I have spent the better part of the past 11 years traveling the nation and sharing my story of survival from childhood physical and sexual abuse, deliverance from homosexuality and, most recently, my healing from AIDS in 2003. Over 700,000 copies of my testimony CD, No Harm Done, have either been given away free in hard copy or downloaded to CD directly from the Internet atwww.dannywallace.org.
If I were going to pray for a testimony, I would have loved to have it be that I was set free from a three-pack-a-day smoking addiction. I could have really worked with that one. I know my circle of close friends would have been much larger. However, those aren't the cards I was dealt. I've learned that God expects us to stand firm in the midst of our circumstances and point the way to redemption for all who pass the road we have previously traveled, lest they find the bridge out with no warning.
Without going into my entire life story, I will simply say that I was the victim of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of my father from the time I was 5 until I married, at 17, my wife of 36 years, Lynn. Not only was I raped and tortured emotionally and physically by my father, but I was sold to other men for their pleasure.
Needless to say, I entered adulthood as a confused young man, both sexually and emotionally. Nevertheless, I had survived. For me, that was a victory.
I can vividly remember getting on the school bus at the age of 6 or 7, having missed a couple of days of school because my father had beat me, to be greeted with much concern and warmth from a young man who drove my school bus. During that time high school seniors often earned the right to drive the bus.
This young man had curly blonde hair, a dazzling smile and blue eyes that looked as if they were painted to match the sky. At least, that's the way this little 6-year-old boy saw it. I can still remember the smell of his cologne, should I happen to run across it, even to this day. He woul d often put his arm around me and say, "We sure missed you the last couple of days Danny. Have you been sick? Sure hope you're feeling better."
I remember distinctly just how good it felt that someone looked into my eyes and cared about me. Was it a sexual feeling? Of course not; I was 6. It was a feeling that all humanity craves and needs --- to know that we matter. I had never really felt that before.
Those feelings would later transcend needing to matter to needing to be affirmed, touched and held by someone, anyone, who appeared to want me.
Such is the stronghold of homosexuality. It is a vile, vicious and cruel spirit of the enemy that enters a life while it is much too young and vulnerable to comprehend the nature of the truth behind the lie. You will never meet someone who woke up one day at 18 or 25 and said, "Wow, this heterosexual thing has been great! I think I'll try that homosexual gig for a change." It simply does not happen.
The core of homosexuality enters a life in the early developmental years when it isn't about sex at all. It is about filling the emotional void the enemy recognizes as an open door to gain entrance and stronghold over a life destined to bring greatness to the kingdom of God.
For far too long the church has simply looked the other way in disdain and condemnation, while the world has stepped up to change the language surrounding the issue. What was once simply sodomy has turned into a civil rights issue over what is now pronounced to be a birth orientation. The church has been quick to condemn while presenting no way of real redemption, deliverance and recovery from the deception behind the lifestyle.
I have often said --- and written, "The same door which leads you into a room is the very same door that leads you out." Even though a certain room you enter may fill up with a fog so thick that you can no longer see the doorway, it doesn't mean the door has suddenly been walled in, leaving no possible way of escape.
It doesn't have to be homosexuality. It can be anything that we hide behind - the many MASKS we contrive in life to survive and find acceptance. However, with homosexuality, the first step to freedom is in realizing that the door which led you into the room so long ago is the same door that will lead you out. You simply must be educated on this fact and find the door.
Most homosexual men have grown to truly believe that they were born into their sexual orientation. They have tried to suppress the feelings and change their behavior time and again, only to find themselves right back in the same pattern of behavior. The church today takes the stance, "This is your choice and you just need to stop it."
But homosexuality is not an individual's original choice. Certainly we are all accountable and responsible for the choices we continue to make as adults. However, the attack first begins and the stronghold of the enemy takes root when the individual is too young to understand or fight back. This explains the common early feelings of not being quite like everyone else.
God does not create us to be something and then tell us that this thing He has created us to be is an abomination in His sight. That's like telling me that I would have gotten into heaven, except that all Caucasian men are an abomination in His sight. On the same note, the idea of homosexual birth holds no logic.
And, on the other hand, who would choose to be ostracized by church and family and be the brunt of cruel jokes, forcing them to design mask after mask to survive their double lifestyle, until they eventually find themselves exclusively in the homosexual community for pure acceptance and survival?
As someone who has lived on both sides of the issue, I can speak on it with confidence and open frankness. I once owned a mask collection that would stagger the imagination, to find acceptance and hold onto a personal survival I had fought so desperately to obtain. I know the truth of how the door to homosexuality is opened. I also know the truth to the way out. No political movement, church opinion or rewriting of the American language to soften the reality of that truth matters to the person so desperately s eeking hope and freedom.
Sadly, in some cases the Church is so busy looking down on the homosexual community that they tend to fall short in reaching out in love, offering real redemption, deliverance, hope and healing. However, the power for real change is right where it has always been. It is in the blood of the sacrificed Savior, Jesus Christ. It is in His promise, "I am the Father who will never leave or forsake you."
And, yes, it is found in the church leadership and body that care more about the transformation of man than the building of earthly reputation, fame and financial security. Through our hands, our hearts and our understanding of the stronghold of homosexuality, those lost in the lifestyle will finally find their way home. He whom the Lord has set free is --- FREE INDEED!