Volume 8, Issue 2

Sin

Cover Stories

There is No Sin in Love
By Candace Chellew
Sin is not just homophobia, it is actively seeking the destruction of gays and lesbians and actively shutting the door of the church in their face until they “change” according to the church’s idea of acceptability before God.

On Target
By John H. Campbell
The fact is, as humans, we may have the potential to be as loving, as forgiving, and as selfless as Jesus Himself was, but we don’t always hit that right on. No one is always perfect in the way they treat others. No one has all the answers. No one can always do the right thing, as much as we may try or as much as we would like to.

Shifting and Assuming Responsibility
By Rev. Vera I. Bourne
“I” is the central letter of the word sin, and “I” emphasizes the personal nature of sin – it is you and I who sin. Whether we sin by deliberate intent or by acts of omission, our actions and thoughts are sin.

From Sin to Blessing
By David Miller
I had been convinced by society that my natural, born, sexuality was a sin when, in actuality, it was exactly as he had designed and molded it. I had spent my entire life trying to change what he had so perfectly created, and he was probably more than a little ticked off at my insistent pleas for change.

Sin, Self and Thomas Merton
By Tom Yeshua
If we wish to find ourselves, to regain the truth of our existence and our being, let us turn from the lie of sin. Let us, instead, turn in trust to the God who created us, who gave us all our gifts, including the blessing of our sexuality.

Closer to Fine
By Dawn Sorensen
Sin is turning away from who God calls you to be, and sin is broken relationship, and we all experience these problems in our lives. Turning away from who God calls you to be is something that is between God and oneself. Through thoughtful discernment, meditation, and self-reflection, we become closer to being authentic human beings.

Wrestling with Sin: Taking Ownership of My Soul or, Reflections on Sin from a Revival Meeting
By James Deaton
Life is truly much more complex than what I first believed. Sin is not a laundry list of dos and don’ts but a barrier that separates me from God and other human beings. Sin is anything that prevents me from building honest, loving, and holy relationships with God and others.

Who Says I Sin?
By Chris Balcher
But what is the sin of homosexuality? What if this sin was really love? Loving a person of the same gender. What if loving a person was about wanting to care for that person, wanting to live with that person and to share one’s life with that person? What if homosexuality had to do with the nobility and failure of the search for love, intimacy and affection? Are we still willing to condemn it as a sin and deny the homosexual person the capacity for love.

About Sin
By Maria Söderström
I still have to struggle with the feeling that I live in sin because I’m homosexual. I have hard time with reading the Bible, even if I know in my heart that God has created me like this, so why should he reject me?

Homospirituality

Trouble in Baghdad
By Afdhere Jama
“Everyone in my family is okay. I will write more soon.” That was a quick e-mail note I got from a young man who chooses to be called Haddi Al-Harrari, a queer Christian in Baghdad. He sent me the note not too long after the city was freed from Saddam. I was relieved to know he and the family were safe.

Luminosity
By Ko Imani
The end is inherent in the means. So, if the end we want is a society that is just, affirming, nurturing, healthy, sustainable, compassionate and loving, then the means we use to get there must also be.

This is Crucial!
By Tuan N’Gai
While talking with James, I quietly asked myself, what are brothaz really looking for? What is it about sex (or the prospect of having lots of it) that makes a brotha risk losing a relationship with someone he says he loves? And when a brotha is in a relationship, why does he almost always entertain “the grass may be greener” theory?

Features

Book Review: Telling Truths in Church: Scandal, Flesh, and Christian Speech
By Neil Ellis Orts
Jordan’s latest book is not another in the long line of such books. It doesn’t make a case for why homosexuality is an okay state of being but instead goes from the assumption that it is acceptable to extrapolate on how the church might benefit from openly accepting and blessing its gay and lesbian children.

Living Life Fully, Moment by Moment: An Interview with Kim Boykin
By Darrell Grizzle
The Dalai Lama once said that being a “Buddhist Christian” is like trying “to put a yak’s head on a sheep’s body.” Kim Boykin’s new book, Zen for Christians: A Beginner’s Guide, isn’t about trying to produce such a hybrid. Her book is a wonderful introduction to real Zen, written for real Christians who are looking for a way to incorporate meditation into their spiritual lives.

The Homophobic Agenda
By Rembert Truluck
The underlying false assumption of the “The Homosexual Agenda” is the notion that there is some kind of great homosexual organization that represents all GLBT people and has worked out and promoted an agenda that speaks for all of us! How absurd. We can hardly get together to redecorate the house, have a decent pride parade or sustain a local GLBT center much less a worldwide conspiracy to destroy straight people!

The LGBT “Threat” to Straight Marriage
By Adam DeBaugh
Destroying heterosexual marriage is not on my agenda! I don’t know of ANY LGBT activist for whom this is the goal. To be honest, straight people have been doing a pretty fair job at destroying the institution of heterosexual marriage, with divorce rates well over 50%, abuse rampant, and dysfunction seemingly the norm. They certainly don’t need us!

The Current Crisis in the Roman Catholic Church: A Complete Misunderstanding of Sexuality
By Most Rev. Bruce J. Simpson, Archbishop
We disagree strongly on how the Vatican has addressed this increasingly visual problem. They have once again equated pedophilia with homosexuality, and have ordered the cessation of the ordination of gay men into the priesthood. Once again, a decision has been made based on ignorance of human sexuality, homosexuality, and pedophilia. The prejudice and ignorance of Rome has resulted in a most precarious position for the their clergy, and especially for the Bishops.

Letters To The Editor

Special Reports on WOW 2003

Being an Instrument of Peace: Some Reflections on WOW 2003
By Candace Chellew
WOW participants preached peace in the face of hatred and misunderstanding. WOW participants sought to destroy that barrier that keeps us divide from our brothers and sisters in Christ. WOW participants were assured that they are no longer foreigners and aliens, but citizens in God’s household.

WOW! A Report from WOW 2003
By Adam DeBaugh
Witness Our Welcome is an ecumenical gathering of LGBTQ Christians and their straight supporters, friends, and family who are part of the Reconciling Church movement, those brave congregations in the mainline denominations which have courageously made a public welcome to the LGBTQ community.

Special Reports on the Episcopal General Convention

Episcopal Bishops Approve Robinson: Historic Vote Called ‘A Big Step’ for Gays and Lesbians
By David Skidmore
A long and difficult journey, for both the church and the bishop-elect of New Hampshire, ended Tuesday evening when the House of Bishops voted to confirm the Rev. Canon Gene Robinson’s election as the next diocesan bishop of New Hampshire. The vote – 62 for and 43 against – capped a dramatic and history-making session that began with an exoneration of Robinson on charges of misconduct.

Episcopal Deputies Approve Compromise Resolution on Same-Sex Unions
By Sharon Sheridan and James Thrall
While liturgies blessing same-sex unions are celebrated in some parts of the Episcopal Church, the church is not ready to authorize creating common liturgies for such services, General Convention has decided.

Transpirituality

Peabody and Sherman – August 2103
By Rachel Miller
“Actually Sherman, it wasn’t until the beginning of the 21st Century that enough people began to understand that everyone should be treated equally.”

From the Pulpit

Ah! The Power of Prayer: Part Three — “Prayer with a Capital C”
By Rev. Brad Wishon
Through deep prayer (prayer with a capital “C”), prayer that opens us to change, we can become the best that we can be, in community with others. We will be, as Peter and Andrew, as James and John, as Gandhi, as Keith McIlheney and the other Saints who have gone before us. We can become tools to bring Christ’s love and justice to the unloved, the un-served, the hungry, the abused, and all the others who yearn to be lifted up.

Snake Bit
By Larry Bethune
God doesn’t want to condemn us like those preachers who used to give us a good old-fashioned Bible bashing. But God shows us what ails us so God can show us what saves us.

Bible Study and Inspiration

Comfort and Confidence For a Christian Man or Woman Realizing He or She is Gay
By Steve Wakeman
For a Christian man or woman who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, being misunderstood or rejected by your church family can be devastating to a person’s faith.

Holy Humor

The New Testament According to Dr. Seuss

A Macedonian Nun’s Tale