Overcoming Homosexuality (Pt 1)


frustration in overcoming sin…Overcoming homosexuality by any human means is completely impossible. It is a spiritual battle that must be won Spiritually through Christ. Here is a testimony of deliverance from homosexuality that was aired on the 700 Club hosted by Pat Robertson, the founder of CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network). Overcoming Homosexuality and the testimony of Matthew Manning is a dramatic, real, and heart moving story of someone caught up in the homosexual lifestyle who finds God through the prayers of a five year old boy on the streets of San Francisco. It’s a moving and inspirational story of deliverance, healing and forgiveness, and it is difficult to not see the hand of God in it. God’s power is shown so strongly in this story.

This testimony of overcoming homosexuality is a dramatic example of God’s ability to bring about full forgiveness in someone’s heart towards a person who horrifically abused him. When you read this, you will see just how powerful the love of God can be and His power to deliver any homosexual from this sort of demonic influence and bondage if someone has the will and desire to want deliverance from this sin.

The story begins

Matthew Manning was sexually molested by one of his older brothers before he was 10 years old. He was mocked and made fun of in school as often happens growing up by those students and peers that consider themselves to be ‘cool’. With this also came a home life where Matthew was not receiving the type of healthy and nurturing love and acceptance that is most needed in a young persons life – both in family life and from his friends or teachers at school.

Hiding in shame

In search of attention by male role models, and feeling the guilt and shame of the sexual abuse by his brother, he withdrew from his friends and found what he thought was the reassuring love and attention he was looking for at a local park where he began to hang out at. This park was known to have homosexual activity taking place in it by the men who frequented it. At ten years old, Matthew began to give himself to homosexual men – pedophiles – who were willing to give him the acceptance and attention he was wanting as a young boy.

Matthew tells of his experiences at the park and how he would go to the park whenever he would have problems at home, hoping to find the love and acceptance and nurturing he was hungry for at home. He was looking for was a hug from an older man who cared about his life and problems. The result of this puruit for acceptance led to him being a victim of sexually explicit activities with the older men he would encounter. Even though afterwards he would always feel shame and guilt, it was the only place he could the ‘unconditional’ love and acceptance he was looking for.

As a result of all this in his early years, he became found himself fully immersed in the perversion that comes from a homosexual lifestyle as he grew up. His guilt and shame were compounded by the fact that he was being sent to a ‘Christian school.’ Eventually he graduated from high school, and went on with his life – still living the life of a homosexual.

He eventually joined the Coast guard where he first got stationed in San Francisco – the homosexual capital of the world – as some call it. He told the story of how he would be out saving people during the day, then by night, be going to homosexual bars and participating in a habitual homosexual lifestyle at night.

During his time with the Coast Guard in San Francisco – although he did not know it at the time – a serial killer was killing homosexual men and throwing their bodies off of a bridge. One night as he was sitting by himself close to the bridge and water, a man approached him from behind, put a knife to his throat and led off by the man. He was told that he had been sent to teach Matthew a lesson. When Matthew asked him who had sent him, the man replied back, “You’ll find out when you end up burning in hell.”

Matthew did not know it, but he was being accosted by the guy who was the serial killer. The man took him off to the side and molested him. During the molestation, Matthew was able to break away and run to safety. There was no doubt that this guy was going to kill him. He immediately went to the police to report what had happened. Initially, the police thought that these were all suicides from the bodies they found floating in the waters, but later this guy admitted to killing other people.

After Matthew’s near death experience, he continued to live the lifestyle he had grown accustomed to. As he continued on living the homosexual life, he had encountered numerous street evangelists who were reaching out to him and seeking to help him be set free from the homosexual lifestyle. His view at the time was that he thought they were all judgmental and wanted nothing to do with any of them or even God Himself. He had come to believe the lie that is most often used as an excuse for homosexuality that he was born a homosexual and that there was nothing that either he or God could do to change his condition.

Then one day he met a woman and her five-year-old son who were out preaching on the streets. This little boy comes up to him and tells him “Jesus loves you, Jesus loves you.” He had heard all of that before and was not really moved by it. However, the little boy kept trying to get him to come to his church, which was just around the corner.

Initially, Matthew had no desire to visit the church, but one day as he was driving past the church, he literally heard an audible voice say to him – “This is the last time I am going to ask you.”

He knew right of way that this was the voice of God talking to him. a sudden fear came over Matthew when this happened, and he was quickened in his heart to visit the church that the little boy had asked him to visit. When he walked in, they had a band playing praise and worship music that was like nothing he had heard before. He actually thought that he had walked into some kind of cult. As he went to sit down, he saw the little five-year-old boy who had invited first invited him when he and his mother had approached Matthew on the street days before. Matthew had say down near the boy when he had finally sat down and the two of them could see each other.

As Matthew was gazing around the church, he was not really being moved by anything he saw. About the time he was realizing this, he looked over at the little five year old boy who had been witnessing to him out in the streets earlier. The little boy was standing up, hands held straight up in the air and he was crying. He was praying to God and the words he was praying to God were – “Please God, show Matthew that we are not all nuts in this church. Please God, show Him that You are real.”

When Matthew saw the boy praying with that kind of sincerity and intensity, he was immediately effected emotionally. He said that when he saw that, he knew that this was the real love he had been searching for all of his life – agape love – that someone could unconditionally love him for who he really was. Matthew gave his life to the Lord that night and got saved, but told God that he would have to change him on the inside to handle his homosexual desires for men.

After that night, Matthew continued to go to that church and began to study the the Bible; however, he continued in the habit of his homosexual lifestyle. [NOTE: Demonic spirits of homosexuality and perversion are very persuasive and strong demonic forces to contend with one you open that door to them.] During the interview with Pat Robertson, Matthew said the desires to engage in homosexuality were still there after he got saved, and he used those persistent desires he was still having as his excuse to still act out the thoughts and desires he was having since God had not taken away the desires after he was saved.

One night while in a church service, Matthew was overwhelmed by the power of God and felt an overwhelming presence of God’s Holy Spirit come on him and he was literally knocked to the floor (slain in the spirit as he called it). While under the influence of the Holy Spirit’s power as he laid on the ground, he had a vision. As he tells the story, he saw Jesus standing in front of him, and as soon as he sees Jesus he starts arguing with Him about his homosexual desires, and the reality that he can’t get rid of the homosexual desires. He said that that was when Jesus looked directly into Matthew’s eyes and said to him:

“Every time you commit a homosexual act, you are committing that act against Me.”

Jesus then said something else to him that had something to do with His sacrificial death on the cross and that His death on the cross had already set Matthew free from the bondage of the homosexual lifestyle that he was involved in.

Matthew said that when Jesus said all of this to him – it was the “truth of God” cutting right through him and cutting out the lie that he was born homosexual and that he could not be free of it that he had been living all of those years. Even as Matthew was still trying to hang onto his homosexual lifestyle and still walk with Christ, God was doing heart surgery in Matthew’s heart and delivering him from the bondage he was living in.

When Jesus had spoken those direct words to Matthew, he knew that he had been living a lie and that he had no more excuses for remaining in this lifestyle. Right after Jesus said all of this to him, he got up off of the floor. Immediately, he began to throw up!
Matthew said in his interview that, “I believe the puking was God’s way of vomiting all of the contamination that was in him from his homosexual lifestyle all those years. He also believed there was a possibility demons were being expelled out of him at this point.

After he finished throwing up, he went outside the church. Once outside, he heard God in an audible voice say, “I will heal you from this condition if you agree to witness to other homosexual men about My grace, mercy and power to set these men free from the bondage they were in.” Matthew agreed with God on this condition and he said from that day forward he has never had another homosexual encounter and has lost all natural desire for it! Wow! The power that comes from unconditional love and forgiveness, and surrender to Holy Spirit for full and complete redemption and deliverance. HOW COOL IT THAT!???

The story is NOT over yet! That best is still yet to come!  Miracles!  Be looking for part two of this story, “Overcoming Homosexuality and the Testimony of Matthew Manning (Part 2) – coming soon!

As always please leave a comment and share this article with anyone you know who is struggling with the sin and bondage of homosexuality. And, if you are brave enough, share this story with your connections on your favorite social network. Sure, you might have some of your contacts send you hate mail or unfriend you, BUT what if… what IF your sharing this article on your social media network profile could bring one single individual who is struggling with the homosexual lifestyle out of the darkness and bondage that is associated with this growing struggle in millions of lives? What if YOU could be the miracle that Matthew Manning found in that encounter with a five year old boy?

Understanding the mercy and forgiveness of God

Understanding the mercy and forgiveness of God is something that comes hard for some, and Danny Croce was no exception. And, if trying to figure out just how deep God’s mercy and forgiveness can be, how is this for irony? Only God could choose a killer to lead others into new life, and turn prison from a place of punishment into a place of promise.

Young Danny Croce was always “attracted to trouble,” he reminisces—gangs, gambling, booze, cocaine: high-risk activities to jolt him out of the numbing pointlessness of life. Before succumbing to that “inevitable grey tombstone,” he craved some thrills.

But in his mid-twenties he played a perilous game: After downing a six-pack of beer for lunch, he would return to his job of “hanging iron, ” laying steel girders atop some of Boston’s tallest skyscrapers.

Danny managed to avoid calamity on the job. But in February 1984, a cold rainstorm forced the crew to quit early—so they launched into a bar-hopping spree to warm themselves up. Later, “drunk out of my tree,” Danny was heading home when he rammed his car through a wooden barricade and struck a police officer directing traffic. A few days later, the officer died. Danny was charged with vehicular homicide.

A sobered Danny couldn’t escape the python of guilt coiled around his heart. “I’d replay the accident in my mind,” he explains. “I tried hard to change the ending, but I couldn’t.”

He wanted to go to the officer’s family to tell them he was sorry, that he didn’t mean to rip away their father and husband. But Danny’s lawyer immediately nixed that plan, afraid he might say something that would jeopardize his case.

A year later, when Danny decided to plead guilty to the charges, he met the officer’s widow for the first time—in court. Her distressing comments “cut me like a knife,” he recalls. “In all this time,” she told the judge, “he’s never said he was sorry.”

Danny wept as the bailiff handcuffed him and led him from the courtroom. He strained to turn and face the woman. “Mrs. ______, I swear to God, I am so sorry.” But the bailiff pushed him on.

Days later, confined in a five- by seven-foot cell in the Plymouth County jail, Danny still wrestled with haunting memories of the deadly crime. “At 3 A.M.,” he says, “I’d turn my pillow over, trying to find a dry spot; I’d been crying so hard.”

One day Danny recounted his tormenting story at an inmate support group—who mostly fed him useless platitudes. But one “hippie-type,” an inmate named Wayne, ventured a subtle witness: “Have you ever tried to pray to God?”

Spurred by that simple question, in bed that night Danny repeated a one-line prayer—the only thing he could think of: “Please, God, please.” Next thing he knew, the stirrings of morning had roused him from his first restful slumber in a long time. For several nights following, his unpolished but pure prayers led to peaceful sleep. Then Wayne gave Danny a New Testament, a book he had never read.

As Danny read the Gospels, Jesus’ power both amazed and frightened him. He touches blind people and they see, Danny marveled. He makes deaf people hear. Who is this guy?

Then he got to the part where Jesus talked about the consequences of sin, “about weeping and the gnashing of teeth,” Danny recalls. “I knew that I was in big trouble. Guilty.”

Danny turned to jail Chaplain Bob Hanson, and under his gentle guidance, the repentant inmate yielded his past, present, and future to Christ, gratefully receiving His forgiveness and promise of new life. Danny renounced his reckless high-wire act for a stable walk of faith grounded in God’s Word.

“It was such an eye-opening experience for me to meet God in jail and have all this time to immerse myself in the Word,” says Danny. “I really grew in the Lord.” During Bible studies and chapel services, Chaplain Hanson would encourage the inmates, “If you have a question, write it down.”

“So I’d come in with two pages!” says Danny. “He taught me so many things because I was so hungry.” As God satisfied that hunger with Himself, old counterfeit lures lost their appeal: cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, gambling. “It wasn’t like, ‘You’re a Christian now; you’d better stop doing those things,’ ” Danny says. “I just didn’t want to do them anymore.”

Acting Like a Dad

During one of his personal Bible studies, Danny came across 1 Timothy 5:8: “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.”

“That hit me right between the eyes,” he remembers, because there was a little girl out there who was most likely his daughter.

Seven years earlier, Danny had longed to marry his lover, “but I just couldn’t tie her down,” he says. When they finally broke up, “I was crushed. I was a professional boxer at the time, and it was the hardest hit I’d ever taken.”

So three weeks later, when his ex called to say she was pregnant, “I didn’t want to have anything to do with her. She’d been seeing all these other guys behind my back; it could be my child, or it could be someone else’s.”

And once a year, that’s the answer he gave the Department of Social Services when they questioned him about being the father of little Melissa. No one ever suggested a paternity test.

But there in his jail cell, reading 1 Timothy 5:8, Danny felt the racing heartbeat of conviction: If Melissa is my daughter and I’m not providing for her, I’m in big trouble! But what could he do from jail?

Then, as Christmas approached, Danny “was absolutely blown away” when Myles Fish, then a Prison Fellowship staff member, came to tell the inmates about PF’s Angel Tree® program—a way for them to give Christmas gifts to their children from prison. Danny couldn’t believe it when Myles said people from churches would buy and deliver the gifts. “Brand new?” he asked. “Brand new,” Myles assured him. And volunteers would provide not only the gifts, but also the Good News of Jesus Christ, in a written form that a seven-year-old like Melissa could easily understand. Danny was thrilled: “That’s the thing I wanted most for her.”

After Christmas, Melissa visited Danny and thanked him for the gifts. He’d stepped out to build a bridge . . . and she’d walked across.

And for the rest of his sentence, Danny prayed he’d be able to minister to others as Angel Tree had ministered to him and Melissa.

Released in 1986, Danny again went to the Department of Social Services, this time with a different answer to their query. “I’m a Christian now,” he said, “and I need to know for sure if this is my daughter or not.” He asked for the blood test. The result: A 99-percent certainty he was the dad. Now taking full responsibility, Danny began paying child support, including several years’ worth of penalties and interest for missed payments.

During one of his visits with Melissa in the Boston suburb of Holbrook, dad and daughter took a walk around the block. As they neared Brookville Baptist Church, Danny noted the sign advertising Vacation Bible School. “I really wanted her to learn about Jesus,” he says—so he went in and asked the pastor if Melissa could attend. From there, both dad and daughter regularly attended church services, and Melissa accepted Christ as her Savior and Lord.

Settled into a new relationship with his daughter, a new church home, and a new job in construction, Danny set out to serve others as he had promised God in jail. He worked with the handicapped, taught Sunday school at Boston Children’s Hospital, started a basketball league for teens, and visited prison inmates. Through his ministry he met his wife, Kim.

Together they worried about Melissa, living with a mother who still dabbled in drugs and promiscuous sex. Then one evening, a couple years out of jail, Danny got a call from the mom. “I can’t handle her,” she said of their 10-year-old daughter, whose distressing home life had spilled over into trouble at school. “Do you want her?”

“Of course!” Danny and Kim immediately agreed, and soon welcomed Melissa into a safe, loving, and healthy family. They enrolled her in a Christian school, “where her straight F’s turned into straight A’s” boasts Danny. She also gained a new baby brother.

Hitting the Books

In 1991 Danny experienced still another dramatic life change: the opportunity, at age 35, to go to college. “You need to finish your education,” challenged a Prison Fellowship staff member, explaining that Illinois’ Wheaton College had a Charles Colson scholarship fund, set up specifically to help ex-prisoners.

“Prison Fellowship blew me away again,” says Danny—who juggled painting jobs and academic studies for four years to earn a degree in Bible and theology.

In 1996, a year after his graduation, Danny became a chaplain with the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry, assigned—at the invitation of his jail mentor Chaplain Hanson—to Plymouth County Correctional Facility! “The inmates are younger now; they’re gang-bangers,” Hanson told him. “We need somebody younger here.” And Danny could speak their language.

Like its former inmate, the facility had gone through a striking transformation. “When I was there, it was dirty, scummy, had cockroaches,” Danny describes. The new buildings, housing 1,500 county, state, and federal inmates, provide clean, state-of-the-art secure accommodations. “Best of all, I can go anywhere I want in it, and can get out the same day!” he jokes.

Now serving as senior chaplain with three assistants (Hanson retired in 2002), Danny pours his heart and energies into ministering not only to the inmates but also to the officers and their families. He teaches Bible studies, counsels, visits the sick, comforts the grieving. “I bring not only the good news, but sometimes the bad news,” he says—like word of a death in the family. “The phone’s always ringing or another e-mail’s popping up”: distraught spouses and parents imploring him to visit or put in a good word for their imprisoned loved one. As head chaplain, he juggles numerous administrative details, screening clergy and lay volunteers, scheduling services and other events, making sure that inmates from a variety of religious backgrounds have the means to express their faith.

And yes, every Christmas he makes sure that inmate fathers have the same chance he had to sign up for Angel Tree.

“I love being back where I found God, or where God found me,” he corrects himself. “I was the one that was lost.”

He knows that countless others now stumble through that same engulfing darkness, groping for a way out of their confusion, guilt, and shame. In his nearly eight years at the jail, Danny estimates that “thousands have come to Christ.” Many are now back on the outside, “working hard, being good fathers, serving as deacons and elders in their church.” He still gets calls from a lot of them: sometimes asking guidance for a problem; sometimes telling him how much they appreciated his care and counsel, and how it set them on a stable path, illumined by the light of Christ. He tells of one former inmate, “a bad dude” named Ed, whose construction business is booming because “everybody saw the change in him.” He describes another inmate, Bob, whose hard work and upbeat disposition prompted a corrections officer to plead, “Tell me about this Christ.” The inmate led the officer in a prayer of surrender to the Lord.

“I love seeing God work in these bad boys’ hearts to give them hope and meaning and a reason to live,” says Danny.

His own life is a prime illustration: a former “bad boy” transformed into a respected minister, loving husband, father of five, and grandfather of three—thanks to oldest daughter Melissa, now in her twenties and happily married.

You can find this and many other inspirational stories of hope and encouragement at www.pfm.org, an organization dedicated to help prison inmates and their families that way founded by Charles Colson.

Looking back, “I hate what I did,” he says soberly, referring to the deadly car crash. “I wish to God it had never happened. But God still takes bad situations and turns them over for good.” God’s merciful irony.

Submitted by: Becky Beane