|- Gene Chase: Love is Powerful||
By Gene Chase
Webmaster, Christianity and Homosexuality
My name is Gene Chase. During this year ('97-'98) I am on sabbatical leave from Messiah College where I teach mathematics and computer science. I am married with three children, two of them still at home, and one a junior in college (and in computer science ... like father, like son).
My personal home page has pictures of me and my family and more details about my hobbies and interests than you want to know, including most of my web bookmarks so that you can see what interests me on the web. Information glut at its best!
I am the director of *free!*, one of about 125 Exodus referral agencies, in central Pennsylvania. I have been counseling men and women since November 1974 in the area of homosexuality. That has included group support meetings since January 1986. My wife has held group support meetings for wives since March 1996. For those who care about the counseling model I use, I avoid using just one. The Moberly model ("reparative therapy") fits many of my clients, but not all of them. I give homework assignments in the spirit of Jay Adams' model ("nouthetic counseling"). I prefer to think of counseling as a kind of Christian discipling, and so encourage spiritual disiplines such as prayer, meditation on the Bible, and accountability. For the record, about 85% of those who have gone through our group meetings claim that the process has been a benefit to them, a figure consistent with a recently released study by Joseph Nicolosi.
On April 8, 1997, I read a paper based on a start of my book on gay evangelicalism,*as a President's Scholar at Messiah College. Four President's Scholars are chosen each year to give a lecture on a topic of current interest. My book is a criticism from the right of Christian affirmations of homosexuality, but it is balanced as well by criticism of evangelicals for our lovelessness and stereotyping. I believe it to be the first criticism from within the ranks of evangelicals that doesn't do so by adopting a pro-gay position. That very evening, Maggie Heineman found the web page that I posted of that talk, and the dialogue began with Bridges-Across
I come from an atheistic home, where my commitment to follow Jesus Christ at age 10 came as a shock to my parents. They stonewalled my attempts to grow as a Christian by letting me find my own way to church and by tearing up my Sunday School papers. Thus from an early age my faith was my own, not borrowed from my parents.
From age 15 to 28 I struggled with the conflict between my sexual behaviors and my faith. God never let me go during that horrible inner conflict. Because that was 25 years ago, the climate for getting help was much worse than it is today. Thus it was that two years later I determined to comfort others with the comfort that I received from God (II Corinthians 1:4).
I joined the Bridges Across Working Group because I believe that love is powerful, and that love shows itself by listening, by not stereotyping, and by being tentative despite strongly held beliefs. In this way we model humility and respect, and we do not perpetuate hate. By telling our stories, we see each other as people, not as agenda.