In a now-deleted post that began generating controversy last night, a member of the Gateway Fellowship Church in Kerrville, Texas celebrated the baptism of a fellow congregation member… who held up a sign saying “I believed a lie from the Devil that I was gay until… God showed me His Gateway!!!”
Don’t worry. I got the screenshots.
The comments on that thread got brutal before the post was deleted with people condemning the poster -and the church — for convincing the guy in the middle that he only thought he was gay because Satan said so.
The guy himself posted video of his baptism, and you can see him holding up that sign, and showing the clapping crowd both sides of it, before he gets dunked in the giant tub for Jesus. (He has since deleted it… but not before I saved a copy.)
That was Sunday. Yesterday, the same guy posted an “apology”… in which he said, “it was my decision to change my sexuality.” As if that’s supposed to make everything better. (He has since deleted it… but… oh, you know.)
Before he deleted that video, he cited three Bible verses in its caption. One of them says “… men who have sex with men… will [not] inherit the kingdom of God.” Another, “the Lord knows how to… hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh…” And the last, “men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
Those are among the several “clobber verses” conservative Christians use to denounce gay people. They’re the verses cited by the likes of Westboro Baptist Church when they’re out protesting. They’re the verses many other Christians would say are taken wildly out of context or are nullified by the sacrifice of Jesus.
The problem isn’t that this guy has convinced himself he’s not gay. It’s that everyone in his church community accepted and encouraged the myth that you choose to be gay — and that those who are gay are just being misled by Satan.
I messaged the church’s Facebook page last night to ask if that’s indeed what they teach the congregation, and if they supported conversion therapy. While I received a notification that the message was read, no one responded to me… which is disturbing since it shouldn’t have taken very long for someone managing their social media to type “no” and “no.”
What a horrible message to send to the countless number of gay people out there, many of whom are Christian. They have nothing to be ashamed of. They’re not confused. They weren’t misled. And it’s downright cruel for any group of people to convince someone he’s not really gay and implying he did something wrong by ever saying as much.
This guy just proudly joined a church whose first major act was to publicly shame him for being himself. Just over a year ago, he celebrated being gay and proud. Now he belongs to an organization that took that joy and replaced it with guilt and shame in the name of Christ.
Don’t criticize him in the comments, by the way. He’s the victim in all this. He doesn’t deserve anyone’s condemnation.
Blame Gateway Fellowship Church and others like it for perpetuating this lie about homosexuality and giving this poor guy praise for believing it.
(Thanks to Kathy for the link)