Since David Kyle Foster wrote his influential book “Sexual Healing” more than a decade ago – contending freedom from same-sex attractions and addictive sexual behavior is possible through the power of God – much has changed.
Along with steady political gains by the gay-rights movement, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision established a legal right to same-sex marriage, states have moved to ban so-called “conversion therapy,” schools have sued over men seeking access to women’s restrooms, and some lawmakers want to compel the use of “personal gender pronouns.”
Foster’s newly updated – also published in an expanded reference edition – addresses all of those cultural changes and much more.
But the key to true and lasting transformation – regardless of the affliction – hasn’t changed, he affirmed to WND in an interview.
“Maintenance” programs that focus on behavior modification often fail, he said, pointing out that his book addresses all kinds of “sexual brokenness,” including porn addiction and childhood abuse.
Such maintenance methods “are fine,” he said, “especially if you need to stop someone threatening suicide, but it’s not going to transform them from the inside out.”
“What will produce change is developing intimacy with God the Father, and that’s where I begin in my book,” he said.
He describes it as “living out of grace rather than performance.”
“Jesus pointed us to the Father repeatedly, so that’s where we’re to go with our issues in life,” he said. “And when you start worshiping the Father, and loving the Father, and singing worship songs to him, and dwelling in his Word, as he promised in Jeremiah 29:11-14, he will reveal himself to you.
“When you encounter a God who loves you despite all of the ugly things you’ve been doing, it transforms you from the inside out,” Foster said.
Foster’s personal story illustrates his point.
As a teen actor in Hollywood during the 1970s, he found some success in movie roles and television commercials. But during those years he was filled with “self-hatred,” he said, as he engaged in male prostitution and became a target of “child predators,” whom he identified as Hollywood producers, directors and actors. He had two supernatural experiences in which God revealed his love for him, he said. One as he secretly read the Bible while living in an Eastern cult community in Los Angeles and another at the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem. At the place where Jesus was arrested before his crucifixion, Foster said he heard the “still small voice of the Lord” say: “Who proved His love for you?”
He was expelled from the ashram for sharing his newfound faith and sought counsel with an associate pastor at Hollywood Presbyterian Church, Jack Lew. Foster confessed he had been sleeping with three or four people a night for the previous decade and had a drug addiction. The pastor commended him for realizing he couldn’t stop that behavior. But Jesus can, Lew said, and Foster prayed: “God, if you will, set me free from these things.”
Foster said he went home believing God would set him free, and, by faith, his prayer was answered. The temptations didn’t go away, he said, but the “power they had over me” did. He said it was about seven years before he was fully healed of “demonic strongholds” and addictive patterns in his brain.
“When you experience grace in the face of all of these failures and the deep self-hatred that you have, you just can’t believe that it’s true,” he said, “So it has to be communicated to you supernaturally, so you know it’s true. That transforms your will.”
Foster has a Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a Doctor of Divinity from from Trinity School for Ministry. The executive director of Mastering Life Ministries, he’s also the author of “Love Hunger: A Harrowing Journey from Sexual Addiction to True Fulfillment” and “Transformed Into His Image: Hidden Steps on the Journey to Christlikeness.” He has served as adjunct professor at Asbury Theological Seminary and other schools.
Pastors’ reference book
“Sexual Healing” is relevant to a majority of people in church pews on any Sunday morning, Foster believes, having calculated that as many as 60 percent of church-going people battle various kinds of sexual brokenness.
With chapters on subjects such as gender dysphoria, pornography addiction and child abuse, as well as homosexual behavior, his book has become a reference on the shelves of many pastors and counselors.
The book concludes with a comprehensive healing program accompanied by study notes that can be used for Sunday School classes and support groups.
“It has chapters on what do you do if you fail and why some people never change,” he said.
The answer to the latter question, said Foster, is that “they refuse to pursue an intimate relationship with the God Father.”
He encourages pastors to let people tell their stories, and as they do, the “roots” of the problem will begin to emerge and they can be taught how to develop a transforming relationship with God.
His calculation of 60 percent of churchgoers dealing with sexual brokenness is assimilated from a number of different statistics.
The incidence of child sexual abuse, for example, is widely calculated to be one of four among females and one of seven among males. But he factors in the tendency not to report such incidences and believes it’s more like one of three and one of four, respectively. Other statistics include how many Christians, including pastors, are addicted to porn.
How well are pastors and counselors in the church equipped to deal with what Foster calls “a society that is drowning in sexual brokenness of every kind”?
A couple of decades ago, he said, there was virtually “zero” preparation in seminaries, but there’s been a “definite shift.”
“I would estimate today one third of pastors still don’t have a clue. One third have some knowledge, but it’s mostly informed by secular media, therefore inaccurate. But at least they are trying to help. They have a compassion now for the homosexual, the transsexual, the porn addict,” Foster said.
“And so they are trying their best, and they are being helped by a growing body of parachurch ministries that can help.”
He said as many as half of pastors are “fooled by so called gay theology” and emotional appeals that conflict with 2,000 years of church teaching.
Asked if any developments in the years since the first edition of “Sexual Healing” in 2005 have surprised him, he replied: “I’m surprised how easily duped the culture has been, especially the gatekeepers, by the gay agenda.
He recalled that the “gay agenda” to win over “the gatekeepers” in the realms of psychiatry, medicine and education began in the 1980s with the publication of a “gay manifesto” by the magazine Christopher Street. It was furthered by the 1989 book “After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90s.”
Authors Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen combined their psychiatric and public relations expertise to issue a call for homosexuals to repackage themselves as a mainstream minority deserving equal rights.
“As a Christian, I see it as more than just brilliance,” said Foster of the Madison Avenue strategy. “It’s a demonic deception laid over the culture.”
“The second big shock” over the past decade, he said, was gay marriage.
“In my wildest dreams, I never suspected that America could be that detached from biblical values,” he said.
“Gay marriage was a huge surprise, because they had to redefine an institution that was defined at the beginning of time,” he said. “And who would have thought that would ever happen? But they succeeded.”
Foster contended that the American Psychiatric Association’s “promotion of homosexuality flies in the face of much of what we know about the origin of sexual brokenness, including transsexual behavior and porn addiction.
“It’s funny, they don’t promote porn, but they do promote homosexual behavior,” he said of the APA. “And both of them are equally damaging to the person engaged in them.”
Foster argues that suicide and substance abuse rates among transgenders and among homosexuals put out by the APA, the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control themselves contradict the claims that “gay is OK.”
“Forty percent of transgenders try to commit suicide, and the psychological profession is pretending like everything is normal and nothing is wrong here, move along,” he said.
Among homosexuals, he said, the suicide rate is three to five times higher than the general population, and “you have a promiscuity rate that is off the charts.”
The domestic violence rate among lesbians is 60 percent, he noted.
“Substance abuse rates. No matter what you look at, it’s off the charts. And you can prove your point with CDC, APA and AMA statistics.”
Many proponents of gay rights contend the high suicide and substance abuse rates can be largely attributed to the social alienation and ostracism that gays experience.
Foster argues the highest suicide rates are in cities that have supported the gay lifestyle the most, Amsterdam, New York and San Francisco.
“Society today is far more accept of homosexuality than it’s ever been, yet all of those rates remain high,” he said.