“I Was Gay”: The Story of a First Century Greek Man
My name is Silvas. I am a Greek man from the port city of Corinth southwest of Athens, Greece. I was gay, and I want to tell you the story of how I left the gay lifestyle. Mine is a true story, but cast as an historical novel.
First of all I want you to know that I am from a time and culture different than yours in America. I was born in the year A.D. 20, almost 2,000 years ago. As a first century Greek, I am all too familiar with the orgiasticbanquets of the Romans. Not that my town is any more upright.
We’re a port city with more bars and clubs than most cities. Sailors tired of months at sea bring their paychecks and desires to our town and expect to satisfy their cravings.
Personally, I loathe the excesses of Rome with its crucifixions and blood-sport in the Coliseum. As a teacher and bookseller, I’ve read enough of the classics to know that virtue and cruelty are not usually found in the same person.
Now here’s how it happened that I left homosexuality. A man came to the marketplace where I sell books on weekends. He started speaking about a God who had qualities that I’d never heard of in a deity.
As I listened to his message, there was a sense of wonder that came over me; especially that love, justice, mercy, righteousness, and judgment could all describe the same God. The idea that this God cared deeply for the creatures that He had made grabbed my attention.
Some of my gay friends came by and told me not to listen. They said the man was just another fundamentalist preaching a strict and intolerant morality.
I kept listening anyway. The more I heard, the more interested I became. All I could do was marvel at this message that the one true Creator God, who became hated by His creatures, removed His royal robes and came to earth to rescue people like me.
At first I was a bit insulted by the concept that I needed rescuing. Ever since beginning a gay lifestyle, I’d seen heterosexual people as narrow and restricted, and myself as liberated, even elite or superior.
But the more the man spoke of God’s rescuing love to rebels, the more his words struck my conscience. Deep in my heart, I knew I wasn’t a member of some elite community. I knew that if I ever became a father, I would not wish homosexuality upon my children.
My conscience became increasingly active the more the man spoke. He said that God had given humanity a Moral Law that was not only a perfect expression of His just character, he also said that this Law, summed up in Ten Commandments, was the perfect safeguard of love to God and neighbor.
That was something I had never thought of; obedience to God’s commands protects love. Therefore, when I break one of God’s commandments, I am sinning against love as God defines it. For example some of the commands are as follows, “You shall not lie, you shall not steal, you shall not murder, and, you shall not commit adultery.” When I lie or steal or murder, I am not loving my neighbor. Other commands speak of having no other gods before the one true God and to give Him proper respect as He commands us to. It is to our advantage to live in harmony with the One who made us in the world He created. I do not show love to God when I focus my life on things that take me away from God.
The speaker when on to say that our Creator designed us with His moral code written on our consciences; and that this moral code embedded in the conscience totally resonates with the truth of God’s objective moral laws.
This began to hit me between the eyes. My homosexual activity was a violation the Law established by my Creator; therefore my gay lifestyle must be hostile to God and to love.
My heart was pierced as I began to see that my own sense of betrayal in life had been my personal excuse for giving expression to my lusts and cravings. I had willingly ‘swallowed’ a very subtle lie; a lie that whispered to me that I could set aside God’s Law, and determine right and wrong for myself, and then not face consequences in this life and in eternity.
My mind was becoming clear at the same time that my heart was crushed because of my sin. Willingly, I admitted that I had allowed my own lusts and cravings to set the standard for my behavior. And I had chosen to run with people who were doing the same thing I was—denying the warnings of conscience.
What I thought I belonged to, a misunderstood ‘community’ of very aesthetic and sensitive people, was proving to be a group of individuals just like me. They were like me because they used what they perceived as a persecuted status as a cover for their guilt, shame, and addiction.
Now I was ready to cry out to God as He is revealed as Rescuer. The man I met while selling books explained to me that God loves and rescues rebels by removing their guilt and just condemnation, forgiving their rebellion, crediting them with a record of virtue and justice done by Another, freely accepting them because of this gracious transaction, and giving them a new life with a new heart full of new desires for right living.
If anyone was ready to turn over a new leaf it was me; but could I be good enough to gain God’s favor?
Just then the man in marketplace spoke of God’s grace; that God receives rebels just as they are if they will turn back to Him! My heart opened to receive God’s love. All my resistance to Divine love evaporated as I heard about what God did to make my pardon and acceptance possible.
Here’s what this man said God had done to reconcile Himself to His rebellious creatures. God’s eternal Son became a man, being born of a virgin, thus not inheriting the sin nature and guilt of the rest of humanity. He was named Jesus, which mean’s “God’s salvation.”
He lived a full life of obedience to God’s Law. He never rebelled. He loved God the Father and other people perfectly. Therefore, He didn’t deserve the sentence for rebellion which is death and eternal separation from God. This life of perfect obedience is credited to those who believe in Him.
As the ultimate act of love, He willingly took upon Himself the punishment for our rebellion, or sin, by dying in our place. Because of this, God is able to forgive my sin legally, and freely. With this inestimable gift of forgiveness comes a new heart that longs to obey God’s Law.
Because Jesus paid the ultimate price, I was accepted by God and made a ‘new creature’ in His sight with new desires. The cords that bound me to homosexuality were broken. I now see with new eyes what genuine love is.
I used to try to get my needs met by sinning. But now there is nothing that can compare to experiencing God’s love in Christ. When I first left homosexuality, I feared that I would be drawn back to it. But something amazing has happened. My desires have been changed. It is a miracle. My longings have been re-created anew by God.
You must be wondering what book or account of history documents my story of deliverance from homosexuality. You may be surprised – it is found in the New Testament portion of the Bible. You can read the account for yourself of how God rescued me in the First Letter to the Corinthians chapter six verses nine through eleven.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.”