Relinquishing My Role As The Holy Spirit

This post appeared as a Grace Church Orlando blog post back in February. I wanted to publish it here as well. I hope you find it helpful.

Relinquishing My Role As The Holy Spirit

I had a dream last night that my wife, Leslie, and I were in a Life Group at church and a gay couple joined.  The two men were friends of mine from 20 years ago and had since adopted children.  They obviously knew me, how my story had evolved, and joined the group anyway.  During the group one of the members awkwardly blurted out, “Alan, tell the group about your ministry.”  I knew what the man was trying to do.  He was reacting in a way that most evangelicals often do.  We see a sinner and right away jump into “convert” mode with no thought of getting to know them or simply relating over common interests. Our default is to share our biblical conviction and immediately try to win them.  We allow our performance-oriented Christianity to impact the way we interact with unbelievers.  We approach them as projects to be managed and conquered instead of as people to be in relationship with.  We are uncomfortable with what appears to be messy and challenging and want to put it in some religious order as soon as possible.  We are ready for people modify their behavior before we have even introduced them to the One who died to change more than that behavior.

The question I ask myself a lot these days is, “What would Jesus do?”  followed by, “What would He have me do?”  They are not always one in the same.  The fact is we are not Jesus.  We have no power to heal or change anyone.  We can point to His life and ministry through the Bible and our own experiences, but we aren’t Him.  We are His representatives.  Sometimes I think we are actually guilty of trying to be Him, or at least the Holy Spirit.  It isn’t our job to bring conviction or judge.  We fail to trust the Holy Spirit to do His job well when we attempt to usurp that role. So, in the context of a situation like the one in my dream, what are we to do?

Let me finish telling you my dream.  When asked, I honestly cannot remember what I shared about my ministry.  That wasn’t the point of the dream.  I remember being uncomfortable with the direction of the “evangelism” and yet unwilling to be dishonest about my story. The group ended with all of us talking and planning for the next group.  I made a point to talk with the gay couple and eagerly introduced our children to one another.  I was thrilled they were there and encouraged them to come back. It wasn’t a dream about church leadership or ethics or anything like that.  It was a dream about unlikely people deciding to join an unlikely church. I woke up inspired.

God isn’t grey and neither is His truth, but life is.  People are.  It’s not all neat and tidy outside the Church and we shouldn’t pretend like it is inside the Church, either.  I want the church to be full of “pre-process”, “in-process” and “I don’t even know that there is a process” people.  Messy people.  People like you and me. People who need a Savior. What’s our answer for a gay couple that comes to church?  The same answer that we have for anyone seeking Christ and community – you can find both here.

What if the best thing for a gay couple with children isn’t to immediately end their relationship and split their family and confuse their kids?  Sometimes God’s plan for a messy situation is beyond our ability to understand and therefore we are simply to be on call for the time when He may choose to use us.  Until that time, we love and serve the people He brings to us.  Loving and serving might include honest conversations where you share your thoughts on sin.  But, remember, you aren’t exempt from struggle or sin and honestly and humbly sharing that reality can go a long way in building trust and authenticity with those new to your community.

Alan served as the final president of Exodus International from 2001 to 2013 when together with a core team of leaders and board of directors he closed the organization and began making great strides towards building relationships with the LGBTQIA community and encouraging the global Church to do the same. With a goal to reduce fear, establish trust, and inspire hope on both sides for the sake of the Gospel, Alan and his wife, Leslie, spend their time being available to anyone who desires to talk. He has been featured on every major media outlet across the globe. Alan and Leslie’s first book together, My Exodus: From Fear to Grace (Zondervan, 2015) releases on September 29.

The Chambers spend the best part of their lives with their 10 year olds, Molly and Isaac, and the rest having conversations about all things gay with anyone and everyone over lunch in Winter Park, Florida or in other locations throughout the world.
Follow Alan and Leslie on Twitter: @AlanMChambers and @LeslieMChambers

I value your honesty and critical review. Please refrain from attacking others.

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6 thoughts on “Relinquishing My Role As The Holy Spirit

  1. We are not politicians seeking to please the masses. We are in a battle every day. We are all tempted in like matter, the ones that fight off that temptation get the victory, the ones that yield to it fall into homosexuality and are given over to a reprobate mind and will get release when they ask for prayer of deliverance and are given the mind that was in Christ Jesus. So if you are attracted to men (sexually) you need a prayer of deliverance if you are attracted to men to talk, fellowship or witness to them.. Their is nothing wrong with that.. I am responding to a article I read on yahoo that said you were attracted to men.

  2. @ William,
    I respect your opinion, but you must not be gay. It is not that easy at all. I was raised in a Christian home and am a Christian. I got so involved in my church two years ago. I changed the way I dress, to be honest I changed everything. I knew how to be “straight”. Well, it backfired b/c I tried to change myself to quick. I got involved with someone and now have been with a woman for two years (again). I have spent years praying and have had many deliverance’s. I will NEVER believe that gay is okay with God. Yet, I am confused, conflicted, and so miserable at times. On the other hand, when I am single I am confused and conflicted as well. I want a family and children. I am 28 and feel that life is passing me by. I want to end the relationship but do not know how, as I will only be attracted to women again. So, please understand that it is not just a little prayer and all is cured. It is a daily struggle of which I cannot seem to win—and very,very painful.

    • Jennifer, I am a 62 year old man. I have been battling SSAttraction for nearly 50 years. Growing up in the Midwest in the 50’s/60’s with these feelings was horrible. I sought out counseling, but for the most part buried my desires deep inside. I went into the Navy and in 1971 became Born Again. It was wonderful. I felt liberated for about 2 weeks and then all hell broke loose. The spiritual battles I endured I would not wish upon my worst enemy. I thought for certain I was going insane. The temptations, the wicked things I was thinking and I did not understand where they were coming from. I was not entertaining thoughts or watching porn or having sex of any kind, but the battles raged. Since then I have been battling the temptations (daily) of Same Sex Attraction. I got married in the mid 80’s and am still married. I told her up front what my battles were and she married me anyway. I said all that to say this. For me I am convinced that this is my thorn in the flesh. I have learned to cope and have found a certain level of peace with myself, but I determined early on that I would not abandon my wife or cave into the gay lifestyle in any manner. It is not easy. I too get so lonely and empty, but I am keeping my eyes on the ultimate prize and that is Jesus. I want to do everything in my power with His help to keep myself clean for Him. He is merciful. He is the true lover of our souls and I wish you nothing but the best and strength to endure. John

      • you go, john D!!! we all have a thorn to bear, whether it is SSA, drug addiction, abusive behavior, etc, etc, etc. it all boils down to whether we love Christ more, or de we love our own lives more than Christ.

  3. Bill – you crack me up, dude. I’m a gay believer – have been for 30 years this April. Strange how I love Jesus and I believe in all of the gifts of the Spirit, and yet I, and many others have a “reprobate” mind, huh? Do you know what a “reprobate mind” actually means? Have you ever Read Romans 1 in context? Might help. I can assure that we don’t need to be “delivered”. We’re not demon possesed, we’re not deceived. May I be bold, as one who has been walking with Jesus for a long time, suggest that perhaps YOU are decieved and need to be delivered from ignorance and misinterpretation? Willful misinterpretation. Hate to inform you, Bill, but you’ve missed the boat. We’re not broken and we we’re not confused or mentally ill. But the gay community DOES need Jesus, as ever community in the world needs Jesus.

    Thank GOD that Alan has changed his paradigm and is coming around to understand the whole “hate the sin, love the sinner” crapola is a complete joke, pathetically “Christianese” and dishonest at the core. I would surmise you are still stuck in that mode. I pray that you and others finally cease reading your personal bigotry into scripture and start doing some genuine biblical scholarship vesus getting your talking points from Peter Sprigg or Tony Perkins.

    God is doing a wonderful thing, Bill. Get on board with the Holy Spirit. Repent. Find some gay Christian friends. We might not be as “reprobate” as you think we are. <