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 happened across your site. It is wonderful. I look forward to hours of reading and studying it. God is blessing others through the plan He has for your life. Many will be touched and comforted because you have allowed His will in your life. Thank you.

My wonderful, kind, outstanding, talented, fun, creative, giving, smart, hardworking, generous, faithful, obedient, athletic, well loved, attractive Christian son is gay. Being a born and bred southern Baptist, this of course was quite an adjustment for my mind and heart. However, John 3:16 assures me that my son and I will spend eternity with Jesus, that I know. All the other debates about being gay is against what we are taught in the Bible - well I will let others spend time hashing out. Thank goodness for people like you and your staff who make the effort to clear up the confusion.

My son has an adorable companion that our family is crazy about. Not all of our family is aware, but I think they are figuring it out. Whatever. I love him and that will never change. I can't even figure out the relationships with most of the straight people I know, so where do folks get off judging gays?!

I will not take up any more of your time. Please, please continue your work. I will try to make a contribution in the near future. It is a better time we are living in, yet there hopefully even better times to come. You are paving the way for those days. My prayers are with you.

Sincerely,
Fairye


Editor:

Wow - I just could not have found this Web site at a better time. I know you are incredibly busy and rightfully so doing God's work but I just had to steal a moment and let you know how much I appreciate this Web site!

My name is Andie and I am a 35 year old, completely monogamous, lesbian who had the wind taken out of my sails this morning at church (our regular church). After many tears and much anger over being made to feel not welcome (by one member) I went in search of other gay and lesbian Christians for some help in answering some of the issues being brought up - along with some help for some resource material. Thank you for taking the time to answer this much needed agenda and please know that your magazine was an answer to prayer today!! Thanks again and hopefully in the future maybe we can be of some help either to you or to others in our area - after being made to feel different for our whole lives...the last place you expect it is at your church...my bible simply says to "love one another as I have loved you..." and to my knowledge Jesus wasn't picky!!

Sincerly,

Andie


Jon writes:
Hi Candace,
Do you believe in God?

Editor Candace Chellew responds:

Yes.

Even demons believe and tremble. Faith without works is dead. (James)

See my article (in fact an entire issue!) on What it Means to Believe.

My article in that issue is ironically titled Even the Demons Believe.

You see, if you actually take time to read Whosoever before firing off notes to the editor, most, if not all of your questions will be answered.

Sex outside of God ordained marriage is fornication and the Bible says fornicators and the sexually immoral will not inherit God's Kingdom.

Where does the Bible say "sex outside of marriage is fornication?" The definition of fornication has come to mean that in our early times, but if one studies the Bible and the time that it was written, one would discover that the word "fornication" comes from the Greek word "porneo" which is where we get our modern day word "pornography." What that word meant to the people who wrote the Bible was not "sex outside of marriage" but rather any sex that was abusive toward another -- i.e. prostitution, pederasty, etc. It did not mean "sex outside of marriage." The sexual activity that I engage in with my long-term (married, as far as God is concerned) partner does not qualify. We do not commit "porneo" or "fornication."

God loves you and His perfect will for your life is for you to bring Him pleasure and glory and fellowship. Are you willing to be who God created you to Be?
Yes! And I am! I am exactly who God created me to be -- both a lesbian and God's beloved child. It's odd that you would assume that I would not be willing to be such a thing. My journey with God has been a long, arduous one where I denied for years what God created me to be. I had a miserable life trying to be something society wanted me to be, while all the time ignoring what God wanted me to be. When I finally gave into God's will for my life this wonderful peace that passes all understanding came to me. Praise God! Society, however, still may question my life with God, but thankfully, it's not society's will that I pursue anymore, no matter how much they claim to speak for God.

His will, not your will. His pleasure, not your pleasure. Please take time to pray for God to give you personal revelation and direction. He will direct your steps in an amazing way and you will be transformed by His supernatural power. God does love you and wants you to spend eternity with Him!
Jon, that's it exactly! That's what I'm trying to say. For years I tried to live on my will, trying to fit into a society that said I had to be this way or that way to win God's love -- and more importantly society's approval and sanction. I took the time to pray and you're absolutely right, what I got was an incredible revelation -- the revelation that I am what God created me to be -- a beautiful, loved, lesbian Child of God! I was transformed by just the power you describe. My life went from misery to joy in an instant. Even the attempts of people to take away my joy by telling me God hated me or that God did not approve of my "lifestyle" (whatever that is) had not affect on my joy. You know why? Because my joy comes from God -- not society. My joy comes from above, not from below or around me. My joy is endless, infinite and heaven-sent. There is nothing to break the bond between me and God -- not even other people who think they know what might be better for my life.

God and I have sorted out the details over a long, hard road. Being who I am in Christ has been a very tough thing to do simply because of people like you who continue to write to me to tell me how wrong I've gotten it. God told me that it would not be easy to accept God's will -- and that's why I didn't for so long. It was so much easier to live in the misery of the world, either rejecting God all together, or trying to live like the straight, Christian society told me I should. But, when I stopped listening to the world and finally started listening to God, it got so much easier. Joy comes like a flood, peace like a rolling stream. It's amazing what happens to one when they let the love and joy of God into their hearts. The transformation is amazing! I am a new creature, made in the image of God, justified by grace, sanctified through Christ.

God's will is not always pleasurable. I have been through plenty of hard times, plenty of struggles, plenty of heartache because I did God's will and not my own. But the peace that comes when one does God's will instead of one's own, does indeed pass all understanding. I hope this is the kind of peace you know in your life, because it overflows in mine.

Blessings,

Candace


Editor:

My husband and I (we are an older 58 year old and 65 year old heterosexual couple) belong to a GLBT friendly UCC church with a lesbian pastor. Our congregation is roughly (those who are visible) half heterosexual and half GLBT. We resigned the United Methodist Church in December 2000 due to their stand on many issues, not the least of which was the ordination question and the sexual sin question. How can a person be expected to deny who they are? A friend in the church told me about Whosoever today and I am so glad. We subscribe to a GLBT clipping service, but nothing like your newsletter and services. You are a gift of hope and love for the future.

Your article, Daring to be a Heretical Follower of Christ, has helped me so very much. I have been struggling with the divinity issue for some time now. You articulated my feelings exactly. Fortunately I have a lot of friends who are very tolerant of my unconventional beliefs as a Christian. At least I think I am still a Christian. My heart tells me that God has tried to reach mortals in many different ways since time began and all the messengers are holy and worthy.

Power to you,

Carolyn


Editor:

I happened on your Web site by looking up devotions for Psalm 27. I wanted to tell you that I believe God does love each one of us. His Word clearly states that. I agree with the Biblical passages -your references to John, Matthew, Luke and Romans. I do believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God given to us- His love letter.

I think something is missing here in your message. The Bible says God loves All people but some actions are abominations to Him. He does love homosexuals. It is possible for God to love homosexuals and abhor the homosexuality. (1 Kings 14:24) Just as a heterosexual is not defined by his or her sexual preference, but their soul and their heart (1 Samuel 16:7), so it is with homosexuals and Muslims and murderers and born again Christians. We are more than our sexual choices, we are humans with free will. However, we are all still responsible for our actions. We are still held accountable for them. (Romans 14:12) And look at David's life, called a "man after God's own heart" by God Himself, he sinned with Bathsheba and had to pay a high price for his actions. Look at Samson. Look at Peter. There are countless examples.

The point is I am asking you and the people in your organization to consider this message you are spreading. I am not writing to judge you because God placed it on my heart to write in love, to let you know that while I'm sure you are used to hate and hell, fire and damnation type responses, and people arguing this with you into the ground; the fact remains we are all God's children and I write with the hope that you will see that there are Christians who believe what you are preaching is contradictory to what God's Word says but rather than debate you, I choose to pray for each of you and to remind you that His truth sets us free. (John 8:32)

Please reexamine what you are believing and why. Look closely at the scriptures you are using to support this life-choice. Even if you believe it will make you feel stronger about your position, upon close inspection, God's voice will speak if we listen. I think we can all glean from that.

Blessings and introspection,
Leslie

Editor Candace Chellew responds:

Leslie,

We have thought long and hard about the message we are spreading. It is this: "whosoever believes" in Christ is saved. Jesus put no conditions on that. We strongly believe in Christ's words. We are spreading that incredible offer to anyone who will hear it, but especially to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people who have been told repeatedly, by well-meaning people like yourself, that there are conditions on that "whosoever" and that we are definitely not among the "whosoevers" Jesus speaks about. We know differently and we spread the message -- the Good News -- that Jesus means "whosoever believes" when he says "whosoever believes." That includes me, the lesbian Christian, as surely as it includes you, the heterosexual Christian.

Yes, there are Christians who believe that homosexuals should not be given access to God's love while remaining as God made them. And yes, they often do want a debate and that's unfortunate since I don't debate. God knows my heart and I can assure you that your prayer has been answered. God's truth set me free years ago -- free to be the best lesbian Christian that God has called me to be. My sexuality is a gift from God -- a gift to be used responsibly within the confines of a committed, loving relationship. This too, is part of the message we send out to our community. Thank you, indeed, for your kind prayers.

I'm curious though, what makes you think that we haven't examined what we believe and why? The examination of my belief on this subject is what sent me to seminary. It was in my seminary career that I learned about the Bible, about its history, its authors and what it teaches on this subject. In my studies of what I believe and why, I discovered that the Bible does not condemn loving, committed homosexual relationships. Yes, some acts of homosexual sex are condemned -- just as some acts of heterosexual sex are condemned. Any sexual act that breaks covenant (adultery) or uses and abuses another person (fornication or lust), is indeed sinful. That, too, is part of the message we are sending through this magazine.

Have you taken time to actually read any of the magazine before sending your letter? You should. Within its pages you'll find spiritual, God-filled, God-loved, God-blessed gay, lesbian, bi and transgendered people spreading the Good News of God's love and care for all people. Please take some time and read over what our authors have to say. I think you'll come away blessed.

You call homosexuality a "life-choice." When did you choose to be heterosexual? I don't ask this in a smart-alecky way. I'm quite serious. I never "chose" to be homosexual. I merely am. I chose to accept that my God-given sexual orientation is homosexual, but I never chose the orientation itself. I tried to "unchoose" it when I was younger. I struggled with the scripture. I struggled with God. I struggled to be what society told me I should be. All to no avail. God answered my prayer to be made straight. God said, "no." Since I have accepted God's answer, life has become a series of blessings -- life has become abundant, just as Jesus promised it would be. God has spoken to me through the scriptures and has shown me, quite clearly, the path I should walk. No one else has the right to judge it, nor tell me it is wrong. You're not in my heart -- God is, and God knows my heart is right with him.

But, thank you again, for your prayers and your concern. Blessings,

Candace Chellew
Editor


Editor:

I was referred to your newsletter by a new mailing list I joined on Yahoo called Leatherchurch. I'm a BiFemDomme and have found great comfort in your newsletter. What a relief it is to find people who think like I do about Christianity. I've been calling myself a "spiritual Christian" in lieu of Christian because it doesn't seem to agree with other Christians I know. I'm on several other so-called Christian lists on Yahoo though I didn't know they were that at the time I joined them (one a homestead list and another a wool spinning list) and of course, I didn't tell them I was Bi or Dominant.

When I commented on the fact that they were casting the first stone in judging GLBT communities, they replied that they would not condone homosexuality, which made me feel so very welcome (please pardon the sarcasm). It really scares me, and I persist, but back off my soapbox for a bit to let them calm down as they threatened to throw me off the list for "criticizing Christianity," which was not what I was doing. I've never ran into so many un-Christian Christians in my whole life. After that email, I backed down for a bit, but I also received 8 emails from people who agreed with me.

I stay on the list for several reasons: 1) to make people think about what they're saying/doing in terms of GOD/JESUS, 2) to voice my views of Christianity, and 3) to find others who agree with me (one of whom is a Native American).

I wanted to let you know that you are not alone here and I, for one, believe in what you're doing with "Whosoever." Keep up the wonderful work! Thank God I found you!

Sincerely,

Jet


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