How long has your organization been dealing with conversions?
If you mean to ask how long we’ve been around: Since 1976, which makes us the oldest ministry for those seeking freedom from unwanted same-sex attractions. However, we are not “dealing with conversions”. Our goal is not to make “turn people straight”, but to help them find freedom from same-sex attractions – whatever form that freedom takes on then. Each of our members has different goals for his or her life, and so are the paths they take.
How many people struggling with homosexuality do you deal with each year?
First: We do not believe that there is something like “homosexuality” (a rather new term by the way). God has created all of us heterosexual – or better: men and women. Some of us, however, have predominant and long-lasting same-sex attractions including sexual and emotional attractions to members of the same sex – for whatever reason. To come back to your question: We do not keep record of that. Homosexuals Anonymous and Jason have several chapters around the world for people with unwanted same-sex attractions – local and online. We also counsel family members, pastors, or anybody interested in that subject. We speak at political events, mosques, churches, radio and TV shows and whoever else invites us. Whoever saves one soul, saves the whole world.
What is your success rate with conversions?
Again: Whoever saves one soul, saves the whole world. We do not evaluate success by the numbers nor by any other secular standardized system. Some of us married and founded families, some of us stayed single. God has different callings for each one of His children. Do we believe in freedom from homosexuality? Most certainly so – and the reason some have not found it yet is because they might not really believe it can be done. However, there are most likely thousands around the world who once experienced same-sex attractions and maybe even spent a good part of their lives in the gay scene and now let God change their hearts and turned their ways. Some time ago, a grandfather with same-sex attractions who chose to lead a godly life told me that to a certain degree he still experiences same-sex attractions, but when he takes a look at his wife, children and grandchildren he knows that his choice was right – and so much worth it. You couldn’t pay us a better compliment than that.
How sure are you that these people have been delivered from homosexuality?
There is no blood test you can take to measure if they are free. However, we have lots of testimonies that confirm that there is freedom. We experienced it in ourselves and in the testimonies of many others around the world. All these people have no gain in lying – they are telling the truth, which might scare gay activists because if there is one out there who found freedom of same-sex attractions, they do not have an excuse for themselves anymore. “Freedom” might look differently for the individual – some experience complete freedom, others a substantial decrease in the intensity and/or frequency of their same-sex attractions.
What methods do you use to deliver from homosexuality?
In the course of the last decades we developed and used a great variety of tools that help those who come to us seeking help. First, you have our 14-step program. Part of those steps goes back to the tradition of 12-step groups and was adapted to the special needs of people with unwanted same-sex attractions. The other steps have been developed from the experience and the road to freedom of our two founders: Colin C. and Doug M. We also use techniques and resources by various psychotherapists who worked in this field. Some of us also had a special training in psychotherapy, Christian counseling, or theology. In addition to that, we developed a network with other ministries worldwide to get the best help possible for those who seek out our services. That network provides us with a wide range of programs, recourses and counselors so that the different factors that contributed to the individual development of same-sex attractions can be addressed the best possible way.
Isn't it risky to have non-trained people lead support groups?
Those who assume leading positions in our organization are asked to undergo regular professional training seminars in psychology, theology, medicine and health.
10 Questions for Christians Who Support Gay Marriage
What do you mean when you talk about "false" or "new" identity?
In modern-day society "homosexuals" is a term that describes man and women who have a predominant and longlasting sexual and emotional attraction towards members of the same sex. "Gay" or "lesbian" usually also implies that those people are out there, maybe even activists for their political cause.
We do not believe in such terms. God has created all of us heterosexual. Yes, some have same-sex attractions - for whatever reason. So this is what they are then: Heterosexuals with same-sex attractions.
Like that we prefer the term "people with same-sex attractions" instead of "homosexuals", "gays" or "lesbians".
Freedom from Homosexuality
A Christian Fellowship
If you are a person in conflict with homosexual feelings, or a parent, relative or friend of someone struggling with homosexuality who needs help; if you are a minister, counselor or therapist looking for a support group for a counselee wanting freedom from homosexuality then please read on. You will gain insight into Homosexuals Anonymous (H.A.)--who we are and how we can help you.
How did Homosexuals Anonymous begin?
Homosexuals Anonymous began in November 1980 as a result of two men, Colin, a former minister, and Doug, a former school principal, pooling their ideas in how to pass on to others what they had experienced in recovery from homosexuality. Colin, who had kept a five-year journal of his growth, analyzed the principles of that growth with helpful evaluation from Doug. From this analysis the 14 Steps of H.A. were born. Nine of the steps come from Colin’s journals and five of them are modified from Alcoholics Anonymous.
What is the purpose of Homosexuals Anonymous?
Homosexuals Anonymous (H.A.) is a Christian fellowship of men and women who have chosen to help each other to live free from homosexuality. A freedom which does not mean to turn from "gay" to "straight", but to become more like Jesus Christ. The purpose of H.A. is to support individuals seeking that freedom. Group support is available through weekly H.A. meetings. Guidance is received through the shared experiences and growth of others. Strength is acquired by training the faith response through the 14 Steps.
H.A. is non-sectarian and works inter- and non-denominationally. It does not endorse or oppose any political causes, nor does it wish to engage in any controversial issues that would draw members’ energies away from the goal of maturing in their relationships with those around them and rediscovering their true identity through a restored relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
What is the purpose of anonymity?
Because the social stigma of homosexuality is often a factor in a person’s decision whether or not to seek help, H.A. members recognize that a firm assurance of confidentiality is imperative if they are to succeed in attracting and helping other people wishing to find freedom from homosexuality. H.A. promises personal anonymity to all who attend its meetings. First names only are used. Personal information shared during any meeting is treated as confidential.
While the privacy of each member is highly regarded, some people experiencing freedom from homosexuality are eager to share the good news of their H.A. affiliation with family, friends, and other support groups. Such disclosure is their own choice.
How is Homosexuals Anonymous organized?
Local H.A. Chapters are a part of a nation-wide network of chapters that function under the guidance of Homosexuals Anonymous Fellowship Services (HAFS). Local chapters are committed to the philosophy and guidelines of HAFS. H.A. chapters are developed as interested persons receive leadership training and accreditation through HAFS sponsored seminars.
Who directs the local H.A. Chapter?
Because H.A. is a self-help group, the members themselves, who have experienced significant growth, accept responsibility for different aspects of the chapter’s organization and meetings. In addition, the responsibility of helping an H.A. member work through the 14 Steps, outside the framework of the H.A. meeting, is taken on by a step coach who, having found ways of successfully applying the steps in his own life, now helps other members in the application process through example, guidance and prayer.
Is there any cost?
There is no charge for membership in an H.A. chapter. However, because each chapter is financially independent, members are given the opportunity to make contributions at each meeting. These contributions are used to meet the expenses incurred by the local group.
What is the requirement for membership?
The only requirement membership in an H.A. group is a desire to be and remain free from homosexuality.
What is an H.A. meeting like?
Each meeting is structured around an hour-and-a-half time frame. The meeting opens with prayer, introduction of members by first names only, and a reading of the 14 Steps. Next come the major parts of the H.A. meeting and are as follows:
1) Histories—When new members are present, senior members tell of what led them to face their homosexuality, how God led them to H.A. and how they have grown in their understanding of God, of themselves and the world around them. New members are given the opportunity to share their history, too, but only if they choose to do so.
2) Step Talk—The step guide for the evening presents a short talk on one of the steps giving insight into how the principles found in the step are being worked out in his own life and how the step might apply to those in the group.
3) Discussion—Discussion sometimes focuses on the step and at other times on growth or struggle that a member may be experiencing. This is a time when members rally round to encourage each other. Meetings are characterized by friendliness and openness. There is no uncomfortable intensity and leadership is rotated so that there are no attempts to control. Many discover that an H.A. meeting provides the best Christian fellowship they have experienced in years.
The meeting then closes with the sharing of needs and prayer.
If I change from homosexuality will I still be me?
Recovery from homosexuality is not a question of change from one sexual orientation to another, but of self-discovery. A life that focuses only on homosexuality is the self-limiting of your personality. As you discover the Grace of God your true selfhood will be gradually released to enable you to become the person you always knew you could be, but feared you never would be.
Is H.A. likely to perpetuate the homosexual subculture?
H.A. believes that there is no such thing as “a homosexual,” only men and women, created by God heterosexually, who because of the broken world we live in, are confused over their sexual identity. H.A. members do not introduce themselves by saying, “Hello, I’m George and I’m a homosexual.” It is the paradox of Homosexuals Anonymous that people who become members discover in time that by God’s grace they are not what they thought they were. The discovery of this Grace ensures their restoration, as dignified people, to the Christian community. Thus, H.A. Fellowship, rather than perpetuating the homosexual subculture, contributes to its decline.
How can I get involved with H.A.?
If you want to be free from homosexuality you may begin attending an H.A. chapter at any point in the 14-Step series. Meeting places and times are not announced publicly, however. Contact with your local H.A. chapter is made by telephone only. To learn more about H.A. Fellowship and your local chapter, go to our website: www.homosexuals-anonymous.com.
THE FOURTEEN STEPS OF H.A.
1. We admitted that we were powerless over our homosexuality and that our emotional lives were unmanageable.
2. We came to believe the love of God, who forgave us and accepted us in spite of all that we are and have done.
3. We learned to see purpose in our suffering, that our failed lives were under God's control, who is able to bring good out of trouble.
4. We came to believe that God had already broken the power of homosexuality and that He could therefore restore our true personhood.
5. We came to perceive that we had accepted a lie about ourselves, an illusion that had trapped us in a false identity.
6. We learned to claim our true reality that as humankind, we are part of God's heterosexual creation and that God calls us to rediscover that identity in Him through Jesus Christ, as our faith perceives Him.
7. We resolved to entrust our lives to our loving God and to live by faith, praising Him for our new unseen identity, confident that it would become visible to us in God's good time.
8. As forgiven people free from condemnation, we made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, determined to root out fear, hidden hostility, and contempt for the world.
9. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs and humbly asked God to remove our defects of character.
10. We willingly made direct amends wherever wise and possible to all people we had harmed.
11. We determined to live no longer in fear of the world, believing that God's victorious control turns all that is against us into our favor, bringing advantage out of sorrow and order from disaster.
12. We determined to mature in our relationships with men and women, learning the meaning of a partnership of equals, seeking neither dominance over people nor servile dependency on them.
13. We sought through confident praying, and the wisdom of Scripture for an ongoing growth in our relationship with God and a humble acceptance of His guidance for our lives.
14. Having had a spiritual awakening, we tried to carry this message to homosexual people with a love that demands nothing and to practice these steps in all our lives' activities, as far as lies within us.
But what about having to stay alone for the rest of your days? If you mean "lonely" by "alone", then let me remind you that you can - and likely will - be very lonely in the gay scene. Being "alone" is something different. It is a gift that Jesus often used when He went out in the desert to pray. We need to be alone at times to spend some good quality time with ourselves and with God. To be able to be alone is a true treasure. Ever since I left the gay scene, I found times to be "alone", but most of the time the Lord grants me time to spend with the many true friends He brought into my life ever since and with the people He leads to me to help them get back on their feet again. I have never been less "lonely" than since I had left the gay life. I have found a true meaning and purpose in life and also my life has changed in all areas.
So what about "being happy"? I think it is a big misconception in today's culture and society that once with throw something in the "love"- or "being happy"-pool, everything is fine. No, it isn't. Being "happy" is not a criteria that something is good or morally acceptable. An alcoholic who just had a bottle of wodka might say he is "happy" now. A family father might have just left his wife and kids to live with his new girlfriend, "love" her and be "happy" with her for the rest of his days - it would still be unacceptable adultery in a Christian's eyes. Following Christ will give you true joy and tell you about the difference between "being happy" and finding that joy only God can give. And please don't mistake love for a fuzzy feeling. Feelings come and go. Love is a covenant where one person gives himself or herself (reflecting Christ's life-giving covenant with His bride, the Church) and where the two take the willful decision to stay together for their whole lives to become one flesh again. Again? Yes, our sexual drive hints back to the beginnings, where Eve was taken from Adam's flesh. This drive seeks that union back again - becoming one flesh. So much one you have to give this "one" a name nine months after.
To cut it short: I know it isn't easy to leave the gay life. It can be very scary as you have no idea what you signed up for and where this will take you. So for the beginning I give you this piece of advice: Scratch together the little faith and trust you can find in you and put it on God. And then let yourself fall and begin the journey - step by step. God has never broken any of His promises. He will be with you every second of the way and lead you out of this. Promised.
Understanding Same-Sex Attraction
Aren't terms like "heterosexuality" and "homosexuality" terms defined in the 19th century? Should we therefore better not use them?
Well, yes and no. The terms as such are relatively new, the concepts behind them not so. We do not believe in "homosexuality" as an identity in and of itself (we see same-sex attractions as something some heterosexuals have). However, we use the term and concept of "heterosexuality" refering to biblical sexuality, human identity and the concept of a lifelong and monogamous marriage between one man and one woman for the benefit of the spouses and to create offspring.
If so, should we call it like that? First, in my view there is no such thing as "homosexuality" (a rather modern term). Some heterosexuals (even that term is rather modern) have same-sex attractions - for whatever reason. That doesn't make them an extra species nor does it give them an extra identity. This needs to be stated clearly - both to people with ssa and to the public in general. You do not get "extra rights" for feeling that way and your whole life should not turn around being like that. So what about it being perverse? Let me take a running start for that: You first need to define that word - "homosexuality" or better: same-sex attractions. Usually you mean by that a long-term and predominant sexual and emotional attraction to members of the same sex. The causes for it are still unknown, but most scientists agree that the development of those attractions is caused by a whole bunch of different factors. Likewise, addressing and dealing with those factors can in turn influence the attractions. So are those attractions - or is "homosexuality" - "perverse"? If we mean by that that they are in some way medically speaking a gender identity disorder and like that are not what we refer to as "normal" or "unnatural", then I have to answer with a clear - yes and no. Yes, this is part of the whole problem but no, seeing people with ssa simply as "sickos" would be not helpful for them and also to simplified. It is more than just a disorder or a disease. Also from a spiritual perspective. It is not for nothing that Jesus separated sexual sins from others as they go against the own body which is the temple of the Lord. So let's just say they are a misguided way of dealing with legitimate needs and past hurts. Same-sex sexual acts and lustful fantasies are wrong from a Christian (and Jewish, and Muslim...) point of view because the go against God's design for human beings. We are created in His image and He should know what is best for us - and what leads us to very negative consequences. So keeping all of that in mind, can and should we call that "perverse"? I get the point of those who do, but calling that "perverse" is inappropriate for the following reasons: Keep in mind the factors that contributed to the development of ssa. Usually that started way back in childhood - so it is not just a "perverse" way of sexual preference that an adult chooses to get an orgasm. Yes, they are "perverse" in the sense that they are not what would be seen as "natural" (in the meaning of "planned by God for the best of mankind"). But no, they are not and should not be called that way as the term is misleading and insulting. Sort of puts shame and worthlessness on the whole package of problems that those people already have. And for this very reason it should not be called that way as it does not help people with ssa - quite on the contrary. They might feel "sick", "disordered", "evil", "scum" - in short: "pervert". Yes, their orientation and their sexual fantasies and/or acts got sort of out of control, but they are not "perverts" because of that. Also it is a misleading term for the public as they will only hear that word without understanding how it is meant. So we might better use other words to describe it. But one thing needs to be said as well: Both people with same-sex attractions, parents of kids who feel that way or parents in general whose children might have to face gay groups or messages at school, the public, authorities, churches and whoever else out there needs to hear a very clear message that there might be very negative physical, emotional, psychological, relational and spiritual consequences of a "gay" life. Ain't nothing "gay" about it. Gays might respond it doesn't have to be that way, but a look at the statistics is enough to prove that it often is - and it is not society who can be blamed for that. It is the "gay" life itself. If we love those people then yes, we need to give them a message of hope and love that there is a way out. Part of that message, however, is tough love. We need to love them enough to tell them the truth. Everything else has little to do with the Christian faith or with sound therapy. Many young people who think about embracing the "gay" life only get to hear the polished version of that life that gay activists spread - that makes them look good and nice and those who object look bad. That's victimizing. That's propaganda at it's best. Our job is to spread the truth while also giving them a helping hand so they know there is a way out. Hope that helps.
What do you mean by "living in freedom from homosexuality"?
Some still point out that one of the co-founders of HA, Colin C., had a fall and thus the whole program is worth nothing. Yes, he had a fall - and he got back on his feet. To say the program is nonsense because one leader fell is like saying Christianity is nonsense because Peter fell. It is the nature of fallen mankind to sin. Yet it makes a huge difference if one remains unrepentant in sin (or even re-writes the Christian faith so it calls sin good!) - or if one repents and moves on.
‘We don’t need psychotherapists to explain away our sins and tell us we’re sick. We need priests to remind us of our sinfulness and show us the way to our Redeemer’.
Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen
There is no general answer to that question. Are evil spirits or is “the evil” still active today? Can people be “possessed”? Definitely yes. To say otherwise would be both naïve and dangerous. However, before we talk about evil spirits, we need to make sure that we are not confusing that with a mental disorder. Also let’s keep in mind that many different factors contribute to the development of human sexuality. Even in the very rare cases that there definitely is demonic activity involved, deliverance from evil through a deliverance prayer or in extreme cases through an exorcism would not solve all the other problems and it would certainly not meet the underlying relational, emotional and spiritual needs. You might chase the demon out, but the problem with your dad is still very much alive and kicking.
Some might also – consciously or subconsciously – take that as an excuse that keeps them from being active as to taking steps for recovery and being responsible for present thoughts and actions. It is so much easier to blame an evil spirit than to address the underlying core issues!
Others might seek the “quick fix” through deliverance instead of going the hard road of recovery and healing. In other words: We don’t have to beg God to “take it away from us” – we already free through Christ’s atoning death on the Cross that broke the power of sin! All that keeps us from true recovery is the belief that it can be done!
Looking back on those hard years since I left the gay life in 2004 there is one thing I can definitely confirm: If you gave me the choice between the “quick fix” (like through deliverance) and those years where I had to learn to trust and believe in Him, I would always go for the last one. Yes, there were hard and painful moments, but also moments of joy and true satisfaction of coming home to the One in whose image I was created! To compare it with an image: Think of a father that teaches his son how to ride a bike. First, the son will be scared when dad takes off the crutches. Dad will still hold his sonny at first to give him some confidence and courage, but step by step he will let him ride on his own. Little sonny might take the whole street trying to ride straight ahead and sometimes he will also fall and scratch his knee, but dad will always be there with him, teaching him everything he needs to know for riding his little bike. Imagine the joy the little boy will experience once he manages to handle his bike – and how proud his daddy will be of him! That was pretty much how God taught me to live another life. He also rewarded me with an extra: He brought many great friends into my life, godly men that stand with me in good and bad.
None of that I’d have ever gotten through a snip of the finger that turned me from gay to straight” in a second. And boy am I grateful it happened the way it did.