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Re: [Exex-gay] The Benny Hinn story - I'm laughing my balls off !

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  • Michael Bottomley
    Dear Edward D., Thanks for your post. It really opens my eyes. I used to watch Christian television a lot, and I always suspected that Benny Hinn was gay.
    Message 1 of 9 , Feb 28, 2010
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      Dear Edward D.,
       
      Thanks for your post.  It really opens my eyes.  I used to watch Christian television a lot, and I always suspected that Benny Hinn was gay.  However, I was completely surprised by the information about Paul Crouch.  What amazes me about these stories and similar happenings with priests in the Roman Catholic Church is that these theological leaders never saw a contradiction between what they were preaching and what type of life they were actually living.  I myself, even though I am gay, consider myself to be a Christian, and the books of the New Testament show that Jesus himself did not have high regard for hypocrasy, and hippocrites is exactly what Paul Crouch and Benny Hinn are.  Thanks again for a brilliant post.
       
      Sincerely,
       
      Mike Bottomley

      On Sun, Feb 28, 2010 at 11:10 AM, edward d <edwardxderwent@...> wrote:
       


      Did you notice the story some days ago, that Benny Hinn's (yes! the famous TV evangelist) wife, was sueing for divorce.

      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100218/ap_on_...ngelist_divorce

      The Yahoo news item stated:

      QUOTE
      Suzanne Hinn filed the papers in Orange County Superior Court on Feb. 1, citing irreconcilable differences, after more than 30 years of marriage. The papers note the two separated on Jan. 26 and that Hinn has been living in Dana Point, a wealthy coastal community in southern Orange County.

      Hinn is one of the best known advocates of the prosperity gospel, which teaches that Christians who are right with God will be rewarded with wealth and health in this lifetime.

      His TV broadcasts on the Trinity Broadcast Network, a Pentecostal broadcasting juggernaut, and other TV networks are seen by millions of people around the world nearly every day. He travels the globe in his ministry's plane, named Dove One, holding events he calls "Miracle Crusades" that include spiritual healings.

      Hinn has never fully publicly disclosed how he spends the money he raises, but his vast ministry is believed to be a multimillion-dollar operation. There was no mention of finances in the court filing, which listed three recent Southern California addresses for the family.

      Over the years, Hinn has been the target of intense criticism from fellow Christians and watchdog groups who call his teachings false and accuse him of raising money only to enrich himself.

      He is one of six televangelists under investigation by Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, over whether he complied with IRS rules for nonprofits. Hinn has said on his Web site that external auditors ensure his compliance with IRS regulations and that in 2008, 88 percent of the money he collected was spent on ministry. UNQUOTE

      But, we all wonder (if you bother wondering about F**k-wits like him) what is the real reason for the divorce ?

      God does answer prayers (smile) of genuine enquiry, and today on Signel, a poster passes on a Ugandan newspaper report. ( http://www.redpepper.ug/details.php?item=3204 )

      Benny Hinn, this newspaper reports, has a secret passion - guess what? OK, go read the report.

      With friends like Benny and his ilk, who needs enemies ?


    • Michael Bottomley
      Dear Edward D. and other members of this discussion group, Hi. Edward D s post makes me think a lot about my own spiritual, religious and theological stance.
      Message 2 of 9 , Feb 28, 2010
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        Dear Edward D. and other members of this discussion group,
         
        Hi.  Edward D's post makes me think a lot about my own spiritual, religious and theological stance.  Although I am gay, I am a member and active participant in a very conservative, fundamentalist Christian church in Southern California. 
         
        I have thought about participating in ex-homosexual ministries and have been encouraged to do so, but have never actually done it.  The church that I attend is constantly ex-communicating people for violations of their strict moral code.  For this reason, up until about 3 months ago, I have avoided the gay community because I feared being ex-communicated myself. 
         
        I have told people who were concerned about my participation in this church that if I heard anything that I did not agree with, that I would let it go in one ear and out the other. 
         
        At this point, after reading Edward D's post, I am going to go one step further.  I have occasionally gone to gay coffee houses in the area where I live and have just drank coffee and read magazines and such.  This is going to continue, and I am not really worried about ex-communication anymore. 
        Besides Edward D's post, I have other reasons for deciding this.  I was listening to an intense sermon this evening and I thought to myself, when I appear before God on judgment day, what the people in the pew behind me think is not going to matter.  Salvation is between me and God and no one else.  It does not matter what the preacher, what my parents, neighbors, the gay community or the Supreme Pontiff or anyone else thinks of me.  It is what Jesus thinks about me and what I think about myself that will get me into heaven. 
         
        For this reason, I am not going to worry about ex-communication anymore.  If there is something in the gay community that I want to do, I will do it.  I go to the fundamentalist church because there are a lot of sincere people there who I really like being with and they bring me a lot of happiness.  However, I cannot allow anyone to dictate to me how I am going to live my life.  Again, that is between me and God. 
         
        Any thoughts, feelings, opinions, comments, questions, suggestions or feedback are welcome.  I have seen them ex-communicate a police officer for cheating on his wife.  They have not allowed a young woman to participate in ministry because she had a baby out of wedlock.  Who knows?  I might be the next person on the agenda?
         
        Sincerely,
         
        Mike Bottomley
        On Sun, Feb 28, 2010 at 8:59 PM, Michael Bottomley <buddy022158@...> wrote:
        Dear Edward D.,
         
        Thanks for your post.  It really opens my eyes.  I used to watch Christian television a lot, and I always suspected that Benny Hinn was gay.  However, I was completely surprised by the information about Paul Crouch.  What amazes me about these stories and similar happenings with priests in the Roman Catholic Church is that these theological leaders never saw a contradiction between what they were preaching and what type of life they were actually living.  I myself, even though I am gay, consider myself to be a Christian, and the books of the New Testament show that Jesus himself did not have high regard for hypocrasy, and hippocrites is exactly what Paul Crouch and Benny Hinn are.  Thanks again for a brilliant post.
         
        Sincerely,
         
        Mike Bottomley

        On Sun, Feb 28, 2010 at 11:10 AM, edward d <edwardxderwent@...> wrote:
         


        Did you notice the story some days ago, that Benny Hinn's (yes! the famous TV evangelist) wife, was sueing for divorce.

        http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100218/ap_on_...ngelist_divorce

        The Yahoo news item stated:

        QUOTE
        Suzanne Hinn filed the papers in Orange County Superior Court on Feb. 1, citing irreconcilable differences, after more than 30 years of marriage. The papers note the two separated on Jan. 26 and that Hinn has been living in Dana Point, a wealthy coastal community in southern Orange County.

        Hinn is one of the best known advocates of the prosperity gospel, which teaches that Christians who are right with God will be rewarded with wealth and health in this lifetime.

        His TV broadcasts on the Trinity Broadcast Network, a Pentecostal broadcasting juggernaut, and other TV networks are seen by millions of people around the world nearly every day. He travels the globe in his ministry's plane, named Dove One, holding events he calls "Miracle Crusades" that include spiritual healings.

        Hinn has never fully publicly disclosed how he spends the money he raises, but his vast ministry is believed to be a multimillion-dollar operation. There was no mention of finances in the court filing, which listed three recent Southern California addresses for the family.

        Over the years, Hinn has been the target of intense criticism from fellow Christians and watchdog groups who call his teachings false and accuse him of raising money only to enrich himself.

        He is one of six televangelists under investigation by Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, over whether he complied with IRS rules for nonprofits. Hinn has said on his Web site that external auditors ensure his compliance with IRS regulations and that in 2008, 88 percent of the money he collected was spent on ministry. UNQUOTE

        But, we all wonder (if you bother wondering about F**k-wits like him) what is the real reason for the divorce ?

        God does answer prayers (smile) of genuine enquiry, and today on Signel, a poster passes on a Ugandan newspaper report. ( http://www.redpepper.ug/details.php?item=3204 )

        Benny Hinn, this newspaper reports, has a secret passion - guess what? OK, go read the report.

        With friends like Benny and his ilk, who needs enemies ?



      • edward d
        Mike, I m happy you found the post helpful to your own spiritual journey. This is such a wonderful story, as it helps us understand what we could call
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 1, 2010
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          Mike,

          I'm happy you found the post helpful to your own spiritual journey.

          This is such a wonderful story, as it helps us understand what we could call 'American Christianity' and the sexual hypocrisy that plays such a dominant role in that particular form of Christianity.

          If you take the time to study the history of Christianity you will come to appreciate that each of the power centres of the ancient Roman empire developed their own unique churches with characteristics typical of that churches power base. Some of these churches still exist, for example, the church based in ancient Alexandria developed into the the Coptic church.

          The church in Constantinople grew as the Orthodox church(es). The church in Antioch (where the book of Acts claims the term Christian was first used) still exists as the Syrian and Nestorian churches, and in spite of covering Asia with its Christian message, including India and China, had a hard time resisting the power of Islam and has shrunk to a shadow.

          For us, the church in Rome has been the main influence and the development of European Christianity affected the whole world in the 18th and 19th Centuries. In the 19th century, Great Britain became the dominant world power and gave us a unique opportunity to examine the growth of a national form of Christianity at closer range than the past. With the fading of the English as a international power and the rise of the USA as an Imperial power in the 21st century we have had the opportunity to study how a form of Christianity can develop that reflects the national characteristics.

          So what Mike does all this mean to you? Simply, that Christianity is never static. In addition to all the above, there were other forms of Christianity that the main churches fought against. There is an interesting book, Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. By Bart D. Erhman and published by Oxford University Press - web-reference: http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/13480.htm that will tell you a lot about the power wars that gave us what we may call 'orthodoxy'.

          Where I am going,in the above brief coverage of 2000 years of Christianity, is simply this: that IF Jesus did have a definite messsage and set of doctrines, the only close record of them is the three synoptic gospels. The gospel of John, reflecting Greek ideas, seems to be a later development.

          So if you want to be (as I used to say when an elder (Pastor)) ' a foot-step follower of Jesus', then the three synoptic gospels give you the best extant picture of his teachings. In those three gospels, Jesus has nothing very much to say about sex or sexuality, and indeed in one gospel story, may even have healed the younger (male) lover of a Roman soldier.

          I'm now 74 and a student of ancient history and the inter-development of religion across Asia. I also study East Asia and the development of an alternative set of beliefs about human nature and needs. Like you I was once (for near 40 long years) deeply involved in a fundamentalist church that kicks out anyone they do not approve of, including some who should be receiving pastoral care. In one case (and I now hang my head in shame) we ex-communicated a young,single girl who had become pregnant. This girl was not very attractive, partly unsighted, not very bright and with little chance of finding a husband. In the rooming house where she lived another man clearly took advantage of her loneliness and sexual needs. Curiously, even the local (bishop) thought we did the right thing. But looking back, I know in my heart that we were a long way from any model of Jesus Christ when we did that.

          So from my age and perspective, may I say one thing. If you as a strong, mature individual see in the gospel picture of Jesus the Christ, a model for youself - then have the balls to follow that model, and then you can't go far wrong can you ? And if any other human tells you that you are wrong, just tell them to argue it out with Jesus as you follwo him and no man.

          with love

          kenni

          --- In Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com, Michael Bottomley <buddy022158@...> wrote:

          Dear Edward D.,

          Thanks for your post. It really opens my eyes. I used to watch Christian television a lot, and I always suspected that Benny Hinn was gay. However, I was completely surprised by the information about Paul Crouch. What amazes me about these stories and similar happenings with priests in the Roman Catholic Church is that these theological leaders never saw a contradiction between what they were preaching and what type of life they were actually living. I myself, even though I am gay, consider myself to be a Christian, and the books of the New Testament show that Jesus himself did not have high regard for hypocrasy, and hippocrites is exactly what Paul Crouch and Benny Hinn are. Thanks again for a brilliant post.

          Sincerely,

          Mike Bottomley

          On Sun, Feb 28, 2010 at 11:10 AM, edward d <edwardxderwent@...>wrote:

          Did you notice the story some days ago, that Benny Hinn's (yes! the famous TV evangelist) wife, was sueing for divorce.
        • edward d
          I approached posting this story with a little trepidation. When I first read the red Pepper article, I wondered it was true, or was I seeing a church power
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 1, 2010
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            I approached posting this story with a little trepidation. When I first read the 'red Pepper' article, I wondered it was true, or was I seeing a church power struggle in Uganda.

            A few things persuaded me. First, the divorce. I googled it, and found the Yahoo article and also comments by someone who claimed to know the wife. (Of course, the trouble with the internet is that anyone can say anything)

            Then (googling again) I found the Paul Crouch angle, and a accusation of homosexuality, carefully covered over.

            Refer: http://www.rickross.com/reference/tbn/tbn19.html for a copy of an original LA Times article.

            Finally, from the angle of ordinary Ugandans that may be gay, is the news that the government is considering the death penalty for men who have sex with men. This apparently at the behest of American evangelists. A terrible crime frpm any viewpoint and something that I doubt that Jesus may have advocated.

            So publish and be damned - grin

            Kenni







            --- In Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com, "edward d" <edwardxderwent@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > Did you notice the story some days ago, that Benny Hinn's (yes! the famous TV evangelist) wife, was sueing for divorce.
            >
            > http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100218/ap_on_...ngelist_divorce
          • Michael Bottomley
            Dear Ex-ex gays and Kenni, Thank you, Kenni, for a beautiful message. I will take it to heart. I know that a significant number of scholars argue that
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 1, 2010
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              Dear Ex-ex gays and Kenni,
               
              Thank you, Kenni, for a beautiful message.  I will take it to heart.  I know that a significant number of scholars argue that homosexuality was respected and supported in the Medieval Ages and I find this very interesting if correct.  Where all the homophobia comes from that exists in our modern United States is a mystery that some scholars are starting to answer.  The ironic thing about the presence of all this homophobia is that it appears very strongly that the LGBT community will ultimately win the culture war that is occuring between the LGBT community and the Christian right.  It is interesting to observe the various forces that are influencing this culture war and its outcome, but I pray to God that I can participate in this national debate with courage and insight.  Thanks again for your thoughts and comments.
               
              Sincerely,
               
              Mike Bottomley

              On Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 12:04 PM, edward d <edwardxderwent@...> wrote:
               


              Mike,

              I'm happy you found the post helpful to your own spiritual journey.

              This is such a wonderful story, as it helps us understand what we could call 'American Christianity' and the sexual hypocrisy that plays such a dominant role in that particular form of Christianity.

              If you take the time to study the history of Christianity you will come to appreciate that each of the power centres of the ancient Roman empire developed their own unique churches with characteristics typical of that churches power base. Some of these churches still exist, for example, the church based in ancient Alexandria developed into the the Coptic church.

              The church in Constantinople grew as the Orthodox church(es). The church in Antioch (where the book of Acts claims the term Christian was first used) still exists as the Syrian and Nestorian churches, and in spite of covering Asia with its Christian message, including India and China, had a hard time resisting the power of Islam and has shrunk to a shadow.

              For us, the church in Rome has been the main influence and the development of European Christianity affected the whole world in the 18th and 19th Centuries. In the 19th century, Great Britain became the dominant world power and gave us a unique opportunity to examine the growth of a national form of Christianity at closer range than the past. With the fading of the English as a international power and the rise of the USA as an Imperial power in the 21st century we have had the opportunity to study how a form of Christianity can develop that reflects the national characteristics.

              So what Mike does all this mean to you? Simply, that Christianity is never static. In addition to all the above, there were other forms of Christianity that the main churches fought against. There is an interesting book, Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. By Bart D. Erhman and published by Oxford University Press - web-reference: http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/13480.htm that will tell you a lot about the power wars that gave us what we may call 'orthodoxy'.

              Where I am going,in the above brief coverage of 2000 years of Christianity, is simply this: that IF Jesus did have a definite messsage and set of doctrines, the only close record of them is the three synoptic gospels. The gospel of John, reflecting Greek ideas, seems to be a later development.

              So if you want to be (as I used to say when an elder (Pastor)) ' a foot-step follower of Jesus', then the three synoptic gospels give you the best extant picture of his teachings. In those three gospels, Jesus has nothing very much to say about sex or sexuality, and indeed in one gospel story, may even have healed the younger (male) lover of a Roman soldier.

              I'm now 74 and a student of ancient history and the inter-development of religion across Asia. I also study East Asia and the development of an alternative set of beliefs about human nature and needs. Like you I was once (for near 40 long years) deeply involved in a fundamentalist church that kicks out anyone they do not approve of, including some who should be receiving pastoral care. In one case (and I now hang my head in shame) we ex-communicated a young,single girl who had become pregnant. This girl was not very attractive, partly unsighted, not very bright and with little chance of finding a husband. In the rooming house where she lived another man clearly took advantage of her loneliness and sexual needs. Curiously, even the local (bishop) thought we did the right thing. But looking back, I know in my heart that we were a long way from any model of Jesus Christ when we did that.

              So from my age and perspective, may I say one thing. If you as a strong, mature individual see in the gospel picture of Jesus the Christ, a model for youself - then have the balls to follow that model, and then you can't go far wrong can you ? And if any other human tells you that you are wrong, just tell them to argue it out with Jesus as you follwo him and no man.

              with love

              kenni



              --- In Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com, Michael Bottomley <buddy022158@...> wrote:

              Dear Edward D.,

              Thanks for your post. It really opens my eyes. I used to watch Christian television a lot, and I always suspected that Benny Hinn was gay. However, I was completely surprised by the information about Paul Crouch. What amazes me about these stories and similar happenings with priests in the Roman Catholic Church is that these theological leaders never saw a contradiction between what they were preaching and what type of life they were actually living. I myself, even though I am gay, consider myself to be a Christian, and the books of the New Testament show that Jesus himself did not have high regard for hypocrasy, and hippocrites is exactly what Paul Crouch and Benny Hinn are. Thanks again for a brilliant post.

              Sincerely,

              Mike Bottomley

              On Sun, Feb 28, 2010 at 11:10 AM, edward d <edwardxderwent@...>wrote:


              Did you notice the story some days ago, that Benny Hinn's (yes! the famous TV evangelist) wife, was sueing for divorce.


            • Anthony Venn-Brown
              Someone has kindly made a list of the scandals on Wikipedia...many of them gay. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_evangelist_scandals Anthony
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 1, 2010
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                Someone has kindly made a list of the scandals on Wikipedia…….many of them gay.

                 

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_evangelist_scandals

                 

                 

                Anthony Venn-Brown

                Professional Coach, Speaker & LGBT Consultant

                Author of 'A Life of Unlearning - A Journey to Find the Truth'

                Convenor of Freedom 2 b[e]

                Honoured to be on the 2007 & 2009 list of the  25 Most Influential Gay & Lesbian Australians

                T: + 61 (0)2 9699 2448  M: +61 (0)416 015 231  E: anthony@... W: www.anthonyvennbrown.com

                 

                From: Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of edward d
                Sent: Tuesday, 2 March 2010 7:21 AM
                To: Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [Exex-gay] Re: The Benny Hinn story - I'm laughing my balls off !

                 

                 


                I approached posting this story with a little trepidation. When I first read the 'red Pepper' article, I wondered it was true, or was I seeing a church power struggle in Uganda.

                A few things persuaded me. First, the divorce. I googled it, and found the Yahoo article and also comments by someone who claimed to know the wife. (Of course, the trouble with the internet is that anyone can say anything)

                Then (googling again) I found the Paul Crouch angle, and a accusation of homosexuality, carefully covered over.

                Refer: http://www.rickross.com/reference/tbn/tbn19.html for a copy of an original LA Times article.

                Finally, from the angle of ordinary Ugandans that may be gay, is the news that the government is considering the death penalty for men who have sex with men. This apparently at the behest of American evangelists. A terrible crime frpm any viewpoint and something that I doubt that Jesus may have advocated.

                So publish and be damned - grin

                Kenni

                --- In Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com, "edward d" <edwardxderwent@...> wrote:

                >
                >
                > Did you notice the story some days ago, that Benny Hinn's (yes! the famous
                TV evangelist) wife, was sueing for divorce.
                >
                > http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100218/ap_on_...ngelist_divorce

                No virus found in this incoming message.
                Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                Version: 8.5.435 / Virus Database: 271.1.1/2715 - Release Date: 02/28/10 19:34:00

              • Ian Horner
                Dear Mike, Good on you! What you say, I believe, is spot on! And I applaud your stance. Well done, mate. Ian journalist Sydney
                Message 7 of 9 , Apr 8, 2010
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                  Dear Mike,

                  Good on you! What you say, I believe, is spot on! And I applaud your stance.

                  Well done, mate.

                  Ian
                  journalist
                  Sydney

                  -----
                  > Dear Edward D. and other members of this discussion group,
                  >
                  > Hi. Edward D's post makes me think a lot about my own spiritual,
                  > religious
                  > and theological stance. Although I am gay, I am a member and active
                  > participant in a very conservative, fundamentalist Christian church in
                  > Southern California.
                  >
                  > I have thought about participating in ex-homosexual ministries and have
                  > been
                  > encouraged to do so, but have never actually done it. The church that I
                  > attend is constantly ex-communicating people for violations of their
                  > strict
                  > moral code. For this reason, up until about 3 months ago, I have avoided
                  > the gay community because I feared being ex-communicated myself.
                  >
                  > I have told people who were concerned about my participation in this
                  > church
                  > that if I heard anything that I did not agree with, that I would let it go
                  > in one ear and out the other.
                  >
                  > At this point, after reading Edward D's post, I am going to go one step
                  > further. I have occasionally gone to gay coffee houses in the area where
                  > I
                  > live and have just drank coffee and read magazines and such. This is
                  > going
                  > to continue, and I am not really worried about ex-communication anymore.
                  > Besides Edward D's post, I have other reasons for deciding this. I was
                  > listening to an intense sermon this evening and I thought to myself, when
                  > I
                  > appear before God on judgment day, what the people in the pew behind me
                  > think is not going to matter. Salvation is between me and God and no one
                  > else. It does not matter what the preacher, what my parents, neighbors,
                  > the
                  > gay community or the Supreme Pontiff or anyone else thinks of me. It is
                  > what Jesus thinks about me and what I think about myself that will get me
                  > into heaven.
                  >
                  > For this reason, I am not going to worry about ex-communication anymore.
                  > If
                  > there is something in the gay community that I want to do, I will do it.
                  > I
                  > go to the fundamentalist church because there are a lot of sincere people
                  > there who I really like being with and they bring me a lot of happiness.
                  > However, I cannot allow anyone to dictate to me how I am going to live my
                  > life. Again, that is between me and God.
                  >
                  > Any thoughts, feelings, opinions, comments, questions, suggestions or
                  > feedback are welcome. I have seen them ex-communicate a police officer
                  > for
                  > cheating on his wife. They have not allowed a young woman to participate
                  > in
                  > ministry because she had a baby out of wedlock. Who knows? I might be
                  > the
                  > next person on the agenda?
                  >
                  > Sincerely,
                  > Mike Bottomley
                • Michael Bussee
                  Thanks for posting.  Glad you found the group.  Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.  In Him,  Michael ________________________________ From:
                  Message 8 of 9 , Apr 9, 2010
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Thanks for posting.  Glad you found the group.  Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.  In Him,  Michael


                    From: Ian Horner <ihorner@...>
                    To: Exex-gay@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Thu, April 8, 2010 6:10:40 PM
                    Subject: Re: [Exex-gay] The Benny Hinn story

                     

                    Dear Mike,

                    Good on you! What you say, I believe, is spot on! And I applaud your stance.

                    Well done, mate.

                    Ian
                    journalist
                    Sydney

                    -----

                    > Dear Edward D. and other members of this discussion group,
                    >
                    > Hi. Edward D's post makes me think a lot about my own spiritual,
                    > religious
                    > and theological stance. Although I am gay, I am a member and active
                    > participant in a very conservative, fundamentalist Christian church in
                    > Southern California.
                    >
                    > I have thought about participating in ex-homosexual ministries and have
                    > been
                    > encouraged to do so, but have never actually done it. The church that I
                    > attend is constantly ex-communicating people for violations of their
                    > strict
                    > moral code. For this reason, up until about 3 months ago, I have avoided
                    > the gay community because I feared being ex-communicated myself.
                    >
                    > I
                    have told people who were concerned about my participation in this
                    > church
                    > that if I heard anything that I did not agree with, that I would let it go
                    > in one ear and out the other.
                    >
                    > At this point, after reading Edward D's post, I am going to go one step
                    > further. I have occasionally gone to gay coffee houses in the area where
                    > I
                    > live and have just drank coffee and read magazines and such. This is
                    > going
                    > to continue, and I am not really worried about ex-communication anymore.
                    > Besides Edward D's post, I have other reasons for deciding this. I was
                    > listening to an intense sermon this evening and I thought to myself, when
                    > I
                    > appear before God on judgment day, what the people in the pew behind me
                    > think is not going to matter. Salvation is between me and God and no one
                    > else. It does not matter what the preacher, what my parents,
                    neighbors,
                    > the
                    > gay community or the Supreme Pontiff or anyone else thinks of me. It is
                    > what Jesus thinks about me and what I think about myself that will get me
                    > into heaven.
                    >
                    > For this reason, I am not going to worry about ex-communication anymore.
                    > If
                    > there is something in the gay community that I want to do, I will do it.
                    > I
                    > go to the fundamentalist church because there are a lot of sincere people
                    > there who I really like being with and they bring me a lot of happiness.
                    > However, I cannot allow anyone to dictate to me how I am going to live my
                    > life. Again, that is between me and God.
                    >
                    > Any thoughts, feelings, opinions, comments, questions, suggestions or
                    > feedback are welcome. I have seen them ex-communicate a police officer
                    > for
                    > cheating on his wife. They have not allowed a young woman to participate
                    > in
                    >
                    ministry because she had a baby out of wedlock. Who knows? I might be
                    > the
                    > next person on the agenda?
                    >
                    > Sincerely,
                    > Mike Bottomley


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