Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Is Faith in Jesus Christ Strong Enough to Lead People Out of Homosexuality?

             The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the concept of questioning of sexuality and displacing those questions. There are people who seek to leave the homosexual lifestyle or struggle with same-sex attraction. One of those people is Elizabeth Woning, who discussed her story with Virginia Allen at The Daily Signal

            Woning said that she began questioning her sexuality at age 16 and was “stereotypically butch” by her 30s. However, she had an experience at a church that caused her to question what lesbianism meant to her.

I recognized that it gave meaning and purpose to my life…. And so, before the Lord, I began analyzing what that meant and why it was so challenging for me, such a letdown, to be just a woman.

            Trying to understand “the character of God and where I fit in that,” she questioned her lesbianism. “And the Lord was able to displace my sense of belonging as a lesbian with my sense of belonging as a daughter of God.”

            Woning made a change in her life and began working with “people who are seeking to leave the homosexual lifestyle or who are struggling with same-sex attraction.” She is the co-founder of a Christian organization, the Changed Movement. She shared her experience of “walking through homosexuality” and coming out.

            As a Christian lesbian with no plans to leave homosexuality, she attended a youth meeting where a 17-year-old boy approached her and said, “I think the Lord is speaking to you.”

I’d never heard of anything like that. And so, I remember thinking in that moment, “I don’t know what this is, but I need to hear.” And so, he proceeded to tell me something that I had been praying about for years.

And that caused me to question whether I believed God knew me, specifically. So, here, I had gone all this way, which seemed to me, great sacrifices for my faith. And I found myself in the position where I was actually questioning what I knew of God. And that caused me to think, “I need to know.”

So, I did the thing that I most relied on. I picked up a new Bible, and I began highlighting in the Bible every place where God describes himself. And it was really that journey over about 18 months of rereading the Bible, looking at the character of God, and then interacting with people who claim that they experienced the love of God and that they could directly interact with that.

It was this experiential Christianity that I had never been a part of before. I’d been a part of a strongly intellectualized, academic Christianity, strongly weighted on the social justice end, but never been exposed to this personal witness.

And that set me on the journey that caused me to begin looking at Scripture and realizing, “OK. I identify as a lesbian, and I’m a woman.” Clearly in Scripture, that isn’t represented. We can go a lot of places in gay theology looking at men, but there aren’t too many places you can go with gay theology looking at women. And I began questioning what lesbianism was to me. And I recognized that it gave meaning and purpose to my life. It gave personal power and authority to my life. It really gave me my voice.

And that caused a bit of an existential crisis for me in the context of my faith. And so, before the Lord, I began analyzing what that meant and why it was so challenging for me, such a letdown to be just a woman.

And analyzing that and prayerfully walking through that with the Lord, learning the Lord’s language for my life, revisiting Scripture, understanding the character of God and where I fit in that.

And the Lord was able to displace my sense of belonging as a lesbian with my sense of belonging as a daughter of God.

And it was that kind of threshold, that crossover moment that really pulled me out of the gay community. That wasn’t a quick journey. Once I started moving in that direction, I began questioning what I had believed and everything that I had believed.

At first, I was in a panic, because I thought, “I have been teaching and preaching and promoting heresy.” That was my first thought. And so, in that panic of fearful, really, before the Lord, I did some hard separation from the gay community and from my community where I had been before.

            Woning said that she “burned a lot of bridges” in separating from the gay community. She began to see that “there was much more” to her life and “so much more to the story.” She spent 15 years analyzing her childhood in the context of her faith, and she began “to understand how lesbianism really entered into [her] life.” She analyzed the roots of her sexual attraction, why she came to believe in lesbianism, and why she needed it.

Then Woning married a man, and they have been married for almost 17 years. She is also a pastor at a large church in Northern California and co-leader in the Changed Movement as well as Equipped to Love. She leads a dialogue about the LGBTQ experience in the context of faith. She also makes a “safe space for people who experienced same-sex attraction or gender confusion to follow their faith.” She said, “that space is getting narrower and narrower.”

There is much more to Woning’s interesting story, including a journey into politics to oppose legislation in California. You can find the entire story at this link. 

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