Volume 4: Issue 2
Telling Our Stories
Table Of Contents
Cover Story: Telling Our Stories:
As GLBT Christians we are just beginning to tell our stories. As we finally come to a place where we can reconcile our faith and our sexuality, we find an urgent need to speak out and share our journeys, knowing there are others out there who cannot give voice to how they feel yet.
... if I tell it anything like right, you'll
recognize that my story is also yours, but even more, if I do it
anything like right, I will awaken in you a story you haven't
thought about in some time, some clouded memory that is
stored away in a closet behind that box with the zip codes of all
the places you've lived before and will never live again.
We as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Christians have been lied to. Specifically we've been lied to by our brothers and sisters in Christ who are Fundamentalist Christians. Their definition of God is too small to include us. We who have come through this process, this trial
by fire, must share with our disenfranchised brothers and sisters, that they too can know God.
When I walked into Trinity Lutheran Church one Sunday morning last July, I was, as all who know me can testify, about the least likely candidate to become a Christian.
I remember being called a "faggot" and a "fairy" even before I knew what it meant. But it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out it was something negative and eventually I came to learn its significance. The worst was knowing deep down inside that they were right.
I was never able to accept myself as God Created me, as a
bisexual, until I accepted God into my heart and made a commitment to
Christ to always do my best to be a loving human being. What a
long, strange trip that has been -- one filled with joy and tears,
sorrow and happiness, fear and wonder, and faith, hope and love-all
the good stuff that the best Bible stories are made of!
In March, 1994, I was able to tell him that I was in love with him, but he responded with surprise "So that's what this was all about!" and
recalled all the care and concern I had been showing for him. He also
seemed to recognize, without being able to admit it openly, that I had
touched on his own deepest secret. My confession proved too great a
challenge and turned out to be the last of our conversations.
I already knew I had been denying what I was my entire life. I also knew that I had been denying my true feelings for this man. What stopped me cold, however, was this: I realized that each time I had hit rock bottom emotionally and had prayed for comfort, Alex appeared. Was this just coincidence, or was Alex the real answer to my prayers?
I bought into the lie "You can't be GLBT and Christian!" I felt that justified the beatings I was getting from my wife. I knew inside that I was gay but couldn't admit it to me or to others. I thought the
verbal abuse and sleep deprivation was my punishment for having those
feelings and lusts (even though I did not act out on them.)
That couldn't be right. I grew up in a Bible memorizing, Methodist family. Many times I heard "We've got to pray that 'those people' will see the error of their ways." Could it be that I was one of 'those people'?
I used to love watching Jimmy Swaggert on TV. His music was truly anointed. Then he would start walking up and down the platform attacking homosexuals, and saying they would burn in hell. This really affected me and whenever I drank the thought ran through my mind, that God didn't love me, in fact, no one loved me because I was gay.
It's hard to live in this world of fear, even with God's message of affirmation. Love blessed me with courage I didn't think I had as well as a determined nature that just dives into stuff anyway. But I began to walk forward, to walk into my life, to live as myself.
... the minister was a woman, something rather uncommon in the groups I was raised in. She was, of course, a lesbian. Not only that, but she was an ex-Catholic. From my background, these things did not bode well. But there was something else. Someone Else. God. The Lord was in His Holy Temple, again, and I could sense His presence with my spirit, as I fervently prayed for Divine guidance. I was clearly in a House of God.
I started to nurture my relationship with God. I had always prayed, due to my upbringing, but I sometimes felt my prayers were unheard. I know now that my apprehension came from all the negativity I have heard all my life from "The Judgemental Christians" in my life.
Emily and Brian share their stories of faith.
--By: Shurron M. Farmer
In order to continue make a real 'community' of GBLT people, Jesus wants to deliver gays and lesbians from the struggles within the community. Internal conflicts such as sexual proclivities, masculine men versus effeminate men, interracial dating, separation of men and women, rejection of female impersonators, societal acceptance, self-acceptance, violence, etc. have distracted the GLBT community from giving the term 'community' validity.
Rev. Samuel Kader is out to make a heavy revelation of his own -- the Bible is nothing to be afraid of. Instead of condemning homosexuality, like we've been taught, Kader makes it clear in his new book "Openly Gay, Openly Christian" that the Bible is a source of strength and joy for GLBT people.
Rossiter's story is a hard one to read, but his journey from brokenness and doubt to fullness and truth in God, is one that should not be ignored. His story is powerful, and by telling it he hopes to share the healing power of trying to live an authentic life with God.
A new report commissioned by the Human Rights Commission called "Mixed Blessings: Organized Religion and Gay and Lesbian Americans in 1998" shows there is no uniform "Christian" response to homosexuality.
The National Religious
Leadership Roundtable wrapped up a two-day meeting in Colorado Springs after
more than 200 people attended a public forum that
acknowledged the unique contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual
and transgender (GLBT) people.
Dr. White fears that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered activist
community is nearly exhausted from fighting two wars at the same time: the
political war being waged against sexual minorities and the personal war
against HIV/AIDS. "Soulforce offers us a new way to renew our own tired
spirits," White explains. "And at the same time, it offers us a powerful old
way to bring truth to our adversaries."
From The Pulpit:
Hospitality in Scripture, you have to remember, arises out of a
Bedouin culture where they are living on the edge of the desert. When
people stumble into your tent, if you don't give them food and a drink of
water, they die. The reason that everybody hated Sodom and Gomorrah was
because the people [portrayed in the Genesis 19 story] were mean, vicious
people. They took advantage of people who wandered out of the desert.
They robbed them. Throughout the history of the people around the
Mediterranean that was about the worst thing you could do.
Bible Study and Inspiration:
Jesus said it is the will of the Father that all be saved. If God didn't exclude anyone, who is it that is keeping people, including GLBT persons, from coming to the Lord Jesus Christ? There are actually two answers to that question: we ourselves and the church.
Many years ago I was asked to speak to a church's congregation and
community members about why gays should not be ordained to the clergy. At
that time, reading such Scripture verses as Romans 1:20-32 and 1 Corinthians
6:9-10, as well as verses in the Old Testament ostensibly pertaining to
homosexuality, I fully believed that gays should not be ordained. I would
never make that speech today! Indeed, I'm deeply ashamed that I did give
A popular saying among many Christians today,
both conservative and liberal, is "What Would Jesus Do?" You can now
purchase bracelets and necklaces displaying the first letters of; those
words: "W.W.J.D." which serve to remind the wearers of this motto. So,
what would Jesus do about homosexuality?
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