Introducing MR

It gives me incredible joy to present the third person to join this little blog, a man who goes by the screen name here of MR.  He’s been here for quite a while and on the first Sunday in August, he’ll be arriving in Seattle to live and work and be part of our community at Mars Hill Church.  He’s going to be presenting material here from time to time and I look forward to his writing and his ideas for expanding this ministry to bring the hope of Jesus to as many people dealing with SSA as possible.

MR’s testimony will be available as a separate page accessible from the front page.  Please welcome him!

I am a Christian man, 48 years old, and single. God has given me great joy in Him and I would not trade my life for anyone else’s. I became a Christian as a child and have sought to follow Jesus since then. I have never been married and I have experienced same-sex attraction (SSA), otherwise known as homosexual desire, since I was 12. By God’s grace I have never acted on it with anyone else. I can’t take any credit for the limits to my sin, though. I don’t have a strong will, I have a strong God! Also, thankfully I have had the compassionate help of Christian male friends who have no SSA.

 

My parents, especially my father, were Christians before I was born and raised me in a Christian environment. We went to a Bible-believing church in Orlando, Florida. Yes, I grew up in the “Bible belt”. I was about nine years old when I understood the Good News of Jesus Christ for the first time. I knew I was a sinner destined for hell and my only hope was what Jesus did on the cross to pay for my sin. By God’s grace I believed and prayed for God to save me. I was motivated to pray, read the Bible, and learn all I could about Christianity. I could see that my father had a living, joyful relationship with God. He would often sing songs of worship out loud to God when he was driving or working around the house. When things went wrong, Dad prayed. Seeing God answer his prayers left a very deep impression on me. If he turned to God for his help, so would I!

 

Things went well until our family left our church after an argument with the leaders. We were not in any church for several years, my father worked long hours, and I became emotionally isolated from my mother. I was in a public school and had little Christian fellowship. Then came the darkest years of my life. I was 12 years old, in 7th grade, and entering puberty. To my absolute horror, I found myself attracted to guys. I knew about homosexuality from the typical pre-teen boys’ taunts aimed at effeminate guys. I knew I did NOT want those taunts aimed at me, so I kept my mouth shut. Even though I was a Christian, I turned away from God, deciding I was gay and wanting to act on it some day.

 

In 8th grade I shared several classes with a guy who befriended me. We hung out often at lunch and talked a lot after school waiting for the bus. He talked about sex, complimented me on my appearance, and dropped hints on being gay. I never admitted my desires for guys and I did not get his hints at the time. Looking back, I believe God kept me from understanding his hints. You see, that guy has now become a famous gay blogger!

 

That same year I had a Christian teacher who called me to repentance, seeing that I was not walking with God and was deeply troubled. I do not believe she ever knew about my struggles with same-sex attraction, but she prayed for me and kept encouraging me to turn to God. I did start praying again and listening to tapes of Christian messages my father had around the house. I praise God that He brought me to repentance and renewed faith. I turned away from my decision to act on my SSA, and even felt a lessening of the desire.

In high school I sought out God and Christian fellowship. I joined a church with a huge (300+) youth group, which was helpful, but I still could not regularly talk to anyone about my SSA. In college, I roomed with my brother and discovered that he was having sex with guys. He wouldn’t do it when I was there, but I definitely had to answer my share of late-night phone calls from guys asking for sex. I moved out of there and lived with Christian guys. A few years later my brother moved in with me after he was sick with AIDS. I took care of him and actually saw him take his last breath…..

 

A few years after college I moved to the suburbs of Washington, DC. I joined Covenant Life Church, where I have been for 22 years. God has given me friends there who have helped me through my temptations and made life so fulfilling. It may be hard to leave. I do look forward to my move to Seattle and Mars Hill Church, though, because I should be able to deal with SSA issues in a more open way. The culture of Washington, DC has been to encourage secrecy on these issues. I suspect God will bring about many opportunities to help and be helped.

 

Lately I have been seeing something of the beauty of who God is and I know I want to give everything I possibly can to pursue Him. I want no more of my former half-hearted cautious approach to life! By His grace I repented and gave of my time, money, and energy like never before. To the glory of God I wanted as much eternal fruit and treasure in heaven as possible. I took risks, befriending people with serious problems of drug addiction and sexual sin. I prayed for them, shared with them what God had done for me, and served them. When some of them repented and believed, God gave me the privilege of seeing the beauty of His work in changing their hearts. It really was “breathtaking” to use John Piper’s words. I knew and deeply felt that God really is worth far more than whatever pain or loss I have in this life. He really is like the treasure in the field in Matt 13:44 that is worth gladly giving EVERYTHING for. I want to continue to devote my life to pursuing God and helping others do the same!

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~ by WriterRand on July 25, 2007.

2 Responses to “Introducing MR”

  1. I am thinking of u in your struggle with this… I have had my fair share of friends struggling with this same issue and it seems to me that most churches and christians in general are ill equipped in dealing with it. I want to encourage u to keep on keep on keep on standing in faith. know that you are not alone in this.

  2. TL,

    Thanks for your thoughts. God has blessed me with friends and in a certain sense I don’t feel alone. Many of my straight Christian friends have been a great encouragement to me. You are right though that many churches and Christians have not been helpful in dealing with SSA. Some are openly hostile, but others treat SSA like a 19.78 ton elephant in the room that they pretend isn’t there.

    I want to do my part to improve churches’ response to us Christians struggling with SSA. I am open to ideas. Let me know what you see that I could do to help bring about change in churches.

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