Volume 4, Issue 1: Forgiveness

Cover Stories

Forgive Them? Are You Crazy?
–By: Candace Chellew
We’ve been so abused, so beat up by those who hate us. Why is it up to us to make the first move when we’re the victims here? They certainly don’t deserve our forgiveness. … However, forgiveness is a necessity for Christians.

Reflections of a Recalcitrant Grudge-Keeper
–By: Neil Ellis Orts
I have these high, high ideals of how one should live a Christian life and I really mean most of them, but when I look in the mirror of my life, I see it’s this forgiveness thing that is my largest stumbling block. I don’t forgive easily or well.

A Lesson in Forgiveness
–By: Blyth Jori Kirtley
Bonnie’s extension of forgiveness had changed my life, allowed me to learn how to forgive myself, and taught me the power of forgiving others. I think God’s forgiveness is like Bonnie’s.

Seventy Times Seven
–By: John H. Campbell
To me the greatest challenge we all face as LGBT Christians is forgiving those whom are acting out of fear and misunderstanding and creating pain and hurt for us. Who cannot see the tremendous opportunity for us to let our light and understanding of what Jesus taught us to live bring light to the lives of the entire Christian community, the LGBT Communities and the world?

For They Know Not What They Do
— By: Terri L. Main
When we look at these hurtful situations, we often ask how can I forgive the way Jesus did? The answer lies in the words, “for they know not what they do.” These are not people who have evil intent involved.

Forgiveness – The Alpha and Omega of Peace
— By: Alden Möller
The forgiveness I gave to my offenders set me free, I was no longer at the mercy of the devil’s torment. I was at peace. I could again plan for my future, and two and a half years later could come home where I belonged. This hatred and feelings of revenge was gone from my heart and I now learned how to forgive.

Forgiveness: The Visible Outpouring Of Unconditional Love
— By: Rev. Vera I. Bourne
There is no doubt God desires that we are all healed and whole, yet self-forgiveness and self-love are either neglected or put in the “too hard” basket.

Forgiveness Means Letting Go
— By: Dr. Rembert Truluck
The biblical word for forgive means “to let go”. God forgives us by letting go of our disobedience and failures. We forgive others by letting go of our resentment and judgmental rejection of other people when they have hurt us.

The Difficult Task of Forgiveness
— By: Ruth F. Simon
Like so many people today, I can’t say I’m a perfect Christian in every other regard excluding forgiveness. I don’t pray as often or as faithfully as I should. I am not as active in the church as I should be. I judge the more conservative Christians because I disagree with their beliefs. Much of these failings are, I think, related to my failure to forgive.

Dear God, Please Forgive Me for Not Being Gay
An Open Letter to God
— By: Chris Balcher
Please God can You forgive me for not coming right out of the closet with my flag flying? Can You forgive me for hating myself most of my life? It’s just that I haven’t had the courage to face the loneliness that I thought would be the result of coming out and shutting the door firmly behind me. It terrified me to think that I might not be able to get back in again. Can You forgive me for having so little faith?

Coming Home
— By: L. Louise
One of the most beautiful stories of forgiveness that many gay and lesbian Christians relate personally to is the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32. The two sons could easily represent today’s Christian communities.

Forgiveness: The Key to Overcoming Guilt and Fear
— By: Stephen Hopesharer
Guilt and fear hold us captive until we are able to let go of them. The key to letting go of them is forgiveness. Forgiveness is an expression of love. That includes not only forgiving others, but it includes forgiving ourselves as well.

Homospirituality

Soul of a Second Skin: Spirituality, Christianity and the Leather Community
–By: Hardy Haberman
“But how can you be a Christian and be into leather?” … Our leather may seem to be a sign of aberration, a politically incorrect kink that doesn’t belong. To us Christian Leatherfolk, it is a God given gift, which we use in living our lives abundantly.

Making a Family Amid Controversy: The Marriage of Larry & James
–By: Larry Ellis & James Raymer
I guess that as I sat before the ministers that day, I gave little thought to the fact that what we were confessing before God and our church could be considered a sin.

Standards
–By: Gini
Our society wants to support teenagers in their quest to find a mate. Our families and churches do their best to provide Christian standards for dating. However, they often ignore the reality of gay and lesbian teens. Where can we turn for guidance?

Features

Offering Hope and Healing to Those Hurt by Religion: An Interview with Dr. Rembert Truluck
— By: Candace Chellew
Dr. Truluck realizes recovery from Bible abuse will take time for gays and lesbians and has designed his website and his new book “Steps to Recovery From Bible Abuse” to address that.

Letters To The Editor

Readers Give Praise!
Readers share their praises.

From The Pulpit

Love God

–By: Dr. Paul Sweet
What’s most important? It’s not just a theoretical question. On what does one base all the decisions that must be made each day in today’s world? What’s the most important commandment?

Repent, or You’re Going to H-E-double-toothpicks
–By: Rev. Sharon L. Moe
We have lost the capacity to yearn for justice. Injustices don’t affect us; droughts in the southeast and southwest might drive up some prices at the supermarket and once in a while there is a surge in gasoline prices at the pump. But by an large we aren’t affected by the vicissitudes of life that rob life of both meaning and justice all over the world.

Bible Study and Inspiration

Paul’s Greek: First Aid for Mistranslation
–By: Lawrence A. Reh
Because he is frequently the victim of such biased translation, Paul is often unfairly maligned and underappreciated by LGBT Christians.

Sodom, Sodomy, Sodomite, Sodomize
–By: Dr. Rembert Truluck
Giving a homophobic twist to “Sodom” to create the verb “sodomize” took great care and deliberation. The abusive anti-gay slang language that modern scholarship has imported into Bible translations is “the abomination that makes desolate” for millions of closeted homosexual Christians who love God and follow Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life.

Scriptural Abuse
–By: John Temple Bristow
Why would some folk lie, ignore the meaning, or even fake evidence in order to prove the inerrancy of scripture?

Holy Humor!

The Creation: In The Beginning There Was the Computer

Where The Dog and Cat Came From