What is Higher Ground? Is it a program for curing homosexuality?
Higher Ground was founded in January 2009 as a New York City-based lay ministry of redemptive Christian discipleship for men and women who experience unwanted same-sex attractions (SSA).
We think of our purpose in terms of encouraging and mentoring participants to become more mature – spiritually and emotionally – rather than of offering purported methods of cure. We put our trust in a Person – Jesus Christ as Savior and Shepherd – rather than in a technique.
But isn’t it foolish to think that anyone can “pray away the gay”?
Everyone has something in his or her life that needs to be prayed away.
It may not be unwanted SSA, but everyone struggles with some form of spiritual and psychological dis-integration that falls short of God's best and causes grief to God’s heart -- and that can be life-controlling and seemingly resistant to change. That "something" can include any sexual activity outside the boundaries of gender-diverse marriage between one man and one woman. Biblically-grounded Christians know this to be true about themselves.
In Higher Ground, we do not consider homoerotic relating to be The Big Sin. But the temptation or practice of acting on those desires is not exempt from God’s call to all Christians to “be not conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
Is it your aim then to make gay people straight?
A feature of the walk of faith for any committed Christian is the pursuit of redemptive change in his or her life. One of the changes that we who are participants in Higher Ground seek is to receive ever more of God’s grace for gaining greater freedom from feeling controlled in our thoughts and actions by unwanted attractions.
To those who participate in our ministry, we make no promises or predictions what God’s work of restoration will look like in anyone’s life, or how quickly it will arrive. For some, it may take the form of finding stable and self-giving satisfaction in celibacy and singleness. For others, the process can grow in them godly new desires that lead to gender-complementary marriage; sexual enjoyment within that covenant; and the blessing of any children conceived through it – even while some residual effects from SSA may remain.
Testimonies of both types of sanctified outcomes have emerged from our fellowship in Higher Ground and among others personally known to us.
Does Higher Ground offer any meetings? What happens at them?
Higher Ground offers a discipleship group for men that meets weekly on a hybrid schedule, either on the Zoom platform or in-person.
The proceedings of each meeting last approximately two hours, and are not so different from any other Christian discipleship group – consisting of informal praise singing; teaching and discussion based on Scripture readings and other texts of devotion and practical instruction; personal sharing and accountability; and prayer.
The content is tailored, however, to the special concerns of fellow Christians seeking a redemptive resolution to an inner conflict between their faith convictions and unwanted same-sex desires.
Does Higher Ground offer anything for women? How about for parents whose children either struggle with unwanted SSA or are self-affirming of an identity situated somewhere along the LGBTQ+ continuum?
For several years Higher Ground offered a support group for women, although it is dormant at the present time. Depending on the level of new interest, the women's group can be reconstituted, or referrals can be made to other ministries that provide biblical soul care for addressing the specialized needs of women.
Advisory support for parents is available on an ad hoc, individualized basis.
How can I find out more about Higher Ground?
You can start with our Statement of Beliefs to learn about the Biblical basis for what we believe in Higher Ground and why.
If you are interested in Higher Ground for yourself or a loved one, we would welcome hearing from you to arrange an informal get-acquainted conversation with a member of our lay ministry team, as a prelude to providing additional information about group meetings.
Feel free to email us at email@example.com or phone 347-709-8279. (The generic recorded greeting you will hear does not mean you have reached a wrong number.) One of our volunteers will be glad to follow up with you.