God’s Amazing Grace
By Stephen Bennett
“I asked Jesus to come into my heart – and He set me free from homosexuality – forever. That day God changed my life, and I will be eternally grateful to Him for what He did. Within two days I was out of my partner’s bed, and within two weeks I moved out of my partner’s home and was on my way and walk with Jesus Christ.”
In the fall of 1981, as an 18 year old aspiring artist with a dream, and a freshman at one of New York’s top art schools, I reached one of the darkest periods in my life. On a cold rainy night, far away from home I acted out on feelings I had throughout my entire childhood and teen years – I had my first homosexual encounter with another student. After drinking alcohol at a school party and getting drunk for the first time ever, something I swore I never would do because of my family’s past, my life literally changed in one night. I was plummeted into the deep, dark world of homosexuality. After only a few short months in art school, I suffered from a very severe depression, and dropped out of school and returned home to my family in Connecticut.
I found many of my old high schools friends had also ‘come out’ as homosexuals, and became very active in the homosexual bar scene. I lived for the night – my drinking became worse, I started using cocaine to help alleviate my mental turmoil, and found much love and acceptance by other men. I had many numerous one night stands. I felt I was finally ‘me.’ However, my drug addiction got worse to the point where I became a cocaine dealer just to support my habit – I lost my art business to drugs, as well as my dignity to a life based upon a perverse, sensual and decrepit lifestyle I couldn’t break free from. It was at this point many of my friends and one night encounters were getting ‘sick’ and dying, and no one knew why. This sickness was the beginning of the Aids epidemic.
Things only grew worse and I saw a 135 lb. living skeleton, and I began to cry. I ran down to a payphone on the corner and called for help. I admitted myself into a drug rehabilitation program, and began my recovery as an inpatient for 3 months at a nearby facility. It was at this point I began to see God working in my life.
Within a few short months I was alcohol and drug free, as well as freed from my bulimia. I had gained about 25 lbs and was feeling great. However, I still had a deep dark secret past hidden inside of me. What was I to do with my homosexuality? Deep down inside I knew it was wrong, yet I was just suppressing it. After dating a few girls, I found myself one night back again at a local gay bar. I didn’t drink or do drugs – but that night I met a man that I fell in love with, and began a 3 year live in relationship with him. It seemed I had it all – my homosexual lifestyle and love, without the drugs, alcohol and bulimia, a great job, beautiful home, and great homosexual friends. I attended church faithfully every week – and felt I had it all. But God wasn’t done with me yet. In fact, He had just started.
My doorbell rang and it was my friend Kathy, a friend for years who had seen me through the good and bad times of my life. She had a Bible in her hand, and asked if she could come in.
Kathy told me she left her religious background and became a Christian. She told me how Jesus changed her life and how, according to the Bible, homosexuality was wrong – a sin and an abomination in God’s eyes. She told me how, according to the Bible, I was not ‘born that way,’ and that it was a choice of lifestyle, from which Jesus could set me – today. I listened intently and something inside of me told me she was right. I told her I would take the Bible and she left. That day, the Word of God cut right through me. I saw my homosexuality for the first time as God saw it – as sin. Anytime something would happen between my partner and I sexually, I found myself praying for forgiveness to God on my bathroom floor. God was tugging at my heart strings, and I knew it.
The tugging was so hard and clear that I left my partner, my job, my family – everything, and headed off to Provincetown, Massachusetts – a homosexual subculture – to live for a summer, to see if I could reconcile this pull between being a homosexual and being a Christian. Did I have to choose one or the other, or could I be both at the same time in God’s eyes?
Well, in that summer of 1991 God opened my eyes to the truth and perverseness of the homosexual lifestyle. I saw it all in full swing, in all of its glory – transsexuals, transvestites, sado masochists, men and women doing things one would never even imagine. After five months in Provincetown, I returned home to my partner asking for forgiveness for leaving him. I was sorry and I was going to put this ‘Christian’ business aside. After only five short months at home in his house, by myself while wrapping Christmas presents, I happened to flip through radio stations and came across a Christian one. A man was singing a song and I heard the lyrics about ‘men marching for their right to sin.’ I knew exactly what the song was talking about – it was talking about me. I may have put God on the back burner – but He was still chasing after me.
And on New Year’s eve of 1991 I attended a homosexual party with my partner, and for the first time ever in my life – I felt ‘dirty.’ I hated myself. I hated my lifestyle. But I just couldn’t break free.
I called my friend Kathy on the telephone and told her I was going to move back to Provincetown for good and completely give myself over to the homosexual lifestyle. I felt as if I had lost my soul – I was crying out for help – and that’s when Jesus Christ stepped in.
She read to me from the Bible, from the book of Romans, how God will ‘call’ you – and if He keeps calling you, and you hear, yet harden your heart, it may come to a point where He will make you a ‘reprobate’ in His sight and give you completely over to your sin, and allow you to believe ‘the lie.’ At that point, according to the Bible, you have basically sealed your destiny away from Him forever.
It scared me so much, I asked her what I needed to do, and she told me that I should pray to Jesus right then, ask Him to deliver me from the homosexuality and to forgive me for my sins and come into my heart and life to be my Lord and Saviour and to take control. At that moment I did, and physically felt the peace of God upon me.
On the telephone that day in January of 1992, I asked Jesus to come into my heart, and He set me free from homosexuality forever. That day God changed my life, and I will be eternally grateful to Him for what He did. Within two days I was out of my partner’s bed, and within two weeks I moved out of my partner’s home and was on my way and walk with Jesus Christ.
It is unbelievable how the journey has been. Within eight months, I was engaged to a beautiful Christian woman named Irene, who knew me as a homosexual and prayed for me for years. We were married on June 13, 1993. Today, we are very happily married. God has blessed us with two other miracles – our beautiful daughter Chloe Catherine who was born in 1999, and our son Blake Stephen, born on Chloe’s birthday in 2001. Chloe’s middle name is in dedication to my friend Kathy, who never gave up on me – a vessel of God, whom He used to change my destiny forever.
My life now is wonderful. I am truly free, and it is all because of Jesus Christ and His love for me. Jesus is the answer for all of our needs, no matter what they are. You may be, know or live with a homosexual, a drug addict, or an alcoholic. Let me make something very clear: God loves the sinner – - yet He hates the sin. Remember that with God, nothing is impossible. Believe me; I know. I believe in miracles, for I’ve seen a soul set free… for that lost soul was me.
Stephen Bennett’s testimony is presented here by permission, and is the sole property of Stephen Bennett Ministries. It may not be duplicated or reproduced in any shape, form or fashion, without the expressed written permission of Stephen Bennett Ministries. Forward any and all requests to: Stephen Bennett Ministries – P.O. Box 2095, Huntington, CT 06484 or call (203) 926-6960.