Volume 9, Issue 2: Revealing Our Glory
I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal
–By: Candace Chellew
We believe that our heart is bad, stained as black as coal. We don’t understand that beneath that pitch black lurks a diamond – a heart that is good. A heart created and loved by God.
Darkness Shall Not Overcome It
–By: Lori Heine
We in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community – especially those of us who are Christians – must show forth the glory God has vested in us. We GLBT Christians are to provide a special savor to the salt of the earth and a unique manifestation of the Light of the World Who is in us. By insisting upon loving, even in the ugly face of so much hate, we testify to the power of love to overcome hate. We show that love will outlast hate, because it is always stronger.
–By: John H. Campbell
I cannot speak for anyone but myself, but I know that it really took me a long time to think of myself as possessing any type of “glory” within, let alone any that God would bless.
–By: Afdhere Jama
I believe the Glory of the One is Limitless. We are all one people. I have a firm belief that all of us will be one in the world to come, as well.
Discovering Our Glory
–By: Debbie Graham R. N.
As bisexual, transgender, lesbian and gay people we all too often are cut off from this knowledge of our true self through the pervasive fear and loathing of homosexuals in our society, our families, our churches, even our own fear of loathing of our sexuality. How do we get beyond this fear? How do we discovery our glory, our true nature?
I Do Believe in Fairies!
–By: Tyler Connoley
If you’re a fairy who’s light is going out, know that there are thousands, even millions, of people who believe in you. Listen for those voices of support. Surround yourself with them, and your light will come back.
Re-imaging as a way of discovering God-within-us
–By: Dawn Sorensen
Try to imagine God as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Try to imagine God as a being who understands what it is like to live in this world as a transgender person. Try to imagine God as one who understands your trials and triumphs as a gay man and yet loves you more than you love yourself. Can you do it?
Counting the Cost
–By: Rev. Sarah Flynn
It is well to remember that those who choose to separate over the issue of homosexuality in the Church are doing so of their own free will. No one is pushing them out the door. No, this is their decision and their response to an interpretation of the Gospel which welcomes gay people as equal members of the Baptismal covenant.
Loving Our Straight Neighbors
–By: Naomi Eleven
Loving your neighbors doesn’t mean allowing them to hurt you. To allow someone to do this in the name of love would be Satanic! First and foremost, such behavior would violate Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Further, it would show a profound lack of love for one’s abusers.
–By: Susan Russell
What, I want to know, is the point of inheriting a tradition that balances scripture, tradition and reason if we refuse to apply our God-given reason to our theological discourse? Excluding over 50% of the baptized from full inclusion in the Body of Christ based on 13th century biology makes no sense whatsoever to me – nor does the conclusion that ANY child of God is created anything other than “fearfully and wonderfully” by the Creator who loves them.
Assassination by Tongue:
A Black Gay/Lesbian Self-Defense Mechanism
–By: Herndon L. Davis
A typical excuse used by some is that “when I call you a bitch or a hoe, I really mean it as a term of endearment. I’m only playing, I really don’t mean it.” Well words are sharper than any sword can be. If you really are a friend, why do you take the risk of hurting another and then smiling in their face? Did Jesus do that?? No he did not, so why do you?
Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up
–By: Rembert Truluck
Who is the “real” Jesus? For 2,000 years the images and meanings of Jesus have changed and developed constantly as cultures, languages, artists, architects, churches, doctrines, denominations, opponents, friends and just about everybody who knows that there is a “Jesus” have twisted and distorted the image of Jesus to fit their ignorance, their lust for power and their temporary secular need to raise money, to spend money, to go to war, to destroy unwanted minorities, to build empires, to destroy empires and to manage and control society and individuals in the name of a god.
A Gay Psalm from Fort Valley
–By: Louie Crew
Oh, Lord, we call to you from our apartment
because we are not welcome in the church hall.
Hear us and help us with this terrible fear.
Let’s Get Our History Out of the Closet!
–By: Mark Bowman
Yes, those boxes in your closet with old newsletters, conference programs, meeting notes, letters, posters, buttons, and everything else you’ve collected during your involvement with LGBT religious movements – those are the written record of our history. Getting those items preserved in a repository or archive is the best way to ensure that our voices and stories are heard by future generations.
Are Denominations Desirable?
–By: Jerry S. Maneker
…denominations can also have destructive consequences! Bound by tradition that make void the Word of God (Matthew 15:3), they usually have laws, doctrines and creeds that may well make them immune, and act as stumbling blocks, to the Holy Spirit’s working in their lives, the life of the Church, and the life of the society in which they live.
A Personal View of the Nicholas Berg Killing
–By: Carlene Reed
A few Sundays ago, we had a new Pastor give our sermon. She said that Osama Bin Laden and Saddam were my neighbors and I should love them. God loves them. I had to think about this for a while. That was probably the point of the sermon, to make me think and it worked.
Jumping the Broom
— By: Rev. Elizabeth Kaeton
I found myself describing it as “jumping the broom” – a ritual created by slaves to honor their unions because they could not legally marry. Some – but by no means all – slave owners respected couples who had ‘jumped the broom’ by not using the women as convenient objects for their sexual gratification. It was a first step toward being seen not as objects or classifications, but for their essential humanity.
Justice = Civil Marriage Equality
— By: Christopher Hubble
I do not believe that we can discuss justice as it relates to civil marriage equality without addressing its moral dimensions – and we cannot sever that discussion from its Judeo-Christian context. Even the most recent polls indicate that religious views regarding sexual orientation and sexual minorities continue to have an impact on public policy.
What Would Martin Do?
— By: Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell
I make an effort to imagine what Martin Luther King, Jr., the Baptist preacher whose life was so intertwined with the Civil Rights Movement would do in response to those who seek to “protect” the Civil Rights Movement from the quest for civil rights for persons whose sexual orientation is homosexual. The following are imagined answers to the question I have posed.
Traditional Marriage: What Is It?
— By: Steve Pearson
When I hear Christian conservatives speak of the need to preserve traditional marriage, I find myself asking: Which tradition?
From the Pulpit
Oh, the Irony!
A Look at the Old Testament and Homosexuality
–By: Rev. Candace Chellew
Hear the good news my brothers and sisters. The Old Testament holds no condemnation for us, and even includes two stories of same-sex love that is blessed by God.
Have You Read Romans 2?
A Look at the New Testament and Homosexuality
–By: Rev. Candace Chellew
I believe that God does not care about our sexual orientation. We’re told in the Bible that before God there is no male or female, no Greek or Jew, no slave or free. When God looks at us, God does not see our sexuality – God sees our heart. I believe that God doesn’t care about the gender of our partner. What God cares about is whether or not we’re living lives of integrity.
Be Human First!
–By: Rev. John Phillips
First and foremost, I am a human being! First and foremost I am a child of God. When I understand this, then I can understand that first and foremost you too are a person! Unique and wondrously made! As I look at the person who is you I can the see and appreciate such diversity, such beauty. God’s diversity, God’s beauty! Seeing this, how can we remain divided? How can hate one another?
–By: Stephen Harte
A fulfilling life will not be one of Stepford perfection but will be one immersed in the mess of imperfections – that is real life for most of us.
Bible Study and Inspiration
Lepers, Loons and Losers: The Outcasts of the Gospels
Part 6: The Syro-Phoenician Woman
–By: Tom Yeshua
I love the Syrp-Phoenician woman! I love her tenacity as well as her trust in Jesus’ ability, and eventual willingness, to answer her prayer. Here we have a mother in distress. Her daughter is very sick, a sickness so severe that the child appeared to be possessed by demonic forces. She had heard about Jesus, and now she came and fell at his feet.