Sunday, September 18, 2011

Abuse and Forgiveness

To Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Christians
Though members of your Church may have rejected you, Christ has not rejected you!

Though you may have been persecuted by members of a church or your family, please consider forgiving them for their abuse against you.
Since you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, Lord and Sovereign King, then reflect Him even to these people!  Forgiveness heals you and allows you to repair.  God will be their judge.
Hold tightly to the faith and righteousness you have in God, for he is returning soon. At that time, all things evil will be set aright.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

  • Although the media often portrays communities of faith in opposition to the LGBT community, more than three-quarters of American Jews and Buddhists believe society should accept gay people, as well as more than half of mainline Protestants and Catholics and almost one-third of Muslims.
  • Many Christian clergy support the LGBT community more and more – almost all clergy (93%) support laws to protect LGBT equality, more than half (62%) support civil unions, and more than one-third (37%) support the right to marry (results from Christian Community survey of 1500 clergy in 32 denominations). 
  • People of faith have been organizing around LGBT concerns for decades and taking historic steps to support the LGBT community in the media – like the California Episcopal bishops announcement that they supported marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples following the historic California marriage decision. 
  • Documentaries and films about faith issues affecting the LGBT community, including “Jihad for Love”, “Trembling Before G-d” and “For the Bible Tells Me So,” have brought the struggle that many LGBT people of faith have with reconciling their religion with their orientation to wider audiences in new ways. 
  • Media images of Bishop Gene Robinson and Rev. Drew Phoenix, along with other ally and openly gay and transgender faith leaders, provides positive role models for those struggling with their orientation and their religion – helping other LGBT people of faith to live openly, honestly and with pride in their communities.
  • According to a Harris Interactive Survey commissioned by GLAAD and conducted Nov. 13-17, 2008, mainline Christians and Catholics expressed more support than Evangelical Christians around key issues facing the LGBT community, with Mainline Christians often being among the most supportive segments. See the full results of the Harris Interactive Survey.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Can You Be Gay and Christian? The Answer is Yes!

Can you be Gay and Christian?  The answer is YES!

Those who say “NO” are usually not gay.   I grew up in a Christian home.  My mother was our church’s youth leader.    If I had not been gay I too would have had the stance of “Love the sinner but hate the sin.”  I would have believed in the literal translation of the Bible.  It was in my angst and pain as a Gay Christian that I searched out the truth and prayed to God for guidance. 

I began this quest by reading What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality.  I highly recommend this book.  It points out that the verses in that use the word homosexual were mistranslated.  At the time of the Bible being written the word “homosexual” did not exist.  It was first used in the King James version.  The writers of the King James Bible, including William Shakespeare, explained in its original preface that this was not a literal translation but the most beautiful translation and that they had used creative license.  The verses in the new testament, written by Paul, that have been used against Gay Men and Women were really referring to pedophilia (the common practice of older men using young boys for sexual pleasure) and the use of this behavior in the temples of the gods. 

The story of Lot and his family is in reaction to Men who wanted to rape Angels that were staying with lot.  This was the common practice in the Middle East during the time to degrade another male (as is often seen in prisons today) and not gay relationships and or sexual activity.  The verses in the Old Testament that claim that it is an abomination also warn that eating shell fish, mixing certain foods on your plate, eating pork, and mixing certain types of fabrics are an abomination.  It also states that men should not sit in a chair that a menstruating woman has sat in and that menstruating women should go out to the Walls of Jerusalem.  Christian men and women are no longer following these guidelines today and would find them ludicrous in our daily lives and culture. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Christian TV Host Announces He's Gay! :)
The young host of a Christian music television show has come out publicly as a gay man, and to his surprise he has received more encouraging support than expected from churchgoers.

Monday, May 2, 2011

How to Come Out to Your Christian Parents

Coming Out to Your Christian Parents
·  1
Be careful. This step cannot be emphasized enough. Think of a realistic range of possible reactions and determine which one you think is the most likely to happen. Don't tell your parents (yet) if you're sure that they'll disown you, especially if you won't have anywhere else to go: such as a place to stay or have money to support yourself for some time.
·  2
Think of which parent to tell first. If you get along better with your mom, then tell her, for example. Simply tell your parent that you want to talk about something important with them in private at some point.
·  3
Arrange a time to talk without distractions. You will do best to make time to speak with your parents privately - this is a sensitive issue, and not something you should do at Christmas dinner, for example, in front of the whole family. Your parents need a chance to take in the news, react, respond, etc., without an audience.
·  4
Before you tell them, calm down. This can be as simple as taking a deep breath or saying a prayer. Either way, collect your thoughts and have resources with you if things get heated.
·  5
Tell them. Beating around the bush will simply scare them. Just say 'Mom, I love you, and I wanted to let you know that I'm bisexual' or 'Dad, I'm a lesbian.' Your part of the conversation is over with, so now you have to watch their reaction.
·  6
See how they react. This could range from total acceptance to being kicked out, but it's usually somewhere in the middle. If they're generally accepting, then the problem's solved. If they aren't, don't be afraid to leave, but only do so if you must.
·  7
Expect outbursts. Brace yourself. You know they are devout in their religious beliefs. There's very little chance your parents will sit quietly and then say, "That's wonderful news." So go in knowing that there will probably be some emotions to deal with. Being prepared for this can help you remain calm in the face of their emotional response.
·  8
Remember that, for them, this is Day One of the mission. You have had many months, perhaps even years, to recognize, process, and deal with your sexual orientation. You've had epiphanies, made discoveries, adjusted your self-image, reconciled your life with your faith, and come to terms with your own response to the understanding that you are gay. Your parents may need that much time - plus more, because they are so devout. Not that you weren't. But you are on the other side of this fence - your parents will have a hard time understanding, much less tolerating and finally accepting your news. Don't expect all to be peachy today.
·  9
Be prepared for them to point out chapter and verse. Just standing there and saying, "I don't care about that," or "I know," will not be sufficient. They're going to object on the basis of religion, so you will need to respond on that same basis. Do some research, know what they're going to throw at you so that you won't be caught flat-footed. The last thing you need is to give the impression that this is some impulsive thing you're doing - you need to make them see that you've given it serious thought, and given weight to the religious objections.
·  10
Don't waver, but be kind. Your mom and dad will probably try to shake you up, freak you out, or otherwise shock you into renouncing who you are. They feel shook up and freaked out and shocked, so they're projecting that onto you. Your best bet now is to simply stand firmly for yourself. Rather than simply contradicting them or allowing things to turn into a shouting match, if you can stay calm in the storm, you'll help calm them down. "Mom, Dad, I know you're upset. I was so confused for so long. But now, I know who I am. I've considered every single thing you're saying - believe me, I thought about all those things long and hard, and none of that made me straight." Just stand firm, acknowledge their concerns, but don't allow them to believe this is a "phase" or that there's some demonic lesbian or gay man out there who's got you under his or her spell and is leading you astray. Make sure they understand that you are an adult, fully aware of who you are and what you are doing.
·  11
Leave if things get too hot, and return another time. If you feel things are in a downward spiral, rather than allowing the discussion to turn into a hand-wringing, hysterical, screeching mess, just say, "Folks, I can see we're not going to come to an accord tonight, and that's okay. I didn't accept this truth of myself overnight, either. I think it would be best to just leave this here for now, and I'll come back tomorrow night, or maybe just later tonight - up to you guys. I love you both, but I'm going to let you guys have some time to process this, and we'll connect again in a little bit."
·  12
Negotiate. Once your parents have come to terms with your sexual orientation, talk to them about what they will and won't approve of. This will let you keep your home, and your parents could possibly grant you independence in regards to your relationships.
·  13
Be prepared to walk away, at least for awhile. Some parents will accept the news better than others. If yours are in the latter camp, and have an extreme reaction to your news, you may need to decamp for a while - that is, take a break from them for awhile. As painful as this is in the short run, in the long run, it can work out very well. Obviously, there is always the risk that you will never be able to go back - there are the very few who will never accept or adjust, and there is always the chance that one of you will not live to see the day when acceptance and reconciliation are possible. In the end, however, your life is up to you. You may try to live it in a way that appeases others, but it rarely will, and it will never satisfy you. Many children of devoutly religious parents have had to walk away from those parents, though they dearly love them and it hurts like hell. But the majority find that, with time, those parents come around, and find a way to reconcile their faith with the fact that their child is gay. Pray for that day, and allow your parents the time they need to come to it. Meanwhile, you must be true to yourself, and remember that this is your one and only life, it is yours alone, and you have responsibility to rise up and live it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Gay are Treated Similar to the Way Gentiles were Treated

On similarities between the way first century Christians treated Gentiles and the way twenty first century Christians treat Gays and Lesbians:

“The apostle Peter was just such a person - strong in his faith, yet firmly entrenched in his belief that the Messiah had come to offer salvation only to the Jews. This belief appeared to be supported by Scripture as it was interpreted at that time. The Gentiles (non-Jews) were considered so unclean that Jews were forbidden to enter their homes or to eat meals with them.” - p. 148. Gay Christian books.
“Peter and the group of Jews he brought with him were astonished, for they had never seen nor heard that salvation could come to anyone but the Jews.” p. 150.

from Gay Christianity 101

Monday, April 25, 2011

God Loves Gay People

God Loves Gay People

by R.P. Nettelhorst
        There are those who argue that God hates sinners. They have a collection of verses that they like to use, most notably: Psalm 5:5-6, 11:5; Lev. 20:23, 20:13, 26:30; Deut. 32:19; Mal. 1:3 and Rom. 9:13. The fundamental problem with the use being made of these verses is that every last one of them is being taken out of context, both their specific context in place, as well as the broader context of the biblical revelation.
       The Grand Unified Theory (GUT) of Bible interpretation is twofold: love of God and love of people.
Matthew 22:34-40 reads:

        Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
        "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
        Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (see the parallel account in Mark 12:28-34)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He is Risen!

Christ has risen indeed!
No longer does death and decay hold power over us, for the tomb is empty and the presence of the risen Christ is all around us
Christ is Alive!
Despair is no longer the final word.  Christ lives in us, through us, beyond us in the finest and most horrific circumstances
Christi lives in the crocus that will not bow to winter's late winds offering hope to all who witness its beauty
Christ is alive!  Alleluia! Amen!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

True Understanding of the Original Scriptures (Gay Christian Movement)

New Understanding of God,  Not New Scripture

Christian leaders frequently use the biblical reference to Sodom in describing homosexuality as "sin." Sodom was a city destroyed by God because God found it wicked. Scripture states, however, that the sins of Sodom were arrogance, excess, and inhospitality to the downtrodden: "This is the sin of Sodom … pride, excess … and prosperous ease, but did not help … the poor and needy. They were arrogant and this was abominable (offensive) in God’s eyes." (Ezekiel 16:48–49) Homosexuality was not what destroyed Sodom.

Classical Greek is the language of the canonical New Testament. Very often Paul wrote his letters to various churches using colloquial terms, such as "malakoi" (temple prostitutes) and "arsenokoitai" (temple worshipers). These terms have baffled scholars and biblical translators since 400 A.D. These prostitutes and worshipers in ancient Greece practiced sex while worshiping fertility gods; i.e. the terms did not carry a subtext for homosexual relationships as understood in our society. In fact, the actual word, "homosexual," was not introduced into New Testament translations until the late 1950s and early 1960s. Translators could not find other modern words to describe these terms. Perhaps if those translators had instead used "temple prostitutes" and "dirty old men" to describe "malakoi" and "arsenokoitai," respectively, there might be no need for this article.

Many theologians point out that the two most clearly described commitments conducted between two people in the Bible are between Niobe and Ruth, two women (Ruth 1:16) and David and Jonathan, two men (1 Samuel 18:1-4 and 2 Samuel 1:26). These two couples loved each other so completely that they committed themselves to each other fully and, in David’s case, created a stronger bond than with a woman. Scripture remains silent concerning what kinds of things a marrying couple says to each other at an actual wedding ceremony.

The Christian Bible does not explicitly denounce same-sex relationships as we understand them in our society and culture. Jesus had nothing to say about same-sex couples. The concept of a homosexual couple living in a home together, working, and making their way in the world was simply not a historical or cultural aspect of Old or New Testament societies.

By comparison, the Old Testament described other acts as offensive or abominable that we in our culture and society consider normal, ignore, or view as unfashionable. For instance, eating pork or shrimp, and playing with pigskin were abominable acts. Adulterers were stoned, unless the adulterer conveniently happened to be the king of Israel. Wearing a garment containing two different fabrics was punishable by death. Moreover, modern society through science understands that sperm together with an ovum results in a baby. The Old Testament frame of mind thought that the man alone delivered life into a woman; women were simply the vessel for the baby when the man had sex with the woman. From that perspective, we understand why women were property, that polygamy and concubines were worthwhile (and even promoted), and why men who masturbated were stoned!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Bible In Its Origingal Languages Was Not Anti-Gay

There are not anti-gay passages in the Bible! The facts are that the Bible in its original language does not speak against gay or lesbian people at all.  It is only in English mistranslation that this appears to be the case.  This book is an essential guide for gay and lesbian Christians as it sets out what the Bible actually says in the original texts.  If you want to know what the Bible really says about being gay check out The Bible in Original Langues is not Anti Gay by Dr. A. Nyland. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Clark Institute Insight


This is my first attempt at the world of blogging.  So this is kind of a test to see if I can handle the set up.  Please be patient if you are on the edge of your seat for Clark Institute Insight.  I actually have to go take my dog outside now so I'm going to work on this again tomorrow.

thanks:  Matthew Clark, Psy.D.