In an article dated today, 10/30/11, Episcopalians once numbered 3.6 million in 1966. These numbers have decreased to less than 1.96 million as of today.  The article attributes the drop to the fact that thousands exited this denomination because of the 2003 consecration of openly gay bishop Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson. Also, in 209, the leadership made a decision to ordain “ALL” baptized members, intended to give approval to practicing homosexuals.

Well, let’s face it. The organized church is still celebrating Halloween and practicing yoga and calling it “Christian.” So pastors have not a clue as to how to counsel gays and lesbians in their various churches.  The archaic approach is either to ostracize them by waving the bible in their faces and portraying ALL Christians as narrow-minded,  judgmental finger pointers, or the church  take the opposite position and allow men dressed in drag to sing in the choir.

So some intelligence and true spirituality must be brought to this discussion.

From a Christian counseling perspective, there are three viewpoints that guide the counseling process: homosexuality as demonic oppression, as a conduct disorder and as an alternative lifestyle.  

Secular counseling professions  view homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle and therefore, therefore see  no need for  cure..  Even some professing Christian counselors, the idea of being a Christian and an active homosexual is vehemently defended.  Their understanding is that there is no biblical condemnation for a monogamous and lasting homosexual relationship within the context of love and whose counterpart would be heterosexual marriage. This is ignorance.

At Sheppard’s Counseling Center, we use the bible as our standard.  Therefore, we only will counsel homosexuals who desire a change in their orientation.  We  do not attempt to counsel professing Christians or non-Christian homosexuals who have no desire to change their sexual orientation. For a gay or lesbian client to enter counseling with the SCC, three (3) things are mandatory:

1. The client must possess great motivation to change.

2. The client must be committed to invest his or her time in the counseling and recovery process.  He or she  must not miss sessions.

3. The client must believe in the existence of demons and be willing to engage in spiritual warfare, signing a disclaimer which states that we have in no way tried to convince or coerce him or her toward a change in sexual orientation.  ie. accepting full responsibility to leave his or her orientation behind.

Our view is that homosexuality can be either  demonic oppression, a conduct disorder and or both.  As demon oppression,  since the cause is “spiritual” then the treatment is also “spiritual.”   Our  point of view is that struggling individuals have no power over what was done to them as children (ie. the orientation) but they DO have power over their own behavior and practices.  This view gives the client a “safe place” which allows the counseling to become fruitful.  The focus of the counseling  is not on who the person is but on the behavior, over which he or she has control.  If there is  literally no control, then demons have successfully gained ground.

There are several theories about the development of homosexuality.  Most cases are linked to childhood sexual abuse. Through incest, rape and sexual abuse, demons of perversion are given ground in childhood.  In other cases where sexual abuse is not a factor, counseling will explore the parent-child relationship, ie. was there a lack of identification with the parent of the same gender, did the client as a child not develop the appropriate sexual role, has the object of sexual desire remained linked to the need for the approval and affirmation of the same-sex parent.  We will examine if the family relationships manifested a history of distrust, sexual abuse, traumatic experiences with the opposite sex,  or whether or not the client chose this lifestyle because  he or she believed  it  to be fashionable.

Our  belief  at SCC is that a change in orientation is possible, as long as the client  desires to change and is dedicated to do so. In Christ, all things are possible.  The client should be warned that the emotional scars from the past may still persist and therefore  may take considerable time to heal.  Those who are truly dedicated to Christ will obey Him, ie.  if thy right hand offend you, cut it off.”  In other words, even though the client may desire to sleep with someone of his or her own gender, we as Christians do not follow the desires of our flesh.  Heterosexual fornicators are in a similar position.  The unmarried are to be celibate or to marry.  Homosexuals have the same two choices.  However, if they marry, it must be to someone of the opposite sex.

 It should be noted that we do not believe that marriage cures homosexuality and should never be sought as such.  A single Christian of either gender is in  the same position as a Christian homosexual or lesbian.  They have two options also: to marry or to be celibate.    Besides marriage to someone of the opposite sex, the only option that a Christian homosexual has is to be celibate, walk in the spirit and not fulfill the lust of his or her flesh.  Simply put,  As Christian counselors, we view all sex outside of marriage as sin.

 If this issue pertains to YOU or someone you know, counseling help is available by the hour by telephone.  So call 518-477-5759