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A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture
Disappearing Kansas City Counseling Ban

Disappearing?

I met Carol a year or so ago at a coffee joint; she possessed a cool style and looked at me with piercing, indigo blue eyes. She was also gradually concealing her womanhood in an attempt to ‘transition.’ I felt intuitively her years of torment and sought to reinforce kindly the beauty I beheld in her.

As weeks went on, she disappeared behind men’s clothes and facial hair. I saw her last week as ‘Kevin’. My mind went blank and I looked haplessly in those eyes. Her voice squeaked a greeting as if she (approx. 30-years-old) was going through puberty.

I am seeking God and wise counsel as to how to best care for her in the little ways and moments we interact. I pray for her family who may well have agreed confusedly with Carol’s way of resolving her gender-identity conflict. The logic? ‘Better for Carol to disappear than for Carol to kill herself.’ I agree. I rejoice in her life and respect her right to choose how to resolve a longstanding gender conflict.

Her ‘cure’ is costly: on her own body (toxic hormones and invasive surgeries) and social network (disassembling old bonds, seeking tenuous new ones). Was she given a choice to explore the option of becoming reconciled to her biological self?

Kansas City’s Mayor and Council will vote this Thursday to deny her or anyone that choice. My city has initiated a push to ban ‘conversion therapy’—code word for any minor in conflict who seeks help to make peace with one’s birth gender. The bill highlights ‘Gender Pathways’, a local treatment center that offers every freedom to dysphoric youth except resolving the psychological reasons as to why one is rejecting his or her birthright.

The powers-that-be have tried to hide their counseling ban agenda from public view. They announced the bill and their near slam-dunk victory only after protest from us and others. It seems they know what they want, and they are going after it. We have become an inconvenient truth for Kansas City. They want us to disappear. No way.

We cannot disappear. We must tell the truth of how faith and sound process enabled us to overcome homosexual and transgender identities. We will make known our stories at City Hall this Wednesday. Come pray beforehand with us at 930am on the city steps or just join us at 1030am in the Council chambers. (Will keep you posted if this changes as it often does in politics.) Pray for us!

Pray that we might convey reasonably and lovingly an alternate path to healing. Pray also that we would line up good legal counsel to fight the city in case the ban passes. (The Council could vote as early as the 31st.) This is not a good time for Kansas City to make such a ban, as recent rulings in Tampa, Fla. (Vazzo v. Tampa) and New York City (Schwartz v. City of New York) have demonstrated.

A strange power has darkened the understanding of well-meaning big shots. We must break that power by telling persons the whole truth. Give each person a choice–but give them one to make! Kids grow up fast these days and don’t need condescension; they need choice. Kansas City wants to take away that choice. We won’t let them. Rather than disappear, we will shine through the confusion.

‘We have renounced secret and shameful ways. We do not use deception, nor do we distort the Word of God. Rather, by speaking the truth plainly, we commend ourselves to every person’s conscience in the sight of God’ (2 Cor. 4:2).

You can purchase “Becoming Good News” in book form directly from Desert Stream or get it from Amazon for your Kindle.

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

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open letter to mayor quinton lucas of kansas city teen conversion therapy ban

Open Letter to Mayor Quinton Lucas of Kansas City

Bless and thank you for your good service of our city. I voted for you because I respect your story. Please hear mine and many whom I represent.

I know you are leading the City Council to vote on a citywide measure that would ban any counseling for minors who are seeking to overcome same-sex attraction and/or to be reconciled to their birth gender. You are following the example of nearby Columbia MO; its City Council instituted a ban last Monday on what was framed without opposition as coercive and dangerous efforts to change people.

Mayor Lucas, no-one advocates for manipulative charlatans who harm young people by engaging them against their will and employ techniques that guilt or shock the ‘gay away.’ These abusers should lose their licenses. Period.

We are simply asking that in sexual matters–this profound and turbulent area of young lives—teens be given a range of clinical options as to how they choose to identify and relate to others.

As a ‘gay’-identified teenager in Los Angeles, I was told ‘once gay always gay.’ It was fun until it wasn’t. I became a Christian and began to realize that I had options beyond homosexuality. Part of this was based on my faith decision. Another part involved facing real psychological issues in order to build non-sexual male friendships and to love women honorably. I was vulnerable, not to bad therapists, but to finding any therapist who would help me achieve my goals. I did find one, and that reinforced my commitment to marrying a fine woman.

The clinical community (in schools, hospitals, social services, and private practices) now insists that teens with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria have only one course of action—embrace the ‘gay’ self or ‘transition’ into the other gender. I determined for myself that transitory feelings would not be my destiny. Yet the clinical world insists otherwise. Teens are now given one option.

Your expressed goal, Mayor Lucas, is to make Kansas City ‘a place that is welcoming to anybody.’ Why then are you insisting on a bill that forbids teens from exploring life beyond homosexuality and gender reassignment? Don’t invoke diversity when you are legalizing only one way for teens to resolve their sexuality.
Please give youth the dignity of choice by dropping this counseling ban.

Readers, FYI: The Kansas City Council may vote on this ban as early as Thursday the 24th. Please pray that we are given an opportunity to express our stories and our respectful difference with Mayor Lucas personally before a vote is taken. For any Kansas City-area resident, I urge you to call his office at 816-513-3500 and convey your desire that this ban be dropped.

You can purchase “Becoming Good News” in book form directly from Desert Stream or get it from Amazon for your Kindle.

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

Download PDF
behold the sham james martin

Behold the Sham

‘You are the truth presiding over all things. But in my greed, I was unwilling to lose You, and wanted to have You at the same time as holding onto a lie…That is why I lost You: You do not condescend to be possessed together with falsehood.’ St. Augustine

We gathered in Palm Springs last weekend to celebrate the Lamb—He who became living water for us in the desert of sexual brokenness. Years prior, many of us had frequented this storied playground in pursuit of ‘gay’ everything; we fled to the desert from our Los Angeles suburbs to submerge ourselves in gleaming, toxic pools. Now we behold the Lamb and invite others to do the same. The marvelous Lutheran Church that sponsored us has a huge exterior cross emerging from a rock fountain. We entered those waters and were saved. Again.

With a 75% LGBT+ population, Palm Springs prides itself on having a City Council composed solely of LGBT members. We opened our doors to all who thirst. Cross and fountain await, smack dab in the middle of downtown!

A few persons asked me there about Fr. James Martin who also seeks to be a bridge between LGBT+ Catholics and the Church. He recently had a meeting with Pope Francis who Martin claimed was altogether supportive of his initiative ‘to offer this most marginalized group in the Church welcome, inclusion, and love.’

First, what I like about Martin.

He reminds us that many persons who identify as LGBT+ are baptized Catholics. That should encourage all family and friends to pray: ‘Awaken each to the truth of his or her status as a child of the Father, deeply loved!’

He points out that persons who are hidden in their own divided sexuality may tend to demonize persons who are ‘out and proud’: ‘Remove the beam from our own eyes, O God, that we may behold the speck in our loved ones!’

He also underscores Pope Francis’ call to accompany LGBT+ persons patiently and mercifully. We are dealing with people–not abstract ‘issues’—who need our presence over the long haul.

But Martin’s reminder that we are all sinners in need of mercy rings false. He deceives us here. He does not view the LGBT+ set as sinners in need of a Savior. Rather than absolving them of sin, he claims they have none, at least in the sexual arena. The Church Martin invites them into is cross-free. Behold the Lamb? No need. Let the good father assume it by crying ‘peace’ when there is none.

Let me be specific. Father Martin insists that as a priest he would never challenge Church teachings. But he already has. He efforts to alter the Catholic understanding of same-sex tendencies and action. The Catechism defines the latter as ‘intrinsically disordered’ (#2357) and other documents define the attraction as ‘objectively disordered.’ Martin seems to support a new definition that reframes same-sex desires and actions as ‘differently ordered.’ No disorder, no need for redemption. Behold the man who takes away the sin of the world.

He writes that LGBT+ persons will not ‘receive’ the call to chastity. I think what he means is that the Church needs to wake up to the fact that LGBT+ persons should be free to act upon their feelings. Martin makes a big deal of how the Church houses all kinds of traditional sinners; what the heck, why not welcome a host of exotic ones too? And let’s not call them sinners! He cannot advocate for LGBT+ sexual liberties and not redraw the moral boundary lines for all persons. Martin wants to redefine chastity for us altogether.

Finally, Martin advocates for a new anthropology—the ‘LGBT+ Catholic’—and wants this language in Church documents. Here we face the difference between ‘disordered’ and ‘differently ordered’. If a person’s SSA or gender dysphoria is disordered, then why build an identity around a disorder? Isn’t it more congruent with Scripture and Catholic teaching to identify with the Source of our ‘ordering’—Jesus, who defines us as sons and daughters of the Father, and endows us with His Spirit to make it so? But here Martin is consistent. He sets up a new ‘order’ by normalizing a range of gender identity fractures and placing them on par with persons inclined toward the opposite gender. Martin wants to integrate LGBT+ reality in the Church. He wants Jesus’ Bride to take her cues from all the rainbowed institutions of our western culture.

Martin’s good intentions veil deception. In undermining Church teaching, he removes the heart of the Gospel for LGBT+ persons. Behold the Lamb? Nah. Behold the sham.

You can purchase “Becoming Good News” in book form directly from Desert Stream or get it from Amazon for your Kindle.

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

Download PDF
clearing a path

Clearing a Path

‘And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness’ (Is. 35:8).

Most efforts to pursue sexual wholeness are blocked by the media today. Gone are the days when some journalists honestly explored Christians who claimed to have found a way out of gender confusion through Jesus-centered community.

Instead, the press obscures our pathway to chastity with laughable debris—fake charges that we abuse and manipulate, accrue millions, and prayerfully electroshock the ‘gay’ away. It is pure deception, and artless at that.

For example, the Advocate, the oldest and biggest ‘gay’ rag, just slammed our daylong conference in Philadelphia from a month ago; no reporter attended it nor spoke with us about it. Instead, a clueless scribe pieced together some myths about us and the nature of change (dangerous conversionists who put youth at risk for offering them anything other than LGBT confirmations). Apparently, the writer is also a social scientist who invokes unidentified studies as to why any young man who aspires to love a woman rather than try to become her is liable to blow his head off.

I think it works in just the opposite direction. Anyone pursuing chastity is seeking integration—a challenging path indeed, but isn’t any pursuit of wholeness? Aspiring to solidity in one’s identity and relationships takes human effort and extraordinary grace. God’s beauty invites us off the way that once seemed right to us then up a road, slowly. Jesus provides that way, and the path leads to sanity, centeredness, self-respect.

I am not sure what compels most western mouthpieces today to dump pails of garbage on that upward path. Is it as simple as people who don’t want to grow in chastity hating people who do?

France’s version of Living Waters has been under worse assault than what we face in America. Last year, several French reporters infiltrated their ranks and filmed group sessions, violating all rights to privacy. A book just came out there chronicling the exposure, just in time for a meeting between French Living Waters leaders and the French government who will decide in November whether Living Waters will be allowed to exist officially in France.

Tough stuff. Pray for the French team. Like them, we can rejoice in persecution for what is right. And we can grieve for a generation who is being sold a pack of lies about their sexual destinies. Yet we haven’t time to pat ourselves on the back or to weep on our knees. We must rouse ourselves and cry out for the Spirit of God to strengthen us so we can do the good hard work of clarifying Jesus’ Way for every sexual sinner who seeks Him.

It is up to us to clear the way for chastity. The dignity of a generation depends on it. Please join us this Wednesday at 3pm cst. We as a staff will be fasting and praying through Becoming Good News. Let’s become chaste witnesses together.

You can purchase “Becoming Good News” in book form directly from Desert Stream or get it from Amazon for your Kindle.

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

Download PDF
Surrounded 2 Mending the Net

Surrounded 2: Mending the Net

Since becoming Catholic, I’m more aware than ever of the ignorant, prejudicial attitudes that pervade both sides of our divided Church. I’m also aware of real ‘reformation’ differences that should be acknowledged and respected.

That is not my concern here. Sexually lost and broken people are. I am convinced that the unwillingness of both evangelicals and Catholics to first recognize the Jesus who is present in the other fractures and weakens our witness.

Our divides are like cracks in a glass globe that skews the Light of the world; our disdain for each other tears the net that would otherwise bring in a haul of fish.

God will have His way with His Church. I delight in witnessing how in Living Waters evangelicals and Catholics are coming together to heal and to heal others. Our just commenced group at my parish in Kansas City serves mostly Catholics but the team is equal parts evangelical and Catholic.

How wonderful that deep thinking, contemplative Catholics who tend to doubt their own capacity to administer healing to others are welcoming the charismatic candor of evangelicals who from the start of their faith life welcomed the call to heal in the power of the Spirit.

Deeper still is the healing I see between evangelicals and Catholics in Latin America–a much more divided context than in the north due to historic wounding (300 years of Spanish colonization: imposing Catholicism and persecuting Protestants). Two nations we work with in the Southern Cone have forged a strong alliance, even though our Chilean friends are evangelical, the Argentines Catholic. Yet they love and value each other as people with traditions distinct from their own. The evangelicals benefit from the gift of Catholic thinking and symbology, while the Catholics grow from the beautiful healing community we work with in Chile.

That Vineyard Church in Santiago is a model of what every community could be for the sexually broken. With Living Waters rooted deeply in its DNA and core church members its leaders, this Body now has a well-deserved reputation as a safe and holy place for the divided to heal. I encountered more than a few persons from around Latin America who are integrating into that church family in order to grow in their integration of persons. The Vineyard is a place where one is free to struggle in the light of Jesus’ inclusive love and to take ground over time.

I love that place. The Argentine Catholics love it too; they are now working with Vineyard folk in their city to provide a healing community for the sexually broken there.

God wants to save the lost and the least. And He honors the coming together of Catholics and evangelicals who are willing to combine strengths and gifts in order to become an empowered, welcoming home for the broken.

A cracked lamp skews the light, a broken body struggles to heal, a torn net cannot catch fish. A united Church can land a good haul and clean it too.

Many Catholics and evangelicals from around the world will be joining our Becoming Good News prayer effort. Let us build a united house, pleasing to God, on our knees.

You can purchase “Becoming Good News” in book form directly from Desert Stream or get it from Amazon for your Kindle.

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

Download PDF
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