In a GOP event, Kevin Swanson proposed we ought to receive a view of the Bible that calls for the death of homosexuals. This “Christian” pastor clearly does not understand what the sacrifice of Christ is all about and his hateful rhetoric needs to be denounced. I’m not a political person (as you guys probably know by now), but a person does not have to be political to stand up against hate. It’s time that the church starts speaking against these false teachers. It’s long past due. Feel free to check out my video entitled “Death To The Gays: Kevin Swanson and a sick proposal“
I’m seriously tired of trying. Seriously, tired of trying. No more on my end. No more.
There are seasons where you feel as if your struggles are so insignificant that for a minute, you forget you even have them. And yet there are seasons where this monster is all you see in front of you.
The season I am currently going through is definitely the second. But in many ways, this season has hit me harder than any other struggling season I have ever faced. It literally feels as if I am barely holding on to a lifeline with a unraveling sewing string as the lifeline.
I really don’t know how much more I can take. It’s like wave after wave of wall shattering waves keeps crashing into an already compromised construction. To be real frank, this is mainly about my homosexual struggle. But it’s not about having sex with men. I don’t know if I can adequately describe this feeling. But I am honestly almost besides myself. What do I want I keep asking myself.
What do i really want?
Well I know what I don’t want. I don’t want sex with a guy. I guess what I want is hope. Sometimes I wake up in the mornings and I just wish there was someone next to me, in my bed. But it’s not about the sex. It just isn’t. I mean common? Who doesn’t like a good cuddle? And why is it that all my male friendships have to be so…awkward. I have to be careful not to fall for my guy friends and be careful about…well, everything?
I look ahead and frankly, I can’t help but to cry.
You know, someone who struggles with a sex addiction, has the hope to find a true mate, live with them via holy matrimony and be under God
‘S graces. Me on the other hand (and those in my shoes) can’t. It’s not like I could ever live with a guy in that fashion and to make matters worse I am not remotely even attracted to women. (Sorry ladies). I mean, not attracted romantically. But I still want to be loved. I want to be someone’s world and someone be my world. I used to have that. Loved him dearly. He was my world and I was his…a world I have up to follow God. Am I bitter? Heck I don’t know. I just don’t know. But it’s just not fair. I guess life is not fair. I have to get used to hugging my pillow at night. And living life knowing, that I will never have someone who’s waking thought is how much they love me.
They say that people need 12 hugs a day for growth….well, growth seems to be far in the book of my existence. Oh God tell me I’m not bitter. Please tell me I’m not bitter. But I can’t help to notice all the other heterosexual guys wrestling, jesting, being comfortable around each other. Probably because try don’t have to worry about doing something wrong. I can’t help but to be envious.
Ait, so what to do from here. Self pity is not becoming for anyone and this state is plain pathetic. I could die tomorrow for all I know…so what do I do right now. Right now.
I don’t want to end up alone. But all the signs points to that inevitable event. The day where all my friends will be married, and I will be In a room by myself realizing, there’s no one to share or that I have shared a life with.
It’s easy to get into the mindset of perfection especially when you are a Christian. I mean we serve a perfect Father, why wouldn’t we have to be perfect right? On top of that, doesn’t the bible say we have to be perfect? (Matthew 5:48 by the way) and wasn’t Jesus perfect when He came to earth and we are to follow in His footsteps? I’m being rhetorical here but you can see how easy it is to start to believe perfection is our immediate goal. The problem with this scenario of perfection is the point when you realize that you are not perfect. You know, that point when you realize that after so many times of trying so hard to be good and not to fall, you fall anyways. It’s that moment when you are afraid to pray and ask for forgiveness because you have prayed that same prayer more than 70×7. What do you then?
It’s not easy when you are used to riding the spiritual highs and end up in a spiritual low, especially when you know you could have done something otherwise that would have kept you from going into the spiritual low to begin with. Indeed, this is where I found myself these past few weeks. It’s nice when you are at a spiritual point that you feel as if an atomic bomb could go off and you would remain unscathed. It’s awesome to look back and see how well you have progressed and how clean you have remained from the chains of the sins you are so used to battling with. Nevertheless, there are those times, when it feels as if all that is needed is a slight puff from the wind to send you rolling into 500 feet of murk and grime. There are those times when stumbling becomes almost second nature….Stumbling? More like hopelessly falling and breaking all your bones while heading down a 90 degree precipice of endless jagged rocks. What do you do then? Have you failed? Is the Lord disappointed?
I catch myself thinking these thought, feeling as if I am somehow the biggest failure ever. Saying things like “I know better”, or “I thought I was over this” only to be confronted with the harsh and Oh so painful reality that my sin is staring at my face once again. It’s enough to make someone (that being me) question their salvation, their standing with God, their hope for the future. If I’m honest (which I am) I have to say that these are things that I have been battling with; that is the anger and frustration of just utter failure…at least in my eyes. It makes matter worse when you grow in leaps and bounds to that point; that singular point, where you keep thinking “it’s done” or “it’s beaten” but the fact is, it’s not quite beaten yet. Better said, the manifestation of the defeat is not fully visible yet.
Nevertheless, this is why right now I rejoice. I rejoice because I have a savior. I rejoice because on the cross 2000 years ago He saw me as I am right now; and still died. I rejoice because I have a Savior who understands me, who was tempted just like I and even though He did not sin, He knows what I am going through. I have a Savior who desires for me to be free from my sin. But when the waves start to drown me; He is quick to extend His hand. That’s just it; I have a Savior. That’s all I have and really that’s all I need. I just wish it did not take 500 feet of murk and grime to see that. Nevertheless, I find that God is not good at math, because He keeps forgiving me…and I know is way past 70×7.
The race has been long and arduous as I have traveled through hills, valleys, and plains of empty. The bends have been many and the roads have not lacked treachery. Yet, around the last bend my eyes meet the finish line; at the distance of patience and as close as a thought. My heart takes light as the ending manifest itself. Yet, here in this moment, the roads reveal yet another treachery, thus catching my feet and making fall. The moment in the air failed to describe the encounter with the floor, but I would not have to wait long for this moment to become clear. No description needed, I now knew.
First, my hands made contact as momentum slid the weight of my body down and forward. Pebbles, rocks, glass, and sand clung to my flesh and instantly married it. Not a happy union and close to death doing them part. Pain sent signals to my brain from all parts of the now motionless body hunkered on a steaming summer pavement yet strength to move failed me. The roads treachery has finally caught up to my speeding near success.
I lay motionless on that floor as I heard the footsteps of a competitor nearing the bend. Time was his name and he now past me by in camouflaged race shorts and shirt attire. His face took no heed to my distress as he flew on by. My eyes would thus torture me with the sight of his arrival to the finish line. I had to get up.
As I mustered the strength to rise, my body screamed in agony. Blood now blanketed me like marinated meat as I ventured towards the action of racing. My white racing shoes now sported a pinkish brown juxtaposition of blood and mud. Yet rain was not the culprit of the mud. My stride was awkward and my breath short when my strength failed me yet once again. With no energy to ask my arms to protect me, I leave my face to endure a painful reunion with the floor. Pain is now complete.
As I lay on my familiar acquaintance, I hear the heavy footsteps of another racer as he passes by and waves goodbye. Hope is her name and a strong runner is she. “I can’t let her win” I think to myself, but before that sentence is finished, hope is gone out of my sight, across the finish line and out of this race.
Pain binds me and keeps me near the treacherous floor. I hate them both and so I muster to at least leave one behind. I rise, carrying pain on my shoulders. Yet, pain is heavy and drags me back down to my most unwanted acquaintance; the floor. I lay there feeling the welcoming embrace of both pain and floor as the other racers pass by. Defeat; crosses the finish line. Discouragement; crosses the finish line. Anger, doubt, faith, peace, joy, perseverance and all the rest cross the finish line. I lay there waiting for my end for there is only one more racer and I hear his footsteps. There’s nothing else I can do. I lay here and accept my defeat.
The footsteps stop. I lack the strength to open my eyes but somehow I know the racer is staring at me. I feel my body rise…my whole body. I am being carried. The only person that could be possibly be lifting me is the last racer. I find my pain is disappearing as I give in to the racer’s embrace. Strength slowly comes to my body as I open my eyes in time to see the finish line ribbon pass by. I have crossed the finish line. I tilt my head forward to see the racer’s face. As I suspected, it is him! Grace is His name.
Recently, I had the great pleasure to meet up with good friends of mine (one of which I had not see. In eight years… EIGHT! I digress) over a short layover trip in Orlando Florida. Among all the subjects touched upon during our conversations, the issue of homosexuality came up. It was a short conversation but it brought to light a very interesting point concerning the issue. The issue being: we make much to do about nothing.
We would be hard pressed to find Jesus giving a lecture about any specific sin in scripture. But he often gave lectures about loving God, having faith, and following Him. And even when people where brought to Him who where caught “in the very act” of sinning. He merely said “go And sin no more”….done, no more lecture, not “our laws says this or that”. And you know what? These people, whom Jesus loved, did not preach down on, and merely stated the obvious, followed Him and lived a life for Him. Jesus didn’t have to sermonize them to death. He however did sermonize the Pharisees.
What brought me to Jesus after a period of complete rebellion, wasn’t people preaching to me about how wrong and evil homosexuality was. Many tried though, to which I simply erected my walls and drew closer to that what was comfortable to me, a life away from anything religious. But The Lord was at work in my life through moments of clarity, epiphanies, reflections, and spoken words (different than preached at word). In fact, the straw that broke my back was a simple question posed in a somewhat casual conversation. “Who is Jesus to Juan”.
So what’s my point? My point is that we as believer lack faith and have this whole evangelism thing backwards. We raise our pitchforks in the name of righteousness, vehemently denouncing the evils of sin while striping away the main ingredient to any change; love. We forget that God called us to proclaim salvation and to be lights on a city on a hill and to let our good works shine. But instead we try to force good works on others while proclaiming to be Christians. In other words, how can we ask someone to be Christ like when they may not have Christ. And if they do have Christ, why are we so faith deficient to realize that it is Christ in them that deals with their sins. Isn’t it the Holy Spirit that leads me to repentance? Or wait, is that only applicable in my life, but I have to somehow make other people repent by preaching at them? And where does prayer fall into all of this?
My standing in Christ is not because of any persuasion from church leadership or righteous Christians. My standing in Christ is because of the work He has done. That’s why when other Christians behave contrary to their professed faith or even leaders for that matter, I am unshaken.
The true work or redemption and sanctification is done by Christ. If Christ be lifted He will draw man unto himself. HE does it, not us. We need to lift up Christ and cease condemnation. We need to let the power of the Holy Spirit do His work.
So how does this apply to homosexuality? Understand first and foremost that love is the answer. Period. Cliche? Maybe, but true. I really could care less about what anybody knows, until I know that they care. This is especially true for gay people. We forget that they have had to deal with tons of abuse and discrimination. Fake love is not enough, not even “religiousy” love. The only Love that sets people free is Christ’s love. This goes for anyone really but especially for gay people.
Everyone has a decision to make. Why do we focus so much on the dos and do nots as opposed to our relationship with Christ is beyond me. It’s like approaching someone who doesn’t know Christ and saying to them, “are you clean? You must be clean first before I tell you about Christ”. What foolishness! Did not Christ himself say that we have to clean the inside of a cup first? And how does anyone clean the inside first. By trying really hard? Really!!? No, we don’t try, God changes us. For in Christ we are a new creation. IN CHRIST! Not in acting really good.
I don’t think the church body has taken hold of this yet. We may say we are saved by grace but we don’t live like it. And we don’t see people who need Christ through the lens of Grace but rather through the lens of the law. We see their sin and not the person.
This post is in the context of homosexuality but it really applies to everything. I am recently getting acquainted with the meaning of “there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ”. Because for most of my Christian life I have been fed the lie, “you have to work hard enough”. The truth is, all the work that needed to be done, has been done. Once and for all. And the Spirit in me works for His good pleasure. I find that my desires and interest have changed. Not because I forced them to. They just have.
Let the Spirit do its work. Pray for the power of the Holy Spirit and let God be God.
This is a blog I found from my trip to Italy. Its funny because it dawned on me that the same lesson God was teaching me then, He is still teaching me now. How patient is the Lord!
So, I am back in Vicenza and I am enjoying some time away from the crew. It has given me some much needed me time. But at the same time, it has enabled me to think…A LOT! This trip has been an eye opener for me, in soooooooooo many ways. For starters it has shown me how weak I really am. For a while, I was beginning to feel like a strong Christian. I was doing the right things, going to church, not cursing, not thinking perverted thoughts, so forth and so forth. A year of that…it was great! All it took was one trip to Italy for all that to go down the shoot and now I find myself getting drunk, cursing like a sailor, and thinking the most perverse things. I guess you can say I am truly not the christian I should be. I don’t glory in this but if I have learned one thing is this, self pity is stupid. I can waddle in my own mud or I can decide to do something about it. I know I love Dad, He has shown that to me and so ill just have to keep getting up, dusting off and moving on. Life is too short to meddle in self pity. I wont do it! He showed me a while ago that I would fall before I finally learn, so why the drama? I guess I say this because of the fact that I just don’t fully understand anything, anything at all. The biggest struggle has been (of course) my “orientation”. Soooooo many questions. Why if I love someone the way I do, why is that wrong? Is it really wrong? Could the authors of God’s word maybe wrote something and it was translated differently? But in reality all these question stem from the desire to do my will. And I forget that when I accepted Christ as my savior I died to self. Something the world does not understand nor can they. I died to the right to understand anything. I must walk by faith whether I understand it or not. I do struggle, I struggle and hurt like crazy. Sometimes is unbearable! Sometimes I just want to throw in the towel. I ache when I see that I mess up and hurt God’s testimony, for He is doing something in me. But when will it show? I don’t know. But in spite of all of that, I must hold on and do that which I know is right. Some have said I’m too hard on myself. Some have even said I should just have fun and enjoy myself. What they don’t understand is that I am myself. This IS who I am. And that’s the point after all.
In this life we are always going to try to do what we want to do. We will always search for a way other than God’s because in our hearts, if we are honest, we don’t really believe that God loves us and that He truly wants the best for us. If we did believe that, than we would do what God wanted from us without question.
I remember a time when I used to be a personal trainer for the YMCA. There where clients that did not know much of anything when it came to working out. I had to start with the basics with them. Sometimes I would have to do things knowing that they did not comprehend what I did. I remember me saying to them “just trust me” I knew where I was going even if they didn’t. I feel that is what God is telling me now. He knows sooooooooooo much more and see soooooooooo much farther than anything I can conceive. His knowledge is so great that if he were to try to explain things I still would not get it, so I feel as if He says, “just trust me”. Actually I know He says it for in His word it says “lean not on your own understanding” “in all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path”….in other words “trust me”. God’s knowledge is insane, I mean, just look at the human body? there are things in our own bodies…..the thing that we claim that is ours yet we know so little off. (its funny how we can claim something as a possession and yet not know what it is). Do we really believe we actually created this thing? There is one creator and He is the master Architect. Who are we, the design, to say to the designer, “this is how you intended me to be”. The fact that we don’t understand God should not be a
And so even if I don’t understand I will do what I feel God wants me to do….To keep quiet! Since I have been here, I have had many confrontations of my faith. Normally I would not mind entering into a debate. In spite of my failure, I am not ashamed to claim the name of Christ. However, one thing that I feel Dad is telling me to do is to keep quiet. His knowledge is known, and He is more than able to defend Himself. No one around me is ignorant to His ways. What I must focus on is being a genuine Christian. People are sick of Bible thumping pricks who think they know everything there is to know about God. I fall into that category. So I must do that which is right. Focus on being genuine. Focus on loving people, and then maybe one day I will earn the right to speak to them about a relationship with their creator. But even that cant be the focus, for true love has no other motives other than love itself.
WOW, so many things running through my brain its hard to pen them all down. I hope you guys get something out of this.
Love you all
Juan Castillo Jr.
I was chatting with a friend of mine (whose name I wont release cuz I don’t have permission) and the subject of homosexuality came up (figures). To make a long story short we came upon the whole subject of who I was going to be dating now, women or men? And I think God showed me something that I think I should share. Not because I need to air out my dirty laundry but because I think that is something that can benefit anyone and everyone.
When God called me back from 7 years of rebellion, there was something he impressed upon me. That fact that I am His. I was bought with a price the scripture says. Therefore, I no longer am anything but His. And that is more than sufficient. So, when I decided to turn away from the homosexuality, I decided to live for Him. So the question arises, am I going to date women now? am I going to marry?. I honestly don’t think so because I’m still not attracted to women in that way. God hasn’t as of yet given me a desire for a female friend in an amorous way therefore i doubt greatly marriage is an option for me. I probably wont ever marry, needless to say I wont have children, but the fact of the matter is that when God called me, he did not call me to be “straight” He called me to be His. SO whether I am attracted to women or not, I am totally God’s. Hard thing for some people to swallow, I know. But the truth is I am totally content with that. There is a scripture that says that heaven is not about marrying and being given into marriage. Mind you, that this part in scripture does not talk about marriage specifically, its in a totally different context. HOWEVER! it gives us a glimpse as to what happens in heaven, and if heaven is not about marriage and being given into marriage, then why is it so important here? I don’t have to procreate. In fact, its probably better if i spare someone the baggage of the many scars I obtained from living recklessly. But one thing is true and will always be true. God called me to be His. And only His. For He is a jealous God the scripture says. How awesome to be jealoused over by someone who is so much more than I could ever hope to be. Who sees me with nothing but Love and who corrects not to harm me but because he cares too much not too.
Now, how in the world does this apply to you. Well, my struggle is homosexuality, but that’s my struggle, your struggle could be something completely different, IE. porn, drugs, lying, gossiping, you name it. Giving this up will leave a whole that must be met. The world will say, you must not give it up because whats gonna fill it? But God says “Give it up and I will fill it for YOU are MINE” That is of course if you are truly His. For not everyone that calls him Lord is truly His.
SO for us, His Children, we know that He will never leave us nor forsake us. We can wake up every morning and look at the mirror and know that what we see is nothing compared to what God sees and we are His. We can face our trials and our falls with hope, for we know WE are HIS.
Someone said, your God is a crutch. and I say, YUP! A Mighty big one, and I lean on it with all I have for I am but a maned, handicapped, traveler, who was bought with too great of a price to ever pay it back.
- For Those Who Struggle with Homosexuality, and for the Ones Who Hate Them (juancastillojr.wordpress.com)
Lately, an event has been popping in my head. This happened quite some time ago. I used to work at a Christian book store. This particular evening, I was working in the music department when a gentleman came in. Immediately I could tell the gentleman was extremely flamboyant and so could everyone else in the store. He wore bright colored clothes and had long reddish hair. Nevertheless, the gentleman (whom I shall call Larry) was polite, very cheerful and talked to all the workers. Talking to him was as if talking to someone whom you haven’t seen in a long time and recently got re-acquainted even though you’ve actually never met the guy.
As he proceeded to listen to music in my department, I noticed another gentleman (Whom I shall call Bob) walk up to him and start a conversation with him. At first I payed no attention, he was so outgoing that who wouldn’t want to talk to Larry. I went to the back to grab some items to restock the floor, when I came back I noticed that Larry and Bob where still talking, but cheer was gone from Larry’s face. Instead, a face of pain replaced the once so bright of a smile. Before I could step up to find out what was going on Larry said in a loud voice, “I gave up my boyfriend to follow Christ, what have you given up!” and with that, stormed out of the store. It took me a minute to realize what had just happened, but by then it was too late. Larry was out the store, God only knows what damage Bob had done. I felt like grabbing Bob’s neck and wringing it off! But that would not make matters any better. That has stayed with me for over ten years now. Its a stark reality of what we deal with. Bob was wrong! God is seeking people just like Larry to wrap His arms around them and instill in them the Love that they so seek. Its hard for someone who is straight to understand how much a human being can long to be loved by another human being of the same sex. Larry that day showed a true heart for God. Willing to give up that which I am sure he loved so much to follow someone who he could not see, but im sure felt. He accomplished what few people could scarcely understand. For someone who is straight, giving up a wrong relationship (sex wise) is hard, but they still have hope of finding the right girl and eventually marrying. For gay men, that’s not always the case. As an ex gay (and someone who was partnered) I can attest to the fact that for us, giving up our relationship IS everything, since afterwards we have no hope for another “redeemed” relationship since most of us are not attracted to women and yet a sexual relationship with a man is biblically wrong. Can God give us the desire for women? God can do anything. But He doesnt always give us a desire for women Nevertheless, here is Bob, a straight man, probably struggling with similar issues but having a self righteous chip on his shoulder coming to someone like Larry and destroying his new found faith. The scriptures warns us about this, it says: “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Mathew 18:6.
As someone who knows about the struggle of homosexuality and the desires thereof let me warn you my brothers and sisters. Be true to the truth of the scriptures but lavish your actions with love for God says that even if you speak with the tongues of angels and have not love your actions are obnoxious (1 Corinthians 13:1). Oh Church, dont you know that you are the body of Christ? Through you, the Lord extends His love to those whom the world could care less about!
And for those of you who are reading this and struggle with this issue, make no mistake, the world does not care about you, and sad but true some churches dont either, but the truth is the the Lord God, He cares. And if you would just turn to Him. give Him your life without holding anything back. Trust Him, seek Him. The Lord will restore, He will fill that whole that no matter how many partners or tricks or flings you have, can never be filled (btw, before someone shoots me a nasty message. Im not saying that all gay men are “whores”). Dont let the foolish words of some of God’s people and some who pretend to be God’s people deter you from who the Lord truly is. His love for you is so astounding! If only you would let Him give it to you. The gay world is quick to say that God hates you and pervert the truth with a lie. But the truth is God HATES your sin, because He ADORES you. And He knows the wicked, plans and desire that the world has for you, and its not for good. But this is what the Lord says to those whom are His” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11, and else where he says” For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” Psalm 84:11. We can walk blameless because of Christ, not because of our righteousness I admonish you as someone who knows, turn from that world and rest in the Love of Christ. And for those who are of the Body but have the notion that God for whatever reasons hates gays? I admonish you to read and to study the scriptures more carefully. I also remind you that God’s strictest and more vehement scoldings where not for those who where “sinners” but for the “teachers of the laws” “for scribes” “for pharisees” . Repent and start loving those who are desperately seeking the Love of Christ but are bound to try and find this love in the skewed love of men. And if you still cant bring yourself to loving someone whom God obviously Loves, than may I suggest you keep silent for their sake and also for ours.
With much love,
Juan Castillo Jr.
The stillness is near me as the music plays
Loud bumping in the ecstatic night
I’m touched as the dancers come in and out
Shrilled the heart fights
Hiding in places that all see
Wanting for you to look at me
The game begins, we’ll see who wins
The dancers dance and I undress
Garment laid upon my belt reveals my chest
My body moves, I join the dance
In hopes that you complete my stance
And fall into schematic chance
My passion drips upon the floor
Selfish eyes wanting to break through me
You sit across my shore
And in this game it seems your winning
The night is young
Time has not retired
I may end up on top of your fire
You make your move and rise to meet me
Your eyes vain with illusion, promise of height
I cant help but loose, remorseful of this fight
My garments cant hide me
Nor walls protect me.
The mind is lost and the heart is deceived as I follow
The night’s labor comes to fruition in an instant
and for that second I see, the whole event leaves me shallow
I’m tempted to start it all again
as I have done all these nights with different fighters
Whom posses that same hollow promise
and at the end leave, spoiling my stash
breaking the walls
My battle was lost before I even begun.
I see Lord, and I’m coming back.
Juan Castillo Jr.