Pro-Homosexuality Author Promotes Book, Encourages Homosexuals To Disrupt Their Churches And Follow Him Out In The Name Of Jesus
CALLED OUT INFORMATION SERVICE
Update for August 30, 2000
"Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse"
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WHAT HAS SHAPED YOUR VIEW OF GOD?
All of us have some kind of image of God in our minds. Many different people, cultures, institutions, and other sources have shaped our views of God and spirituality. Most of us have been greatly influenced by our families, friends, teachers and childhood churches in all of our basic views. Recent years of experience have caused me to rethink everything that I once assumed about God, religion, spirituality, the Bible, and my own purpose in life.
Perhaps you have been through some of the same uncertainties and doubts. You may have given up on God completely. You may have explored many forms of spirituality and found answers in unexpected places. I would be very interested in hearing what you have found to bring your view of God up-to-date and relevant for you now.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO LEAVE THE CHURCH
You don't have to leave the church. Just act like Jesus, and they will throw you out!
Just accept all people as having equal value before God regardless of race, sex, education, status, income, religion, class or sexual orientation as Jesus did. Make it clear that you follow Jesus and not biblical literalism, traditional legalism, the Church, or the teachings of the fundamentalists. Demonstrate your independence and freedom from abusive religion as Jesus did by accepting and associating with outcasts and all people who are "different" and you will not have to make a decision about the church. You will be thrown out "for your own good" to bring you to repentance and conformity.
THE SHOCKING ACTS OF JESUS
Jesus followed the traditions of his day. He was a teacher. He had disciples. He sat to teach. His disciples sat "at his feet" as was the custom. The shocking break with everybody else was that Jesus included women, tax collectors, "sinners," rejects and outcasts at his feet as disciples. Jesus identified with "sinners" (which included anyone who did not keep the Law.)
Jesus was totally inclusive. Nobody was left out. On the cross as Jesus was dying in agony and pain, he turned to a dying murderer and said: I accept and include you too! "Today you will be with me in paradise."
Jesus was not just revolutionary and fearless in battling against sick abusive religion; he was shocking and incomprehensible to the religious establishment. Jesus was feared and hated by the religious leaders. He was viewed as a threat to their very survival. Jesus could not win on the human field of battle. But Jesus refused to back down from total trust in God. Perhaps the most shocking thing that Jesus did was to refuse to try to defend himself and to trust only God to control his destiny.
Perhaps the most shocking and effective thing that we can do is to let go of all financial, political, educational and cultural power that has been amassed by churches and other religious institutions and follow only Jesus in absolute dependence on God to flow through our lives in great power and spiritual transformation of ourselves and everything around us.
LET GO AND MOVE ON
Nothing makes me trust the religious system that is in place today. I receive abusive e-mail in response to my web site every day that gives eloquent expression to the iron grip that legalistic judgmental religion in the name of "Christianity" has on millions of people. I also get e-mail every day from people who have found my web site and have rejoiced in the liberating good news. All of the debate and arguments of the past summer of meetings and conferences of the great denominations has really changed nothing.
Most religious leaders still try to make decisions for their people instead of teaching them how to make their own decisions that fit them. Some bishops want to accept gays and some do not. The real question, however, is: why have bishops? Jesus called us to make disciples by being teachers, not rulers.
Accurate information that gives the truth about homosexuality and the Bible, religion, psychology and medicine has been widely available for years. Many religious leaders and politicians have chosen to ignore the truth and continue to debate about the value of GLBT human lives. Fear, ignorance, misunderstandings, prejudice, anger, hate and violence continue unchecked and grow stronger and more destructive in many parts of the world.
THE GROWING "EX-GAY MENACE"
Many of the most powerful religious denominations and churches in the United States are engaging in an accelerated program of religious "therapies" to change GLBT sexual orientation through "Exodus," other smaller groups and a growing army of misguided and mistaken agents, groups, and financial supporters. This "ex-gay" industry is thriving with the financial support of many television preachers and other prominent religious figures. According to the American Psychiatric Association, the very existence of such "ex-gay" therapies is dangerous and destructive to homosexuals, who are being given the false idea that they can or should change their sexual orientation.
On my recent book tour, in e-mail and in many conversations, I am hearing increasingly about families being torn apart over "ex-gay" propaganda, parents turning against their own children, and pastors rebuking their GLBT members because they will not let religion change their sexual orientations! How can the religion that does not even have the power to make preachers tell the truth be expected to change sexual orientation, which the best psychiatrists in the country say cannot be changed by modern medicine?
I am reading and writing reviews of recent "ex-gay" literature and am adding them next week to the section in my web site on "The Ex-Gay Fraud."
THE TIME IS NOW
The time has come to let go and move on. If we follow the clear picture of Jesus in the Four Gospels and the Spirit of Jesus promised repeatedly in the Fourth Gospel, we have no choice but to let go and move on. We can continue to use the same forms that Jesus used of small group sharing, Bible study, one-to-one ministry, and associating with and accepting outcast and "unclean" persons as having equal value with ourselves before God.
Within the simple forms that are available to each of us, we can open our lives to the guidance and control of the Spirit of God. We can remain true to the mission of Jesus to demonstrate and teach the unconditional inclusive love of God for all people. The power for this mission comes from God, who creates and sustains all things and who creates and sustains all forms of life.
The potential success of this approach is beyond comprehension. Jesus long ago said that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him and added that we are to make disciples of all people and then promised to be with us always to the end of the world. Jesus said: "As God sent me; so send I you." Jesus gave you the Holy Spirit and expected you to learn from the Spirit and be empowered by the Spirit to change the world.
The repeated emphasis of Jesus in calling people to follow him was that the only way to enter into the life and mission of Jesus was to let go of all human resources and "forsaking everything" move on. Some wanted to cling to family obligations and financial resources. Jesus said simply: "Follow me." Jesus frequently broke religious laws in order to do the will of God.
We have too much. We have so much wealth and material greatness that we cannot see how letting go could possibly be to our advantage. Churches and religious leaders have too much power and wealth to risk giving it up for any reason. The institutions of religion that are already in place give the illusion of spiritual success and greatness that blinds millions of people to the emptiness of the entire system. Perhaps the effects of this system in producing and encouraging homophobia, suicides, and various other forms of violence against GLBT people is beginning to open the eyes and awaken the conscience of many people.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
That depends on where you are. Are you so enthralled with the traditional religious forms and demands that you cannot imagine a better world? Have the inconsistencies of religion and the empty claims of religions leaders turned you off so much that you have given up? There is a much better way. Learn enough about Jesus in the Gospels to make an intelligent decision about Jesus for you. Nothing could be more liberating. Find the path that fits you and move on. Jesus did.
To Jesus, people were always more important than religion.
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