Christ our hope and glory
work in us
My testimony: Christ's testimony
“The Spirit of God testifies to my spirit”
Michael Schnob's Story
My name is Michel Schnob and I am a member of
Alban’s Anglican Church in Ottawa. I am also on the board of the Ottawa
chapter of New Direction, a support Ministry for people who struggle
same-sex attractions, and for their families and friends.
The Holy Spirit confessed Christ in me as my Lord and
in 1984. I am a 51-year-old man who has always been attracted to people
of my own gender. Without going into any details, let me just say that
1984, I lived my homosexuality to the fullest. Unlike some other areas
struggle and brokenness, from which God chose to set me free instantly
completely, that attraction did not disappear with Jesus entering my
However, my view on same-sex attraction and how I deal with it has
About one year after my conversion, the Lord revealed the
“new direction” he wanted me to take in my sexual orientation. I had
a sermon at my church on sexuality. I remember going to see a brother
God had totally set free from same-sex attractions. He warned me that
truth would not be pleasant for me to hear, but that if I wanted to
Jesus, I would have to give it up for Him. I asked my friend to show me
in the Bible, what God said specifically on the issue of homosexuality.
Knowing in my heart that the Word of God was the truth and was good, I
the decision at that moment, to try to obey God, if I intended to
claiming to be a Christian.
Five years later, in 1989, I met and fell madly in love
a beautiful and wonderful man. The relationship lasted over six months.
To quote Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of
I was in a position of leadership in my congregation, which was a
Reformed Church. I made my sexual relationship known to my pastor and
him to remove me from my leadership function, because of my rebellion.
pastor refused to relieve me permanently from my role, because he
he could see that I was not totally at peace with my affair.
Like Jesus, still my friend
During the entire time the love affair lasted,
my pastor, and another minister who had been a friend of mine since
my conversion, kept in touch with me. I remember the latter coming to
when he first found out about my affair. He told me that if what he had
heard was not true, he was praising God, but if, however, it was true,
like Jesus was still my friend! I remember how that statement shocked
In the ensuing months, my Christian friends never stopped having a good
with me, praying for me, and continually paying me visits. During that
I did not stop going to church even though it meant being with people
made me feel so tormented about my love affair, not by what they said,
just because they stood for Christ. Looking back, I realize that God
His very presence, His very Word in my face throughout that time, as a
of to Whom I really belonged.
As months went by, the fulfillment I found being with
man, gradually vanished, leaving an ever-growing void in my soul. More
more, I found myself longing for a home where that kind of homosexual
had no place. Like the prodigal son, I too had walked away from my
home and spent my inheritance. Like the prodigal son, I too, at one
started longing to go back to my Father to beg Him to forgive me and
me back. But it took a dramatic event for me to finally walk away from
My lover was not a Christian and would get annoyed
I was so conflicted as a Christian and a practising homosexual. Finally
he gave me an ultimatum that I will never forget: He asked me to choose
between himself and Christ. I could have either, but not both.
for a brief moment, which felt like an eternity, I hesitated. The event
of Peter in the courtyard, denying Christ suddenly flashed through my
I too, by hesitating, had also denied the very Lord and Saviour who had
for me. Like Peter, I also saw the loving gaze of Jesus penetrating
me and calling me back, showing me that despite my abandoning Him, He
never, and would never forsake me. He had forgiven me and wanted me
with Him. I ran back into His arms without looking back.
The turning point
That was the major turning point in my walk with the
Not only had I experienced life with Jesus, but also life without Him.
then did I begin to grasp the depth of Jesus’ love for me, that truly
could separate me from the love of God.” No man, or woman could match
intimacy of the relationship that Christ offered me.
About four years ago, however, I started to crave for
with a real, live human being again. I was tired of resisting my
and watching my Christian heterosexual brothers and sisters whose
attraction could be channelled into marital bliss, being blessed by
I also longed for a set of arms to hold me when I came home, and for me
to hold also; to hear the sweet words "I love you", and also pronounce
And since I was not attracted in any way to women, the choice was
I cried out to God and told Him I was tired of fighting. Couldn’t he
me if He wanted me to resist? But the feelings didn’t go away and I
in to them.
I answered an ad in the local newspaper and met someone
a downtown cafe. I remember how easily that door had opened. I had
God would stop me, or at the very least, would make it very hard for me
get what He did not want me to have.
Realizing how much Jesus loves me
As I was getting ready to meet my date, I promised myself
that I would not talk about Christ under any circumstances. Yet I spoke
of Jesus immediately and could not stop talking about the Lord for the
of the evening. The man in question turned out to be a former priest,
claimed to still be a Christian. He told me I was a gift from God for
an answer to his prayer. He was convinced that God was going to bless
relationship. I totally disagreed with him and had a gut feeling that
Lord would surprise me with the outcome of that evening. As I was
quoting John 17, the sacerdotal prayer, to the man, I suddenly realized
much Jesus loved me. I knew then, I would not go through with that
relationship. I had been reminded of the intimacy with Jesus, which no
person could match.
I feel my sexual brokenness is what has kept me hanging
to Jesus for dear life. Like Paul, I always will need to rely on the
of God's grace. Like Paul, day in and day out, I find myself crying
“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
be to God through Christ Jesus our Lord!” I also know that the Word of
is truth and must be upheld, because “The Spirit of God testifies to my
spirit.” I have seen the promises of God gradually being fulfilled in
life. That is the strongest evidence of the truth of Scripture and of
reality of the living Christ in me. I am also aware that a work is
done in me about which I have no control, in fact, even despite me at
While I still occasionally struggle with lust, I also
that “He who has started a work in me will perfect it unto the day of
Christ.” Praise God!
Soli Deo Gloria! To God alone be glory!
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