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:

Thank you for the insightful article by Candace Chellew Embracing the Devil You Don't Know. While I'm not "out" yet, the article certainly gave me strength to possibly face that event some day.

The first-hand thoughts, feeling and experiences in the article made me feel as if I were also living it first hand. I know I will be better prepared to face that day because of the article. I have some distance to go yet before I'm ready to take the step.

I'll keep checking in on the Whosoever website for more inspiration.

Thank you.

RealGuyWI


Editor:

Thank you!!

It's about time that there was an organization that confirmed lesbigay relationships. I believe that they can and are for the most part as sincere and loving as any hetero relationship. I have several "Christian" friend who, unfortunately believe that the words of Jesus Christ condemn LBGT to everlasting hell. I have argued about this with them but they do not believe that all are loved by Him. This may seem a bit different to you but I'm a straight male who is involved in singing with a gay choir and a member of their board. I believe that equality for all is what the New Covenant is about.

Anyway, thank you again for being there.

Dennis


Editor:

It seems to me that this ministry is trying to maximize the "wiggle" room that can be accomplished within a strict framework of beliefs that still hearken to that of Biblical inerrancy. I fail to see any but marginal differences--squabbling over textual hair splitting and minutiae.

It seems to me that the real basis of hope for any reconciliation of gays to God would lie in relating to Jesus through a spiritual process rather than trying to paper over and rescue a formal religious system which--despite Boswell's arguments to the contrary-- "enjoys" a current as well as historical antipathy to gays. That is why I personally despair at the apparently studied lack of attention that so many gay outreach ministries seem to cultivate regarding the neo-reformationist, Jesus Seminar luminaries such as Marcus J. Borg (Jesus a New Vision) Crossan, Funk, Burton Mack, L. William Countryman, et al.

I have yet to walk into a Christian book store anywhere in this country and find these vital books displayed or even readily available. So, in the sense of marketing practices in the arena of ideas, it would seem that you are also "in bed with" the fundamentalist position. . . . not to be confused with the "Missionary Position" -- a good read apropos Mother Teresa, by the way

GBryson777

Editor Candace Chellew responds:

Hi,

Thanks for your letter.

I understand your concern. There is a sort of "necessary evil" that Whosoever must engage in to reach the GLBT community and you've hit upon it. Yes, at some points we must discuss the Bible and the literal interpretations of it that the fundamentalists tout. Yes, at some points we must "get in bed" with them or "play on their field." Too many of our GLBT sisters and brothers come from this background. They cannot make the leap from "my background says the Bible condemns homosexuality" to the views of authors like Borg, Crossan, Funk, et al. They need to get there in steps. The first step is to overcome their belief that the Bible condemns GLBT believers. That's where Whosoever comes in. We assist them in that transition.

I'm not sure how much of Whosoever you've read, but if you get into some of the issues, you'll find the perspectives of Borg, Crossan and the others expressed within the pages of the magazine. Some authors are already there ... others are still evolving in their faith and are not quite ready to embrace these more progressive positions.

On the surface, I can see why it may look like Whosoever is trying to "paper over" an intolerant religious structure. In reality, we are trying to serve as a stepping stone that helps people overcome such a structure. Whosoever advocates for no specific denomination. In fact, our official stance is that we favor no church. No one has to return to any church to reclaim their spirituality. Church is not necessary. Your relationship with God, through Jesus, is what is supreme. Church, organized religion or any of its forms is not necessary.

I hope this clears up for you the true mission of Whosoever. Again, thanks for your letter.

Blessings,

Candace Chellew
Editor


Editor:

I came upon your web site while looking for ideas to use in a Bible class. It is a sad shame that gay people are treated with such abuse. However, it is even more sad that some people are telling them that lifestyle is acceptable to God. Please read Romans 1: 18-32. (In particular, around verses 24-27.) I know that isn't the only passage that deals with this subject, but I do not have my Bible handy to find others at this time. Please read this before you continue to condone this behavior.

In Christian concern,
Karen

Editor Candace Chellew responds:

Do you honestly believe, Karen, that I have not read Romans, or Corinthians, or Leviticus or any other other places where you and others like you believe that the Bible condemns homosexuality?

Are you so arrogant to believe that your letter is filled with some manner of new revelation for me and other gay and lesbian Christians? Do you really think that your letter makes any difference?

Have you even studied the Bible? I have, for several years ... including the passage in Romans that you are so sure condemns me and people like me. It does not. Reputable Bible scholars agree with this conclusion.

Yes, some homosexual ACTS are condemned in the Bible ... but so are some heterosexual acts. Those condemnations don't mean heterosexuality as a whole is bad ... same holds true for homosexuality. Just because some acts are condemned ... acts that involve idolatry, rape and prostitution ... does not mean loving, committed homosexual sex acts are condemned.

If you are truly ... and I mean truly ... interested in what the Bible says about homosexuality, I would suggest that you investigate these sites:

Six Bible Passages

What The Bible Says About Homosexuality

You'll see that nowhere in the Bible are loving, committed homosexual acts condemned. In fact ... did you know that the word "homosexual" does not even appear in the Bible? Later translators, in some versions of the Bible use the word, but the Bible writers did not even know the word since it was coined in the 1800s.

Please, before you speak about things in the Bible that you obviously are ill-informed about, learn about the Bible and what it really says. You do more harm than good when you reveal your ignorance about the Bible and what it truly says.

In conclusion, I do not "condone" a "behavior." I am trying to get gays and lesbians who have been seriously damaged by people like you who throw around Bible verses without knowing anything about the Bible to understand that they are loved children of God ... created as gays and lesbians to glorify God through their lives. Unfortunately, well-meaning, but terribly ignorant, people like you continue to make my ministry difficult.

Please open your heart and your mind ... learn a thing or two about the Bible ... and close pay attention to the part where Jesus tells us not to judge on another.

Blessings,

Candace Chellew
Editor


Editor:

This morning I awoke to seek out something I can share with our Gay and Lesbian Small Faith Group on Wednesday. An altavista search of Gay, Christian, and prayer led me to Whosoever - what a devotion of love to which you are attending!

Thank you especially for your January Devotional Journal - reminding me of how I need and want to recenter my life around God and not just the busy-ness of the world.

May the peace of God be with you always!

Njilankulu


Editor:

I just wanted to say that your creating this site was an excellent idea. It is comforting to know there are places to turn to when I get discouraged. Thank you for offering positive reinforcement to the gay, bisexual, transgender, and even heterosexual community. I realize that maintaining the website must be tiresome and grueling at times, especially for one person; I just thought that recognition for your hard work might help a bit. If I am any indication, you are affecting the lives of many people out there, and I want you to know we appreciate it. ;-)

John


Editor:

Hello. I was very glad to see your web page. I am a Christian who has always believed that homosexuality was a sin and wrong. Then I met someone (a woman) and found myself attracted to her. I was attracted to her physically, but more so I think I fell for the person that she is...not with her gender so much as her person. I have had many problems with my roommate and best friend and this topic. She believes that is it wrong and will not support me with it in any way. That makes it tough because she is the only one who knows anything about it. The woman I met and I have been seeing each other and I still like her a lot. I have been trying to put everything together and have decided that no matter what relationship I am in, I am still in a relationship with Jesus. I just wish that everyone understood this. Thanks for your page. It is good to know that there are other Christians out there that feel the way I do.

Jodi


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