‘Gay’ Militant Seeks to ‘Shut Down’ Americans For Truth and Files False Complaint to Illinois AG

By Peter LaBarbera

Then Jesus told them this parable:

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

— Gospel of Luke: 15:3-7)

Michael Johnston of Pure Life Ministries

Most people celebrate healthy change -– be it a man who overcomes a drug or drinking addiction, a young girl who escapes the deadly, self-loathing world of anorexia/bulimia, or a husband who stops using pornography and saves his marriage. Jesus (above) taught that there is a celebration in heaven when just one sinner repents and turns back to God.

And so, when proud, practicing homosexuals repent and say good-bye to that destructive lifestyle, we at Americans For Truth join God in celebrating it as a joyous thing. Countless thousands of people have left the homosexual lifestyle, many after converting to Christ or rededicating themselves to the faith of their youth.

But while we’re cheering, homosexual activists like Wayne Besen are grumbling and putting on their ANTI-ex-“gay” investigative hats in the hunt for another “ex-gay fraud.” Besen is one of the angriest (and most vicious) activists in the movement that oddly calls itself “gay.” Recently he embarked on a futile crusade called “Truth Wins Out” to deny the clear reality of change for people struggling with unwanted homosexual attractions.

Now Wayne and his friends think they have a new scandal because Americans For Truth is “selling” an American Family Association (AFA) video (“It’s Not Gay”) featuring an interview with ex-“gay” Mike Johnston, who lost his “ex-gay” ministry several years ago by falling back into homosexual perversion, but who now has been restored through Pure Life Ministries. In their zeal to crush AFTAH, Besen and other homosexual activists missed a wonderful story of one man’s redemption and his rescue from deep spiritual hypocrisy and sexual sin.

Celebrating Failures
Besen and his fellow homosexual activists have everything invested in the politically correct idea that people are naturally (born) “gay” -– and that “sexual orientation” (another misleading term inspired by homosexual activism) is unchangeable. They are downright cruel in hoping for and exploiting failures in the ex-“gay” movement.

Once again, the homosexual movement has it backwards: rather than applauding overcomers, the fanatics in “Wayne’s World” champion the failures -– people who tried to walk away from homosexuality but gave up, or -– even better, lost their ministries like Ted Haggard in scandal.

The whole “gay” activist strategy of hyping “coming out” (in which people declare their homosexuality to others) is a celebration of failure and aberration, but it has worked: today’s media applauds homosexual “coming out” stories –- even cases like former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey, who left his wife for another man — but rarely gives sympathetic coverage to men and women who “come out” of homosexuality.

Besen’s is a cynical take on man’s nature and struggles: yes, there are “ex-gay” failures (“ex-ex-gays”), and deep-seated homosexuality is hard to leave behind. But so is drug addiction, pornography, compulsive lying and other sinful habits. How many drug abusers have relapsed back into that dangerous lifestyle, but don’t we still celebrate the man or woman who comes clean and saves their life from destruction?

How many marriages have been destroyed by pornography or infidelity, but aren’t our hearts lifted when we hear the testimony of a man who repents and changes his lifestyle, saves his marriage and goes back to fathering his children?

Who in his right mind champions the cause of homosexual failures, when there are so many examples of men and women — like Mike Johnston below — who have overcome this lifestyle or are seeking to honor God through obedience to His will?

Why do “gay” advocates celebrate failure? Because sadly, like the pro-abortion lobby, they are on the side of sin and against God and nature, having convinced themselves that homosexuality (“being gay”) is a big part of “who they are.”

Ah, but you protest: homosexuality is so complex. How can we judge it? Why would a person “choose” that lifestyle with all the hardships that come with it? Well, why does a man or woman “choose” to embrace any wrong lifestyle/behavior: bulimia, porn addiction, alcoholism? We can sympathize with the person who faces intense personal struggles, but it is not our right to normalize and celebrate homosexuality or ANY aberration/sin just because we don’t fully understand its genesis. Doing so runs counter to several millennia of understanding of humanity as fallen beings whose hearts tend toward wrongdoing.

There is right and wrong, and homosexual practice will always be wrong. Leaving it will always be right.

Besen Takes on Americans For Truth
Wayne Besen’s latest stunt is to file a complaint against Americans For Truth with the Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, erroneously accusing us of “selling” false information because we put up a link on our website for an American Family Association video called “It’s Not Gay” featuring former homosexual Mike Johnston. Mike is a good friend and former ministry partner of mine who, as you can read by clicking THIS LINK (reprinted below), left homosexuality a long time ago but then began practicing furtive homosexual behavior around 2001, ultimately causing him to lose his national “ex-gay” organization, Kerusso Ministries.

Thankfully, after his public reputation was shattered, a repentant Johnston turned in desperation to Pure Life Ministries, which helps men struggling against sexual sin (e.g., lust, pornography, homosexuality) by strengthening their spiritual walk with Jesus Christ. I spoke with Mike yesterday and he described the deep heart transformation that has taken place in his life through Pure Life. He is now a humbled man at peace with God and himself, who fully owns up to the foolish pride that allowed him to be in public “ex-gay” ministry while living a double-life as a homosexual (see Mike’s Pure Life bio below).

Mike is no longer in the public policy world but through Pure Life, he is beginning to share his testimony of deep healing. Many men struggle with sexual temptation their entire lives, and Mike’s story of transformation through a closer walk with Christ will hopefully inspire countless men and women (straight and homosexual) to get beyond shallow and hypocritical Christianity and to live with integrity.

I do not doubt that Wayne Besen and the “anti-ex-gay” crowd will reject Johnston’s testimony of transformation through Christ because, in so many ways, it is at odds with their “gay”-positive ideology and worldview. So be it. We hope and pray that many people whose minds are not closed will be touched by how God mercifully continued to work in Mike’s life.

In a separate column Tuesday, Besen writes:

“The anti-gay groups American Family Association and Americans For Truth should be immediately shut down for committing wanton and craven acts of fraud. They are unabashed con artists duping their own members by selling a product both groups have admitted was misleading.”

In his complaint, Besen asks Illinois Attorney General Madigan to “require a written apology from LaBarbera that he must post prominently on his website and that refunds be offered to dissatisfied customers.” This foolish request is made more so because AFTAH is not selling the AFA video.

Here are some facts and comments to counter Wayne Besen’s false charges about Mike Johnston, Americans For Truth and the “It’s Not Gay” video:

1) Mike Johnston is not practicing homosexuality. He has repented after his scandalous fall back into homosexual behavior and made the total life-change of moving from Virginia to Kentucky-based Pure Life Ministries to get help (thus removing himself completely from the environs where he fell back into deviant conduct). By his own testimony, observed by others, he has found healing, personal peace and transformation through that ministry;

2) Therefore Mike is a former homosexual just as a man who escaped his pornography addiction (despite having a serious falling) can no longer be called a “porn user.” (Of course, Mike will always be on the alert and is being held accountable through Pure Life, so as not to succumb to homosexual temptation — just as a porn addict must take special care not to fall back into that vice.)

3) Americans For Truth never “sold” or received any money for the “It’s Not Gay” video as Besen alleges, but merely pointed people to AFA website where it can be purchased. However, we might start selling it since it is an excellent resource on the harmful realities of the homosexual lifestyle;

4) American Family Association stopped selling “It’s Not Gay” in 2003, when Mike Johnston’s scandal was revealed, but began reselling it when they were convinced after meeting with Mike about the genuineness of his restoration through Pure Life Ministries (I spoke with two top AFA officials yesterday on this point);

5) Johnston’s role in the video is mostly to describe how he was drawn into the “gay” lifestyle and his regrets for turning toward homosexuality in his youth. His comments are relevant today;

6) Even if Mike Johnston had remained in homosexual rebellion, the information in “It’s Not Gay” would be valid: embracing homosexuality is destructive to both body and soul. Nevertheless, AFA would not have resumed offering the video had Mike not repented, abandoned homosexuality and sought help in an accountable and highly-respected Christian ministry like Pure Life;

7) Wayne Besen demonstrates the censorious and totalitarian impulse of radical “gay” activists when he calls for AFTAH and AFA to be “shut down” based on his false and incomplete information. Besen was obviously ignorant of (or does not care about) Mike Johnston’s restoration through Pure Life, and was motivated only by his crusade against all public “ex-gays” and pro-family groups like Americans For Truth;

8) How many other pro-family and Christian ministries will be targeted by pro-homosexual activists in the future with similar wild charges–and will “sexual orientation” laws be used to engage in quasi-legal witch hunts against these groups?

9) It is clear that after getting much propaganda mileage from Johnston’s fall and the collapse of Kerusso Ministries, Besen and other anti-ex-“gay” activists (such as the group Ex-Gay Watch) have no real interest in Mike Johnston’s welfare, especially the good news of his emotional and spiritual healing through Pure Life. To them, the end justifies the means, and their goal is to “shut down” and/or discredit Christian ex-gay ministries and groups like AFTAH.

10) The idea of homosexual activists serving as arbiters of accuracy and truth is preposterous. For decades, “gay” activists intentionally promoted the fraudulent statistic that homosexuals comprise “10 percent” of society –- to exaggerate the clout of homosexuals in America — just one of their many public misinformation tactics.

In future e-mails and web postings, we’ll have more information about the writings of Wayne Besen, Pam Spaulding (a lesbian who recently agreed when someone on her blog compared African-American pastor Vincent Fields to mass-suicide cult leader Jim Jones) and other radical “gay” activists employing cruel tactics. The following is reprinted from the website of Pure Life Ministries:

Mike Johnston walked away from the gay community in 1988 after almost 11 years of involvement in homosexuality and testing positive for HIV in 1986. He founded Kerusso Ministries in 1989 as an outreach to individuals, and family and friends of those, struggling with homosexuality.

Following his appointment as a Commissioner on the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission from 1992-1996, Mike founded and served on several local and national political action committees including the steering committee for the National Campaign to Protect Marriage. He quickly rose to prominence as a national speaker presenting a Christian perspective on homosexuality as it relates both to ministry and public policy.

His speaking venues included a broad range of churches, state and local legislative bodies, college campuses, high schools and correctional institutions. He was a regular guest on radio and television programs around the country and hosted his own weekly broadcast and daily radio commentary. His story was featured in the 1996 Campus Crusade for Christ Another Way Out campaign and the 1999 Truth in Love national ad campaign. Mike was awarded the Hero of the Faith Award by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000 and assisted in the drafting of the 2001 Assemblies of God Position Paper on Homosexuality.

Mike came to Pure Life Ministries in June of 2003 following a very public and painful exposure of his sexual sin. He had been living a double life which began in 2001 with dabbling in pornography and ended with the collapse of his ministry in 2002 with the revelation that he was having sexual relations with men. Mike graduated from the residential program in 2003, completed an internship, and now serves as the Director of Donor Relations for the ministry.

Since coming to Pure Life Ministries, God has accomplished a wonderful transformation in Mike. Through a series of spiritual breakings and heart-wrenching repentance, God has systematically stripped off the many masks he has worn over the years and brought down the heavily fortified walls that protected his heart from others for so long. For the first time in his life, Mike has gained a genuine understanding of what it really means to be a follower of Jesus and God has given him a fresh vision of helping others find real freedom; this time not for the purpose of self-promotion but to glorify Christ.

This article was posted on Friday, January 19th, 2007 at 2:17 pm and is filed under AFT In the News, B - Ex-Homosexual Testimonies, Freedom Under Fire, GLBTQ Lawsuits & Retribution, Hateful Homosexual Attacks on Ex-Gays, News, The Agenda: GLBTQ & Activist Groups, The Bible, Churches, & Homosexuality, Truth Wins Out. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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