"Be Not Deceived": The Sacred and Sexual Struggles of Gay and Ex-Gay Christian Men

By Michelle Wolkomir | Go to book overview

4
Choosing a Path
to Resolution

I’d met a few folks from MCC. They were good
people, and they told me about MCC and how it
had helped them. When I finally got up the
courage to go to a Sunday service—not knowing
what to expect—I was surprised by the love and
joy in that place. I knew God was at work and it
felt right for me. I guess I never really consid-
ered an ex-gay group.

Interview with Sean, Accept member

I knew I couldn’t join a gay Christian group like
MCC. It was just never an option for me. The
whole idea of it’s okay to be gay and Christian
felt wrong, and I didn’t want to be wrong. When I
heard about Expell and talked to the group
leader, it felt like I was finally in the right place.

Interview with Matt, Expell member

In these excerpts, Sean and Matt described their reactions to discovering Accept or Expell as right and/or wrong feeling and indicated that their decisions about joining were predicated on these feelings. When initial contact with a group “felt right,” Sean and Matt took this feeling as evidence that they had found the “right place” in which to resolve their struggle. Like Sean and Matt, all of the men in this study based their decisions about which group to join on their emotional reactions, with good feelings serving as proof of an appropriate choice. None of the men were concerned with, or even noticed, the theological and conceptual similarities between MCC and Exodus. Instead of seeing the groups as closely related, they saw only the groups’ opposing solutions to the homosexuality/ spirituality problem. As a result, when the men chose a group in which

-54-

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"Be Not Deceived": The Sacred and Sexual Struggles of Gay and Ex-Gay Christian Men
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Prologue xi
  • Part I - The Cultural Origins and Biographical Paths of the Dilemma 1
  • 1: The Problem with Being Gay and Christian 3
  • 2: Alternate Theologies Sins and Solutions 18
  • 3: The Dilemmas of Christian Men Who Desire Men 39
  • 4: Choosing a Path to Resolution 54
  • Part II - The Resolution of Dilemmas and the Transformative Process 77
  • 5: Challenging Traditional Meanings 79
  • 6: Learning to Be a Gay or Ex-Gay Christian 105
  • 7: Authenticity and the Good Christian 132
  • 8: The Wives of Ex-Gay Christian Men 152
  • 9: Conclusion the Parameters of Change 180
  • Appendix 201
  • Notes 209
  • References 211
  • Index 219
  • About the Author 227
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