Reaction To Ministry That Works To Help Gays Go Straight

WITN received an outpouring of comments in response to our story about a ministry that claims to help gays go straight.

We sat down to talk with two of the people who told us they do not believe these types of ministries work.

Aaron Lucier is an openly gay man from Greenville.

"I'd have to say that I really do believe that anything is possible through God, but at the same time, I also believe in a God that made me gay and made me as a person that is a homosexual, therefore I don't believe that God's going to be in the business of making that change."

Lucier says he is in a committed relationship with both his partner and God, a combination he feels goes against the belief of ministries that work to help homosexuals change their sexuality.

"Years of me thinking and working on it and praying about it and thinking about it over the years, until I've gotten to a point that my sexuality is not in conflict with my spirituality, and I'm in a very comfortable spot."

Reverend Ann Marie Alderman heads the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Greenville, which promotes the inherent worth and dignity of every person. The Reverend says ministries that help homosexuals change their sexuality send the wrong message.

"That you're either immoral on the outside of a faith community and can be free to do whatever you want to do or you have to change your orientation to be good."

Lucier and Reverend Alderman say they're against homosexual conversion therapy. They believe it perpetuates the idea that homosexuality is wrong and needs to be fixed.

"I believe homophobia is the sin," said the Reverend. "When we fear gay people just because they're gay, that's the sin we need to ask God to rid us of".

Both Lucier and Reverend Alderman were among dozens of people who responded to a story earlier this week on a man who claimed he was converted from gay to straight through prayer and ministry.

North Carolina minister Ron Elmore says he lived his life as a gay man for over 20-years. But, then through intense prayer and scriptures, Elmore says God changed him from homosexual to heterosexual.

Elmore said, "I didn't know why. I didn't choose to be homosexual."

Growing up in a North Carolina group home, Elmore says he started to engage in relationships with boys, to feel loved and accepted. But, he says his life as a openly gay man really began after he left the military at the age of 19.

According to Elmore, more relationships and drug abuse followed in the coming years until a co-worker spoke to elmore about his lifestyle.

He says, "And one day she walked up to me and very calmly and quietly said you need to go back to where your joy is."

Elmore says that meant a christ-filled life without homosexuality.

Elmore explains, "To follow christ and to say no to my behavior of homosexuality, um I really felt like I could live life differently that that's what God wanted, he wanted me to pursue him, not pursue men."

Today, Elmore is married to a woman and through his ministry, Beyond Imagination, a member minstry of the Exodus Church International, he makes it his life mission to help homosexuals longing to change.

Elmore said, "So people can say, you can't change and I say yes you can."

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Concerned parent Location: Tennessee on Nov 20, 2008 at 10:15 PM
    Gays so needed to go straight. If this Mistry would like to help them good Amen to that. ON Judgemnet Day which is coming soon they will be standing in front of the Master Jesus Christ and the Book of Life and all that have sin will be thrown in the pit of hell and being gay is a sin. no mater how you try to word it or change it so. It's the Truth and many will find out the hard way and I feel sorry for them. You might be able to twist the verses around but that not gong to save your soul on Judgement Day Jesus bend the rule for no one no matter what world gay or etc. organization said. Repent and don't repeat. Pray that God will sent you sign and wonder.
  • by Tony Location: Greenville, SC on Jul 24, 2008 at 01:42 PM
    The Reverend said that she believes homophobia is a sin which shows only her bias. Scripture is pretty clear on what God sees as sin. Homophobia isn't listed. Homosexuality is. Helping a person leaves what the Bible lists as sin is NOT homophobia. It's called holiness.
  • by John Location: Brooklyn, NY on Jun 27, 2008 at 01:58 PM
    Growing up as a gay person is a choice,not something your born with.Me having to deal with the choice of "am i gay or not" is a sinned, something i will have to deal with the rest of my life, not unless i give my soul to god, the natural and purity of my heart has always been active ever since i was born, the gift i recieved from god is the power to heal, but its that disturbance of "i want to try it out with a man".. thats keeps drawing me to passion. would god love me if i was gay. this ? haunts me, but i know that if you truly want to live the pure life u must get rid of all sin and obey gods rule..i have that urge but one the other hand i dont want to dissapoint god..i always felt i was a gay person since i was a small child, having thoughts, toughing, playing with guys. i go to church now i feel so energetic and alive and free cause im a christian , but i still have the gay thoughs in my head. its hard to let go, i love this world and the people along with it
  • by Michael Location: Nashville, TN on Jan 26, 2008 at 01:11 PM
    one more thing. My sexuality doesn't define who I am. Gay, bi, straight, ex- gay....none of that says who I am. I am a child of God. A servant of the almighty. I find my identity in Christ alone, who lives and works and moves in everything I do. I think a lot of us miss the point. Born gay or made gay, we are called to be lights in a broken world. I am ashamed to say that I have seen very little light in your angry bickering. "and this is what I command: love one another."
  • by Michael Location: Nashville, TN on Jan 26, 2008 at 12:54 PM
    Im 16 and a junior in high school. Just over a year ago, I became a follower of Christ. I'd been openly gay for about a year and a half, when a friend driving me home talked to me about Christ. He invited me to a youth group thing one Wednesday, and well, here we are, life is good, perfect in fact. If only it was that simple. You see, at the beginning, right after I'd accepted Christ, I still hadn't really figured out this whole homosexuality in the church thing. So I kept coming to church. And wishing for a boyfriend. God gave me that boyfriend; but God, in all His glory, used it for Him. My boyfriend was a Christian in the same place I was: questioning, quietly. We were together, and wanted it never to end; and yet, we both knew something was wrong. It wasn't us, or anything wrong with our relationship, so much; We just both came to realize that this was wrong, that we could no longer stand before God without a tinge ofguilt. So we ended it. And we're both fighting for freedom.
  • by Lee Location: Chicago on Jan 16, 2008 at 09:26 AM
    I would like to know how to obtain the desire to change if all you desire is intimacy from another man although I do love God and desire to please him.
  • by Frank Location: Miami,Fl on Dec 9, 2007 at 01:15 PM
    I totally support ron. Its beautiful to hear that some people can go beyond their situations and live the lives they are happy in. who are we to judge Ron for how he lives his life? why are we afraid that someone can have enough freedom to live their lives according to their conviction? we celebrate the alcoholic who never drinks a drop in order to live a happier life... why do we not celebrate ron as he chooses to live his life freely?
  • by Claudia Location: Greenville on Dec 5, 2007 at 06:41 AM
    I believe that the only thing Minister Elmore has succeeded in doing is to lock himself BACK into a closet in the name of Jesus Christ. I am so troubled for Elmore and for his wife. He is denying his true self in an effort to be accepted in a faith community that is intolerant and she is being lied to. Homosexuality is not a choice, it is how some people are made. Homosexuals who are told that they are sinning by being who they were BORN to be, are bound to be in ultimate pain, and I grieve for their suffering. I am a member of Reverend Ann Marie Alderman’s congregation. I am heterosexual, but I am grateful beyond belief to be a member of a faith community that does NOT teach that people have to change WHO they are to be loved and accepted. Thank you Ann Marie for speaking up!
  • by Mom Location: Raleigh on Nov 30, 2007 at 04:22 AM
    Jesus always dealt with sin in a person's life, with Love... I think we forget how often each one of us sin and judge others thinking "I'd never do that" According to God's Word; sin is sin from the tiniest white lie to murder...sin is sin... with His help we can stop judging and start loving..
  • by Leah Location: Raleigh, nc on Nov 25, 2007 at 04:30 AM
    Thank you Ron for speaking the truth about God being put first and then his plan will come after, that includes living a pure lifestyle free from sex before marriage. And thank God that once a man is set free from the bondage of homosexual thinking that he can become a dedicated servant of God, free from the heaviness homosexuality brings.

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