The last person who came from the
US telling us how horrible being a homosexual is, was Adam
Hood. We closed down his meetings and sent him packing home and seems to
have disappeared off the planet. Maybe he
returned to the dreaded 'homosexual lifestyle'.
Now we have a visit from Wayne Blakely, approaching 60 years of age, a US Adventist, who is preaching a
similar but also different message. But he is a bit hard to categorize.
He spoke this weekend at
the Adventist Hospital in Sydney. The promo blurb says."Coming
Out… Really? Is a full-day
seminar dedicated to hearing from people who have struggled with same-sex
attraction and issues associated with the reconciliation of that same sex
attraction, practising Christianity and fitting into a Church family.Whether you, someone you love, or someone at
your church is struggling with this, the issues will be discussed candidly,
with very real experiences shared and we hope this will lead you to a more
informed and Christ-like way to deal with this very sensitive topic. There will
be an open question-time in the evening.It is free to attend, but bookings are essential for this catered
The Wayne Blakely story
It's simple really. His mother
wanted a girl not a boy. She used to physically abuse him (that's sad). So that
is what made him gay apparently. He grew up in the SDA church, but left at 18
when a gay man told him --- they don't want you, and there's nothing there for
you. And then he lived 37 years of self-described abusive, shallow, broken,
addictive years that included two arrests for male prostitution and drug
overdoses that almost killed him and sleeping with everything in pants it
seems. And going to lots of funerals of people who died of AIDS. Approaching
60, he returned to Jesus a few years ago and now tells gay man and lesbians how they
should live their lives. But don’t take my word for it. Watch this "riveting"
video with superb academy award performances including Wayne playing himself.
Interesting title for the video,
"Conversation Starter". I think the only conversation this video
would start is about the tragic acting.
Wayne Blakely's Message
Wayne doesn't preach the message
that you can turn from gay to straight (nor does he rule it out mind you if God
does a miracle for him and makes him like women).....but a same sex orientation
is evil and not God ordained. So every
young, middle aged or senior Adventist who hears this message will essentially
think that gay people are flawed, they can never fall in love with someone of
the same gender and are destined to a life of celibacy. Yep that's right. Alone
for life according to Wayne's interpretation of the bible. He lays it all out
for you here.Straight?Gay? or Just Simply 'Redeemed?: CELIBACY
And of course this message will be regurgitated by Adventist parents to
their gay and lesbian children and other Adventists to their friends. This is not a message of hope but a message of
shame and inequality.
Approximately 40 people attended the Wayne Blakely seminar. Early this year
though a film, Seventh Gay Adventists,
documenting the very moving and honest accounts of several gay and lesbian Adventist
people, toured Australia. It was viewed by 100's of people and
the movie has also been shown at numerous Queer film festivals around the world
(with rave reviews). At most film festivals it was to sellout screenings and received spontaneous standing ovations from audiences profoundly touched by the what they had just viewed.
The documentary has had a positive impact on Adventists and non-Adventists alike. As a gay man of faith the message of Seventh Gay Adventists was clear to me. God loves gay and lesbian people as they are and ignorance about sexual orientation in the church
has caused untold damage to peoples lives and relationships with those dear to them. It's time for the church to let go of outdated beliefs that homosexuality is a sin, a choice and can be changed and begin welcoming and embracing of all God's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people. Most importantly, Seventh Gay Adventists creates a space for questioning by looking at the lives of real people who have had to negotiate the perceived conflict between their Christian faith and their sexual orientation. People have often labeled Christians who have not come to understanding as 'homophobic' but often this label is unwarranted. There is however a very real 'subjectaphobia' about homosexuality in many churches, including Adventism, and documentaries like Seventh Gay Adventists provide the opportunity for people to look at the subject in a sensitive and non-confrontational way. .
Message to Wayne
I am glad to know that you have left your self-destructive lifestyle and
found faith again in your latter years as have many heterosexuals.This however has nothing to do with your sexual
orientation except that your poor choices in life were guided by an
ill-informed message embedded in you by the church and society that being gay
meant you weren't good enough. It's called internalized homophobia and it can
drive people to suicide. Please stop repeating the message that sent you down
such a tragic path in life. You will only create more pain and harm.
Anthony Venn-Brown is the co-founder and former leader of Freedom2b, Australia’s largest network of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people from Christian backgrounds. He is also an educator and consultant on LGBT/faith issues and leader in deconstructing the ‘ex-gay’ myth. Anthony’s autobiography 'A Life of Unlearning', details his journey from married, high profile preacher in Australia’s mega-churches to living as an openly gay man. Anthony has been twice voted ‘One of the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians’ (2007 & 2009) and was one of four finalists for the 2011 ACON Community Hero Award. He is also the founder and director of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International.