John Smid has been evolving in his public views of homosexuality ever since he stepped down as the leader of Love In Action in Memphis. He began apologizing last year, which was welcome news for many, but we at Truth Wins Out remained understandably skeptical, waiting to see whether the “evolution” would continue. It would seem that it is. He’s not all the way there yet, but in a post on the blog for his ministry, picked up by Ex-Gay Watch, Smid has a lot to say:
So often people will say someone needs to “repent” from homosexuality. It is something that actually cannot be repented of! People are, or they are not, homosexual. It is an intrinsic part of their being or personally, my being. One cannot repent of something that is unchangeable. I have gone through a tremendous amount of grief over the many years that I spoke of change, repentance, reorientation and such, when, barring some kind of miracle, none of this can occur with homosexuality.
Wow. He admits it. Now, of course, the Religious Right, which props up the “ex-gay” industry in order to show how much they love gay people, will not accept this, because it has never been about individual people with them, but rather about their narrative.
Yes, there are homosexuals that make dramatic changes in their lives as they walk through the transformation process with Jesus. I have heard story after story of changes that have occurred as men and women find the grace of God in their lives as homosexual people. But, I’m sorry, this transformation process may not meet the expectations of many Christians. I also want to reiterate here that the transformation for the vast majority of homosexuals will not include a change of sexual orientation. Actually I’ve never met a man who experienced a change from homosexual to heterosexual.
You hear that, Porno Pete? He said never. The former leader of the flagship model of the “ex-gay” industry, who was there quite a long time, never met a man who changed from gay to straight. Here, John describes his own personal experience, but could pretty much be describing the experience of any fundamentalist Christian who has considered the question of homosexuality:
I have now gone around the world listening to Him, listening to the stories, seeing the tears of rejection in some, and the peace of God’s love in others. This is so different than I always thought in my small world of ex-gay ministry. And yes, it was a small world because I made it small. I was completely unwilling to hear anything that didn’t fit my paradigm. I blocked out anyone’s life story or biblical teaching that didn’t match up with what I believed.
I have often said on this blog, usually in a snarky way, that fundamentalists don’t live in reality, and that’s what this is about. When everything has to go through a filter of dogma and preconceived notions in order to be accepted as true or untrue, you end up believing quite silly things indeed. See also: Creationists.
This is just sad:
I stand to lose some very close friends because I have chosen to unconditionally love gay people and to support them now without pressuring them to “change.”
If you do, they weren’t your real friends in the first place, John. That’s something I learned when I came out twelve years ago.
Here is where he admits that he, himself, John Smid, is a homosexual:
I used to define homosexuality or heterosexuality in terms describing one’s behavior. I thought it made sense and through the years often wrote articles and talked from that perspective.
Today, I understand why the gay community had such an issue with my writings. My perspective denied so many facets of the homosexual experience. I minimized a person’s life to just their sexuality but homosexuality is much more than sex.
As to the question at hand, I would consider myself homosexual and yet in a marriage with a woman.
I am homosexual, my wife is heterosexual. This creates a unique marriage experience that many do not understand.
This is pretty big stuff. As I said, he’s not all the way there — still looking at sexuality in terms of sin and repentance and trying to decide whether a committed gay couple is any more “sinful” than a person who has been married five times — but he’s making serious progress, folks. I would encourage readers to check out Peterson Toscano’s comment on the subject, as well, as he sort of puts in perspective where this falls on the spectrum of “Smid’s evolving views.”