An Offensive Faith
Matt Moore is a Christian blogger who openly acknowledges his struggle with same sex attraction. He has written extensively of a past spent pursuing sex with other men, drinking, and drugs. He became convinced of the sinfulness of his lifestyle in 2010 and became a follower of Christ. Matt has blogged extensively about Christianity and the sinfulness of practicing homosexuality. You can learn more of Matt by visiting his blog at http://moorematt.com/. He also appears on The Christian Post.
On February 5th, news articles began appearing which told of Matt’s picture and profile on an app called Grindr. According to its website, this app allows users to locate nearby “gay, bi, and curious guys for dating or friends”. One of the prominent uses of Grindr is to facilitate “hook ups” by listing users in order of their proximity to each other.
So it is no wonder that Matt’s appearance on this site was cause for concern among other Christians. But for those who placed a target on his back because of his outspoken views on the sinfulness of a homosexual lifestyle, LGBT groups and others quickly seized on this and the news articles soon found their way to websites such as Huffington Post, Gawker, Daily Mail, MSN, etc. In a blog post on February 6th entitled ‘Yes, I was on Grindr.‘, Matt writes about the circumstances and his error in using this app.
An Ongoing Struggle
To further their cause, those with a pro-gay stance framed the headlines and wrote the articles in a way that misrepresent the things that Matt himself says. Here is a sampling of some of the headlines:
- ‘Ex-gay’ found on popular gay hook-up app Grindr
- ‘Ex-gay’ Christian blogger admits to using Grindr dating app after being publicly outed but says he hasn’t changed his anti-homosexual views
- Matt Moore, ‘Ex-Gay’ Christian Advocate, Exposed On Grindr
- ‘Gay cure’ Christian advocate exposed on Grindr
- Surprise! Ex-Gay Activist Not So Ex-Gay After All
First, let me say that the above headlines and the accompanied articles reveal an intolerance and hate toward Christians that these groups so often accuse us of. And it is evident that they are taking great pleasure in the hardship and struggle of another.
But aside from that, these headlines are intentionally misleading and not factual. I don’t recall Matt ever referring to himself as “ex-gay”. And no where in his extensive writing can I find a reference to himself as having been “cured” from homosexuality. To the contrary, Matt has been up front with his readers in stating that his attractions toward men are still with him. In March, he wrote this:
‘I can, in truth, firmly say that the longer I keep turning away from my homosexual desires, the less in strength they become. My homosexual feelings have definitely diminished since the night God started drawing me to Himself in September of 2010. Are they completely gone? No, they are not. Will they ever be completely gone? I do not know…’
In a post from July, he had this to say:
‘There are multitudes of people who have “tried out” Christianity for a while, but after a time they turn away from it and resume the gay lifestyle. The secular world uses these cases all the time to point out the supposed inefficacy and ignorance of the Christian faith. But our faith is not inefficient, the real problem is that these once professing Christians never had genuine faith in Jesus Christ; they had faith in a systematic program that they hoped would rid them of homosexual desires. When their desires and temptations did not magically disappear as they assumed would happen, they packed their bags and left the whole idea of Jesus behind. This is exactly why I am so open about my current struggle with homosexuality. I do not want to give anyone a false idea of what a life of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is really all about.’
And finally, in a post just one week ago, Matt had this to say:
‘What gives me assurance, and what I believe speaks volumes of the grace of God and the power of the gospel, is that year by year, month by month, week by week, day by day—-I continue to fight the fight of faith. I have sought after Jesus and I have turned from sin daily. Throughout all the ups and downs, the fluctuation of my circumstances and emotions, the frustrations of having to build a completely new life, and the often very real and sometimes overwhelming loneliness of this path I’m on—I stand firm and with my whole, imperfect and sin-tainted heart say, “Jesus Christ is everything.”
Many, many days I have failed to fight perfectly. I have at many times in my walk stooped down and willingly spoon-fed myself the familiar, vile vomit that is sin. Yet, in each and every one of my failures— I was given grace; grace to repent and to keep following after Jesus. The Lord gives me grace each and every day, despite the failures or successes of the day, to believe the truth that Jesus Christ died for my sins and that despite my inability to offer God anything, He offers me everything—He offers me His Son. And in believing this truth, the truth above all truths— I am able to wage war against the hopelessness that fights to consume my heart and destroy my soul. The life-enabling grace given to me because of Jesus Christ, and only because of Jesus Christ, sustains me—to the surprise of many. And even often to the surprise of myself.’
I don’t know Matt personally, and I cannot say that I agree with everything he has written on his blog. But what I gather from his writing is that he is a man who confesses to daily temptations to sin. And that temptation to sin, among other things, includes temptation in the area of homosexuality. It is unfortunate that Matt found himself on Grindr. It is damaging to his reputation and will have consequences I am sure. It was sinful. But what this stumble does not do is define Matt as a hypocrite, or as many of these news sources and pro-gay blogs or news sites would put it, reveal him to be ‘another fake “ex-gay” Christian’. Matt did not claim perfection, nor did he claim victory over temptation. His pursuit is not one of becoming heterosexual; his pursuit is of the things that God loves, of holiness, of living to please God, and of eternal life.
So, What Now?
I don’t know what is next for Matt. Perhaps he will see wisdom in taking some time away from writing in order to focus on his pursuit of Christ, or maybe he will carry on with his blog in much the same way he has up until now. Will this incident foster in him an even greater faith in the Lord, or will he respond to this by walking away? Whatever the case may be, the response of his brothers and sisters needs to be wrapped in love. Sure, call this what it is, a slip up, a stumble, a speed bump, sin, disobedience; all are true. But it need not be the end to a journey. It isn’t an occasion for condemnation or ridicule. It is not the time to send him away or quit on him. Now is the time for Matt’s brothers to rally in support of him, to show compassion for him, to pray for him, and to relate to his struggle in the way they relate to their own or those of all of the other sinning saints in their midst.
Matt is our brother. Our brother who speaks of an ongoing struggle with same sex attraction and temptations. Let’s not be shocked or astonished that Matt has stumbled in an area in which he has admitted weakness. Join with him in his pursuit of Christ and his desire to be holy. Let the world be drawn to the love of God by our love and care for each other.
Matt, should you ever read this, know that you are never out of God’s loving reach. This needn’t be the end to your journey. It doesn’t disqualify you from praising God for the blessings He has bestowed on you, be it privately, with your church family, or with the world via your blog. Maybe some people will look at this and feel that you let them down, but that let down is more the result of unrealistic expectations placed on a brother, and a hope that should be placed in Christ alone, not in another man. And your story doesn’t end here. The power of God to work through you is just as great now as it has ever been. And your story of turning from a pursuit of sin to a pursuit of God; and from a setback to a renewed and continued reliance on God, is no less powerful had the setback not been there at all. Let the world react as it will; they do not understand the workings of God. Only God and your faith will define the significance of this incident for you – no one else is given that authority.