I Was A Gay Activist - Jeremy Bishop’s Story
Jeremy Bishop was in a homosexual relationship until he and his partner were broken by the goodness of God's promises of a better life. This is Jeremy's story in his own words.
I spent fourteen years of my life justifying being gay -- and distorting God's word.
I know I asked Jesus to come into my heart at the age of 7 or 8, where I was growing up in a Southern Baptist church, a Christian home and private Christian school. I even studied Christian studies in college until I was pretty much forced to leave. But, I was battling this temptation toward homosexuality that I was taught was wrong. I struggled to reconcile being a Christian with having same-sex attraction." I cried so many nights praying for God to change me. "Don't let me be attracted to what I am."
A Dark Time
Finally, I just gave up. Instead of seeing the temptation for what it was – a temptation, a distortion of truth – I set out to convince myself and everyone around me it was acceptable in God's eyes. I had found a job in Atlanta and became part of the city's gay community. Eventually, I became a gay rights activist, and the president of the board of the Atlanta Pride Committee. I still considered myself Christian during that period. I wrongly argued that interpretations of the Bible's stand against homosexuality weren't in the proper context, and I would search out churches and books to support my view.
I was in a relationship with a man for 10 years and we were very committed to each other. We were even planning on getting married in Vermont. The truth is, it was a really dark time. I was bitter and jaded about everything. I was so angry at the church and church people in general that it took any possibility of joy or tenderness completely out of me.
I praise the Lord for His mercy and grace in bringing me back to Him.
Eventually, my partner and I decided to settle down in Greenville, S.C., where we had family. It was my personal trainer who invited me to NewSpring, and we felt welcomed by everyone around us, even with an uncondoned lifestyle. Jesus changed our perspective forever during a message on sexual purity during the Revelation series in 2011. Pastor Perry Noble said, "Homosexuality is not God's best for your life." Every time I'd heard a preacher teach on homosexuality, it was a condemning, harsh and defeating sermon. I would walk away feeling judged, struggling with the issue, and no real way to take a next step. But this time, my heart heard the truth and was encouraged. God did have something better for me!
Right then, my partner and I walked up front and said, "We have to change." We ended our relationship, and since then, we have both lived sexually pure. Pastor Perry and NewSpring staff welcomed us with Christian love, care and concern without judgment, and they supported us as we pursued God's perfect plan for us. We are now NewSpring owners and regularly attending home groups. I serve on the care team, and he serves with guest services and the prayer team.
Being involved and serving others has allowed each of us to reach out to some friends and family about this issue and change their perspectives as well. But I lost a lot of friends—straight and gay—when I made my decision. We all have our own predisposition to sin, and I don't consider mine to be any different to anyone else's. I don't carry shame or stigma to it. I wrestle with the desire, but I don't act on it. By leaning on Christ I have all the power I need to overcome the temptation. I believe God can change my desires so that I am attracted to a woman and able to enjoy sex in marriage. But if that doesn't happen, I'm OK with that too, if that's God's will for my life.
Jesus is now leading both of us in our daily lives, and the peace and joy that has come from this change is something I could have never imagined. It's amazing to see what happens when you take God at His word and go all in. I praise the Lord for His mercy and grace in bringing me back to Him.