The shocking news – Patrick is said to be gay

Patrick-Emmanuel-God-Gay

Relieved! Finally I know I fully please God!

Maybe you know me as a person whose commitment to Jesus you really appreciate; as a man who has served with the Word of God throughout the whole world; a man from whom you have received love – a love behind which you sensed the fire of the love of God. And now here is this shocking news… people are saying / writing that Patrick is gay.

For those who don’t know me: I was working as a missionary and Bible teacher for 25 years, travelling all over the world with a burning desire to see the Body of Christ re-established as an organism of saints, who serve one another because of our love and commitment to each other. This was an enormously intensive time; every moment and all my strength was poured into the Lord’s ministry together with my fellow members of the same mission. Our lives were full of experiences of God’s miracles and the manifestation of His closeness; also of experiencing this grace to bring God’s healing and changing presence into the lives of people. I was motivated by seeing the wide horizon of God’s plans which we saw from Scripture, from history and through what was currently going on in the world. This period of my life was filled with a wonderful, sincere quality of fellowship with other believers in the Spirit; none had to hide behind a mask; from this kind of fellowship a profound spiritual strength could grow.

But for me there was a problem: It was not women I found attractive... but men! From my teenage years onwards, something in me was wrong!  Was this ‘a chastisement’ according to the teaching of Romans 1?  But if so, why would this be?  The interpretations I received from others about this chapter didn’t fit: without a doubt I loved Jesus and experienced the manifestation of His presence in and through me. Never, ever have I turned my back on Jesus. But these feelings, this inclination created a fundamental doubt that was hanging over my very being. What made it worse was, that I felt as though this is an integral part of who I was, so much so that I wouldn’t have known how to think of myself without it. I avoided this deeply disturbing self-doubt by running towards God. Through a close relationship to Him, I still felt secure, encouraged and affirmed by His Word. However the underlying sense of being interrogated remained and weighed heavily on me.

I have told my story more in detail at the occasion of an event discussing the subject Homosexuality in a German Baptist church. English subtitles are available

Some mission friends knew about my struggles not to give an inch of room to dwell on such feelings. But a vacuum remained; I knew nothing of having feelings or any longing for a woman. Well, as I understood homosexuality was a sin, I wanted to deal with it in just the same way as other sins: “I consider myself dead to sin!“ (Rom 6,11) Indeed, I had powerfully experienced deliverance from old sins through seeing myself as being buried with Christ and risen with Christ, according to the teaching of Romans 6. But with regard to my homosexual attractions that didn’t work.

I assume that for you it is just as clear as it was for me: Any kind of homosexuality is sin; the acceptance of homosexuality in church and society is a sign of apostasy and openness to demons, possibly of destruction linked to end times, but in any case an abomination before God, as we clearly read – all the way from the story of Sodom and Gomorrah to Romans 1. Possibly you have already had a situation where you met a fellow-believer who had the courage to entrust his fight against his homosexual feelings to you; and you came to the conclusion that the affection or feeling is not sin in itself.  But for sure, any expression of such feelings would be!

In this testimony, I want to share my journey with you, a way that finally led me to a completely new depth of self-acceptance and, yes...  into the acceptance of my own homosexuality. After so many decades of my life I am now able to experience something that would feel normal, unambiguous and logical for any heterosexual person - to live in love with a partner who is suitable for me. What a wonderful gift of God!  Most probably you know about the tremendous significance of having a partner to share your life with. If so, you can imagine, no doubt, what it could mean if, instead of enjoying a God-given loving partnership through the years, you were constantly worn down with the inner feeling: “You are wrong!“

Help - I am Longing For the “Wrong” Partner!

Patrick-Church-Missionary-Gay-Identification

For decades this misery accompanied me…

Some days ago, when I re-read the biblical account of Eve’s creation from the rib of Adam, I realized that God saw what Adam needed! In His incredible knowledge of man and in His love for him He knew that something was “not good” here: “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” (Gen 2,18) And God created a suitable companion for him. What is “suitable”, however, cannot come out of theoretical reflection or an academic and orthodox theological correctness, or even out of a superficial assertion that men and women are meant for each other because they are biologically compatible. Man knows what kind of counterpart he is longing for; his soul is formed for the complementarity of another soul that corresponds to his. His ability to love is directed towards it. And when he comes together with that other soul, then he experiences this strange and wonderful ability of the well-known blind “falling in love” – in order then to be transformed into a mature and deeper love - within a faithful partnership.

To be sure, for most people, their longing for a partner where love can come to fulfillment is with a person of the opposite sex. But this is not true for all of us. This was never my longing. But the object of my longing only existed in terms of a vigorous prohibition. As a result of this I only knew my feelings as the object of my fight against them.  A Christian is not gay!  This was always clear. For me, there didn’t seem to exist this God who saw me and who said: “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him”.

Somebody might object: “In reality it is by no means a man that is suitable for you! This is a deceit from a soul which is damaged one way or the other; let us find out about your childhood!...” My dear friends, I did this thoroughly and exhaustively. And indeed I could see why I didn’t altogether feel well and at home with my given masculinity. And I did experience a lot of healing (I’ll be happy to speak about this later) which led me to a deeper inner assurance about my maleness. But none of this led me to be attracted to women.

How do you advise somebody like this?

Patrick-Missionary-Church-Conflict-Gay

„Who am I?“ – If I cannot accept myself in a fundamental aspect of my own identity, even with a strong and stable faith no ultimate peace can be obtained, because Jesus only wants to live in us as the person that we are, not as somebody else.

  • Should he ignore his feelings and simply marry a women? This happens in thousands of cases. But would you like to be the wife of a man, who is not able to love her in the way that she merits – as the one who is his everything (apart from God), to love her as the person to whom he can give his whole love and whose desire to receive love is fully satisfied by her (just as she wants to be the one who can satisfy his desire completely)?

Some of these marriages last for decades, under a regime of strict self-discipline. But eventually the facade breaks down. Find out what such spouses are ready to tell you, and see if this kind of wedding was well-advised? At least one thing is clear: the underlying sexual orientation doesn’t change. This has been proven too many times; indeed the idea of marrying (heterosexually) with the hope of this bringing forth a change of sexual orientation is the consequence of a strategy born out of speculation and ignorance, and is deeply damaging and dangerous when applied to such a big decision – even driving many people eventually to consider suicide.

  • Or would you advise him to resolve his “problem with homosexuality” through therapy? Well, most concerned people, if they are honest with themselves, sense their homosexuality as an intrinsic part of their personal identity. I feel quite sure that those people who claim that their homosexuality is not part of them, only see it this way because they were always taught that this cannot be a part of them. But when engaging in therapy they discover it really is. And therapy cannot remove a core part of their person.
  • Or, as a third possibility, do you want to advise such a person to live a celibate life? Yet without a God-given call to stay alone? Do we now know better than God, judging that for this person it IS indeed good to be alone? Why should we then be surprised to hear so many scandals of sexual abuse (and lots of cases do not even come to light because they are hidden by a conspiracy of silence)? It is well known that such abuse is more frequent amongst believers than the children of the world.

Pushed out of old doctrinal certainties into a radical self-acceptance

In my case a severe personal breakdown was needed in order to shake the old (and until now unquestioned) classical evangelical convictions which came crashing down. Allow me to explain: For all those 25 years I had shared ministry, vision and commitment with a missionary group that was not an institution but a private fellowship. We had lived a profound mutually committed fellowship within the Body of Christ on a daily basis. We felt compelled in our spirit to share the message that Christ lives in us and what that means, which is that we are able and duty-bound to live as integrated members of one living body. At the same time we ourselves were fascinated by this reality and wanted to live this genuine and sincere brotherhood as the Body of Christ which we preached.

Then in 2011 I was literally kicked out.

The reason was (in the context of a development in our fellowship that more and more strictly opposed everything that was believed to be “unholy”) that my fight against my homosexual attraction was not proving to be successful. And now it was deemed that the lack of my success was due to the fact that if I still found homosexual attractions tempting, it could only be because I desired this more than I desired righteousness. If I had been truly “dead to sin”, according to Rom 6, I should already be free (as homosexuality was considered sin). Therefore the only possible explanation was that my heart was clinging to it – which was not true at all, in fact I was striving to the extent that there was nothing else I desired so much to get rid of.

I can see now that it had to happen like this and God used it. But at the time it was a catastrophe to me. All these things had been in the group: my strong convictions, my friendships, the family-like acceptance. Yet all this was harshly snatched away from me in one moment. I found myself in great despair. The only thing that remained was my connection to God Himself.

Patrick-Emmanuel-Missionary-Bible-Masculinity

To finally be at home in my maleness was a fascinating process that wonderfully gave me assurance in it as I experienced God as the One whose encouragement guided me to it.

Whatever well-intended doctrinal positions and simplifying moral judgements I was familiar with, none of those were of any help in my situation. I had no choice but come and shelter in the arms of God now as the man I really am - in the raw. As this man I had to be at home with God and establish my security in Him alone in a new way. This was radically original for me; so astonishing outside the fellowship I had known and loved so much for 25 years.

It was the goodness of God that took me by my hand, accompanying me through this painful process, leading me to accept and love myself radically anew in a number of different ways and dimensions of my being:

  • To accept and love myself in my own MASCULINITY: As with many homosexual men, I have a strong creative and artistic side, and I am a sensitive person – which was appreciated, praised and nurtured by several significant women in my youth (my mother, grandmother, aunts). At the same time, I had a rather ambivalent relationship with my masculinity and what could be attributed to it. I received little confirmation of it and little emotional closeness with my father; this certainly led to quite a lot of insecurity in my relationships with my peers. It’s true that I knew how to skillfully bypass this insecurity thanks to my natural leadership ability, also mixed with some hubris and pretension.  But the deep pain remained buried underneath. Whether this was a contributing foundation to my homosexuality (this is the way “changing” therapies would see it) or a consequence of it – now I realized that God wanted me to stop shredding myself into separate parts. Now, very happily, I consciously embraced my maleness on different levels, and did so together with others. For instance, I enjoyed the wilderness with my Landrover; I enjoyed wrestling with other guys, mudslinging and the experience of feeling my male body while training in the gym. Receiving the confirmation of other men for these things has been deeply affirming and given me much joy.
  • To accept and love myself in my own SEXUALITY: Even though I had always learned that sexuality was a wonderful gift of God within His creation, it only existed for me in the form of a conflict – as I truly wanted to please God in every way, and any sexual experience outside a heterosexual marriage (not a path I could take with integrity) including masturbation was, I believed then, a sin. I remember when I was able to have such an experience with myself for the first time, I could praise God in that moment for Creation’s miracle of sexuality and for what He has knitted into me. I began to see sexuality no longer as an enemy but as a wonderful expression of the person I truly am, which at the same time transcends myself. Thanks be to God.
Patrick-Emmanuel-Missionary-Love-between-men-Gay

Finally, cautiously, I was able to seize God’s gift of male love which I had hardly ever dared to long for. He didn’t want to continue merely to “replace it in the Spirit”. Wonderful peace filled me after so many years of unnecessary battle.

  • Then finally: to accept and love myself in my own HOMOsexuality. When looking at it with honesty, I had to recognise that therapies for changing one’s sexual orientation had not brought any real change in the object of my feelings. For so many years I had longed to experience – just as others do – falling in love. Of course I knew that this was not mature love. But isn’t it also a surprising ability that God has embedded in Creation? I never had experienced that. With regard to a woman I could experience great friendship but never this kind of overwhelming love. With regard to a man I would never have permitted myself to get anywhere near such feelings. Now I was able to give myself into God’s hands in this respect as well.  Indeed, I experienced, for the first time in my life, what it means to feel in love – which in due time leads to a true, deep partnership.

But isn't Scripture clearly opposed?

BUT, you may be protesting, doesn’t Scripture clearly state that homosexuality is an abomination?  This is what I had always believed, too. Having said that, through all my life, I have found it essential not to read something “into” Scripture, but rather to understand the Bible from God’s perspective and the way HE really wanted it to be understood. I remember how at the age of 15 I was sitting full of awe and adoration in front of my Bible: this was the book that God was about to use in order to speak to me!  Wow!  I then devoted myself first to Him, asking Him to speak to me and eventually He really revealed Himself to me through the Word. My attitude has not changed to this day.

Bible-Faith-Word-of-God-Patrick-Emmanuel

What a source of life! Isn't it God himself who reveals us through His Word?

So what is it that God tells us about the subject of homosexuality through Scripture? When studying the Bible again with this question I discovered surprising things:

  • Firstly: None of the six passages that today are assumed to refer to homosexuality (and the small number does not mean they are to be taken any less seriously of course), speak in any way about faithful love between partners of the same sex. The Bible simply does not speak about this!  In the society of that time, there was no way of living out our modern understanding of partnership between members of the same sex (read about this in more detail here). Of course the Bible does speak negatively about sexual activity between two adult men, but none of these passages refer to equal and mutually desired intimacy, expressed in the context of faithfulness and commitment.
  • The use of the word "homosexuality" in Bible translations is exegetically incorrect. In fact, the term was only created in the late 19th century; it became commonly used from the 1960’s onwards, describing (amongst other things) a socially acceptable form of same-sex permanent relationship - not merely opportunistic and abusive sexual practices. In Old and New Testament times, other socially acceptable forms of relationships existed that would not be acceptable today for most people, such as polygamy. Regarding the passages that are often incorrectly translated as “homosexual(s)“, Luther for example wrote in his German translation of the Bible “abuser of boys” and “boy prostitutes”. The Greek word concerned is very uncertain because the word never appeared in ancient literature before Paul.

These are only a few small and totally inadequate hints. A thorough study is essential for a subject that so fundamentally determines the life decisions of a great many people, and which shakes up both society and church so dramatically. HERE you can find in more detail, what I and other Bible teachers have discovered, when they have rigorously studied the Scriptures on this subject. For the sake of your brothers and sisters in the Lord and for the sake of the credibility of the Gospel, may I take this opportunity to urge you to study the Bible yourself regarding the subject, in order not to be persuaded to settle uncritically for traditional doctrinal stances which often trivialize the sacred text, and merely promote a stereotypical viewpoint that is easy to grasp.

I understand that all I have written here is tough talk. What took me years of being led into, little by little, years of digesting and reflecting, years in which the things, that I had learned for many more years before, were literally turned upside down, all this is “thrown to you” in one moment.

This journey has taken me years as I have been led, little by little, to digest and reflect on these things. During these years the views I had learned all my life before have been turned upside down as I have sought God. In contrast to this, today I am “throwing” all these conclusions at you in a moment. Take your time to think about these matters, with love in your heart, as the Holy Spirit inspires you.

I am happy to receive any personal message you may wish to send me at patrick@horeb.world. If you send me a message, it would be a joy to see you write directly from your heart (not out of an academic theological position); just as I have dared to take away any mask and write honestly from my own heart. Theology is important of course, but the encounter between people, speaking man to man out of true respect for one another, is something God-given. You might come to a completely different point to mine after responsible reflections as you seek to understand the will of God. But this is much more than theology. Such deep reflection is necessary for a subject as difficult as the one we are speaking about here.

Maybe I can say more like this, than with words...

Thank you for your patience in reading my story and following my thoughts.

With best wishes, Patrick Emmanuel