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Source: (consider it) Thread: Living as a Christian Homosexual
Ultraspike

Incensemeister
# 268

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My apologies for annoying you, David, but I didn't want to start a whole new thread in Hell about this. I was just trying to put some closure on my end of this topic. I have no interest in pursuing it any further.

--------------------
A cowgirl's work is never done.

Posts: 2732 | From: NYC | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
David
Complete Bastard
# 3

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Thanks.

I'll remember that you've said that.


Posts: 3815 | From: Redneck Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
David
Complete Bastard
# 3

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Oooohh, that came across pretty strangely!

What I need to get across to you is that you should leave CM alone.


Posts: 3815 | From: Redneck Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
The Mid

Officer and a gentleman
# 1559

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Yeah, I said I wouldn't post again here but I am.

Nightlamp has just summarised one of the difficulties with bulletin boards - how since we are only reading a message two people can interpret things very differently from how they should be.

That's ok, all is good now, it's a good reminder to check how we phrase thigns before we post!

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For God so loved the world She got involved


Posts: 3022 | From: The Wardroom | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ultraspike

Incensemeister
# 268

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David, I wouldn't touch him with a ten foot pole.

--------------------
A cowgirl's work is never done.

Posts: 2732 | From: NYC | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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I'm gonna just come right out with it and admit I am writing a story about a church in which a gay music director figures prominantly. It is very important to me I do this character (Mary) justice, and my experience in this area is scant. I checked out this thread in the hopes of gathering insights that would give me some motivation for this character (what keeps her in a non-inclusive church, how she handles challenges from her secular friends, who she trusts within the church, what values she brings to her relationships, etc.)
Will be watching with interest. And as always, Chastmastr, thanks for your up-frontness.

--------------------
I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

Posts: 35076 | From: Pura Californiana | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
John Donne

Renaissance Man
# 220

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quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
I'm gonna just come right out with it and admit I am writing a story about a church in which a gay music director figures prominantly. It is very important to me I do this character (Mary) justice, and my experience in this area is scant.
Well for a start, if it's a gay music director, they should be male and preferably an organist.(j/k)

[excluding of course, that straight stud-muffin, tomb]

Serious bit: the reason ppl stay in non-inclusive churches is because churches are a subset of a non-inclusive society. And most people have learnt to live with it. Filtering who you tell what to becomes innate after a while.
Second bit: sometimes one's theology and churchmanship are so tied up in the core of one's being that it is too hard to make a final break. Your family may hate you, but they are still your family. Bit patho' but ya get that.


Posts: 13667 | From: Perth, W.A. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bill Rogers aka Giveawayboy
Apprentice
# 2060

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quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:
Does anyone remember Mr Collins?

He popped up several months ago wondering how one went about being Christian and homosexual, but there was no-where on the boards he could ask this.

I think this would be a useful discussion to have.



Well, I am new here, so I don't remember Mr. Collins, but I'd like to share some resources that have helped me do just what he is asking about. For me, it's about trying to be authentic both as a Christian, who really believes, and as a gay man. I find that often it is hard for gay Christians to fit nicely into either Christian or gay culture....and to be honest, I'm not sure if we are supposed to. I'm not saying we have to have a martyr complex, but perhaps we don't need to worry about posturing ourselves a certain way. If we go about the business of being a Christian we should be learning to practice love and a spiritual discipline that submits to God and to others in this love relationship. As gay people we can try to learn more about what it really means to love another person, in this case a person of the same sex. Not all Christian gays believe the same about sexual morality. That's O.K. for this discussion. Either way, they both feel a natural attraction to members of the same sex and can try to discover the best possible ways to love them. The key is letting God be a part of that process. For Christians Christ is our model of the divine lover. How can we learn from his example of love? I think too often we desire a feeling of resolution so bad, that we forget to experience everything that leads us to that point. I think we want to feel secure so we choose a 'side' of an issue instead of working through the issue itself.

I'll be the first to say I don't have all the answers. Also, I'll be the first to admit I've contradicted my own beliefs in my attempts to love. I think the first thing we all can do is give ourselves a break and not take ourselves so seriously.

Oh yeah, here are the resources. Thanks for waiting:

Bridges Across the Divide

Andrew Sullivan His books VIRTUALLY NORMAL and LOV UNDETECTABLE are very helpful.

GayChristian.Net

Hope these can help some, Bill



--------------------
Bill aka Giveawayboy


Posts: 14 | From: Tampa, FL | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
Inanna

Ship's redhead
# 538

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Kelly... have a read of the homosexuality thread in the archives too, if you've not already done so.

My partner is the assistant music director at our Catholic Church, so I can certainly give you some info on how she and we handle things - send me a Private Message if you want.

The main thing is the fear of "what if they find out?". They being the congregation as a whole. My partner was hired with the priest knowing that she was a lesbian, and all the church staff know, and treat us as a couple, as do the rest of the music group (She leads, sings and plays guitar, I play flute and sing though not both at the same time ). But we are still extremely careful during the mass not to give obvious signs of being a couple - a warm hug at the peace, no different from how we'd share it with anyone else; if we hold hands while sitting and listening to the sermon, we also each take the hand of the friends on either side of us, that sort of thing.

I could ramble on for ages, but hopefully this will be of some help.

Peace,
Kirsti

--------------------
All shall be well
And all shall be well
And all manner of things shall be well.


Posts: 1495 | From: Royal Oak, MI | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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quote:
Originally posted by El Cooto:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
I'm gonna just come right out with it and admit I am writing a story about a church in which a gay music director figures prominantly. It is very important to me I do this character (Mary) justice, and my experience in this area is scant.
Well for a start, if it's a gay music director, they should be male and preferably an organist.(j/k)

[excluding of course, that straight stud-muffin, tomb]

Serious bit: the reason ppl stay in non-inclusive churches is because churches are a subset of a non-inclusive society. And most people have learnt to live with it. Filtering who you tell what to becomes innate after a while.
Second bit: sometimes one's theology and churchmanship are so tied up in the core of one's being that it is too hard to make a final break. Your family may hate you, but they are still your family. Bit patho' but ya get that.
[/QUOTE]

....uh, that would be her uncle. (no kidding, That's the character I planned to be her uncle) Mary is a Children's Worship director..
Good insight about identity and theology. That's kind of where iI was going.

--------------------
I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.


Posts: 35076 | From: Pura Californiana | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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Does 2 weeks later count as a double post?

Anyway, i just wanted to thank all of the above for their insight. i have read some of the Dead Horses (hee!) thread on Homosexuality, and it is really helpful.


--------------------
I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.


Posts: 35076 | From: Pura Californiana | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
dolphy

Lady of Perpetual Responsiblity
# 862

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Ok... OK... (she said taking a large swig of wine to calm her nerves about posting!)

I am a lesbian (shock, horror). I have been with my partner for three years now, and I had two female partners before that, one for five years the other for less...

I have a healthy sex life and am not promiscuous, and never have been. I am also a Christian... I was ostricised (many years ago) from my church, much like a Witch Hunt, and felt no longer welcome... 'Dirty Lesbian ****' was one of the names I was called....
Why is it so wrong to spend your life loving and caring for your partner? Does it make me a sinner that I support her, love her, share my life and feelings with her? (and she with me)... I think not.... There are worse things happening in the world that would make me angry and sad if I were God... so why do people in glass houses throw stones? - and I am not meaning anyone on this thread...
(Back to my closet now)

--------------------
Looking forward to my rock moving closer again.


Posts: 15134 | From: my camper van | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by Crying Dolphin:
Why is it so wrong to spend your life loving and caring for your partner? Does it make me a sinner that I support her, love her, share my life and feelings with her? (and she with me)... I think not....

It's not wrong at all, and I'm very sorry anyone would say such a thing. To me the long-term loving and committed relationships between lesbian and gay Christians prove that it just plain wrong to condemn homosexuality and homosexual sex as ungodly. Christ is in those relationships just as surely as he's in many marriages between straight people.

I'd say what I think about calling people dirty names in church, but then I'd have to send myself to Hell.


Posts: 24453 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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This thread has been transferred from TnT. As you continue the discussion, please remember that you are in Purgatory and no longer have just the smaller TnT audience.

RuthW
former TnT host


Posts: 24453 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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Oops. That should read Dead Horses, not Purgatory.
Posts: 24453 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
dolphy

Lady of Perpetual Responsiblity
# 862

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Thanks for that Ruth - it's nice to know that there are some people in the world who take you as you are!!! I was led to believe that God loves you no matter what (within reason of course!)

--------------------
Looking forward to my rock moving closer again.

Posts: 15134 | From: my camper van | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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Hugs, Dolphin.
Stories like yours is what made me want to address the issue in the first place. It's not right, the way we drive people away from God.

Thanks for posting. You've made me that much more determined to stick it out, writing- wise.

--------------------
I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.


Posts: 35076 | From: Pura Californiana | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
TonyK

Host Emeritus
# 35

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And thank you to all those who have been so honest and open in this thread.

I'd rather see this sort of discussion ongoing in Dead Horses than some of the other threads (especially inane word games!)

But then, that's just a personal thing - DH is for everybody

--------------------
Yours aye ... TonyK


Posts: 2717 | From: Gloucestershire | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
TonyK

Host Emeritus
# 35

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Welcome back to the new, improved Ship-of-Fools Boards!

And no, before anybody asks, I have not been 'Living as a Christian Homosexual' for the last two weeks - despite the main Board Index's statement to the contrary during the interregnum. (I really didn't think through the implications of picking this thread to be top of the list while the boards were idle [Ultra confused] )

Never mind - we are all here and raring to go - welcome back

--------------------
Yours aye ... TonyK

Posts: 2717 | From: Gloucestershire | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Unkl Davy
Shipmate
# 2777

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quote:
Originally posted by Gracia:
...out of pain, scapegoated groups (like homosexuals) may withdraw into their own subculture....

This is sadly true. It has always been easy for me point out another’s sin that I can’t identify with, yet gloss over mine.

I didn’t really know the pain a Christian struggling with homosexually could experience until I came across the testimony and music of a guy named Dennis Jernigan.

He was set free from homosexuality in 1981 at a 2nd Chapter of Acts concert. You can read his testimony here. However, it’s so much more powerful to hear it in person -- especially when he sings over you.

To any truly interested parties, I would be willing to send a taped version of his testimony via snail mail. Just PM me.

Posts: 216 | From: Silicon Valley | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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Um, didn't you post about this elsewhere? Also, not all of us here are struggling with homosexuality, however we approach the issue.

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Paul Careau
Shipmate
# 2904

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I am a bisexual man in a heterosexual relationship (I’ve been married for 9 years). That might well be “embarrassingly hetty” (as a lesbian acquaintance of mine once described me) but there you are – what can I say – I fell in love. I am pretty much happy with the fact that I will always be bisexual - it is just the way I am. I guess I have a number of thoughts I'd like to share...

1 Being straight/gay/lesbian/bisexual simply represents the way we are. People don’t “choose” to have these feelings, they just develop naturally. Asking someone to explain why they are gay is like asking someone to explain why they are straight. There is no explanation - it just is.

2 I don’t think any man or woman in a gay relationship should believe that their sexual partnership is “sinful”. That would be the same thing as asking a heterosexual to believe that their marriage is sinful – or that there is something grubby or dirty about their relationship. How can anyone possibly maintain a long-term sexual relationship if they don’t believe that relationship has a value - i.e. that it is “good”? Could a heterosexual marriage possibly last under such circumstances? I doubt if mine could.

3 If homosexuality is a sin, then it would be a sin unlike any other. If you lie to someone you know you’ve done wrong because you wouldn’t like anyone to lie to you. They same applies if you steel, if you murder, if you are vindictive to others etc, etc. Most “sins”, in fact follow that kind of model – your actions lead to others being hurt/obviously negative repercussions. However, homosexual love is about love (to the same extent as heterosexual love is any way - I accept that for some people gay or straight it does appear to be more about sex). How can love be a sin?

4 It is entirely unrealistic to expect gay men or lesbians to “change” or to become celibate. Some have tried but you may as well try to change the colour of your skin – such efforts rarely, result in anything other than a whole heep of suffering (far too much suffering). Of course anyone can theoretically become a celibate BUT – lets face it – if you asked heterosexuals to become celibate – how many of them could ever manage it? Only a tiny proportion at best, even with the best motivation in the world. Ultimately you are asking people to live up to an exacting ascetic that really is totally unrealistic – you are asking them to make a massive, massive sacrifice – something that the vast majority of heterosexuals would no way be able to do.

5 I think, as far as possible, homosexuals should be open about themselves and their relationships. Would people prefer homosexuals to lie about themselves? I thought lying was supposed to be a sin as well. If someone can’t be honest about who they are and what they are with fellow Christians then they will never be part of any kind of fellowship – they will always be an outcast of a kind. If other Christians can’t accept them as they are in an open and honest way, then modern Christianity is in deep trouble.

6 Even though I am in a heterosexual relationship myself with which I am perfectly happy and therefore, fulfil the “hetty only” tick in the box that most churches appear to demand – I can’t be part of any church that fails to accept people because of their sexuality. I am glad that I am bisexual and glad for the experiences I had within the gay community when I was younger. I love the men and women of that community very much and I could never myself feel part of any religion that couldn’t bring itself to embrace them. They are still like brothers and sisters to me even now and they always will be.

Where does scripture fit in with all this I hear some people ask? Perhaps it doesn’t. Perhaps scripture has basically got it wrong on this one. Sticking to the letter of scripture and insisting on its total infallibility might be academically neat and consistent but it will always present people in the gay community with a harsh, inflexible and usually impenetrable brick wall. As long as Christianity preaches “homosexuality is a sin” it effectively closes its doors to the vast majority of people in that community and that is very sad.

--------------------
Bye for now. Paul.

Posts: 92 | From: London | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Inanna

Ship's redhead
# 538

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Hi Paul and welcome and what a wonderful first post.

I particularly liked your "kind of sin" analogy. I've not thought of it from that angle before, but it's certainly an interesting viewpoint.

The not lying is hard. As I think I've said elsewhere on the ship (and possibly in this very thread), my partner and I operate on a "meat before idols" principle. That is, while we know that for us, our relationship is holy and blessed, we also know that other people in church with us would not feel the same way about it. And so, in order not to offend or cause them to stumble, we minimise our "coupleness" during church. We hold hands during the sermon, but Terry also holds hands with her friend (and my godmother) Linda who usually sits next to us. (we're in the music group, with Terry, my partner, as the assistant music minister).

Obviously our friends know, as does the priest and staff at the church and they're all fine with it. And if other people wonder why I've been travelling over from england to america to visit Terry at least twice a year for the past almost eight years...

But we are planning a "commitment" ceremony, and we are going to ask to be listed together, and photographed together for the church's directory, the same as any other family.

Kirsti, who just needs to finish up her PhD and find a job and battle the US immigration laws to get there!

--------------------
All shall be well
And all shall be well
And all manner of things shall be well.

Posts: 1495 | From: Royal Oak, MI | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
mysticlisa

Ship's seer
# 2867

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Dear Inanna et al... (warning long post!)
I so appreciate the sensitive way you all have approached this subject. I watched a young man who is very dear to me go through such horrible pain over his identity.

I first met "B" when he was 5 years old (I was a teen). Our moms were friends. I watched him grow and always admired the spiritual sensitivity he had. I had the privilege later to have him in class when I taught junior high. I remember wondering a bit about him seeming so mature but oblivious to the girls that seemed attracted to him. We kept in touch as he went on to high school and college. He casually dated one girl during all this time, but never seemed to be "romantically inclined".

Years later, after I left the very conservative church we were both raised in (due to my divorce), "B" and I got together for Chinese. He seemed so uncomfortable. Finally I asked him what was troubling him.

He shared that he had decided that he could no longer "live a lie" and live up to his commitment to Christ. He planned to come out to his mom and others. He was so torn. He knew he would be rejected. We prayed together, and parted. Later, I tried to call him to follow up, but wasn't able to connect.

I learned a few months later that "B" had attemtped suicide. His family and people he'd known for years rejected his "revelation" and accused him of being in sin or having a mental breakdown. My own family's explanation is that his "decision" to be gay is due to anger: he is getting even with his family for wrongs committed while he was growing up.

"B" is still really struggling. I now live far away, and have trouble keeping in touch (he is really bad about returning calls and he isn't "wired"). I worry that one day he will take his life, or trash himself by living destructively (thinking that's the only choice left since his family and church rejected him).

What happened to my friend is not that unusual. As a therapist, I have talked with GLBT youth dealing with the same pain. The church has sinned against these kids and adults who are struggling to deal with their differences. Even if one dooesn't agree on whether this is a choice or genetic or what... the cruelty is something I believe will be answered for to God.

~with an aching heart... ml
(please pray for "B" if you think of it)

--------------------
"More things are wrought by prayer
than this world dreams of."
-Alfred Lord Tennyson

Posts: 483 | From: my laptop | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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Similar experiences lead me to considerable enlightenment in this matter.

I also had a friend 9raised Catholic) who struggled, prayed, hid, forced himself into relationships with women, and in general made his life hell for about 30 years before he finally came out. It is impossible to view his torture over the issue as simple rebellion.

I simply decided in myself that since I had no idea what it was like, I had no call instructing people how to (or not) control their inclinations.And it really does not affect my ability to see Christ in others as best i can.

Which is why, when I started reading this thread, I looked forward to hearing the voices of gay Christians, so that I could understand their viewpoints and offer completely unconditional acceptance as a sister in Christ. I hope this thread continues to be a safe space for them to have their voices heard.

--------------------
I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

Posts: 35076 | From: Pura Californiana | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Inanna

Ship's redhead
# 538

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quote:
Kelly wrote:
Which is why, when I started reading this thread, I looked forward to hearing the voices of gay Christians, so that I could understand their viewpoints and offer completely unconditional acceptance as a sister in Christ. I hope this thread continues to be a safe space for them to have their voices heard.

Dear Kelly ....

I don't know quite how I can put into words the impact your post had on me. To have the offer of unconditional acceptance ... almost brought me to tears. It's what I - and I'm sure so many other gay and lesbian Christians - yearn for, long for, hope and pray for.

Not to be told I'm wrong, or I'm going to burn in Hell. Not to be told that I'm evil, or "intrinsically disordered". Not to be told that if I'd trust God, then I could be "healed", or worse, "delivered" from my lesbianism. Not to be told that I shouldn't be allowed near children.

And some of those things have happened to me. Others I live in fear of. The constant "but what if they knew" nagging doubt at the back of my mind, when people compliment me or my partner on our music skills, or let us hold their kids after church, or talk to me over coffee about how cute my accent is.

Your acceptance is an incredibly healing and precious gift. Thank you for it.

And thank you to everyone else here who has posted in the same spirit.

Peace,

Kirsti

--------------------
All shall be well
And all shall be well
And all manner of things shall be well.

Posts: 1495 | From: Royal Oak, MI | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Paul Careau
Shipmate
# 2904

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MysticLisa

I shall definitely be praying for “B”. Please let him know I’m thinking of him. I hope I might be able help him so please pass on what I am about to write.

A few months ago I got the impression that a friend of mine (a young lesbian) was facing a mini –crisis with regard to her sexuality vs. her Christianity. As a result I emailed her, this is what I said…

“I've been a bit worried about you. You sound like you might be where I once was a while ago. I don't want you to go through what happened to me. If you are looking for a sympathetic Church I have a link here with some contact details for you:

(I gave her a link to UK Metropolitan Community Churches – you can find one near to B by doing an Internet search – there are quite a few in the UK and the USA).

All of these churches are run by gay or lesbian priests for people in the gay community who want to be able to experience Christian worship in a less threatening/more supportive environment.

I hope it helps.

God Bless You”

She replied…

“How sweet, and how lovely to know that such wonderful people do exist!

Thank you for your concern. Please be assured that my belief and love of God has withstood everything which has been thrown at it so far. I am (by a long way) the happiest person I know, and although people's bigotry and intolerance make me sad, it's mostly because I realise that they can't possibly have God in their hearts, as they might claim or would like, and because it distresses other people that don't have the same pillar of strength to lean on.

Thank you very much for the link. I have found a church on this site which, by coincidence, is directly opposite the place I work, and no doubt I will be paying them a visit!

God bless you too.

L.”

A few weeks later I got this feedback from her…

“Dear Paul,

Thank you very much for sending me the link. I finally got around to visiting the church - it was wonderful! Hopefully I will be going back there next week. I feel very much better for knowing there's a place where both God and humanity welcome me. The people there were lovely, and their concerns are the same as mine. I feel like I've had a weight lifted off my shoulders.

Once again - thank you so much.

L.”
If you can find a Metropolitan Community Church near to where B lives it sounds to me like this is just the kind of fellowship and support he needs right now. This church made a positive difference for my friend & she was no where near in the desperate
condition that poor B seems to be in. I really hope this might be able to make a difference for him.

--------------------
Bye for now. Paul.

Posts: 92 | From: London | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Inanna

Ship's redhead
# 538

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I'll second and third the recommendations for MCC. I've written about it in the "conversions" thread in Purgatory, and also on my spiritual journey webpage, but they really were a lifeline for me.

Being able to worship with other gays and lesbians ... the undeniable presence of God there ... having educated, thoughtful ministers to talk to who helped me integrate my sexuality and spirituality, who provided friends, role models, and support and encouragement along the way.

I left eventually because I was missing the sense of family that one gets in other denominations. I enjoy worshipping alongside children, teenagers (hopefully!), older couples ... all joined together in the Body of Christ. But I certainly wouldn't be where I am now without MCC.

And both you and B are in my prayers.

Peace,

Kirsti

--------------------
All shall be well
And all shall be well
And all manner of things shall be well.

Posts: 1495 | From: Royal Oak, MI | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Paul Careau
Shipmate
# 2904

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Kirsti

I read your "How I Got Where I am Today" page - very moving. Some of it resonates with some of my past experiences. For what it is worth it sounds to me like your relationship with your partner is the best thing for you.

Bless you and Terry both.

It is sad that so many people have to go through such unsettling experiences to be able to accomodate spirituality and sexuality. I hope one the day will eventually come when the Churches are not only much more accepting but also much better at guiding people to a happy equilibrium. I think the Churches could possibly do a lot of work for good in the gay community as a whole - if only they could accept people for who they are they would be so much better placed to really help them.

--------------------
Bye for now. Paul.

Posts: 92 | From: London | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Never Conforming

Aspiring to Something
# 4054

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Hey,

I've only just found this thread.

Back to the OT.

As a Christian I take any issues I have with any part of my life to God, and ask for guidance on the area in question. Assuming the responses I get are from God, and we (God and me) can come to an agreement about the situation, what anyone else says is less important. It's not insignificant, just LESS important. I thought that it was supposed to work that way for most Christians, but I have come across so many different opinions on this issue that maybe I'm wrong.

I'm willing to admit that I may have the wrong end of the stick on many issues, but when this particular issue became important I prayed about it, and I got an answer that i'm at peace with. That is what matters to me. As far as discussions on this thread go,

I'm a christian. That's how I live my life.

Does it matter if I'm gay, straight or bi?

Jo

--------------------
I used to poison Student Minds™ and am proud to have done so
Never Conforming in the Surreal World

Posts: 1419 | From: Oop Norf | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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Well, as Christians there is indeed a lot of difference of belief here on the Ship about whether we just pray, or get information from Scripture, or from Tradition, or Reason, or any number of the above things, and possibly more; certainly in my own life I try to follow Scripture and Tradition as I understand them, for example. So how this informs my life will be different than someone with different grounds for their beliefs than me.

David

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
iGeek.*

Resident alien
# 3207

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I've been a Christian since 17 (30 years now). Up until last fall, I was "acceptable" in the eyes of most other Christians I know..

I do devotions. I know my Bible reasonably well and taught religious education at various age levels with good feedback about my teaching ability and depth of knowledge. I served in various leadership capacities in the church. I participated in service activities, I was involved in the music ministry in various contexts and so on.

Most importantly, I feel like I love Jesus and I want to please Him in how I live my life and how I relate to my fellow man. To all appearances, I'm a reasonably vital, spiritually mature Christian guy.

But those at church and most in my own family didn't know the whole truth about me: they had no idea I was attracted to my own gender and have been since I became sexually aware (12 or 13, I suppose).

Once that bit of truth came out, everything changed.

Isn't it ironic? As long as I was willing to pretend and live a lie, it was *ok*. When I became truthful, determining to live in integrity and live an authentic life THEN it's not ok (at least with many Christians).

I am still the same person before and after. I still love God. I still know what I know. I still have the same gifts to employ in the building up of the kingdom.

So I go on doing what I've always done: incline my heart towards the Lord, pray for those whom God lays on my heart, worship regularly (sometimes fully out, sometimes not), look for opportunities to serve and grow and love God and my fellow man. I don't have a problem being Christian and gay. It's simply who I am -- one part I chose and one part I didn't.

--------------------
.sig on holiday

Posts: 702 | From: Hot-on-us, TX | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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[Not worthy!] iGeek [Not worthy!]

--------------------
I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

Posts: 35076 | From: Pura Californiana | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
StarlightUK
Shipmate
# 4592

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I have been a Christian since I was 14 (I'm now 33) and came out as gay when I was 21. As a result of being honest with myself, God and the Church about who I was eventually disfellowshipped from the church I was in at the time because of my "sinful lifestyle".

I became involved with an "ex-gay" ministry (which now, thankfully has completely changed its empahsis), and was supposedly held "accountable" to my pastor for any homosexual thoughts or behaviour that I might have/express. I endured many hours of so-called ministry to "deliver" me from my gayness and somehow turn me straight, Of course none of it worked, though at the time I dearly wished it would....so desperate was I to fit in with what people in the church told me was the way I should or should not be.

In the end, it just wasn't happening and I was still as gay as when I started, the only difference being that now I had a huge bag og guilt and condembation from those I thought had been my friends in the church hanging around my neck! As a result of my not conforming to what others thought I should be I was effectively exluded from the church (and therefore the majority of my friends).

It is only in recent weeks that I have begun to look for another church (after 8 years of nothing). I know and accept who I am, both as gay and also as a Christian and believe that God does too (after all, he created me). There is so much about so many things (including sexuality) that we don't understand or perhaps even agree with. But until there is more acceptance within certain churches of people "as they are" without trying to impose their idea of "God's will" onto others there will continue to be damaged and disaffected Christians who once had so much to offer, but after being continually brow-beaten may wonder if it is really worth it!

Posts: 76 | From: Brighton | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
TonyK

Host Emeritus
# 35

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Hello StarlightUK - may I offer you the usual 'hostly' welcome to the Ship.

I'm sure you will have read our 10 Commandments - if you need to refresh your memory there is a link on the left.

Each Board has its own style and ethos - the guidelines displayed as you enter each Board help with this.

Check the other boards; post where you like. Be aware though that this board doesn't get as much traffic as the main boards - as Board Host I have to read everything here, but other shipmates may only check-in now and again.

There are fairly regular Shipmeets in Croydon (not many miles away!). If later you think you could face meeting some of us in 'real life', watch out for information in the All Saints board where such things are arranged. There may well still be a thread there 'left-over' from the last meeting in May, which would give you some idea of which shipmates attend.

Once again - welcome and enjoy!

--------------------
Yours aye ... TonyK

Posts: 2717 | From: Gloucestershire | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Merseymike
Shipmate
# 3022

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Good to hear that you've come through the worst, Starlight. There are a fair few other gay people here.
And in South London, many of the Anglican churches are gay friendly, so you shouldn't have much of a problem - if you want I can contact a priest who used to work in Brixton, and he should be able to recommend one or two in your area.

--------------------
Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

Posts: 3360 | From: Walked the plank | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Arabella Purity Winterbottom

Trumpeting hope
# 3434

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I first saw this thread some time ago, and didn't post because I was wondering how I would phrase what I wanted to say (I was depressed at the time, Vitamin P is working now).

Last year, I took the church hierarchy to mediation at the Human Rights Commission and one of the ground rules I asked for was that the head office people not refer to themselves as "the church," since that plainly said that I was not part of the church. It was actually quite hilarious watching the head office people trying to get to grips with the idea that they were not going to be allowed that privilege.

I will never forget the experiences I have had at Presbyterian General Assemblies where we have stood up to fight for our right to be part of the church. However, now I believe that we are a part of the church, and I refuse to let anyone say that we are not. It is my firm belief that lesbians and gay men have a huge amount to offer to the church - gifts of endurance through suffering, hospitality, pastoral care, a sense of humour that punctures the church's shameful lack of commonsense, poetry, strength in loving, strength of belief.... I feel enormously privileged most days to be a lesbian member of the church, because, as my mother says, I have a call to help the church grow up. [Not worthy!] Mum.

In my work life I am probably in a better position than most church people to minister to my workmates, a group who have been turned off church because of its perceived judgementalism. They question how I, a lesbian, can stand it. Perfect evangelism opportunity - although I doubt many people would recognise what I do as evangelism! I have had the most fascinating conversations with workmates about spirituality, Christianity and life questions, much more interesting than most I have in the church. I have to be prepared for their hostility to the church (for that matter, it always surprises them that I often agree with them) and I think I'm rather better placed to understand it than most.

This is not supposed to be a hymn to being gay or lesbian - there are lots of lovely heterosexual people who have all the same qualities. But if you're like me - I've been lesbian since I was a teenager, in the church all that time, openly - you don't get the opportunities unless you actively push for them. And you can either go under and get bitter, or you can stand up and say, "This is me, how are you going to help me be the best person I can be as a lesbian Christian?"

At 40, things that worried me earlier don't worry me at all. I refuse any more to be caught into bible pingpong, although I can preach you any number of sermons on the texts of terror and the texts of comfort. My life is my witness and it is lived following Christ.

--------------------
Hell is full of the talented and Heaven is full of the energetic. St Jane Frances de Chantal

Posts: 3702 | From: Aotearoa, New Zealand | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Gekko
Shipmate
# 4045

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quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
I feel enormously privileged most days to be a lesbian member of the church, because, as my mother says, I have a call to help the church grow up. [Not worthy!] Mum.

[Not worthy!]

quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
In my work life I am probably in a better position than most church people to minister to my workmates, a group who have been turned off church because of its perceived judgementalism. They question how I, a lesbian, can stand it. Perfect evangelism opportunity - although I doubt many people would recognise what I do as evangelism!

Yes, I've had some good conversations as a result of this also. I'm often asked how I manage to live out being a gay Christian in an environment that is so often hostile.

I usually tell the story of my teenage years at church, my 8 years away and my return to church community, including both the positive and negative experiences I have had. I explain how I have learnt to love Christ in spite of the obstacles that Christians continually put in the way of each other.

People like to hear stories. They appreciate the openess and honesty you show when you share the ups and downs of your experiences. Talking about how you have come to love God through the struggles gives people hope and to the non-Christian is worth a thousand cheesy smiles quoting Bible verses at them.

[Votive] Thank God for the sharing of our stories and His love that penetrates the toughest places.

Gekko

Posts: 204 | From: SE London | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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Welcome, Starlight!

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Houyhnhnm
Apprentice
# 4565

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Just like to say what a wonderfully stimulating and affirming evening I've had reading this thread through from start to finish. You lot are open, honest, and articulate. Thank you! [Love]
Posts: 1 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
TonyK

Host Emeritus
# 35

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Hello, Houyhnhnm, and welcome aboard the Ship.

You will, I'm sure, have read through our 10 Commandments (accessible from the link on the left) and are aware that each Board has its own guidelines on the way in.

All newcomers have the status of an Apprentice - as such you will be expected to (virtually) swab the (virtual) decks - but 50 posts will elevate you to the giddy heights of Shipmate.

So poke around the corners of the Ship, get involved with other discussions and enjoy!

Yours aye ... TonyK
Host, Dead Horses Board

Posts: 2717 | From: Gloucestershire | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Isis
Apprentice
# 4930

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B sounds like one of my closest friends. [Frown]

--------------------
QuidProQuo - yes or no?

Posts: 17 | From: Bushamerikkka | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
watchergirl
Shipmate
# 5071

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[Smile]

This is a brilliant thread. If I didn't have 'flu I would contribute something half-interesting! It's always good to be reminded that there are other people dealing with similar issues.

[ 12. October 2003, 21:34: Message edited by: watchergirl ]

--------------------
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me

Posts: 96 | From: London | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
watchergirl
Shipmate
# 5071

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'Scuse the double post. Have something to say today. I rather wish I didn't. Am feeling crappy about the following email I received from someone who has entirely misinterpreted my current experiences:

"Please pray and seek God's guidance about this. God is very clear about it. Pursuing this sin will keep you from a lot of blessings and closeness to Him. As will other sins of course, but this will get a very stronghold on you. You were not created to desire women. It is not of and pleasing to God. All of us deal with strong temptations, but with His help we can overcome."

How on earth do I deal with this? Especially considering that this is a tame response to compared to some things that friends have said in response to my coming out. It's full of assumptions about things that I've barely even begun to explore, and this is the problem with the prejudice I've started to meet in the Church over this issue. People are making assumptions instead of asking me questions or talking to me.

I wish there were more Christian L/G/B people I could discuss approaches to this sort of thing with. To return to Joan the Outlaw Dwarf's original question, I suppose I'm partly asking - where do I find more support and guidance in all the areas where my Christian life and my sexuality cross over? I'm also partly just ranting.

--------------------
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me

Posts: 96 | From: London | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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quote:
How on earth do I deal with this?
Hmm, I know I don't know all the cicumstances but unless it is someone whose views you value I would simlply tell him/her to f**k off.

--------------------
Infinite Penguins.
My "Readit, Swapit" page
My "LibraryThing" page

Posts: 12176 | From: a zoo in England. | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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Dear Watchergirl

Tongue firmly in cheek!

Employ a private detective.
Get something on him / her ... anything.
Tell him / her that this sin is hindering his salvation.

If s/he repents s/he is OK but misguided. Forgive him / her and enlighten as much as you can, bit by bit. Go for a drink together. Get the humanity out to dissolve the stereotype.

If he gets angry ... walk away. Hopefully he will learn something (at least) about not judging. The rest can come later.

I think some Church people simply can't accept that there might be some closeted gay or lesbian people in their midst. Sadly, I can see that even knowing this might not restrain some.

A few targeted questions can sometimes help though. "Does anyone choose to be straight?"

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

Posts: 15099 | From: Manchester, UK | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
John Donne

Renaissance Man
# 220

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quote:
"Please pray and seek God's guidance about this. God is very clear about it. Pursuing this sin will keep you from a lot of blessings and closeness to Him. As will other sins of course, but this will get a very stronghold on you. You were not created to desire women. It is not of and pleasing to God. All of us deal with strong temptations, but with His help we can overcome."
My only comfort is that One Day these people will have to stand before God and explain why they excluded, persecuted, and made His gay children stumble.

Praps someone like Degs can tell you about organised support groups in Churches.

Posts: 13667 | From: Perth, W.A. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Unkl Davy
Shipmate
# 2777

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quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
[Roll Eyes]
I'm gonna just come right out with it and admit I am writing a story about a church in which a gay music director figures prominantly...

Kelly, it's a very LONG read, but this guy IS a worship leader AND a Christian recording artist who struggled with all those issues. And, nicely, it has a happy ending.

--------------------
"Lately, everything has been coming my way ... I think I'm in the wrong lane."

Posts: 216 | From: Silicon Valley | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sine Nomine*

Ship's backstabbing bastard
# 3631

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quote:
Originally posted by Unkl Davy:
And, nicely, it has a happy ending.

Well, erm, there may be one or two folks around here who might disagree about that. But they seem like a lovely Christian™ couple.
Posts: 10696 | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Unkl Davy
Shipmate
# 2777

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quote:
Originally posted by Sine Nomine:
Well, erm, there may be one or two folks around here who might disagree about that..

Gee, ya think?

However, it seems odd that what so many gays have wanted and prayed for to happen for them, would seem like an UNhappy ending ... when it actually happens to someone.

With all the tolerance that is demanded of us straights, why can't a former gay be tolerated for what he is? A FORMER gay. Is that so wrong?

--------------------
"Lately, everything has been coming my way ... I think I'm in the wrong lane."

Posts: 216 | From: Silicon Valley | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged



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