I think your online magazine is wonderful, and the name especially really strikes a chord.
I am not gay, but am a Christian who was wondering why a religion that unconditional love and acceptance would be so prejudiced. In your magazine, I found all the information I was looking for, and the much-needed assurance that my faith is not in fact as bigoted I feared it might be.
Thank you. Min-Hui
I was astonished to find this article on the Internet [7 Lessons on Christianity from Xena: Warrior Princess]. There was once a time when Xena controlled and contributed to a lot of my day to day activities.
Since the show has ended, Xena has continued to affect my life in many positive ways. As a Christian, I take heart that my love of the show is not leading me astray and is in fact a source of encouragement.
The article was very good to read, and I connected with the author immensely.
Thank you for the wonderful sharing of this experience, so similar to my own.
All the Best, Dawn
While conducting a Bible study recently with a group of elderly adults, I had occasion to explore Mark 3:22-30. With a lot of good humor people mused over the one unforgivable sin: blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Just what is it? I recalled being taught in years gone by that no one actually knew what it was, and that it was a shame that Jesus hadn’t been more clear about it since it has such severe consequences. However, with the improvement in translation and study skills it seems quite clear now that to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit (and be damned eternally) is as simple as to credit the devil with the work of God. Jesus makes this statement in the context of a conversation with the Pharisee’s, who have accused Him of working miracles by the power of an evil spirit. After an appeal to logic- a house/kingdom/Satan divided against itself cannot stand- to prove that it is God and not the devil who is at work in Him, Jesus makes the stern pronouncement about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. The passage concludes with the simple statement that Jesus said what He did specifically in response to the accusation of having an evil spirit. There can be no doubt about the context of His remarks. It would appear that failure to recognize the work of the Holy Spirit- the fruit of the Spirit if you will- may be spiritually stupid, but to attribute that same work to the devil is spiritual suicide.
During a subsequent conversation with my 24 year old gay son, he asked if that meant that those who accuse gay Christians of being possessed or of following Satan were themselves in danger of eternal damnation. I believe it may. I have to say that I’ve never been able to respond very effectively to conservative Christians who quote scripture and volunteer to pray for me and my liberal views before. Since they seldom respond to anything other than Bible verses, and have already selected the ones they give merit to, it is hard to get their attention. However, I think this might do it. People who are so eager to relegate me/my son etc to hell are probably also eager to avoid it themselves. They might be willing to take a second look at this passage from the Gospel. In the NIV, it reads: “I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, he is guilty of an eternal sin.”
I share this with you because I appreciated your reverent responses to some of the negative mail you receive. I admire your respectful efforts to respond and wanted to both support that effort and offer you more material to suggest that people consider. I notice that you frequently make an effort to applaud the positive efforts of the writers when it is possible to do so. I also know that conservative people often only respond to biblically based materials. Perhaps a kindly caution that they consider this passage might occasionally be well placed. It would set a priority for looking for the fruit of the Spirit in a person’s life before daring to condemn them. It also gives unequivocal forgiveness for everything except accusing the godly of being demonic. It also might help those who are coming out to conservative families to provide a Biblical basis for not being worthy of condemnation; presumably the family that found evidence of the Spirit in their life prior to coming out would have to think twice before condemning them just for coming out.
Thanks for allowing me to share this- I appreciate your website, and have referred others to it who need the support and clarity you offer.
Blessings! Rev. Nancy Hitt
I was writing my early a.m. weblog entry and Googled “perfect love casts out fear” to find its Bible source.
An article by that name came up in Whosoever (author Angela Rose: Perfect Love Casts Out Fear) with the I John reference I needed.
So thank you!
I did not know of “Whosoever” and like what I read. I have bookmarked it for future reference.
Blessings, George Breed
I was in the process of researching the quote “Love the Sinner but Hate the Sin” for a new revision of my book The Gay and Lesbian Self-Esteem Book, and I came across a wonderful response from you regarding this to a visitor of the Whosoever website. I found your answer to be absolutely wonderful, thoughtful and graceful! Thank you SO much for taking the time to answer this person’s thoughts!
I have subscribed to your list and look forward to exploring this wonderful website in the future!
Sincerely, Dr. Kimeron Hardin
Editor Candace Chellew-Hodge responds:
Thank for your letter. You can read more on this topic by visiting our entire issue on “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin.”
Thanks for editing this ‘zine. Whosoever is a wonderful sight, and a wonderful site as well!
It’s hard to believe this site comes from South Carolina. Not that there aren’t liberals in the state, I know there are. I’m from North Carolina myself, and have family in Rock Hill, SC. Anyway, I know it’s really tough, and your activism with this site is wonderful. The south can be an oppressive environment, and it’s amazing that such a resource of love, such a reclaiming of God and the Risen Christ comes out of it.
I’m active in the Episcopal Church, and if it wasn’t for my good experiences here and support coming out, I’m not sure that I would have made it. Sites like Whosoever are life saving, and you should hear that a lot.
Thanks, and may God’s peace be with you!
Editor Candace Chellew-Hodge responds:
Thanks for your letter! It’s always nice to meet fellow liberal Southerners. You should know that Whosoever actually began while I was living in Atlanta, where the liberals run wild and free! I moved to South Carolina just over 2 years ago because it’s where my partner calls home, not because I actually wanted to move into a nest of conservatives! But, there are plenty of activist gays and lesbians – and GLBT Christians – in South Carolina. We’re gearing up to fight an anti-marriage amendment here, so I suspect more will be coming out of the closets soon – here’s hoping anyway. Prayers for our community here are greatly appreciated.
I should have told you this long time ago and not have wait till not when I am showing others online your article but your article: Homosexual Morality: Living A Life of Integrity As a Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Christianhas affected me profoundly and help me to submit to God’s will whatever it shall be for me and to become the good homosexual Christian I try to be to this day. Thank you! Thank you most wholeheartedly and may God also be with you!
I only have a moment but had to take it to tell you that I stumbled on your website and I sit here with tears in my eyes. Your courage and beauty shine through in your open letter and amazing site. As the mother of a homosexual 19 year old son who has been bashed by the fundamentals in the bible belt of North Carolina, I not only applaud you, I adore you. Standing up for who you are, who you were created to be should not have to be such a tough fight. Threats because you refuse to hide because it scares the Jerry Falwells of the world and their legions of trusting souls who hate what they can’t control or want to eliminate all that is different? Makes me furious at the thought. So very frustrating BUT you know that your voice is being heard and as you said, if it gives ONE person pause to think, then speak I will. I only wish I could speak as eloquently as you.
Know you are greatly admired for your truthfulness and courage.
Warm Regards, Doris
I never read or heard about holy comedy [see our issue on Holy Humor] before. This was a refreshing way to look at the parables. I have a picture of Jesus laughing in my living room. Some of my more staid friends take offense at the idea that Jesus laughed. I feel much better knowing that Jesus laughed showing us that He was indeed human. I think He enjoyed a good uproarious, belly shaking good laugh. He could probably tell a lot of jokes and witticisms that weren’t recorded that would make a priest wonder if He was actually God Incarnate. I think that God Himself (which is Jesus) is the Author of good humor. He made humans and what a laugh we have been to the inhabitants of Heaven. To think that we refuse to accept the “free” gift of eternal life for the momentary pleasures of this life?