The Gay Mirage

Warning: Though I have sought to word carefully this post so as not to be explicit, the nature of the subject means certain references are unavoidable.

To my knowledge it was the only time I have been followed in a threatening way.  

More than two decades ago now my wife and I were returning to our car with a few friends after picketing an adult bookstore.  Before the advent of internet pornography, these bookstores were multiplying in the Lafayette area and we joined with others to picket them.  The negative attention drove down their sales.  Some even closed.  On this particular day one in our group noticed that a young man, who had come out of the bookstore, had followed us to our car, gotten into his own vehicle, and was watching us in his rear view mirror across the lot.  Not wanting to have someone follow us home, I went over to speak to him.

Though it was tense at first, some friendly questioning eventually led to this young man opening up to me.  He told me that he worked at the store, was gay, and that in picketing the store for pornography we showed that we did not really know the true essence of what was going on in there.  The store with its holes in the walls between the booths was used for encounters, and he was angry that we were ruining the business and the ability for those in this lifestyle to meet.  Though he had no worked-out plan, he admitted he had planned to follow us home so that he could find a way to harass us.  As I called him to freedom in Christ, his face softened at times and revealed a desire to change; then would harden again as he expressed frustration that he could not.  He promised not to follow us, and he did not.  I have not forgotten the fire in his eyes when he told me that I just did not understand.  His changing countenance that day revealed to me the turmoil within.

Homosexuals have chosen the word “gay,” a word that means “happy” or “a lively, merry mood” or “bright, showy,” to describe their lifestyle.  In homosexuality’s portrayal in the media and in its publicity by its advocates, that’s what it can appear to be.  A fun-loving, free lifestyle.  Yet this is only a mirage.  Over the years, in every interaction I have had with a person calling their lifestyle “gay,”  that same angry fire that my bookstore acquaintance had could be seen in their eyes .  Whether it’s been a one-time opportunity to interact with someone who has identified himself as gay or the longer-term weekly counseling of a man who claimed hundreds of partners (and looked as if it were true), a below-the-surface, seething anger has always been present.

Those who claim the gay lifestyle, from the protesters at the pool in Kentucky to the advocates of the marriage bill passed in New York, might tell you they are angry because they have been oppressed and denied civil rights.  Though we may grant that the homosexual may be affected negatively by his surroundings, clearly his burning spirit does not originate from there.  Paul describes homosexuals in Romans 1 as men who have “abandoned the natural function and burned in their desire for one another.”   When one considers what is involved in a person saying that an act of sodomizing or being sodomized makes him happy, then you should not be surprised to find under the surface an edgy, indignant individual.  Going against nature every day is a hard road to travel.   Trying in the desert to satisfy a thirst by pointing continually to an oasis that is not there would, and does, cause irritability.

As government leaders and even other churches flock toward the gay illusion, thankfully the Reformed Presbyterian Church recently passed unanimously a work entitled Contemporary Perspectives on Sexual Orientation: a Theological and Pastoral Analysis.  Maintaining the historic, orthodox, and Biblical stand against the sin of same sex relationships, this work helps instruct the church how to think properly and minister to those either advocating and/or trapped in this lifestyle.  This paper, soon to be published as a small book and which we will be sure to announce here, should help in dispelling the mirage and showing many where true drink can be found.


  1. Joann Curran July 12, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    Very well, put, Pastor York, and I am so thankful for your boldness to talk to that young man. Our pastor told us about this paper when he gave us his report on Synod. My initial comment is that I find it a little difficult to see that the paper itself uses the words “sexual orientation” in its title. Society keeps inventing these rose-colored phrases for positive “spin” and to adopt them seems to cede ground. I totally understand the need to proclaim truth in love but I think that substituting “sexual perversion” in the title would have still done that. It may seem like nit-picking to some, but here is where I think the difference lies: I am not trying to be facetious, but when I hear the current title with no other information, my first fleeting thought is, “so what is the denomination’s stance on this?” but on the other hand, if the word “perversion” is in the title, there would be no such pause for me, however fleeting. Again, thank you for article.

  2. Barry York July 12, 2011 at 7:32 pm #


    Thank you for your thoughts. I understand your concern with the title. It was the same struggle I had in blogging above, as I prefer not to use the term gay to describe this lifestyle. My use of the word above was describing what those who practice homosexuality deem it.

    That’s the same approach of the paper in using sexual orientation. I trust when you read this work you will find that it does not back away from showing how perverse same sex acts are. Yet the paper interacts with the modern terminology in a Biblical, scholarly and pastoral way, actually using it to demonstrate just how desperate the human condition is. Hopefully it will be read by not only the church but society.

    Appreciate your thoughts!

  3. Joseph Gay July 13, 2011 at 1:19 am #

    I will not re-post this, as it is a bit expicit for some of my fb friends and family. I am looking forward to reading that report when it comes out. Will I have similar problems re-posting the report?

    • Barry York July 13, 2011 at 8:52 am #


      As the warning on my post would indicate, merely discussing such a subject requires discretion. The report itself is over 40 pages long and, though carefully worded and non-sensational in its approach, certainly speaks to this topic with far greater insight and detail than my post. As far as sending the report electronically goes, I’m not sure at this time if it will be posted publicly on the web. The only plan I know of is for it to be sent to other NAPARC churches and to be published in a book format.

  4. Brad Johnston July 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    Thanks for the important post, Barry! Here is another recent post by Al Mohler in the Wall Street Journal:

  5. Tim July 28, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    Thank you for your as discreet as possible, but to the point essay. I think your metaphor of a mirage is very apt. Your anecdote and your perception of those in the “lifestyle” is well put. I also like your taking the word “gay” and reminding us of its proper definition, not how it was co-opted and corrupted. Like many lifestyles based on destructive paths, the person involved can often put on a mask of happiness, while underneath be a lost, sad person. I was hoping to see the book approved at Synod be put online, but I will look for it at my church’s library or area where you can purchase publications. I look forward to reading more of your blog. God bless….


  1. The Gospel & Sexual Orientation | Gentle Reformation - June 12, 2012

    […] summer in a post called “The Gay Mirage,” I witnessed to the frustration of the homosexual lifestyle.  The thirsty lust of this sin […]

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