A Perfect Storm: The ‘Ex-Gay’ Movement, Religion-Based Homophobia, and the Black Church, Part 2
In the first The Perfect Storm, we explored the sad truth that D.L. Foster is back with a new tool to help others take away their gay, Overcomers Network. It is alarming that Rev. D.L. Foster is still relevant in the world of ex-gaydom, especially when he has long been shut out (because of his erratic behavior) by once powerful groups such as Exodus International and virtually ignored by the black church at large, because the power of religion-based homophobia and sexual repression (homophobia in the black community is no greater than it is in other communities) is more powerful than his tales of “freedom” from homosexuality.
Only in the ex-gay movement can someone with a track record of misinformation, double talk, entrepreneur ventures disguised as ex-gay ministries and no formal education in counseling, be able to portray themselves as an expert in sexuality, counseling and religion and face no legal charges.
What D.L. says:
“But there are MANY people who know that homosexuality [engaging in sexual activity] is a personal choice that can be changed and overcome.”
What the APA says:
“There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.”
What the APA says:
Sexual orientation refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to men, women, or both sexes. Sexual orientation also refers to a person’s sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions.
What D.L. said in 2005:
“As a Pastor and one who has experienced satisfying change in my own sexual orientation, I welcome this wise and balanced response which truly values diversity and a client’s right to self determination,” DL Foster 2005 in response to the ACA’s decision that it is the client’s decision to seek change of their sexual orientation.
What D.L. said in 2006:
“We believe there is only one orientation. Man was emotionally, relationally and sexually oriented towards woman and God pronounced it good. What is now called “sexual orientation[s]” is largely a man made concoction, a product of his sinful rebellion against God. Homosexuality — a sinful condition– then is part of the sexual divergence from the will, purpose and creative intent of God. Of course gay activists have attempted to coop this truth with “science.”
Entrepreneur ventures disguised as ex-gay ministries
POWERFUL CHANGE MINISTRY GROUP (PC) is a national fellowship of 11 Christian African-American led ministries whose goal is to advocate change for same-sex strugglers among people of color.
The System (TSYS) is an intensive and interactive discipleship teaching program led by Pastor DL Foster.TSYS is designed to impact, encourage and strengthen men and women who struggle with same sex attractions and homosexuality and those who desire to minister in this area of harvest.
There is a one time $70 registration fee. That goes towards assisting Witness Ministries in providing the best discipleship support services we possibly can.
“HCSC Consulting is an innovative firm providing on-demand service to church leadership on sexual ethics, policy and staff training in congruence with biblical principles.”
“The Overcomers Network (ON) is a vibrant, growing global fellowship comprised on men and women from the U.S. and internationally who trust Jesus Christ as the only source of freedom from homosexuality, lesbianism, transgenderism, bisexuality, gender confusion, pornography and other forms of sexual immorality that inhibit the glory of God from shining through their lives. The ON values empowerment, teaching, discipleship, fellowship, inspiration, information, worship and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
With no concept of human sexuality or sexual orientation, it is quite clear that D.L. Foster has no business “mentoring” those who are struggling with reconciling their sexuality and spirituality. These seeking souls come to D.L. Foster in a broken state, pouring their souls out to him and believing that he is the expert that his many websites claim that he is. But what happens when the “cure” doesn’t take? What happens when the truth that sexual orientation is not changed is revealed in the life of D.L. Foster’s “disciples”? We have the story of “Paul” a former “disciple” of D.L. Foster who wanted to share his story so that others will not make the same mistake that he did of trusting the untrained and inept D.L. Foster:
I first contacted D.L. Foster after coming across his book “Touched By a Dead Man,” which is D.L.’s account of how he “overcame” his same sex attractions. I had been openly gay for 30+ years of my life, but after I accepted Christ as my Savior in 2005, I joined a conservative church, and was seeking ways to overcome my same sex attraction. I emailed D.L., and he wrote me back, giving me his phone number so I could speak with him on the phone. Over the course of several years, we had many phone conversations, in which he gave me encouragement and hope. Whenever I had “falls” (sex with men) on rare occasions, he encouraged me to pick myself back up, and didn’t reject me, because I was still trying to live a “holy” life.
However, in March of 2008, I found out that I had contracted HIV during one of these “falls.” Although D.L. didn’t reject me at the time, other so-called Christians did, and I was lonely and miserable for a while. In May, I met a fellow HIV-positive Christian who was also trying to overcome same-sex desires, and we developed a romantic, but sexless relationship. I was on Myspace at the time, and I mentioned my relationship in a comment to a friend’s post, and evidently D.L. was stalking me on myspace, because he found my comment and immediately unfriended me. I messaged him asking him why, and he invoked 1 Corinthians5:11 “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” D.L. completely rejected me, and I was devastated. I sought Christian counseling, and slowly, I came to accept my same sex attraction and developed a more healthy relationship with my partner. Since that time, D.L. has banished me from making comments on his gcmwatch website. I’ve managed to exchange civil emails with him, and he says he thinks of me from time to time, but we are no longer close at all.
About the “falls,” D.L. said that they are bound to happen, but so long as I had the correct mindset, God would forgive me. He didn’t tell me anything personal other than that he still occasionally had dreams about same sex sexual activity, but that they were of Satan, and he was prayerful that the dreams would go away.
After a “fall,” I felt horribly guilty, but confessing to DL made me feel better, because Christians are supposed to confess their sins to one another, and DL was always encouraging about God’s forgiveness.
What personal qualities led me to DL? Oh my goodness, I feel like I’m in a confessional, but I did find him physically (from photos, I never met him in person) and emotionally attractive. So long as you are on his good side, he is very easy to talk to.
My advice to those seeking to change their sexual orientation is to find a pastor or counselor at an affirming church, and let them help explain to you what the Bible REALLY says about homosexuality. It took me a while, but I was finally able to accept how I am.
My advice to those seeking DL Foster for help: DON’T DO IT!!! If you do not succeed in his program, he will turn on you like a rabid dog, cast you out, and make you feel worse than you did before.”
How many “Pauls” or “Paulettes” have been betrayed and turned loose by Foster? How many more will turn to his empty shell ministry? The truth is out; those turning to DL Foster seeking freedom from homosexuality will only receive the chains of shame, blame and pain and will have to turn to the professionals to fix the damage that his “discipleship” causes.
*DL Foster was contacted about this article but did not respond*