Some Christian leaders claim that gay people can’t change. But a growing group of ex-gay Christians claim otherwise. This Saturday on The Roys Report, several former gay and transgender persons will join me to tell their remarkable stories of transformation. Don’t miss The Roys Report, this Saturday morning at 11 on AM 1160 Hope for Your Life!
Jeffrey McCall lived in homosexuality and later those feelings led him into a transgender life. From age 17 to 29 he was involved in crystal meth, heavy alcohol use, psychedelic drugs, and prescription drugs. Jeffrey was an advocate for pushing transgender rights and even did local ABC interview news to push LGBTQ agenda. After years of searching for love in any man that would show him attention, he finally found Christ love. After surrendering to Jesus Christ he now uses his ministry, For Such A Time Ministry, to tell the truth of Jesus Christ love and saving grace. Jeffrey now walks in life with the peace and joy of Christ living as God made him, as Jeffrey!
Anne brings more than two decades as an author, speaker, spokesperson and advocate for men and women struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions to her role as executive director of Restored Hope Network. Her mission in leading the organization is to, quite literally, restore hope to those broken by sexual and relational sin, especially those impacted by homosexuality. She has appeared on Focus on the Family Radio, Dr. James Dobson’s FamilyTalk, In the Market with Janet Parshall, Equipped with Chris Brooks (Moody Radio), among others. She is the author of Restoring Sexual Identity: Hope for Women Who Struggle with Same-Sex Attraction (Harvest House Publishers), and she also has written for Spirit Led Woman, Charisma and The Gospel Coalition. Anne lives in Colorado and her greatest joy is being mom to her three sons.
MJ’s story of struggle, of hidden pain, and sin started at a very young age. Attractions she didn’t understand and a God she believed was far away. A story of perseverance and redemption from the grips of same gender attraction. A life of laying down the desires of her flesh and letting The Holy Spirit lead! Jesus laid it all down for her and now she lives to glorify His name in all she does! She currently lives in Canton, GA and is part of a deliverance ministry called Refuge Ranch Atlanta! God Uprooted her Heart from the weeds of deception and planted her new to flourish in His eternal garden of truth! She has written a book titled, The Journey Back Home a compilation of poems of her journey from death to life!
Note: This transcript has been edited slightly for continuity.
JULIE ROYS: Well, welcome to The Roys Report, brought to you in part by Judson University. I’m Julie Roys. And I am so excited for today’s program exploring a topic that almost nobody will touch with a 10-foot pole. It’s one of those topics that’s not politically correct. And if you talk to most people, they’ll say the question I’m about to ask, isn’t even a question. It’s a slam-dunk, settled issue. So here it is.
Is change possible for gay and transgender people?
Of course, our culture says, “no.” LGBT activists say, “no.” Policy-makers say, “no.” But they apparently forgot to inform my guests today. Because joining me today are people who say they’ve experienced real and lasting change in their sexuality.
See, even though our culture says that being gay or transgender is an immutable quality. And if you have unwanted sexual desires, that’s too bad. There’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. My guests today say that that’s not so.
Over the course of the next hour, we’re going to hear from several people who once lived as LGBT persons but do so no longer.
I’d also love to hear from you. Our studio line is open now and the number to call is 312-660-2594. That’s 312-660-2594. You also can join the discussion on Facebook by going to facebook.com/ReachJulieRoys, and Roys is spelled R-O-Y-S. Or you can comment on Twitter by using my handle, @ReachJulieRoys.
Well, the first person to join me today is Jeffrey McCall. Jeffrey once lived and identified as Scarlett—a gay, transgender woman. But today, he identifies as a child of God, washed and cleansed from his former sinful lifestyle. He’s also the founder of The Freedom March, an incredible ministry that gathers people who have left the LGBTQ lifestyle to share their stories in public city platforms. He’s also the founder of For Such a Time Ministry—this is his personal ministry where he travels and shares his testimony of deliverance.
So, Jeffrey, welcome to The Roys Report! It is such a privilege to have you join us!
JEFFREY McCALL: Yes, I’m so honored to be here. Thank you for having me.
JULIE ROYS: So Jeffrey, let’s just start with what your former life was like. What was that like to live as a gay person who is also a transgender woman?
JEFFREY McCALL: Yes, for years my identity was being part of the homosexual community. Later on in life I always thought of myself possibly being transgender. But later I did start seeing doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists. I was eventually diagnosed with gender dysphoria. And, you know, the further I went into living as Scarlett, trying to become something I’m not, the further the depression came, suicidal thoughts, the heaviness and oppression. So my life was quite different back then.
JULIE ROYS: And I know this is like a million dollar question, and it’s sometimes hard to put your finger on everything, but do you look to anything, either nature or nurture, and say, ok, this is kind of what led me down this path?
JEFFREY McCALL: Yeah, I think there were multiple aspects to that question. When I was very young, I saw things from an older male that I shouldn’t have seen. I also at a very young age heard my mother talking about my parents divorce. And she talked about how my dad had cheated on her. And I remember even as a young boy thinking, “I don’t want to do that to women. I don’t want to hurt women.” And it just had this confusion on the dynamics of what a marriage was supposed to be.
JULIE ROYS: Now, as I understand it, even though you were living as a transgender woman, even at times when you needed money, going to prostitution and prostituting yourself. You were in a pretty dark place. Yet, you were listening to a pastor online, is that right?
JEFFREY McCALL: Yes. So, the times that I was living as Scarlett, those years, I was secretly listening to a pastor names Joseph Franklin. I’d been to his church once and really felt something there. And so, I wouldn’t go to church, but I did hear him on, you know, YouTube videos or on television. And so, this time I was living as Scarlett, the Lord was using him as one of the factors to just pull and tug on my heart, and to convict me of my life, that there would be so much more for me if I just chose to follow Jesus.
JULIE ROYS: Hmm. But did you feel most of the time like you had a choice? Or did you feel like, “man, I’m stuck, there’s nothing I can do about it?”
JEFFREY McCALL: Yes, most of the time I didn’t feel like I had a choice. I felt like that’s who I was, and what I was going to be. And it actually came down to an encounter with God. And I was at my apartment alone, and I was crying. I had thoughts racing and all these things. And I literally cried out to God. And I said, “God, I know people live for you. And it’s not just about going to church on Sunday.” And I said, “Something happened in these people’s lives I’ve met. They have love and joy and peace no matter what.” And I said, “but God, will I ever live for you?” And here I am living as Scarlett, transgender, thinking God’s way out there and I’m here. And I didn’t even really know why I was crying out to this God that I thought may be real, but I wasn’t for sure. But it was just my heart. My heart was broken and contrite. And I just remember calling out to him in that brokenness. And, I’ll never forget, all my thoughts went silent. There was just a peace and a stillness in the room. And I heard very crystal clear God say, “Yes, you will live for me.” And I remember it was like a seed of hope planted in me. And that was the beginning process of my life changing.
JULIE ROYS: And didn’t you at some point, I don’t know if this was immediate, but at some point you took your clothes, your heels, your skirts, whatever it was that was part of that life as Scarlett, and you threw ‘em in a dumpster. Tell me about that.
JEFFREY McCALL: Yes, I did. It was much later. And the Lord just kept working on me, pulling me and drawing me to him, and there came a time when I just felt the grace to throw my life away. And I’ll never forget, I went to a dumpster and I threw away all my clothes, my hair, my makeup, my jewelry, shoes, I mean everything that, that’s who I was. I performed in clubs and things like that at the beginning, but my identity in being transgender went way beyond that. I left all that and was going to graduate school as Scarlett, I was diagnosed with gender dysphoria, I was seeing psychiatrists and psychologists. So, when I throw away my life as Scarlett, it was huge for me because this is what I thought I was going to be and become. And to start having surgery and all these things and my whole identity and all of a sudden, just like God gave me this grace to just end it. And so, I did. I threw it all in a dumpster one day.
JULIE ROYS: Well tell me about your journey then, from there. I mean, obviously overnight, your sexual desires don’t change, your desire, maybe to be transgender, did change pretty instantly, but how do you walk out of that into a new life?
JEFFREY McCALL: Oh my gosh. It’s only by God’s grace. If you try to do this out of your own flesh, which is by striving to do it, you’ll fail 150 percent of the time. It is the grace of God. He just gives me this grace every day to do it. And I don’t wake up every day striving not to be those things. It’s just I have this natural feeling of, “I love God.” And I want to follow Him. And I want to obey Him. I want to set myself apart for him. He’s the most important Person in my life. And just thinking of God sometimes as a Person, people don’t think of him but it says in the Bible, we are created in His image. We have thoughts, we have feelings. He created us like Him. We can think of him as a real Person. Not a human being, but God, the Creator, that has a Spirit, that has characteristics, and feelings. This makes it just so much better to follow Him. It makes it easier, just asking him as a Person, as God, to fill us with grace, so we can deny any ungodliness that he doesn’t want us to be a part of.
JULIE ROYS: And, you’re still living as a single person, a celibate person, correct?
JEFFREY McCALL: Yes.
JULIE ROYS: Do you ever see yourself getting married to a woman? Or do you feel like you’re called to singleness?
JEFFREY McCALL: I don’t know. You know, I’m open to God on that. I really feel like I’m going to get married one day, and have children. But even if I didn’t, at this point, it doesn’t matter to me. I just live my life for the Lord. I need a lot of time now, right now, with the Lord going through some healing and just growing in my relationship with Him. It’s not necessarily on my radar. But if the Lord brought a woman, a woman of God who wanted to be a part of my life, to start a family, I’m not opposed to that at all.
JULIE ROYS: And real quick, we only have about a minute before we go to break, but you started this thing called The Freedom March. What is that about?
JEFFREY McCALL: Yes, so the Freedom March is a place where I wanted to give others a platform to share their testimony. And this idea came to me while I was sharing my testimony in another city, to have an event in Washington D.C. where people gather and share their testimony of leaving the gay and transgender lifestyle to follow Jesus Christ. And I just put it together quickly. Others came along beside me to help me. And not only did I want testimonies shared, I wanted to publicly march in the streets afterwards. So we get behind the banner and we march in the streets where ever we go with The Freedom March. So, it’s just really awesome. The Lord was really just using that scripture in Colossians where it says Jesus made a public spectacle of the enemy. And it was like the Lord was saying, “Get out of the building, get out of the convention center, get out of those things and like be in the streets, be with the people, march in the streets, give testimonies in venues outside in the streets. It’s like, show this city what the Lord has done in your life.
JULIE ROYS: Well Jeffrey McCall, thank you so much for sharing your testimony. I know you have something you have to run to, but I appreciate you taking the time, being a part of the program and sharing your story. We need to go to break, but when we come back, you’ll hear from someone who walked away from her life as a lesbian, and has never looked back. We’ll be right back.
JULIE ROYS: Well is change possible for gay and trans people? The world says, “no.” But my guests today say, “yes.” Welcome back to The Roys Report. I’m Julie Roys. And if you like the weigh in on our topic today the number is 312-660-2594. Also, if you’d like to hear more stories like the one you just heard, in our last segment, I encourage you to enter our DVD giveaway today. Just for The Roys Report listeners, I have 3 copies of “Here’s My Heart: A Documentary of Surrendering to Freedom.” This documentary features Jeffrey McCall, the former transgender woman that you just heard from in that first segment. But it also has the stories of 11 other LGBT, or I should say former LGBT men and women who met Christ and experienced deliverance from their unwanted same-sex and transgender desires. So, to enter to win that DVD, just go to JulieRoys.com/giveaway. And I have another guest that I’m going to be introducing you to in just a minute. But I want to go to our phone lines. I have Derrick on the line. And Derrick, as I understand, you used to be bisexual. Is that right?
DERRICK: . . . college age, that was my lifestyle. And I was pretty dang proud of it at the time.
JULIE ROYS: Wow. So, I mean, what led you into that lifestyle?
DERRICK: Well I was in theater, not to be a living cliché, ballet, jazz, modern, I did theater. So, it was kind of expected of me. And I dated a lot of girls too. You know, I don’t want to make it sound like it was just one, you know, that was definitely there. And that was a huge part of my life.
JULIE ROYS: So, you felt kind of a pressure to move there, but obviously, you moved out it, and that’s something, that there’s lot of pressure, I would guess, in that community saying you can’t do that. What was your journey like?
DERRICK: Oh, well, it’s funny, I got saved. And then, I was in church. I’d started moving away from the bi-sexual lifestyle. I was just sleeping with women at that time. Outside of marriage, which, you know, also sin. Big problem. So when I got convicted of that, that’s when everything changed for me. And it was hard because the people that I really relied on when I was about lifestyle, didn’t just like say, “okay, fine.” They adamantly cut me off, said that, “we don’t want anything to do with you. You can’t do this. You’re hurting the entire world” was one of the quotes.
JULIE ROYS: And that’s so funny because you hear so much from the LGBT lobby that they’re inclusive, they’re affirming, they accept everyone. But it really is not OK, really.
DERRICK: No. Well, they’re inclusive and affirming unless you disagree with them, which is one of the issues that comes up, you know? We need to reach out to them in love. But we also need to understand that, you know, they don’t want to just have that equality. They really want to push an agenda. So, I think that’s part of it too.
JULIE ROYS: So, real quick, because I do want to get to our next guest, but I know, I saw, you’re somebody who I’ve seen interact on Facebook before. And I saw you interacting on my Facebook page, which again is facebook.com/ReachJulieRoys. We’ve been having discussion on this kind of all week because I posted some articles and things. And there’s some pushback—people saying, “you know what? That’s great for you, but most people can’t change, so stop talking about it.” Speak to that person right now.
DERRICK: Well I would just say, you know, with anything as a Christian, and I want to deal with this from a church perspective, you know, we have to be able to call sin “sin.” And sin feels good. And if you’re in that lifestyle, that feels good at the time. But the cold hard fact of that matter is homosexuality like anything, any kind of sexual sin, starts with the mind. And that moves on to physical, basically outbursts, I would call them. So, we need to deal with that piece. Call sin “sin.” Have true repentance. You know, seek God, get that. And then you can really start to have that dialogue of hopefully love you, care about you, let’s come around you and help you. Which also allows us to step into the role of that community that the LGBTQ people had before us.
JULIE ROYS: And that’s a big piece. I appreciate that Derrick. Thanks so much for you know sharing your story and some of your advice there. But I think you hit on something about the love and the community. And I’ve heard this from so many people who have, were a part of that lifestyle and have moved out from that lifestyle. And they’ve said, “I love the affirmation. I love the community.” And I think we need to remember that. The church better be a community. We better love people. Or there’s no way that they’re going to leave their sin and come into the body of Christ. Or really forsake that. So, thanks again, Derrick.
But I do want to go to my next guest. Joining me now is Anne Paulk, she’s the executive director of Restored Hope Network, a ministry offering hope and healing to those broken by sexual and relational sin. And actually, I know this ministry. I got to speak at one of their conferences it’s a fantastic ministry, so I give it like two thumbs up. She’s also the proud mother of three boys. I know because I follow her on Facebook. But years ago, Anne had embraced gay identity and lived as a lesbian woman for several years. So, she knows about our topic first-hand. So, Anne welcome! So great to have you join me.
ANNE PAULK: Thank you, Julie what a delight to be with you.
JULIE ROYS: Well I feel the same way and you have been on my radio program, my former radio program a couple of times.
ANNE PAULK: That’s right.
JULIE ROYS: Glad to have you join me here. I do want to talk about this push—not just outside the church—but inside the church to embrace gay identity but I would like to just start with, and I don’t think I have ever had to tell this on my show, which is your journey. How did you end up living a lesbian life style?
ANNE PAULK: Well I was in my teens and younger even actually it started younger. I had an attraction that I felt (coughing) pardon me I have a cough unfortunately I have to warn you about that right now.
JULIE ROYS: No worries.
ANNE PAULK: You heard it. You know I was probably junior high, right around then. I was very attracted to several other girls not all girls but several other girls. And I didn’t know what had created those desires, I didn’t want them and that’s a very common story actually. Even people who embrace homosexuality are often go through a period of time where they say you I wish I hadn’t had those feelings. I didn’t want them. I didn’t ask for them. And then eventually in my college years, after having some exposure to Christianity through kind of a liberal Presbyterian church, I ended up throwing God out and saying, “okay my feelings are more real. I don’t know if God really exists and I am going to go for them.” So, first year in college I decided I am going to deal with these feelings that I have had for a really long time. And embrace them. And I found lots of support for myself. And that was back in the early 1980s. So it was still known as being sin but there was a lot of support for me then.
JULIE ROYS: Still known as sin.
ANNE PAULK: But it was still known as sin at that time.
JULIE ROYS: (Laughs)
ANNE PAULK: It isn’t anymore, almost.
JULIE ROYS: I agree. So how did you move from that, you know, where you’re accepted, where you’re enjoying that lifestyle to saying, “I am not okay with this?”
ANNE PAULK: Well it wasn’t that, I was nervous, I was excited and nervous, and that’s common amongst those that are coming out, a little anxiety attached to embracing homosexuality. So that tells you that it is not necessarily the healthiest thing, um psychologically speaking. But anyhow, as I embraced this and I began surrounding my life with it, in the middle of that, I had this incredible thought approach me in the middle of the meeting with a whole bunch of people who were gay affirming. And it said, “you’re not going to find the love that you are seeking for here.” And I was devastated, knowing it was true. (Laughs) Where did this piercing thought come from? It was obviously is was directly from heaven. And I had just said that God didn’t exist so I could do my thing. So, what? It caught me off guard. And I began having dreams about Jesus and asking my friends questions about Him and who does He say that He is. And I began asking Him the right question. Right? Here I am in the midst of my pursuit and I began seeking who God says He is and who He says He is. No one could answer those questions. I was at a University of California College and I was surrounded by people who claimed they were Christians, but they couldn’t, they didn’t know the basics in order to answer my questions. So, I ended up at an evangelism training class from a Baptist student ministry which is really funny as a non-Christian.
JULIE ROYS: Yah, really.
ANNE PAULK: And In the middle of that they began answering the basic question, “who does Jesus say that He is?” And they left it open for discussion. “What are your thoughts about this?” It was brilliant and beautiful. And not coercive and at the end of that session of that 8-weeks we were all bowing our heads to pray.
JULIE ROYS: We have to pause. I hate to do this but we need to go to break, pause on that, when we come back, I’m going to let you finish that story. Again, Anne Paulk of Restored Hope Network, I’m Julie Roys, you are listening to The Roys Report and we will be right back.
Well, welcome back to The Roys Report, brought to you in part by Judson University. I’m Julie Roys. And today, we’re discussing a topic that’s really taboo in many circles. In fact, if you brought this topic up at work or a school setting, you’d likely be ridiculed or shot down. But here’s the question: Can gays and transgender people change?
You see, even though the culture says they can’t, there are people who not only say they can change, but they say they’ve experienced that transformation themselves! We’ve heard from two people already who said that they’ve been delivered from the gay lifestyle. We’re going to hear from a third in this segment.
I’d also love to hear from you. You can call in. 312-660-2594. That’s 312-660-2594. If you have any questions for our guests, we’d be glad to field those as well.
Also, if you’d like to hear more stories like the ones that you’re hearing now, I encourage you to enter our giveaway today for “Here’s My Heart: A Documentary of Surrendering to Freedom.” This is a film that features 12 stories of LGBT men and women who met Christ and experienced deliverance from their unwanted same-sex and transgender desires. To enter to win that DVD, just go to JulieRoys.com/giveaway. And actually, my next guest that I’ll be introducing in just a minute, is actually the executive producer of that DVD. An amazing story herself, and obviously she’s gotten a bunch of other amazing stories for that DVD. I’ve seen it. Fantastic, absolutely fantastic documentary. But I have Anne Paulk on the line. Anne is the executive director of Restored Hope Network, helping an awful lot of people come out of these kind of sexual brokenness and LGBT lifestyle and finding hope and freedom in Christ. And Anne, you were telling us a bit about your story. And, really funny, here you are in college, you’re not a believer, and yet you’re in an evangelism class. And that’s when you hear about the gospel. Maybe the true gospel, even though you’ve been exposed to Christianity, but the true gospel for the first time. So, how did that impact you?
ANNE PAULK: Well, it was pretty wild, actually. So the final day I was praying, or pretending to pray, actually. I was just bowing my head, folding my hands, thinking that’s the way it’s supposed to be done. Everybody else is praying and God shows up. God is there. And makes Himself—He was probably always there—but He made Himself obvious to me. I sensed that there was a Person in the room Whom I couldn’t see. But it was as real as a cloud. Or real, this real Person was weaving in and out amongst the prayers of the saints. And this Person was full of Truth and full of kindness, full of authority, was exactly how it felt. Like, had all power under His belt, and yet full of kindness. And I thought, “holy smoke, who is this and how do I get this person in my life?” And so exactly what I went to talk to the pastor about afterwards. Told him I’m a lesbian, I want to pursue that. And here I encountered this Person. What is going on here? And I need this, I would really, I would trade anything to have Him in my life, to see that difference. And that’s what happened later that night. The pastor shared with me about the sinner’s prayer and asking Jesus into my life. And that to cling to my sin is not okay. But rather, to surrender all because I’m asking for forgiveness from sin and allow Him to become my righteousness. And I need to give up all of my heavy loads, these burdens I’d been carrying. Up until then I’d felt like a bit of a spiritual ragdoll, pulled between darkness and light. And then when I gave up all of my so-called rights to live my life my way, and to accept this Person, this amazing Person into my life, this actual real God who existed, and for Him to forgive me my sins, and to come and cleanse me and fill me with His Spirit, I came alive! I came alive! The burdens rolled off my shoulders and I began to live for the first time. And it felt like a, literally, I’ve said it multiple times in different places, that it felt like, if you could using an example or analogy of an appliance on a kitchen countertop, it’s just sitting there like a doorstop until you plug it into the wall, right? Well that’s what I felt like. God had gripped that plug and put me into the circuitry I was always designed to be part of, which is the body of Christ. To belong to the God of creation who made everything. So, that was the beginning of life. Immediately it took away homosexual feelings for about six months. So, I was absolutely in love with this Person who was now in my life. Absolutely sold out. And then eventually I had to begin to grow. (laughs) I eventually had to experience the rest of life as well. And to become a more mature believer. And that’s when some struggles returned. And I needed help. The help that I had was not in contrast with God’s word but actually alongside of it. And I began to grapple with things like I’d been molested when I was four, by someone I should have been able to trust, a teenager in the neighborhood. And that was repeated. And my assumptions about myself as a girl, and about men, and about safety and security, and how treasured and safe and valuable I was, were compromised as a result of those experiences.
JULIE ROYS: Anne.
ANNE PAULK: I came to different assumptions about life. So, anyway, yeah.
JULIE ROYS: You know, I don’t mean to interrupt you, but I want to bring MJ into this discussion. Because I know MJ is probably going, “Yeah, I know what you’re talking about right now.” And I’d love for her to be a part of it as well. So MJ Nixon is the executive producer of “Here’s My Heart,” the DVD I’m giving away today. But she’s also the founder of Uprooted Heart, a ministry telling the testimonies of men and women who have found freedom from sexual bondage and brokenness. And MJ, I’m so glad you could take time to be with us, But I’m guessing, and am I right, that you’re saying, “wow, can I relate to what Anne has said.”
MJ NIXON: Hi, yes, I can. Thanks for having me. Hey Anne.
ANNE PAULK: Hello MJ.
JULIE ROYS: So, I mean MJ, is your story similar when she says, you know, things in her background that pushed her in that direction, or for you was it more of an attraction that developed, you don’t really know why?
MJ NIXON: Yeah, so growing up, from a very young age, I can remember struggling with same sex attraction. I grew up in a conservative Christian household. So I knew about God, but I like He was afar off, I was a sinner, and I didn’t really have an outlet to speak about the attractions that I had. So, I just pushed them down. I just hid them. No one in my life knew what I was struggling through throughout my adolescence and my teenage years. I really turned to other things to really try to help me with this inner battle between what I knew God wanted for me and who I believed that I was, that I was born this way. This is who I am, this is who I’ve since a very young age. So, I battled back and forth for many-many years with my identity.
JULIE ROYS: Well, we need to go to break. I hate doing this. But when we come back, we’ve got a longer segment, so I’m going to really enjoy that. But when we come back, I’m going to talk to both MJ and Anne. MJ, I want to hear your conversion, and how you really met God in a personal way that changed your life. But then this process of change. And I want to speak to some of the things that are happening in the church, where the church is saying, “people can’t change. You’re stuck in your sin. If it happens to be this sin, there’s nothing you can do about it.” We’re going to address that when we come back. Again, you’re listening to The Roys Report. I’m Julie Roys. And we will be right back after a short break.
JULIE ROYS: Well can gays and transgender people change? The world says they can’t. But my guests today say they can. Welcome back to the Roys Report I am Julie Roys and in a minute we are going to continue our discussion with Anne Paulk of Restored Hope Network and MJ Nixon of Uprooted Heart, two ministries that believe in the total transforming work of Jesus Christ. But first, I want to let you know that next week we’ll be discussing narcissist pastors. According to my guest next week there’s an epidemic of narcissist pastors in the U.S. and as many of you know I have had my own tumble this year with someone that many have labeled a narcissist pastor. I got sued by him because I was publishing an about him exposé about him and his church and now he’s been removed from ministry but that pain that he caused is ongoing and many of you listening have experienced similar situations where you have been wounded by a narcissist pastor. So, I think this is an extremely important discussion and a timely one. Joining me will be Darrell Puls, a researcher and author of the book, Let Us Prey, spelled P-R-E-Y. So how can you detect if your pastor is a narcissist? And what do you do if he is? Tune in next week, I think you are going to find that show extremely helpful. Also, I want to let you know that if you miss any part of today’s broadcast or you just want to listen again and share it with friends, we will be putting up the entire audio of today’s program, posted by 1:00 o’clock central time today at my website JulieRoys.com.
Well returning to our discussion today, again joining me is Anne Paulk and MJ Nixon, two women who used to be in the lesbian lifestyle but aren’t so any longer. And MJ, I had to cut you off in the middle of your story, tell me how you came to Christ and you found freedom from your sexual desires.
MJ NIXON: Yeah, so I just wanted to be with one woman and that ended up happening when I left to go to college and we were together for over five years. But in the midst of that relationship, as I was saying before, there was always an inner battle between what God wanted for me and what was best for my life and what I wanted for my life. And in the midst of that relationship Jesus met me and said, “MJ I have something greater for you if you just surrender.” And at that point I was so emotionally and physically tied to this woman that I just couldn’t surrender. It was like I would give him certain areas, but I didn’t want him to speak into my sexuality because I knew that meant that I was going to have to surrender the relationship I was in. But a couple years later, again I just kept being met with a gentleness of a still voice that said, “MJ, just lay it down.” And I made that decision, um and my ex-partner as well and stepped away from that relationship. And fully for the first time in my life walked into a relationship of full surrender to what God had for me. And what a beautiful exchange, my ashes for his beauty. You know what I believed the strong holds in my mind, the deception of the lifestyle that I had battled with for so long was finally at ease, was finally at peace. My mind, my heart, my spirit, I was finally living in a place of peace.
JULIE ROYS: I am going to ask you a personal question and if you don’t want to answer it you don’t have to, but I mean at this point do you feel like you can have, you know, you’re living as a single person, do you feel like it’s possible that you’ll have sexual feelings for a man at some point and might get married?
MJ NIXON: Yes, I want God’s will for my life. I want his desires. And as I become more like Christ all of the things that I believed about men, the lies, God has healed those wounds in me. Even the very masculine woman that I was, the strong, independent, “I don’t need a man,” God has healed that in me, to be the helpmate that he wants me to be. So, I get excited about that. I know as I continue to serve Jesus and I look to him that if He has that for my life, that it will come to pass.
JULIE ROYS: And Anne, you’re a few years ahead of where MJ is, I mean you walked away from the lesbian lifestyle how many years ago?
ANNE PAULK: Of my goodness. Probably as long as she’s been alive.
JULIE ROYS: We’ve lost track.
ANNE PAULK: Three, four, five, I don’t know. It’s been a long time.
JULIE ROYS: But you’ve been married, you’ve had this experience. I mean, the process of, and I know that this doesn’t necessarily happen for everyone. For some people they forsake that and never feel attracted to the opposite sex, for some they do. But for you that happened to you. How long does that transformation take? It’s a process with most people, right?
ANNE PAULK: Right, well I think, you know it matters what’s underlying the struggle and then what condition of surrender a person is in. MJ and I have both surrendered to the Lord and so has the wonderful Jeffrey McCall and so many others. So know, there’s just so many great stories of God’s intervention and his incredible love making a difference in our lives. What happens as a result after that all depends on the work of God undoing some beliefs and lies. And that took me, it was a matter of when is God going to bring the lightbulb moments of understanding and fruitfulness and the fact that I enjoy being a woman as a result of having walked through sexual abuse in early childhood. And all that began to happen when I was in my 20s. I felt like at about 28, I had come to the Lord at 20? 19 or 20 years old and at about 28 after doing focused discipleship on the topic and really beginning to lean in, yet there were times when God would just give me a lightbulb moment on a personal quiet time or with interaction with other women and I began to feel comfortable in my own skin, and trust Him to be my protector. And all sorts of other things began to happen until I finally recognized that not all men are like that person who took advantage of me. In fact, there are some men that are really amazing. And then recognizing that God created men as well, you know. And there are all these little lightbulb moments that led me to the potential for me to have attraction develop. But God had to work on those things in order to produce the potential for me to even be interested or have that heart ignition in a relationship with a man.
JULIE ROYS: I love both of your stories. I love all the stories we’ve been talking about today. But I know that there are others in the church that are going to push back and in fact there was a conference earlier this summer called Revoice. I think it was the second conference that they’ve done and the leaders of Revoice are gay, celibate Christians, so in other words they are people that embrace this gay identity but say, “I’m going to be celibate in the Lord.” And one of them, I believe it’s the pastor Greg Johnson who pastors the church where Revoice is held spoke recently to the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church of America because that’s the denomination that he is in. I think people need to understand that this is not the PCUSA, which is the liberal branch of the Presbyterian church. This is PCA. And this is the very conservative branch of the Presbyterian church. But he says that because of, you know they were talking about this thing called the Nashville statement, which is a conservative statement about sexuality, there’s an article seven in that statement that says that homosexual and transgender self-conception, that that is not consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption. And he said this is very hurtful to us that he’s is saying that. So, I want to play just a brief clip of his speech before the general assembly. And then I’d love to hear both of you respond to it.
Clip of Greg Johnson: I am 46 years old and still same sex attracted, my orientation has not changed and for those that are exclusively same sex attracted who are men we don’t know for certain, I have talked to every head of every ministry and can’t find a single instance of same sex attraction going away. And so where that leaves me at age 46 is, I am a 46 year old virgin who has never so much held hands, I have never had a romantic embrace, I have never hugged romantically, I have had a history of struggle with pornography from which I am now 15 years sober. I am mortifying my flesh every single day, and yet that has a cost. Jesus has washed me and yet I am in a fight for my life every single day. And I don’t regret that one bit. But the cost is this. The cost is that there are no family photographs on my mantle because I have no family. The cost is I know what it’s like to sit alone at home in my apartment on Christmas Day because I have no family. The cost is that someday I will have to be buried, not cremated, because there will be no one to receive my ashes, because me line ends with me.
JULIE ROYS: Well again, that’s Greg Johnson, a pastor in the Presbyterian Church USA and also, I believe one of the founders of this Revoice Conference. And he’s saying, I mean, “he can’t change.” I wish Jeffrey McCall was still on because he said specifically for men that these homosexual desires don’t go away. So, let me throw it to you, Anne first and then MJ I’ll give you a chance to respond as well.
ANNE PAULK: Well I know so many people who actually have had a change of feelings in Restored Hope and even in our previous organization, Exodus back in the day, before it was closed, before the headquarters closed, there were so many men that were not at all attracted to women who found themselves attracted to an individual of the opposite gender later on after having worked through many things, and surrendering to the Holy Spirit and honestly, they began to be able to marry and have attraction to their spouse, and be in a romantic relationship. And so, it’s not uncommon, it’s pretty common actually. Most of our leaders are married. And a lot of them are men who are from the gay life. So, I don’t know who he’s talked to. Maybe he’s been very selective as who he’s talked to, if it’s even possible. But I know an awful lot of people, it’s happened to men and women, that they’ve had a change of feelings, a change of future, and the potential of getting married and having children. Now not everybody does. The reality is that not everbody is going to get married, even in the heterosexual world. So regardless of that, that doesn’t mean that your life is over and that there is no future or hope for you. In fact, God values very highly, singleness and a solid devotion to Himself. And he provides family in different ways, including our natural family. MJ what is your thought?
JULIE ROYS: MJ I want to hear from you too.
MJ NIXON: Yeah my heart goes out to this man because even being single and celibate there is so much community in the body of Christ that he does not have to be alone. But yeah, I agree with Anne. When I heard him say that he’s in the fight of his life I can’t really say for my life that I’ve gone through that. Yes, there is temptation. Yes, there are the things of the flesh. But I don’t wake up each day struggling with lust for women or attraction to women. So, just hearing that, my heart just really went out to him. And you know, the gospel is the good news. What did Jesus die for if we can’t change?
JULIE ROYS: That to me is the bottom line, though. It really is. Scripture says 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation the old is gone and the new is come,” right? Is the new creation gay? You know, I don’t see that the new creation is gay. The flesh may be gay. But the new creation isn’t. And the flesh something that we what? Something that Paul says, “I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me.” Man, I wish we had more time. Thank you so much, MJ, thank you Anne. That’s all for today but you’re listening to The Roys Report. I hope you have a great weekend. Catch you next week.