Christopher Yuen QA

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Sunday, 25 May 2008
51:40:00

"Finding Freedom and Wholeness in a Sexually Confused World"

Christopher Yuen

25th May 2008

 

Question & Answer Session

 

Question 1:

a) They can't help it, it's not their fault. They are born homosexuals. How do you deal with this view?

 

Often we hear in the church that people say this is a choice; you've chosen homosexuality. When you talk about homosexuality, we have to be clear that there are different aspects to homosexuality.

 

  • One is the actual struggle, being attracted to the same sex; sexually attracted to the same sex - that's one aspect.
  • The other aspect is actually acting upon those feelings, the behavior, the sexual activity that could also include pornography, or could also include lusting in the mind.

 

There is a difference between having the attraction and the lust. The attraction is just like a man who sees a beautiful woman walking down the street. He could realize well yes, she is beautiful but if he continues to think about her in his mind and start lusting after her, then that turns into sin. So, one is just the attraction; the other aspect is the behavior.

 

  • The third one is actually being identified and saying I am gay, this is who I am, this is what identifies me, this is an aspect of me that is as the same as being male or female.

 

Like I said before, there is actually zero scientific evidence, none whatsoever that one is born a homosexual. I would ask the people who believe in this whether they can tell me more about these studies that prove that one is born a homosexual and they won't be able to name a single one. If they really look into them, there would be none absolutely. People are not born that way. People do not choose to have these feelings of attraction. We choose our behavior that's obvious, but we don't choose to have an attraction. Just like men who struggle with lusting after women. I don't know of any guy that had asked for that. I don't know of guys who asked to struggle with pornography, but they chose to fall into that, they chose the behavior. So it may be true or not true that people are born that way but they can help themselves, through Christ.

 

b) Are you saying that if there is an attraction, it is not enough ground to feel that it is the end of the world? It's only when you act on it? Like the proverbial birds that nest on your head.

 

That's right. Unfortunately the church has elevated homosexuality to seem like the worst of sins. I mean when I was not in church; and I was in the lifestyle, I thought that the church was condemning homosexuals and they reserved a hotter place in hell for homosexuals. Jesus had to hang on the cross just a few minutes longer for homosexuals. The church would turn their head toward adultery, fornication, jealousy and gossiping but then homosexuality is just the worst of sins. Now we have conferences on homosexuality and I think that's great. But I'm waiting for the day that we have conferences on the root causes of gossip you know, or the root causes of jealousy and stuff but we need to be consistent in our response to see that homosexuality is a sin, but it is no greater or no less than any other sin, and it's not the end of the world if you struggle with it because you know what - we all struggle with sin. I mean that's just what it means to be human. If we're all from Adam, which we are, then we have original sin and we are going to struggle with sin as long as we are on this side of heaven. So it is not the end of the world because we'll struggle with sin. When one talk about how they can't help themselves, it is actually true. I can't help myself, we can't change from homosexuality but through Christ we can. God can do the impossible. Just like we can't break free from sin, but Christ is victorious over sin, through Christ people can have freedom from our struggles, whatever our struggles might be.

 


Question 2

How can we help encourage or talk to our homosexual friends without sounding like we are condemning them to hell or the like? How do you suggest we approach homosexual friends who wants to know God but at the same time they know that God does not allow homosexuality, something they feel strongly for?

 

I think we need to view our homosexual friends just as how we would view anybody who is lost. We need to view them with compassion, patience, and love. If your next door neighbor is an unbeliever, I don't think we would go and tell them "Hey, you are a sinner. Bye". Yet often that is the message that the homosexuality community is getting from the church.

 

a) Consistent Response

We must have a consistent response and what that means is that we have to not view homosexuality as greater than any other sin. When we look at the bible, heterosexual sin is mentioned 7 times more than homosexual sin and yet it's like homosexuality is just so bad, and also we need to change our paradigm as to what is the norm for sexuality. Most of us would say heterosexuality. I think that is not biblical because heterosexuality is a big umbrella. Under it includes adultery, fornication and lust. That's not what God has called us to and we need to be consistent. We need to focus on holiness, upon holy sexuality - which means if you are single - abstinence; if you are married - faithfulness and having only affections toward your spouse of the opposite sex.

 

I have a friend who has also come out of the homosexual lifestyle. When growing up he never had any interest in girls. Once he came out of the homosexual lifestyle, he felt called just to be single for the rest of his life. He met this girl while he was in ministry, they were ministering together and he just started noticing new things about her; curves, hair. You know it is so funny, he tells people, you think going through puberty once is tough; try going through puberty twice. So he asked her out, they started dating and then he asked her to marry him. On his wedding day, he was able to look his wife in the eye and say, I have only affections for you and no other women; I can't explain it. Isn't that wonderful? I don't know of any man who can say to their wife "I have affections for you only. I'm only attracted to you and no other women".

I think that is a beautiful gift. I think that is a perfect example of holy sexuality.

 

b) Convicted Response

We should have a convicted response and what I mean by that is, we must realize that we're no better than anybody else. When we are going to an unbeliever and sharing the gospel with them, we should never go with a "holier-than-thou" attitude because that has never won anyone to Christ. We're not talking down to unbelievers like let me tell you how to do things. Often when I talk to people about homosexuality, one of the first thing they say is "How do I get over the fact that when I try to minister to homosexuals the feeling of disgust or repulsion, of man and man or woman and woman?" It is just gross for them.

 

I have to remind them that the feeling of disgust, repulsion should be a reminder when we reflect upon how God view our sin; that repulsion we feel is only a fraction of the repulsion that God feels when He looks at our sin. Actually, we should be more guilty than the unbeliever because we know better. We may not sin outwardly but we sin in our mind. We need to have a convicted response.

 

c) Compassionate Response

We should have a compassionate response. We need to reach out to these people in love. We need to try to win them to Christ. We need to view them not as our enemies, but view them as people that we need to win to Christ.

 

d) Complete Response

And the last thing, we need to have a complete response. What I mean by that is, often the church just say, what does the bible say about homosexuality and I think most people would say well, homosexuality is a sin and they stop there. But, like I said, we don't go over to our next door neighbor and say, "You're a sinner, Bye". Just like we all probably know the 4 spiritual laws, the little tracts that we hand out - I've never seen a tract that say, the 1 spiritual law. You know, you're a sinner. And yet that is the message we're giving to the church. We need to give people the complete message, the complete truth which is the entire gospel of Christ.

 

"How many of you guys have been asked by your unbelieving friends "Do you think homosexuality is a sin"? When people ask you that, it is kind of like we reel back on our heels. That's because we know if we say yes, that person will put us into a small, little evangelical, right wing you know conservative. So, they try to put you in this box - you are close minded, you're backwards, you're outdated.

 

If you say no, homosexuality is not a sin, well then that means you don't know what the Bible says. So, if you say yes that's not good; and if you say no, that's not good either. When I look at the bible, Jesus was also confronted by the Pharisees and Sadducees by such a question. If He said yes, it would not be good and if He said no, it wouldn't be good either. So what Jesus did was he answered an underlying, a deeper question. What is the thing that unbeliever need to hear? It is the gospel. The next time someone asks you such a question, use that because that is the greatest way to share the gospel. Because they just brought up sin - you know what, the bible says that we're all sinners and the wages of sin is death and yet Jesus Christ came to die for our sins so that we would be redeemed and transformed. The message of the gospel, the heart of the gospel is not that we are sinners. The heart of the gospel is redemption and transformation - that we've all become new creations.

 

My hope is that as you reach out to your friends that are gay or homosexuals, we do not need to be banging over their head with the bible. Don't win arguments, win souls. Often it takes losing an argument or forgoing an argument to win them to Christ. I think that St. Francis of Assisi said it so well. He said, "Always at all times, preach the gospel but only when necessary, use words". So what that means is that we must use our actions to preach the gospel. Often you are the only bible that people will read or see and so you need to use your actions. You don't have to be pointing out their sins; that is not really what brings people to Christ. My parents, it was their life that drew me to Christ. It wasn't their words of condemnation, saying; you're sinning stuff like that. I would suggest befriending them and building relationships.

 

Evangelism is about relationships. It is not about convincing people. It is about relationships. How many of you guys know people that are gay or homosexual? I mean honestly, gay and homosexual people are really nice people. I mean if you want good neighbors, actually we should pray that we don't have Christian neighbors so that you can reach out to unbelievers. You should pray that you have gay neighbors; I mean they are great, they're friendly, they're funny, they drive nice cars, they know how to dress, they've got nice hair, I mean they're great people. I mean you know, so I think we need to see that they are people. They're friendly, they're hard-working, they're good neighbors, and we need to reach them for Christ. Because the thing is, if we don't they will die a Christ-less eternity. And it is on us - it is on us. I have hundreds of friends, they know that I'm totally changed and in a sense they kind of see me as a traitor. The thing is that if someone doesn't reach them for Christ, they will die into a Christ less eternity. So my prayer is that you will reach out to these people, befriend them, get to know them, just listen to them and wait for them to ask you - what's the difference that God has made in your life that I see - you have to show that God has made a difference in your life, that you don't just live this Sunday only religion - that, God has transformed you, because if God can transform you than maybe God might, they will think, be able to transform me.

 


Question 3

You talk about relating to them as part of the response, not just winning arguments and convincing them. Is there a danger? Are there safeguards? A question that is often asked is, if I help them will I end up being like them in my weakness if I myself may be struggling with something like that for instance? How can I be equipped so that I do not?

 

Before I answer that question, I want to go back to when I said, when people ask do you think homosexuality is a sin and you give them the gospel Most of them will say; well you didn't answer my question. And you know what I would tell them if they keep pressing you, what they want for you to do is for you to draw the line and say this is me and that is you. I would tell them you know I value you more as a person and I value our relationship more than our differences than the answer to this question. Then put the ball back in their court; let them cut you off because they want you to cut them off. Like I say before, evangelism is about relationship, so focus on relationship, not upon making a point. Like you said about asking if we have friends that are homosexual or whatever, would we be affected by that. And, that is a great question because it goes back to this being in the world and not being of the world. So, for you to reach out to unbelievers, you really have to be strong in your faith. We need to be affecting others and not being affected by others. We are to be salt and light. What does salt and light mean? Salt means that you make other things around you, your surroundings salty. What does light mean. You bring light to others, you illuminate. You are changing your surroundings. But I know that for many of you kids you are still trying to find yourself and if you know that your faith is not that strong and if you are reaching out to unbelievers that you may be at risk of being affected by them. So, you need to make sure that you stand strong in your faith and that you won't be swayed by unbelievers because it is very easy to be. So, if you're not strong in your faith and parents, if you know your children are not strong in their faith, I would be a little hesitant about that. I'm not talking about becoming best friends with them, because then in a sense that would kind of being unequally yoked as scriptures say that we should not be. But befriending them, you could hang out with them, talk with them but not your best friend, your soul-mate; because your soul-mate I believe ought to be someone who is a Christian, that you can be sharpening each other and building each other up in the Lord.

 


Question 4

What if after all that you have done, they choose to still remain where they are?

 

You have to be patient. I think that our goal should be winning them to Christ, but we need to free ourselves from that responsibility because it is not our responsibility to win people to Christ, it is the Holy Spirit that do that. We are only called to love. Billy Graham said it so well "The Father's job is to judge, the Holy Spirit's job is to convict and he said my job is to love". So, I think our job is simply to love people and hopefully through our actions, they will see Christ and be drawn not to us but to Christ. That should be our focus. My mother took 7 years and actually 7 years is pretty short. I know parents who waited 20, 25 years still. We have to be patient. 1 Cor 13 says, love is - what - first word is patient. So we need to be patient with unbelievers because God was patient with us.

 

 

 

 

 


Question 5

How do we stop watching pornography if we are addicted? What if we stop watching and the urge is still there? How do we deal with it?

 

There are steps that helped me with my struggles. Like I said, change is not the absence of struggles; change is the freedom to choose holiness in the presence of struggles. I think too often we give ourselves unrealistic expectations and we pray, God, God, take this struggle away. I have friends who just prayed for years that God would take their struggle with pornography away and they still struggle. And yet, sometimes when people say; O well especially with homosexuality; people say, O I prayed and prayed that God would take this away and He didn't so then God must have created me this way. But that is so unbiblical. Because when we look at scripture, Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane. What did He say "God, take this cup from me, but not my will your will be done". Also when Paul he had a thorn in his flesh, he prayed that thorn be taken away and it wasn't taken away so that he would learn a lesson that Jesus said to him, "My grace is sufficient for you". It wasn't because Jesus and Paul didn't have enough faith; it was because we are going to face struggles and temptations. So, we need to pray because we are unable to change; only by the power of God and the Holy Spirit in us are we able to change. So we need to pray, but pray realistic prayers. Someone said that we shouldn't pray that God will take the burden away, because I don't think that is biblical, but we should pray that God gives us a stronger back to bear the burden So we need to pray.

 

I came up with an acronym to help me with my journey out of my bondages; sexual bondages and also with drugs. It is ICOPE:

 

I : Identify with Christ

Too often we want to identify with our problems, identify with our struggle, identify with our sin, or identify with our issue - like people if they are an alcoholic; they just keep thinking I should not drink, I should not drink; but then what that does is; I think satan can sometimes use that to pull your focus away from God and on to your struggle. Don't drink, don't drink. Like children, I know many of you your parents tell you don't do this, don't do this, then so you're kind of then what should I do? Then so, we need to think of course don't do this, we need to think positively, instead of identifying with your struggle to not look at pornography, focus about looking toward God, focus upon Christ. Identify with Christ.

 

C : Cut-off

You need to cut off anything that is causing you to sin right now. In Matthew 7, in the sermon of the Mount, Jesus said "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out; if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off". And Jesus is not talking about self mutilation here so don't go off doing that. What Jesus is talking about is - He is talking about radical amputation - anything that causes you to sin. So you need to look in the present and into the past - what are things that are causing you to fall or to stumble.

 

I was mentoring a college guy and he struggled with same sex attraction and I was going over this one issue with him, that we need to cut-off anything that causes us to sin whether it is friends, I know some people who do drugs; if they drive to work, if they past by this one corner where they bought drugs that can cause them to sin, they would go around the corner to avoid it. Even at your work, if there is a girl that is very tempting to you, I know people who quit their jobs because their holiness is more important. So this guy that I was discipling, I was talking about this; and he is a swimmer and that's a big deal he made the College swim team. He realized that, that was often when he would struggle with the other guys on the team and so that week, he went and made an appointment with the Coach and he told the swim coach that he was quitting the swim team. He didn't tell the Coach why, and he quit the team. That is a huge step for someone to quit College sports for the sake of their holiness. That's radical amputation. He cut off what he knew was causing him to sin because he valued holiness more than the identity of being a swimmer or whatever.

 

O : Openness & Accountability

We have to have accountability. We need to get it out into the open that we are struggle with something. I have a very public ministry. Not everyone is called to do that. We need to at least share with one or two people; whether it is a youth pastor, an elder or whether it is someone that can be an accountability partner to hold you accountable, because satan hold best in darkness and in private.

 

P: Plan

We have to have a plan. As cut-off, we were looking at the present and in the past how we sin; P means we need to look into the future. What are some things in the future that might cause us to sin? Another friend of mine (he's doing business and had to travel quite a bit) was struggling with pornography. Whenever he reserved a hotel, he would tell the hotel staff to take the television out of the room. He knew it would be so easy to access to pornography in a hotel room. Before he check-in, he would ask them the question again "Did you take the television out of the room"? if not, he would wait until they actually take the television out of the room. So he had a plan. Often it will be too late by the time we face the temptation. Unless you are as strong as Joseph, who could run from Porthiper's wife. Porthiper's wife - she would have been hot. If you are Pharoh you are not going to pick a homely lady. She had to have been beautiful. So she was pursuing Joseph, she was basically taking his clothes off - and he ran. I don't think I would have enough strength to do that. So if we are faced with temptation often that is already too late. So we have to put up safe guards and plans and look into the future to plan how we can keep ourselves from even being in a situation like that. That's one reason why I don't travel alone. These past 2 or 3 years I've been doing quite a bit more travelling and I made a commitment that I would not travel alone. It would be too much opportunity for temptation or struggle, or too much opportunity for satan to attack. So my mother travels with me in the U.S., and when I go internationally, my father will sometimes come. My mother is not only my accountability partner but she also covers me in prayer.

 

E : Edification

That is why the body of Christ is so important. We must be in fellowship; that we are not lone rangers. We are not called to be islands. In the streams we are called to be in fellowship and edification with brothers and sisters in Christ, building each other up and edifying yourself through good bible study and filling your mind with the Word of God. So those are things that have helped me with ICOPE. So if you still struggle with pornography, the thing is don't be surprised that you struggle. Don't be let down that you do, but know that God has given you the Holy Spirit to be set free from falling into sin. But get it out into the open and maybe use these steps that have helped me to break free. But he other example is get filters for your computers, get X3Watch accountability program and those things have really helped me.

 


Question 6

(Question to Christopher's mum, Angela)

How did you do it? What advice do you have anyone who suddenly gets the news that someone they love is in this struggle. If not homosexuality, maybe some other purity issue. What would be your response?

 

The first question, "How did I do it"? It is all God. It's all God's thing. I really didn't do anything. You can tell by Christopher's testimony. If you say what the parents would do if they find out their children are rebelling or struggling with homosexuality. Again, that's another seminar. I can spend a whole hour talking about it. Basically I had tried to come out with another acronym called HOPE:

 

H: High view of God

It is so important for parents. You need to really grasp this high view of God. No matter what happens, what struggles, your world falling apart, God is still sitting on the throne. And that is so important in our life; it is not just coming on Sunday to worship and we live like the rest of the world in the following 6 days. It is important to live as a follower of Christ and to have a high view of God.

 

O : Obedience

We need to obey God's will. Not my will but God's will. Before I became a Christian, I did everything my way. So we have to really think God's way. To be obedient; it is not necessary the worldly way. I think Christopher did mention, he was in Dental school, he got kicked out of Dental School. Now I don't want to be worldly at that time, I wanted God to be working in his life. I cannot do anything. If that's the way God is going to get his attention, I need to let God do it. I cannot block God's way. So we need to be obedient to obey God's will, and the way to obey God's will is to pray. You need to listen to God and you need to speak to God. You need to study the bible to know God's ways. So you have to be in God's world, study God's word - bible - everyday. The more you study, the more you will draw to God. You'll build up the relationship and you will be very sensitive to God's will. Sometimes, you will say, O what is God's will? If you really spend time to study God's word, you'll be very, very sensitive to what He tells you to do.

 

P : Pray in God's will

 

E: Encouragement

Being a Chinese mother, it is very difficult for me to say nice things about my children. I don't know your parents. When my children were growing up, I never said anything good about them because when I was growing up, my parents never praised me. Even my friend, our neighbor said good things about me, my parents would say, "na li, na li" (No, no, no, in Mandarin). So I never learned to say anything good about my children. When Christopher was in prison, I have already become a Christian. We would drive 9 hours to visit him. That was when we began to mend our relationship. Both my husband and I asked Christopher to forgive us for what we have done wrong, for hurting him. I think as parents we need to really humble ourselves to ask our children to forgive us. Then, one day I asked Christopher what are some things that he want me to do and I would do better. He told me something that I would never forget. He said, "Mum don't just listen my word, listen to my heart". That seemed like a very difficult lesson to learn but I think by listening to their heart, we will understand and encourage them more instead of just listening to their word.

 

 


Question 7

Christopher, you look as sharp as a F1 driver and yet you have HIV Positive condition. How do you keep so healthy?

 

Well it really is the grace of God. Really we all have a disease and it is sin. And one day, we will all die. God really has been gracious. I was most likely infected in 1996. I had a partner whom I lived with and he did not tell me he had the virus until later. So it was most likely that I contracted the virus in 1996. It's been 12 years and it really is the grace of God. I also do think that much of it had got to do with my transformation. I have had a change in lifestyle. Many people who have HIV Aids do not change their lifestyle. They continue doing what they are doing, whether continuing their IV drug use or continue with their promiscuous lifestyle. What that does is it re-infect you with the virus. The virus has many different strains and as it replicates and takes upon your DNA, it mixes with the other virus that you may already be having, it becomes more virulent, stronger and it can attack your immune faster. Because I have had a complete change in lifestyle, I don't do drugs, I'm eating right, I'm sleeping right, doing all these things that are common sense, my diet - I'm not doing the typical American hamburger, steak which is not very healthy for you, making it more nutritious having a lot more fresh green vegetables. Fortunately I have a mother who does all the wonderful cooking for me so I eat very well at home. I am also taking some Chinese herbs, so I go to China twice a year, where there is a traditional Chinese doctor who specifically treat people with HIV and I take herbs twice a day, and that has really helped me too. So really it is the grace of God but through the grace of God, He has transformed my life. I think I am just beginning to boost my immune system naturally and I try and eat right, sleep right, exercise and that has been very beneficial for me. I consider myself one of the fortunate ones.

 


Question 8

Do you have homosexual feelings or thoughts today? Does being Christian help eradicate these thoughts? I'd like to hear more about this thought and process? Does becoming a Christian help diminish or eradicate these thoughts or feelings?

 

If I had not become a Christian, I would not have been able to change. Like I said, we can almost agree with the secular that people cannot change but only through the power of Christ. We have a God, if He created the universe, this is nothing impossible for Him. And what is impossible to man is possible to God. It is only through the Holy Spirit, through the power of Christ to change me. With that said, I do know some people who are able to change from homosexuality through secular counseling. I don't know personally of people, I know of people second hand but most of the people that I know have been changed by the power of Christ out of homosexuality. But for the people from secular counseling, their focus was becoming straight. And I believe that that is not very biblical. We don't need to focus on becoming straight but focus upon becoming like Christ, becoming holy. So the first part of your question was about my sexual attraction. It is so important for us to remember where God has brought us, to be reminded of how God has worked in our lives and as I reflect upon where God has brought me; I was at a point where I was not only so addicted to drugs, I was staying 5 to 10 days straight without any sleep, without any food,