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July 25, 2020 9:00 am
Mike and Robby talk to Nate Oyloe of Agape First Ministries about same sex attraction.
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We really, really do, and I think is you hear this story today.
Mike you have lined up the guest a bit.
That really is just like I'm so excited to hear what he is going to share with us today.
We do, we have Nate oil, low and neat on has it he's a part of its agape first ministries and the website is agape first ministries.I'm he's been 20 years in the ministry and Nate tell us a little bit about how this all came about, absolutely. Well I first started it in this type of ministry. I work in ministry to the LGBT community, but II first was introduced to this type of ministry as a client myself, though I grew up struggling with same-sex attractions also growing up in the church knew that that wasn't God's best for me and so through the ministry that I was able to connect with in the body of Christ.
I was able to find hope and healing. Now you know 20 something years later. I've been married 15 years. I've got three beautiful kids but I started working in this ministry as well person to the youth in college-age young people and really saw the Lord move in their lives. Jesus Christ of life-changing power. And he's able to transform us from the inside out, regardless of the struggle and and so in recent years decided that I needed to transition more from working with individuals to equipping churches and how to walk alongside of those struggling with same-sex attractions, so hence agape first ministries, hence agape first and before we run the show. I was looking at Revelation 22 verses 18 through 21 and it says for I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book. If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the book of life from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book he who testifies to these things says, surely I am coming quickly. Amen.
Even so, Lord Jesus, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
A man in one of the things that we were talking about for the show. Nate was that went when I was growing up and especially in the South and I don't know if it was where you were from, was that if somebody was dealing with same-sex attractions.
I was feel like they really couldn't even talk about it in the church for the most part it was something that was shameful, bad, this is not yet there were people in the church having adulterous affairs.
There were people fornicating in. You know, I guess they were supposed to do that but they didn't really talk about that as much it was. It was almost easier to go after the people who were struggling with same-sex attraction and I think fast forward to nowadays.
It's almost gone to a completely opposite way were that you know I will that's that's okay that's not a problem but wordy were you find a happy medium exactly. I think the happy medium is found in transformation because the pendulum really has one in the church to where you know they will say you're a gay Christian and and some denominations will say celebrate that to the fullest while others will say again, no yeah you're gay but you have to be celibate about what we've lost is the revelation that Jesus Christ is life-changing power. And he is able to transform us to the renewing of our minds, and that is for the gay person as much of the evidence for any other then problem the cross is enough for all sin. And so what I've seen in my own life and in the lives of countless others that I've worked with over the years is that Jesus was more than able to transform our desires. He's more than able to heal our wounds. You know a lot of people in the LGBT community have come out of traumatic situations.
Jesus is enough for those those realities and unfortunately we don't talk about that much in the church we just cannot say well your day and we don't really quite know what to do if you but you know what will. Learning to deal with that and Robbie's curious to know I have several children in their 20s and then you know they been brought up in the church. However, they have the sense like dad, you just don't understand people are born this way and you know they're just not going to eat you know be transformed that you know that I don't think they buy that completely and so I'm curious in your own life.
It sounds like your suggestion you went through through that. Can you come to tell us what that felt like as a person experienced it because I know a lot of people don't believe it's even possible right right exactly well first of all, you know to this day.
There is no scientific or medical data that shows that people are born gay. They just can't prove it because it's not something that's true, people are not born this way God doesn't create homosexuals but we are born into a sinful fallen world, and that impacts us, and I'm not to put people in up in a box you know we all have our unique stories to tell, but we get wounded. We get hurt and we we develop strategies to deal with the hurts in our lives and for many that might look like. Same-sex attractions are a variation on that and that was my case. You know there were things that I variance going up that were very wounding and you know also being exposed to things like pornography at an early age or you know it just wrong understandings of how men and women are to relate to each other how that was modeled in an so you know that growing up and all of that it works and distort your view of love and sex and gender and all those sorts of things so healing for me you was a process of entering into a life-giving relationship with Jesus where he could begin to untangle all of that where he could heal the wounds that I was a.
Singer had experienced anywhere he could speak identity into me because that really is the core issue and identity issue and of course who knows us better than God. So when we get into a relationship with him. Where were receiving from him. He's can I tell if we are, and then it's our job to walk that out and over time we see that our desires change how we interact with people change you know all of that is possible in relationship with God so right. That's good that the thing that I was in ask you because you and I Nate or about the same age.
Robbie's a little bit older years with no so in my day there is, I ask you when you were growing up. What was it like to be LGBT, what again.
I know from my perspective in that generation, it wasn't talked about, know that person is called a Homo.
That was the word that we know and that was just not even US white people and come out the closet because they need that just wasn't even discussed. It was not on my radar at all and and now I think it's absolutely beautiful Nate mature in their unit sharing that there is hope and and there is a light in that light is clearly a relationship with Christ. Absolutely yeah I mean know a lot of times people will ask the question.
You know how you disciple somebody struggling with same-sex attractions and I think the same way you would anyone else. It's really about teaching them how to have a relationship with God and how to obey you know what he revealed in his word and it's as we do that process as we get into that rhythm that we change and that's true for anybody. I think that that what the church is to understand is that just like everybody else when when a gay person comes to Jesus there knocking to get a perfect right away and so that's I think were grace comes in there going to fall down there going to stumble know it's a tough thing I had to try and navigate. But if we can be there in to encourage them to walk alongside of them in you know just just keep reminding them who they are in Christ that the huge enough step forward.
I think for us as a church on my own life really might my eyes. I have not forgotten because I had horrible struggle with tomography myself and I came to Christ, maybe 15 years before he started going into those wounds in the same process that did Nate just described with how he came up against his and struggles will accept mine. I can assure you I did and and like all my goodness, the grace that my family showed me the grace that the people that were close to me were able to share those real struggles and wow is not what the church is supposed to be for yeah you know I one of my favorite stories from my years of working with people. I had a young man coming to my office.
He said Nate and Mike, a man I don't think change is possible. I don't even want to change that part of who I am, but I have a brother with pornography, will you work with me and I said absolutely I would love to work with you because I knew that the underlying issues with the same for both goggles and sellers.
As I began to disciple him and you know if you cannot have a relationship with God it wasn't more than three months and you know the Lord finally brought up that other issue. It is like the same-sex attractions and you know that man is married to a woman. Now he's got three beautiful kids.
But if I had said to him you know on the on the front end know absolutely not yet renounce everything right now and you know I would've missed a really amazing opportunity in this young man. I think we have to go where the Holy Spirit's leading and it may not be same-sex attractions that might not be the first thing I got list you might want to deal with something else that you gonna get to it eventually. Yet the arm is matter fact while you were talking Nate actually just pulled up something on the news and it says the headline is UN expert urges global ban on gay conversion therapy is that something that you're seeing more and more now. Yes, it is. This is one of those issues where the church who really needs to wake up and understand you know are our religious liberty. There's are being eroded away when laws like this get past and why this matters to the churches because ultimately, it's about the image of God, you know, God created them male and female, and in it in the male-female binary that his image is fully revealed on the earth. And so you know course, the enemy's strategy is to learn that as much as he can, whether it's through gay marriage or the transgender issue. Are you know all these things and it seeping into the church and and I think there's also a lot of intimidation that comes from the gay agenda were a lot of Christians are scared to stand up against some of this legislation on things that are happening but we have to because I think that the image of God is worth fighting for. So when you say we have to stand up what what can save him just sitting at home and have a normal job. What what can I do to get involved.
You know, I think that there's lots of ways that people can get involved. I think you know within our congregations creating safe spaces for men and women struggling with same-sex attractions to yield you now also just being a good citizen and voting get involved in you.
Now on that level. Every state has a family policy Council that's working to really you know stand for profamily legislation contact famine and see what can it what's going on in my state how can I get involved. Call your Sen., call your representative on goal meet with them. That was one of the biggest things that we were asking people to do when this legislation popped up in our stay with it will go go chat with your representative and and tell your story. Tell them you know you don't support this and why you don't want to come off as the aging, angry, hateful Christian, but you we can go in love, we can we can pray for our people on that represent now so there's a lot that we can do.
It just means getting involved in and in a court you know you may not win any popularity contest doing it but you know that's where were at know at the church right now in our nation and we still have to stand for what's right. Suggested thinking that they would agree with me is you know wow in your own life you know this get your you know that might be happening. What if you done to love on them in Christ.
In other words really show them grace and acceptance, and interest in their life interesting because you know you know how they got me in the church, Scientology, Mike.
They loved and accepted me.
They made a big deal out of Robbie Gilmore and the next thing you know I was in the church of Scientology. In other words, you don't catch converts by tell them that there sinners necessarily mean they are sinners. I get that but I may not look know your you know by unfortunately sometimes we get the reputation as haters because we really unfortunately our judgmental rather than coming to them in love and acceptance and so it's interesting thing to me that we it's it's a bad line to Francis like we have to battle by love and acceptance, but at the same token, say that we need the right to our understanding of God in whom he right and when when you are saying that Robbie, one of the things that I thought of was the quote by Edmund Burke the Irish philosopher and politician.
He said the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing what you think why I agree. First of all, loving does not mean condoning and I think that Christians have been really afraid to love their gay neighbors because somehow they think that means there condoning their lifestyle, but every conversion story that I've heard you know from somebody coming out of same-sex attractions. Nobody was ever argued into the kingdom nobody lost the debate it was that somebody served them in love and and showed them the kind of love and they won't wait a minute. I want that I want more of that.
So that's 11 piece and then you know to speak to your quote I love that quote. I've used that quote. Unfortunately, I think, and not to you know be negative about the church, Jesus loves his bride, but regarding this specific issue. We haven't done as much as we could have or are that we need to be doing currently and so I do think that some of these you know evil agendas are, you know they're being put their progress thing and again were not just standing against something to stand against something, it's really about what were standing for worse, and explore the image of God were standing for the transforming power of Jesus Christ and and those are things we don't want to lose as yet the church yeah the and in you know just so when people say will work where does it say in the Bible or what is know if you go to Romans chapter 1 will start with verse 20 says. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Professing to be wise, they became fools, and change the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the loss of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves who exchange the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creator. Rather, the creature rather than the creator who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even the women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their due error which was due.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, maliciousness full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil mindedness, they are whispers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful. So when I look at that first thing that I see is this a whole lot of other stuff in there to a lot of that stuff I'm guilty of you know when I was in my 20s and you know really what you fornicating or like Robbie was saying pornography.
I mean most I assume most men, and I've heard most men in the church of been in the church, even a lot of them are looking at pornography and there are a lot of other citizens. So yes DD others. There are a lot of other sins but this is one of them. And so it I like what you said before, is that you know you know we don't need to. Maybe what we said before, we don't need to jump on people. We don't need, but but but on the other hand we don't need to just say yes okay that's just the way you are in and that's what happened what's happening in a lot of churches, absolutely. I mean the Bible is clear from beginning to end homosexual behavior is always an but it's also clear that Jesus is the solution to the sin problem, and so we don't have to. So you so yes, such behaviors then we don't have to make it some weird extreme out there sort of thing we can love, but in like the Bible does in this in this very passage with all everything else and know the ground level at the foot of the cross we can all find hope and healing their together and I think that that really is a picture of of what what the church should be when it comes to the LGBT community. Just invite them in to what God is already doing as he ministers to the congregation. You know they don't to be a special project they can be a part of what God is are you doing it's kind of know this this we can talk about the thinking you know somebody is struggling with alcohol you not to just leave them there struggling with alcohol. But, drunk, 40 times is not a healthy woman you know deal with whatever the looming is that led to the alcoholism and Michael that somebody beats a drug addict if you love him, but again call them a druggie in an and labeling them in doing all sorts of hateful things are not necessarily, but but loving them figuring out how to how to you know help them. You know with whatever that may be. It seems like a right it it it you you you have an opportunity with all the different people that God is put in your life and all sorts of different ways. And the thing that blows my mind made that I think I heard somebody throw the statistic out on on a podcast lately. They said that 40% of women have received sexual harm, and about 15% of boys and I bet screamed at the podcast and said that anyone close that that isn't even in the realm of clothes because we do these John Eldridge boot camps and I never do one where I got two friends that were both abused as children and they talk about that in their testimonies and we never do a camp where there aren't half the guys come up afterwards and say no.
I struggled with this. I struggle with that and all those things lead to sexual sin. Whether it's homosexuality or pornography or or minnows would sexual addiction. Those kind of things is just huge because that's a gigantic wounding that's going on. That really by helping somebody in this area like you're doing. There's generations that are not in the face those demons right right absolutely yeah I think one statistic that I came in with either 86 or 92% somewhere in that range of women who identify as lesbian have been sexually abused in some way.
So the number the numbers. There are really the statistics are very high and so you know, for these women you know they're protecting from further hurt from a man. You know, having been abused in some way and and so yeah we see. Certainly those kinds of experiences affect our sexual development and and at the expression of that gap, both those that have a huge impact on well and Nate while you were talking, and while Robbie was talking the verse that came up to my mind was first John 47 says, beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
And then there's the opportunity to convince the there's some people listening right now that that clearly are thinking how I I did have that attack women's rights.
I have struggled here in some way. In the end, here's an opportunity for us to If Not for God right turn that over and say Jesus help me put me in touch with Nate if if you're looking for this kind of ministry in and what's your website again. Agape first ministries.org a copy first minute I fascinate you first ministries.org and the and you your you continue to do the work of the evangelist. I mean it in and you know what what I like about what you said Nate was that not only are you talking to people who are dealing with the sin you're talking to people about Jesus. And that's with the right absolutely. It's about Jesus you know Jesus is the answer and in so the goal is that he would be glorified. And that's how you know that's what we called the ministry agape first love love first.
You know the first commandment you we want when we love God. And when that rightly ordered in our lives. The second commandment becomes much easier to love our neighbor and until love becomes ordered. Which is why again and I've said this multiple times out we teach people how to have a life-giving relationship with Jesus. You know how to love God with all of their hearts all my strength and then from that place.
You know, teach them how to love their neighbor. Well, this includes our sexuality.
Amen Nate. If not for God regularly. I love that lately hello, thank you so much for the show.
We appreciate what you're doing. I know it's not the listeners and they first ministries.thank you for listening to God my shows, if not for God. More information on my contact you. If not for God.life