Editor: 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!! Geoff
Editor: I 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! Leah P.
Editor: I 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 blessed 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.” Jon
Editor Candace Chellew 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 proclaim, “God 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 to power.”
Most 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 cow. You 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 because of external riches or because of internal consolation. They do not love God rightly; rather they love their own advantage.”
And 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.
Editor: Your 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 a Gentile.
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. Cheryl
Steve Pearson Responds:
While we probably never agree on God’s view of homosexuality, I do think we can agree that my article 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,
Editor: 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!† James