Christian Testimony-Deliverance from Abuse

Victory over Homosexuality

Editors Note:

This is a personal testimony of a friend of mine named Larry K., published with his permission. After you read it, please share some love and encouragement with Larry or maybe share some thoughts about how you can relate to his story. He is very brave for sharing his testimony with us.

Larry K.:

I was born in 1956, the second of three boys. I don’t remember much about my younger years, but I do know that my mother was a Christian, and she made church attendance a priority. I’ve gone to church all my life. Being in church at least once a week however, did not make me a Christian.

For a child, perception is reality, even if that perception is flawed, and I grew up believing my dad hated me. His approach to child-rearing was very similar to the way a drill sergeant handles raw recruits.

Being in church at least once a week however, did not make me a Christian.

To say that my father had a great deal of respect and admiration for the Armed Forces is a gross understatement. He joined the Army, when World War II began and served through two wars. A grenade landing too close to his head ended his dream of a military career.

Sins of the Father

I do not remember the event, but my mother said that when I was 18 months old, my dad beat me with his belt. She said I had been crying, and was apparently inconsolable. I suppose my dad’s reasoning was that since I wouldn’t stop crying, he would give me “something to cry for”.

My mother told me about this when I was in elementary school. I’m not sure why she told me, but when I heard it, I became angry. Why would a father beat his toddler son with a belt? Was my dad bitter? I really don’t know; I guess, in some ways, he was.

My dad was an abusive alcoholic. I remember times when he would have too much to drink, and make us sit at the dinner table, for long periods of time and assault us with his anger. He also had some really harsh things to say about other people.

I often heard from other boys whom I attended school and church with, about the wonderful times they shared with their dads. Some went on camping trips; some played sports. My dad played baseball with me, but made it very clear that it really wasn’t a choice. If I didn’t play, I could spend time in my room dealing with the pain from a beating. Baseball is a great game, but I grew to hate it because I hated the “do-it-or-you’ll-wish-you-had” scenario.

I definitely had low self-esteem. Both my own parents called me, “Stupid!” and then I began hearing it from boys and girls with whom I went to school. If I didn’t understand something, I’d ask questions. But it seemed like they were exasperated with me for having to explain something that I apparently should already know.

I didn’t deal with gender identity issues. I never wanted to play with dolls. I never had crushes on other boys. I remember once, when talking with my brothers saying, that I’d marry a girl one day and have children.

Alcohol and Anger

I’ve heard stories from others who also are the children of alcoholics. Many of them suffered terrible physical abuse. My dad’s abuse was mostly verbal. However it sometimes did become physical. I remember being nine, taking a bath and splashing some water out of the tub, onto the floor. My dad beat my bare behind with the back of a wooden hairbrush. I had bruises for at least 3 months.

I began to carry a lot of anger. My dad would finish up his rants, with, “It’s over! Just forget about it!” He had let loose a tirade in which he had cussed everyone and everything, telling us we were “sissies” (that’s one of the nicer names). But I wasn’t allowed to say anything.

I began to wonder why God gave me this man for a father. It’s not good to hold anger inside. A root of bitterness is easily formed. Even though I didn’t think life was worth living, I really didn’t think about suicide. I thought more about becoming an adult, and moving far away.

God’s love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness, are so far beyond what we can possibly understand!

When I was 15, things came to a head. My dad decided he’d go to a bar and get drunk. He had a wreck and was arrested that night for driving under the influence. My anger towards God reached the breaking point. A tree my dad hit in the accident actually kept him from driving into a river and possibly drowning. I didn’t say, “Thank you, God, for that tree!” My anger erupted, and I let it come out as I blasted God for having the nerve to put that tree there, so my father would be saved.

I’d like to take just a moment to say that God’s love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness, are so far beyond what we can possibly understand! God poured out on me, an incredible amount mercy and grace, that night! He looks upon our hearts! Under the Law of God, I would have been stoned. Those doing the stoning would not have been permitted to show any pity or compassion. “But God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

God’s Kindness leads Us to Repentance

God began to deal with me after that. I felt His love, but I also felt Him telling me that I was a sinner, and needed to confess my sins, and repent. On the last Sunday in July 1972, I went to an evening service at my church. Because of a mother’s testimony and God working on my heart, I accepted Jesus into my life that night and asked Him to be my Savior.

I felt a weight had been lifted off me! But my circumstances and my life didn’t change. I still had an alcoholic dad who appeared to hate me. I thought life was supposed to be wonderful after one got saved.

When I was around 16, I went to the department store where my mother worked. I needed to use the restroom and it was then that a man sexually abused me. He didn’t force me. I believe I could have resisted, but I didn’t.

Finally, a man old enough to be my father, had shown interest in me. After that, I tossed aside any hope of having any kind of normal relationship with my father and began going to this restroom every chance I could. Being a Christian, however, I was also miserable because I knew what I was doing was wrong. Homosexual acts seemed to be the only way that I received affection from men.

After graduating from high school, I wanted to leave home. Going to college appeared to be the only option. My dad was very adamant that I was going to go into the Marines, but that was not something I was willing to do so I worked to get a scholarship to college. I went as far away from home as I could, without leaving the state.

Homosexual acts seemed to be the only way that I received affection from men.

I still wanted to get married to a girl, and have children, but when I thought of sexuality, I began to see myself with guys. I couldn’t seem to help myself. I wanted to be “normal” but found myself drawn to what the Church said was wrong.

While in college, I was invited to a charismatic church. I really loved it! I felt an excitement I had never felt before! One night, a woman gave a testimony about having been an alcoholic, and how God had delivered her. She said she was drinking every night, and couldn’t stop. She said she came to the end of herself, and cried out to God, and Jesus met her, saved her, and from that moment she said she never again had any desire to drink hard beverages.

She said anyone could have that too, so I went forward. I cried, prayed, said what the counselor said to say, and believed God had done something. But on the way back to my seat, I felt a sexual temptation. I was devastated! I sought counseling, and was told that I still had unconfessed sin in my life, or my faith was weak.

I was miserable because I just knew God was angry at me because my faith was weak, or I had dared to ask forgiveness for my sins, while trying to fool God by not confessing everything. I was trying to live the Christian life on my own strength and understanding. I eventually gave up.

I knew the only future in Heaven, for me, was standing before God and hearing Him tell me that I was saved but how mad He was at me, because my faith had been weak. I would have to sit through eternity looking at all I could have had, had I only enough faith.

I was convinced that to overcome homosexuality all that was required was to stop doing that which I was tempted to do. If I stopped acting out, God would be pleased with me. I know now that is a works-based religion. It doesn’t require a relationship. One does what one is supposed to do, and checks off one’s list, and one is in right relationship with God.

Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone

Ephesians 2:8-9 is a passage that many people have memorized, but maybe were like me, in that they didn’t apply the truth: “For by grace ye have been saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” We are saved BY GRACE, THROUGH FAITH. Period!

Even faith is a gift. If we try to work, we’ll be lost, because the Bible says salvation is a gift. Even faith to believe is a gift. But I didn’t apply God’s truth. I kept going to church; kept praying; asking for deliverance; not acting out for periods of time, then feeling tempted, feeling terrible, asking for help; feeling a lot of pressure, and eventually giving in because I felt I didn’t have a choice.

Then I would feel bad because I had fallen. God was mad at me! Eventually I believed God had stopped wasting His time and gifts on me, because He knew I would eventually sin again. My double life went on for years.

During this time, I met a wonderful girl. We’ve been married for almost 34 years. It was also during this time I felt a strong call from God, to full-time ministry. I left my job and went back to school. It took nine years to get my Master of Divinity, but I believed it was God’s will.

God Hears

However I continued the crazy sin/addiction cycle, described above, throughout this time. By December of 2003, I’d had enough. I begged God to do something in my life. It didn’t matter what He did, as long as He did something, at that moment. If God didn’t move, I was going to kill myself. I was serious, but I still didn’t want to die. I wanted God to move.

All I can say about that moment is that God filled me with His Holy Spirit in a way I hadn’t experienced before, and I had a new found peace to help me move forward. In 2007 I found New Beginning Support Ministry (Truth WNC then). I began attending the men’s support group and started to deal with some of the roots of my same-sex attractions. I’ve been involved since that time and now serve in a leadership capacity. I have found greater spaces of grace and freedom than ever before.

Temptation is Not a Sin

I now have victory over homosexuality and depression yet I’m still tempted sometimes daily. I’ve learned that victory is not in never sinning. It’s not in doing good. God said in His Word, in Isaiah, that “…all our righteousness is as filthy rags.” 

Victory is also not in facing only that with which one can handle on one’s own strength and resources. Victory comes when we are empowered to choose the path God has provided for us, to escape the temptation. I’ve learned that it’s not a sin to be tempted. If it was, then Jesus Christ would be disqualified to be the LORD and Savior of the world; Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

I’ve also learned that it’s God’s will that we face challenges we cannot handle with our own strength and resources. God WANTS us to face situations in which we must choose to submit to Him, and resist the enemy. When God does it, He gets the glory!

It’s okay to be tempted! God loves me! He isn’t mad at me! The more we’re tempted, the more we can choose God’s way of escape. The more we choose God’s way of escape, the more we see that God is good, and will lead us in ways that show us He can be trusted. The more we see God can be trusted, the more we’ll want to submit to Him. The more we submit to Him, the more we talk with Him. The more we talk with Him, the stronger our relationship with Him becomes. And THAT is what God wants: a RELATIONSHIP with us!

 

About Brad White

R. Brad White is the Founder and President of Changing the Face of Christianity Inc. Brad is a former atheist and became an "on fire for God" Christian in 2005. In 2008, Brad became incredibly burdened by what he perceived as a Christian faith far off course, and Christians far from living the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Brad submitted to the calling to reverse these negative Christian stereotypes, by starting "Changing the Face of Christianity" (a 501c3 Texas non-profit corporation). Read more about R. Brad White


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Comments

  1. Loran Yunevich says

    God is good! As you have been forgiven so have all of us who claimed Gods grace provided by His son. May God bless you in your work helping others in a lifestyle contrary to Gods word.

  2. alan says

    Larry, thanks for sharing your story and for not giving up and finding God faithful. While my dad wasn’t abusive, have found that my struggles with same sex attraction have more to do with emotional, rather than sexual, needs. These same sex attractions, altho sometimes suffocating, have led me to believe the truth of “I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh” maybe more deeply than I otherwise would have. Left to myself, I think that today I would do that which I hate. What I am in myself is corrupt, deeply so, but what I am in Christ, I am by grace, and there is hope and a future there. Still trying to find what it means, in practical ways, of what living by faith is. . . that daily moment-by-moment laying hold of Christ to walk in this world. Have found the cross to be given as grace and the taking up of it so necessary on the way. All the years and tears of self-condemnation have given way to the great hope of pressing on. Jesus’ invitation to draw near and enter in still holds true even when my corrupted emotional needs tempt me to dwell in my soul rather than in spirit in Christ. Larry, may God continue to bless you and your marriage and your ministry.

  3. Zachary Moore says

    While Larry’s personal experience is terrible and I’m glad that he’s feeling happier with his life, but this does not represent the normative experience for homosexual men. That this is offered as an example of how to have “victory over homosexuality” is a rank insult to the hundreds of thousands of homosexual men who have no history of abuse, were raised in loving homes, and who do not experience their sexual orientation as a cycle of addiction. If this is a representation of how this ministry intends to “change the face of Christianity,” then I’m afraid the new face will be all too familiar indeed. Zachary Moore

  4. R. Brad White says

    Zachary Moore, I am truly saddened by your response. This was a personal testimony of a real person that maybe doesn’t fit your cookie cutter definition of a “typical homosexual” or a normative homosexual experience. But by criticizing it as not normative (as if his experience isn’t valid) … Aren’t you insulting him and the many that have same sex attractions that CAN relate to his experience? We will change the face of christianity by truly loving others. This means also being graceful, empathetic, and compassionate. What you’ve offered up is not loving, graceful, or compassionate . And Zach, this is so uncharacteristic of what I’ve come to know about you. We can disagree, and we will. But to attempt to discredit Larry’s experience because it doesn’t fit your view or experience is just tasteless. You are better than that.

  5. Zachary Moore says

    No, Brad, this is not about Larry’s unfortunate experience, this is about the mistake, the SERIOUS mistake that you made in posting it as a “victory over homosexuality.” I need to be direct and harsh with you here because you need to understand that what you did was damaging to your ministry and it can NOT happen again. I know that you want to portray Christians in a better light, so please understand that this runs completely counter to that goal. You have insulted, SIGNIFICANTLY insulted the LGBT community, and if this is the way that you plan to reach out to nonbelievers you will insult them as well. You need to remove or at least retitle this post as soon as possible, and you need to feature the testimony of a gay Christian who has accepted his orientation. If you do not do this, your ministry is a FAILURE. There is no kinder way to put it. Again, consider the serious mistake you have made and work to change it, for the sake of your ministry.

    • says

      Thanks Zachary for clarifying your thoughts and reaction to the article title. I understand your concern is much deeper than an article title, but nonetheless….I HAVE updated the title to more accurately reflect the intent of Larry’s testimony. Within the article content, these are Larry’s words alone, from his personal perspective, and so I won’t be able to change his words. As always, thanks for your vigilance.

  6. Loran Yunevich says

    The sin of homosexuailty is not an affront to others in the LGBT community it is an affront to a pure and Holy God. The world has declared this sin as a one of personality trait but God does not. God is love and He states His views on this subject in His word, Jesus also stated His word would cause a divide in relationships.As Christians we are to spread the Good News but we are also not to color over sin. Sicence and Gods word have been the center of many discussions but Gods word is without error it is only man’s efforts to change it to support a sinful lifestyle that is in error. LIgh and darkness can not be in the same place at once. I am sorry that my words may sound harsh but truth is truth. I had to learn the hard way the mistakes (sins ) of my youth were against Gods word and His desire for me to have a full life through Jesus the Christ, my Lord and savior. The truth will set you free but first you have to accept the Truth. I am not without compassion but I sometimes come across as such. I lack the ability to form more gentel words and thoughts. If I offended anyone I ask for forgiveness. My desire is to point myself and others to a perfect and Holy God and His Son.

  7. CB says

    Zachary’s is simply wrong. He’s wrong to dismiss the work God has done in this man’s life. He’s wrong to assume he can speak for so many others. He’s wrong to pretend that the victory God gave this man over a sin that was clearly harming him is somehow insulting to others. He’s wrong to insist that R.B.W. should have to provide space for a rebuttal from someone whose theological beliefs are inconsistent with Scripture (although I’m sure anyone could post such a disagreement to the comments area). Zachary is essentially denying the power, God’s power, over this man’s life because it doesn’t fit the narrative he prefers. Undoubtedly, the experiences of many people are different (though this does not change the Word a whit) and all people must be treated by Christians with love and respect. However, those who argue that love and respect can only come from the unquestioning acceptance of that which God’s Word says is sin and leads to death are asking others not only to betray their faith and conscience. They are insisting that love and respect can only be valid on *their* own terms. By their own logic, their disagreements and opposition cannot be made in love. It is a tragic cycle.

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