Volume 5, Issue 2: Loving Our Enemies
Thank God We Don’t Have to “Like” Our Enemies!
–By: Candace Chellew
We don’t have to “like” our enemies, but we do have to stop wishing for evil things to befall them. God does not wish bad things for these people, and neither should we. Our love for them should be redemptive, understanding and creative! Only then can our enemies be transformed into people whom we can love!
What Would Jesus Do?
–By: John Campbell
To think that Jesus or God will destroy our enemies is to me to miss the mark. I believe that those which on the surface may appear to be our enemies, those who hurt us, cast us out and fight us, are really souls trapped in the fear, hurt, and pain that can result from believing in a God of conditional love, jealousy, control, wrath, and restrictions. And to attempt to “fight hell by giving them hell” is, in my opinion, not what Jesus would do
Cultivating a Mind of Love
–By: Raymont Anderson
Literally, focus your mind on love. Let words of love flow from your mouth. Let your actions be selfless and done in love. Regardless of who the person is, practice loving them as you love yourself.
Loving Our Enemies with the Love of God
— By: Lucas Hawkins
I say that before we can love our enemies, we must know the love of God. Because if we know the love of God, and understand His charity toward us, then we can understand the value that we have with God. This will help us gain the knowledge of our love for our brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as our enemies.
The Art of Love and Forgiveness
–By: Jeffrey A. Gifford
We, as gay and lesbian Christians have a powerful witness to the world. We who have been shunned and persecuted still believe. We carry the Light of Christ within us, even after enduring abuse and rejection. But what good is it, if we can’t let go and forgive and love?
You Want Me To Do What?
–By: Jennifer Felix
I claim to be a Christian, which to me, means that I do not claim to be perfect. It means that I have shortcomings and faults just like everybody else, (e.g. my enemies) but when I make the claim that I am a Christian it is a claim that I am working on my faults and shortcomings. And through that reconstruction and remodeling of my life, I am supposed to be striving to become more Christ like. And that means, loving my enemies.
Forgiveness Versus Acceptance
–By: Jerry S. Maneker
So, Jesus puts it up front: we are to forgive others and indeed even pray for them who despitefully use us. However, I can find no place in Scripture that says that “forgiveness” is equivalent to “acceptance” of those who hate us or in any way pervert the Gospel of Christ!
–By: Neil Ellis Orts
To write about Daddy is a more ambiguous task than to write about Mama. Daddy and I didn’t have what you would confuse with a warm, sitcom type of father/son relationship. We never tossed a ball in the backyard. Conversely, it wasn’t a violently adversarial relationship. He was my father and I was his son and as such we fulfilled a few of the roles played by such in this culture. I was misunderstood, he was exasperated. It worked out pretty well for us.
Let Go and Move On
–By: Rembert Truluck
Whatever has caused the decline and fall of spiritual freedom in our culture, the solution is clear: Let go and move on! Move on to what? Jesus plus nothing!
The Worst Rejection of All
–By: Kathy S. Quinn, Ed.D.
When churches reject anyone for any reason, it can feel like God is rejecting you too. Churches and Christians should to be very careful how they treat or mistreat others in the name of Christ and Christianity.
–By: Rev. Vera I. Bourne
Too many individuals and churches speak of “ministries of reconciliation” which, when closely examined, are naught but demands made that one party accedes to the demands of another. There is no sense of working together, instead there is only a determined effort to convince one person or group that they must conform to the dictates of another person or group.
Special Report: WOW 2000 Conference
Welcoming Churches Spread the Fire of Inclusion
— By: Candace L. Chellew
“We are under fire,” proclaimed Rev. Dr. Joan M. Martin at the opening session of Witness Our Welcome 2000. Knowing nods spread through the 1,000 or so attendees. As members of the Welcoming Church Movement whose goal is to move denominations to openly welcome GLBT Christians without reservation, they each are intimately acquainted with what it’s like to be under fire.
I Have Seen the Future
— By: Jackson H. Day
The [WOW 2000] Conference was a rainbow gathering where black and white, straight and gay, able and disabled, all experienced Christ’s healing presence. When Marsha Stevens sang on Friday night … I was aware once again how it is the presence of inclusiveness that uniquely enables liberal Christians like me to hear and appreciate evangelical Christians like her. I came away feeling I had seen the future.
Speak Up Against Sexual Assault!
— By: Claire Pearson
The reality is, sexual assault is a tough subject to talk about. The fact that 80% of all rapes occur between acquaintances does not make it any easier. And, this silence is exacerbated when the acquaintances are same-gender. GNESA works to overcome the silence that surrounds sexual assault – regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
From The Pulpit
–By: Rev. Paul Sweet
You can control what happens to you by the way you treat others. Be generous, and you will receive generosity. Be loving, and you will receive love. Be hateful, and you will receive hate. Be judgmental, and you will receive the judgement of others.
Bible Study and Inspiration
“Family Values” and Scripture:
The Scandalous Story of Samson
–By: Steve Pearson
… we as gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people, and whatever else we might be, have been beaten over the head for so long with the notion that God can only use people who practice “acceptable” modes of sexual behavior: namely either conjugal heterosexual activity or chastity. For us, then, Samson’s life should provide a powerful argument in our favor.
Toward a Quiet, Peaceable Life:
A Study of 1 Timothy 2:1-4
–By: Rev. Chancellor C. Roberts, II
Brother Paul doesn’t say to pray for those in authority so that certain types of legislation will be passed or that certain people will be placed in authority (or removed from authority) but, rather, that we may live quiet, peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty.
Leviticus and the Holiness Code
–By: Steve R. Payne
If someone wants to judge someone else based on the law. Then they are accountable to the law as well. If they miss something in the law they are guilty. So if they quote passages in Leviticus, then they are to follow the law as well. I can’t express it anymore. Paul speaks about “no one being righteous in his sight by observing the law!” By the law we become conscious of sin.