Dr. John Ankerberg: I’d like
to introduce to you a young man who is dying of AIDS. His name is Roger
Montgomery. Roger is only 29 years of age.
Roger, let’s ask the question, number one, when did you
find out that you have AIDS?
Roger Montgomery: About three
and a half years ago I went to have the test done for the virus. When I
went, I knew that I would have it because of so many sexual contacts I had
had. I had had anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 contacts, so I knew I would
have the virus, but I just wanted to get it on paper. That was about three
and a half years ago. And in January I was diagnosed with the disease.
Ankerberg: Let’s go back to
the beginning, Roger. You were raised in a relatively fine home, and yet
there was some influence in your background that led you to homosexuality.
Would you tell us about it?
Montgomery: When I was about 6
or 7 years old, I had a neighbor who sexually molested me...homosexually
molested me for a couple of years. And my parents...they didn’t give me
pornography, but they kept pornography in the home, which I had access to.
Ankerberg: And your folks
didn’t know what was going on?
Montgomery: No, I didn’t tell
them about the rape because I was ashamed of what the man was doing; and I
was afraid to because of his threat to my life.
Ankerberg: Obviously, they
must have been frightening. Did you get used to them or what happened?
Montgomery: For a 6-year-old
boy to have the type of sexual relations I had with a grown man —very
painful physically. But after a while I began to, you would say, "fall in
love" with this man and began to like his sexual aggression toward me.
Ankerberg: You said in your
home that you had pornography. What kind of pornography?
Montgomery: It wasn’t
hard-core pornography, if you want to term it that way. It more or less
like Playboy and Hustler and my mother kept pornography—Playgirl
and things like this where men were featured. And finally, she began to
buy gay magazines.
Ankerberg: Did you realize you
were attracted to males or females at that early age?
Montgomery: I had no sexual
attraction for the female at all. And the pornography...my sexual
attraction was strictly for men.
Ankerberg: All right, so, as
you went along then, what happened in high school?
Montgomery: Basically nothing
actually happened outwardly. I had a few small sexual contacts with kids
my own age, the way children play around. But on the inside I began to get
more and more addicted to pornography. My homosexuality began to grow
within me. By the time I was 16 or 17 years old, homosexuality was out of
control in my life. I was unable to deal with it in any fashion, even
though I was not having sexual contact at the time.
Ankerberg: So what was your
game plan as you were growing up?
Montgomery: Religion. When I
was about 15 years old, I was introduced to the church. From the time that
I was old enough to remember any sort of sexual feelings, my mom and dad
were not Christians. They didn’t attend church. But they were supposedly
moral people but they had never spoken to me about the issue of
homosexuality nor had I ever been condemned for homosexuality or heard
anyone condemned themselves because no one knew that I was homosexual. But
from the very first time I can remember, I remembered a very deep sense of
guilt about who I was, that I was homosexual. That guilt was innate within
me. No one had to tell me or to force guilt upon me that I was homosexual.
So I decided that when I was introduced to the church that possibly
religion would be the answer to get homosexuality out of my life, or that
would cure me. But I was soon to find out that religion could not change a
person that is homosexual into heterosexual.
Ankerberg: What did you do
after high school then?
Montgomery: I went to Bible
College. Because I figured that if I could separate myself from the
influences of my life and go into an atmosphere...a Christian atmosphere
that I could perhaps overcome and change my sexuality. But my first year
in a Fundamental Baptist college I became sexually involved with my
roommate and we became lovers the first year.
Ankerberg: So you had no
deliverance from homosexuality, even at a Christian school.
Montgomery: No. It had
grown...I had not had much if any at all sexual context after the rape
until I started college. And then my first year in Bible College I began
to open up and to really experience what homosexuality was like and I
began to like it. And it began to...at that point...began to dominate who
Ankerberg: And you got kicked
out of Bible school, didn’t you?
Montgomery: Right. So I went
home, got a job, and came back to a different Bible college in a second
attempt—another commitment to God that "God, I’ll give up my
homosexuality." But I couldn’t give up who I was innately.
Ankerberg: So, after the
second attempt failed and you didn’t find any deliverance from your
homosexuality, then what?
Montgomery: I cursed God to
His face. I actually looked up to the sky and cursed God with everything I
had because I hated Him! Why had God made me this way? And if God
had made me this way and He wanted me to be different, why didn’t He
change me? As much as I had tried to be changed, why wouldn’t God change
me? And I cursed Him, and denied Him and said, "I don’t want anything to
do with you! Get out of my life. Leave me alone."
Ankerberg: So, you were
disillusioned with God?
Religion was a lie as far as I was concerned.
Ankerberg: So then what
Montgomery: Almost immediately
I got into prostitution. Because at that point, because of my
homosexuality I was no longer in control of who I was. I was dominated by
a force greater than myself. I did not have the will any more to direct my
life at all. So I got into prostitution because I couldn’t hold a job. And
I didn’t want a job anyway because it interfered with my sexual "hunt."
And I got into prostitution.
Ankerberg: Why couldn’t you
keep a job?
Montgomery: Because the only
thing that mattered to me was making sexual contact with other men. And I
couldn’t do that in the confines of a job.
Ankerberg: So where did you
Montgomery: I lived mainly on
the street, in bus stations. As a prostitute I would pick up...or people
would pick me up and I could sleep at their place for the night.
Ankerberg: All right. Yet
during this period of time, you’re angry with God, you felt like you’ve
been forsaken by Him, and no deliverance; you’re living as a prostitute on
the street. Obviously, you’re here tonight. Something happened to you.
What happened to you?
Montgomery: It came to a point
in my life where my life was over. After 4 or 5 years in prostitution,
cocaine addiction, alcohol abuse, it came to a point where there was
nothing left within me any more. I knew I would have AIDS, and I knew I
would probably die. And life had no hope for me whatsoever. I had given up
on God and it wasn’t even in my mind.
Ankerberg: What was your
relationship...how did you think about women during this period?
Montgomery: Women have never,
ever in my life, since I was a young child, had any sexual attraction to
me. As a matter of fact, I looked at women with disgust. But there came a
point when I was ready for suicide; there was no hope left in my life—I
was empty, I was ruined, sleeping on the street. No more could I even be a
prostitute because so many people in the city of Chicago had been with me
so many times I was just old trash thrown out even by the homosexual
I came to a point in my life where I wasn’t seeking
God—Jesus Christ Himself—sought me out. And it wasn’t a religious
experience I had with Him, but Christ—the Person that rose from the
dead—came to me and He spoke to my heart, and He said, "You know what?
I’ve got hope for you. Your life is without hope, it’s ended; I want to
give you a new life. I don’t want to change who you are, I want to
make you a brand new person."
And that’s what rebirth is all about. And when I was
born again, when I received Jesus Christ, there became a new man inside of
me. I was no longer the homosexual that I was, or the prostitute, or that
cocaine abuser or drug abuser. But the first thing I had to do when I came
to Christ, I said, "Well, Lord, I’ve tried religion; I’ve tried to crucify
my own flesh and to follow that." But then I had to realize that God would
accept me, that Christ had come to me as a homosexual—"as you are."
Ankerberg: Just the way you
are. In other words...
Montgomery: Just the way I am,
as a homosexual. Homosexuality was no way by far the only sin in my life,
but it was one of the sins in my life. I knew it was a sin. I had to
confess that homosexuality was a sin in my life. It was not put upon me by
the Church. I realized from the point I had any sexual feelings that
homosexuality was a sin and it had separated me from God. And at that
point in my life, when I received Jesus Christ, for once and at the very
beginning, I knew what it was to be a whole person. And with my rebirth I
received my heterosexuality.
Ankerberg: Rog, today when you
read the newspapers—I’d like to have your opinion—the general consensus is
that people are "born" homosexual. What do you think?
Montgomery: I couldn’t comment
on the fact whether people are born homosexual or not—I’ll leave that for
the scientists. I did not have a choice to my homosexual orientation. I
believe it was learned behavior in my behalf because I had no sexual
feelings until this man’s rape or until pornography. That was not a
conscious choice I made to be homosexual. But I came to realize that
because it was not my choice did not mean it was not a sin or it was not
my responsibility to deal with that in my life.
Ankerberg: Describe what kind
of relationships you had. We hear Bishop Spong and Dr. Martin have been
talking about "loving relationships." What do you think?
Montgomery: You really want to
get me in trouble, don’t you?
Ankerberg: Yeah, I’ve got to
ask the tough questions.
Montgomery: I have had contact
with many thousand homosexual people. And I’ve talked to very many of them
during my homosexual lifestyle about that very issue and my own personal
relationship. Homosexual relationships are not analogous to heterosexual
relationship in any form.
Ankerberg: Why not?
Montgomery: Because they are
self-centered, self-serving and they’re only after what they
can get out of you, and they do not give.
Ankerberg: What do you mean?
Montgomery: They’re after what
you can give to them sexually, what you can give to them emotionally.
Homosexual people, even though they would like to, cannot give to others
in an appropriate, loving type of relationship.
Ankerberg: When you were on
the street, all right, and you were selling yourself, how many
relationships did you have in an evening?
Montgomery: Sometimes I could
have as many as around 10 to 20 relationships...sexual contacts in an
evening. There are places in the city where gay people go, a bathhouse or
similarly related places, where they can contact as many as 50 and upwards
sexual contacts in one evening.
Ankerberg: When you wake up
the next morning, are you fulfilled?
Montgomery: No. Homosexuality
leads only to emptiness. It will not produce within the person
—seeking gratification through homosexuality—will not produce that desired
peace and fulfillment. It only leaves emptiness.
Ankerberg: What was the thing
that you missed all of your life in Bible college and then all of a sudden
you found along the way that brought you to Christ?
Montgomery: That I could come
to Christ as a homosexual; that I didn’t have to change when I came to Him
[but] that He would change me. I had tried so often to change from
homosexual to heterosexual but it is not within the homosexual’s
power to change. It is not. The only thing that can change the homosexual
is rebirth and the power of God. It wasn’t by my own willpower. I didn’t
pull myself up by my own bootstraps. It was a divine rebirth from
Ankerberg: We’re going to just
take a break right now, but when we come back we’re going to talk about
the fact that you face death, and yet God changed you so much, the fact is
that you actually have gotten married and you’ve had a child. And we want
to talk about that. Just hold on and we’ll talk about it when we come
* * * *
Ankerberg: We’re back, and
Roger, from the time that you invited Christ into your life and you were
changed, how long was it before God changed your orientation, your desire,
from men to women?
Montgomery: When I received
Christ and was born again, I became a heterosexual at the point of my
rebirth. It was about a year to a year and a half before I began to really
realize and to walk in heterosexuality.
Ankerberg: Okay. During that
time, did you face temptation?
Ankerberg: Tell me about it.
Montgomery: Where I worked,
every morning...God had given me a job—that was one of the first things He
did after my salvation is He gave me a job. I had to go through the gay
community. And every day the temptation to get off the train or to walk
into the bar or to make sexual contact was incredible. The only thing that
kept me out of homosexual activity was the fact that I had a pastor in a
small church I attended—he didn’t know anything about homosexuality or any
advice to give me, but if I was tempted to go to the bar or to stop off, I
would call him and say, "Pastor, I’m very tempted." He’d say, "I’m going
to meet you here in 25 minutes. If you’re not here I’m going to come
looking for you. And when you get here you’re going to spend the night
with me and you’ll sleep at my house and we’ll be praying for you."
And then the fact that Christ did a miracle. I confessed
that, and I knew that the homosexual lifestyle was wrong, that I could
follow it and stay in it if I wanted to, but that was wrong. What I needed
to do was to walk, trust Christ that heterosexuality was right.
Ankerberg: Tell us about when
you met the girl that you eventually married.
Montgomery: My wife—I told her
from the very beginning that I was an ex-homosexual and that I had
AIDS...or I had the AIDS virus. My wife, when I finally did tell her—she
was dating my best friend at the time—when I did tell her and we started
dating, she said she knew, just... because she did know and that she
didn’t care. She wanted to marry me anyway.
Ankerberg: And she did.
Montgomery: And she did. We
have a year and a half old daughter and another, a son, due in July.
Ankerberg: And the fact is
that the last testing...
Montgomery: It was about a
month ago. All of my...my wife and my child that is a year and a half now
is still negative. They have not contracted the virus.
Ankerberg: As you face death,
how do you think?
Montgomery: I don’t think
about AIDS much because the time that I’ve had AIDS has been the happiest
time of my life—not because I have AIDS but because in Christ’s
sufficiency I have a new life. I have what I’ve wanted all of my life—to
be a whole person. I’m no longer homosexual, I’m heterosexual. And my life
is complete in Christ and fulfilled now. No longer is it the bondage that
enslaved me, that I lived under for so many years. The lie that Satan had
perpetrated upon me: That homosexuality was okay and it was a part of me.
Ankerberg: Roger, there may be
thousands of homosexual men and women that are listening to you right now.
What would you like to say to them?
Montgomery: There’s hope. What
is going to keep...what is destroying the homosexual community is, used to
be, that people that were homosexual wanted to change. But now they don’t
want to any more. I just want to tell the homosexual community, don’t give
up hope. Turn back to the Scripture for your authority that homosexuality
is wrong. Christ not only condemns homosexuality, He offers as a
free gift new life and change for those who will accept it. But until you
realize that your homosexuality is sinful and that it separates you from
God...you can never have happiness and peace as a homosexual. Not true
Ankerberg: We’re going to
close with that. And, Rog, you did terrific tonight in sharing that with
us and we appreciate you having the courage to come up here right at this
point in front of this big crowd to say those things.
(This interview was taped in 1989.)