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"I Will Pray For You To See The Truth, Randy"
Responding to a former Focus On The Family editor and friend...
An old friend who used to edit a youth magazine for Focus On The Family left a comment on one of my Instagram posts about the Club Q shooter. Let’s call him Fred. I will parse it into this post's relevant subject matter (does not include his full comment) and respond to each section.
Randy, I pray you follow the truth. Even if it takes you to a place where you can't blame God, but have to blame a skewed sexual identity.
Fred, I did and am following the truth, and God is who led me out of the closet. You can follow that same truth, reality even, that a person of faith (or not) can be a happy, healthy whole LGBTQ+ individual. My days of scapegoating “being gay” as the root of all problems are over. Thank God, literally.
I am eternally grateful to the Divine, not blaming anything or anyone.
…It can be difficult to accept the truth. But in the end, it's best to accept the truth. Without truth, you are untethered.
I spent over 20+ years living the evangelical version of the “truth” concerning sexuality and gender. It almost killed me, it killed a friend, and it caused a lot of destruction for many, many others in myriad ways.
I am more grounded than I have ever been.
Randy, I'm 56 years old. You may not care, but I've prayed for you, Randy, more than I've prayed for any other human on earth. You have made me a better man, and so I've been compelled to share my words to the Lord more hours than for any other person.
My simple prayer: That you're in right relationship with the Lord.
I am 54; why would I care or not care about your age? I think that’s an indication of your underlying feelings. Is it possible you see me as an adversary and come to this (and your other comments on Instagram) projecting that dynamic? I don’t see myself as your adversary. Just an old, possibly former, friend. Which isn’t a mean statement. It’s all ok. It’s been well over a decade since we worked together.
Back to the point…
I didn’t know I had that kind of impact on you. But what you got in the past was someone who was manifesting my voice and conclusions but full of self-loathing. I used my skills/talents for bad goals back then. If my impact was to make you believe in that toxic exgay ideology, even more, that does bring me sorrow and regret.
I apologize for that, and to your past readers, even if you do not see the need for my apology.
About the articles I wrote for your magazine, keep in mind that while the events in them were true, and my conclusions were honestly believed at the time, my context for them was wrong regarding any idea that sexuality and gender should conform to legalistic evangelical expectations.
If your prayers are honest and from the heart, keep them coming. I love honest prayers. I will take all the positive vibes I can get. If they are with a specific agenda, remember that God already answered your prayers, just not in the way you hoped for.
Maybe God has brought me to you to impact you once again positively. Affirming LGBTQ+ people for who we are and who we love is ok.
I respect your heart. I love the Divine. I love who I am, my husband, our daughter, and what it means to be free as a gay man in congruence with his faith. If you want resource recommendations, feel free to comment below or send me an email or message.
Have a good day, Fred.