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The word Jesus stuck in my throat like an elephant tusk; no matter how hard I choked, I couldn't hack it out. Those who professed the name commanded my pity and wrath. As a university professor, I tired of students who seemed to believe that "knowing ...

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Displaying 1–99 of 99 comments

Michael Snow

February 18, 2014  11:30pm

I forget the author but there is a classic title, Obedience, the Key to Spiritual Knowledge

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Rechelle Fleck

February 02, 2014  6:39am

Rosaria - your article brought tears to my eyes. Not for the reason you would think, but because I remember how Christ redeemed me from the lesbian lifestyle. Like you, I fought Him on an intellectual level with everything that was within me. I had a great life with the perfect job, loving partner, Black Lab, and Volvo in the driveway. However, my mother prayed for my soul daily. My redemption came a little differently than yours as I had an accident that nearly killed me, but when I was finally able to see my life through the eyes of Christ, I was completely broken. I cried out to my Savior with everything I had as I realized how bankrupt I was without Him. All that I fought for in the GLBT community melted away as the love of my Messiah poured into my life in the dark agony of that hospital room. The change in life and heart was immediate. I wept for the gay community and my love for them turned into a Godly love. I now have a husband and 2 wonderful girls and CHRIST.

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Barbara Turner

October 10, 2013  10:57am

God bless on becoming a Christian. I was born and raised in a Christian home and baptized at the prodigal age of 8 knowing that's how I wanted to live my life. God is awesome! I used to attend a Methodist church near where I live and there was a couple who were both gay and converted to Christianity and met each other and married. Male and female in the glory of God. Amen. One of my cousins a female was born and raised an Episcopalian, grew up, got conventionally married, had 2 boys, went through a nasty divorce, went off on her own for a while, met her now "wife" and I still love her and pray for them both but I do not approve of their "union." The crazy part is this: my Uncle, my cousin's father, married them! He is now a retired Episcopal Rector of his own church. I questioned him when all this took place about 20 years ago and he said he sought Divine guidance and got it but I still don't approve! God bless and keep, love, me.

CJ Caufield

September 04, 2013  1:30pm

This is an inspiring story of redemption through the life of one redeemed pastor who genuinely loved his neighbor. One question ... this does seem convey that homosexuality is a choice and that there a came a point when she had decided to become heterosexual in her orientation after encountering Christ in a meaningful way. Is this an accurate reading of this story?

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Christine Cavitt

July 27, 2013  1:33pm

I left academe years ago, confused and in need of finding God all over again (only to discover that while I had wandered, He hadn't gone anywhere). It is extremely encouraging to hear from someone who found God in the midst of the chaos. As long as academics maintain the ideals of courage, honesty, and truth, there is hope. Bless you on your journey.

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jim achmoody

April 08, 2013  9:40am

What a powerful testimony/story which is so much better than any debate or argument. A changed life is the best advertizement for the power of faith. I hope she keeps writing as she has such a gift. So glad I heard her on the radio on 'understanding the times' yesterday.

Christine Jones

March 28, 2013  7:03pm

My comment is to Kimberly Knight who describes herself as "a lesbian who also had a radical transformation because of faith in Jesus." I went to your blog on patheos and learned that your "radical transformation" is of a different variety than our subject author's-- as you state there that you are currently in a committed lesbian relationship. i think it was a little bit misleading of you to imply that your "transformation" was in any way similar to Rosaria's when it bears so little resemblance to hers. I, for one, was disappointed when I saw the truth on your blog. I have lots of close gay and lesbian friends. I also know a few who have renounced that life and are living and walking a straight life with Jesus. You implied you were someone like the latter group. I'm curious about why you chose to describe yourself in that way here and in a different way over at patheos.

Lee Hall

March 27, 2013  2:17pm

Thank you for your beautiful testimony.

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Moses Jesudass

March 19, 2013  5:17pm

It is a wonderful testimony. I wish many would be able to have access to this article. This article is a the evidence that the power of God's word is so true and it will never lose its power on those who read with sincere heart. It does't matter whether someone believes in the inspiration of the Bible or not. The fact remains that the Bible has power to change those who read it with sincere heart to repent. Transformed lives are proof that the Bible is the Word of God. Another subject that was discussed in this week's issue is that California Moves To Pass First State Ban of Gay Conversion Therapy. Who cares? Of course some professional therapists are running away from practice. Rosaria Champagne Butterfield's testimony is a convincing and powerful evidence of the power of the Holy Spirit's working in and through humble servants of God who are not condemning but always seeking those who are lost. Thank God for everyone who are involved in this poweful and beautiful story.

Dayton Perkins

March 18, 2013  10:00pm

I opted out in favor of maintaining a relationship with God in 1976. Yes there are many of us. I should just add that deciding against Jesus Christ is a fatal error. Don't believe it? Fine: but keep your honesty and you will change your mind.

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Eric Griego

March 10, 2013  5:57pm

John, how very awesome! Congrats on the recovery of your god given sexuality, and on the incredible insight you gained.

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John Warren

March 07, 2013  5:06pm

...Angry at his question after 27 years of turmoil, I said if I could choose, I would want to be straight. That was almost 22 years ago. I have been married for 19 years, have an amazing wife and 3 wonderful children. It wasn't an overnight fix. The first 2 yrs were really tough as I had to relearn who I was. It was only through falling in love with Jesus, being in a church who embraced me for who I was and having close friends walk with me, that I was able to make it. I have had the privilege over the many years to see others walk out of homosexuality. What am I now 100% convinced of? 1)No-one is born gay. 2)Almost down to every person, is an unhealthy father relationship. 3)It is a choice. One of the natural loves God has given us is a same sex love. For young guys, especially when they go through puberty, when they naturally begin to desire that same sex love, they confuse the desire with a homosexual desire when actually it is not that at all. Lots more I could say.

John Warren

March 07, 2013  4:49pm

Thank you Rosaria for sharing your amazing story. It moved me to tears. I also have a great story. To cut a very long story short, I knew from a young age that I was attracted to guys and not girls. Had my first experience in the army at age 19, came out of the closet at age 21 and then was actively involved in the gay scene for 6 years. At age 27, lonely, unhappy, anti-christianity, I un-successfully tried to end my life. 2 days later I met a christian friend who led a gay church. After giving my life in the gay church Jesus revealed himself to me in amazing ways. I was a strong vocal gay-christian advocate as I was 100% convinced homosexuality was not a sin. Over a period of about 6 months He clearly began to show me that my sexuality was not right. One day face to face with a pastor who stood before me with wide open arms saying we love you but can't entertain the sin, he said I had a choice to make - Did I want to be Gay or did I want to be Straight? .....

Eric Griego

February 23, 2013  3:38pm

Karen, you state "virtually all, if not all secular psychological associations" debunk such attempts as potentially harmful." You see what you want to see. The APA's pamphlet on homosexuality actually says, "All major national mental health organizations have officially expressed concerns about therapies promoted to modify sexual orientation. To date, there has been no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation is safe or effective." That is hardly your statement, “debunk such attempts as potentially harmful." What the APA actually said is … they don't know. The APA's pamphlet also says, "Mental health professional organizations call on their members to respect a person’s right to self determination …" Furthermore, it would be fallacy to believe the APA committee on homosexuality actually speaks on behalf of all shrinks.

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Eric Griego

February 23, 2013  3:37pm

In 1972, when homosexuality was taken out of the list of mental disorders, a sampling of APA membership found that 48% disagreed with the APA’s decision. 5 years later, a larger poll of APA membership showed 69% found homosexuality to be a pathology http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,948045,00.html The removal was a matter of political pressure, not scientific consensus. So, in contrast to your statement “to find a secular therapist to do reparative therapy, that is pretty rare,” would be patently false. It was easy to find shrinks willing to help you change. I do acknowledge that gross intolerance of homosexuals makes it ever more difficult to find shrinks to help you change. For example, homosexual activists recently tried to outlaw helping someone change. They partially succeeded. How evil that the homosexual community is so threatened by potential change they want to outlaw even the possibility. The APA recognizes a right to self determination. Gay activists do not

Eric Griego

February 23, 2013  3:36pm

Yet, I understand why homosexuals want change to be non-existent or rare. It serves their political purpose, and their psychological need. The homosexual community expends tremendous pyschological energy trying t to normalize behavior, trying to force acceptance. If people readily change, those are harder goals to reach. Homosexuals don’t want others to question, as it could lead to them questioning themselves. As a child, I sought out help. I was turned away by a shallow woman believing she was loving me. Saying, ‘It is only society that makes you feel guilt, or makes you feel bad.” She said, “accept yourself this way.” “Seek out homosexual companionship.” She simply refused to help me, and I tried committing suicide as I didn’t want to be that way. Child and after child today wants help to not be that way, yet they are abandoned by a cheap, shallow love just as I was.

Eric Griego

February 23, 2013  3:36pm

You make another assumption that is incorrect. I did not seek a therapist to do “reparative” therapy. I merely sought a shrink whose beliefs about homosexuality were aligned with my desire to not be gay. After that, we made it up as we went along. In retrospect, much of the work I did on myself, and helped others to do, would fall under regression therapy, inner child work, inner healing, symbology. Of the psychoanalytic schools freudian analysis was little help, jungian analysis helped more. Frankly, I have never known what people mean when they say reparative therapy. It appears it is a catch all phrase for homosexual activists to use to describe any attempt to change.

audrey ruth

February 23, 2013  12:59pm

Hollie asked, "Are we simply to assume that conversion to Christianity also means that one is no longer LGBTQ?" My question to Hollie is this: Are we simply to assume that conversion to Christianity -- becoming a new creation in Christ Jesus -- means that He wants those who were adulterers to continue in adultery, those who were alcoholics to continue abusing alcohol, those who were witches and warlocks to continue in witchcraft, etc? He addresses these (and more, including those who were homosexuals) and says, "Such WERE some of you." The Lord is clear in His Word that His grace is not a license to sin. Instead, His grace is power to overcome sin by His indwelling presence. It is a tragedy when His people frustrate His grace by continuing to live as those who are slaves to the spiritual darkness of sin. Why should anyone who has lived in bondage to any form of immorality continue in that bondage? Jesus said, "He whom the Son sets free is free indeed."

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Karen K

February 21, 2013  9:39am

Eric, I hope you realize I am not trying to discount your experience. As I mentioned in my first response to you, I am glad you found the healing you were looking for. I am only puzzled as to why you insist on universalizing your experience. You see Christian therapists as the problem, but virtually all, if not all secular psychiatric and psychological associations debunk such attempts as potentially harmful. Yarhouse and Jones study was controversial when it came out precisely because it suggested that a small percentage *could* experience a change in orientation. So, if you happened to find a secular therapist to do reparative therapy, that is pretty rare. In any case, an analysis of secular studies yields an average low percentage too. So non-Christian studies don't fair better. Plus, reparative therapy is based on secular Freudian frameworks. Incidentally, Yarhouse does not do reparative therapy. He does Sexual Identity Therapy which the APA does approve.

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Eric Griego

February 20, 2013  12:03pm

Karen, you mentioned several shrinks. I took one. It was three year median.You now cite specifically yarhouse. I looked up and read. As I've said, christian shrinks would be woefully equipped to facilitate complete change of homosexuality. It would only make sense that christian shrinks, studying an evangelical christian support group such as exodus would find the results they found. Frankly, I would find it astounding if anyone recovered heterosexual functioning through exodus or any similar modality. The christian shrinks would be exceptionally naive to believe they would. You then say, "We could resort to calling each other liars..." You might see that possibility, that would be your issue. I, on the other hand, have no problem believing that you believe as you do from your results (or lack thereof). Your results would be wholly consistent with what I have said, a christian worldview would be a hinderance to completing change. Your ending lines would be indicative of such.

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Karen K

February 19, 2013  10:09am

Eric--to clarify, the Yarhouse and Jones study was over a 6 year period. And even then the stats are not completely accurate as one person recanted of their supposed change to heterosexuality. Also, the change was to "complicated heterosexuality" meaning those who achieved heterosexual functioning still had some same-sex attraction. Nicolosi simply falls back on the 30/30/30 stereotypical percentages of recovery in mental health--without good studies. Not that it is useful, but I can universalize my experience and say that after 20 years I am still as gay as I ever was despite efforts to change. We could resort to calling each other liars, but I prefer to acknowledge it for what it is: diversity of experience. Its not even biblical that all people are healed. When Paul asked for his thorn to be removed, God said "no." Why? To demonstrate his power. Also, Jesus doesn't praise those who seek a miracle, he praises those who trust in him even when they don't see a miracle.

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Eric Griego

February 19, 2013  1:44am

Karen, you believe what you want to believe. People will always find ways to be self-limiting or to limit others. Christians were the light in the darkness that attracted me. They gave me hope that there was healing of homosexuality. I found a Christian shrink. But, in the end I found the same Christianity, that had helped facilitate change, was the same thing that later prevented me from completing change. If I had to keep the Christian worldview I hear many espouse, I would never have fully changed. So, it doesn’t surprise me you quote Christian shrinks with 20% to 30 % success rates. They would be woefully equipped to facilitate complete change. That is why I am not a Christian. I looked up the shrinks you cite. One ran a study with median time in treatment of 3 years. With that little time spent, within the constraints of a Christian worldview, a 20 to 30% success rate would be somewhat miraculous. Success rate at 5 and 10 years would be significantly higher.

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Eric Griego

February 19, 2013  1:44am

I said readily as in frequency, not as in a mental cake walk. I know many people that have fully changed, none in 3 years. It took me a decade. After two years, I began having hetero ideation. After 5, I was heading toward straight. After a decade, I was straight. But, Christians? With a psychology constrained by a Christian worldview ? After only three years in some counseling setting? Approaching 20 to 30 percent success rates? I’d say that is a miracle! It is not like after healing we all just hang out with each other and wait to sign up for the most recent study. We all move on. I was in the Spitzer study. Others, I never heard of. One was not anonymous. With the hatred and intolerance of the lbgt community targeted at people who are no longer gay, there was no way I’d have been in that study. Most us former homosexuals just fade into the woodwork. You think we want to be studied? No, we want to get on with our lives.

Eric Griego

February 19, 2013  1:43am

When I started I had no studies showing change. Instead, I was confronted with, "You cannot change," and "accept yourself this way." There was no ex-gay, no reparative therapy, no exodus. In such an environment, I should never have been able to change. But, over a decade after changing in a virtual vacuum, there are now 20% to 30% success rates? I was had a cancer that a person such as yourself would have said was rarely cured. 40 years ago my diagnosis was a death sentence. 20 years ago there was a 50% cure rate. Upon my diagnoses, the cure rate was 75%. Today it is over 80%. Upon multiple relapses, there was 0% chance of surviving. The procedure I needed had a 50% probability of death based on the past. Many patients choose to go home. They die. I am alive, because the future cure rates are much higher than the retrospective rates. Procedure mortality was cut to 20%. Never self limit or limit someone else based on your belief of the past.

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Karen K

February 18, 2013  5:55pm

PS: Its worth pointing out that Butterfield herself does not consider her testimony to be a sexual conversion story, but rather a conversion from unbelief to belief. I recommend watching her Q & A video which gives a more clear explication of her views including her recognition of a continuum of healing (that is, not everyone experiences it the same way): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-AQlrcTr5w

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Karen K

February 18, 2013  5:43pm

Eric, I am glad you were able to find healing. But I am disturbed by your dogmatic statement: "And I can say now, unequivocally, that homosexuality is not an inborn trait and can readily be changed." What you have done is universalized your personal experience. In reality the facts do not support that inborn traits can be ruled out nor is it readily changed. The consensus among most scholars/scientists including Christian psychologists such as Yarhouse, Jones, Throckmorton, and Hallman, is that we do not know what causes homosexuality but that it seems to be a combination of factors of innate dispositions and environmental factors, and of course, etiology can be different for different people. Furthermore, the evidence does not support the claim that homosexuality can be "readily changed". In fact, such a claim would be bizarre even in the ex-gay movement. Even reparative therapist Nicolosi does not claim more than 30% and Yarhouse and Jones found maybe 20% success rate-a minority.

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j Greholver

February 18, 2013  2:41pm

Does God love gays? Yes. Without question. Does God love [here I fill in the blank with my own faults and failures]? Yes. And it is in the process of changing me forever. I don't pretend to know how God is going to sort out each persons personal struggle with sin that is explicitly listed in scripture, and with sin that is inferred such as lovelessness like the pharisees (legalists) who were certain of their own righteousness. God brought me into this world as a fallen creature who displayed preferences and tendencies that have no place in His Kingdom. I have come to see that we are all broken, and it serves no purpose to highlight any particular spiritual disorder. I have come to long for perfect holiness and love as God is... and to recognize that I want no part of anything that is not of God. How is God going to accomplish that? Beats me... He points out my shortcomings every day, but He has and He will accomplish my Salvation because He loves me and because I love Him.

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Eric Griego

February 17, 2013  11:38am

It is disheartening to see some of the disparaging remarks made by people mocking this woman's change, and the concept of sexuality change itself. I am a formerly gay man - not kind of gay - not bisexual - but flaming gay. And I can say now, unequivocally, that homosexuality is not an inborn trait and can readily be changed. That isn't to say that change is easy, but to say it happens with relative frequency. What I do not want people believeing is that to change one's homosexuality to heterosexuality is only possible through Christ. I can say, however, that it is due to Christians that I am today 100% heterosexual. Quite simply, Christians were the only ones willing to call a spade a spade. Starting when I was 14 or 15, I sought help from the psychoanalytic community only to find a very shallow excuse for the love needed to facilitate change in sexuality. I heard, "It is natural," "everyone has those thoughts now and then," "It is only society that makes you feel bad."

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Eric Griego

February 17, 2013  11:36am

So, the shrinks shallow concept of love, and the world's shallow concept of love and acceptance did me no good in seeing and loving me. I did not want to be gay, but their shallow love only had one set of answers - "homosexuality is not the problem, the world is the problem, your desire to not be gay is the problem." What a pathetic love that fails to see or hear the heart and soul of a person. But, I then found Christians that would not condemn me, and would not enable my homosexuality, but Christians that were a light in the darkness of a false and shallow love. Christians that were literally a light in a sea of darkness. I met people who encouraged me in my goal to change, people that were also versed in psychology, and numerous methods both spiritual and non spiritual to help me unlock the emotions of a troubled and wounded past. To help someone access their woundedness and facilitate their healing, that is love. Candy coating the issue is not love.

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David Rose

February 16, 2013  11:02pm

Thank you to Rosaria for sharing your trial; many will find it helpful. I have read all 71 comments, and there are many Christians whose response is dominated by an approach which puts legalism above love and humanity. Some LBGT Christians rejoice in a change in sexual orientation which came with conversion (or, painfully, over a long period); others never have such a change and have to resolve the issue, either with "I have to be celibate" or "I have to believe that God does not condemn homosexual behaviour". Is it Christian to stand in righteous condemnation over any such? Are you also without sin?This is not to say that you should not express your own view of what is right. But put love first. With "a Xerox box on each side of my desk" I guess there were hundreds of responses. Never mind the fan mail; what about those hundreds of hate mail responses which presumably came from Christians or other conservatives? What does that tell us about the state of the Church of Christ today?

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Vikki Blondin

February 16, 2013  2:43pm

Are we to believe that Rosario became straight married and right-wing conservative in her conversion? The real testimony is that salvation is for whosoever. Whosoever remains with Christian conversion gay people who celebrate their relationship with Jesus and remain gay. The church does not want to recognize that Christian gay people that are happy leading life together with a partner displaying many fruits of the spirit and worshipping because then the church would have to admit their error in locking out gay people. Thank God Jesus still saves whosoever but don't expect gay people to become heterosexual or heterosexuals to become gay by relating to gay Christians. Gay Christians have much to offer to the church if it is accepted. Why not try?

Karen K

February 15, 2013  7:45pm

Hi Anne--you right absolutely right. There are certainly heterosexual singles who struggle in similar ways. The key differences would be, as someone else pointed out, is the inability to consider the possibility of dating. It would be more similar to a hetero single making a vow of life-long celibacy as opposed to just being single. You can probably understand the difference in impact psychologically, especially if someone is young--in their early 20s and knowing they will never marry and can't ever even date. I find the hardest part for me is remaining single when I am deeply drawn to someone; if its mutual almost impossible to resist. The hetero single doesn't necessarily have to resist. They can explore a possible relationship. And many singles in general date at least from time to time. Dating can provide quite a bit of intimacy that a celibate gay person will never have.

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Anne Acker

February 15, 2013  5:40pm

Karen K: Single and celibate is a hard path to take, but heterosexual Christian singles are called to the same choice. Don't think I'm minimizing it. I only wanted to point out that this is not a command that applies only to Christians with same-sex attraction, and they are not the only one who carry it as a lifelong act of service.

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Robert Dutton

February 14, 2013  1:46pm

Is it not wonderful that God The Father has reserved the judgement to Himself looking through the lens of the shed Blood of Jesus Christ. For we all look through a foggy lens.

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jkz 118

February 14, 2013  12:26pm

What is real fruit? For Rosaria, it is converting to christianity. For a gay christian who is already in a committed relationship who believes in the love of Christ is to share this love with the hurting, to help the sick and the poor, just as Jesus commanded. Are these not real fruits also? I believe the fruits that demonstrated by some gay christians have helped countless youths to love and believe that they are still the precious children of God. Some of them can show a lot of compassion to others, the outcast in the modern society whoever they might be. Contrary to what some Christians might believe, gays especially christians all have their inherent values in the kingdom of God. Another question worth thinking. What about a gay christian who never had sex but demonstrates a life full of Christ in him. What about the same gay christian who did have sex with a committed partner? How would Jesus judge both of them? Would the sex part be the deal breaker to decide who gets to heaven

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Robert Dutton

February 14, 2013  12:01am

Probably the best article I have ever read on this subject. We live in a day where their is much shouting and hatred purporting to come from the lips of Jesus. How refreshing to see the real work of the Holy Spirit bring forth REAL fruit.

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Stephen Trynosky

February 13, 2013  1:43pm

In college I was a psychology major and loved the field.In the '70's when I started Grad School, based on my experience there and advice I received from an old professor, I dropped it. What is missing in the discussion of homosexuality is that one can indeed be born with it. As a mind or body is born deformed, sexual orientation can be also. However, this "you are born with it" is not the final explanation for anything. You see, you can be "made" it too. People are as susceptible to "conversion" to homosexuality as they are to joining a cult. In many cases it is the same thing. Alone, afraid life is passing you by, unable to meet a mate who stands up to the standards you've set, you can feel lost. Someone else, of your own sex suggests that you may be looking in the wrong places and suddenly you are on an internet hunt. There, you find someone just like yourself, same fears and problems or you may just find a predator. Sad, unhappy people can fall into this trap as with any addiction.

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Sarah Shaver

February 13, 2013  11:36am

i am praying people will take this woman's words for what they are - her life, her confession, her joy - and not as some sort of political statement. that is, after all, one of the things she fought with. i am blown away by the transparency of this piece and the elegant writing. the sins of us all lurk at the edges of our hearts - and the vision these words brought to me will be with me for a long time. i am also blown away and mightily encouraged by the true live-changing love the pastor and his wife showed Rosaria, and i am ashamed to admit i doubt i could do this. i pray God will give me the words and grace i need to love like that if and when the opportunity arises.

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Zoe Brain

February 11, 2013  7:43pm

Compare and contrast : --"As a professor of English and women's studies, on the track to becoming a tenured radical, I cared about morality, justice, and compassion. Fervent for the worldviews of Freud, Hegel, Marx, and Darwin, I strove to stand with the disempowered. I valued morality. "-- with --"As an evangelical Christian, on the track to becoming a Baptist pastor, I cared about morality, justice, and compassion. Fervent for the worldviews of Augustine, Aquinas and Wesley, I strove to stand with the disempowered. I valued morality. " -- Not such a huge difference, is there? Theologically, chalk and cheese, but in terms of kindness, charity, not so much.

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Tom Nash

February 11, 2013  12:27am

I found the article valuable because it showed how a Christian reached out to an unbeliever by making an effort to build a trusting relationship. Rather than judge Rosaria, Pastor Ken Smith simply asked her about her presuppositions. This set the stage for the Holy Spirit to work relentlessly in Rosaria's heart and mind to bring her to Christ. After all, true conversion will not happen apart from the work of the Holy Spirit.

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Kamilla Ludwig

February 10, 2013  11:15pm

Kathleen McH, Behavior is *always* a matter of choice.

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Kathleen Mch

February 10, 2013  8:31pm

For the people who believe that sexual orientation is a matter of choice, would they kindly share their experience of how they chose heterosexuality. At what age and how exactly did they say to themselves, "I choose to be a heterosexual." This should be interesting....

Kimberly Knight

February 10, 2013  2:14pm

I am a lesbian who also had a radical transformation because of faith in Jesus http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/2013/02/a-lesbian-chan ged-through-jesus/

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David Leek

February 10, 2013  2:03pm

When the author mentioned the effect of quoting scripture, it reminded me of my own observations. If I am in a conversation and I contribute quotations from literature and secular music, it is generally accepted as interesting. But if I should quote the Bible, the other people in the conversation often take offense and ascribe my motivation as mean spirited or evil. It closes off conversation because many automatically believe it makes me narrow minded or prejudiced, while they consider themselves above that - they feel like they are holier than I. So go easy on scripture quoting unless the people you are talking with know you well enough to realize you are not trying to force them to a particular religious point of view and you do not wish them to go to hell.

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Heather Munn

February 10, 2013  11:31am

Thank you, Karen, for raising the points you've raised. I have a friend who is, like you, homosexual, Christian and committed to celibacy... so many people act like they don't understand what a hard path that is. It is not the same as being heterosexual and single... it is like being heterosexual and commanded by God never to marry on pain of sin. Think about it, my fellow straight Christians, and about how you would feel. If anything we ought to be offering homosexuals extra respect. If it's indeed true that sex with your own gender is always wrong, people who are born homosexual (whom I believe to be some, but certainly not all, of those who identify as homosexual) are being called by God to a life of difficult sacrifice. If we assume that God does things for a reason, this may even mean they have a higher calling than the rest of us. Being dismissive of their experience is the last thing we should do.

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Karen K

February 10, 2013  6:23am

Steve Skeete--your use of the word "amused" is one of the things that saddens me about conservative Christian attitudes on homosexuality. It suggests a patronizing view of those who have very legitimate concerns about the very low rates of change in orientation. Even Christian psychologists Yarhouse's Jone's study found only about 20% after 6 years of trying. I have spent 20 years studying and living out this reality, and its painful when Christians like yourself seem to have no interest in becoming better educated on the issues. You speak with such flippancy about how the behavior is choice. Yes it is. I have have been single and celibate for 11 years. But at least try to find some modicum of compassion for those who are forced to live in life long single celibacy with no companion to share life with, no children or grandchildren to delight in. In other words, making one of the most difficult sacrifices that you likely were never asked to make yourself.

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Vic Christian

February 09, 2013  7:55pm

Rosaria Champagne Butterfield - Thank you for sharing your testimony. I work in an environment with many gay men and women. I am as friendly with them as with anyone else. However, I wish and pray that I would come across to them as the Pastor and his wife from the Reformed Presbyterian Church did for you. As you have time and are led, please pray that His church would reach out with the love of God as well as the plan of salvation and His holiness. Thank you!

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Steve Skeete

February 09, 2013  6:10pm

I read Rosaria's story and the comments with great interest. I was amused that some thought it strange that God could re-orient someone, or that he would even want to do so, since, apparently, homosexuality is fixed and indelible. The argument then goes, that since one's orientation cannot be changed, then all sexual acts that accompany it must be acceptable. Someone said they had read the Bible many times and it has nothing to say about 'lesbian relationships'. Having read the bible multiple times myself I have found that it has much to say about homosexuality, and never anything positive. Even if one were to concede that the 'orientation' part of homosexuality was not a 'choice', one would have to admit that the sex part certainly is. So that If you conclude that you are attracted to persons of the same sex, you must acknowledge that you do have a choice in the matter of whom you have sex with. The bible does not let Christians off the hook, in my view, on the issue of choice.

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Kamilla Ludwig

February 09, 2013  4:56pm

Baker-Lutz does well to remind us that, in her words, Jesus "loves to hear from the margins". Where she is mistaken is in her apparent belief that Jesus doesn't ask those on the margins to leave their life of sin if they are to follow him. Isn't it odd that we never hear of the pain caused to judgmental folks, or the greed community or those who embrace their identity as gossips when they are said to be in need of rehabilitation in order to be judged a worthy kind of sinner? Jesus indeed sought out the margins. As with the woman caught in adultery, his word to us is the same: Go and sin no more. Hard words, but also kind. For what good is a supposed savior who just listens and leaves us where we are In our sin?

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Charles Brown

February 09, 2013  3:12pm

"And my former life lurks in the edges of my heart, shiny and still like a knife." "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" If conversion/salvation were real, only one of these two statements could be true.

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Karen K

February 09, 2013  6:37am

Frank Keefe: You write "A wonderful conversion showing the power of Gods grace though Karen K seems to put a spoke in the wheel . . . God knows the hearts of those who say they are celibate gays and Christian I have my own opinion which is they lack conviction that God has the power to change them thats if they desire to change Rosaria is the living proof of that power." You have illustrated for me perfectly the concern I have with Butterfield's story. You mention God's grace and yet you sit in judgment upon me--a sister in Christ whom you do not know--saying my faith is deficient, that I lack conviction, that I lack trust in God's power, that I am the cause of my own suffering. You know nothing about the reality of gay people. And the sad thing is, you don't even want to know. If your attitude is the fruit that results from Butterfield's story then her testimony is damaging to the cause of Christ. She has a responsibility to clarify the misconceptions. Most do not choose to be gay.

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Jose Martinez Villamil

February 09, 2013  6:32am

Thanks for sharing such a beautiful and brave story!

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Janet Laird

February 09, 2013  6:21am

This is a beautiful story. Please go further into your faith and belief in Jesus Christ. All of scripture is the word of God. It cannot be made piecemeal to suit one's understanding of the Word. St John Chapter 6:22-66 teaches us about the most beautiful gift Jesus has given us in His entire gift of teachings. In His discourse on the Bread of Life, He has given us His actual Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist. We actually enter into His Mystical Body and are united to Him completely. It would help to read the early Church Fathers and recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread as the early apostles and disciples recognized Jesus when He came back from His Resurrection. The Revised Standard Version is a good start. The Didache is also a good source for understanding how important the early teachings are for a complete and total understanding on this most beautiful gift of the Eucharist. St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Peter Julian Eymard are great saints to help you.

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Roan Suda

February 09, 2013  5:07am

This story sent shivers up my spine. It is a story of true love--the love of Christ...I have read all of the comments, and the only ones that betray smugness and/or hostility are from the usual ideologues, those for whom the affirmation of Me-and-What-I-Want and the consequent rejection of the Gospel would seem to trump all. In the face of the world's enmity, Christians must resist the twin temptations of facile acquiescence and defensive bitterness. This testimony is in that respect as well a most welcome inspiration.

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Hugh Wetmore

February 09, 2013  2:02am

Remarkable story well told. It demonstrates the fallacy that 'homosexual orientation is genetic (like race) and cannot be changed'. Thank you for your courage, honesty in sharing your story.

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n t

February 08, 2013  11:15pm

As for why the obedience: one possible answer: manhood and womanhood each have content and do not merely amount to however one chooses to define them. A man wearing a pink dress in our culture is not behaving in a way congruous with his manhood. So also is it with a man having sex with another man, or a woman having sex with another woman. There will be a gender polarization (even if slight) in these relationships, leaving one partner forced into a role not in keeping with his or her sex. This is not equality, this is self-imposed inferiority.

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Rev BJ Buchanan

February 08, 2013  7:08pm

I applaud you [Rosaria] and how you allowed the Holy Spirit to reveal God's love to you. God does not point fingers. He does not hate people---he hates sin. When people hate others because of their choices, lifestyle, etc., they are not showing Godly love. Welcome to life and life more abundantly. I pray that you will continue to be a shinning light for countless others!

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John Stauffer

February 08, 2013  6:26pm

As a pastor, republican, white, male Christian I felt a certain amount of acceptance in Rosaria's article. My sister in law labeled my as my introductory sentence and claimed that I, and others like me are the reason she cannot be married to her lover. She has expressed all of the descriptors used against Christianity that are used in this article. Yet it is not about my hurt, it is that there is hope for all regardless of their standard of thought against God. It is not a matter of me wanting others to be like me, but like Christ. My prayers often begin as Steve Brown the radio pastor and university professor does, Father forgive the pastor, for my sins are many.

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James Aist

February 08, 2013  5:47pm

This is a beautiful and powerful example of what Jesus would do. Jesus would befriend homosexual people (cf. Matthew 9:10; Luke 7:34) and treat them with kindness and respect, without approving of their homosexual behavior. Jesus would further demonstrate His love for homosexual people by encouraging them to believe in Him and be saved (John 3:16), and to repent of (turn away from) their homosexual sins. Furthermore, He would change them “in the name (literally, the power and authority) of the Lord Jesus Christ”, just as His Corinthian disciples (His representatives) did after Him (I Corinthians 6:11). This is the kind of love Jesus has for homosexual and heterosexual people alike. Read more at http://rethinkingtheology.com/2012/07/04/homosexuality-what-would-jesus-do/

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FR TIMOTHY CREMEENS

February 08, 2013  4:48pm

What an amazing Grace-filled story of love wedded together with truth. Oh, that the people of God would learn this lesson. Less Bible quoting and more Bible living and loving! The Truth, who is the loving person of Jesus Christ, He is the truth that sets us free!

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Frank Keefe

February 08, 2013  4:37pm

A wonderful conversion showing the power of Gods grace though Karen K seems to put a spoke in the wheel of Rosarias conversion by saying she wasnt a real lesbian as she had relationships with men before she became one. Elton John was married once to a woman but would raise the roof if he was told he wasnt gay and Im sure there are many many others men and women who had relationships with the opposite sex before settling on a gay lifestyle. God knows the hearts of those who say they are celibate gays and Christian I have my own opinion which is they lack conviction that God has the power to change them thats if they desire to change Rosaria is the living proof of that power.

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John Tolbert

February 08, 2013  4:18pm

Very encouraging article about the relentless pursuit of God for the lost! Thank you for sharing your story!

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Grady Walton

February 08, 2013  4:07pm

A powerful story! I just have one question: Did Butterfield have to give up her position as a secular professor after her credentials were . . . tarnished by conversion? (Yes, I'm joking . . . lighten up, people.)

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Jim Ricker

February 08, 2013  3:51pm

@ Ted, "This is an unexpected clear example of conversion. This shows the truth of word of God and how God doesn't condem, he converts with love and light of reason." You are correct. As the Scriptures say, "For lGod did not send his Son into the world mto condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God."

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Rick Dalbey

February 08, 2013  12:42pm

Shannon, I love LGBTQ folks. They are welcome. I only talk to them about the grace and love of Jesus. Once they’re born again however, Jesus expects them to change. What did Paul say to the man in a relationship with his step-mother who was accepted lovingly by the church? “It is actually reported that there is immorality among you... that someone has his father’s wife. You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.” What did Paul say about Christians who persist in sin? “But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.” What did Jesus say to the woman caught in adultery after He forgave her? “Go your way and sin no more”. Jesus healed a blind man and said “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.”

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Karen K

February 08, 2013  12:18pm

I really enjoyed reading Rosaria Butterfield's book. However, I have much concern because everyone is assuming that her story means she was healed and changed from gay to straight. That is simply not true nor does she claim her sexual orientation changed. In fact, in her book Butterfield mentions that she was involved in relationships with men prior to taking on a lesbian identity quite late in life at the age of 28. After she renounced her social-political identity as lesbian she rather quickly got into relationships with men again. In other words, she has sexual fluidity and was never exclusively gay. It is sooo frustrating for people like myself--a celibate gay Christian---raised in the church and always devout in my faith to have to deal with the church's perception that being gay is a choice and one just needs to repent and live happily ever after in a heterosexual marriage. It doesn't work that way. I recommend Wesley Hill's book, "Washed and Waiting" and Justin Lee's "Torn".

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Ted Gehan

February 08, 2013  11:18am

This is an unexpected clear example of conversion. This shows the truth of word of God and how God doesn't condem, he converts with love and light of reason. We condem ourselves by sinning against the holy spirit when we persist in our sin when he is trying to help us all of our life. Hopefully we don't go to our judgement persisting in that sin, that is truly a scarey thought. He gives us our lifetime to convert or repent or to reach sanctity if on the right track. Many of us christians should give witness rather than judge. To not judge can not mean justifying sin, however. That is always hard to do. There are many homosexuals who have had disfunctional families, abuse ect. and aren't only homosexual due to making a choice. They need the love, understanding and healing the most. Same sex attraction isn't a sin, its acting on it, even in our mind. Just as is all lust. Heterosexual's don't witnessed to the proper sexually anymore. Witness to sex in marriage and no abortion divorse etc.

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Jesse Gunn

February 08, 2013  10:54am

@Don When a woman changes her hair style or wardrobe, unless she specifies, it's chauvinistic to speculate a sexual motive behind it, as if you knew what she was really feeling inside. When a woman shares her sexuality, it's equally chauvinistic to dismiss it, as if you knew what she was really feeling inside. This is the principle of self-determination, and it's what we do now. @Shannon Thank you for adding to the discussion in a respectful way, and I HEARTILY agree with what you said about social justice. What do you think is the healthy way for faith and public discussion to interact? It's only been the past 10 years or so that we've had such a bubbling hotbed of free communication, and so we get anonymous, dismissive remarks from both ends of the spectrum without filter, so I think it's a question that will only become more relevant.

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Hollie Baker-Lutz

February 08, 2013  10:05am

Shannon, thanks for adding that note as I think it is helpful to this conversation. Bless you. And to Rick, I'm sorry your women's studies courses gave you a negative impression and I'm sorry that you personally know so many LGBTQ folks who don't like Christians. In my experience and scholarship, yours is a minority experience in the US. And I am afraid you are outside biblical tradition when you hope that we don't hear from LGBTQ folks. Are you and I not "sinners" also, yet we have a voice? I certainly don't see Jesus keeping "sinners" at arm's length, quite the opposite. Rosaria's pastor friend is a great example to us - it's just a shame that we don't hear about it unless the speaker has been appropriately "rehabilitated" and judged to be a worthy kind of sinner.

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Shannon Cate

February 08, 2013  9:38am

I'm a leftist lesbian professor and so is my spouse of 10 years. Neither of us hate Christians. In fact, I've been one my entire life and we are raising the beautiful daughters we adopted in the Church. What this woman's experience, is her business, but I hate to see it used to promulgate intolerance and the myth that being queer and being a Christian are incompatible. They simply are not. I have a an advanced degree from a seminary myself--where many professors urged me to go into ordained ministry (I felt I was too young at that time). I have read the Bible many times, from my childhood in a Southern Baptist Sunday school class (where no one told me it said people can't be queer) to those years at the seminary studying it with many of the world's foremost biblical scholars. My conclusion is that the Bible has absolutely nothing to say about my sexuality as a lesbian, though it has much to say about social justice, something I hear precious little about in venues like this.

Don Michael

February 08, 2013  8:34am

Oh goodness, what a lovely story. It looks so good it could only have been written by a great fiction author.

Pop Seal

February 08, 2013  8:06am

1 Corinthains 6:9f lists our sins and then says "....such WERE some of you". I was delivered from drunkeness 43 years ago..........

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editor UNITYINCHRIST.COM

February 08, 2013  5:06am

Understandable comments here from the gay-lesbian community, who as of yet, do not understand the reality of the risen Lord Jesus Christ. The author gently gave the explanation for true understanding, and it has to do with the attitude of the one seeking to understand whether or not God and the Bible are true or not--the proof is in the eating (John 7:17). Also it is God who opens up the understanding of a person. No amount of gentle good works (like that of this pastor-friend of hers) will open a mind to understand the spiritual things contained within God's Word. In the final analysis, it is a sovereign act of God. That explains why some are "called" and some are not. I love her comments about the Christian Right, and their unholy trinity with the Republican party. The politics of this world have no place within real Christian churches or in our approach toward non-believers. They're not showing the love of Christ, the real love of God. Are such real Christians? Maybe not.

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RICHARD L JONES

February 08, 2013  2:19am

I am reminded by Rosaria's story that we are not called to convert people, but to love them. I wept tears of joy as I read how Ken and Floy embraced a woman in need of God's fullness, and did not judge her. The way Ken and Floy reached out to Rosaria is the way most should be reached out to, whether gay or not. Most in the Church are not willing to take the time that Ken and Floy took in order to build a relationship that nurtures mutual respect and an abiding love. We want instant results. I have news for those folks: God is not in a hurry! In a culture that is generally distrustful of people who have an agenda, it takes time to build true friendship and trust. Thank you, Rosaria, for sharing your story.

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Valerie Kyriosity

February 08, 2013  2:12am

I've been thinking about the author's story since watching a recent interview with her (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQ_YI6INTQU). I recommend the interview, especially for those who didn't think this article went deep enough. It covers a little bit more than could fit in this brief piece, and I'm sure the book goes even farther. I doubt either will satisfy anyone completely, though. Maybe a long, in-depth correspondence with the author would do that, but I think we would all still be left with questions that only God can answer. The thing about Mrs. Butterfield's story that causes me to tremble is how the God acted in her life...and how He didn't act the same way in J's. He writes different stories in each of our lives, and His plot and character development ideas are as unpredictable as they are limitless.

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Khalil Mansour

February 08, 2013  1:10am

While many evangelicals might like to see this beautiful story as a vindication of the scriptural teaching about homosexuality it is more about the triumph of the love of God in the life of this person. It is the same basic story experienced by any person who moves from the darkness, chaos, irrationality, and ultimate futility of the world we live in, to the light, purity, peace, and power of the kingdom of God in Christ. This story also gives us a beautiful example of how Christians are to view others, no matter who they are, or what their philosophy and life-style is. This pastor and his life reached out in a non-judgmental style and discussed, rather than preached, at this woman. I myself am indebted to sensitive and intelligent Christians who overlooked my arrogance, atheism, and a lot of other crap when I was a student at Berkeley in the 60’s. My presuppositions were challenged and I was nudged towards the light, stepped into it, and have never looked back.

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Rick Dalbey

February 07, 2013  9:58pm

Tom, I don't judge the world. I am not sure who you are talking to. I never require gay people to forsake homosexuality before they are saved, not do I actively preach against homosexuality. However, when asked I will give the Biblical position. And I will expect that the alcoholic will seek help and the gay person will fight those tendencies. Rosaria's story and Victoria's story are both inspiring! Yay Holy Spirit!

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Victoria Shephard

February 07, 2013  9:06pm

Wow....that story really resonated with me. I was homosexual; I was a practicing Wiccan and happy with my life. "Jesus triumphed. And I was a broken mess. Conversion was a train wreck. I did not want to lose everything that I loved." This was me. When Jesus triumphed in my life, my world crashed down around me. It took me a while to give up Wiccan practices. God was patient as I slowly shed one symbol after another. Christian acquaintances wanted to know why I still had a pentagram around my neck; I am glad God was far more patient, and in His time that necklace did come off. I feel happy to know that I am not the only one who had a conversion like I did and that others understand that conversion can be a train wreck for some of us.

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Tom Ward

February 07, 2013  8:22pm

I think Christians often forget they are not supposed to judge anyone outside of Christ (it says that in the Bible). Christians have been ordered (in the Bible) to judge those inside Christ (themselves) and the obvious purpose of that is to help each other not to stray into sin (not to lord it over someone who messes up because EVERY human messes up EVERDAY). So Christians are not supposed to hit non Christians over the head with their sin. They can point it out in the proper way at the proper time and if people will listen then good. If they will not listen, then the two can still be friends as long as the sin does not make the Christian stumble and start sinning again themselves. It makes me think of how Jesus liked to have meals with the sinners and tax collectors. When the self righteous religious people pointed out the sinners sins, Jesus said it was the sinners who needed His presence and that the self righteous religious people were gonna burn in hell. The only way Jesus was gonna have an influence on sinners was to spend time with them and let them get to know Him and help them decide to change because they liked what they saw. Christians are SUPPOSED to do the same thing. We are supposed to spend real friendship time with people and let them be influenced by a life style that is different than what the world practices. So, don't judge the world, influence the world without being polluted by it, and realize that some people are gonna hate you for it. Judgmental religious people make me want to spit because those were the kind of people that really annoyed Jesus too (the world is FULL of self righteous so called Christians). Now all this does not mean Christians are supposed to just go with the flow. They have been ordered to point out the truth about sin but ordered to do it politely and with kindness. Just saying.........

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Rick Dalbey

February 07, 2013  7:48pm

Hollie, I think all your assumptions are correct and reasonable. Women's studies and the liberal academy IS bad news, LGBTQ people do hate conservative Christians, the conversion experience has to look a particular way, and it's fair to expect anyone to be "healed" from "homosexuality (or at least abstain and fight). That was the takeaway from Rosaria. And yes, I presumed her husband was a man, especially when I saw their photo. As to, "is there space on CT for first-person accounts of gender nonconformity that offer support and acceptance to those communities", If by that you mean gay Christians living in homosexual partnerships and feeling affirmed by the Bible for their choices, I hope not. We must all change, refusing to repent is not an option. "Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed"

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Hollie Baker-Lutz

February 07, 2013  7:05pm

This testimony may make straight people feel great, but I'm guessing it adds more pain on LGBTQ people. Rosaria's spiritual journey is her own story, so I'm not going to mess with that - and God bless her! - but I found the telling of this story to be problematic. Are we simply to assume that conversion to Christianity also means that one is no longer LGBTQ? Are we to assume that being a pastor's wife means that that pastor is male (it was not specified except in her bio)? Related to gender identity, I'm afraid this article does little to edify heterosexual Evangelicals except to confirm false biases: women's studies and the liberal academy is bad news, LGBTQ people hate Christians, the conversion experience has to look a particular way, and it's fair to expect anyone to be "healed" from "homosexuality." Is there space on CT for first-person accounts of gender nonconformity that offer support and acceptance to those communities? The Jesus I know loves to hear from the margins.

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Jim Ricker

February 07, 2013  7:01pm

This woman's story is another piece of evidence that people are not converted by someone arguing with the person but kindly and gracefully challenged to examine themselves and read the Bible. The Holy Spirit is the one who does the convicting, it is for us to bring His presence to the person in need.

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Bryan Schneider

February 07, 2013  6:56pm

This is a very small excerpt of her book. I would HIGHLY encourage everyone to read it. Some judgments passed and questioned raised in prior comments are beautifully explored in the rich pages of this book. This is also a narrative flowing from the deep tradition of Augustine's confessions. It is not a theological or political treatise. I praise God for giving us this humble and yet courageous sister. "The Secret Thoughts Unlikely Convert" ISBN: 978-1884527388

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Lori hALEY

February 07, 2013  6:05pm

Thank you! We all have "train wrecks" in life and through your experience and clear articulation of its journey, brings encouragement. It seems impossible as a human to wrap the mind around what grace truly means and does. May we all remember to extend to each other without "buts" and "ifs".

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John Sucke

February 07, 2013  6:04pm

The issue of the author's conversion and the author's homosexuality are confusingly intertwined in this article. It seems strange to me that the author believed she was required to renounce her sexual orientation prior to receiving acceptance by God. As I understand it, God accepts us as we are. Grace is not contingent upon anything but acceptance. Apparently

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James Aist

February 07, 2013  6:01pm

When we become born-again, all of our past sins are instantly forgiven. But, sadly, we remain vulnerable to various temptations that can lead us to sin again. Over time, the Holy Spirit, with our cooperation, cleanses us from more and more of our remaining sins. This is why we born-again Christians often detect sin in both ourselves and in our fellow believers, even though we are already “saved”; these are simply sins that we have not yet allowed the Holy Spirit to cleanse us of. The presence of such sins in our lives does not mean, necessarily, that we are not really saved; it may just mean that we are still a “work in progress.” But let's not fool ourselves into thinking that repentance is optional; the Bible clearly says it is necessary, to obtain heaven. Read more at http://rethinkingtheology.com/2013/01/25/repentance-confess-turn-persevere/

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Michael Constantine

February 07, 2013  5:13pm

Thank You! On behalf of the people I love, who have not yet discovered the freedom you have, Thank you!

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Rick Dalbey

February 07, 2013  4:02pm

Gene, what kind of question is "Why wouldn't Ken and Floy be trying to introduce Rosaria to other gay Christians?" Doesn't Paul say, "Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God." You may claim that Paul was wrong, that Paul was homophobic, that he was not divinely inspired but I don't think you can claim his meaning was unclear. Paul simply didn't believe it was possible to be a practicing Christian and a practicing homosexual. There were no practicing homosexuals of his day that he could hold out as models. Of course homosexuals can be saved as can alcoholics but the ongoing practice was not normative. The expectation was change.

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Gene Kleppinger

February 07, 2013  2:58pm

I do not grasp Rosaria's direct alignment (apparently) of seeing homosexuality as a sin with her readiness to drink "of the solace of the Holy Spirit." Were her scholarly objections to Christianity really tied up so simply into a single issue? Does she mean to convey the idea that through her relationship with Ken and Floy that she learned that her sexual identity was the one thing holding her back? Why wouldn't Ken and Floy be trying to introduce Rosaria to other gay Christians, and why would not the good researcher Rosaria herself be investigating that area, before concluding that she had to decide to change her lifestyle before she could "accept Christ"?

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Brandon G

February 07, 2013  2:55pm

Such a great article about an incredible journey. It really moved me. I would love to read your book.

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Ed Frank

February 07, 2013  2:48pm

Thanks Rosaria, for sharing your story. One of the ways we as Christians "destroy" our spiritual life is because we often "dehumanize the down, out, and 'others' of the world". Thankfully, pastor Ken and his wife Floy didn't do that. For some advice on how to avoid doing this ourselves, please download the free excerpt found at: HTDYSL.com

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Greg Davis

February 07, 2013  2:26pm

Wow, that is a beautiful testimony of God's active, passionate pursuit of each one of us. While reading her testimony I experienced along with Rosaria the magnificence of God's love.

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Jack Ratekin

February 07, 2013  2:18pm

I was just curious because the first part of her testimony mentions politics several times, but in the post-conversion section politics are ignored. I was trying to get a fuller picture of her transformation.

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J Thomas

February 07, 2013  1:49pm

What a blessing of God you are, Rosaria. The Lord chose you as his own and sought you out in the way you would hear his voice...a calling unique to you, illustrating the beautiful art that is your soul, drawn out by his hand for the world to see so that we can join him in the joy of praise for you and for him and all of us who are called into his kingdom. Praise God!

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Walt Alan

February 07, 2013  1:04pm

What a wonderful testimony, Rosaria! Thank you for publishing this!

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MARK BROCKMAN

February 07, 2013  1:00pm

A very powerful story. I will be recommending this to friends. Thank you.

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Clara Bowman

February 07, 2013  12:48pm

So, are you still "gay"? Do you disagree with homosexuality now? Your story is very inspiring, but I'm confused as to whether you're saying you have to "convert" to being straight and right wing to be a Christian.

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micah hurt

February 07, 2013  12:09pm

That brought me to tears. Thank you for your story. Jesus is GREAT!

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Jack Ratekin

February 07, 2013  11:58am

So, how did you reconcile the politics? Did you convert there as well? just curious.

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