Gay Activist Decided to Follow Jesus - David Bennett
David Bennett grew up in a non-religious home in Sydney, Australia. After discovering he was attracted to men, he found himself the victim of prejudice and hatred. This stirred in him a desire to become a gay activist, and to oppose Christianity since it seemed to bring so much suffering upon his friends in the LBGTQ community. Then, one day, the unexpected happened. After inadvertently getting into a discussion about God with a friend, he agreed to let her pray for him.
“As she prayed, what I felt was a beautiful presence pouring over my head like oil. Jesus had shown up and this was the love I had been searching for all my life,” he explained. “I could not find the intimacy I had been looking for in the world. It was only in God I found that ultimate transcendence I craved.”
That experience transformed David’s life. He went from rejecting everything Christian to hungering after God’s will for his life. The hardest part of all this was squaring his new love for God with the Bible’s teaching concerning sexuality. He knew that God’s design for sex was based on the covenant of marriage between one man and one woman. So where did that leave him as a gay man?
“In watching the example of other friends who were celibate and had given their lives to following Jesus and discipling others, I was also witnessing a joy and flourishing in their lives I admired. If they were living this life as heterosexual people, then I could do that as a homosexual person.”
David found that following Jesus isn’t always easy but he has also found a new joy that he longs to share with others in the LGBTQ community. He also works to help the Christian church understand why his gay friends have such a hard time with what they hear from Christians.
“When the church says that homosexuality is a sin, the way gay people often hear that is that they are being shut off from the greatest form of transcendence—relationship with God— and secondarily that they cannot have the secondary transcendence of romantic love with a partner,” Bennett explains. “So we have been removed [from] the two greatest forms of transcendence that give us meaning as humans. Of course, there are feelings of anger and rejection!”
Will Maule, “‘I Don’t Need to Have Sex’: Radical Gay Activist’s Dramatic Turn Towards Christ,” Faithwire, January 4, 2019, https://www.faithwire.com/2019/01/04/the-extraordinary-story-of-a-radical-gay-activist-turned-christian-apologist/.
David Bennett, A War of Loves: The Unexpected Story of a Gay Activist Discovering Jesus (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2018).