The last person who came from the US telling us how horrible being a homosexual is, was Adam Hood. His meetings were closed down, he was sent home packing and seems to have disappeared off the planet. Maybe he returned to the dreaded ‘homosexual lifestyle’.
Now we have a visit from Wayne Blakely, approaching 60 years of age, a US Adventist, who is preaching a similar but also different message. But he is a bit hard to categorize.
He spoke this weekend at the Adventist Hospital in Sydney. The promo blurb says. “Coming Out… Really? Is a full-day seminar dedicated to hearing from people who have struggled with same-sex attraction and issues associated with the reconciliation of that same sex attraction, practising Christianity and fitting into a Church family. Whether you, someone you love, or someone at your church is struggling with this, the issues will be discussed candidly, with very real experiences shared and we hope this will lead you to a more informed and Christ-like way to deal with this very sensitive topic. There will be an open question-time in the evening. It is free to attend, but bookings are essential for this catered program”
The Wayne Blakely story
It’s simple really. His mother wanted a girl not a boy. She used to physically abuse him (that’s sad). So that is what made him gay apparently. He grew up in the SDA church, but left at 18 when a gay man told him — they don’t want you, and there’s nothing there for you. And then he lived 37 years of self-described abusive, shallow, broken, addictive years that included two arrests for male prostitution and drug overdoses that almost killed him and sleeping with everything in pants it seems. And going to lots of funerals of people who died of AIDS. Approaching 60, he returned to Jesus a few years ago and now tells gay man and lesbians how they should live their lives. But don’t take my word for it. Watch this “riveting” video with superb academy award performances including Wayne playing himself. (please excuse my sarcasm)
Coming Out? Coming Home!—The Wayne Blakely Story/Ministry Promotion Conversation Starter
Interesting title for the video, “Conversation Starter”. I think the only conversation this video would start is about the tragic acting.
Wayne Blakely’s Message
Wayne doesn’t preach the message that you can turn from gay to straight (nor does he rule it out, mind you if God does a miracle for him and makes him like women)…..but a same sex orientation is evil and not God ordained. So every young, middle-aged or senior Adventist who hears this message will essentially think that gay people are flawed. They can never fall in love with someone of the same gender and are destined to a life of celibacy. Yep that’s right. Alone for life according to Wayne’s interpretation of the bible. He lays it all out for you here. Straight? Gay? or Just Simply ‘Redeemed?: CELIBACY And of course this message will be regurgitated by Adventist parents to their gay and lesbian children and other Adventists to their friends. This is not a message of hope, but a message of shame and inequality.
It is bad enough that Mr Blakely preaches this message in western cultures, but he also travels to developing countries such as Kenya. And we know how dangerous the outcomes of this can be. Think Uganda and the “kill the gays” bill. Wayne Blakely’s shares highlights of his “homosexuality to holiness” story in Kenya
The good news
Approximately 40 people attended the Wayne Blakely seminar. Early this year though, a film, Seventh Gay Adventists, documenting the very moving and honest accounts of several gay and lesbian Adventist people, toured Australia. It was viewed by 100’s of people and the movie has also been shown at numerous Queer film festivals around the world (with rave reviews). At most film festivals it was to sellout screenings and received spontaneous standing ovations from audiences profoundly touched by the what they had just viewed. The documentary has had a positive impact on Adventists and non-Adventists alike. As a gay man of faith, the message of Seventh Gay Adventists was clear to me. God loves gay and lesbian people as they are and ignorance about sexual orientation in the church has caused untold damage to people’s lives and relationships with those dear to them. It’s time for the church to let go of outdated beliefs that homosexuality is a sin, a choice and can be changed and begin welcoming and embracing of all God’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people. Most importantly, Seventh Gay Adventists creates a space for questioning by looking at the lives of real people who have had to negotiate the perceived conflict between their Christian faith and their sexual orientation. People have often labelled Christians who have not come to understanding as ‘homophobic’ but often this label is unwarranted. There is however a very real ‘subjectaphobia’ about homosexuality in many churches, including Adventism, and documentaries like Seventh Gay Adventists provide the opportunity for people to look at the subject in a sensitive and non-confrontational way. .
Message to Wayne
I am glad to know that you have left your self-destructive lifestyle and found faith again in your latter years, as have many heterosexuals. This, however, has nothing to do with your sexual orientation except that your poor choices in life were guided by an ill-informed message embedded in you by the church and society that being gay meant you weren’t good enough. It’s called internalised homophobia and it can drive people to suicide. Please stop repeating the message that sent you down such a tragic path in life. You will only create more pain and harm.
© Anthony Venn-Brown
Anthony.. Thanks for your review and personal comments. In defense of your position, would you please share God's specific grounding for same-sex unions and relationships that are not disjointed like my search for love was, but for how God is asking you to follow His Word and Hid guidance for those who are gay? It's fine that you want to criticize me and plunder me with a dark religious cloud. Although the message God has shared through me is not one of darkness, but one of love and light. Seeking His will instead of my own.
I am certainly open to God's specific direction through His Word. This was not provided in the film Seventh Gay Adventist. What was provided was a self directed truth. Not one from God. There was no reference to God, His Truth, the cross or uplifting Jesus. It was about celebrating self and making God impotent. I would be blessed if you would provide me the guidance and direction for those seeking a monogamous relationship which God would ordain? My colleagues and I have asked many many gay advocates that insist on a God-Association… but have never been able to provide God's approval for same-sex intimate unions. Your enlightenment would be greatly appreciated. God loves each and every one of us deeply. The message I share is not that of condemnation, but of seeking God's will. Satan doesn't care whether he can trip us up in multiple partners or with one… as long as he can deceive us. He has countless ways and is pleased with anything that works. Thanks so much for providing me with truth. We are at great risk without it.
You seemed confused about my identity. I do not claim "ex-gay" because that assumes a "straight" identity. My identity in Christ is not based on sex, but on my relationship with Jesus as living in Him. Life is not about a sexual orientation, but an orientation to Jesus. We have allowed Satan and psychology to take the focus off of Jesus and put it on sex. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells me that as a "Redeemed" child of God, my past in forgotten and I am a "New Creature" in Him. It is my choice to live according to God's clear plan for me, rather than one that is based on feelings of any kind that Satan uses to deceive us.
I do not profess that I am on some smooth paved road today. Life as a Christian is different than that of someone living in the world. God calls us to live apart from the world by living in Him. I'm not seeking approval by society or other Christians. The only approval that matters is that of Jesus. My focus must always remain on and in Him. I invite others to become humbled before God and recognize God's promises. John 8:32 tells us that His truth will set you free.
I only met Wayne today. Yes, reading through his credentials, Wayne seems to be just an ordinary person. He is not one of America’s foremost commentators on faith and sexuality. He has not written a best-selling autobiography, he has never been a high profile preacher in America’s growing mega-churches, such as Hillsong, he has probably not impacted 1,000’s globally. Wayne was not the co-founder and former leader of America’s largest network of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people from Christian backgrounds. And he has never been voted ‘One of the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Americans’. So is it really worth listening to what he has to say? Well, I do think so. As I could see today Wayne radiates the love of Christ. His words and actions reflect a kind and humble heart, that is very, very much in love with Jesus. I could sense his inner peace and his great desire to lead all people to an identity in Christ rather than an identity in sexuality or in belonging to a certain culture or group or person. I realized Waynes message is for everyone, not just for homosexuals. The churches are full of heterosexual singles who also suffer from having to live lonely lives, maybe not wanting but destined to a life of celibacy. How wonderful to know we share the pain and that there is more to life than sexuality and sexual orientation. His message is certainly not driving me to suicide. It tells me to bathe in the love of Christ and let Him fill and comfort my empty lonely heart. I trust He will be my friend and He will also provide me with deep friendships even if there should never be a spouse in store. I am grateful for what I learned today and I feel even more connected to my loving Father and my wonderful homosexual and heterosexual friends inside and outside the church. Our true identity is in Christ alone 🙂
Glad to know you you were helped and encouraged from Wayne’s ministry. I have no doubt he is a good man and means well. The path has chosen in not for everyone though and should never be presented as such.
Well Anthony, where are your Biblical ground texts behind your theology that Wayne so graciously asked of you?
You’ll find all that on this section on our site https://www.abbi.org.au/audio-resources/
The topic of LGBT is such a sensitive one and people need to be non-judgemental. I personally, don’t support same sex marriage. However, I do empathize with people who are struggling and discriminated by others.
sounds like you are on a journey