Volume 7: Issue 4
Bringing Heart and Mind Into Harmony
Table Of Contents
Cover Story: Bringing Heart and Mind Into Harmony:
What I needed that seminary did not give me was a way to bring my heart and mind into harmony. Unfortunately for me, that's nothing you can learn from a book. Heart knowledge comes to us differently than head knowledge. We can absolutely know something in our head but be in blissful ignorance in our heart.
While I value the things that my mind has helped me to discover a great deal, I could not have done any of it without faith in God. I see the things that I have been able to work out by studying the knowledge others have shared, by using the mind and reason and ability to learn that God gave me. Most of all I see things by having faith in the belief I feel Jesus was really teaching, that God is within all of us and that all of us are a part of God.
I think often about myself and my position in the church. I think about what a great place that church is for a gay person to be. What great people those people were for a gay person to know. My mind loved that church.
Don't get me wrong, my heart did too. I loved the choir, the organist, the bells at Christmas, the trumpet at Easter, the "Why hast thou forsaken me" on Maundy Thursday. My heart loved the music as much as my mind loved the gay. But whereas my mind could appreciate the music, my heart was uncomfortable with the gay.
For thousands of years contemplatives, as well as ordinary folk, have
used labyrinths to release both internal and external interruptions from
their minds, and to fix their focus on God. Each time I have walked a
labyrinth I have found it a profound spiritual experience - one almost
beyond expression in mere words.
Can I be in harmony being gay and married to a member of the opposite sex? This is an interesting question. I am sure there is no "textbook" answer for this question.
The tangible signs of salvation and liberation are evident in the lives of gay and lesbian Christians. For the church to continue to deny this puts them at odds with the apostle Peter. He concluded that Gentiles should also be accepted into the church because, "if then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to hinder God?" (Acts 11:17) Peter recognized that there is no such thing as a grace too far.
For every 27 Iraqis there is just one Christian. I wondered how these Christians felt. As a queer, I searched for a queer Christian. You may think it is easy to find one among the 850,000 Christians but it was hard. I found one and we became instant friends.
The mistaken notion that same-gender-loving orientation and gender diversity are inherently immoral and unholy, not to mention the popular idea that queers go to hell, is usually at the root of a Demeter Complex. From these parents' point of view, forces of darkness and light are waging war for their child's immortal soul, and their son or daughter's homosexual orientation or expanding gender identity is proof that the forces of
darkness are winning.
Despite the United Methodist Church's restrictive policies regarding homosexuality, many gays and lesbians remain in the denomination because they feel accepted at their local churches.
Although it is highly unlikely that the new archbishop of Canterbury will be martyred, like some of his more famous predecessors, the road to the office as head of the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion has been filled with some pernicious potholes for Rowan Williams.
Though studies, like the most recent from the American Academy of Pediatrics, show children adopted by homosexual parents are "not" at risk. For many conservative Christians, this is not enough. To them, the Bible stands against homosexuality, and they're not budging on the issue.
From the Pulpit:
Feel like a little person? Feeling a bit left out? Neglected by God, without God or society's blessing? That does not mean you are guilty of heinous sins. Stop beating yourself up. Wait on the Lord. And serve the Lord as you wait. That is what Zacharias did. God will bless. And He will bless in ways unexpected and impressive ways.
This is the stuff National Enquirer stories are made of. A little shepherd boy slated to become the next king? A boy unknown to anybody except his family? A boy with no military experience would be the next king? A young lad from Bethlehem? The youngest in a family of eight sons? This was highly unlikely in that culture. Blessings and leadership positions were usually reserved for the eldest son. But God often has blessings in unexpected places.
Bible Study and Inspiration:
As gay and lesbian people, it is easy to see ourselves as the "least ones" Jesus speaks about. And there is truth here. But have we the insight and courage to reach out with compassion and understanding to the "goats" who have abused us?
--By: Stacy Reynolds
Let's look at David's grandfather Obed, whose mother was Ruth. We've all read the book of Ruth. We use it as an example of love and loyalty. But it was way more than that. It was part of
God's plan and God's purpose.
In these eight verses in Isaiah, we see a picture of what
worship looks like. We start off with curiosity. We see God, and the
sight draws us into His presence. He is majestic, enthroned in a
lofty place. His servants, the angels are ministering to Him. And
all the while, they are singing a song of praise to His majestic
greatness. The scene we see draws us in for a closer look. We want
to see all that is taking place. We want all that God has for us.
The Bible speaks specifically of the power of speech. James speaks
eloquently of the difficulty in - and necessity of - controlling the tongue.
In this article we will look at three specific sins of the tongue which are
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