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Posted

I have been looking over some of the profiles and I don't see a lot of you who are from this area. It is a challenge to say the least. When you have a church on every corner, it's hard not to get hit every time you turn around.

I have a thought. What if we tried to reach out to those who hate us so badly. They have twisted the Bible around so much to suit their needs, they have forgotten what Christianity is all about.

I tried to get our MCC to do a reach out, but failed, but I still think it is a good idea. What do y'all think?


Posted

I think it's an excellent idea


Posted

Here it is in a nutshell. We invite ourselves to other churches. We stand before the congregations and state we are gay. We then open up the floor for discussion... not argument, but just to let them know, we are not ignorant about what their Bible says. This is non-confrontational. Just a chance to let them know we are God's creatures also and my God, didn't make any junk. "He knew us before we were in the mother's womb."


Posted

I'm 15 and church has always been something that i've always been afraid to come out to, but gee jtheir's so much hate in West Virginia


Posted

Hear hear, @Patrick. That last passage you quoted, of course, is from the book of Psalms, which was written by David, who had that relationship (often denied, ignored and "inellactualised around" by the " bible-belters) with a younger boy, Jonathan (1 Samuel).

I think what you are suggesting is a great idea, but you will need some very courageous people to put it into practice. It entails two groups of people, both with their own fears and phobias moving right outside their comfort zones. I'm not sure I could be that brave!


Michael_Wolfe
Posted

I feel the same way I too Don't think I could do that and I have been going to MCC church for sometime now and I don;t think anyone from my church will go for it..There might be other ways to get the point across..


Posted

A much easier and less intimidating way of acheiving something similar would be to apply to the organisers of one of the big Christian revival gatherings to host a pre-advertised seminar on the subject as part of the event. That way, it wouldn't be so confrontational. People could decide for themselves whether to attend and you could then "sow the seeds" with people who were not totally fearful of your presence. If you then make a good job of the seminar, those people will, hopefully, spread the word to others within their churches. Interestingly, this way of spreading a message is called "apostolic"!


Michael_Wolfe
Posted

I think that might be a better way to do things..


Posted

First to Bobby: My friend, it took me 35 years to come out. I have a great many regrets for not coming out earlier. It was my own personal fears of rejection by my family and then rejection from my children. Yes, children.

I knew from the time I was 6, I was different and by 11 I really knew I was different. However, in those days it was expected that you would grow up, date, marry and make grandchildren. I fell into that pattern as I was suppose to. I was true to my wife, until I just could not live that life any longer. I took a deep breath, sat my children down (I was divorced and had custody of the boys) and told them the horrible truth. Their response, "Can we go now?" That was it! I sweat bullets coming to that point in my life when I could be me and I have not regretted it one moment.

Your decision to come out, is probably a non-issue. You don't say how active you are in your church, but my suggestion is to find, if available, an affirming church and there are many and not only MCC. You cannot sit and listen to how much you are a sinner and going to hell every week and not have it affect you. I'm very sure you have gone through the stages, of denial, self-hate, perhaps even to the point I was at, self-destruction.

Things are getting better. You have an opportunity of being able to lead the way for more GLBT members, and I'm sure there are some, to a new life. REMEMBER.. no matter how they spin and twist the scriptures, we are ALL sinners and fall short of the glory of God. Let he without sin cast the first stone... etc... etc... etc. As I said before, my God did not make any junk. He/She (covering all my bases) made us the way we are. Jesus came and died for our sins, because we are weak. He made us in his image, with means we have a soul and a place at the right hand.

Bobby, perhaps now is not the time for you to come out to the church family, but unless you want to live under this shroud .. cloud if you will, you might consider coming out to your family. www.hrc.org has a great resource for doing just that. Take a look.

I know it is the hardest thing in the world to do. However, many times, it will end up being the easiest to do when it is over. It is your life and I lived for everyone else, but myself for all those years. I do not regret my children at all. They are the greatest gifts I ever received, but I do regret not being able to be myself... live my life, have someone in my life I as I do now, whom I love dearly and care so much about.

My generation broke the glass. People are beginning to come out and are breaking the mold, of the limp wristed, lisping characters we are portrayed. Change is in the making. It is up to your generation to continue that change and to be a positive roll model for others to see.

I have a niece who lives in WVA, and we are coming up that way to visit sometime after you get rid of that blessed snow. She and I have talked about how backward things are up there, but she admits, with the various colleges in the state, that the attitudes are changing slowly, but surely. I would suggest perhaps after you are of age, that you make that transition to an more metropolitan setting where GLTB folks are more accepted.

First and foremost is your family. You will need to start making the plans on how to tell them (for some reason I hate the term come out) that you are different. I will almost guarantee you that your mother already knows. They always do whether they admit it or not.

There is change on the horizon. There is a future for you and young people like yourself, and one day, whether I live to see it or not, we will meet with the same, ho hum, your gay, big deal attitude that other minorities have found in the recent past.

Hang in there... there is a better tomorrow. There is a place for you at the table of God, just like there is for any and all who accept the love and forgiveness or our Lord and Savior.

Posted

Now for the rest of you wimps... LOL Just kidding.

I am not suggesting that the concept of "confronting our accusers" is for everyone. It does take a special kind of person to stand before a group of people, who you know, hates you and is ready to tear you limb from limb, draw and quarter you, and beat you to death with scripture after scripture. No, this is not for everyone.

The people who should do this are the ones who want to make an impact on our community. They need to be versed in the scriptures and know that Jesus is the one we follow and amazingly enough, He never mentioned homosexuality in all his time on earth.

These people must learn from the example we set. To be able to let them know, we are creatures of God, just as they, only we are different in only one aspect of life.

In my opinion, and opinions are like rectums, we all have one, is that the stereotype of the GLBT community has hurt us. We are defined in so many different ways except the right way. Just think of the people who didn't know you were gay and then when they found out made the statement, "I would have never guessed!" I don't know how many times, I have heard that in my life time. That tells me, they have wrapped us all into the image they see through the media and movies.

So, you are correct Michael and Ian, this is not for everybody, and getting people out of their comfort zone is difficult, but there are people like myself, who can and will perform this service. If it is not your cup of tea, at least support those who will.

Unfortunately, at our MCC, I faced opposition from the Pastor on down for my plan, and I was off to do this myself. Oddly enough, the problem was not getting people to do this, it was getting the invitation to come and speak and have a dialog that was the real problem.

I set up a class for those interested in this. Pastor led the class, and helped us in our speaking points. Bear in mind, this was not to be a confrontation, but on the contrary, it was to show that we are humans. Not the animals, deviates, and other adjectives with which we are known.

IF we are to be accepted, not approved, then we have to take that first step out of the comfort zone to make contact. To suffer the slings and arrows of bigotry, slander, and misunderstanding that has held us back for so long.

At least get involved with affirming churches outside of MCC, and perhaps that would open your eyes to what can be accomplished. Learn... learn about the old laws, and learn about the new laws under which we are to live.

Ian, the verse I was quoting was from Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew] you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” I did not know it was in Psalms, and can't seem to find it. But this is doing what I hate the most and that is taking one verse out of the Bible and setting it forth without the rest of the story.

To my knowledge, Jesus only alluded to homosexuality, and not by definition, but in reference to eunuchs, is Matthew 19:12 in which Jesus says, "For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

There are several connotations to this, but the point being, nobody is turn away from God's hand. I know. It is a stretch, but I cannot find any other place where Jesus even mentions anything close to homosexuality, nor have I had anyone, from the Holiness Pentecostal, to the Catholic priest, who can quote me a scripture from Jesus, Himself. If you know of one, please pass it on.

When I lived in Indiana, I was involved with a group of very progressive gays. We did something that was rather unique for the time. Once a week on Saturday, we would meet, divide up, and then with lawn mowers and trimmers in hand, we would set off through various neighborhoods of Indianapolis. We would spot somebody mowing their lawn and stop, offer to finish the job. When we were done, the person was given a simple card. It said something to the effect that, "Your lawn was just mowed by a crew of gay men. See, we are not all bad." This was probably one of the most positive thing ever done to that time. We only had one old man have a heart attack.. no... just kidding. The response was very positive, but it took stepping out of the comfort zone and stepping out in faith. We broke the mold for most of those people, and at least got them thinking.

Bless y'all for taking time to respond to the posting. I hope it at least gave you something to think about.


Posted

I was a member of a straight church that accepted me for me. Our pastor heard another call and we dismembered. However, when I called myself an abomination to God I was quickly chastised and loved. I was told to never speak such crap again on my word.


Posted

Thanks for all your positive words, Patrick. I hope that Bobby & other young (and maybe even not so young) gay Christians hear what you are saying and are helped by it.

I may be wrong about the passage you quoted. I recalled it from a bible study from years ago, when it was at the core of a series of discussions led by a trans-gendered Bishop. I know we covered a lot of passages from Psalms, but also from the rest of the bible too, so I may just have incorrectly recalled its position.

Interestingly enough, within that same study, Matthew 19:12 was also discussed. I'm not sure I could do justice to the entire argument here, but one of the people in the group had some small knowledge of ancient languages, and was telling us about the meaning of the ancient Greek word "Eunokos" (Matthew wrote in Greek, some other books of the New Testament were in Hebrew and Aramic, while I believe most of Paul's Epistles were penned in Latin). The word "Eunokos", which became translated as "Eunuch" in the Vulgate, the King James and subsequent versions of the bible actually had a much more complex meaning in the original Greek. It described more of a "concept" than a physical state. It has no direct translation into English, but about the closest you could get to an English dictionary definition, I am told, is "One who is barren, infertile or chooses to remain childless". Interesting, eh? I also recall hearing that Jesus, at one point, used the phrase "Blessed are the Eunuchs". I don't remember the rest of the passage, or what the chapter & verse were, but I remember it jumping out of a reading at me in church some time after I'd heard the discussion about "Eunokos", and just thinking... "Wow!"

I do agree with you that we must be extremely careful about taking "sound-bite" bible passages out of context. To do that would be to stoop to the same level as those who quote "Soddom & Gomorrah" against us, while having no knowledge of the true meaning of the passage. (Btw, it is actually a very interesting story all about rape, incest & the violation of Angels!)

God bless you and your mission, Patrick.


Posted

Hey Ian,

I've searched and cannot find that verse. Not saying it isn't there but I can't find it.

Eunuchs were used as far back as the 21st Century BC. There are many reasons for these people and you are right, there are the three different kinds. Those born that way, those who chose that way (no children) and those who were made that way, through castration.

The main element in all three is, they wouldn't mess with the King's or Cesar's wives or daughters. Thus they were honored.

It is amazing to me that certain American Indian tribes honored those found to be gay. Maybe the Corn, Sun, Moon, and other gods weren't so bad after all.. LOL


Posted

Kelly,

You had a very special experience. I hope and trust you found a place to worship that is just as affirming of love and devotion to the work of our Lord.


Mike_ZBehr
Posted

The pastor of my church knows about me, and totally accepts me for who I am. Him and his wife are the only ones who know about me. Whenever I go to church, I dont talk to anyone, or give anyone a chance to know me. To this day, noone (besides my pastor) knows anything about me there. Im the same way at any church I go to. Needless to say I dont get the fellowship Id like to have.


Posted

I am very blessed in this respect. I am a church organist in the Anglican church, which is known as quite a conservative and "catholic" (with a small "c") sect, but I'm out to all my church elders, and they don't have a problem with it.


Posted

Hey Mike... Just a brief note. I don't know why I feel like I even need to address your comment, except to say, you are missing out on what a church actually is ... a place where like thinkers, and communal souls have a place to get together. Worship, and this is just my opinion obviously, is a dissertation between you and your God. That can be in your home, your car, on the beach (my favorite place), or lying in your bed before you fall asleep.

A church is a building.. a gathering place to be able to share ideas, learn, and most of all love.... the greatest of these is love. Unfortunately, and I'm sure we have all experienced it, once people leave that church, they leave the love that our Christ gave us at the door.

I am an extrovert, you apparently are an introvert, at least in the church family. The pastor of a church is important.. at this time ... but pastors come and go. Choosing a church because of the pastor is a mistake so many make. If one puts all your "eggs in one basket," when that pastor leaves, so goes your community.

I have nothing of which to be ashamed. My sexual orientation has nothing to do with how I work, whom I know, or whom I take communion. I do not make it a point to tell everybody I'm gay, nor do I have FAG stamped on my forehead. However, should the subject be broached, I am neither afraid, nor embarrassed to discuss it. I'm not everyone.

I love to walk up to people like yourself, and start a conversation. Most times, that will develop into a relationship of sorts. It is important that we get as muck as we can from that experience, whether it be one day a week or month. It is total submersion and what church is about.

Ian, you are blessed. I have a very dear friend, who is no longer with us, who played the huge pipe organ at Christ Episcopal Church here in town, and then would bust his butt to attend the second service at MCC. He did the music for that service also. What a guy!

Everybody at Christ Church knew Michael was gay. It is one of the accepting churches here. He even talked of becoming a member, but his friends attended MCC and he was at home there. As a side note, Michael was killed in an accident on his way from Christ Church to MCC one Sunday. He is still missed at both places. The guy who hit him was on his way home from an all night drunk following an SEC football championship game. The irony .. Michael hated football and didn't drink a drop.

Anyway, people are different. That is one of the many blessings and curses God gave us... the right to be who we are. Be proud of your creation. Be proud of who you are. There will be a day, when we will be welcomed ALMOST everywhere and accepted as who.. not what we are. That day will be the most blessed of all our personal days. I just hope I live long enough to see it.


Posted

Wow, Patrick.... If that was a "brief note", we'd have to book time off work if you did a sermon! ;-) (Said in fun, btw. No offense intended.)

If I may be just a little irreverent for a moment (and you know from my previous comments that I'm saying this "with tongue slightly in cheek"), it always amazes me that the followers of a man who remained single throughout his whole life, in an era when marriage and family were at the centre of everything, then surrounded himself with a group of twelve men, fail to see the sanctity of the gay lifestyle! ;-)


Posted

I never have been known to keep my opinions to myself...LOL My sermons, or more like speeches are only 20 minutes long or less.

I mentioned that I study the Gnostic Gospels. I think, if y'all would take a while to read them, you might see some differences between what comes from M,M,L, & J.. could be a new rap group ..

Have you studied the Council of Nicea? Among other items, it determined what books would become the Bible; bring into creation, a converging of the various factions within Christianity; and most importantly establish Jesus as God. This is where the women were removed from leadership of the Church, as we know it today.

It's important to understand that Cesar Constantine gathered these 300 bishops of the Church so that unity and the continuity of the Roman Empire, as well as Christianity, would continue to flourish.

They left out the parts about Jesus taking a wife, and even children. You find that in the Gospels which were left out. Paul wrote that (I'm paraphrasing) if you want to be Christ like, you will devoid yourself of all worldly things, including a wife and family so you can devote all your energies to the church.

Remember, Christianity was in it's infancy and wasn't really selling well. They had to do something to keep it alive. The Bishops used the Council to bring order and that continuity to the Church. If they could see to day, what has become of their concepts, I'm pretty sure they would turn over in their graves.

Christ being gay. I'm not sure. Yes there are elements of his life that would lead one to believe that, but I wouldn't wish being gay on my worst enemy rather alone the Christ.... LOL


Posted

Just to be clear, Patrick I was being flippant, and my own genuine belief is that Jesus remained celibate, if not throughout his life then certainly throughout his 3 yr ministry. "Devoid of worldly things", to me, would include any kind of sexuality, as the whole concept of sexuality is a worldly thing. Given that, of course, any use of sex other than purely for procreation becomes "unChristlike", including any heterosexual sex which is done for pleasure, and we are back to "ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"!

I've often brought up what you said about the council of Nicaea. I have to say that a lot of priests get very uncomfortable when you ask them (for example) why Paul's letters were included, but the gospel of Jesus' own brother was left out!

It is so unfortunate that so many of the original writings have been lost (or hidden in the Vatican!) for so long. We do still, however, have to remember always that God is bigger than the council of Nicaea, and with or without lost gospels His will WILL be done! Amen!


Posted

Well put Ian. It just bothers me, I guess, when I heard that the Bible is the word of God, formed from his breath. That is where we get into trouble with the fundamentalists.

Again, I would suggest you study the Gnostic or Coptic Gospels and see, perhaps, another side. Then you will know... THE REST OF THE STORY.. (thank you Paul Harvey)


Posted

All I can say about that story is... I know we shouldn't judge, but which one of those guys do you think will likely go to hell? The one who's gay and forgave his attackers, or the one who's "str8" and tried to kill someone? If I was the devil right now, I know which one I'd be stoking up the boilers for! ;-)

Having said all that, difficult as it may be, the guys who really need our prayers are the ones with fear and hatred in their hearts. In other words, as gay Christians, maybe we should be specifically praying for God to work in the hearts of those who fear, despise and reject us. I believe that it is only by God, through Christ that these people can come to true acceptance of us, and of the miracle that is their own sexuality. Without God's truth in their hearts, no amount of "Gay Pride" parades or "Act Up" conferences are ever going to change their minds.

[Quick thought here: I wonder how some of those Southern Bilbe Belters would react if we ran towards them at every revival to lay hands on them and pray for their release from the demons of hatred, like they try to lay hands on us to pray for our release "from the demons of homosexuality"?!!]


Posted

Good points Ian. However, I honestly don't think God plays a big part in this. We were given choice. The choices of the father are passed to the sons and the sons sons on down the line.

These people are full of hate, and my God is not the vengeful God of the OT. He/She is a loving, caring God. No matter what the story says, I doubt very seriously if religion played a part. It was the scapegoat and will be when they catch these people.

Anytime I hear the word "fundamentalist" I run, no matter which religion it happens to be.

I have often thought of going to the churches whose members picket our events with their signs and slogans. Standing outside their churches with our signs of love and respect for all God's creatures. I know.. we would come back with bullets in us, but I still think it would be fun, standing outside Phelp's church screaming, "God hates bigots."

I'll meet you in Kansas next Sunday... LOL


Michael_Wolfe
Posted

"But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble." - Proverbs 4:18-19



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