Caught Between Two Extremes

It seems difficult for society to show any balance on the subject of homosexuality.

On the one extreme is the gay movement, where men and women defy convention and give themselves up to a lifestyle that is far from happy or gay, and which has been a major contributor to the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases, especially AIDS.

At the other extreme we have the Christian Right which considers homosexuality a choice and threatens eternal damnation on all those who struggle with this problem. It seems as if all correspondence on this issue in our local press reflects one extreme or the other.

As with so many issues confronting our society at this time this problem is not so simple. Let's look at the facts:

1. Few people choose to have homosexual tendencies. They find themselves that way. Acting on those desires, however is a choice. It's time people understood that there is a difference. Some people have homosexual tendencies: they are sexually attracted to a member of the same sex. Some from this group choose to live a gay lifestyle: this often includes same-sex relations, homosexual pornography, certain types of dress, and other behavior. Some of those living a gay lifestyle will do so openly, so it is evident to most people that know them. Others living the gay lifestyle will do so secretly ("closet gays")—they do so in order to keep their jobs, friends and sometimes, their church congregations.

It is possible to have homosexual tendencies and be Christian. It is not possible to live the gay lifestyle, openly or secretly, and be Christian; the gay lifestyle is anti-biblical.

2. Nowhere in the Bible are those with homosexual tendencies condemned. In fact, except in some modern translations, the word homosexual is not even used. What is condemned, are sexual acts among people of the same sex.

The purpose of Anchor magazine is to help those struggling with homosexual desires to realize that there are alternatives to the gay lifestyle.

At the same time, we want to show those influenced by traditional Judeo-Christian teaching that the simplistic approach of some churches is not helping and is often far from Christian.

Inspiration for the title of Anchor magazine is taken from Hebrews 6:19, "We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul....."

That hope is based on a simple statement of faith: that the Bible would not condemn specific homosexual acts if it were not possible for people to deal with their homosexual desires. In the Apostle Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians he assures us that "God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it" (1Cor 10:13).

Elsewhere in the same epistle the Apostle Paul writes: "Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

"And such were some of you..." (1Cor 6:9-11).

ANCHOR is published by THE CORINTHIAN FOUNDATION. The name takes its inspiration from the passage above, "... such were some of you".

It is our absolute conviction that it is possible to overcome homosexual feelings enough to live a heterosexual life.

This problem is not new. Clearly, it was a common problem in the time of the Apostle Paul. But for almost two thousand years the Christian world has failed to deal with it. Today, in our liberal secular western societies we are much more open about homosexuality. Gay activists have become politically very powerful — it is estimated that the six million gays in the United States gave victory to President Clinton in 1992.

The issue is out in the open. At the same time, new therapies have been developed and proven, enabling men and women struggling with their homosexual desires to learn how to deal with them in such a way that they have been able to change and live a heterosexual lifestyle.

It is for those still struggling and those who want to understand their struggle that this magazine is dedicated.

There are a number of top-quality non-pornographic gay-lifestyle magazines on the newsstands. There is no widely available magazine offering an alternative. It is our hope that ANCHOR will fill that gap. Our goal is to turn this into a quality magazine to rival those produced by the pro-gay lobbies offering a message of hope to homosexuals seeking to leave the gay lifestyle.

ANCHOR will serve as a forum for ideas that may help those struggling with homosexual feelings and who do not wish to enter the gay lifestyle. We are not trying to force practicing gays to change.

Inclusion of a specific article does not denote complete approval on my part as Editor. Differing ideas may be promoted in this magazine. But all articles will reflect the two-fold mission of giving hope to recovering homosexuals and of re-educating the public unduly influenced by misinterpretation of scripture.

You may receive a free one-year subscription to ANCHOR or have the opportunity to share in our two-fold mission by writing ANCHOR, PO Box 153, Okemos, MI 48805-0153.

All subscriptions are confidential—we do not sell or share our mailing list! Thank you for your interest!.

—Melvin Rhodes,

Anchor Editor

We are including this "Letter to the Editor" as a sample of the effect that an understanding, caring and biblical approach can have on a real person afflicted with real tendencies.

Dear Anchor Editor,

I hardly know where to begin. I just received a copy of ANCHOR. I must tell you that I have been conflicted for several years now. I have been conflicted with homosexuality for at least 20 years. My father was distant and uncaring to me. He wasn't physically or verbally abusive, he just basically ignored me. It isn't surprising that I longed for his attention, or the attention of any male who took an interest in me. I was a very quiet, good boy. I never got into trouble and did well in school. About my freshman year in high school I began to notice that I was more interested in the guys in my class than any of the girls. While the other guys were dating and going out with girls, I maintained an aloofness and kept myself busy away from any of the girls. It wasn't that they weren't pleasant, they just didn't interest me.

I attended a local church here in my home state while I finished college. I always made excuses to the other guys that I had a test or whatever to get out from dating and going out with any girls. I am sure that they all put me down as an eccentric.

I was really reeling from powerful conflicts. Is it possible to be gay and a Christian? Certainly not!! But then, why has God cursed me so? Why won't He answer my prayers for healing? If this is so abominable, why doesn't He help, why doesn't He care, what do I do?

I was afraid to go to my minister fearing he would put me out of the church. This despite the fact that I have never "acted out" any of my temptations. I felt so torn. I became cynical. "God must not care." I thought. In the 15 years of silence and isolation I have never seen any substantive articles. I have not talked to anyone in the church, or outside for that matter except for one time that I went to a psychologist who just told me to accept my "gayness" as a gift from God. I discounted the entire psychological community for their inability to offer any real help. All the books on the subject and all the magazines point to accepting the lifestyle, the inevitability of it all. I refused to believe that that was my destiny, what with AIDS and all out there, but it is a consistent message that does have an effect.

A friend of mine confided something very personal about himself a few months ago, not dealing with homosexuality, but with something else. I finally got the courage to confide in him as well and that was such a moving and powerful experience for me. I had never told anyone. He was understanding and kind. He told me about your publication. I cannot tell you how encouraging it is to read it. I have read it 4 or 5 times, cover to cover. It has been tremendously encouraging and helpful.

Please accept my most sincere thanks for what you are trying to do and for what ANCHOR stands for. I look forward to getting any future copies.


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