TESTIMONY FROM AN EX-GAY
[This article is excerpted from the author’s book Must We Be Silent?]
Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, Ph.D.
Director, Public Campus Ministries, Michigan Conference
The testimony you are about to read (found in chapter 7 of Must We Be Silent?) is written by an ex-homosexual who has experienced freedom from homosexual bondage. Today, he is serving God as a writer, pastor, radio evangelist, and international speaker. His reassuring testimony underscores the all-sufficient power of Jesus to save “to the uttermost”; to save His people, whosoever they may be, from their sins of whatever nature. Yes, as is true for any other sinner, God can save even homosexuals from their lifestyle of sin. For, Homosexuals Are God’s Children, Too!
Homosexuals are God’s Children, Too! 
If you had asked me nine years ago why I had chosen to be “gay”, or homosexual, I would have answered you as I had answered others countless times before, “I did not choose to be ‘gay’! I chose to be a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. I chose to be educated in Seventh-day Adventist Christian schools. I chose to be a student missionary. I chose to earn a degree in Theology and to graduate with honors. I chose to marry a Seventh-day Adventist young lady. I chose to father Seventh-day Adventist babies. I did not choose to be ‘gay’! I just finally came to grips with reality and accepted that I was ‘gay’, that I was born ‘gay’.”
For years after my “coming out of the closet” and the devastating breakup of my home that resulted, I dared anyone to tell me my “condition” was a matter of choice. I had made all the right “choices” in my life. While struggling with the nagging yearnings of my heart, I had prayed relentlessly that God would “Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me,” and help me to love and to be in love with my wife. But, to no avail.
Finally, I had succumbed to those nagging yearnings and had fallen into the gay life of homosexuality, totally convinced that my condition, or behavior, was not something a person chooses. Who would willingly choose to be so radically out of sync with society, and the church, if a Christian?! I had to be either the victim of my own environment, or just born that way.
My parents, friends, and family all thought of me as a gentle person, thoughtful and considerate of others. In their eyes I was intelligent, likeable, courteous, and talented in many areas. Most of all, I was known to be deeply spiritual.
The Tensions of My “Gay” Lifestyle
Upon entering the gay life, I upheld that image except that of being deeply spiritual. Reared a Seventh-day Adventist, I just could not reconcile my homosexuality with being a part of the people who love God and keep His commandments, for that seemed to be a hypocritical exercise in futility. To me, the Bible was very clear in stating that I would not enter heaven in my condition. For example, “. . . Be not deceived: neither fornicators, ...nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, . . . shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor. 6:9,10)
As I now reflect upon my years in the “gay” lifestyle, I can honestly say that my life became full of disgusting, depraved, and perverted behavior. I, along with every homosexual I knew, was lustful and obsessed with sex. Yet, in the work place, in public, and when among friends and family, I masterfully maintained the image of a decent, gentle, thoughtful, polite, considerate person, both loving and loveable.
For sixteen years I blamed God for everything wrong with my life, especially my homosexuality, because I had prayed that He would take it away, and He hadn’t. “So, wasn’t it rightfully His fault that I was ‘gay’?” I reasoned.
During those self-serving years of “love,” promiscuity, and pleasure, self-advancement, self-exaltation, and self-gratification, there was also much loneliness, misery and heartache. However, my parents and family never made me feel unloved, unappreciated, or unaccepted. The Lord, in His mercy and patience, worked through them to reveal to me the true meaning of unconditional love for the sinner, while not condoning the sin. Not only did they manifest this love and acceptance towards me, but also towards my friends and lovers. In their relationship to me was demonstrated the words of Jesus, “Neither do I condemn thee.” However, neither in word nor in practice did they dismiss the rest of Jesus’ statement: “go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11)
Searching for Answers
Eventually, I stopped blaming God for my condition and tried to look honestly at myself. “After all,” I reasoned, “I can blame God all my life; I am still lost! And what point is there in pretending there are no consequences to my lifestyle, or in pretending that I am saved?” I had been deceiving myself. Simple logic revealed my only hope to be in the Word of God. I had to stop running and hiding, and begin searching out what the Word says.
We are counseled that “All who endeavor to excuse or conceal their sins, and permit them to remain upon the books of heaven, unconfessed and unforgiven, will be overcome by Satan.” (GC 620) That was me---totally overcome!
I began to think, “Wouldn’t it be tragic to find myself standing some day outside the New Jerusalem;–with ‘a good excuse...’?” In fact, for several years I had been having a recurring dream in which I experienced the horror of being lost as I gazed into the face of Jesus coming in the clouds of glory.
Jesus had warned of this horror in stating, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not...in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23; emphasis mine)
Tragically, the lake of fire will contain an innumerable host whom God dearly loves, unconditionally; people He loves so much that He gave His only begotten Son that they need not perish. But they have chosen not eternal life. And God honors their choice, the consequence of which is eternal separation from the Source of eternal life.
I now believe that through my recurring nightmare Jesus was reaching out to me, a homosexual, saying, “My son, give me thine heart.” With childlike reasoning and logic, I began to prayerfully study God’s Word to find either justification in my homosexuality, or salvation from it. Try as I might, I could not find justification anywhere in God’s word for continuing in my lifestyle of sin.
Instead, I re-discovered the simple truth that "Sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4), in other words, "disobedience." And God’s Word clearly states in John 14:15 & Exodus 20:14, "If ye love me . . . Thou shalt not commit adultery," adultery being sexual relations outside of the marriage institution. And God, the Creator of marriage, designed that one man should be united with one woman, becoming one flesh, and that they were to be fruitful and to multiply...!! Man with man, or woman with woman, cannot fulfill this purpose of God in marriage.
Furthermore, God expressed very clearly His feelings about homosexuality in Leviticus 20:13, (and elsewhere throughout Scripture), "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. . . "
I was again drawn to 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10: "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, . . . nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind…shall inherit the kingdom of God."
And, "The wages of sin [disobedience] is death"(Romans 6:23)
These, and many other texts, clearly revealed to me that I could not be justified in my homosexuality. It is the deception of Satan that leads us to believe "Thou shalt not surely die" when we choose to disobey, when we choose to remain in our inherited and cultivated fallen condition of disobedience.
This understanding left me just feeling more helpless. And in retrospect, I know that the purpose of God’s law is to do just that, to show us where we have come short of God’s ideal, and to awaken within us a realization of our need of a Savior. "For all have sinned (disobeyed), and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) in one way or another.
As a homosexual, I could not picture myself back in harmony with God’s plan. Addicted to my sexual inclinations, I was repulsed by the idea of "one man and one woman" as God intended.
Nevertheless, I continued to honestly examine myself to determine who I really was, how and why I was homosexual, and how I could fit in with God’s plan for mankind in general and for myself in particular. Was homosexuality really sin? If I was born that way, how could it be sin?
As I considered the question as to whether I was born homosexual, or whether I had chosen to be so, I eventually came to realize that it really doesn’t matter! Every descendent of Adam was born with tendencies to sin in more respects than one. Many have created even more tendencies on their own by choice, or have been victimized into additional tendencies by their environment. And we all have cultivated to some extent these tendencies to evil, whatever they might be.
Again, in short, we all need a Savior! And it was for this purpose that God "gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever [“gays” included] believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16); that whosoever was broken might be repaired and restored to the image of his Maker in accordance with His original plan.
The homosexual needs to be saved from his/her sin, just as the unfaithful spouse needs to be saved from sin, just as the thief, the murderer, and the liar need to be saved from their sins. Salvation from sin is a work of divine therapy, of reprogramming, of redirection, of re-creation.
As I continued to study and pray, the Lord revealed to me even more answers to my questions. He also disclosed His unconditional love for me His child – even though a homosexual, and His omnipotent power to save me from my sins, whatever they might be. Paul warned us to turn away from "Christians" who have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof in 2 Timothy 3:5. Any Christian who does not accept the power of God to transform even the homosexual is sadly underestimating His grace and cannot fully appreciate, nor fully benefit from, the gospel, which I discovered to be stated very simply in Matthew 1:21: " . . . thou shalt call his name JESUS for he shall save his people from their sins." (Emphasis mine) He shall save even me from my sins!! From my homosexuality!!
Our loving God is the Author of, and Creator of the plan of salvation. We cannot alter that plan in any way, for it is perfect, just as the law of the Lord is perfect, and just as God Himself is perfect. Our role in the plan of salvation is to choose to accept it, or choose to reject it. And the only way we can make the correct choice is to recognize our need of a Savior.
Do we really need to be saved? Yes, of course. From what? From sin. From what sin? For some it may be from intemperance: alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and gluttony…. For others it may be dishonesty, or bad temper, or having other gods, as the god of this world and its goods. For still others it may be adultery –- sex of any kind outside of the marriage of God’s design and creation.
Some may look at homosexuality as being a greater sin than cheating on a spouse or pre-marital sex, but God does not. Sin is sin, the wages thereof being eternal death. However, three sins are stated to be especially offensive to God, (homosexuality not included...). They are pride, selfishness, and covetousness (Testimonies for the Church, 5:337), for it seems these are the roots of all other sin. These are the sins that festered in the heart of the covering cherub and eventually made a devil out of Lucifer.
Discovering Victory Through Christ
My continued study revealed that in order for one to overcome homosexuality, or any other besetting sin, he must first develop a hatred for sin and a love for truth and righteousness (doing what is right by God’s standard). Jesus promised Satan, "I will put enmity (hatred) between thee and the woman" (Genesis 3:15).
The beautiful thing about this promise is that Jesus says He will develop within us that hatred, if we permit Him to, if we ask Him to. "For it is [He] which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." And we can be confident "of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 2:13; 1:6) Jesus says "Ask, and it shall be given you..." (Matthew 7:7).
If we choose to not permit this transformation within ourselves, and receive not the love of the truth, that we might be saved, God Himself shall send us strong delusion, that we should believe a lie, ["sin and live"?] who believe not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness [what is right by our own standard]. See 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.
Also, if we choose not the miraculous transformation and re-creation work of God in our lives, He will eventually give us “over to a reprobate mind...” (Romans 1:28)
I was given the assurance in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 that I could be cured of my homosexuality. Changed! Re-created! For Paul speaks of this very sin, among others, when he says, "And such were some of you (past tense): but ye are washed (present tense), but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified...” How? “In the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."
What a wonderful promise to someone who has permitted the Lord to give him a hatred for his sin and a longing desire for truth and victory!
As I continued my self-evaluation, I began to realize more and more that I had been deceived into thinking I was living a life of freedom, when in actuality I was in terrible bondage. Freedom from God’s law is not freedom at all. James 1:5 refers to God’s law as “the perfect law of liberty,” and I began to see that it was freedom from sin that I desperately needed, not freedom from God’s law. Yet, I was totally helpless to set myself free. I truly needed a Savior and salvation from my bondage of sin, my addictive sexual perversion.
It was presumptuous of me to continue living as though I had the gift of eternal life while knowingly earning the wages of sin---death. In honestly facing eternal realities, I was convicted that my life had to be changed. Yet, I knew I was powerless to make that change in and of myself.
God, however, is not powerless. He is the omnipotent Re-Creator. So, trusting in His Word, I decided to step out in faith and depend upon the promise of Jesus Christ to save His people from their sins.
Today I understand that, of all Bible-believing Christians, only Seventh-day Adventists have the message of real, lasting hope in the message of salvation from sin. For, any religious denomination, or person, teaching that we can practice breaking any one of God’s Ten Commandments and still have eternal life cannot consistently show the homosexual the way to victory over his sin.
And Seventh-day Adventists who believe God is impotent to save the homosexual from his/her sin will find themselves impotent in explaining to non-Adventists why keeping the Sabbath is important. For Sabbath-keeping is a witness that we serve the Omnipotent Creator God, the all-powerful Re-Creator God who can and will save His people personally from their sins – even those especially offensive sins: pride, selfishness, and covetousness....
Facing Skepticism and Doubt
Once having come back to the Lord, imagine my distress over hearing of Seventh-day Adventist ministers and laity alike discrediting my experience by saying, “Sure, I believe in victory over sin. But that kind can never change! Furthermore, I advise you to keep your children away from him.” Or, “I’ve never known anyone coming out of the “gay” lifestyle who has ever been able to remain straight for more than two years!”
Is this not a lack of faith manifested toward God? Is this not revealing in the “believer” a form of godliness, denying the power thereof?”
Frequently I am faced with questions such as:
1) Were feelings and emotions toward men miraculously changed upon conversion? Or,
2) Did the same gender orientation still persist? And,
3) Since conversion, has there been a radical change of attitude, a psychological change in sexual orientation?
These questions are of paramount importance for the sincere seeker for deliverance from besetting sin of whatever nature. And they deserve a definitive explanation.
In my autobiography I tell the painful story of my exodus from the “gay” lifestyle. To be honest, it was the one most traumatic experience of my entire lifetime up to that point. I had to terminate my relationship with one in whom I was deeply in love. My feelings and emotions had not changed toward him at all. But my feelings and emotions toward the Man Jesus Christ had changed tremendously.
Being faced with a choice, based upon God’s word of truth, I chose to follow the Man Jesus, regardless of consequences. Like the words of the famous hymn sung through the lips of every Christian, (but too often without comprehension), it was a matter of “Trust and Obey.” I began to trust my Creator, realizing that “Father truly does know best.” And in this ever increasing trust, I began to obey Him in spite of my feelings and emotions, knowing that His will for me was for my own present, as well as eternal, happiness and well-being. God’s children are instructed that the just shall live by faith, not by feelings and emotions!
In practicing this Biblical principle, I discovered that right feelings and emotions did not come first, but later, as a result of my accepting by faith the will of my Creator. If we wait until we have victory over feelings and emotions before trusting and obeying Christ, then what need have we of a Savior...? And what is the purpose of faith?
Choosing to leave behind the love of my life, to be born again as a helpless, newborn babe, I entered my new world. As an infant begins his life with inherited tendencies to evil, I began my new life in the family of God with all the same tendencies I had cultivated my entire previous life, i.e., homosexuality, drinking, smoking, dancing, love of the world and its entertainment, perverted appetite, ad infinitum.
However, looking to Jesus and God my Father, I renounced my homosexuality and all these things of the world, and I submitted to His divine upbringing within the family of God.
Am I ever tempted in these areas?
Is Satan still alive and well...?
To this day, every time someone lights up a cigarette near me, I am attracted to the smell; attracted to that which used to repulse me but for which I purposely created and cultivated a taste and tendency. But I choose not to smoke. And God’s grace is all-sufficient.
To this day, the smell of freshly brewed coffee, or the thought of an icy margarita, work to arouse within me an old cultivated tendency to indulgence. But I choose not to drink. And God’s grace is all-sufficient.
To this day, when encountered, the music of the world pulls and tugs at me, luring me back, making my happy feet want to dance. So I avoid it and replace it with music that uplifts. When faced with worldly “gospel” music in the church, I am made extremely uncomfortable. But God’s grace is all-sufficient.
To this day, I do not trust myself to walk into a “gay” bar or nightclub or to socialize with practicing homosexuals. I do not trust myself to go where God does not lead, where I cannot be assured of His companionship and protection. Instead, I enjoy the companionship of my wife and fill my life with associations that can receive the favor and blessing of God. And His grace is all-sufficient.
However, to say that I am above temptation in any of the areas of sin cultivated by years of indulgence would be to give false hope to others desperately seeking salvation from like besetting sins. It was just such expectation during my youth, that of being delivered from temptation, that caused me to give up on God in the first place and to plunge headlong into a life of sin, misery, and woe.
God has not promised to save His people from their temptations. He has promised to save His people from their sins, from giving in to those temptations. And it is not an admission of failure for one to admit the continued existence of inherited, created, and cultivated tendencies to evil—infirmities. A lack of these tendencies would be to have “holy flesh.”
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
To this day, I must choose daily whom I will serve.
To this day, like the apostle Paul, I must “keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1 Corinthians 9:27)
To this day, I realize the importance of protecting my environment. I must starve the old evil tendencies while feeding and nurturing the new nature. Evil must be replaced with good. Perverted feelings and emotions can be starved out and replaced by righteous ones as I trustingly and self-less-ly follow the instructions laid out for me in the “Operator’s Manual” given by the Creator of sexuality.
Just as when fleeing from God years earlier, turning my back upon everything and everyone I knew, in coming back to God I had to separate myself totally from the gay scene and lifestyle, fleeing, as it were, Sodom and Gomorrah for my very life. In starting a new life, I surrounded myself with everything I knew to be right for me, which was not everything I felt like having around me...! No Christian should risk depending upon what feels right. Neither could I. “Come now; let us reason together,” God says. As children created in the image of God we are to use that marvelous gift of reason and the power of choice. The spiritual mind is to rule over and bring into subjection the lusts of the flesh.
To this day, like any other Christian, I must guard well all the avenues to my soul. God’s grace, (His strength and power), as promised, is sufficient for His child the homosexual, enabling him also to bring "into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:15), and to have complete and total victory over his sin of homosexuality.
Based upon my experience and study of God’s word, I have outlined in my book specific sequential steps that a person can take to experience freedom from the bondage of besetting sin, including the sin of homosexuality. 
As a result of putting into practice these and other Biblical principles, I have become totally comfortable in my new life as an ex-gay heterosexual. The thought of returning to my old life has become foreign and repugnant to me. Submitting myself to divine reconditioning and therapy has truly resulted in a new creation. And I rejoice in the words of Paul that I have experienced in my own personal life, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Cor.5:17)
Why should we as Christians doubt that this promise can be true for the homosexual as well as for anyone else? Every day I live victoriously in my new heterosexual life I testify to the power of God to save His people from their sins. And I praise Him for the privilege to have this demonstration of His grace played out through my own personal experience.
Our Savior has commissioned me in the same words He spoke to the cleansed demoniac in Mark 5:19, “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.” Accordingly, my life of falling from grace to the depths of degradation, and rising to new life through Jesus Christ has now been published to His glory as a “How To” autobiography: “‘That Kind Can Never Change!’ Can They...?” 
This story is meant to be of assistance to homosexuals in need; to parents, family and friends in distress; to pastors and counselors in search of answers; and for anyone struggling with besetting sins of whatever nature.
Not through human reasoning, logic, philosophy and counseling was I able to change; but through the Word of God and the power of Jesus Christ to save His people from their sins, according to His promise. By God’s grace, this homosexual prodigal child of God has been delivered from his sin and redirected into a productive and fruitful new life as a Seventh-day Adventist minister of the gospel, happily married, with children.
I praise the Lord for the great things He has done for me, and for His compassion towards me, for His mercy and patience, and for His marvelous power to save even me from my life of sin!
“That kind can never change! Can they...?,” some may question.
Yes, they can! Homosexuals are God’s children, too! To them, as to every other child of God in need of a Savior, is the promise given, “Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21, emphasis mine).
[NOTE: In chapter 8 of Must We Be Silent this ex-gay explains how a person can be set free from the sin of homosexuality. That chapter is reproduced on drpipim.org website as “You, Too, Can Be Made Whole!”]
 A modified version of the current testimony has already been circulated on the Internet. This is, however, the full, unedited version.
 Readers who are familiar with what is being published in our church publications will recognize that this title is a direct response to the article by Kate McLaughlin (pseudonym), "Are Homosexuals God's Children?" Adventist Review, April 3, 1997, 26-29. McLaughlin has also publicized her views in other church publications. See, for example, her "A Homosexual in My Congregation?" Ministry, November 1996, 10-11, 29; and "When Your Child Doesn’t Choose Your Lifestyle," Women of Spirit, Spring 1995. Views similar to the above have been articulated in Insight, December 5, 1992, pp. 1-16; Phillip Whidden, "Gays, Gabriel, and Dynamo Truth," in the Collegiate Quarterly (January-March 2000), 97; Jim Miller (as told to Celeste Ryan), "I'm Homosexual, I'm Adventist, and I have AIDS: The Jim Miller Story," Adventist View, Winter 1993, 9, 15; Beth Schaefer, "Homosexual Warfare," View, Special 1999 issue, 18-21; Tessa Willow (pseudonym), "Still Our Son," Women of Spirit, May-June 2000; Katie Tonn-Oliver, "Virginia Cason: More Than A Daughter," Women of Spirit, Winter 1996. Occasionally, the published works take the form of well-crafted interviews with Adventist homosexuals. See, for example, Bruce Moyer’s interview with Ron (pseudonym), " A Cry from the Valley of Death," Ministry, November 1996, 23–25, 29; Reni Dupertuis’s interview with Donald J. Freeman, "To Every Nation, Tongue and People (Including Sexual Orientation)," Scanner [a publication of the Glendale City, California, SDA Church], Winter 1999, 9-11.
 Victor J. Adamson (pseudonym), "That Kind Can Never Change!" Can They. . .?: One Man’s Struggle with His Homosexuality (Lafayette, Louisiana: Huntington House Publishers, 2000). Available through 800-749-4009. Also available through the Adventist Book Center.
 Read about this in chapter 8 of Must We Be Silent? ("You, Too, Can Be Made Whole!").
 Victor J. Adamson (pseudonym), "That Kind Can Never Change!" Can They. . .?: One Man’s Struggle with His Homosexuality (Lafayette, Louisiana: Huntington House Publishers, 2000). Available through 800-749-4009. Also available through the Adventist Book Center.