In the past six months, I have had the opportunity to attend two separate presentations given by Wayne Blakely. My impressions are as follows.
First, I very much appreciated Wayne’s humility. He is not on a band wagon, not an activist, and not in your face whatsoever. On the contrary, Wayne simply shares his own journey out of the homosexual lifestyle because of his life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ experienced through Scripture, as well as healthy friendships offered him by his SDA church family. Wayne does not claim to know it all and freely admits if he does not have an answer. He is willing to listen and learn as he shares what God has done in his life, and he remains patient, self-possessed, courteous and thoughtful when responding to questions or comments.
Second, Wayne’s integrity and transparency is genuine and refreshing. By tactfully revealing his own struggles and how God empowered him to transition from a homosexual identity to an identity of being in Christ, I was left feeling reassured that God really can transform all of us, gays included, who are willing to bask in God’s love and grace and follow where He leads.
Third, his understanding of the gay worldview is remarkably insightful. As a pastor I have found that people in the pews and in the community are confused about homosexuality, given the inundation of misinformation from the media. Having come out of this lifestyle himself has given Wayne exceptional awareness of the issues with real-life credibility. This is why his talks are so needed, helpful and timely.
Most important, Wayne helps Christians understand how to relate with gays without fear, how to engage them in conversations when they are ready, and how to share truths in a loving, inviting way. He certainly helped me think through the various gay issues from a solidly Bible-based, God-honoring SDA perspective. And given the soon-to-be-released documentary entitled, “Seventh-Gay Adventist”, I feel prepared to deal tactfully and truthfully with the confusing misinformation presented in the film.
Bottom line? It is my firm conviction that SDA churches need to invite Wayne to help educate SDAs on how to love and reach people in the gay lifestyle. He is clear, credible and trustworthy, and what he shares grabs the heart and mind, showing the best ways to reach and win their hearts for Christ.
If you have any questions or concerns about Wayne’s ministry, I would be happy to dialogue with you.
Peace and courage be yours from Christ Jesus our Lord,
Teddy Shupe, Pastor
Riverview Seventh-day Adventist Church