What the devil has trained you to do, God will use for His glory." That prophetic word redeemed over a decade of lasciviousness in Greg Quinlan's life and set him on a journey to see LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) captives everywhere set free.
Quinlan found Jesus when he was 9 years old, but turned away from Him after he inclined his heart toward pornographic images that opened the door to sexual perversion. He still remembers the day he and his friends found a Playboy magazine. A year later, he and one of those friends started a homosexual relationship.
"I knew it was wrong, but I kept going back for more because I got affection, approval and affirmation," Quinlan says. "Someone touched me without hitting me and talked to me without cussing at me. That sent me on the journey of double-mindedness. I never denied the existence of God or His love for me but I could not reconcile this woundedness from my father who beat me. I had a desire to be with the Lord and same-sex attraction at the same time."
As he grew up, the internal struggle became so intense that, at 24, he faced a demonic ultimatum: come out of the closet or commit suicide. Quinlan chose life—but the wrong kind of life. He fully embraced a homosexual lifestyle and started passionately lobbying for the gay agenda. But Proverbs 19:21 rang true in his life: "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but the Lord's purpose will stand."
Call him a modern-day apostle Paul. Twenty-five years after finding a Playboy issue that led him into a lifestyle of lust, Christ knocked him off his high horse of homosexuality, spoke to his heart, opened his blind eyes and sent him on a mission to turn the hearts of hurting people back to the Father.
With faith in one powerful prophetic word that answered the cry of his heart, Quinlan walked away from a decade of gay activism and started lobbying for biblical marriage. But he didn't stop there. In 2008, he co-founded Living Free Ministries, which helps people who want to exit the homosexual lifestyle by dealing with issues that led to gender-identity confusion. Quinlan is also the president and executive director of The Center for Garden State Families, a newly organized family advocacy group; a Chairman for New Jersey for a Conservative Majority Political Action Committee; and founder and president of the Pro-Family Network, a Christian family advocacy organization defending the natural family and confronting the homosexual agenda.
Quinlan came out of the kingdom of darkness with a vengeance against the spirits that took him captive. What the enemy meant for harm, God is using for good. Today, he can comfort struggling LGBT people with the love of Christ—and he can boldly and convincingly speak the truth about the deceptive wiles of the wicked one—because he understands how the enemy snared him. He's living proof that anyone can break free from the homosexual ties that bind.
As Radical as They Come
But for the grace of God, though, Quinlan could have had a much different story. When it comes to gay activists, he was about as radical as they come. In 1988, he formed a branch of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay and lesbian political organization in the U.S., in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio. He actually thought he found his life's calling, but the evidence of sin's wages was ever before him, and his soul was sore-vexed.
A nurse by trade, Quinlan cared for many men who were dying of AIDS. Knowing he once walked with Christ, they would ask him heart-breaking questions such as: "Am I going to hell?"; "Would you read my favorite Bible verse at my funeral?"; and "Would you tell my little girl what happened to Daddy?" Despite Quinlan's backslidden condition, his witness for Christ led some of them to repentance before they died.
Soon, Quinlan's disgust for his lascivious lifestyle grew greater than his uncontrollable same-sex lust, and he started wrestling with the Lord. A stream of light broke in when an ex-gay man with AIDS shared his testimony on a TBN broadcast. Quinlan was so touched he called the station and confessed: "I'm gay. I don't want to be like this anymore."
Quinlan recited the "sinner's prayer," and then it happened. Proverbs 19:21 started taking over his life. That night in 1992, 10 years after fully embracing a gay identity, Quinlan rededicated his life to Jesus. He still questioned, though, if God would ever fully embrace him again.
On Easter Sunday 1993, that nagging question was settled in his heart forever when evangelist Peggy Richards preached a sermon on the Father's love at Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio. The message exposed the broken, spiritually hungry places in Quinlan's heart.
"I was boo-hoo snotting and slobbering at the altar," he recalls. "I said in my heart, 'Lord, if You have taken me back and You want to use me, then tell me now."
God immediately answered his heart's cry when Richards turned to him and prophesied, "Son, there's a call on your life. What the devil has trained you to do, God will use for His glory."
Finding His True Calling
With that life-giving prophecy, Quinlan's heart was filled with a joy and zeal he had never experienced before. After starving himself spiritually for a decade, he began meditating on the Word of God, listening to Bible cassettes in his car and consuming as much preaching and teaching as he could get in his spirit.
Quinlan also plugged into Solid Rock Church, where the pastors not only embraced him but saw the call of God on his life and suggested he help start a church ministry to serve people who struggled with overcoming addictions, including sex, alcohol and drugs.
From that point on, there was no stopping him. Quinlan started working with the Christian Coalition in Ohio, lobbying for legislation such as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. He labored to get porn out of school libraries, fought against partial-birth abortions and lobbied for the Defense of Marriage Act in Ohio, which passed in 2004 and mandated that the state only recognize marriages between one man and one woman.
"What was interesting about that was I was doing exactly what I was doing with HRC (Human Rights Campaign), but now I was doing it for the right side," says Quinlan, who soon became the president of Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-Gays (PFOX). PFOX promotes awareness of ex-gays and provides community for people struggling with same-sex attraction and for their family members.
At a time in U.S. history when the Supreme Court has sanctioned immorality through the same-sex marriage ruling, Richards' prophetic word continues to fuel the righteous fire within Quinlan. He's not about to give up the fight for souls now and he's committed to contending for God's Word despite the persecution. Indeed, he feels he has been called for such a time as this.
Battling Great Opposition
Beyond the dangerous ramifications for families, children and culture, Quinlan is concerned about how the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling will restrict religious freedom. He points to Houston Mayor Annise Parker's subpoena of five pastors' sermons as one example. Another is Kim Davis' landing in jail for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses in Kentucky. There are many cases of bakers, pizza shop owners, and bed and breakfast facilities that have come under fire for not catering to gays.
"The bottom line is, this is an attack on Christianity," Quinlan says. "It's an attack on Him; therefore, it's an attack on us." He stresses that the right response is neither to fear or hate. "All I know is we have to become more devoted and dedicated to our walk with Jesus Christ."
Quinlan's passion for Christ and biblical marriage has caused some to cheer him on—and others to persecute him. He's not afraid to call homosexuality sin, which causes many gay lobbyists to gnash their teeth at him. The opposition doesn't faze him, though. In fact, the opposition seems to fuel his passion to push back the darkness that keeps captives bound.
Michael Brown, founder and president of FIRE School of Ministry, host of the apologetics TV show "Answering Your Toughest Questions" and author of Can You Be Gay and Christian? Responding With Love & Truth to Questions About Homosexuality, appreciates every voice fighting the good fight of faith to see God's truth reign in America.
Brown says various opposing groups, as disconnected as they may be, are remarkably united when it comes to the gay revolution. Christians must also unite.
"Without a doubt, we are in the midst of a massive cultural revolution, a significant downturn in faith and biblical morality, an attempt to cast off God and His standards. Yet so much of the church seems soundly asleep, content with lovely services and entertaining sermons," Brown says.
"It's high time we awake to righteousness; to desperate, fervent prayer; and to preaching Jesus without shame or apology. God's answer to a godless counterculture revolution is a fresh Jesus Revolution. Why not now?"
A question just as appropriate is: If not now, when? The church has been quiet for too long on many social issues. If we remain silent now, we can't cry out later when our religious liberties are further eroded. Quinlan understands this reality all too well.
"Greg is a courageous guy who goes into lions' dens such as corporate stockholders meetings and legislative hearings and tells them what they don't want to hear—that being gay is not genetic nor is it unchangeable," says Robert Knight, a conservative commentator and senior fellow at the American Civil Rights Union. "This really messes with the liberal worldview, which is based on junk science and media propaganda."
Quinlan says it's important to be vocal because the goal of the secular left is to silence ex-gays so no one knows change is possible. Matt Barber, an attorney focused on constitutional law and editor of barbwire.com, says Quinlan is a powerful weapon against the enemy's deception because he escaped the homosexual lifestyle and proved that people are not "born that way." Being "born that way"—in other words, being born homosexual—is a subject of heated debate between Christians and the gay activist camp.
"Greg is an articulate voice on matters of human sexuality and redemption," Barber says. "His own story of how Christ saved him has been an inspiration to many. According to the Left, Greg doesn't even exist. He's like the abominable snowman."
But he does—and Quinlan says there are countless thousands of ex-gays just like him. The problem is, most don't speak up. "It's not safe to come out," Quinlan says, because being mocked and physically assaulted isn't uncommon for ex-gays. "I've been assaulted. I've been sued. When I tried to talk to a young gay man in Chicago about PFOX, the man punched me in the face."
Quinlan says there are two reasons ex-gays are silent: They want to forget their past, and they don't want to face the persecution or expose their families to backlash. But there are others, such as gospel singer Donnie McClurkin and activist Janet Boynes, who are willing to stand up and speak the truth despite the cost.
"I'm convinced that the active, prayerful, Spirit-anointed compassion of God's people is the key to bringing deliverance and hope to those caught in the homosexual lifestyle," says Boynes, author of Called Out: A Former Lesbian's Discovery of Freedom and founder of Janet Boynes Ministries. "If someone had confronted me with a judgmental attitude or even a hint of condemnation, I would've turned away. You see, I already had enough condemnation boiling deep inside me. What I needed most was an active demonstration of God's love and mercy breaking into my prison of sin and guilt."
Driven by a Mission
As for Quinlan, he is driven by the life-changing prophetic word he received Thanksgiving Day in 1992: "What the devil has trained you to do, God will use for His glory." He believes that prophetic word can apply to many others like him who struggle with same-sex attraction—and he's intentional about helping people and their families through the struggle.
Now, Quinlan is writing a curriculum to equip churches to help people who struggle with same-sex attraction. But it all boils down to one word: hope. There's always hope—hope for those struggling with same-sex attraction; hope for those with a horrible past; and hope for those whose loved ones are stuck in sin.
"I'm telling my story of hope because people need to know," he says. "I would encourage anyone who left the homosexual lifestyle to do the same thing. The Bible says, 'Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.' We have to get the word out. We cannot be silent. We have to speak the truth in love, but it isn't love if you don't tell the truth. The truth will set people free."
Jenny Rose Curtis is a copy editor for Charisma Media and a co-host of the "Spirit-Led Woman" and "Charisma News" podcasts.
Adam LiVecchi interviews Greg Quinlan about how pornography hurts people and creates strongholds at quinlan.charismamag.com.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.