Meet Anthony Venn-Brown, who tried for 22 years to change his “sexual orientation” when he should have been asking God to change his heart.
Venn-Brown is self described ex-exgay who’s part of a move to “apologize” to people for believing and teaching others that homosexuality can be overcome by the power of Christ.
After reviewing Mr. Brown’s video snippet, I realized that he carries a lot of unresolved pain and is clearly still confused about what God requires to be in true relationship with Him. I’m not sure if Brown’s problem is a “I failed the Lord” Peteresque type of hurt or “the church lied to me” hurt. Whatever the case, he is a wounded man.
Its wrong for churches to tell people that overcoming homosexuality is about becoming straight. That, is a lie, but apparently Brown, like other homosexuals who tried to be an exgay believed it. In this case, the church is at fault for wrongly dividing the Word of truth (2 Tim 2:15). Throughout the video, Brown and the off camera interviewer refer to the word “straight” as if it were some prized spiritual goal.
But as we have explained before here, “being straight” is never a goal taught by scripture. Holiness is the goal. When one pursues the lie of being straight or heterosexually “normal” instead of being holy, they are headed straight for failure. Its all but garunteed.
The lie Brown accepted forced him into “aversion therapy”. Not only is aversion therapy (in any form) unbiblical, its quack psycho-science that’s been proven to harm an individual’s mental health. Brown also said he “believed that God would be the answer”. In other words, he wanted a miracle. It doesn’t take a miracle to be set free from homosexuality. Salvation and deliverance is the gift of God to all people, not a special case of divine charity. Such beliefs hyperspiritualize the issue to the point that some individuals are led to believe homosexuality is a “special needs” case for God. Brown himself says “it would take a miracle to become a heterosexual”.
Brown’s false beliefs took him to Bible college, an excorcism and exgay programming. None it worked and no wonder why. Of course, Brown believes the reason is that one “cant change the orientation on the inside.” Although he is perhaps unaware, he is still searching for truth having parked at gay christianity. Sexual orientation is a false construct being used to persuade people that such a thing is intrinsic or immutable to one’s being, therefore it cannot be changed.
Overcoming homosexuality is not about going to bible school, being a pentecostal, getting married, having children, preaching to lots of people or trying real hard to be straight. Those external, tangible efforts will result in external changes, but real change is an inside job. Thus, it is the intangibles of our faith that bring about holiness. Holiness is an ongoing learning and acceptance (discipleship) of discipline, trust, humility, faith, patience, repentance and much more as the Holy Spirit illuminates the logos in one’s journey. Adding these valuable intangibles to your life produces a confidence in God in such a way the Bible says you will “never fall”
Neither is holiness about perfectionism, better known in churchspeak as being “completely delivered”. The Bible defines perfection as ongoing maturity. Making right choices as right information is revealed and accepted in response to temptations to sin.
Brown believed he only had two choices: “be heterosexual and go to heaven or be homosexual and go to hell. Its not clear if this is what the Assemblies of God told him or something he came up with on his own, but both are false choices. There is no presumption in scripture that being heterosexual equals holy. Scripture says that anyone who continually commits sexual immorality of any type will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:9-10). Being a heterosexual fornicator is no better than a homosexual fornicator. Lusting after women is the same as lusting after men.
If youre like Brown and have been told these lies by your church, or heard them from another source, you should rethink your thinking. Make every effort to live in peace with all men, the Bible says and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord Hebrew 12:14.
Related: Longer transcript interview with Anthony Venn-Brown