June 2005 Issue
by Tim Wilkins
Unsure how I, a former homosexual,
received an invitation to speak two consecutive weeks to a gay/lesbian
organization at a major university, I readily accepted. I arrived
well ahead of time to mingle with the students, shake hands, and
get to know them.
Though I felt like a ham at a bar mitzvah, I shared
with the twenty-five to thirty homosexuals how, from an early
age, I felt "different"; how, upon reaching puberty,
I was attracted to other men; and how, after eleven years of homosexual
activity, I told God, "It's over! Homosexuality is an illusion,
a dead end! Homosexuality promises a lot, but delivers little!"
I told them homosexuality was a sin, immoral, and that God punishes
For ninety minutes I shared my story and answered many questions
some of which were mildly discourteous and others overtly
No sooner had the meeting ended, several homosexual men and
women, most with puzzled expressions on their faces, approached
me. In semi-private conversations the recurring statement was,
"You didn't say what I expected to hear." I asked, "What
did you expect to hear?"
The recurring answers were predicable. "I expected you
to be preachy, loud, and self-righteous." "I expected
you to quote Scripture the entire meeting, to say you hate us."
But I did none of those things. I politely expressed my appreciation
for the opportunity to speak with them, befriend them, and tell
what Christ had done in my life.
I arrived the following week to a crowd almost twice the size
of the previous week's. Why? Word had spread that "the ex-gay
guy was respectful, polite, and friendly."
Had I compromised my beliefs, condoned homosexuality, diluted
After being interviewed on a TV program and while leaving the
studio, I met a militant gay man who hosts a TV program.
I extended my hand, told him I had seen his show, and found
it "interesting." Ted asked my name and why I had been
interviewed. I gave my name and said, "I used to be gay."
Immediately, Ted's speech accelerated, his face reddened as
his knee-jerk reactions kicked into gear. I stood silently as
his monologue continued, all the while asking God how I might
diffuse the situation. When he paused, I intervened with these
five unprepared words. "Ted-you-are-a" I was
unsure what the last word would be, but it finally left my lips
"blessing." In the most generic sense, Ted is
a blessing in that, though he is not a child of God, he is a creation
Like a man who had been punched in the stomach, Ted was speechless.
After collecting his thoughts, his face relaxed. With a deep sigh,
Ted said "I really appreciate how you have taken our conversation
to a higher level."
Immediately, I moved the conversation away from homosexuality
to family, work, college general topics.
Shortly, the TV host who had interviewed me approached the
studio door where Ted and I stood talking. Automatically, I prepared
to introduce Ted and the host. While turning to my right, I placed
my left hand on Ted's right shoulder saying, "Ted, this is
the host," and then telling the host, "Ted has his own
Ted and I ended our conversation as we left the building. We
shook hands and went our respective ways.
A week later, Ted's live show aired. And guess what? This militant
gay man recounted to his primarily militant gay audience our entire
conversation, ending it with these words: "I don't know whether
the guy used to be gay or not, but he made a distinct impression
Rick Warren says, "There are two basic reasons people
don't know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. One, they have
never met a Christian. Second, they have met a Christian."
A genuine, conspicuous display of Christian love quickly and
decisively eclipses the counterfeit love found in homosexuality,
opening the door for the gospel.
Do I hate homosexuals? Absolutely not! The truth is I love
homosexuals more now than when I was one!
Tim Wilkins, a former homosexual serving
on the SBC Homosexual Task Force, is the director of Cross Ministry,
a speaking ministry in Wake Forest, North Carolina. More information
can be found at www.crossministry.org.
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