Volume 5, Issue 6

Standing Firm

Cover Stories

The Only Thing That Counts
By Candace Chellew
If we have faith in Christ, faith that we are saved, faith that by God’s grace our sins are forgiven, and work out that faith in a love of neighbor, self and God, then there is no other requirement upon us. We can stand firm in our faith as beloved children of the living God!

The Fluid Rock of Grace
By Neil Ellis Orts
When we decide that we should stand firm on something, we think that we must become rigid and inflexible. I see that way less and less. The rules all look so solid, such great places to stand on, so certain. Grace looked so mercurial. Where do you stand when there are no standards for who God loves?

Accept Yourself
By Rembert Truluck
If I have a choice between Jesus and religion, I don’t see that it is a very difficult choice. Accepting Jesus is accepting yourself; so do it! Then let go of whatever gets in your way, including abusive religion, and move on.

Firm Yet Flexible
By Angela Rose
If I had continued to follow the way of the world and deny my transsexualism, I would have become more despondent and bitter against God. By allowing God to show me the path that I was to follow, though it has not been easy I have certainly come to a greater trust and love. These are the lessons I have learned by standing firmly, yet flexibly, in my faith.

The Light of the World
By John H. Campbell
From my own personal experience, I can say that I used to spend hours in chat rooms and conversations among fundamentalists, attempting to stand my ground. And it led to nothing other than frustration and often anger, an emotion that hurts me to even feel. But after a while, I tried a different approach, and began to frequent environments where there were other kindred spirits as myself, who were hungry and thirsty to embrace the Loving God and Christ that my faith is based upon.

Don’t Be a Coward
By Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker
As God’s children, we are to be warriors for God’s gospel of love, grace, faith, and inclusiveness. That Gospel is to be heralded throughout the whole world: Jesus saves, no buts attached!

Standing Firm
By Mark Calkins
I have heard over and over from my mother the same Bible verses that are used to “destroy” the gay believer. I have been warned of my eternal damnation. Does this make me doubt? NO! I know that my mother means well and I will love her because she is my mother. I also know that my Father in heaven is still there for me just as He is for my mother. I know that He created me just as the Bible states, “He created them one and all.”

Standing Firm — Faith
By Roger Stratton
After feeling the touch of God, after hearing the voice of God, after having seen the truth of the paradise, the heaven that constantly surrounds us, I have never — I could never — doubt God and Her unconditional love. Myself however, I often have grave doubts about. I know that God does not condemn me, for anything.

What If They Won’t Ordain You?
By Jennifer Felix
I cannot leave, because even if I myself cannot receive ordination in the church that I love then I will be part of the reason why the next generation of gay and lesbians who wish to be ordained clergy will be.

If I Keep My Eyes on Jesus, I Can Walk on Water
By Tom Yeshua
Our Brother Jesus has already endured all the hurt and anxiety, frustration and pain that falls upon us. When we cry out to him as the cares and pressures of the world threaten to swamp us, Jesus understands and is there, even if we do not feel his presence. His strong, carpenters arms are there to bear us up and hold us close to his heart.

Stand Firm
By Lucas Hawkins
We are permanently standing in grace, cemented in the eternal aspect of our provision. This means that we can’t pull our feet out of our position. We may fall in that position, but our feet never come out of it. We are standing and we have access to His grace with joy and hope.

I’ve Kept the Faith
By Rev. Dale R. Gaver
We don’t have to become some world famous evangelist or teacher. We need to just be steadfast in what we are doing for Christ.


Are All Welcome?
By April O’Flaherty
I am personally fed up with the anti-gay hate masquerading as Biblical Morality in the church today, and I simply will no longer tolerate it or run away from the controversy surrounding it. Let me tell you something. I am a Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and my personal Saviour.

An Urban Pilgrimage: Thoughts on Race, Sexuality, and Spiritual Violence
By Michael J. Mazza
Spiritual violence is a problem of great concern to lesbians and gay men, and to their loved ones. But it should also be of particular concern to Latinos regardless of sexuality. Those of us who claim a Hispanic/Latino heritage represent the intersection of four great divisions of humankind: the Native American, European, African, and Semitic peoples. Today’s diverse Latino communities are the product of centuries of genetic and cultural blending of these four races.

Spiritual Violence
By Rembert Truluck
Preachers today will single out gay and lesbian people for public rebuke and ridicule from the pulpit. These acts of spiritual violence usually go unchallenged by the people who should know better. I have decided to paraphrase the statement of Jesus: “They will scourge you in their synagogues” as “They will humiliate you in their churches.”


United Methodist Clergywoman Fights for Job After Coming Out as Lesbian
Reconciling Ministries Network Release
Karen Dammann, a United Methodist Church clergywoman since 1991, declared on March 25 that she intends to pursue a church assignment guaranteed to pastors in good standing — a guarantee she feels should not be curtailed because she is a lesbian.

Rev. D. James Kennedy Meets With Gay Christian Activist
Soulforce Release
An Easter weekend prayer vigil outside Coral Ridge Church by gay Christian activist, Richard Murphy, resulted in a meeting with Reverend D. James Kennedy, Leader of Coral Ridge Ministries in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

United Methodist Anti-Gay Legislation Called Heresy by Northwest Advocacy Group
Reconciling Ministries Network Release
A Pacific Northwest advocacy group of United Methodists today accused their denomination’s national lawmaking body of heresy for its anti-homosexual legislation.

Letters to the Editor

From the Pulpit

Urgently Devoted to the God of Love and Justice
By John Thornburg
Maybe another way to hear Jesus in this story is that he is saying that there’s enough for everybody, but not enough if some folks think they deserve more. So it doesn’t mean a lot to be devoted to the God whose gift is love if we are not also devoted to the God whose demand is justice.

Bible Study and Inspiration

Clinging to the Altar
By Rev. Dale R. Gaver
The devil doesn’t want one gay or lesbian to ever be saved. He thinks that by turning the mainstream church against us that he has us locked up and ready for hell. Isn’t it a shame that the church cooperates with the devil like this?

God Does What God Wants: A Look at Matthew 20:1-16
By Rev. Chancellor Carlyle Roberts, II
We need to acknowledge the Lord’s absolute right to do whatever He pleases with us. We need to surrender to His absolute authority over our lives. Step three of the 12-step programs tells us that we “made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

Holy Humor

How the Bible Would Have Been Different If Written by College Students

Some Possible Theology Exam Questions