An "ex-gay" ministry in my own back yard…
I cross-posted my earlier House Blend entry, “Ex-Gay” and in absolute denial, in a DKos diary today, and received quite a few responses (it made the Recommended List). One person noted that there was a Raleigh-based ministry that frequently sends out mailings for donations to fund its brainwashing of gay people in need of real counseling.
I had no idea about this local crap ministry, Beyond Imagination. It’s Exodus-affiliated as well. The leader is right out of the mold of the Exodus cult:
Pastor of yet another “ex-gay” ministry (this one in the Tar Heel State), Beyond Imagination, Ron Elmore and his wife.
From his personal story…note the similarity to the dysfunction of the authors in my earlier post:
During summer break, I walked blindly into a gay club at the beach. With the blaring disco songs of a popular vocalist, I began a very long journey in the homosexual lifestyle. I believed I had finally found male acceptance through homosexual contact.
Shortly afterwards, I joined the Air Force at the urging of my mother. Becoming more and more ambivalent to God, I found my place in the gay nightclubs near the city where I lived. For two years, everything was great with an over abundance of everything I thought I wanted. Then I endured two abusive long term relationships. Each relationship brought me deeper into the homosexual subculture. During those years of involvement I developed a deep suspicion of others mixed with anger and lust. I spiraled deeper and deeper into drugs, alcohol, and pornography. In my anxiety, I frequented the bars, homosexual establishments and adult bookstores. Even as the cavern in my soul grew bigger my Spirit testified to me that I was in rebellion.
In 1987, a co-worker who knew I was an active homosexual and could tell I had been using drugs, confronted me. “Ron,” he said, “you need to go back to where your joy is.” I remembered how Jesus had come to me as a little boy and met my needs. I heard clearly from the Holy Spirit, “Ron, if you stay where you are, you will die. But if you come back, I will give you life and I will give you life abundantly. You will be loved and cared for. Your greatest desire will be met.”
…Within a year of my first Exodus Conference I applied and was accepted to Love in Action. The Lord showed me that I needed a safe place to walk through my relational issues. It was in the LIA program that I became very aware of my sinful nature.
For me, LIA redeemed group living, opened my eyes to see emotional entanglement as sin and helped me define healthy boundaries. God used my season at LIA to redeem my trust of others, especially care givers or authority figures. I became aware of how my actions had hurt others.
A struggle that I walked through at LIA centered around Romans 7:18, “I know that I am rotten through and through as far as my old sinful nature is concerned…” I believed I deserved better than what God was saying. Out of pity and pride I lashed out at others exclaiming that life had been unfair that I was not rotten. Jesus, out of His love, showed me grace and mercy as I struggled with the holiness if God.
My life was in fact out of control. With thanksgiving I now realize, how my leaders at LIA committed to walk with me and with their hearts they helped me to learn to “sit in it” without running. God had a plan and Love In Action helped me to prepare for it.
The transformation in my life since 1990 has been unmistakable. Drugs, alcohol, pornography and homosexuality are no longer a part of my life.
At one time my thoughts were consumed with darkness. Now I wake up in the morning singing and now know because of the blood of Jesus I can take authority over my sin nature which used to so easily beset me.
As this shows you (if you followed the link to read the rest, he’s as tortured as the authors of the articles in my earlier post, Elmore lumps being gay with additions to drugs, alcohol and pornography. Someone with this background is so ill-equipped to help gay people struggling with self-loathing.
Beyond Imagination (full-fledged member of the Exodus International cult)
P.O. Box 28294
Raleigh, North Carolina 27611-8294