WASHINGTON — The second annual Freedom March will be held on Saturday in the nation’s capital, featuring messages from those who formerly lived as homosexuals or transgender but broke free from the power of sin through Jesus Christ.
The event begins at 1 p.m. at the Sylvan Theater and will feature a number of testimonies from men and women who once were lost but now are found. Founded by Jeffrey McCall of For Such a Time Ministry, who lived for a time as a woman, the Freedom March has the goal of “connecting fellow overcomers, reaching out to the LGBTQ community in each city, and equipping the local church.”
“We seek to bring hope of deliverance to the LGBTQ community and point them to Christ!” the website for the event reads. “We are passionate speakers, pastors, parents, worshippers, activists, and students young and old from all across the U.S.A.”
Included in this year’s lineup is Luis Javier Ruiz, who is a Pulse nightclub shooting survivor. Ruiz lost two friends in the attack and was hospitalized himself due to gunshot wounds. During that time, he discovered that he tested positive for HIV.
“I should have been number 50,” Ruiz wrote to social media nearly a year after the tragedy. He said that as he looked through his photographs from the club, he was reminded of his “struggles of perversion, heavy drinking to drown out everything and having promiscuous sex that led to HIV.”
Ruiz started attending a church shortly after facing death, where he found himself in a nurturing environment that encouraged him to follow Christ. He repented of his homosexuality to find his identity in the Lord and not in sex.
“The enemy had its grip, and now God has taken me from that moment and has given me Christ Jesus,” he joyed in his April 28, 2017 post. “I’ve grown to know His love in a deeper level.”
Ruiz, who now leads an organization called Fearless Identity, spoke at last year’s Freedom March, telling those gathered, “It’s not a gay to straight thing; it’s a lost to saved thing.” Fellow Pulse survivor Angel Colon will also appear at Saturday’s event.
Edward Byrd, a gospel singer and leader of the organization Uprooted Heart, will likewise be present at the gathering, similarly telling the Christian Post this week that he doesn’t believe in “conversion therapy,” unless that conversion is one from unsaved to saved.
“[T]he majority of us have never experienced conversion therapy. Our experiences were encounters with the Holy Spirit that changed our lives,” he said.
Byrd grew up with an abusive and often absent father, which caused him to seek out love in the wrong places. He walked away from homosexuality seven years ago and learned that just because he has an interest in hairstyling and beauty, it does not mean that he is homosexual.
Video footage from last year shows event participants marching down the sidewalk singing “Break Every Chain” and chanting phrases such as “Freedom in Christ, it’s so nice!”
One speaker also exhorted those gathered with the words of Scripture, stating, “I believe some of you here today are still battling thoughts and temptations. God wants to deliver you from every yoke of bondage. He wants you to take every thought captive and lay aside every weight and that sin that does so easily entangle you.”
Freedom March events are scheduled for other cities as well, including in St. Paul, Minnesota on June 23 and Orlando, Florida on September 14. Tomorrow’s gathering and march will be live-streamed via Facebook on the event page.
As previously reported, while a common theme among homosexual advocates is that they were “born this way,” the Bible teaches that all men are born with the Adamic sin nature, having various inherent inclinations that are contrary to the law of God and being utterly incapable of changing by themselves.
It is why Jesus outlined in John 3:5-7 that men must be regenerated by the second birth, or they cannot see the kingdom of Heaven.
“Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’
Nicodemus saith unto him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’
Jesus answered, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ‘Ye must be born again.’”
“Bitter experience teaches that the imprisoning net clings too tightly to be stripped from our limbs by our own efforts. Nay rather, the net and the captive are one, and he who tries to cast off the oppression which hinders him from following that which is good is trying to cast off himself,” also wrote the late preacher and Bible commentator Alexander Maclaren.
“But to men writhing in the grip of a sinful past, or paralyzed beyond writhing and indifferent, because [they are] hopeless, or because they have come to like their captivity, comes one whose name is ‘The Breaker,’ whose mission it is to proclaim liberty to the captives, and whose hand laid on the cords that bind a soul, causes them to drop harmless from the limbs and sets the bondsman free.”