Volume 2, Issue 4

Spiritual Self-Defense | Responding Constructively to Persecution

Cover Stories

Putting on God’s Armor: An Introduction to Spiritual Self Defense
By Candace Chellew
In this issue of Whosoever, we help gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians “put on the armor of God” and defend themselves against those who attack their faith.

Spiritual Self Defense For GLBT Christians
By Candace Chellew
We must be assertive, zealous, in our defense. We must exude confidence. We must make it known that God works in our lives everyday! Anything else shows a weakness in faith, and we become an easy mark.

Take Your Faith Out of the Closet! 10 Methods of Spiritual Self Defense
By Rev. Dr. Jim Bilbrey, Ph.D., D.D.
Many of us have seen those horrible films with titles such as “The Gay Agenda.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to produce a video-tape of GLBT Christians at worship? To be able to say, “Here is an honest depiction of the Gay Agenda!”

Loving Those on the Religious Right
By Louie Crew
Loving someone does not mean that we expect to convert them. We know that lesson full well when others put our conversion to their point of view as a condition for their loving us; but the same goes for us: we are called by Christ to love unconditionally.

Responding to Persecution
By Michal Anne Pepper, Ph.D.
The words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount provide us with helpful suggestions about how to manage the feelings we have in response to persecution.

The Enemy: A New Perspective
By Caroline Mason
Your enemy is not the sanctimonious person who condemns you. It’s not the minister who says you’re an abomination. It’s not your family or friends who reject you.

Jesus as the Key to Spiritual Self Defense
By Dr. Rembert S. Truluck
The call of Jesus to “Follow Me” provides the path to victory in resisting our enemies and winning with truth and love.

For Those Who Persecute You
By Heather Elizabeth Peterson
Why? Why on earth should you love a person whose every thought and deed is focused to bring about what to your minds must seem to be illness and suicide and the destruction of souls? Christ has an answer for this …

Whose Bible is it Anyway? Scripture and Spiritual Self Defense
By Amanda Udis-Kessler
The Bible, like the Kingdom of God, is not the special property of the literalists who condemn us; it’s for each of us to wrestle with, as Jacob wrestled with God, so that we may be put out of joint and then blessed.

On Christian Disagreements
By Fred Richter
I wish I could reassure all of these people that we gays and lesbians are not those decadent biblical people they have been taught to hate.

Homospirituality

The Mission of the Church: Sic ’em and Sock ’em OR Love ’em and Lead ’em
By Theodore W. Hayes, Ed.D.
“Stomping out sin” has been interpreted by many as the role of the church in our day. The approach seems to be to “sic ’em and sock ’em” through the manipulative power of guilt and fear.

Labels and Definitions and Who I Am
By Neil Ellis Orts
Every subculture has its dominant images and voices. I think of this woman when I come across someone who doesn’t think I’m “gay enough”. I’m attracted to people of my own gender. Isn’t that enough?

An Unconventional Approach to the Question of Homosexuality and Christianity
By Gay Christian Online
Each of us knows in our hearts if we have embraced Christ and His Love, have acknowledged in our hearts our inability to live the Law and called upon God to forgive us through Christ our failings and enable us to live anew in God. No person has the power to say or judge us otherwise.

Features

Christianity Betrayed: An Interview with Author Bruce Bawer
By Candace Chellew
“Stealing Jesus” is an excellent place to begin learning about fundamentalism. Bawer takes great pains to outline the roots of fundamentalism, its beliefs, and its broad affect on Christianity as a whole.

Transition, Death, and Mourning
By Janet Elizabeth Flecher
To transition, to transform. . . to change from one state to another. For the Transgender/Transsexual, this implies changing from male to female, or female to male. And this implies a beginning and an end.

UFMCC Moderator Meets With Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The Rev. Troy D. Perry, moderator of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC), met with Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu for a wide-ranging discussion of human rights issues.

Let Us Give Thanks and Praise!

Letters To The Editor

From The Pulpit

Reclaiming John 3:16
By Rev. Richard L. Smith
To me, a most important part of the verse is right there at the beginning: “God so loved the world….” Rather than being a stand-offish creator, who simply set things in motion and went away, God is involved in an ongoing relationship with the creation, remains a part of it, and passionately cares for it.

Bible Study and Inspiration

A Scriptural Look At Homosexuality
By Agatha Chamberlain
Sin has always been an act of choice. I know that homosexuality is not a chosen lifestyle. So how can it be a sin? With much prayer, I examined the various passages in the Bible linked to homosexuality and asked God to reveal the truth, no matter what it was, to me.

Holy Humor

Creation Red Tape

The Grace of God

Religious Lightbulb Jokes