Parents of a Gay Prodigal: How Rick & Carole Karchner (Dad & Mom) Handled my “Coming out”.
Click below to listen to the podcast (35 mins):
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” 1 Peter 5:8
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Revelation 12:9-11
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” 2 Tim 4:3-5
“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10
“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
Disclaimer: This is not an effort to convince anyone to get vaccinated, only an expression of my personal convictions.
July of 2021, vaccines made it to our town in Cambodia, available (and free) to foreigners. Chinese-produced Sinopharm was the option. Beggars can’t be choosers; I was thankful to get a vaccine.
Unexpected byproduct of the shot: I stood up and went on a five-minute rant in full-blown Mandarin Chinese. A bystander was able to translate, said that I dedicated my life to the Chinese Communist Party in honor of the late Chairman Mao Zedong. It was the strangest thing! Just kidding. Like many, I felt tired and had a headache for a couple of days.
In the spirit of cost-benefit analysis, here are my convictions regarding why I opted to vaccinate:
Refusing vaccination negatively impacts evangelism. COVID has thrown a wet blanket on face-to-face evangelism. Because one of the first major outbreaks in Cambodia came through delegates visiting from Hungary, some tend to distance themselves from a Westerner who wants to have an extended conversation. ‘Your country has a lot of COVID, right? When was the last time you were in your country? You get vaccine yet??’ (steps back)
Refusing vaccination negatively impacts discipleship. A Christian’s choices reflect Christ to unbelievers. For example, we have a youth ministry in a nation that is 95%+ Buddhist. The community examines what Christians do – ex. putting their kids and by extension, families at risk for COVID. Trying to prove some political or fear-based conspiracy theory across a cultural and spiritual divide would likely be viewed as selfishness and significantly distract from the gospel.
What about Pfizer or another non-Chinese vaccine? Traveling abroad to get shots (2-week quarantine, then jab #1 + 2-4 weeks wait for jab #2, the Visa process during Covid, etc.) would be a difficult, costly undertaking.
Conspiracy theories. Earlier in my walk, the enemy was successful at convincing me of a variety of conspiracy theories. He used them to manipulate and make a fool of me… and by extension, the message I am called to preach (John 10:10; Eph 6:12; 1 Pet 5:8). Though I certainly do not trust the world system (2 Cor 4:4), most notably China, I try to err on the side of Scripture, caution and reason when it comes to conspiracy theories. Granted, this COVID situation has been a foreshadowing of what is to come. But unless it matches what the Bible says about the mark of the beast, then it’s not the mark of the beast (Rev 13:16-18). Irrational fear proves the Christian is not really trusting the Lord (2 Tim 1:7).
Follow the Lord or His wayward bride? At 43 years old, I should have by now outgrown peer pressure. The church is essential for worship, fellowship and growth. We are commanded to worship together (Heb 10:25). Having learned the hard way, I am thoroughly convinced that we cannot allow our relationship with the church to replace or supersede our personal relationship with Christ. The Lord put church leaders in charge. We are to submit to their authority (Heb 13:17), as long as their directives align with the inspired, inerrant Word of God (Acts 5:27-29; 2 Tim 3:16); Acts 17:11). As Paul prophesied, in these last days, many foundational doctrines, designed to protect us, have been exchanged for fables that appease popular culture (2 Tim 4:3-5; Rev 3:20). Running in fear of the full counsel of God, she fights useless distractions. Please God, not the world or His wayward bride (Gal 1:10; 2 Tim 2:4).
Can world governments kill me? When a Christian gives his life to Christ, he gives his life to Christ (Phil 1:21). I am ready to go. A pastor once preached that the Lord will not take a man until his work on earth is finished (Jer 29:11; John 17:4). In my past life, I ingested enough toxins to kill a herd of cattle. By His grace, I am still here and saved… not to sit wondering why but to seek Him (Heb 11:6) and carry out assigned duties (Rom 10:14,1:16; Eph 2:10). The Lord has a plan for me (and you), and I trust that I (we) will be here until He is finished using me (us). The Lord has guided me around a lot of dangerous situations. Making this decision prayerfully, I trust that He would have halted it, if it were not His will.
We certainly live in the last days: “…the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:3-8
Any of us could die at any moment. CLICK HERE to find out how you can know enduring peace, God’s purpose for your life and be sure you will go to heaven when your brief time on earth is up.
“The Lord is… longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
Praise the Lord for salvation by God’s undeserved grace alone through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone!
“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” Hebrews 10:38
ExGay Testimony & Suggestions re: How to Reach out to the LGBT.
Requested by Preacher Jong Madlang-awa with a Filipino (church) audience in mind. The message is universal.
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:2-6
This is English and Tagalog. My wife is from the Philippines (Tagalog language, a nation of islands, mostly Catholic). 🇵🇭
We serve in Cambodia (Khmer language, between Vietnam and Thailand, mostly Buddhist). 🇰🇭
Both people groups eat mostly “rice and noodle”-based dishes. Same region (Southeast Asia), different countries.
Thank you for your support. Our Visa applications were approved, and we passed our Covid tests. After 10 months back in Pennsylvania, we headed out to return to Cambodia. Praise the Lord!
In spite of Covid season, through this extended homestay, the Lord opened doors. We were blessed to serve 23 churches and 1 school through sharing ex-gay testimony and being a resource. Dad & Mom also shared perspective as parents of an ex-gay prodigal at many of the churches. Praise the Lord!
There is a way out of a gay lifestyle for those who are willing to turn away from following their deceitful hearts to follow Christ. Must be born again. Praise the Lord!
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [a]homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. AND SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU, BUT you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
To pastors & churches who welcomed us: Thank you for standing with us on difficult Bible truth in these last days!
We came home for Christmas 2019. Little did we know we would still be here 10 months later. The Lord has a way of bringing good out of challenges.
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:2-4
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
2 Ways to Help:
Conviction, eyes to see and ears to hear for the LGBT+.
Revival for the U.S. – that we would stand for all timeless, Bible truth in these days no matter what the cost.