878GOD POSITIVE by Rembert Truluck
- Sep 4, 2000CALLED OUT INFORMATION SERVICE
Rembert Truluck. Update for August 30, 2000
�Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse� http://www.truluck.com
Thank you for passing this on to others.
WHAT HAS SHAPED YOUR VIEW OF GOD?
All of us have some kind of image of God in our minds. Many different
people, cultures, institutions, and other sources have shaped our views
of God and spirituality. Most of us have been greatly influenced by our
families, friends, teachers and childhood churches in all of our basic
views. Recent years of experience have caused me to rethink everything
that I once assumed about God, religion, spirituality, the Bible, and my
own purpose in life.
Perhaps you have been through some of the same uncertainties and
doubts. You may have given up on God completely. You may have explored
many forms of spirituality and found answers in unexpected places. I
would be very interested in hearing what you have found to bring your
view of God up-to-date and relevant for you now.
YOU DON�T HAVE TO LEAVE THE CHURCH
You don�t have to leave the church. Just act like Jesus, and they will
throw you out!
Just accept all people as having equal value before God regardless of
race, sex, education, status, income, religion, class or sexual
orientation as Jesus did. Make it clear that you follow Jesus and not
biblical literalism, traditional legalism, the Church, or the teachings
of the fundamentalists. Demonstrate your independence and freedom from
abusive religion as Jesus did by accepting and associating with outcasts
and all people who are �different� and you will not have to make a
decision about the church. You will be thrown out �for your own good�
to bring you to repentance and conformity.
THE SHOCKING ACTS OF JESUS
Jesus followed the traditions of his day. He was a teacher. He had
disciples. He sat to teach. His disciples sat �at his feet� as was the
custom. The shocking break with everybody else was that Jesus included
women, tax collectors, �sinners,� rejects and outcasts at his feet as
disciples. Jesus identified with �sinners� (which included anyone who
did not keep the Law.)
Jesus was totally inclusive. Nobody was left out. On the cross as
Jesus was dying in agony and pain, he turned to a dying murderer and
said: I accept and include you too! �Today you will be with me in
Jesus was not just revolutionary and fearless in battling against sick
abusive religion; he was shocking and incomprehensible to the religious
establishment. Jesus was feared and hated by the religious leaders. He
was viewed as a threat to their very survival. Jesus could not win on
the human field of battle. But Jesus refused to back down from total
trust in God. Perhaps the most shocking thing that Jesus did was to
refuse to try to defend himself and to trust only God to control his
Perhaps the most shocking and effective thing that we can do is to let
go of all financial, political, educational and cultural power that has
been amassed by churches and other religious institutions and follow
only Jesus in absolute dependence on God to flow through our lives in
great power and spiritual transformation of ourselves and everything
LET GO AND MOVE ON
Nothing makes me trust the religious system that is in place today. I
receive abusive e-mail in response to my web site every day that gives
eloquent expression to the iron grip that legalistic judgmental religion
in the name of �Christianity� has on millions of people. I also get
e-mail every day from people who have found my web site and have
rejoiced in the liberating good news. All of the debate and arguments of
the past summer of meetings and conferences of the great denominations
has really changed nothing.
Most religious leaders still try to make decisions for their people
instead of teaching them how to make their own decisions that fit them.
Some bishops want to accept gays and some do not. The real question,
however, is: why have bishops? Jesus called us to make disciples by
being teachers, not rulers.
Accurate information that gives the truth about homosexuality and the
Bible, religion, psychology and medicine has been widely available for
years. Many religious leaders and politicians have chosen to ignore the
truth and continue to debate about the value of GLBT human lives. Fear,
ignorance, misunderstandings, prejudice, anger, hate and violence
continue unchecked and grow stronger and more destructive in many parts
of the world.
THE GROWING �EX-GAY MENACE�
Many of the most powerful religious denominations and churches in the
United States are engaging in an accelerated program of religious
�therapies� to change GLBT sexual orientation through �Exodus,� other
smaller groups and a growing army of misguided and mistaken agents,
groups, and financial supporters. This �ex-gay� industry is thriving
with the financial support of many television preachers and other
prominent religious figures. According to the American Psychiatric
Association, the very existence of such �ex-gay� therapies is dangerous
and destructive to homosexuals, who are being given the false idea that
they can or should change their sexual orientation.
On my recent book tour, in e-mail and in many conversations, I am
hearing increasingly about families being torn apart over �ex-gay�
propaganda, parents turning against their own children, and pastors
rebuking their GLBT members because they will not let religion change
their sexual orientations! How can the religion that does not even have
the power to make preachers tell the truth be expected to change sexual
orientation, which the best psychiatrists in the country say cannot be
changed by modern medicine?
I am reading and writing reviews of recent �ex-gay� literature and am
adding them next week to the section in my web site on �The Ex-Gay
THE TIME IS NOW
The time has come to let go and move on. If we follow the clear picture
of Jesus in the Four Gospels and the Spirit of Jesus promised repeatedly
in the Fourth Gospel, we have no choice but to let go and move on. We
can continue to use the same forms that Jesus used of small group
sharing, Bible study, one-to-one ministry, and associating with and
accepting outcast and �unclean� persons as having equal value with
ourselves before God.
Within the simple forms that are available to each of us, we can open
our lives to the guidance and control of the Spirit of God. We can
remain true to the mission of Jesus to demonstrate and teach the
unconditional inclusive love of God for all people. The power for this
mission comes from God, who creates and sustains all things and who
creates and sustains all forms of life.
The potential success of this approach is beyond comprehension. Jesus
long ago said that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given
to him and added that we are to make disciples of all people and then
promised to be with us always to the end of the world. Jesus said: �As
God sent me; so send I you.� Jesus gave you the Holy Spirit and
expected you to learn from the Spirit and be empowered by the Spirit to
change the world.
The repeated emphasis of Jesus in calling people to follow him was that
the only way to enter into the life and mission of Jesus was to let go
of all human resources and �forsaking everything� move on. Some wanted
to cling to family obligations and financial resources. Jesus said
simply: �Follow me.� Jesus frequently broke religious laws in order to
do the will of God.
We have too much. We have so much wealth and material greatness that we
cannot see how letting go could possibly be to our advantage. Churches
and religious leaders have too much power and wealth to risk giving it
up for any reason. The institutions of religion that are already in
place give the illusion of spiritual success and greatness that blinds
millions of people to the emptiness of the entire system. Perhaps the
effects of this system in producing and encouraging homophobia,
suicides, and various other forms of violence against GLBT people is
beginning to open the eyes and awaken the conscience of many people.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
That depends on where you are. Are you so enthralled with the
traditional religious forms and demands that you cannot imagine a better
world? Have the inconsistencies of religion and the empty claims of
religions leaders turned you off so much that you have given up? There
is a much better way. Learn enough about Jesus in the Gospels to make
an intelligent decision about Jesus for you. Nothing could be more
liberating. Find the path that fits you and move on. Jesus did.
To Jesus, people were always more important than religion.
Jesus said: �Follow me, and I will make you to become.�
Do you have the desire and the courage to become your true self?
PO Box 24062
Oakland, CA 94623
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