Ways to Share the Love of Christ with the LGBT Community: Interview with Patti Height
In a live interview, Patti Height, founder of Out of Egypt Ministries, recently shared with us about finding freedom in Christ, reaching those in the LGBT community, helping young people who are struggling with sexual issues, using resources on her website (outofegyptministries.org), and answering Q&As. Below are some highlights with the video time stamp for quick access:
How Patti came to Christ:
My brother Larry was diagnosed with lung cancer (6:06) …He told me a man had shared the Gospel with him. I was intrigued by the change in my brother, because he told me, “I believe now, Patti! I believe.” (7:04) But I was a little afraid, wondering, Is he going to be like those other Christians I’ve seen at the pride parades with signs like … ‘Homosexuals will burn in hell’? (7:29) …He started telling me about heaven (8:30). …I watched him take his last breath. …I knew that if I died now, I would go to hell. … He told me that … once you believe in Jesus, you become indwelt with the Holy Spirit, who shows you truth. … [My girlfriend] and I got down on our knees and prayed and asked God if He was real. And, if the way we were living was wrong, if He would please show us. (12:00) We found a Bible … opened at Leviticus 18, and our eyes fell on verse 22: A man “shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.” Our hearts started beating—now I call it the Holy Spirit heartbeat—and we thought, “Could this be? Could God be real, and did He really just answer us?” (12:50)
How can the Church reach the LGBT community? (17:00)
I love the fact that the Church wants to reach the LGBT community, because it hasn’t always been like that. (17:05) … There are thousands of people coming out of the gay lifestyle (18:13) or understanding their gender because the Church is loving better. In times past, believers used to throw ‘truth bombs’—just throwing [scripture] at people [and wounding them]. We are truth givers, and we can never compromise the truth, but Jesus always shared the truth with grace. (19:10). How and why are we to share the Gospel with the LGBT? 2 Tim 2:24-26 answers both the how and the why: And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. (20:15) That’s exactly what happened to me when I was younger. I was taken captive by the devil, by deception, because the devil is the father of all lies. …Because of my circumstances… a little girl who was gender confused…a young child who was sexually abused… watching a distorted mother-father relationship and becoming very detached from femininity … started drugs and alcohol at 12 years old… The enemy was drooling to get his fangs in me and continue to lead me down that path of deception. … So we have to point people to the truth with humility and with compassion. In John 1:17, For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. I love that it’s in that order, grace then truth. If we don’t come to people with grace first, then nobody is going to hear the truth. (23:20)
Share your testimony, whatever you had to surrender—your anger, your porn addiction. …Don’t make it about their sexuality, but make it about Jesus Christ. Because there are only two kinds of people: those who know the Lord, and those who don’t. It’s not straight or gay; it’s saved or unsaved. (28:04) … Don’t point to the disease; point to the remedy, Jesus. (29:31)
How can we as believers help young people who are struggling? (39:20)
Young people ask me things like, ‘So many people in my school are identifying as gay or bi, how do I still have friendships with them without myself being tempted?” That’s a great question. Kids/young people, as we all were, are easily influenced because everything is new to them, and they are still very much sponges and want to receive. (40:30) They are getting maybe 20 minutes of truth a week at church versus all the other time the rest of the week with [social media]. That’s where they are going to be influenced and go to find answers. I try to reaffirm to them that Jesus is real, and He is the truth, and the Bible is a fun place to be … and if they would be willing to take one week off of social media and spend one week in the Word of God and see [how it affects] their temptations. (42:00) … Kids need to know that God is holy and that He loves them so much and He has boundaries to protect them (44:20). …Like they may have a fence around the yard to protect their dog from the traffic. He’s such a good God that He has put up these boundaries to protect us.
Do you find that sometimes there is pain or trauma behind those questions?
If you’re a youth group worker or teacher… there are some telling signs that you can look for. Sometimes with girls, you can look for baggy clothes, eyes down, hard to make eye contact, overeating—if you see these signs, there are things you can ask them slowly. Pray beforehand and ask the Lord for the gift of discernment or knowledge, because if something has happened to them, they need to have a safe place to talk about it. Sometimes [a family member] may have told them not to talk about it, but it’s a real wound that the Lord wants to minister to them. To encourage them that it’s not their fault (48:40).
My sister Sandi Stauffer has a ministry called Beauty for Ashes, a restoration ministry for women who have been abused (49:07). One in every three women in the church have had an abortion, and one in every three have been sexually molested. Sometimes [sexual trauma and abortion] go hand in hand. Our churches are filled with people like that, who need to be ministered to—including children. So we need to have in a gentle way these conversations in the church so that God can bring that healing (49:45). … For me, I was afraid that identifying anything about myself as feminine would cause me to be inappropriately touched by men again … made me not want to be a woman (50:10). As a child, I did not know that would cause me to have gender dysphoria; I was just trying to make it through the day.
Some are doing transtrending. They are tired of being mocked for the gender that they are in, so they decide to just try a different gender. (51:27) Our society is telling kids that they can create their own identity, so why not? … Some are trying to be androgynous (52:10) We have the demasculinity of men, the defemininity of women all across the board. So of course our younger people will be confused, so we cannot beat them down for being confused. Encourage them where they are. If someone would have told me to put down that baseball glove and put on a dress, that would not have helped me. But if someone would have told me there were some amazing female athletes … letting me know it’s okay to be a girl [who excels in sports]. If that happens, 85% of the time, a young person who is gender confused, after puberty will become more comfortable with their gender. If a young man is gifted in piano, taking an interest in their gift; maybe get tickets to a concert where a man is playing piano. We can encourage young people in what they like while also encouraging them in their own gender. (54:00)
Tell us about your website, outofegyptministries.org
When you sign on, the first thing you’ll see is my story, a 7 minute video. If you go to the pancake menu (top right), you’ll see Extra Media with several videos (Youth Group, God’s Masterpiece, Gender: My Decision or God’s Intention?); you’ll also see Counseling Resources, with several ministries and groups (57:40) that offer guidance or individual counseling in your area [description of each on video]. I just want people to be equipped.
How can I respond to someone who says I’m just being intolerant and I don’t know what I’m talking about?
People are trying to engage us so that we will argue. Remember, 2 Timothy 2:24 says, a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all. You can say I feel like you are trying to engage in a conversation that’s just going to lead to an argument, and that’s not really who I am as a disciple of Jesus Christ. …If you want to ask me questions about God or Jesus, I would love to tell you about that. (1:02:00) If you want to tell me your story, I would like to hear it. You calling me intolerant is somewhat offensive, so let’s just stop or start over. We do not have to engage in a conversation that is only going to lead to an argument. We feel like we have to defend our God and our beliefs, but we don’t. … We need to stop letting people intimidate us (1:03:15).
Are you still attracted to women?
Absolutely, I love women. I am so excited that I can be attracted to women the right way now. That my pain and my brokenness that God has healed has taken the sexual attraction part away. … Deep inside, I really wanted to be a woman, but I felt like I wasn’t. (1:06:17) I am no longer attracted to women in a sexual way anymore—not simply because it’s wrong—but because God has brought me healing (1:06:50)
What if a Christian has asked God to take (same-sex attraction) away, and He hasn’t? (1:07:20).
Instead of asking God to take it away, ask God: Lord, You know I love you and I believe in Jesus, and that makes me saved. Yet here I am with this same-sex attraction Lord; what do You want me to do? Will you meet with me and show me how I can walk with You and take up my cross and follow you, even though I have same-sex attraction? Show me where it started, when, where, how, and why? (1:08:20) Often times, it starts with pornography. There may have been a point where they felt really rejected, or were introduced to pornography, or sometimes even seeing things on TV like pornography. … Now you have these pornographic images coming into your head, and your mind and body don’t know how to respond to that. (1:09:45) There is something there; it started somewhere and for some reason. God is aware. Ask Him where/when/how it started. And when You do, show me how to respond to that. So instead of asking God to take it away, ask God to meet you in it, to walk with you through it, for however long it’s there (1:10:30). … Just lay it all before the Lord. Is it hard to have same-sex attraction? Absolutely. … Point your hope to a God who promises to set you free, who has delivered us from fear of death. That’s a big thing to rejoice in: Our sins are forgiven, and we will never die. Learn how to rejoice in the things you have that are good. (1:12:30).
When I was going through my phases of healing from my sexual trauma, there were times when I wanted to head straight back to the gay clubs (1:13:10). But I cried out to God, “Help me to want You more than I want this right now.” There were seasons like that, and it was hard. But are we willing to go through the pain to get to the promise? Don’t give up. Our struggles help us to be more intimate with God. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). Especially if you’re a young person, you don’t know what [God will bring] 5-10 years from now. Don’t give up.
Read more about Patti’s testimony here in our earlier article “Leaving the Gay Lifestyle”
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