Wednesday, July 13, 2005

About Me

My name is Eric and i'm a 34 year old male, Christ-centered, gay, filipino, near-sighted in one eye, overachieving work-a-holic, detail-oriented visionary, outgoing introvert living in Southern California who thinks about stuff WAY too much.

[Note: My age has been updated. LOL, my photo has not.]

My Faith:

I've been a Christian since 1992 - my junior year in High School. I love God. I believe and have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord, the Son of God. I believe that the Bible is God's inspired Word. I believe that we are called to live out our faith - not simply to go with the flow of religious routine. He's a very personal God and I interact with Him daily. For more on my paradigm of "Church", see the links in the section in the right side column.

My Struggle:

I'm gay...sort of. Depends on who you ask and what definition you're using. I've experienced same-sex attractions since 2nd or 3rd grade. I lived a secret life - hidden from loved ones - for pretty much all my life - save these past few years.

I know what it's like to struggle with my faith and my sexuality. I know what it's like to feel completely alone in the Church. I know what it's like to go through the typical cycle of being tempted, trying to resist, giving in, "sinning", feeling guilty and shameful, eventually turning back to Jesus for forgiveness, then being tempted again. It's frustrating and i'm tired of it.

My Journey:

I want peace between my faith and my same sex attractions. Can I have a partner? Do I have to be celibate? Do I need to be changed? Is there no hope for me?

I came to the realization that what I used to believe about homosexuality being a sin came from a place of being uninformed. I believed it simply because it was the only thing I was taught and I intentionally denied myself the opportunity to hear anything remotely "gay Christian" related. After realizing this, it raised the question: Do I really believe that being gay is a sin or do I believe it because that's what everyone else around me seemed to believe and teach it? Everyone's got a different viewpoint. If I'm gonna own my beliefs, then I've gotta take a step back to explore each side and discern for myself in study and prayer.

What does it look like for me to live out my faith being the man that I am?

UPDATE:

I started this blog in July 2005 and have grown quite a bit since. I don't struggle now the way I used to when I first started this blog. I feel like I have reconciled my faith and my same sex attractions. Now, the question is:

"What does it look like to be both gay and Christian?"

Read my testimony as of January 2006 to see where I've been, where I am now in this journey, and where I'm going.

Read my ex-gay survivor story here.

Read my posts relating to my paradigm of 'Church' here.

Also start with the July Archives to see how I started this process! You can always check out the "Hot Topics" section on the right side or further down you can check out the "Catch up on what you've missed" section to see all the categories of things i've written about.

If you are visiting for the first time or haven't done so yet, be sure to check in here!

22 comments:

olympiada said...

Hi Eric
Thank you for being so honest. You inspire me.
I used to live with a militant Filipino alien. He had a radio show. Perhaps I will tell you more about him in email.
My brother is legally blind.
I live in Northern California.
I am trying to lead a Christ centered life too. I am 30. There is more I can tell you, in email.

Anonymous said...

You should try First Congregational Church of Long Beach - Downtown on the corner of
3rd and Cedar. It is a member of the United Church of Christ who just this past summer became the only denomination to stand up and say they are a "open and affirming" denomination and support Equal Marriage for All.
www.firstchurchlb.org

Anonymous said...

On the border of Hollywood and West Hollywood there is an unusual Episcopal congregation named after St. Thomas the Apostle, the one who doubted the resurraection of Jesus. The two priests are gay and in committed relationships, and the parishioners represent a healthy mix of straight, gay, lesbian and married folks, the latter with children of various ages. The church has a rich and inspiring liturgy in the Anglo-Catholoic tradition, the preaching is inspiring, the pastoral ministry intensive, and community outreach (especially towrd the gay community, those with HIV and AIDS, the homeless and the hungry. In this community of faith I have discovered holiness and acceptance. I am not advertising for this church, but if we don't share such places with each other, how will any of us know that they exist, and within reach.

Anonymous said...

Hey Eric,

Just a quick note to let you know that honestly you do not have to have a conflict between your faith and who you are. It always surprises me that some people believe there has to be a conflict. If you look to the Bible as opposed to man or churches/ religions...you'll see there doesn't have to be an agonizing conflict.

I'm a Christian myself and it sounds like you may have been conditioned by your church to believe a certain way and that's of no surprise, that happens in many churches. Bottom line if you believe the Bible is the inspired word of God then you should go to that to learn and ask God for the answers. Don't relie on interpretations from others who may have an ideology or agenda different from your own.

You'll see in the Bible that never once did Jesus Christ speak out against homosexuality. Jesus came to lay down the new law "The New Testament". Many people will pick and choose certain scriputes, specifically from the Old Testament to serve their own beliefs. The Old Testament was and the laws there were written for the Israelites...it's not to say it shouldn't be read but it has to be put in perspective. We also have to remember that when we read the Bible we have to read it with an open heart and remember it was ultimately written by man.....that's where faith comes in but your faith should be put more in God.

We have to remember that certain things in the Bible are to be taken figuratively, literally, and lessons through stories.

Bottom line for me is that is homosexuality was such a sin...why did Jesus not speak out against it nor was it part of the Old Testament 10 Commandments. This kind of makes you wonder.

Yes, people have used a few scriptures to target homosexuality but the few versus out there are either from the Old Testament or open for interpretation and again ultimately you have to remember it was written by man and look at the Bible in perspective as a whole.

It's interesting if you read a book like Leviticus from the Old Testament, there is one popular verse people will use to target homosexuality but within these rules and laws from Leviticus there are numerous things that either don't apply today or Christians in general do not follow.....so you can't pick and choose like a Chinese menu....to me this is hypocrisy in it's truest form.

Anyway....I know your journey will be an enlightening one but don't be discouraged and always relie on the Lord above.

Anonymous said...

Hi Eric,

I am a christian and I have a strong belief in Christ. I understand your struggle to a point, because I am not gay I fully cannot embrace what you are feeling. I struggle with my flesh as well and I wonder about what will happen if I can't get it undercontrol. To me being a christian and trying to be christ-like is a struggle that some do not understand. But it is a struggle I am willing to fight for my love, God.

First I want to say be carefull about information that is coming from this site, because the devil uses people to justify motive. Some post you a message saying that it doesn't speak against homosexuals in the New Testament, they was wrong. If you read 1 Corinthians 6:7-11, these verses speaks clearly about fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, etc, will not inherit the kingdom of God. I would suggest that before you read this, that you truly go into prayer and ask God to open your spirit, mind, your eyes and ask God for the interpertation and the understanding.

Eric, I just pray right now that the peace, wisdom and the knowledge of God in your life and I pray that anything that try's to exalt itself against the knowledge of God to be cast down. The rage of your flesh to come under the submission of God. In Jesus Name I pray. You know, as I wrote this for you God gave it to me as well.

You are a man of God, seek Him and your peace and struggle will end. I will be praying for you.

God Bless You.

Sincer

Anonymous said...

Hello Eric,

My name is Carina. I gave my heart to Jesus in 1995. I live in new-Europian country, Lithuania. I have accidently dropped into your site when I was searching about the free-hug man (sick puppies video) on the inet. You really buy people's trust with your honesty! Honesty is the best policy, english proverb says and that is true.

We, as Christians, always searching for the right words. It is hard. I am not a prophet Daniel and English is not my native lang, so it is twice harder to say what I want. But I think, Eric, and I am quite sure that being gay is sinful before God.

There are certain borders in life that we are no allowed by God to cross. Being gay is one of them. I don't judge and I don't put a stigma spot on you. I know one thing - God loves you the way you are but he loves you too much to let you stay this way.

Jesus comes soon, Eric. I'll pray and hope, you'll continue to fight with your sin as we all do - each one of us with our own personal sins. May God help you and, I hope that I'll see you in heaven praising the One you love more than your sexuality, your identity or anything else on earth or heaven. Carina

Anonymous said...

God made you. In his image. You reflect all that is God (Good). What you think is a burden, is your blessing. Celebrate His gift. You will see truth and a brighter day. I know.

Karl
kdavidm2@mac.com

Anonymous said...

Hey Erick
Well first of all i want to say that I admire what you said about if you being gay is a sin or we think is a sin because people arround us thinks is a sin, well im now think its not a sin for me and i want to keep on beliving that. Im looking fowared to meet you on wednesday and i hope you can hear what us teenagers need to say. well thank you for your time and i hope that when ever i need advice you can help me with it.

sincerly a student from
Lynwood High.

Greet said...

Hello. I just wanted to say this: :)
I am a Christian too, and I'm bisexual, but no one ever made a problem of that. Maybe because me and my friends and family are not actively Christian or practising Christian or how do you call it (we're baptized and all that but we never go to church or pray), but I never really thought of this as a problem. What does your belief have to do with your sexuality? Nothing, in my opinion. My belief is the last thing we think about when we talk about my sexuality, so I think it's quite weird to be in a situation like yours where being Christian and gay at the same time seems to be a bit of a problem.
But anyway, whatever the situation here (in Belgium, Europe) is, it's apparently different in California and I wish you all the best.

Oh and one last thing: don't listen to all those brainwashed people telling you about how God is "against" homosexuals, that's the biggest bullshit I've ever heard :) God loves everyone.

rikfleming said...

Hi Eric,

As I listened to your testimony on GCN I felt like I was listening to my own story, except I'm not Filipino.

I have just started to really grapple with being gay and Christian but I am still "in the closet" as my friends and family do not know.

But I just started a blog (http://gaychristianjournal.blogspot.com/) in which I am "out." I am hoping that this will be a step to fully being open with my friends. But right now there is too much fear of being rejected.

Thank you for your blog. It lets me know that I am not alone in this struggle.

Rik

Anonymous said...

Hey, Eric, I happen to be straight Christian and I ran across your blog while doing mindless surfing -- which I should know better. Something you wrote struck me:

"I know what it's like to struggle with my faith and my sexuality. I know what it's like to feel completely alone in the Church. I know what it's like to go through the typical cycle of being tempted, trying to resist, giving in, "sinning", feeling guilty and shameful, eventually turning back to Jesus for forgiveness, then being tempted again. It's frustrating and i'm tired of it.

You know what? As a straight, married Christian, I get tempted by PORN. I've looked at it, toyed with it, truly believe it is demeaning and unlawful, especially since I am married and should have eyes only for my wife. I've been tempted by porn since childhood.

I decided to take your comment and replace it with my own desires, which I struggle with on a daily basis. Tell me what you think:

My Journey:

I want peace between my faith and my porn attractions. Can I have an online sex partner? Do I have to give up sleazy videos? Do I need to be changed? Is there no hope for me?

I came to the realization that what I used to believe about porn being a sin came from a place of being uninformed. I believed it simply because it was the only thing I was taught and I intentionally denied myself the opportunity to hear anything remotely "lustful but Christian" related. After realizing this, it raised the question: Do I really believe that looking at porn is a sin or do I believe it because that's what everyone else around me seemed to believe and teach it?"

You know what? As I look at this, I still think it's a big rationalization. Even though I struggle with it, have struggled for many years, and am tempted tonight, I am not going to give in and say, "Well, God made me this way, so maybe what the Scripture says about lust doesn't apply to me." (Look up Eph. 4:17-23, 1Th 4:2-7, and Matt. 5:27-30)

The fact that I have daily temptations is no warrant for me to give in to them, or to rationalize them as no longer sinful. Oh yeah ... for the "Jesus never spoke on homosexuality" ... he didn't have to. Jesus overturned false interpretations of the law, but the contents and details of the law itself He upheld. Read Matt. 5:15-20. The same Old Testament which prohibits sodomy also prohibits fornication and adultery. We cannot excuse our lusts for those since simply because they are desires we have had since childhood.

Thanks for listening.

Midnight surfer

Eric said...

Midnight Surfer - thanks for your comments. I understand where you're coming from. I used to think that way. Consider that my journey is a bit more complex that what you read in this single blog post "About Me".

Like you, I used to approach the concept of "homosexuality" with the beginning assumption that it is a sin just like porn or any other "struggle" commonly referred to as "sin".

My journey has led me to discover that this assumption starts with an interpretation of Scripture. The conclusions we come to from that interpretation shapes everything else.

I blindly accepted the interpretation from the mainstream Church that told me that the Scriptures referring to homosexuality meant that being gay is a sin. I realized that I only believed these things as default because that's simply what I was taught.

I asked myself, "Why do i believe what I believe about this? About anything else?"

On this journey, God led me to realize deeper things...first, is that His people have a history of missing the point.

It's not about who you love. It's about how you love. It's about loving properly.

The references to homosexuality in Scripture have cultural and historical context. The sin was not in the "same sex" stuff, but rather in what they were doing. All references to homosexuality in Scripture are connected to things like adultery, pederastry (adult men with young boys), idolatry, violence, etc.

The references to "homosexuality" back then were not referring to "being gay" of today.

Did the references to tax collectors being so sinful back then refer to the IRS agents of today? Is it a sin to be an IRS agent? Or rather, is the sin in what those tax collectors were doing?

It may not yet be mainstream, but my interpretation of Scripture (which I value highly) is simply not the same as the mainstream's anymore. Popular thought doesn't mean truth.

If you begin with the assumption that blacks are evil and women are lesser, then one could justify such proclamations about their sinfulness. But what if they are not? What if black people are not evil? What if women are equal?

God's people have a history of missing the point.

It's not about who you love. It's about how you love.

God calls all people to faithfulness and love and monogamy and healthy relationships. It's not a simple call to heterosexuality.

You know very well that straight people are quite capable of loving improperly. And I know that gay people are quite capable of loving properly.

Thanks for reading. =)

Eric

vince said...

i was attracted with how you presented yourself here... yeah, we are capable of loving... hmm, I was listening to it :), I mean, kaikibasa na rin ako :)reading about your life... should i say, it takes someone to know one, hahahah! God bless po....

Anonymous said...

I identify alot with your struggle. I grew up in the church, and now I no longer attend because I just don't feel that I belong. I remember in college praying that God would make me straight. I considered suicide also but it was my Christian faith which gave me strength to live and work hard. I still believe in God. In my everyday life I do rely on God and pray to Him. Yet I never considered attending a gay-friendly church because I am still closeted. In terms of the gay community, I find that I do not belong there either because I have Christian values, and that I am also Asian. The gay community does not offer much support to people who are not in the mainstream. I find myself becoming more isolated everyday, which isn't good. Please pray for my situation!

Yard[D]og said...

I just noticed that someone else suggested the same thing I would have ... try First Congregational Church of Long Beach - Downtown on the corner of 3rd and Cedar. It is a great church.
www.firstchurchlb.org

Anonymous said...

Eric,

Thanks for sharing your personal journey so openly. I have shared in some of those struggles and have come to realize that God's Love is greater than people's opinions. May He continue to use you in discussing issues that affect us so deeply. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Hi Eric,
I appreciate the way you wanted to change your life for God.You mentioned that before you knew Christ , you were already a gay.But when you got to know Him you started to get involve in ministries but you struggle so hard because you are battling against the 'wants' of your flesh--which is falling with the same sex..and probably became uncontrolled.
Eric, I'm sorry to say that 'being gay' is not a life that pleases God. Remember, your old creature was gay..but when you come to know Christ you are already renewed. The struggle that you're having is a part of a test..trial because since you became a Christian you are trying to change right? Remember this, Eric..to follow Christ is to deny ourselves..and we want to change for Him we will be accountable of ourselves and seek godly counsel.Living for Christ's sake is a struggle. You struggle because the enemy attacks you ..he puts lies in your mind and heart so that you can't fully serve God..he puts all these things so that you can't OBEY GOD. You are in bondage, Eric..I pray that God will move His hands upon you..ask His forgiveness..continue communicating with yoiur accountability partner.Don't give up. It doesn't mean that after so many therapies or exgay programs you've been through..it means to say that its okay to God. You know what, there are many aspects that we can see from God's answers to your prayers before..it could be PATIENCE..waiting on God's action..maybe He wants YOUR TOTAL DEPENDENCE upon Him..you know Eric, God wants to move in our lives if we completely surrender everything to Him.Also, you probably you forgot to pray for GOD TO INCREASE YOUR FAITH. Faith only comes from Him and if we lose it..we just need to ask from Him. Eric..its not late. God loves you and He doesn't want you to settle in this kind rationalization.Fight the good fight of faith. Accept the fact that we can't reconcile both..you'll still struggle.
You know that you are not alone..there are few or even many who struggle from being gay but they are Christian.Eric, if there is a Bondage-Breaker Seminar around your Christian church go for it..It can help you rebuke the bondage of being a gay and fully embrace your true identity in Christ.
Have you heard of the Filipino gay (transgender and was sexually active) who became a Christian and is now living a straight life for Christ?--Read His story from the book THIS IS MY STORY (omflit.com)

I pray that God's Holy Spirit will empower you in this time of restoration and complete transformation.It is the will of God to change you.It is your decision to obey.

arlyn1471@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Please, you all, don't try to change Eric. I am a straight(don't like that term--are others crooked?)woman & want to say that being gay is different than acting gay. It is just as sinful for a hetero to have sex without marriage as it is for a gay to do so. So please, try to encourage him. It is very hard to change. Yes, there are stories of those who become herero, but most gays don't seem to be able to.
I have certain lustful tendencies, & we each have our own sinful tendencies. But, do we act on them?
That is the question!
Thank you, Eric, for your blog. Keep sharing your feelings. I'm sure that many experience them, too. When you visit Chicago, see Andrew Marin. He & his ministry will surely encourage you! ....and he won't try to change you!!
Never be discouraged. There is plenty of love for you from many of us!

Anonymous said...

Hi Eric,
I watched your video on youtube and now visiting your blog, I want to just to leave a word of encoragement for you.

I understand myself what you are going through because I am like you, I was involved in same sex attraction. though I got recovery from gay tendencies. God made me a new person, like his words say: i am a new creature in Christ, all the past is gone, I will marry a godly girl soon, that is not the goal, but to take God's promises for me

I was at some time feeling isolated and excluded from some people at church, Like you experimented, I admit you were disappointed by church; saying that they are not prepared yet. But do you know Eric? that church is a mixture of many kinds of people, culture, with their own weaknesses? you never know wether people in church had received Christ as their Savior or not. If yes, it should be quite a mature Christian to have compassion and understand your "case" not every christian, absolutely not!!!!!

And you should grow up also, in order to wait for them to have compassion on you, pray for them instead, bear in mind that everyone has his or her own battle, it may be pornography, drug addiction, sexual or money or other addiction.To have the mind of Christ, that's what I recommend, I have some advice, from my own experience;
- don't focus on your matter, move on to the next step,
- if you love Christ, put that passion as a priority in your life above all, read the Bible, pray, all of your life should turn around it.
- Care for people first and do not wait for them to care for you
- Whatever you have experimented, share it to people, you will never be the same.
- Minister to others in whatever you do

Remember you were lost in the hell and now it's your turn to bring people out of it.

Blessings and Love

Ed C. said...

(Note - I sent an email, not willing to post my own sensitive stuff on an open blog.)

I stumbled onto your blog (I don't live far from LB). So I wonder how were you able to come across the conclusion that you are at peace with being gay. I was considering to go the "Side X" path you went.

Once again, I have left all the details sent to your email.

Jeremy said...

Hi Eric,
Your testimony was very enlightening! I enjoy your writing and it has inspired me to stop being so fearful of things! Thanks so much you have really touched my heart <3

Anonymous said...

Hi, Eric, I'm writing from the French Caribbean. I discovered a few weeks ago a site that could be helpful to you-and others-as a gay individual. It will help you conciliate your sexual orientation and your faith. Here's its address:http://www.gladventist.org. May I advise you to visit it? You'll find articles that tackle with seriousness-what most never did before-what homosexuality is and what a homosexual is. If you need a balm to alleviate your pain and your inner turmoil you'll find it there. I know what I mean, as a gay man I came to accept myself more compltely after reading these articles. You'll get a good understanding of what God's love means.
Thanks for taking time to read me.