Below is an interview we did with Wayne Blakely, founder and director of Know His Love Ministries, a ministry established ten years ago in an inspired effort to introduce much-needed biblical education to church leaders, pastors, educators and those who struggle with LGBT+ ideations.
Andy: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. For those who may not know you, could you tell us about the work and burden that God has placed on you?
Wayne: The work is both simple and complicated. As believers, we are not always satisfied with God’s clear directions. We often want different solutions than those that call for humility and denying self for Christ.
I grew up with same-sex attractions gnawing at me from my earliest memories. I could see that these “feelings” didn’t agree with God’s proposed and Holy scripted plans. I felt I was a blight on the face of humanity. What was I to do with “feelings” I didn’t ask for. At that time in Adventist history, we rarely whispered the word “homosexual,” let alone claiming and antidote for the circumstances.
I felt awkward, afraid and unaccepted in the church and church school environment. Basically, it was as though the church paved the way and opened the doors to the gay community. Forty years later, I did a web search for an outreach to the LGBT+ community, administered by our denomination, and found there was none. Yet in spite of the prolonged oversight, God drew me nearer and reveled Himself and His solutions. Building intimacy with Him and recognizing that God offered me a new identity in Him.
Andy: Back in 2018, the North American Division published a book called “Guiding Families of LGBT+ Loved Ones – Adventist Edition.” I read it and felt like they were pushing the LGBT+ propaganda on the rest of the church. What is your view about this publication?
Wayne: I have written two previous reviews of the publication. It starts off being a subtle disturbance. As someone who lived in the LGBT+ community for the better part of forty years, it doesn’t take me long to recognize when the wool is being pulled over the saints eyes. We’re late in ministering to the LGBT+ culture. Some don’t want to get near it. Others want to act as though there’s nothing you could or should do about it. It’s just who you are. However, this is most certainly the Laodecian approach. A pastor received a copy of “Guiding Families,” then contacted me and said, “Wow Wayne, I see a lot of love, but no ‘Go and sin no more.'”
It was his observations that prompted me to get a copy. It began with the statement on the first page in bold that strongly contested that nothing in this book would alter or change the Scriptures or the Adventist doctrinal position, as stated on page 71. Well, the warning was a huge alert to what was about to be attempted: accommodation, affirmation and tolerance. As Landon Schott says in his book, Gay Awareness, where do you see God accommodating and tolerating sin? The author of “Guiding Families,” Bill Henson, has a homosexual background. However, you have to dig deep into his website to uncover that fact.
I believe the grave danger is in the lack of biblical education and reasoning that we have long needed to establish. Not just the Bible truths, but the compassion and love of Jesus that are critical to our surrender and obedience to Him. Today, most Adventists want to merge with cultural Christianity without admitting the obvious.
When I left the LGBT+ culture for Jesus and found that the church was still not reaching out to those struggling with same-sex attraction or gender confusion, it was quite troubling to me. Within a year of my return to Christ, God led me to a handful of other former LGBT+ people who God rescued and who also agree with God’s clear teachings and scriptural solutions. Isn’t that our only true safety?
Nearly every page of “Guiding Families” contains a slight compromise, or cultural application that assists in the LGBT+ indoctrination process. Duplicity gradually brings about a change in “posture.” The book’s request to every reader is that we would change our “posture” on the topic. That in itself begins to translate to “repositioning.” And that begins to aid in “accommodation” on multiple levels.
Andy: To your knowledge, has the North American Division or the General Conference made any clarification or explanation about “Guiding families of LGBT+ Loved Ones – Adventist Edition?
Wayne: One NAD employee cautioned me that the book is not officially endorsed by the NAD corporately, or the GC. The only visible endorsement is printed in the front of the book as being a guide produced by the North American Division’s Commission on Human Sexuality Committee.
There is an unstated clause among leaders, I’m told, that it is not appropriate to call another leader out on their theological position. I believe this has been visibly demonstrated over the years as a plethora of teachers, professors and leaders have approached “homosexuality” from a skewed position that is difficult to support from Scripture. What about the number of people who have been misled or kept from a trusted biblical understanding. To me, it puts us on par with Lucifer.
Andy: I understand that you will be coming out with a book on this topic. What inspired you to write this and what do you hope your book will accomplish?
Wayne: A conference employee contacted me and asked if I knew of anyone that wrote on this topic from the perspective of which I speak. I don’t actually. Close, but maybe not completely. So he asked if I would be willing to write an analysis. Another conference employee said they would like a line by line analysis. Thus the title of my book, “Line by Line – A Biblical Analysis of Guiding Families of LGBT+ Loved Ones.”
When the request came, I was still in a stunned frame of mind from reading “Guiding Families.” Even Bryan Ness, a science professor at Pacific Union College, (an Adventist university?) who calls for gay marriage in the church, had just written an article on Spectrum Magazine. He said that while “Guiding Families” hadn’t gone the full distance, it was well on its way to helping the demands of LGBT+ people to become accomplished in the Adventist church. (My observation is paraphrased, not word for word).
Conference leaders, school administration and church members simply sit on the sideline and watch the “side show.” The last thing I wanted to do was write a complete review of the book. It was stomach turning to read every page and recognize the enemy’s intention to catch believers off guard and teach them a revised “posture.”
I prayed and asked God if He really wanted me to accept this challenge. And if so, would He give me a sign. The next morning, a good friend who I value greatly, sent me an email. We hadn’t talked bout “Guiding Families” for a couple of months. The email said, “I know God still has plans to use you.” Attached to the email was a picture of the “Guiding Families” book. I had my answer.
It would take months and months of prayer, reflection, research, writing, and rewriting before I recognized the full importance and need for this book to be published and how to publish it.
Andy: Many play it safe by ignoring the militant homosexual movement. Some give in to the LGBT+ lobby, while others try to find a middle ground. Brother Blakely, in your experience, what is the best approach for the church to take as it navigates our ever-changing, broken society?
Wayne: The only way to approach the LGBT+ topic, as Christians, is from a position of safety. And that safety can only be applied from God’s trusted Word. Here’s where the problem comes, and from the most unlikely places. The obvious need is to “love.” However, how are we interpreting or defining “love?”
As a “gay man” living openly in the LGBT+ culture, I desperately needed God’s answers, solutions and requests. So, to find the church compromising on that which is so necessary for my return to Jesus, brought about sleepless wonderings of the church that has long claimed to have the “truth.”
There seems to be unending surprises of what Satan uses to try and bring about division among us. It’s hard to observe trusted leaders shift their perspectives. Over the years of silence, nearly every family now finds that they have a family member or close relative identifying as LGBT+. They almost immediately adapt to the concept and demand of the LGBT+ community, which stipulates that if you don’t approve of my behavior, you hate me.
In addition, we can’t seem to figure out that desires, attractions and temptations do not amount to an LGBT+ identity. If I’m longing for the LGBT+ culture or acting out with LGBT+ behaviors, that would be a different story. Adventists need to address sinful temptations and share God’s solutions. Our identity, praise the Lord, is in who Jesus says we are.
My parents loved me through my perversity, as did Jesus. Neither one ever gave up on me. Neither one compromised. These both paid off in enabling the Holy Spirit to bring conviction on my heart.
Andy: Sin affects us all. We all have temptations. What advice do you have for someone who is struggling with pornography, extramarital affairs, premarital sex, self-abuse or same-sex attraction?
Wayne: Engage in and develop intimacy with Jesus. This requires longing to be in His presence, spending time with Him, communing with Him and inviting Him to commune with us. When our focus is placed on heavenly things, the pitfalls that threaten us do not have nearly the pull that they used to.
As a church body, we need to come along side with one another on this rugged journey and encourage one another, offering support in prayer and right friendship and mentoring. However, we are largely silent. Or we give folks the impression that we’re all sinners and it really doesn’t matter, because Jesus has paid it all. That’s an easy way to continue engaging in dangerous addictive behaviors.
Andy: There are not many resources available that address this modern phenomenon from a redemptive perspective. When will your book be available and how can we get a copy?
Wayne: So true. It’s amazing how many redemptive resources are available outside of our denomination. We’re lacking to a large degree. There are a number of resources on ‘Coming Out’ Ministries website and some on my personal website, www.knowhislove.org. “Line by Line” is available on my website as well.
Andy: Finally, we pray that God will continue to use you for His glory and honor. Thank you again for helping us address these important issues. It’s unfortunate that church resources are not being dedicated for ministries like yours. What can people do to help get involved?
Wayne: If after reviewing my website, YouTube videos and reading “Line by Line,” people are convicted about the need to advance the ministry and God’s scriptural teachings and trusted authority, donations can be made. Thank you for recognizing the importance of this ministry. God’s blessings, Wayne.