The Salt & Light Council | 6.8.23
A culture war has openly broken out over the month of June. Weeks traditionally known for brides and weddings—one-man and one-woman weddings—are currently overshadowed by LGBTQ+ Pride events.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are promoting June 16th as LGBTQ+ Pride Night, including honoring the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a drag group that dresses like nuns and whose 2023 Easter events included pole dancing on a cross. In addition to the ball team, corporations recently jumping on a pro-gay, pro-transgender bandwagon include Target with a line of LGBTQ+ clothing for kids; and Bud Light selling custom cans of beer featuring transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
In contrast, CHANGED Movement, a lesser-known national organization boasts a significantly different message: “As the world celebrates Pride Month, we at CHANGED celebrate the PEACE we’ve found in Jesus. In our experience, His peace is so much more fulfilling than pride.” They claim, unapologetically, “We Left LGBTQ+ BECAUSE WE WANTED TO.”
Further, those who desire change in their sexual orientations will tell you God pursued them. Turns out that when the dust settles, it is not about pronouns. It more personal and profound than that—spiritual, even. On the CHANGED website, Elias Mackissack relates, “As I grew to know Jesus on a deep, personal level, gradually, He began to restore my identity.”
That’s extraordinary. The issue proved deeper than sex, it was about identity. Mackissack own identity. Who he, himself, thought himself to be. He testifies, “God kept knocking on the door to my heart, until, at age 18, I totally surrendered my life to Him and allowed Him to tell me who I was.”
It takes a great deal of energy to keep up perceptions, which can be real, or not. We need others to buy into them. It’s frightening to own that the fight is an internal war within ourselves. What the Dodgers, Target, the Anheuser-Busch-owned beer brand, and others miss, is they are locking people into a narrative that they are created to “be gay,” or transgender, enabling them to build their identities around these beliefs.
But God… When CHANGED Movement testifier Summer Conley shifted her perspective, she says, “I realized the self-rejection I had carried for so long was not what God had for me.” That’s a courageous realization. Summer admitted to self-rejection—not the rejection of others: not what her parents said, not the looks from her teachers or her friends, but what she directed against her own person. There is just something inside each of us that wants to discover who we truly are—it extends pasts our feelings, which although intensely strong, can shift and change.
It’s not easy to face a lifetime of misbeliefs. We must embrace humility to let go, to trust God. It spells the death of pride, of self-reliance. But once we finally release our hold, we find rest for our souls. It’s beyond hard to adjust a lifestyle to a new center—from us to God. In Him it is possible—transformation is one of those things He does best.
Restored Hope Network (RHN) is another coast-to-coast group that affirms such transformation in identity is possible through the power of Jesus Christ. A coalition of ministries, the folks at RHN say their aim is to help people desiring “to overcome relational and sexual issues in their lives and those impacted by homosexuality.”
As “Linda” shares on the RHN website, “From my earliest memory I wanted to be a boy instead of a girl. Now, I am finally coming out of the closet in a redemptive way, sharing my story with others to bring hope and restoration.”
“Dan,” on RHN, relays, “I am thankful that the Lord has taken a wounded, broken man; and has transformed me into a new creation in Christ with a loving wife and wonderful kids and grandkids.” Transformation. New creation. Not just words for Dan and his family, but foundational truths upon which he is building their lives.
Pride comes with a price: you must hold on with dear life, and never let go. Peace is the opposite. We release through surrender, through trust in God. The longer we allow media and corporations, and even public schools and universities, to tell us how we should feel and dictates who we should be, the more we miss the bigger picture of a Creator who loves us and desires only to truly redeem our knowledge of ourselves.
Celebrate June with a wedding. The big one that is yet to come; that of a Groom without compare and a spotless bride made clean by a loving father who helps us release our grip on pride and replaces it with His peace that passes our understanding.