Matt Moore, a Christian Post blogger whose blog "My Story: Homosexuality, Drunkenness, Grace and Redemption" went viral last year, was "outed" for joining Grindr, a popular gay social networking app, recently. Gawker first ran an article on Moore on Tuesday morning that soon led to stories on Huffington Post and other media sites, all of them rushing to point out how the man who left the active homosexual lifestyle after coming to faith in Jesus Christ had fallen to temptation. The sites questioned the authenticity of Moore's faith and whether God could indeed save those who are tempted by the flesh.
Moore conducted an email interview with The Christian Post to address his joining Grindr, his daily struggle with same-sex attraction, how the church has treated him, and what God's grace means to him after this experience.
CP: I heard that you recently moved to New Orleans from Shreveport, La. Why did you move, and how has it helped or hurt your battle against same-sex attraction?
Moore: I moved to New Orleans as a part of a team of eight individuals desiring to plant a church in the city. I got a job here more quickly than I had anticipated, which put me here ahead of the rest of the team. All of us will be here as of next month. The past few months of being here have been hard and lonely at times. My struggle with sin has intensified since being here.
CP: You have said all along that you struggle with same-sex attraction every day. What happened in December and January that caused you to log on to Grindr again?
Moore: I'm not going to blame my actions on anything but myself. I could try and find all sorts of excuses to justify my sin to a degree, but I will not do that. Ultimately, I sinned and got on Grindr simply because I wanted to.
CP: How has God's grace helped you with your daily struggles?
Moore: His grace has sustained me. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around forgiveness so vast that it could include me and my repetitive failures, but somehow God's grace helps me to believe it nonetheless. The grace of God keeps me in Christ, and for that I am thankful.
CP: Were you able to talk to anyone when your temptation became overwhelming?
Moore: Yes, I have people in my life I can go to. But I tend to not reach out to those sources during temptation. A large part of me believes there's nothing they can do to help me, so I always end up not reaching out to those people until after I've sinned. This is something that must change.
CP: Why did you take your original testimony, "My Story: Homosexuality, Drunkenness, Grace and Redemption" on CP down? Has your testimony changed?
Moore: There are some details about my family that I promised my family I would not publicly discuss any more. When I saw the Huffington Post linked directly to that blog, I deleted it.
CP: How has the gay community treated you since Gawker and Huffington Post "outed" you?
Moore: The reactions have varied. Of course, there are those that very boldly express their wish that I would just die. But there are also those who have reached out to me in much kinder tones. They plead with me to embrace my homosexual feelings as a gift from God, and assure me that God will love me no less if I live my life as a gay man and get in a gay relationship. Although I appreciate the demeanor of these people more so than the angry folks, I still emphatically disagree with the content of their message. It is contrary to the doctrine of Christ, and I cannot accept it. There have also been some atheists and gay persons who have emailed me apologizing on behalf of the liberal media for printing such harsh material about me. I actually even had one (non-Christian) person, who after reading some of my blogs, said "your blogs aren't so bad."
CP: Have you been in contact with the young man who found you on Grindr and outed you? If so, how would you describe the tone of your conversation?
Moore: Yes, I have. He was angry at first, but after a day or two actually apologized for some of the things he said and did. He has even offered to call a couple of the people he called "outing" me to apologize. He, like most of the media posting about me, had not actually read anything that I've written to any measurable degree. They assume that I'm telling people they need to turn "straight" to be loved by God, which is not a message I proclaim. He did not know that I was open with the fact that I still experience same-sex attraction on a daily basis, something that I've been extremely public with.
CP: The person who outed you, Zinnia Jones, writes on a blog post: "So-called 'ex-gays' publicly promote the notion that LGBT people are sinning against a god who will torture them eternally if they fail to suppress and deny their true nature. But privately, they often seem to have trouble practicing what they preach." How would you respond to that statement?
Moore: First, everyone is a hypocrite, regardless of belief system. People such as Zinnia preach a message of tolerance and kindness to all, yet they are not tolerant of my beliefs and show me no kindness. That's hypocritical, is it not? With that said, you can either be a hypocrite under the grace of God or a hypocrite outside of the grace of God. As Christians, we acknowledge that we are hypocritical in word and action at times, and we acknowledge that we cannot be perfect. This is why we don't point to ourselves as models of perfection, but point to Christ as the ONLY perfection. On the Cross, Christ took on our sinful identity, and suffered the penalty we deserved. In turn, He offers his righteous identity to all who believe in Him. So Christians do fail and Christians do sin every single day, but the base of our faith in not ourselves or not ourselves. The base of our faith is Christ and His perfect obedience on our behalf. We are saved not because of anything we have or haven't done, but because of what Christ has done for us.
CP: Why do you go back to your Christian faith when you are under so much pressure from the gay community to embrace your homosexuality?
Moore: I always go back to Christianity because it is who I am now. I am Christ's. And at the end of the day, I can do nothing but go to Him.
CP: How has the church community treated you after you've been outed?
Moore: With grace, love and compassion.
CP: Some people accusing you of being hypocritical say that it was "your religion" that both saved you and let you down. How do you respond to that?
Moore: I wasn't saved by a religion; I was saved by a real, living God. And it is not He that has let me down, but I have let Him down. Time and time again, I have failed Him and failed to live a life of holiness. But my obedience is not my salvation; Christ is my salvation. My glue of my relationship with God is the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and that never changes.
CP: What lesson(s) have you learned?
Moore: Many. I have learned not to underestimate the power of my flesh. I have learned to be slow to speak and act. I have learned that I NEED solid, biblical community and fellowship on a regular basis. The list of lessons learned goes on and on.
CP: If you're back on Grindr in two weeks, what does that say about God?
Moore: Let's take it a little further. Let's say that in two weeks, I have left the faith and have embraced homosexuality again. What does that say about God? It says that God is gracious, loving, good and forgiving….and that I am rejecting that grace, love, goodness and forgiveness. At the end of the day, God is who He is regardless of who we are and what we do. "Let God be true, and every man a liar."
CP: What boundaries have you established to prevent giving into temptation?
Moore: I have sold my computer and have had someone put a lock on my phone where I cannot download apps or access the Internet through a non-filtered browser. Ultimately, this isn't the solution. My heart being captured by the grace of God and brought into humble obedience is the solution. But not taking precautions is dumb, so these are the precautions I have taken.
CP: What would you say to a Christian suffering from same-sex attraction after this experience?
Moore: The same thing I have always said: Jesus is better than sin. It doesn't matter what the specific sin is, Jesus is better. He is more valuable, comforting and satisfying than homosexual behavior, and I can say that from experience. If you fall, get back up and keep pursuing Him. If Jesus went as far as to die for your sin, why would He not help you up when you stumble? The world will tell you to embrace your homosexual desires because it'll make you happy in this life. Jesus tells you to deny yourself and follow Him and promises to give you eternal life if you do. You must decide everyday who you will believe and who you will follow: the way of the world or the Way of Jesus Christ.