Kaltenbach, whose parents divorced when he was two years old, both went into same-sex relationships. As a result, he was raised by homosexual parents who were LGBT activists.
In a story by Christian Post, Op-ed contributor, Billy Hallowell, stemming from his podcast interview, he relates Kaltenbach’s spiritual journey.
In his formative years growing up in an activist environment, Caleb encountered what he perceived as hate and anger from some who called themselves Christians.
“I learned real quick from things that I saw in pride parades, the way how I saw Christians treat people, the way how I saw families ignore their young sons dying of AIDS in the 1980s — I saw real quick that Christians hated gay people,” he said. “And I thought to myself, ‘Man, I never want to be a Christian. If Christians are this bad, I can’t imagine how awful Jesus must be if He’s their leader.’”
However, something surprising and unexpected occurred during his teen years. When he was 16 Kaltenbach joined a Bible study with the intent of disproving the Bible and discrediting Christianity.
“Despite his best efforts, Hallowell writes, “Kaltenbach shockingly found himself captivated by Scripture — and everything changed.”
“I became a Christian,” Kaltenbach said, “changed my view on sexuality to what I hold today — that God designed sexual intimacy and affection to be expressed in a marriage between a man and a woman.”
Today, Caleb Kaltenbach, a graduate of Ozark Christian College and Dallas Theological Seminary, is an author, minister and resides in Southern California with his wife, Amy, and two children.
Kaltenbauch’s story reminds me of three important life lessons.
#1 Anyone can change.
Regardless of our background, circumstances, or home environment, we can change.
The conversion accounts in the book of Acts remind us of the Gospel’s power, to convict unbelievers and change their direction in life. The first converts in Acts were cut to the heart by Peter’s message. Those who, the apostle, charged with wicked hands, were guilty of crucifying Christ, cried out, “Men and brethren what shall we do?”
In response to Peter’s answer, “Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins,” 3,000 “gladly received the word.”
The wonderful stories of change abound in Scripture. Saul, the persecutor became Paul, the preacher, and apostle. A pagan jailer in Philippi accepted Christ. Simon, a sorcerer, renounced his witchcraft to obey the gospel. And the Corinthians, some of whom had been adulterers, fornicators, drunkards, and homosexuals, repudiated their lifestyle and were cleansed of their sins.
What do you need to change in your life?
- What hurtful habit?
- What negative attitude?
- What prejudicial feeling?
- What erroneous belief?
- What harmful relationship?
- What destructive, secret sin?
- What toxic behavior?
Regardless of where you are now, the Good News, is that you can change.
#2 Change calls for a new conviction
True conviction by the Word causes us to change and when we change we develop new convictions.
Ask Caleb Kaltenbach.
He changed his convictions about God, Jesus, the Bible, and Christianity. This further lead him to change his convictions about marriage and morality.
That’s what faith does. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).
In a wishy-washy world of “anything goes,” and “no absolutes,” Christians are called to be a people of conviction. People of principle. Conviction is more than a strong belief. As Howard Hendricks expressed it, “A belief is something you will argue about. A conviction is something you will die for!”
#3 Change and conviction don’t negate compassion.
Like Kaltenbach in his youth, many are turned off to Christ and the Bible when they witness the ungodly attitudes, unkind words, and uncharitable actions of those professing Christianity.
One of the obvious character traits of Christ was his compassion for sinners. So much so that it infuriated the religious leaders of the day. Their self-righteousness excluded interaction with sinners. But Christ came to “call sinners to repentance” (Mk. 9:13).
Compassion for sinners doesn’t require compromising our convictions. Or mean that we’ve approved of sin. Or made a concession to error.
Compassion calls for us to “speak the truth in love” (Eph.4:15). Colly Caldwell, expressed it well in his commentary on Ephesians. “No Christian, perhaps especially one who spends his full time preaching the gospel should approach his hearers with malice or bitterness.”
“No Christian teaches the truth simply to win an argument or prove something about himself,” Colly added. “Our love for others, not ourselves, will drive us to tell them about the Lord and teach them God’s Word.”
Change. Conviction. Compassion. Three qualities that will serve you well in your Christian walk.
–Ken Weliever, The Precherman