Letters to the
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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Although not gay or bisexual, I have enjoyed reading your online magazine. I am a regular church-goer and feel that I would like to give words of support to you my brothers and sisters in Christ. I feel it is a great pity that good Christians like yourself should feel it necessary to bunch together and not feel welcomed by some members of the regular church (not me). Keep up the good work and continue to be guided by the HolySspirit. Isn't Jesus fantastic!!
just wanted to let you know that I loved your article Evolving
Toward Perfection. You phrased very eloquently an argument I've
been making for a long time, as well as bringing up several points
I hadn't even thought of yet. Thank you!
must take issue with your assertion (in "God
Bless America ...") that
The United States is "a
nation foresaken by God; a nation that has forgotten that to be truly
is to be humble and meek."
Granted, there is not a lot of obvious humility or meekness in business today. I am frequently frustrated by that. What also continues to frustrate me is that in the places that I do business with, as well is in the businesses in which I work, I find very few people that would fit the description of being called humble or meek.
However, to assume that the good old US of A is a God-forsaken country is way off base. There are plenty of instances every day where people do experience some of God's grace through the hands of others. Turn on your TV and witness the kindness of strangers poured out to those who have lost their homes due to tragedy. See people assist others involved in car crashes. And yes, some of us still give money to the bum on the street.(whether we think the bum deserves help or not).
You have forgotten how to,
in the words of Mother Theresa, "see the hidden Christ in others."
Candace Chellew-Hodge Responds:
Did you read the entire
article or merely the quote from the front page? The article never
contends that there are not good people in the United States doing
good things. What the article warns against is locating our human
freedom in the social order -- in our government and our culture.
The article was written in the aftermath of the "God and country" orgy
that this nation saw in the wake of Sept. 11.
This is another excerpt from the article. I think it helps to make this point:
Evangelicals, however, are mistaken. It is
not the nation that has turned its back on God,
it is God who has turned God's back on America -- and it's not
a recent occurrence. God forsook America a long time ago. We can
bless America," until we are blue in the face, but the truth of the
matter is, our ideas of blessings are all upside down. We see money,
wealth and power as blessings from God, when in reality they have
very little to do with God -- and everything to do with a human "will
evangelical Christians today are described perfectly by Meister
Eckhart who said about 700
years ago: "Some want to see God with their own eyes, just as
they see a cow; and they want to love God just as they love a
love a cow because of the milk and cheese and because of your
own advantage. This is how all these people act who love God
of external riches or because of internal consolation. They do
not love God rightly; rather they love their own advantage."
that is where America is today. We love God for our own advantage.
We love God because
we see God as the source of our external riches and internal
consolation. In this way we do what Karl Barth calls "confounding
time and eternity."
"This is the ungodliness of our relation to God. And our relation to God is unrighteous. Secretly we are ourselves the masters in this relationship. We are not concerned with God, but with our own requirements, to which God must adjust himself."
We confuse loyalty to
country with loyalty to God. We do it every time we say "God bless America" and
we do it every time someone foists an American flag in a church sanctuary.
America no longer worships God in a corporal sense -- we worship
America. This is the point I'm making -- not that everyone in America
is a bastard who won't give to the poor.
The article makes the
point that our human freedom comes only from God and comes only when
God is first -- in front of any national concern or loyalty. We are
not "Americans." We are Christians. Christ is first in our lives,
not the welfare of the nation. I would argue that those in America
who still give to the bum on the street and pour our their goodwill
on strangers in times of disaster are those who put Christ first
and not country.
My central argument is
that to make the exclusionary claim of "God Bless America" is "confounding time and eternity." If God is to bless something, why not the entire world? Why just America? Can we not be true Americans and true Christians at the same time by proclaiming "God Bless the World?" To
claim that we are the only nation that God has blessed confuses God
and country. God has not blessed us -- no more than God blesses anyone
else. God's grace is equal for all. If we are true to our Christian
heritage we know that God is no respecter of persons -- or nations
for that matter.
Our human freedom is found in Christ, not in country. To equate the two, as our government does every chance it gets, is to affirm that God has forsaken this country in a most profound way.
I hope this clarifies my position a bit.
outlook on Peter and Cornelius (Peter
and Cornelius at the MCC) is
perverted and NOT Scripturally based.
Homosexuality is an abomination and stinks in the
Nostrils of YHVH, the Heavenly Father.
And Peter WAS Jewish (as were all of the Messiah's
disciples) . Your article is wrong in so many areas
and you have perverted and twisted the whole story
of Peter the JEW going to Cornelius' house, who was
If you know anything (which I doubt) of
Jewish lifestyles and the Torah, you would KNOW that
the Jews were not to have any fellowship with the
Gentiles for in fear of becoming unclean (which is
also what homosexuality is....UNCLEAN). The story is
of how one JEW went by the leading of the Ruach
HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) to Cornelius' house where
he had a vision on the rooftop of Cornelius' house.
While there, Peter saw a vision in which YHVH
(Yahveh; the Heavenly Father) told him that what HE
(YHVH) had pronounced clean, was clean, and not to
be afraid to have fellowship with Cornelius the
Gentile and other gentiles as well, from then on.
I pray you do t'shuvah (repentance) and be freed
from the bondage you are in.
While we probably never
agree on God's view of homosexuality, I do think we can agree that
said EXACTLY what you have stated in your letter to me
-- that it was unlawful for Peter, as a Jew, to go to
Cornelius' house but that he did so because of God's
leading. Here is the statement from my article: "What I want to focus on here, however, is how Peter
got to that wonderful statement in verse 28b. Notice
the statement that immediately precedes it: "You
yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a
Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and
yet God has shown me..." (v.28a). Did you catch that?
It is unlawful, and yet...! And yet here he is,
breaking the law, the same law he tried to uphold
three times in response to his vision! By going to
Cornelius' house, Peter willingly breaks what he still
believes to be God's law. Why? Because God had told
him, "accompany them without misgivings; for I have
sent them Myself" (v.20)." (paragraph 4)
Apparently, you misunderstood this paragraph, because
in it, I said everything you told me the story says:
that Jews were not to have any fellowship with
Gentiles, that Peter received a vision telling him to
go anyway, and that in that vision God commanded Peter
to have fellowship with Cornelius. So I did, in fact,
know all the things you accuse me of not knowing. I'm
not sure how you missed that fact.
You and I do not in any way disagree on the story of
Peter and Cornelius. We disagree only on the
importance of this story for homosexual Christians.
I think it's great that you spend your time reading
gay Christian websites; I just wish your reading
skills were better.
In Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior,
I just found your magazine
tonight - but I could easily say I have searched for it (or one like
it) for many years. What a joy and what a blessing! Thank you.
I haven't had time to read
everything from the current or past editions, but I trust they will
be as wonderful as
what I have read.
Thanks and many blessings!
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