‘Taking back the rainbow’: Freedom March declares move of God among ex-LGBT people

By Brandon Showalter, Christian Post Reporter | Monday, June 07, 2021

Freedom March 2021 DC
Formerly LGBT-identifying men and women celebrate freedom in Jesus Christ at the Sylvan Theater in Washington, D.C., at the Freedom March on June 5, 2021. | Bree Stevens

WASHINGTON — Men and women who once lived and identified as part of the LGBT community are confident that a “rainbow revival” is at hand. 

Gathered under the blazing sun with temperatures in the mid-90s at the Sylvan Theater in the shadow of the Washington Monument, approximately 200 attended the Freedom March, an event for formerly LGBT-identifying people who share testimonies of how Jesus transformed their lives. 

The gathering was first held in the same location in 2018. Last year’s Freedom March was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With many sporting T-shirts decorated with rainbow flags and the words “Rainbow Revival,” march participants spoke with The Christian Post about the transforming power of Jesus.

Angel Colon, who miraculously survived after Omar Mateen shot him several times at the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in Orlando in June 2016, said the “rainbow revival” is a sign of God’s covenant. 

“We are taking back the rainbow,” Colon said. “It’s His. For us, it’s something beautiful.”

“We are here and we’re loud, letting the world know that the rainbow is something beautiful,” he added. “And we shouldn’t be ashamed of what it really is.”

Colon and his compatriots are hearing from increasing numbers of people who desire to leave the LGBT life to follow Jesus, as Freedom March events have continued. He believes that the COVID-19 pandemic was a blessing in disguise because it forced many to go deep with the Lord. 

“Especially now during Pride month, we want to say we love you” to the LGBT community, Colon said. 

“We want to tell the gay community that we love them. We don’t want to judge you or condemn you and welcome you with open arms and be a reflection of Jesus. We’re not the Holy Spirit. We don’t want to do anything but love everyone.”

Freedom March co-founder Jeffrey McCall told CP that he noticed an uptick in emails he received from people wishing to leave the LGBT life and identity behind last summer. He was especially encouraged to hear pastor Kent Christmas of Regeneration-Nashville speak prophetically at The Return intercessory prayer event in September that the Lord would bring healing and salvation to the LGBT community.

That uptick in correspondence “has never stopped since last summer,” McCall said. 

“We are getting more emails, more people reaching out and wanting help than we’ve ever had in the past three years,” he continued. He believes that the Church is at the beginning stage of reaching out effectively to LGBT individuals with the transformational power of life in Christ. 

In some church environments in the 1980s, including the one Drew Berryessa was raised in, how homosexuality was treated was harsh and condemning. Not knowing what to do with his struggle with same-sex attraction, the Medford, Oregon-based pastor who leads A Living Letter Ministries shared from the stage how he consistently felt disqualified from God’s love. 

“In 20 years of ministry to the LGBT community, I know there are many people that they were Christians, that they loved Jesus in their childhood, but they just felt disqualified from His love and grace and redemption because of what they experienced,” he told CP. 

“And I’m here to say — and I know that we all are — that the blood of Jesus speaks a better word. We are qualified for His redemption and grace.” 

Kim Zember, who is Catholic and on the march’s board of directors, shared with CP that the phrase “conversion therapy” is misleading.  

“It’s not about ‘converting’ someone,” Zember said. “When Jesus walked the earth, he didn’t walk around converting people. He invited people to be transformed. And we’re transformed in a relationship with Jesus Christ.”

“Jesus went into the dark places,” She stressed. “He encountered those who were sick, those who were blind and broken.”

The Freedom March board member said that those who participated in the event believe they have been “touched by who we believe is the Physician, Jesus Christ.”

“He transforms our lives, not forcing us, not changing us because we have to,” Zember explained. “[It’s] not a doctrine or certain church teaching, but because Christ Himself has encountered each one of us and we want to share that, not only the transformation He has brought to our lives but [it’s] continuing as well.”

In order for churches to posture themselves effectively to reach the LGBT community, she said the Church needs an increase in humility and realize “we ourselves are broken as well and allow Jesus to mend our own brokenness.” She says churches must be “willing to be transparent with others struggling about our own battles and share about Jesus who is our only hope for complete healing.”

After three hours of sharing testimonies and worship, participants marched with a banner from the Sylvan Theater, looping around the pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial and back. 

The Freedom March is one of several events in which formerly LGBT-identified people who traveled to the nation’s capital participated. 

Although the Equality Act appears to be stalling in the U.S. Senate, men and women with the CHANGED movement spent part of Friday speaking with congressional staffers about their concerns with the pending legislation. The movement is a cohort of formerly LGBT-identifying people who have publicly declared their testimonies of restoration through Jesus.

The legislation would codify discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity into federal law. The bill passed the Democratic-controlled House and is supported by President Joe Biden. 

Those who met with staffers are particularly concerned about efforts to limit counseling options for those experiencing conflicting or unwanted sexual feelings and impulses or gender confusion related to their faith. Faith-based approaches to help individuals deal with these unwanted attractions are often derisively referred to as “conversion therapy.”

Speaking at a press conference outside the Capitol building at Union Square near the reflecting pool, CHANGED movement co-founder Elizabeth Woning said it is incredibly unjust for lawmakers to outlaw such avenues for women, who have long been ignored. 

Woning, a pastor with Equipped to Love in Redding, California, who helped co-host the Freedom March, said the lesbian experience was often diminished in favor of male priorities within the LGBT community.

Elizabeth Woning CHANGED
Elizabeth Woning of the CHANGED movement speaks outside the U.S. Capitol for a press conference on June 4, 2021. | Bree Stevens

She believes that they are the true liberals in this debate.

“A truly liberal posture seeks understanding. It seeks to incorporate multiple ideas from multiple sides,” Woning told CP in an interview Friday. “It’s constantly learning and constantly flexing and willing to accommodate multiple views for the sake of valuing another person. Truly liberal ideas are being squashed in America.”

She warned that “seeking understanding and having dialogue should not be frightening and it shouldn’t be considered abusive or harmful.”

“We should be going for enlightened discussion and discourse,” she argued. 

The conversation over “conversion therapy” continues to harm many women, Woning added. 

She recently spoke to a married lesbian who said she had been sexually assaulted and raped by a man. The experience impacted her entire life of sexual expression, even with her wife. The woman also acknowledged that pursuing a counseling route to resolve the trauma from being raped to recognize that there could have been harm to her sexuality that would have implicated her sexual orientation was anathema. 

“She couldn’t speak of that in her circles,” Woning recalled. “She could never be allowed the opportunity to dialogue on that with the option of resolution. But what if those traumas were resolved?”

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https://www.christianpost.com/news/rainbow-revival-freedom-march-declares-move-of-god-for-ex-lgbt-people.html

Gays Stole The Rainbow, It’s Time to Give It Back

By Bryan Fischer – June 14, 2019

God invented the rainbow. He put it in the heavens following the worldwide flood of Noah’s day to be a sign of His covenant with humanity and his commitment to protect us from another worldwide flood. In other words, the rainbow is a symbol of His grace and mercy and the goodness of His promises.

Now regressives get absolutely outraged when symbols are co-opted and used by people they think have no right to them. This social sin even has a name: cultural appropriation. Here’s the definition:

“Cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture.” (Emphasis in original.)

So wearing blackface is out. Wearing hairstyles that belong to a different culture is out. A white artist was pilloried for painting a portrait of Emmett Till. A British retailer was harpooned for using the checkered pattern of the Palestinian kaffiyeh for a playsuit. Kim Kardashian was once drawn and quartered for wearing a “bobby pin headband,” which is native to Caribbean women. (They call it a “doobie wrap.”)

White fraternities cannot serve tacos at a Cinco de Mayo event, nor may their members wear sombreros to the party. High schools cannot use mascots from Native American history, even if the mascots symbolize bravery, courage, and the spirit of a warrior. (I’ll stop defending the Washington “Redskins” just as soon as the Navajo Code Talkers do.)

So cultural appropriation is a thing now, and it’s supposed to be bad (whatever happened to “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?”). Regessives also say that when culture appropriation happens, offenders must apologize and give up use of the symbol.

All this brings us to the rainbow flag, now the universal symbol of homosexuality. In history’s worst act of cultural appropriation, homosexuals stole the rainbow from God and turned it into a symbol of sexual perversion rather than hope. Despite a direct order from the president, homosexuals are defiantly flying the rainbow flag at U.S. embassies all over the world.

Now the rainbow is, of course, God’s invention. He placed it in the heavens after the worldwide flood as a sign of his covenant promise to mankind never again to destroy the earth with a flood (which, by the way, ought to be a great encouragement to Al Gore, who wants us to believe he loses sleep over the prospect of rising sea levels inundating the globe, including the $9 million beach-front house he recently bought).

So in the culture in which it originated, the rainbow was (and is) a sign of hope and assurance and a symbol of God’s grace and infinite patience. “I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth” (Genesis 9:13, emphasis mine), a covenant in which God promises that “never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood” (Genesis 9:11).

In the hands of homosexual activists, however, it has become a sign of sexually deviant behavior. It promotes a lifestyle which God says is an “abomination” (Leviticus 18:22) and “contrary to nature,” a lifestyle which consists of “shameless acts” which will come at a terrible cost to those who engage in them (“receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Romans 1:26-27).

All this is a rather stupendous and disturbing reversal. What once was universally regarded as a symbol of God’s providential care has become universally regarded as a symbol of sexual debauchery.

If you have any question about how completely homosexual activists have co-opted this symbol, imagine your reaction if you happened to drive past a church displaying a rainbow banner to promote vacation Bible school. You would naturally assume at first glance that it was a gay-affirming church.

Now maybe all the church wants to do is take kids on a journey through the flood story, with all the animals on the ark, and with doves and ravens and twigs and so forth. But it would almost be a waste of time and energy for the church to try to explain itself. It wouldn’t have enough money in its budget to clarify and explain and persuade. When people today see the rainbow flag, it doesn’t say “God” to them, it says “homosexuality.”

God quite directly and pointedly says it is “my” bow. It belongs to him. If somebody else has it and is prostituting it, then that somebody stole it from its rightful owner. Sounds like cultural appropriation to me. Gays stole the rainbow from God. It’s time to give it back.

Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”

Host of “Focal Point” on American Family Radio, 1:05 pm CT, M-F  www.afr.net

 

Original here