Received this email from K over the weekend. I will post the whole message (it’s short) so you can see the full context. Then I will parse out each point they are making and respond. First, the complete message:
Randy, I cannot begin to tell you the pain, hurt, and confusion that you caused me. I went to Exodus conferences. You were my favorite speaker. I have your DVD’s from the conference. I trusted you. Now you are saying that everything you said, and all the promises you made, were all false. That may be good for you, but what about people like me? The ones that are now living with the fall out of what you did. Living daily with all the confusion and pain. What are we supposed to do? K
First off, thank you for emailing me. Given what you have written, you have been upset with me for a long time and needed to get this off your chest. I am glad you did and while my responses below may not be in alignment with your current beliefs. I hope that you will know I never intend to cause pain. Plus, the following may not be to your liking but I cannot ignore the truth; the “ex-gay” world is one I believe we all need to leave. It is possible to accept ourselves as both LGBT+ (wherever you fit in our community) and a Christ follower.
Randy, I cannot begin to tell you the pain, hurt, and confusion that you caused me. I went to Exodus conferences. You were my favorite speaker. I have your DVD’s from the conference. I trusted you.
Thank you for sharing that and believe me, I trusted what I was saying was the truth, too. It was very hard, still is, to realize that I spoke about and taught so many erroneous things.
Now you are saying that everything you said, and all the promises you made, were all false.
Not everything I said was false. God is good. I love Jesus and He loves me :). My spiritual intimacy with Him was and is true. I did overcome whole hosts of dysfunctions like emotional dependency and PTSD (through peripheral resources). I also learned a great deal about spirituality, personal responsibility, my skillset (calling) and maturing as a person (again, mostly through peripheral resources). But, saying that being gay is “broken” was absolutely untrue. Being gay is not “sexual brokenness” or sinful. Being in a loving mutually life-giving relationship with someone of the same or opposite sex is not sinful. Living out your core sense of relational being is not sinful. I no longer believe that you can find freedom from being gay because it’s not something to be freed from. It’s not something we should view through systemic stigmatized religious views. I don’t remember making any “promises, ” but I do know I said a lot of things that gave people hope that they could “overcome homosexuality, ” and I regret having passed along erroneous and harmful teaching. It’s cliche but still true, now that I know better I intend to do better.
That may be good for you, but what about people like me? The ones that are now living with the fall out of what you did. Living daily with all the confusion and pain. What are we supposed to do? K
Don’t empower the wall of noise and smiling people on stage to tell you what to think or believe. Scrutinize everything you hear. There are lots of people with lots of sharp opinions who are more than willing to tell you what to do and think. I do not have the ability to think on your behalf and tell you what you are supposed to do.
Each person comes into their authentic selves in various ways. In my own experience, the process started with being honest with God and self. After losing a friend of 23 years to suicide and being accused of all manner of evil and ill by people over my view of God’s grace it was like blinders had been ripped off. As a result, I began a search for the real manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23 New International Version (NIV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
I discovered that the genuine fruit of the Spirit was not to be found in The Gospel According to Conversion Therapy (conversion therapy adapted for “ministerial” use.) I realized all my old “favorites” didn’t have an ounce of grace, respect, or unconditional love for those that disagreed with or questioned them.
I did, however, find that true health, wholeness, and fruit of the Spirit did exist with the LGBT+ people I started having honest and open conversations with. This led to a personal epiphany that God will never leave or forsake me. He knew that my relational sense of being (to know and be known, to love and be loved) would be as a gay man. He knows this is part of how I reflect our Creator’s beauty into the world. Once I received that truth, I realized that finding peace with being a gay man in Christ wasn’t “going back” to brokenness and dysfunction. I was moving forward with the Good Shepherd leading me out of the ex-gay/conversion world.
The freedom to embrace who I honestly am in Christ is not what I thought it would look like back when I spoke at Exodus conferences. It’s even better. And please, do not let my response add to any confusion. Who you saw on stage years ago was being as honest and free as I knew how to be at the time. I am still the same person but with eyes fully open now.
You may think I am deluded and “fallen” and that is fine. However, I hope you will hear me say that whatever honestly manifests the fruit of the Spirit, while being mindful that there is never too much grace, hold tenaciously onto and keep looking for the good evidence of the Spirit. Looking for those qualities in everything around us, and hanging onto them, was a very important anchor and helped me recenter my focus on Christ.
I trust you will find your way to peace. That you will find contentment in Christ regardless of circumstance.
Being free is good,
If you would like to message me, please feel free to leave a comment below or contact me privately through the contact form here on the blog. If you are considering leaving the ex-gay/conversion world, I have a list of resources with plenty of helpful information right here on the blog. It’s what I find helpful at least 🙂 and it is consistently being updated and edited.