Note: This week, a group belonging to the Changed Movement traveled to Washington, D.C., to speak with senators and representatives about their views on HR-5 ("The Equality Act") and HR-3570, which would outlaw conversion therapy of any kind. This group also publicly shared their testimonies of how Jesus rescued them from an LGBT lifestyle and empowered them through the Holy Spirit to walk in His freedom.
When I found out my Changed family was going to be going to Washington, D.C., to speak to our nation's leaders about The Equality Act and HR-3570, I knew I had to be there.
For those of us who have experienced real-life transformation through the power of Jesus Christ, the whole idea of being viewed as a fraud is gut-wrenching! My wife of eight years, our three daughters and everyone who knows us personally know the truth and know how God transformed my life.
If The Equality Act or HR-5 passes it will destroy the fabric of our country. I 100% believe that every person, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, queer/questioning straight or former LGBTQ deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. I don't think there are any reasonable people in the United States who think it's OK for people to be tortured or forced into being something they don't want to be. After all, God gave us free will. That means He gave us the choice to choose. He also gave us the Bible to know the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, as well as the consequences or blessings for choosing His way over our own.
There isn't a single person who is part of the Changed Movement who doesn't have sincere compassion and love for our friends who identify as LGBTQ. That is also true of many people I know within the church.
I don't think everyone has to make the same change I did, but I think everyone should have the right to make that choice for themselves without being bullied or pushed one way or the other by the government, their families, the church or the LGBTQ community. That includes the thousands of former LGBTQ individuals around this country and the world who have willingly chosen to walk away from that identity. For many of us, that meant being forced out of the community we love and once found our family in. Discrimination goes both ways in the U.S. when it comes to these sensitive issues.
My family and I have as much right to live our lives the way we choose as anyone in the LGBTQ community does. To pass the Equality Act or HR-5 would purposefully force anyone who no longer wanted to be part of the LGBTQ identities to either stay in the community or commit suicide to escape.
It is as dangerous to prohibit therapy for those who experienced childhood traumas that led them into LGBTQ-affirming identities as it is to force someone who feels they have no choice to be someone different. One of the leading reasons suicide rates are so high among questioning teens and young adults is because the world tells them they have no choice and so they feel trapped and without hope. The passing of this deadly legislation would further destroy any hope leading to far greater rates of suicide.
Talk therapy is not deadly or traumatic and should always be client-led. The school systems and counseling systems today are forced to affirm and encourage identities that most don't want to have. I never would have chosen to be gay at 18 if I thought I had a choice. I didn't know or believe that God could heal my childhood trauma and give me sexual wholeness; if I had, I might have chosen it much earlier in life.
Today, I live an amazing life with my wife and three daughters.
Having been totally set free from same-sex attraction and the mental stresses of my childhood trauma, I can stand before you and say I Am Changed and overcomers exist!
An abiding relationship with Jesus is the key to that change and allows me to live my best life and enjoy the heritage of my family and children as God planned it.
Please don't take away my rights and those of others like me. Don't keep us from living our best lives.
Jason Maxwell is a follower of Jesus, husband of Sarah, daddy to their three daughters, a former homosexual and an overcomer of childhood sexual abuse, rejection, consistent bullying, suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety. He is the directional leader and founder of Flames2Fire Ministries in Centerton, Arizona, who travels the country and world discipling believers, sharing his testimony and preaching the full gospel of the kingdom of God.
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