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Becket Cook grew up in Dallas, Texas, in a large Catholic family, and recognized at a young age that he experienced same-sex attraction. After living a gay lifestyle in Hollywood culture, he began to feel a sense of overwhelming emptiness in his life. A powerful spiritual experience in an evangelical church led to a dramatic lifestyle change, embracing Jesus Christ as his Savior, and finding fulfillment identifying as a Christian. Becket is now an author, speaker, and preacher, and will be speaking at the North Star Conference, March 5-7, 2020.
10:50 Growing up in Dallas, recognizing his same-sex attraction, and exploring gay culture
13:15 Identifying as a gay man and disconnecting from Christianity
16:00 Moved to Los Angeles and fit in with friends having a Hollywood experience
18:30 Wondering about the meaning of life and discovering a sense of emptiness
21:00 Met a group of Evangelical Christians in Los Angeles and started questioning the foundations of his life
23:30 Attended Church, felt the Spirit during the sermon, and had a powerful born-again experience during worship time and again at home after
27:30 Immediately dismissed a gay lifestyle and welcomed Christ into his life
29:10 Wrote a book, A Change of Affection: A Gay Man’s Incredible Story of Redemption, and was blacklisted in Hollywood
30:40 Basked in the grace of God for the first year, and recognizes now that struggles are part of sanctification and he can turn to Jesus for support through difficulty
34:25 His life is no longer dominated by his sexual appetite; comparison with Esau selling his birthright
36:35 The gay culture is so powerful and needs to be countered with the armor of God that comes from daily immersion in scripture and prayer, and in a community where others can help you and pray for you in the body of Christ
39:00 What difference would it make if we turned to scripture like we turn to Instagram?
40:40 Paul prayed for the thorn to be taken from his flesh and it wasn’t, but all he cared about was the gospel of Jesus Christ; the struggle and tension in life is worth it
42:40 The fulfillment of powerful prayer and abiding in Christ brings joy that enriches and renews; a daily practice bring results and not spending time in spiritual discipline means missing out on those results; sees his own mission to teach
49:00 Unconditionally loving people is a long process and leaders need to balance grace and truth, being as loving as possible as individuals go through their own process, showing compassion instead of preaching to them
52:20 He chooses to not put himself into situations that are dangerous and has embraced new Christian friends, but keeps the door open for his old friends so they know he is still there for them and still loves them
55:30 Identifying as gay vs. identifying as a Christian; shaping of identity by how we label ourselves
58:45 His book isn’t just for people who experience same-sex attraction
1:00:15 After being in the dark for so long, he can now see the emptiness and the contrast with the miraculous change in himself
A Change of Affection: A Gay Man’s Incredible Story of Redemption, by Becket Cook
Register for the free leadership sessions or discounted tickets to the entire North Star Conference, March 5-7, 2020
I think any story about the power of the Atonement of Christ is worth hearing. We all have our own issues, and it’s nice to hear someone speak so authentically and willingly share their own struggles and how the Atonement can help heal from them.
Haven’t heard this one yet, but I’m looking forward to it.
I love Becket’s story of transformation from such a dark, unhealthy, self-focused place to becoming a new creature in Christ. This is exactly the sort of transformation we all need. There is so much freedom, happiness, and meaning in this journey of becoming Christ’s. In fact, it makes me think of Adam Miller’s idea of an Early Resurrection, or an experience of life in Christ before we die. This is something I want for my life.
Where Becket and I differ is that that darkness came from being gay. No doubt the choices he engaged in during that time were dark, unhealthy, and perpetuated a spiral of unhappiness.
I believe what drives the darkness he experienced, and so many gay individuals experience is the effect of being separated from Christ–not through same-sex sexual orientation itself, but through being rejected by Christianity. Christianity itself has torn us away from Christ.
There are not enough books written to describe all the factors that have driven and shaped “gay culture.” But, Christianity itself is the primary real estate developer of the very city it condemns.
Where else is there to go when your spiritual tribe rejects you and casts you out?
Into the desert. That is where we go. And we wander for 40 years. And through the desolation of drink, drug, sex, or simply a long absence from God we finally learn to feel the thirst, and hunger, and emptiness of the spirit, and we long to find our promised land. And, that is when our Aaron of revelation arrives and we discover that truth that sets us free for transformation–that we are whole, and loved, and wanted, and our beings have purpose and a plan exactly as they are designed. And we can love, and honor, and cherish in fidelity and beautiful service of self for another. And we are not only compatible with Christ, we are transformed into a new creature through Him. Not from the natural man where our gayness is burned away, but from the natural man that does not need Christ.
Becket and I differ in our framework of same-sex sexual orientation as inherently sinful. He does not speak the word gay over himself because he wants the door of his tent facing the temple.
Being gay has been my journey through the wilderness, the mountain upon which the pillar of God’s fire has burned, the alter upon which I have attempted to sacrifice my own first born. I speak the word gay over myself because I want the door of my tent facing the temple too.
I am a gay Christian. I shine bright as a worthy, beloved daughter of Heavenly Parents.
I am a gay Christian. I have an earthy work and an eternal destiny.
I am a gay Christian. I need Christ. I need Christ, not to save me from being gay, but to save me from denying these gifts that have been baked into my bones.