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TEXARKANA, Texas (ChurchMilitant.com) - A young Protestant woman crediting her transformation from homosexuality to God's healing grace is suffering death threats from detractors.
Emily Thomes' story was reported on Christian media outfit BreakPoint, in which the authors comment, "The central lie of the LGBT movement and the sexual revolution is that our sin and our desire for it are our identity — even something in which to take pride. But the good news of Christianity is that in Jesus, we can have a new identity. We need no longer be enslaved to our fallen passions. We were made for something better."
Church Militant reached out to Thomes for comment, and she clarified that "the secular media took the story and twisted it to say other things."
Teen Vogue, Huffpost and Independent called Thomes "brainwashed" for believing she is no longer a lesbian and that her story seems to suggest that homosexuals can change their sexuality if they pray hard enough. These critics are attacking what they refer to pejoratively as "conversion therapy," which is the "practice of trying to change an individual's sexual orientation using psychological or spiritual interventions."
Her video went viral, garnering more than 2 million views on Facebook.
"I enjoyed the thrill of doing and being what was outside the norm — trying harder drugs, exploring even more taboo sexual acts, and getting a couple of regrettable tattoos," she commented.
However, Thomes related that at that time she had "hollow eyes and [a] hopeless heart."
She recounted that she "knew what the Bible said about homosexuality, but I hadn't cared before (because) I had little understanding of the God I was sinning against."
Thomes began reading the Bible, coming across 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, which says, "Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality ... will inherit the Kingdom of God ... ."
The next verse of the same passage is what opened her eyes to the saving mission of Christ: "But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."
Thomes continued, "My whole life changed that day. I grasped His hand by faith. ... I was amazed at the grace He showed me."
She explained that her healing from her past sins is "not gay to straight. It's lost to saved. God calls us not to heterosexuality, but to holiness."
The response to the video has been both positive and negative. Nocle DeMille wrote in the comments thread: "So many people, no matter their lifestyle, believe as you did before, 'If God is love, then He's chill with whatever I do and whomever I love.' Even many churches preach this! I'm so proud of you for speaking against that lie."
Morvan Roberts Baker, however, commented on the video in the same thread that it is "enough to push gay children over the edge to suicide. If God changed her, why didn't the prayers of my daughter count?"
One man issued a death threat: "If I had the means, I would come there and kill every last one of you! ... I hope you, your family and your friends all die a slow painful death!!!!"
Anchored North, however, does not subscribe to reparative therapy, saying, "We believe in God miraculously changing hearts and desires — not in humans modifying the sexual orientation of others through conversion therapy. God's ultimate will is not to make humanity heterosexual. God's ultimate will is to demonstrate His glory through the salvation of the unrighteous, including those with same-sex attraction."
The late Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a Catholic pioneer in reparative therapy, which aims to help those with same-sex attraction to eliminate or reduce homosexual desires, showed that it helped reduce stress and improve emotional and physical well-being.
Nicolosi insisted that homosexuality "is not a sexual problem. It is a gender identity problem." His work also refuted the "born that way" and "can't change" theory. Thousands of mental health professionals and their patients have filed a Federal Trade Commission Complaint, in an effort to expose the lies pushed by LGBT groups trying to pass legislation banning reparative therapy.
"Homosexuality is not about sex," Nicolosi emphasized. "It is about a person's sense of himself, about his relationships, how he forms and establishes relationships, his self-identity, his self-image, personal shame, his ability to sustain intimacy."
Thomes ends her story in a post on the "Gospel Coalition," a website that ministers to "millennials in a secular age," saying, "The Lord has been so gracious to me. I'm grateful that he opened my eyes and saved me from the temporal and eternal consequences of my sins. He takes the worst of the worst and redeems them for his glory. Hallelujah! What a Savior!"