Listen: Sy Rogers chats with Hope 103.2 about his history of sexual brokenness and what helped him to grow beyond his past.
Everyone struggles with their sexuality to some degree, and a loving, grace-filled church community is the place that can help us to heal, according to Sy Rogers.
That’s the core message of the international preacher, who is heading to Sydney as a speaker at Hillsong’s Colour Conference this month.
In a recent chat with Hope 103.2, Sy talked about his own journey from sexual brokenness to wholeness.
A History of Brokenness
Sy’s personal journey is definitely a unique one. But he is not ashamed to speak of his past which took him on the path of a “promiscuous life” before coming to faith.
As a young man four decades ago, he was living a homosexual lifestyle, dealing with memories of childhood abuse, and taking steps towards a gender reassignment, then better known as a ‘sex change’.
Today he is a husband, father, grandfather and world-travelling preacher.
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“I come out of a history of child sex abuse,” he said. “With the death of my mother and separation from my father I grew up in a relationship vacuum, and I was misdirected by that abuse.”
Before his transformation he “blamed God for a lot of his suffering,” he said. “I thought that [God] was not an advocate for me.”
But according to Sy his life was intercepted by something greater, opening his eyes to God’s “reality” and “love”.
The Healing Community of the Church
What enabled Sy to “grow beyond the power of his past,” was the church family.
“They loved me very well and very effectively and that sparked growth,” he told Hope 103.2.
Because of his own experience with a healthy, loving church community, Sy’s goal is to “Encourage the modern church” to do the same for people struggling in areas of sexual brokenness.
“In an age where [the church] is criticised as unloving, it is still the vehicle in which God chooses to disciple, nourish and nurture people,” he said.
In his view, what people are really searching for is “healthy intimacy, and relationships within boundaries” – something that society doesn’t always encourage.
“Healthier relationships really enabled me to walk on a path that became healthy for me, where I learnt to become a responsible steward of my mind and body,” he shared.
God’s Love Breaks the Shame of Sexual Brokenness
In Sy’s view, nobody’s exempt from sexuality issues of some kind or another.
“We all struggle with sexual issues in varying degrees on the spectrum and that is why I want to take a look at why we struggle and even better what we can do about that,” he said.
He wants to “break the shame” by sharing God’s love and compassion. He adds that having a clear understanding of God, sex and culture “helps us get back into the driver’s seat of living our lives in a way that is responsible and healthy.
While the church had an important role in Sy’s growth, he wants all to know what truly set his life straight.
“God is not into rules, he’s into the wellbeing of humanity.”
– Sy Rogers
“The real goal that put my life on the right path was directing my heart and life to God,” he said. “Believing that [God] understood me, he loved me and wanted relationship with me. And that in spite of my history and humanity, he drew me to himself and helped me get those things in order.”
In line with his message, Sy’s Twitter feed is peppered with quotes from his own messages that emphasise God’s grace.
“It doesn’t matter that you get dirty, what matters most is what you do with it. Run to God who washes you clean”…”God is not into rules, he’s into the wellbeing of humanity.”
A Message for Everyone
Sy shares his message not only for those struggling with their own personal sexuality issues, including promiscuity or same-sex attraction, but for pastoral workers, church leaders, parents and friends who want to help those around them.
His greatest desire is to help people see that God’s love fills every area of need in the human soul.
“I really want to paint a picture of God’s awesome character where people run to him as an advocate rather than shrinking away from him in shame feeling like they’ve got to do this all on their own,” he said.
Colour Conference Sydney, where Sy will be a guest speaker, is on at the International Conference Centre from March 17 to 22.