“I love this book the way I love Stephen Black. His voice is passionate and as pastoral as it is prophetic. Stephen wisely sets the tone for 'Freedom Realized' in the recent history of Exodus' demise; Black then applies the real Gospel of Jesus Christ to homosexuality. In spite of the topic's complexity, Stephen cuts a clear and narrow way up the middle of what has become a contentious topic. He also paves a way for caregivers by giving statistical evidence for the effectiveness of truthful pastoral care. I have yet to meet a man who bears as patiently and tenderly with strugglers as does Stephen. His embodiment of truth and grace is echoed by the solid voices he enlists at book's end to declare: Jesus makes willing, wounded hearts whole. Thank you Stephen for your significant contribution to this wholeness.”
Andrew Comiskey, M.Div.
Author and Speaker
Founder and Executive Director of Desert Stream Ministries
Kansas City, MO
“It’s one thing to be delivered from homosexuality. It’s another thing to become a powerful, passionate, and uncompromising witness for the Lord, but that’s exactly who Stephen Black has become through the amazing grace of God. Here, in this very important volume, he debunks the myth of “gay Christianity,” exposes the dangers of today’s compromised gospel, and gives practical, hope-filled instructions to those struggling with same-sex attractions.”
Michael L. Brown, Ph.D.,
Author of “Can You Be Gay and Christian?”
Host of The Line of Fire radio broadcast
“A powerful testimony peppered with practical plans for anyone who has struggled, is struggling, or will struggle with same-sex attraction. Stephen’s life proves: There’s help… there’s hope… and there is freedom!”
Founder, CEO, CSO (Chief Servant Officer)
HOPE FOR THE HEART
Author of Counseling Through Your Bible Handbook
"Truth! Refreshingly, Stephen Black doesn't have a politically correct bone in his body. He's also a "bottom line" believer, who deftly zeros in on the heart of an issue by carefully listening to the Holy Spirit in Scripture and through prayer. For those who have wearied of continuously going around the same mountain while experiencing little freedom from homosexual confusion, this book is a finely targeted, guided missile designed to put God back in the driver's seat. For it is only from that posture of faith and humble submission that believers can appropriate the power of the Cross for the destruction of Satan's schemes and the eternal transformation of the soul. I highly recommend this book."
Dr. David Kyle Foster
Author of “Sexual Healing – God’s Plan for the Sanctification of Broken Lives” and “Love Hunger”
Founder and Executive Director, Mastering Life Ministries and Pure Passion Media
“Stephen Black is a courageous culture warrior and a prophetic pastoral encourager. For over 25 years he has overcome some of the most extreme circumstances of life by the grace of Jesus Christ as you will read in Freedom Realized. Freedom Realized reveals that there is true, transformative grace to overcome homosexuality and that real freedom can be found through a devoted relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord.
And he has faced staggering pain and adversity. On the very day he took a bold, biblical and national stand against the deceptive message of so-called “gay Christianity,” he lost his daughter, Charity, to unexpected death. He entered into a season of unspeakable grief as both a dad and as a spiritual leader. Yet, Stephen stood strong with tenacity and courage. He continued standing despite the growing animosity directed towards those who once proclaim freedom from homosexuality. He has endured a great test! Stephen is a testimony of God’s freedom realized in the midst of great testing.
Skyline Church, La Mesa, CA
Author of several books, the latest: Well Versed – Biblical Answers to Today’s Tough Issues
www.jimgarlow.com and www.skylinechurch.org
"Freedom Realized is a book that covers many areas of the ‘ex-gay’ movement with clarity. It's easy to read and written in plain English, so the average person (like me) can read it. I feel it is an important book for parents and other loved ones to read, as it's truthful but not brutal. Many of the first books on the subject of homosexuality shredded the poor hurting moms and dads that were trying to find help for themselves and for their lost child. Stephen doesn't do that in this book. We, as parents, need to read more about this topic, so we have an understanding and be equipped to answer questions that might be asked of us by our loved ones. This book is a good place to start and gives a great list of other books in the back. I also enjoyed the sixteen short teachings by tried and true people who have testimonies of their own.
Personally, the first section on the downfall of Alan Chambers and Exodus was wonderfully written history. It was good and difficult to read at the same time. Stephen put into words the deep hurt that I have been unable to really communicate. The introduction about Exodus explains my pain, as it was like the death of my family and my brother Alan delivered the fateful blow. It was so hard to lose so much in such a short time. Thank you, Stephen, for giving me words to tell others. I sincerely appreciate your ongoing love for Frank and me and the work you carry-on through your writing and ministry."
Co-Author of Someone I Love Is Gay
“I have known Stephen Black personally for many years. Never have I known anyone with more passion for Christ and His Word. Never have I known anyone who walked the walk with more grace than this man of God. Stephen knows that truth - God’s Truth - sets men free. His amazing new book, Freedom Realized, is a tangible display of God’s truth that exposes the lies of the enemy and shows us not only that true freedom is possible, but that it is being lived out daily in the lives of people around the world! Change IS possible! Freedom IS being realized - regardless and in spite of what the popular culture would have us believe! This book is for anyone who dares believe freedom and change through faith in Jesus Christ is possible - and it is for those who still have doubt. The ‘truth’ of man leads to bondage. The Truth of God sets us free. Freedom Realized shows us the difference. I highly recommend this book to church leadership and laity alike.”
Author of Renewing Your Mind: Identity and the Matter of Choice
Founder and President of Shepherd’s Heart Music
World-Renown Psalmist and Worship Leader
“I am so thankful that God put Stephen Black in my life. Stephen is a passionate Truth Warrior. In an age when even Christian leaders cut spiritual corners to please men, Stephen preaches mercy, divine justice and the call to righteous living. No one can doubt his love for the homosexual struggler, nor his commitment to the Word of God (even the politically incorrect parts). 'Freedom Realized' offers solid evidence that people caught up in homosexuality, like all sinners, can overcome and lead godly lives through Jesus Christ. He eviscerates the shallow theology and false love of the "gay Christian" movement. This important book, like Stephen's own life, shatters one of the Big Lies of our age: that homosexuality is "who you are" and certain people's unchangeable destiny. It is a must-read for anyone who seeks freedom or desires to minister God's pure love to sexual sinners.”
Americans For Truth About Homosexuality
“Stephen Black’s is a rare directness rendering unspeakable topics—sin, daily repentance, unreserved obedience, holiness, transformation, heaven, and hell—unpredictably gripping. Who would have expected in 1983 that Black would choose these to be his food and medicine? Yet out of such lived experience, Black proficiently exposes our self-deceptions that justify our love of our sins. The soul knows it has heard the truth. There is no honest way to turn other than to God to be forgiven our sins, yes, but more—to be healed of our sins.
For some, divine law feels shaming, judgmental, harmful; and a call to necessary, purifying suffering in transformation seems reason to turn back. But Black experiences divine law as the life-saving orange posts that mark the road ascending the mountain when snow storms have obscured the path. Having steered himself off the edge and found his way back, he trusts the One who placed the posts clearly; he feels competently and securely empowered.
Consuming zeal radiates from Stephen Black—born of earned conviction. One senses there has been a mutual and unhesitating plunging of self into God and of God into the repentant sinner. This is a fiery, prophetic page-turner.”
Laura Haynes, Ph.D.
California Licensed Psychologist Consultant
American College of Pediatricians (www.ACPeds.org)
Chair of Research and Legislative Policy, National Task Force for Therapy Equality (www.therapyequality.org)
Member Research Committee for Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity (www.therapeuticchoice.com)
Member of The American Psychological Association
Member of The California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
Former President of The Christian Association for Psychological Studies—Western Region
P.O. Box 653
Tustin, CA 92781
"When Exodus International closed its doors in 2013, an opportunity arose for the world to see what real, transformational ministry to the sexually broken looks like. With over 20 years of data, Freedom Realized does just that! It's a rare phenomenon for Christian ministries to be so vulnerable and transparent as First Stone Ministries has in this groundbreaking book. In Freedom Realized, Rev. Stephen Black not only shows his raw emotions and vision for ministry to the sexually broken, but also, the raw data and numbers for what works and what does not in ministry. Freedom Realized destroys the myth that "99.9% of homosexual strugglers do not change" by providing real feedback and data from nearly 200 ministry participants. But more importantly than the data is Rev. Black's first-hand account of how he and a handful of committed, courageous "Truth-Squad" warriors stood up to the heresy of Alan Chambers and his sloppy grace mentality for sexuality. In a compelling personal narrative, Black sets the record straight not only of the truth of transformational ministry to the sexually broken, but also, to the eternal truth that Jesus Christ saves, transforms, and changes - yesterday, today, and forever - those who earnestly seek His healing power. In Freedom Realized, we get an up-close view of how this practically works with Christ's humble servants. This resource is a treasure for all counselors, churches, and leaders of transformational ministries seeking to provide hope and wholeness to the brokenhearted!”
Christopher Doyle, MA, LPC, LCPC
Executive Director, Institute for Healthy Families
Co-Coordinator, National Task Force for Therapy Equality
www.instituteforhealthyfamilies.org and www.equalityandjusticeforall.org
“Stephen Black's book provides a valuable piece of research from within his ministry sphere. He has captured views from a longitudinal, retrospective view on the validity of transformation. Today there is a growing disbelief that no one ever experiences a change in sexual preference. However, the results in this book concur with other recent studies. The reality is that many people do experience change. As Christians, we need to allow for the workings and the power of God and many can testify to his ability to transform lives, or to help us to master those things that once held us in the slavery of sin. Stephen lays out some key ways that the church can help people on this journey. This is a refreshing book for our confused times, with practical advice, blended with both truth and grace.”
Director, Renew Ministries, Melbourne, Australia
“Stephen Black has written a must-read book in light of the confusion created by former leaders of the now defunct Exodus International. Stephen’s deep love for Christ, passion for truth, and personal involvement in redemptive ministries gives definitive credibility to this much-needed book on true and lasting freedom.” Although deeply rewarding, serving in the area of sexual redemption can be intensely challenging. Stephen Black is one of the few ministers who walk faithfully and courageously in the Lord, in spite of lies from the enemy, animosity from the world, and misguided accusations from the ‘progressive’ church. Stephen’s personal involvement in Exodus International (before it lost its way) give definitive credibility to this much-needed book on true and lasting freedom.”
Author of Taking Back Ground and the online discipleship program
Portland Fellowship, Portland, OR
“In the ongoing culture war, Stephen Black is a true warrior, one who loves people enough to tell the truth about homosexuality. He’s genuine and compassionate, and his gratitude for God’s redeeming love in his own life is abundantly evident in his book, Freedom Realized.
This book brings a refreshing and much-needed message about God’s amazing power to heal sexual brokenness. I highly recommend Freedom Realized, a book that will help readers see the power of God’s redemptive work in action.”
Help 4 Families -- Ashland, KY
Living Stones Ministries – Glendora, CA