Ex-gay man’s view of the General Synod vote on gay blessings

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Once-atheist, Sam trained as a dancer until he discovered the harsh truths of the entertainment industry and dropped out of training prematurely in 2012. Seeking a new identity, he continued to ask questions about the true nature of reality, exploring psychology, philosophy and politics, until opening the door of his life to Christ in 2018. He currently attends a Baptist church in Devon, England, where he lives.
Sam can be contacted on Twitter: @samofsalter

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In Paul the apostle’s trial before Agrippa, he shockingly reveals that when he was a Pharisee, his hatred for Christ’s followers was so, that not only did he put saints in prison and voted for their execution, but he even more sadistically “tried to force them to blaspheme” (Acts 26:9-11). After witnessing the extreme levels of delusion in synod last week, I ask: Is it possible that the Church of England has been usurped by a brood of vipers? Nothing is new under the sun.

The decision to bless same-sex marriages is outrageous and deeply saddening. I myself lived as an openly gay male for 12 years and it ruined me, but by God’s grace, not permanently. I thank God every day that I was shown the truth. I wasn’t a Christian when I decided to step away from my gay life however; I learned the hard way that homosexual relationships are dysfunctional and the gay identity is self-seeking and by default self-destructive. As I grow in spiritual maturity, my interest in homosexuality is decreasing whilst my natural God-given interest in women increases, thanks to the love of our lord and saviour Jesus Christ, who shows me more and more every day what it means to be a man of God: self-sacrificing, compassionate and mission-led, among many other things.

The emasculated church (and the consequently emasculated culture) prefers to place love above truth, as opposed to marrying the two. The arguments for same-sex marriage blessings could all be reduced to a sympathy plea – “We don’t want LGBT people to feel hurt” – a loving and legitimate concern but which paradoxically ignores God’s design for men and women. The argument against the blessings was essentially “Because scripture says so”, a scriptural truth that awkwardly suggests homosexuals simply must live a life of abstinence with no complaints. Ephesians 4:15 commands us to speak the truth in love, but I observe that what we saw in synod was a constant misfiring between the love of the compassionate members and the truth of the scripturally sound members. This is because knowledge of the homosexual condition (and perhaps even gender as a whole) has been buried out of sight of the mainstream for decades.

Telling the average homosexual to abstain for the rest of their life is like a parent condemning an infant to a life without its dummy – the removal of the pacifier causes much upset. The parent knows, however, that the benefits will outweigh the losses hundred-fold as the infant is forced to accept new challenges that will aid healthy development. Our society is plagued with various pacifiers – alcohol, drugs, social media, even fitness obsession, to name a few, which distract us from spiritual growth. I have come to understand that homosexuality has been my own pacifier of choice. I idolised my partners and became regressive, seeing them as the masculine to my feminine. My partners saw me in the same way which caused a lack of equilibrium in our relationship. The fruit of that life was minimal as the wages of sin are death and I failed to understand why I wasn’t maturing like others in my age group.

Much like with drug and alcohol addiction, it’s imperative that we understand the roots of these diseases so that we can help sufferers and those who are victims of their sins when we come to offer them the opportunity to wean off their pacifier. Quoting scripture isn’t enough when it comes to this highly emotive topic.

Catholic psychologist and psychotherapist Joseph Nicolosi Sr. treated people with unwanted same-sex attraction for over 30 years and stated emphatically throughout his career: “Homosexuality is not about sex; it’s about shame”. His therapeutic techniques (then-named Reparative Therapy) centre on theories inspired by the works of Christian psychologist Elizabeth Moberly and father of attachment theory John Bowlby, to name a few. The general idea in the case of a homosexual male (for instance) is that the boy has over-identified with his mother and rejected identification with his father at a crucial stage of his early development. This bleeds into interactions with peers at school (the boy is often bullied for being effeminate, thus his condition is exacerbated) and eventually the masculine world is seen as so mysterious and frustratingly unobtainable, it becomes eroticised during puberty. The homosexual man seeks himself through sex other men, but he of course misses the mark. It’s those early experiences that we need to pay attention to: the pre-homosexual boy makes these unconscious choices often due to an emotionally distant father (sometimes because of his neglect or abuse), an over-attached mother (who may be particularly anxious or overcompensating for the father’s absence) and/or childhood sexual abuse. 46% of homosexual men report having been molested at a young age compared to 7% of heterosexual men (M E Tomeo, 2001). Nicolosi’s therapeutic technique seeks to process these gender-based negative experiences and in so doing, removing the patient’s gender-based fears, making room for a more spiritual or emotional intimacy with the same sex, as opposed to a physical intimacy, diminishing the same-sex attraction. Since Nicolosi Sr’s unfortunate passing in 2017, his son Joseph Nicolosi Jr continues his legacy with Reintegrative Therapy™, of which I am myself a recipient. Activists that wish to ban so-called conversion therapy may call Reintegrative Therapy™ “dangerous” and it is – because it works.

It was Nicolosi Sr’s work that changed my mind about my own sexuality back in 2018, when I’d lived with my partner for 3 years. In a 45-minute YouTube video, I went from believing I was born gay to seeing that my homosexuality was causing a lot of grief and was linked to many other psychological problems, which for me included an eating disorder – issues that were previously unrelated in my mind. After the inevitable break-up from my partner, God provided me a new job and a place to live instantly so I could begin my new life back in my home town. It was around this time that I met Mike Davidson from Core Issues Trust – a charity that works tirelessly offering support to people like me and fighting against the false “born this way” narrative. God would later put me in touch with a therapist who offered to treat me free of charge and a brother in Christ who sponsored me to see another therapist. I’ve also been blessed with Christian brothers all around the world to sharpen me and build me up as a man.

A common argument we hear in support of same-sex relationships is “love is love”. Love is, indeed, love, but is homosexuality love? If “love” means to put your partner’s needs before yours, then no. If “love” is expressed by consummation that creates life and bonds two partners, then no again. In 1984, two gay researchers, David McWhirter and Andrew Mattison, set out to enlighten gay men on what makes a good gay relationship in their work ‘The Male Couple’. They found that out of 156 gay male couples, not one of those couples were able to maintain fidelity for more than 5 years (Van Den Aardweg, 1997, p. 62). If love is patient, kind and not self-seeking, it is sure to keep 2 people in a monogamous relationship for more than 5 years.

Although Nicolosi’s explanations of gender development and homosexuality are widely accepted among the ex-gay community, not all ex-gay people engage in therapy, for a variety of reasons. Furthermore, I note that psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler states in his book ‘Homosexuality: Disease or Way of Life?’ that “the feminine identification is in itself a defense – it’s the admission of the lesser crime” and that actually the root of the problem is a kind of masochism (“pleasure in displeasure”) created in early infancy.

Dutch psychologist Gerard Van Den Aardweg bases his own ideas on Bergler’s by implying that an addiction to self-pity is what prevents the pre-homosexual boy from escaping his gender-based hurts: “‘Many pre-homosexual boys had feelings of “not belonging” with their fathers, brother or other boys…the child and the adolescent automatically react to feelings of inferiority and “not belonging” with self-pity or self-dramatization…[he] can become attached to this attitude, especially when he withdraws into himself and has no one to help him work through his problems with understanding, encouragement and firmness.”  (Van Den Aardweg, 1997, p. 48)

He boldly suggests that homosexuals are too self-seeking to love in any way, let alone romantically: “His complex directs his attention to himself; he seeks attention and love, recognition, and admiration for himself, like a child. His self-centredness thwarts his capacity to love, to be really interested in others, to take responsibility for others, to give and to serve…” (Van Den Aardweg, 1997, p. 66).

Van Aardweg therefore concludes that the love gay couples have for each other is false: “Homosexual unions are clinging relationships of two essentially self-absorbed “poor me’s”’ (Van Den Aardweg, 1997, p. 63). “Many homosexuals feign warmth and love for their partners and delude themselves into believing these sentiments are real, but in effect they cherish a self-serving sentimentality and play a game” (Van Den Aardweg, 1997, p. 133).

His harsh critique gives us insight into why exactly homosexuality was perceived as, and categorised under, “Sociopathic personality disturbances” in the first edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders back in 1952, before it was removed in 1974 – one of the many fruits of the so-called sexual revolution.

I hope at this stage that it’s clear to the reader that to love a homosexual means to help them expose and process their hurts around their gender deficit and encourage them to walk in faith with their brothers (if a man) or sisters (if a woman) to help them establish a healthy gender identity. “Mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15).

Another favourite argument of the pro-LGBT crowd, if we fail to address the roots of homosexuality, is “LGBT people need acceptance”. Gay marriage became legal for the first time back in 2001 in the Netherlands. Yet in 2013, Dutch gay men were still three times more likely to have a mood disorder and ten times more likely to engage in suicidal self-harm (Aggarwal & Gerrets, 2013). Acceptance of homosexual practices evidently did not help this population.

The enemy loves to twist language to mislead as he takes delight in chaos. For instance, how much has social media in fact caused social isolation? Note a similar irony in the word “Pride”. The go-to Christian analysis of the association between pride and LGBT is the correct notion that “Pride comes before a fall”. But I add that the irony in the concept of being “proud” in the context of LGBT is that as previously outlined, the homosexual condition comes from a deep sense of shame and LGBT people are far from proud of who they are. LGBT Pride marches seek not to exclaim self-contentment, but instead, the increasingly sexual nature of these marches demonstrate a collective anger, bitterness and a desperate plea for attention – “Help me, I feel inferior”. Ironically, the more political acceptance LGBT people get, the bigger the marches and media campaigns get.

The sad truth is that LGBT people will never be satisfied with their imaginary idea of acceptance, because the very essence of their condition lends itself to what psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler calls “Injustice collecting”: “The entire personality structure of the homosexual is pervaded by the unconscious wish to suffer; this wish is gratified by self-created trouble-making…if [external difficulties] were to be removed…the homosexual would still be an emotionally sick person” (Bergler, 1962, p. 9). Paul refers to a time when marriage is prohibited (1 Timothy 4:3) – perhaps we are seeing the foundations being laid for such a time – it’s outlandish but not impossible to imagine that this evil trend of faux-acceptance will not stop until the idea of any kind of committed union is meaningless.

Acceptance of the same-sex attracted individual means acceptance of who they are as a grieving man or woman who needs assistance in embracing their God-given gender role, offering “understanding, encouragement and firmness” as recommended by Van Den Aardweg, not just to calm their feelings of inferiority (“I’m not strong like other men”/”I’m not soft like other women”), but also to confront their habitually masochistic behaviour as mentioned by Bergler.

Acceptance of homosexual practices only feeds their inner turmoil and erodes our society, creating suspicion in same-sex spaces and separation of men and women. The ensuing miscommunication fractures our society, so that truth and love are on separate playing fields, creating a vacuum that the enemy will use to fill with his lies. The impending ban on so-called conversion therapy seeks to ban people like me from getting direct psychological and even prayerful assistance with this issue. I call upon the church to revive traditional gender roles as outlined in scripture to circumvent any ban that is put in place.

Christ showed the Samaritan woman at the well a mirror. He penetrated her heart when he told her that he knew how many husbands she’d had, a truth that she likely buried out of shame, and it stunned her. It’s well known around the world that the English are conflict-avoidant to their detriment. And so I pray: May we confront this idea by speaking those buried truths – whether gender-related or otherwise – that stun our friends, family and loved ones, rebuking and exhorting, with utmost compassion, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Works Cited

Aggarwal, S., & Gerrets, R. (2013). Exploring a Dutch paradox: an ethnographic investigation of gay men’s mental health. Retrieved from PubMed.gov: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24236852/

Bergler, E. (1962). Homosexuality: Disease or Way of Life? New York: Collier Books.

M E Tomeo, D. I. (2001). Comparative data of childhood and adolescence molestation in heterosexual and homosexual persons. Retrieved from PubMed.gov: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11501300

Nicolosi, J. J. (2016). Shame and Attachment Loss. USA: Liberal Mind Publishers.

Van Den Aardweg, G. J. (1997). The Battle For Normality. San Francisco: Ignatius Press.