Volume 8, Issue 3
Jokin’ in Jerusalem: The Stand-Up Comedy of Jesus Christ
By Candace Chellew
Those who can’t take a joke, especially a joke about religion, or their particular brand of religion, are like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. They didn’t understand, or did not appreciate the humor of Jesus’ jokes. Jesus did tell jokes, you know. We call them parables today, but to the hearers of his day, I imagine many of them were downright hysterical.
Did Jesus Laugh?
By Louie Crew
Some modern Christians have trouble hearing the laughter of Jesus because the religious Establishment frequently portrays Jesus in the service of stern authoritarianism. An authoritarian Jesus constrasts starkly and ironically with the Jesus of scriputure. In the bible Jesus treats authoritarians as enemies. Legalist Christians today are out of touch with Jesus the boisterous rule-breaker.
The Best Medicine
By John H. Campbell
Life without a sense of humor to me would be very dark and depressing, and I honestly feel that along with the many gifts God has blessed us all with to navigate the adventure of life as we know it, humor and the ability to laugh is truly one of the greatest.
Father Taylor, the Sailor’s Apostle
By Mitchell Santine Gould
The historical record shows that sailors created their own churches outside of the fundamentalist mainstream, but no one in our modern day has questioned Why? Having investigated the matter, I have begun to wonder whether such ministries to sailors existed to accommodate their untrammeled sexuality (whether strait or gay).
Letter to Louise
By Bruce W. Lowe
I was ignorant of the many facts about homosexuality and what the Bible says about it. Without facts I had pre-judged it; I was prejudiced. With little thought I had read into the Bible what I presumed it ought to say instead of reading out of it what it does say. My idea of not needing to study the subject was pure anti-intellectualism. I am now grateful to God that He led me to study.
New TV Show Proclaims “Whosoever Believes”
By Candace Chellew
“We are no longer under the law. We are under grace.” That’s the message Massey sends over six weeks of shows funded by The American Friends Service Committee’s Faith Action Network, a multi-faith project working to increase public understanding of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues.
Taking Back the Text: A Review of “Understanding the Bible” by John Buehrens
By Candace Chellew
Too often, we cede interpretation of the Bible to our more right leaning brothers and sisters. They are the ones framing the biblical argument in the media and from the pulpit.
The Ex-Gay Wars: A Review of “Anything But Straight”
By Rembert Truluck
Wayne Besen has been an effective advocate for GLBT human rights for many years, and this recent book is an impressive and practical resource for all of us engaged in the battle for truth and honesty.
Primates Emerge from London Meeting with Strong Statement on Threats to Communion
By James Solheim
The primates of the Anglican Communion emerged October 16 from a closed two-day meeting at London’s Lambeth Palace, headquarters of the archbishop of Canterbury, with a strong statement on what they perceive as threats to unity.
Out in Jerry’s Hometown: A Soulforce Report on Lynchburg’s Pride Event
By Laura Montgomery Rutt
On October 11, National Coming Out Day, Lynchburg was transformed into the home of the second annual Soulforce Out and About Pride event, and the home of the first Soulforce sponsored “Equal Civil Marriage Rights” Forum.
ELCA Issues Study Guide on ‘The Church and Homosexuality’
By ELCA News Service
A task force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality compiled the 49-page study guide and its background essays to help the ELCA’s 5 million members consider how the church will respond in 2005 to specific questions about blessing same-sex relationships and accepting lay and ordained ministers in such relationships.
“I Want It To Go On Forever” — On Grace, Love, and Transition
By Jennifer Finney Boylan
What we find most perplexing, however, is the sense of what we will lose or keep in the new gender. Will we lose our relationships with our children, our loved ones, and our careers? What sort of person will we be then? Shakespeare wrote of the man who “gains the whole world and loses his soul.” For transsexuals, the opposite is often true — that we might, after transition, gain our soul, and lose the world. That’s not much of an improvement.
From the Pulpit
Ah! The Power of Prayer: Part Four — “Finding Nirvana, or How I Wound Up in Cheese Station C”
By Rev. Brad Wishon
In this fourth part, we look at prayer in an ever larger way — prayer as communion with the Cosmos and as deep connection with all of nature.
By Rev. Andy Sidden
The good news for today is that God can and indeed will and indeed does and indeed desires to bless our earthly blindness. But we first have to accept what we cannot see. We have to recognize our need for better vision.
Bible Study and Inspiration
Lepers, Loons and Losers: The Outcasts of the Gospels — Part 1: The Samaritan Woman
By Tom Yeshua
Jesus desires to restore us to ourselves and to union with him. He longs to see us healed and whole. He wishes to wash us clean from sin and hurts with the life-giving blood and water that richly flowed from his heart.
Sex, Cultural Bias and the Bible
By George R. Stritikus
It didn’t take long for me to see that there was a conspiracy going on to hide the seamier parts of the Bible. However, I found that with dedicated persistence this cultural bias against sex could be penetrated. Alas, most modern believers don’t seem to want to bother. It’s easier to take the word of some aspiring demagogue as Gospel.