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 just wanted to say that I appreciated your piece entitled Evolving Toward Perfection. In it you make mention of a great number of things that I have tried to say and convey in my life. I feel that I have been successful in that endeavor, and continue to be so, as are you within this article. Thank you for expressing yourself on this issue. It is one near and dear to my heart. Not that I feel any need to defend my own homosexuality, but that I have always had great concern over those who would condemn it. Not for my sake, by any means, but for their own. In times past I was involved, and quite well studied, in biblical and fundamental "Christian" disciplines. And although those times threatened to tear me in two (for the dichotomy that I was dealing with), I persevered in my pursuit of God in "real life," and have gained from my experience, first hand, what condemnation does to both the condemned as well as the condemner. It is such an unsavory place to be, either side, as they are both essentially the same, that it has taken years for me to come out of the slave-like mentality. I've found that those who are the greatest purveyors of "biblical condemnation" are in fact only sentencing themselves to the condemnations they deliver. It's a terrible, terrible place to be. Full of traps, and destined, "without hope," to bring the self proclaimed judges to the end of themselves. Only to find that what they had been damning the whole time was indeed themselves.

My heart goes out to them. And my heart goes out to you. To them for the sure hope of this ingenious plan of God to make, shape, and form us all. And to you, for being another instrument to bring this about. I could write on about what I know but that is not the point of this email. It is only to say thank you for taking time to put to pen, the thoughts of another, namely myself. I truly hope that this email finds you. And that it finds you well, and in good spirits. If not, then perhaps I have helped to lift those spirits around you. Thank you once again.

John


Editor:

Just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed reading your site. I have been married to a wonderful loving woman for 25 years, am a father of two, and I feel there is much on your site for me. I am really tired of the "overhead" I often confront with some Evangelicals - confusing nationality with matters of faith, preaching that any one who does not "confess" Jesus (in a manner that conforms to guidelines set by a particular group of believers) doesn't measure up.

I worked for the Southern Baptists of Virginia when I was in college and was part of a group that played folk and worship music for churches all over the state. Some of the churches I visited were full of warm folks and were welcome places to visit. In other churches, I saw beginnings of the tyranny and tragedy of intolerance and fundamentalism that has swept the Southern Baptist denomination leadership in recent years.

I want to thank you because your site feels a bit like one of those great country churches I had the honor and pleasure of serving years ago - lots of encouragement, warmth and some great articles. Thanks again.

Bruce


Editor:

I've never taken the opportunity to tell you have seeing your site has changed my life. I fully understand that I can be gay and a Christian is a real blessing. To also know that there is a site like yours that is balanced and interesting and helps me to feel part of a community is awesome! Thank you so much for your ministry!

I was wondering if you have any interest in a sort of a pen pal ministry? Where gay Christians can just sign up to chat and make Christian friends online. I would love to be in touch with other gay Christians for friendships and mutual interest. Does this exist already or is there interest out there? Thanks for your help.

Jerry

Editor Candace Chellew Responds:

Jerry,

Thanks so much for your letter. I'm so glad that Whosoever has meant so much to you!

As for a "pen pal ministry," the closest thing we have to that is the Whosoever Magazine group at Yahoo groups. This online community is there to support gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians as well as our allies from the straight community. We talk about all sorts of topics like issues surrounding coming out, reconciling our sexuality and spirituality as well as sharing jokes and events in our lives.

Anyone is welcome to join the group and the fellowship. This is, however, a high volume group. We do a lot of talking to one another and it's not rare for us to generate more than 300 emails a month! You can always subscribe to the "digest" version, which is delivered once or twice a day depending on volume.

To subscribe go to this page or send an email to whosoevermagazine-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

Whosoever also hosts a smaller group for those interested in prayer. Whosoever Prays is a group where participants have agreed to pray for one another and to rejoice in each other's praises.

To subscribe go to this page or send an email to WhosoeverPrays-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

We invite you to join us in our online fellowship!

Blessings,

Candace Chellew
Editor


Editor:

I first came across your site when giving it a positive rating at hotrate.com. I returned to it recently when writing an article about the Bible and homosexuality for Date.com (where I am the Gay Relationship Adviser). Your site is wonderful! You are providing a very valuable service, not only for homosexuals like myself, but for anyone who wants, nay needs, an alternative to Jerry Falwell and the religious right's (mis)interpretation of Scripture. Continue the good work and thank you!

Brian


Editor:

I have just stumbled upon Whosoever.org and I love it. I have only begun to explore what appears to be a huge site. The open letter to critics was wonderfully expressed.

I am a gay Christian and member of Open Door Community Church in Sherwood, Arkansas. It is an affirming church pastored by a gay couple and attended by straight and gay folks alike, including families. Even my mother and sister attend this church! Finding it was a real blessing, as was finding your site which I will be exploring in depth.

God Bless!

Jerry


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