Tasks God has given to us

I’m the guy who skips to the end of a book to see how it ends, and when I skip to the end of Bible, I see the Church getting married to God’s son.  Some would say that it isn’t really marriage, it’s just poetic language.  After getting familiar with God’s purpose, I want to say that may it’s the other way around.  Maybe marriage itself is the poetry.  Maybe marriage itself is the metaphor.  And yet, everything in this earthly poetry we live has a meaning.  We read in Revelation that the splendid wedding dress the Church wears is made of the good works the saints have done — works God prepared for us to do ahead of time.

Yet some argue, I think without realizing it, that we don’t have any work to do, or that our work couldn’t be good.  I don’t understand how someone defends that position.  I’m not in the ‘saved by works’ camp, but God gives us tasks for us to do.  I think we have a real problem when we begin to argue that faith is the end.  I think that faith is the beginning, and we read that in 2 Peter 1.

“…make every effort to …”

Ok, so here we have an explicit command that there are in fact things we’re supposed to do, and we’re apparently, supposed to work on it really hard.  What are those things?

“virture, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, love, and love”.

So, quick point, love isn’t listed twice.  That’s just what it gets turned into in English. The Greek says “philadelphia”, and then “agape.”  Brotherly love, and then ‘true love’.  More on that, here.

Back to the point, not only are there things we should do, they even have an order, a sequence.  I think it’s also interesting that the beginning of the sequence is faith, and we are saved by faith.  And that the end of the sequence is “agape” (love), as in “The first command is this: Agape the Lord your God with all your heart and all your strength, mind, body”, etc…

Alabama leftists use government power to try to stop Jews from practicing their religion.

Today marks the ‘beginning’ of a trial of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) against JONAH, ‘Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality’. I say ‘beginning’ in quotes, because the ‘discovery phase’, in which therapists have their private client documents riffled through, and other organizations have their files subpoenaed has been going on for years, mounting up literally millions of dollars in lawyer’s fees. I ask everyone to pray for Arthur Goldberg and JONAH to be acquitted in the trial. I don’t know if that is possible, though. In a fair world, the accusations that JONAH is promoting fraudulent therapy would be dismissed by the preponderance of men who have changed who volunteered to testify at the trial. But the judge decided since other people disagree, most of their testimony would not be allowed.
The SPLC has said that if successful, they will go after Christian organizations next, while dumping their exorbitant legal fees on the defendants.

Please pray for the plaintiffs to repent.
Please pray for the prosecution to repent.
Please pray for the judge to repent.
Please pray for the judge to be impeached and removed by the state legislature.
Please pray for wisdom from God for the jurors.
Please pray for defense for the Jews (and Christians) in this trial.

Why the Jonathan -David relationships fails the primary verbs as a model for same-sex marriage

Back in Genesis 2, we see that “for this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife.” Some suggest that Jonathan and David’s loving, covenant relationship would be a model for a same-sex marriage, yet we see, even without children, which are biologically impossible, they’re relationship fails the verbs of the relationship. Take a look at 1 Samuel 20. David leaves Jonathan. And Jonathan doesn’t leave his father. Even though, it may not have been healthy for Jonathan to not leave, after all, this chapter includes another one of king Saul’s murder attempts on his son. So, in this fundamental way, a covenant relationship between Jonathan and David, (and wow, what a great relationship!!) did not exhibit the final verbness of the marriage relationship: Jonathan does not leave his father and cling to David to both leave.

Some argue that this passage actually proves there was an erotic relationship between Jonathan and David, largely because of Saul’s accusations of “choosing David for your own shame and the shame of your mother’s nakedness”. Certainly the nature of these accusations does mean Saul is alleging such a relationship, but we need to remember that 1) Saul is angry that God has picked David as the next king instead of his son Jonathan, and 2) Saul just insulted Jonathan’s mother as a “perverse and rebellious woman”. Saul is angry and is hurling insults, he is not speaking from the prophetic Spirit of God.

Let’s last turn to something great in their relationship: 1 Samuel 20:17, “he loved him as he loved his own soul”. Folks, some say this was an unusually close relationship, and I agree. But this is a model for how we are commanded to love our neighbor “as ourself”, Mark 12:31. So my question to you is this: is there someone in your life you have failed to love as Jonathan loved David? That would appear to be a sin.

Banning SOCE directly bans Christianity

Two states have banned so-called “Sexual Orientation Change Efforts”. Now, first of all, there is no mutually-agreed-upon definition of what that means.  Even many Christian counselors would claim to provide counseling for unwanted same-sex attractions, yet skip important pieces of effective therapy. So let’s look at authentic therapy as defined by some of the most well-known psychologists and therapists, see what it entails and look in the Bible to see if it fits in with religion somehow.

Shame & Empathy

While Dr. Joseph Nicolosi gives accounts of 4 typical life stories of men who experience eroticized same-sex attractions and Richard Cohen lists 10 categories of potential contributing factors, Cohen’s list looks like an expanded list of the items in Nicolosi’s list.  Nicolosi then describes in “Shame and Attachment Loss”, that what ties all these contributing factors together is shame and … You guessed it… Attachment loss (grief due to broken relationship). Suddenly, hearing this, anyone familiar with their New Testament will recognize new scripture relevant to homosexuality they’d not realized before. Passages such as “blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”, “mourn with those who mourn, weep with those who weep”, become more relevant. When it comes to the psychological jargon for words like “shame”, we need to recognize a distinction between “guilt” which means “I have done something wrong”, and shame, which means “I am something wrong”. Guilt is sometimes appropriate in a Biblical world view, but shame is not. God has created us in His image, and created us to exist in relationships which reflect His nature. As king David says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”! And lastly, as if this wasn’t the beginning of our value, God loves us enough to send His son to die to redeem us!

So what heals the shame traumas which cause homosexuality (as a feeling)?  Empathy.  Dr. Brené Brown describes in her research that shame shuts down relationships, while empathy binds us together.  Vulnerability is what can take us from one to the other.  As she describes in her materials, “empathy” means feeling the same thing as someone, not “sympathy”, which is feeling sorry for someone, but with empathy, you are genuinely sad when someone else is sad, and happy that they are happy.  In this way, we fulfill the command in Romans 12:15, and Christ’s blessing in Matthew 5:4.  Now, it turns out that in order to do that, you actually have to love them, proactively.  We’re talking about both phileo love, and agape love.

Loving our neighbor as ourselves is the #2 command in Christianity, and Judaism, while the #1 command is to love God, and unless someone forget, Christ reminds us that if we aren’t loving our neighbor, we don’t love God, because He loves our neighbor.  So what does this have to do with therapy for homosexuality?  It takes us back to the origin of the definition of “Reparative Therapy”. Nicolosi constantly reminds us that this dos not mean the therapy itself “repairs” but instead that homosexuality itself is the subconscious mind’s attempt to repair the shame trauma.  Therapy, thus, entails going back to find the shame trauma, and healing it through empathy.  This is why we need the Church to be actively involved in supporting those affected by same-sex attractions, because no on can heal relational brokenness by themselves, it can only be healed in a relationship: healthy, loving and empathetic relationships: relationships following Christ’s explicit commands.

So what about minors? It turns out, if you go buy a copy of “Gay Children, Straight Parents” by Cohen or “Parents Guide to Preventing Homosexuality” by Nicolosi, you’re going to discover that their instructions are basically Ephesians 6:4, “fathers, do not exasperate your children, but raise them with the nurture and admonition of the Lord”.  This command comes to us through Paul’s writing twice, with the other one issuing a warning: “fathers, do not exasperate your children, lest they lose heart.”  Colossians 3:21.  First I want to draw you attention to the parallel between the word “exasperate” as the psychological jargon of a “double-bind”: a “darned if you do, darned if you don’t” situation.  God himself promises never to create such situations, instead promising He will “always provide a way out”, and He instructs parents to do the same.  It is well known, that part of the trauma necessary to create homosexuality is a double-bind.  It is this double-bind which causes the subconscious to essentially say “then fuck them!, I’ll find a way to get my needs met anyway!”  It’s a parent’s responsibility to provide these ways out for their child.  Shall we follow the laws of the state and NOT provide these paths out when God has directly commanded us to do otherwise?

In other words, “Reparative Therapy” is what Christian love looks like in the life of someone who, as Richard Cohen puts it, has a “same-sex attachment disorder”.  Banning Reparative Therapy under an umbrella of “Sexual Orientation Change Efforts” bans Christian love.


What does ‘Change’ mean?

But wait!!! Stop the presses!!! Reparative Therapy does NOT seek to change “sexual orientation”. What??? How can that be? I just spent several paragraphs describing how that works? Well, the phrase “sexual orientation” is actually not a scientifically-established concept. I.e. It‘s a phrase developed to persuade people to accept a particular political (and religious) agenda. In other words, the phrase “sexual orientation” is a propaganda phrase. People do not exist as “homosexual” and “heterosexual”. Instead, everyone is actually heterosexual in their core, and homosexuality is a combination of two emotional drives: everyone’s basic heterosexual drive for the “other than self” and everyone‘s drive to form emotional connections with members of the same sex. That’s pre-Oedipal disorder homosexuality. Post-Oedipal disorder sees the concept of the “other” distorted into something unsafe. There are several forms of homosexuality, check out other posts on recentlystraight.com for more details, but all reparative therapy looks like bringing the client more in touch with who they are in their core, a core which has generally been repressed through emotional trauma. Trauma, which has generally gone unrecognized as trauma, which prevents the grief process from completing, which prevents the blessing Christ pronounces in Matthew 5:4.

No, Reparative Therapy does not seek to “change” “sexual orientation”, in fact, authentic successful reparative therapy relies on the fact that the true sexual orientation remains intact under the emotional wounds.

Yet, the legislation which bans SOCE in New Jersey also ensures that castration for minors remain legal. Yes, you read that right. People who want to ban empathy want to maintain the legality of castrating minors. An activity explicitly forbidden in the Bible. That’s right, these laws are 100% totally and completely anti-Biblical.

Another way of saying this is: laws banning SOCE are anti-Semitic. That’s right, you heard me. Laws banning SOCE are anti-Christian, they directly ban the most fundamental aspects of Christ’s commands for a Christian, they also explicitly maintain the legality of activities God commands us not to do, and not to let happen in our land. All Christians, do not be deceived, laws banning therapy are not protecting “who we really are”. They are directly banning the most fundamental activities of Christianity, and when the law of man conflicts with the law of God, it’s our responsibility to follow God’s law. It is our responsibility as Christians to break laws banning SOCE.

An alternate title for this blog post could’ve been “banning SOCE makes loving gays illegal.”

“Christian entertainment” these days

Christian entertainment is made in 2 basic forms nowadays: direct evangelism, and children’s entertainment. It seems as though regular plots in which the characters ultimately succeed in overcoming their challenges by responding from a Christian worldview don’t exist. Recently Straight works differently, weaving the truth of Christianity throughout its content and production.

Direct evangelistic entertainment is any entertainment in which the primary cathartic moment is a character’s acceptance of Christ as savior. I don’t have any problem with evangelistic entertainment, in fact I think it can be effective. On the other hand, having every ‘christian’ movie have the same plot twist does get a little monotonous. Do we never get to see the sanctification portion of life? Paul altered his approach depending on what the people he preached to believed, but in something like a feature-length film, it also ends up being a bit of a hard sell. Without the ability to adjust it’s pacing and approach live with feedback from the viewer, pre-recorded content doesn’t respond to the fears and concerns of the individual.

On the other side, “Christian” entertainment frequently takes the form of children’s entertainment. In fact, “family” entertainment has almost become synonymous with “children’s” entertainment, and “adult” entertainment has become synonymous with entertainment against the morality of Christianity. Again, I’m not in any way against children’s entertainment existing, but there is some content that adults need to master which is inappropriate for children, homosexuality is one of those topics, which meant writing a “children’s'” version of the Recently Straight series was not an option. Re-enacting these true stories gives us many challenges of what and how we portray content. More articles on that here. My guiding principle has been that while characters’ sins are portrayed, we should not sin by portraying them, so many events are simulated, just implied, and in some cases, we do only describe what happened.

Non-Christian Entertainment
The vast majority of modern entertainment is what I classify as “non-Christian”, meaning it is based on a worldview contrary to the Biblical worldview, but does not challenge (by name) the Bible. In many situations, it is not readily apparent that the story is based on a non-biblical worldview, especially when we don’t know whether the writer likes or dislikes what the characters are doing until a final moment, and someone apologizes, or the music swells expressing either joy or anger.

Anti-Christian entertainment.
Something which directly calls out uniquely Christian doctrine, history or symbolism and alters its meaning to an anti-Christian meaning is what I call “anti-Christian” entertainment. While it may seem that this is far worse than non-Christian entertainment, I think it’s not as effective at actually leading people away from the gospel as non-Christian entertainment because Christians know that it is opposed to what they believe. It’s easy to recognize and counter anti-Christian movies and TV shows, such as the recent “Noah” movie. Whereas a generically secular production doesn’t elicit such a response from the Church. Instead, it’s presuppositions sink in to the minds of believers in the background, unnoticed.

Stories as a Godly teaching tool.
God uses stories as a teaching tool, and in contrast to everything that shows up on TV, His stories are all true. While Jesus’s parables jump out as a shining example, I see nearly the entire Old Testament as a recounting in story form.

Why recently straight breaks out of the box

Back in the real world, without the saturation of meticulously tweaked stories leading us into an unreality, we experience what Alfred Hitchcock calls the “boring bits”. Yet, it’s this dismissal of our own peaceful thought life which causes us to miss the goal of our continued existence here: living out the intention to love each other. In some ways, I’d say what I’d like to see as the results of inspiration of entertainment is for each person to write their own triumph story: a story of love, in which the individual considers and plans out how they can love someone. Seeing all the intention, all the forethought, all the consideration of the other, all the empathy, this is a fullness of life. It’s these stories we emphasize. Each man is working out the details in his on life, in his own relationships. He must learn to love God, himself, and others. Just as Jesus used stories to teach patterns of how we can fulfill our intentions to love, how to recognize when we fail, and as metaphors for spiritual truths, so we use our dramatic reenactments of the lives of men on their journeys to inspire those patterns and recognition in the Church.

Connection Pitfall: Joshing without an acceptance basis

Many men engage in joshing with each other when participating in a competitive activity together.  Joshing in an emotionally secure relationship is ok, but when forming a new relationship, especially with someone who has experienced a shame-trauma, can seem like additional shame, or bullying.  Many times this will take on an expression like, “I like playing with you, but I don’t like being ridiculed while we do it”.  When using shared activities as a way of connecting with someone who experiences eroticized same-sex attraction, please avoid joshing, unless they explicitly tell you it’s ok, or begin engaging in it naturally with you.  Even then, please try to keep it low key, i.e. let him lead the aggressiveness.

Connecting over an activity

Men form emotional connections by doing together.  This can be just about anything, so it’s up to you, but when forming initial ideas, don’t pick activities that your friend with eroticized same-sex attractions is not good at, or will not enjoy.  Initially, pick something with a good chance of success and enjoyment.  For instance, if he is also afraid of heights, don’t pick a roller coaster.  Directly overcoming fears happens later.  The beginning of a friendship should be easier ‘on-ramps’.  Movies are fine, but the cultural expectation of silence during movies actually hinders bonding time instead of increasing it, so either cut down on the concentration of movies or always join it with a social activity, like a meal, desert, or walks and chats.

Here are some ideas:

Tossing frisbees, watching a shared interested tv show or movie and talking about it, playing pool, fishing, horse back riding, pickup football, amusement parks, walks, workouts.


Remember, your goal in these activities is not to win a game: your goal is to connect emotionally with the man.  If you are playing a one-on-one sport, cheer him when he does well, as a father would.  A healthy father never cares more about winning himself than about bonding with his son by sharing a enjoyable activity.

I Support Sexuality Equality

I support “sexuality equality”, which means that everyone’s sexuality is equal.  Identical, in fact.  All human beings have the same sexuality: we are all designed to be erotically attracted to our complement, that which completes a bigger whole, what goes with us, but is not us.  In short – we’re all designed to be attracted to the opposite sex.  Those who feel an erotic attraction to the same sex experience it because of needs for love that haven’t been met and emotional wounds which haven’t healed.  Telling someone they ‘are gay’ and should ‘accept it’ is to unintentionally keep them trapped in that box of shame (which creates ‘gay’, not the other way around), which they relabel ‘internalized homophobia’.  “Reparative Therapy” has the goal of inspiring the real person inside, under the wounds and unmet needs to reassert himself.  All of our work is around getting in touch with our emotions through our feelings, distinguishing between truth and stories, throwing off the protection mechanisms and coping behavior that now hinder our progress, and respecting others as whole persons – including ourselves.  It’s dramatically successful (when facilitated authentically and to completion) and absolutely relies on the fact that God designed the client to be heterosexual underneath.  I have yet, in fact, to meet someone who completed authentic reparative therapy and did not ‘change’.

Why ‘medical harm’ arguments don’t dissuade homosexual activity

Some people who wish to dissuade loved ones from engaging in homosexual intercourse use so-called “medical harm” arguments to attempt to demonstrate that gay sex would be medically unhealthy.  We’ll see later on in the post that the real reason is that the argument does not work is that it does not address the root causes of same-sex attractions.

I. First, let’s examine some classic medical harm arguments:

1. Disease, HIV, general STD’s

The argument goes like this: men who have sex with men are the primary carriers of HIV in the U.S., so having gay sex puts you at very high risk.

2. Physical damage

The argument goes like this: a vagina is designed for penetration by a penis, the anal cavity is not.  Penetration can tear interior intestinal walls, leading to massive bleeding requiring surgery and providing an opening for bacteria used for digestion harbored in the intestines to infect the rest of the body.

II. Why wouldn’t this be convincing?

For most straight men, this is plenty of reason not to do gay sex, aside from the ‘nasty’ factor.  But consider maybe there’s something more important to a man than his health.  Here’s an example: At one point during the U.S.’s war in Iraq, there were 85,000 troops deployed, 25,000 of whom were wounded, 11,000 badly enough not to be able to return.  The rates are 30% wounded rate, 13% can’t return.  Now, consider for a minute that the men who volunteer for war do so knowing there’s a really strong chance they will be wounded or die.

A. Why would a man do that?

I’m not going to cover most of the positive reasons a man would chose military service, which I do believe can be noble, but I am going to cover some reasons why he would downplay the possible negative side effects.

1) He doesn’t believe he will be the one wounded.

Statistically, someone is more likely to not be harmed, so many men believe they simply won’t be the one who gets hurt.  “I can beat the odds” syndrome.

2) I can defend myself from harm.

Having faith in his self to defend himself, he believes that even if he is the one attacked, he will be fast enough, smart enough, well-trained enough, use enough appropriate protective equipment to not be harmed.

3) There is something more important to him than his life, or good health.

Actually, this is said to be a pre-requisite for a marriage amongst many Christians.  They point out that the Bible teaches husbands to “love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25.  They teach we must be willing to die for someone before marrying them.  Many men who go off to war leave their families behind, including wives and children, because they believe that by participating, life will be better if not for himself, at least for those he loves.

4) No other option

It’s true, some men join the army because they don’t see other options in their life.  They may have very little education, have no job, large debt, etc…. and find the army a satisfying structured and well-paying vocation.  He is paid well, seldom assigned tasks he isn’t able to complete, he has a vast ready-made network of friends he regularly gets naked with in the showers…  ok, blurring the lines a little bit here.  The point is, he feels like this is his only option, and without it he would die, or face terrible financial / legal consequences.

B. How does this apply to someone who feels eroticized same-sex attractions?

Consider the arguments:

1) Beat the odds.

Go look up CDC numbers on the rates of HIV infection, and percentage of men who identify as ‘gay’.  Work out the math, it’s 6%.  If only 6% of men engaging in gay sex get HIV, that’s 94% who don’t… that’s like an ‘A’.

2) I can defend myself

“I’ll use a condom”, or “I won’t have sex with anonymous men”, or “I’ll be monogamous and it won’t be a problem for us.”  I won’t….  inhale…  Various methods of avoiding STD’s are actively promoted by our governments, schools, and social organizations.  People believe they are protected.

3) Something more important

Keep in mind that a man who has eroticized same-sex attractions believes it is “love”.  We may recognize it as emotional dependency or co-dependency, but to him, it’s as strong as the need to know who and what he is.  Remember that emotional wounds can lead to eroticized same-sex attractions; what is a non-erotic same-sex attraction?  It’s the need to bond with others of the same-sex: to feel accepted and affirmed.  This is what he is trying to get from gay sex, or from a romantic relationship to another man.  Eventually, it won’t work: the erotic cannot satiate the need for a sense of self, but for the time being, the erotic pleasure is enough to make it feel like it does.  For someone who has never experienced this level of lack in the sense of self, it can be difficult that this would be an over-riding motivation in his life, and for someone who’s never experienced a satiated sense of self, it can be difficult to imagine that there could ever be something more “loving” than emotional dependency, or co-dependency.  So to him, an unlikely medical problem is definitely worth not feeling alone.

4) No other option

Men who were not wounded in their concept of self, but instead with the concept of the “other”, may feel like they have no alternatives.  They may have an established sense of “self”, but woman don’t seem like a real option, at least not a “safe” option.  Being married to a woman may be acceptable and as a result create children they truly love, but if his wife is abusive to his sense of masculinity in a way which he perceives to be the feminine, he may go looking elsewhere for safe vulnerable contact.  Again, he’s looking to get his needs met.  He wants respect and safety.  If he feels like his wife is the problem, he might look for other women, but if the wounds are done in a way that it feels like it’s femininity which is the problem, he may turn to men.

III. Could the argument actually be counter-productive?

In fact, some of the men I know had parents who made them attend “scared straight”-type lectures or posted photos of sickly AIDs patients on their bedroom walls.  The message he heard: “this is how we see you”.  He certainly wasn’t going to invite friends over to hang out with stuff like that around.  I was in a similar boat: my parents put a “how to make friends” chart on my wall.   The message I heard: “you can’t have friends because you’re not good enough, result: stopped inviting friends over to hang out.  A shame message followed by isolation, sound familiar?  Right; “Shame and Attachment Loss” the root causes of eroticized same-sex attractions.  In other words, because these parents were inattentive to their children’s love needs and emotional wounds, they actually ended up exacerbating the problem.  Hint: the inattentiveness contributes to the shame and attachment loss in the first place.

So, if one makes an argument to someone who has an incomplete concept-of-theirself (self identity) that if he gets what he wants it will be very bad, they reinforce a “double-bind”.  He certainly isn’t going to participate in straight sex, ick.  So what’s left, being alone for the rest of his life? (anticipatory attachment loss)  Remember, to him, this isn’t some business plan he’s developed, these are feelings which arise from inside him, from a mysterious origin.  He’s taught by society that it’s “who he is”, and so believes he can’t change.

So think critically about the mindset of someone you’re lecturing about medical harm.  What they’re thinking is “why is it so wrong if we really love each other?”, “why is it wrong if we’re careful?”, “I just want him to love me.”, and “my partner really gets me, this guy doesn’t, why would I listen to him?”.  Lecturing people about what’s good and bad for them doesn’t work unless you speak from a position of respect in their life, and then usually only if they invite you.  Doing anything else is likely to trigger anticipatory shame.  If you’re not in that position, you may demonstrate that you really don’t “get” him because your argument is so far removed from what’s truly important in his life.


IV.  What do we say instead?

So here’s a question: how do you know that saying something is what he needs?  What are his needs?  What is the issue?  Think about this critically before speaking your advice:

Let’s go back to basics here: eroticized same-sex attractions come from needs for love which haven’t been met.  Specifically, needs for same-sex attachment.  i.e. acceptance, affirmation, and affection.  In other words, when he’s having sex with that other man, these thoughts and judgements about himself are floating through his head: “He accepts me as I am.”, “He values me.”, and “A man who wants me!”  If you want him outside of the gay lifestyle, you need to treat him in such a way that he believes these things when he is with you, but not erotically.  You can’t just say it to him, you have to do it.  Let’s take a look at what that looks like.

His needs are:

Acceptance: A sense of self, belonging, as a gendered being, as a man or woman.  None of this androgynous “child of God” stuff, use “son of God” or “daughter of God”.  Yes, God has actually spoken the words, “I love you, son.” to me.  He didn’t say “I love you, child.”

Affirmation: Acknowledge they have the right to feel their own emotions.  And allow them to feel their emotions without heaping shame on them.  Also, recognize any negative judgements they may be making about themselves, and be careful about breaking from empathy to offer your judgement only if they agree.  “I hear you saying you’re too fat, would you for me to share how I see you?”  If they say, “no”, don’t say it.  If they say “yes”, something along the lines of “I believe you look very masculine, and powerful.”  or whatever other cogent, up-lifting, true statement which address their core needs you happen to think of.

Affection:  Don’t treat them like they’re watching you on TV: to hear you and follow you but never touch touch and never reflect back their emotions.  Empathy in infancy begins with touch.  In our shell-shocked culture where sex sells everything, we’ve found many men with eroticized same-sex attractions have been touch-deprived.  For some guidelines about healthy ways to express affection for them: 1) hugs are an absolute must, and for further reading check out Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages, and Richard Cohen’s Coming Out Straight.  For more resources, check out the Act 1 video where we dive head first on why logical arguments usually don’t work, and our book recommendations.  But yeah, if you’re not touching him like you would a real brother or son, you’re doing it wrong.

And they come from emotional wounds which haven’t healed.  Maybe you can get training in how to help him heal his wounds, but at least learn how to support him on his way. Get started here: with the only 3 things I wish my straight Christian friends knew about homosexuality.

You don’t need to cover-over any truths here, you don’t need to reject any scripture.  I’m not suggesting that.  I am suggesting that if he already knows that you don’t approve of gay sex, or that you think it’s harmful, and that didn’t change his mind: hearing it again won’t help.  He needs someone to come through on their promise to “love their neighbor”.  So in that way, “medical harm” arguments aren’t the arguments to convince your gay friend to turn straight, they’re the arguments to convince you to get the training you need to be able to help him for real.