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Letters to the Editor


Editor:

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

I enjoyed the article, Learning to Love the Questions (by Candace Chellew-Hodge). It opened my eyes to a lot more. It has really inspired me to look at life in a whole new light. I really couldn't figure out for the life of me why it seemed that I had more questions than answers especially when you are taught that the Bible has all the answers. You look for them, and they don't seem to be there. Now, I read it and I began to learn to love the questions and to dig deeper for a deeper understanding. I am determined to see the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep (Ps 107:23-24), and I believe that God has used [this article] to began looking through another set of lenses.

I am sitting up at 3am CST in the morning after a long exhaustive day, and I have really been struggling with some things, having some restless nights, and seeking the Lord on what I thought I knew was the answer. Everytime I think I have - God takes me back down the road, and He broadens my perspective. I know that he does it for a number of reasons, but now I know that God didn't mean for us to have a cookie cutter patterned life, but a life full of experiences. And when we have each experience, there is something to learn and keep questioning. WOW!!

Thanks Again,
DeCedric


Editor:

In response to the Reverend Dr. Jerry S. Maneker's article GLBT People and the Battle for the Bible, I find that it contains untruths that are leading GLBT people into deeper depths of deceit. I am NOT by any means a gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender basher as that is most certainly not my place, but I am one who stands for truth.

Reverend Maneker writes, "Jesus as human was the consequence of fornication and whoredom, and he had in his lineage a murderer." Now, God most certainly does not need me to defend Him, but He does require me to speak for truth. To write that Jesus is the consequence of such denies the virgin birth, and His Deity, two of the very foundations upon which Christianity was formed. If Joseph was a fornicator and Mary a whore, then Jesus would have born a sinner which totally denies Scripture.

Where does Reverend Maneker get this information? It certainly does come from the gospels. It may come from the Koran which denies the deity of Christ, or the Watchtower Bible (Jehovah's Witness) which also denies Christ's Divinity. As a student of Biblical languages myself I find this neither in the original Greek or Hebrew from which translations are to be made.

As for other parts of the article, I agree that God loves GLBT people. I base this on Scripture (John 3:16). I also believe that God requires a standard of Holy Living, also based on Scripture(1 Peter 1:15-16). In all due respect, I must disagree with Reverend Maneker's position, and I pray that Truth (which by the way is Jesus, John 14:6) will prevail always in your Magazine. Thank you!

Grace and Peace,
Natalie Talbot

Rev. Maneker replies:

Dear Ms. Talbot:

Thank you for your letter in regard to my article, "GLBT People and the Battle for the Bible," that appears in the September/October 2005 edition of "Whosoever." The following is my response.

Regarding my article you state "that it contains untruths that are leading GLBT people into deeper depths of deceit." First of all, your statement suggests that you feel GLBT people are either deceitful or, as I imagine you meant, deceived. You are wrong on both counts, and much has been written on this matter so I won't deal with it here. Suffice it to say that those who condemn GLBT people, falsely claiming that same-sex love is unbiblical, immoral, or unGodly are the ones who are deceived, in that they are bearing false witness, contravening one of the Ten Commandments.

You state, "Reverend Maneker writes, 'Jesus as human was the consequence of fornication and whoredom, and he had in his lineage a murderer'." If we look at the genealogies in Matthew and Luke we see the truth of what I wrote. In Luke 3:31, we see that Jesus had King David in his lineage. David was a murderer! He had Uriah the Hittite killed so that he could have access to Bathsheba. (2Samuel 11) In fact, he was worse than a murderer. He was a cowardly murderer as he had a good and faithful man killed in battle and he didn't even have the guts to do it himself, but covered it up so that it would seem as if Uriah had merely died because he was just one of the casualties of war.

In Matthew 1:5 we see that Rahab was in Jesus' lineage. Rahab was a prostitute (Joshua 2 and 6) and there is no place in Scripture that suggests that she ever repented of her profession. Moreover, she is one of the few people mentioned by name in the only chapter in the Bible that extols heroes of faith, Hebrews 11 (See, in particular, Hebrews 11:31); she is lauded in the Book of James (2:25).

In Matthew 1:2-3 and in Luke 3:33 we see Judah as being in Jesus' lineage. Judah had sex with his daughter-in-law Tamar, who portrayed herself as a prostitute (Genesis 38, particularly verse 16), and she is also in the lineage of Jesus. (Matthew 1:3) It was out of this union that Pharez and Zerah were born, and Jesus comes out of the line of Pharez.

Clearly, "Jesus as human was the consequence of fornication and whoredom, and he had in his lineage a murderer." These truths in no way detract from His being God-man, our Kinsman-Redeemer, our Savior, and our Propitiatory. It merely shows that God shows us how the Perfect Lamb came from the stuff of life that all too many professing Christians are loathe to admit or even recognize as being part of God's plan for our instruction and to usher in our Messiah, our Savior.

You further state, "To write that Jesus is the consequence of such denies the virgin birth, and His Deity, two of the very foundations upon which Christianity was formed. If Joseph was a fornicator and Mary a whore, then Jesus would have been born a sinner which totally denies Scripture. Where does Reverend Maneker get this information? It certainly does come from the gospels." I assume you meant, "does not come from the gospels." I never said that Joseph was a fornicator or Mary a whore. I was talking about Jesus' lineage as seen above, not His parentage!

You conclude your letter by writing, "I agree that God loves GLBT people. I base this on Scripture (John 3:16). I also believe that God requires a standard of Holy Living, also based on Scripture (1Peter 1:15-16). In all due respect, I must disagree with Reverend Maneker's position, and I pray that Truth (which by the way is Jesus, John 14:6) will prevail always in your Magazine." Your statement makes the assumption that GLBT people aren't living holy lives by virtue of the fact of their very sexual orientation.

Whether one is holy or not is not based on heterosexuality or homosexuality! "Holiness," as opposed to ever-changing definitions of "morality" which are based on time and/or place, is manifested by our following God's will for our lives. GLBT people, if they follow God's will for their lives, are by definition holy. Holiness is imputed to us by God when we obey His will for our lives. See, for example, Exodus 19:5-7, Deuteronomy 14:2; 1Peter 2:9. For more on this matter, you might be interested in reading my article, "The Holy Life."

"Truth," Jesus, does prevail in this magazine, "Whosoever." All one has to do is read its contents. Please don't be blinded by the lies and distortions foisted on us by many ignorant clergy regarding GLBT people and their relationships. You must know that every drop of blood shed by suicide, bashing, and murder of GLBT people is on the hands of hate-mongering clergy who are frequently handsomely rewarded financially, psychologically, and politically for spewing forth their venom against GLBT people "in the name of God," and because "it's in the Bible." No! Same-sex love is not condemned by God or by the Bible. There is much more that I can write, and have written, on this matter, but I hope I've addressed your concerns as expressed in your letter.

Best wishes,
Jerry S. Maneker


Editor:

I was recently web surfing at work looking for a quote from the "Colour Purple" for a school project I am doing. While Googling the name Celie and various other character names I ran across your article What I Learned From Ms. Celie Blues (by Jason Barkley).

I love reading articles of writers I am not familiar with because I too would like to be a writer one day, so when I came across your piece it was a perfect blend of and unknown writer and a subject I happen to love. I must say the article was not what I expected. I assumed it would be satirical piece comparing ones life to that of Celie's. I was highly surprised when I read on and discovered the true depth of your words and the truth that resonated in my own life. The eloquence with which you write is a welcome respite from the manufactured op-ed pieces in my local newspapers and media. Not only was the writing great, but the subject and how you linked it to your own life and experiences was phenomenal! I never do things like this because very few articles stand out in my mind and even fewer warrant personal contact the way yours did.

I hope to be able to express myself the way you do one day, and I hope, if it is your desire, that you have a long and illustrious career in writing because your talent truly speaks to me.

Christian


Editor:

I came across your website, and I wanted to tell you firstly that I admire your gentle approach - most pro-gay or anti-gay literature is very scathing. I am a married woman, and to tell you the truth I've never (knowingly) met a lesbian, so I'm lacking in that perspective, but I've met many, many gay men. Anyhow, I was a philosophy major in college, and I wrote my senior thesis on homosexuality, why I believe it is self-defeating.

Forgive me for getting so personal, but I want to explain myself fully -my husband and I as Christians were trying to be chaste while we were dating, but we sometimes resorted to "touching" each other. While this touching satisfied our physical desire, it really left us longing for a deeper connection: sex. We felt so empty just touching each other, and it really struck me that lesbians can never have this amazing unity and deep connection. It's more than a psychological connection, it's a spiritual unity that God put into male/female sex. I guess on some level, two men can unite, but not without damaging each other's rectums (as many a surgeon has testified). It seems as though there is a poverty in the homosexual relationship - that intense desire for a physical/sexual/spiritual unity must frustrate the homosexual - I'm certain that you'll assure me your sexual relationship is very fulfilling, and yet I know, we all know that oral sex, or touching is not enough! It's too empty.

The other thing I want to discuss is the life-giving aspect of sex. For many people, this is a down-side to sex! But it really hits me hard every time I ovulate, that my husband and I are performing the act that creates a new life. It is so huge. I believe that the reason that sex has become so "trashy" (casual, pornographic, etc) in our culture is because birth control has divorced babies from sex. When we forget that sex is the act which brings about life, we lose reverence for it. When I think about homosexual "sex" (I feel reluctant to call it sex because I define sex as the act which transmits life, even if there is infertility, etc) I feel as though all the mystery and sacredness that God imbued into sex is not present when homosexuals "have sex".

When I discuss homosexuality, I really don't like to focus on whether it's right or wrong, but whether we can see through natural reason if God has left us some clues on whether or not homosexuality is good for the human person or self-defeating.

God Bless You,
Kerri

Editor Candace Chellew-Hodge responds:

Kerri, thanks for your note. I understand your perspective but I find it fascinating that even though you admit you've never met any real live lesbians you consider yourself knowledgeable enough to assert without a doubt that we can't have fulfilling lives simply because we can't have sex like you and your husband do. I'm really quite sorry that your only fulfillment comes through sex.

Of course, you're seeking for me to justify myself to you, but since you've already assumed that I'll tell you that my relationship is fulfilling - you've already told me you won't believe me if I tell you such a thing, so why waste my time?

What I will tell you is this - I do not find my ultimate fulfillment within another person. I love my partner with all my heart, but she is not what completes me. I find my true fulfillment - my completion - with God through Christ. So does she. My life (unlike yours, apparently) doesn't revolve around sex. It revolves around love and there are so many more fulfilling ways of expressing love for one another than through sexual contact. In fact, most of the gay men I know (and you see, unlike you, I know many gay people personally, so, therefore, can speak with *actual* authority) don't even engage in anal sex. That's not how they fulfill their love for one another. I'm sorry that you only understand one way to express love between couples. I'm also sorry that you assume that all couples must find fulfillment in that way.

The good news is love is diverse and is fulfilling in so many different ways - IF we don't limit ourselves to one way to express it. I hope you and your husband find many, many ways to express your love for one another. I promise you you'll find it just as fulfilling as sex if you allow it to be.

Blessings,
Candace

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