Letters To The Editor

Readers are an integral part of Whosoever. We appreciate hearing from our readers, whether they have praise or hot coals to heap on our heads. With the new year, we're beginning this new feature of a reader forum. Here's some of the things our readers are saying.

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Editor:
I read of your willingness to hit your delete key, please do not. I do not want to argue, I just want to understand. You see, I have a close friend whom I truly want to help. I am hoping to gain better understanding through differing perspectives. I hope you can help.

I am a Christian, and an minister of my faith. I have a good friend who, according to him, struggles with homosexuality. I have watched as this thing has nearly destroyed him. He prays, and falls, and so on. I explain to him that God forgives his failures, just as He does mine. As a Bible believer I simply do not accept your position on the issue of homosexuality; I do, however, believe that a Christian can struggle with, and fall into, homosexual events and mindsets, just as one could adultery, drunkenness, etc. I believe God forgives all. I also believe one must recognize what it is about one's self that makes us need a savior. I believe that repentance is what separates a "practicing homosexual" and a Christian who stumbles into homosexuality.

You made a statement regarding the line "Love the sinner, hate the sin." "Here we have the Christian who has not learned Jesus' lesson of unconditional love." Jesus certainly loves us all, but He certainly does not love our sins; otherwise, why would He need to become our perfect sacrifice? If God could accept our sinful nature, as I feel you are suggesting, why did His Son have to die? I thought the whole point was that our sinful nature was not tolerable in God's sight? I truly believe that Jesus loved the prostitute as well as the non-prostitute; but don't ask me to believe that He loved the fact that she was a prostitute!

Now, perhaps you will say that I am likening homosexuality to sin, and that is simply not accurate? If this is your point, please reconcile that position to Galatians 5:19-21?

I hope you will take a moment to answer my questions.

Sincerely, Joe

Editor Candace Chellew responds:

But don't you see, Joe ... not everyone struggles with homosexuality ... not once they've reconciled their sexuality and their spirituality. Homosexuality is not a struggle for me ... I have accepted it as a gift from God. My sexuality is heaven sent ... and I too am a Bible believing Christian.

You need to understand that your friend suffers because he's been taught that God made a mistake when God made him gay. You need to understand that because of the dogma you embrace, he fully believes he can't be loved by God while he's still a "sinner" ... i.e. homosexual. It's not the homosexuality that's giving your friend the trouble, but the social and religious condemnation of homosexuality in general, and homosexuals in particular. If he were encouraged to be open and honest with his sexuality, he would not longer struggle.

The suffering and struggles homosexuals face comes at the hands of a religion that will deny God's love to them ... God's unconditional love. Most Christians would sooner tolerate a drunkard or an adulterer in their congregations than a homosexual ... because they believe homosexuals are somehow "worse" sinners than the rest of the categories combined. There is no "worse" sin. And the only "sin" of homosexuality would be when homosexuals use their sexuality in sinful ways ... such as the descriptions in Galatians.

Yes, there are homosexuals who commit sins of the flesh ... all of those things Paul lists. However, there are probably an equal number ... if not more, just because there are more of them ... heterosexuals who engage in the same behaviors ... yet are not condemned, and are welcomed to fully participate in the life of the church! [I think that has something to do with dealing with the board in your eye before you go searching for the speck in mine. I think that Jesus guy talked about that. ] In short ... the sexual orientation of the sinner is NOT the issue ... it is the action the individual chooses to participate in.

I dare you to find any page in Whosoever that condones using one's homosexuality in sinful ways! You won't find it. We promote fidelity in committed relationships. That's our goal, to teach homosexuals to use their sexuality in non-sinful ways. You would do better to encourage your friend to do the same. Do not condemn him for how God chose to create him ... help him to see he's loved no matter what.

Usually, the oppression by religious folk forces people like your friend to engage in some of these sinful practices. It's not "okay" with the systems he respects and loves to be out and open and happy in a long-term committed relationship ... so he has to hide. To fulfill his needs he may go to bars or back alleys and have one night stands to get his needs met. If he could be out, and open with his sexuality ... he could learn responsibility ... he could learn fidelity ... and he would not have to revert to "sinful" ways to get his needs met. Think for a moment what your condemnation and what *your* God's condemnation does to this man! Simply because he can't handle the condemnation if he's discovered leads him to sin more. Denying his homosexuality leads to further destruction, where embracing it can lead to a life of love and happiness. I've been there. I'm much happier, healthier, and closer to God now that I've embraced the gift of my sexuality.

After all, it is Paul who tells us it is better to marry than to "be aflame with passion"! ... [Read that as "it is better to be in 'domestic partnership' than to be aflame with passion" -- Lord knows I wouldn't want to encroach on the "sacred" institution of marriage between one man and one woman ... even though Levirite marriages of polygamy are outlined in the Bible and not condemned by God. Oh, and not to mention the decimation of marriage that heterosexuals have done over the years. So, you're welcome to keep the term in my book. It doesn't even seem to mean much to the hets anymore.]

Anyway, my point: Encouraging homosexuals to become involved in long-term committed relationships is the best way to avoid the "sins" of Galatians. It supposedly works for heterosexuals ... why not homosexuals? Ah, but then that would give homosexuals some validity for their sexual orientation ... we wouldn't want that ... we'd rather they live in sin so we can easily condemn them than to bring them up out of their sins and give them happy and healthy lives. What hypocrisy!

You do more damage to people when you condemn them for what and who they are. Encourage your friend to use his sexuality responsibly. Encourage him to embrace how God has made him. I guarantee his "struggle" with homosexuality will disappear.

Blessings,

Candace Chellew
Editor


Editor:
I want to thank you for your online magazine. When I found this web site I was leery of logging on because I was afraid of what I might find. I may be gay, but as a Christian, and I had no interest in seeing pornography. When I logged on to your magazine I felt a presence of peace and love if that is possible over the Internet. I enjoy going to your sight and reading the prayer requests. I love to pray, and I find my heart being pulled to those of like mind.


Editor:
I have just come across your website and can't tell you how comforting it is to me. As a gay man, I have often felt removed from God, indeed unworthy of his love and grace. It is only recently that I have felt empowered by my faith. Although I was raised as a Calvinist and, later, baptized in the Southern Baptist church, I have never felt the empowerment that I feel at present.

I read your article on the Silence of God and can relate to much of what you write about. As I began the renaissance of my faith, I realized that I am as much a child of God as anyone, regardless of my orientation. That was liberating for me. Suddenly, I felt worthy. Suddenly, my homosexuality wasn't a burden. For the first time in my life, I am sharing my faith with others. Neither they, nor I, see any contradiction between my faith and my homosexuality.

Still, as a Christian who happens to be gay, I am often lonely for fellowship. My life partner's schedule prevents us from attending church together on Sundays. I don't want to be separated from other Christians because I am gay, so I am not too keen on the idea of attending an all gay church. On the other hand, I don't want to attend a church where I have to hide the most important part of my life. Thankfully, I have a wonderful heterosexual friend, whose faith is strong and supportive. She has been a blessing to me. And now I have the "Whosoever" web site.

Thanks!

Scott


Izzy writes:

Editor:
This man in the story I just read is accepting the fact that he is gay?!


Editor Candace Chellew responds:

Izzy,

Well, since the article appears in a magazine designed for GLBT Christians who have reconciled their faith and their sexuality it's not all that surprising that the author would accept his God-given homosexual orientation.

God is not pleased with this! Look in the Bible--where does it say that God is pleased by this behavior???

Where does it say he's displeased? Please don't quote Leviticus or the other clobber passages. The mistranslations of those passages are horrible ... and folks who want GLBT people to change use them out of context and as a weapon to hurt us.

Trust me--I'm an Ex-Lesbian and to this day I struggle with Temptation but the Devil is a Liar!!!! Temptation never goes away-that's where the fighting comes in!

My friend, if you are still "tempted" ... then that means you're still a lesbian. You're a lesbian who has chosen not to participate in lesbian sex or be in a relationship with a woman. You can change your behavior, but you can't change your orientation. It's like putting blue contacts over your green eyes .. you still have green eyes.

Humans get too lazy about praying and controlling themselve's! These so-called Christian's are a disappointment! I don't know what people are thinking?! READ YOUR BIBLE!!! READ MY WEB PAGE, ALSO!
I've read my Bible, thank you. I'm a seminary student, so I've actually done more than read the Bible, I've studied it in depth, and I find no condemnation of homosexuality within its pages.

I've also read plenty of ex-gay web pages. If you, my friend, are happier struggling your way through life, going against the gift of sexuality God has given you, then bless you on your journey. I, and others like me, who have reconciled their sexuality and spirituality are happy and blessed. I see God working in my life everyday ... yes, God blesses even a lesbian! I'll take my experience of blessings and my hope in God, and the evidence in my life that God loves me over anyone else's interpretation of scripture, or some group's anti-gay doctrine anyday.

Jesus says, "whosoever believes" is saved ... and so I believe. I do not live my life in sin anymore. I live my life for Christ, following his example of love, compassion and kindness. I have accepted the wonderful gift that is my sexuality and I use it wisely .. only within committed relationships .. and never promiscuously.

God has blessed me, my friend ... God is with me ... God is with you. We may disagree on the particulars, but we are both children of the living God.

Blessings,

Candace Chellew
Editor


Editor:
I recently found your website while writing a paper for my Writing Workshop course on same sex marriages. (I am currently attending NYU.) Your site was very helpful to me in understanding the Bible's stance on homosexuality. I used your site as one of my "works cited". On a deeper note, I feel I should commend you on the marvelous job you've done on your site, not just in terms of information, but true spirituality. You are sending out a message that is not sent out nearly enough. I grew up a Christian Scientist and although I have not stayed with the religion, I was always very grateful for its openness. It was refreshing to see other branches of Christianity with arms open.

I am straight, and now, Wiccan, but I am so proud of the work you are doing. I believe thoroughly, although not traditionally, in Jesus and the wonderful works he performed. He did those things for everyone, and he did them to teach us that we can also do them. Not just white straight males, but everyone. We are all Jesus' disciples; anyone who appreciates the miracles he showed us; and we are all God's children, regardless of age, race, or subculture (people have a hard time grasping the fact that I am a "Goth" with an adoration for the Virgin Mary :)) Anyway, this has become long and I'm sure you get many letters everyday that you have to read. Just know that this one is one of praise and admiration, which you deserve everyday. Bravo on a great job done!

Sweetest Dreams & Brightest Blessings,

Meredith



Editor:
Thank you so much for your ministry to gay Christians. It is a much needed magazine that I was lucky to stumble across on the web. This has been a difficult time for me as a Christian at Tufts. When I came out I lost my leadership status in an Inter-varsity Fellowship and started a campus debate which is attracting a lot of press. In the midst of all this I started to doubt my own faith. That is what brought me to web...to find info and other gay Christians. Your site has confirmed what I already felt...I am no less of a daughter to God now than before I came out. He really does love and accept all of me. Once again thanks for your ministry...you have increased my faith and lightened my burden tremendously. May God continue to bless you and your work for Him.

In His love,

Julie



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