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Volume 10: Issue 2
September/October 2005

The Good Book


Table Of Contents


Cover Story: The Good Book:

Learning to Love the Questions
--By: Candace Chellew-Hodge

Not everyone can live in the ever changing landscape of the questions. People crave certainty because it gives them a sense of security. They want to know that they're following the right path. When they read the Bible they read it as love letter meant just for them. They find what they like, use it to form their hard and fast answers and disregard the rest - pulling out the "God's Word is inerrant" argument if faced with any hard questions.

 

Re-thinking Our Approach to Scripture
--By: Steve Pearson

We in the queer Christian community - LGBTQ and Allies - fall into this trap all too often. When we begin to reconcile our faith with our sexuality, we are tempted to reinterpret everything we've ever been taught about the Bible. And that's good. But we're also tempted to throw out anything we disagree with. And that's not good. We need to take these texts seriously and give them full authority, even when we do not like what they are saying.

 

George and Martha and Adam and Steve
--By: Lori Heine

The best way to read the Bible is to recognize ourselves in it. It isn't merely the story of people who lived and died thousands of years ago; the story it tells is, truly, our own -- and it is ongoing. T o read it with our hearts, as well as our minds, it is entirely necessary to understand Scripture this way.

 

Simon Says"
(a Biblical rule of thumb)

--By: Catriona Millican

Just because the Bible describes it, doesn't mean the Bible condones it.

 

A Work in Progress
--By: John H. Campbell

It is completely possible to embrace the powerful spiritual ideas, history and teachings of Christ in the Bible without viewing it (or doing as some seem to do and deifying and worshipping the Bible itself) as the "inerrant, infallible, unchanging" word of God. I see it more as a work in progress that continues to be written, even after the book was closed long ago.

 

Confronting Bible Abuse
--By: Micah Royal

Bible abuse is a form of spiritual abuse. Spiritual abuse is when religious beliefs or practices are removed from the context they were intended for and used as tools of discrimination or oppression of others.

 

My Journey in The Good Book
--By: Cindi Green

I spent over 15 years struggling with whether the Bible was a book for me. How in the world would I ever fit in?

 

The Gospel Truth?
--By: Lana Phillips

Since my coming out, it does seem to me that discussions on the authority of Scripture do tend to center around the issue of homosexuality. When I find myself ready to argue with someone, I try to find the common ground between us. I believe that time does not change what the Bible says about some things. "Love your neighbor" still holds true.

 

The Bible
--By: Roger Stratton

If any fundamentalists began reading this, they have probably already stopped and judged me a heretic on a sure road to hell, but my understanding of the Bible's origins does not diminish my faith in God, in fact it allows Him to be all the more Godly.

 

God's Guidebook for Life
--By: Sandra Cox

The key to keeping from wicked ways is in following God's ways and always putting Him first! We must seek His direction for our lives as we spend time in prayer and in interpreting His word.

 

GLBT People and the Battle for the Bible
--By: Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people are viewed as easy and safe targets to persecute! What the Catholic Church and much of the church world have done, enmeshing their prejudices on selected parts of the Bible, is help further exacerbate a climate of hate throughout the world against these already persecuted minorities.

 

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Homospirituality:

Strange Fruit
--By: Tuan N'Gai

I dare not say that all people who profess Christianity are like the evil and mean spirited white folk of yesteryear who took perverse pleasure in lynching black men.

 

Why Are Gay People the Way They Are?
--By: Bob Minor

In a very straight-dominant society, LGBT people internalize not only the negative images of them society installs in everyone even before some know they're not straight. They have also absorbed the very negativity of these images.

 

Mourning the Passing of Joan (of Arcadia)
--By: Suzie Chamness

The cancellation of the show "Joan of Arcadia" is the final straw for me. After all, where will I go to enrich my mind about how God infiltrates the world today?

 

Old Wine?
--By: Edward J. Ingebretsen

Catholic gay persons who waited out the papacy of John Paul II, hoping that the new pope would usher in a "freer and gentler" church have now to face the reality. Cardinal Ratzinger was the author of John Paul's doctrine on homosexual persons.

 

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Features:

The HRC Finds Religion ... Finally!
--By: Candace Chellew-Hodge

Finally, the Human Rights Campaign, the largest national LGBT political organization, seems to understand the need for this very basic ingredient in any successful civil rights campaign and have launched a new religious and faith program. They could not have found a more fitting founding director for this endeavor. Harry Knox, a long-time LGBT activist and strong man of faith, comes well-equipped to lead this fledgling program.

 

Never Judge a Book by it's Cover
A Review of JESUS and the Shamanic Tradition of Same-Sex Love
by Will Roscoe

--A Book Review By: Dan Greshel

Let's face it, you rarely see His name mentioned anywhere near the word SEX, never mind same-sex love for God's sake! And I can't recall any mention of shamans in the Bible much less a tradition of them where Jesus was concerned. Do I sound put off? Hardly!

 

Living in Hope When You're Not an Optimist
A Review of Paul Loeb's The Impossible Will Take a Little While

-- By: Bob Minor

Loeb's book would be worth it if only for his introductory essays. "Hope," he reminds us, "is a way of looking at the world - more than that, it's a way of life."

 

Black Gay & Christian Author Debuts Syndicated TV Talk Show
--By: Herndon L. Davis

Herndon L. Davis, author of last year's controversial book, Black, Gay & Christian, is at it again. Reaching into nearly 16 million households, he is debuting the world's first black gay/lesbian, TV news/talk show on DirecTV channel 227 and on Comcast Cable TV101 Southern California.

 

Letters To The Editor

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Same-Gender Marriage:

The Non-Wedding: A Poem
-- By: Allie Jo Conkle

The grooms wore white, as

slim as candles in the rainbow light

from the church's stained-glass window -

 

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Transgender Spirituality:

A Sense of Spirituality
-- By: Janice Josephine Carney

The Faith Action Network is a project of the Michigan office of the American Friends Service Committee. Their goal was to bring together people of faith that are lesbian, gay, bisexual, as well as the transgender umbrella, and our allies. With the help of the Eastern Michigan University they were successful.

 

Discrimination - A Challenge We Must Meet!
-- By: Rachel Miller

I intend to utilize the power of a man-in-a-dress in a wide variety of public venues, including with family and friends, to prod people to confront their prejudices.

 

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From the Pulpit:

What a Load!
--By: Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge

The Sanskrit word for "yoke" in this passage is the same word that "yoga" is derived from. It means "to unite" or "to join together." To make the yoke light and the burden easy requires joining ourselves not only to God but to each other. We must join together. We must unite because alone that load will always be heavy.

 

God Bless America
--By: Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge

When I say "God bless America" this is the blessing I seek for all of us - blessings of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for everyone, no matter their place in our society.

 

Jesus' Family Values
--By: Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge

All this is good news to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people because it shows that Jesus' idea of family values doesn't have a lot to do with what modern Christians value. It's not the physical make up of the family that counts - it's the strength of the character of the people involved. It's about the strength and integrity of the relationships between the people in the family.

 

Prophet Versus Grace
--By: Gary Simpson

There are times when asses are more open to God than those who say they speak for God. And many times those who society feels are just donkeys compared to the "real spiritual leaders" speak for God with more accuracy and with more authority than those who think they have the God-given authority to speak for the Lord. We see many gay Christians coming out of the closet and articulating God's love and grace more clearly than it has traditionally been spoken from pulpits.

 

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Bible Study and Inspiration:

Lepers, Loons and Losers Part 12:
The Poor Widow

--By: Tom Yeshua

Jesus remains seated by the treasury of God to see what you and I will do with the varied riches lavishly bestowed on us by a gracious God who will demand an accounting of these gifts at the end of our life.

 

Examining the Beatitudes Part 3:
The Most Misunderstood Beatitude

--By: Debbie Graham R. N.

In our American minds, inherit the earth brings up pictures of world domination. That of course, does not flow from the Greek and Aramaic words translated as meek.

 

The Christian's Disciplined Study
--By: John R. W. Stott

Scripture itself lays great stress on the conscientious Christian use of the mind, not of course in order to stand in judgment on God's Word, but rather in order to submit to it, to grapple with it, to understand it, and to relate it to the contemporary scene.

 

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Holy Humor!

Where was Jesus Born?

Mother Teresa in Heaven

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