Tag Archives: tim-wilkins

That’s My King!

I do so enjoy reading Tim Wilkins’s periodic newsletters. In each issue he writes a thoughtful piece of biblical truth addressing the challenges of ministering the Gospel to the homosexual community. A former homosexual himself, he is well-equipped to address the issue head-on, and he always provides a special insight. Tim is the founder of “Cross Ministry”:http://www.crossministry.org, an organization whose goal is to reach the homosexual community with the message and the hope of the Gospel.

This week’s newsletter is called “That’s My King!”

“That’s My King ”
By Tim Wilkins

Tucked away in Philippians chapter four is a verse replete with truth for gays and all other sinners. Yes, we’re all in the same boat; the ground is level at the foot of the cross AND the deck of the boat.

At the most personal level, the Apostle Paul knew God’s provision through shipwreck, snakebite, stoning and his notorious thorn in the flesh. He was warming a prison cell when he wrote “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (verse 19)

The fact is all of us are sinners who have been in or are currently in a sinking boat called sin. Face the inevitable if you have not done so. You are a passenger on a spiritual Titanic that is sinking. That’s the bad news; the good news is a Lifeguard is nearby who rescues and forgives.

First, we see in this verse the Certainty of God’s Provision. Paul wrote that God shall supply. In Jesus’ sermon on the mount, He said “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted”; “…the meek: for they shall inherit the earth”; “…those who hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled”; “…the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy”; and “…the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:4-8)

Our Heavenly Father is the ultimate promise keeper and when I recognized many years ago a distinct and un-chosen attraction to the same sex, I also recognized a need for help that was certain and sure. I found that certainty in the God who created me in His image. But I learned that His image in me had been marred by sin when, as Vance Havner used to say, “Adam and Eve ate us out of house and home.” (Genesis 3:6, 23, 24)

But even with God’s certain provision, I needed to know the Sufficiency of God’s Provision. Was this God sufficient to supply all my needs as Paul wrote?

My needs could have filled a google of legal pads. I needed wholeness, comfort, protection, purpose, strength, wisdom, joy, patience, forgiveness and the list could go on. One of my early felt-needs was to be loved–which I had not found in homosexuality.

Indeed, God loves me. He loves me with an everlasting love, as Jeremiah 31:3 records and “everlasting” was superior to the half dozen homosexual relationships I had had over a ten year period.

I learned that God’s provision was certain and sufficient, but was there a Surplus of God’s Provision? I mistakenly believed that my needs were so great as to deplete God’s supply in no time flat. I did not want to be gay, but did not know how not to be gay. Those of you who have never experienced same-sex attractions will, most likely, not understand the previous sentence. You may think “just don’t act out homosexually”, which is the argument of a moralist–and not bad advice. For years I followed that advice thinking “if that’s all I have to look forward to, this earthly life is going to be considerably less than what Jesus called ‘abundant’.” (John 10:10)

And yet the text said “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Other translations say “glorious riches.” I had noted in Genesis that not only had God created Mankind, He created them “male and female”-He differentiated between the sexes. (Genesis 1:27) I thought “Maybe that means He wants me to become personally what He has created me to be biologically.”

I can not and neither can you exhaust God’s provision. Though the burning bush burned on, it did not burn out. (Exodus 3:2) The widow, whom Elijah commanded to make some banana bread, lived to learn she had a bottomless bottle of Canola oil. (1 Kings 17:16) The Israelites had a ready supply of French toast every morning when they did as God told them. (Exodus 16:35) Though Jesus started with five hoecakes and two wide-mouth bass to feed a multitude, He finished with twelve baskets of food—one basket for each of His twelve disciples. (Matthew 14:20) (OK–I took some liberties for humor’s sake)

When referring to the woman who emptied an entire jar of perfume on Jesus’ feet, at a cost of a year’s salary, Vance Havner called her act “Sanctified Extravagance.” (Luke 7:37-39)

By the way, have you ever noticed the Pharisee in whose house this extravagance took place? He thought to himself, “If (Jesus) were a prophet, he would know who is touching him…that she is a sinner.” Duh You don’t have to be Karnac The Magnificent to know she was a sinner; one hundred percent of the world’s population are sinners.

Take every man, woman, boy and girl on the face of the earth. Pile all their needs into a heap–if it were possible. Point the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-you-name-it God at that heap and He will meet each need as the need arises.

The hymn says “For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again.” Psalm 121:4 says God neither slumbers nor sleeps

To know God never sleeps may be useful during a game of Trivial Pursuit, but a question remained unanswered. Has all this come down to behavior modification? I found this a divine dilemma

But this verse had more to say. “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Aha! Everything God has to offer me is found in Jesus Christ– the Source of God’s Provision.

Colossians 1:19 reads that all God’s fullness dwells in Christ Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

Mind you, Jesus is not a means to an end. For years I unknowingly used Jesus as such–demanding that Jesus give me my “opposite sex attractions” until I realized, as Oswald Chambers so poignantly wrote, “Getting in a right relationship with God is the easiest thing in the world–unless it’s not God you want, but only what he gives.” Ouch

John Eldridge writes “Healing does not happen apart from intimacy with Jesus.” So there you have it. My Lifeguard, Jesus, loved me so much He died on the cross for my sins.

You want to know a secret? I still find myself attracted to men occasionally. To those of you with the puzzled looks on your faces, let me say it a different way. I have found that God’s provision is not necessarily eradicating the same-sex attractions; His ways, which are not my ways, include strengthening the shoulder that bears the burden. And as Dr. S. M. Lockridge used to say “That’s my King! ”

_Reprinted with permission by the author._

Embrace the Outcasts

I’m not entirely sure I understand the problem. Isn’t the Church supposed to be the epitomy of grace, love, and understanding? Then, why are there so “many”:http://scatteredwords.com/ who are so alienated from Christians, who “feel”:http://willfulgrace.blogspot.com/2005/10/my-blog.html as though they have to keep their struggles secret? Aren’t we supposed to be the _first_ ones to reach out to those in need so that we may provide support, aid, and comfort? Yet, one of the biggest areas of ministry is being ignored and overlooked in so many of our churches. Tim Wilkins, founder and CEO of “Cross Ministry”:http://www.crossministry.org/index.htm and a former homosexual has devoted his life to reaching out to the homosexual community. One of the most important pieces of wisdom he provides is that the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, but righteousness. The reason that this is so key is that most Christians seem to think that the way to bring a homosexual to God is by turning them into heterosexuals. Unfortunately, this approach has never worked, but apparently few ever realize this. This creates a certain level of pressure on the struggling homosexual, who is already wrestling with unwanted attractions to members of his or her own gender. Coupled with the discomfort of heterosexual Christians who are not sure how to relate to and interact with the homosexual, this generates a lot of tension, further alienating the homosexual who finds it easier to stay away than to continue interacting with ineffective Christians.

Most unbelievers are quick to “accuse”:http://btalbot.blogspot.com/2004/06/fear-and-self-loathing-in-dc-is-topic.html Christians who are wrestling to overcome homosexuality of being fakes, frauds, and pawns of the ex-gay movement. They simply “do not understand”:http://www.deeperwants.com/cul1/homeworlds/journal/archives/002784.html that homosexuality is wrong, that God has something better in mind, that it _is_ actually possible to overcome homosexuality and live a life of righteousness. Tim Wilkins is a prime example of what God’s power can do in a person’s life.

As a result of Christian impotency in ministry to the homosexual (as well as those who respond with “condemnation”:http://dyinginchrist.blogspot.com/2005/12/homosexual-agenda-most-americans-do.html and “anger”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/index.php/archives/64/) and the ridicule that originates from the unbelieving community, the struggling homosexual is left with no support group. He is rejected at every front, and so the only solace is to hide his ‘secret’ from everyone but God and himself. It is so refreshing and encouraging to “hear”:http://scatteredwords.com/d/2005/12/light_years.php about good groups of Christians who are willing to come alongside the struggling homosexual and embrace him — physically, as well as emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically — accepting him as he is and helping him to work through his struggle. So few Christians are able to overcome their own discomfort (a product, I believe, of the lackadaisical society in which we live) to reach out to the homosexual, and that is why I support and approve of organizations like Cross Ministry, who work to jostle people out of their complacency and provide teaching and encouragement and a summons to righteous living. They take a lot of flak from every side, sadly, and theirs is a difficult job, but they provide a model for us all by which we should live.

We as Christians need to make a concerted effort to ignore our discomfitures and model ourselves more after Christ by reaching out to those whom we may consider undesirable but who are in such a state of need and support and encouragement and to whom Christ has mandated we reach out. God loves them. Shouldn’t we also?

The Disservice of Contemporary Christianity in America

The discussion on homosexuality here resulted in a few thoughts on the counterproductivity of the contemporary Christian approach to evangelism.

I do believe that Christians in our society today have done a great disservice to the homosexual community in their very angry, judgmental approach, something that Wilkins apologized for on behalf of those individuals in his speech. The result is that it makes it that much harder for us who do not hate homosexuals or pass judgment on them to share our testimonies of faith. I have been bitter and cynical toward Christians in the past because of this, something that God has been gracious enough to remove
from my heart in recent days, but I do feel weary at the thought of trying to break down those walls that separate Christians and the Church from those who do not believe, and not just those who are homosexuals. Personally, I do view homosexuals as every bit as equal as me and as every bit in need of a Savior as me. Why would I do them the disservice of holding my joy in, of being neglectful of their need? Where would I be today if no one had shared the Good News of Christ with me? Christ loves the homosexual just as much as He loves me and He wants them to live a life of righteousness, too, following close to Him. Those who follow Christ must give up some things, specifically those things that will hinder their relationship with Him. But in return He gives so much more. The homosexual is asked to give up an impure lifestyle, and at the very
least they are returned a healthy, vibrant, joyful relationship with the Savior of their souls. Is leaving them alone worth the cost, worth the sacrifice of withholding such a blessing?

I believe that Christianity would be a much more vibrant, much more influential faith today, especially in America, if all Christians would actually remember Who it is they represent and what it is that He taught us to do — love, share the Gospel, disciple, minister, serve – and compare that against they way they actually live and act. Actions speak louder than words, my friends, and I fear that the actions of Christians in America are sending the exact wrong message. No wonder we’re such hypocrites…

Should Christians Take Legal Action Against Homosexuality and Gay Marriage?

I’ve had quite a bit of discussion with a number of individuals over this issue in recent months, and as a result I’ve had to think quite bit about the Christian stance on the legalization of gay
marriage. I’ve heard it said that the government has the right and the duty to make homosexuality illegal, which would also effectively take care of the issue of gay marriage. But as I’ve come to think about it more and more, I have to disagree.

The United States represents freedom. It was founded with the basis of providing a land where its citizens could practice their own beliefs without fear of persecution. To that end, I believe that homosexuals have the right to practice their lifestyle, even though such a lifestyle is clearly defined as sin in the Bible. Furthermore, the principles of the Bible only apply to those who are followers of Jehovah God; they have absolutely no bearing on unbelievers, and we cannot expect unbelievers to behave like believers. Therefore, we as Christians have no right to force our beliefs on others through legal means.

I’ve heard it said by many, “Your rights end where mine begin.” I’ve come to see this statement as being very reasonable. Ultimately, homosexuality affects only the people involved in the
lifestyle (though this is not, of course, strictly true, considering the emotional and psychological effects this can have on close friends and family). Whether Joe and Jake are in a relationship does not affect me, nor does their decision to get married. It doesn’t affect my ability to have a heterosexual relationship or my ability to get married, start a family, have a job, get medical benefits, etc. I may disagree with their choice of lifestyle, but given that they are not Christians, I cannot expect them to live like Christians.

Tim Wilkins states that the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality — it is righteousness. Ergo, the way to change homosexuals is not to force heterosexuality on them via legal means but to win them to Christ, Who then has the power to show them their sin and to change their lives. I, for one, agree and see this idea as further support for the notion that we as Christians have no business making
homosexuality or gay marriage illegal. The logical end of this is that, if we are going to make homosexuality and gay marriage illegal in this country, then we also need to outlaw every other sin (thereby destroying the very freedoms this nation represents). The problem with this notion should be obvious — it would be taking us back to the days of the Old Testament and the Law, forcing Pharisaical lifestyles, and effectively negating the work of Christ.

I do think that there are ways for Christians to be involved and effective in politics, but I think we need to choose our legal battles a little more wisely. Certain issues should be overlooked,
whereas others should have more attention paid to them.

I’ve also posted this on my forum, which is actually where the topic originated. I would much prefer you to leave your thoughts on my forum (though I’ve re-enabled comments here) in order to keep the thread of discussion together. I definitely hope to hear from some you on this topic, as I know it is currently a very touchy one in our culture right now.

Relief

This will very likely be a shorter post than I would like, since it is late, my stomach is empty, and I have a good-sized headache — but I will see what I can do to stimulate some thinking.

———————————

Tim Wilkins, former homosexual and founder of Cross Ministry, frequently points out that the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, but rather holiness. It follows in my mind that this can be said of everything, that the opposite of is not its logical opposite, but holiness.

I Peter 1:13 – 16 (NIV) — Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy” (emphasis added). Ephesians lays out further specifics of this principle.

I think we should be relieved. This, in some ways, makes it easier for us to live Christly. Instead of focusing on a list of do’s and don’ts, we can focus on what it means to be holy, what it means to be like Christ, our example of the Almighty. In the process, if we are striving to meet that goal of holiness, the do’s and don’ts have a way of taking care of themselves, via the work of the Holy Spirit.