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No One is Born Gay

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No One is Born Gay

I used to struggle daily with unwanted same sex attraction – unwanted homosexuality. From my earliest recollections I felt drawn to other males. Many circumstances came my way that only seemed to reinforce those feelings. When I was five years old an adult male confronted me in a sexual manner. As a child I was very emotionally sensitive, artistic, and musical…and the other boys at school in my formative years seemed to relish in reminding me how much of a fag I was. In my college days, a friend and mentor – married with children, Christian, and community leader – made a sexual advance…and I was convinced this was my lot in life. The only problem with that is that I became more miserable than ever. When I got to the end of my rope, God met me there with a new identity and the power to change my way of thinking. To my great dismay (but not to my surprise), the world has begun to think in an upside-down manner, calling what is righteous ridiculous and what is perverse normal and acceptable.

Once I began to understand God’s true plan for my identity, I began to think in a way I had never thought before. No longer was I one trapped in bondage (homosexuality). Now I was a NEW CREATION with the power to put off my old way of thinking and the power to receive and PUT ON a new way of thinking. This statement will probably produce a lot of controversy, but this is how I think of myself: I do not consider myself a recovering/former/ex gay. I consider myself a new creation. The slate of my mind is being erased and the old thoughts are being replaced with new thinking. What I have discovered in the process is that when I change my thoughts, my attitudes change. When I change my attitudes, my behaviors change. When I change my behaviors, my perspectives change. When my perspectives change, I see life from a vantage point that homosexuality NEVER afforded me. The bottom line for my recovery? God loved me right where I was…but loved me enough to not leave me there! Oh, and by the way, I have been married over 27 years and have been blessed with nine children…and have never once delved back into my old life…(my story in its entirety follows at the end of this chapter).

Until 1973, homosexuality was considered a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). In the early 1970s – after many years of protests by the pro-gay movement - homosexual activists campaigned against the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder, protesting at APA offices and at annual meetings from 1970 to 1973. In 1973 the Board of Trustees of the APA voted to remove homosexuality as a disorder category from the DSM…and thus began our slide down the slippery slope toward a Romans 1 mentality. With that one decision by such a powerful group of therapists, man became the central focus in the matter of homosexuality and effectively began to remove hope for change from the realm of possibility for many men and women.

Let’s cut right to the chase. My belief (and experience) and my observance (having personally talked with HUNDREDS of men and women desiring to walk away from unwanted same sex attraction) is that the facts of truth do not bear witness to the current and popular conventional wisdom of this age concerning homosexuality. Let’s look at truth for a bit.

The Lowest Common Denominator

Sex is for procreation. Would everyone agree with that statement? Do I really need to say more? Sex, in its uttermost and ultimate form is for the express purpose of reproducing…for making babies. Of course, man in his wisdom, believes everything is about him and life is all about getting the most pleasure…leading mankind to pervert and co-opt the things of God in such away as to eradicate the reality of having to face his sinful nature. Perversion is simply taking something God intended for a holy purpose and using that something in an unholy or unnatural way. Sex is pleasurable…but its ultimate purpose is to reproduce the human race. Everything we do to preserve life was made pleasurable by God to insure that mankind would continue to thrive. We need water to survive…so He made it pleasurable to drink. We need food to survive…so He made food taste good and smell good, making it a pleasurable thing to do. We need to produce the next generation for our species to survive…so He made sex pleasurable.

We pervert our desires when we substitute something else to meet that need or when we go outside the boundaries God established for our own good. (As a side note, 10-15% of Americans identify themselves as alcoholics yet we do not consider this normal, do we? Why are we showing such preferential treatment to those who want to impose their desire that homosexuality be seen as a normal sexual behavior when only 1-2.8% of Americans identify as exclusively homosexual?) Alcoholics do not want to face their weakness. Overeaters or gluttons do not want to face their weakness. Homosexuals do not want to admit their weakness. Overcoming any addiction or disorder or sinful habit requires work…blood, sweat, and tears. Many give up simply because they cannot withstand the pressures fighting such a battle brings up. I can say this honestly: knowing Jesus intimately and trusting Him for my identity has been worth every struggle and battle I have had to endure. Victory and subsequent freedom are simply worth it. And as we have heard from the military world: freedom is not free.

Rom 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, Rom 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Rom 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. Rom 1:25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, Rom 1:27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. Rom 1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, Rom 1:29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; {they are} gossips, Rom 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, Rom 1:31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; Rom 1:32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Romans 1:22-32 NASB

The FACTS About Homosexuality

Homosexuals Are Born Gay – NOT!

Let’s look at the science…

• Quite simply, THERE IS NO GAY GENE! Even openly homosexual researchers have come to that conclusion. In 1996, a research team of five led by Dean Hamer at the National Cancer Institute released a study that attempted to link homosexuality with a specific region of the X chromosome. Dean Hamer made the statement “…environmental factors play a role. There is not a single master gene that makes people gay.” He went on to say, “I don’t think we will ever be able to predict who will be gay.” 1

• A well-known brain study of 1991 by Simon Levay tried to find the differences in the hypothalamuses (a very small portion of the brain) of both homosexual and heterosexual men. Levay, who was one of the researchers and himself a gay activist, offered criticism of his own work: “It’s important to stress what I didn’t find. I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay. I didn’t show that gay men are born that way, the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work. Nor did I locate a gay center of the brain.” 2

• Clinical professor of psychiatry at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine and past president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, Dr. Charles Socarides, argues that since psychologists and ministers have treated homosexuality with success, the genetic cause theory must be suspect. 3

• We have all heard bits and pieces from the famous ‘twin study’ conducted in 1991 by psychologist Michael Bailey and psychiatrist Richard Pillar. But the truth of their own study flies in the face of conventional wisdom. This study attempted to show that homosexuality occurs more frequently among identical twins than fraternal twins. The interesting result is that the study actually provides support for ENVIRONMENTAL factors versus genetics. If homosexuality was a part of the genetic code then both identical twins would have been homosexual 100 percent of the time…but that was not what they discovered! 4

• Prominent researchers Bruce Parsons, William Byne (psychiatrist with a doctorate in biology), Richard Freidman (psychiatrist), and J. Downey each came to the conclusion that there is no evidence to support a biologic theory, but rather that homosexuality could be best explained by an alternative model where “…temperamental and personality traits interact with the familial and social milieu as the individual’s sexuality emerges.” 5

My own experience? My emotional sensitivity and artistic/melancholy outlook caused me to see the world and my experiences in ways that caused me to believe I was not like the other boys I was growing up with. Combine that with a very real and deep need for affirmation and approval from my father and mix in a lack of knowledge concerning what it meant to be sexually masculine and by the time I was 11 years old I was fully gripped by a belief that I was somehow different (that is an overly simplistic overview of my journey into homosexuality, but accurate).

Ten Percent of the Population is Homosexual…I don’t think so!

Due to the error-filled Kinsey report of the 1950s, the popular belief is that 10% of our population identifies themselves as life-long homosexuals. True scientific research reveals that the reality is that only 1.4 to 2.8% of our population identifies themselves as life-long homosexuals. A series of recent studies from 1989 through 1993 all show similar figures for the real proportion of exclusively homosexual individuals in America: about 1.4% to 2.8%.

• A 1994 study entitled the National Health and Social Life Survey conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago and the State University of New York at Stony Brook found that only 2.8% of the men and 1.4% of the women surveyed said they thought of themselves as homosexual or bisexual. 6

Homosexual Relationships are Just as Normal as Heterosexual Relationships…at least that’s what conventional/popular wisdom says!

Reality and facts tell a quite different story from the popular trend in television and cinema that paints homosexual relationships and behavior as the new normal. Reality is that the average male homosexual has hundreds – HUNDREDS – of sex partners in their lifetimes. The median number of partners for homosexuals is FOUR TIMES HIGHER than for heterosexuals.7 In his study of male homosexuality in Western Sexuality: Practice and Precept in Past and Present Times, M. Pollak says that “few homosexual relationships last longer than two years, with many men reporting hundreds of lifetime partners.”8 In a study involving 2,583 older homosexuals published in the Journal of Sex Research, Paul Van de Ven and colleagues found that only 2.7 percent claimed to have had sex with only one partner.9 In yet another study, it was found that 24 percent of gay men had over 100 partners, 43 percent of those studied had over 500 partners, and more shocking still, 28 percent of gay men had over 1,000 partners! That does not sound normal to me.10

As with any besetting sin or addiction or abnormal behavior, we try to convince ourselves that what we are doing is normal and acceptable. I tried this in my own life and became more miserable than ever…trying to replace what I knew to be true (and convicting) deep inside with alternative ways of thinking. We cannot replace the right order of God’s universe with altered/perverted ways of thinking. Even common sense tells us that a man’s body was created for a woman’s body and vice versa. A sad commentary in our world is that the squeaky wheel (gay community) gets the oil (attention and altered world view for the masses)…and the rest of the population – 97% of us – resort to the easy road of simply accepting the new way of thinking rather than to fight it.

If the truth be told, most homosexuals I talk with do not want to be homosexual. That fact alone should ring loud and clear. Dr. Ariel Shidlo of Columbia University published the results of a study on “internalized homophobia” among homosexual persons. Let that sink in. Homosexual persons. He found that a significant number of homosexuals surveyed held negative views/attitudes toward their own homosexuality and toward other homosexuals! Fifty-three percent of homosexuals agreed with the statement “homosexuality is not as satisfying (good) as heterosexuality,” while another thirty-seven percent agreed that “homosexuality is a sexual perversion.”11 Wow! What does that tell you?

People can try all they want to try and promote homosexuality as an equally satisfying and normal lifestyle option, but even members of the homosexual community would have to admit that such a view is false. Reality is that gay couples adhere to a very different moral standard than straight couples. A prominent conservative gay author, Andrew Sullivan, says their moral standard is one in which “a greater understanding of the need for extramarital outlets” exists.12 It should be noted, also, that two researchers who avow to be a homosexual couple have concluded that gay relationships between men rarely survive if they are not open to outside sexual contacts.13

Homosexuals are as Normal as Heterosexuals…Really?

I will not belabor the point, but those who identify as homosexual are statistically at a higher risk of drug use, suicide, depression, and other emotional problems.14 In addition, in the October 1999 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, research on the relationship between homosexuality and mental-health problems found that men with same-sex partners were 6.5 times as likely as their co-twin counterparts to have attempted suicide.15 “Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths”, a report by Richard Howe exposes the very intentional lies promoted by the gay agenda. Howe writes, “The slick and somewhat successful public relations campaign hides the true face of the homosexual lifestyle. This can be demonstrated from two (indisputable) sources: former homosexuals who reveal what the typical homosexual lifestyle is like and videotapes of other homosexuals in certain public gatherings.” 16 Reality is that all men have fallen short of the glory of God. One sin – be it homosexual or heterosexual in nature – separates us from God. In order to get back to the true identity God has placed deep within the being of every male and female we must return to Him…repenting of our sin and asking Him to reveal to us our true identity.

What I Know Now

If I had listened to all my gay friends, I would never have left the homosexual lifestyle/mentality behind. I have been told ‘you’ll be back’ to which I say, “Why would I return to something that would require me to be less than who God has called me to be?”

Many have told me that my story is made up…that a real homosexual would never be able to truly leave the lifestyle. The truth is that if I were going to make up a story I would make up a much better one than mine! Why make up a story that has damaged my image in the minds of so many? Why make up a story that has been a true detriment to my musical career (I actually see myself as a minister and a song receiver rather than an artist or a musician) making it difficult, at times, to even provide for my family because even ‘the church’ hesitates at ‘exposing’ my life to their people because ‘they just do not have that problem’ in their church. My story is my story…and it is true…and the reason I share is because I do not want others to go without knowing that freedom is possible. Psalm 107:2 reminds us that the redeemed are to ‘say so’. If we who have been redeemed and set free through a relationship with Christ do not ‘say so’, how are those in the same bondage going to know there is hope for a way out?

Once I came face to face with a God Who loved me right where I was but loved me enough to not leave me there, I followed Him with my whole heart. I decided that I would no longer believe a community (gay) that used me and used me and called it love…but would rather follow after the One Who loved me righteously and wholly for who I am…and not for how much sexual pleasure they could use me for. Reality was suddenly revealed to me in this manner: I could either choose to follow mankind whose sever and utter focus was on mankind as the answer and highest authority OR I could follow after the One Who created mankind. My reasoning? When I have a problem with a computer or piece of technology of some kind I do not go to the local ice cream shop to find the solution. My first response is to search the manual and then to call the manufacturer. That is the sure way to fix a problem. Why do we see our spiritual life any differently? I have God’s manual – His Word – and I have direct access to my Manufacturer via my relationship with God through Jesus Christ!

My healing was instant and yet has been a process. In one instance of faith I was given a brand new identity. In the 29+ years since that moment I have been walking toward Jesus relationally while He helps me rip off the old clothes of death from my past life of sin, revealing my true identity as a man in the process. My past failures do not define me. No present circumstance defines me. No temptation defines me. We do not get to choose what we are tempted by…but in Christ we are given the power to choose what is righteous. No person, place, event, or law defines who I am. Only One has that authority. My God defines who I am…and I choose to believe that and to walk in that. And, yes, I have had many from the gay community tell me that I am brainwashed…and they are absolutely correct! I have had my mind cleansed by the transforming power of relationship with Jesus Christ and now think with the mind and walk with the attitude of Christ…through temptation or lack of temptation!

Overcoming homosexuality – or ANY sin – is a battle of the mind. Over the past 30 years I have fallen so many times into stinkin’ thinkin’…but rather than give up and cower in defeat, I have chosen to recognize that I am, indeed, in the battle of my life. I grew tired of being the victim who was sexually violated as a boy or the victim who was sexually used and thrown away by others along the way. I decided that since Christ was victorious over sin, death, and hell…then SO WAS I! I decided I was Victor rather than Victim…and watched the walls of my own prison fall in the process.

The bottom line is this: NO ONE IS BORN GAY. My belief, my experience, scientific facts, and most importantly, my God tell me otherwise! I was gifted of God in artistic and emotional ways. The world told me these gifts were effeminate. I had a need to hear my dad tell me he loved me. My perception was that I was not lovable nor was I acceptable to my dad as a fellow male. Due to the sexualization of my mental disorder and skewed outlook on life, I came to the conclusion I was born gay. Reality and God’s truth say something different, though. Every man is born into sin. It is our sinful nature that separates us from God. Our only recourse is through repentance…acknowledging that He is God and WE ARE NOT…turning from our sin and turning to God…becoming new creations in and through Christ. When we, by faith, are born again we become someone brand new. The process of becoming that new creation is quite simple. I walk and talk with the Lord and choose to believe what He says about me…putting off the old ways of thinking and putting on the new ways of thinking. Changing our thoughts leads to a change of attitude. A change of attitude leads to a change of behavior. A change of behavior leads to a hopeful, abundant life where TRUE intimacy is discovered in a living, growing relationship with the Creator.

My Story

We Have Believed A Lie!

Before I begin my story, you must know that I desire to bring honor to my earthly father and mother as well as to my heavenly Father. The reason I share the things I am about to share with you is because I believe many people will be able to identify with what I have "gone through." My greatest desire is that you would come to know the Father even more intimately than I have. Because we are all born sinners we all have some very basic needs. Yes, we have physical needs. But I'm referring to the many emotional and spiritual needs we are born with. Little children gain their identity through their father. I can remember being a little boy and desiring my daddy's approval and acceptance for every area of my life. Being a father of both boys and girls myself I can see not only how my sons need me to help them realize "who they are" but my daughters as well. One of my daughters may "do" her own hair and come to my wife, Melinda, and ask how it looks. But it takes dad's stamp of approval before she will really believe that it looks acceptable. And isn't that the way it should be with our heavenly Father? I desire to gain my worth and acceptance from my heavenly Father? I desire to gain my worth and acceptance from my heavenly Father and who He says I am. As a father, I desire to nurture my children in such a way that they do not become dependent upon me but are able to transfer their deep needs to their heavenly Father. I realize I will never be perfect as a father, husband, worship leader, or person. But my Father is perfect--in every way! My healing has come and will continue to come as I seek an intimate and life-giving relationship with Him.

I was born in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. Soon after my birth, my parents moved to the farm my grandparents (Samuel Washington and Myrtle Mae Snyder) had built...the farm where my father was raised. We lived three miles from the small town of Boynton, Oklahoma (Pop. approx. 400) where my brothers and I attended school. The Lord gifted me from an early age to play the piano. By the time I was nine years old I was regularly playing for the worship times at First Baptist Church. This was also the church my grandfather Herman Everett Johnson had pastored. This was the church where my parents, Samuel Robert Jernigan and Peggy Yvonne Johnson, had met. My father had also "led singing" here from the earliest I can remember. When I was about six or seven years old, my grandmother Jernigan moved back to the farm in a trailer next to the old farmhouse where we lived. And each day after school I could be found at my grandmother's house practicing piano conveniently forgetting about my chores.

It was through my grandmother Jernigan that the Lord taught me to play the piano. Since we lived so far from any town with a music teacher, I had to learn to play by ear. My grandma was very patient with me and taught me how to "chord" for "church playing!" It was also my grandma who told me there was more to a relationship with Jesus than getting saved. She once told me that she would know my grandpa Jernigan when she got to heaven because the Lord had told her his "new name in glory!" I was in awe! God spoke to my grandma...but I could never hear him speak to me. Needless to say, I grew very close to this godly woman. It would be many, many years before I would begin to realize the full impact that she was to have and is having on my life.

An early (and defining) memory that helped set me on the road toward homosexual identity happened one Sunday when I was about ten years old. My brother and cousins were playing on the church steps before church began, oblivious to the conversation of the men who were standing near us. My ears tuned right in, though, when their topic of conversation used words like ‘fagging’ and ‘queering’ because I knew they were talking about ME even if they did not know it! These were the men who taught me about God. These were the men whose image God had been painted in my mind! So guess what I thought GOD thought about me?! I thought He hated me…and this thought tortured my soul for far too many years!

Even though I equated my musical/artistic abilities and emotional sensitivities to being effeminate, God used those abilities to save me from torment and to actually preserve my life and sanity. When the boys at my school would mock me and tease me, I could get lost at the piano when I got to grandma’s house after school…and no one could hurt me there. I also had the ability to dream the same dream each night. In my dreams I lived on the USS Enterprise and my dad was Captain James Tiberius Kirk. Each dream had the recurring theme of me being captured by aliens and my dad, Captain Kirk, swooping in at the last second and destroying my captors. At the end of each dream, my mother (Doris Day!) would sing ‘Que sera, sera! Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours, you see! Que sera, sera!’17 Even in my despair, the Lord was using the gifts and sensitivities he had built into me (which I assumed were effeminate in nature) to preserve and protect me!

My relationship with my parents, from talking with many others over the years, was quite typical for my generation. We were not an affectionate family. While I did feel affection from my mother, I never remember receiving physical affection from my father or among my brothers and myself. My daddy was very hard working. We were not poor...but we were not rich monetarily. In addition to working the farm, my dad was employed by a utility company and eventually worked as a mechanic for many years. Since I have gotten older, God has reminded me of many ways my father expressed affection and love for me as I was growing up. My problem was not my father. My problem was that I believed a lie. Once Satan got his foot in the door of my heart, any rejection - no matter how big or how small was perceived as a lack of love from my dad (or whomever I felt rejected by at the time).

One incident in particular was used to set me on the course toward identifying myself as a homosexual. One day (when I was 5 years old) while playing with my brothers and cousins at a family-owned business, I needed to use the restroom. Running into the public facility nearby, I had not noticed the older man standing behind me until I had finished my business. As I turned around, he dropped his pants exposing himself to me. I was at once terrified yet captivated by what I saw. I had never see an adult male in that way so a natural curiosity overcame me…but the fear took over when he asked me if I wanted to touch him ‘there’. I ran for my life…but stopped short of telling anyone else what had just happened. In that moment I began to hear a little voice in my head saying, “Why would that man ask you to do that? Something must be wrong with you, Dennis.” And yes, a little boy can think that way…because I certainly did. This was to set me on a pathway of identifying myself as being ‘different’ than other boys and somehow ‘less than a boy.’ In those days I could not even bring myself to put my hands in my pocket as is common for young men…because I did not think I deserved to be labeled a boy…and I certainly did not see myself as masculine. In those early days I began to focus solely on myself and tried desperately to manipulate how others perceived me.

Looking back, I realize that I was a very selfish child. From the earliest I can remember, I found it hard to believe anyone loved me. I felt worthless. Since I didn't believe anyone loved me, I couldn't really receive love. What I did discover, though, was that if I did something well, people would like me. So, I tried to be the best in whatever I did: schoolwork, basketball, music, etc....But I became so frustrated because no matter how well I performed, it never seemed to be good enough. I was very miserable and felt all alone (even though I wasn't alone!). Sports and grades weren't giving me any hope...neither was music. Because I made choices based upon how or what I perceived people thought of me, I became a very selfish person...usually at the expense of others and most often as the expense of my little brothers. What people thought was so good, my outward performance, soon began to hide the deepest hurts and failures of my heart. And I must add that my daddy and mama never missed one single event I was involved in while growing up, this should have spoken volumes to me. Still I chose to believe a lie.

Now I need to tell you about what I consider to be the most painful part of my life, a part I tried to hide. Since I felt so rejected, I allowed it to permeate every part of my life. What I didn't realize was that Satan was lying to me, all the while trying to keep me from God's plan for my life. This included the sexual part of my life. In this area I felt so ashamed and afraid of rejection that I became even more selfish and perverted in my way of thinking. As a boy I needed a role model to show me the way to manhood. But because I felt rejected by the main man in my life I, in turn, rejected him and began to yearn for intimacy with a man in perverse ways. Because of this wrong thinking I came to believe I was homosexual. It must have begun early in my life because I remember having those feelings for the same gender at a very early age. I hid this from others through high school and through my four years at Oklahoma Baptist University even though it wasn't hidden from those I had relations with. I might add that even though I was involved in homosexuality through my college days that I still regard that time with fondness. It is in looking back that I can see the awesome and mighty hand of God ministering His love to me in the midst of my sin and confusion. Because of my lack of musical training while growing up, my musical studies at OBU were like learning a whole new language. To be able to actually read and write the music I could see or hear was like a whole new world opening up to me. This would be very valuable later in my life as I began to express my heart and my feelings in song.

A major turning point in my life occurred my senior year at OBU. Desperate to hide myself from others, I lived alone the first semester of my senior year. During that time I thought of myself as a worthless worm-of-a-guy...not worth another’s time or effort to get to know. So, imagine my surprise and delight when an older man – a husband and father and Christian leader in the community – who would ask me about my studies each week and take me out for a Coke and pray with me about my troubles and concerns, befriended me. I had never felt I could trust someone as much as I trusted him, simply because he invested so much time and energy into getting to know me. I felt valuable again. I will never forget the moment of honest confession when I shared my deepest, darkest secret with him. It was as if the entire weight of the world accumulated over the past 21 years of my life had suddenly been eradicated! I felt free and light and affirmed all at once! That feeling lasted for a few moments…until my friend, my mentor, made a sexual advance.

I went home to my little apartment after that encounter and turned on my gas stove and did not light the flame. As I lay down in the floor I remember thinking this would be best for everyone (me focusing on me, deciding what was best for me…selfish to the last second!). After a few minutes I begin having thoughts like, ‘Are you prepared for eternity? Do you know what’s really waiting for you out there? Are you truly ready for this?’ I became so terrified that I quickly turned off the gas and made this statement to myself: “This is just the way I was born. I will stop fighting it and simply BE who I am.” I lived that way from that night in 1980 until well after my graduation in 1981.

Upon my graduation from OBU in 1981, God began to move in supernatural ways that even I couldn't see! One of these instances was a simple music concert. A group called The Second Chapter of Acts was going to be in concert in Norman, Oklahoma, and I knew that I was supposed to go. By that time in my life I was looking for anybody who was real, someone who had a real walk with the Lord. Among Christian musicians, I was looking for more than entertainers. So, I went to their concert. I knew by the words they said and the music they sang that these people were genuine, and the message was born out of times of desperation in their own lives. I needed hope. As I listened to Annie Herring speak and sing I was overwhelmed by the love she spoke of. This was the love I had dreamed of but still couldn't believe was available to me! So I listened very intently with great expectation--until she came to the song Mansion Builder. This song caught my deepest attention because of the simple phrase, "Why should I worry? Why should I fret? I've got a Mansion Builder Who ain't through with me yet?"18 All of a sudden she just stopped in the middle of the song and said, "There are those of you here who are dealing with things that you have never told anyone and you are carrying those burdens and that's wrong--that's sin and you need to let those hurts go and give them to the Lord. We are going to sing the song again and I want you to lift your hands to the Lord--and all of those burdens that you are carrying, I want you to place them in your hands and lift your hurts to Him." This was all new to me--worship and praise. I had always thought before that this was just an emotional response that didn't really mean anything. But you know what it did for me? As I lifted my hands, God became more real to me than I had ever imagined! The lifting of my hands was more than a physical action. My hands were an extension of my heart! I realized that Jesus had lifted His hands for me--upon the cross. I realized that He truly was beside me and that He was willing to walk with me and carry me and just be honest with me. And I could be honest with Him! At that moment, I cried out to God and lifted those burdens to the Lord and said, "Lord Jesus, I can't change me or the mess I've gotten myself into--but you can!" And you know what? He did change me!

At that time I acknowledged the fact that I was totally helpless and I turned everything in my life over to Jesus--my thoughts, my emotions, my physical body...and my past. Basically, I took responsibility for my own sins and yielded every right to Jesus--my right to be loved, my right even to life. Because of my choice to sin, I deserved death and hell--and that's where Jesus came in. At that point, something wonderful began to take place in my life...I began to hear the Lord speak to my heart--"Dennis, I love you. I have always loved you! Dennis, you are my child--I love you no matter what. Dennis, I will always love you!" It was then that I lost the need to be accepted or loved by others because I realized Jesus would love me and accept me no matter what, even when I was rejected by others! It was also at this same time that those sexually perverse thoughts and desires were changed...and He began to replace them with holy and pure thoughts about what sexual love was all about. You see, the sexual drive is a creative drive and Satan knows that if he can pervert that drive, he can kill and pervert God's creativity in us.

This all seems to fit in place for me now. For when I was about nine years old, I felt the Lord speak to me that I would someday have a large family of my own...with nine children! I thought, "Lord, You must be crazy. How can I have children if I have homosexual (unnatural) desires?" Do you see what Satan was trying to do? Not only is God blessing me with a wonderful marriage and many children, He continues to pour out His music in my heart. It is out of the gratefulness of my heart towards the Lord that I will have all the children He will bless me with and I will never stop singing praise to His name. The secret--the key for me is knowing that Jesus loves me and that I need Him desperately more every day...and realizing that He wants to change me--to change my heart--every day. My desire is to come into His presence (lay myself on the altar) that He might change me into His own image. You see, when I was nine years old, Jesus began calling me to Himself. On September8, 1968, I asked my mother how to be saved. She explained the plan of God's salvation--that we were all sinners and that we deserved to perish in hell. I was saved that Sunday afternoon and baptized that same evening. I believe that I was saved when I was nine years old, but because I looked and perceived my heavenly Father through my own perverted image of my earthly father, I couldn't fully receive all He had in store for me--like acceptance and forgiveness. It is so amazing to me that He loved me enough to preserve my life the way he has in this day and age of promiscuity, perversion, and sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS. One thing that kept me going during the early years of my life when I felt like giving up and living in sin, was the fact that Jesus kept calling me. If He was God then there was truly hope for me! The most precious thing of all is that He loves me with all His heart...and that's how I want to love Him. Because of this relationship with Jesus, my healing has been and will be a continual process...until the day I die and can see Him face to face!

Another major point of change for me came during this same time in 1981--yet another divine setup! A close friend found out about my past. I knew I would be disgraced and rejected now! When he confronted me, I ran from the house and continued to run until I could run no more. At that point, I simply cried out to God to speak to me. At the same, my eyes were directed to look into the darkness of the evening sky where I was drawn to a puffy white cloud floating above. This cloud looked like an old man with a beard and outstretched arms. Near this cloud was a smaller cloud in the shape of a lamb. As I watched, the bearded man engulfed the little lamb in His arms. I knew immediately that God was speaking to me...that this was what He wanted to do for me in this time of need. I then had the grace to return and "face the music." But that's not what happened! This friend was a true friend. He told me he loved me and was willing to stand with me as I walked through this time of deliverance in my life. And you know what else happened? God began to bring others into my life who were willing to love me unconditionally and to walk with me through the trials of my life--no matter what--for my complete healing.

In 1983, God called me to marry my wife, Melinda. I assumed that since I considered myself to be healed that there was no need to share my past with her. But I soon realized that I was really still trying to hide--which meant I still carried a burden and that I was still more concurred with what man thought of me than what God thought of me. Soon after we were married, the babies started coming! And with the babies, the added pressure of responsibility to deal with the real issues of total healing in my life. Hiding the truth would keep me from the healing God wanted for me in my life.

Because I hid these things from others, my relationships could never truly be what God wanted them to be--because in true love there is no fear. I was always afraid to tell anyone because I thought no one would love me. Why am I telling you now? Well, on July 13, 1988, I realized God wanted to take the greatest failures and weaknesses of my life and make them my greatest strengths--and that Satan wanted me to keep them hidden so he could use them against me. But like the prostitute, Mary Magdalene, I realized that to hide those things kept me from fellowship and freely loving the One I loved the most--Jesus. Not only this, but if I confessed my past freely, Satan would have no ammunition against me. So here's what I did. In July of 1988, I shared what I just told you (in a much more brief way!) with my church...and something beautiful took place. People began to come out of the woodwork who had been hurting just like me and even more so, men and women who were involved in homosexuality (sodomy), women who were abused by their fathers, those who had been raped and never told anyone, and even those who had abortions, etc. As they confessed their sins and hurts, Jesus was able to begin healing all their past. On that day, I publicly laid down my life and my reputation to serve Jesus in an awesome way. However, I want my life to be broken and poured out life the perfume Mary Magdalene used to wash Jesus' feet even though they said she was foolish. I want to lay down my life and reputation for others just as my Lord Jesus did for me. Imagine that--the perfect King of the Universe humbled Himself and gave up all His power and glory because He loves me! I can do no less!

Since the day I first shared my past publicly, God has called me to tell others what He has done for me--to lead and call others into intimacy with Jesus through the avenue of music and worship. It was after such a time of sharing in my hometown of Boynton in 1989 that I began to realize the true depth and extent of God's great love for me and the calling upon my life and the role of my grandmother Jernigan's vision and prayer upon my ministry. After leading worship at the Boynton Community Center, one of my grandma's old prayer partners said to me, "Isn't it wonderful how your grandmother's prayers have been answered?" Amid feelings of shock and tears of joy, I asked, "What prayers?" And she answered, "Didn't you know? Your grandmother told me how she would stand behind you as you practiced the piano at her house each day and would ask God to use you mightily in His kingdom to lead in music and worship! And He has answered her prayers!"

Your circumstances, your sins, your wounds, etc., may all be different than mine, but the answer is still the same--Jesus. You may have been sinned against and wounded very deeply. For those times you are not guilty! If you have been used or abused in any way, you can be healed. Do not receive the false guilt that Satan would try to put on you because of circumstances that were beyond your control. I urge you to deal with your own heart and the things you were (and are) responsible for--like attitudes, actions, thoughts, and feelings! There is hope for the hurting. If you are like me, you may need radical surgery. Surgery may take more time than it takes to put a Band-Aid on a wound. But surgery generally gets to the cause and doesn't just cover up or pacify the symptoms of the wound. If you are willing, you can get to the root(s) of your sin(s). I urge you to get to the root of and deal with whatever you may be facing.

I've been there and found the way out, and I must share my story--the story of Jesus with those who are hurting. Aren't we all hurting in one-way or another?

The bottom line is this: I can't make it one day without the Lord. I ask Him to fill me with His spirit day-by-day and moment-by-moment and to lead me. You see, we are all helpless and in need of a Father to care for us. And He is the Father Who will never leave us or forsake us. He is the Father Who enjoys our presence more than we could ever enjoy His! I am no longer afraid of what others think of me (at least I'm asking the Lord to help me in that area!). Please pray for me and my family as we seek God's direction for our lives. I love you.

In His Love and Grace,

Dennis

 


Dennis Jernigan lives with his wife of 30 years, Melinda, in Oklahoma on the farm where they raised their nine children.

Dennis has recorded over 38 Christian/Worship/Ministry recordings and has many songs that are sung daily somewhere in the world wherever the body of Christ meets in worship. For recordings, books, and other resources by Dennis Jernigan, go to www.dennisjernigan.com.

Books by Dennis Jernigan

Giant Killers Dennis’ personal journeys through the defeat of the giants in his life

What Every Boy Should Know…What Every Man Wishes His Dad Had Told Him Dennis’ timely message to fathers and sons who desire to preserve a godly heritage of what masculinity really is.

Daily Devotions For Kingdom Seekers daily encouragement to those who desire to see and live life from the King’s point of view. Only for those who desire true victory in their lives!

This Is My Destiny Jernigan’s personal journey toward discovery of who he is in Christ

Victim to Victor a continuation of Giant Killer specifically to help get those who struggle with sin or bandage of any kind to the place of victory.

Help Me to Remember a book to help lighten the journey of grief.

A Worshiper’s Guide to the Holy Land DJ’s personal memoir of his travels in the Holy Land (written with friend Chuck King; includes a CD of worship music!)

 

Recordings by Dennis Jernigan

Days of Awe

Here in Your Presence

Kingdom Come

I Cry Holy

Hands Lifted High

Giant Killers

This Is My Destiny

I Surrender

Daddy’s Song

Break My Heart, O God

I Belong to Jesus, Vol. I & II

I Will Trust You

Songs of Ministry

And many others!!!

 

Booking

Dennis Jernigan is a much-sought-after speaker, worship leader, and minister.
To contact him for possible ministry in your church or group, contact his
booking coordinator at 1-800-877-0406 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Endnotes

Much of the information was gleaned from the resources available

http://hopeforwholeness.org/

http://www.restoredhopenetwork.com/

and is used with permission.

 

1 P. Copeland and D. Hamer, The Science of Desire, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996.

2 “The Innate-Immutable Argument Finds No Basis in Science”, “In Their Won Words: Gay Activists Speak About Science, Morality, and Philosophy” By Dean Bryd, Ph.D., Shirley E. Cox, Ph.D., Jeffery W. Robinson, Ph.D. http://www.narth.com/docs/innate.html, 30 September 2002

3 Charles W. Socarides, interview, in “New Gene Study: Homosexuality Inborn?” p. 9

4 “The Innate-Immutable Argument Finds No Basis in Science”, “In Their Won Words: Gay Activists Speak About Science, Morality, and Philosophy” By Dean Bryd, Ph.D., Shirley E. Cox, Ph.D., Jeffery W. Robinson, Ph.D. http://www.narth.com/docs/innate.html, 30 September 2002

5 “The Innate-Immutable Argument Finds No Basis in Science”, “In Their Won Words: Gay Activists Speak About Science, Morality, and Philosophy” By Dean Bryd, Ph.D., Shirley E. Cox, Ph.D., Jeffery W. Robinson, Ph.D. http://www.narth.com/docs/innate.html, 30 September 2002. William Byne and Bruce Parsons, “Human Sexual Orientation: The Biologic Theories Reappraised.” Archives of General Psychiatry 50, no. 3.

6 Sex in America: A Definitive Survey, Robert T. Michael, John H. Gagnon, Edward O. Laumann, and Gina Kolata, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1994, p. 176

7 Whitehead, N.E.; Whitehead, B.K. (1999): My Genes Made Me Do It! Huntington House, Lafayette, Louisiana, calculated from Laumann et al., 1994

8 M. Pollak, “Male Homosexuality: Practice and Precept in Past and Present Times”, ed. P. Aries and A. Bejin, translated by Anthony Forster, NY: B. Blackwell, 1985, pp. 40-61.

9 Paul Van de Ven et al., “A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile of Older Homosexually Active Men”, Journal of Sex Research 34 (1997): p. 354. Dr. Paul Van de Ven conversation with Dr. Robert Gagnon on September 2000.

10 “Survey Finds 40 Percent of Gay Men Have Had More Than 40 Sex Partners”, Lambda Report, January/February 1998, p. 20. A. P. Bell and M. S. Weinberg, Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women (New York: Simon

and Schuster, 1978), pp. 308, 9; see also Bell, Weinberg and Hammersmith, Sexual Preference (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981).

11 Shidlo, A., 1994, “Internalized Homophobia: Conceptual and Empirical Issues”, in Greene, B., Herek G., Lesbian and Gay Psychology, Thousand Oaks: CA: Sage, pp. 176-205.

12 McWhirter, D. and Mattison, A., The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop, Prentice-Hall, 1984.

13 Ibid.

14 Fergusson, D.M.; Horwood, L.J.; Beautrais, A.L., 1999: Is sexual orientation related to mental health problems and suicidality in young people? Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 56, pp. 876-880.; Herrell, R.; Goldberg, J.; True, W.R.; Ramakrishnan, V.; Lyons, M.; Eisen, S.; Tsuang, M.T., 1999: Sexual Orientation and Suicidality: a co-twin control study in adult men. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 56, pp 867-874.; Sandfort, T.G.M.; de Graaf, R.; Bijl, R.V.; Schnabel, 2001: Same-sex sexual behavior and psychiatric disorders. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 58, pp. 85-91.; Bailey, J.M. (1999): Commentary: Homosexuality and mental illness. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 56, pp. 876-880.

15 Herrell, R.; Goldberg, J.; True, W.R.; Ramakrishnan, V.; Lyons, M.; Eisen, S.; Tsuang, M.T., 1999: Sexual Orientation and Suicidality: a co-twin control study in adult men. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 56, pp 867-874.

16 Richard Howe, “Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths”, The American Family Association, 1994, p. 14.

17 Whatever Will Be Will Be (Que Sera, Sera), by Livingston, Jay; Evans, Ray, ©1956 St. Angelo Music

18 Mansion Builder, by Annie Herring; ©1978 Latter Rain Mus

 

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