December 11, 2018
Taiwanese Christians are celebrating an early Christmas gift, because as voters they have overwhelmingly passed a referendum maintaining the country’s support of man/woman marriage. It’s a miracle because the Church in Taiwan came together to attempt the impossible as they only represent 5 percent of the population in a country with 23 million people. It was a stunning defeat for LGBT activists and media outlets predicting this would open up all of Asia for the advancement of a homosexual agenda. Voters also nixed an attempt to promote the homosexual agenda in all their elementary and junior high schools.
The stakes for the November 24 vote were high, as progressive-leaning Taiwan was considered an important gateway in which to usher in the gay agenda across Asia, much like what happened here in California. Activists were anticipating a domino effect across the continent.
But what the activists didn’t anticipate was the steely resolve of Taiwanese pastors who were motivated to unite the Church in Taiwan and prepare for this historic vote in unity, prayer and fasting. That’s when Paul Hsieh, with Kingdom for Jesus in the City of Industry, reached out to Church United for our help in promoting a final push for biblical truth. Millions of citizens—irate over a recent court ruling that would impose same-sex “marriage” on them—responded by standing in line for more than two hours to cast their ballots. A great many of them, Hsieh said, were grandparents concerned about the LGBT agenda’s impacts on their families. In the end, the referendum needed five million votes for passage, but they tallied more than seven million!
We were grateful for the opportunity to assist. The invitation for Church United to travel to Taiwan in early November was confirmation that the work we do in California is having an impact well beyond our borders.
While in Taiwan, I was able to represent the vision and mission of Church United at three public events. The first a news conference in Taipei, where 40 former LGBT men and women from across the globe stood before nearly four dozen international media outlets to share personal stories of the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. I was also able to promote Church United and how we are impacting California and beyond.
After talking to numerous Taiwanese residents, I was alarmed to discover that what’s happening in California with AB 2943 (which will return in 2019) is being adopted not only across the United States, but also around the world. Other governments and countries are trying to stealthily silence this voice of change, despite compelling narratives of Formers who are leading healthy, spirit-led lives.
I believe this silencing strategy is of the enemy—the forces of darkness—to stop the advancement of the Gospel. I also believe God is using Formers like myself to bring another revival and awakening; a revival to the church and an awakening to the culture. This people group is publicly professing and proclaiming Jesus Christ. Unashamed and uninhibited about sharing how the transformational power of Christ redeemed them from utter sexual brokenness. And all of it was on bold display before the Taiwanese media. Think about that for a moment. Our work, seeded here in California, is helping other communities to break the progressive stranglehold that seeks to undermine the Church as it strives to normalize homosexuality. That same effort seeks to suppress the voices of those who have successfully transitioned out of the gay lifestyle, but we are prevailing!
This trip, and its fruit, confirms what I’ve been sensing for awhile: God is opening up doors to help the Church minister to the culture, kind of like the men of Issachar, who, according to 1 Chronicles 12:32, knew the issues of the day and how best to respond to them. It appears that pastors in other countries are looking to Church United for that leadership, and we are humbled. We will help where we can, but our primary focus remains in California.
Praise God! When the Church is united and works together, it’s a win for the Kingdom.
With your continued help, we plan to answer that call, both here in California and wherever else the Lord leads the charge!
Pastor Jim Domen
P.S. In case you missed our email on Nov. 19, Church United was profiled in a 14-minute video produced by NBC New York’s program “Left Field.” The reporter featured my family and my journey from homosexuality to heterosexual wholeness as part of the show’s coverage of Church United’s work on AB 2943. The video was released and translated into Chinese the week before the Taiwanese November 24, vote. You can watch the story here.
Pacific Rim Impact
• One of the most fascinating aspects of the Taiwan press conference came when event sponsors were able to share a new book, “Changed, #OnceGay Stories,” compiled by Ken Williams and Elizabeth Woning, pastors at Bethel Church in Redding, California. The book features the life-changing stories of 36 Formers (including me) who gathered last summer to protest AB 2943, a proposal by the California Legislature to use commerce laws to silence supporters of conversion therapy. Church United was honored to be one of the organizers of that high-profile presentation on the steps of the state Capitol. Since then the book—a compelling rebuttal to the liberal theology that sexual orientation and gender identity can’t be changed—was translated into Chinese, sold, and distributed in Taiwan.
• In addition to the Taiwan press conference, Church United was able to speak at two other community events, one at a 3,000-seat theater; the other at a shopping mall in the nation’s largest financial district. I was able to present proclamations at both locations, declaring our love for the LGBT community, but also clearly asserting that change is possible and that true freedom comes not from sexual “liberation” but from the power of Jesus Christ; it comes from gender confidence, not gender pride.
• During my visit I was taken with the beauty and symbolism used by Asian Formers, who have created their own movement called Rainbow Crossers. They are reclaiming God’s rainbow, that magnificent seven-color promise that God gave his people after the flood—not the six-color rendition (which excludes indigo) adopted by LGBT activists. Interestingly, the number six represents man, the fallen nature, brokenness, and incompleteness; whereas the number seven signifies perfection and completion representing God.
• In keeping with the theme of the Rainbow Crossers, dancers at one of the celebrations jumped over the rainbow flag, symbolizing leaping away from the LGBT lifestyle to the heterosexual identity that God intended. We could see God’s hand at work in many ways. One of the Rainbow Crossers from Taiwan was a pioneer of the LGBT movement 20 years ago. He’s now a believer. Amazingly, one of the current LGBT leaders came to our event where he was welcomed with the arms of Jesus. Though not a Christian, he asked to be photographed holding a copy of the Change book. The Lord never ceases to amaze!
• Even before we headed home, Church United was already seeing potential fruit for additional international travel. The first invitation came from one of the leaders of a 200-pastor network from Singapore, a small Asian nation of 2 million people. He asked if Church United would be willing to help educate the pastors there on how to engage in government like we are doing in California. Just like when we started our work in California, many Singaporean pastors don’t know the names of their elected officials, aren’t praying regularly for those leaders, or even engaging in public policy.
• The second invitation came from a pastor from Seoul, Korea, himself a Former who used to own gay bars, but who is now a Christian. He would like Church United to make a presentation at either a Calvary Chapel Pastor’s Conference in May or during LGBT month in July.