Pastor and author Dr. Greg Johnson discusses themes from his new book, Still Time to Care: What We Can Learn from the Church’s Failed Attempt to Cure Homosexuality in which he chronicles the history and failures of the ex-gay movement.
As Johnson explained during his live Q&A, he believes there is a better approach of “care” for LGBTQ people who turn to Jesus.
Johnson is the lead pastor of Memorial Presbyterian Church, a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) located in St. Louis, Missouri. He holds a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Saint Louis University and an M.Div. from Covenant Theological Seminary.
The transcript below has been edited for clarity. Jump to the bottom of the article to watch the interview.
Your book, Still Time To Care, has a very personal dimension to it. It interweaves a lot of your own story of walking with Jesus. Can you share with us a bit about how you came to faith in Christ, and also how that journey intersected with recognizing your own same-sex attraction?
Yeah, it’s quite a story. I was not raised in the church. I was raised outside. I remember in middle and high school, people telling me I was an atheist, and I certainly didn’t agree with them, or didn’t disagree with them. I never knew what box to check on demographic studies when it came to religion. It was usually whatever the last box was, is probably the one I’d checked.
It was the summer of 1984, I was 11 years old, when I realized I was gay. And that was a hard time to realize that you’re gay, because that was right as the whole AIDS crisis was blowing up and everybody a little bit older than me was getting sick and dying, and all the kids were cracking gay jokes about how “skinny the faggots get when they pop off” and stuff like that. It was a horrible thing. And to be a middle schooler, going into seventh grade, I tried to hide it, but I was never good at it.