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Don’t Fret Susan, Jesus & I Are Great!

I have wanted to but wrestled with responding to this comment. I am going to because it is important to do so because of the ex-gay/conversion ministry messaging in it; Susan Eastham writes:

I read through your entire blog and it reveals that God is not and never was enough for you. Giving in to sin and justifying it before people who really do want God to be enough is dangerous. You have chosen mediocrity which is the easy way and leads to discontent. Holiness is the opposite of homosexual sin (not heterosexuality) – holiness is also the cure for gossip, gluttony, pride, narcissm and more- but it is the hardest way. What’s wrong with hard when it pleases God and results in knowing Him well? Not a difficult choice in my mind – He denied Himself for me!! Celibacy is the least one can do.

Let’s break that down and respond to selected portions.

I read through your entire blog and it reveals that God is not and never was enough for you. Giving in to sin and justifying it before people who really do want God to be enough is dangerous…

I am going to assume you are telling the truth about reading all 98 posts and 645 comments (to date) and came up with that ridiculous assessment. Humbly stated, I have no need for you to agree with, sanction, or even tolerate my life or faith.

My relationship with Christ is not frail or in danger because you choose to filter my writings/life through bigotry instead of listening to or accepting reality. Since May 31st, 1992, I am a gay man of faith. After 25 years of faith, my relationship with God is stronger than ever.

The Scriptures state that there is no shame or condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. So, out of a position of strength and authority in Him, I reject your judgment and curses. Go worry about your own sin and frailty of faith; Jesus and I are great.

You have chosen mediocrity which is the easy way and leads to discontent.

I have no idea what that means in the context of what you read. But, it is obviously an asshole thing to say. Stop being an asshole, Susan.

Holiness is the opposite of homosexual sin (not heterosexuality) – holiness is also the cure for gossip, gluttony, pride, narcissm and more- but it is the hardest way.

Yeah… I was a part of the meeting at the now defunct Exodus International that came up with “holiness is…” as a slogan. It quickly became one of our principal go-to talking points. Did very well in helping people numb their hearts to the reality that they are imposing an ungodly standard (they apparently don’t live up to) on His LGBTQ+ children. Despite the blatant arrogance in saying something like that, it helped people perpetuate the false idea that somehow we were humble, and not hateful, in a “biblically” clever (at least we thought) way.

It’s not biblical or clever. The truth is, it took me a very long time to accept this, but the foundation of the belief that homosexuality can be cured is nothing but hateful. My core relational sense of self is how our Creator created me, to directly state that it is the “hardest” sin is an insult to the God who made me and me. God didn’t make a mistake. I am not a sin. How I love people, love my partner, love God, and relate to the world as a gay man is not a sin.

What’s wrong with hard when it pleases God and results in knowing Him well? Not a difficult choice in my mind – He denied Himself for me!! Celibacy is the least one can do.

I don’t believe it is pleasing to God to live a lie, deny reality, and not seek to fulfill the wonder and beauty of who He created us to be. Living in honesty, not through a mask of slogans and filters of stigmatized idealism, is actually difficult. Living as a gay man of faith is certainly not easy. I am not complaining at all, but there are a lot of cultural Christians who have inspired a lot of hatred within their own ranks and in those who they condemn to hell. To say that you are gay AND Christian brings negative responses from across the spectrum of beliefs on these issues.

I lived celibately for 23 years, I even taught about it and traveled around the country speaking about the issues that being “celibate” involves. Even though I no longer agree with that perspective, I understand it thoroughly.

If that is the least *you* can do… more power to you. Not telling you what to believe or do. For myself, and what I have heard from many people, we used the “call to celibacy” as a shield to protect us from our own self-loathing and fear of others. We feared to be emotionally or relationally intimate because of past pain and hurt. That same celibacy shield also made us feel special (terminally unique) but blinded us from reality. Deep down, we knew in our hearts we were designed to truly be LGBTQ+ people. Our core sense of being was in conflict with culturally conditioned teachings that had been hard-wired (literally, through neurological imprinting) into our brains.

Coming out again, dating, being honest in an often brutal to the honest world, being in a relationship has and is making me a much better man. I bring honor and glorify God by accepting and finally living out how God truly created me. THIS is how He chose for me to manifest His beauty in this world.

It’s not easy and I am not perfect; like exhorting you to not be an asshole isn’t the godliest thing to do… but I meant it and at the moment don’t feel like taking it back.

Think whatever you like, I’ll be me and you be you. Have a great day.

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8 Comments

  • John Smid
    Posted July 1, 2017

    Since I decided to live authentically, I’ve discovered more about God, humanity, relationships and my own soul than I ever new before. Largely because before that I hid underneath all of those platitudes and stuffed myself into a benign cave. Trying to deny myself (as in “for God”) led me to a neutral non-being.

    I lived faithfully, and subsequently celibately within my 24 year marriage. Denying my sexuality, my physical and intimate desires led me to become an empty tomb. I lost my self and forgot who I was deep in my being.

    As you’ve said, Randy, having an authentic open and honest relationship today with my husband has led me to re-discover myself and to learn even more of how much I lost in my life through the messages of ExGay thinking and teaching.

    Thank you for writing this piece. It’s very helpful to hear others who understand, and who’ve been there, share their stories openly.

    • Randy Thomas
      Posted July 2, 2017

      Yeah, I love the true you and am very happy for you John. Thank you for being transparent about your journey.

  • Hope Wiltfong
    Posted July 1, 2017

    You go, Randy. Great response – love you, brother.

    • Randy Thomas
      Posted July 2, 2017

      Thank you, Hope! love you too.

  • easthambloglifeinsmallbites
    Posted November 11, 2017

    Wow! Randy, I just came across your reply to me from last July. I wish you had responded not on your “feelings” or “experience,” but on God’s mandates for His children. When I heard you speak that last Wednesday night in Irvine, California, at the final Exodus meeting, I said to myself (about your message), “this guy knows God – he is a standout Christian with a backbone and not afraid to boast in what God has done in his life.” So I have followed you from afar every so often to see how you were doing. May I ask what made you throw off celibacy and live as you do now?

    • Randy Thomas
      Posted November 11, 2017

      Wow! Randy, I just came across your reply to me from last July. I wish you had responded not on your “feelings” or “experience,” but on God’s mandates for His children.

      I included both what I think God believes and my feelings and experience because Jesus is a God of love and atoned for all the alleged “biblical mandates.” He is a God of love, not culturally conditioned “mandates.”

      When I heard you speak that last Wednesday night in Irvine, California, at the final Exodus meeting, I said to myself (about your message), “this guy knows God – he is a standout Christian with a backbone and not afraid to boast in what God has done in his life.”

      Thanks! I still have a backbone, still not afraid to say what I believe and still willing to stand up to religious legalists and bullies to help others find the exit door to escape The Gospel According to Conversion Therapy.

      So I have followed you from afar every so often to see how you were doing. May I ask what made you throw off celibacy and live as you do now?

      “Throw off…” … Really? Susan? If you truly follow me and have any reading comprehension at all, I address the issue of celibacy and how I have grown past it in this very post. As well as many of the other posts you have claimed (earlier) to read. It appears your last question is simply an attempt to insult me. Maybe that is the point of your whole comment? If you are disappointed that I have grown and matured as a person to finally embrace and accept who I am as a gay man in Christ, I get it. Do what you have to do to work that out. I don’t have to justify my beliefs; they are what they are. You are more than welcome to read my posts (of course) but if you are trying to pick a public argument or looking for ways to insult me through the veil of righteous indignation, I won’t facilitate that. Moving forward, keep that in mind and if you continue to send comments and messages.

  • Amira Steffany Lagerström
    Posted November 11, 2017

    I love this post. I love where this journey has brought you. I LOVE seeing you happier and more whole than I ever have. If we are supposed to identify those in Christ by the fruit of the spirit, baby, your tree is overflowing with ripe, delicious fruit 😉

    • Randy Thomas
      Posted November 11, 2017

      Thank you, Amira. Love you so much and appreciate your encouragement. ♥️

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