Sunday, 16 December 2007

Continuation of girls camp 2007 --- Homosexuality and the Ex-gay Lifetstyle

I wanted to separate the posts because I think my previous post is too long. So anyway...

I also joined the workshop “The Heart of Worship” by Pastor Ng Wah Lok and “What do you do when no one is watching” by Pastor Edmund Smith. The heart of worship workshop was really interesting. Pastor Ng Wah Lok taught about how to plan songs for worship. Pastor Edmund Smith’s topic was a little bit shocking at 1st. It was Homosexuality and the Ex-Gay Lifestyle. I really didn’t expect it. And actually I didn’t choose it. I chose The heart of worship. But Pastor Ng can only come on the 1st day, and Pastor Edmund can only come on the 2nd and 3rd day, so both workshops were joined. And I’ve learnt a lot from Pastor Edmund Smith about gays and he has really changed my perspective of gays.

If you've read my post entitled "What would YOU do?", I had this thinking that gays are born like that. I had this perspective that gays cannot be changed. But through the workshop, I've learnt that there are people who were gay and now they're not. For example, Pastor Edmund Smith himself was gay. He had 3 elder brothers. So when his mother was pregnant with him, his parents expected him to be a girl. But when he was born a boy, his parents rejected him, especially his father. He told us that his mother rejected him at 1st but then later accepted him. But for the 1st 5 years of his life, his mother treated him like a girl and later treated him like a boy. So he was very confused about his gender. He told us he hated being a guy. He wanted so badly to be a girl. And he lead a gay lifestyle for almost 11 years. He later stopped being gay because he said he suffered and was depressed during the 11 years he was leading the gay lifestyle. But of course he said it was not easy to change from being gay to straight. But he said soon after he left the gay lifestyle, he found Jesus. And his life changed from there. And oh yea, he's married by the way. Blessed with 2 kids. =)

He taught us a lot of terms and also shared with us the issues that could lead to a person being gay. First he taught us about 2 stances : the pro-gay and ex-gay stance.
  • Ex-gay stance = promotes ex-gay lifestyle and discourages gay lifestyle
  • Pro-gay stance = promotes and encourages gay lifestyle
Then he taught us some terms :
  1. gay = (for male and female) others drawn to a person of the same sex in a way of romance and sex
  2. lesbian = specifically for female homosexuals
  3. Gay friendly = to be friendly to gays, but hold the ex-gay stance. Aka do not hurt or reject gays, but be friendly to them and at the same time do not encourage their gay lifestyle/do not encourage them being gay.
  4. anti gay/homophobic = afraid of gays/hate gays. opposite of gay friendly
  5. hermaphrodite = one who is born with both genitals.(not necessarily gay)(due to genetics)
  6. Transgender= transfer of gender. one who has a Gender Identity Disorder. a female who wants to be a male and vice versa.
  7. Transsexual = transgender who go for sex change operation
  8. Transvestite = transfer of vest (clothes). a male who dresses like a female (or vice versa) mostly for fun/ performance.
  9. Androgynous = one who appears in the middle. Eg, a person looks a little like a man but at a certain angle looks like a woman.(not due to genetics)
  10. homophyllic = one who loves others of the same sex but has nothing to do with sex or romance.
  11. Deep Platonic Relationship = relationship whereby a person loves another of the same sex deeply without involving sex or romance.
  12. pedophile = adult who is drawn to children in a way of sex/romance.
  13. metro sexual = a man who is in touch with his feminine side.(eg man who cook, do facial, do sewing, cry, etc) it is usually a term for men and it is perfectly normal.
  14. fetrosexual = same as metro sexual but this term is used for girls (eg, girls who are strong, who love to play football/rugby etc etc
  15. butch = a girl who wants to be a guy. they will bind their breasts, cut their hair short, act like a guy etc
The issues that could most probably lead to homosexuality :
  • SELF ISSUE
This issue is the rejection in the area of gender or appearance. Eg, a person who hates his/her own gender. In the area of appearance means that a person who hates the way he/she looks like. Eg, a person who feels that he/she is ugly or fat etc. Pastor Edmund was saying that don't ever hate yourself. Thank God for making you a girl/guy. Never say that you wish were the opposite gender. It really woke me up because there were times where I hated being a girl (it was not serious/severe). But yea, his words made me thank God everyday that I am a girl. I am who He made me to be.

And also Pastor Edmund said, don't complain you're ugly, but rather remember that you are beautiful in God's eyes, and that's all that matters. God made all of us beautiful, so don't ever say or complain that you're ugly. He also said don't complain about being fat. But instead, exercise, eat well and rest well. (A big bang to my head for that. LOL)
  • VACUUM ISSUE
This issue is basically about the absence of love of a parent/relative of the same gender. For example, Pastor Edmund did not have love from his father. His father was there physically but he didn't love Pastor Edmund. So Pastor Edmund was looking and wanting love from a person of the same gender.

Pastor Edmund said that many people always look for Mr/ Miss Right. And he was stressing that there is no such thing as Mr/ Miss Right, because no one is perfect. And he also said that no one completes us. He said for example, his wife does not complete him, but compliments him.

During one of the night sessions (not connected to this workshop), Pastor Eric Lau came to speak and he quote a saying from Pascal : "In the hearts of every men and women there is a God shaped vacuum that can only be filled by God the creator through Jesus Christ". This is so true.
  • BARRIER ISSUE
This issue is where a person is unable to be romantically involved with another of the opposite sex because the person has been abused verbally or sexually. For example, a girl may have been molested or raped. She will look at men as monsters and she won't be comfortable being romantically involved with a man. If this issue is not resolved (through counselling), she will stick to girls and this can lead to lesbianism.

*phew* So yea, he was telling us that gays are not born. God doesn't make gays. A person becomes gay mostly because he/she has not resolve either one, two, or all of these 3 issues. A person can also become gay because of influence from the world. He also taught about Deep Platonic Relationship. It is normal and possible, to love a person of the same sex deeply without involving romance/sexuality. So yea, don't get confused between admiration/ deep platonic relationship and love for the same sex in terms of romance.

He also taught us to be gay friendly but to stay strong to the ex-gay stance. We can be friendly to gays but it doesn't mean that we encourage that person being a gay/ leading a gay lifestyle. He also taught us not to reject gays or to mock gays.

Anyway, to learn more about Pastor Edmund's work (it's called the Real Love Ministry) , check out his website
www.r-l-m.com
You can also check out this website
www.exodus.to

I really found this workshop and the things Pastor Edmund taught very useful. I think now that gays and their lifestyle are beginning to be such a norm, these notes are very useful as awareness to the public. And also hope that a gay can be changed. Though it is not easy and it also depends on whether that person is willing or not. But yea, it is an interesting topic, and an important one too.

Hope you'll find this post useful. Do comment and give your opinions.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Was Edmund Smith gay?
No, he was a heterosexual who has relationships with men for experimentation.

What is homosexuality?
Just Same Sex Attracted Individuals.

What is the gay 'lifestyLe'?
Ask any real gay men, and they would tell you eat, go to the gym, study, sleep, watch movies, swim...

Why the term progay then?
It is used for people who wants to have rights to get married, employment, non-discrimination.

Is Edmund lying?
Yes, just google on definitions like transsexual and transgender, and you would find different meanings to it.

Somethings wikipedia has to say:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality

What does 477000 medical and health professionals say about homosexuality and chanches for change?

Homosexuality is normal, and change causes harm, that could be emotional or phychological.

www.apa.org/pi/lgbc/facts.pdf

[In 1998, December 12, the American Psychiatric Association meeting.

“The potential risks of ‘reparative therapy’ are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient.”
“Many patients who have undergone ‘reparative therapy’ relate that they were inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely, unhappy individuals who never achieve acceptance or satisfaction.”

“The possibility that the person might achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alternative approaches to dealing with the effects of societal stigmatization discussed.”

“Therefore, the American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as ‘reparative’ or ‘conversion’ therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon a prior assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation. The American Psychiatric Association recognizes that in the course of ongoing psychiatric treatment, there may be appropriate clinical indications for attempting to change sexual behaviors.”]

But Edmund changed?

Changes are either 1. Bisexual people reconciling to just be straight. 2. Heterosexuals who feel they do not really want to have sex with men. 3. Celibacy.

Until now, there has been many 'supposed' changes, but non are peer previewed, and scientifically prove, that a shift from orientation from homo to hetero happened. It is as impossible as a shift from hetero to homo.

The Bible is used to condemn many others before; slaves, women, african americans, but the truth is what is written is never understood fully.

Even Christ himself said nothing in red about homosexuality.

The writings of the apostle Paul that has verses that is against homosexuality, also has verses that is against women...

example:

1 corinthians 34-35

34women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 35If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

1 timothy 2 : 11 - 15

11A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15But women[a] will be saved[b] through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

You are too young to know this, but understand this fact, the bible had been used for centuries to go against minorities. it is what drives the church, fear.

Edmund Smith needs to go against gays to sell his CD's, one after another, also his preachings, and also to be popular and ge. Very few of ht support from th church. His 'sermons' are sometimes not free. It is his career and we should respect it.

But I am talking as a Christian, Jesus would not murk a prostitute, neither use the Bible to condemn people EXCEPT self righteous priests. What is the Christian thing to do here? Think, question.

1 Thessalonians 5:21

21Test everything. Hold on to the good.

Lastly, is it fair to listen to only one person who claims to be gay to represent every gay in the world? Everyone is different. Everyone is an individual. God sees the minds and hearts of people. Therefore, do not talk about people behind them and assume; but when there is a chance to meet gays, talk to them. You would be surprised how different a gay person is than the one perpetuated by Edmund Smith.

PS - I used to hate gays too, and find a lot of reasons to do so. I was wrong. They are just ordinary human beings like you and I. In fact, I am starting to find it is heterosexuals that are deceitful, fighting to control homosexuals, while not looking into the speck of their own eyes. I was one of them. And I know that I am wrong by misusing His Name to condemn people who have a place in His Kingdom. Hope you learn from this too.

JoJo said...

Dear anonymous,

Thank you so much for giving your point of view. I do agree with some things you have said.

However I do have to point out that Edmund Smith is not lying(that is a very strong word to say).

I've checked wikipedia and it says that:
"One common definition is that a transsexual is a person who believes that his or her body does not reflect his or her true 'inner' identification of physical sex or gender.
Another common definition is that a transsexual is a person who has had or plans to have medical or surgical treatments that alter his or her body to better reflect what the individual believes is his or her true gender."

So Edmund Smith is not lying. He may not be totally right, but lying is definately not what he was doing.

And I do agree with this "Homosexuality is normal, and change causes harm, that could be emotional or phychological." But as you yourself said, "Lastly, is it fair to listen to only one person who claims to be gay to represent every gay in the world? Everyone is different. Everyone is an individual."

I am not saying that Pastor Edmund Smith represents every gay in the world. Everyone is different. And the most important thing about changing a person, whether gay or not, is willingness. You can talk to a gay, tell him/her that change is better, so on so forth, but at the end of the day, it depends whether the person is willing to change him/herself.

Maybe you're right, that change in homosexuality causes harm, but not all gays feel that way. It is not easy leading a gay life (although many have already been opened-minded about them), and some may actually feel much better and more free coming out of the gay life. I don't think you should judge Pastor Edmund and say that he has not changed. How do you know his heart? For all you know, maybe he really felt better/more free after being not gay. Then again, I might be wrong. But only God knows his heart and his true feelings. And we don't have the right to judge him.

Lastly, I agree that gays are normal human beings like you and me. I do not see gays as monsters or weirdos or anything like that. I don't mind at all talking with a gay. That's why Pastor Edmund taught us about being gay-friendly. To be friendly towards gays, not to mock them or reject them. I would also like to encourage other Christians to love them...like Jesus would.

Thanks again anonymous for your comments. I really have learnt alot from it. And though I agree with what you said, that I might be too young to understand/know this, I am indeed very eager to learn new things everyday. It is the awesomeness of life. :)

Ps: to all, I really hope you will post your comments too. Do share your opinions though it might be against my post. I am eager to learn and to hear your voices. Thank you.

Yuki said...

Hi, my name is Yuki. I have known Edmund Smith for quite some time and have been observing the comments coming in here.

I would like to highlight something here, especially when I am a pre-op transsexual female.

Transgender= transfer of gender. one who has a Gender Identity Disorder. a female who wants to be a male and vice versa.

(Transgender is just an umbrella term that emcompasses every human being that does not fit into a specific gender category. It is NOT G.I.D.)

Transsexual = transgender who go for sex change operation

(I am diagnosed as a person with Gender Identity Disorder, or known as Harry Benjamin Syndrome. It is caused by the chromosomnal being, the psychological being, the hormonal being or the biological being being variant from the birth sex. The only cure for that constitutes HRT or hormone reparative therapy then to SRS surgery. That puts me as a transsexual)

(Unlike mentioned by Edmund, a transsexual may not go to surgery, example the Muslim transsexuals in Malaysia who cannot because of their religion. The surgery is just part of the journey, the transition is a lifetime. Therefore, Edmund Smith is incorrect to drag the term transgender and mashes it with transsexual)

Transvestite = transfer of vest (clothes). a male who dresses like a female (or vice versa) mostly for fun/ performance.

(A male who dresses as a male or vice versa is called drags and drabs. It has nothing to do with transsexuals, because they are sure with their sexuality.)

I am sure Edmund is not lying, but there are political things you cannot see in his 'motion', even for ex-gays.

I give you just one simple question, let's just say you have a left hand. But suddenly someone comes and says it is caused by your parents who are distant or psysical brokeness. How do you feel? Now put that to gays, you have gays who come from normal families and childhoods, only to be accused of being abused or distant from their parents? Is Edmund being fair?

Lastly, on your comment:

"You can talk to a gay, tell him/her that change is better, so on so forth, but at the end of the day, it depends whether the person is willing to change him/herself."

That is the problem. How would you feel if someone comes to you and ask you to be a homosexual? And are you fair in stating here that the person 'should' change? No one should be compelled to be who they are not, or be assumed they are to change to something they are not.

If I were to have listened to Edmund and try to be a boy... I would have lost a lot of years in my life in pursuing a transition, and missed a huge part of my years being who I am.

But of course I cannot speak for gays for I am not, but you can check here - www.beyondexgay.com. These are ex gay survivors, who have wasted precious years and finances, only to realise they have wasted years (some to decades) of their life trying to be who they are not. And who have they to thank for? People who come and tried to change them like Edmund.

And dear, Edmund IS lying. There is no change. Only supression, and a life of denial. But to Edmund, that is his right, to deny himself to take up his cross to follow HIM. But in another different corner, does denying yourself to take up the cross include 'changing' to become a homosexual (lesbian) for you? Do you understand now?

Are you doing justice then to your homosexual friends? The best thing to do for your homosexual friends treat them as human beings without compelling them to do something they will regret for the rest of your life.

Imagine, a girl, one day, someone may come and slap her in the face and said 'you ruined my life You blurred my mind saying that I would be better of to change. Well, I was willing to. Now I wasted 20 years of my life. And what do I get? NOTHING! If is all because of you and those false promises by EDMUND SMITH!...

Do you want to be that girl?

I am sure Edmund can help very few people who were sexually confused like himself, but for the majority, he does nothing but throw wrong representations of what homosexuality really is.

One last question. As you know I am a transsexual. You can say I am an ex-boy. Do you trust me if I tell you I can teach everyone about being a boy?

Likewise, can you say ex-gays can tell you about being a gay? Ex-gays are never gays, or they are lying to themselves.

I agree with the 'annonymus'. You need to question, and think. The world is never simple, but I am sure everyone will get their share of wisdom someday. Even you me, and Edmund Smith.

JoJo said...

Dear Yuki,

Thank you so much for your comments and I have to say, some things you have said have got me thinking.

"Imagine, a girl, one day, someone may come and slap her in the face and said 'you ruined my life You blurred my mind saying that I would be better of to change. Well, I was willing to. Now I wasted 20 years of my life. And what do I get? NOTHING! If is all because of you and those false promises by EDMUND SMITH!...

Do you want to be that girl?"

No, I would not want to be that girl. And I most probably would not. Because honestly, I don't think I have enough knowledge or experience or maybe even courage to go up to any gay and ask them to change. This post I put up in my blog is just to share with people something I have learnt in camp. Not to change anyone. And of course I would like to have some feedback from others and to learn more, to think more, to question more.

"And dear, Edmund IS lying. There is no change. Only supression, and a life of denial. But to Edmund, that is his right, to deny himself to take up his cross to follow HIM. But in another different corner, does denying yourself to take up the cross include 'changing' to become a homosexual (lesbian) for you? Do you understand now?"

I still do have this believe that there IS change. That change is possible. However, I do agree with you that change may not be beneficial to others.
But like I said, neither me nor you nor anyone else knows Pastor Edmund's true heart. Only God and himself. Whether he is living a life of denial, we don't know, and we definately cannot judge him.

I have visited your blog and I have to say, I am very encouraged by you. About how strong your relationship with God is. And I do very much agree with you. That gays are normal human beings, and I will take your advice "The best thing to do for your homosexual friends treat them as human beings without compelling them to do something they will regret for the rest of your life."

Tell you the truth, I don't have any homosexual friends. Or for all you know maybe I do but I don't realise. But one thing is for sure, I will definately follow your advice in treating them as normal human beings. And I will love them...as Jesus would.

Thank you once again, Yuki for sharing your comments, your opinions, and your knowledge. I have learnt alot. From both you and anonymous. And I will question and think about this topic. And I will most definately learn from views, opinions, and knowledge from other people. Thank you once again and God bless :)

Yuki said...

You are wellcome. Perhaps you are right too, to say it is only for God to judge him. Only God can see the mind and the heart of everyone.

And perhaps I am speaking in despair in seeing many homosexuals that goes to someone like Edmund and his myths, and instead of changing their homosexuality, they even lost their belief in God.

I fortunately leart a lot about Edmund, from his family and relatives; but I am not going to say anything except it is his life and God has shown many of us his fruits. He has to face Him one day.

My concern as I say, is a notion that homosexuals CAN and SHOULD change. Change to what by the way? It is not a choice. The Bible's writers has no understanding of homosexuality, or women and slaves for that matter. What more human beings.

We are all individuals, living in the age of the fall of sin. Heterosexuals sin too, and heterosexual acts are all over MTV, add with girls in skimpy bikinis all over the place with men. So what right has heterosexuals got to judge homosexuals?

We are all sinners, we should stop claiming to represent God and define people as who we want them to be. Let God define themselves. Our Saviour bless you, He will show you everything in His time and give you wisdom. Take care.

"I put no stock in religion. By the word religion I have seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called the will of god. I have seen too much religion in the eyes of too many murderers. Holiness is in right action, and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves, and goodness. What god desires is here [head] and here [heart], and by what you decide to do every day, you will be a good man (person), or not. - Quote from Kingdom Of Heaven.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jojo,

The individual by the name of Vivian @ Yuki @ Anonymous @ etc who is going international via internet to destroy the name and ministry Ps Edmund & RLM (www.r-l-m.com).

This individual is a transgender (a male who believes that he is meant to be a female) who was once helped by Ps Edmund but became vicious because Ps Edmund refused to condone to his pro-gay and pro-transgender believes.

Vivian stalks the internet to see where Ps Edmund / RLM are mentioned. And like he did with yours – he will condemned Ps Edmund / RLM.

He is dangerous & definitely an instrument of the devil. What can you do?
1. Pray for him
2. Do not entertain him (many Christians are interacting with him like you did)
3. Warn your family and friends.

Real Love brings Real Life,
Ps Amanda Smith
(wife of Ps Edmund Smith)
amuamanda@yahoo.com

Yuki said...

I expected they would respond here. I would respect your site and as this has nothing to do with you and only a personal dogmatic attack on me I will not make any comments here, and I believe by their behaviour you see now the cult they are, and the kind of love you would expect from them.

My response if you wish to read it is here:

http://yuki-thejourney.blogspot.com/2008/01/real-love-ministry-responds-to-truth-in.html

This is now a family affair, Thanks for staying out of it. : )

JoJo said...

Dear Pastor Amanda Smith,

Thank you for your comment. And even though you believe that yuki goes around condeming RLM/ Pastor Edmund Smith, I will assure you that she has not affected what I think of Pastor Edmund Smith and the RLM. And I truly believe that Pastor Edmund Smith is a great pastor, a great husband, a great father, and a great child of God. And I still do believe that RLM is doing a great work in spreading and sharing the love of God.

I believe that everyone has a voice, and I do want to give a chance for anyone to voice out their opinions. I'm not sure if yuki is dangerous (although I don't think she is), let me assure you that I only want to hear her voice and also voices of the others. I won't exchange personal details with her, or even any stranger who I meet on the internet.

I pray that God will continue to use Pastor Edmund, you(Pastor Amanda) and RLM for His glory. And I pray that He will use you to make an impact on others. I also pray that God will continue to be ever so close to yuki, as I do believe that she is, transgender or not, still a child of God. And I pray that God will guide yuki in life's decisions and to just continue to speak to her.

Lastly, I have just realised that this post have caused hurt in people, so I just want to say I'm very sorry for any inconvinience. Thank you once again for your comments and God bless.