Breaking free from a culture of shame
Anne Reed
AFA Journal staff writer

September 2019 – Robert Lopez’s mother and her female partner parented him. His friends were gay. His family was gay. It was everything he knew.

To outside observers, he was a well-raised, high-achieving child, finishing high school with straight As. However, he said, “[G]rowing up with gay parents was very difficult, and not because of prejudice from neighbors. … I had no male figure at all to follow, and my mother and her partner were both unlike traditional fathers or traditional mothers. As a result, I had very few recognizable social cues to offer potential male or female friends, since I was neither confident nor sensitive to others. Thus, I befriended people rarely and alienated others easily.”

“I was exposed to pornography at a very young age,” Lopez (photo, right) told AFA Journal, “which then led me to gay pornography. And when I was 13, some older teenage boys got me drunk and basically taught me how to have [gay] sexual activity. You have to be taught because these acts do not come naturally the way heterosexuality does – it’s not instinctual, it’s painful.”

Lopez internalized the traumatic experiences, failing to recognize them as abuse. He was steeped in homosexual ideology and attuned to the messages identifying him as gay – effeminate gestures and lack of enthusiasm concerning sports and girls.

Novels lying around the house solidified the message. Lopez said each book developed a character who started “feeling things” as a small child. The character initially would fight the feelings, but when he realized who he really was, he accepted himself and “lived happily ever after.”

An abusive culture
By age 14, Lopez put all the “clues” together and surmised the boys who had abused him must have approached him sexually because he was gay.

He explained that a woman abused by a man might have a similar experience. Sexual abuse trauma sometimes results in the abused woman reframing the event by blaming herself and seeking out relationships with either the abuser or other men like him.

However, when the abuse is homosexual in nature, it carries the implication that the abused person will accept homosexual orientation – completely changing his life trajectory.

Lopez explained that LGBTQ ideology is at odds with the #MeToo movement because it ramps up the culture of abuse by telling victims (often prepubescent children) that if they experience sexual responses to abuse, they should accept it as confirmation of their sexual orientation.

“And as you slowly get deeper and deeper into the assumptions of gay culture,” he said, “the more you distance yourself from people, places, and settings where you would cultivate a relationship with [the opposite sex], and it starts to feel like your assumptions are being confirmed.”

Truth and freedom
Lopez’s mother died when he was 19, and he identified as bi-sexual for nearly a decade longer. But the happiness and freedom he thought would be attached to his admission of “gayness” were nonexistent. Then in his late 20s, he was diagnosed with cancer.

“I was forced to stop everything in my life,” Lopez explained. “I chose to call my dad instead of my mother’s surviving partner when I was in the hospital recovering from surgery.”

As Lopez recovered in his father’s home, he discovered he came from a long history of families with a mother and father.

“I realized I had been cut off from my history growing up, and it sank in that everything I knew and lived was a lie,” he explained. “It was just fake – a postmodern delusion. And I suddenly felt liberated when I realized I didn’t need to be bound by it.

“I met my wife about a year later, in the summer of 1999. We fell in love quickly and got married in January of 2001.”

Although Lopez did not immediately come to faith in Christ, He gives God credit for arranging circumstances that provided clarity and fertile ground for the surrender that would come a few years later.

“When I came to Christ,” he said. “I stopped pornography and harmful indiscretions still lingering on the side.”

Lopez explained that through pornography, he had constantly neutralized the impulses that would have otherwise increased his propensity for natural sexual desires. He also learned to incorporate a regimen of exercise that seemed to purge his body’s memory of past sexual activities.

The church’s challenge
“One of the most difficult things I experienced was how incredibly unsupportive the church was,” said Lopez.”

Initially, he returned to his Catholic roots and began confessing his lingering struggles. The priest responded with apathy and ritualistic remedies concerning homosexual failings. However, when he confessed to heterosexual pre-marital sex, he was met with harsh 
condemnation.

So, he moved on to Protestant churches, beginning with mainline denominations. “They were largely leaning toward acceptance of the gay lifestyle,” he said, “and they immediately tried to talk me out of trying to 
change things.

“And in Orthodox churches, everything was about submitting to Jesus and just trusting Him to show the way. I think they were trying really hard to be loving, but it felt like a really deep, 
ugly rejection.”

He perceived it as an unwillingness of those in the church to get close to him, to hear about his problems, and walk alongside him as he healed. Looking back, Lopez said he needed mentorship by a married, male, heterosexual believer who would bring him into social groups, men’s Bible studies and retreats, and treat him like one of the guys – providing accountability and doing practical things such as playing tennis or going to the gym.

A compassionate mission
Lopez described a treacherous journey that led Him to Christ and his new family. His heart now aches with compassion for the very ones still persecuting him – those still in the homosexual lifestyle.

“Shame is their currency,” he said of the homosexual community and its entrapment. “They convince you the world hates you for being gay. And if you don’t side with them on everything, you are going to be left alone.”

After he went public with his opinions on same-sex parenting, media and online attacks became vicious for Lopez. Futhermore, he was constantly placed under frivolous and humiliating investigations at California State University where he was a tenured professor.

A professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary since 2016, Lopez continues to be subjected to public assault by homosexual activists who release explicit photos and writings from his past.

“These people are hurting, and it is for their benefit we are fighting this,” he explained. “We have to speak directly to them in a way that’s compelling and authentic, while also offering 
practical help.

“Cowardice is a sin, so we have to stand up when people are trying to deceive others. God didn’t invite us into communion with Him to be afraid.”  

Additional resources
▶ The Bible and Homosexuality Series by Dr. Robert Gagnon
▶ The Freedom of Sexual Purity DVD with Dr. Michael Brown
Available at afastore.net or 877-927-4917

▶ Jephthah’s Children, edited by Dr. Robert Lopez, is a collection of 57 essays exploring what was at stake in the gay marriage debate. It includes many stories from children of same-sex couples. Available at online booksellers.