I Do Not Hate. I Ache!
It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! (Galatians 4:18,19)
Homosexuality provokes a deep, visceral reaction in individuals. It is such a difficult subject for many to comprehend; their reactions to the mere mention of this behavior appear to be hate-filled. I donít believe it is always hate which motivates people to speak with such vitriol against this subject. Instead, it is too often arising out of authentic, yet misguided concern for individuals who engage in homosexual and other sexual sin behaviors. Today we hear about how we must love the individual who ďcomes outĒ as homosexual or lesbian or bi-sexual or transgendered. In fact we are maligned if we do not express complete acceptance of this behavior expression. Love is not unbridled acceptance, though.
I recently posted a paragraph on Facebook (friend me or like the BAM Facebook page if you havenít already) related to my unique understanding of the subject. It was received with great compassion by most who commented. One man used this as an opportunity to rail against the homosexual issue and to blame those who identify as homosexual for causing so much trouble. Although I donít disagree with this manís statements I do disagree with the venom with which he spewed his opinion. He has not heard me speak on this subject.
As I read through the comments, though, a pattern began to emerge. I saw that those who have heard me speak or read my resources are listening. You are hearing my deepest compassion for those who identify in sexual sins yet you also know I will never compromise the Gospel of Truth. Let me explain to you what Iím fairly certain God said to me 13 years ago.
Sometime in late April or early May of 2000 I was walking across the living room in my condo located north of Seattle. I had recently returned to the Lord after many, many years of rebellion and denial. As I traversed my living room that day I was stopped and stunned by the words God spoke into my heart and into my head. He said, ďI love you. You do not have to be gay.Ē A ton of weight immediately lifted from my shoulders and I was free. This didnít mean my life became perfect in one second. It meant God was revealing to me the extent of my sin and the eternity of His life-saving, merciful grace. I now could live with a new heart, a new purpose, and a new focus. I could cease being the rebellious, stiff-necked, stubborn, ungrateful, sexually sin-focused, self-absorbed, self-protecting, non-gendered person I had been for almost 22 years. I was being set free to begin to explore the woman God had created me to be.
I knew from this point on that Godís view of me was radically different from my distorted view of myself. From this new vantage point I have been striving to teach, educate, journey with, speak from, pray out of, and which I intensely ache about. I do not hate the individual who lives in sexual sin; I ache for this person. As Paul ached for his Galatian friends, so I ache for my sexually sinning friends and those for whom Iíve been given the privilege to pray! I am in the pains of childbirth for each individual as I long for their return to, or their first turning to, Jesus Christ.
So, when I express myself about this subject I am speaking from Paulís viewpoint when he wrote the letter to the Galatians which contains the above Scripture verse. I cannot hate the person who struggles in homosexual sin because I was that person. God didnít hate me; He hated my rebellion and my turning away from Him; He wanted nothing more than to bring me back to the fold.
Jesus tells us how He longed for His children to abandon their rebellious ways and for them to be brought back under His protective shelter:
ďO Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under wings, and you would not! (Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34)
As the Scripture tells us, the rebellious children would not have it. They resoundingly told Jesus ďno.Ē This is rebellion and this is what the people today are doing in larger and larger numbers. Pick up the newspaper, read the online news stories, or grab any tabloid or entertainment magazine; you will see the evidence of this dark rebellion! I donít hate the person who sins; I canít do that. I can hate Godís enemy Ė Satan Ė who sexually seduces these individuals, though, and who hysterically laughs at how our society is being torn apart by the sins of the many individuals who reject and rebel against God.
Bold Appeals Ministryís Next Steps
I still know a non-residential facility/retreat center can be realized. I continue to pray for this to occur and for the team to assemble to see this dream happen. I continue to covet your prayer. We can come together to build a place where deceptions are abandoned and real, life-giving ways of reaching out for, and conforming to, Godís Hand abound.
I have completed teaching the five-week course at the Center for Biblical Studies. That experience gave me the confidence to continue on in teaching and I am organizing the material into segments which I can film and present as DVD teachings, along with providing corresponding paper materials. I will also professionally publish the booklets and a workbook-sized combination of the booklets I have written thus far, for use as resources for pastors, teachers, lay persons, friends and family members, counselors, etc. I am completing the revised edition of the book I wrote for individuals seeking freedom from sexual sins.
On May 20 I will be speaking at the Exchange Ministries group meeting in Orlando. In June I will have the privilege of speaking to the counselors at A Womenís Pregnancy Center here in Tallahassee. I look forward to where God will give me future opportunities to spread His incredible message of love, mercy, grace for the journey, hope, realistic and God-honoring approaches to these difficult subjects, and the very real Truth of freedom from bondage to sexual sins of all types.
I donít believe God has called me to a part-time ministry. I believe the need is becoming so great for my specific approach to this type of ministry to be offered worldwide that He is asking me to give myself full-time to this endeavor, to this great adventure. Along with your much-appreciated prayers, I need financial support to accomplish the tasks set before me. I do not, cannot, and will not, charge for my spiritual direction meetings with individuals and/or family members. With this in mind, support must come from other sources. You can help me to continue to spread my message of love Ė true, God-honoring, Christ-forming, and life-changing love Ė to others around the world as God opens doors previously kept shut. I have so many plans for this non-profit, nondenominational, and ministry and I look forward to receiving the go-ahead to continue to carry them out!
Ask God where He is working and how you can join His Holy Spirit in the task of expanding His Kingdom through Bold Appeals Ministry. May the King of kings be majestically glorified. God bless you all. Pam Ousley