Tuesday, August 20, 2019

|Podcast| A Double-Minded Man - Bill Prickett

Photo Content from Bill Prickett 

Bill Prickett grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, the “Bible Belt” of the Deep South. He served more than five years in youth ministry, eleven years as Pastor of a Southern Baptist Church, and four years as Pastor of an independent, evangelical congregation. He has a bachelor’s degree in Religion, with a double minor in English and Psychology. His seminary training included advanced theological studies and biblical languages.

To comply with the teachings of his conservative Christian faith, he spent more than eight years trying to change his sexual orientation. Eventually, he became Executive Director of an “ex-gay” ministry, working with others who also struggled with homosexuality. He wrote curriculum, spoke at churches and conferences around the country, was interviewed by national and local media, and became a go-to consultant for evangelical organizations and Christian counselors.

Since abandoning those futile efforts, he’s spent decades speaking out about the deception and dangers of programs now known as Conversion Therapy. It’s a regular topic on his popular blog, and numerous publications have featured his survivor story or sought out his personal insights on this subject.

After leaving the ministry, he built a successful career in public relations and communications. Now retired, he lives outside Dallas, Texas with his husband and their rescue mutt.

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When we first Nate Truett, in January of 1982, he’s returning to work after a leave of absence following the death of his wife. He’s ready to get back to a familiar routine, as a Christian Counselor on staff with an Evangelical church in Birmingham, Alabama.

A chance meeting with openly gay Trey Stravos disrupts that plan, revealing that Nate has a secret. Because of the rigid teachings of his religious faith, as well as a commitment to his ministry and his marriage, he’s always successfully disregarded or suppressed these attractions.

Nate and Trey start out playing racquetball and working out together. As their friendship grows, these “sinful temptations” surface in ways he’s not experienced in the past, and his self-imposed constraints dissolve.

Over time, the inevitable happens as Trey introduces Nate to once-forbidden pleasures.

There’s a connection and intimacy with Trey he’s never known.

But what they’re doing goes against everything Nate’s been taught to believe.

Not to mention, if anyone found out, it would ruin his career.

The guilt, shame and fear is overwhelming.

Nate panics!
Under the guise of observation and research, he begins attending a support group built on the promise that it’s possible to change sexual orientation.

The decision to get involved with this ministry does bring change, but not what Nate anticipated.
It also sets in motion events he never expected, thrusting him into the media spotlight as a reluctant national spokesperson for successful transformation.

All while he struggles with unanswered questions and unresolved doubts.

To reconcile his internal conflict, Nate will have to question the faith he's always embraced and confront the desires he's always denied.

Peter Brossard wants to make a difference in his new job. He also hopes the cross-country move will give him a renewed sense of purpose and peace from his own troubled past.

What he finds is blatant bigotry, internal power struggles, lack of social consciousness, ongoing conflict with his superiors, amorous advances from his beautiful next-door neighbor, an unpopular friendship, illegal drug use, child abuse and a bounty of sexual secrets.

It’s certainly not what he expected as the youth minister in a Southern Baptist Church.

Like any new job, his first weeks are spent acclimating to the new surroundings and meeting the people who encircle this new position: the no-nonsense Senior Pastor who holds much different views of ministry than his own, his beautiful neighbor who envisions more than ministry with him and his ever-efficient secretary who stirs long-repressed feelings in him. Then there's the array of teenagers who comprise the youth group, with more problems than he expected, but with more potential than he could imagine. And he'll learn about the incredible bureaucracy imbedded in the church, and the amount of energy exerted to maintain a stable status

But he's also impacted by people he meets who are working to change their world for the better.

In the first weeks at his new job, Peter meets the director of an inner city mission actively involved in helping with the physical and economic needs of the predominately poor section of the city. Peter is so impressed that he volunteers to help out in his spare time. And he meets a black, ex-junkie who also works at the mission. Their friendship is unpopular with some in his church.

Working at the inner city mission causes Peter to question his own ministry and motivation. He determines there's something missing in his own life–what he comes to call the Wind–a clear awareness of divine purpose in life and joy in fulfilling that purpose. The search for this absent element drives Peter, and in the end, it's the force that sustains him in the face of devastating tragedy, doubt and grief. It provides him with the courage to confront his past and make the decisions required to transform his future.

Barnabas “Thumper” Rivers is a gregarious party boy trying to break free of his strict religious upbringing. His father is a nationally-known hellfire-and-brimstone preacher with a relentless crusade against those living a “sinful lifestyle” (like his son).

Thumper probably knows more Scripture than most Bible teachers and likes to quote verses at the most unusual times and in the most unlikely places. He also has a unique ability to discern those who are hiding secret desires behind a “stained-glass” facade.

He doesn’t believe in love, but is a devoted disciple of lust—an ambassador to the pleasures of the flesh and a walking testimony to the flesh out of control. His quick wit, outgoing personality and good looks score him ample attention and plenty of one-night stands.

After being brutally beaten by a mentally unstable man, Thumper is left with little memory of his past and a desperate desire to remember his forgotten life and his friends. He’s unaware that his parents and his doctor are determined to prevent that from happening.

The aftermath and repercussions of Thumper’s tragic incident also ripple through a circle of people around him, forcing them to face their own reality.

The Mind Set on the Flesh is a story of deception and manipulation in the name of religion. 

But what happens when the truth comes to light?

Bailey Stewart recently lost the love of his life.
He has attended too many funerals of friend who died of AIDS. His own future is uncertain.
In the depths of grief and despair, he decides to end his life.

But on the night he intends to carry out this fatal plan, an unconventional, flamboyant angel appears in his bedroom, with an offer to help. He angrily rejects her proposal, and proclaims that everything would be fine if AIDS had never existed.

Unknown to him, he will get that wish. However, first he must travel with three Guides who show him various eras in gay and lesbian history in order to provide perspective on his own life and times, and hopefully prevent his deadly decision.

In the end, Bailey finds a world that was never impacted by AIDS. Unfortunately, it’s not the “dream come true” existence he imagined. And he’s faced with the another grave decision: live where he’s not infected, or return to his own life…where he might die.

The choice is not as clear-cut as it might seem.
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