Coming Out

It wasn’t just any wedding. The bride was a former lesbian. The groom was a former homosexual, male prostitute, and female impersonator. But even though John and Anne Paulk had been involved in homosexuality for most of their adult lives, the good news of Christ’s love had freed them. On our wedding day, John says, "The Lord’s transforming power was so evident, that my mother and stepfather prayed to receive the Lord that [very] night." That’s a powerful testimony. And it demonstrates a powerful truth: The Gospel can enable homosexuals to live in monogamous, heterosexual relationships. A few years ago Campus Crusade sponsored a series of ads in college newspapers all over the country. The ads featured John and Anne, along with three other former homosexuals who had come to Christ. The ads promised students a way out of homosexuality through the good news of the gospel. Sadly, on some campuses students were denied the opportunity to read John and Anne’s testimony. Gay students at Southwest Texas State University called the ads "hurtful" and demanded that the university censor the content. But what’s really hurtful is the gay lifestyle itself, which entails heavy personal cost. According to Bob Davies, executive director of Exodus International, a ministry to homosexuals, 25 to 33 percent of homosexuals are alcoholics compared to only 7 percent of the general population. And homosexual men are six times more likely than straight men to attempt suicide. Pastor Paul Brenton relates that, in working with men struggling with homosexuality, he often finds molestation or emotional abuse at the root of the problem. They have twisted images of themselves as less than real men. Brenton says, "Many of them feel trapped in their lifestyle and genuinely want to get out." Today John Paulk realizes that his life as a homosexual was a misguided and painful attempt to deal with the emotional pain of rejection. He says, "In my past there were many masks I hid behind to protect myself." His wife, Anne, agrees. It was her underlying need for love and acceptance that drove her into lesbianism, until Christian friends reached out to her with genuine friendship. The statistics are encouraging for those who are able to come to grips with the emotional and physical abuse they have suffered. According to Bill Consiglio, director of Hope Ministries, 40 percent of homosexuals who seek change "move into full heterosexuality, with many entering marriage and parenthood." An additional 40 percent are able to live as committed and celibate Christian singles. That’s a success rate worth cheering about. Exodus International can help your church reach out with compassion to homosexuals. Anne Paulk says, "As a lesbian I found hurt people just [looking for] love. As a Christian I found loving people just wanting to heal my hurt." Many more like John and Anne are waiting to hear the message of unconditional love, forgiveness, and restoration.


Chuck Colson



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