Volume 7, Issue 2

Cultivating Compassion

Cover Stories

A Commuter’s Classroom: Learning Compassion in the Fast Lane
By Candace Chellew
Even though I was “driving with love” — trying to be compassionate to the people around me, just one person who believes we are completely separate from each other, cut off by class, race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or any other barrier that humans create, can wreak havoc for all of us. This is why it is imperative for everyone to truly seek to cultivate compassion in our hearts, not only for us but also for everyone.

Anger and Compassion
By Darrell Grizzle
Jesus recognized that the religious leaders who made him so angry were, despite their hardness of heart, still children of God, still bearers of the divine image. It’s easy to forget that we are all God’s children, and so we are all related in the interconnected web of life.

The Near Enemy
By Ko Imani
Now is the time for LGBT people to rise above the evil that is and has been done to us and to begin creating the end we desire. This means training ourselves to conduct our activism with love and compassion instead of attack, in effect, giving up the very idea of “enemy.”

The Value Of Compassion
By John Campbell
I truly believe that one of the key teachings of Jesus’ message was the importance of love over law in how we treat and interact with one another. It is our capability to allow our love for others to override our inner need to be “right” about something, to override the value we place on the way each of us understands and sees God individually.

The Confessions of One Trying Desperately to Maintain His Christian Principals in Spite of Personal Adversity
By UTHUR, from the Town by the Sea
Recently, someone did some damage to some of my property, causing me a small amount of emotional pain. The damage was minor. However, my reaction was major, far more than warranted, in my eyes. In fact, my reaction was so severe, it threatened the very core of my self concept and caused me to severely doubt the reality of my belief structure.

The Compassion of our Savior
By Lucas Hawkins
Our new eyes are tender, sensitive, and intimate, because the Holy Spirit reflects through us and in us the truth that love is never going to change, that grace will reign beyond sin, and that mercy will rejoice beyond judgment. God’s light is eternal, and it will never, never fail as it lives in us and flows through us like a river of living water.

Homospirituality

What’s a Poor Gay Christian to Do?
By Candace Chellew
Gay Christians seek entrance into the kingdom. Fundamentalists seek the “destruction” of a very major part of the gay Christian, namely, the “gay” part of their moniker, as payment for entering that kingdom. The ones most likely to budge in this situation are the gay Christians, who instead of giving up “gay” give up “Christian.”

Called to Ministry
By Khenneth Dantzler
Life at times may not be easy, but I thank the Supreme Being for those people that are supportive in my life because it is hard being a minister. HIV/AIDS is not a popular subject nor is gay theology. If we do not speak out on issue that concern our community then we will die under the mercy of the antagonist.

What About You?
By Rembert Truluck
How the world, homophobic fundamentalists, religious ignorance and various mildly accepting religious denominations see you does not determine your value to God or your own self-esteem. Your self-acceptance of yourself as a child of God in the image of God with equal value to every other person in the eyes of God and in your own eyes is determined within your own mind. You think for yourself because you have to. Nobody else can really decide who you are for you.

Ignore the Vipers
By Paden Cheeks
Ignore the vipers who threaten you with damnation for being the unique star God made you. As they try to dim you with fear and shame, illuminate even brighter in the essence given by Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Do not use them as an excuse to become weaker in Christ, but use them as instruments to become more in Christ everyday or risk becoming a viper too.

The War on Terrorism: A Problem Still Plaguing the LGBT Community
By Desiree Waldo
The disturbing truth is terrorism has been plaguing the LGBT community for decades resulting in acts of discrimination and violence. A number of murders of LBGT victims are by so-called Christians doing the “Lord’s work by eradicating those heathens.”

Features

Are The Children Really Free? Reexamining the Biblical Evidence on Same-Sex Relationships
By Erny Phipps
A book review and interview. Can two people of the same sex live in committed, loving relationships with the blessing of God? This is the question that Rev. Jeff Miner of Jesus MCC of Indianapolis and John Tyler Connoley set out to answer in their book The Children Are Free. Their intention was to create an intermediate size booklet that might not be as intimidating as the large volumes on homosexuality and the Bible but contains more meat than a small pamphlet on the subject.

Letters To The Editor

Transpirituality

A Sacred Fragility: Mental Illness and Spirituality – Initial Reflections
By Joseph Schreiber
The road to full recovery and stabilization would continue for me long after I returned home from the hospital, even though I responded well to medication and have never experienced another serious episode. But bipolar was, for me, not the whole story. It could not write away the persistent internal unease and discomfort I felt about my identity, the lifetime of gender insecurity that had seemed, to me, to drive me headlong into madness in the first place.

From the Pulpit

Trick or Treat
By Rev. Don Southworth
Halloween is the most complete and realistic holiday we celebrate. No other holiday honors both the goodness of life and its sorrows so fully. Halloween gives us permission to be a saint and a sinner, a gentle soul and an angry monster, a devil and an angel and most importantly, alive and dead.

Bible Study and Inspiration

“What’s In It for Us?” – A Study of the Gospel of Matthew: Part 4
By Tom Yeshua
If you come to believe that Jesus is who he says he is, and you desire to walk with him, to spend time with him, to be associated with him, there is one requirement. There is a kind of membership card waiting for potential disciples of Jesus: “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let them renounce themselves, take up their cross and follow me.”

The Substance of Faith
By Stacy Reynolds
I’ve been thinking a lot about faith. What is it? How do I get it? I want to move a mountain. I especially want to move this huge mountain of insecurity that I’ve been running around most of my life.

God is Indeed Still Working For Us and In Us
By Elizabeth Lee
At the point of our salvation God provides so many things, that one can just do a simple Bible Study on the following and get a rewarding look and what and who we are in Christ and in the Body of Christ. The following scripture references apply to all Christians — not just ‘straight’ ones, but all or, as in the title of this Web site proclaims, “Whosoever.”

Holy Humor

If God Were a Computer Programmer

The Beer Prayer