A few days ago the Nederlands Dagblad (a Dutch Christian daily) reported that a certain David Matheson had come “out of the closet.” On his Facebookpage he let it be known that from now on he will go through life as a homosexual.
For a number of reasons the newspaper article is quite remarkable. First, David Matheson is a Mormon and the Mormon Church is fiercely opposed to homosexuality. Further, Mr. Matheson did not hide that he had been married for 34 years and that his marriage had been reasonably happy. But last year he divorced his wife, and admitted that all the time he had felt attracted to men. He explained that he could no longer ignore his desire to have an intimate relationship with a man. “It had become a non-negotiable need,“ he said.
The most remarkable aspect of this story was that this Matheson was one of the founders of an organization for the healing of homosexuals, “Journey into Manhood”, and as ex-homo (as he described himself for many years) he authored several books with therapies for curing homosexuality. However, he now admitted that he had not been honest to himself (and to his clients) and had made serious mistakes.
Nowadays there are still Christian who are convinced that homosexuality can be “cured”. This, in spite of the fact that most experts are adamant that this is impossible and that it is extremely unethical (or even criminal) to promote the idea that there is a “cure” for homosexuality. Many therapists, who have been involved with these therapies, have had to admit that in reality no real “healings” occurred. Leaders of the Exodus movement –an organization with divisions in various countries which claims to “cure” homosexuality—have left the organization and have acknowledged that these claims do not reflect reality.
The Adventist Church had to learn a painful lesson in the nineteen-eighties after it had given Colin Cook, a British pastor who had emigrated to the United States, substantial financial support for his ministry that supposedly was able to help homosexuals to change their sexual orientation. However, the church had to bite into the dust when it became public that Cook never parted with his own homosexuality and had behaved quite scandalously with many of his clients.
Nonetheless, we still hear, also from within the Adventist Church, statements from people who believe that God stands ready to “heal” homosexuals from their orientation. And, regularly, some Adventist men show up at various events who claim that they have been “cured” from their homosexuality. What should we think about this? Could their claims be true, in spite of the opinions of the experts who say that such “cures” are not possible? Or could it be a matter of (self-)deception? I have talked about this with several people whom I consider to be very knowledgeable with regard to this subject. They have suggested to me that it may well be possible that these men are not homosexuals for the full one hundred percent, but that they are somewhere in the middle of the well-known Kinsey-scale, and can therefore move into either direction (either towards homosexuality or towards heterosexuality). Or it could perhaps be, so I was told, that these men happen to have a very low libido—something that also occurs with some heterosexuals.
As a heterosexual male I cannot understand what it means to be a homosexual. But I would wish that Christians (Adventist Christians most definitely included) would stop sowing confusion by insisting that homosexuality is a sin, but that, thank God, it is possible to be “cured” from this “unfortunate condition”.