The Not-So-Gay Lifestyle
As the young man stood in the hospital radiology room getting ready for a chest X-ray, the nurse spoke to him, "Please remove the metal you're wearing around your neck."
Actually, it was a uniquely shaped cross with the face of Jesus etched onto it. She must have seen the fear in his eyes as he gently rubbed this precious gift his parents had given him years ago.
"If we wrap it in masking tape, you can keep it on during the X-ray," she said.
"Thank you," the young man replied. That symbol of Jesus around his neck was the last vestige of the Christian faith to which he'd once looked as a source of hope.
Later in his room, the young man lay on the hospital bed, feeling empty and afraid. His health over the previous 13 months had declined rapidly. From his first venereal disease in January of the previous year to his current admission to Boston City Hospital with thrush, he had 12 frightening symptoms-nearly one for each month.
In the young man's mind, these health problems-all occurring within two years after he'd become sexually active in New York City-pointed in one direction: AIDS.
Five days of blood tests, all of which had returned negative, left only one option-a bone marrow biopsy. This was the only test left to find out why the young man's T-cell count was so low. The doctor had suggested the test earlier, but the young man had refused as he knew it was the final test used in diagnosing AIDS.
That evening while lying on his bed, he once again gently rubbed the cross that hung around his neck. The name formed on the young man's lips. "Jesus … oh, Jesus," he prayed, "what have I done? I sought you out at age 14, and again at 18, but neither time did I receive the healing I needed to be free from homosexuality. Why, Lord? Why are some people able to come to you so easily and enter into the life of the church while others like myself, so clearly in need, fail to get any help at all?"
Unfortunately, this young man is not alone. I know that personally.
"My friend has a problem …"
Every day we receive calls at Redeemed Life Ministries asking, "How can I help someone who is struggling with homosexuality?" In fact, it's our most commonly asked question.
My response is to ask two key questions:
1. Is the struggling person a Christian? Has he or she been baptized, regenerated, and converted in Jesus Christ? If the answer is no, then the first step in the healing process is not to address homosexuality, but to introduce them to the Great Physician himself, Jesus.
Sometimes we send people to the nearest Alpha course, where they can be introduced to Christianity and meet Jesus personally. If the person is, in fact, a Christian, then my next question is simple.
2. Does the person want help? If someone does not think overcoming homosexuality is possible because he or she couldn't find help, then we need to walk alongside and offer hope. If the person does not believe what Scripture teaches about homosexuality, then we do not go any further. Only if a person ...