Resist urge, gays told: Jesus as ‘motivating factor’
By Bradley Wooten
A Baptist preacher told homosexuals at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee that they can walk away from their unwanted same-sex attractions last Tuesday.
Of the more than 100 people in attendance, at least 30 walked out and many more did not return following a five-minute recess an hour and a half into the speech.
Tim Wilkins, a former homosexual, presented “The Christian Response to Homosexuality” after the newly formed Apologetics Association asked him to come speak.
The AA’s purpose and goal is to promote the literal word of the Bible as logical and reasonable, said Matt Boeke, AA vice president.
Taking the soapbox
Wilkins began by affirming that homosexuality is not a choice.
“Understand and believe when others say it is not a choice,” he said.
He said that when he was 12 or 13 he began experiencing “unwanted same-sex attractions.” At 22, he said he began to be “obedient to what he knew the Bible was teaching despite not knowing how to be heterosexual.”
“The thought of heterosexuality was physically nauseating to me,” Wilkins said.
From age 22 to his wedding night at the age of 39 — Wilkins’ wife is 17 years his junior — Wilkins said he abstained from sexual activity. He said it wasn’t until the age of 33 when he experienced an attraction to the opposite sex.
“Change for the homosexual is less about flipping a switch and more about turning a knob — it is a process,” he said.
The sounding of numerous cell phones, commentary and interruptions from the audience and a fight interrupted his speech. Wilkins said it was the first time a fight had erupted at one of his lectures, though witnesses said the fight was staged.
Wilkins recounted experiences he had with “militant gays.” His recounts are available almost verbatim on his Cross Ministry Web site, www.crossministry.org.
An argument often brought up is that Jesus never directly said anything about homosexuality, only that he didn’t directly address his intolerance of people beating and killing animals, Wilkins said.
“That is simply not a true statement,” Wilkins said. “Now a true statement would be the Bible does not record Jesus speaking on the issue of homosexuality. It is also true the Bible does not record Jesus speaking on domestic abuse, rape or incest.”
The head of Cross Ministry, an organization that seeks to evangelize homosexuals, Wilkins said his sin of homosexuality “pales in comparison” to his relationship with God and “that is proof there is freedom from homosexuality.”
Wilkins also made analogies to homosexuality being a treatable disease. In one such analogy, he compared it to cancer, in another, diabetes.
If homosexuals are unable to make the conversion to heterosexuality, they should be celibate and seek a relationship with Jesus, Wilkins said.
“The only legitimate and the best motive (in becoming a former homosexual) is one’s relationship with Jesus Christ,” Wilkins said.
Wilkins said another argument used to defend homosexuality is “gay theology.”
“Gay theology is a reinterpretation of scripture to say what scripture does not really say,” he said. The reinterpretation is a search for loopholes to justify actions and sin.
“You can choose to abstain from … homosexual activity,” Wilkins said. “Rest assure with time and obedience the attraction for (the same sex) will diminish and the attraction for (the opposite sex) will increase.”
The gay gene
“Even though there is no scientific proof that homosexuality is inborn, there are most possibly temperaments that may make a person more susceptible,” Wilkins said. Intelligence, sensitivity, creativity and handling hurt through withdrawal are among those temperaments.
“There are attributes or personality characteristics that may make a person more susceptible to same-sex attractions,” he said.
Wilkins cited a study performed by Michael King and Elizabeth McDonald in 1992 as evidence debunking a 1991 study published by Michael Bailey and Richard Pillard that sexual orientation is something one is born with. Wilkins cited a variety of other studies in favor of the existence of a gay gene and debunking its existence.
An apology, long overdue
Wilkins said while in Arizona, an ad ran in the University of Arizona’s student newspaper, the Arizona Daily Wildcat, apologizing to homosexuals. The title of the ad was “Apology to gays overdue.”
Wilkins read the text of the ad during his lecture before making an apology himself.
“I want to apologize,” Wilkins said, “(to) those who are here who are homosexual or those who are here who are heterosexual but may be pro-gay advocates, I want to apologize … for the way, not for the belief system that we have, but for the … miserable way in which we have communicated our message.”
The sermon concluded
Some students said they felt their questions went unanswered. Wilkins said his inability to answer some students’ questions was due to his fatigue.
“At times he diverted around topics and questions,” said senior Nick Haubrich. “But I’m definitely not converting tomorrow.”
One student said, “Such ministries and conversion tactics further depression amongst gays.”
Community members and students thanked Wilkins for his politeness and presence on campus.
"He was a really, really nice guy," Haubrich said.
At the close of the presentation, the AA said it was pleased.
“(It) was productive,” said Dustin Wales, AA president. “It presents the other side of it that people don’t hear. It gives them another option so they’re not stuck in the current lifestyle they’re in.”
© Bradley Wooten