When you study Robert’s website (link below), you will find a central theme emerging – the necessity to trust and obey the Lord Jesus Christ; to experience an authentic faith walk where frustration, mistakes, stumbling, imperfection, pain and messiness are to be expected – not ignored nor hidden behind a mask.
In Part One of this interview series, Robert Lombardi (author/editor of Buggin’ Out! Newsletter) talked about how his literature ministry to reach and engage struggling sex addicts (like himself) came into existence (back in the 1990s). For the purpose of encouraging others “to accept Jesus’ challenge to come and follow Me”.
In today’s post, I ask Robert to reflect upon the challenges of ministry and how he has made sense of his same-sex attractions and experiences over the years . . .
Darrell Martin: Tell us about your life before you started this literature ministry.
Robert Lombardi: My life prior to ministry was a chronic cry out to Jesus paired with an incessant hunger for contact with men. Interestingly, at least to me, my first sexual dreams were with girls. Only after a three-year long period of sexual abuse at a military school did homo-eroticism invade my dreams and change my longings. Before making the decision to follow Jesus “at any cost”, I contemplated suicide often, over-ate even more often and self-gratified at least daily.
However, I have learned that Jesus honors our feeble attempts to “die to ourselves” and begins to slowly restore us at that point. Honestly, though, I still battle with a lot of loneliness. My attractions to men are still present and I get cranky when I see others getting loved. The good news is that I now KNOW that Jesus walks with me instead of just “really wanting to believe it” and that has made all the difference.
Regarding feedback for my writing, I do not have much of a following. Over the past 19 years, I have received maybe 400 responses from random men and women. Surprisingly, I have not received more than a few “hate mails”.
The biggest victory and positive outcome is my own LOL. The fact that I am not sitting in a bar drunk and loaded with antibiotics every weekend is a testimony to God’s grace. Also, that God trusts me to care for His beautiful Honduran children is a true and humbling honor. They are all devout believers so I am constantly being bombarded with testimonies, prayers, and scripture. They know about my struggles and love me just the same. On the surface, it appears that I am helping THEM, but it is actually the other way around. God saw what we all needed. They needed shelter and guidance in a foreign country and I needed fellowship and a purpose in my homeland. God then coordinated it all to come together.
Darrell: Some Christians get defensive (bitter) and loudly declare that we can’t let LGBT activists win the political, social and religious debates. The call to be involved politically is a special burden God may place on some Christians. However, why do you think so many Christians prefer the culture wars to ministry or pastoral care? What are some of the unintended consequences when our focus is exclusively political?
Robert: Honestly, I feel about politics the way I feel about auditioning for American Idol – I leave it to those who have been called to it. I have no calling to politics, so I stay out of it.
I believe that when we focus on politics we are distracted from our calling to love the poor and sick. I have a friend who is an activist . . . he fights to push the government to better care for Hispanic immigrants. He himself lives with a partner in a nice home and has not opened up his home to anyone but his partner. I believe that putting the government’s shortcomings in the spotlight, takes the spotlight off our own. It is easier to blame the government for the injustices we see than to implement what Jesus taught us in His Sermon on the Mount.
- his vision of the ideal ministry for people with unwanted homosexuality
- how we should care for same-sex attracted (or openly gay) youth
- a very painful time in his life when his ministry/accountability partner and close friend left the faith, embraced life as gay man, and got married (to another man)
Robert can be contacted at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
To access back issues of “Buggin’ Out!” Online Newsletter, click here.
To read my introduction to this interview series (“Connecting With Pain and Brokenness”), click here.
© Darrell Martin and SameSexAttractions.wordpress.com, 2015.
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