Lonnie Frisbee -  A Gay vessel for the Holy Spirit



(Mat 25:3 NKJV) "Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,

(Mat 25:4 NKJV) "but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

The mega churches in Singapore owe much to the Evangelical Charismatic movement in the US in the 60s, 70s, and 80s which in turn was ignited by the Jesus Movement in the 70s. We have also inherited their anti-gay attitudes forgetting that many of the saints used by God were gays.

The name Pastor Lonnie Frisbee (1949 – 1993) has been deleted from the annals of Christianity because he was Gay. Notwithstanding, Lonnie was a major catalyst for revival and a poster hippie for the Jesus Movement. He became synonymous to the rapid growth of the Calvary Chapel Movement and later John Wimber’s Vineyard movement. Lonnie was fired by John Wimber, rejected and ostracized for being gay and died of AIDS in 1993 at the age of 43.

The vision of Frisbee baptizing thousands of teenage converts remain forever embedded in the front pages of the Time and Life Magazines as a historical icon of the Jesus Movement. One of his most important ministries was the “House of Miracles” which grew into a series of communal houses and later forming the Shiloh Youth Revival Centers which at its peak had 100,000 members. Frisbee's most notable convert was Greg Laurie who later established Harvest Christian Fellowship, with over 15,000 members.

Why are the churches so anti-gay? Perhaps there is a guilty conscience for rejecting one of their own for being gay. The denial of gays and their Christian Ministries continued on for the next 40 years until today.  Frisbee was the most well known of the many Christian Pastors and worship leaders who had been outed. Others however, came out of their own accord and refused to live a lie. They had struggled, but many were able to reconciled their faith and sexuality and came out into the open including:-

  • Ray Boltz (b.1953) who won the Song of the Year prize at the 1990 GMA Dove Awards, and came out to the public in 2008 after he retired in 2004. His first five records alone sold more than one million units by 2001.

  • Marsha Stevens (b.1952)who wrote "For Those Tears I Died (Come to the Water)". Christian Century Magazine's Mark Allan Powell wrote that, Stevens-Pino became "conservative Christianity's worst nightmare - a Jesus-loving, Bible-believing, God-fearing lesbian Christian.

  • Jennifer Knapp (b.1974) won Dove Awards in 1999 for New Artist of the Year and Rock Song of the Year for her song Undo Me. in April 2010, Knapp announced that she is a lesbian.

  • James Melville White (b.1940) – American Clergy and author.

Lonnie Frisbee died way before his time. He died and went to a much better place where he will be accepted by God rather than be rejected by the church he loved so much and gave his life for. Yet, the life of Lonnie Frisbee, so tragic reminds us of what God can do through just one gay person who willing to move by the gifts of the Holy Spirit and be mightily used by God. If God can use Frisbee, so can he use me and you for the Kingdom of God.

During his funeral the Rev Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel spoke of Frisbee as a Samson like character with a fatal flaw. However, being gay was not his downfall rather his failure to accept his sexual orientation as God ordained and a gift from God. If Frisbee had accepted his sexual orientation earlier, he would not have lived a double life and be authentic in his relationships. It would have meant resigning from his ministry at Calvary Chapel very early on, which did happen anyway later on at Vineyard. The conflict between His faith beliefs and His innate sexuality was his greatest struggle. When we reach heaven one day, we would be rather amused how we have short changed ourselves by believing in a lie that somehow our sexual orientation was a sin.

Some years ago, I commented that the City Harvest Church and New Creation Church were too moralistic with many do’s and don’ts in the context of their lack of acceptance of the GLBT community through their strict selective adherance of the Jewish Laws (which they themselves do not fully follow). This caused an uproar amongst some who said it was an attack against God’s anointed, in particular, Pastor Joseph Prince. This was surprising since many gay Christians were perturbed and adamant that God’s anointed pastor must be correct and that they are sinners.

This is not an issue of individual faith opinion, but the necessity to have pride and to be proud of our sexuality and not let others defined how God sees us. If we cannot come to a position of believing that God accepts us wholly and our sexuality is not an issue, then there is no point having a church (beyond the necessity for fellowship and mutual support) for we can’t go forth outside the church doors to evangelize to the GLBT community yet being half hearted in how we see ourselves.

If we see being gay as a sin or a fallen nature, then having a church and growing a church is just encouraging “deviant sexual behavior” (as claimed by some), or helping the mainstream churches by removing GLBT people from their midst to form new deviant churches thus making the mainstream churches purer!

Lonnie Frisbee was only free when he died, for in death, He returned to God who accepted Him. Our freedom in Christ is intrinsically linked to our freedom of accepting our sexual orientation. If we were unable to accept that God loves us and accepts us including our sexual orientation, how can we accept Him as our Lord and Savior? We can attend church on a Sunday and worship God, but we will not be able to preach the Gospel to the GLBT community to the ends of the earth because people will see through us and our inconsistencies especially the GLBT community.

God is no man’s debtor, we cannot force the Holy Spirit to do our bidding. If we want the Holy Spirit to work mightily through us then we must come to a point of Grace, a point of Faith that we are clean and holy vessels where the Spirit of God can flow mightily as opposed to considering ourselves as a sinner or of a fallen nature because we were gay.

Let us become vessels of the Holy Spirit with the oil of annointing and the presence of God flowing out from us that we may be a blessing to the GLBT community. We need the oil of the Holy Spirit and be confident that God can and will use us and that we are no greater sinner because of our sexuality but sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ.

We can't minister effectively to God if we still operate in the Old Wine skin where we see ourselves as sinners or based on a fallen nature and not with pride of how God has created us beautifully as a gay person. It's not only how much better or more professional that we can do church but whether there is oil in our lamp.


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