is causing us to be more !ulnerable today that we were last week. (ometimes )e will show us that we !e let our boundaries down and ha!e checked out e!eryone who came into our field of !ision. Bther times we may simply ha!e not gotten enough sleep or personal care and it s affecting our resistance to sin. There will also be times when we are being triggered and are defaulting back to our old sinful habits to a!oid the emotional pain. #e can then confess our struggle to the +ord and ask )im for the answer to our pain. The +ord is faithful to speak to our hearts and pro!ide an answer that will sol!e our problems far better than our sinful escapes.

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1f ha!e been in reco!ery for a number of years and feel like keeping yourself pure 8ust isn t as easy as it once was, remember the steps that you took to walk away from your struggle in the first place. Talk to someone on your church leadership team and let them know where you are at. 2sk the +ord to bring you an accountability partner that can help you in your walk. 9econciliation 4inistries also pro!ides indi!idual pastoral care for those who find themsel!es in need of a <reco!ery tune-up?. Call -6..0*5.-"", to schedule an appointment and get yourself back on the right track. )elp is a!ailable. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE6 *e<ua. an# E" ti na. Hea.in/ ! r Church Lea#ers Dan Hit:, Direct r, Rec nci.iati n )inistries Dan was in the ministry for ei ht years while still stru lin with unwanted sameBsex attraction. He entered *ivin +aters as a participant in 2111 after a E!acob wrestlin with GodF season in his own life. Dan has been the executive director of $econciliation %inistries since :770, is an ordained minister throu h the 'nternational 8ellowship of "hristian )ssemblies, and is a limited licensed professional counselor. He has served in leadership trainin s and seminars in 4outheast )sia. 2ccording to !arious resources, .E-0EY of pastors do not ha!e someone they consider a close friend or confidant, ,-Y ha!e experienced depression or burnout and desire a lea!e of absence from ministry, .E-0EY are more insecure now than when they first entered the ministry, and 6EY of ministers say their family is ad!ersely affected by their ministry. #ith Christian workers facing such challenges, it s easy to see how they may also be susceptible to sexual sins and addictions. 1n &EE,, "hristianity Today wrote that *0Y of pastors say cyber-porn is a current struggle. 2s congregation members, it s so easy to forget that our ministers are people 8ust like us who struggle with life s pressures and temptations. The +ord has been planting an intense burden in my heart for some time now for pastors, missionaries, and church leaders who are struggling with their own hidden sexual temptations, sin and emotional pain. They are laying down their li!es for those around them and yet dying on the inside. #hile all church members experience spiritual warfare, (atan seems to ha!e special tactical weapons designed to take out ministry leaders. The effect on their families is de!astating. The spiritual cost is intense. The ripple effects in their ministry are 84

enormous. #hen a leader falls, it puts his/her entire family, walk, and work at risk. Christian workers may ha!e !ery limited resources for help. 'inances are tight. 4issionaries are often isolated in third world countries with limited opportunities for counseling or pastoral care. 3astors are hesitant to go to their own denominations for help and leery of participating in group settings where they may be seen and heard by others in their congregation. #ithout safe, confidential, $iblical help, many in the ministry grow weary, burn out, and fall deeper into sin/ lea!ing their families and those they minister to an emotional train wreck. 'or the first eight years of my ministry, 1 was trapped by intense temptations towards same-sex attraction and emotional dependency. #ith this internal struggle came hopelessness and depression. Bften 1 felt like 1 was trying to minister to others with a chain around my own neck. 1 could speak from the pulpit and touch so many hearts but could find !ery few whom 1 could confide in, and no one who understood my internal struggle. 2t the !ery lowest point in my ministry, 1 wanted %od to take me home and end this struggle before 1 hurt those 1 lo!ed the most and those whom %od sent me to ser!e. 1t doesn t ha!e to be this way. %od is raising up an army of skilled, confidential, $iblical warriors to walk side by side with wounded leaders and help them find the healing they need. Brgani;ations like $arnabas 4inistries and others were created to be a refuge for leaders in need. 9econciliation 4inistries is also a!ailable for ministers struggling with emotional pain and sexual sin. (er!ices include indi!idual counseling and prayer ministry for those within tra!eling distance to this ministry, and webcam or phone counseling for those unable to recei!e counseling in person. 2s 1 recei!ed healing in my own heart, my wife gained a <new husband? and my kids gained <a new dad?. 4y internal pain no longer spilled o!er onto my family or those 1 was ministering to. 1 began to walk into the freedom and healing in Christ that 1 helped others to obtain, but somehow seemed to be beyond my grasp. This wouldn t ha!e happen without members of )is army who had a heart to help me as a pastor fight my own personal battles while leading my family and ser!ing the $ody of Christ. 1f you are a pastor, missionary, or church leader who has been hurting on the inside and wishing you had a safe place to go for help with someone who understands the pressures of ministry, family, and sexual temptation/ don t struggle in isolation any longer. Call 7an )it; at 9econciliation 4inistries for help at -6..0*5.-"",, or e-mail 7an at dhit;Urecmin.org. 2ll correspondence is strictly confidential. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE6

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The Cr ss3 Resurrectin/ the True *e.! 5 Dan Hit: 7an is the Hxecuti!e 7irector of 9econciliation 4inistries. This article was adapted from +i!ing #aters: 3ursuing (exual and 9elational #holeness in Christ by 2ndrew Comiskey, pp. ""5-"*", "55., +i!ing #aters, 1nternational/ Lansas City, L(. I ha$e 2een cruci!ie# &ith Christ an# I n . n/er .i$e, 2ut Christ .i$es in "e' The .i!e I .i$e in the 2 #y, I .i$e 2y !aith in the * n ! G #, &h . $e# "e an# /a$e hi"se.! ! r "e' %alatians &:&E 1n Hphesians ,:&&-&, we are told to <put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires? and to <put on the new self, created to be like %od in true righteousness and holiness?. #hat is our <new self? A our <true self? A that 3aul tells us to put onI 1t is that part of us that truly bears the image of Christ. 1t is our true self that has the mind of Christ J" Corinthians &:".K. The <old self?, or <false self? is that part of us that has been rendered dead in Christ. 2s 3aul writes in %alatians &:&E, we ha!e been crucified with Christ> 1t is no longer we who li!e, but Christ now li!es in us> 1n order to li!e a !ictorious Christian life, we need to grasp the full impact of what that means to all of us who are belie!ers. This is not some special blessing reser!ed only for the 2postle 3aul. 1t is a promise A a reality A for all who ask Jesus Christ into their hearts/ e!en those who still struggle with sin. #hen we choose to li!e out of our false self, we choose to remain identified with the old man that has been put to death by Jesus Christ and fail to accept our new identity in )im. #e choose to remain identified with the sinful struggles and painful wounds that seek to define us and keep us in their grip. 4any of us ha!e reacted to our sinfulness with self re8ection. #e create a narcissistic mask and try to be <acceptable? to others by becoming who we wish we were, and feeding off of their admiration for <us?. Bthers ha!e responded to self hatred by idoli;ing our relationships with significant others. #e seek to become <complete? as we become emotionally and spiritually enmeshed with those we think possess the @ualities we lack. Ceither narcissism nor relational idolatry bring life. Bthers try to a!oid the pain of the false self through religious perfectionism and become entangled in what 2ndy Comiskey identifies as the <tyranny of the ought? and <self-depreciation?. )e writes that <our li!es become go!erned by a series of inner commands that we ne!er @uite carry out to our own satisfaction? and that we <badger and belittle oursel!es for not being or doing good enough?. Bur anxiety and legalism

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prohibit us from e!er re8oicing in the !ictory %od has gi!en us. #e li!e by a pharisaical code of unreachable goals, ne!er feeling fully accepted by %od. 4any of us ha!e grown up hearing how stupid or useless we are. The harsh words of others like faggot, sissy, dyke, and worse/ cut like a knife to the depths of our souls. #e often speak the same labels to oursel!es and absorb the identities that they bring. Bur self talk is 8ust as powerful as the words spoken by others. 1t is time to place those labels and identities at the cross and embrace our true sel!es. 1t is time to walk without our masks in %od s grace and in healthy fellowship with safe people in the $ody of Christ. +a;arus was called forth out of the gra!e. Jesus Christ ga!e him resurrection life, but he was still bound by gra!e clothes. Christ ordained that others in his circle of friends help remo!e the image which bound him. 2t that point, +a;arus was faced with a choice. #ould he resist the $ody of Christ as they helped him embrace lifeI #ould he humble himself and allow others to help strip him of the only <co!ering? that he had and ha!e his nakedness exposedI 'ortunately, he allowed his gra!e clothes to be remo!ed and was clothed in %od s righteousness. 2s we share our weaknesses with safe, trusted others we find that our gra!e clothes begin to fall away and we become clothed in the righteousness of Christ. #e lay down our old man A the false self A and stand in our true self. (ometimes we re afraid to let go of the past. 2fter all, it s all we !e known. H!en the 1sraelites preferred the <known demon? of sla!ery in Hgypt to the unknown miracles of %od they were experiencing in the wilderness. #e cannot afford the <comfort of a known demon? any longer. #e must surrender to Jesus at the foot of the cross and ask )im who we are. #e must ask )im for a supernatural re!elation of our true sel!es. )e is willing to tell us. 7uring one season, 1 was particularly depressed and struggling with my own identity. 1 kept praying in my heart, <+ord, help me 1 m gay.? 1 was continually relating to my false self and accepting the guilt and shame that Jesus had already taken upon )imself. 2fter debasing myself for @uite a few weeks, the )oly (pirit spoke to my heart and said, <=ou are not gay> =ou are a redeemed saint, start calling yourself that>? Those words finally pierced my heart. 2s 1 began to embrace the truth, the shame and guilt were replaced by Christ s strength. 1t is so important that we turn from our false sel!es and ask the +ord to speak )is truth to us. 1t is e!en more important that we embrace %od s truth when )e does speak and begin to apply it to our li!es. #e do ha!e a big part to play in our 8ourney. #e are in a war, and Christ expects us to fight the good fight. 'ortunately, )e has gi!en us all that we need to be successful. (econd Corinthians "E:,-- reads, <The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. Bn the contrary, they ha!e di!ine power to demolish strongholds. Be demolish arguments and e!ery pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of %od, and 'e take capti!e e!ery thought to make it obedient to Christ.? (tanding in our true sel!es empowers us to stand and fight the foes that Christ has already defeated. (tanding in our true sel!es empowers us to choose life J7euteronomy *E:"5K.

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%od wants us to lo!e oursel!es 8ust as we are. )e does. #e are commanded to lo!e our neighbors as oursel!es J4atthew &&:*5K This implies that we are unable to lo!e others if we are unable to lo!e oursel!es. #e are only able to truly lo!e oursel!es as we kneel before Jesus, learn who we are in )im, and begin to li!e out of the heart that Jesus ga!e us A our true self that is a reflection of )is glory. 1f you are ha!ing a difficult time identifying with your true self, 1 encourage you to spend some time in prayer this Christmas season and ask the +ord what masks and labels you may be holding on to. (urrender those things to Christ and sincerely ask )im for a re!elation of how )e sees you. #hen )e speaks, allow those words to go down deep into your soul, speak them out o!er yourself, and walk in them. +i!e in your true self. Hmbrace & Corinthians -:"0. <1f anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation/ old things ha!e passed away/ behold, all things ha!e become new.? ,( r I 6n & the %.ans I ha$e ! r y u,1 says the L r#' ,They are %.ans ! r / # an# n t ! r #isaster, t /i$e y u a !uture an# a h %e'1 Jeremiah &5:"" 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE. +rayer in the Va..ey Dan Hit:, E<ecuti$e Direct r, Rec nci.iati n )inistries

! )ichi/an

,;6ee% n as6in/, an# y u &i.. 2e /i$en &hat y u as6 ! r' Kee% n . 6in/, an# y u &i.. !in#' Kee% n 6n c6in/, an# the # r &i.. 2e %ene#' ( r e$ery ne &h as6s, recei$es' E$ery ne &h see6s, !in#s' An# the # r is %ene# t e$ery ne &h 6n c6s' Lu6e BB3P5 BQ RNLTS 4any of us in our brokenness ha!e lost the hope in that (cripture. #e may ha!e asked countless times for the +ord to <take these feelings away? or mo!e on the heart of a lo!ed one. #e may become discouraged and wonder if %od really does care, or if our prayers really do matter to %od. The answer to those @uestions is =H(> %od really does care, and our prayers do mo!e the heart of %od.

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#hy then do we continue to struggle year after year. #hy does our situation not seem to change at allI The answer lies beyond the immediate concern that we see, much deeper into the core of our own hearts. Bne day when 1 was in a meltdown point in my own life, 1 asked %od another familiar @uestion. <#hyI? )is answer surprised me. The story of Hli8ah and the widow woman s son immediately popped into my spirit. 1n " Lings "0, Hli8ah goes to a poor widow who is about to die in a famine and asks her to make some bread for him from her last remaining staples. (he obeys and sees the hand of %od mo!e in her life supernaturally by replenishing her oil and flour. (he and her son experience the power of %od in their li!es firsthand 8ust as many of us ha!e. Bne day her son becomes ill and dies. )er reaction surprises me. (he blames the man of %od. <)a!e you come here to punish my sins by killing my sonI? J"0:"6K (ound familiarI (o often, in our despair, we think that %od is out to punish us and that we will simply ha!e to li!e with our pain. #e think this way e!en after we ha!e seen the supernatural hand of %od mo!e on our li!es in miraculous ways. Hli8ah s answer also surprises me. <B +B97 my %od, why ha!e you brought tragedy on this widow who has opened her home to me, causing her son to dieI? J"0:&EK 1n shortP <%od, you did this>? $oth Hli8ah and the widow seemed to blame %od. Just as surprising Jalthough it shouldn t beK is %od s response. <The +B97 heard Hli8ah s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he came back to life>? Hli8ah then brought the child to his mother and proclaimed the words that she so wanted to hear, <+ook, your son is ali!e>? #hat happened here with the widow woman and her sonI #as %od out to terrori;e a poor desperate woman by taking her sonI Co>>> #as %od out to punish her for her sin by taking her sonI Co>>> %od was after something far deeper in both of their li!es. )e wanted to remo!e any doubt in their hearts that he was %od and that )e could do far more than they e!er asked or thought. The woman declared, <Cow 1 know for sure that you are a man of %od, and that the +B97 truly speaks through you.? 1 belie!e this woman s statement goes far beyond Hli8ah, a mere man, and speaks of the heart and character of %od, )imself. )ow many of us ha!e reacted in the same way as this poor widowI #e ha!e seen %od do miraculous works in our own li!es. #e ha!e known )im as our )ea!enly 'ather. #e ha!e felt )is presence. )e has changed our li!es. =et when a trial comes and we face terrible uncertainties, our own thoughts turn toward %od in anger and e!en rage. Bur minds run through an emotional checklist of our past sins and current failures. 7oes %od hate usI 1s )e finished with usI 7oes our gracious )ea!enly 'ather e!en care that we are perishingI The answer is simple. %od does not hate us. )e is not finished with us. 2nd yes, )e does care that we are perishing. )e cares so much that )e is allowing our current situations to occur in order that )e may touch a much deeper issue in our hearts than the current crisis. #hen we reach the other side of our trial, we will reali;e that )e has healed much deeper hurts in our own hearts than we e!er dreamed possible. +ike the widow woman we will shout, <Cow 1 know 89

that you are %od, and that you are able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than 1 ha!e e!er asked or thought>? #e will ha!e an e!en deeper appreciation of the lo!e of our )ea!enly 'ather, and )is heart of lo!e toward us. That is the heart of %od in our li!es. #hen the +ord spoke to me about the widow woman and her son, )e also spoke to me about the deeper issue in my heart that )e was healing. To paraphrase what )e said that day, <7an, 1 !e allowed this situation in your life so that as 1 empower you to walk through that !alley, 1 m going to heal a much deeper wound in your heart than the one that has your attention. 1t will be a much deeper !ictory that goes far beyond you, to touch the hearts of others.? #ith those words came a peaceP a trustP The trial did not immediately disappear. 1 had times of darkness where 1 still doubted my ability to pass through the fire. =et it was those words from the )oly (pirit A that sweet assurance from my 'ather A that empowered me to continue walking and trust in )is goodness to meet me on the other side. )is healing truly does reach down into the deepest recesses of our hearts and flow through us to touch the li!es of our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. 4ay we all ha!e the grace to trust in the goodness of our %od. 4ay we all learn to pass through the wilderness <leaning on our belo!ed?. J(ong of (ongs 6.-K 1f you find yourself in the middle of a trial or temptation, take heart. %od does indeed lo!e you. %od is not finished with you. 1 encourage you to reach out your (a!ior who died for you. 9each out to the $ody of Christ and the safe Christians that )e has put in your life. =ou don t ha!e to walk alone. ,An# I &i.. /i$e y u treasures hi##en in the #ar6ness – secret riches' I &i.. # this s y u "ay 6n & that I a" the LORD, the G # ! Israe., the ne &h ca..s y u 2y na"e'1 'saiah 3,.0 J<*TK 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE, @in)ing >o) in the Storm Dan Hitz I &as sure 2y n &, G #, @ u & u.# ha$e reache# # &n an# &i%e# ur tears a&ay' *te%%e# in an# sa$e# the #ay' 8ut nce a/ain, I say TA"enT, an# itUs sti.. rainin/'

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As the thun#er r ..s I 2are.y hear @ u &his%er thr u/h the rain, TIU" &ith @ uT' An# as @ ur "ercy !a..s, I raise "y han#s an# %raise the G # &h /i$es an# ta6es a&ay' IU.. %raise @ u in this st r", an# I &i.. .i!t "y han#s' ( r @ u are &h @ u are' N "atter &here I a"' E$ery tear IU$e crie#, @ u h .# in @ ur han#' @ u ne$er .e!t "y si#e, an# th u/h "y heart is t rn I &i.. %raise @ u in this st r"' E'’ll (raise 5ou in this 4tormF, from the Casting Crowns *ifeson s C7. 9eunion 9ecords, &EE-. %od is so!ereign. =et in this fallen world things happen to us that we ne!er expected in a million years. 2t those times in our li!es when we find oursel!es in the wilderness, are we at the point where we can say like Job, <The +B97 ga!e and the +B97 has taken away/ may the name of the +B97 be praised.?I JJob ":&" C1QK #e know that a so!ereign %od can reach down and deli!er us in a heartbeat. #e may e!en remember times in our li!es when )e did. =et, we sometimes find oursel!es in the middle of a wilderness where our faith in %od s goodness is challenged. H!en Jesus begged )is 'ather to take the cup of wrath from )im. )e pleaded for another way to accomplish %od s purpose in )is life. 'inally after sweating great drops of blood Jesus spoke the words, <Cot my will, but =ours be done.? )is heart surrendered to the will of )is hea!enly 'ather... a good 'ather who chose not to deli!er )im from the painP a 'ather who knew the eternal plan. #here are you in your 8ourney right nowI 1s %od an e!er-present help in time of trouble, or are you straining to hear )is !oice in the midst of the stormI H!en Jesus was challenged to choose %od s will. 1f it were easy for )im, )e wouldn t ha!e prayed three times for another wayP )e wouldn t ha!e sweat great drops of blood. (till, Jesus trusted the heart of )is father and carried )is cross. )e was obedient. )e ministered sal!ation to the dying thief, and forgi!eness to those who were torturing )im. =et in the end, e!en Jesus asked why %od was forsaking )im J4ark "-:*,K. 2re you in the middle of a trialI 4aybe you !e been obedient to walk the difficult paths the +ord presented you. 4aybe you !e e!en laid down your life for those %od sent your way. 4aybe those !ery paths and the people you !e lo!ed are the source of your pain. =ou wonder why your obedience seems to ha!e been rewarded with pain. +ike Jesus, you re asking the 'ather for another way. Jesus promised us trouble in this life JJohn "..**K, but somehow we usually don t read that !erse in the pocket promise books. #e hope we ne!er pull that !erse out of our daily (cripture cards. 4aybe we were all hoping that )e forgot about it. )e didn t. 1n the same breath that )e promised us trouble, )e also told us to re8oice because )e o!ercame the world. Then )e prayed and 91

thanked )is 'ather for re!ealing )is glory through )im and pouring it upon the disciples. Jesus prayer in John ". and "0 flows with great lo!e for the 'ather and those around )im. )e then experienced the cross. )e demonstrated to us that although )e would ha!e chosen an easier way, the 'ather s way is always best. Jesus, )imself, was willing to embrace the cross and endure the pain. Jesus li!ed )is life as an example for us. Just as )e suffered for )is obedience, embraced the cross, spent a season unaware of %od s presence, and obeyed e!en to the end/ we too are called to seasons of the cross. 2nd 8ust as Jesus was resurrected to new life, we who hold fast to %od during the great unknown will be raised to new le!els in )im. 2 deeper walkP a deeper trustP a deeper awareness of the 'ather s heartbeat for us. 9uthless trust isn t easy. There are times in our li!es when we ha!e to admit to %od that what we think )e is doing seems insane. There are times in our li!es when we ha!e to agree with " Corinthians ":&- which reads, <The foolishness of %od is wiser than manGs wisdom, and the weakness of %od is stronger than manGs strength? JC1QK. 2s we make the choice to say to the 'ather, <Cot my will, but =ours?, we open the way for resurrection life to flow. 4aybe we ll be in the <tomb? longer than we d like, but there will be a day when we hear the words <+a;arus, come forth? and our gra!e clothes will be remo!ed. #e ll experience a deeper understanding of who our 'ather is, and who we are in )im. #e ll experience a deeper understanding of the words, <O'or 1 know the thoughts that 1 think toward you, says the +ord, Othoughts of peace and not of e!il, to gi!e you a future and a hope. ? JJer &5:"" CLJQK Bne day as 1 was recei!ing healing prayer from some pretty se!ere childhood wounds, 1 started praying that the +ord would change my heart to be like 1 would ha!e been if 1 had ne!er experienced the pain. )alfway through the first sentence 1 stopped and said, <1 m not going to pray this prayer?. 1 reali;ed that meeting %od in the middle of the pain is exactly what made me who 1 am in )im today. 1 am better off ha!ing experienced %od in the darkness than if 1 ne!er had the tears. That is what gi!es me hope during the new !alleys of pain that come my way. #hen the 'ather s heartbeat seems so distant, the past experiences of being carried in the darkness hold me until 1 sense )is presence again. The day is coming when )e will hold us close to )is chest and we will hear )is heartbeat once again. 2 day when our hearts will beat in unison with )is. 4ay all of us who are presently in a dark place hold steady to %od s goodness until the stone is rolled away and we hear the worlds of life, <W '<4=$T 5#;$ <)%= X, CB4H 'B9T)>? 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. 92

D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE. (ick ;p 5our %at and +alk – Dan Hitz *earnin to +alk #ut of 'ntensive "are and 'nto #ur $i htful (lace in the 9ody of "hrist ,7hen Jesus sa& hi" .yin/ there an# .earne# that he ha# 2een in this c n#iti n ! r a . n/ ti"e, he as6e# hi", TD y u &ant t /et &e..9T T*ir,T the in$a.i# re%.ie#, TI ha$e n ne t he.% "e int the % . &hen the &ater is stirre#' 7hi.e I a" tryin/ t /et in, s "e ne e.se / es # &n ahea# ! "e'T Then Jesus sai# t hi", TGet u%0 +ic6 u% y ur "at an# &a.6'T !ohn ,H .B- <'> 1t s surprising that (cripture doesn t record 3eter barging into this con!ersation and saying something like, <+ord, that s the stupidest @uestion 1 !e e!er heard> Bf course this man wants to get well>? 1n reality, Jesus @uestion to this man is !ery profound. 1t asks far more than the six words in the sentence. #hen Christ posses that @uestion to us, our first reaction is usually a resounding, <=es>? +ater, as the costs of being made whole start to become apparent, we re not always so @uick to respond. Co more begging. Co more lying on our mats and ha!ing others tend to our needs. Co more blaming all of our problems on our disabilities. Cow we must accept the responsibilities of our daily li!es. #alking isn t as easy as it seemed. There are hurdles to 8ump, detours along the way, unmarked paths to figure out. #e disco!er deeper areas of pain that still need to be made well. #e begin to learn more about what it means to pick up our mat and walk. #hen we were rolling up our mat, we began to ha!e hopes and dreams of doing big things for %od. #e may ha!e looked around at others who seemed to be thri!ing in those same callings and wondered how they managed to walk so freely in all that %od has for them. #e begin to burn with a passion to follow )im and run the race that )e calls us to run. The desire to do )is will A to embrace )is gifts and callings A consumes us. H!erything within us wants to run towards our 'ather as )e says <come, follow me,? so we get up and run. (ometimes we trip. 2nd then we remember our mat. #e remember what put us there. #e become o!erwhelmed at the challenges ahead, stop walking, unroll our mat, and lie back down. #hen %od calls us into something, )e always calls us into something much bigger than oursel!es, and far beyond our ability to comprehend. Butwardly the mat seems easier, but inwardly we know it s death. #e may e!en cry out to %od and beg )im to take our calling away, because it seems impossible that we could e!er fulfill it. =et, 9omans "":&5 tells us that <%od s gifts and his call are irre!ocable?. Bur lo!ing 'ather comes once again and asks us to pick up our mat and walk. This time we better understand what )e is asking. #e

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better understand the challenges that lie ahead, and weigh the blessings with the costs. =ears ago, 1 was !ery discouraged in the ministry. #hat 1 thought %od was building A answers to the %od gi!en desires in my heart A came crashing down. %od had spoken to my heart and told me certain things that were going to happen, but it became apparent they weren t going to happen my way. %od could ha!e fulfilled my perception of )is word so easily, but )e had better in mind. 1n my frustration 1 returned to my mat. 1 begged %od to take the calling away A at the same time, 1 was afraid that )e would. 1 8ust wanted %od to put me on the shelf. 1n the middle of this season, 1 !isited the church of a pastor friend. 1 m a !isual person so sometimes the +ord speaks to me in word pictures and e!en though 1 didn t want to hear it, the )oly (pirit began to speak. 1 <heard? a siren and <saw? pictures of people lying wounded by the enemy in places that should ha!e been safe. The +ord seemed to be saying to me, <The enemy has sneaked in where he should not be. 1 want you to minister to the people whose hearts ha!e stopped beating for 4e.? 1 saw a close up of a defibrillator on someone s chest and the medics shocking the person to get the heart beating again. 1 was so heart broken myself that 1 couldn t fathom ha!ing the strength to answer )is call. 2fter the worship ser!ice, my friend introduced his guest speaker. 1t was another pastor who had also been wounded and discouraged in the ministry, and whose family paid a dear price to walk with %od. )is message spoke so loudly to me that it cut through the resistance and the pain. 2ll 1 remember from his sermon is that the <gifts and callings of %od are without repentance.? 1 knew that 1 needed to get back off my mat. 1 also knew that 1 needed a season of spiritual intensi!e care. The +ord put me in a wonderful body of belie!ers with many others who also needed spiritual healing. 1n time, many of us needed to lea!e the 1C: and go into regular spiritual care. H!entually many of us transitioned into spiritual rehab, and then back into e!eryday life. #ith each transition, decisions had to be made. #ould we stay in the 1C:, or would we accept our room in the normal care unit. This meant less attention to our brokenness and less dependence on the doctors and nurses. (piritual rehab meant that the +ord would teach us to walk again and place more responsibility on us. 2s with any rehabilitation, the therapists often ask the patients to do things that hurt A things they don t think they can do. 2s the muscles get exercised and the re@uests increase under the watchful eye of the caregi!er, we become stronger and more able to do things we ne!er thought possible. Taking our place back in the mainstream of life brings with it new challenges and !ulnerabilities. 1t is now our responsibility to get our prescriptions filled A our responsibility to hear from %od and walk out )is instructions in our li!es. The +ord is always with us and )e has placed us within the beautiful $ody of Christ. #alking into spiritual wholeness means that we lea!e our mats behind and mo!e from our identification with what put us there, into an identification of who we are in Christ. #e learn to submit oursel!es to the work of the )oly 94

(pirit and walk with our brothers and sisters into the challenges that the +ord e@uips us to fulfill. (piritual wholeness mo!es beyond identification with what has been crucified with Christ and into identification with what has been resurrected with )im. Bur strength will always come from Jesus Christ risen and ali!e in us. #e are all in different places on our 8ourney into spiritual wholeness. The important thing is that we listen to %od and allow )im to make us well A e!en when it means walking through the discomfort of the healing process. 1t is time to get up, take up your mat, and walk> ,8ein/ c n!i#ent ! this, that he &h 2e/an a / # & r6 in y u &i.. carry it n t c "%.eti n unti. the #ay ! Christ Jesus'1 (hilippians 2H. <'> 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EEH %e #e!erre# "a6es the heart sic6, 2ut a . n/in/ !u.!i..e# is a tree ! .i!e' (roverbs 20H2: Dan Hitz, =xecutive Director of $econciliation %inistries The +ord has been speaking to me lately about <hope deferred? and <hope displaced?. 2s 3ro!erbs points out, <hope deferred makes the heart sick?. )ope displaced seems to make us remain on a ne!er ending roller coaster ride from hopeful to hopelessness. 1t can e!en progress into anger at %od and others. 2ccording to (trong s $ible 7ictionary, deferred means to <delay? or <draw out?. That implies that the thing hoped for is probable and will e!entually come to pass. %od s promises are true, but )is timetable is rarely ours. )ebrews "":" reads, <Cow faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.? #e can be sure of what we hope for e!en when it remains unseen if %od, )imself, promises it to us. )ope is displaced when we assume that %od will do something for us merely because )e has done it for others. #e can be full of hope and excitement one minute when it looks like our desires will be fulfilled, and emotionally dashed on the rocks the next as we reali;e that little is changed or that the situation has gotten worse. 1n the middle of all of this, one thing is trueP >o) 'ill never leave us or forsa.e us J)ebrews "*:-K. 1n the middle of our worst trials, we can hold 95

onto %od s promise that )e will always be there for us A e!en when )e remains unseen and unfelt. That promise is sure. )ope displaced can crush us if we expect %od to stop the trial immediately and fix the situation. Bur hearts can leap for 8oy as we see a small crack in the clouds abo!e, then sink to our stomachs as darker clouds mo!e in. 1f we expected %od to end the storm, )e appears to ha!e failed us. 1f we expect %od to remain with us in the storm, )e has kept )is promise to ne!er lea!e us. To be sure, >o) is in the (usiness of ,erforming miracles. #e ha!e all experienced them. )ad it not been for a miracle of transformation, 1 would not be running this ministry. )ad it not been for a miracle of healing, some of you reading this newsletter would not be ali!e. $ut %od sometimes has deeper miracles in mind then our immediate comfort and freedom. (ometimes )e wants to carry us through the storm so we can learn to lean upon )im. (ometimes he wants to empower us to walk through the storm with )im. (ometimes, )e wants to gi!e us authority o!er the storm so that what once debilitated us becomes defeated by our li!es through )is power and might. That is a true, lo!ing (a!ior. #e all want to keep our kids safe from the bullies, but if we don t teach them to stand they will ne!er be strong. 1n the life of the 2postle 3aul, some of his trials were ended @uickly, and some continued. #hen he and (ilas were in stocks in the inner prison, they were supernaturally freed while worshipping. 3aul had more faith than anyone 1 knowP sur!i!ing shipwrecks, beatings, stoningsP but e!en his prayers to %od to remo!e his thorn in the flesh recei!ed a firm <no? J& Corinthians "&K. 'or some reason, it was more important for 3aul to experience the grace of %od rather than %od s healing. #e aren t sure what 3aul s thorn was, but in %alatians , 3aul affirms that they would ha!e <torn out? their own eyes and gi!en them to him. 3aul could ha!e easily become angry at %od and lost )is grace to perse!ere, yet he held on to something deeper in )im. 1 was mo!ed by Hxodus minister (y 9ogers as he talked about the faith of Joni Hareckson Tada, a woman who is handicapped from her neck down from a di!ing accident when she was young. 2t first she was angry and wanted to die, yet she o!ercame her anger and accepted her cross. (he grew to become a leading minister to the handicapped, author and singer who has touched the li!es of millions. (he remains in a wheel chair today, yet her faith in %od is strong. (y explains, 1Real faith is not receiving healing from a >o) 'ho can )o it* real faith is 'hen the >o) 'ho can )o it chooses not to an) &ou serve Him an&'a&.2 1ndeed, if our hope Jor expectation and demandK is that %od will sol!e our problems instantly and )e doesn t, we will become discouraged and angry at )im. 1f our hope JunderstandingK is that %od will ne!er lea!e us or forsake us and will walk with us through the trial, we can better lo!e and ser!e )im e!en when )e chooses not to grant us our re@uest. +ike Joni, we can transition from wanting to die or disappear to accepting <our normal? Jour crossK and allowing %od to do a deeper eternal work in us. #hen we allow %od to fashion our li!es as )e sees best, like 3aul we can learn to be content whate!er our situation.

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2re you frustrated or angry at %od because your trial is still going on. +ike many of you, 1 !e had to wrestle with the @uestions of <whyI? #hy did %od allowPI #here was )e whenPI 7idn t )e care thatPI 2s 1 recei!e more healing, 1 reali;e that it is through the trials that )e has gi!en me many gifts of the heart. 1f we embrace the trials, we will grow closer to Christ and know more of )im than we could e!er dream possible if our li!es were unchallenged. Jesus doesn t rewrite history, but )e can redeem it. Bur present trial may not end, but )e can calm the raging seas of our soul. 1t s alright to hope and pray that our trial will end, but our greater hope should be that we will be drawn closer to %od. That is one hope that will not be displaced. +ike 3aul, the sooner we stop kicking against the goads, the sooner we see Christ more as )e really is. I ha$e t .# y u these thin/s s that y u "ay ha$e %eace in "e' Here n earth y u &i.. ha$e "any tria.s an# s rr &s' 8ut ta6e heart, 2ecause I ha$e $erc "e the & r.#' John ".:** 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE. 8or iveness 6 The 4hovel to 8reedom 6 9ill 4tewart 9ill 4tewart has been associated with $econciliation %inistries since :777, and has served as a member of our board of directors. He has also coordinated a discipleship pro ram entitled, EThe 8ather’s HeartF. 2s Christians, we tend to o!erlook the power and gift %od has gi!en us to forgi!e and be forgi!en. Though this commandment does not feel like a gift at times, it is foundational to the well being of our soul as we work out our sal!ation with fear and trembling. The $ible tells us that the +ord is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. 1t is )e who is the author and finisher of our faith. 1f this is true, and it is, )e should also be the +ord of our healing, restoration and sanctification process. Too often we re!erse this and try to control %od, telling )im where and what )e should do as it relates to our life. #here all along )is desire is to go into the leper colony of our heart and knock on the doors of our soul asking us to in!ite )im in and shine )is light into the dark areas of our life Jpast and presentK. :nfortunately we allow fear, shame, pride and ignorance to say <go 97

away? forgetting all along that )is yoke is easy and )is burden is light. )e only wants to show )is lo!e for you, re!eal truth and set you free. 2s 1 step down from my soap box, let me share a testimony of when %od came knocking on a door in my heart 1 had no idea existedP Bne weekend morning, as 1 was sha!ing, a !ery ugly mood came o!er me. 1 had a chip on my shoulder brought about by absolutely nothing. Lnowing that %od had his hard hat on and was working on !ery stony places in my soul, 1 thought this would soon pass as 1 allow )im to continue )is work. #ell, to make a long story e!en longer, it didn t pass soon. 1n fact it got worse as time went on. 'eelings of isolation, hard heartedness and indifference grew and 1 didn t know any way out of it. %od felt a million miles away and my heart felt like it was in a cold, damp dark prison. This went on for "E days and my wife, who is a wonderful Christian woman, and 1 were like two ships passing in the night as she left me alone completely trusting in the +ord that )e was doing something in me. #ell, )e was, and 1 didn t care much for it to be @uite honest. 1 ha!e regular weekly prayer times with a buddy of mine named 7an )it;. H!ery week we get together trading off prayer and intercession for one another. This week was my turn to get prayed for as 7an was away on !acation last week. 1 came into his office feeling as though 1 was simply going through the motions. $y this time my heart felt so hard 1 almost didn t care if %od inter!ened. J8ust being honestK 2s 7an prayed he said, <+ord, only you know what s going on. #hat would you ha!e us to doI? 1 heard that still small !oice say <'orgi!e and be forgi!en?. 2s 1 thought on this instruction, 1 didn t think 1 had any unforgi!eness in my heart so 1 said <+ord, who am 1 to forgi!e and what do 1 need to confess?I #ith that the +ord began to bring people and circumstances to mind that 1 needed to forgi!e and my reactions to those people that needed to be forgi!en. 2s 1 forga!e my offenders of specific things that occurred many years ago Jas far back as early childhoodK, 1 also confessed and repented of my reaction to them, %od and myself. J1f you don t deal with offenses and hurts in a godly manner you will do so in an ungodly manner through pride, isolation, !ows, re!enge, anger, etc.K 2s freedom began to enter in 1 felt stronger to continue on in this process. The +ord was bringing things up that 1 ne!er knew were an issue. 1 thought they were either long gone, already dealt with or not worth bringing up. $oy was 1 wrong> This process carried o!er into the next day as 1 spent " \ hours in my car, by myself, going to a business meeting. The +ord was cleansing and freeing me with each act of forgi!eness 1 took. 1 simply listened and obeyed, forgi!ing and being forgi!en of specifics the )oly (pirit brought to my remembrance. 1 spoke openly to the +ord, as he transcended time in my life. 2s my )ea!enly 'ather, )e allowed me to discuss these issues as if they had 8ust happened. JThis is one of the ways we get beauty for ashes described in 1saiah .".K +ife, 8oy and peace came into my bones, as 1 felt ali!e again.

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1n the past week and a half it was like the +ord opened a door in my heart to a room full of JunknownK unforgi!eness. 2nd the gift of forgi!eness was the sho!el %od had me use to gain freedom. 1n retrospect, 1 guess that s how we cope when we are ignorant of %od s ways. #e create a <black box? JprisonK and throw e!erything and e!eryone into it hoping it will go away. Jesus came to set the capti!es free and 1 m a li!ing ex-3.B.#. to tell you )is ways are true. $elow is some information about forgi!eness that we share with the students in <The 'ather s )eart? discipleship program. � 'or )im to increase, we must decrease. The act of forgi!eness helps )im to increase in our li!es. � 'orgi!eness and $eatitudes are medicine for our wounds. 'orgi!e, bless and pray for your offenders. � 'orgi!eness is from an act of our will, not a feeling from our emotions. � 'orgi!eness opens the prison doors and allows in %od s lo!e, healing and freedom. � :nforgi!eness is the prison that ushers in sickness Jphysical, emotional and spiritualK, discontentment, di!orce, hate, control depression, and a distant feeling from %od. � The heart is desperately wicked. =ou don t know yourself like %od does. %i!e )im control and allow )im to forgi!e the <unforgi!able? through you. � The walls we build to protect oursel!es from others are built with bricks of unforgi!eness. These walls made to protect only ensla!e. � Confess and repent of unforgi!eness and let Jesus be your wall of protection. 2sk )im to gi!e you a forgi!ing spirit. � (ome adults deeply wounded or betrayed in childhood fear if they forgi!e their offender that they will open themsel!es up to more pain. This is a lie. 2sk for %od s truth as you forgi!e and be forgi!en. )e is your strong fortress. � The enemy comes to steal and kill through lies he buries in our soul. J2s a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.K 2sk Jesus to re!eal lies and unforgi!eness in your heart. 7on t dismiss anything as you bring it all into )is light and )is truth sets you free. � Confess your faults one to another and be healed. 'ind yourself a good prayer partner and get together regularly to intercede for one another. � (ometimes we ha!e offenses against %od. Though )e ne!er sins, we must release Jforgi!eK )im of blame we hold against )im for things )e allowed in our li!es. � %i!e e!ery part of your life to Jesus and allow )im to take you on a wonderful 8ourney in your heart. Though you will be surprised it will lead you to become !essels of honor. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential.

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-ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE, Naa"an, A Lea#er 7h Nee#e# He.% – Dan Hit: Dan Hitz is the director of $econciliation %inistries and is a *imited *icensed (rofessional "ounsellor in the 4tate of %ichi an. Dan specializes in helpin men, women, and adolescents who are stru lin with sexual issues. He has experience counsellin missionaries and church leaders both in person and via the internet and telephone. 'f you need help, call Dan at ,-../01.,223. +eaders are not immune to demonic oppression or the temptations of their own flesh. %od has been impressing upon me how important it is for us to walk humbly with )im and in open relationships with others in the $ody of Christ. 1t is during the times of spiritual warfare that we desperately need the prayers of the saints and the support of the body. Bne trap leaders can fall into is the <1 m in leadership, and 1 m supposed to ha!e it all together? trap. This snare has caused many pastors, missionaries, and church leaders to struggle for a long time before reaching out for help. (ometimes, only a crash gi!es leaders the incenti!e to humble themsel!es and admit that they need help. & Lings -:" reads, E<ow <aaman was commander of the army of the kin of )ram. He was a reat man in the si ht of his master and hi hly re arded, because throu h him the *#$D had iven victory to )ram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.F Caaman was a highly respected commander of an enemy army who contracted leprosy. )is wife, captured from 1srael as a young girl, told him of Hlisha the prophet s ability to heal. Caaman humbled himself and went into the land of 1srael seeking help. To his dismay, Hlisha didn t respond to his high rank nor meet with him personally. 1nstead he sent his ser!ant with the unpleasant instructions, NGo, wash yourself seven times in the !ordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.F Caaman was enraged. (urely, this prophet knew of his great status and should ha!e ministered to him directly. (urely, this prophet knew how filthy the Jordan 9i!er was. (o often we think that we deser!e preferential treatment because of our ser!ice to the +ord. #e look and see others swimming in <better bodies of water? than %od has gi!en us. Could %od really be asking us to humble oursel!es, lay down our own esteemed position, and seek help from othersI 2s Caaman found out, the answer is <yes?. Caaman who had won !ictories for his king by the hand of the +ord was told to humble himself, lay down his rank and the pleasures of his homeland, and wash in the <lesser waters? of his enemy. Caaman remained leprous until he complied, but %od answered the heart that was willing to be humbled. Caaman did as he was instructed and became clean. #hat is %od instructing you to do for your healingI #ho is your Hlisha that you can go to for support, accountability, and directionI #e all need someone in the $ody of Christ with whom we can be transparent, share our heart, and seek %od.

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1n the $ody of Christ today, there seems to be a new spiritual assault against leaders and their families. 3lease be in prayer for your ministers and their family. They need %od s strength in this dark hour. 1f you are a leader, don t walk alone. =ou desperately need an 2aron and a )ur to walk with you and hold your hands up. 1f you need help with sexual and relational issues, call 9econciliation 4inistries. #e are here with confidential, $iblical help. =es, there has been an increase of spiritual warfare lately, but greater is Christ in us, than he who is in the world> 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE5 ) 9iblical $esponse to the Gay )ffirmin "hurch 6 Dan Hitz 2s we look at the issue of homosexuality and Christianity, we must reali;e that not all people who identify themsel!es as Christians see the $ible as the di!inely inspired writing of %od s unchanging #ord which is our final authority on all matters of faith and conduct. 4any see it as good principles which ha!e e!ol!ed o!er time, and may not ha!e taken into account certain new understandings about cultural issues including homosexuality or homosexual orientation. Bthers will attempt to interpret it in a way that still gi!es the $ible authority as %od s #ord, but also allows them to embrace homosexuality. #e as Christians must ha!e a specific, unchanging standard to base our beliefs on and hold fast to the true meaning of (cripture. 4any in the gay community will say that homosexuality is acceptable because Jesus said nothing to condemn homosexuality in the $ible. )owe!er, Jesus also said nothing about pedophilia or bestiality, which most non-Christians would strongly condemn. Jesus did specifically outline %od s intent for marriage from the beginning of creation. #hen the 3harisees were trying to trap Jesus with their @uestions about di!orce, Jesus replied in %ark 27H.B1 Q<'>R N9ut at the be innin of creation God made them male and female. 8or this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.S 4o they are no lon er two, but one. Therefore what God has @oined to ether, let man not separate.N Jesus ga!e a direct reference to the creation account in %enesis &:"6-&, when %od formed H!e out of 2dam as a helper suitable for him. 4any Christians will point out that %od specifically condemned homosexual beha!ior in the Bld Testament in +e!iticus Chapters "6 and &E. Those in the gay affirming churches will ask them why they are holding to the Bld Testament laws against homosexuality when they stop at 4c7onalds and eat a 101

ham, egg, and cheese 4c4uffin. 2s many of us are responding with a blank stare, they will go on to reference 2cts "E:5-,6 where the +ord commissioned 3eter to speak to Cornelius by showing him the sheet of animals and commanding him to eat. 1n 2cts "E:"- the +ord tells 3eter, NDo not call anythin impure that God has made clean.N They will draw a parallel between %od calling the %entiles A a formerly re8ected people group A clean with %od also calling those in the homosexual community clean. Bur response to this can be to cite the decisions of the counsel in Jerusalem as detailed in 2cts "-:"-*". 2t this counsel, the church leaders gathered in Jerusalem to determine if the new %entile belie!ers were re@uired to keep the law of 4oses. There was no @uestion that the offer of sal!ation was opened to all who accepted it. The @uestion was one of law and beha!ior. The counsel reached the decision that the %entiles were responsible to keep only four beha!ioral laws, one of them was specifically to refrain from sexual immorality. 4any of these laws are clearly stated both in the old and new testaments. Those who struggle with homosexuality are welcomed into the Lingdom of %od, howe!er they are expected to refrain from sexual immorality and repent of their sin of homosexuality 8ust as we would also expect those struggling with heterosexual sin to repent of their sin as well. 4any well meaning Christians ha!e used 9omans ":&--&5 to thunder their opposition to homosexuality loudly to those who embrace it. :nfortunately, they ha!e also triggered many defenses to this section of (cripture. #hen we re talking to someone who belie!es that homosexuality is acceptable, we must remember to speak the truth graciously and reali;e that this passage may !ery well bring up some strong emotions. Those who accept homosexuality often say that same sex encounters are natural for persons who are born homosexual, and that this section of scripture refers to persons who are born heterosexual who ha!e abandoned their heterosexuality for homosexuality. #e can respond that our sinful desires always feel natural to us. #hen 1 embraced my homosexual feelings and attractions, it felt !ery natural to me to act upon them. #hen 1 embraced bulimia, it felt natural to me to eat fi!e times the amount of food that would make a non-bulimic feel stuffed. The truth is, bulimia is not an acceptable beha!ior in %od s sight. 2s natural as it felt, 1 was not born a bulimic. 1n the same way, homosexuality is not an acceptable beha!ior in %od s sight. $oth are damaging and self destructi!e. There are many secular studies that indicate increased rates of illness, depression, substance abuse, and domestic !iolence among homosexuals compared to heterosexuals. These increased risks also occur in countries and cultures that are more accepting of homosexuality than the :(. W(ecular studies will be addressed in a future newsletter, and some references will be gi!en at the end of this newsletter.X 4any in the homosexual community also belie!e that 7a!id and Jonathan, and 9uth and Caomi were homosexual partners. They may @uote " (amuel "6:"-* WLJQX which reads, E)nd it came to pass, when he had made an end of speakin unto 4aul, that the soul of !onathan was knit with the soul of David, and !onathan loved him as his own soul. )nd 4aul took him that day, and 102

would let him o no more home to his fatherSs house. Then !onathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.F 1t is easy for me to see how broken people can confuse lo!e with a sexual relationship. They are not the same. =ou can ha!e a deep lo!e for someone without ha!ing a sexual relationship. =ou can also ha!e a sexual relationship with someone without lo!e. 7a!id and Jonathan truly had a deep lo!e for each other, but it was not a sexuali;ed lo!e. %od is not bashful about sex. There are many details of sexual relationships in (cripture including The (ong of (olomon and 7a!id s sin with $athsheba. 1f 7a!id and Jonathan would ha!e had a sexual relationship, and that relationship was acceptable in %od s sight, he most likely would ha!e included at least one reference to their union in (cripture. =es, 7a!id and Jonathan made a co!enant, but so did 2braham and the +ord in %enesis "-. 2ccording to Thayer s $ible 7ictionary, the same )ebrew word is used for both co!enants. %od s co!enant with 2braham was not sexual. Ceither was 7a!id and Jonathan s. Those who belie!e that 9uth and Caomi had a homosexual partnership will @uote 9uth s response to Caomi when Caomi told 9uth to stay in her homeland and with her people when Caomi returned to 1srael. This familiar section of (cripture is e!en @uoted at weddings as couples exchange their !ows. EMDon’t ask me to leave you and turn back. ' will o wherever you o and live wherever you live. 5our people will be my people, and your God will be my God. ' will die where you die and will be buried there. %ay the *ord punish me severely if ' allow anythin but death to separate us?F $uth 2H2.B2/ Q<*TR This ob!iously shows a deep committed lo!e between 9uth and Caomi, but it does not imply a sexual or lesbian bond. 1n fact, Caomi helps 9uth get married to a man named $oa; in Chapter * of 9uth and tells 9uth how to win $oa; heart. This newsletter is intended to introduce you to some of the doctrinal positions held by members of the gay affirming church. 'uture newsletters will explore some of the secular research that shows the pain and destruction in!ol!ed in a homosexual life. 1 encourage you to share your heart in mercy, and not in anger. 2s a former homosexual, 1 can understand the immense power of same sex attraction and the deep inner battle to reconcile such feelings within the context of a %od who has a strong moral code. 1nside, guilt dwells with passion. Bur own desires are confronted by %od. 1 remember hearing about one of the few gay affirming churches in the "56E s. H!en though 1 was far from %od, something deep within me hoped that 1 could ha!e both %od and homosexuality. 1 ne!er did make the connection. 1 knew deep inside that the two were irreconcilable. Cow, some twenty years later, 1 am glad that they are. 1 came to the +ord broken and bruised, yearning for acceptance. 1t has been a long 8ourney, but 1 continue walking in the emotional and spiritual healing that Jesus Christ has to offer. 1 no longer try to fill the deep !oids inside my heart with fantasy or unions with other men. 1 can now li!e as an emotionally healthy heterosexual man, husband, and father. Bnly Jesus Christ can heal the wounds and fill the !oids. 1t took being confronted with the truth by lo!ing Christians and a lo!ing %od to bring the healing that 1 needed. #hen you meet those who belie!e that embracing homosexuality and following Christ

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are compatible, remember to speak to them in mercy. =ou are Christ s ambassador for healing and reconciliation. 'f you would like more information on this sub@ectM A *tr n/ De.usi n, Joe 7allas. )ar!est )ouse 3ublishers, "55. H " se<ua.ity an# the + .itics ! Truth, Jeffrey (atino!er, 4.7. $aker $ooks, "55.. Hxodus 1nternational has many resources a!ailable at '''.exo)us.toLli(rar&.shtml Cational 2ssociation for 9esearch and Therapy of )omosexuality at '''.narth.com 'ocus on the 'amily at '''.famil&.org H " se<ua.ity *tate"ent, Christian 4edical and 7ental 2ssociations at htt,KLL'''.cm)ahome.orgLin)ex.cgiD ?+SG+CN9 :9 #:6"9O3-<CEPCNartOartN955# 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE, 4peakin the Truth in *ove, The Dan ers of Homosexuality Dan Hitz, =xecutive Director of $econciliation %inistries of %ichi an 1n the Bctober &EE, newsletter article entitled, <2 $iblical 9esponse to the %ay 2ffirming Church?, 1 presented an introductory (criptural response to many of the arguments presented by the gay affirming church. This article is intended to be a follow up to the Bctober article and presents some of the secular research that shows that homosexual acti!ity is a harmful beha!ior with physical, emotional, and relational conse@uences. $oth articles are intended to merely scratch the surface of these issues and present a brief o!er!iew. 9eferences will be presented throughout the article and at the conclusion for those who would like more information. #hen %od ordained sexuality specifically within the context of the heterosexual marriage bed between one man and one woman, he did so because )e created us as heterosexual, monogamous beings. )e knows how we function best A body, soul, and spirit. (ecular research on sexuality in general shows that sexually acti!e teenagers are significantly more likely to feel depressed and to attempt suicide than non-sexual acti!e teens." 2ccording to one study, teen 104

females who were sexually acti!e felt <depressed all, most, or a lot of the time? compared to 0.0 percent of the non-sexually acti!e girls. 'or teen boys, the percentages were 6.*Y for sexually acti!e, compared to *.,Y for non-sexually acti!e boys.& These and other studies back up the message that it is better to wait until marriage to ha!e sex. 'urther studies show that there are significant health risks associated with homosexual acti!ities. 2ccording to the Center for 7isease Control, smokers can expect to li!e approximately 0 years less than non-smokers. This has caused the go!ernment to order strict warning labels on cigarette packages and ad!ertisement. )owe!er, the decrease in life expectancy for gay and bisexual men is much higher. <+ife expectancy at age &E years for gay and bisexual men is 6 to &E years less than for all men.* 1n a household sur!ey of unmarried men "6 through &5 years of age, *&6 homosexual men, &E."Y tested positi!e for )1Q , , yet many men continue to practice unprotected sex with multiple partners. 1n addition to )1Q/217(, there are many extreme health risks associated with homosexual acti!ities including hepatitis 2, $, and C/ increased risk of anal cancer J,EEEYK, )3Q, cardio!ascular disease, gastrointestinal disease, and a multitude of other sexual transmitted diseases. J'or a more complete explanation of the physical risks of male homosexual beha!ior, see the Christian 4edical and 7ental 2ssociations )omosexuality (tatement. This is an excellent compilation of data from many published secular studies complete with references. - K Hmbracing the homosexual lifestyle also takes a hea!y emotional toll. 2ccording to a study published in the 9ritish !ournal of (sychiatry J7ecember &EE*K, there are higher incidences of illegal drug usage, alcoholism, psychological problems, and !iolence in the gay community than in the general population. <%ay men and lesbians reported more psychological distress than heterosexual women, despite similar le!els of social support and @uality of physical health?. Jp.--.K . The pro-gay community would be @uick to reply that these situations are caused by harassment, intolerance, and homophobia/ howe!er, these figures are also reflected in studies conducted in the Cetherlands where homosexuality is much more accepted than in the :(. 0 <2 7utch study of -556 heterosexual and homosexual men and women showed that Opsychiatric disorders were more pre!alent among homosexually acti!e people compared with heterosexually acti!e peopleP Bn a lifetime basis, homosexual women had a significantly higher pre!alence of general mood disorders and ma8or depression than did heterosexual womenP +ifetime pre!alence of both alcohol and other drug dependence was also significantly higher in homosexual women than in heterosexual women.? #hat about committed relationships between two indi!iduals of the same sexI #ouldn t they ha!e less risk factors than promiscuous indi!idualsI The reality is that e!en among same-sex couples that say that they are in a committed relationship, there are !ery few truly monogamous relationships. 1n %ale and 8emale Homosexuality, the authors found that the a!erage li!e-in relationship lasts between two and three years.6 1n Homosexuality and the (olitics of Truth, Jeffrey (atino!er writes <a study conducted by a homosexual couple found that 105

out of "-. same-sex couples Gonly se!en had maintained sexual fidelity/ of the hundred couples that had been together for more than fi!e years, none had been able to maintain sexual fidelity. The authors noted that the expectation for outside sexual acti!ity was the rule for male couples and the exception for heterosexuals.GF - 4any in the homosexual community will point out the high di!orce rate in the heterosexual community and claim that the infidelity rate is also bad for heterosexual marriage. 1 agree that many heterosexual marriages are also in need of repair, but the statistics of monogamy are still much higher. <1n 4ex in )merica, called by the Cew =ork Times Othe most important study of 2merican sexual beha!ior since the Linsey reports, 9obert T. 4ichael et al. report that 5E percent of wi!es and 0- percent of husbands claim ne!er to ha!e had extramarital sex.? 5 There is hope for men and women struggling with homosexuality. Thousands of men and women ha!e found help in dealing with their unwanted same sex attractions through therapy, and/or faith based groups like Hxodus. Joseph Cicolosi, president of the Cational 2ssociation for the 9esearch and Therapy of )omosexuality, <sur!eyed 6-E indi!iduals and &EE therapists and counselors A specifically seeking out indi!iduals who claim to ha!e made a degree of change in sexual orientation. $efore counseling or therapy, .6Y of respondents percei!ed themsel!es as exclusi!ely or almost entirely homosexual, with another &&Y stating they were more homosexual than heterosexual. 2fter treatment only "*Y percei!ed themsel!es as exclusi!ely or almost entirely homosexual, while **Y described themsel!es as either exclusi!ely or almost entirely heterosexual, 55Y of respondents said they now belie!e treatment to change homosexuality can be effecti!e and !aluable.? - Bther research also shows that indi!iduals ha!e changed their sexual orientation. 7r. 9obert (pit;er, a historic champion of gay acti!ism, played a ma8or role in remo!ing homosexuality from the 2merican 3sychiatric 2ssociations manual of mental disorders."E 1n (pit;er s &EE" study of &EE men and women, &5Y of the male sub8ects and .*Y of the female sub8ects reported <no or only minimal homosexual indicators?."" The ma8ority of those in the study reported a significant change in their orientation from <predominantly or exclusi!ely homosexual before therapy, to predominantly or exclusi!ely heterosexual after therapy. 2lso interesting to note, many pro-gay groups will report that people who attempt to change their sexual orientation will become depressed. (pit;er found the opposite to be true. Twel!e months prior to their effort to change, ,*Y of the males and ,0Y of the females reported suffering from depression. 2fter their effort to change, and in the twel!e months prior to being inter!iewed, the percentage of people reporting depression dropped to "Y for men and ,Y for women."" 2s with walking out of any sinful beha!ior, the temptation may return on occasion. 'or example, a former alcoholic may desire a drink after ten years of sobriety. #e would certainly not encourage the alcoholic to <embrace his true self and li!e out his alcoholism?. #e would instead encourage him to resist the temptation and offer to walk alongside him to help him past the season of temptation. This is the function of the church, and the work of %od s grace for all in the body of Christ.

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This article has only begun to scratch the surface of this topic and to pro!ide additional resources for further research. 9emember, when talking with someone who embraces homosexuality, we must always speak the truth in lo!e. Lnowledge will do nothing to reach someone for Jesus Christ if it is not spoken with lo!e. 1f you would like more information on this sub8ect, please check out the following resources: A *tr n/ De.usi n, Joe 7allas. )ar!est )ouse 3ublishers, "55. H " se<ua.ity an# the + .itics ! Truth, Jeffrey (atino!er, 4.7. $aker $ooks, "55.. Exo)us +nternational has many resources a!ailable at www.exodus.to/library.shtml <ational %ssociation for Research an) Chera,& of Homosexualit& at www.narth.com @ocus on the @amil& at www.family.org 9eferences " (exually 2cti!e Teenagers 2re 4ore +ikely to $e 7epressed and to 2ttempt (uicide, 9ector, Johnson, and Coyes. Center for 7ata 2nalysis 9eport ]E*^ , http://www.heritage.org/9esearch/'amily/cdaE*E,.cfm & Cational +ongitudinal (ur!ey of 2dolescent )ealth, #a!e 11, "55. * 4odeling the impact of )1Q disease on mortality in gay and bisexual men. 1nternational Journal of Hpidemiology. &. J*K: .-0-..". )ogg, 9.(. et al. , Bsmond, 7., 3age, L., #iley, J., %arrett, L., (heppard, )., 4oss, 2., (chrager, L., #inkelstein, #., J"55,K )1Q infection in homosexual and bisexual men "6 to &5 years of age: The (an 'rancisco young men s health study. 2merican Journal of 3ublic )ealth. 6,, "&: "5**-"5*0. - Homosexuality (tatement, Christian 4edical and 7ental 2ssociations http://www.cmdahome.org/index.cgiI $1(L1TT&*E&*,E."&MCBCTHRTTartMartT&--, . #aller, 9oy. Cew (tudy 1ndicates %ays and +esbians 3rone to 3sychological (ymptoms and (ubstance 2buse. C29T). 7ecember &EE*. http://www.narth.com/docs/symptoms.html 0 (andfort, T.%., de %raaf, 9., $i8l, 9.Q., (chnabel, 3. J&EE", JanuaryK. (ame(ex (exual $eha!ior and 3sychiatric 7isorders: findings from the Cetherlands mental health sur!ey and incidence study. JCH4H(1(K. 2rchi!es of %eneral 3sychiatry. -6: 6--5". 6 4. (aghir and H. 9obins, 4ale and 'emale )omosexuality J$altimore?: #illiams M #ilkins, "50*K, p. &&-/ 7ailey, T. )omosexual 3arenting: 3lacing Children at 9isk. JBthodoxyToday.org (eptember &5, &EE,K p. 6. 5 7ailey, T. )omosexual 3arenting: 3lacing Children at 9isk. JBthodoxyToday.org (eptember &5, &EE,K p. 6. http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articlesprint/7ailey%ay2dopt3.htm "E #aller 9. and Cicolosi, +. (pit;er (tudy 3ublished: H!idence 'ound for Hffecti!eness of 9eorientation Therapy. (eptember &", &EE,. http://www.narth.com/docs/e!idencefound.html "" 9esearch (ummary: 9obert +. (pit;er, Can (ome %ay 4en and +esbians Change Their (exual BrientationI &EE 3articipants 9eporting a Change from

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)omosexual to )eterosexual Brientation. Cew 7irections for +ife &EE*. http://www.newdirection.ca/research/spit;er.htm 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EEHx-%ays A 2 (cientific (tudy 7an is the executi!e director to 9econciliation 4inistries. This is a composite of some press releases published in (eptember, &EE0, about a three-year study of the effects of programs like +i!ing #aters on persons interested in changing their sexual orientation. 2 study that 1 ha!e been anticipating for a few years has now been made public. The excerpts from press releases from Hxodus 1nternational and 1nterQarsity 3ress say it best. 1 lo!e it when scientific research !alidates what thousands of us ha!e already experienced and what %od has been saying all alongP change 1( possible> 9esearchers (tanton +. Jones and 4ark 2. =arhouse released the results of a three-year study during an address at the 2merican 2ssociation of Christian Counselors #orld Conference. Their findings indicate that religiously mediated sexual orientation change is possible for some indi!iduals and does not cause psychological harm to the patient, on a!erage. These conclusions directly contradict the claims of both the 2merican 3sychological 2ssociation and the 2merican 3sychiatric 2ssociation that state that change in sexual orientation is impossible and attempting to pursue this alternati!e is likely to cause depression, anxiety or self-destructi!e beha!ior. The ma8or findings of this study are reported in full in the book =xBGaysI ) *on itudinal 4tudy of $eli iously %ediated "han e in 4exual #rientation J1nterQarsity 3ressK. A 8rom =xodus (ress #ffice $elease, 4eptember 23, :77/ (tanton Jones is pro!ost and professor of psychology at #heaton College in #heaton, 1llinois. )e is a member of the 2merican 3sychological 2ssociation and ser!ed on the Council of 9epresentati!es, the central go!erning body of the 232, representing the 3sychology of 9eligion di!ision from "555-&EE". )e has published many other professional and popular articles and books, including %odern (sychotherapies, coauthored with 9ichard H. $utman. 4ark =arhouse is professor of psychology and director of the 1nstitute for the (tudy of (exual 1dentity Jwww.sexualidentityinstitute.orgK at 9egent :ni!ersity 108

in Qirginia $each, Qirginia, where he has taught since "556. )e has written extensi!ely for professional publications and has authored se!eral books, including %odern (sychopatholo ies, coauthored with 9ichard H. $utman and $arrett #. 4c9ay, and 4exual 'dentity 4ynthesis, coauthored with Hrica (. C. Tan. The 1nterQarsity 3ress book, scheduled to be published in (eptember &EE0, is the most scientifically rigorous study of its kind to date, and uses multiple measures regarded as Findustry standards.F Lnowing their results would generate contro!ersy, Jones and =arhouse ha!e thoroughly described the rationale for their procedures. %eorge 2. 9ekers, 3rofessor of Ceuropsychiatry and $eha!ioral (cience Hmeritus at the :ni!ersity of (outh Carolina (chool of 4edicine, states that the study Fmeets the high research standards set by the 2merican 3sychological 2ssociation that indi!iduals be !alidly assessed, followed and reported o!er time with a prospecti!e, longitudinal outcome research design.F The study will set the standard for all future work in this field and demands a serious reading from social scientists. 3ublisher $ob 'ryling comments, F1n a highly politici;ed en!ironment, this book is another Gincon!enient truthG of scientific research data countering pre8udice and ignorance.F 6 8rom 'nter>arsity (ress release httpHAAwww.ivpress.comAmediaAex aysBprB7173:77/.php =ou can pre-order the study in book form through Hxodus $ooks by calling ,E0.-55..60&, or !isiting www.exodusbooks.org. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. )oly +istening A 7eborah Tour!ille 7eborah is on the 9econciliation 4inistries $oard of 7irectors. (he has ser!ed in the inner healing ministries since &EE". 7eborah is a certified Theophostic minister and has completed year one of her internship in 1gnatinian (pirituality as a spiritual director and retreat director. 4any of us go through our day bombarded with noise. #e begin by waking up to an alarm clock/radio that begins with a bu;; and then deli!ers the news and traffic report. #e go through our day with sounds of all kinds. #hen we arri!e home, we find more noise with TQ s, appliances, phones ringing, lawn mowers mowing P you name it. #ith all the artificial noise it s no wonder we ha!e a hard time listening to each other. #hen was the last time you felt listened toI 1 mean heard for not 8ust 109

the words you are saying, but with the emotion behind your words. Turn the @uestion around and ask yourself when the last time you listened to someone else like that was. 'or most of us, the answer would be <1 can t remember?. Bur early ancestors were storytellers, passing on traditions from one generation to the next. The people listening were blessed by the stories and lessons shared as much as the one telling the story. 1t s much the same for us today. #e all ha!e stories and histories we need to share and know another will listen and hold our stories sacred and confidential. This is what 1 ha!e come to term h .y .istenin/. The +ord began to teach me the fruits of group sharing that went beyond the indi!idual. 1 saw a dynamic where the +ord not only touched each person s heart in a specific way as each shared, but also touched the hearts of those listening. )e showed me a back and forth continuum that included blessings of lo!e, acceptance, humility, and ser!ice. 2s a facilitator of inner healing groups since &EE", 1 ha!e learned that being listened to is one of our most basic desires. #e need to know that someone stands with us in our hurts, wounds, pains, and unfulfilled desires. 2n emptying and filling happens in each person as they share their story. #e learn lo!e and acceptance through this process. This is important, as we need the support of close family and friends to reassure us that no matter what has happened in our li!es we can mo!e forward into healing and wholeness. 2s we reali;e the lo!e of others, we in turn can begin to lo!e and forgi!e oursel!es. The group setting is a sacred space where we learn to re!erence each other as temples of the +ord J& Cor. .:".K e!en though some may not yet see the temple within themsel!es. 'or many this is the first time they ha!e listened to another s story or ha!e shared their own. #e inwardly cry out, see me, hear me, do you know who ' amP longing to know %od knows my struggles. 2s we listen to each other and with the )oly (pirit, we hear beyond the words, to the root, the unspoken, and into the pain, they may not yet know how to articulate. 'or the listener it is hearing JlisteningK as %od says, <1 m here, my cross is here in their pain and 1 know?. 1t is hearing JlisteningK to %od say to me <lo!e this person here, in this pain, heartache.? 1n h .y .istenin/, we forget our self, focus on another, and help them as they walk with the +ord in a personal relationship. 2s groups such as this grow together, listening to one another, they become <circles of care? where 8udgment, bitterness and anger are released and healing/reconciliation begins. #e see oursel!es accepted by others and reali;e our self-re8ection diminishing. #e become hopeful. John "E:"E says <1 ha!e come so that you may ha!e life and ha!e it to its full.? H %e brings us into the light of openness and replaces the darkness of fear and shame. 3eople with hope imagine a %od who is approachable and lo!ing. They belie!e %od s mercy and lo!e is for them too. )ope and acceptance are powerful to those who ha!e li!ed in shame most of their li!es. The listenerJsK find their own hearts are changing and opening to a new empathy and compassion for the others. #e 110

begin to learn the meaning of <blessed are they who show mercy, mercy shall be theirs?. The group bonds in Christian lo!e and unity as we watch each other grow in confidence and positi!e self-image. H!eryone re8oices in being a part of this <circle of care?. 1 watch as friendships and <community? forms. 1ndi!iduals now begin to see themsel!es not as being all alone but as belonging. The group Obursts forth with wanting to share with each other while respecting the parameters and guidelines of the group. 1ndi!iduals healed to this point naturally want to gi!e to others what they ha!e recei!ed A healing and forgi!eness. They see themsel!es humbly as lo!ed sinners. #ith a deep repentance, they mo!e into a new self-awareness and a deeper awareness of %od s mercy. This always brings about a deeper con!ersion. #e experience the freedom con!ersion brings and want to express the 8oy to others. +o!e experienced must be expressed A it is our human nature. #e become empowered by the )oly (pirit A the +o!e of %od to mo!e forward and proclaim the %ood Cews. 1 ha!e found as a minister no one is in a group by accident. 1saiah .-:&, reads, <$efore they call 1 will answer/ while they are still speaking 1 will hear?. %od knows what we need before we ask. 1nner healing groups ha!e helped people become the persons they are created to be. 1t brings people into relationship with %od, and 8ust as importantly, with each other. 1t is bringing about the Lingdom of %od one person at a time, one group at a time. 1t is the fulfillment of what it means to be Christian, to reali;e Christ s lo!e for and within me that can reach and touch you/ and Christ s lo!e with-in you that transforms if 1 let itP.me. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE0 The :nion of (pirituality and Therapy #ritten by 7an )it;, Hxecuti!e 7irector of 9econciliation 4inistries 3re!ious issues of the 9econciliation 4inistries newsletter ha!e looked at and defined !arious models of healing prayer including +i!ing #aters, Theophostic ministry, 9estoring the 'oundations, and +eanne 3ayne. This article examines the union of spirituality and traditional therapy. 1t also takes a look at the

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scientific !alidity of healing prayer. 2lthough relati!ely little scientific research has been conducted in the realm of prayer, the results are !ery encouraging. The relationship between theology and traditional therapy has been tumultuous since 'reud s era J_innbauer M 3argament, &EEEK. This author has personally heard numerous fundamentalist and 3entecostal preachers condemn the <e!ils? of psychology and cite such (criptures as, <'orgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 1 press toward the goal for the pri;e of the upward call of %od in Christ Jesus? 3hilippians *:"*b-", JCew Ling James QersionK, and <Therefore, if anyone WisX in Christ, WheX WisX a new creation/ old things ha!e passed away/ behold, all things ha!e become new? & Corinthians -:"0 JCew Ling James QersionK. These (criptures are erroneously used to support the preacher s idea that Christians should not spend their time dealing with past wounds, but simply <put them under the blood and follow Jesus?. This author was surprised to hear a nationally known Christian speaker on pornography addiction boldly proclaim during his seminar, <7on t worry about your past wounds or triggers, 8ust find out what the $ible says and do it>? J%allager, &EE"K. 2lthough it is critical that belie!ers <find out what the $ible says and do it?, this limited understanding of %od s healing power reinforces the false belief in many Christians that there is something spiritually wrong with them because they are still struggling with wounds from the past. 4any secular therapists ha!e been e@ually closed minded about the benefits of spirituality upon emotional health and fre@uently !iew religious expression as <more closely related to pathology than to health? J#olf M (te!ens, &EE", p. .6K. 2dditionally, psychology has !iewed itself as a scientific entity with the focus being on the <empirical and obser!able? Jp..6K. 9esearchers ha!e historically been unwilling to consider the benefits or effects of components that cannot be scientifically measured, calculated, or documented. 4any therapists experience operational barriers to the inclusion of spirituality within therapy. #olf and (te!ens note that many ha!e the perception that spiritual issues should only be discussed with religious leaders and others ha!e personal biases against religion. )all, et al. cite research indicating that although 0E percent of counselors @ueried were willing to include spirituality in their sessions, 06 percent attended educational facilities that did not offer courses addressing spiritual issues and many belie!ed themsel!es to lack the necessary training for such matters. 2ttitudes toward spirituality within the secular therapeutic community do appear to be changing. )all, et al. J&EE,K call for additional research on the benefits of spirituality on mental heath and conclude that <scientific e!idence clearly indicates that in!ol!ement in religion or religious acti!ities may be of benefit to both mental and physical health? Jp. -E0K. #olf and (te!ens J&EE"K note that religious institutions can pro!ide support to clients, their partners, and their families while pro!iding an opportunity to experience bonding through participation in spiritual acti!ities. _innbauer and 3argament J&EEEK write that the potential is high that the therapist and client may experience 112

conflict in the realm of spirituality, religion, and therapy. They point out that therapists who work with religious clients must include an assessment of the client s spirituality during the intake process. They also ad!ise counselors to a!oid functioning outside of their area of competence, and to seek additional education regarding the specific religion of their clients when they are unfamiliar with them. Therapists must be cogni;ant of their own !alue systems and seek appropriate super!ision and accountability to a!oid potential !alue conflicts. 1t is important for the counselor to maintain an open communication with his/her clients in order for the client to consent to the prescribed method of treatment. 1t is also important for Christians to remember the exhortation of 3salm ":" <$lessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners? JC1QK. Christians should seek a Christian therapist whene!er possible. #hen this is not possible due to financial constraints or other restrictions, it is important to seek a therapist who will honor one s !alue system and work within his/her Christian world!iew. 1t is important for pastors and conser!ati!e Christians to remember that Jesus came to heal the broken hearted. )e is extremely interested in the belie!er s emotional health. (cripture exhorts them to put off their old man and to be renewed by the )oly (pirit in their minds JHph ,:&E-&,K. This is not a one-time e!ent, but a lifelong process. 1saiah writes, <OCome now, let us reason together, says the +B97. OThough your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow/ though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool ? J1sa ":"6 C1QK 9easoning implies a con!ersation and a learned understanding. #ith that understanding comes an increased ability to li!e a life where one s struggles with sin are no longer debilitating, but are now under his/her feet through the power of Jesus Christ. $elie!ers must keep their feet firmly planted upon the 9ock. (e!eral pioneers of healing prayer, or prayer for the healing of the emotions, ha!e successfully integrated psychology and spirituality. 2mong them are John and 3aula (anford, 'rancis 4acCutt, 7a!id (eamonds, +eanne 3ayne J%ar;on M $urkett, &EE&K, and 2ndy Comiskey J"55.K. 4any other healing prayer ministers use models that are almost identical to recogni;ed therapeutic techni@ues. Hd (mith J"55./&EE-K, who de!eloped Theophostic 3rayer 4inistry/ and Chester and $etsy Lylstra J&EE"K, creators of 9estoring the 'oundations prayer ministry, both use prayer models mirroring Cogniti!e $eha!ioral Therapy. Comiskey s +i!ing #aters program uses a techni@ue similar to the psychodynamic model whereby the client s family structure, personal perceptions, and responses to his/her en!ironment while growing up are all examined in order to bring about emotional and sexual healing. These and other ministries are specifically grounded in (cripture, while recogni;ing the !alue of psychology as the scientific study of how humans think, react, and de!elop. They also recogni;e that humans were created by %od as body, soul, and spirit beings. 2lthough the spirit man is made new immediately upon sal!ation, the mind Ja part of the soul, along with the will and emotionsK is renewed throughout the belie!er s life through the process of sanctification. 1t is in the soul that the wounds and !oids re@uiring emotional healing reside 113

J(mith, "55./&EE-K. This more balanced approach to emotional and spiritual healing allows Christians to understand why they may continue to struggle with past trauma and resulting symptoms e!en after professing a deep belief in Jesus Christ and following $iblical teachings faithfully. 'alse guilt and increased shame suffered by so many Christian sur!i!ors are effecti!ely reduced. (tudies ha!e confirmed the positi!e benefits of including spirituality in both physical and mental health. $all J"555K cites research by $enor who re!iewed "*" studies on <the effects of prayer on en;ymes, cells, yeasts, bacteria, plants, animals, and humans? Jp. -K and found that 00 studies indicated positi!e results. $all also cites a double-blind study by Christian cardiologist $yrd who researched the effects of prayer on "5& cardiac patients compared to the control group of &E" patients who did not recei!e prayer. Ceither the patients, nor the medical staff knew which group the participants were in. $yrd reported that those who recei!ed prayer experienced significantly better reco!ery. They were fi!e times less likely to re@uire antibiotics, three times less likely to de!elop pulmonary edema, and none re@uired the insertion of an artificial airway. Twel!e patients in the control group re@uired the airway. 2lthough Theophostic prayer ministry JT34K has simultaneously drawn much praise and criticism %ar;on and 3oloma J&EE-K ha!e noted much success. They e!aluated """ responses to a sur!ey distributed at an ad!anced training seminar presented by Hd (mith and found that a wide !ariety of people are utili;ing T34 including pastors, lay ministers, and psychologists. They write, <B!erall, the respondents belie!e this techni@ue is !ery effecti!e and ha!e used the prayer ministry in treating a wide !ariety of disorders including some @uite complex? Jp. *60K. The Christian 9esearch 1nstitute JC91K J&EE-K has done an in-depth study of T34 spending many hours in con!ersation with (mith about his methods and obser!ing T34 sessions. 2fter re!iewing the procedure, they ha!e released a *" page position paper on T34 stating that C91 <detects nothing unbiblical about the core theory and practice of T34? Jp. "K. )owe!er, they maintain that they do ha!e some reser!ations on <(mith s past teachings on the sin nature, sanctification, and satanic ritual abuse? Jp. "K. C91 also states that they do not endorse (mith s teaching on spiritual warfare. %ar;on J&EE.K summari;ed research findings by Teske, a doctorate student at 2rgosy :ni!ersity/Twin Cities in 4innesota, who performed "* outcomes-based case studies of indi!iduals who recei!ed Theophostic 4inistry JT34K for symptoms including anxiety, depression, and ad8ustment problems. Ten of the recipients recei!ed T34 from licensed therapists, and three recei!ed T34 from lay ministers. 9ecipients were tested prior to recei!ing T34, after e!ery ten hours of ministry, at the end of their T34, and three months following the prayer ministry. Tests gi!en to the participants included the (ymptom Checklist 5E-9, the (piritual #ell-$eing (cale, and the 7ysfunctional 2ttitude (cale. Clients were asked to complete a satisfaction in!entory at the close of T34. 2dditionally, the progress of each client was assessed by a licensed mental health professional who did not utili;e T34, nor were they aware of the treatment model used on the participants. These therapists spoke with each 114

client for one-half hour and examined their clinical record. The results of the (ymptom Checklist 5E-9 identified nine participants as reco!ered, two as impro!ed, one as no change, and one as deteriorated. The scores on the 7ysfunctional 2ttitude (cale dropped indicating that the <depression-causing beliefs? Jp.*K of the participants had been reduced, while the scores on the (piritual #ell-$eing (cale impro!ed. 2ll "* of the participants reported that they had benefited from T34, and "" reported impro!ed spiritually through the experience. The independent mental health professionals reported that nine showed <!ery much impro!ement? while two showed <mild impro!ement? Jp. ,K. %ar;on states that the results remained consistent during the three month period following T34, and calls for more research <using true experimental designs? Jp. ,K. 1t is encouraging that scientific research has confirmed what many of us who ha!e benefited from prayer ministry ha!e experienced firsthand A that healing prayer works. 1f you or someone you know needs help, call 9econciliation 4inistries at -6..0*5.-"", and schedule an appointment for prayer ministry. There is no charge for the initial appointment, and rates are reasonable for subse@uent appointments. 7on t stay isolated in your pain any longer/ there are Christian brothers and sisters who are ready to walk with you. 9eferences $all, T. 4. J"555K. 3rayer for inner healing of memories and deli!erance: 2 primer for churches. Coldwater, 41: 'ree 4ethodist Church. Comiskey, 2. J"55.K. +i!ing waters: (exual and relational wholeness through Christ. Lansas City, L(: 7esert (tream 3ress. %ar;on, '. J&EE.K. 9esearch findings. 9etrie!ed from http://www.theophostic.com/displaycommon.cfmIanT-: Cew Creation 3ublishing, 1nc. %ar;on, '., M $urkett, +. J&EE&K. )ealing of memories: 4odels, research, future directions. Journal of 3sychology and Christianity, &"J,K, ,&-,5. %ar;on, '., M 3oloma, 4. J&EE-K. Theophostic ministry: 3reliminary practitioner sur!ey. 3astoral 3sychology, -*J-K, *60-*5.. )all, C. 9., 7ixon, #. 2., M 4au;ey, H. 7. J&EE,K. (pirituality and religion: 1mplications for counselors. Journal of Counseling and 7e!elopment, 6&J,K. Lylstra, C., M Lylstra, $. J&EE"K. 9estoring the foundations: 2n integrated approach to healing ministry J&nd ed.K. (anta 9osa $each, '+: 3roclaiming )is #ord 3ublications. 4iller, H. J&EE-K. 3osition paper 3(TEE": 2n e!aluation of Theophostic prayer ministry. 9etrie!ed from http://www.e@uip.org/store/topical.aspI 7i!TTopicsMTop17T""5*M2(T: Christian 9esearch 1nstitute (mith, H. 4. J&EE-K. Theophostic prayer ministry: $asic seminar manual J*rd ed.K. Cambells!ille, L=: Cew Creation 3ublishing. JBriginal work published "55.K #olf, C. T., M (te!ens, 3. J&EE"K. 1ntegrating religion and spirituality in marriage and family counseling. Counseling and Qalues, ,.J"K, ..-0-.

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_innbauer, $. J., M 3argament, L. 1. J&EEEK. #orking with the sacred: 'our approaches to religious and spiritual issues in counseling. Journal of Counseling and 7e!elopment, 06J&K, ".&-"0". 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. JCK 9econciliation 4inistries &EE. )inistry Vict ries an# Cha..en/es DQQM – Dan Hit:, E<ecuti$e Direct r 8or God so loved the world that he ave his one and only 4on, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 8or God did not send his 4on into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world throu h him. +hoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of GodSs one and only 4on. This is the verdictH *i ht has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of li ht because their deeds were evil. =veryone who does evil hates the li ht, and will not come into the li ht for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 9ut whoever lives by the truth comes into the li ht, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done throu h God. !ohn 0H2.B:2 #e at 9econciliation 4inistries would like to take a few minutes to thank Jesus Christ for all )e has done in our li!es A and all that )e will do for us in the future. The thought of the Ling of the :ni!erse taking on human form, li!ing among us, and dying for us is beyond comprehension. H!en more staggering is )is offer to li!e inside of us and transform our sinful nature into )is pure, holy nature. +n "!8#* Reconciliation Ministries 'as foun)e) to hel, men an) 'omen 'ho 'ere struggling 'ith homosexualit& fin) free)om through /esus 3hrist. Chrough the &ears 'e have ex,an)e) to help others who were struggling with heterosexual addiction, pornography addiction, codependency, childhood sexual abuse, transgender issues, and sexual offenders. %od has truly helped this ministry stand through tough times to reach thousands of people with his redemption and mercy. Be are loo.ing for'ar) to cele(rating our t'ent&0fifth &ear of ministr& )uring 9::!. +n "!87* Marshall Gir. an) Erastes Aill ,u(lishe) an article in the ga& ,u(lication* Gui#e )a/a:ine* calle) 1Che -verhauling of Straight %merica2. JThis article can be read at http://defendthefamily.com/Sdocs/resources/6",&6*6.pdf.K 1n it was a !ery well thought out plan by gay ad!ocates for the <desensiti;ation of the 2merican public concerning gays and gay rights?. The article went on to say <Pwe would ha!e straights register differences in sexual preference the way they register 116

different tastes for ice cream or sports gamesP Co big deal.? :nfortunately, the gay ad!ocacy groups ha!e also expanded their message and ha!e implemented many of the ideas in this plan. Bne need only to look at the popular culture and the battles that ha!e ensued after the passage of se!eral state marriage amendments to reali;e that the kingdom of darkness is ad!ancing. The co!er story in the 7ecember "-, &EE6 edition of <ewsweek maga;ine reads <The 9eligious Case for %ay 4arriage?. This article uses inaccuracies and human opinions in an attempt to 8ustify same-sex marriage in the eyes of a holy %od. The co!er story of the 7ecember ".th issue of The )dvocate, another gay publication, reads, <%ay is the Cew $lack: The +ast %reat Ci!il 9ights (truggle?. Che i)eas in 1Che -verhauling of Straight %merica2 are alive an) 'ell over 9: &ears after the article first a,,eare). The homosexual agenda continues to ad!ance and gain ground. 'ortunately, <where sin increased, grace increased all the more.? J9omans -:&E 8. ?& >o)4s grace* Reconciliation Ministries continues to gro' 95 &ears after it 'as forme). Hxodus 1nternational continues to help men and women find freedom from homosexuality since it s formation in "50., more than *E years ago. +n s,ite of the gro'ing cultural acce,tance of homosexualit& an) heterosexual sin* there are countless men* 'omen* an) teens 'ho 'ant to 'al. in go)liness an) true ?i(lical sexualit&. The +ord has increase our ministry during &EE6 and 1 would like to share with you some of the ser!ices that we offer. In#i$i#ua. C unse.in/, +ast ra. Care, an# +rayer )inistry (ome who contact the ministry need more indi!iduali;ed help than we can pro!ide them in our group settings. (ome are in immediate crisis. Bthers wish to continue the healing they !e recei!ed through our groups by recei!ing indi!iduali;ed ministry. Che )irector* Dan Hitz* is (oth an -r)aine) Minister an) a 5imite) 5icense) Arofessional 3ounselor. )e is able to integrate clinical counseling with prayer ministry to help those in need of deep emotional healing. #e are also able to pro!ide 1nternet and phone counseling to missionaries on the field and others who are unable to find counseling in their local areas. 7an is also a Certified (ex Bffender Treatment (pecialist. Li$in/ 7aters an# Other Disci%.eshi% +r /ra"s' Bur intense &E-week discipleship program, Li$in/ 7aters, helps men and women o!ercome a wide !ariety of sexual sin and relationship difficulties. Bur 7a.6in/ (ree support group is open to anyone interested in sexual and relational wholeness whether they are alumni from our programs or they are 8ust considering walking into freedom. 1n 'ebruary, we will be starting our first Esca%in/ the Dun/e n ! + rn program for men struggling with pornography and sexual addiction. 2nother new program, The +.ace* for men and women o!ercoming childhood wounds was a big success and we are looking forward to starting our next session in +apeer in 'ebruary. C nsu.tati n an# *u%% rt #e fre@uently get phone calls from parents who 8ust found out that their son or daughter is gay and don t know how to respond, from spouses who ha!e 117

been de!astated by the re!elation of their partner s sexual sin, and from pastors who are reaching out to help someone in their congregation. Bther people call hoping there is a way out of their unwanted homosexual bondage in spite of what the pro-gay media tells them. Reconciliation Ministries is availa(le for ,hone consultation an) face to face consultation for those 'ho are see.ing )irection an) o,tions. Be see. to (e a resource for the local church an) the communit& and connect those in need to a !ariety of healing programs within 9econciliation 4inistries and beyond, including Celebrate 9eco!ery, )ealing )earts, residence programs, and indi!idual licensed mental health practitioners. Ne&s.etter an# 7e2site #e ha!e recently updated our website to include the many articles and testimonies that ha!e been published in the monthly newsletters. Be freHuentl& hear comments from ,astors an) ?i(le stu)& lea)ers that the& have use) our ne'sletter articles as resource materials an) teaching ai)es for their sermons an) stu)& grou,s. 3lease feel free to copy any of the resources posted at www.recmin.org and distribute them to others free of charge. *e"inars an# Lea#ershi% Trainin/s #e ha!e recei!ed an increase in re@uests for our classes and seminars on sexual addiction and homosexuality. 2 new class is in the works on childhood sexual abuse reco!ery. Dan has taught on sexual a))iction recover& at a clinic s,ecializing in hel,ing ,astors an) missionaries* an) at numerous churches. Men an) 'omen from Reconciliation Ministries are availa(le to s,ea. to &our church* Sun)a& school class* or ?i(le stu)& grou,s. 4embers of our leadership team ha!e all recei!ed healing from sexual and relational brokenness and share from their own experience. Team members are also a!ailable for instructional seminars specifically designed to meet the needs of your church leadership team. 9econciliation 4inistries has also participated in o!erseas trainings to help e@uip Christians in other countries to minister to those in need of sexual and relational healing. #e at 9econciliation 4inistries are thankful for all that the +ord has done to help set men, women, and teens free from sexual and relationship sins, bondages, and wounds. #e !alue your prayers and financial support and could not do all that we do without people like you partnering with us. 3lease take some time in the weeks ahead to pray for the ministry participants, team members, and board of directors. Che 5or) is trul& o,ening )oors for effective ministr&6 ho'ever* this has (een a ,articularl& challenging &ear for us financiall&. The suggested donations and tuition for the ministry ser!ices co!ers only a fraction of the cost of operating the ministry. 4any of our ser!ices are offered at no charge including our #alking 'ree support group, o!erseas missionary counseling, phone consultation, the monthly newsletter, website resources, and more. Four tax )e)ucti(le )onation 'ill hel, man& in nee) fin) ho,e an) healing through 3hrist. #e would like to hear your prayerful thoughts and suggestions. =ou may contact us at info$recmin.org or by phone at 586.7 !.5""#. 118

$eferences Guide %a azine, <The B!erhauling of (traight 2merica?, "560, 4arshall Lirk and Hrastes 3ill. 9etrie!ed from http://defendthefamily.com/Sdocs/resources/6",&6*6.pdf on 7ecember "", &EE6. <ewsweek, <The 9eligious Case for %ay 4arriage?, 7ecember "-, &EE6. Co!er retrie!ed from http://www.newsweek.com/id/"0&0*0 on "&/"&/&EE6. The )dvocate, <%ay is the Cew $lack: The +ast %reat Ci!il 9ights (truggle?, 7ecember "., &EE6. Co!er retrie!ed from http://ad!ocate.com/currentSco!erSektid..E0".asp on "&/""/&EE6. (lease noteH This is an overtly proB ay website. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE6 4ecular TherapySs (roBGay 9ias – Dan Hitz This article, written by Dan Hitz, =xecutive Director of $econciliation %inistries, was first published in )u ust, :771. The e!ents during 2ugust in the secular therapeutic world, and culture in general, underscore the importance of ministries like 9econciliation 4inistries which pro!ide answers and hope to those unwilling to embrace their unwanted homosexual feelings. 1n the beginning of 2ugust, the 2merican 3sychological 2ssociation s go!erning counsel of representati!es <passed a resolutionP urging mental health professionals not to recommend to their clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or any other methods.? " This came after a six-member 232 task force released a re!iew of studies on sexual orientation at the group s annual con!ention in Toronto. The 232 s response came in direct contradiction to a study released in &EE0 by (tanton Jones, 3h.7. and 4ark =arhouse, 3sy.7. and supported by former 232 president, Cicholas 2. Cummings, 3h.7., (c.7., which found that <religiously mediated sexual orientation change is possible for some indi!iduals and does not cause psychological harm to the patient, on a!erage.? & This year, Jones and =ahouse presented updated results for their study at a symposium during 119

the same 232 con!ention showing that <sexual orientation change is not only possible, but sustainableP The findings directly contradict commonly expressed !iews of the mental health establishment that say this option is impossible and that the attempt to change is likely to produce harm.?* Hxodus 1nternaitonal issued a press release in response to the 232 s resolution. <#hile Hxodus does not fully agree with the 232Gs criticisms of clinical techni@ues such as reparati!e therapy and its !iew of sexual orientation change, the report does recogni;e that some choose to li!e their li!es in congruence with religious !alues. The report also encourages therapists to a!oid imposing a specific outcome on clients.?, There are many of us who ha!e successfully undergone a transformation in our sexual orientation and are now li!ing a more emotionally healthy and fulfilling life in congruence with our religious faith. 1 for one am glad that 1 ha!e had to opportunity to deal with my unwanted same-sex attraction and ha!e found healing and hope through Christ. 1f 1 would ha!e followed the 232 s recommendations, and the recommendations of many in the secular mental health community, 1 would ha!e de!astated my wife and children by lea!ing them and embracing what many secular therapists would percei!e to be my true identity A that of a gay-identified man. 1nstead, 1 followed the ad!ice of the +ord Jesus Christ and found healing and freedom from my unwanted attractions and ha!e become a much better husband to my wife and a better father to my children. Cow, more than e!er, it is important to uphold (criptural !alues as we face opposition from those who choose man s ways o!er %od s ways. 3lease pray for this ministry and the participants that we will be strengthen to answer %od s calling, and to continue to walk in obedience to )im with $iblical sexual and relational integrity. " & * , http://www.cnn.com/&EE5/)H2+T)/E6/E-/gay.to.straight/index.html http://www.i!press.com/media/exgays-pr-E5E,&EE0.php http://exodusinternational.org/content/!iew/55./*0/ http://exodusinternational.org/content/!iew/55&/*0/

1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE5

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The )inistry Nee# in 8an/6 6 Thai.an# Dan Hitz, =xecutive Director of $econciliation %inistries, went on a shortBterm missions trip to 9an kok Thailand in 4eptember :727 and presented this vision and need for ministry to the sexually and relationally broken in Thailand and %etroBDetroit, %ichi an. 7an )it; went on a short-term missions trip to $angkok Thailand from (eptember &&nd to Bctober -th, and 8oined the 7esert (tream 4inistries leadership team as they conducted leadership training for +i!ing #aters Thailand. +eaders from Thailand and other (H 2sian countries recei!ed personal healing and were e@uipped to bring the +i!ing #aters program to others throughout (H 2sia. 2fter the conference, 7an met with Chris from The %4T (ro@ect, an outreach ministry to the customers of women in the sex trade industry, and 1!en and Lashmira )auptman who ha!e formerly run a ministry to male sex industry workers. They now run a neighborhood outreach which includes men and women in the sex industry. =ou can read more about the 4(T 3ro8ect in this newsletter, and on their website. 1!en and Lashmira s blog is here. Thailand is primarily a $uddhist nation and in great need of the healing power of Christ. +eela Tangnararak, 7irector of +i!ing #aters Thailand, explains: Thailand is not land of the free as its name means because of the spiritual bondages. 3eople are bound to !arious types of idolatry and sexual immorality, educated or uneducated are alike. 2bout 6-Y are $uddhists despite the "0years of protestant history in Thailand. There is only "Y of Christians in the country. 4any people li!e in darkness by their sins. 7ifferent forms of sexual per!ersion are ob!iously increasing and more accepted in the society than e!er before/ gender confusion, gays, lesbians, sexual addictions, prostitutions, etc. 1t is the thirsty and dry land that needs +i!ing #ater from Jesus. 3ray that the Thai souls will thirst and long for the Bne who can truly @uench their thirst and hunger. 2lthough we can re8oice that there are those in Thailand who do know Jesus Christ and are gaining !ictory o!er sexual sin, there are still the 55Y of Thais who remain in darkness. 4any of those are trapped in the sex industry. Lashmira )auptman writes: Bn outreach we walk the streets where men are selling sexual ser!ices and present oursel!es as Jesus-following friends who care about the guys as people, and who know that their true worth is so much greater than any customer could e!er pay. #e pray with the men, hear their stories, gain trust o!er time and ask about their dreams for their future Jone man wants to be a social worker so he can help people, another told us he wants to someday own his own duck farmK. 4ost of the men we meet are between the ages of "0-&6, and come from all sorts of backgrounds and education le!els A some ha!e college degrees but many others only made it through sixth grade. Though about 5-Y of the clients are men, only about -EY of the male sex workers we meet would consider themsel!es <gay? A many ha!e told us that they hate what they do 121

but don t see any comparable options for themsel!es: minimum wage is Z. a day, but customers are often willing to pay Z"- or more per sexual encounter. 1solation is a big part of these men s li!es A while spending the day with one guy in his &E s we asked him what he likes to do with his friends in his off time. )e looked at us blankly and said, <1 don t ha!e any friends. The only people 1 know are clients and co-workers.? $ecause of the late-night hours these men keep and the neighborhoods that they work and often li!e in, it is common for many of them to ha!e few significant relationships with anyone outside of the sex industry. 1 am thankful to be a part of what the +ord is doing to bring sexual redemption to Thailand, and am well aware of the great need in the 4etro-7etroit area. Bne reason 1 ha!e met with ministries like The 4(T 3ro8ect and the )auptman s is to learn skills from them that will be useful in our future ministerial outreach in 4etro-7etroit. 3lease remember to keep Thailand and 9econciliation 4inistries in your prayers. #e can do nothing without the power of %od A but we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. #e need )is leading and )is empowering. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"E 7hy A" I *ti.. Te"%te#9 This article was ori inally published in a 21-, $econciliation %inistries newsletter and is part of our vinta e newsletter series 6 a series of newsletter articles that were published in the early days of $econciliation %inistries which are still relevant for today. This article applies to those who are stru lin with any sin, not @ust homosexuality. 't was written by the ministry founder and then director, !ack Hickey, who continues to celebrate over 0, years of walkin in sexual and relational wholeness. N te"%tati n has $erta6en y u e<ce%t such as is c "" n t "an2ut G # is !aith!u., &h &i.. n t a.. & y u t 2e te"%te# 2ey n# &hat y u are a2.e, 2ut &ith the te"%tati n &i.. a.s "a6e the &ay ! esca%e, that y u "ay 2e a2.e t 2ear it' " Corinthians "E:"* 1f 1 were to gi!e one @uestion that comes up most in our counseling, it would be about temptation. 4any feel that they ha!e ne!er been fully deli!ered from 122

their sin, because they still face temptations. <)ow can 1 be free from homosexuality,? 1 am often asked, <when 1 still ha!e homosexual temptationsI? 4uch of this type of @uestioning is due to a misunderstanding of what temptation is. To start, Jesus ne!er said )e would take temptation away. )e said )e would help us o!ercome it and deli!er us out of it. (econd 3eter tells us that, EThe *ord knows how to deliver the odly out of temptation.F )e is not taking temptation away, but getting us through it. The enemy, (atan, is a dirty fighter. )e is not going to tempt us in an area that we do not care about. )e will hit the weakest spot, in an area that is familiar. Take, for example, a person who has been in a homosexual lifestyle for most of his life. )e comes to Christ and turns from his sins. )e is at that moment made a new creature J& Corinthians -:"0K and a child of %od J" John *:&K. There are still areas in need of healing and ministry, but the deli!erance is now. #hen (atan tempts him A as he will do A it would be useless to do so with heterosexual lust. There would be no battle because there is no desire. (atan will use the area that is most familiar, the homosexual lust. +et me add here, lust is sin, no matter what form it is in. There is no such thing as <normal? lust. WHditor s note &E"E: )s the issues fuelin the homosexual lust are healed andAor repented of in the individual’s heart, men and women who formerly embraced homosexuality can, and do, develop appropriate sexual attractions to members of the opposite sex. )s is the case with every sin, it takes time for old sinful patterns to be broken and for new healthy patterns to be established. )s new temptations develop, old temptations may still remain. X 'urthermore, we are not identified by our temptations. Just because we are tempted in an area of our past does not mean we are still in bondage to it. The best example of this is in )ebrews ,:"-, E8or we do not have a hi h priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in a.. % ints te"%te# as &e are, yet without sin.F 1 belie!e that Jesus was faced with homosexual temptations, too. )e had to ha!e been, if )e can sympathi;e with my weakness. =et, )e was without sin. Those temptations did not make )im a homosexual, an adulterer, or a drunkard. )e was still the Christ, without sin. 1f Jesus, who was as much man as any of us, was not identified with )is temptations, why should we beI )e did that so )e could be a help and an example to us. EHe himself has suffered, bein temptedP He is able to aid those who are tempted.F J)ebrews &:"6K )ebrews ,:"- gi!es us another !ery important key: tem,tation is not sinE 4any feel that whene!er they are tempted they ha!e sinned. 9emember, Jesus was tempted and was without sin. (in comes in when one does not handle the lust, or one e!en carries it into action. #hen temptation comes we are to turn from it. Bne escapes by the route Jesus made for us J" Corinthians "E:"*K. Bnce we see that temptations are part of the spiritual warfare we are in, we can start dealing with them as such. Be have victor& over tem,tation 123

through /esus 3hrist. )e has gone before us to make a way. )e is our %reat )igh priest before the throne of %od. Bne of the best passages of (cripture that deals with temptation is James ":"&-".: 8.esse# is the "an &h en#ures te"%tati n- ! r &hen he has 2een %r $e#, he &i.. recei$e the cr &n ! .i!e &hich the L r# has %r "ise# t th se &h . $e Hi"' Let n ne say &hen he is te"%te#, ,I a" te"%te# 2y G #1- ! r G # cann t 2e te"%te# 2y e$i., n r # es He hi"se.! te"%t any ne' 8ut each ne is te"%te# &hen he is #ra&n 2y his &n #esires an# entice#' Then &hen #esire is c ncei$e#, it /i$es 2irth t sin- an# sin, &hen it is !u.. /r &n, 2rin/s ! rth #eath'1 1n closing, let me say this: 1f we do not understand temptation, and ha!e gi!en into it, there is still hope. %od, knowing our weaknesses, has made pro!ision for us. 'irst John ":5 says: E'f we confess our sins, He is faithful and @ust to for ive us our sins and t c.eanse us !r " a.. unri/hte usness'1 This is not an open door to sin, but a way that e!en the weakest can still li!e in !ictory with Jesus. I! y u nee# he.% &ith se<ua. an#4 r re.ati nshi% sins, ca.. CMN'OEP'CBBF an# ! un# ut h & Rec nci.iati n )inistries can he.% y u &a.6 in se<ua. an# re.ati na. &h .eness' 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries "56-, &E"E The )*T +r =ect3 )en an# *e< Tra#e The %4T (ro@ect seeks to reach out to the men who freGuent the redBli ht districts of 9an kok lookin for intimacy and fulfillment. ;nfortunately, this type of intimacy only leaves one more aware of the emptiness. This article shares the vision of the %4T (ro@ect and shares two blo entries which hi hli ht their work. 5ou can find out more about the %4T (ro@ect, on their website. These articles were used by permission. THE VI*ION (ome of these men who go to red-light districts looking for sex are hurting and in need and are trying to fill that need and hurt with lo!e and intimacy. =et, 124

the lo!e and intimacy that they seek in a red-light district is not the answer. #hen the 4(T 3ro8ect first started there were a few people who said that there was no hope for these men, that they were better left alone or ignored. $ut where is the compassion of %od in thatI #e do not look at these men for where they currently are but rather for where they can be with a transformed heart. )ow many of us grew up in a broken home, ha!e looked for lo!e and intimacy in all the wrong places, or ha!e struggled with issues that are common to men/ yet %od has brought about redemption in our li!es. The 4(T 3ro8ect wants to reach out to these men and be an example of restoration and redemption. 1t is our responsibility to go to these men, when !ery few will, and bring the lo!e of %od to them in an area where they least expect it, by those whom they least expect if from. These men are like us, and it is our hope that these men will experience the lo!e and the hope that is found in a relationship with )im. The 'ather s lo!e is a!ailable to all, in all places and at all times. The hope we ha!e in )im will cause a man to return to his wife and become a husband. #ill cause him to return to his children and become a father. #ill cause him to return to his community and become an example, not a statistic. %od is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. This includes men in red-light districts. Therefore, choose to be one of the few who will stand on the street corner and offer them )B3H. A 8ROKEN )ARRIAGE #hen we met 7a!id Jnot his real nameK late on a #ednesday night in $angkok s red light district/ he was @uietly making his way through the crowds of people. #e politely asked him if he would be interested in taking our sur!ey to which he @uickly answered, <2re you the guys with the black packetsI? This was a perfect lead into our second-encounter sur!ey> This began a &E-minute con!ersation between our group and this wounded man. 7a!id is married to a woman back in Hurope and the father of a young girl. )e has a troubled and distant marriage. This broken marriage has led him to the place where he would rather seek intimacy and affection in all the wrong places/ through a !ast array of girlfriends all o!er the world and many brief purchased sexual encounters. Bur con!ersation with 7a!id was mainly focused on him/ his needs, desires and disappointments. 7a!id seemed to ha!e nothing good to say about his relationship with his wife. )e painted a picture of a wife who was o!er-weight, depressed and rather hard to get along with. 1n !iew of these comments and complaints 1 asked him, <#hat do you belie!e are your wife needs from youI? 1 sought to draw his attention off of the ways in which his wife wasn t meeting his needs and focus it on her needs as a woman and wife. )is reply was short and not !ery sweet, <sex?. 2s a man 1 can hardly belie!e this is what his lonely and emotionally neglected wife could be longing for.

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2t the close of our &E-minute con!ersation we were delighted to find out that 7a!id would be open to making an appointment with us. This was nothing short of awesome> Bur prayer is that he would pick up his phone and follow through on that desire. 1t would be a chance for us to listen in greater detail to his story, desires and brokenness. To these words we could answer with <the words of eternal life?. There is such a need in this man s life and marriage for restoration and redemption. Bur goal and dri!ing force is seeing those desires of Christ being formed in his life. +ritten by +ill 4. The above conversation took place on %ay ,, :727. % ?R-GE< M%RR+%>E I @-55-B ;A )ere we were, at least two hours late, waiting to meet a man who seemed persistent to meet us again. 4onths before he had met us in front of Cana 3la;a, and 8ust last week he saw us again. $oth times he wanted to stop and talk, and both times he took our sur!ey. Cow, he was calling us to arrange a meeting as soon as he could, and with the way things were going that sooner was becoming later. #e started walking down the street/ two others and myself. #hen 1 called him to tell him that we were on the way, he informed me that he had already returned to his hotel/ the good news being he still wanted to meet. #e 8umped into a tuk-tuk and headed offP to an unkempt and poorly lit hotel. #e had a problem. #e could not remember his name and had some trouble remembering his appearance. Cow, sitting in the lobby of a sketchy hotel, we were beginning to wonder and perhaps e!en to worry. #e called him again, and told him that we were waiting. <1 ll meet you on the ele!enth floor,? was the response. )is roomI #e were not going to do that. $ut then it dawned on us we were at the wrong hotel. $eing late e!en more we 8umped into a taxi, to get us there on the double. This hotel had class, and taking the ele!ator up we saw that the ele!enth floor was a !eranda o!erlooking the $angkok skyline. 1f only we could remember who we were supposed to meet. #e scanned the populace of the room and saw a man meeting the approximate stature of who we thought we would meet. +ooking straight at him we announced a loud, <)ello.? This was our man #e went outside to a candlelit table, and of all the things for a group of guys to talk about in a romantic ambience we talked about lo!e. #hat is lo!e, how can one ha!e it, would we want to recei!e it, and what does it look like. 1t can be said that our group did most of the talking, sharing our testimonies, and explaining $iblical concepts on relationship and lo!e, but there was no bore in the con!ersation, only attenti!eness coupled with much thought. 2nd while our man, 7a!id, may not ha!e said much, 1 think he absorbed a lot, as did his friend who was with him. Bf the men that 1 ha!e met after taking the sur!ey, 1 would ha!e to say that his meeting was special. 1t was heart felt, and it was personal. 2ll of us were 126

on an e!en playing field, not talking about theory or philosophy, but talking about life and the heart. #e prayed deeply that %od would protect, water, and grow the seed that )e had planted. 2nd at midnight, after being late, after going to the wrong hotel, after not remembering whom we were meeting, we left after a two-hour con!ersation on lo!e. 1f anything is a testimony of the )oly (pirit and )is work, this night was. 2s for 7a!id and his friend, 1 pray that this story not be o!er, or kept on a dusty shelf, but be a continuation in his life. +ritten by Tyler =. This blo post is dated %ay 2-, :727 and was shortened for this newsletter. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"E An H nest L 6 at Te"%tati n This article was ori inally published in a 21-1 $econciliation %inistries newsletter and is part of our new vinta e newsletter series 6 a series of newsletter articles that were published in the early days of $econciliation %inistries which are still relevant for today. 't was written by then director, !ack Hickey, who continues to celebrate over 07 years of walkin in sexual and relational wholeness. ( r n te"%tati n – n tria. re/ar#e# as enticin/ t sin Rn "atter h & it c "es r &here it .ea#sS – has $erta6en y u an# .ai# h .# n y u that is n t c "" n t "an – that is, n te"%tati n r tria. has c "e t y u that is 2ey n# hu"an resistance an# that is n t a#=uste# an# a#a%te# an# 2e. n/in/ t hu"an e<%erience, an# such as "an can 2ear' 8ut G # is !aith!u. Rt His 7 r# an# t His c "%assi nate natureS, an# He Rcan 2e truste#S n t t .et y u 2e te"%te# an# trie# an# assaye# 2ey n# y ur a2i.ity an# stren/th r resistance an# % &er t en#ure, 2ut &ith the te"%tati n He &i.. Ra.&aysS a.s %r $i#e the &ay ut – that "eans t esca%e t a .an#in/ %.ace – that y u "ay 2e ca%a2.e an# str n/ an# % &er!u. %atient.y t 2ear u% un#er it' B C rinthians BQ3BE, A"%.i!ie# 8i2.e

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<#ill 1 always ha!e to face temptationI #on t %od 8ust take it awayI? 1 am often asked this by the people 1 counsel. The answer is yes, you will always face temptation. Co, %od won t take it away. Temptation is a reality of life. <#ell then,? the person will continue, <there is no real !ictory. There is no true freedom from sin. #hy do 1 ha!e to fight for something 1 ll ne!er getI? The problem is not in being tempted, it is understanding temptation. Jesus ne!er said he would take temptation away. )e only said we can ha!e !ictory o!er temptation. Temptation will not o!er take us. 1t is this lack of understanding temptation that gets so many belie!ers confused and out of sorts. They begin to feel Jand sad to say, are often toldK that their faith is not enough. 1f they were a good Christian or a spiritual person, they would not face temptation. +ook at )ebrews ,:"-. #ho is that passage talking about being temptedI 1s it some weak belie!er with no faith to see them throughI Co, it s Jesus, our )igh 3riest, our Qictor. #e need to clear up some of these misconceptions before we can see %od inter!ene on our behalf. Jesus is our example of how a belie!er should and can li!e. )ebrews &:"6 reads, E8or since He, Himself, was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.F 1t is best that we look at )is life to find out who we, as belie!ers in Christ, should approach temptation. To do this we need to look at )ebrews ,:"- again. E8or we do not have a hi h (riest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but one who has been tempted in all thin s as we are, yet without sin.F Te"%tati n is n t sin' Bne way that (atan makes us break under temptation is by telling us that we are sinning. 1 ha!e known people who spend a good part of their day asking forgi!eness for their temptation. This !erse tells us that Jesus faced the same temptations and yet did not sin. That is because the temptations themsel!es are not sinful. 1t is what we do with the temptations that brings sin into the picture. <Bh, but Jesus was di!ine and it was different for )im.? =es, )e was di!ine, but )e was also as human as you and 1. +ook at the !erse, ,;as &e are;1 )e must ha!e faced sin as we do if )e was to gi!e us !ictory o!er it. Jesus came to earth as a baby not because babies are cute. )e had to be born A like us A and grow up A like us A in order to die for us. 1t wasn t 8ust %od on the cross/ )e was one of us up there. 1f )e, being one of us, did not sin by begin tempted, then we are not sinning either. (cripture teaches us that (atan will tempt us. #e are not told JanywhereK not to be tempted. #e are told to resist A turn away from A flee A stand against temptation. Te"%tati n is n t ur i#entity' 1 see this so often in dealing with people coming out of homosexuality. They are set free and belie!e they are new

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creatures in Christ. $ut when a temptation comes they think, <1 must still be gay. 1f 1 wasn t, 1 wouldn t be tempted with these feelings.? 9emember that (atan has come to <kill, steal, and destroy? JJohn "E:"EK. )e did not come to be an annoyance. )e knows that our sexual appetite is a strong force. #e are told to resist and stand against e!ery kind of temptation except sexual temptation. +e are told to run form sexual temptation. (atan knows our weakest point and there he will hit us. The fact we are tempted by something from our past does not gi!e us that identity. These are familiar to us. Jesus washed away your sin not your memory. #e are now in Christ. 1 once li!ed in Qermont, 1 now li!e in 4ichigan. 1 often remember Qermont and how it was to li!e there, but 1 no' am in 4ichigan. That is fact. #e are no' in Christ and no matter how we remember our past, it is our past. That too is fact. Te"%tati n is n t a si/n ! a % r s%iritua. &a.6' 9e!elation "&:"E gi!es (atan an interesting name. 1t rears to him as <the accuser of our brethren.? Jesus told us that (atan was a liar and there was no truth in him. JJohn 6:,,K. (o why are we so @uick to belie!e (atanI (o often 1 ha!e had people tell me that they feel they are spiritually falling apart because they are facing temptation. 2s 1 said earlier, temptation is a reality of the Christian life. 1t can defeat us and discourage us, or we can be strengthened by it. James said we should count it all 8oy when we face trials JJames ":&K. 3aul said he re8oices in affliction because he has learned when he is 'ea.6 >o) is strong J& Corinthians "&:5-"EK. The fact we go through rough times, or that we face temptation A no matter what the temptation is A does not mean we are weak spiritually. 2s you look through (criptures you see men and women of faith facing great temptation. H!en Jesus faced them and )e always had a good spiritual walk. 2s we resist temptation, we become spiritually strong. #e then see that we are dependent on Jesus to get us through. )e is faithful when we face temptation J" Corinthians "E:"*K. Temptation is more a sign of a spirit who is growing than a weak one. A.. te"%tati n is c "" n' 7id you e!er feel you were the onl& person dealing with your problemsI 1 ha!e. 1 know many ha!e felt this way. #hat is almost funny about that is how untrue it is. #e may put a different face on it, or gi!e it a different name, but we all face the same battle. 'irst Corinthians "E:"* tells us, E<o temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man.F 2s a counselor, 1 will often paint out areas that a person is struggling with that they had not told me about. They always look shocked, as if 1 had read their

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mind. The truth is 1 ha!e dealt with enough people o!er the years 1 know how sin works in a person s life. 1 can pick it out because it is a common problem. Bne we take the specialty out of our sin, we can address it. #e can then see that others ha!e not only faced it, but ha!e gotten !ictory o!er it. (atan lo!es to make us feel we are all alone, and that no one understands or can help us. That is a lie. #e may ha!e our own perspecti!e of sin, but it s all the same dynamics and all the same answer. Bnce we understand these basic facts, we can deal more effecti!ely with temptation. 1t is %od s will that you be free from all bondage. )e has pro!ided !ictory, healing and wholeness for you. That does not mean, howe!er, that you ll ne!er face temptation. $e ready for the enemy by knowing the truth to battle his lies. #hen you face temptation A no matter what the temptation is A remember the following: "K you are not sinning, &K that is not your identity, *K it doesn t mean you are spiritually weak, and ,K others face it as well. (peak those truths and turn away from (atan and his deceptions. ,8.esse# is a "an &h %erse$eres un#er tria.- ! r nce he has 2een a%%r $e#, he &i.. recei$e the cr &n ! .i!e, &hich the L r# has %r "ise# t th se &h . $e Hi"'1 Ja"es B3BD 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries "565, &EE6 Is ,E<5Gay1 Rea..y ,Anti5Gay1 This article was ori inally published in a 21-/ $econciliation %inistries newsletter and is part of our new >inta e newsletter series 6 a series of newsletter articles that were published in the early days of $econciliation %inistries which are still relevant for today. 't was written by the founder, !ack Hickey, who continues to celebrate over 07 years of walkin in sexual and relational wholeness. An# # n t %artici%ate in the un!ruit!u. #ee#s ! #ar6ness, 2ut instea# e$en e<% se the"' B E%hesians C3BB

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9ecently our staff has had the opportunity to ser!e on a committee studying homosexuality for a ma8or denomination. Bne of the @uestions raised is whether we are to be called <ex-gay? or <anti-gay?. 2n article entitled <homophobia? by 7r. %eorge #einberg, distributed by the Cational %ay Task 'orce, refers to those who would oppose the stand of gay rights ad!ocates as, <The conser!ati!es, adhering to a literal interpretation of the bible that condemns homosexual acts as e!il, concei!e of homosexuals as sinners and demand that they be punished.? 1n a tract distributed by H!angelicals concerned, a pro-gay organi;ation, 7r. 9alph $lair states, <(ome 'undamentalists say it s un-2merican and their solution is to fire Oem and lock Oem up and maybe e!en kill Oem. 3eople are swallowing this baloney. (ome H!angelicals and Charismatics say it s unChristian and that homosexual should get deli!ered and if that doesn t work, they should 8ust sit and be @uiet and forget about romance and sex for the rest of their li!es.? 2re Christians who hold to the moral statues set down in (cripture really bigots at heartI 1s to oppose homosexuality to hate homosexualsI 7o we belie!e gays should be punished and locked upI 1s sitting @uiet and forgetting personalities our only ad!iceI Co, this is in no way true at all. 1 will be the first to agree that some, who call themsel!es Christians, do preach a message of hate against gays. They see no hope for change and ha!e no desire to help them find change. There are others who preach a message of acceptance and compromise. They also see no hope for change and ha!e no desire to e!er want to change. 'or those who do hold to the $ible as the #ord of %od, we can only come up with one conclusion. )omosexuality is contrary to %od s standard for sexual expression. Christians ha!e always held this position and always will. %od s #ord does not change. $ut the message doesn t stop there. (cripture is also clear about a way out of homosexuality. #hen we see sin as sin, we can see hope. Jesus died not only to forgi!e our sin, but to cleanse us and free us from it. E)nd you know that He appeared in order to take away sinsP and in Him there is no sin. <o one who abides in Him sinsP no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. *ittle children, let no one deceive youP the one who practices ri hteousness is ri hteous, @ust as He is ri hteous. The one who practices sin is of the devilP for the devil has sinned from the be innin . The 4on of God appeared for this purpose, that he mi ht destroy the works of the devilF J" John *:--6K. (in here means to practice sin as an on-going sinful beha!ior. This does not mean the sins we see in our li!es daily or when we stumble or fall. 1t is because of not being able to practice sin and be in Christ, that 1 belie!e one cannot be a Christian and practice homosexuality at the same time.

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This call to repentance is not only directed to the gay community. 2ll people ha!e sinned and fallen short of %od s standard. %od is calling us out of all sin. #e focus on the gay community because that is our burden and our calling. #e do not belie!e homosexuality is any different than other sins. 2ny sexual acti!ity outside of a heterosexual marriage is sin according to %od s #ord. 3lease understand that 1 may deal with difficult issues and make tough statements. That is not because 1 am bitter or hateful toward homosexuals. 1 ha!e a deep lo!e and concern for those in the gay life style. 1 was in that life myself for "E years and 1 know the pain and confusion. 4y anger is to those who would lie and manipulate others to stay in that bondage. True lo!e does not sugar-coat poison. 1 do not want people to think for a minute that homosexuality is BL. 1t is sin, and as all sin, it is deadly. Cowhere in (cripture will you see %od calling someone to preach an inoffensi!e message to repentance. (in is a !ery serious problem and must be dealt with accordingly. 1t is the first and main purpose of this and other <ex-gay? ministries to bring hope and healing to those dealing with homosexuality. #holeness is not a dream but a reality in Jesus. =et, there are those who do not wish to lea!e their homosexuality. 1 cannot do anything about them any more than 1 can for anyone who re8ects the %ospel. $ut there are many who do wish freedom, and for those we are here. #e are not the answer to homosexuality. 1t is not a case that one must agree with us. 1 am not the mouthpiece of %od Jno one knows that better than meK. -nl& /esus can set the sinner free. )e and )e alone is the answer to the homosexual. 2nd )e is the mouthpiece of %od. Throughout this series of messages, 1 will be addressing many issues. 1 do belie!e we as Christians must take a firm stand on these things and stop compromising the standards of %od. =et, we want to be sure to offer the hope that is ours in Christ Jesus. Throughout (cripture you will see Jesus dealing head on with sin. )e used hard words and ne!er tried to co!er sin up with some emotional reasoning. =et, all that Jesus did Jand doesK was in the spirit of redemption. )e ga!e )is life for the same people )e rebuked. #e are not against homosexuals. 1t is not our purpose to lock them up or put them down. 1t is our deep burden to get the truth of freedom in Jesus out to all who are in bondage. <Bnce gay, always gay? is a lie. Jesus can and will make you new. #e are all faced with making the choice that Joshua confronted 1srael with. Think about it, and choose. The time is o!er for walking the fence. N &, there! re, !ear the L r# an# ser$e Hi" in sincerity an# truth- an# %ut a&ay the / #s &hich y ur !athers ser$e# 2ey n# the ri$er an# in E/y%t- an# ser$e the L r#' An# i! it is #isa/reea2.e in y ur si/ht t 132

ser$e the L r#, ch se ! r y urse.$es t #ay &h " y u &i.. ser$e3 &hether the / #s &hich y ur !athers ser$e# &hich &ere 2ey n# the ri$er, r the / #s ! the A" rites in &h se .an# y u are .i$in/- 2ut as ! r "e an# "y h use, &e &i.. ser$e the L r#' J shua DF3BF5BC 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries "560, &EE6 E<5Gay – H & ,E<1 is it9 This article was ori inally published in a 21-/ $econciliation %inistries newsletter and is part of our >inta e newsletter series 6 a series of newsletter articles that were published in the early days of $econciliation %inistries which are still relevant for today. 't was written by the founder, !ack Hickey, who continues to celebrate over 07 years of walkin in sexual and relational wholeness. ;h .#in/ t a ! r" ! / #.iness, a.th u/h they ha$e #enie# its % &eran# a$ i# such "en as these' ( r a" n/ the" are th se &h enter int h useh .#s an# ca%ti$ate &ea6 & "en &ei/hte# # &n &ith sins, .e# n 2y $ari us i"%u.ses, a.&ays .earnin/ an# ne$er a2.e t c "e t the 6n &.e#/e ! the truth' D Ti" thy E3C5O <1 am an ex-gay.? #e ha!e heard this term many times o!er the past "- years or so. WCow o!er *E years.X (e!eral books gi!ing testimonies of <ex-gays? ha!e been published. 4inistries like 9econciliation 4inistries and other Hxodus agencies known as <ex-gay? ministries are forming nation wide. There are also groups like H!angelicals Concerned who speak of <ex-ex-gays?. They, like Hxodus ministries are being co!ered by the media, secular and religious. #hich are we to belie!eI $oth cannot be right. (omeone is not telling the truth. There seems to be much confusion surrounding the term <ex-gay?. #hat does it meanI 7oes it mean that one has stopped homosexual beha!ior but is left to deal with the feelingsI 7oes it mean that homosexual lust has passed and heterosexual lust has replaced itI Br does it mean anything at allI Jesus told us in John 6:*,-*., ETruly, truly, ' say to you, everyone who commits sins is the slave to sin. )nd the slave does not remain in the house foreverP the son does remain forever. 'f therefore the 4on shall make you free, 133

you shall be free indeed.F )e did not say )e would make us partly free. )e did not say )e would only free us from sinful beha!ior. $ut as the 2mplified $ible puts it, E4o if the 4on liberates you 6 makes you free men 6 then you are really and unGuestionably free.F Cow don t misuse this (cripture. )e is not talking about making us free from the +aw here, or free to do as we wish. #e are free from the sla!ery of sin. (econd Corinthians -:"0 goes e!en deeper into this truth. ETherefore if any man is in "hrist, he is a new creatureP the old thin s passed awayP behold, new thin s have come.F The literal meaning of <new creature? is <ne!er been used?. Think of it, we are made as if we had ne!er been used by sin. )ow that re-creati!e miracle happens, 1 don t know. %od is %od and is able to do anything. 1 8ust know it s true. The $ible teaches it, and 1 ha!e seen the reality of it in my life and the li!es of many others. 1 know some of you may say, <$ut some of the old feelings are still there. #hat about thoseI? #here the new creaturehood happens at the time of con!ersion, the changing of thought patterns and habits, which aren t sinful beha!ior, may take time. #e become new creatures but we are also becoming new creatures. J(ee & Corinthians -:"0/ " John *:&/ %alatians .:"-.K 9omans "&:& tells us EDo not be conformed to this world 6 this a e, fashioned after and adapted to its external superficial customs. 9ut be transformed Jchan edK by the JentireK renewal of your mind 6 by its new ideals and its new attitudes 6 so that you may prove Jfor yourselvesK what is the ood and acceptable and perfect will of God.F J2mplified $ibleK 1f the <ex-gay? mo!ement has recei!ed criticism for anything, it s because those who call themsel!es <ex-gay? still deal with temptations. 1 was once told by a gay minister that 1 was 8ust denying my true self. 1n a way, that is true. 4y old nature is capable of all kinds of sin, so 1 deny it J4atthew ".:&,K. Temptation with our past is not something for 8ust the <ex-gay?. #e all go through temptations. Jesus ne!er promised to take temptations away/ )e said )e would deli!er us out of it. #e need to understand temptation, not gi!e into it. 1s this true for 8ust the <ex-gay?I Co, not at all. %od does not expect any more of less form the <ex-gay? than )e does from anyone else. =ou will not see a separate set of rules in the $ible for homosexual. %od s standard for holiness and waking upright before )im is for all people. )is standard for sexuality is the same for both the homosexual and heterosexual. (exual acti!ity outside of marriage between one man and one woman is sin. Bne of the big @uestions that arise is, <#hy do some Oex-gays fall back into sinI 1s this because they really do not change and can only fake it for so longI? 4any people who come to Christ from many walks of life fall away. 1 hate to admit this, but it is true. This is not a phenomenon that happens only to <exgay? Christians. Jesus spoke of these in the parable of the sower. E)nd those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the +ord with @oyP

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and these have no firm rootP they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall awayF J+uke 6:"*K. (al!ation is a free gift, but following Christ will cost e!erything. 1f we are unwilling to gi!e all, we will in time fall away. Jesus offers true and full !ictory to all who follow )im, but we must follow all the way to Cal!ary. 1t was not uncommon for Jesus to speak of the cost of following him, only to ha!e disciples depart. This is still true today. 1n counseling, 1 always tell the person that there is a cost to !ictory. 1 want them to understand that it will be work, but that !ictory is complete. $ecoming religious is not the answer. %od does not want religious talk and philosophies. )e is not interested in how good you ha!e been to others, if you are disobedient to )im. =ou cannot ser!e %od your way, it must be His way. )e did not call you to be religious but obedient. EHas the *ord as much deli ht in burnt offerin s and sacrifices as in obeyin the voice of the *ordI 9ehold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of ramsF J" (amuel "-:&&K. 7on t be decei!ed by those who tell you that the way to %od is broad and for all. Jesus said the way was narrow and few will find it J4atthew 0:",K. +et us not get falling away confused with struggling with sin. There are those who, due to lack of support and teaching or other reasons, may fall in their walk. These do not lose their lo!e for %od or their desire for freedom. They need help and lo!ing support. #e must remember %alatians .:", and restore those who fall. There are also those who feel it is alright to be gay and a Christian too. 1 am not the one to pass 8udgment, but 1 am able and commanded to say what the #ord of %od says J" Timothy *:".-,:&K. %od s truth ne!er changes 8ust because some so called <ex-ex-gay? says that it didn t work for him or her. The $ible has a better title for <ex-ex-gay? A backslider JJeremiah *:"&-&-K. 1 pray that they will once again turn to Jesus and allow )im to o!ercome those passions that rule their li!es. :ltimately, is there really an <ex-gay?I Cot really. Co more than there is an <ex-adulterer? or an <ex-liar? and so on. There are only new creatures. Those homosexuals who come to Jesus become Christians, e@ual to all other Christians. The term <ex-gay? is only a name to clarify the type of sin a person has come out of/ it is not an identity. #e are no longer sla!es to sin J9omans .K. =es, at times we battle with temptations and with our flesh. =et, we are not gi!en our identity by our temptations. 9eading 9omans six through eight will show that 3aul, too, fought those inner battles but found that his identity was in Christ. #e ser!e a supernatural %od who can change the inner man which will, in turn, change the outer man. Qictory is in Jesus and nothing less than full !ictory will )e e!er offer. 1f you or someone you know wants freedom from homosexuality or other sexual sin, help is a!ailable. Call 9econciliation 4inistries at -6..0*5.-"", for more information.

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9esources are a!ailable on the 1nternet at www.exodus.to, www.exodusyouth.net, www.narth.com, and more. There is still time to register for our next session of +i!ing #aters. =ou can read testimonies of men and women who s li!es were transformed on the <+ife (tories? section at www.recmin.org. H & Can I 7a.6 in the *%irit9 This article was ori inally published in a 21-- $econciliation %inistries newsletter and is part of our >inta e newsletter series 6 a series of newsletter articles that were published in the early days of $econciliation %inistries which are still relevant for today. 't was written by the founder, !ack Hickey, who continues to celebrate over 07 years of walkin in sexual and relational wholeness. This article is relevant for those overcomin either heterosexual or homosexual sin. 8ut I say, &a.6 an) .i$e Gha2itua..yH in the GH .yH *%irit Gres% nsi$e t an) c ntr ..e# an) /ui#e# 2y the *%iritH- then y u &i.. certain.y n t /rati!y the cra$in/ an) #esires ! the !.esh R ! hu"an nature &ith ut G #S' ( r the #esires ! the !.esh are %% se# t the GH .yH *%irit, an# the G#esires ! theH *%irit are %% se# t the !.esh R/ #.ess hu"an natureS- ! r these are anta/ nistic t each ther Gc ntinua..y &ithstan#in/ an# in c n!.ict &ith each therH, s that y u are n t !ree (ut are %re$ente# !r " # in/ &hat y u #esire t # ' Ga.atians C3BN5BO, A"%.i!ie# 8i2.e <1 want to follow %od. 9eally 1 do,? Todd said. <1 will be doing real well, not e!en thinking about sex, then 1 see an attracti!e guy on the street and before 1 know it, 1 m back in the same old routine. Hach time 1 swear it s the last. Hach time 1 get mad at myself for gi!ing in. =et, 1 always do. The scary part is 1 am not feeling guilty about it any more. To be honest, part of me wants to fall.? )ow often ha!e you heard thisI H!en more directly, how often ha!e you said itI (ometimes 1 feel a day doesn t go by without my hearing this at least once. The battle with sin is not the problem of a select few. #e all fight in this war. $ut must we all looseI 4ust we be battered by this enemy we call desireI $efore we see how to combat this enemy, we must get a basic understanding of what the enemy is and is not. 1t is so easy for Christians to go charging in an attitude of self-righteousness to fight an enemy they don t know on a battlefield they can t find. #e are to be good soldiers who know who the enemy is, where to fight, how to fight, and most importantly, how to listen to the Commander first. The enemies we face are many, but here we will look at one A desire of passion. Bur sexual appetite is one of the most powerful forces we must face. 3eople who otherwise are rational and godly people, forsake all to satisfy their 136

passions. #e ha!e seen world-wide ministries fall to the ground because of these passions. These men were not careless and unknowing of (atan s de!ices. =et, they were not in control A their passions were. #e ha!e heard of those who kill, steal, lie, cheat, gi!e up family, friends, and business for the chance to fulfill their passions. #e are all capable of this type of sin. 7on t be a fool and think it can t happen to you. 3aul tells us in %alatians -:".-"0 that the desire of the flesh wars against the spirit. This is not 8ust a passing temptation to sin. 1t is a desire, a cra!ing, to turn from %od and follow our flesh. The flesh opposes the (pirit. The two cannot coexist. #e cannot walk in the (pirit and allow the flesh to run wild. Bne will win o!er the other: The flesh o!er the (pirit or the (pirit o!er the flesh. Bnly one can win. Bne thing this enemy is not is (atan. This statement may upset some people. The enemy here is oneself. 1n the words of 3ogo, <#e ha!e seen the enemy and it is us.? 1 agree that all sin originated with (atan and that he is the tempter. $ut is it our own lust that draws us away JJames ":",K, not (atan s. (atan knows all he has to do is gi!e us a little rope and we will hang oursel!es. 1t is important to learn this because, too often, we fight (atan when we should be controlling oursel!es. Christians hate to take responsibility for their sins. #e blame (atan, our parents, the church, people who don t understand us, circumstances, 8obs, the weather, anyone but oursel!es A where the blame really lies. The last thing we must face about our enemy is that we like him. +et s face facts. (in, and especially sexual sin, is pleasurable. 1f it were not, we would ha!e no trouble resisting it. 1t feels good, tastes good, and looks good. 'or most of us, we en8oy it so much that it scares us. 1t is all too appealing. (o how do we resist itI #hat can we do to get free from our passion and li!e in the freedom Christ has promisedI $y putting a few principles into practice we can walk in the freedom that Christ bought for us at Cal!ary. 'irst, we must take responsibility for our actions. #e can blame e!erything and e!ery one. #e can call out to %od for hours, and it will not impress )im one bit. )e knows our heart and is not fooled by our fancy excuses. #e should be honest with %od and tell )im what we ha!e done. +et your confession be as 7a!id s in 3salm -", <$lot out my transgressionP Cleanse me from my sinP 1 know my transgression, my sin is e!er before me.? Cot until you face your own weakness and take responsibility for your sin can %od set you free. Cext, there must be a place of taking control. 1 reali;e that healing of inner hurts and the changing of identity may take time. $ut, that is not the case with beha!ior. 1f you continue to fall into sinful beha!ior and say <my healing is not 137

completed yet,? you lie to yourself and to %od. %alatians -:".-"0 says you must walk and li!e in the (pirit. %od does not ;ap you to that place. =ou must enter into a new beha!ior. 3ro!erbs &-:&6 says, E*ike a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.F 2s long as you continue to act out your sin, you are open to all the attacks of the enemy. 7on t wait for yourself to stop wanting to sin. 1 see people who think because they still want to sin they don t ha!e !ictory. #anting to sin is not the issue here. =ou may !ery much <want? to gi!e in. 1t is whether or not you will. (cripture teaches us that our flesh wants to rebel against the things of %od J%alatians -:".-"0/ 9omans 0:"--&-K. %od does not force us into obedience by taking away the desire to sin. )e instead gi!es us the strength to say no to sin and follow )im. $e determined in your heart to follow %od. (tri!e for )im as much as you ha!e stri!ed to sin. (earch for %od as you would a treasure. %i!e all your time and energy to knowing )im. (ounds drasticI 1t should be. 1t s your life you re fighting for. 1t doesn t matter how many times you fell before. =ou must stand before %od and say, <1f it takes all my life and energy, 1 will follow you. 1 will ne!er gi!e up.? Bur %od heals the sick, frees the capti!e, and mends the broken. )e will see you through. +astly, remember that we are not alone in this fight. %od has not left you to fight against sin all by yourself. E<ow to Him who is able to keep you without stumblin , or slippin , or fallin and to present JyouK unblemished Jblameless and faultlessK before the presence of His lory 6 with unspeakable, ecstatic deli ht 6 in triumphant @oy and exultationF JJude &,, 2mplifiedK. Trust %od. )e understands that the battle gets hard. )e understands that you get tired in the fight. )e is able to keep you. (atan cannot pull you away. )old tight to Jesus and you will walk in the (pirit and not in the flesh. =our passions may be a powerful enemy, but Jesus is a more powerful !ictor. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE5

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JANUAR@ 4 (E8RUAR@ NE7*LETTER Chis month4s ne'sletter loo.s at the im,ortance of health& relationshi,s in the ?o)& of 3hrist. 4y family and 1 ha!e especially reali;ed the importance of ha!ing godly friends and support as we walk through the days, weeks, and months following the passing of our son, John. 1 don t know where we would be without the lo!e, prayers, and support of our friends who continue to walk with us through our !alley. They are truly a gift from %od, )imself. %s im,ortant as health& relationshi,s are* the& are not al'a&s eas& to )evelo, I es,eciall& for those of us 'ho are 'al.ing out of sexual an) relational (ro.enness. 4any of us ha!e not known healthy friendships in the past. #e are often afraid of !ulnerability because it has sometimes pro!en to be unsafe. Jesus is our role model for life and demonstrated healthy relationships as )e interacted with the world, the disciples, 3eter, James, and John/ and )is )ea!enly 'ather. Len 3atri@uin, director of The (lace %inistry in +apeer, shares about our need for healthy relationships and how to de!elop them in this month s newsletter. 1t is possible A and crucial A for those of us learning to walk in sexual and relational wholeness to ha!e good friends who will walk with us through the challenges and !ictories of life. Jesus can help us de!elop the godly intimacy we long for. + am ,lease to announce that + 'ill (e hol)ing lea)ershi, training in healing ,ra&er an) recover& for mem(ers of the 3hi %l,ha 3hristian ministr& on the cam,us of Eastern Michigan ;niversit&. 3lease be in prayer for these sessions which will run 'ebruary "Eth through 4arch &,th. 1 am exciting to see the +ord bring sexual and relational healing to this college campus. 1 was blessed to participate in the Hxodus 1nternational leadership conference this past week in 'lorida. Hxodus leaders from the :( and Canada gathered for three days of training, fellowship, and refreshing. Hxodus 1nternational is the largest Christian organi;ation helping men, women, and adolescents o!ercome unwanted homosexuality. + 'oul) highl& recommen) atten)ing the Exo)us +nternational @ree)om 3onference /une 8th I ""th in %shville* <orth 3arolina. Chis &ear4s theme is The Rea.ity ! Grace' =ou ll experience four days of intimate worship, in-depth teaching, and testimonies of men and women who s li!es ha!e been impacted by homosexuality and ha!e found !ictory. =ou can find more information at www.exodusinternational.org. 1n Christ 7an )it;, 7irector, 9econciliation 4inistries Re.ati nshi%s Are *cary0 – Ken +atriIuin

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&en has been a friend of $econciliation %inistries and a valuable member of our leadership team for many years. He and his wife, 9arb, are the directors of The 3lace, an ei htBweek pro ram in *apeer, %ichi an for overcomin childhood wounds and stron holds. 7e!eloping healthy, godly relationships can be scary> )owe!er, %od has told us many times through the Bld and Cew Testaments that we need to connect with and be in!ol!ed with the $ody of Christ. 1n fact, ha!ing personal connections and in!ol!ements with other people are the most significant ways that %od meets our emotional needs for lo!e and self worth. )e says that, <it s not good for man to be alone?. )e created us to need in!ol!ement with other people. #hen a person has been through some soul searching Jfor instance, through attending one of the 9econciliation 4inistries programsK s/he starts to understand 8ust how broken s/he really is. 2nd then the @uestion comes up, <#hat do 1 do nowI 1 am told that 1 need to be in!ol!ed with the world around me. $ut that s what made me feel my brokenness in the first place. 4y selfconcept got all messed up during my childhood, and my experience in school taught me to hide my real self, and now my work life has been so painful 1 8ust stay to myself.? Stan)ing in -ur Crue Self A 2t +i!ing #aters and The 3lace 4inistry, we emphasi;e getting help from mentors or accountability partners who can encourage and help us along the way as we learn to <stand upright in our True (elf?. (tanding in our true self means believin what %od says about us and li!ing out of the identity )e gi!es us, as we connect intimately with Jesus Christ. 1t also means being able to be real before others and not feel that we ha!e to hide our true feelings, or pretend to be someone we re not. The big @uestion is this: How do we learn to live in our GodB iven identities even while we still have broken areas of our lives to work throu hI The Church and the $ible encourage us to lo!e others and to do acts of ser!ice for others. Truly, learning to li!e in our true identities means that we ha!e to start working on de!eloping healthy relationships, even while we’re still not feelin all that healthy or stable . #e ha!e to walk into healthy relationships. 1n other words, we learn to ha!e healthy relationships by experiencing them A by walking through them. (ome of us, because of abuse or promiscuous in!ol!ements in our past, don t really know how to engage in healthy, godly relationships. This is why we encourage you to first find a trustworthy mentor who is mature enough to help you learn about healthy relationships through how they relate to you. Bal.ing into <e' Relationshi,s I 1f we are struggling with re8ection and negati!e feelings about oursel!es, we fear being re8ected again. #e don t know if we want to make oursel!es !ulnerable by trying to de!elop new friendships. 1t s easy to assume people aren t interested in being friends with us. 'eeling the emotional need for significance and lo!e doesn t feel comfortable. 1t feels safer 8ust to stay away from people. The reality is that we may be hurt again 140

by others as we get in!ol!ed in other people s li!es. $ut, that s where we need to take small steps of faith, belie!ing that %od s grace is big enough to take care of us as we go out on a limb and connect with others. The Christian life is always li!ed out by acts of faith. J<2nd a righteous person will life by faith. )ebrews "E:*6aK +e need to choose to put ourselves into situations where friendships can be developed and where we can learn to Ewalk outF of our relational immaturities and insecurities. 1n the *ivin +aters manual 2ndy Comisky writes: <Jesus, who is present in the body Wthe ChurchX, calls us out of illusory and immature ways of expressing our brokenness/sexualityP.Wthis isX the redempti!e role that the marvelously broken body of Christ plays in pro!oking old wounds and in healing themP Through the pre!ailing presence of Christ in his body, we will be set free togetherP? Jp. &E5K #hat 2ndy is saying here is that we need the Church of Jesus Christ to express %od s lo!e and presence to us as we let them get to know us for who we really are. )s we radually share our problems with safe and mature "hristians , these lo!ing people help us break away from destructi!e patterns of immaturity and we become more and more free and whole. H!eryone, e!en the most healthy and stable people, ha!e emotional needs for lo!e and connection and to ha!e significant others in their li!es. The $ible clearly teaches us that we need healthy friendships with other belie!ers, so that we build each other up in our faith and gi!e each other the support and lo!e that we all need. )ebrews "E:&&-&- reads, <+et us think of ways to moti!ate one another to acts of lo!e and good works. 2nd let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of )is return is drawing near.? Aushing Chrough I Co, it is not easy for us to reach out to others and to seek to de!elop new friendships. =es, there may be times when you feel like the odd ball and don t know what to say or do to fit in. $ut that s BL. #e all feel that way at times, and it is likely that there are others with you who feel the exact same way you do. 9ut, if you push throu h those uncomfortable situations, you will radually feel more and more comfortable with the people around you and more and more part of the lives of those you are with. 1t takes time, effort and patience to de!elop healthy and meaningful relationships. Cobody can lay out an exact plan for you to follow in your 8ourney to connect with others. #e are all uni@ue indi!iduals. %od does ha!e a plan for you, though, and )e needs to re!eal it to you, and walk through it with you. )owe!er, there are some common factors in how relationships are built and maintained. @actors in Ho' Relationshi,s %re ?uiltK ". 'riendships are based on mutual respect, trust, lo!e and common interests.

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&. There are many different types and le!els of friendships. Hach type/le!el is important to maintain. *. 'riendships take time and effort to culti!ate and deepen. ,. B!er time and experience relationships may, but not necessarily, mo!e from one le!el of in!ol!ement to the next. -. )ealthy and mature intimacy and closeness are not instantaneous A infatuation is. .. Jumping o!er stages of de!elopment, from the casual to emotional or sexual intimacy is destructi!e and often ends in a painful mess. 0. The best way to make friends is to be one. 1t s your mo!e. C&,es an) Stages of @rien)shi,s I There are different types of relationships with different le!els of intimacy and in!ol!ement. 2s relationships grow the intimacy le!el becomes more and more intense and personal. 4any people touch our li!es on the surface, but few actually become intimate friends. 1t is important for healthy relationships to de!elop o!er time, following the fi!e stages of de!elopment. Stage -ne I Very Casua. AcIuaintances. These people in your life are ones you may see fre@uently but ha!e no significant relationship with. These would be gas station attendants, store cashiers, other coworkers you see but do not communicate much with. WThere is no reason for you to feel that there is any commitment to that person.X Stage C'o I +e %.e ! r Acti$ities. This is the stage where you know people because of the common acti!ities you do together, for example: members of the bowling team, work pro8ects, or church acti!ity. W1n this stage you learn a bit more about the other person but are still not in a trustin relationship. The relationship is based on the shared acti!ity.X Stage Chree I (rien#s. 1n this stage you are doing things with these people, but now there is a minor commitment to each other. 1t might be where you ask your neighbor to use one of his tools, or ask a person on your bowling team to help you work on your car problems. WThere still will be some struggles with fully trusting that person and, though closeness may be de!eloping, you do not ha!e the full trust needed to feel particularly lo!ed or to share personal problems with them.X Stage @our I 3. se (rien#s. 1n this is the stage you ha!e de!eloped a trusting relationship where you feel it s safe to share problems and hardships with that person, knowing they will accept you and care about you. =ou now ha!e people in your life who ha!e some commitment to you. They know you, what makes you sad/happy, and know basically what s going on in a lot of areas of your life. =ou ha!e weathered a lot of life together o!er the years. They would defend you before others if you needed it, and you would defend them. =ou turn to them for support when you need it, and you try to be there for them when they need it.

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Stage @ive I ) st Inti"ate Re.ati nshi%s . :sually a person only has a couple of people who they consider intimate friends. These are the ones with whom you share your deepest secrets and who know all about each other s personal struggles and heart issues. =ou trust their unconditional lo!e for you and you know that your failures won t cause them to re8ect you. They are your confidants, your <kindred spirits?. =ou o!er-look one another s faults and feel completely loyal to each other. Health& +ntimacies I )ealthy intimacies are built on commitment and mutual respect and trust that comes from the safety of gradually opening up your life in honest disclosure of who you are. The commitment of unconditional lo!e is paramount. 1f you are married to someone, you should not go outside of that relationship to an opposite sex friend to fulfill your intimacy needs. JThis is especially risky if you or your friend ha!e struggled with unholy or unhealthy relationships in the pastK +earning to ha!e close friendships and meaningful relationships are best learned from same sex friendships. (uch relationships can help you to relate better with the opposite sex as you learn about healthy, godly intimacy. 2t the center of healthy intimate relationships is the intimacy each person has with the (a!ior, from whom we all draw our sense of being and worth. The most stable marriages ha!e Jesus Christ at the center, where the couple knows that they each must find their true identity through a !ital connection with the (a!ior. Bne expression that is heard a lot these days is <friends with benefits?. Those of us who are older used to call it <casual sex?. #hat happens in these relationships exemplifies the problems that occur when you do not go step-bystep into healthy relationships. :sually the <casual sex? relationship is considered safe by the people engaging in the beha!ior A until things go badly. )owe!er, as we look at the !arious stages of relationship de!elopment, it becomes clear that we are mixing two le!els of relationships A the >ery "asual )cGuaintances sta e J"asualK M the %ost 'ntimate $elationships stage J4exK. 1 ha!e noticed that those who engage in these relationships end up e!entually being emotionally damaged because they ha!e skipped some stages and ha!e not established a strong commitment to each other that will withstand the hard times in life. They ha!e not de!eloped a healthy emotional connection that is based on the foundation of mutual respect, trust, lo!e and common interests. 1nstead, their relationship is based on a physical and sexual experience that cannot truly meet their emotional needs o!er time. @inal 3omments I 2s 1 shared this diagram in +i!ing #aters my friend, 2aron, said that he felt that Jesus modeled this type of relationship/friendship process. 1 ha!e used his explanation as part of my teaching e!er since that day. )ere is what 2aron shared with me: (tage (tage (tage (tage (tage " & * , A A A A A >ery "asual )cGuaintances: The #orld of 3eople (eople for )ctivities: The 7isciples 8riends: The "& 2postles "lose 8riends: The Three Closest to Jesus/ 3eter, James, and John %ost 'ntimate $elationships: The $elo!ed 7isciple - John 143

Cow it is time for you to consider where your relationships are. =ou may ha!e been damaged from relationships that ha!e gone bad J<fallen out the bottom?K. 1n the past we ha!e 8ust exited relationships or chosen not to ha!e any relationships because of the pain and struggles we ha!e experienced. )owe!er, the +ord calls us to <Pnot neglect our meeting togetherP? )e has made us relational and if we do not ha!e healthy relationships then we end up cra!ing anything that can substitute for that A usually whate!er we are addicted to that helps us to deal with pain. (o my challenge to all of you reading this article is to step out, trust %od and try to de!elop these relationships. 2s 1 consider this in my own life 1 find that %od has truly pro!ided people in many of these stages, 1 8ust ha!e not paid attention to who is in what stage. 2lso, as we cra!e and try to de!elop healthy relationships we need to remember to not <rush? the relationship. 1f %od wants to ha!e you mo!e from one stage to another in a relationship, )e will make that clear to you. The greatest guide for the de!elopment of your relationships will be the Bne who walked through these stages )imself when )e was in a human body A Jesus Christ. 1 ha!e found that as 1 ha!e de!eloped relationships <%od s way? )e has pro!ided some !ery positi!e and en8oyable times as 1 relax about <me? and 8ust let )im do the work. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E""

A+RIL 4 )A@ NE7*LETTER 7ear 'riends, 1 m writing this month s newsletter with a hea!y heart. The culture war for homosexuality has certainly heated up recently. 3ro-gay theology has gained footholds in many Christian denominations and organi;ations. 4any churches ha!e discarded foundational truths of (cripture under the guise of tolerance and grace. 9ather than speaking the truth in lo!e to confront sin, they are encouraging those who need Christ s redempti!e touch to embrace the sin that Christ died to deli!er them from. Bther Christian groups ha!e embraced a !ersion of grace without repentance. They suggest that Jesus did not die for beha!ioral modification and that %od is no more mo!ed by our sin than )e is by our good works. They forget that 144

Jesus said, <1f anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me? J4atthew ".:&,K. (ome tell Christians that once sa!ed, they no longer ha!e a need to confess their sins to %od. This type of grace is in contradiction to " John ":.-5 which reads, <1f we claim to ha!e fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not li!e by the truth. $ut if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we ha!e fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his (on, purifies us from all sin. 1f we claim to be without sin, we decei!e oursel!es and the truth is not in us. 1f we confess our sins, he is faithful and 8ust and will forgi!e us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.? #e must be careful not to turn the <grace of our %od into a license for immorality? JJude ":,bK. #e must hold fast to the basic foundations of our Christian faith that boldly proclaims, <%od calls all men e!erywhere to repent? J2cts "0:&5K. #e must hold fast to the (criptural truth in " Corinthians .:5-"" that boldly declares se!eral beha!iors, including homosexuality, to be sinful/ but also pro!ides hope through Jesus Christ by declaring, <2nd that is what some of you were. $ut you were washed, you were sanctified, you were 8ustified in the name of the +ord Jesus Christ and by the (pirit of our %od.? Change is possible through the redempti!e power of Jesus Christ and )is finished work on the cross. Change is a process. #e will continue to experience temptations on this side of eternity 8ust as Jesus did while he was here on this earth J)ebrews ,:"-K. That battle can be fierce at times. (ometimes it feels 8ust plain hopeless A like we will ne!er change A but in our weakness we are made strong J)ebrews "":*,K. #e are more than con@uerors through Christ Jesus J9omans 6:*0K. This month s newsletter explores some of the foundational truths of the Christian faith for our sexuality in the light of pro-gay theology. 1t explores the @uestion, <Can 1 be openly gay and openly ChristianI? 1t explores some of the arguments presented by the gay-affirming church to 8ustify their beliefs. 1t also explores the differences between one who belie!es that homosexuality is a sin, seeks to li!e a godly life, yet still falls into homosexual sin/ and one who freely engages in homosexual beha!ior without reser!ation. 1f you or someone you know is struggling with homosexuality or any other sin, reach out for help. Call 9econciliation 4inistries at J-6.K 0*5--"", to see how we can help you walk out of sexual sin and brokenness and into sexual wholeness. There is hope and healing through the grace and redempti!e work of Jesus Christ. 1n Christ, 7an )it;, 7irector 9econciliation 4inistries of 4ichigan Gay an# Christian9 Can I 8e9 – Dan Hit: Dan is the Director of $econciliation %inistries of %ichi an. The culture wars promotin homosexuality have heated up substantially in the recent months 145

and have made si nificant headway into the "hristian "hurch. %any who have once been stron advocates for the traditional view of 9iblical sexuality are now supportin the views that one can identify as a ayB"hristian, en a e in homosexual sexual activities and still o to Heaven. 4ome even say that God blesses homosexual relationships. This article will briefly examine such beliefs and compare them to the teachin s of 4cripture. 't is meant to be a brief overview of some issues currently facin "hristianity and culture, and is not intended to be a comprehensive look at these complex sub@ects. ,Has n ne c n#e"ne# y u91 ,N ne sir,1 she sai#' ,Then neither # I c n#e"n y u,1 Jesus #ec.are#' ,G n & an# .ea$e y ur .i!e ! sin'1 John 6:"Eb-"" C1Q The simple truth of John *:". is that <%od so lo!ed the world that he ga!e his one and only (on, that whoe!er belie!es in him shall not perish but ha!e eternal life.? 1t is through grace we are <sa!ed through faith? and ha!e become <new creations? JHph. &:6-5/ & Cor. -:"0K. #e can do nothing to earn our sal!ation. #e cannot be <good enough? to @ualify for )ea!en. #e are simply called to surrender our li!es to the authority of Jesus Christ and recei!e )is (pirit within us. 1n reality, that is a huge surrender of our li!es and an e!en greater gift of )is eternal sal!ation. #hat do we do after sal!ationI 7oes %od want to lea!e us as )e found usI 3aul writes in 9omans "&:& that we are not to <conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind?. :pon sal!ation, the +ord calls us acti!ely participate in the transformation process. The same (a!ior who said to the woman caught in adultery, <Ceither do 1 condemn you,? also instructed her, <%o now and lea!e your life of sin.? Jesus calls all who follow )im to take up their cross and follow )im J4att. ".:&,, 4ark 6:*,, +uke 5:&*K. 1 want to draw a parallel between homosexuality and other sins, especially sexual sin. %od s intent for sexual expression is solely within the context of the marriage co!enant between one biologically born male and one biologically born female. )omosexuality is not the sin of all sins. 1t is 8ust as sinful for a man and a woman to engage in sexual acti!ity outside of the marriage co!enant as it is for two people of the same gender to engage in sexual acti!ity. 1t is 8ust as sinful for one person to !iew heterosexual pornography as it is for two people to engage in homosexual sexual acti!ity. (in is sin. %od calls e!ery person, e!erywhere to repent J2cts "0:*EK. 3ro-gay theology has made se!eral inroads into many denominations and Christian organi;ations. (ome who identify themsel!es as Christians ha!e thrown out the $ible altogether claiming it has been corrupted by men through the centuries. Bthers state that the $ible is not to be taken literally and disregard (criptures stating that homosexuality is sin. (till others misinterpret or reinterpret $iblical passages to support their pro-gay beliefs. 'or an indepth look at pro-gay theology in comparison to traditional $iblical beliefs, 146

read The Gay GospelI How (roBGay )dvocates %isread the 9ible by Joe 7allas." 7allas himself spent six years as an openly gay man trying to li!e as a Christian. 1n the end, he had to wrestle with the @uestion, <2m 1 basing my decision to embrace the Ogay and Christian identity on the belief that this is %od s will for my lifeP or on the hope that this is what %od might allowIF JNuoted from back co!er.K There are many passages in the Bld and Cew Testaments that clearly identify homosexual acti!ity as sin. +e!iticus"6:&& reads, <7o not lie with a man as one lies with a woman/ that is detestable,? while !erse &E:"*a reads, <`1f a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them ha!e done what is detestable.? " Cor. .:5-"" and 9omans Chapter " in the Cew Testament identify homosexuality as one sin among many other sins that must be repented of. Bne of the main arguments that the pro-gay apologists use is the claim that Jesus ne!er said anything about homosexuality. They interpret this absence as Christ s acceptance of homosexuality. )owe!er, Jesus ne!er said anything about child abuse or bestiality, yet who would argue that either of those acti!ities is acceptableI The %ospels do not claim to be an exhausti!e collection of Jesus statements. 1n fact, John writes that Jesus did so many things that the whole world could not contain all of the reports if they were written down JJohn &":&-K. Therefore, the lack of a recorded statement is not proof that Jesus said nothing about the sub8ect. Jesus did declare the created intent for man and woman in 4atthew "5:,-.: <)a!en t you read,? he replied, <that at the beginning the Creator Omade them male and female, and said, O'or this reason a man will lea!e his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh I (o they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what %od has 8oined together, let man not separate.? 1n all areas of life, not only did Jesus preached a standard of holiness based on the foundation used by the Jews of )is time, the Bld Testament (criptures, )e raised the standard of holiness to include the thoughts and intents of the heart. <$ut 1 tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart? J4att -:&6K. #e can also see the call to sexual purity in the counsel of Jerusalem in 2cts "- when the apostles met to discuss which of the laws the con!erted %entiles must follow. 2bstaining from sexual immorality was one of only four areas of the Jewish laws the con!erted %entiles were re@uired to keep. Those laws on sexual immorality would ha!e been taken directly from the Bld Testament law. 2nother argument of the pro-gay theologians is that 3aul coined his own words which he did not intend to be translated as homosexuality. Joe 7allas writes about this in his book, The Gay GospelI How (roBGay )dvocates %isread the 9ible." )e reports that 3aul actually coined "05 words in his epistles. 7allas explains that the %reek words 3aul used to create the word arsenokoite, which we translate as homosexual, came from two words with !ery specific 147

meanings. )rsenos is used to emphasis the physical definition of a male as in a male infant. &oite is used to specify a bed or couch used in a sexual context such as the marriage bed in )ebrews "*:,, <4arriage is honorableP and the bed WkoiteX undefiled?. 7allas writes, <#hen 3aul coined the term arsenokoite, he took it directly from the %reek translation of +e!iticus s prohibitions against homosexual beha!ior. )is intent couldn t be clearer. Though arsenokoite is uni@ue to 3aul, it refers specifically and unambiguously to sex between men.? Jpage &"*K There are numerous arguments from the gay-affirming community that are based on anecdotal obser!ations rather than (cripture. 2mong them are the many accounts of men and women, some formerly in ex-gay leadership, who ha!e fallen away. The reality of (cripture shows that there will always be men and women who fall away from the faith for a wide !ariety of reasons. J(ee the 3arable of the (ower in +uke 6.K This does not in!alidate the reality that there are many others who ha!e continued to walk in faith. The pro-gay community cites many scientific studies that claim to show that homosexuality is inborn and unchangeable. They ignore studies which show that many ha!e o!ercome homosexuality and studies that ha!e failed to show a biological cause for homosexuality. There is a wealth of information on scientific research on this topic on the website for the Cational 2ssociation for 9esearch and Therapy of )omosexuality WC29T)X at www.narth.org. Co one has e!er been able to find a conclusi!e genetic link to homosexuality, yet scientists ha!e found genetic links to alcoholism and rage. #ho in the scientific community would e!er encourage anyone to embrace their alcoholism or rage simply because it is geneticI %ay-ad!ocates also claim that since a person continues to ha!e samesex attractions he/she hasn t changed his/her sexual orientation at all. They hold to an <all or nothing? approach to e!aluating change rather than a more realistic continuum of change. 2lthough we ha!e been redeemed through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, we continue to li!e in a fallen world. #hen we were fully gi!en o!er to our sin, we trained our minds and bodies to respond to sinful stimuli. Transformation is a process. #e will continue to struggle with sin and temptation 8ust like the 2postle 3aul described in 9omans 0:"--&- in his famous <'or what 1 want to do 1 do not do, but what 1 hate 1 do,? passage. Bur continued temptation is merely a reflection of the reality that we are redeemed saints li!ing in a fallen world and in need of continued transformation into the finished work of Christ. 9emember that Jesus was tempted in e!ery way we are, yet was without sin. Co matter what sin we struggle with, if we are in Christ our orientation toward that sin has changed A and will continue to change A as we take up our cross daily and follow )im J+uke 5:&*K. (ome in Christianity !iew homosexual acti!ity as sin and seek to li!e a celibate life while still maintaining the label of gay-Christian. #hile 1 applaud their desire to honor %od and not engage in homosexual sexual acti!ity, 1 cannot applaud their use of the label <gay?. 1n " Corinthians .:5-"E 3aul identifies a !ariety of acti!ities as sinful. 7o you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of %odI 7o not be decei!ed: Ceither the sexually immoral nor 148

idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thie!es nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of %od. Bf the ten sins identified in this passage, only homosexuality is used as a label by those who struggle with such temptations while resisting the temptation to act upon them. 4ost Jif not allK heterosexual married men do struggle with heterosexual lust, yet no one goes around identifying themsel!es as an adulterous-Christian with the explanation that they do not engage in sexual acti!ity outside of their own marriage. Cor does anyone identify his/herself as a Christian thief, or a Christian slanderer. Bne exception may be those in reco!ery programs who identify themsel!es as an alcoholic, yet 1 prefer the focus of the Celebrate 9eco!ery programs. These programs do not accept the label of alcoholic, but state that they are <celebrating reco!ery from? alcoholism or any of life s <hurts, hang-ups, and habits?.& 1dentifying as a gay-Christian keeps one linked to a sinful identity and world !iew. Therefore the label of gay-Christian is not a $iblical label for one to embrace. 3aul writes in Hphesians ,:&&-&,: =ou were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires/ to be made new in the attitude of your minds/ and to put on the new self, created to be like %od in true righteousness and holiness. 'or those who are true Christ followers, it is essential to hold fast to our true identity of a redeemed saint/ <Christ in you, the hope of glory? JCol. ":&0K. 2s " Cor. .:"" states, <2nd that is what some of you were. $ut you were washed, you were sanctified, you were 8ustified in the name of the +ord Jesus Christ and by the (pirit of our %od.? 9edemption and an identity in Christ is a!ailable for all. #e need to make some significant distinctions as we look at sin in the life of the belie!er. 1t is not a sin to be tempted or to ha!e same-sex attractions. Jesus, )imself, was tempted in ever& 'a& that 'ere are* &et 'as 'ithout sin J)ebrews ,:"-K. Temptations and attractions become sin when we start engaging them and acting upon them in thought or deed. There are also significant differences in the moti!ations of people who deal with homosexuality. 'irst, there are those who struggle with homosexuality, recogni;e it as sin, resist it, yet occasionally fall into pornography or sexual encounters. This group responds to their sinful actions with brokenness and repentance. They are @uick to confess their sin, and seek to change. (econdly, there are those who belie!e that homosexual acti!ity is sinful but choose to freely engage in homosexual acti!ity anyway for a !ariety of reasons. (ome ha!e gi!en up in the fight and became angry at %od. (ome choose the pleasure of sin o!er the righteousness of %od. Bthers abuse the grace of %od and turn it into permission to sin. This group responds to sexual sin with a hardened, calloused heart. Thirdly, there are those who are truly decei!ed into belie!ing that %od blesses homosexuality and engage in homosexual acti!ity 149

celebrating it as a gift from %od. Bne wonders if this group li!es their li!es secretly conflicted between their spirituality and their sexuality. 2s we look at these three groups we need to remember that 3hilippians &:"& tells us to work out own sal!ation with fear and trembling. 1t is not our 8ob to 8udge the moti!ations of a person s heart, or to 8udge whether one is truly sa!ed or not. %od alone knows the true intent of a person s heart/ howe!er, a repentant person will produce fruit in keeping with repentance J+uke *:0-5, 4att. 0:"--&*K. %od s grace is abundant for the first group of people who struggle with sin and are @uick to repent. " John ":5 reads, <1f we confess our sins, he is faithful and 8ust and will forgi!e us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.? )ebrews "E:&.-&0, &5 presents a strong warning to those in the second group who ha!e recei!ed the truth and chose to walk in sin. 1f we deliberately keep on sinning after we ha!e recei!ed the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of 8udgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of %od. )ow much more se!erely do you think a man deser!es to be punished who has trampled the (on of %od under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the co!enant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the (pirit of graceI Those in the third group who ha!e been decei!ed into belie!ing that homosexuality is a gift from %od are also under a strong warning in %alatians .:0-6 which states, 7o not be decei!ed: %od cannot be mocked. 2 man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction/ the one who sows to please the (pirit, from the (pirit will reap eternal life. The good news is that the mercy and grace of %od is a!ailable to people in all three of the groups described abo!e. 3eter is an excellent example of the mercy of %od to reach out to us in our sin and call us to repentance. #e see the mercy of Jesus targeting 3eter who after boasting that he was not like the others, and that he would ne!er deny the +ord did 8ust that J4ark ",K. 1n John &" we see Jesus reaching out to 3eter in lo!e. #e see the process of Jesus helping him to acknowledge the depth of his sin, the need for repentance, and the need to look past the actions or callings of others to walk in the specific calling that the +ord had for him. 9epentance is a!ailable for those in all three of the groups described abo!e. There are leaders in the ex-gay mo!ement who ha!e publically stated that they were in!ol!ed in the gay-affirming church when the )oly (pirit con!icted their hearts to repent of their homosexuality. Co one is beyond the mercy of the +ord Jesus Christ. 1f you are experiencing unwanted homosexual attractions, there is hope. 1f you ha!e been struggling with homosexuality for a long time and are growing weary in the fight, reach out for help. 7o not walk alone. Call 9econciliation 4inistries at -6..0*5.-"", and find out about ministry resources, groups, and ser!ices that can assist you in your 8ourney out of homosexuality. 1f you feel 150

like you !e struggled far too long, or fallen too far from grace to e!er return, remember that <he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus? J3hil. ":.K. There is hope and healing in Jesus Christ for e!eryone who seeks )im. )y #ear chi.#ren, I &rite this t y u s that y u &i.. n t sin ' 8ut i! any2 #y # es sin, &e ha$e ne &h s%ea6s t the (ather in ur #e!ense – Jesus Christ, the Ri/hte us One' He is the at nin/ sacri!ice ! r ur sins, an# n t n.y ! r urs 2ut a.s ! r the sins ! the &h .e & r.#' " John &:"-& $eferences and $ecommended $esourcesH
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7allas, Joe. The Gay GospelI How (roBGay )dvocates %isread the 9ible. )ar!est )ouse 3ublishers, &EE0.
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Celebrate 9eco!ery, 1nc. website. 9etrie!ed from http://www.celebratereco!ery.com on 2pril &5, &E"&.
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%agnon, 7r. 9obert. The 9ible and Homosexual (ractice Texts and Hermeneutics. 2bingdon 3ress. &EE&.
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Cational 2ssociation for 9esearch and Therapy of )omosexuality. www.narth.org. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"& http://img&.imagesbn.com/images/"&,,EEEE/"&,,E,"&.8pg http://www.recmin.org/:pdatedY&E2rticlesY&EandY&ETestimonies/%ay Y&EandY&EChristian.htm O$erc "in/ the ) ther 7 un# – Dan Hit: Dan is the Director of $econciliation %inistries of %ichi an, a ministry helpin men, women, and adolescents overcome sexual and relationship issues. He was the last out of five children livin emotionally detached from his father with a paranoid schizophrenic mother. This article addresses the emotional effects of livin in an environment that was predictable only by its 151

unpredictability. 't shows the power of !esus "hrist to heal the deep wounds inflicted upon the soul throu h a Emother woundF. ' still remember watchin T> and hearin my dad tell my mom, EThey should be able to ive you a shot to make the voices o awayMF They walked out of the house and came back later. *ife as ' knew it would never be the same. 't was a typical day. ' was a typical little kid. %y mom and ' were ettin into the car on our way to the store. %y mom told me that my cheeks were too pale, took me back in the house and put rubbin alcohol on my face. 't made my cheeks red. 't also made my eyes burn. ' cried. Doesn’t everyone’s mom put alcohol on their face to make their cheeks nice and redI %rowing up with my mom was like growing up in the Twilight _one. )ow does one separate weird from reality when reality is weirdI )ow does a little kid know what is normal when normal is not normalI 4y mom was paranoid schi;ophrenic. Things were strange, but not all the time. (ometimes landmines would go off if you rocked the boat. (ometimes they didn t. (ometimes what causes explosions one day doesn t cause them the next. Then againP maybe it doesP 2ndy Comiskey likens the mother 'oun) to ha!ing a heart like a strainer. Co matter how much lo!e is poured in, there is no capacity to retain it. 1n the +i!ing #aters text he writes, That maternal depri!ation can express itself in an inordinately powerful hunger for feminine touch, which in either sex can become erotici;ed. 1t can also fuel powerful emotional dependencies that are characteri;ed by grasping, clutching, <infantile? tendencies. Bthers may experience this !oid as a dreadful aloneness, an emotional abyss, that is accompanied with feelings of abandonment. (ome define this state as a profound emptiness, with little or no felt sense of being at all. Jp. &.K 2ndy Comiskey is right. The mother wound goes deep. 1t is at once a bottomless !oid and a pressuri;ed container of pain. Bne can try to drown out the !oid through unplugging emotionally or through o!erachie!ementP through sin or through religiously inspired perfectionism. :nless we bring the mother wound to Jesus, the !oid full of pain remains. 4y own mother wound ran deep and began in the womb. 1 was born with a sense of re8ection. 2s an adult 1 had trouble interacting with the authority figures in my life and would often say <they don t know what to do with me?. $efore 1 entered kindergarten my mother molested me while gi!ing me a bath. 1 dealt with that by turning off the <emotional circuit breakers? in my heart. Bn another occasion 1 can remember her calling me into the bathroom while she 152

was taking a bath. #hen 1 asked her what she wanted, she replied that she 8ust wanted to show me what a naked woman looked like. 1 still remember lea!ing the bathroom and starring into the corner of our dining room. #hat does a little boy do with information he was ne!er intended to recei!eI 2 few years after the bathtub incidents, 1 was at my friend s house and he showed me his father s pornographic maga;ine. 1 freaked> 1 turned away in fear. 7oesn t e!eryoneI 4y friend laughed at me. 1 guess not e!ery little boy turns his head away in fear from a picture of a naked woman. 1 can still remember the day my dad took my mother to the hospital for the shot that was supposed to <make the !oices go away?. 1t didn t work. There were many seasons with a lot freaky beha!ior A yelling, slamming doors, crying A and then mom would finally go to the hospital. 2 ;ombie came home for !isits. (he talked real slow and mo!ed real stiff. )er eyes glared. (he would make bi;arre religious comments about holy things that were supposed to be safe. The demonic forces that controlled her were careful to bring <%od? into the e@uation. The day my mother manifested a weird demonic display in the front of the church was the day 1 crumbled under the weight of shame and closed my heart off to %od and )is people. 1 was a early teenager at this point and could ha!e really used the support of community. 2nother casualty of the mother wound. 1 struggled with same-sex attractions since early 8unior high, although 1 can remember checking out the other boys on the playground in grade school. 4y biggest wound came later in high school. 4om was going through a particularly bad psychotic/demonic episode and drew my dad and me into the hurricane. 1n the middle of the storm she threatened to expose herself and prepositioned me. 1 freaked. $y %od s grace my dad was able to calm both of us down, but much damage had already been done. 'rom that point on all women were dangerous. 1 desperately needed someone to protect me so 1 declared that all men were safe. 1 consciously put the truth on the shelf when 1 remembered that one of my friend s dads was also mentally ill. 1 didn t know how to sur!i!e if 1 didn t fashion my own reality. 1 also decided that 1 would ne!er get married because if my wife was freaky like my mom, 1 would loose it myself and there would be no hope. 2t my mother s mental competency hearing in Tra!erse City, the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney were father and son. 4y mother s defense lawyer was defending her demonic beha!ior. (he has a right to li!e her life as she sees fitI 1 remember being numb as 1 ga!e my testimony. 1 knew the stories of the !iolence, the hallucinations, the attempt to burn down the houseP 4y mother burst into tears, yelled that 1 was lying, and declared that 1 was no longer her son. Curses comforted her as they led her out of the room. 1 sat there alone. Co one comforted me. 1 tried to fill up the !oid in my heart with compulsi!e homosexual fantasies and masturbation. 4y goal in life was to find <4r. 9ight? and li!e happily e!er after. )igh (chool theater offered a brief reprie!e from reality. #hen homosexual 153

lusts, fantasies, and encounters failed to satisfy 1 turned to food to numb the pain. 2norexia brought me down to "&- pounds and 1 was still too fat for <4r. 9ight?. (tar!ing turned to binging and purging as 1 spent the next three years trying to fill up the !oid with bulimia. 2ndy Comiskey was right when he wrote, <Bthers may experience this !oid as a dreadful aloneness, an emotional abyss, that is accompanied with feelings of abandonment. (ome define this state as a profound emptiness, with little or no felt sense of being at all.? Jp. &.K 8ut G #; 1 remember the day on June &,, "56, when 1 asked Jesus Christ into my heart. The bottomless pit in my soul began to close. Jesus Christ began to fill up the emptiness 1 was trying to pack with food and 1 ha!e not binged since that day. 1 wasn t ready to share my heart fully with )im in the beginning. That re@uired too much trust. 1 knew how to keep my emotional circuits turned off. 1 knew how to build emotional walls. The +ord lo!es us enough to work in our hearts at a pace we can accept and help us learn to trust )im one step at a time. 4y relationship with Christ was extremely timid in the early years. 1 read my $ible, worshiped, soaked up the teaching, and did all the right Christian things, but 1 didn t let )im reach too deeply into my soul. 1 prayed to surrender to )is will and that )e would do whate!er it took to make me like )im, but 1 didn t let )im into the depths of my pain. The +ord doesn t !iolate our personal boundaries A our free will A )e meets us where we re at. )e worked in my heart as deeply as 1 let )im, one step at a time. )e gradually began to redefine me. 1 was loosing my identification with my past abuse, my mentally ill mother, and my sin. 1 was beginning to be identified by )im A accepted by %od the 'ather and becoming 8ust like )is son, Jesus. The +ord began to heal my fear of women and brought me a beautiful best friend who became my wife. 4arianne and 1 ha!e learned to walk together through the mountains and !alleys of life as we grow in our lo!e for each other and the +ord. 4y wife and 1 both reali;e that we can t fix each other. Bnly Jesus can do that. (he is not the answer for my problems. 1 am not the answer for hers. This frees us to seek the +ord for each other and to en8oy the blessings or our relationship more fully. $ecoming more like Christ is not automatic. Ceither is o!ercoming the mother wound. #e must open up our hearts to Jesus, the only one who can truly redeem that which was lost in our li!es. The biggest step in my healing came as the +ord and 1 began to wrestle with the deep pain still trapped in my heart. 1 had some pretty strong defensi!e walls in my soul and 1 used them to a!oid pain. 1 used them to keep %od out of the terrified areas of my heart where 1 thought that 1 had always been on my own. 2fter years of marriage and working in the ministry, 1 began to loose the strength to ignore the pain and prop up the walls. They began to crumble the day 1 cried out to the +ord and admitted that e!erything 1 had tried to do to fix myself had not worked. 1 truly ga!e )im permission to do as )e saw fit. The walls further crumbled as 1 began to allow )im to walk with me through the pain of my life, admit that it still hurt, bring it to the cross, and accept )is resurrection life in the broken 154

areas of my heart. )e began to connect me to community in a deeper le!el. (ome of the healing came through +i!ing #aters, some from healing prayer, and some from traditional counseling. 'urther healing came as 1 walked in obedience and relationship with my (a!ior. #hen 1 attended +i!ing #aters training, one of the altar workers ga!e me a word that the +ord wanted to break my sense of self-sufficiency. 1 had belie!ed the lie that <1 was on my own? and that no one was going to protect me for so many years that 1 didn t know how to li!e without it. Through multiple ministry sessions the +ord showed me that )e always was, and always will be, there for me. 1 could now start to dismantle the defensi!e walls 1 erected for self protection the day that my dad took my mom to the hospital for a shot <to make the !oices go away?. The +ord is my protection. )e always was and )e always will be. 1 can now learn to safely interact with the world around me knowing that Jesus is my fortress. 1 continued to drop my guard, admit my pain, and meet the +ord in the middle of it. 1 met )im through healing prayer in the memory of my mother molesting me. 4y mother, who should ha!e been the safest person in my life, was the most dangerous. 2 bath that was supposed to make me clean, brought defilement. 2s we prayed, 1 could sense Jesus cleansing me of the fear and shame as )e dried me off, wrapped me in a towel, and held me close to )im. )is hands were in the right places. 2reas of the little boy part of my heart came back to life and 1 began learning to trust people again and learned to accept my sexuality. Jesus is my protector. 7uring another healing prayer session we were praying about the time my mother exposed herself to me in the bathtub. #hen we asked Jesus to show me other memories that were related to that experience 1 pictured the time my friend showed me the centerfold of his dad s pornographic maga;ine and 1 freaked. 1 wept as my prayer partner asked me what my mom stole from me the day she exposed herself to me. 1 reali;ed that my mom had stolen the inherent appreciation for the feminine that the +ord had designed in e!ery male s heart. =es, pornography is sinful, but any little boy should ha!e been intrigued by a picture of a naked woman, not terrified. Through that prayer session, the +ord restored the proper appreciation for the feminine body. The +ord has healed many wounds from my mother s mental competency hearing. 1 am no longer bitter at the nurses who comforted my mother while they left me sitting there alone. 1 ha!e forgi!en the legal system and the father/son prosecuting/defense attorney team. 4ost of all, 1 can accept that 1 am a son of %od the 'ather who lo!es and accepts me up e!en when my own mother has forsaken me. 1 am )is son first and foremost. 1 can accept the $ody of Christ as my family e!en with all of her imperfections and challenges. The +ord has healed many of the strongholds that were created the day my mother had her demonic manifestation at church. The couple who dro!e me home from church was not sitting in 8udgment towards me A thinking that 1 was also cra;y because 1 had a mentally ill mother. They 155

were offering compassion as they dro!e me home and tried to use humor to help me feel better. 1 ha!e forgi!en the priest who resisted coming o!er to our house to pray for my mom when 1 called begging for help. 1 can ha!e compassion on him now recogni;ing that he was o!erwhelmed and untrained for the intensity of my mother s condition. 2fter all, he did end up coming o!er and my mom did end up going into the hospital that day. 1 8ust couldn t see his contributions in my bitterness. %odly good and demonic e!il coexist in this world today. #holeness and brokenness coexist in the $ody of Christ today. Jesus lo!e helps us to forgi!e the broken and celebrate the whole. The power of %od demolished the strongholds created the day my mom had a demonic episode in the kitchen and threatened to expose herself. 2s 1 began to trust the +ord more and more, )e was able to walk with me through deeper and deeper le!els of pain and bring deeper and deeper le!els of healing. 1n one of the most intense healing prayer sessions of my life, the +ord walked with me step by step through the trauma. )e showed me that 1 wasn t the <spineless wonder? that 1 had always described myself to be, but that 1 had specifically remained in the house to protect my dad if my mother were to become !iolent again. )e showed me that my mother didn t actually preposition me, but that she prepositioned my dad. )e showed me that )e kept me safe in the middle of the storm and that all the forces of hell could not destroy me because )e is my strength. )e didn t gi!e me <a spirit of fear, but of power and of lo!e and of a strong mind? J& Timothy ":0K. )e showed me that while not e!ery woman is dangerous and not e!ery man is safe, )e is powerful enough to lead me in a battle and bring me safely to !ictory. $est of all, %od freed me to treasure and cherish my wife more without the filter of the fear of women between us. 1 also know that %od <created my inmost being? and <knit me together in my motherGs womb? J3salm "*5:"*K. )e showed me a !ision of my mom yelling at my dad for making her pregnant with me. 1 could recogni;e the powerless look on my dad s face that 1 had seen so many times when he didn t know what to do. 1 saw my mom raise her fists in anger to bring them down on her stomach, only to cushion the blow at the last minute so she wouldn t hurt me inside her womb. 1 recogni;ed the beginning of the thought, <They don t know what to do with me,? as 1 heard the heart of %od say, <1 wanted you and 1 know what to do with you.? 1 can now rest in my identity in Christ knowing that )e lo!es me dearly and re8oiced on the day of my birth. 1 can now stand in my authority in Christ and take my rightful place in the $ody of Christ. 2t the end of an intense healing prayer session, 1 told my prayer partner that 1 wanted to pray and ask %od to make me the man 1 would ha!e been if 1 had not had a demonic, paranoid schi;ophrenic mother. 4y prayer didn t make it past the first sentence. The +ord showed me that through the redemption of the traumas 1 endured, )e has made me an e!en better 4an of %od than 1 would ha!e been if none of this pain would ha!e happened. 2s we walk with Christ through redemption, we are drawn closer to )is heart and learn more about )is lo!e for us than we could know any other way. 1n our surrender to )im, we recei!e )is !ictory.

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The +ord has much more healing in store for me as )e continues to reach into my heart in lo!e and touch the hidden pockets of pain. 1 am learning more and more to trust in the heart of 'ather %od to teach me the things that my mom and dad failed to teach me. 1 am learning to trust )im more and more as he continues to heal the mother wound in the deeper areas of my heart. %od is lo!e, and )is goal for our li!es is complete transformation into the likeness of )is dear (on. The 8ourney is not easy, but the reward is priceless. 1f you are suffering from a mother wound, cry out to Jesus and seek the help of safe, Christian people to walk with you in the restoration path. The +ord has so much more to gi!e you in your 8ourney with )im. =ou will learn more of )is grace and strength than you could e!er imagine. JUL@ NE7*LETTER 7ear 'riends, This month s newsletter is one of my fa!orite topics to write about> #e are coming to a conclusion of our brand new +i!ing #aters program in $righton and ha!e now opened our registration for the next session of our +i!ing #aters program in Troy. 1n this month s newsletter we share testimonies from our participants and re8oice with them o!er the great things the +ord has done in their hearts through the +i!ing #aters program. 2ll @uotes are used by permission. 1t is our hope that you will re8oice with them as they celebrate %od s goodness in their li!es, pray for them as they continue their healing in the greater $ody of Christ, and share these testimonies with those who may need hope for the +ord s healing in their own li!es. )ere s a few brief comments from some of our participants: Li$in/ 7aters is a sa!e %.ace ! r hea.in/ t ta6e %.ace'

This %r /ra" has a.. &e# "e t #ra& near t the L r# an# e<%erience a " re %ers na. re.ati nshi% &ith Hi"' He has 2ec "e s "e ne that I 6n & I can trust an# . $e &ith ut !ear ! re=ecti n' The 2est %art ! Li$in/ 7aters &as the #e%th that &e &ere a2.e t achie$e int the "ateria., &hich a.. &e# "e t see the reas ns &hy I !ee. the &ay that I # , an# !!ere# h %e ! r chan/e' I than6 G # ! r Li$in/ 7aters 2ecause i! it &asn?t ! r G #, an# the %e %.e G # is usin/ in this "inistry, I thin6 "y "arria/e & u.# 2e $er' There are more testimonies on the inside of this newsletter which can pro!ide hope for those trapped in sexual and relational sin. 1f you or someone you know is struggling, please call -6..0*5.-"", and find out how 9econciliation 4inistries can help.

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Thank you for partnering with us at 9econciliation 4inistries to help us share the resurrection power of Jesus Christ with those who are hurting and bound by sin and emotional pain. 9econciliation 4inistries offers +i!ing #aters, indi!idual licensed professional counseling and prayer ministry, support groups, internet based resources such as our website and our 'acebook page, and our monthly newsletters. 1 will also be ministering in 3akistan this fall to those trapped in addiction and pro!ide leadership training to e@uip church leaders who are ministering to addicts. 1n January &E"* 1 will be assisting with a +i!ing #aters leadership retreat in 1ndonesia and a national +i!ing #aters training in Thailand. 9econciliation 4inistries could not reach those that we do without the faithful prayers and generous financial support of ministry partners like you. 3lease prayerfully consider a tax deductible donation towards a partial +i!ing #aters scholarship or towards missions trip expenses. Thank you for walking with us to reach out to those in need. 1n Christ, 7an )it;, 7irector, 9econciliation 4inistries of 4ichigan Our ne<t Li$in/ 7aters %r /ra" &i.. 2e startin/ in *e%te"2er in Tr y' Li$in/ 7aters is a 3hrist0centere) )isci,leshi,Lministr& ,rogram for men an) 'omen see.ing healing in areas of sexual an) relational (ro.enness inclu)ing ,ornogra,h& a))iction* co)e,en)enc&* sexual a))iction* homosexualit&* sexual am(ivalence* chil)hoo) sexual a(use* transgen)er issues* an) )ifficult& in esta(lishing an) sustaining health& relationshi,s. Here are some powerful testimonies from participants who had their lives chan ed in the *ivin +aters pro ram throu h the power of !esus "hrist. These Guotes are used with the permission of the participants. I ha$e seen that hea.in/ is rea. an# that chan/e is % ssi2.e' ) male participant 1 grew up in a !ery abusi!e home with two alcoholic parents. 1 accepted Christ at "0 and swore 1 would ne!er drink like my parents. 1 succeeded at this for se!eral years but was insecure, lonely, dri!en to succeed and angry. 7ue to stress at work 1 started ha!ing a glass of wine after work. This @uickly led to full blown alcoholism, then drug addiction. Thankfully, 1 was able to gain sobriety through 22 and rehab. H!en though 1 was sober there were the past issues and past sexual abuse haunting me. 1n so many ways 1 was still acting out anger and hadn t dealt with all the pain. 1 felt %od wanted me to attend +i!ing #aters. 1 m so glad 1 did. 2ll the lessons were helpful. The safe atmosphere was something 1 had ne!er experienced in church. 1 !e been able to start to look at the past, grow closer to the +ord, and gain practical tools to walk out healing. The healing prayer in small group was life changing. 158

) female participant 1 !e been married for about ten years now. 1 !e been struggling with sexual purity for almost my whole marriage. 1 !e been through deli!erance and also tried to do it all by myself constantly but of course 1 ha!e ne!er been set free. 1 also had pornography and masturbation addiction prior to getting married. 1 ha!e been free for about eight weeks now and 1 am the closest to %od 1 ha!e e!er been. 1 am now open with my wife when things pop up, which 1 ne!er was before. 1 thank %od for +i!ing #aters because if it wasn t for %od, and the people %od is using in this ministry, 1 think my marriage would be o!er. ) male participant (atan used painful experiences in my life, such as re8ection experienced from both my dad and my step-dad, to keep me chained within my own shame and led me far from the )eart of %od. 1 put up walls that allowed nothing in, and conse@uently, nothing out. The pain welled up inside of me, e!en if 1 could identify it as such, and caused me to adopt unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as smoking, drinking, and getting sexually in!ol!ed with same-sex relationships. There were many times that 1 would go to church <hung-o!er? from the pre!ious night s sinful acti!ities. Through +i!ing #aters %od has led me to see that 1 really cannot ser!e two masters, and had to choose between following %od or the sin. 1 came to know that residing in )is presence is so much sweeter and 1 ha!e chosen )im. Through de!oting my heart fully to )im, the other things ha!e been dropping off or at least becoming manageable temptations. 1 m nowhere near perfect, and by the grace of %od, 1 don t ha!e to be, but this class has aligned my will with that of %od s for my life and it has gi!en me tools and resources for maintaining my relationship with )im. ) male participant #hen 1 started +i!ing #aters 1 had been separated from my husband of two years for three months. Bur relationship had turned into one that was full of !erbal and some physical abuse, and was !olatile. 2lthough 1 deeply did not want a di!orce, 1 was not sure we were going to make it. $ut 1 still had hope in %od to change me and my husband, and to completely renew our marriage. Bn top of that, 1 had grown up in a dysfunctional household were my mother struggled deeply with depression, which unfortunately led to my parents di!orce, which had caused a lot of brokenness in me, and anger toward my mom. $ut praise be to %od, as 1 went through each week, and focused on me, and changing myself, things between my husband and 1 got better and better. Then right before Thanksgi!ing, we decided to reconcile. (ince then, our relationship has grown into one of honesty, lo!e, respect and forgi!eness, and today on the last night of +i!ing #aters, our marriage and relationship is truly the happiest and in the best place it has e!er been. 1t s better than when we first got married> 1 also ha!e forgi!en many people, and ha!e found healing for my brokenness. 1 belie!e generational curses Jone being di!orceK ha!e been broken, and 1 ha!e also found a new trust and peace in %od. 1 feel like 1 ha!e grown in %od so much and that 1 am stronger and more healed than 1 ha!e e!er been> 159

) female participant 1 came into this program !ery shamed based. 1 hated myself for ha!ing grown up with same-sex desires and didn t want to ha!e to admit that to anyone. 1t was humiliating to me. 1 knew that people looked at me and wondered and 1 would cringe inside. %od had remo!ed those desires, but the shame and selfre8ection remained. 1 was still !ery self-conscious and insecure as a woman. 1 didn t feel that 1 was ade@uate or looked the part. 1 also carried deep bitterness from childhood because 1 didn t want to ha!e to li!e through life. 1t was too painful. 4y father hurt me deeply with his words and raging temper. 1 grew up afraid of him and felt he disdained me and 1 blamed myself for this. 1f only 1 was perfect enough. Bnly, it wasn t my fault. 1 hated that 1 needed his lo!e and acceptance and ne!er recei!ed it. The lectures in +i!ing #aters co!ered e!erything. 1 learned so much in all areas of life. The teachers did a great 8ob. The testimonies were ama;ing and %od s healing e!en more ama;ing. 1t was encouraging. They made me laugh and made me cry. $ut most of all, they ga!e me hope. There were times of healing in praise and worship, in the prayers of the leaders after a lecture, and in our small groups. The transparency of the leaders meant so much to me. They were real with what they !e been through and where %od has brought them. 2nd nowP the shame is gone. The bitterness is gone. The self-hatred is gone and 1 am at peace with myself and who 1 am as a woman. There are impro!ements to be made, but %od is working that out and it s okay now. 1 don t ha!e to hide my hurts and fears. 1 ha!e shared the best of me and the worst of me with a group of women that lo!ed and supported me and encouraged me to mo!e on to greatness in )im. 1 encourage anyone who is thinking about coming to +i!ing #aters to do yourself a fa!or. =ou will be accepted and lo!ed and encouraged in )im> This is a safe place for you to heal and grow and be stretched by %od in ways that will change your life fore!er. This program is for e!eryone who s e!er had a broken heart. 1saiah .":"-*. ) female participant I! y u r s "e ne y u . $e is stru//.in/ &ith se<ua. r re.ati na. #i!!icu.ties, there is h %e an# hea.in/ thr u/h the % &er ! Jesus Christ' C ntact us t #ay an# as6 a2 ut atten#in/ the ne<t Li$in/ 7aters %r /ra" 2y ca..in/ RCMNS OEP5CBBF' 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 160

D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"& http://recmin.org/ Hea.in/ !r " A2use Thr u/h the + &er ! the Cr ss 6 Dan Hitz

Dan is the director of $econciliation %inistries. He rew up with a paranoid schizophrenic mother in an emotionally, physically, and sexually unsafe homeP and endured spiritual abuse as an adult. 'n addition to overcomin the effects of abuse in his own life, Dan has ministered to male and female abuse survivors for many years. The boundaries of those who ha!e endured abuse ha!e been !iolated by those who were supposed to protect and empower them. 1n response, many !ictims build their own walls of self-protection. These walls may ha!e helped for a season, but e!entually outli!e their effecti!eness and keep sur!i!ors trapped in their pain. (ometimes their li!es are in ruins. Through the power of the cross, Jesus Christ can heal the pain of abuse and rebuild li!es. 1n the Bld Testament, Cehemiah talked to the leaders of Jerusalem and acknowledged that the city lay in ruins. )e then encouraged the people, <Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace? J&:"0K. )e also told them of %od s graciousness and )is ability to restore. 1n response the people said, <+et us start rebuilding? J&:"6K. 9eco!ery from abuse re@uires that we acknowledge the pain of the abuse, and make a conscious decision to begin the healing process. The *ivin +aters guidebook identifies four types of abuse A physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse. 2dditionally, past 9econciliation 4inistries newsletters ha!e explored reco!ery from spiritual abuse. #hate!er the type of abuse a person may suffer, the effects go deep down into his soul. This article will briefly re!iew some of the main effects of abuse and common steps toward healing. 2lthough this article focuses primarily on sexual abuse, it is helpful in the reco!ery of all types of abuse. Bne of the primary factors influencing the effects of abuse is the fre@uency that the abuse occurred. The more fre@uent the abuse, the greater its effects. :nfortunately, those who ha!e endured long term abuse may percei!e it as less harmful than someone who endured a single episode of abuse because she may ha!e grown used to the abuse and !iewed it as a part of her e!eryday life. The stronger the emotional foundation of a person s life prior to the abuse, the greater their ability will be to process and heal from the abuse. Children growing up in a positi!e family en!ironment usually ha!e a much stronger sense of who they are and their purpose in life. They are much more resilient that a child growing up in an abusi!e home. :nfortunately, perpetrators seem to ha!e a built in radar system and prey upon those from more dysfunctional families who don t ha!e the emotional strength to pre!ent or o!ercome their ad!ances. 1n addition to the critical role that parents play in strengthening the foundations of their child s world, a child s heart continues to grow in strength and understanding as his/her life progresses. #hen children are abused at a 161

young age, they ha!e not had the positi!e life experiences necessary to produce a healthy foundation to process the e!ents of life. Those who are abused at a younger age suffer more emotional damage than those abused when older. The identity of the abuser is another factor that influences the power of the abuse. The impact to the sur!i!or is directly proportional to the percei!ed closeness and authority of the abuser. #hen those who are supposed to be the safest and most empowering people in the child s life become those who are the most dangerous, the effects are much greater than abuse from a random stranger. The final factor influencing the effects of abuse is the response of others A actual or percei!ed A that the sur!i!or may tell about the abuse. 1t is heartbreaking to hear sur!i!ors tell of being scolded by a parent for reporting the abuse of another parent or lo!ed one. 1n such cases, the child feels like she has no where to go for safety and the conse@uences increase. The actual effects of abuse can be de!astating to the sur!i!or personally, and to others in his life. The innocent !ictim bears the weight of another s sin and per!ersion. 1nnocent others in the life of the sur!i!or bear the weight of the !ictim s emotional conse@uences, ranging from lost intimacy and isolation to becoming the target of his unpredictable emotional rage. The primary !ictim is the person who actually experienced the abuse firsthand. The secondary !ictims are the people in the primary !ictim s life who ha!e suffered from the effects of the brokenness of the one who was !ictimi;ed. This may be the siblings of the sur!i!or who are mistreated by the sur!i!or out of fear and selfprotection, or the spouse of the sur!i!or who is resented and sometimes persecuted when seeking appropriate emotional and sexual intimacy from their spouse. 1t is important for all of those affected by the sur!i!or s abuse to seek their own healing and understanding. $ecause their own boundaries ha!e been shattered, abuse sur!i!ors often ha!e poor interpersonal boundaries. They may ha!e no boundaries at all, in which case anyone and e!eryone is entrusted with intimate details of the person s life, or rigid boundaries which keep e!eryone far away from any trace of !ulnerability in the sur!i!or s life. $oth extremes keep the sur!i!or trapped in emotional chaos and loneliness. Hmotionally healthy others respect the broken boundaries of a sur!i!or A other abusers or emotionally damaged people don t. This sets the sur!i!or up for a !icious cycle of unhealthy relationships and heart ache. (cripture gi!es us many examples of %od expressing )is emotions from wrath to compassion to 8oy. :nfortunately, many sur!i!ors ha!e learned early on that expressing emotions was dangerous. They may ha!e been further shamed and mistreated for resisting or becoming upset about the abuse, or they may ha!e been o!erwhelmed by their own emotions and shut down their feelings altogether. Those who ha!e responded to abuse by shutting down their emotions are often unable to understand the social cues of others, or to ade@uately !erbali;e their own needs e!en when in a safe en!ironment. 2buse negati!ely affects the fight or flight center of the brain. (ome abuse !ictims become hypersensiti!e and o!er reacti!e to e!en the slightest trace of 162

percei!ed threats or offense. They may exhibit extreme ranges of emotions which far exceed the things they are responding to. 'ear, self-hatred, and inappropriate guilt are often incenti!es for self-sabotage in the life of the sur!i!or. There are many factors contributing to these emotions. 1n the case of long-term abuse, the !ictim may teach himself to like the abuse in order to cope with the confusion and fear. Bthers suffer condemnation because their bodies ha!e responded to the pleasurable feelings they felt during the abuse. :nfortunately, kids don t understand that their bodies are built to respond to touch regardless of if the touch is welcome and $iblical, or unwanted and harmful. $ecause of the inappropriate guilt, he may feel unworthy of being happy or ha!ing satisfying relationships. #hen things start going well, he may begin to feel threatened or condemned and may create an incident to plunge those around them into the world of chaos he feels inside his own heart. (he may feel threatened with appropriate intimacy or fear abandonment so she offends or re8ects the other person before the other person can hurt her. (ome sur!i!ors attempt to compensate for <feeling small? and !ulnerable by <becoming bigger? emotionally and/or physically. 2 young girl who was told how pretty she was by her abuser may gain weight in an attempt to make herself less attracti!e to those who may abuse her in the future. 2 young boy who is told how sensiti!e and understanding he is by his abuser may become emotionally abrasi!e and offensi!e in a broken attempt to ward off potential abusers. :nderstandably, the effects of abuse often cause wide ranging damage to the sur!i!or s relationships. Those who were neglected at home may percei!e that the only intimacy they recei!ed was during the abuse and link sex, abuse, and intimacy together in unhealthy, erotici;ed intimacy. Bthers may refuse intimacy altogether out of fear of being betrayed and abused by those to whom they would become !ulnerable. Bthers may turn to substance abuse or other addictions to numb the pain of abuse lea!ing them unable to interact properly with safe people. (ecrecy, hiddenness, and a life of co!ering up the abuse may inhibit the sur!i!or from li!ing in honesty and proper emotional openness to those who really would be safe to ha!e a relationship with. 'f you have been abused, you may have reco nized some of the feelin s and effects in this article. (erhaps you may even feel like you’ve finally received validation for the pain that is in your heart. %aybe you’ve tried to describe this pain to others who seem to blow you off, and tell you to E et over itF. 'f that’s you, $econciliation %inistries understands that your pain is very real and very deep. 'f you love someone who has been abused, maybe you’ve seen some similarities in her behavior with what is described in this article. 't is our hope that you have be un to understand the hurt trapped in his heart a little easier. He.% ! r th se &h ha$e 2een a2use#;

1n spite of the se!ere conse@uences of your abuse, there is hope and healing in the presence of Jesus Christ. The first step in reco!ering from abuse is to acknowledge the abuse itself, and make a conscious decision to start the healing process. 1t is critical for you to reach out to a safe, trusted Christian 163

minister and/or counselor who has experience in helping people o!ercome sexual abuse. This person will help you process through your experiences, thoughts, and emotions to better understand and o!ercome the effects of the abuse. 2s you acknowledge the pain and effects of abuse in your life, you will be better able to take that pain to the cross where you can recei!e comfort, healing, and truth from the )oly (pirit. )e can restore your heart. =ou will need to appropriately break se!eral common rules of abusi!e homes including the following: "K The Don’t Talk $ule. #hether you were threatened, experienced further abuse, or shamed into silence/ it is common for sur!i!ors to suppress their experiences. =ou may ha!e percei!ed that talking about the problem brings danger and more fear. 1n reality, talking about your abuse in the presence of safe others helps to !alidate your feelings and release years of pain. &K The Don’t 8eel $ule. 'eelings of abuse are painful and o!erwhelming. (ur!i!ors often feel that if they would ha!e continued to feel the emotional turmoil of the abuse they would ha!e gone cra;y. $eginning to feel years of suppressed emotions is often frightening and painful. 2n experienced minister or counselor can help you learn to feel and resol!e negati!e emotions in the presence of Jesus who has infinite capacity to carry your burdens and heal your pain. *K The Don’t <eed $ule. (ur!i!ors often learn the message that needs will go unmet, or will be used against them and con!ince themsel!es not to need anything. The truth is that we as humans are created by %od to ha!e basic needs and desires. +earning to acknowledge these needs, and to step out and seek for those needs to be fulfilled in legitimate ways takes courage and support. ,K The Don’t Trust $ule. Those who ha!e been !iolated by people they ha!e trusted fre@uently become self-sufficient and resistant to trusting others. =ou will need people you can trust to learn the how, when, and who s of trusting. This may be a fearful step for you, but learning to allow safe others into your life is critical to your healing and brings godly, rewarding friendships. This will take you some work, but an experienced counselor will help you to learn the relationship skills necessary to set healthy boundaries, understand who is safe and who isn t, and de!eloping healthy relationships. 1f you ha!e learned to use anger as a shield, you will need to look at your anger and how you use it. (ome anger may ha!e helped you to sur!i!e back when the abuse was current, but it often begins to work against you later on down the road. =ou may e!en be angry at %od for <allowing? the abuse to happen. These are important thoughts to look at with your counselor or minister. )e can help you understand the moti!es behind your anger and learn healthier ways to cope with your pain. 9eleasing your anger doesn t mean that you are saying that what your abuser did was okay, and it doesn t mean that you now ha!e to trust the one who abused you. 9eleasing anger frees you up to use your emotional energy in a more producti!e manner. #e ll co!er the dynamics of anger in a future edition of our newsletter. 2nother important step will be to seek the +ord for a godly !ision of the future. #hat does the +ord ha!e for your lifeI #hy were you createdI %aining a better understanding of your purpose and calling in life will help you understand the steps you ll need to take to reach that goal. The +ord doesn t see you as your 164

abuser A or e!en you A see you. )e sees you with eyes of compassion, protection, and restoration. )e knows how !aluable you really are. 1f you or someone you lo!e has suffered from abuse, reach out for help. 9econciliation 4inistries offers indi!idual counseling and prayer ministry, open support groups for men and women, and a &,-week discipleship program called +i!ing #aters. The men and women on the 9econciliation 4inistries team ha!e o!ercome their own sexual and relational issues and understand the challenges of facing our brokenness and walking into wholeness. #e are here to walk with you. 'or more information, call 9econciliation 4inistries at -6..0*5.-"",. 5ou can read testimonies of men and women who have overcome sexual abuse and other sexual and relational difficulties on the *ife 4tories section of this website. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E""

Che Are0%(use Setu, I 7an )it; #hat makes one person more !ulnerable to abusi!e situations than anotherI #hen emotionally healthy people check out a spiritually abusi!e church, they don t stay. They recogni;e the dysfunction. )ealthy people put up boundaries which unhealthy people try to !iolate or outright re8ect. )owe!er, (ro.enness create) in the 1,re0a(use setu,2 ,ro)uces a susce,ti(ilit& to further a(use. 1 ha!e a friend who says, <)ome is where the outside matches the inside?. 1t is the reason why a woman who has grown up with an abusi!e alcoholic father and doesn t deal with her wounds can find herself married to her second abusi!e alcoholic husband. The way her husband treated her while dating felt familiar to her <normal? feelings growing up. (he may e!en feel uncomfortable around healthy men A she sees herself way below his le!el. Those wounded by abuse often fall prey to 1learne) hel,lessness2. Those abused when they actually were powerless to stop it continue to belie!e that they are helpless !ictims long after they actually ha!e the resources to o!ercome. 3re-abuse factors include ,ast ,h&sical* sexual* an) emotional a(use or neglect. The atmosphere is familiar, but surely a church must be a safe place. 165

Those who gro' u, in a )&sfunctional famil& without an appropriate mother or father figure may be used to A or addicted to A chaos. 2n abusi!e religious system offers structured chaos. The chaos is ordered around <(criptural? issues which seem to be worth fighting for. Those who are sociall& isolate) are susceptible because they are looking for an accepting community. )is Chapel JCot the real name of the church.K was our family. #e had many brothers and sisters who all belie!ed as we did A who all suffered the same reproach for what we held dear. 3eople outside the system were deemed unsafe so we stuck together. )owe!er, we found out later that our relationships were only as strong as our adherence to the system. 2busi!e systems play off of the members guilt and shame. <Co one else would accept me like these people if they knew what 1 struggled with.? 1 did find much forgi!eness and confidentiality inside the system, but 1 also knew that implications could be made if 1 left. 3eople with ,oor life s.ills lack the interpersonal boundaries and asserti!eness necessary to stand strong against abuse. They also fear that they can t stand on their own. +earned helplessness lea!es them !ulnerable to the dictates of the system. 2long with poor life skills comes ,oor or no foun)ation for evaluation of a,,ro,riateness . The system offers them so much of what they are looking for, but they lack the ability to perform a mental cost/benefit analysis. <7oes the percei!ed benefit of staying in the system outweigh the emotional toll of performing to system specificationsI? is a @uestion that many are unable to ade@uately answer. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E""

Hea.in/ +rayer Res urces "ompiled by Dan Hitz, =xecutive Director of $econciliation %inistries, www.recmin.or , !une 27, :77.. This list is intended to provide a brief description of many ministries which specialize in healin prayer. 4ome of these pro rams are available throu h $econciliation %inistries. #thers offer conferences throu hout the ;4, and all offer valuable online resources. Theophostic (rayer %inistry and many of the pro rams offered by Desert 4tream %inistries are available throu h $econciliation %inistries. "all ,-../01.,223 for more information. 166

Desert *trea" )inistries Lansas City, L( www.desertstream.org Desert *trea" )inistries is a healing ministry which has many curriculums speciali;ing in sexual and relational issues including homosexuality, sexual addiction, pornography addiction, marital unfaithfulness, transgender issues, difficulty with intimacy, frigidity, incest reco!ery and childhood sexual abuse reco!ery. This ministry effecti!ely combines theology, psychology, and healing prayer in a format that includes corporate worship, large group teaching and prayer ministry time, and small group sessions. The main focus of this ministry is to de!elop a deeper intimacy with Jesus Christ so that )e can repair faulty emotional and spiritual foundations resulting in healthier sexuality. 3urriculum +nclu)esK Li$in/ 7aters *ivin +aters is the primary program from 7esert (tream 4inistries and co!ers a wide range of sexual and relational issues. The focus is approximately 6EY spiritual foundations and &EY boundaries. *ivin +aters is a closed *E-week program, which means that participants must complete an application and an intake inter!iew to assess their readiness and must begin the program within the first three weeks. Comiskey, 2. J"55.K. *ivin +atersH 4exual and $elational +holeness throu h "hrist. Lansas City, L(: 7esert (tream 3ress. This manual is a!ailable only to participants of the *ivin +aters program. Cr ss Current "ross "urrent is an 6-week !ersion of *ivin +aters summari;ing the highlights of the larger program. 1t is an open support group and participants may attend any or all of the sessions. Co registration is re@uired. "ross "urrent may be used in an e!angelical manner for unchurched participants or used specifically for Christians. Comiskey, 2. J"555K. "ross "urrent. Lansas City, L(: 7esert (tream 3ress. (a..in/ ( r&ar# 4 *e<ua. A##icts Learnin/ Trust R*'A'L'T'S 8allin 8orward is a &E-week program for heterosexual males struggling with sexual/pornography addiction. The focus is approximately &EY spiritual foundations and 6EY boundaries, action plan de!elopment, and study of the cycles of addiction. 167

+ockwood, C. 9. J&EEEK. 8allin 8orwardH The (ursuit of 4exual (urity. Lansas City, L(: 7esert (tream 3ress. )en +ursuin/ +urity %en (ursuin (urity is an eight-week !ersion of 4.).*.T., yet also co!ers many of the spiritual aspects of the *ivin +aters program. 1t is intended for heterosexual males struggling with pornography and/or sexual addiction. The curriculum may be used in church small groups, indi!idual study, and facilitated as an official reco!ery program. The focus is approximately 0EY spiritual and *EY boundaries. Citlau, 9. J&EE-K. %en (ursuin (urity. Lansas City, L(: 7esert (tream 3ress. A##iti na. Res urces Comiskey, 2. J"565K. (ursuin 4exual +holenessH How !esus Heals the Homosexual. +ake 4ary, '+: Creation )ouse. Comiskey, 2. J&EE*K. 4tren th in +eakness. 7owner s %ro!e, 1+: 1nter!arsity 3ress. Comiskey, 2. J&EE,K. +here Do ' Go from HereI Help for +ives 8acin Their HusbandsS 4exual 9rokenness. Lansas City, L(: 7esert (tream 3ress. Comiskey, 2. J&EE-K. 9eauty and the 9reachH *iberatin %arria e from 4exual and $elational 4in. Lansas City, L(: 7esert (tream 3ress. 4orrill, C., M Coy, #. J&EEEK. 4oulutionsH $elational Healin for the <ext Generation. Lansas City, L(: 7esert (tream 3ress. The %h stic +rayer )inistry, Campbells!ille, L=, www.theophostic.com Theophostic (rayer %inistry is a healing prayer model that is useful for helping people o!ercome a wide !ariety of emotional issues including depression, anxiety, panic disorder, trauma, obsessi!e compulsi!e disorder, dissociati!e identity disorder, and sexual abuse. The foundational premise is that emotional difficulties are rooted in lies which the person belie!es about him/herself. 1n short, a person belie!ed a lie about him/herself at an early stage in his/her life, and li!es as though a filter has been placed o!er his/her heart which causes him/her to interpret emotional information and life experiences based on the lie. The prayer minister is careful not to suggest situations, ask leading @uestions, or offer his/her own insight to the client during the prayer session. The lie is usually rooted in the client s own emotional or cogniti!e misinterpretation of his/her own e!entJsK which he/she could easily understand if ob8ecti!ely 168

obser!ing another indi!idual. The client may be able to cogniti!ely recogni;e a realistic answer, but cannot apply that answer to his/her emotions. The prayer minister asks the client to focus on the negati!e feelings he/she is experiencing and then asks the )oly (pirit to take the person back in his/her memories to the first time the person felt the same way. 2s the person remembers the first time he/she experienced the same negati!e feelings, the prayer minister asks the +ord to re!eal the lie that was planted during the e!ent. The minister then asks the +ord to speak the truth about the situation and dispel the lie. $ecause the client hears the )oly (pirit identify the lie and speak the truth while remembering the source and origin of the lie, the truth mo!es beyond the cogniti!e realm into the emotional realm. #hen this happens, current life experiences no longer ha!e the power to trigger the negati!e emotions caused by the lie. 2 simple example of this would be a childhood sexual abuse sur!i!or who feels dirty when she has legitimate sex with her husband. (he begins to understand that the first time she felt dirty while ha!ing sex was when she was sexually abused by her adult neighbor at the age of four. 1t was there that the lie was planted that <(ex is dirty, and 1 am dirty because 1 didn t stop the man from ha!ing sex with me?. 2s the prayer minister asks the )oly (pirit to speak the truth, the client recei!es the truth from the +ord in a way that is meaningful to her. 1t may include such simple truths as, <=ou couldn t stop him because you were only four,? or <=ou didn t want him to do it.? 3rior to the pray, the client usually understood the truth intellectually, but it has now mo!ed into a heartfelt understanding since the truth was spoken by the )oly (pirit. (he is now able to experience sex more freely with her husband because she is no longer bound by the lie that she is dirty because she did not stop the neighbor from sexually abusing her. This ministry uses a more con!ersational prayer approach, rather than a theological study of (cripture or a psychological treatment model. (mith, H. 4. J&EE-K. Theophostic (rayer %inistryH 9asic 4eminar %anual. Cambells!ille, L=: Cew Creation 3ublishing. (mith, H. 4. Jn.d.K. Theophostic (rayer %inistryH 9asic and )dvanced 4eminar 4eries, D>D. Cambells!ille, L=: Cew Creation 3ublishing. Rest rin/ the ( un#ati ns (anta 9osa $each, '+ www.phw.org $estorin the 8oundations is a healing prayer techni@ue that is useful on a wide !ariety of emotional and spiritual issues and is almost identical to Theophostic prayer ministry. The manual is better written than the Theophostic manual, easier to understand, and generally co!ers the same concepts with different !ocabulary. 2dditionally, $estorin the 8oundations 169

focuses on generational sins and curses, soul/spirit hurts, and demonic oppression. Lylstra, C., M Lylstra, $. J&EE"K. $estorin the 8oundationsH )n 'nte rated )pproach to Healin %inistry J&nd ed.K. (anta 9osa $each, '+: 3roclaiming )is #ord 3ublications. +ast ra. Care )inistries RLeanne +ayneS #heaton, 1+ www.leannepayne.org (astoral "are %inistries is one of the original prayer ministries helping men and women to o!ercome unwanted homosexuality. The founder, +eanne 3ayne, has mentored 2ndy Comiskey, founder of 7esert (tream 4inistries/ and 4ario $ergner, founder of 9edeemed +i!es 4inistries. 1t is also !ery helpful for sexual abuse sur!i!ors and those dealing with se!ere emotional wounds. (astoral "are %inistries’ prayer model focuses on <listening prayer? where the prayer minister and the client both learn to de!elop the ability to hear the (pirit of %od in relation to his/her wounds and needs. :nlike Theophostic and $estorin the 8oundations, +eanne 3ayne s model does use guided imagery during prayer ministry. 9egardless of one s opinion of guided imagery, there is a wealth of other useful ideals in her prayer model. This ministry tends to ha!e a strong scholarly and theological focus, which makes it somewhat difficult to understand for the a!erage reader. 3ayne, +. J"55,K. *istenin (rayerH *earnin to Hear GodSs >oice and &eep a (rayer !ournal. %rand 9apids, 41: $aker 3ublishing %roup. 3ayne, +. J"55.K. The 9roken 'ma eH $estorin (ersonal +holeness throu h Healin (rayer. %rand 9apids, 41: $aker 3ublishing %roup. E.i=ah H use )inistries RJ hn an# +au.a *an! r#S 3ost 'alls, 17 www.eli8ahhouse.org =li@ah House %inistries is one of the original healing prayer ministries. 1ts founders, John and 3aula (anford, ha!e mentored Jack 'rost, founder of (hiloh 3lace 4inistries. The =li@ah House 4chool of %inistry uses an extremely effecti!e blend of clinical psychology and spirituality to help people struggling with a wide !ariety of emotional, spiritual, and relational issues. There are many !aluable resources a!ailable on the =li@ah House website. *hi. h +.ace )inistries RJac6 (r stS Conway, (C 170

www.shilohplace.org 4hiloh (lace %inistries is a healing prayer ministry that speciali;es in empowering Christians to experience a deeper understanding of %od s lo!e as they recei!e healing from wounds inflicted by their earthly parents. These wounds fre@uently cause people to ser!e %od out of fear and obligation rather than lo!e and acceptance. This is a good ministry for people struggling with mother/father wounds, religiously inspired perfectionism, re8ection, hopelessness, and spiritual burnout. The focus of 4hiloh (lace %inistries is helping Christians learning to de!elop a $iblical, intimate relationship with %od the 'ather. There are many outstanding written, audio, and !ideo resources a!ailable on the 4hiloh (lace %inistries website. 'rost J. Jn.d.K 'rom (la!ery to (onship. 7Q7 and audio cassette. 'rost J. Jn.d.K $reaking 'ree: Hxposing $itter 9oot (trongholds. 7Q7 and audio cassette. 'rost, J. J&EE&K. =xperiencin the 8atherSs =mbrace. +ake 4ary, '+: Charisma )ouse. 'rost, J. Jn.d.K. =xperiencin the 8atherSs =mbrace TeacherSs %anual. Conway, (C: (hiloh 3lace 4inistries. Disney?s the Ki# Disney’s the &id is a fun JhilariousK way to understand healing prayer. 9uss 7urrich is a tightly wrapped, obnoxious image consultant who is turning ,E. 2lthough he is financially successful, 9uss is unable to experience lo!e and acceptance from those around him and masks his self-re8ection with annoying perfectionism. )is !ery imperfect, 5-year old self shows up to complicate his <perfect? adult life. The mo!ie shows how lies and wounds buried deep in the heart of a 5-year old boy can still impact one as an adult *E years later. 1t includes a !ery effecti!e scene where the adult self understands why he acts the way that he does as he goes back to a traumatic e!ent experienced by his 5-year old self. Turteltaub, J. J&EEEK. DisneySs the &id. $urbank, C2: $uena Qista )ome Hntertainment, 1nc.

Rec $ery !r " *e<ua. A2use – A Li!e Trans! r"e# 6 "rai 9eickelman "rai was a raduate of our :770 session of *ivin +aters. He is a licensed minister and has served as a campus pastor at +estern %ichi an ;niversity and a teacher and pastoral counselor for Teen "hallen e in )rizona. 'n addition to coordinatin the *ivin +aters pro ram at $econciliation %inistries, "rai also runs the +alkin 8ree support roup for men. 171

%rowing up in my family of origin 1 experienced neglect, emotional incest with my mother, and years of sexual molestation from my brother. 2s one ha!ing to come to grips with these issues and o!ercome them, 1 share the following insights. 2s with many issues, one of the first steps is to admit that these kinds of things ha!e happened in my life and get some help. #hile 1 always remembered below the surface that things had happened between my brother and me, 1 worked !ery hard to forget it. 1t was the only way 1 knew how to cope with the confusion and on-going interactions with him. 2fter 1 had rebuffed his ad!ances and ended the sexual relationship, he hated me intensely/ down deep 1 always knew why. 1 didn t understand the extent of the emotional incest with my 4om until 1 started my healing 8ourney. 1 was in college when the reali;ation of what went on with my brother really came to the surface and hit me with stark reality. 1 was in freshman sociality class and they were spouting off statistics of different incest combinations and 1 8ust thought, <1 am a statistic?. 1 guess 1 ne!er the had words to express what had gone on before. :nfortunately, it would take a number of years before 1 started looking for help. 4ost !ictims don t reali;e that abuse is so damaging and that it affects e!ery area of their life. 1 was a sur!i!or and had built a whole world of helping others to insolate myself from e!er being needy or weak again. 2buse sur!i!ors often tend to minimi;e what has happened to them in order to cope and mo!e on with life. 1 was like a tree that had suffered from damage and had de!eloped my own way of sur!i!al around that damage, but my whole life was altered by the damage and my own sur!i!al tactics. Cot only had 1 focused my life on helping others, but 1 had so much generali;ed pain that 1 became addicted to anything that numbed the pain such as applause, work, food, porn, and fantasy. 1t took the addictions to push me to seek help. 1 had spent my life sur!i!ing and trying to a!oid pain. The last thing 1 wanted to do was face that pain and acknowledge all of the confusion in my life. #hen things finally became unmanageable, 1 decided to start down the road of seeking help. This was a !ery scary thing for me and there aren t a lot of good options out there. 1 started by reading books on sexual abuse, but most were written for women and didn t address a lot of the dynamics specific to men. Bne of the biggest things for me to deal with was the feelings. 1 could rattle off facts and explain things that had happened, but 1 didn t feel anything. 4y numbness was a coping mechanism. 1 was so afraid of the pain and all of the corresponding confusion that 1 belie!ed that if 1 allowed myself to feel and experience it, the dam would break and 1 would go on an endless rampage of addiction. 1n reality, dealing with the feelings was the key to opening up the doors for healing. 1 had to learn to embrace the pain as the +ord slowly allowed it to come to the surface, and then bring it to Jesus for healing. 1t helped to see )is pain and suffering on the cross and know that )e understood. 1 learned that the pain wouldn t kill me and that Jesus would help me na!igate through it, bring healing and lift the pain. 1t was a slow process, but )e helped me to let go of my unhealthy defenses and brought healing. 172

1 had put huge walls around myself for protection my whole life. #hen 1 went through years of abuse 1 had to make sense of what was going on in my world. 4y normal boundaries and internal components that we are created with for protection were all shattered. H!erything inside of me told me that my 4om was destroying me and that something was wrong with what my brother was doing to me A but to make sense of this 1 decided that 1 must be wrong because this is my family and they are supposed to be safe. 1 ga!e up all of my natural boundaries and built in indicators and was left feeling naked and !ulnerable. 1 tried to feel secure by building my own artificial boundaries to make up for what was lost. The walls were huge and thick and 1 had to let Jesus begin to take them down brick by brick. Throughout the process memories continued to come back. 'or me it was important to lay out memories in a timeline and get some indication of what went on and how things de!eloped. 1 was able to tie abuse memories to other memories of e!ents that were going on at the same time to get some feel for what had happened and when. 2buse brings so much confusion into a person s world that ha!ing a way to categori;e it can be helpful. 4emories come in layers and sometimes don t clarify until you ha!e processed some of the layers. 1 still ha!e memories and feelings that come back from time to time, but 1 ha!e learned not to run from them or sweep them under the carpet. 7ealing with the memories and corresponding feelings in the right way empowers me to not be controlled by them. =ou can t change your history, but your history doesn t ha!e to control you. 2s my healing process continued, 1 began to see my unhealthy relationships with others. $ecause 1 was accustom to abuse, 1 ended up in relationships with abusi!e people. #hile 1 didn t like these relationships, they were comfortable in an unhealthy way. 1 had to see my destructi!e and sinful ways of relating to others and repent for a lot of things. 1 had to take responsibility for my responses and actions. The false identity 1 had built to co!er up what 1 belie!ed was destroyed had to be surrendered to Jesus. There was a season in the healing process when 1 didn t know who 1 was anymore, but o!er time Jesus and the support of others helped me to recogni;e my true identity. 4o!ing out of the unhealthy relationships and allowing healthy people into your life can be scary because it is new and unfamiliar, but it is crucial for anyone to mo!e forward in their healing. 'orgi!eness is also a key element of healing. :nforgi!eness continues to tie us to the people who ha!e hurt us and keeps the doors open to destructi!e patterns in our li!es. (ome areas of healing did not come until 1 forga!e and released those who had abused and hurt me. 1t doesn t mean we are saying that what they did is okay, but we are releasing them to our )ea!enly 'ather who is the one true Judge. 7uring all of the years of abuse, 1 wanted to die and learned to embraced death. Cow, 1 had to learn to embrace life. +earning to li!e also meant that 1 had to learn how to ha!e fun and en8oy things. Hn8oying things was something that had gotten me into trouble before. Ceeding had also gotten me into trouble. Ceither seemed safe. 9eali;ing that it was a new day and that 1 am 173

not that !ulnerable little child who will be destroyed anymore took time. 1 was !ictimi;ed as a child and helpless to do much about it, but that isn t the truth anymore. 1 am an adult now and no longer a !ictim. The !ictim mentality and learned helplessness goes deep in the hearts of sur!i!ors and may spring up at different times/ this is common because it has been a way of life for many years. The key is to allow Jesus to point this out and continue to surrender our broken ways of doing things and recei!e support and encouragement to mo!e on. 1t is important to ha!e people in your life who won t minimi;e what you are walking through, but who will also gi!e you honest perspecti!e and challenge you to mo!e forward. 1rrational fears and anxiety are common parts of life for abuse sur!i!ors. #e ha!e learned that we aren t safe and that people can t be trusted. 1 ha!e had to face these beliefs, get help to see the fears and anxiety broken, and mo!e on. Those of us with a sexual abuse background ha!e to learn that sex doesn t e@ual intimacy. 7uring the abuse, the only intimacy in my life had been sexual, so 1 linked the two ideas together in my mind. To me, the desire to be touched and be close with others meant the desire for sex. This is a common misconception, but must identified as false and healed. 4any times normal touch and closeness will feel dirty or sexual, but learning the truth about what is good and healthy will pa!e the way for wholeness. 4any of the effects of abuse are learned beha!iors in an attempt to make sense of a cra;y, mixed up world. $eha!ior that has been learned, can be unlearned. 1t takes time, patience and the support of others. 9emember that healing is a process. The key is not to panic when challenges arise, but to allow the +ord to continue your healing and stay in your supporti!e relationships. 1t has been a long hard road, but the +ord has helped me to let go of my broken walls and see )im as my wall of protection. 1 am learning to connect with people and grow in relationships. 1 am a member of a great church and am learning to function as a !aluable part of the body. +ife is no longer an endurance course. 1 am learning to li!e in the moment and li!e life to the fullest each day. 1 no longer li!e with a black cloud of abuse o!er my head. 1 can t change the past and what has happened, but with the +ord s help it doesn t ha!e to control my future. 1 can now look forward with hope of what the +ord has ahead for me. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"" 174

( un#ati ns Rest re# – A Li!e Trans! r"e# 6 "rai 9eickelman "rai was a raduate of our :770 session of *ivin +aters. He is a licensed minister and has served as a campus pastor at +estern %ichi an ;niversity and a teacher and counselor for Teen "hallen e in )rizona. 'n addition to servin on our *ivin +aters leadership team, "rai leads the $econciliation %inistries leadership team trainin s and the +alkin 8ree support roup for men. 1 first knew that the +ord had a call on my life for ministry when 1 was a 8unior in college. Though 1 lo!ed the +ord, my plan was to go into the theatre and make it big in )ollywood. The +ord made it clear that this was not )is plan during my freshman year. #ith my dreams of going into the theatre shattered, 1 struggled in college with direction until the +ord laid out )is plan. 2fter graduation, 1 started my ministry career in campus ministry at #estern 4ichigan :ni!ersity and lo!ed it. 2fter working in campus ministry for six years, the +ord mo!ed me onto working in Teen Challenge as a teacher/counselor. 1 had a sense that the +ord s plan for my life was to work with hurting people, but that was about all 1 understood at that time. The +ord drew me out of ministry for a number of years to teach me about the e!eryday challenges that present themsel!es in the secular work place. 7uring my many years out of ministry the +ord has taken the time to work on me. 2s the youngest of three boys in an extremely dysfunctional and abusi!e home, 1 had always been the care taker and strong one. 1 started <counseling? people when 1 was in 8unior high and had taken care of hurting/needy people all of my life. 1t was easier to take care of others than to face my own pain. 1 had always been different growing up and my dad ne!er accepted me. 2nyone not like him was wrong. )e was a !ery logical accountant and 1 was a creati!e, sensiti!e boy. 1 wasn t the normal rough and tumble kid like my two older brothers. 4y dad was in his own world which consisted of work and ha!ing a <$etter )omes M %arden? yard. 4y brothers and 1 were on our own to figure things out. 4y mother was !ery stressed out with * boys !ery close in age and had no support from her family to help raise us. #hen 1 was !ery young, my mother had a ner!ous break down from the pressure. 1 <learned? at a !ery early age not to be a burden to anyone. 4y mom became !ery depleted emotionally and started to turn to me as the youngest and most sensiti!e child for her emotional needs of intimacy and support. #e became so enmeshed that 1 had no identity of my own. (he affirmed me for being @uiet and sensiti!e A not like my rough and tumble brothers who dro!e her cra;y. 1 began to belie!e that it was bad to be male. 4y brothers and dad hurt my mom a lot and that was not a good thing. 1 began to want to be a girl and to dress up in my mom s old clothes that 1 found in our basement. 1 e!en ga!e my Len doll a sex change. 1 struggled with wanting to be a girl all the way through grade school. 1 had a lot of trouble with my male peers and tended to ha!e more girls as friends. 175

#hen 1 was "E-years old, my middle brother started to molest me. The abuse continued for about three years. 1t destroyed me. 1 didn t know how to deal with the shame, confusion, and de!astation so 1 learned to shut down and become numb in order to sur!i!e. 1 walked into 8unior high school and was immediately labeled as <gay? and treated as a leper. 4ost of my friends split and 1 was left to exist on my own. 1n an effort to try and make sense of e!erything that was happening to me, 1 turned to the world of make belie!e A the theatre. 1 could pretend to be someone else and that people liked me. 1 reached out for a male image to become and grabbed onto the male model image presented in <%N 4aga;ine?. 1 latched onto this persona with all of my might and transformed myself into this pro8ection. 1 ran into the theatre and held onto the hope of being a star someday. The %N image brought a lot of problems as men and some women started responding to the alluring person 1 had become. $eing propositioned and sexually desired by others was now a normal thing and was !ery confusing for me. 1 e!entually accepted the label of being gay in my 6th or 5th grade year of school. 1 knew it was wrong to act on these feelings, so 1 tried to ignore them. 1 had become a Christian in 0 th grade, but ne!er allowed the +ord to do much in my heart because 1 didn t trust anyone A not e!en )im. 1 didn t disco!er the $ible until 1 started to go to a youth group in high school. 1 kept asking the +ord to take my gay desires away, but that ne!er happened. H!entually 1 8ust decided to do whate!er it took to not act on them. The battle was intense. 4y brother had introduced me to hardcore porn during the years of my molestation, and 1 began fre@uenting the local bookstore and found a whole world of gay porn that 1 immersed myself into to try to deal with e!erything. 1n college the propositions became more fre@uent. 1 lost myself in helping others all the more and let go of ha!ing any life of my own. 1 did grow a lot in my walk with the +ord in college, but didn t know how to address my struggles or my life. 1 tried e!erything 1 could think of to get some help A counselors, pastors, and books. #hile 1 learned many facts about my struggles, 1 really didn t recei!e any healing. 2 friend of mine told me about +i!ing #aters. 1 will admit that 1 didn t ha!e much hope that the program would do anything for me. 1 cried my way through my first +i!ing #aters in &EE*. 'or the first time someone was speaking right to me and the +ord was gi!ing me some hope for change. 7uring the program bondages were broken, walls started to come down and many years of pain were beginning to be remo!ed. 2fter my initial session, 1 continued as a member of the leadership team. The +ord has kept working in my life through +i!ing #aters and !arious counselors. )e has healed my fractionali;ed identity and helped me accept not only my gender, but who 1 was created to be. )e healed my broken heart and taught me how to forgi!e the many people who had hurt me. 1 am en8oying healthy male friendships and de!eloping a genuine attraction to women for the fist time in my life. 2s my in!ol!ement with 9econciliation 4inistries has grown, the +ord has started to speak to me about my calling to work with those coming out of sexual and relational brokenness/ especially homosexuality and abuse. 1 was a little leery when )e first started to show me this, but 1 am excited now. 1 ha!e grown as a Christian man and leader. 1 am one of the teachers and group leaders in +i!ing #aters. 1 lead the men s #alking 'ree support group and the 176

9econciliation 4inistries leadership team trainings. 1 am looking forward to all that the +ord has for me in the years ahead at 9econciliation 4inistries and in the body of Christ. 'f you are stru lin with your sexuality, there is hope and healin in the power of !esus "hrist. "all $econciliation %inistries at ,-../01.,223 and find out what options are available for you. !esus "hrist can restore your foundations and empower you to stand in your true identity in Him. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE5

4et 8ree This testimony tells the author’s story of the devastation of emotional and sexual abuse and the power of !esus "hrist to deliver him from the bonda e of dru s, alcohol, and homosexuality. Bhen + 'as five &ears ol)* m& ,arents )ivorce) )ue* in ,art* to m& )a)4s issues 'ith alcohol an) )rugs* leaving m& mother* m&self an) t'o &ounger (rothers on 'elfare su,,ort. The few occasions spent with my dad were usually marked by some sort of trauma. #hether it be destroying my toys because of his curiosity to know its contents, throwing a li!e mouse in the fireplace, Oplay wrestle until 1 was in serious pain or spanking to the point of beating, 1 usually felt unsafe and insecure with him. Shortl& after the )ivorce* m& mom soon marrie) m& ste, )a). He an) + 'ere never reall& a(le to get along. Bne of my earliest memories in!ol!ed him throwing me into the middle of a backyard swimming pool when 1 wasn t yet able to swim. 2s 1 sank, my uncle pulled me back up to the surface. 'or them, the e!ent was funny, but for me it was traumatic. 1 resented the authority that my step dad had in the house. )e attempted to control us kids with a sort of militant approach. )e had a cold, sarcastic personality about him, and an attitude that reflected his annoyance with taking on three additional kids. 'amily and friends were often intimidated by his irritable demeanor. 4y mom somewhat controlled their relationship, usually critici;ing him, lea!ing him @uiet. 177

4y brothers and 1 would rely on mom to control the situation. )owe!er, there were times when mom wasn t always there. #hen 1 was about eight years old. 4y step dad must ha!e heard me make a derogatory remark about the human body, because the next thing 1 knew, he was calling me into his bedroom. )e exposed himself to me and asked what 1 thought was so funny. Bhen he finall& let me leave the room* an unex,laina(le feeling of shame came over me as + ,on)ere) the thought of ho' m& )a) an) gran)father 'oul)4ve reacte) in the situation. (ometime later, 1 remember telling my mom about it, but she sort of dismissed the whole thing. 2 few years later, my step dad again asked me to come into his bedroom after o!erhearing my brother and 1 talking about girls. This time, there was a friendly tone to his !oice as he candidly approached the discussion of sexuality. 1t was almost like a father/son talk about sex, except that towards the end of the discussion, he asked if 1 d like to experiment sexually with him. But of embarrassment, 1 declined, howe!er it set the stage for a number of other scenarios that would e!entually take place, including the sexual abuse that followed o!er the next four years. 1n school, 1 was usually @uiet, gi!ing ample opportunity for peer ridicule. Cot being able to turn to a male figure 1 trusted, 1 @uickly became the target for a number of shame-filled assaults to my masculinity. )arassment often plagued me, lea!ing me feeling separated from my peers. 1 gra!itated toward friendship with girls and felt much more comfortable relating to them than with the Ocompetiti!e nature of boys. 1n the midst of an already confused gender identity, 1 found myself becoming attracted to other boys. + )esire) a connection 'ith other males* (ut felt that + coul) reall& onl& gain their a,,roval (& ,leasing them sexuall&* instea) of rel&ing on m& a)eHuac& as a male frien). 4y relationship with my step dad didn t help. 7uring those times, 1 remember crying out to %od, asking )im why he put this man in my life. (hortly after high school, 1 disco!ered the gay bar scene. The attention and admiration 1 recei!ed from other men @uickly drew me into the lifestyle. 1 wanted my whole life to re!ol!e around this new experience which seemed to offer an escape from my past inade@uacies and failures. Chough + )ee,l& 'ante) men to (e attracte) to me* + also foun) that + 'ante) to ,ush them a'a& emotionall&. Relationshi,s soon (egan to (e an em,t&* lonel& game of cat an) mouse. 3ornography and !ideo stores became my main outlet. Bne night, as 1 was dri!ing to the !ideo store, 1 remember thinking how intent 1 was on going. Thinking to myself, that 1 would probably enter that store e!en if 1 knew there was a bomb on the premises 8ust so that 1 could feel that <rush? of release. The thought somewhat scared me and was likely one of the promptings that caused me to reali;e that something needed to change. 1 had contracted a contagious skin disease called scabies. 4edication was prescribed which temporarily alle!iated the problemP until 1 would go back to the bars and contaminate myself all o!er again. +ooking back, 1 belie!e %od used this time to separate me from the lifestyle and its surroundings. 178

1 began to ha!e discussions with my mom about Jesus. 1 knew about Jesus from going to church as a kid, but ne!er really ga!e much thought of )im in my life. Bne night, after a discussion we had at a coffee house, 1 found myself dri!ing home thinking how 1 was li!ing my life. (pecifically, how much 1 had hurt other people in my life. 1 began to sob. 1 wanted to change. 1 pulled into my garage, looked up and accepted Jesus Christ as my (a!ior. 2t that moment, a rush of warmth and peace flooded my entire body and 1 began to say, ?this is realP.this is realP?. + (egan sa&ing to >o) that He 'oul) have to (e the one 'ho 'oul) change me (ecause + .ne' that + coul)n4t change m&self. 1 tried in the past, but it ne!er worked. 2 couple days later, my grandfather ga!e me a book about a man who left the homosexuality by following Jesus. 1 related to many of the experiences he went through both as a child and as a man in the gay community. >o) 'as ans'ering m& ,ra&er for change (& sho'ing me that even someone 'ith m& (ac.groun) coul) (e given a ne' life. (ince then, the +ord has faithfully brought me out of drugs, alcohol, and sexual promiscuity. The walk hasn t been without its many challenges, but )e is still faithful to pick up the pieces. Chrough 5iving Baters* + learne) a lot a(out the root causes of m& sexual (ro.enness. (eeing how my need for same sex connection and affirmation had been misplaced by broken boundaries. 1 also learned that %od can reach us where weGre at and how )e can truly lift up a heart that is humbled before )im. Bne of the most awesome experiences in my walk as a Christian was when %od taught me to lo!e another person, despite of what they had done to me. +t 'as the .in) of love that 'ent (e&on) the offense an) sa' the ,er,etrator as another (ro.en* sin0scarre) (eing* 'ho nee)e) to .no' that there is forgiveness an) love* even for them* as there ha) (een for me. 'reeing me from the torment of hate and releasing me to lo!e compassionately. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#":* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE,

D&sfunctional @amil& Roles I Dan Hitz +ast month s newsletter article entitled <)ome for the )olidays? talked about preparing for family gatherings which are often a source of stress and triggers 179

of emotional wounds. This month s article explores !arious roles people play in the dysfunctional family. These roles ser!e as coping skills and defense mechanisms, but often tend to keep the dysfunction going. 9ecogni;ing your role in the family system can help you make healthier choices to o!ercome the dysfunction and walk in better emotional health. 4ost of the roles in this article are widely recogni;ed and can be found by searching <dysfunctional family roles? on the internet. This article is a compilation of the roles found through multiple internet resources. The 3erson with the True 3roblem. (imply put, this is the person with the addiction or other dysfunctional beha!ior. 1t may be the alcoholic father, the !engeful mother, or the sibling with the substance abuse problem. 9ather than seeking the help he needs, the person with the true problem expects others to ad8ust to his dysfunctional beha!ior. Bthers in the family learn to comply with his demands rather than facing the wrath and harshness of the broken system. The Hnabler/Codependent. This is usually the spouse of the person with the true problem. (he is the family peacemaker who keeps the creator of the dysfunction in business by co!ering for him. (he tries to smooth o!er the wa!es caused by the true problem and the fallout from the emotional reactions to that problem. 9ather than trying to fix the root, the enabler seems to fertili;e the bad fruit hoping for a good har!est. (he feels responsible for e!eryone s emotional well being. (trangely, the enabler s beha!ior tends to get worse when the person with the true problem begins to get help. (he isn t used to <normal? and seems to try to get e!eryone back to <broken? where she can feel <needed?. The )ero. This person adopts the !alues and dreams of others in an attempt to show the outside world that the family is actually okay. )eroes are usually o!erachie!ers with poor self-esteem who intellectuali;e problems and disregard their own feelings. 2lthough they are forced to interact with others, they don t allow others to get close enough to see their true emotional brokenness. They !iew appropriate !ulnerability as dangerous and work hard to put up a good front. The oldest children in the family are usually the heroes. The (capegoat. The scapegoat is the opposite of the hero. 9ather than playing the game and pretending that things are okay, he tends to rebel against the dysfunctional system and begins acting out unspoken family conflict. The scapegoat is the problem child who takes the focus off of the real problem and makes e!eryone else look good. (capegoats are often the second born. The +ost Child/+oner. The lost child is usually a loner who becomes a chameleon to disappear into the background and not cause problems. )e brings relief because he has learned not to rock the boat and others don t ha!e to worry about him. )e has no opinions of his own and no expression of emotional needs. This complies well with some of the unspoken rules of the broken family system including <don t talk?, <don t feel?, and <don t ha!e needs?. )e may also lea!e the family system as soon as he is able and

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maintain only minimal contact with them. 4iddle children are often the ones in the role of the lost child. The 4ascot/Class Clown. 4ascots seek to be the comic relief of the dysfunctional family system and try to diffuse emotional pain through humor. They can de!elop friendships easily and usually spend little time at home. 4ascots ha!e a short attention span and are !ery poor with responsibility. This ser!es to help them a!oid the family dysfunction and puts their mind on fun things to fuel their escapism. 4ascots are usually one of the younger children in the family. The 7oer. The doer is similar to the hero. 7oers may also be referred to as the <adult child?. (he is the o!erde!eloped, o!erstressed family member who often excels academically and takes care of the siblings for the dysfunction parents. 2lthough she may still be a child, herself, she has learned to act like an adult as a matter of emotional sur!i!al. This helps her cope with the adult who is acting like a child. 7oers li!e in the illusion that they exist to meet the needs of the dysfunctional adults. The 4anipulator. 4anipulators use their skill to get others to do what they want them to do. They ha!e learned the unspoken message that needs and desires expressed directly clash with the family dysfunction and go unmet. They play off the dysfunction of the person with the true problem and the attempts of the enabler to smooth the wake from the problems if the system. 4anipulators control others indirectly. 4anipulators are extremely intuiti!e and know what buttons to push in each family member to get their way. The Critic. 2s the name implies, critics use negati!ity and fault finding to control others. 7addy s +ittle 3rincess. This role de!elops when the father uses the daughter to fulfill his broken emotional needs, and is a subtle form of emotional incest. The father uses the child by drawing her into adult con!ersations and/or acti!ities. 'or example he may tell the princess about sexual or emotional struggles that he may be ha!ing with her mother. 9ather than ser!ing to protect and empower the daughter, the father uses his little princess to fulfill his own brokenness. 1n her own emotional dysfunction, the princess learns to embrace her role for the percei!ed benefits she recei!es. $enefits which are merely illusions and only wound her further. 3rince Charming. This role is similar to the little princess and occurs when the son is expected to fulfill the emotional needs of the dysfunctional mother. The (aint/4artyr. The saint s sense of worth is deri!ed from fulfilling a predetermined occupation or course of action regardless of his own personal needs and wishes. (he may attempt to gain extra !alue by <informing? e!eryone of the many sacrifices she has made in order to <help? those in the dysfunctional system. 2lthough they often flaunt their own !irtue and 181

goodness, saints are internally sad and unfulfilled, hoping to gain a sense of inner acceptance and appreciation from people incapable of pro!iding it. 1f you !e seen yourself as you read through the dysfunctional family roles, there is hope. Bne of the main steps in your 8ourney into relational wholeness is recogni;ing the things that need to be corrected. 4any of these roles are merely broken expressions of character strengths that are unde!eloped. The hero is able to play the hero because he does possess the intelligence and ability to succeed. The lost child is able to become the chameleon because he is able to read people and situations and attempt to bring himself to a place of internal peace in the middle of the storm. The mascot is able to be the mascot because he is personable and able to de!elop many friendships and make people feel comfortable with him. Through counseling and a deeper walk with Christ, those in dysfunctional family roles can learn to shed the false uses of their personal gifts. They can learn to step out in the power of Christ to implement their gifts for the good that %od intended. The hero can learn to e!aluate her own personal abilities and determine what is and is not her personal responsibility. 2ccepting the personal responsibilities of walking in her gifts and allowing others to experience their own personal responsibilities offers both the opportunity for self impro!ement. The mascot can learn to use her people skills to create a friendly work en!ironment while recei!ing the satisfaction of meeting her personal responsibilities. #alking into the good of our god-gi!en design will help us to become all that %od created us to be. 'or others whose roles are deeper expressions of brokenness and sin there is repentance and the grace of %od. Through repentance, the scapegoat can learn to accept the responsibility for his own sinful choices and learn to o!ercome the emotional distress they formerly tried to escape through sin. )elp is a!ailable for those who are walking out of a dysfunctional family system. (eek the assistance of the pastoral care department from your local church, a professional therapist, or a good support group. +i!ing #aters, Celebrate 9eco!ery, and other life care groups offer support to those dealing with codependency, negati!e life patterns, and habitual sin. There is help and hope for e!eryone through the power of Jesus Christ. 9econciliation 4inistries offers licensed professional counseling and prayer ministry. 1f you or someone you know needs help, call -6..0*5.-"", to schedule an appointment. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at www.recmin.org, or call J-6.K 0*5--"",. =ou may also e-mail us at infoUrecmin.org. 2ll correspondence will be kept strictly confidential. Bur office is located at &-,"E Lelly 9oad, in 9ose!ille, 4ichigan ,6E... 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Hxodus 1nternational, and uses many of the programs written by 7esert (tream 4inistries. 182

D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"& http://recmin.org/:pdatedY&E2rticlesY&EandY&ETestimonies/7ysfunctional Y&E'amilyY&E9oles.htm Bh& Some %)ults %re Sexuall& %ttracte) Co 3hil)ren This article was written by Dan Hitz, Director of $econciliation %inistries. 'f you or someone you know needs help, please call ,-../01.,223. Help is available throu h !esus "hrist. JesusP asked her, <#oman, where are theyI )as no one condemned youI? <Co one, sir,? she said. <Then neither do 1 condemn you,? Jesus declared. <%o now and lea!e your life of sin.? John 6:"E-"" C1Q 3erhaps no temptation or sin strikes more fear and shame into the heart of an indi!idual than sexual attractions toward children. 3eople who are attracted to children are often afraid to get the help they need because of the anger in society toward those who ha!e abused and the fear of being reported. 1t is important to understand that no one is hopeless, and that Jesus Christ lo!es those who are attracted to children and wants to set them free. 1t is important to understand that suspected acts of child abuse must be reported in order to obtain help for those who are affected by the abuse as well as the indi!idual who has abused another. 1t is also important to understand that temptation alone is neither a sin nor a crime, and is not reportable. The intent of this article is to explain pedophilia, and what may be occurring in the hearts of those who are attracted to children. 2lthough this article looks at some of the emotional issues that a pedophile may be facing, it is in no way intended to excuse his/her beha!ior or attractions. 1t is intended to encourage those with such attractions to seek help so that they may be set free from the shame and temptations that are keeping them in bondage. 1f you or someone you know is struggling with this sin, please call -6..0*5.-"",. Come and meet Jesus Christ at the foot of the cross and let )im set you free from the temptations that ha!e kept you emotionally imprisoned. 3edophilia is a recurrent sexual disorder in which a person has fre@uent, intense sexual urges toward children who ha!e not entered puberty." 3ersons with pedophilia may or may not act upon those urges. Hphebophilia is similar to pedophilia, but in!ol!es a sexual attraction to minors who ha!e begun to experience some of the physiological changes of puberty but ha!e not yet reached adulthood.& $ecause the characteristics of pedophilia and ephebophilia are similar, the term pedophilia will apply to both disorders throughout this article.

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The 2merican 3sychiatric 2ssociation classifies those attracted to children as <exclusi!e?, only attracted to children/ or <nonexclusi!e?, attracted to both adults and children.* #ard identifies <situational offenders? as those who experience a later onset of attractions to children, tend to abuse family members, experience increased attraction to children during seasons of stress, and prefer sex with adults., #ard identifies <preferential offenders? as those who experience an earlier onset of attractions to children, are more compulsi!e in their offending, abuse children outside of their family, and engage in a belief system that fuels predatory beha!ior., 3edophilia usually begins in adolescence," howe!er cases of prepubescent offenders ha!e been reported.:p to 5, percent of pedophiles are male and may prefer girls, boys, or both.-, . 1n a study of .06 male pedophiles, ,0 percent preferred females, &0 percent preferred males, and &- percent reported attraction to both sexes.. 4ost prefer children in a specific age range, and limit their acti!ity to incest, stepfamily incest, or non family members. 3edophiles report feeling inade@uate when relating to peers and ha!e difficulty functioning in appropriate heterosexual relationships.. They may also experience additional difficulties including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and personality or mood disorders." (abatino reports that approximately one-half of his clients who are attracted to children are themsel!es !ictims of childhood sexual abuse and many of those who were not sexually abused ha!e suffered from emotional abuse.0 Their own abuse results in a sense of powerlessness which leads to feelings of inade@uacy and worthlessness. $ecause of an o!erwhelming sense of shame, the abuse !ictims find it extremely difficult to relate to healthy adults in their own peer groups and prefer the !ulnerability and acceptance that they gain from those who are weaker. Qan 7omelen explains that as a child, the pedophile was in some way isolated from himself. )e grew into a physical adult yet remained trapped in a percei!ed need to connect with children and his own lost childhood. 3edophiles are trying to a!oid their painful feelings of inade@uacy and create a sense of acceptance and !alue.& 'earing adult relationships, they try to establish intimate relationships with children with whom they feel accepted and in control.0 (exual offenders often seek situations where they ha!e influence o!er children such as teaching, coaching, or de!eloping relationships with the mothers of children to whom they are attracted. 2pproximately .E percent of boys and 6E percent of girls who are !ictims of pedophilia are !ictimi;ed by someone the child or the child s family is familiar with.- 4any offenders are drawn to children who ha!e characteristics that the offender desires within himself.6 The offender who unconsciously belie!es that his innocence and childhood playfulness ha!e been stolen from him by his abuser may be drawn to children who ha!e a childlike, carefree beha!ior. The abuser has to balance the desired characteristics with the !ulnerability that will allow him to groom the !ictim. )e may ha!e to substitute the ideal child with a !ulnerable child that he can connect with. 3utnam cites se!eral factors that increase a child s !ulnerability to sexual abuse.5 2pproximately 0- percent of all !ictims of childhood sexual abuse are girls. The risk of sexual abuse for girls begins at an earlier age and 184

lasts longer than the risk for boys with the exception of boys with disabilities. 3utnam states that boys suffering from a mental or physical handicap are at a substantially increased risk compared to boys that do not suffer from these conditions. )e found no socioeconomic, race, or ethnic influences on the fre@uency of sexual abuse. 3utnam reports that the risk of sexual abuse also increases substantially for children li!ing in single parent homes, or in homes where both parents are absent. %irls with a step-father in the home face twice the risk of being sexually abused by the step-father or by another adult prior to the step-father s arri!al. Children who are socially isolated and whose parents are impaired are also at increased risk. #hether you are an adult who is sexually attracted to children, or you are a sur!i!or of childhood sexual abuse, Jesus Christ can heal the hurts of the past, present, and future. 7on t let shame or fear stand in the way of the help that you need. Call -6..0*5.-"", and ask how 9econciliation 4inistries can help you. There are many men and women who ha!e walked down a path !ery similar to yours and ha!e found healing. There is hope for you too. 9eferences: ". Comer, 9. J. J&EE-K. 'undamentals of abnormal psychology J,th ed.K. Cew =ork: #orth 3ublishers. &. Qan 7omelen, $. Jn.d.K. )elp for adults attracted to children. Brlando, '+: Hxodus 1nternational-Corth 2merica. *. 2merican 3sychiatric 2ssociation. J&EEEK. 7(4-1Q text re!ision. #ashington 7. C.: 2uthor. ,. #ard, T. J"555K. Competency and deficit models in the understanding and treatment of sexual offenders. The Journal of (ex 9esearch, *.J*K, &56-*E-. -. 'reeman-+ongo, 9., M 9eback, 7. J&EEEK. 4yths and facts about sex offenders. (il!er (pring, 47: Center for (ex Bffender 4anagement. .. )yde, J. (., M 7e+amater, J. 7. J&EE.K. :nderstanding )uman (exuality J5th ed., pp. ,&,-,&6K. Cew =ork: 4c%raw )ill. 0. (abatino, C. J. J"555K. 4en facing their !ulnerabilities: %roup process for men who ha!e sexually offended. Journal of 4enGs (tudies, 6J"K, 6*-5E. 6. 3ayne, $. J"55.K. )ealing homosexuality. %rand 9apids, 41: $aker $ook )ouse. 5. 3utnam, '. #. J&EE*K. Ten-year research update re!iew: Child sexual abuse. Journal of 2merican 2cademy of Child 2dolescent 3sychiatry, ,&J*K, &.5-&06. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at www.recmin.org, or call J-6.K 0*5--"",. =ou may also e-mail us at infoUrecmin.org. 2ll correspondence will be kept strictly confidential. Bur office is located at &-,"E, in 9ose!ille, 4ichigan ,6E... 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Hxodus 1nternational, and uses many of the programs written by 7esert (tream 4inistries. 185

D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE.

H "e ! r the H .i#ays 6 Dan Hitz 8or many of us, the holidays are filled with anxiety that comes with revisitin the dysfunctional family dynamics of our youth. 8amily et to ethers sometimes place us in the presence of those who have offended us or have the potential to tri er our unresolved wounds 6 sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose. The purpose of this article is to help you prepare for family atherin s so that you can walk throu h them with realistic expectations and minimal emotional stress. Ara&. This may seem clicha, but the most important preparation you can make for your family gathering is to pray. 1t is important to communicate with the +ord prior to the e!ent and share your hopes and fears. This is the time to ask )im for help and protection in your specific areas of need, and to be reminded of who you are in )im. =ou can also pray for the difficult people that you will be spending time with, and ask the +ord to put a guard on their hearts as well as yours. 2sk trusted others to pray for you. (ometimes 8ust knowing that others are praying for you will gi!e you the extra boost of confidence you need. Maintain realistic ex,ectations. 1t is important to maintain realistic expectations through the holidays. 3eople will not change 8ust because it s Christmas. =ou may ha!e taken the time to get healthy, but others may not. They will most likely do what they ha!e always done. 1f they were o!erbearing and critical before the Christmas tree went up, they will most likely be o!erbearing and critical after the tree goes up A and e!en during the process. 9eminding yourself of realistic expectations will help you a!oid getting your hopes dashed by reality. This is far different from telling yourself to expect a catastrophe so that you won t be disappointed if one happens. This is simply reminding yourself of your difficult relati!e s character so you can make proper emotional preparations. (ome people do not do well during the holidays because it reminds them of their past abuse. 1f you were abused during the holiday season by a !isiting relati!e or during a sleepo!er while on Christmas !acation, this time of year may automatically trigger anxiety and depression. 4ake plans to ha!e safe others to confide in if you feel your emotional pressure rising. This will help you get the support you need before you reach a breaking point. 9ecogni;ing your own !ulnerability and making preparations for assistance is not a sign of weakness. 1t is a sign of healthy personal insight and good coping skills. Esta(lish a,,ro,riate (oun)aries. 7ecide prior to your gathering what beha!ior you will and will not accept. Choose not to allow your family members to treat you disrespectfully, or try to bring you into the middle of their conflict. 7ecide your course of action ahead of time if a family member !iolates your 186

boundaries. 'or example, if someone begins to call you disrespectful names you can calmly state that you won t allow the person to treat you in a disrespectful manner. 1f he continues to do so you can remo!e yourself from that con!ersation and try to 8oin another con!ersation, ask him to lea!e your house, or decide to lea!e the gathering yourself. #hen establishing boundaries with others, it is best to keep yourself calm and speak matter of factly. 'ollow through on your boundaries without yelling. =elling actually tends to decrease your influence and often plays into the other person s plan of trying to stir up your emotions. 7on t be surprised when those who are used to !iolating your boundaries continue trying to do so after you ha!e informed them of your boundaries. They are used to doing so and may not take you seriously. (ometimes their negati!e beha!ior may actually get worse for a season while they try to figure out how serious you are about your boundaries. They may try to get you to gi!e up. Calmly stand firm and hold your ground. The other person will ha!e to decide how they will respond to your boundaries. 1t is great if they change and learn to respect you. 1n this case your relationship with that person may impro!e. 1f they decide not to respect your boundaries you may ha!e to distance yourself from them and keep yourself in a position where they are unable to offend you. Recognize that &our famil& mem(ers are (ro.en. 3ray, pray, prayP but remember that it is not your 8ob to fix them. $roken people do broken people things. This is not an excuse for poor treatment, but it may help you to put the issue into proper perspecti!e. 9emember to implement you boundaries, and resist the urge to walk on eggshells trying to guess what to a!oid or do to keep the other person happy. 7o what is right before the +ord and walk in obedience to )im. Recognize that the issue usuall& isn4t a(out &ou. 7on t let another person s dysfunction become your dysfunction. 2re they reacting to their own deeper emotional issuesI 2re they merely angry people who take out their anger on anyone who happens to get in the wayI 7ysfunctional people are operating out of their own brokenness. H!en if you do make a mistake, they are the ones choosing to react in a healthy or unhealthy manner. (ome dysfunctional people try to pull you into their problems and blame them on you. 1n situations like this it is helpful to remind yourself that this isn t your problem and choose not to take it from them. This doesn t mean that you are heartless and uncaring. 1t simply means that you are choosing to become healthy and allow others to experience the conse@uences of their own poor decisions. Don4t (ite the (ait. 4any dysfunctional people are addicted to drama and try to pull others into their own internal hurricanes. They may try to pro!oke you or highlight your imperfections to 8ustify themsel!es. Bthers may try to blame their own inappropriate beha!ior on you. 9esist the urge to respond in anger and calmly state your thoughts while maintaining your boundaries. =ou may ha!e to allow yourself time to express your frustration later in a safe setting, but resisting the urge to bite the bait keeps you from entering into their emotional turmoil. =ou can choose to en8oy the holiday gathering e!en if they choose to be miserable. 187

>ive &ourself extra grace if &ou are grieving the loss of a love) one. 1f you are walking through the grief process after loosing someone you lo!e, recogni;e that the first few holidays without them may bring up a wide !ariety of emotions. That is normal. 1t is okay if you don t ha!e the emotional energy to decorate your house and get the same le!el of gifts that you usually do. (ome people will understand while others won t. 7o what you feel comfortable doing. 1n time, you will be able to carry on some of the old traditions or you may decide to ad8ust and de!elop some new ones. The main thing is that you honor the memory of your lo!ed one, and simply do what you are able to do. <urture relationshi,s 'ith health& famil& mem(ers an) frien)s. 1dentify the healthy people in your life and proacti!ely spend time de!eloping those relationships. +earn to o!ercome the dysfunctional family dynamics in an appropriate manner with those who ha!e walked through similar situations and are on the road to reco!ery. 7iscussing personal reactions to issues in an appropriate manner helps build relationships and lets you know that you are not alone. Recognize the ,rogress that &ou have ma)e. %i!e yourself credit for what the +ord has done in your life and grace for the things )e has yet to do. Cobody is perfect. 1t is really okay to celebrate the small !ictories while you re looking forward to the larger ones. %llo' &ourself time to recu,erate after the event. 7ealing with difficult people can be exhausting. 3rior to the e!ent, discuss your need to relax afterwards with safe others. =ou may e!en want to schedule extra personal @uiet time afterwards or make plans to ha!e fun in appropriate leisure acti!ities with those who are able. 1t is ama;ing how beneficial these types of plans can be, and how much easier it will be for you to ad8ust back into your regular routine once you ha!e take the time to decompress. Takin the time to pray and read throu h this list prior to your holiday event can help you navi ate throu h some difficult situations with more peace. $emember to have realistic expectations and trust the *ord to lead you. Don’t condemn yourself if you don’t walk throu h an awkward situation like you think you should. Give yourself race to learn and row more every day. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"" s evenin came, !esus said to his disciples, E*et’s cross to the other side of the lake.F 4o they took !esus in the boat and started out, leavin the crowds behind Jalthou h other boats followedK. 9ut soon a fierce storm came up. Hi h waves were breakin into the boat, and it be an to fill with water. Jesus &as s.ee%in/ at the 2ac6 The disciples woke him up, shoutin , ,Teacher, # n?t y u care that &e?re / in/ t 188 #r &n91 ! the 2 at &ith his hea# n a cushi n'

+hen !esus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, E4ilence? 9e still?F 4uddenly the wind stopped, and there was a reat calm. Then he asked them, E+hy are you afraidI Do you still have no faithIF %ark 3H0,B37 <ew *ivin Translation

An Artic.e

! H %e ! r Hea.in/ 5 Dan Hit:

4any of us ha!e wondered where Jesus was in our trials, or why the trials e!en happened in the first place. 1 often hear people ask with agony on their faces why Jesus isn t setting them free e!en though they ha!e begged and begged )im to help. They wonder why the trials e!en happened in the first place. 1 !e wondered the same thing myself. There are times when all of us ask like the disciples did, <Jesus, don t you care that we re sinkingI? 4any of us ha!e put walls around our hearts because we !e been hurt and we re afraid of getting hurt again. #e think these walls protect us from unsafe people. The problem is that safe people respect our walls A our boundaries A and the unsafe people don t. Those broken walls that we think protect us are the !ery walls that keep us from being set free. #e end up being a prisoner in our own dungeon. :nfortunately, it is those !ery same walls that keep us separated from Jesus. A the !ery Bne who can set us free. 1t often works this way. #e re in intense pain because we !e suffered from intense trauma. #e !e been told since day one that if we ha!e a problem, we should ask Jesus for help and )e will come right away to help us. #ith that statement comes the implication that our problems will disappear and that the abusers in our li!es will go away. The problem is that our expectation of what was supposed to happen didn t at all match up to what truly took place. #e began to experience trauma. #e asked Jesus for help. #e expected )im to come to our side and end the trauma immediately. )e didn t. #e expected )im to pre!ent the trauma altogether. )e didn t. The trauma happened. The trauma continued. #e hurt and we blame )im. #e built up walls in our hearts in the hopes that no one will e!er get close enough to us to hurt us again. #e re afraid that %od might not e!er be there for us so we decide that we ll take matters into our own hands and protect oursel!es. %od is placed on the other side of those walls. $ut we still hurt. #e desperately beg )im to come into our li!es and take the pain away. )e mo!es towards us, but gets blocked by our walls. Bur abusers didn t respect our walls. They plowed right through them and trampled us. Bur abusers didn t respect us. They didn t respect our <Co>? Jesus does. )e honors us. )e honors our walls. )e respects our <Co>? H!en when it seems like it would actually be to our benefit to !iolate our walls and our <Co>?. Jesus respects us, )e honors us, and )e is safe> 4ore than anything, Jesus !alues us. )e 717 take our sin and ini@uities upon )imself. )e 717 take the cross, suffer, and die for us. 2nd )e 717 pro!ide for us )is resurrection life to bring us into the fullness of what )e has to offer. $ut )e #1++ CBT HQH9 force that upon us. Those are 8ust some of the differences between our abusers and our (a!ior. They didn t respect us A Jesus does. They 189

didn t die to themsel!es for us A Jesus did. They didn t care about healing our hearts A Jesus does. That s what makes Jesus safe. )e honors our free will choice. )e brings healing as we learn to trust )im, allow )im to help us take down our walls brick by brick, and allow )im into the inner portions of our heart. The respect and !alue that he shows us makes )im the safest one to allow behind our walls and into our most intimate place. There, )e brings healing and begins to cleanse us from the pain. #e learn our !alue by )is example and begin to walk according to the lo!e )e has shown us. #e learn to allow )im to be our watchman to show us who is safe and who isn t. )e gi!es us !alue when others deface us. 2s we stand in the honor that )e gi!es to us, the temptations to de!alue oursel!es and numb our pain are replaced by the truths that we don t ha!e to settle for sin and the brokenness others offer us. Jesus wants to gi!e us a !ision of what is right and we don t ha!e to settle for anything less. (o what about the @uestion of why the abuse happened in the first placeI 1f Jesus !alues us so much why did )e allow the abuse to happen at allI 1 !e asked that @uestion myself. 1n the same way that Jesus will not !iolate our free will, )e will not !iolate the free will of othersP e!en when doing so would ha!e been in our best interest. (in, disease, and death happen because we li!e in a fallen world. 2dam and H!e chose to eat the forbidden fruit and brought all of us under the curse. H!erything that happens is not Jesus perfect will for our li!es. Jesus ne!er promised that tribulation wouldn t happen, but )e did promise that )e would ne!er lea!e us or forsake us. 1 ha!e been blessed to sit with people as they allow Jesus to enter the walled off portions of their hearts and recei!e the healing )e has to offer. 1 ha!e been blessed to see years of pain fall away as they see that Jesus ne!er abandoned them in their time of need, but )e was there the whole time shielding their spirits from the death blows that (atan was aiming at their hearts. The $ible does not say all things are good. The $ible says all things work together for good to those who lo!e %od and are called according to )is purpose J9omans 6:&6K. %od wants us to talk to him about our abuse, our pain, and the anger that we ha!e towards )im because )e didn t protect us like we expected. The +ord in!ites us to come and reason with )im in 1saiah ":"6. )e wants to hear our heart. #e can talk to )im about our pain. #e can talk to )im about our anger. )e will respond in lo!e and speak truth to our hearts A truth that brings life, peace, strength, and !ision. 1t is in )is presence as )e redeems the terrible things that ha!e happened to us that )e transforms us into the men and women of %od that )e wants us to be. 1 ha!e personally experienced the lo!e of %od in the middle of my abuse memories to restore and to heal. The abuse happened. Jesus didn t !iolate the free will of my abuser, but )e was there the whole time guarding my spirit. (atan intended my abuser to destroy me. $y %od s grace, 1 am still standing. Jesus has A and continues to A restore what the enemy has taken from me. )e continues to empower me to stand where 1 formerly fell. )e continues to 190

empower me to hold on to )im in the middle of the !alleys, as we walk toward the next mountain. Bne day 1 had an extremely intense prayer ministry session where 1 was processing through one of the most traumatic e!ents in my life. 2fter it was o!er 1 told my friend who was praying for me that 1 was going to pray that the +ord would make me the kind of man 1 would ha!e been if 1 had not gone through the trials that 1 went through. 1 stopped half way through my first sentence. 1 reali;ed it was the redemption of those terrible trials in my life that has made me the man of %od 1 am today. #hat the enemy intended for e!il, %od has used for good. 2s many of you know, my wife and 1 experienced the death of our "0 year old son almost nine months ago. +oosing John has been the most painful experience of my life, yet 1 !e met the +ord in so many powerful ways since then. 1 !e had my momentsP they ha!en t all been goodP =HT %B7 1( 2+#2=( '21T)':+> Bne day as 1 was crying out to )im in agony, 1 could picture the 8oy of )ea!en and became angry that 1 had to go through the things 1 was going through here on the earth. 1t was then that the +ord burned deep into my heart that it was far more important for me to meet with )im in the middle of my trail, then for the trial to be o!er. #ith that word, the +ord acknowledged that 1 had no way of understanding on this side of eternity how that could be true. #ith that word came the reassurance of )is lo!e and peace that one dayP for all of usP we will understand the beautiful things that Jesus Christ has made out of the ashes of our li!es J1saiah .":*K. #ith that word came the reassurance that Jesus lo!es us and that CBT)1C% in our li!es here on earth will be o!erlooked in eternity. 1f you are in the middle of a storm in your life, reach out for help. 7on t try to get through your trials alone. 9each out to your Christian friends, your pastor, a belie!ing counselor, or 9econciliation 4inistries for help. 9each out to safe others who can help you meet Jesus in the middle of your pain and recei!e the healing that )is heart longs to bring you. )e wasn t asleep in the disciple s boat because )e didn t care that they were going to drown. )e was asleep in the disciple s boat because )e fully trusted in the heart of )is 'ather to bring the disciples through the storm and to the destination that )e purposed for them before the world began. 'f you’re in the middle of a storm and you feel like !esus doesn’t care if you drown, reach out for help. "all $econciliation %inistries at ,-../01.,223. *icensed professional counselin and prayer ministry is available. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is an affiliate ministry of Exo)us +nternational, and uses many of the programs written by Desert Stream Ministries. 191

D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"" Bhat is 5iving BatersD +i!ing #aters is an in-depth, Christ-centered program for people seeking healing in areas of sexual and relational brokenness. 2 healing, teaching and discipleship series, +i!ing #aters addresses the reality that we are all broken in our ability to lo!e others well. The goal of +i!ing #aters is to lay a foundation for sexual and relational wholeness in our li!es. Through the worship, teaching, prayer, and small groups of +i!ing #aters we learn about: b - %odGs powerful lo!e for us and how Jesus is central to our hope for wholeness b - The depth of our brokenness and our profound need for )im b - The power of the Cross to restore our souls, sexuality, and relationships b - The process of walking out our healing b - Bur place in the church and lo!ing others honorably Bho is 5iving Baters forD +i!ing #aters applies to e!eryone. 3eople who are struggling with sexual and relational brokenness including codependency, pornography addiction, promiscuity, homosexuality, sexual ambi!alence, childhood sexual abuse, transgender issues, and difficulty in establishing and sustaining intimacy in relationships ha!e found hope and healing through +i!ing #aters. Thankfully, ChristGs capacity to touch and restore us at deep le!els of shame and brokenness extends to all of us, regardless of the specifics of our issue. =ou can read testimonies from people whoGs li!es ha!e been changed on the F+ife (toriesF section of this website. Ho' is 5iving Baters ,resente)D +i!ing #aters is a &*-lesson program taught in a closed group format. The leaders ha!e been trained and a confidentiality policy is in place to help ensure trust and safety in the group. Hach meeting includes: +#$4H'( - #e focus our attention and praise on %od rather than on our problems. TH= +#$D - +i!ing #aters teachings combine psychological insights and biblical truths that help us to know %od and oursel!es better. T)H #B9L( B' JH(:( - Through healing prayer in large and small group settings, we in!ite the )oly (pirit to heal our !arious wounds. #e bring our sins, and those committed against us, to the +ord who is faithful to set us free. 'oundational to +i!ing #aters is the reality that %od created us in )is image as male and female. Therefore we !alue men and women working out their healing together. %reat healing comes as men and women minister and recei!e alongside one another, thereby reflecting %odGs intention and character. J2lthough small groups are single-sex, both genders participate together in 192

worship, teaching, and prayer in the large group.K +i!ing #aters uses a detailed guidebook that includes teachings, @uestions and additional readings that help us mo!e from brokenness to maturity. Some to,ics a))resse) inclu)eK b 2cknowledging our need for %od b )ow Fthe fallF affects our sexuality and relationships b 9ecei!ing the 'atherGs lo!e b #ho we are as men and women b The cross and confession b 9enouncing our idols b 9econciliation between men and women b 9oots of gender brokenness b )ealing from sexual abuse b 9estoring the true self through the cross b :nderstanding and o!ercoming temptation b B!ercoming sexual addiction b Hmbracing the church as our healing community b $uilding healthy relationships b #alking as mature Christians Section "K 5ove Reveale) Chapter ": 1ntroduction to +i!ing #aters Chapter &: 2cknowledging Bur Ceed Chapter *: The 'atherGs 3ursuit of :s Chapter ,: Jesus, the (on Chapter -: The 9ealignment and Hmpowering of the #ill Section 9K ;n)erstan)ing Sexual an) Relational ?ro.enness Chapter .: #elcoming )im 1nto Bur $rokenness Chapter 0: Triggers of %ender 1nsecurity Chapter 6: $roken $oundaries, 1n!aded )eart Chapter 5: Carcissism and 9elational 1dolatry Section K Reconciliation Chapter "E: The Cross: 9esurrecting the True (elf Chapter "": 'orgi!ing Bthers Chapter "&: )ope for %ender #holeness: 9estoring the True 'eminine Chapter "*: )ope for %ender #holeness: 9estoring the True 4asculine Section #K 5earning to Bal. Chapter ",: Hmbracing the 3rocess Chapter "-: Temptation: $ound or 7eterminedI Chapter ".: 'reedom from (exual 2ddiction

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Section 5K 5earning to 5ove Chapter "0: 7e!otion to Christ through )is Community Chapter "6: )ealthy (ame-(ex 'riendships Chapter "5: )ealthy )eterosexuality Chapter &E: Toward Christian 4aturity @or more information a(out this ,rogram* inclu)ing tuition information* ,lease call the Reconciliation Ministries office at 586.7 !.5""#. http://recmin.org/images/lwlogo.gif http://recmin.org/

5iving Baters A *ivin +aters is a Christ-centered discipleship/ministry program for people seeking healing in areas of sexual and relational brokenness including codependency, pornography, promiscuity, sexual ambi!alence, homosexuality, transgender issues, sexual addiction, and difficulty in establishing and sustaining intimacy in relationships. Hach program runs for approximately twenty weeks, and includes worship, a large group teaching time, and small group ministry with an emphasis on healing prayer. 7ue to the intensity of the *ivin +aters program, persons wishing to participate will be placed on a waiting list until the beginning of the next program. Cr ss Current, an eight week !ersion of this program is also a!ailable. Those waiting for *ivin +aters to begin are in!ited to 8oin our +alkin 8ree program. Jsee belowK

A+RIL 4 )A@ NE7*LETTER 7ear 'riends, 1 m writing this month s newsletter with a hea!y heart. The culture war for homosexuality has certainly heated up recently. 3ro-gay theology has gained footholds in many Christian denominations and organi;ations. 4any churches ha!e discarded foundational truths of (cripture under the guise of tolerance and grace. 9ather than speaking the truth in lo!e to confront sin, they are encouraging those who need Christ s redempti!e touch to embrace the sin that Christ died to deli!er them from. Bther Christian groups ha!e embraced a !ersion of grace without repentance. They suggest that Jesus did not die for beha!ioral modification and that %od is no more mo!ed by our sin than )e is by our good works. They forget that Jesus said, <1f anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me? J4atthew ".:&,K. (ome tell Christians that once sa!ed, they no longer ha!e a need to confess their sins to %od. This type of grace is in contradiction to " John ":.-5 which reads, <1f we claim to ha!e 194

fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not li!e by the truth. $ut if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we ha!e fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his (on, purifies us from all sin. 1f we claim to be without sin, we decei!e oursel!es and the truth is not in us. 1f we confess our sins, he is faithful and 8ust and will forgi!e us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.? #e must be careful not to turn the <grace of our %od into a license for immorality? JJude ":,bK. #e must hold fast to the basic foundations of our Christian faith that boldly proclaims, <%od calls all men e!erywhere to repent? J2cts "0:&5K. #e must hold fast to the (criptural truth in " Corinthians .:5-"" that boldly declares se!eral beha!iors, including homosexuality, to be sinful/ but also pro!ides hope through Jesus Christ by declaring, <2nd that is what some of you were. $ut you were washed, you were sanctified, you were 8ustified in the name of the +ord Jesus Christ and by the (pirit of our %od.? Change is possible through the redempti!e power of Jesus Christ and )is finished work on the cross. Change is a process. #e will continue to experience temptations on this side of eternity 8ust as Jesus did while he was here on this earth J)ebrews ,:"-K. That battle can be fierce at times. (ometimes it feels 8ust plain hopeless A like we will ne!er change A but in our weakness we are made strong J)ebrews "":*,K. #e are more than con@uerors through Christ Jesus J9omans 6:*0K.

This month s newsletter explores some of the foundational truths of the Christian faith for our sexuality in the light of pro-gay theology. 1t explores the @uestion, <Can 1 be openly gay and openly ChristianI? 1t explores some of the arguments presented by the gay-affirming church to 8ustify their beliefs. 1t also explores the differences between one who belie!es that homosexuality is a sin, seeks to li!e a godly life, yet still falls into homosexual sin/ and one who freely engages in homosexual beha!ior without reser!ation. 1f you or someone you know is struggling with homosexuality or any other sin, reach out for help. Call 9econciliation 4inistries at J-6.K 0*5--"", to see how we can help you walk out of sexual sin and brokenness and into sexual wholeness. There is hope and healing through the grace and redempti!e work of Jesus Christ. 1n Christ, 7an )it;, 7irector 9econciliation 4inistries of 4ichigan Gay an# Christian9 Can I 8e9 – Dan Hit: Dan is the Director of $econciliation %inistries of %ichi an. The culture wars promotin homosexuality have heated up substantially in the recent months and have made si nificant headway into the "hristian "hurch. %any who have 195

once been stron advocates for the traditional view of 9iblical sexuality are now supportin the views that one can identify as a ayB"hristian, en a e in homosexual sexual activities and still o to Heaven. 4ome even say that God blesses homosexual relationships. This article will briefly examine such beliefs and compare them to the teachin s of 4cripture. 't is meant to be a brief overview of some issues currently facin "hristianity and culture, and is not intended to be a comprehensive look at these complex sub@ects. ,Has n ne c n#e"ne# y u91 ,N ne sir,1 she sai#' ,Then neither # I c n#e"n y u,1 Jesus #ec.are#' ,G n & an# .ea$e y ur .i!e ! sin'1 John 6:"Eb-"" C1Q The simple truth of John *:". is that <%od so lo!ed the world that he ga!e his one and only (on, that whoe!er belie!es in him shall not perish but ha!e eternal life.? 1t is through grace we are <sa!ed through faith? and ha!e become <new creations? JHph. &:6-5/ & Cor. -:"0K. #e can do nothing to earn our sal!ation. #e cannot be <good enough? to @ualify for )ea!en. #e are simply called to surrender our li!es to the authority of Jesus Christ and recei!e )is (pirit within us. 1n reality, that is a huge surrender of our li!es and an e!en greater gift of )is eternal sal!ation. #hat do we do after sal!ationI 7oes %od want to lea!e us as )e found usI 3aul writes in 9omans "&:& that we are not to <conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind?. :pon sal!ation, the +ord calls us acti!ely participate in the transformation process. The same (a!ior who said to the woman caught in adultery, <Ceither do 1 condemn you,? also instructed her, <%o now and lea!e your life of sin.? Jesus calls all who follow )im to take up their cross and follow )im J4att. ".:&,, 4ark 6:*,, +uke 5:&*K. 1 want to draw a parallel between homosexuality and other sins, especially sexual sin. %od s intent for sexual expression is solely within the context of the marriage co!enant between one biologically born male and one biologically born female. )omosexuality is not the sin of all sins. 1t is 8ust as sinful for a man and a woman to engage in sexual acti!ity outside of the marriage co!enant as it is for two people of the same gender to engage in sexual acti!ity. 1t is 8ust as sinful for one person to !iew heterosexual pornography as it is for two people to engage in homosexual sexual acti!ity. (in is sin. %od calls e!ery person, e!erywhere to repent J2cts "0:*EK. 3ro-gay theology has made se!eral inroads into many denominations and Christian organi;ations. (ome who identify themsel!es as Christians ha!e thrown out the $ible altogether claiming it has been corrupted by men through the centuries. Bthers state that the $ible is not to be taken literally and disregard (criptures stating that homosexuality is sin. (till others misinterpret or reinterpret $iblical passages to support their pro-gay beliefs. 'or an indepth look at pro-gay theology in comparison to traditional $iblical beliefs, read The Gay GospelI How (roBGay )dvocates %isread the 9ible by Joe 196

7allas." 7allas himself spent six years as an openly gay man trying to li!e as a Christian. 1n the end, he had to wrestle with the @uestion, <2m 1 basing my decision to embrace the Ogay and Christian identity on the belief that this is %od s will for my lifeP or on the hope that this is what %od might allowIF JNuoted from back co!er.K There are many passages in the Bld and Cew Testaments that clearly identify homosexual acti!ity as sin. +e!iticus"6:&& reads, <7o not lie with a man as one lies with a woman/ that is detestable,? while !erse &E:"*a reads, <`1f a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them ha!e done what is detestable.? " Cor. .:5-"" and 9omans Chapter " in the Cew Testament identify homosexuality as one sin among many other sins that must be repented of. Bne of the main arguments that the pro-gay apologists use is the claim that Jesus ne!er said anything about homosexuality. They interpret this absence as Christ s acceptance of homosexuality. )owe!er, Jesus ne!er said anything about child abuse or bestiality, yet who would argue that either of those acti!ities is acceptableI The %ospels do not claim to be an exhausti!e collection of Jesus statements. 1n fact, John writes that Jesus did so many things that the whole world could not contain all of the reports if they were written down JJohn &":&-K. Therefore, the lack of a recorded statement is not proof that Jesus said nothing about the sub8ect. Jesus did declare the created intent for man and woman in 4atthew "5:,-.: <)a!en t you read,? he replied, <that at the beginning the Creator Omade them male and female, and said, O'or this reason a man will lea!e his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh I (o they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what %od has 8oined together, let man not separate.? 1n all areas of life, not only did Jesus preached a standard of holiness based on the foundation used by the Jews of )is time, the Bld Testament (criptures, )e raised the standard of holiness to include the thoughts and intents of the heart. <$ut 1 tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart? J4att -:&6K. #e can also see the call to sexual purity in the counsel of Jerusalem in 2cts "- when the apostles met to discuss which of the laws the con!erted %entiles must follow. 2bstaining from sexual immorality was one of only four areas of the Jewish laws the con!erted %entiles were re@uired to keep. Those laws on sexual immorality would ha!e been taken directly from the Bld Testament law. 2nother argument of the pro-gay theologians is that 3aul coined his own words which he did not intend to be translated as homosexuality. Joe 7allas writes about this in his book, The Gay GospelI How (roBGay )dvocates %isread the 9ible." )e reports that 3aul actually coined "05 words in his epistles. 7allas explains that the %reek words 3aul used to create the word arsenokoite, which we translate as homosexual, came from two words with !ery specific meanings. )rsenos is used to emphasis the physical definition of a male as in 197

a male infant. &oite is used to specify a bed or couch used in a sexual context such as the marriage bed in )ebrews "*:,, <4arriage is honorableP and the bed WkoiteX undefiled?. 7allas writes, <#hen 3aul coined the term arsenokoite, he took it directly from the %reek translation of +e!iticus s prohibitions against homosexual beha!ior. )is intent couldn t be clearer. Though arsenokoite is uni@ue to 3aul, it refers specifically and unambiguously to sex between men.? Jpage &"*K There are numerous arguments from the gay-affirming community that are based on anecdotal obser!ations rather than (cripture. 2mong them are the many accounts of men and women, some formerly in ex-gay leadership, who ha!e fallen away. The reality of (cripture shows that there will always be men and women who fall away from the faith for a wide !ariety of reasons. J(ee the 3arable of the (ower in +uke 6.K This does not in!alidate the reality that there are many others who ha!e continued to walk in faith. The pro-gay community cites many scientific studies that claim to show that homosexuality is inborn and unchangeable. They ignore studies which show that many ha!e o!ercome homosexuality and studies that ha!e failed to show a biological cause for homosexuality. There is a wealth of information on scientific research on this topic on the website for the Cational 2ssociation for 9esearch and Therapy of )omosexuality WC29T)X at www.narth.org. Co one has e!er been able to find a conclusi!e genetic link to homosexuality, yet scientists ha!e found genetic links to alcoholism and rage. #ho in the scientific community would e!er encourage anyone to embrace their alcoholism or rage simply because it is geneticI %ay-ad!ocates also claim that since a person continues to ha!e same-sex attractions he/she hasn t changed his/her sexual orientation at all. They hold to an <all or nothing? approach to e!aluating change rather than a more realistic continuum of change. 2lthough we ha!e been redeemed through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, we continue to li!e in a fallen world. #hen we were fully gi!en o!er to our sin, we trained our minds and bodies to respond to sinful stimuli. Transformation is a process. #e will continue to struggle with sin and temptation 8ust like the 2postle 3aul described in 9omans 0:"--&- in his famous <'or what 1 want to do 1 do not do, but what 1 hate 1 do,? passage. Bur continued temptation is merely a reflection of the reality that we are redeemed saints li!ing in a fallen world and in need of continued transformation into the finished work of Christ. 9emember that Jesus was tempted in e!ery way we are, yet was without sin. Co matter what sin we struggle with, if we are in Christ our orientation toward that sin has changed A and will continue to change A as we take up our cross daily and follow )im J+uke 5:&*K. (ome in Christianity !iew homosexual acti!ity as sin and seek to li!e a celibate life while still maintaining the label of gay-Christian. #hile 1 applaud their desire to honor %od and not engage in homosexual sexual acti!ity, 1 cannot applaud their use of the label <gay?. 1n " Corinthians .:5-"E 3aul identifies a !ariety of acti!ities as sinful. 7o you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of %odI 7o not be decei!ed: Ceither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual 198

offenders nor thie!es nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of %od. Bf the ten sins identified in this passage, only homosexuality is used as a label by those who struggle with such temptations while resisting the temptation to act upon them. 4ost Jif not allK heterosexual married men do struggle with heterosexual lust, yet no one goes around identifying themsel!es as an adulterous-Christian with the explanation that they do not engage in sexual acti!ity outside of their own marriage. Cor does anyone identify his/herself as a Christian thief, or a Christian slanderer. Bne exception may be those in reco!ery programs who identify themsel!es as an alcoholic, yet 1 prefer the focus of the Celebrate 9eco!ery programs. These programs do not accept the label of alcoholic, but state that they are <celebrating reco!ery from? alcoholism or any of life s <hurts, hang-ups, and habits?.& 1dentifying as a gay-Christian keeps one linked to a sinful identity and world !iew. Therefore the label of gay-Christian is not a $iblical label for one to embrace. 3aul writes in Hphesians ,:&&-&,: =ou were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires/ to be made new in the attitude of your minds/ and to put on the new self, created to be like %od in true righteousness and holiness. 'or those who are true Christ followers, it is essential to hold fast to our true identity of a redeemed saint/ <Christ in you, the hope of glory? JCol. ":&0K. 2s " Cor. .:"" states, <2nd that is what some of you were. $ut you were washed, you were sanctified, you were 8ustified in the name of the +ord Jesus Christ and by the (pirit of our %od.? 9edemption and an identity in Christ is a!ailable for all. #e need to make some significant distinctions as we look at sin in the life of the belie!er. 1t is not a sin to be tempted or to ha!e same-sex attractions. Jesus, )imself, was tempted in ever& 'a& that 'ere are* &et 'as 'ithout sin J)ebrews ,:"-K. Temptations and attractions become sin when we start engaging them and acting upon them in thought or deed. There are also significant differences in the moti!ations of people who deal with homosexuality. 'irst, there are those who struggle with homosexuality, recogni;e it as sin, resist it, yet occasionally fall into pornography or sexual encounters. This group responds to their sinful actions with brokenness and repentance. They are @uick to confess their sin, and seek to change. (econdly, there are those who belie!e that homosexual acti!ity is sinful but choose to freely engage in homosexual acti!ity anyway for a !ariety of reasons. (ome ha!e gi!en up in the fight and became angry at %od. (ome choose the pleasure of sin o!er the righteousness of %od. Bthers abuse the grace of %od and turn it into permission to sin. This group responds to sexual sin with a hardened, calloused heart. Thirdly, there are those who are truly decei!ed into belie!ing that %od blesses homosexuality and engage in homosexual acti!ity celebrating it as a gift from %od. Bne wonders if this 199

group li!es their li!es secretly conflicted between their spirituality and their sexuality. 2s we look at these three groups we need to remember that 3hilippians &:"& tells us to work out own sal!ation with fear and trembling. 1t is not our 8ob to 8udge the moti!ations of a person s heart, or to 8udge whether one is truly sa!ed or not. %od alone knows the true intent of a person s heart/ howe!er, a repentant person will produce fruit in keeping with repentance J+uke *:0-5, 4att. 0:"--&*K. %od s grace is abundant for the first group of people who struggle with sin and are @uick to repent. " John ":5 reads, <1f we confess our sins, he is faithful and 8ust and will forgi!e us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.? )ebrews "E:&.-&0, &5 presents a strong warning to those in the second group who ha!e recei!ed the truth and chose to walk in sin. 1f we deliberately keep on sinning after we ha!e recei!ed the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of 8udgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of %od. )ow much more se!erely do you think a man deser!es to be punished who has trampled the (on of %od under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the co!enant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the (pirit of graceI Those in the third group who ha!e been decei!ed into belie!ing that homosexuality is a gift from %od are also under a strong warning in %alatians .:0-6 which states, 7o not be decei!ed: %od cannot be mocked. 2 man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction/ the one who sows to please the (pirit, from the (pirit will reap eternal life. The good news is that the mercy and grace of %od is a!ailable to people in all three of the groups described abo!e. 3eter is an excellent example of the mercy of %od to reach out to us in our sin and call us to repentance. #e see the mercy of Jesus targeting 3eter who after boasting that he was not like the others, and that he would ne!er deny the +ord did 8ust that J4ark ",K. 1n John &" we see Jesus reaching out to 3eter in lo!e. #e see the process of Jesus helping him to acknowledge the depth of his sin, the need for repentance, and the need to look past the actions or callings of others to walk in the specific calling that the +ord had for him. 9epentance is a!ailable for those in all three of the groups described abo!e. There are leaders in the exgay mo!ement who ha!e publically stated that they were in!ol!ed in the gayaffirming church when the )oly (pirit con!icted their hearts to repent of their homosexuality. Co one is beyond the mercy of the +ord Jesus Christ. 1f you are experiencing unwanted homosexual attractions, there is hope. 1f you ha!e been struggling with homosexuality for a long time and are growing weary in the fight, reach out for help. 7o not walk alone. Call 9econciliation 4inistries at -6..0*5.-"", and find out about ministry resources, groups, and ser!ices that can assist you in your 8ourney out of homosexuality. 1f you feel 200

like you !e struggled far too long, or fallen too far from grace to e!er return, remember that <he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus? J3hil. ":.K. There is hope and healing in Jesus Christ for e!eryone who seeks )im. )y #ear chi.#ren, I &rite this t y u s that y u &i.. n t sin ' 8ut i! any2 #y # es sin, &e ha$e ne &h s%ea6s t the (ather in ur #e!ense – Jesus Christ, the Ri/hte us One' He is the at nin/ sacri!ice ! r ur sins, an# n t n.y ! r urs 2ut a.s ! r the sins ! the &h .e & r.#' " John &:"-& $eferences and $ecommended $esourcesH
"

7allas, Joe. The Gay GospelI How (roBGay )dvocates %isread the 9ible. )ar!est )ouse 3ublishers, &EE0.
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Celebrate 9eco!ery, 1nc. website. 9etrie!ed from http://www.celebratereco!ery.com on 2pril &5, &E"&.
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%agnon, 7r. 9obert. The 9ible and Homosexual (ractice Texts and Hermeneutics. 2bingdon 3ress. &EE&.
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Cational 2ssociation for 9esearch and Therapy of )omosexuality. www.narth.org. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"& http://img&.imagesbn.com/images/"&,,EEEE/"&,,E,"&.8pg http://www.recmin.org/:pdatedY&E2rticlesY&EandY&ETestimonies/%ay Y&EandY&EChristian.htm O$erc "in/ *tr n/h .#s R u/h Out.ine This seminar includes fi!e main ingredients in the +i!ing #aters program and is a good introduction to the main concepts of recei!ing sexual and relational wholeness through Jesus Christ. The seminar co!ers our need for repentance and healing and encourages us to be honest about our struggles, wounds, and sinful desires with oursel!es, safe Christian leaders, and especially the +ord, )imself. The topics and depth of teaching can be ad8usted to meet the specific needs of the church or group hosting the seminar. The mechanical ingredients of the weekend include some of the main ingredients of the 201

+i!ing #aters program including worship, instructional teaching, testimonies of reco!ery, and large group altar ministry. JThe main +i!ing #aters program includes small group time which is not included in this seminar.K (ri#ay 0.EE-0.E0.E--0.*0.*--0.,0.,--0.-E 0.-E-6.,E Belcome Borshi, Ex,lanation of (trongholds and +ogistics of (eminar Cestimon& of )ealing Through Concepts of +i!ing #aters %c.no'le)ging -ur <ee)s A Hxplains areas of sin and emotional pain in our li!es that we ha!e tried to <medicate? through sin, as well as the need to be honest about our true condition and accept the reality of our struggle. 6.,E-5.EE A %ltar Ministr& *atur#ay 5.EE-5.*E A Borshi, 5.*E-"E."- A Healing the MotherL@ather Boun) A Hxplains the potential effects of parental wounding in our li!es and how the +ord is able to <parent? us in our areas of need. "E."--"E.*- A %ltar Ministr& "E.*--"E.,- A $reak "E.,--"".*E A Healing from %(use A Hxplores the effects of sexual abuse and the process of healing. "".*E-"&.EE A %ltar Ministr& "&.EE-".*E A +unch ".*E-&."- A @orgiveness A Hxplores the process of forgi!ing those who ha!e wounded us, including conse@uences of unforgi!eness and misconceptions about forgi!eness. &."--&.*- A %ltar Ministr& &.*--&.-E A $reak &.-E-*.EE A -ffering *.EE-*.,- A Che 3ross an) 3onfession A Hxplains the $iblical process of confessing our sins to Christ and recei!ing )is forgi!eness. 3ro!ides an opportunity for participants to confess their sins to ministry team and experience Christ s forgi!eness and cleansing. *.,--,.E- A %ltar Ministr& ,.E--,/"- A Seminar Bra,0;, HEALING THE )OTHER AND (ATHER 7OUND LIVING 7ATER*, CHA+TER THREE DAN HITZ M4BF4DQBQ D%< CE%3H +ntro Esta2.ish +r %er ( cus ! r *essi n )ow many ha!e kids 202 A A A A A

)ow many lo!e kids and want to do what best for them )ow many ha!e made terrible mistakes and hurt kids %i!e yourself permission to put those kids in %od s hands and recei!e healing for self to become better parent +rayer 8rea63 +uttin/ ur 6i#s r th se &e?$e & un#e# in G #?s han#s 3arents are like a scaffolding in a slow growing skyscraper +r $ DD3N Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. 3oor scaffolding causes wounds which need %od s grace to heal (cripture offers a lot of instructions to parents about raising kids Bhat Do Health& Aarents 5oo. 5i.e /-%< CE%3H Mother I @emininit& 3ower to (e Jable to @uiet heart and hear from %odK 3ower to res,on) Jable to recei!e from others and acceptK Courishes relationships and !alues emotional interaction 1ntuiti!e thinking Japart from obser!able/relational insightsK 'llustrationH 4ary in (cripture as she is instructed by %abriel about Christ s birth J+uke "K 'llustrationH #oman wants to hear all about her child s and husbands days right when they walk in the door, husband wants to turn off his brain D%< CE%3H @ather I Masculinit& 3ower to )o Jlead, initiate, shape, formK 3ower to ,revail in the face of ad!ersity (trong (tand Jnot compromise self or truthK 3ossessing radical obedience Jrecogni;ing and defining the 8ust and trueK Calls the children out into their roles, e@uips, and affirms 9ational/analytical thinking 'llustrationH Joseph, plans to put 4ary away @uietly J4att "K, leads family to Hgypt to a!oid destruction J4att &K 'llustrationH )usband wants to <fix? wife s problems when she 8ust wants him to listen to her /-%< CE%3H 3om,lementarit& A $oth genders complement and complete each other, are expressed in relationship, and are necessary for healthy heterosexuality. 9#TH '<T=$)"T H=$= "lassic sense 4om imparts to the child a sense of being A 1 am good and it is good to be ali!e 7ad calls the child into what %od has designed them to be #hen 7ad wants to build bike ramp 4om wraps him in bubble wrap and protests 203

7ad builds bike ramp kid wipes out on bikeP 4om runs out with $actineP 7ad tells them how awesome they were to try and gi!es them pointers on not wiping out next time CHE +<@5;E<3E -@ CHE A%RE<CS /-%< CE%3H 3haracteristics of a go)l& mother )er body pro!ides safe refuge for the de!eloping baby within +o!ingly carries the baby through nine months of growth $aby surrounded by her )ears her !oice and !oices of family )er feelings become the baby s feelings A chemical reactions Correlation with 4ary Lu6e B'EM <1 am the +ord s ser!ant, and 1 am willing to accept whate!er he wants. 4ay e!erything you ha!e said come true.? %ladly accepts what the +ord desires for her #hen she went to !isit Hli;abeth, John 8umped for 8oy in the womb :pon birth, baby is nurtured at the mother s breasts )elp close and lo!ingly Cewborn s ga;e limited to facial distance 4other instrumental in child s early de!elopment %entle nurturing (oothing skinned knees sense that e!erything is okay, people are okay, it is good to exist Arovi)es sense of (eing A what is itI D%< CE%3H 3haracteristics of go)l& father the mother gi!es form and shape to our li!es, imparts a sense of being, a healthy father vali)ates and calls out that which has been imparted teaches us to act and respond out of our abilities and !alues teaches us perse!erance e@uips us with the ability to look ahead, plan, and take action as we are comfortable in our own skin, we are more able to interact and influence our own en!ironments for good #e transfer how we see our parents onto the +ord +rayer 8rea63 L r#, &here are &e !ee.in/ sh rtchan/e#' 7hat are &e .ac6in/ !r " ur %arents9 CHANGE HERE – JOAN +ROVIDE (ATHER 7OUND TE*TI)ON@ AND DAN +ROVIDE )OTHER 7OUND TE*TI)ON@ – THREE )INUTE* EACH 204

+ers na. testi" ny ! ) ther an# (ather & un# +ast out of fi!e kids A Bpps> 3aranoid (chi;ophrenic mother (exually abused as little boy by mom A turned heart off Harly memories of dad A sink, crash up car A walled off from him 7ad worked a lot of o!ertime A financialI %et out of houseI 4om and 1 did stuff together, but afraid cousin would win affections )igh school years mom got real huggy Concept of discussing problems with my dad was non-existent 4om in and out of hospital A don t try to be a parent A walled off from her 3repositioned by mom A freak out A all women are dangerous <=ou re not my son>? A court room experience Tried to fill !oids <all men are safe? +ooking for 4r. 9ight to fill dad !oid B!erachie!er College years A anorexic/bulimic )eight of no <sense of being? A behind bank building at 'erris Just like 7ad dro!e the car and paid for e!erything, %od dro!e the planet and paid for e!erything A finally, %od did really seem to exist anymore /-%< CE%3H V+S;%5 +55;SCR%C+-< I A+C3HER %<D >5%SSES ". &. *. ,. -. healthy A perfect function filling up glass and pouring out ma8or breach A many holes, barely holds anything complete breach A open bottom complete closure Aco!er o!er the top closure and breach A open bottom co!er o!er the top ! 2ein/ A feel empty and powerless

7ith ut sense

2ndy Comisky 3ursuing 9elational #holeness (eminar (hame is like raincoat repelling %od s lo!e 4other-wound is like strainer, no matter how much lo!e is poured into you, it seeps out the bottom. *ivin +aters textbook A 1-thers ma& ex,erience this voi) as a )rea)ful aloneness* an emotional a(&ss* that is accom,anie) 'ith feelings of a(an)onment. Some )efine this state as a ,rofoun) em,tiness* 'ith little or no felt sense of (eing at all.2 +rayer 8rea63 H & ha$e I trie# t c "%ensate ! r .e/iti"ate nee#s unans&ere# 2y "y " ther an# !ather in i..e/iti"ate &ays9 D%< CE%3H Healing for the Mother an) @ather Boun) is foun) in 3hrist 'ho ha) ,erfect @ather an) human mother an) ste,0father 205

D)< )<D !#)< T=)"H "onclude TestimonyH :pon sal!ation A bulimia ended A Jesus filled up a lot of holes $egan to recei!e the nurturing from the )oly (pirit that my mother was intended to gi!e me $egan to recei!e instruction and calling out from 'ather %od that my dad was supposed to gi!e me (itting on )is lap at +# training Calling me into )is purposes for my life, speaking !ision, instructing me to implement that !ision 7iscipline, teaching, and affirmation as a )ea!enly 'ather JB2C 4ary s response to %abriel and John 8umping in Hli;abeth s womb when she sees her 72C Joseph protecting the family in Hgypt )ar6 B3BQ5BB GNIVH "E 2s Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw hea!en being torn open and the (pirit descending on him like a do!e. "" 2nd a !oice came from hea!en: F=ou are my (on, whom 1 lo!e/ with you 1 am well pleased.F JOAN J hn C3BP5DB GNIVH "5 Jesus ga!e them this answer: =+ tell &ou the truth* the Son can )o nothing (& himself6 he can )o onl& 'hat he sees his @ather )oing* (ecause 'hatever the @ather )oes the Son also )oes. 9: @or the @ather loves the Son an) sho's him all he )oes. =es, to your ama;ement he will show him e!en greater things than these. &" 'or 8ust as the 'ather raises the dead and gi!es them life, e!en so the (on gi!es life to whom he is pleased to gi!e it. D%< 3hrist also ex,erience) reJection from His @ather 'hile on the cross )ar6 BC3EE5EO GNIVH ** 2t the sixth hour darkness came o!er the whole land until the ninth hour. *, 2nd at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud !oice, FHloi, Hloi, lama sabachthaniIF--which means, F4y %od, my %od, why ha!e you forsaken meIF cW*,X 3salm &&:"d *#hen some of those standing near heard this, they said, F+isten, heGs calling Hli8ah.F *. Bne man ran, filled a sponge with wine !inegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. FCow lea!e him alone. +etGs see if Hli8ah comes to take him down,F he said. *0 #ith a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. Hli8ah ne!er showed up A they watched him in death and darkness 'ather ne!er showed up A he let him die 4any of us ha!e had others watch us in our darkness 8ust watching us die without helping 4any of our parents ne!er showed up when we were in deep need and part of our hearts died 206

JOAN TEACH He2re&s F3BC5BN G NIVH "- 'or we do not ha!e a high priest who is unable to sympathi;e with our weaknesses, but we ha!e one who has been tempted in e!ery way, 8ust as we are--yet was without sin. ". +et us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may recei!e mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. 1f Jesus didn t take our sin upon )imself and came off cross, )e would ha!e not lost touch with 'ather 1f 'ather would ha!e sent the "& +egions of angels, he would ha!e been rescued and not lost touch with 'ather (ometimes we loose parental blessings because we re doing what is right, or because A sometimes we could ha!e a false restoration with them if we did what was wrong Jesus chose to do what was right so we can too DAN +rayer 8rea63 Jesus, @ u?$e sh &n "e h & I trie# t !i.. u% the $ i#s in "y heart in i..e/iti"ate &ays, h & can @ u !i.. u% the $ i#s in "y heart in the ri/ht &ay9 7an will pray for healing of father wound Joan will pray for healing of mother wound )A@ DQBE NE7*LETTER 7ear 'riends, 4any of you ha!e heard the news that John 3aulk, co-founder of the +o!e #on But conference series through 'ocus on the 'amily, has returned to homosexuality and publically apologi;ed for his in!ol!ement in the ex-gay mo!ement. :nfortunately, his recent apology and decision to return to homosexuality is being celebrated by many in the media and in the homosexual community. H!en more tragic, some in the $ody of Christ are applauding John s authenticity and honesty rather than calling him to repentance. This is tragic. The 2postle 3aul did not honor the authenticity of sinners. )e called them to repentance and warned them of the eternal conse@uences they are facing. 9egardless of the unfortunate e!ents in our culture, political arena, and the $ody of Christ, we must keep our eyes on Jesus and walk in obedience to )im. There will be times when we as Christians fail to li!e a holy life and the grace of Jesus Christ co!ers our sin/ howe!er, the $ible has strong warnings for those who identify as Christians and continue to li!e in willful, unrepentant sin 207

A heterosexual or homosexual. +et us all keep our hearts open and surrendered to Jesus Christ. 1f we sin, may we be @uick to repent and continue the process of surrender to the Bne who can truly transform us into )is image. +et us hold fast to the true grace of %od and faithfulness of Jesus Christ to meet us in our struggles. 2s we hear about a few leaders in the $ody of Christ who ha!e returned to their sin, let us remember the many more leaders who continue to offer their temptations to )im and recei!e )is strength to o!ercome the sin that once defined them. Cone of us are perfect and all of us struggle at times, but we ser!e a (a!ior who is perfect and is faithful to complete the work that )e started in us as we continue to cling to )im. =ou can read more specific information on the 'acebook pages of 9econciliation 4inistries and the 9estored )ope Cetwork. =ou will find links to responses by 2ndrew Comiskey of 7esert (tream 4inistries/ Joseph Cicolosi, co-founder of C29T)/ 'rank #orthen, co-founder of Hxodus and 9estored )ope Cetwork/ and Jason Thompson of 3ortland 'ellowship. 1f you are struggling in your walk or need to process some of your thoughts, contact 9econciliation 4inistries !ia email at infoUrecmin.org or by phone at -6..0*5.-"",. #e are here to help you. 1n Christ, 7an )it;, 7irector 9econciliation 4inistries of 4ichigan, 1nc. Un#erstan#in/ Our Attracti n +r !i.e – Dan Hit: This article is partBtwo of a twoBpart series on understandin our temptations. 't explains how we can use our sexual temptations as a au e to point out areas of brokenness in our hearts, and seek the *ord for His answer to our deeper needs. The article was adapted from a workshop Dan tau ht at a %ender 4atters conference presented by Desert 4tream %inistries and ;nion "enter "hristian "hurch in =ndicott, <ew 5ork. 1n last month s newsletter article, (rayin 9eyond #ur Temptations, we looked at using our temptations as a gauge to show us areas in our hearts that needed a touch from the +ord. #e learned not to suppress our temptations by s@uashing them back down in our hearts, but to acknowledge our temptations and submit them to the cross. 1n that way, we can see the legitimate need in our hearts that we are tempted to sol!e in an illegitimate way. #e open our hearts to Christ to recei!e a holy answer to our deeper needs. This month we will look at our attracti n %r !i.e and learn how we can use this as another gauge to show us areas in our hearts that need healing. #hene!er we pray about these types of issues, we should be careful to pray that the +ord will help us look at these temptations redempti!ely, in a way that does not increase our temptations. (ometimes we can pray through these areas on our own in contemplati!e prayer. Bther times we need the help of safe, trusted others to walk with us to the cross. 208

$efore we look at the attraction profile, let s make a differentiation between noticing someone is attracti!e and illicitly lusting after someone. There are cultural norms of attracti!eness. %od made good looking plants and animals as well as funny looking plants and animals. +ikewise, some people are closer to the cultural norm of good looking and some people are not. #e will notice this as we go through our day. 4any people feel condemned simply because they noticed that someone is attracti!e. Coticing that someone is attracti!e is not a sin. Coticing that someone is attracti!e and lusting after that person is. 1n life, we interact with people that we find attracti!e and people that we do not. 2s we interact, it is important that we bounce our eyes and our thoughts off of lustful things and put them on godly ones. #e should not walk around consciously checking people out to determine if we find them attracti!e or not. The attraction profile principles apply to those times when we notice that someone is attracti!e and find oursel!es lusting or interacting with them in inappropriate ways. 2n attracti n %r !i.e consists of the common characteristics A physical, emotional, and beha!ioral A of the people that we are illicitly drawn to. 1n her books, The 9roken 'ma e and Healin Homosexuality, +eanne 3ayne writes about canni2a. c "%u.si n. (he explains that cannibals eat the people that they want the characteristics of, and that our attraction profiles consist of people that we want the characteristics of. This applies both to heterosexual as well as homosexual illicit attractions. Cannibal compulsion can apply in two areas. 'irst, a person may be attracted to others who ha!e characteristics that he will ne!er ha!e and are en!ious of. (econd, a person may be attracted to others with characteristics that he actually does ha!e, but because of emotional brokenness is unable to recogni;e or accept in himself. #e can use the same principles with our attraction profiles that we use to pray beyond our temptations. 9ather than s@uashing the lustful thoughts back down into our hearts and trying to suppress them, we can acknowledge them and submit them to the cross. #e can use those attractions as a gauge to show us what areas of our hearts are broken and seek the +ord for healing. 2 person who grew up with a dysfunctional relationship with a parent, may find himself lusting after older men or women in an attempt to fill up the !oid from his mother or father wound. 2 person who re8ects her body image, may find herself lusting after men or women who possess the body that she would like to ha!e. 2 person who was mercilessly mocked for being underweight may find himself lusting after others with a muscular build. 1n these cases of lusting after someone who possesses the attributes that we will ne!er ha!e, it is important to acknowledge the pain in our hearts that we are trying to numb with illegitimate actions, bring that pain to the cross, and ask the +ord for )is healing in that area. 1f we disco!er that we are lusting after older men or women because of a father or mother wound, we can bring that pain to the cross and ask the +ord to fill up that !oid in our hearts with )is presence and pro!ide the nurturing and care that we did not recei!e from our father or mother. 1n the case of a person with a negati!e body image, e!en in the case of a person with a legitimate physical defect, he can acknowledge the emotional pain of the physical defect in his body and seek the +ord for comfort 209

and acceptance of the body that he does ha!e. The same grace a!ailable to the 2postle 3aul to accept his thorn in the flesh and be made strong in his weakness is a!ailable to all of us. 1n these examples, we see how we can use the attraction profiles to lead us to the root issues fueling our attractions and recei!e healing from the +ord. The same principles apply when our attraction profiles include characteristics that we actually do possess, but are emotionally detached from. 2 man who may actually be @uiet, creati!e, and insightful may ha!e been shamed by a father who demanded that he <act more like a man? and engage in rugged sports acti!ities. (ince his father did not accept his more creati!e @ualities, he may ha!e learned to re8ect those @ualities inside his own heart. Cut off from his true self, he may begin to yearn for these @ualities in others. 1t is important in this type of situation that he identify the characteristics in others that he is drawn to, acknowledge that pain of any percei!ed short comings in his own heart, bring that pain to the cross, and allow the +ord to heal the areas of shame, self-re8ection, and other issues that led him to re8ect his true identity in Christ. 2s the person becomes more comfortable with his own specific gifts, he will ha!e less need to lust after another in a broken attempt to compensate for his percei!ed areas of weakness. 'urthermore, he will be more able to identify with his specific gifts and use them to bless others in his sphere of influence. #hen we find oursel!es in an increased time of temptation towards a specific person, we can use those temptations as a gauge by examining our hearts and asking the +ord the following simple @uestions: "K #hat are the specific characteristics of that person that 1 am drawn toI &K #hat are the root issues behind my attractions and how do 1 feel like that person could sol!e those issuesI *K #hat is =our holy solution for the root issues behind my attractionsI 2s we seek the +ord in contemplati!e prayer, )e will gi!e us )is answers to the deeper needs in our hearts, the pain in our hearts begins to heal, and our temptations to numb the pain through illicit attractions begin to diminish. (imilar to our attraction profile is our !antasy %r !i.e. 4ost people ha!e a typical <script? or storyline in their fantasies. These repetiti!e themes can be used to understand our root issues of brokenness as they are submitted to the cross. (omeone who feels abandoned may fantasi;e that others are pursuing him for sexual purposes as a means of numbing the pain of re8ection. 2 person who feels an o!erwhelming sense of failure may fantasi;e incredible con@uests. The steps in reco!ery are the same as those of the attraction profile. 2sk the +ord for )is help in identifying the fantasy profile, the deeper issues fueling the storylines, and to pro!ide )is holy answer for our legitimate need. (ometimes the fantasies are actually reruns of past sexual encounters that we ha!e had. (pecific encounters from the past can trigger temptations and fantasies in the present because of emotional hooks that are buried in the e!ents. 1f you find yourself being plagued by strong temptations to re!isit specific encounters, you can pray and ask the +ord to show you what the 210

specific emotional hook is in that encounter and remo!e it with )is truth. 4any years ago 1 was repeatedly plagued by a specific sexual encounter 1 had o!er &- years ago. 1 shared the struggle with my accountability partner who asked if we could pray and in!ite Jesus presence into the memory of the encounter. 1 was rather disturbed as 1 told him that there was no way that Jesus would e!er go into such a shameful memory of a sinful encounter like that. )e prayed and asked Jesus if )e was willing to meet me in that area of my heart where the memory was. 4uch to my surprise, 1 sensed the +ord s presence already in the memory. )e was not there to shame, but )e was there in holiness to cleanse and redeem. #e asked the +ord to speak to my heart and show me why this particular encounter was such a powerful temptation for fantasy. The +ord showed me that 1 was lonely and isolated at that time in my life and that 1 belie!ed that the other person lo!ed me. #e asked the +ord to speak the truth and )e said that neither of us lo!ed each other, we were 8ust using each other. 2s the +ord spoke this simple truth, the stronghold connected to that encounter was broken and 1 ha!e not struggled with lustful thoughts about that encounter e!er since. (ome of our past encounters hold negati!e strongholds that keep us bound to them, bringing them to the +ord in prayer with the help of safe others can help us hear the truth and set us free. Ara&ing (e&on) the tem,tation an) un)erstan)ing our attraction ,rofiles are ,o'erful tools in our Journe& out of sexual (ro.enness an) into sexual ,urit&. They deepen our relationship with the 'ather and touch many areas of our hearts that ha!e contributed to our sexual struggles. (ometimes we can pray through these issues on our own. (ometimes we need the help of a trusted Christian brother or sister. 1f you are in a time of increased temptation and would like help, call 9econciliation 4inistries of 4ichigan at -6..0*5.-"",. #e offer indi!idual prayer ministry, professional counseling, and support groups. 9each out today and grow in your relationship with the +ord. 9econciliation 4inistries is a member ministry of the Restore) Ho,e <et'or.. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"* Gay an# Christian9 Can I 8e9 – Dan Hit: Dan is the Director of $econciliation %inistries of %ichi an. The culture wars promotin homosexuality have heated up substantially in the recent months and have made si nificant headway into the "hristian "hurch. %any who have once been stron advocates for the traditional view of 9iblical sexuality are now supportin the views that one can identify as a ayB"hristian, en a e in 211

homosexual sexual activities and still o to Heaven. 4ome even say that God blesses homosexual relationships. This article will briefly examine such beliefs and compare them to the teachin s of 4cripture. 't is meant to be a brief overview of some issues currently facin "hristianity and culture, and is not intended to be a comprehensive look at these complex sub@ects. ,Has n ne c n#e"ne# y u91 ,N ne sir,1 she sai#' ,Then neither # I c n#e"n y u,1 Jesus #ec.are#' ,G n & an# .ea$e y ur .i!e ! sin'1 John 6:"Eb-"" C1Q The simple truth of John *:". is that <%od so lo!ed the world that he ga!e his one and only (on, that whoe!er belie!es in him shall not perish but ha!e eternal life.? 1t is through grace we are <sa!ed through faith? and ha!e become <new creations? JHph. &:6-5/ & Cor. -:"0K. #e can do nothing to earn our sal!ation. #e cannot be <good enough? to @ualify for )ea!en. #e are simply called to surrender our li!es to the authority of Jesus Christ and recei!e )is (pirit within us. 1n reality, that is a huge surrender of our li!es and an e!en greater gift of )is eternal sal!ation. #hat do we do after sal!ationI 7oes %od want to lea!e us as )e found usI 3aul writes in 9omans "&:& that we are not to <conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind?. :pon sal!ation, the +ord calls us acti!ely participate in the transformation process. The same (a!ior who said to the woman caught in adultery, <Ceither do 1 condemn you,? also instructed her, <%o now and lea!e your life of sin.? Jesus calls all who follow )im to take up their cross and follow )im J4att. ".:&,, 4ark 6:*,, +uke 5:&*K. 1 want to draw a parallel between homosexuality and other sins, especially sexual sin. %od s intent for sexual expression is solely within the context of the marriage co!enant between one biologically born male and one biologically born female. )omosexuality is not the sin of all sins. 1t is 8ust as sinful for a man and a woman to engage in sexual acti!ity outside of the marriage co!enant as it is for two people of the same gender to engage in sexual acti!ity. 1t is 8ust as sinful for one person to !iew heterosexual pornography as it is for two people to engage in homosexual sexual acti!ity. (in is sin. %od calls e!ery person, e!erywhere to repent J2cts "0:*EK. (cripture does indicate that sexual sin has more se!er conse@uences on the heart and soul of the belie!er in " Corinthians .:"6 when it reads, F'lee from sexual immorality. 2ll other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own bodyF. H!en though the conse@uences of sexual sin lea!e deep marks in the heart of those who commit them, there is complete forgi!eness through repentance at the foot of the cross. 3ro-gay theology has made se!eral inroads into many denominations and Christian organi;ations. (ome who identify themsel!es as Christians ha!e thrown out the $ible altogether claiming it has been corrupted by men through the centuries. Bthers state that the $ible is not to be taken literally and 212

disregard (criptures stating that homosexuality is sin. (till others misinterpret or reinterpret $iblical passages to support their pro-gay beliefs. 'or an indepth look at pro-gay theology in comparison to traditional $iblical beliefs, read The Gay GospelI How (roBGay )dvocates %isread the 9ible by Joe 7allas." 7allas himself spent six years as an openly gay man trying to li!e as a Christian. 1n the end, he had to wrestle with the @uestion, <2m 1 basing my decision to embrace the Ogay and Christian identity on the belief that this is %od s will for my lifeP or on the hope that this is what %od might allowIF JNuoted from back co!er.K There are many passages in the Bld and Cew Testaments that clearly identify homosexual acti!ity as sin. +e!iticus"6:&& reads, <7o not lie with a man as one lies with a woman/ that is detestable,? while !erse &E:"*a reads, <`1f a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them ha!e done what is detestable.? " Cor. .:5-"" and 9omans Chapter " in the Cew Testament identify homosexuality as one sin among many other sins that must be repented of. Bne of the main arguments that the pro-gay apologists use is the claim that Jesus ne!er said anything about homosexuality. They interpret this absence as Christ s acceptance of homosexuality. )owe!er, Jesus ne!er said anything about child abuse or bestiality, yet who would argue that either of those acti!ities is acceptableI The %ospels do not claim to be an exhausti!e collection of Jesus statements. 1n fact, John writes that Jesus did so many things that the whole world could not contain all of the reports if they were written down JJohn &":&-K. Therefore, the lack of a recorded statement is not proof that Jesus said nothing about the sub8ect. Jesus did declare the created intent for man and woman in 4atthew "5:,-.: <)a!en t you read,? he replied, <that at the beginning the Creator Omade them male and female, and said, O'or this reason a man will lea!e his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh I (o they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what %od has 8oined together, let man not separate.? 1n all areas of life, not only did Jesus preached a standard of holiness based on the foundation used by the Jews of )is time, the Bld Testament (criptures, )e raised the standard of holiness to include the thoughts and intents of the heart. <$ut 1 tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart? J4att -:&6K. #e can also see the call to sexual purity in the counsel of Jerusalem in 2cts "- when the apostles met to discuss which of the laws the con!erted %entiles must follow. 2bstaining from sexual immorality was one of only four areas of the Jewish laws the con!erted %entiles were re@uired to keep. Those laws on sexual immorality would ha!e been taken directly from the Bld Testament law. 2nother argument of the pro-gay theologians is that 3aul coined his own words which he did not intend to be translated as homosexuality. Joe 7allas writes about this in his book, The Gay GospelI How (roBGay )dvocates %isread the 213

9ible." )e reports that 3aul actually coined "05 words in his epistles. 7allas explains that the %reek words 3aul used to create the word arsenokoite, which we translate as homosexual, came from two words with !ery specific meanings. )rsenos is used to emphasis the physical definition of a male as in a male infant. &oite is used to specify a bed or couch used in a sexual context such as the marriage bed in )ebrews "*:,, <4arriage is honorableP and the bed WkoiteX undefiled?. 7allas writes, <#hen 3aul coined the term arsenokoite, he took it directly from the %reek translation of +e!iticus s prohibitions against homosexual beha!ior. )is intent couldn t be clearer. Though arsenokoite is uni@ue to 3aul, it refers specifically and unambiguously to sex between men.? Jpage &"*K There are numerous arguments from the gay-affirming community that are based on anecdotal obser!ations rather than (cripture. 2mong them are the many accounts of men and women, some formerly in ex-gay leadership, who ha!e fallen away. The reality of (cripture shows that there will always be men and women who fall away from the faith for a wide !ariety of reasons. J(ee the 3arable of the (ower in +uke 6.K This does not in!alidate the reality that there are many others who ha!e continued to walk in faith. The pro-gay community cites many scientific studies that claim to show that homosexuality is inborn and unchangeable. They ignore studies which show that many ha!e o!ercome homosexuality and studies that ha!e failed to show a biological cause for homosexuality. There is a wealth of information on scientific research on this topic on the website for the Cational 2ssociation for 9esearch and Therapy of )omosexuality WC29T)X at www.narth.org. Co one has e!er been able to find a conclusi!e genetic link to homosexuality, yet scientists ha!e found genetic links to alcoholism and rage. #ho in the scientific community would e!er encourage anyone to embrace their alcoholism or rage simply because it is geneticI %ay-ad!ocates also claim that since a person continues to ha!e same-sex attractions he/she hasn t changed his/her sexual orientation at all. They hold to an <all or nothing? approach to e!aluating change rather than a more realistic continuum of change. 2lthough we ha!e been redeemed through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, we continue to li!e in a fallen world. #hen we were fully gi!en o!er to our sin, we trained our minds and bodies to respond to sinful stimuli. Transformation is a process. #e will continue to struggle with sin and temptation 8ust like the 2postle 3aul described in 9omans 0:"--&- in his famous <'or what 1 want to do 1 do not do, but what 1 hate 1 do,? passage. Bur continued temptation is merely a reflection of the reality that we are redeemed saints li!ing in a fallen world and in need of continued transformation into the finished work of Christ. 9emember that Jesus was tempted in e!ery way we are, yet was without sin. Co matter what sin we struggle with, if we are in Christ our orientation toward that sin has changed A and will continue to change A as we take up our cross daily and follow )im J+uke 5:&*K. (ome in Christianity !iew homosexual acti!ity as sin and seek to li!e a celibate life while still maintaining the label of gay-Christian. #hile 1 applaud their desire to honor %od and not engage in homosexual sexual acti!ity, 1 cannot

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applaud their use of the label <gay?. 1n " Corinthians .:5-"E 3aul identifies a !ariety of acti!ities as sinful. 7o you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of %odI 7o not be decei!ed: Ceither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thie!es nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of %od. Bf the ten sins identified in this passage, only homosexuality is used as a label by those who struggle with such temptations while resisting the temptation to act upon them. 4ost Jif not allK heterosexual married men do struggle with heterosexual lust, yet no one goes around identifying themsel!es as an adulterous-Christian with the explanation that they do not engage in sexual acti!ity outside of their own marriage. Cor does anyone identify his/herself as a Christian thief, or a Christian slanderer. Bne exception may be those in reco!ery programs who identify themsel!es as an alcoholic, yet 1 prefer the focus of the Celebrate 9eco!ery programs. These programs do not accept the label of alcoholic, but state that they are <celebrating reco!ery from? alcoholism or any of life s <hurts, hang-ups, and habits?.& 1dentifying as a gay-Christian keeps one linked to a sinful identity and world !iew. Therefore the label of gay-Christian is not a $iblical label for one to embrace. 3aul writes in Hphesians ,:&&-&,: =ou were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires/ to be made new in the attitude of your minds/ and to put on the new self, created to be like %od in true righteousness and holiness. 'or those who are true Christ followers, it is essential to hold fast to our true identity of a redeemed saint/ <Christ in you, the hope of glory? JCol. ":&0K. 2s " Cor. .:"" states, <2nd that is what some of you were. $ut you were washed, you were sanctified, you were 8ustified in the name of the +ord Jesus Christ and by the (pirit of our %od.? 9edemption and an identity in Christ is a!ailable for all. #e need to make some significant distinctions as we look at sin in the life of the belie!er. 1t is not a sin to be tempted or to ha!e same-sex attractions. Jesus, )imself, was tempted in ever& 'a& that 'ere are* &et 'as 'ithout sin J)ebrews ,:"-K. Temptations and attractions become sin when we start engaging them and acting upon them in thought or deed. There are also significant differences in the moti!ations of people who deal with homosexuality. 'irst, there are those who struggle with homosexuality, recogni;e it as sin, resist it, yet occasionally fall into pornography or sexual encounters. This group responds to their sinful actions with brokenness and repentance. They are @uick to confess their sin, and seek to change. (econdly, there are those who belie!e that homosexual acti!ity is sinful but choose to freely engage in homosexual acti!ity anyway for a !ariety of reasons. (ome ha!e gi!en up in the fight and became angry at %od. (ome 215

choose the pleasure of sin o!er the righteousness of %od. Bthers abuse the grace of %od and turn it into permission to sin. This group responds to sexual sin with a hardened, calloused heart. Thirdly, there are those who are truly decei!ed into belie!ing that %od blesses homosexuality and engage in homosexual acti!ity celebrating it as a gift from %od. Bne wonders if this group li!es their li!es secretly conflicted between their spirituality and their sexuality. 2s we look at these three groups we need to remember that 3hilippians &:"& tells us to work out own sal!ation with fear and trembling. 1t is not our 8ob to 8udge the moti!ations of a person s heart, or to 8udge whether one is truly sa!ed or not. %od alone knows the true intent of a person s heart/ howe!er, a repentant person will produce fruit in keeping with repentance J+uke *:0-5, 4att. 0:"--&*K. %od s grace is abundant for the first group of people who struggle with sin and are @uick to repent. " John ":5 reads, <1f we confess our sins, he is faithful and 8ust and will forgi!e us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.? )ebrews "E:&.-&0, &5 presents a strong warning to those in the second group who ha!e recei!ed the truth and chose to walk in sin. 1f we deliberately keep on sinning after we ha!e recei!ed the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of 8udgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of %od. )ow much more se!erely do you think a man deser!es to be punished who has trampled the (on of %od under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the co!enant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the (pirit of graceI Those in the third group who ha!e been decei!ed into belie!ing that homosexuality is a gift from %od are also under a strong warning in %alatians .:0-6 which states, 7o not be decei!ed: %od cannot be mocked. 2 man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction/ the one who sows to please the (pirit, from the (pirit will reap eternal life. The good news is that the mercy and grace of %od is a!ailable to people in all three of the groups described abo!e. 3eter is an excellent example of the mercy of %od to reach out to us in our sin and call us to repentance. #e see the mercy of Jesus targeting 3eter who after boasting that he was not like the others, and that he would ne!er deny the +ord did 8ust that J4ark ",K. 1n John &" we see Jesus reaching out to 3eter in lo!e. #e see the process of Jesus helping him to acknowledge the depth of his sin, the need for repentance, and the need to look past the actions or callings of others to walk in the specific calling that the +ord had for him. 9epentance is a!ailable for those in all three of the groups described abo!e. There are leaders in the exgay mo!ement who ha!e publically stated that they were in!ol!ed in the gayaffirming church when the )oly (pirit con!icted their hearts to repent of their homosexuality. Co one is beyond the mercy of the +ord Jesus Christ.

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1f you are experiencing unwanted homosexual attractions, there is hope. 1f you ha!e been struggling with homosexuality for a long time and are growing weary in the fight, reach out for help. 7o not walk alone. Call 9econciliation 4inistries at -6..0*5.-"", and find out about ministry resources, groups, and ser!ices that can assist you in your 8ourney out of homosexuality. 1f you feel like you !e struggled far too long, or fallen too far from grace to e!er return, remember that <he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus? J3hil. ":.K. There is hope and healing in Jesus Christ for e!eryone who seeks )im. )y #ear chi.#ren, I &rite this t y u s that y u &i.. n t sin ' 8ut i! any2 #y # es sin, &e ha$e ne &h s%ea6s t the (ather in ur #e!ense – Jesus Christ, the Ri/hte us One' He is the at nin/ sacri!ice ! r ur sins, an# n t n.y ! r urs 2ut a.s ! r the sins ! the &h .e & r.#' " John &:"-& $eferences and $ecommended $esourcesH " 7allas, Joe. The Gay GospelI How (roBGay )dvocates %isread the 9ible. )ar!est )ouse 3ublishers, &EE0. & Celebrate 9eco!ery, 1nc. website. 9etrie!ed from http://www.celebratereco!ery.com on 2pril &5, &E"&. * %agnon, 7r. 9obert. The 9ible and Homosexual (ractice Texts and Hermeneutics. 2bingdon 3ress. &EE&. , Cational 2ssociation for 9esearch and Therapy of )omosexuality. www.narth.org. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"& http://www.recmin.org/:pdatedY&E2rticlesY&EandY&ETestimonies/(uch Y&E#ereY&E(omeY&EofY&E=ou.htm *uch 7ere * "e ! @ u3 A Visi n ! r ) re – Dan Hit: Dan is the Director of $econciliation %inistries of %ichi an, a ministry helpin men, women, and adolescents overcome sexual and relationship issues. This article was written in response to several doctrinal and operational chan es within =xodus 'nternational in :72:. EDo you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kin dom of GodI Do not be deceivedH <either the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the reedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kin dom of God. An# 217

that is &hat s "e ! y u &ere' 8ut y u &ere &ashe#, y u &ere sancti!ie#, y u &ere =usti!ie# in the na"e ! the L r# Jesus Christ an# 2y the *%irit ! ur G #'1 " Corinthians .:5-"" Jesus Christ is still in the process of changing hearts and transforming belie!ers into )is image. #e at 9econciliation 4inistries continue to hold fast to the life changing power of the cross and the work of the )oly (pirit to bring )is people <out of darkness and into )is mar!elous light? J" 3eter &:5K. 1n the past few months 2lan Chambers, the head of Hxodus 1nternational, has declared that Hxodus 1nternational no longer supports reparati!e therapy and commented that Hxodus 1nternational no longer uses the slogan <Change is 3ossible?. 1n fact, 2lan Chambers and Hxodus 1nternational seem to be downplaying the thought that people can experience a significant change in their sexual orientation. 2s you can imagine, 2lan s statements ha!e caused a significant stir not only within the gay community, but within Hxodus 1nternational as well. 1n the clinical world, reparati!e therapy is a !ery specific form of sexual orientation change effort W(BCHX defined by some !ery specific therapeutic steps. 1n the !iew of popular culture and most of the church world, reparati!e therapy refers to any clinical or ministerial efforts to change one s sexual orientation. #hile 2lan Chambers and Hxodus 1nternational continue to define homosexual beha!ior as sin, it appears through their actions and statements in multiple !enues that they are referring to the cultural definition of reparati!e therapy. #e at 9econciliation 4inistries belie!e the truth of (cripture that proclaims the power of Jesus Christ to transform we who were formerly dead in our trespasses and sin into the !ery image of Christ, )imself. #e belie!e in the truths written in " Corinthians .:5-"" that declare that some members of the Corinthian church were formerly homosexuals, but they were <washed?, they were <sanctified?, and they were <8ustified in the name of the +ord Jesus Christ and by the (pirit of our %od?. 1n other words, their sins were forgi!en and their hearts were changed by the power of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. 1ndeed, many men and women ha!e experienced a changed life through the work of the +ord through ministries like 9econciliation 4inistries and programs like +i!ing #aters. 4any men, women, and adolescents ha!e experienced a significant change in their sexual orientation through the work of the )oly (pirit in a heart surrendered to Jesus Christ. #e acknowledge that there is a continuum of change. (ome experience an extreme change in their attractions from homosexual to heterosexual. (ome experience little or no change in their attractions, but they continue to submit their attractions to Jesus and li!e a $iblically pure life. 4ost fall somewhere in the middle of the continuum of change.

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7oes this mean that we really ha!en t changed, or that we are merely fooling oursel!esI Cot at all. H!eryone who has e!er li!ed has struggled with one sin or another. (ome of us ha!e struggled to an addicti!e or compulsi!e le!el. 4ost people who are o!ercoming any type of habitual sin A sexual, drugs, alcohol, anger A will report that they still get tempted at !arious times in their li!es. The former heterosexual sex addict my still be tempted to ha!e an illicit encounter from time to time, but this does not mean that he has not changed. (exual addiction no longer controls or defines him. H!en Jesus who was perfect and ne!er sinned was tempted. )ow much more will we who for years trained our hearts, minds, and bodies to respond to specific sin become tempted to one degree or another when stressors or triggers happenI (atan has a whole fistful of fiery darts with our name on them that tripped us up in the past. )e continues to throw them at us e!ery now and then trying to trip us up in the present JHphesians .:".K. (ome may e!en fall back into their sin after walking many years in wholeness. This does not mean that they should gi!e up and surrender to sin. 1t means they need to repent, identify the things in their li!es that led to the relapse, and seek the support they need to empower them to o!ercome their sin. There may be a time of restoration, but Jesus Christ continues to cleanse our hearts. 2s " John ":5 reads, <1f we confess our sins, )e is faithful and 8ust to forgi!e us WourX sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.? #hat does this look like on a practical le!elI Consider the life of an a!erage heterosexual man. )e may ha!e been in!ol!ed in compulsi!e heterosexual promiscuity at some point in his life. #hen he repents, the +ord begins a deep work of transformation in his heart. 2s he becomes stronger in his walk with the +ord, he becomes better able to resist the temptations to engage in illicit sexuality. H!en after he is married, he will still continue to experience sexual temptations towards other women. This does not mean that he has not changed. 1t simply means that he continues to li!e in a fallen world and continues to be tempted by sin. 1t does not mean that he is denying his <true self? as an adulterer and should begin to li!e his life <celebrating the %od gi!en di!ersity of his sexuality? which allows him to yield his sexual longings to other women besides his wife. 1t means that he A like all of us A is called to submit his sinful desires to the cross and seek the +ord for grace to li!e a life in compliance with (cripture. 2s he continues to grow closer to the +ord, he can trust that the +ord will do a deep work in his heart to change the degree of his struggle from the point of being debilitating and hopeless, to where it is under his foot through the power of Jesus Christ. )e will, howe!er, ha!e to keep his foot firmly planted upon the 9ock. )e will ha!e to walk in continued fellowship with his (a!ior and the Christian community. )e will need to walk in accountability and repentance. )is past compulsi!e promiscuity may still tempt him, but it no longer defines him. #hile Hxodus 1nternational still proclaims homosexual beha!ior to be sinful, they now fall short of encouraging men and women to press into the +ord and seek )im to change their attractions. )omosexual attractions and temptations are not sinful/ howe!er, they can become sin when acted and/or mused upon. 1f we simply concentrate on not sinning, we fall short of encouraging men and 219

women to experience the full pro!ision of Jesus Christ on the cross A li!es transformed as )e <makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image J& Corinthians *:"6 C+TK. 2s & 3eter ":*-, reads, <)is di!ine power has gi!en us e!erything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he had gi!en us his !ery great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the di!ine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by e!il desires.? 1 want to end these thoughts with an encouragement for those who still continue to be tempted by whate!er sins they ha!e gi!en themsel!es to in the past. 4ay we all li!e a life surrendered to Christ as (hadrach, 4eshach and 2bednego li!ed their li!es in the book of 7aniel. #hen faced with the decision to sin against %od and yield in worship to a human being or be thrown into a fiery furnace, they replied by acknowledging that %od was well able to rescue them from the fiery trial they were facing but e!en if )e chose not to remo!e the trial they would still remain faithful to %od. Their trial did not immediately end, but the +ord walked with them through the trial and kept them from harm. #e know that %od is all powerful and can do anything )e wants. )e could end our trial of sinful attractions instantly if )e wanted to. 4ay we all ha!e a steadfast heart that holds tightly to )im e!en if the trials of attractions do not end. 1t is often in our trials that we see the awesome power of %od to keep us from harm e!en when our enemy fiercely attacks. 1t is in those times of desperate fellowship with our (a!ior that )e burns off the chains that bind us, shows us deep truths about )is lo!e and power, and transforms our hearts to be more like )im. (tep by step, we reali;e that the fiery furnace is not more powerful that %od s ability to keep us safe and transform our hearts. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"& DECE)8ER DQBE NE7*LETTER 7ear friends, )a!ing 8ust celebrated Thanksgi!ing and now en8oying the Christmas season, there are many things to be thankful for. #e at 9econciliation 4inistries are humbled and blessed to see the +ord touch many hearts in a deep and ama;ing way. #e ha!e seen husbands and wi!es strengthen and reconcile their marriages. #e ha!e seen men and women turn from deeply entrenched sexual sin and embrace holy sexuality. #e ha!e seen mothers and fathers o!ercome years of emotional pain and bitterness that hindered their families and become better examples of the 'ather s lo!e to their children. #e ha!e 220

seen church leaders wrestle with the cultural, legal, and spiritual pressure of homosexuality and reach out for %odly answers to the needs of their congregation. 9econciliation 4inistries is !ery thankful to partner with our brothers and sisters in the $ody of Christ to minister the grace and redemption of Jesus Christ to those in need. #e could not do what we do without the prayer support of our faithful intercessors and the generous financial support of our donors. Thank you so much for sharing this 8ourney with us. 7uring &E"* 9econciliation 4inistries has presented the +i!ing #aters program in $righton and Troy. #e ha!e held seminars and conducted pastoral and leadership trainings on dealing with homosexuality from a $iblical perspecti!e. #e ha!e offered indi!idual licensed professional counseling and prayer ministry to men, women, and adolescents working through a wide !ariety of sexual and relationship issues. 1 J7anK ha!e also had the pri!ilege of participating in two mission trips to help with +i!ing #aters trainings and leadership retreats in Thailand, 1ndonesia, and the 3hilippines. #e were blessed to host 2ndrew Comiskey, founder of 7esert (tream 4inistries and author of the +i!ing #aters program, with his 8i htin for #ur 9est conference. Truly the +ord has mo!ed in powerful ways and touched many hearts. 2s we look forward to &E",, we can see many challenges on the hori;on. There are many broken people walking in darkness and in need of help. The cultural push for homosexuality, transgenderism, and sexual immorality in general continues. 'ortunately, John *:".-"0 reminds us of a simple yet powerful truth, <'or %od so lo!ed the world that he ga!e his one and only (on, that whoe!er belie!es in him shall not perish but ha!e eternal life. 'or %od did not send his (on into the world to condemn the world, but to sa!e the world through him.? " John ":5 shares this beautiful promise, <1f we confess our sins, he is faithful and 8ust and will forgi!e us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.? There is hope in the +ord Jesus Christ. Thank you again for partnering with 9econciliation 4inistries to share the hope of Jesus Christ with people who are desperate for answers. 3lease prayerfully consider a tax-deductible gift to help us continue our mission. =ou can donate online by clicking here. 1n Christ, 7an )it;, 7irector 9econciliation 4inistries of 4ichigan '''.recmin.org JUE*TION*

7hat # es the 8i2.e say c ncernin/ h " se<ua.ity9

The $ible clearly indicates that homosexual beha!ior is sinful in both the Bld and Cew Testaments. (criptures including " Corinthians .:5-"" and +e!iticus 221

"6:&& are among the many that confirm the sinfulness of homosexuality. The $ible also confirms the heterosexual re@uirement for marriage in %enesis which is reiterated by Jesus in 4atthew "5:,-..

Can G # chan/e a re%entant se<ua. sinner9 T

&hat e<tent9

=es, %od can change a repentant sinner. " Corinthians .:5-"" identifies se!eral sinful beha!iors that members of the Corinthian church engaged in prior to their sal!ation. Qerse "" reads, <2nd that is what some of you were. $ut you were washed, you were sanctified, you were 8ustified in the name of the +ord Jesus Christ and by the (pirit of our %od.? This shows that there is an inner, spiritual change in the heart of a belie!er which transforms one s desires and beha!iors. 1mputed righteousness is the declaration of one s righteousness through a person s faith in the complete work of Jesus Christ through )is death on the cross and )is resurrection. 1mparted righteousness is the inner heart change accomplished through the process of sanctification in which a person s desires and nature are transformed into those which reflect the work of the )oly (pirit in a belie!er s heart. Christians are called to walk a holy and pure life/ howe!er, a Christian may return to a sin he/she has formerly renounced. 1f this happens, %od calls him/her to repentance and re@uires that he/she confess and renounce the sin and continue to walk toward the goal of becoming more like Christ. 2 man/woman returning to the sin of homosexuality, e!en for a single moral failure, does not indicate that he/she is still homosexual. 1t is an indication of the continued need of repentance, redemption, and healing in the person s heart. The reality is that we will continue to experience temptations toward numerous sins to !arying degrees. Jesus Christ li!ed a perfect life, yet )e was still tempted to sin. )ow much more will we, who ha!e trained our hearts, minds, and bodies to engage in sin experience temptations to return to the sins we formerly ga!e oursel!es to. 2s belie!ers, our identities are in Christ and not in our sinful desires. 1t is a great act of faith, obedience, and lo!e to resist residual sinful temptations and li!e in obedience to Christ. 1f you ha!e a @uestion concerning $iblical sexuality that you would like us to add to this section, please contact us at infoUrecmin.org. #e canGt guarantee that we will answer your @uestion and post it on our website, but we will do our best. http://www.recmin.org/@uestions.htm Che Are0%(use Setu, A 7an )it; #hat makes one person more !ulnerable to abusi!e situations than anotherI #hen emotionally healthy people check out a spiritually abusi!e church, they don t stay. They recogni;e the dysfunction. )ealthy people put up boundaries 222

which unhealthy people try to !iolate or outright re8ect. )owe!er, (ro.enness create) in the 1,re0a(use setu,2 ,ro)uces a susce,ti(ilit& to further a(use. 1 ha!e a friend who says, <)ome is where the outside matches the inside?. 1t is the reason why a woman who has grown up with an abusi!e alcoholic father and doesn t deal with her wounds can find herself married to her second abusi!e alcoholic husband. The way her husband treated her while dating felt familiar to her <normal? feelings growing up. (he may e!en feel uncomfortable around healthy men A she sees herself way below his le!el. Those wounded by abuse often fall prey to 1learne) hel,lessness2. Those abused when they actually were powerless to stop it continue to belie!e that they are helpless !ictims long after they actually ha!e the resources to o!ercome. 3re-abuse factors include ,ast ,h&sical* sexual* an) emotional a(use or neglect. The atmosphere is familiar, but surely a church must be a safe place. Those who gro' u, in a )&sfunctional famil& without an appropriate mother or father figure may be used to A or addicted to A chaos. 2n abusi!e religious system offers structured chaos. The chaos is ordered around <(criptural? issues which seem to be worth fighting for. Those who are sociall& isolate) are susceptible because they are looking for an accepting community. )is Chapel JCot the real name of the church.K was our family. #e had many brothers and sisters who all belie!ed as we did A who all suffered the same reproach for what we held dear. 3eople outside the system were deemed unsafe so we stuck together. )owe!er, we found out later that our relationships were only as strong as our adherence to the system. 2busi!e systems play off of the members guilt and shame. <Co one else would accept me like these people if they knew what 1 struggled with.? 1 did find much forgi!eness and confidentiality inside the system, but 1 also knew that implications could be made if 1 left. 3eople with ,oor life s.ills lack the interpersonal boundaries and asserti!eness necessary to stand strong against abuse. They also fear that they can t stand on their own. +earned helplessness lea!es them !ulnerable to the dictates of the system. 2long with poor life skills comes ,oor or no foun)ation for evaluation of a,,ro,riateness. The system offers them so much of what they are looking for, but they lack the ability to perform a mental cost/benefit analysis. <7oes the percei!ed benefit of staying in the system outweigh the emotional toll of performing to system specificationsI? is a @uestion that many are unable to ade@uately answer. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is a member ministry of the Restore) Ho,e <et'or.. 223

D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"" http://www.recmin.org/:pdatedY&E2rticlesY&EandY&ETestimonies/3re2buseY&E(etup.htm *ecu.ar Thera%yUs +r 5Gay 8ias – Dan Hit: This article, written by Dan Hitz, =xecutive Director of $econciliation %inistries, was first published in )u ust, :771. The e!ents during 2ugust in the secular therapeutic world, and culture in general, underscore the importance of ministries like 9econciliation 4inistries which pro!ide answers and hope to those unwilling to embrace their unwanted homosexual feelings. 1n the beginning of 2ugust, the 2merican 3sychological 2ssociation s go!erning counsel of representati!es <passed a resolutionP urging mental health professionals not to recommend to their clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or any other methods.? " This came after a six-member 232 task force released a re!iew of studies on sexual orientation at the group s annual con!ention in Toronto. The 232 s response came in direct contradiction to a study released in &EE0 by (tanton Jones, 3h.7. and 4ark =arhouse, 3sy.7. and supported by former 232 president, Cicholas 2. Cummings, 3h.7., (c.7., which found that <religiously mediated sexual orientation change is possible for some indi!iduals and does not cause psychological harm to the patient, on a!erage.? & This year, Jones and =ahouse presented updated results for their study at a symposium during the same 232 con!ention showing that <sexual orientation change is not only possible, but sustainableP The findings directly contradict commonly expressed !iews of the mental health establishment that say this option is impossible and that the attempt to change is likely to produce harm.?* Hxodus 1nternaitonal issued a press release in response to the 232 s resolution. <#hile Hxodus does not fully agree with the 232Gs criticisms of clinical techni@ues such as reparati!e therapy and its !iew of sexual orientation change, the report does recogni;e that some choose to li!e their li!es in congruence with religious !alues. The report also encourages therapists to a!oid imposing a specific outcome on clients.?, There are many of us who ha!e successfully undergone a transformation in our sexual orientation and are now li!ing a more emotionally healthy and fulfilling life in congruence with our religious faith. 1 for one am glad that 1 ha!e had to opportunity to deal with my unwanted same-sex attraction and ha!e found healing and hope through Christ. 1f 1 would ha!e followed the 232 s recommendations, and the recommendations of many in the secular mental health community, 1 would ha!e de!astated my wife and children by lea!ing them and embracing what many secular therapists would percei!e to be my true identity A that of a gay-identified man. 1nstead, 1 followed the ad!ice of the +ord Jesus Christ and found healing and freedom from my unwanted attractions and ha!e become a much better husband to my wife and a better father to my children. 224

Cow, more than e!er, it is important to uphold (criptural !alues as we face opposition from those who choose man s ways o!er %od s ways. 3lease pray for this ministry and the participants that we will be strengthen to answer %od s calling, and to continue to walk in obedience to )im with $iblical sexual and relational integrity. " http://www.cnn.com/&EE5/)H2+T)/E6/E-/gay.to.straight/index.html & http://www.i!press.com/media/exgays-pr-E5E,&EE0.php * http://exodusinternational.org/content/!iew/55./*0/ , http://exodusinternational.org/content/!iew/55&/*0/ 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is member ministry of the Restore) Ho,e <et'or.. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE5 http://www.recmin.org/:pdatedY&E2rticlesY&EandY&ETestimonies/(ecular Y&ETherapyY&0sY&E3ro-%ayY&E$ias.htm Th u/hts A. n/ the 7ay – Re!.ecti ns !r " Thai.an# an# In# nesia Dan Hitz is the director of $econciliation %inistries. This article is a reflection of thin s the *ord spoke to his heart durin a :720 missions trip to Thailand and 'ndonesia. The lessons learned can be applied to many aspects of our @ourney throu h this life. 4y recent missions trip to (H 2sia was a tremendous blessing. $oth the participants and the ministry team members were strengthened and encouraged during the recent leadership retreat for the 1ndonesian +i!ing #aters teams in Jakarta and the +i!ing #aters national training in $angkok, Thailand. 2 team of nine foreigners from the :(, :L, Canada and the 3hilippines ministered to &. +i!ing #aters leaders from !arious parts of 1ndonesia. The theme of the conference was <Connection, 9eflection, and 1ntegration?. The participants were blessed by teachings to heal, e@uip, and help them connect at a deeper le!el with the +ord and with each other. Team members also recei!ed personal prayer ministry focused on remo!ing obstacles between them and the +ord. 'rom Jakarta, we flew to $angkok for the Thai Cational +i!ing #aters training where we were 8oined by other team members from Canada, the 3hilippines, and Thailand. There were o!er -E 225

participants at the training from Thailand, (outheast 2sia, and beyond. The +ord mo!ed deeply in their hearts for personal healing and at least && leaders were released to leadership positions on +i!ing #aters teams or to coordinate their own programs. Those who were not released to leadership positions may ha!e attended the training for their own personal healing, or may need additional healing before being ready to lead their own groups. The participants were taken through the main points of the &*-week +i!ing #aters program in a single week. They recei!ed deep healing through the large group ministry times and through their eight small group sessions. The work that the +ord did during this intense week of training will continue to bear fruit not only in the li!es of the participants, but also in the li!es of their families and those they minister to in the future. 1 kept in touch with the 9econciliation 4inistries intercessors !ia email throughout my time in (H 2sia. Bne of the intercessors posted that it seems like this trip has impacted me more than my past trips. #hile e!ery missions trip is different with its own impact, blessings, and challenges/ 1 ha!e noticed some significant differences on this trip. 1 initially shared my thoughts with our intercessors group so they could see on a deeper le!el how the +ord answered their prayers. 1 also wanted to share my thoughts in this newsletter so you can see an example of the deeper issues the +ord works in our hearts beyond the ob!ious tasks during missions trips. 1 would encourage e!eryone to prayerfully consider going on a missions trip at least once in their li!es. 4ore than any other trip, 1 knew that the +ord was specifically sending me on this one. :nlike the other trips, my heart was not burning with an intense passion for the people or the mission. Contrary to how that sounds, it is actually a good change as 1Gll explain. 1 do ha!e a lo!e for Thailand, and the Thai people ha!e a special place in my heart. 1 reali;e my )ea!enly 'ather is calling me to step into a deeper le!el of maturity to do what 1 do out of a deeper relationship with )im and because it is the correct action to take in light of eternity, rather than being led by good, godly passion, emotions, or excitement. )e is calling me into a season of deeper learning from )im as my 7ad who lo!es me, and )e desires to teach me from )is heart as a lo!ing father teaches his son. 1n light of that, 1 can look back on this trip and see some wonderful things )e has done. 1t was a blessing to reconnect with some old ministry friends from Thailand and meet many new ones in both Thailand and 1ndonesia. 1t was a blessing to minister in each country and see the +ord touch many hearts. 1 did many things well. 1 also made a few minor mistakes which were an opportunity for learning more about the culture, ministry, and more importantly, myself. 1 was corrected with lo!e and compassion which pro!ided the opportunity to grow. 1 ha!e a deeper appreciation for the men and women who ha!e poured out their li!es in a foreign field and ha!e learned many !aluable lessons through the years. 1 also noticed another deep personal change during this trip. 4ost of my life 1 !e wondered A maybe e!en focused A on the future. #hat is the next step %od has for meI 7uring this trip 1 found myself en8oying the present. 1t was a 226

8oy to simply <be? during my days in (H 2sia. The +ord is calling me to @uiet my heart, obser!e )im in the present, and lean on )im for the next step of my 8ourney. 1t has been a 8oy to share this 8ourney with you. Thank you for your faithful prayers and financial support that made this trip possible. 1 wish 1 could say that 1 will be posting many pictures on 'acebook like 1 usually do. That was another change this time around. (ome members of the team minister in restricted countries and need to be careful about their pictures and information becoming too public. 1 hope that this letter gi!es you a glimpse beyond the !isual to see how the +ord has answered your prayers and touched the hearts of many. 1 am thankful in how )e has touched mine. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is member ministry of the Restore) Ho,e <et'or.. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"* http://www.recmin.org/:pdatedY&E2rticlesY&EandY&ETestimonies/Thoughts Y&E2longY&EtheY&E#ay.htm Un#erstan#in/ Our Attracti n +r !i.e – Dan Hit: This article is partBtwo of a twoBpart series on understandin our temptations. 't explains how we can use our sexual temptations as a au e to point out areas of brokenness in our hearts, and seek the *ord for His answer to our deeper needs. The article was adapted from a workshop Dan tau ht at a %ender 4atters conference presented by Desert 4tream %inistries and ;nion "enter "hristian "hurch in =ndicott, <ew 5ork. 1n last month s newsletter article, (rayin 9eyond #ur Temptations, we looked at using our temptations as a gauge to show us areas in our hearts that needed a touch from the +ord. #e learned not to suppress our temptations by s@uashing them back down in our hearts, but to acknowledge our temptations and submit them to the cross. 1n that way, we can see the legitimate need in our hearts that we are tempted to sol!e in an illegitimate way. #e open our hearts to Christ to recei!e a holy answer to our deeper needs. This month we will look at our attracti n %r !i.e and learn how we can use this as another gauge to show us areas in our hearts that need healing. #hene!er we pray about these types of issues, we should be careful to pray that the +ord will help us look at these temptations redempti!ely, in a way that does not increase our temptations. (ometimes we can pray through these areas on our own in contemplati!e prayer. Bther times we need the help of safe, trusted others to walk with us to the cross. 227

$efore we look at the attraction profile, let s make a differentiation between noticing someone is attracti!e and illicitly lusting after someone. There are cultural norms of attracti!eness. %od made good looking plants and animals as well as funny looking plants and animals. +ikewise, some people are closer to the cultural norm of good looking and some people are not. #e will notice this as we go through our day. 4any people feel condemned simply because they noticed that someone is attracti!e. Coticing that someone is attracti!e is not a sin. Coticing that someone is attracti!e and lusting after that person is. 1n life, we interact with people that we find attracti!e and people that we do not. 2s we interact, it is important that we bounce our eyes and our thoughts off of lustful things and put them on godly ones. #e should not walk around consciously checking people out to determine if we find them attracti!e or not. The attraction profile principles apply to those times when we notice that someone is attracti!e and find oursel!es lusting or interacting with them in inappropriate ways. 2n attracti n %r !i.e consists of the common characteristics A physical, emotional, and beha!ioral A of the people that we are illicitly drawn to. 1n her books, The 9roken 'ma e and Healin Homosexuality, +eanne 3ayne writes about canni2a. c "%u.si n. (he explains that cannibals eat the people that they want the characteristics of, and that our attraction profiles consist of people that we want the characteristics of. This applies both to heterosexual as well as homosexual illicit attractions. Cannibal compulsion can apply in two areas. 'irst, a person may be attracted to others who ha!e characteristics that he will ne!er ha!e and are en!ious of. (econd, a person may be attracted to others with characteristics that he actually does ha!e, but because of emotional brokenness is unable to recogni;e or accept in himself. #e can use the same principles with our attraction profiles that we use to pray beyond our temptations. 9ather than s@uashing the lustful thoughts back down into our hearts and trying to suppress them, we can acknowledge them and submit them to the cross. #e can use those attractions as a gauge to show us what areas of our hearts are broken and seek the +ord for healing. 2 person who grew up with a dysfunctional relationship with a parent, may find himself lusting after older men or women in an attempt to fill up the !oid from his mother or father wound. 2 person who re8ects her body image, may find herself lusting after men or women who possess the body that she would like to ha!e. 2 person who was mercilessly mocked for being underweight may find himself lusting after others with a muscular build. 1n these cases of lusting after someone who possesses the attributes that we will ne!er ha!e, it is important to acknowledge the pain in our hearts that we are trying to numb with illegitimate actions, bring that pain to the cross, and ask the +ord for )is healing in that area. 1f we disco!er that we are lusting after older men or women because of a father or mother wound, we can bring that pain to the cross and ask the +ord to fill up that !oid in our hearts with )is presence and pro!ide the nurturing and care that we did not recei!e from our father or mother. 1n the case of a person with a negati!e body image, e!en in the case of a person with a legitimate physical defect, he can acknowledge the emotional pain of the physical defect in his body and seek the +ord for comfort 228

and acceptance of the body that he does ha!e. The same grace a!ailable to the 2postle 3aul to accept his thorn in the flesh and be made strong in his weakness is a!ailable to all of us. 1n these examples, we see how we can use the attraction profiles to lead us to the root issues fueling our attractions and recei!e healing from the +ord. The same principles apply when our attraction profiles include characteristics that we actually do possess, but are emotionally detached from. 2 man who may actually be @uiet, creati!e, and insightful may ha!e been shamed by a father who demanded that he <act more like a man? and engage in rugged sports acti!ities. (ince his father did not accept his more creati!e @ualities, he may ha!e learned to re8ect those @ualities inside his own heart. Cut off from his true self, he may begin to yearn for these @ualities in others. 1t is important in this type of situation that he identify the characteristics in others that he is drawn to, acknowledge that pain of any percei!ed short comings in his own heart, bring that pain to the cross, and allow the +ord to heal the areas of shame, self-re8ection, and other issues that led him to re8ect his true identity in Christ. 2s the person becomes more comfortable with his own specific gifts, he will ha!e less need to lust after another in a broken attempt to compensate for his percei!ed areas of weakness. 'urthermore, he will be more able to identify with his specific gifts and use them to bless others in his sphere of influence. #hen we find oursel!es in an increased time of temptation towards a specific person, we can use those temptations as a gauge by examining our hearts and asking the +ord the following simple @uestions: "K #hat are the specific characteristics of that person that 1 am drawn toI &K #hat are the root issues behind my attractions and how do 1 feel like that person could sol!e those issuesI *K #hat is =our holy solution for the root issues behind my attractionsI 2s we seek the +ord in contemplati!e prayer, )e will gi!e us )is answers to the deeper needs in our hearts, the pain in our hearts begins to heal, and our temptations to numb the pain through illicit attractions begin to diminish. (imilar to our attraction profile is our !antasy %r !i.e. 4ost people ha!e a typical <script? or storyline in their fantasies. These repetiti!e themes can be used to understand our root issues of brokenness as they are submitted to the cross. (omeone who feels abandoned may fantasi;e that others are pursuing him for sexual purposes as a means of numbing the pain of re8ection. 2 person who feels an o!erwhelming sense of failure may fantasi;e incredible con@uests. The steps in reco!ery are the same as those of the attraction profile. 2sk the +ord for )is help in identifying the fantasy profile, the deeper issues fueling the storylines, and to pro!ide )is holy answer for our legitimate need. (ometimes the fantasies are actually reruns of past sexual encounters that we ha!e had. (pecific encounters from the past can trigger temptations and fantasies in the present because of emotional hooks that are buried in the e!ents. 1f you find yourself being plagued by strong temptations to re!isit specific encounters, you can pray and ask the +ord to show you what the 229

specific emotional hook is in that encounter and remo!e it with )is truth. 4any years ago 1 was repeatedly plagued by a specific sexual encounter 1 had o!er &- years ago. 1 shared the struggle with my accountability partner who asked if we could pray and in!ite Jesus presence into the memory of the encounter. 1 was rather disturbed as 1 told him that there was no way that Jesus would e!er go into such a shameful memory of a sinful encounter like that. )e prayed and asked Jesus if )e was willing to meet me in that area of my heart where the memory was. 4uch to my surprise, 1 sensed the +ord s presence already in the memory. )e was not there to shame, but )e was there in holiness to cleanse and redeem. #e asked the +ord to speak to my heart and show me why this particular encounter was such a powerful temptation for fantasy. The +ord showed me that 1 was lonely and isolated at that time in my life and that 1 belie!ed that the other person lo!ed me. #e asked the +ord to speak the truth and )e said that neither of us lo!ed each other, we were 8ust using each other. 2s the +ord spoke this simple truth, the stronghold connected to that encounter was broken and 1 ha!e not struggled with lustful thoughts about that encounter e!er since. (ome of our past encounters hold negati!e strongholds that keep us bound to them, bringing them to the +ord in prayer with the help of safe others can help us hear the truth and set us free. Ara&ing (e&on) the tem,tation an) un)erstan)ing our attraction ,rofiles are ,o'erful tools in our Journe& out of sexual (ro.enness an) into sexual ,urit&. They deepen our relationship with the 'ather and touch many areas of our hearts that ha!e contributed to our sexual struggles. (ometimes we can pray through these issues on our own. (ometimes we need the help of a trusted Christian brother or sister. 1f you are in a time of increased temptation and would like help, call 9econciliation 4inistries of 4ichigan at -6..0*5.-"",. #e offer indi!idual prayer ministry, professional counseling, and support groups. 9each out today and grow in your relationship with the +ord. 9econciliation 4inistries is a member ministry of the Restore) Ho,e <et'or.. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"* http://www.recmin.org/:pdatedY&E2rticlesY&Eand Y&ETestimonies/:nderstandingY&E2ttractionY&E3rofile.htm http://recmin.org/ @E?R;%RF 9:"# <EBS5ECCER 230

7ear friends, This year has hardly gotten started and we can already see the increased pull toward sin in our popular culture and society in general. 3op stars who ha!e been raised in Christian homes find themsel!es promoting immorality and/or in trouble with the law. The %rammy s celebrated homosexuality with 4acklemore M 9yan +ewis singing <(ame +o!e? while ** gay and straight couples were married by Nueen +atifah. The ceremony was followed by 4adonna singing her song <Bpen =our )eart?. Bur society is becoming desensiti;ed and accustomed to sin while learning to percei!e those who oppose sin as bigoted. 'ortunately, we can stand on the #ord of %od that proclaims, <1f we confess our sins, )e is faithful and 8ust to forgi!e us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness? J" John ":5 CLJQK. Co matter how far we ha!e fallen, the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ is readily a!ailable to all who re8ect their sin and ask )im for help. 9econciliation 4inistries exists to help you reach out for the help that the +ord has to offer. #e will soon be starting our third session of +i!ing #aters in $righton. 4any who were struggling with sexual and relationship issues including pornography addiction, heterosexual sin, homosexuality, sexual abuse, and codependency ha!e found freedom through this discipleship program. Call us at -6..0*5.-"", and find out how you can be a part of this life-changing program. #e also offer indi!idual licensed professional counseling and prayer ministry. Through the years, 9econciliation 4inistries has walked with men and women who ha!e gone on to minister the power of Christ to others both at home and on the mission field. 4inistry team members ha!e ser!ed o!erseas through short term missions trips and ha!e seen the desperate need in other parts of the world. This month s newsletter highlights specific cultural needs in (outheast 2sia and the grace of %od to touch those who are impacted by cultural challenges uni@ue to their country. +ater this year 1 J7an )it;K will be tra!eling to the 3hilippines and another country in (H 2sia to share the healing power of Christ. Bne of the highlights of this trip will be ministering about the lo!e of %od the 'ather to heal the areas of our hearts de!astated by abandonment, abuse, and trauma. Through healing in those areas of wounding, we can be better e@uipped to o!ercome the sexual sin that we ha!e been using to numb our pain and fill the !oid. Connecting to the 'ather heart of %od gi!es us strength to walk in sexual and relational wholeness. #e at 9econciliation 4inistries could not do what we do without the faithful prayer and financial support of men and women like you who share this 8ourney with us. 3lease keep this ministry, its participants, and our leadership team in your prayers. 3lease prayerfully consider a tax-deductible donation towards this ministry at home or designated for missions. Hach of us can fulfill a need towards helping others find the healing power of Jesus Christ. =ou can donate online !ia 3ay3al. 231

1n Christ, 7an )it;, 7irector 9econciliation 4inistries of 4ichigan JUNE NE7*LETTER The biggest 8oy of working in ministry is seeing the +ord touch many hearts to set people free from addictions and heal hearts from trauma. Bne of the most awe inspiring aspects of working in ministry is meeting trophies of grace, men and women who are walking with the +ord through incredible ongoing hardships and challenges. 1t is ama;ing to see the faith of those who choose to remain faithful to %od e!en though the mo!e of %od they ha!e been praying for through many years of tears has not yet come. 4any of the participants at 9econciliation 4inistries ha!e inspired me in my own walk to remain faithful to the +ord in the !alleys of life. Through the years, one of the newsletter articles that we ha!e recei!ed the most positi!e feedback on first ran in Co!ember of &EE.. The article was called <)ope 7eferred?. 1t addresses the faithfulness of %od to carry us through the storms of life and teach us to rest in )is arms. Currently, it seems like many people 1 know are going through incredible difficulties and challenges. 1 ha!e decided to rerun the article in this month s newsletter in the hopes of pro!iding strength and encouragement to those of you who find yoursel!es loosing hope in the !alleys. 1t was the idea of holding tightly onto Jesus that has carried me through many trails in my own life. 1t was in the deepest !alley of my life that the +ord clearly spoke to me and told me that it was far more important to meet with )im during the trial, than for the trial to be o!er. That thought has compelled me to hold on tightly to the +ord during some extremely difficult times and allow )im to carry me through the storm. 2s )e carried me through the storm, 1 learned deep truths about )is lo!e and nature that ha!e changed my heart fore!er. 1t is my prayer for you that you will also hold tightly onto Jesus during the storms of your life, and allow )im to touch your heart in ways you ne!er imaged. )e will touch your soul in ways that transform you in this life and bless you for all eternity. 1f you find yourself in a !alley and need prayer, call 9econciliation 4inistries of 4ichigan. #e pro!ide indi!idual licensed professional counseling and prayer ministry. Call -6..0*5.-"", or email infoUrecmin.org for more information. 1n Christ, 7an )it;, 7irector 9econciliation 4inistries of 4ichigan, 1nc. H %e #e!erre# "a6es the heart sic6, 232

2ut a . n/in/ !u.!i..e# is a tree

! .i!e' (roverbs 20H2:

Dan Hitz, =xecutive Director of $econciliation %inistries The +ord has been speaking to me lately about <hope deferred? and <hope displaced?. 2s 3ro!erbs points out, <hope deferred makes the heart sick?. )ope displaced seems to make us remain on a ne!er ending roller coaster ride from hopeful to hopelessness. 1t can e!en progress into anger at %od and others. 2ccording to (trong s $ible 7ictionary, deferred means to <delay? or <draw out?. That implies that the thing hoped for is probable and will e!entually come to pass. %od s promises are true, but )is timetable is rarely ours. )ebrews "":" reads, <Cow faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.? #e can be sure of what we hope for e!en when it remains unseen if %od, )imself, promises it to us. )ope is displaced when we assume that %od will do something for us merely because )e has done it for others. #e can be full of hope and excitement one minute when it looks like our desires will be fulfilled, and emotionally dashed on the rocks the next as we reali;e that little is changed or that the situation has gotten worse. 1n the middle of all of this, one thing is trueP >o) 'ill never leave us or forsa.e us J)ebrews "*:-K. 1n the middle of our worst trials, we can hold onto %od s promise that )e will always be there for us A e!en when )e remains unseen and unfelt. That promise is sure. )ope displaced can crush us if we expect %od to stop the trial immediately and fix the situation. Bur hearts can leap for 8oy as we see a small crack in the clouds abo!e, then sink to our stomachs as darker clouds mo!e in. 1f we expected %od to end the storm, )e appears to ha!e failed us. 1f we expect %od to remain with us in the storm, )e has kept )is promise to ne!er lea!e us. To be sure, >o) is in the (usiness of ,erforming miracles. #e ha!e all experienced them. )ad it not been for a miracle of transformation, 1 would not be running this ministry. )ad it not been for a miracle of healing, some of you reading this newsletter would not be ali!e. $ut %od sometimes has deeper miracles in mind then our immediate comfort and freedom. (ometimes )e wants to carry us through the storm so we can learn to lean upon )im. (ometimes he wants to empower us to walk through the storm with )im. (ometimes, )e wants to gi!e us authority o!er the storm so that what once debilitated us becomes defeated by our li!es through )is power and might. That is a true, lo!ing (a!ior. #e all want to keep our kids safe from the bullies, but if we don t teach them to stand they will ne!er be strong. 1n the life of the 2postle 3aul, some of his trials were ended @uickly, and some continued. #hen he and (ilas were in stocks in the inner prison, they were supernaturally freed while worshipping. 3aul had more faith than anyone 1 knowP sur!i!ing shipwrecks, beatings, stoningsP but e!en his prayers to %od to remo!e his thorn in the flesh recei!ed a firm <no? J& Corinthians "&K. 'or some reason, it was more important for 3aul to experience the grace of %od rather than %od s healing. #e aren t sure what 3aul s thorn was, but in %alatians , 3aul affirms that they would ha!e <torn out? their own eyes and 233

gi!en them to him. 3aul could ha!e easily become angry at %od and lost )is grace to perse!ere, yet he held on to something deeper in )im. 1 was mo!ed by a speaker named (y 9ogers as he talked about the faith of Joni Hareckson Tada, a woman who is handicapped from her neck down from a di!ing accident when she was young. 2t first she was angry and wanted to die, yet she o!ercame her anger and accepted her cross. (he grew to become a leading minister to the handicapped, author and singer who has touched the li!es of millions. (he remains in a wheel chair today, yet her faith in %od is strong. (y explains, 1Real faith is not receiving healing from a >o) 'ho can )o it* real faith is 'hen the >o) 'ho can )o it chooses not to an) &ou serve Him an&'a&.2 1ndeed, if our hope Jor expectation and demandK is that %od will sol!e our problems instantly and )e doesn t, we will become discouraged and angry at )im. 1f our hope JunderstandingK is that %od will ne!er lea!e us or forsake us and will walk with us through the trial, we can better lo!e and ser!e )im e!en when )e chooses not to grant us our re@uest. +ike Joni, we can transition from wanting to die or disappear to accepting <our normal? Jour crossK and allowing %od to do a deeper eternal work in us. #hen we allow %od to fashion our li!es as )e sees best, like 3aul we can learn to be content whate!er our situation. 2re you frustrated or angry at %od because your trial is still going on. +ike many of you, 1 !e had to wrestle with the @uestions of <whyI? #hy did %od allowPI #here was )e whenPI 7idn t )e care thatPI 2s 1 recei!e more healing, 1 reali;e that it is through the trials that )e has gi!en me many gifts of the heart. 1f we embrace the trials, we will grow closer to Christ and know more of )im than we could e!er dream possible if our li!es were unchallenged. Jesus doesn t rewrite history, but )e can redeem it. Bur present trial may not end, but )e can calm the raging seas of our soul. 1t s alright to hope and pray that our trial will end, but our greater hope should be that we will be drawn closer to %od. That is one hope that will not be displaced. +ike 3aul, the sooner we stop kicking against the goads, the sooner we see Christ more as )e really is. I ha$e t .# y u these thin/s s that y u "ay ha$e %eace in "e' Here n earth y u &i.. ha$e "any tria.s an# s rr &s' 8ut ta6e heart, 2ecause I ha$e $erc "e the & r.#' John ".:** 9econciliation 4inistries is a member ministry of the Restore) Ho,e <et'or.. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE., &E"*. 234

JUNE DQBE NE7*LETTER The biggest 8oy of working in ministry is seeing the +ord touch many hearts to set people free from addictions and heal hearts from trauma. Bne of the most awe inspiring aspects of working in ministry is meeting trophies of grace, men and women who are walking with the +ord through incredible ongoing hardships and challenges. 1t is ama;ing to see the faith of those who choose to remain faithful to %od e!en though the mo!e of %od they ha!e been praying for through many years of tears has not yet come. 4any of the participants at 9econciliation 4inistries ha!e inspired me in my own walk to remain faithful to the +ord in the !alleys of life. Through the years, one of the newsletter articles that we ha!e recei!ed the most positi!e feedback on first ran in Co!ember of &EE.. The article was called <)ope 7eferred?. 1t addresses the faithfulness of %od to carry us through the storms of life and teach us to rest in )is arms. Currently, it seems like many people 1 know are going through incredible difficulties and challenges. 1 ha!e decided to rerun the article in this month s newsletter in the hopes of pro!iding strength and encouragement to those of you who find yoursel!es loosing hope in the !alleys. 1t was the idea of holding tightly onto Jesus that has carried me through many trails in my own life. 1t was in the deepest !alley of my life that the +ord clearly spoke to me and told me that it was far more important to meet with )im during the trial, than for the trial to be o!er. That thought has compelled me to hold on tightly to the +ord during some extremely difficult times and allow )im to carry me through the storm. 2s )e carried me through the storm, 1 learned deep truths about )is lo!e and nature that ha!e changed my heart fore!er. 1t is my prayer for you that you will also hold tightly onto Jesus during the storms of your life, and allow )im to touch your heart in ways you ne!er imaged. )e will touch your soul in ways that transform you in this life and bless you for all eternity. 1f you find yourself in a !alley and need prayer, call 9econciliation 4inistries of 4ichigan. #e pro!ide indi!idual licensed professional counseling and prayer ministry. Call -6..0*5.-"", or email infoUrecmin.org for more information. 1n Christ, 7an )it;, 7irector 9econciliation 4inistries of 4ichigan, 1nc. H %e #e!erre# "a6es the heart sic6, 2ut a . n/in/ !u.!i..e# is a tree ! .i!e' (roverbs 20H2:

Dan Hitz, =xecutive Director of $econciliation %inistries 235

The +ord has been speaking to me lately about <hope deferred? and <hope displaced?. 2s 3ro!erbs points out, <hope deferred makes the heart sick?. )ope displaced seems to make us remain on a ne!er ending roller coaster ride from hopeful to hopelessness. 1t can e!en progress into anger at %od and others. 2ccording to (trong s $ible 7ictionary, deferred means to <delay? or <draw out?. That implies that the thing hoped for is probable and will e!entually come to pass. %od s promises are true, but )is timetable is rarely ours. )ebrews "":" reads, <Cow faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.? #e can be sure of what we hope for e!en when it remains unseen if %od, )imself, promises it to us. )ope is displaced when we assume that %od will do something for us merely because )e has done it for others. #e can be full of hope and excitement one minute when it looks like our desires will be fulfilled, and emotionally dashed on the rocks the next as we reali;e that little is changed or that the situation has gotten worse. 1n the middle of all of this, one thing is trueP >o) 'ill never leave us or forsa.e us J)ebrews "*:-K. 1n the middle of our worst trials, we can hold onto %od s promise that )e will always be there for us A e!en when )e remains unseen and unfelt. That promise is sure. )ope displaced can crush us if we expect %od to stop the trial immediately and fix the situation. Bur hearts can leap for 8oy as we see a small crack in the clouds abo!e, then sink to our stomachs as darker clouds mo!e in. 1f we expected %od to end the storm, )e appears to ha!e failed us. 1f we expect %od to remain with us in the storm, )e has kept )is promise to ne!er lea!e us. To be sure, >o) is in the (usiness of ,erforming miracles. #e ha!e all experienced them. )ad it not been for a miracle of transformation, 1 would not be running this ministry. )ad it not been for a miracle of healing, some of you reading this newsletter would not be ali!e. $ut %od sometimes has deeper miracles in mind then our immediate comfort and freedom. (ometimes )e wants to carry us through the storm so we can learn to lean upon )im. (ometimes he wants to empower us to walk through the storm with )im. (ometimes, )e wants to gi!e us authority o!er the storm so that what once debilitated us becomes defeated by our li!es through )is power and might. That is a true, lo!ing (a!ior. #e all want to keep our kids safe from the bullies, but if we don t teach them to stand they will ne!er be strong. 1n the life of the 2postle 3aul, some of his trials were ended @uickly, and some continued. #hen he and (ilas were in stocks in the inner prison, they were supernaturally freed while worshipping. 3aul had more faith than anyone 1 knowP sur!i!ing shipwrecks, beatings, stoningsP but e!en his prayers to %od to remo!e his thorn in the flesh recei!ed a firm <no? J& Corinthians "&K. 'or some reason, it was more important for 3aul to experience the grace of %od rather than %od s healing. #e aren t sure what 3aul s thorn was, but in %alatians , 3aul affirms that they would ha!e <torn out? their own eyes and gi!en them to him. 3aul could ha!e easily become angry at %od and lost )is grace to perse!ere, yet he held on to something deeper in )im. 1 was mo!ed by a speaker named (y 9ogers as he talked about the faith of Joni Hareckson Tada, a woman who is handicapped from her neck down from a 236

di!ing accident when she was young. 2t first she was angry and wanted to die, yet she o!ercame her anger and accepted her cross. (he grew to become a leading minister to the handicapped, author and singer who has touched the li!es of millions. (he remains in a wheel chair today, yet her faith in %od is strong. (y explains, 1Real faith is not receiving healing from a >o) 'ho can )o it* real faith is 'hen the >o) 'ho can )o it chooses not to an) &ou serve Him an&'a&.2 1ndeed, if our hope Jor expectation and demandK is that %od will sol!e our problems instantly and )e doesn t, we will become discouraged and angry at )im. 1f our hope JunderstandingK is that %od will ne!er lea!e us or forsake us and will walk with us through the trial, we can better lo!e and ser!e )im e!en when )e chooses not to grant us our re@uest. +ike Joni, we can transition from wanting to die or disappear to accepting <our normal? Jour crossK and allowing %od to do a deeper eternal work in us. #hen we allow %od to fashion our li!es as )e sees best, like 3aul we can learn to be content whate!er our situation. 2re you frustrated or angry at %od because your trial is still going on. +ike many of you, 1 !e had to wrestle with the @uestions of <whyI? #hy did %od allowPI #here was )e whenPI 7idn t )e care thatPI 2s 1 recei!e more healing, 1 reali;e that it is through the trials that )e has gi!en me many gifts of the heart. 1f we embrace the trials, we will grow closer to Christ and know more of )im than we could e!er dream possible if our li!es were unchallenged. Jesus doesn t rewrite history, but )e can redeem it. Bur present trial may not end, but )e can calm the raging seas of our soul. 1t s alright to hope and pray that our trial will end, but our greater hope should be that we will be drawn closer to %od. That is one hope that will not be displaced. +ike 3aul, the sooner we stop kicking against the goads, the sooner we see Christ more as )e really is. I ha$e t .# y u these thin/s s that y u "ay ha$e %eace in "e' Here n earth y u &i.. ha$e "any tria.s an# s rr &s' 8ut ta6e heart, 2ecause I ha$e $erc "e the & r.#' John ".:** 9econciliation 4inistries is a member ministry of the Restore) Ho,e <et'or.. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. D 9econciliation 4inistries &EE., &E"*. )A@ DQBE NE7*LETTER 7ear 'riends, 237

4any of you ha!e heard the news that John 3aulk, co-founder of the +o!e #on But conference series through 'ocus on the 'amily, has returned to homosexuality and publically apologi;ed for his in!ol!ement in the ex-gay mo!ement. :nfortunately, his recent apology and decision to return to homosexuality is being celebrated by many in the media and in the homosexual community. H!en more tragic, some in the $ody of Christ are applauding John s authenticity and honesty rather than calling him to repentance. This is tragic. The 2postle 3aul did not honor the authenticity of sinners. )e called them to repentance and warned them of the eternal conse@uences they are facing. 9egardless of the unfortunate e!ents in our culture, political arena, and the $ody of Christ, we must keep our eyes on Jesus and walk in obedience to )im. There will be times when we as Christians fail to li!e a holy life and the grace of Jesus Christ co!ers our sin/ howe!er, the $ible has strong warnings for those who identify as Christians and continue to li!e in willful, unrepentant sin A heterosexual or homosexual. +et us all keep our hearts open and surrendered to Jesus Christ. 1f we sin, may we be @uick to repent and continue the process of surrender to the Bne who can truly transform us into )is image. +et us hold fast to the true grace of %od and faithfulness of Jesus Christ to meet us in our struggles. 2s we hear about a few leaders in the $ody of Christ who ha!e returned to their sin, let us remember the many more leaders who continue to offer their temptations to )im and recei!e )is strength to o!ercome the sin that once defined them. Cone of us are perfect and all of us struggle at times, but we ser!e a (a!ior who is perfect and is faithful to complete the work that )e started in us as we continue to cling to )im. =ou can read more specific information on the 'acebook pages of 9econciliation 4inistries and the 9estored )ope Cetwork. =ou will find links to responses by 2ndrew Comiskey of 7esert (tream 4inistries/ Joseph Cicolosi, co-founder of C29T)/ 'rank #orthen, co-founder of Hxodus and 9estored )ope Cetwork/ and Jason Thompson of 3ortland 'ellowship. 1f you are struggling in your walk or need to process some of your thoughts, contact 9econciliation 4inistries !ia email at infoUrecmin.org or by phone at -6..0*5.-"",. #e are here to help you. 1n Christ, 7an )it;, 7irector 9econciliation 4inistries of 4ichigan, 1nc. OCTO8ER DQBE NE7*LETTER 7ear 'riends, 2 lot of good things ha!e been happening at the ministry in the past few months, and there are many more good things on the hori;on. #e were 238

blessed with an ama;ing testimonial !ideo for +i!ing #aters featuring some of the leaders from the Troy team. The !ideo was donated by Joel and 4elissa Lnoop of +i!e But +oud 3roductions, who were assisted on the pro8ect by +ori and Latie who are part of our Troy team. =ou can watch the !ideo by clicking here. The dust is still settling from our busy summer which included *ove 9roke the "hains with Church of the +i!ing #aters in 7etroit, 8i htin for #ur 9est with 2ndrew Comiskey of 7esert (tream 4inistries, and the start of our latest session of +i!ing #aters in Troy. 2s 1 J7anK write this newsletter, 1 m in the middle of the final preparations for a missions trip to (H 2sia. 1 will be helping with a +i!ing #aters leadership retreat in Thailand, and a national +i!ing #aters training in the 3hilippines. This is an excellent opportunity to strengthen the current leadership teams, bring personal healing to the participants, and e@uip new leaders to bring the life-changing +i!ing #aters program to others in need. 1 ll hit the ground running when 1 return with an information presentation about homosexuality from a $iblical perspecti!e to some 3ort )uron area pastors. #ith the current cultural and political tide pushing our nation e!en deeper towards full acceptance of homosexuality, it is important to e@uip pastors and leaders to speak the truth in lo!e and minister to those struggling with homosexuality. 1t is also important to e@uip them to deal with homosexuality as it affects their church. 1 will then be presenting a modified #vercomin 4tron holds seminar with 7esert Qoice 4inistries in Canton. =ou can find out more information about that seminar on the back page of this newsletter, on the 9econciliation 4inistries 'acebook page, or on the e!ents page of our website. 1n addition to the special e!ents coming up on the hori;on, we at 9econciliation 4inistries are busy with the daily offerings to the $ody of Christ. Bur +i!ing #aters program in Troy is already past week number se!en, and our $righton team is recei!ing further prayer ministry training. #e are trusting the +ord to do big things in both of those programs. #e offer indi!idual licensed professional counseling and prayer ministry, as well as pastoral consultations and leadership support. 9econciliation 4inistries could not reach out with the redempti!e power of Christ without the faithful prayer and financial support of our ministry partners. Thank you for walking this 8ourney with us. 1n Christ, 7an )it;, 7irector 9econciliation 4inistries of 4ichigan *E+TE)8ER DQBE NE7*LETTER 7ear 'riend, 2s the cultural tide continues to push towards homosexuality, transgenderism, and e!en for the recognition of incestuous and multiple partner marriages, we at 9econciliation 4inistries are thankful that we ha!e a )ea!enly 'ather who pro!ides for the redemption and restoration of those who seek )im. #hile it is 239

important to hold tightly to (criptural standards of sexuality, many churches do not discuss sexuality in a redempti!e manner from the pulpit. 4any fail to address homosexuality at all. #hile the adults in the congregation struggle to maintain a holy standard, a @uick look at the 'acebook pages and Tweets of many youth group members re!eals a different story. The younger generation has faced a gay-affirming push most of their li!es in school and in their entertainment. They are much more accepting of homosexuality and loose sexual morals than many conser!ati!e parents reali;e. #e are in a time in history when news stories of pro-gay and transgender legislation are presented fre@uently. 9eports range from the ban of sexual orientation change efforts for minors in California and Cew Jersey Jwith Cew =ork soon to followK to the re@uirement of schools in California to allow students to choose their own genders and which bathrooms and locker rooms to use based on their feelings on a gi!en day. Bur nation appears to be heading towards the acceptance of homosexuality which will surpass that of Canada, and with fewer legal protections for those who hold traditional (criptural con!ictions. 1t is more important than e!er for the church to arise and hold up a %odly standard. #e at 9econciliation 4inistries are thankful for those of you who are partnering with us. #e could not stand against the cultural tide of broken sexuality and per!ersion to help men, women, and adolescents embrace the holy design for their sexuality and personhood without others in the $ody of Christ walking with us and interceding for us. =our prayers and financial support empower 9econciliation 4inistries to accomplish much. The *ove 9roke the "hains conference in 7etroit and the 8i htin for #ur 9est seminar with 2ndrew Comiskey were powerful resources to help Christians embrace the healing power of Jesus Christ. Bur new +i!ing #aters group in $righton has finished its second session and our next +i!ing #aters group in Troy will be starting soon. #e continue to see li!es changed through licensed professional counseling and indi!idual prayer ministry, and offer phone and (kype support to pastors and missionaries who do not ha!e a ministry in their local areas. #e recei!e many calls from parents who are de!astated to find out that their teenage son or daughter has recently announced that he or she is embracing a homosexual identity. 9econciliation 4inistries partners with the )ealing )ears parents support group to help them walk through this difficult season. 9econciliation 4inistries offers seminars and speaking engagements for e@uipping and personal ministry/ along with many other !aluable resources through our website, 'acebook page, and this newsletter. 1f you or someone you know is struggling with sexual or relational issues, reach out for help and call -6..0*5.-"",. 9econciliation 4inistries is here to walk with you to the outstretched arms of our (a!ior. 1n Christ, 7an )it;, 7irector 9econciliation 4inistries of 4ichigan 240

$econciliation %inistries would like to thank J e. an# )e.issa Kn % ! Li$e Out L u# +r #ucti ns for donatin their time and creativity in the production of a beautiful testimony video of our *ivin +aters pro ram in Troy. They were assisted by *ori "ampa na and &atie #S*eary on the production. @ u can see the $i#e 2y c.ic6in/ here' 7an will be returning to Thailand and the 3hilippines in Bctober to help with a +i!ing #aters leadership retreat in Thailand, and an international +i!ing #aters training in the 3hilippines. This is a great opportunity to strengthen the existing leadership team in Thailand, and establish new leaders in the 3hilippines and other countries of (outheast 2sia. 7an has raised all the needed funds for this trip, and is planning another missions trip to the 3hilippines and Qietnam in 4ay &E",. =ou can make a tax-deductible donation towards missions by clicking here and designating your gift for missions in the memo box. http://recmin.org/ *e<ua. 8r 6enness in *E Asia – Dan Hit: Dan Hitz is the =xecutive Director of $econciliation %inistries of %ichi an, and has been takin shortBterm missions trips to 4= )sia for over ten years. This article is a compilation of observations and experiences durin those trips and insi hts ained from ministry friends. Those who contributed to this article include 8rank +orthen, 9en@i "ruz, 4hirley 9askett, <ick &uiper, (eter *ane, and many others that have contributed throu h *ivin +aters )sia. 1n looking at sexual brokenness in (outheast 2sia it is easy to recogni;e some common threads that we can also see in the :(. There are the familiar stories of boy meets girlP boy wants to marry girlP boy struggles with an addiction to pornography that messes up their relationshipP 2nother familiar story is the lack of parental guidance in the areas of emotional and sexual de!elopment. $en8i Cru;, 7irector of +i!ing #aters 3hilippines ", points out in his presentation on sexuality among 'ilipino teens &/ the youth of today listen to celebrities through media and the internet because the celebrities don t shy away from the topics that are important to them. (exuality is huge for teenagers and these people talk about it. Teens want honesty and these people get to the point and say what they think about relationships and sexuality. Cru; goes on to say that <they may be honest and funny and speaking to our children but what they re telling them can lead to destruction?. (ound familiarI Bne need only to reflect on the &E", %rammy s to reali;e how deeply this is also entrenched into 2merican culture.* 2long with the similarities, there are also deeper cultural wounds and nuances that are far more common to (H 2sia than in the (tates. 2lthough men and women throughout the world ha!e struggled to grow up in poor families where father and mother were either absent or not in!ol!ed in their li!es, po!erty and fatherlessness is e!en more pre!alent in (H 2sia than it is in the :(. There exists a matriarchal society where mothers themsel!es may be deeply 241

wounded and/or absent like the father. This lea!es the youth !ulnerable to feelings of abandonment and abuse. 1t inflicts hea!y damage to their souls. 3o!erty is a harsh reality for many underde!eloped countries. Cick Luiper, of Hxodus 2sia 3acific- who ministers fre@uently in 7a!ao, 3hilippines, estimates that ,EY of the population li!es in extreme po!erty with little food, ,EY may ha!e a small amount of resources yet still struggle, and &EY are professionals who are actually doing okay. 'or this reason many 2sian parents lea!e their families to find employment in another city or country to pro!ide for their kids. 2lthough some of the children left behind are cared for by grandparents, it is common to ha!e a young child below the age of ten left to care for the younger siblings. 2 &E"& study on o!erseas 'ilipino workers estimates that there were o!er &.& million 'ilipinos working o!erseas from 2pril to (eptember &E"& .. The study reports an almost e!en proportion of male to female workers when all age ranges are considered J-".0Y maleK, but shows that females significantly outnumber males in the younger age ranges. This means that younger children are left without the influence of their mothers early in life, and then are left without their fathers later on. H!en in the families where one parent remains present, there are hea!y effects on the family from the parent working away from the hometown. 7uring one of my layo!ers in (H 2sia, 1 talked to a 'ilipino man who was tra!eling to the (tates for work. )e shared some of his challenges as a husband and father working o!erseas and only seeing his family for a short time. )e was frustrated that his wife had to lead the family while he was gone, and that she has a difficult time allowing him to lead the family during his short stays back home. 1 could sense the conflict in his heart as he recounted some of the hea!y challenges that his family was facing while he was away. Ce!ertheless, he was drawn by the financial need to gain employment where!er he could find it. 4any in (H 2sia turn to prostitution as a means to earn a li!ing. 1t can be seen as respectable for young women to enter into prostitution to support the rest of the family. (ometimes young girls are sold into prostitution by their parents who see a way to make money. (hirley $askett0 of Hxodus 2sia 3acific explains that it is a sign of great wounding and hardness when parents can o!erlook the welfare of their own children in these situations. :nfortunately the families make that decision because they are desperate to stay ali!e. 1 remember reading an article years ago that told of a ministry in Thailand that rescued girls from their sex traffickers, and reali;ed that they could not release the girls back to their parents lest the parents sell the girls right back to the traffickers. #hether prostitution was entered into willingly or unwillingly, it inflicts a hea!y price on the human soul. +ess ob!ious than prostitution are the #esterners who are sought by 2sian males and females because of the perception of financial stability. #ealthy #esterners often take ad!antage of the !ulnerability of those seeking father figures and financial security. 7esperate 2sian men and women take ad!antage of the #esterners trying to find a young man or woman to fill the !oid in their own heart. $oth use the other. $oth remain empty.

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1n addition to the wounds inflicted by parents working away from home, many in (H 2sia suffer from wounds inflicted by the absence of commitment to the family unit itself. 1n some countries, it is socially acceptable for a married man to !isit a prostitute as long as it is kept @uiet. 'rank #orthen6, founder of $agong 3agasa5 in the 3hilippines, points out that fathers may ha!e three or four families. They get married and o!erwhelmed with the children of that marriage, and then mo!e on to start another family. This lea!es sons and daughters in Thailand and the 3hilippines to wrestle with the reality that their fathers liked their other family better than them. Children learn the de!aluation of family relationships through the poor role models of their parents and popular culture. $en8i Cru; cites a &EE5 study by de 1rala, et. 2l. of $io4ed Central"E indicating that o!er half of 'ilipino teens belie!e that it is acceptable to !isit a prostitute or commit adultery. 3erhaps another result of the matriarchal society is the de!aluation of masculinity and the rise of transgender issues. 1t is !ery common to see <ladyboys? working in department stores, hotels, and many other !enues in the 3hilippines, Thailand and 1ndonesia. +adyboys go beyond trans!estites who are men wearing women s attire for sexual and emotional arousal, and stri!e to adopt feminine beha!ior and appearance. 4any recei!e hormonal in8ections or undergo surgical procedures to enhance their feminine appearance. %ender reassignment surgery, a step further than the ladyboy, is readily a!ailable in Thailand and much less expensi!e than in the #est. (H 2sian society in general seems to be much more accepting of transgender issues than the :(. 2s in the :nited (tates, childhood sexual abuse is a common problem in (H 2sia. 'ather wounds are a significant issue that make both males and females !ulnerable to a pre-abuse set up. #hether the parents are absent due to employment, abandonment, or any other reason/ the children suffer from the effects of a mother and father wound. Child abuse is common among !ulnerable boys and girls who are desperate for the attention of a father figure and in deep financial need. 2bsent parents allow the children to be placed with relati!es who may not care for the children as dearly as their own parents. The financial need lea!es tender hearts open to the gifts the predators ha!e to offer during the grooming process. 3eter +ane"" of Bn Hagles #ings to 2sia"& has spent o!er ten years researching 2sian sexuality in se!en different countries and notes that most Christian churches and parents are silent when it comes to discussing sexuality with their children. Bf the "E,EEE people he has spoken to, only ,Y recei!ed sex education. This often lea!es them with the idea that sexuality in general is sinful and with no place to go when they struggle. )e writes that the a!erage 2sian Christian waits fi!e years before seeking help for a sexual problem, that approximately half don t find the le!el of care they need, and that it took an a!erage of four years before most reali;ed any significant change. The fields are indeed ripe for the har!est, but the laborers are few J4atthew 5:*0K. 1n light of all the sexual and relational brokenness in (H 2sia and the depth of the father wounds, one of the most important steps in reco!ery is connecting those who are broken to the 'ather heart of %od. )ope comes ali!e as they see their !alue and worth in the heart of their )ea!enly 'ather. Bne of my 243

fa!orite (criptures is 3salm &0:"E which reads, <#hen my father and my mother forsake me, Then the +ord will take care of me? WCLJQX. 2s we allow the 'ather to fill up the !oids in our hearts we reali;e that we ha!e a )ea!enly 'ather who truly does care for us and will not re8ect us, no matter how far we ha!e fallen. #e can experience the kindness of %od that leads us to repentance J9omans &:,K and cleanses us from our sin. #e can experience healing for our broken hearts and restoration of the years that were destroyed by the enemy and our own sinful choices. Through the years that 1 ha!e been in!ol!ed with +i!ing #aters "* trainings and retreats in (H 2sia",, some of the most powerful ministry sessions ha!e been on the healing of the mother and father wound. Bther powerful ministry times include healing for the true masculine and the true feminine. )earts become more open to the lo!e of %od as the years of pain from abandonment and abuse are cleansed by the )oly (pirit. 4en and women are strengthened as they learn to accept the good of their %od-gi!en gender and stand as the men and women of %od they were created to be. They become empowered to accept the other gender as a good and holy gift. Thick emotional walls of detachment and self-protection begin to melt away as they allow the )oly (pirit to be their healer and protector. (uch acceptance of the father heart of %od allows us all to become more open to the forgi!eness of %od and )is call to lay down our idols of illicit sexuality, and learn to walk in sexual purity. 1t helps us to open the !aults in our hearts where years of pain from sexual abuse, physical abuse, and re8ection ha!e been suppressed. Cleansing and restoration comes as we offer our pain up to a lo!ing (a!ior who gladly recei!es our wounds as )is own and pours out )is comfort and healing on us. 1n this way the differences in cultural wounds meets the consistency of the 'ather s lo!e for all of us, no matter what nation, tribe, and tongue is ours. #e see the 'ather s pro!ision for healing and deli!erance for all who call out to )im. The enemy of our souls will continue to use the trials, challenges, and temptations of this life to afflict all of us and try to capture us with sexual and relational sin. 'ortunately we ha!e hope and healing through the resurrection power of Jesus Christ and the power of )is lo!e. The +ord has raised up an army of wounded healers who are e@uipped to comfort others with the same comfort with which )e has comforted them J" Corinthians &:,K. Jesus Christ has the power to heal the brokenhearted and set the capti!e free. 1t is for that reason that we must bring the message of hope and healing in Christ to the far corners of this world. $eferences and 8ootnotes
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+i!ing #aters 3hilippines. http://li!ingwatersphilippines.org/ Cru;, $en8i. J&E"*K +i!ing #aters 3hilippines. (ermon presented in 3hilippines on sexual mindset of 'ilipino teens. 3hull, )ardeep. J&E"*K %rammys wedding ceremony will go down as a tear8erker. Cew =ork 3ost. 9etrie!ed on &/"/&E", from http://nypost.com/&E",/E"/&0/grammys-wedding-ceremony-will-go-downas-a-tear8erker/ 244

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Luiper, Cick. Hxodus 2sia 3acific. http://www.exodusglobalalliance.org/eastasiap"E,E.php Hxodus 2sia 3acific and Hxodus %lobal 2lliance are separate organi;ations from Hxodus 1nternational Corth 2merican. H23 and H%2 continue to uphold $iblical !iews of homosexuality and transformation through the grace and power of Jesus Christ. Hricta, Carmelita C. 2dministrator. J&E"*K 9epublic of the 3hilippines: Cational (tatistics Bffice. Total number of B'#s is estimated at &.& million J9esults from the &E"& sur!ey on o!erseas 'ilipinosK. 9etrie!ed on "/*"/&E", from http://www.census.go!.ph/content/total-number-ofwsestimated-&&-million-results-&E"&-sur!ey-o!erseas-filipinos $askett, (hirley. Hxodus %lobal 2lliance. http://www.exodusglobalalliance.org/contactuss&&..php #orthen, 'rank. 'rank #orthen is a well-respected pioneer of ex-gay ministry. )e is one of the founders of Hxodus 1nternational Corth 2merica and the 9estored )ope Cetwork in the :( and $agong 3agas in the 3hilippines. =ou can watch a !ideo of his testimony at http://www.youtube.com/watchI!TQR,2!%9m;(: $agong 3agasa. http://www.bagongpagasa.org/ de 1rala, Jokin, et. 2l. J&EE5K $io4ed Central. 9elationships, lo!e and sexuality: #hat the 'ilipino teens think and feel. 9etrie!ed on "/*"/&E", from http://www.biomedcentral.com/",0"-&,-6/5/&6&/ +ane, 3eter. J&E"*K 3ersonal correspondence concerning his article entitled <(exual strugglers and the 2sian church?. 2dditional articles from 3eter +ane are a!ailable at http://www.oneagleswings&asia.com/articlearchi!es.htm Bn Hagles #ings to 2sia. http://www.oneagleswings&asia.com/index.htm 1nformation about the +i!ing #aters program is a!ailable at http://www.desertstream.org/%roups/"EEEE,EE5"/7esertS(treamS4inistries/ +i!ingS#aters/+i!ingS#aters.aspx 1nformation on +i!ing #aters groups in (H 2sia is a!ailable at http://www.desertstream.org/%roups/"EEEE,E,-6/7esertS(treamS4inistrie s/+ookingS'orS)elp/1nternationalS%roups/1nternationalS%roups.aspx 2dditional information on understanding %od the 'ather s lo!e is a!ailable through 9obert )art;ell 4inistries. http://www.roberthart;ell.com/ 9econciliation 4inistries is a member ministry of the Restore) Ho,e <et'or..

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1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 245

D 9econciliation 4inistries &E",. This article can be reprinted and distributed as long as credit is gi!en and no fee is charged. Th u/hts A. n/ the 7ay – Re!.ecti ns !r " Thai.an# an# In# nesia Dan Hitz is the director of $econciliation %inistries. This article is a reflection of thin s the *ord spoke to his heart durin a :720 missions trip to Thailand and 'ndonesia. The lessons learned can be applied to many aspects of our @ourney throu h this life. 4y recent missions trip to (H 2sia was a tremendous blessing. $oth the participants and the ministry team members were strengthened and encouraged during the recent leadership retreat for the 1ndonesian +i!ing #aters teams in Jakarta and the +i!ing #aters national training in $angkok, Thailand. 2 team of nine foreigners from the :(, :L, Canada and the 3hilippines ministered to &. +i!ing #aters leaders from !arious parts of 1ndonesia. The theme of the conference was <Connection, 9eflection, and 1ntegration?. The participants were blessed by teachings to heal, e@uip, and help them connect at a deeper le!el with the +ord and with each other. Team members also recei!ed personal prayer ministry focused on remo!ing obstacles between them and the +ord. 'rom Jakarta, we flew to $angkok for the Thai Cational +i!ing #aters training where we were 8oined by other team members from Canada, the 3hilippines, and Thailand. There were o!er -E participants at the training from Thailand, (outheast 2sia, and beyond. The +ord mo!ed deeply in their hearts for personal healing and at least && leaders were released to leadership positions on +i!ing #aters teams or to coordinate their own programs. Those who were not released to leadership positions may ha!e attended the training for their own personal healing, or may need additional healing before being ready to lead their own groups. The participants were taken through the main points of the &*-week +i!ing #aters program in a single week. They recei!ed deep healing through the large group ministry times and through their eight small group sessions. The work that the +ord did during this intense week of training will continue to bear fruit not only in the li!es of the participants, but also in the li!es of their families and those they minister to in the future. 1 kept in touch with the 9econciliation 4inistries intercessors !ia email throughout my time in (H 2sia. Bne of the intercessors posted that it seems like this trip has impacted me more than my past trips. #hile e!ery missions trip is different with its own impact, blessings, and challenges/ 1 ha!e noticed some significant differences on this trip. 1 initially shared my thoughts with our intercessors group so they could see on a deeper le!el how the +ord answered their prayers. 1 also wanted to share my thoughts in this newsletter so you can see an example of the deeper issues the +ord works in our hearts beyond the ob!ious tasks during missions trips. 1 would encourage e!eryone to prayerfully consider going on a missions trip at least once in their li!es. 4ore than any other trip, 1 knew that the +ord was specifically sending me on this one. :nlike the other trips, my heart was not burning with an intense passion for the people or the mission. Contrary to how that sounds, it is 246

actually a good change as 1Gll explain. 1 do ha!e a lo!e for Thailand, and the Thai people ha!e a special place in my heart. 1 reali;e my )ea!enly 'ather is calling me to step into a deeper le!el of maturity to do what 1 do out of a deeper relationship with )im and because it is the correct action to take in light of eternity, rather than being led by good, godly passion, emotions, or excitement. )e is calling me into a season of deeper learning from )im as my 7ad who lo!es me, and )e desires to teach me from )is heart as a lo!ing father teaches his son. 1n light of that, 1 can look back on this trip and see some wonderful things )e has done. 1t was a blessing to reconnect with some old ministry friends from Thailand and meet many new ones in both Thailand and 1ndonesia. 1t was a blessing to minister in each country and see the +ord touch many hearts. 1 did many things well. 1 also made a few minor mistakes which were an opportunity for learning more about the culture, ministry, and more importantly, myself. 1 was corrected with lo!e and compassion which pro!ided the opportunity to grow. 1 ha!e a deeper appreciation for the men and women who ha!e poured out their li!es in a foreign field and ha!e learned many !aluable lessons through the years. 1 also noticed another deep personal change during this trip. 4ost of my life 1 !e wondered A maybe e!en focused A on the future. #hat is the next step %od has for meI 7uring this trip 1 found myself en8oying the present. 1t was a 8oy to simply <be? during my days in (H 2sia. The +ord is calling me to @uiet my heart, obser!e )im in the present, and lean on )im for the next step of my 8ourney. 1t has been a 8oy to share this 8ourney with you. Thank you for your faithful prayers and financial support that made this trip possible. 1 wish 1 could say that 1 will be posting many pictures on 'acebook like 1 usually do. That was another change this time around. (ome members of the team minister in restricted countries and need to be careful about their pictures and information becoming too public. 1 hope that this letter gi!es you a glimpse beyond the !isual to see how the +ord has answered your prayers and touched the hearts of many. 1 am thankful in how )e has touched mine. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. 9econciliation 4inistries is member ministry of the Restore) Ho,e <et'or.. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E"* httpHAAwww.recmin.or A;pdatedT:7)rticlesT:7andT:7TestimoniesAThou hts T:7)lon T:7theT:7+ay.htm 247

)ARCH DQBF NE7*LETTER Li$in/ in E%hesus; These days it seems like we are li!ing in Hphesus along with 3aul. 1n the beginning of 2cts "5 we see the reports of many supernatural miracles. 4any people were coming to Christ. 2long with the miracles, we see others in the synagogue rising up against 3aul and causing a great disturbance. Conetheless, 3aul remained faithful to speak the word of %od and numerous li!es were touched by the )oly (pirit. There became a great distinction between those who held faithful to the +ord and those who held fast to the idolatrous culture of the times. 2n uproar arouse in the city during which the multitudes came against 3aul for speaking against their goddess. 1t seems that 3aul s preaching was persuading many to renounce their idolatrous ways and their sinful culture. 3eople were furious. Qerse *& reads, <The assembly was in confusion: (ome were shouting one thing, some another. %ost of the people did not even know why they were there. ? WC1Q A emphasis addedX They were simply swayed by the cultural tide to rise up against Jesus Christ and )is ways, and to speak out against the church. 3aul and other faithful Christians refused to back down to public pressure. )e continued to speak the truth of Jesus Christ and encouraged the disciples li!ing there to remain faithful. #e need to be people like 3aul in today s culture. 1 write this newsletter days after 2ri;ona %o!ernor, Jan $rewer, !etoed a bill that would ha!e allowed photographers, wedding cake bakers, and others in the ser!ice industry to follow their conscience and decline ser!ices which would !iolate their faithbased con!ictions. Today as 1 write, a trial is underway in 'ederal Court in 7etroit that challenges 4ichigan s constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Those who support the sinfulness of today s culture are in opposition to those who hold true to the #ord of %od. Those who are against homosexuality are called bigots and homophobes. +egal challenges against traditional morality are becoming more and more common. Conetheless, we must remain faithful to uphold (cripture and speak the truth in lo!e. #hen we do we will be met with opposition, but we must look beyond this present world to the reality that we are li!ing for eternity. #hen the souls of men and women are at risk, the most lo!ing thing we can do is to graciously tell them the truth. Hncouraging a sinful lifestyle of any type that will lead men and women to eternal destruction is not lo!e. 1t is easy to become intimidated by the furor of those who support homosexuality. 1t is easy to be swayed by the compassionate stories and warm personalities of those who are acti!e in the +%$T community and who actually have suffered reat emotional pain because of their sexuality. 1t is easy to allow our emotions to influence our beliefs about homosexuality/ howe!er, it is critical that we remain grounded in the #ord of %od and focus on eternity. #ith the leading of the )oly (pirit, we must reach out graciously to those in!ol!ed in homosexuality. 2s we hold out the truth that the +ord calls all men and women to repent, we must be willing to walk with them as they learn to walk out the redemption that Jesus Christ pro!ides. #e must be willing to share the 8ourney with those in the +%$T community as they seek 248

the +ord to help them replace what has most likely been the only identity they ha!e e!er known with their true identity in Christ. The 8ourney will be difficult for them, and it will be challenging for us. 2re we willing to sacrifice e!erything to walk with those who are seeking deli!erance as the 9edeemer does )is work in all of usI That is true compassion. 7hen )y ) ther an# (ather ( rsa6e )e; – Dan Hit:

Dan Hitz is the =xecutive Director of $econciliation %inistries of %ichi an, a member ministry of the $estored Hope <etwork dedicated to brin in freedom to men, women, and adolescents stru lin with sexual and relationship issues. 8or more information contact $econciliation %inistries at ,-../01.,223, or visit us on the web at www.recmin.or . ( r @ u ! r"e# "y in&ar# %arts- @ u c $ere# "e in "y " ther?s & "2' I &i.. %raise @ u, ! r I a" !ear!u..y an# & n#er!u..y "a#e)ar$e. us are @ ur & r6s, An# that "y s u. 6n &s $ery &e..' – Asalm " !K" 0"# Those !erses were intended to gi!e us comfort as we reali;e the great attention to detail that +ord used to lo!ingly put us together in our mother s womb. 'or those of us who grew up in a dysfunctional family, those !erses may bring up different emotions altogether. #e may wonder why the +ord <chose to put us in that specific womb?. 'ar from feeling good about oursel!es as the +ord s creation, our negati!e upbringing can make us feel like damaged goods. Hrik Hrikson is a de!elopmental psychologist famous for identifying the stages of psychosocial de!elopment. )is theory basically describes %od s intent for the role that parents and other significant people play in our emotional and social de!elopment. ;nfortunatel& in this fallen 'orl)* not all of us have gro'n u, 'ith a health& mother an) father. <ot all of us have gone through chil)hoo) an) a)olescence 'ith a health& connection to our ,eers. +f that is the case in &our life* the 5or) can heal the emotional 'oun)s inflicte) through the things &ou have ex,erience). )e can also heal the wounds you !e endured because the nurturing and care that you were supposed to recei!e didn t happen. 3salm &0:"E reads, <#hen my father and mother forsake me, then the +ord will take care of me.? %od can heal the hurts in your heart and fill the emotional !oids. 2 brief exploration of %od s intended role for our parents and peers will help you understand where you need the )oly (pirit to touch your heart. -ur relationshi, 'ith our mother is the most im,ortant relationshi, that 'e have 'hen 'e are (orn. Mothers are inten)e) (& >o) to give us a sense ! 2ein/ I a sense that it4s o.a& to (e alive an) that 'e have value. 4om s nurture us. #hen we are hungry they feed us. #hen we mess our diapers, they change us. #e learn from them that our li!es are celebrated and that we will be well cared for. 2fter we learn to crawl and walk, we look beyond mother to our father. @athers are inten)e) (& >o) to hel, us learn to ex,lore the 'orl) an) 249

ta.e the initiative to tr& ne' things. Che& are also )esigne) (& >o) to encourage us to gro' into the i)entit& an) ,ur,ose that He create) us to have. 7ads empower us to become established in this world and succeed. +ittle girls learn what it means to be female through their mothers, while little boys learn what it means to be male from their fathers. %s 'e enter school* the next im,ortant relationshi,s 'e have are 'ith our same0gen)er ,eers. 2t this stage boys usually think girls ha!e <cooties? and girls may think boys are a bit nasty. This is a normal stage of de!elopment. +ittle boys learn how to relate to other little boys as they interact and play together. 1t works the same for girls. #e learn that we are a good and acceptable little boy or girl as we fit in well with other little boys or girls. %s 'e gain confi)ence in our o'n gen)er ,eer grou,* 'e then (egin to reach out to the other gen)er an) learn ho' to relate to them. $oys notice that the girls lose their cooties and are becoming attracti!e. %irls notice that the boys aren t so nasty after all. Confidence in who we are as a person continues to grow as we establish healthy relationships with the opposite sex. %od intends our emotional and relational de!elopment to continue throughout our li!es as we enter into committed relationships, begin our families, and relate to others in our community. 4any of us ha!e not had the ideal de!elopment and growth described in this article. % ,ro(lem at an& stage of )evelo,ment 'ill create challenges in the future stages. @ortunatel&* the 5or) has ta.en that into account an) has ma)e ,rovision for our emotional healing on the cross. #e can take comfort in the !erse that was referenced earlier in this article which reads, <#hen my father and my mother forsake me, then the +ord will take care of me.? #hen Jesus began )is ministry, )e read out of the book of 1saiah where it says, <The (pirit of the +ord is upon 4e, because )e has anointed 4e to preach the gospel to the poor/ )e has sent 4e to heal the brokenheartedP? J+uke ,:"6-"5K. 1n the original language, the phrase <brokenhearted? refers to shards of glass like when you break a mirror. Jesus was saying that )e was sent by the 'ather to heal the <shards of glass? A the fragments of our heart A from emotional trauma and neglect. #e find in Jesus a lo!ing (a!ior who is willing to hear our prayers, heal our emotional wounds, and fill the !oids in our hearts with )is presence. 1f you !e grown up without the kind of nurturing that %od designed you to ha!e, spend time in prayer and share your hurts with )im. Recognizing our areas of )ee, nee) is a first ste, in overcoming our mother an) father 'oun)s. $e honest about your pain. 2sk )im to teach you to recogni;e )is healing presence and to heal your heart. 2s you work through the !arious areas of need in your heart, you may recogni;e pockets of hidden anger. +t is im,ortant for &our o'n ,ersonal gro'th to learn to forgive those 'ho have 'oun)e) &ou. @orgiveness is more for &our sa.e* than for the sa.e of those 'ho have offen)e) &ou. =our offender may be totally unaware that he or she has wounded you, or he or she may actually be glad that you were wounded. #e li!e in a !ery fallen world. )arboring anger and resentment will only ser!e to hinder you, keep you bound to your wounds, and gi!e your offender the !ictory. 'orgi!eness sets you free. 2sk the +ord to help 250

you release your anger and resentment to )im and allow )im to deal with those who ha!e hurt you. =our offender and your wounds will lose their power as you experience the healing power of Christ. Sometimes 'hen 'e are sinne) against* 'e res,on) 'ith sinful reactions. 2sk the +ord to show you the areas in your own life where you ha!e responded to your pain in sinful ways. #hen )e does, repent and seek to make amends where appropriate. 1n walking away from our sin we find a deeper capacity to recei!e %od s lo!e and walk in deeper relationships with others in the $ody of Christ. +n a))ition to frien)s* 'e all nee) others 'ho are more mature than us an) have Journe&e) successfull& through some of life4s )ifficult ,ath'a&s. 2sk the +ord to send you a safe, Christian mentor to walk with you and help you in your 8ourney. =our pastor, a reco!ery group, or the pastoral care department at your church may be a good place to start. Co pastor or mentor can become the long lost mother of father that you ne!er had, but he or she can share his or her experience with you as you both walk towards Jesus together. %s &ou follo' these ste,s in &our Journe&* &ou 'ill (egin to ex,erience the fulfillment of the verse* 1Bhen m& father an) m& mother forsa.e me* then the 5or) 'ill ta.e care of me.2 =ou will grow into a beautiful relationship with %od the 'ather where )e truly will fill the !oids in your heart. )e longs to become the safe, lo!ing, nurturing parent that you ha!e always wanted. 9econciliation 4inistries is a member ministry of the Restore) Ho,e <et'or.. 1f you would like more information about 9econciliation 4inistries, or any of the ministries we offer, !isit us on the #eb at '''.recmin.org, or call 75868 7 !05""#. =ou may also e-mail us at info$recmin.org. %ll corres,on)ence 'ill (e .e,t strictl& confi)ential. -ur office is locate) at 95#": Gell& Roa)* in Roseville* Michigan #8:66. D 9econciliation 4inistries &E",. This article can be reprinted and distributed as long as credit is gi!en and no fee is charged.

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