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RE: [ExExGayMinistry] coercion to join ex-gay ministries?

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  • Chris H
    Hey Pat, Thanks for this post- your story is uncomfortably familiar to me! I think that one of the most damaging messages is that If you don t change (your
    Message 1 of 16 , May 30, 2002
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      Hey Pat,
      Thanks for this post- your story is uncomfortably familiar to me!
      I think that one of the most damaging messages is that 'If you don't
      change (your sexuality), you don't have enough faith, and are therefore
      not good enough/ a failure'. That ends up with one feeling 'not good
      enough for God, otherwise I would have been healed'.
      I too went earnestly to a Living Waters course (run by Exodus
      ministries), and believed that I was 'truly seeking God with all my
      heart'.
      I guess I left because, like you, I gave up. I think the despair
      associated with that process is one of the most potentially damaging
      outcomes- and is positively nurtured by those from whom 'help' and
      'support' have been sought. I know I, for one, am blessed to still be
      alive. I also know now that I am not alone in that sentiment (and there
      are many more who didn't make it.).
      Yes, I am happy and secure in the knowledge that God created me
      lesbian, and the loving, faithful God I have always believed in would
      have changed/healed (whatever.) me if that had genuinely been God's will
      for me.
      My partner now tells me she thinks I should ask for a refund (the
      course cost me considerably, and I made significant sacrifices to get
      there). However, I am secure in my faith, and knowing that I am where I
      need to be (and that is truly a position I spent 30-or-so years getting
      to, and longed for for the greater period of that time).
      Cheers!
      Chris

      -----Original Message-----
      From: patthecatwv [mailto:patthecatwv@...]
      Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2002 3:00 PM
      To: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [ExExGayMinistry] coercion to join ex-gay ministries?

      I think its far too simple to assume that the decision to join an ex-
      gay ministry is one of either being forced into it, or choosing
      entirely freely. I know that I grew up in a dysfunctional family and
      went to dysfunctional churches where the authority of the head of
      household/preacher was all encompassing, where disagreement was
      punished and love and acceptance withheld if there was not immediate
      and total compliance. I learned to obey, that only one way was
      acceptable, and it wasn't mine- it was their interpretation of God's
      will for me. I really did not know how to think for myself, how to
      separate what I had been taught from reality. I didn't even know it
      wasn't real, that there was another way to be that was actually
      healthier and more spiritually based. There was incredible pressure
      placed on the members of those churches to comply, to think and
      believe the same. If you doubted, you lacked faith, you did not
      believe in God, and therefore could not be a part of- to be different
      was a sin in itself. I was so damnably brainwashed, I could not see
      any other way. I had a church pay for me to go to an exodus
      conference, and I went willingly because I believed I would in fact
      go to hell if I could not change, and because I wanted God to love me
      and for them, the people I considered my friends to accept me. I
      stayed just as gay as ever, just more guilt-ridden and ashamed.

      The first time I questioned out loud with a friend of mine whether
      the bible was word for word the word of God, we both cringed,
      literally expecting some kind of terrible judgement-a bolt of
      lightning or something equally drastic. Of course, it didn't happen,
      and I was quite relieved. I laugh about it now, but it took a long
      painful journey to change those spiritually abusive beliefs.
      Of course, I became that "godless liberal" we all feared so much as a
      result of seeking, questioning, doubting, and exploring truth. And,
      they have rejected me, but, as a result of all that reaching out is
      that This person my old church buddies reject now has real faith in
      God. I love him, I do not doubt his love for me now. I believe he
      is there for me always, and that he created me Lesbian- and treasures
      his creation.

      There are books that explain that kind of Christianity/religiosity in
      detail and explain what is wrong with it- "The Subtle Power of
      Spiritual Abuse", and "Toxic Faith" for example. And, there are
      books that explain the journey to learn to think for yourself, that
      journey into self-actualization like "Women's Ways of Knowing".

      To say people are forced into ex-gay ministries does not take into
      account the power of culture, the indoctrination of religion and the
      socialization process. I think most of us try them because we
      believe what we've been taught- that we are terrible, sinful beings
      that will be rejected by God if we don't change. I don't know about
      you, but hell sounded pretty scary to me. And, I wanted the
      acceptance of my fellow church members as well, my church family-
      that is tremendous pressure, to lose the respect of the people you
      trust and depend on.

      I didn't leave the ex-gay ministry because I changed my mind. I left
      because I gave up- realized I was not going to change- nobody else
      really had, we all still felt "lust" for our own sex (amazing how
      they always left out the tenderness, love and romance involved.)
      My attitude changes came much later, after a lot of painful soul-
      searching and prayer, and a spiritual awakening. I'm very grateful
      to God that I made it here, and that there is even more to come, more
      to learn, more growth to experience. Im grateful to know I am loved
      by God and my prayer is that all glbt will come to know that in their
      hearts as well.

      One thing that makes me really sad though, and sometimes afraid as
      well, is knowing that many of my brothers and sisters in Christ will
      always reject and castigate me for being the creation God intended
      for me to be. Part of me craves that acceptance even as I know I
      will never get it from most of them. But, God loves them too, and
      there is hope. After all, I made it out, so can they. Love you
      guys, Pat


      To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      exexgayministry-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com



      Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo!
      <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> Terms of Service.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • nojam75
      Thanks for sharing Pat & Chris! Pat, you make an important distinction in that you didn t decide to leave ex-gay ministry, but you gave up . I relate very
      Message 2 of 16 , Jun 2, 2002
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        Thanks for sharing Pat & Chris!

        Pat, you make an important distinction in that you didn't "decide"
        to leave ex-gay ministry, but you "gave up". I relate very much to
        your experience. Toward the end of my ex-gay experience, I had to
        deal with the feelings of being a failure and a 'gay Christian
        sinner who should know better'. After commiting most of my
        spiritual life and identity to upholding fundamentalist doctrines
        and ex-gay theory, I felt that I was betraying my entire faith
        system when I began reconsider these commitments.

        What I began to realize though, was that I was not fully informed
        when I made these commitments. Being raised in Christian
        fundamentalism, I took certain doctrines for granted without ever
        seriously learning about the history and source of such doctrines.
        Similarly, as a young, confused conservative Christian dealing
        with 'homosexual tendencies', I was vulnerable to any conservative
        Christian group that was willing to address the topic -- such as ex-
        gay ministries. And yet, I was forced to deal with the flaws of
        fundamentalism and ex-gay theory. Toward the end, I began to "give-
        up" trying to reconcile the increasingly complex and confusing
        theories behind fundamentalism and ex-gay theory.

        In hindsight, I view my ex-gay experience as part of my growing
        process. In going through the ex-gay process, I applied a set of
        beliefs that didn't work out for me. I view it as
        necessarily 'giving up' but as 'moving on'.

        - Norm!





        --- In exexgayministry@y..., "Chris H" <itschris@r...> wrote:
        > Hey Pat,
        > Thanks for this post- your story is uncomfortably familiar to me!
        > I think that one of the most damaging messages is that 'If you
        don't
        > change (your sexuality), you don't have enough faith, and are
        therefore
        > not good enough/ a failure'. That ends up with one feeling 'not
        good
        > enough for God, otherwise I would have been healed'.
        > I too went earnestly to a Living Waters course (run by Exodus
        > ministries), and believed that I was 'truly seeking God with all my
        > heart'.
        > I guess I left because, like you, I gave up. I think the despair
        > associated with that process is one of the most potentially
        damaging
        > outcomes- and is positively nurtured by those from whom 'help' and
        > 'support' have been sought. I know I, for one, am blessed to still
        be
        > alive. I also know now that I am not alone in that sentiment (and
        there
        > are many more who didn't make it.).
        > Yes, I am happy and secure in the knowledge that God created me
        > lesbian, and the loving, faithful God I have always believed in
        would
        > have changed/healed (whatever.) me if that had genuinely been
        God's will
        > for me.
        > My partner now tells me she thinks I should ask for a refund (the
        > course cost me considerably, and I made significant sacrifices to
        get
        > there). However, I am secure in my faith, and knowing that I am
        where I
        > need to be (and that is truly a position I spent 30-or-so years
        getting
        > to, and longed for for the greater period of that time).
        > Cheers!
        > Chris
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: patthecatwv [mailto:patthecatwv@y...]
        > Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2002 3:00 PM
        > To: exexgayministry@y...
        > Subject: [ExExGayMinistry] coercion to join ex-gay ministries?
        >
        > I think its far too simple to assume that the decision to join an
        ex-
        > gay ministry is one of either being forced into it, or choosing
        > entirely freely. I know that I grew up in a dysfunctional family
        and
        > went to dysfunctional churches where the authority of the head of
        > household/preacher was all encompassing, where disagreement was
        > punished and love and acceptance withheld if there was not
        immediate
        > and total compliance. I learned to obey, that only one way was
        > acceptable, and it wasn't mine- it was their interpretation of
        God's
        > will for me. I really did not know how to think for myself, how
        to
        > separate what I had been taught from reality. I didn't even know
        it
        > wasn't real, that there was another way to be that was actually
        > healthier and more spiritually based. There was incredible
        pressure
        > placed on the members of those churches to comply, to think and
        > believe the same. If you doubted, you lacked faith, you did not
        > believe in God, and therefore could not be a part of- to be
        different
        > was a sin in itself. I was so damnably brainwashed, I could not
        see
        > any other way. I had a church pay for me to go to an exodus
        > conference, and I went willingly because I believed I would in
        fact
        > go to hell if I could not change, and because I wanted God to love
        me
        > and for them, the people I considered my friends to accept me. I
        > stayed just as gay as ever, just more guilt-ridden and ashamed.
        >
        > The first time I questioned out loud with a friend of mine whether
        > the bible was word for word the word of God, we both cringed,
        > literally expecting some kind of terrible judgement-a bolt of
        > lightning or something equally drastic. Of course, it didn't
        happen,
        > and I was quite relieved. I laugh about it now, but it took a
        long
        > painful journey to change those spiritually abusive beliefs.
        > Of course, I became that "godless liberal" we all feared so much
        as a
        > result of seeking, questioning, doubting, and exploring truth.
        And,
        > they have rejected me, but, as a result of all that reaching out
        is
        > that This person my old church buddies reject now has real faith
        in
        > God. I love him, I do not doubt his love for me now. I believe
        he
        > is there for me always, and that he created me Lesbian- and
        treasures
        > his creation.
        >
        > There are books that explain that kind of Christianity/religiosity
        in
        > detail and explain what is wrong with it- "The Subtle Power of
        > Spiritual Abuse", and "Toxic Faith" for example. And, there are
        > books that explain the journey to learn to think for yourself,
        that
        > journey into self-actualization like "Women's Ways of Knowing".
        >
        > To say people are forced into ex-gay ministries does not take into
        > account the power of culture, the indoctrination of religion and
        the
        > socialization process. I think most of us try them because we
        > believe what we've been taught- that we are terrible, sinful
        beings
        > that will be rejected by God if we don't change. I don't know
        about
        > you, but hell sounded pretty scary to me. And, I wanted the
        > acceptance of my fellow church members as well, my church family-
        > that is tremendous pressure, to lose the respect of the people you
        > trust and depend on.
        >
        > I didn't leave the ex-gay ministry because I changed my mind. I
        left
        > because I gave up- realized I was not going to change- nobody else
        > really had, we all still felt "lust" for our own sex (amazing how
        > they always left out the tenderness, love and romance involved.)
        > My attitude changes came much later, after a lot of painful soul-
        > searching and prayer, and a spiritual awakening. I'm very
        grateful
        > to God that I made it here, and that there is even more to come,
        more
        > to learn, more growth to experience. Im grateful to know I am
        loved
        > by God and my prayer is that all glbt will come to know that in
        their
        > hearts as well.
        >
        > One thing that makes me really sad though, and sometimes afraid as
        > well, is knowing that many of my brothers and sisters in Christ
        will
        > always reject and castigate me for being the creation God intended
        > for me to be. Part of me craves that acceptance even as I know I
        > will never get it from most of them. But, God loves them too, and
        > there is hope. After all, I made it out, so can they. Love you
        > guys, Pat
        >
        >
        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > exexgayministry-unsubscribe@y...
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo!
        > <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> Terms of Service.
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • BearJER@juno.com
        Just curious, Norm. Specifically, what fundamentalist doctrines did you believe then that you no longer believe? --Jerry in Michigan ...
        Message 3 of 16 , Jun 3, 2002
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          Just curious, Norm. Specifically, what fundamentalist doctrines did you
          believe then that you no longer believe?

          --Jerry in Michigan

          On Mon, 03 Jun 2002 05:23:48 -0000 "nojam75" <nojam75@...> writes:
          > Thanks for sharing Pat & Chris!
          >
          > Pat, you make an important distinction in that you didn't "decide"
          > to leave ex-gay ministry, but you "gave up". I relate very much to
          >
          > your experience. Toward the end of my ex-gay experience, I had to
          > deal with the feelings of being a failure and a 'gay Christian
          > sinner who should know better'. After commiting most of my
          > spiritual life and identity to upholding fundamentalist doctrines
          > and ex-gay theory, I felt that I was betraying my entire faith
          > system when I began reconsider these commitments.
          >
          > What I began to realize though, was that I was not fully informed
          > when I made these commitments. Being raised in Christian
          > fundamentalism, I took certain doctrines for granted without ever
          > seriously learning about the history and source of such doctrines.
          >
          > Similarly, as a young, confused conservative Christian dealing
          > with 'homosexual tendencies', I was vulnerable to any conservative
          > Christian group that was willing to address the topic -- such as
          > ex-
          > gay ministries. And yet, I was forced to deal with the flaws of
          > fundamentalism and ex-gay theory. Toward the end, I began to
          > "give-
          > up" trying to reconcile the increasingly complex and confusing
          > theories behind fundamentalism and ex-gay theory.
          >
          > In hindsight, I view my ex-gay experience as part of my growing
          > process. In going through the ex-gay process, I applied a set of
          > beliefs that didn't work out for me. I view it as
          > necessarily 'giving up' but as 'moving on'.
          >
          > - Norm!
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In exexgayministry@y..., "Chris H" <itschris@r...> wrote:
          > > Hey Pat,
          > > Thanks for this post- your story is uncomfortably familiar to
          > me!
          > > I think that one of the most damaging messages is that 'If you
          > don't
          > > change (your sexuality), you don't have enough faith, and are
          > therefore
          > > not good enough/ a failure'. That ends up with one feeling 'not
          > good
          > > enough for God, otherwise I would have been healed'.
          > > I too went earnestly to a Living Waters course (run by Exodus
          > > ministries), and believed that I was 'truly seeking God with all
          > my
          > > heart'.
          > > I guess I left because, like you, I gave up. I think the
          > despair
          > > associated with that process is one of the most potentially
          > damaging
          > > outcomes- and is positively nurtured by those from whom 'help'
          > and
          > > 'support' have been sought. I know I, for one, am blessed to still
          >
          > be
          > > alive. I also know now that I am not alone in that sentiment (and
          >
          > there
          > > are many more who didn't make it.).
          > > Yes, I am happy and secure in the knowledge that God created me
          > > lesbian, and the loving, faithful God I have always believed in
          > would
          > > have changed/healed (whatever.) me if that had genuinely been
          > God's will
          > > for me.
          > > My partner now tells me she thinks I should ask for a refund
          > (the
          > > course cost me considerably, and I made significant sacrifices to
          >
          > get
          > > there). However, I am secure in my faith, and knowing that I am
          > where I
          > > need to be (and that is truly a position I spent 30-or-so years
          > getting
          > > to, and longed for for the greater period of that time).
          > > Cheers!
          > > Chris
          > >
          > > -----Original Message-----
          > > From: patthecatwv [mailto:patthecatwv@y...]
          > > Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2002 3:00 PM
          > > To: exexgayministry@y...
          > > Subject: [ExExGayMinistry] coercion to join ex-gay ministries?
          > >
          > > I think its far too simple to assume that the decision to join an
          >
          > ex-
          > > gay ministry is one of either being forced into it, or choosing
          > > entirely freely. I know that I grew up in a dysfunctional family
          >
          > and
          > > went to dysfunctional churches where the authority of the head of
          >
          > > household/preacher was all encompassing, where disagreement was
          > > punished and love and acceptance withheld if there was not
          > immediate
          > > and total compliance. I learned to obey, that only one way was
          > > acceptable, and it wasn't mine- it was their interpretation of
          > God's
          > > will for me. I really did not know how to think for myself, how
          > to
          > > separate what I had been taught from reality. I didn't even know
          >
          > it
          > > wasn't real, that there was another way to be that was actually
          > > healthier and more spiritually based. There was incredible
          > pressure
          > > placed on the members of those churches to comply, to think and
          > > believe the same. If you doubted, you lacked faith, you did not
          > > believe in God, and therefore could not be a part of- to be
          > different
          > > was a sin in itself. I was so damnably brainwashed, I could not
          > see
          > > any other way. I had a church pay for me to go to an exodus
          > > conference, and I went willingly because I believed I would in
          > fact
          > > go to hell if I could not change, and because I wanted God to love
          >
          > me
          > > and for them, the people I considered my friends to accept me. I
          >
          > > stayed just as gay as ever, just more guilt-ridden and ashamed.
          > >
          > > The first time I questioned out loud with a friend of mine whether
          >
          > > the bible was word for word the word of God, we both cringed,
          > > literally expecting some kind of terrible judgement-a bolt of
          > > lightning or something equally drastic. Of course, it didn't
          > happen,
          > > and I was quite relieved. I laugh about it now, but it took a
          > long
          > > painful journey to change those spiritually abusive beliefs.
          > > Of course, I became that "godless liberal" we all feared so much
          > as a
          > > result of seeking, questioning, doubting, and exploring truth.
          > And,
          > > they have rejected me, but, as a result of all that reaching out
          > is
          > > that This person my old church buddies reject now has real faith
          > in
          > > God. I love him, I do not doubt his love for me now. I believe
          > he
          > > is there for me always, and that he created me Lesbian- and
          > treasures
          > > his creation.
          > >
          > > There are books that explain that kind of Christianity/religiosity
          >
          > in
          > > detail and explain what is wrong with it- "The Subtle Power of
          > > Spiritual Abuse", and "Toxic Faith" for example. And, there are
          > > books that explain the journey to learn to think for yourself,
          > that
          > > journey into self-actualization like "Women's Ways of Knowing".
          > >
          > > To say people are forced into ex-gay ministries does not take into
          >
          > > account the power of culture, the indoctrination of religion and
          > the
          > > socialization process. I think most of us try them because we
          > > believe what we've been taught- that we are terrible, sinful
          > beings
          > > that will be rejected by God if we don't change. I don't know
          > about
          > > you, but hell sounded pretty scary to me. And, I wanted the
          > > acceptance of my fellow church members as well, my church family-
          >
          > > that is tremendous pressure, to lose the respect of the people you
          >
          > > trust and depend on.
          > >
          > > I didn't leave the ex-gay ministry because I changed my mind. I
          > left
          > > because I gave up- realized I was not going to change- nobody else
          >
          > > really had, we all still felt "lust" for our own sex (amazing how
          >
          > > they always left out the tenderness, love and romance involved.)
          > > My attitude changes came much later, after a lot of painful soul-
          > > searching and prayer, and a spiritual awakening. I'm very
          > grateful
          > > to God that I made it here, and that there is even more to come,
          > more
          > > to learn, more growth to experience. Im grateful to know I am
          > loved
          > > by God and my prayer is that all glbt will come to know that in
          > their
          > > hearts as well.
          > >
          > > One thing that makes me really sad though, and sometimes afraid as
          >
          > > well, is knowing that many of my brothers and sisters in Christ
          > will
          > > always reject and castigate me for being the creation God intended
          >
          > > for me to be. Part of me craves that acceptance even as I know I
          >
          > > will never get it from most of them. But, God loves them too, and
          >
          > > there is hope. After all, I made it out, so can they. Love you
          > > guys, Pat
          > >
          > >
          > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > > exexgayministry-unsubscribe@y...
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo!
          > > <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> Terms of Service.
          > >
          > >
          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > exexgayministry-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          >
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
          > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >
          >

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        • nojam75
          I have already had the discussion regarding my views on fundamentalism. Nor is this an appropriate forum to get bogged down into all the nitty-gritty
          Message 4 of 16 , Jun 4, 2002
          • 0 Attachment
            I have already had the discussion regarding my views on
            fundamentalism. Nor is this an appropriate forum to get bogged down
            into all the nitty-gritty theological details.

            What is more relevant is the nature of fundamentalism. The ultimate
            goal of fundamentalism is to defend doctrine while attacking all
            alternative ideas. Similarly, the ex-gay movement seems to be about
            pressuring participants to defend ex-gay theory while attacking any
            alternative ideas about sexuality. Both movements, fundamentalism
            and the ex-gay sub-movement, do not empower their participants, but
            seek to ensure that their participants blindly maintain doctrine.

            - Norm!



            --- In exexgayministry@y..., BearJER@j... wrote:
            > Just curious, Norm. Specifically, what fundamentalist doctrines
            did you
            > believe then that you no longer believe?
            >
            > --Jerry in Michigan
            >
            > On Mon, 03 Jun 2002 05:23:48 -0000 "nojam75" <nojam75@y...> writes:
            > > Thanks for sharing Pat & Chris!
            > >
            > > Pat, you make an important distinction in that you
            didn't "decide"
            > > to leave ex-gay ministry, but you "gave up". I relate very much
            to
            > >
            > > your experience. Toward the end of my ex-gay experience, I had
            to
            > > deal with the feelings of being a failure and a 'gay Christian
            > > sinner who should know better'. After commiting most of my
            > > spiritual life and identity to upholding fundamentalist
            doctrines
            > > and ex-gay theory, I felt that I was betraying my entire faith
            > > system when I began reconsider these commitments.
            > >
            > > What I began to realize though, was that I was not fully
            informed
            > > when I made these commitments. Being raised in Christian
            > > fundamentalism, I took certain doctrines for granted without
            ever
            > > seriously learning about the history and source of such
            doctrines.
            > >
            > > Similarly, as a young, confused conservative Christian dealing
            > > with 'homosexual tendencies', I was vulnerable to any
            conservative
            > > Christian group that was willing to address the topic -- such as
            > > ex-
            > > gay ministries. And yet, I was forced to deal with the flaws of
            > > fundamentalism and ex-gay theory. Toward the end, I began to
            > > "give-
            > > up" trying to reconcile the increasingly complex and confusing
            > > theories behind fundamentalism and ex-gay theory.
            > >
            > > In hindsight, I view my ex-gay experience as part of my growing
            > > process. In going through the ex-gay process, I applied a set
            of
            > > beliefs that didn't work out for me. I view it as
            > > necessarily 'giving up' but as 'moving on'.
            > >
            > > - Norm!
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > --- In exexgayministry@y..., "Chris H" <itschris@r...> wrote:
            > > > Hey Pat,
            > > > Thanks for this post- your story is uncomfortably familiar
            to
            > > me!
            > > > I think that one of the most damaging messages is that 'If
            you
            > > don't
            > > > change (your sexuality), you don't have enough faith, and are
            > > therefore
            > > > not good enough/ a failure'. That ends up with one
            feeling 'not
            > > good
            > > > enough for God, otherwise I would have been healed'.
            > > > I too went earnestly to a Living Waters course (run by Exodus
            > > > ministries), and believed that I was 'truly seeking God with
            all
            > > my
            > > > heart'.
            > > > I guess I left because, like you, I gave up. I think the
            > > despair
            > > > associated with that process is one of the most potentially
            > > damaging
            > > > outcomes- and is positively nurtured by those from whom 'help'
            > > and
            > > > 'support' have been sought. I know I, for one, am blessed to
            still
            > >
            > > be
            > > > alive. I also know now that I am not alone in that sentiment
            (and
            > >
            > > there
            > > > are many more who didn't make it.).
            > > > Yes, I am happy and secure in the knowledge that God created
            me
            > > > lesbian, and the loving, faithful God I have always believed
            in
            > > would
            > > > have changed/healed (whatever.) me if that had genuinely been
            > > God's will
            > > > for me.
            > > > My partner now tells me she thinks I should ask for a refund
            > > (the
            > > > course cost me considerably, and I made significant sacrifices
            to
            > >
            > > get
            > > > there). However, I am secure in my faith, and knowing that I
            am
            > > where I
            > > > need to be (and that is truly a position I spent 30-or-so
            years
            > > getting
            > > > to, and longed for for the greater period of that time).
            > > > Cheers!
            > > > Chris
            > > >
            > > > -----Original Message-----
            > > > From: patthecatwv [mailto:patthecatwv@y...]
            > > > Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2002 3:00 PM
            > > > To: exexgayministry@y...
            > > > Subject: [ExExGayMinistry] coercion to join ex-gay ministries?
            > > >
            > > > I think its far too simple to assume that the decision to join
            an
            > >
            > > ex-
            > > > gay ministry is one of either being forced into it, or
            choosing
            > > > entirely freely. I know that I grew up in a dysfunctional
            family
            > >
            > > and
            > > > went to dysfunctional churches where the authority of the head
            of
            > >
            > > > household/preacher was all encompassing, where disagreement
            was
            > > > punished and love and acceptance withheld if there was not
            > > immediate
            > > > and total compliance. I learned to obey, that only one way
            was
            > > > acceptable, and it wasn't mine- it was their interpretation of
            > > God's
            > > > will for me. I really did not know how to think for myself,
            how
            > > to
            > > > separate what I had been taught from reality. I didn't even
            know
            > >
            > > it
            > > > wasn't real, that there was another way to be that was
            actually
            > > > healthier and more spiritually based. There was incredible
            > > pressure
            > > > placed on the members of those churches to comply, to think
            and
            > > > believe the same. If you doubted, you lacked faith, you did
            not
            > > > believe in God, and therefore could not be a part of- to be
            > > different
            > > > was a sin in itself. I was so damnably brainwashed, I could
            not
            > > see
            > > > any other way. I had a church pay for me to go to an exodus
            > > > conference, and I went willingly because I believed I would in
            > > fact
            > > > go to hell if I could not change, and because I wanted God to
            love
            > >
            > > me
            > > > and for them, the people I considered my friends to accept
            me. I
            > >
            > > > stayed just as gay as ever, just more guilt-ridden and ashamed.
            > > >
            > > > The first time I questioned out loud with a friend of mine
            whether
            > >
            > > > the bible was word for word the word of God, we both cringed,
            > > > literally expecting some kind of terrible judgement-a bolt of
            > > > lightning or something equally drastic. Of course, it didn't
            > > happen,
            > > > and I was quite relieved. I laugh about it now, but it took a
            > > long
            > > > painful journey to change those spiritually abusive beliefs.
            > > > Of course, I became that "godless liberal" we all feared so
            much
            > > as a
            > > > result of seeking, questioning, doubting, and exploring truth.
            > > And,
            > > > they have rejected me, but, as a result of all that reaching
            out
            > > is
            > > > that This person my old church buddies reject now has real
            faith
            > > in
            > > > God. I love him, I do not doubt his love for me now. I
            believe
            > > he
            > > > is there for me always, and that he created me Lesbian- and
            > > treasures
            > > > his creation.
            > > >
            > > > There are books that explain that kind of
            Christianity/religiosity
            > >
            > > in
            > > > detail and explain what is wrong with it- "The Subtle Power of
            > > > Spiritual Abuse", and "Toxic Faith" for example. And, there
            are
            > > > books that explain the journey to learn to think for yourself,
            > > that
            > > > journey into self-actualization like "Women's Ways of
            Knowing".
            > > >
            > > > To say people are forced into ex-gay ministries does not take
            into
            > >
            > > > account the power of culture, the indoctrination of religion
            and
            > > the
            > > > socialization process. I think most of us try them because we
            > > > believe what we've been taught- that we are terrible, sinful
            > > beings
            > > > that will be rejected by God if we don't change. I don't know
            > > about
            > > > you, but hell sounded pretty scary to me. And, I wanted the
            > > > acceptance of my fellow church members as well, my church
            family-
            > >
            > > > that is tremendous pressure, to lose the respect of the people
            you
            > >
            > > > trust and depend on.
            > > >
            > > > I didn't leave the ex-gay ministry because I changed my mind.
            I
            > > left
            > > > because I gave up- realized I was not going to change- nobody
            else
            > >
            > > > really had, we all still felt "lust" for our own sex (amazing
            how
            > >
            > > > they always left out the tenderness, love and romance
            involved.)
            > > > My attitude changes came much later, after a lot of painful
            soul-
            > > > searching and prayer, and a spiritual awakening. I'm very
            > > grateful
            > > > to God that I made it here, and that there is even more to
            come,
            > > more
            > > > to learn, more growth to experience. Im grateful to know I am
            > > loved
            > > > by God and my prayer is that all glbt will come to know that
            in
            > > their
            > > > hearts as well.
            > > >
            > > > One thing that makes me really sad though, and sometimes
            afraid as
            > >
            > > > well, is knowing that many of my brothers and sisters in
            Christ
            > > will
            > > > always reject and castigate me for being the creation God
            intended
            > >
            > > > for me to be. Part of me craves that acceptance even as I
            know I
            > >
            > > > will never get it from most of them. But, God loves them too,
            and
            > >
            > > > there is hope. After all, I made it out, so can they. Love
            you
            > > > guys, Pat
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > > > exexgayministry-unsubscribe@y...
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo!
            > > > <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> Terms of Service.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >
            > >
            > > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
            > >
            > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > > exexgayministry-unsubscribe@y...
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
            > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            > ________________________________________________________________
            > GET INTERNET ACCESS FROM JUNO!
            > Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less!
            > Join Juno today! For your FREE software, visit:
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          • calldon2k
            ... Norm, THAT is a great observation! Maintaining their version of pure doctrine seems to be the goal. Never mind if they insult the intelligence of every
            Message 5 of 16 , Jun 4, 2002
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              --- In exexgayministry@y..., "nojam75" <nojam75@y...> wrote:
              >Both movements, fundamentalism
              > and the ex-gay sub-movement, do not empower their participants, but
              > seek to ensure that their participants blindly maintain doctrine.
              >
              > - Norm!

              Norm, THAT is a great observation!

              Maintaining their version of "pure doctrine" seems to be the goal.
              Never mind if they insult the intelligence of every other person
              along the way.

              "My mind's made up...don't confuse me with facts."

              ==========================
            • BearJER@juno.com
              Norm, I was brought up in a church which prided itself in being fundamental to the gospel. Recently, there has been a shift in that church in stating that
              Message 6 of 16 , Jun 5, 2002
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                Norm, I was brought up in a church which prided itself in being
                "fundamental" to the gospel. Recently, there has been a shift in that
                church in stating that they are primarily evangelical, rather than
                wanting to be known by the term fundmentalists. I just think it is
                unfortunate that the meanings of words actually get changed (kind of like
                in pscyhology - social constructionism).

                There is nothing at all wrong with fundamental Christianity as it means
                you believe in God and what he says in the Bible, though we do differ on
                certain applications of scripture. The fundamentals such as Jesus died
                for our sins, rose again, etc. are pretty much solid to our faith and
                have to be or we couldn't consider ourselves Christians. I am just sorry
                the definitions of words get messed up. The secular media actually did
                that to us. The call RADICAL muslims like the suicide bombers
                FUNDAMENTALISTS. A better choice of description would be LEGALISTS,
                RADICALS, HATE-MONGERS, whatever. I dislike the fact that we allow
                non-Christian media types to change the definitions of words. Do you get
                my drift? We are now mis-using the term FUNDAMENTAL completely from its
                original definition, and that is fact!!

                Thanks for listening,

                Jerry Boor

                On Tue, 04 Jun 2002 07:03:26 -0000 "nojam75" <nojam75@...> writes:
                > I have already had the discussion regarding my views on
                > fundamentalism. Nor is this an appropriate forum to get bogged down
                >
                > into all the nitty-gritty theological details.
                >
                > What is more relevant is the nature of fundamentalism. The ultimate
                >
                > goal of fundamentalism is to defend doctrine while attacking all
                > alternative ideas. Similarly, the ex-gay movement seems to be about
                >
                > pressuring participants to defend ex-gay theory while attacking any
                >
                > alternative ideas about sexuality. Both movements, fundamentalism
                > and the ex-gay sub-movement, do not empower their participants, but
                >
                > seek to ensure that their participants blindly maintain doctrine.
                >
                > - Norm!
                >
                >
                >
                > --- In exexgayministry@y..., BearJER@j... wrote:
                > > Just curious, Norm. Specifically, what fundamentalist doctrines
                > did you
                > > believe then that you no longer believe?
                > >
                > > --Jerry in Michigan
                > >
                > > On Mon, 03 Jun 2002 05:23:48 -0000 "nojam75" <nojam75@y...>
                > writes:
                > > > Thanks for sharing Pat & Chris!
                > > >
                > > > Pat, you make an important distinction in that you
                > didn't "decide"
                > > > to leave ex-gay ministry, but you "gave up". I relate very much
                >
                > to
                > > >
                > > > your experience. Toward the end of my ex-gay experience, I had
                >
                > to
                > > > deal with the feelings of being a failure and a 'gay Christian
                > > > sinner who should know better'. After commiting most of my
                > > > spiritual life and identity to upholding fundamentalist
                > doctrines
                > > > and ex-gay theory, I felt that I was betraying my entire faith
                > > > system when I began reconsider these commitments.
                > > >
                > > > What I began to realize though, was that I was not fully
                > informed
                > > > when I made these commitments. Being raised in Christian
                > > > fundamentalism, I took certain doctrines for granted without
                > ever
                > > > seriously learning about the history and source of such
                > doctrines.
                > > >
                > > > Similarly, as a young, confused conservative Christian dealing
                > > > with 'homosexual tendencies', I was vulnerable to any
                > conservative
                > > > Christian group that was willing to address the topic -- such as
                >
                > > > ex-
                > > > gay ministries. And yet, I was forced to deal with the flaws of
                >
                > > > fundamentalism and ex-gay theory. Toward the end, I began to
                > > > "give-
                > > > up" trying to reconcile the increasingly complex and confusing
                > > > theories behind fundamentalism and ex-gay theory.
                > > >
                > > > In hindsight, I view my ex-gay experience as part of my growing
                >
                > > > process. In going through the ex-gay process, I applied a set
                > of
                > > > beliefs that didn't work out for me. I view it as
                > > > necessarily 'giving up' but as 'moving on'.
                > > >
                > > > - Norm!
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > --- In exexgayministry@y..., "Chris H" <itschris@r...> wrote:
                > > > > Hey Pat,
                > > > > Thanks for this post- your story is uncomfortably familiar
                > to
                > > > me!
                > > > > I think that one of the most damaging messages is that 'If
                > you
                > > > don't
                > > > > change (your sexuality), you don't have enough faith, and are
                >
                > > > therefore
                > > > > not good enough/ a failure'. That ends up with one
                > feeling 'not
                > > > good
                > > > > enough for God, otherwise I would have been healed'.
                > > > > I too went earnestly to a Living Waters course (run by
                > Exodus
                > > > > ministries), and believed that I was 'truly seeking God with
                > all
                > > > my
                > > > > heart'.
                > > > > I guess I left because, like you, I gave up. I think the
                > > > despair
                > > > > associated with that process is one of the most potentially
                > > > damaging
                > > > > outcomes- and is positively nurtured by those from whom 'help'
                >
                > > > and
                > > > > 'support' have been sought. I know I, for one, am blessed to
                > still
                > > >
                > > > be
                > > > > alive. I also know now that I am not alone in that sentiment
                > (and
                > > >
                > > > there
                > > > > are many more who didn't make it.).
                > > > > Yes, I am happy and secure in the knowledge that God created
                >
                > me
                > > > > lesbian, and the loving, faithful God I have always believed
                > in
                > > > would
                > > > > have changed/healed (whatever.) me if that had genuinely been
                >
                > > > God's will
                > > > > for me.
                > > > > My partner now tells me she thinks I should ask for a refund
                >
                > > > (the
                > > > > course cost me considerably, and I made significant sacrifices
                >
                > to
                > > >
                > > > get
                > > > > there). However, I am secure in my faith, and knowing that I
                > am
                > > > where I
                > > > > need to be (and that is truly a position I spent 30-or-so
                > years
                > > > getting
                > > > > to, and longed for for the greater period of that time).
                > > > > Cheers!
                > > > > Chris
                > > > >
                > > > > -----Original Message-----
                > > > > From: patthecatwv [mailto:patthecatwv@y...]
                > > > > Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2002 3:00 PM
                > > > > To: exexgayministry@y...
                > > > > Subject: [ExExGayMinistry] coercion to join ex-gay
                > ministries?
                > > > >
                > > > > I think its far too simple to assume that the decision to join
                >
                > an
                > > >
                > > > ex-
                > > > > gay ministry is one of either being forced into it, or
                > choosing
                > > > > entirely freely. I know that I grew up in a dysfunctional
                > family
                > > >
                > > > and
                > > > > went to dysfunctional churches where the authority of the head
                >
                > of
                > > >
                > > > > household/preacher was all encompassing, where disagreement
                > was
                > > > > punished and love and acceptance withheld if there was not
                > > > immediate
                > > > > and total compliance. I learned to obey, that only one way
                > was
                > > > > acceptable, and it wasn't mine- it was their interpretation of
                >
                > > > God's
                > > > > will for me. I really did not know how to think for myself,
                > how
                > > > to
                > > > > separate what I had been taught from reality. I didn't even
                > know
                > > >
                > > > it
                > > > > wasn't real, that there was another way to be that was
                > actually
                > > > > healthier and more spiritually based. There was incredible
                > > > pressure
                > > > > placed on the members of those churches to comply, to think
                > and
                > > > > believe the same. If you doubted, you lacked faith, you did
                > not
                > > > > believe in God, and therefore could not be a part of- to be
                > > > different
                > > > > was a sin in itself. I was so damnably brainwashed, I could
                > not
                > > > see
                > > > > any other way. I had a church pay for me to go to an exodus
                > > > > conference, and I went willingly because I believed I would in
                >
                > > > fact
                > > > > go to hell if I could not change, and because I wanted God to
                >
                > love
                > > >
                > > > me
                > > > > and for them, the people I considered my friends to accept
                > me. I
                > > >
                > > > > stayed just as gay as ever, just more guilt-ridden and
                > ashamed.
                > > > >
                > > > > The first time I questioned out loud with a friend of mine
                > whether
                > > >
                > > > > the bible was word for word the word of God, we both cringed,
                >
                > > > > literally expecting some kind of terrible judgement-a bolt of
                >
                > > > > lightning or something equally drastic. Of course, it didn't
                >
                > > > happen,
                > > > > and I was quite relieved. I laugh about it now, but it took a
                >
                > > > long
                > > > > painful journey to change those spiritually abusive beliefs.
                >
                > > > > Of course, I became that "godless liberal" we all feared so
                > much
                > > > as a
                > > > > result of seeking, questioning, doubting, and exploring truth.
                >
                > > > And,
                > > > > they have rejected me, but, as a result of all that reaching
                > out
                > > > is
                > > > > that This person my old church buddies reject now has real
                > faith
                > > > in
                > > > > God. I love him, I do not doubt his love for me now. I
                > believe
                > > > he
                > > > > is there for me always, and that he created me Lesbian- and
                > > > treasures
                > > > > his creation.
                > > > >
                > > > > There are books that explain that kind of
                > Christianity/religiosity
                > > >
                > > > in
                > > > > detail and explain what is wrong with it- "The Subtle Power of
                >
                > > > > Spiritual Abuse", and "Toxic Faith" for example. And, there
                > are
                > > > > books that explain the journey to learn to think for yourself,
                >
                > > > that
                > > > > journey into self-actualization like "Women's Ways of
                > Knowing".
                > > > >
                > > > > To say people are forced into ex-gay ministries does not take
                >
                > into
                > > >
                > > > > account the power of culture, the indoctrination of religion
                > and
                > > > the
                > > > > socialization process. I think most of us try them because we
                >
                > > > > believe what we've been taught- that we are terrible, sinful
                > > > beings
                > > > > that will be rejected by God if we don't change. I don't know
                >
                > > > about
                > > > > you, but hell sounded pretty scary to me. And, I wanted the
                > > > > acceptance of my fellow church members as well, my church
                > family-
                > > >
                > > > > that is tremendous pressure, to lose the respect of the people
                >
                > you
                > > >
                > > > > trust and depend on.
                > > > >
                > > > > I didn't leave the ex-gay ministry because I changed my mind.
                >
                > I
                > > > left
                > > > > because I gave up- realized I was not going to change- nobody
                >
                > else
                > > >
                > > > > really had, we all still felt "lust" for our own sex (amazing
                >
                > how
                > > >
                > > > > they always left out the tenderness, love and romance
                > involved.)
                > > > > My attitude changes came much later, after a lot of painful
                > soul-
                > > > > searching and prayer, and a spiritual awakening. I'm very
                > > > grateful
                > > > > to God that I made it here, and that there is even more to
                > come,
                > > > more
                > > > > to learn, more growth to experience. Im grateful to know I am
                >
                > > > loved
                > > > > by God and my prayer is that all glbt will come to know that
                > in
                > > > their
                > > > > hearts as well.
                > > > >
                > > > > One thing that makes me really sad though, and sometimes
                > afraid as
                > > >
                > > > > well, is knowing that many of my brothers and sisters in
                > Christ
                > > > will
                > > > > always reject and castigate me for being the creation God
                > intended
                > > >
                > > > > for me to be. Part of me craves that acceptance even as I
                > know I
                > > >
                > > > > will never get it from most of them. But, God loves them too,
                >
                > and
                > > >
                > > > > there is hope. After all, I made it out, so can they. Love
                > you
                > > > > guys, Pat
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > > > > exexgayministry-unsubscribe@y...
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo!
                > > > > <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> Terms of Service.
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                > > >
                > > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > > > exexgayministry-unsubscribe@y...
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                > > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > > ________________________________________________________________
                > > GET INTERNET ACCESS FROM JUNO!
                > > Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less!
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                >
                >
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                >
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                >
                >
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                >
                >

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              • nojam75
                According to Bruce Bawer s book, Stealing Jesus, the term fundamentalist was coined in 1920 by the editor of a Baptist publication to refer to the
                Message 7 of 16 , Jun 5, 2002
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                  According to Bruce Bawer's book, Stealing Jesus, the
                  term 'fundamentalist' was coined in 1920 by the editor of a Baptist
                  publication to refer to the anti-modernist group of Baptists. When
                  I use the term, I refer to the fundamentalist vs. modernist debate
                  within Christianity regarding the approaches to understanding the
                  Bible and the message of Christianity. I would consider myself a
                  fundamentalist to modernist convert.

                  I agree that since 1920 the use of the term, 'fundamentalist', has
                  been expanded to include extremists in other religions such as those
                  within Islam. In fact, since 9/11 there have been bin Laden/Falwell
                  and al-Qaida/Religious-Right comparisons made. So, I understand
                  why 'fundamentalist' is a touchy term. Maybe I should
                  use 'theologically-conservative Christian' instead.

                  On the other hand though, promoting the idea of a God who creates
                  and damns people to eternal hell over petty theological differences
                  seems like a form of terrorism to me. Bishop John Shelby Spong even
                  calls evangelism a form of violence. So, I've never quite
                  understood the distinction some would like to make between
                  Evangelism and what you call 'Legalism'. Generally, both are rooted
                  in fundamentalism and fear. However, Evangelism was developed as
                  the more marketable form of fundamentalism in our consumer culture.
                  It's interesting that although hell is an essential doctrine of
                  Evangelism, it seems to be rarely mentioned -- kinda like the way a
                  drug commercial downplays the potential side effects.

                  Why would we only call a gay-basher a hate-monger? How is telling a
                  gay person to go to hell any worse than telling a non-Christian to
                  go to hell? I know, I know "It's not me -- IT'S GOD'S WORD.
                  Therefore, I'm not responsible for the message."

                  - Norm!



                  --- In exexgayministry@y..., BearJER@j... wrote:
                  > Norm, I was brought up in a church which prided itself in being
                  > "fundamental" to the gospel. Recently, there has been a shift in
                  that
                  > church in stating that they are primarily evangelical, rather than
                  > wanting to be known by the term fundmentalists. I just think it is
                  > unfortunate that the meanings of words actually get changed (kind
                  of like
                  > in pscyhology - social constructionism).
                  >
                  > There is nothing at all wrong with fundamental Christianity as it
                  means
                  > you believe in God and what he says in the Bible, though we do
                  differ on
                  > certain applications of scripture. The fundamentals such as Jesus
                  died
                  > for our sins, rose again, etc. are pretty much solid to our faith
                  and
                  > have to be or we couldn't consider ourselves Christians. I am
                  just sorry
                  > the definitions of words get messed up. The secular media
                  actually did
                  > that to us. The call RADICAL muslims like the suicide bombers
                  > FUNDAMENTALISTS. A better choice of description would be
                  LEGALISTS,
                  > RADICALS, HATE-MONGERS, whatever. I dislike the fact that we allow
                  > non-Christian media types to change the definitions of words. Do
                  you get
                  > my drift? We are now mis-using the term FUNDAMENTAL completely
                  from its
                  > original definition, and that is fact!!
                  >
                  > Thanks for listening,
                  >
                  > Jerry Boor
                  >
                  > On Tue, 04 Jun 2002 07:03:26 -0000 "nojam75" <nojam75@y...> writes:
                  > > I have already had the discussion regarding my views on
                  > > fundamentalism. Nor is this an appropriate forum to get bogged
                  down
                  > >
                  > > into all the nitty-gritty theological details.
                  > >
                  > > What is more relevant is the nature of fundamentalism. The
                  ultimate
                  > >
                  > > goal of fundamentalism is to defend doctrine while attacking all
                  > > alternative ideas. Similarly, the ex-gay movement seems to be
                  about
                  > >
                  > > pressuring participants to defend ex-gay theory while attacking
                  any
                  > >
                  > > alternative ideas about sexuality. Both movements,
                  fundamentalism
                  > > and the ex-gay sub-movement, do not empower their participants,
                  but
                  > >
                  > > seek to ensure that their participants blindly maintain
                  doctrine.
                  > >
                  > > - Norm!
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > --- In exexgayministry@y..., BearJER@j... wrote:
                  > > > Just curious, Norm. Specifically, what fundamentalist
                  doctrines
                  > > did you
                  > > > believe then that you no longer believe?
                  > > >
                  > > > --Jerry in Michigan
                  > > >
                  > > > On Mon, 03 Jun 2002 05:23:48 -0000 "nojam75" <nojam75@y...>
                  > > writes:
                  > > > > Thanks for sharing Pat & Chris!
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Pat, you make an important distinction in that you
                  > > didn't "decide"
                  > > > > to leave ex-gay ministry, but you "gave up". I relate very
                  much
                  > >
                  > > to
                  > > > >
                  > > > > your experience. Toward the end of my ex-gay experience, I
                  had
                  > >
                  > > to
                  > > > > deal with the feelings of being a failure and a 'gay
                  Christian
                  > > > > sinner who should know better'. After commiting most of my
                  > > > > spiritual life and identity to upholding fundamentalist
                  > > doctrines
                  > > > > and ex-gay theory, I felt that I was betraying my entire
                  faith
                  > > > > system when I began reconsider these commitments.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > What I began to realize though, was that I was not fully
                  > > informed
                  > > > > when I made these commitments. Being raised in Christian
                  > > > > fundamentalism, I took certain doctrines for granted without
                  > > ever
                  > > > > seriously learning about the history and source of such
                  > > doctrines.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Similarly, as a young, confused conservative Christian
                  dealing
                  > > > > with 'homosexual tendencies', I was vulnerable to any
                  > > conservative
                  > > > > Christian group that was willing to address the topic --
                  such as
                  > >
                  > > > > ex-
                  > > > > gay ministries. And yet, I was forced to deal with the
                  flaws of
                  > >
                  > > > > fundamentalism and ex-gay theory. Toward the end, I began
                  to
                  > > > > "give-
                  > > > > up" trying to reconcile the increasingly complex and
                  confusing
                  > > > > theories behind fundamentalism and ex-gay theory.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > In hindsight, I view my ex-gay experience as part of my
                  growing
                  > >
                  > > > > process. In going through the ex-gay process, I applied a
                  set
                  > > of
                  > > > > beliefs that didn't work out for me. I view it as
                  > > > > necessarily 'giving up' but as 'moving on'.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > - Norm!
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > --- In exexgayministry@y..., "Chris H" <itschris@r...> wrote:
                  > > > > > Hey Pat,
                  > > > > > Thanks for this post- your story is uncomfortably
                  familiar
                  > > to
                  > > > > me!
                  > > > > > I think that one of the most damaging messages is
                  that 'If
                  > > you
                  > > > > don't
                  > > > > > change (your sexuality), you don't have enough faith, and
                  are
                  > >
                  > > > > therefore
                  > > > > > not good enough/ a failure'. That ends up with one
                  > > feeling 'not
                  > > > > good
                  > > > > > enough for God, otherwise I would have been healed'.
                  > > > > > I too went earnestly to a Living Waters course (run by
                  > > Exodus
                  > > > > > ministries), and believed that I was 'truly seeking God
                  with
                  > > all
                  > > > > my
                  > > > > > heart'.
                  > > > > > I guess I left because, like you, I gave up. I think the
                  > > > > despair
                  > > > > > associated with that process is one of the most
                  potentially
                  > > > > damaging
                  > > > > > outcomes- and is positively nurtured by those from
                  whom 'help'
                  > >
                  > > > > and
                  > > > > > 'support' have been sought. I know I, for one, am blessed
                  to
                  > > still
                  > > > >
                  > > > > be
                  > > > > > alive. I also know now that I am not alone in that
                  sentiment
                  > > (and
                  > > > >
                  > > > > there
                  > > > > > are many more who didn't make it.).
                  > > > > > Yes, I am happy and secure in the knowledge that God
                  created
                  > >
                  > > me
                  > > > > > lesbian, and the loving, faithful God I have always
                  believed
                  > > in
                  > > > > would
                  > > > > > have changed/healed (whatever.) me if that had genuinely
                  been
                  > >
                  > > > > God's will
                  > > > > > for me.
                  > > > > > My partner now tells me she thinks I should ask for a
                  refund
                  > >
                  > > > > (the
                  > > > > > course cost me considerably, and I made significant
                  sacrifices
                  > >
                  > > to
                  > > > >
                  > > > > get
                  > > > > > there). However, I am secure in my faith, and knowing that
                  I
                  > > am
                  > > > > where I
                  > > > > > need to be (and that is truly a position I spent 30-or-so
                  > > years
                  > > > > getting
                  > > > > > to, and longed for for the greater period of that time).
                  > > > > > Cheers!
                  > > > > > Chris
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > -----Original Message-----
                  > > > > > From: patthecatwv [mailto:patthecatwv@y...]
                  > > > > > Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2002 3:00 PM
                  > > > > > To: exexgayministry@y...
                  > > > > > Subject: [ExExGayMinistry] coercion to join ex-gay
                  > > ministries?
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > I think its far too simple to assume that the decision to
                  join
                  > >
                  > > an
                  > > > >
                  > > > > ex-
                  > > > > > gay ministry is one of either being forced into it, or
                  > > choosing
                  > > > > > entirely freely. I know that I grew up in a dysfunctional
                  > > family
                  > > > >
                  > > > > and
                  > > > > > went to dysfunctional churches where the authority of the
                  head
                  > >
                  > > of
                  > > > >
                  > > > > > household/preacher was all encompassing, where
                  disagreement
                  > > was
                  > > > > > punished and love and acceptance withheld if there was not
                  > > > > immediate
                  > > > > > and total compliance. I learned to obey, that only one
                  way
                  > > was
                  > > > > > acceptable, and it wasn't mine- it was their
                  interpretation of
                  > >
                  > > > > God's
                  > > > > > will for me. I really did not know how to think for
                  myself,
                  > > how
                  > > > > to
                  > > > > > separate what I had been taught from reality. I didn't
                  even
                  > > know
                  > > > >
                  > > > > it
                  > > > > > wasn't real, that there was another way to be that was
                  > > actually
                  > > > > > healthier and more spiritually based. There was
                  incredible
                  > > > > pressure
                  > > > > > placed on the members of those churches to comply, to
                  think
                  > > and
                  > > > > > believe the same. If you doubted, you lacked faith, you
                  did
                  > > not
                  > > > > > believe in God, and therefore could not be a part of- to
                  be
                  > > > > different
                  > > > > > was a sin in itself. I was so damnably brainwashed, I
                  could
                  > > not
                  > > > > see
                  > > > > > any other way. I had a church pay for me to go to an
                  exodus
                  > > > > > conference, and I went willingly because I believed I
                  would in
                  > >
                  > > > > fact
                  > > > > > go to hell if I could not change, and because I wanted God
                  to
                  > >
                  > > love
                  > > > >
                  > > > > me
                  > > > > > and for them, the people I considered my friends to accept
                  > > me. I
                  > > > >
                  > > > > > stayed just as gay as ever, just more guilt-ridden and
                  > > ashamed.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > The first time I questioned out loud with a friend of mine
                  > > whether
                  > > > >
                  > > > > > the bible was word for word the word of God, we both
                  cringed,
                  > >
                  > > > > > literally expecting some kind of terrible judgement-a bolt
                  of
                  > >
                  > > > > > lightning or something equally drastic. Of course, it
                  didn't
                  > >
                  > > > > happen,
                  > > > > > and I was quite relieved. I laugh about it now, but it
                  took a
                  > >
                  > > > > long
                  > > > > > painful journey to change those spiritually abusive
                  beliefs.
                  > >
                  > > > > > Of course, I became that "godless liberal" we all feared
                  so
                  > > much
                  > > > > as a
                  > > > > > result of seeking, questioning, doubting, and exploring
                  truth.
                  > >
                  > > > > And,
                  > > > > > they have rejected me, but, as a result of all that
                  reaching
                  > > out
                  > > > > is
                  > > > > > that This person my old church buddies reject now has real
                  > > faith
                  > > > > in
                  > > > > > God. I love him, I do not doubt his love for me now. I
                  > > believe
                  > > > > he
                  > > > > > is there for me always, and that he created me Lesbian-
                  and
                  > > > > treasures
                  > > > > > his creation.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > There are books that explain that kind of
                  > > Christianity/religiosity
                  > > > >
                  > > > > in
                  > > > > > detail and explain what is wrong with it- "The Subtle
                  Power of
                  > >
                  > > > > > Spiritual Abuse", and "Toxic Faith" for example. And,
                  there
                  > > are
                  > > > > > books that explain the journey to learn to think for
                  yourself,
                  > >
                  > > > > that
                  > > > > > journey into self-actualization like "Women's Ways of
                  > > Knowing".
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > To say people are forced into ex-gay ministries does not
                  take
                  > >
                  > > into
                  > > > >
                  > > > > > account the power of culture, the indoctrination of
                  religion
                  > > and
                  > > > > the
                  > > > > > socialization process. I think most of us try them
                  because we
                  > >
                  > > > > > believe what we've been taught- that we are terrible,
                  sinful
                  > > > > beings
                  > > > > > that will be rejected by God if we don't change. I don't
                  know
                  > >
                  > > > > about
                  > > > > > you, but hell sounded pretty scary to me. And, I wanted
                  the
                  > > > > > acceptance of my fellow church members as well, my church
                  > > family-
                  > > > >
                  > > > > > that is tremendous pressure, to lose the respect of the
                  people
                  > >
                  > > you
                  > > > >
                  > > > > > trust and depend on.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > I didn't leave the ex-gay ministry because I changed my
                  mind.
                  > >
                  > > I
                  > > > > left
                  > > > > > because I gave up- realized I was not going to change-
                  nobody
                  > >
                  > > else
                  > > > >
                  > > > > > really had, we all still felt "lust" for our own sex
                  (amazing
                  > >
                  > > how
                  > > > >
                  > > > > > they always left out the tenderness, love and romance
                  > > involved.)
                  > > > > > My attitude changes came much later, after a lot of
                  painful
                  > > soul-
                  > > > > > searching and prayer, and a spiritual awakening. I'm very
                  > > > > grateful
                  > > > > > to God that I made it here, and that there is even more to
                  > > come,
                  > > > > more
                  > > > > > to learn, more growth to experience. Im grateful to know
                  I am
                  > >
                  > > > > loved
                  > > > > > by God and my prayer is that all glbt will come to know
                  that
                  > > in
                  > > > > their
                  > > > > > hearts as well.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > One thing that makes me really sad though, and sometimes
                  > > afraid as
                  > > > >
                  > > > > > well, is knowing that many of my brothers and sisters in
                  > > Christ
                  > > > > will
                  > > > > > always reject and castigate me for being the creation God
                  > > intended
                  > > > >
                  > > > > > for me to be. Part of me craves that acceptance even as I
                  > > know I
                  > > > >
                  > > > > > will never get it from most of them. But, God loves them
                  too,
                  > >
                  > > and
                  > > > >
                  > > > > > there is hope. After all, I made it out, so can they.
                  Love
                  > > you
                  > > > > > guys, Pat
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  > > > > > exexgayministry-unsubscribe@y...
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
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                  > > > > > <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> Terms of Service.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > > > >
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                • BearJER@juno.com
                  On Thu, 06 Jun 2002 04:53:34 -0000 nojam75 writes: Bishop John Shelby Spong even calls evangelism a form of violence. So, I ve never
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jun 6, 2002
                  • 0 Attachment
                    On Thu, 06 Jun 2002 04:53:34 -0000 "nojam75" <nojam75@...> writes:

                    Bishop John Shelby Spong even calls evangelism a form of violence. So,
                    I've never quite
                    understood the distinction some would like to make between Evangelism and
                    what you call Legalism'. Generally, both are rooted in fundamentalism
                    and fear. However, Evangelism was developed as the more marketable form
                    of fundamentalism in our consumer culture.

                    REPLY: Norm, I wouldn't quibble with you over the some of the terms too
                    much, but I have to respectfully disagree with you and Spong on the true
                    meaning of evangelism. That term comes from a Greek word which means to
                    take the gospel to the world. That is what Jesus said, "Go into all the
                    world and preach the gospel to every person." That is evangelism in its
                    purest form, not spreading petty doctrines, but spreading the good news
                    that Jesus came into the world to save us. So, sorry, Bishop or no
                    Bishop, Spong's statement about evangelism being violent doesn't make
                    biblical sense to me. That would be the same thing as saying Jesus
                    himself was violent because he very much taught Christians to be
                    evangelistic.

                    Jerry


                    >
                    >
                    > --- In exexgayministry@y..., BearJER@j... wrote:
                    > > Norm, I was brought up in a church which prided itself in being
                    > > "fundamental" to the gospel. Recently, there has been a shift in
                    >
                    > that
                    > > church in stating that they are primarily evangelical, rather
                    > than
                    > > wanting to be known by the term fundmentalists. I just think it
                    > is
                    > > unfortunate that the meanings of words actually get changed (kind
                    >
                    > of like
                    > > in pscyhology - social constructionism).
                    > >
                    > > There is nothing at all wrong with fundamental Christianity as it
                    >
                    > means
                    > > you believe in God and what he says in the Bible, though we do
                    > differ on
                    > > certain applications of scripture. The fundamentals such as Jesus
                    >
                    > died
                    > > for our sins, rose again, etc. are pretty much solid to our faith
                    >
                    > and
                    > > have to be or we couldn't consider ourselves Christians. I am
                    > just sorry
                    > > the definitions of words get messed up. The secular media
                    > actually did
                    > > that to us. The call RADICAL muslims like the suicide bombers
                    > > FUNDAMENTALISTS. A better choice of description would be
                    > LEGALISTS,
                    > > RADICALS, HATE-MONGERS, whatever. I dislike the fact that we
                    > allow
                    > > non-Christian media types to change the definitions of words. Do
                    >
                    > you get
                    > > my drift? We are now mis-using the term FUNDAMENTAL completely
                    > from its
                    > > original definition, and that is fact!!
                    > >
                    > > Thanks for listening,
                    > >
                    > > Jerry Boor
                    > >
                    > > On Tue, 04 Jun 2002 07:03:26 -0000 "nojam75" <nojam75@y...>
                    > writes:
                    > > > I have already had the discussion regarding my views on
                    > > > fundamentalism. Nor is this an appropriate forum to get bogged
                    >
                    > down
                    > > >
                    > > > into all the nitty-gritty theological details.
                    > > >
                    > > > What is more relevant is the nature of fundamentalism. The
                    > ultimate
                    > > >
                    > > > goal of fundamentalism is to defend doctrine while attacking all
                    >
                    > > > alternative ideas. Similarly, the ex-gay movement seems to be
                    > about
                    > > >
                    > > > pressuring participants to defend ex-gay theory while attacking
                    >
                    > any
                    > > >
                    > > > alternative ideas about sexuality. Both movements,
                    > fundamentalism
                    > > > and the ex-gay sub-movement, do not empower their participants,
                    >
                    > but
                    > > >
                    > > > seek to ensure that their participants blindly maintain
                    > doctrine.
                    > > >
                    > > > - Norm!
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > --- In exexgayministry@y..., BearJER@j... wrote:
                    > > > > Just curious, Norm. Specifically, what fundamentalist
                    > doctrines
                    > > > did you
                    > > > > believe then that you no longer believe?
                    > > > >
                    > > > > --Jerry in Michigan
                    > > > >
                    > > > > On Mon, 03 Jun 2002 05:23:48 -0000 "nojam75" <nojam75@y...>
                    > > > writes:
                    > > > > > Thanks for sharing Pat & Chris!
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Pat, you make an important distinction in that you
                    > > > didn't "decide"
                    > > > > > to leave ex-gay ministry, but you "gave up". I relate very
                    >
                    > much
                    > > >
                    > > > to
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > your experience. Toward the end of my ex-gay experience, I
                    >
                    > had
                    > > >
                    > > > to
                    > > > > > deal with the feelings of being a failure and a 'gay
                    > Christian
                    > > > > > sinner who should know better'. After commiting most of my
                    >
                    > > > > > spiritual life and identity to upholding fundamentalist
                    > > > doctrines
                    > > > > > and ex-gay theory, I felt that I was betraying my entire
                    > faith
                    > > > > > system when I began reconsider these commitments.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > What I began to realize though, was that I was not fully
                    > > > informed
                    > > > > > when I made these commitments. Being raised in Christian
                    > > > > > fundamentalism, I took certain doctrines for granted without
                    >
                    > > > ever
                    > > > > > seriously learning about the history and source of such
                    > > > doctrines.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Similarly, as a young, confused conservative Christian
                    > dealing
                    > > > > > with 'homosexual tendencies', I was vulnerable to any
                    > > > conservative
                    > > > > > Christian group that was willing to address the topic --
                    > such as
                    > > >
                    > > > > > ex-
                    > > > > > gay ministries. And yet, I was forced to deal with the
                    > flaws of
                    > > >
                    > > > > > fundamentalism and ex-gay theory. Toward the end, I began
                    > to
                    > > > > > "give-
                    > > > > > up" trying to reconcile the increasingly complex and
                    > confusing
                    > > > > > theories behind fundamentalism and ex-gay theory.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > In hindsight, I view my ex-gay experience as part of my
                    > growing
                    > > >
                    > > > > > process. In going through the ex-gay process, I applied a
                    > set
                    > > > of
                    > > > > > beliefs that didn't work out for me. I view it as
                    > > > > > necessarily 'giving up' but as 'moving on'.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > - Norm!
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > --- In exexgayministry@y..., "Chris H" <itschris@r...>
                    > wrote:
                    > > > > > > Hey Pat,
                    > > > > > > Thanks for this post- your story is uncomfortably
                    > familiar
                    > > > to
                    > > > > > me!
                    > > > > > > I think that one of the most damaging messages is
                    > that 'If
                    > > > you
                    > > > > > don't
                    > > > > > > change (your sexuality), you don't have enough faith, and
                    >
                    > are
                    > > >
                    > > > > > therefore
                    > > > > > > not good enough/ a failure'. That ends up with one
                    > > > feeling 'not
                    > > > > > good
                    > > > > > > enough for God, otherwise I would have been healed'.
                    > > > > > > I too went earnestly to a Living Waters course (run by
                    > > > Exodus
                    > > > > > > ministries), and believed that I was 'truly seeking God
                    > with
                    > > > all
                    > > > > > my
                    > > > > > > heart'.
                    > > > > > > I guess I left because, like you, I gave up. I think the
                    >
                    > > > > > despair
                    > > > > > > associated with that process is one of the most
                    > potentially
                    > > > > > damaging
                    > > > > > > outcomes- and is positively nurtured by those from
                    > whom 'help'
                    > > >
                    > > > > > and
                    > > > > > > 'support' have been sought. I know I, for one, am blessed
                    >
                    > to
                    > > > still
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > be
                    > > > > > > alive. I also know now that I am not alone in that
                    > sentiment
                    > > > (and
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > there
                    > > > > > > are many more who didn't make it.).
                    > > > > > > Yes, I am happy and secure in the knowledge that God
                    > created
                    > > >
                    > > > me
                    > > > > > > lesbian, and the loving, faithful God I have always
                    > believed
                    > > > in
                    > > > > > would
                    > > > > > > have changed/healed (whatever.) me if that had genuinely
                    > been
                    > > >
                    > > > > > God's will
                    > > > > > > for me.
                    > > > > > > My partner now tells me she thinks I should ask for a
                    > refund
                    > > >
                    > > > > > (the
                    > > > > > > course cost me considerably, and I made significant
                    > sacrifices
                    > > >
                    > > > to
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > get
                    > > > > > > there). However, I am secure in my faith, and knowing that
                    >
                    > I
                    > > > am
                    > > > > > where I
                    > > > > > > need to be (and that is truly a position I spent 30-or-so
                    >
                    > > > years
                    > > > > > getting
                    > > > > > > to, and longed for for the greater period of that time).
                    > > > > > > Cheers!
                    > > > > > > Chris
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > -----Original Message-----
                    > > > > > > From: patthecatwv [mailto:patthecatwv@y...]
                    > > > > > > Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2002 3:00 PM
                    > > > > > > To: exexgayministry@y...
                    > > > > > > Subject: [ExExGayMinistry] coercion to join ex-gay
                    > > > ministries?
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > I think its far too simple to assume that the decision to
                    >
                    > join
                    > > >
                    > > > an
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > ex-
                    > > > > > > gay ministry is one of either being forced into it, or
                    > > > choosing
                    > > > > > > entirely freely. I know that I grew up in a dysfunctional
                    >
                    > > > family
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > and
                    > > > > > > went to dysfunctional churches where the authority of the
                    >
                    > head
                    > > >
                    > > > of
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > > household/preacher was all encompassing, where
                    > disagreement
                    > > > was
                    > > > > > > punished and love and acceptance withheld if there was not
                    >
                    > > > > > immediate
                    > > > > > > and total compliance. I learned to obey, that only one
                    > way
                    > > > was
                    > > > > > > acceptable, and it wasn't mine- it was their
                    > interpretation of
                    > > >
                    > > > > > God's
                    > > > > > > will for me. I really did not know how to think for
                    > myself,
                    > > > how
                    > > > > > to
                    > > > > > > separate what I had been taught from reality. I didn't
                    > even
                    > > > know
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > it
                    > > > > > > wasn't real, that there was another way to be that was
                    > > > actually
                    > > > > > > healthier and more spiritually based. There was
                    > incredible
                    > > > > > pressure
                    > > > > > > placed on the members of those churches to comply, to
                    > think
                    > > > and
                    > > > > > > believe the same. If you doubted, you lacked faith, you
                    > did
                    > > > not
                    > > > > > > believe in God, and therefore could not be a part of- to
                    > be
                    > > > > > different
                    > > > > > > was a sin in itself. I was so damnably brainwashed, I
                    > could
                    > > > not
                    > > > > > see
                    > > > > > > any other way. I had a church pay for me to go to an
                    > exodus
                    > > > > > > conference, and I went willingly because I believed I
                    > would in
                    > > >
                    > > > > > fact
                    > > > > > > go to hell if I could not change, and because I wanted God
                    >
                    > to
                    > > >
                    > > > love
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > me
                    > > > > > > and for them, the people I considered my friends to accept
                    >
                    > > > me. I
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > > stayed just as gay as ever, just more guilt-ridden and
                    > > > ashamed.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > The first time I questioned out loud with a friend of mine
                    >
                    > > > whether
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > > the bible was word for word the word of God, we both
                    > cringed,
                    > > >
                    > > > > > > literally expecting some kind of terrible judgement-a bolt
                    >
                    > of
                    > > >
                    > > > > > > lightning or something equally drastic. Of course, it
                    > didn't
                    > > >
                    > > > > > happen,
                    > > > > > > and I was quite relieved. I laugh about it now, but it
                    > took a
                    > > >
                    > > > > > long
                    > > > > > > painful journey to change those spiritually abusive
                    > beliefs.
                    > > >
                    > > > > > > Of course, I became that "godless liberal" we all feared
                    > so
                    > > > much
                    > > > > > as a
                    > > > > > > result of seeking, questioning, doubting, and exploring
                    > truth.
                    > > >
                    > > > > > And,
                    > > > > > > they have rejected me, but, as a result of all that
                    > reaching
                    > > > out
                    > > > > > is
                    > > > > > > that This person my old church buddies reject now has real
                    >
                    > > > faith
                    > > > > > in
                    > > > > > > God. I love him, I do not doubt his love for me now. I
                    > > > believe
                    > > > > > he
                    > > > > > > is there for me always, and that he created me Lesbian-
                    > and
                    > > > > > treasures
                    > > > > > > his creation.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > There are books that explain that kind of
                    > > > Christianity/religiosity
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > in
                    > > > > > > detail and explain what is wrong with it- "The Subtle
                    > Power of
                    > > >
                    > > > > > > Spiritual Abuse", and "Toxic Faith" for example. And,
                    > there
                    > > > are
                    > > > > > > books that explain the journey to learn to think for
                    > yourself,
                    > > >
                    > > > > > that
                    > > > > > > journey into self-actualization like "Women's Ways of
                    > > > Knowing".
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > To say people are forced into ex-gay ministries does not
                    > take
                    > > >
                    > > > into
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > > account the power of culture, the indoctrination of
                    > religion
                    > > > and
                    > > > > > the
                    > > > > > > socialization process. I think most of us try them
                    > because we
                    > > >
                    > > > > > > believe what we've been taught- that we are terrible,
                    > sinful
                    > > > > > beings
                    > > > > > > that will be rejected by God if we don't change. I don't
                    >
                    > know
                    > > >
                    > > > > > about
                    > > > > > > you, but hell sounded pretty scary to me. And, I wanted
                    > the
                    > > > > > > acceptance of my fellow church members as well, my church
                    >
                    > > > family-
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > > that is tremendous pressure, to lose the respect of the
                    > people
                    > > >
                    > > > you
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > > trust and depend on.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > I didn't leave the ex-gay ministry because I changed my
                    > mind.
                    > > >
                    > > > I
                    > > > > > left
                    > > > > > > because I gave up- realized I was not going to change-
                    > nobody
                    > > >
                    > > > else
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > > really had, we all still felt "lust" for our own sex
                    > (amazing
                    > > >
                    > > > how
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > > they always left out the tenderness, love and romance
                    > > > involved.)
                    > > > > > > My attitude changes came much later, after a lot of
                    > painful
                    > > > soul-
                    > > > > > > searching and prayer, and a spiritual awakening. I'm very
                    >
                    > > > > > grateful
                    > > > > > > to God that I made it here, and that there is even more to
                    >
                    > > > come,
                    > > > > > more
                    > > > > > > to learn, more growth to experience. Im grateful to know
                    >
                    > I am
                    > > >
                    > > > > > loved
                    > > > > > > by God and my prayer is that all glbt will come to know
                    > that
                    > > > in
                    > > > > > their
                    > > > > > > hearts as well.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > One thing that makes me really sad though, and sometimes
                    > > > afraid as
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > > well, is knowing that many of my brothers and sisters in
                    > > > Christ
                    > > > > > will
                    > > > > > > always reject and castigate me for being the creation God
                    >
                    > > > intended
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > > for me to be. Part of me craves that acceptance even as I
                    >
                    > > > know I
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > > will never get it from most of them. But, God loves them
                    >
                    > too,
                    > > >
                    > > > and
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > > there is hope. After all, I made it out, so can they.
                    > Love
                    > > > you
                    > > > > > > guys, Pat
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                    > > > > > > exexgayministry-unsubscribe@y...
                    > > > > > >
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                  • calldon2k
                    ... That definition is only partially correct. Bawer leaves out WHAT a fundamentalist is. The term was used because, unlike the growing trend, this group
                    Message 9 of 16 , Jun 6, 2002
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                      --- In exexgayministry@y..., "nojam75" <nojam75@y...> wrote:
                      > According to Bruce Bawer's book, Stealing Jesus, the
                      > term 'fundamentalist' was coined in 1920 by the editor of a Baptist
                      > publication to refer to the anti-modernist group of Baptists.

                      That definition is only partially correct. Bawer leaves out WHAT a
                      fundamentalist is. The term was used because, unlike the growing
                      trend, this group still believed the fundamentals of the faith, i.e.,
                      the virgin birth, the sufficiency of the Scriptures, the
                      substitutionary atonement, the bodily resurrection, etc.

                      Obviously, embracing those ideas has nothing to do with war, murder,
                      and such.

                      >When
                      > I use the term, I refer to the fundamentalist vs. modernist debate
                      > within Christianity regarding the approaches to understanding the
                      > Bible and the message of Christianity. I would consider myself a
                      > fundamentalist to modernist convert.

                      I would not consider "modernist" the opposite of fundamentalist.

                      >Bishop John Shelby Spong even
                      > calls evangelism a form of violence.

                      That can go both ways. I have been on the receiving end of the
                      verble wrath and condescending attitudes from "modernists/liberals"
                      simply because I took a stand (political or religious) that was
                      slightly more "conservative" then the majority in the room.
                      The "violence" goes both ways. Those who were supposed to
                      be "liberal" or open-minded were as closed minded as those they were
                      accusing!

                      >So, I've never quite
                      > understood the distinction some would like to make between
                      > Evangelism and what you call 'Legalism'.

                      Legalism has nothing to do with Christianity. Librarians are
                      legalistic. Anyone who emphasises the letter of the law over the
                      spirit of the law is legalistic. Evangelism and legalism are not
                      even related. Norm, read up on it.

                      >However, Evangelism was developed as
                      > the more marketable form of fundamentalism in our consumer
                      culture.

                      "Developed" by whom? That comment is based upon a lack of
                      understanding of BOTH!

                      > It's interesting that although hell is an essential doctrine of
                      > Evangelism, it seems to be rarely mentioned -- kinda like the way a
                      > drug commercial downplays the potential side effects.

                      Actually, Jesus spoke ALLOT about hell and spoke of it often. Rather
                      than post pages and pages of scripture, I will invite you to check
                      this web site. There are many others but this will give you an idea
                      of how often Jesus mentioned hell.
                      http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Shores/2800/JesusonHell.html

                      Or, just read a few of these to see what Jesus himself said about
                      hell.

                      Matt 7:19, 13:40, 25:41
                      Matt 18:8, 25:41
                      Mark 3:29
                      Matt 5:22, 18:9, Mark 9:47
                      Matt 23:14, Mark 12:40, Luke 20:47
                      Matt 23:33
                      John 5:29
                      Matt 13:42, 50
                      Mark 9:43, 45
                      Mark 9:44, 46, 48
                      Mark 9:44, 46, 48
                      Matt 13:42, 50
                      Matt 8:12, 22:13, 25:30
                      Luke 16:23
                      Luke 16:24
                      Luke 16:28
                      Matt 8:12, 22:13
                      Matt 25:46

                      >I know, I know "It's not me -- IT'S GOD'S WORD.
                      > Therefore, I'm not responsible for the message."

                      I don't like it either when people target gay folks or any other
                      group, while ignoring the 50% of the congregation that is divorced as
                      if God has focused on those "nasty homos."

                      Norm, you seem to have lumped all non-"modernists" into the same
                      category. Believe me, they are not the same.

                      I used to be an ultra-right-wing-fundamentalist-legalist, bible-
                      banger. Everyone else was going to hell, period! Fortunately, I
                      realized that the "legalists" application of scripture simply did not
                      gel with real life. After 20-more years, I would say that I still
                      hold most of the fundamentals of the faith, but my application of the
                      scriptures is certainly what some would call liberal...but they did
                      that 20-years ago, too.

                      Liberal, fundamentalist, evangelical, legalist, modernist...all
                      different terms not usually related. I know liberal evangelicals and
                      ultra-conservative, legalistic evangelicals. The terms are not
                      interchangable.

                      D*
                    • nojam75
                      Jerry, I agree that Evangelism in its purist form should about sharing and living up to Jesus message. However, I can t say that the Evangelism I ve seen is
                      Message 10 of 16 , Jun 8, 2002
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                        Jerry, I agree that Evangelism in its purist form should about
                        sharing and living up to Jesus' message. However, I can't say that
                        the Evangelism I've seen is anywhere near this definition. More
                        often I've seen self-proclaimed Evangelists and churches turn Jesus'
                        message into marketing slogans and recruitment drives. This type of
                        Evangelism leads to a 'us vs them' mentality and eventually bitter
                        disputes over definitions of what the fundmentals of the faith are.

                        As for Bishop Spong's comments, I will not attempt to speak for
                        him. To be fair, Spong comments were pre-9/11, so I don't think he
                        was referring to physical violence. In its worse forms though, I
                        think Evangelism can lead to very nasty tactics such as scaring kids
                        with hell to convert, targeting specific less-powerful classes of
                        people for conversion, and attacking alternative beliefs systems.

                        - Norm!




                        --- In exexgayministry@y..., BearJER@j... wrote:
                        >
                        > On Thu, 06 Jun 2002 04:53:34 -0000 "nojam75" <nojam75@y...> writes:
                        >
                        > Bishop John Shelby Spong even calls evangelism a form of
                        violence. So,
                        > I've never quite
                        > understood the distinction some would like to make between
                        Evangelism and
                        > what you call Legalism'. Generally, both are rooted in
                        fundamentalism
                        > and fear. However, Evangelism was developed as the more
                        marketable form
                        > of fundamentalism in our consumer culture.
                        >
                        > REPLY: Norm, I wouldn't quibble with you over the some of the
                        terms too
                        > much, but I have to respectfully disagree with you and Spong on
                        the true
                        > meaning of evangelism. That term comes from a Greek word which
                        means to
                        > take the gospel to the world. That is what Jesus said, "Go into
                        all the
                        > world and preach the gospel to every person." That is evangelism
                        in its
                        > purest form, not spreading petty doctrines, but spreading the good
                        news
                        > that Jesus came into the world to save us. So, sorry, Bishop or no
                        > Bishop, Spong's statement about evangelism being violent doesn't
                        make
                        > biblical sense to me. That would be the same thing as saying Jesus
                        > himself was violent because he very much taught Christians to be
                        > evangelistic.
                        >
                        > Jerry
                        >
                        >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > --- In exexgayministry@y..., BearJER@j... wrote:
                        > > > Norm, I was brought up in a church which prided itself in being
                        > > > "fundamental" to the gospel. Recently, there has been a shift
                        in
                        > >
                        > > that
                        > > > church in stating that they are primarily evangelical, rather
                        > > than
                        > > > wanting to be known by the term fundmentalists. I just think
                        it
                        > > is
                        > > > unfortunate that the meanings of words actually get changed
                        (kind
                        > >
                        > > of like
                        > > > in pscyhology - social constructionism).
                        > > >
                        > > > There is nothing at all wrong with fundamental Christianity as
                        it
                        > >
                        > > means
                        > > > you believe in God and what he says in the Bible, though we do
                        > > differ on
                        > > > certain applications of scripture. The fundamentals such as
                        Jesus
                        > >
                        > > died
                        > > > for our sins, rose again, etc. are pretty much solid to our
                        faith
                        > >
                        > > and
                        > > > have to be or we couldn't consider ourselves Christians. I am
                        > > just sorry
                        > > > the definitions of words get messed up. The secular media
                        > > actually did
                        > > > that to us. The call RADICAL muslims like the suicide bombers
                        > > > FUNDAMENTALISTS. A better choice of description would be
                        > > LEGALISTS,
                        > > > RADICALS, HATE-MONGERS, whatever. I dislike the fact that we
                        > > allow
                        > > > non-Christian media types to change the definitions of words.
                        Do
                        > >
                        > > you get
                        > > > my drift? We are now mis-using the term FUNDAMENTAL
                        completely
                        > > from its
                        > > > original definition, and that is fact!!
                        > > >
                        > > > Thanks for listening,
                        > > >
                        > > > Jerry Boor
                        > > >
                        > > > On Tue, 04 Jun 2002 07:03:26 -0000 "nojam75" <nojam75@y...>
                        > > writes:
                        > > > > I have already had the discussion regarding my views on
                        > > > > fundamentalism. Nor is this an appropriate forum to get
                        bogged
                        > >
                        > > down
                        > > > >
                        > > > > into all the nitty-gritty theological details.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > What is more relevant is the nature of fundamentalism. The
                        > > ultimate
                        > > > >
                        > > > > goal of fundamentalism is to defend doctrine while attacking
                        all
                        > >
                        > > > > alternative ideas. Similarly, the ex-gay movement seems to
                        be
                        > > about
                        > > > >
                        > > > > pressuring participants to defend ex-gay theory while
                        attacking
                        > >
                        > > any
                        > > > >
                        > > > > alternative ideas about sexuality. Both movements,
                        > > fundamentalism
                        > > > > and the ex-gay sub-movement, do not empower their
                        participants,
                        > >
                        > > but
                        > > > >
                        > > > > seek to ensure that their participants blindly maintain
                        > > doctrine.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > - Norm!
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > > --- In exexgayministry@y..., BearJER@j... wrote:
                        > > > > > Just curious, Norm. Specifically, what fundamentalist
                        > > doctrines
                        > > > > did you
                        > > > > > believe then that you no longer believe?
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > --Jerry in Michigan
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > On Mon, 03 Jun 2002 05:23:48 -0000 "nojam75"
                        <nojam75@y...>
                        > > > > writes:
                        > > > > > > Thanks for sharing Pat & Chris!
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > Pat, you make an important distinction in that you
                        > > > > didn't "decide"
                        > > > > > > to leave ex-gay ministry, but you "gave up". I relate
                        very
                        > >
                        > > much
                        > > > >
                        > > > > to
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > your experience. Toward the end of my ex-gay
                        experience, I
                        > >
                        > > had
                        > > > >
                        > > > > to
                        > > > > > > deal with the feelings of being a failure and a 'gay
                        > > Christian
                        > > > > > > sinner who should know better'. After commiting most of
                        my
                        > >
                        > > > > > > spiritual life and identity to upholding fundamentalist
                        > > > > doctrines
                        > > > > > > and ex-gay theory, I felt that I was betraying my entire
                        > > faith
                        > > > > > > system when I began reconsider these commitments.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > What I began to realize though, was that I was not fully
                        > > > > informed
                        > > > > > > when I made these commitments. Being raised in
                        Christian
                        > > > > > > fundamentalism, I took certain doctrines for granted
                        without
                        > >
                        > > > > ever
                        > > > > > > seriously learning about the history and source of such
                        > > > > doctrines.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > Similarly, as a young, confused conservative Christian
                        > > dealing
                        > > > > > > with 'homosexual tendencies', I was vulnerable to any
                        > > > > conservative
                        > > > > > > Christian group that was willing to address the topic --
                        > > such as
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > ex-
                        > > > > > > gay ministries. And yet, I was forced to deal with the
                        > > flaws of
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > fundamentalism and ex-gay theory. Toward the end, I
                        began
                        > > to
                        > > > > > > "give-
                        > > > > > > up" trying to reconcile the increasingly complex and
                        > > confusing
                        > > > > > > theories behind fundamentalism and ex-gay theory.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > In hindsight, I view my ex-gay experience as part of my
                        > > growing
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > process. In going through the ex-gay process, I applied
                        a
                        > > set
                        > > > > of
                        > > > > > > beliefs that didn't work out for me. I view it as
                        > > > > > > necessarily 'giving up' but as 'moving on'.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > - Norm!
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > --- In exexgayministry@y..., "Chris H" <itschris@r...>
                        > > wrote:
                        > > > > > > > Hey Pat,
                        > > > > > > > Thanks for this post- your story is uncomfortably
                        > > familiar
                        > > > > to
                        > > > > > > me!
                        > > > > > > > I think that one of the most damaging messages is
                        > > that 'If
                        > > > > you
                        > > > > > > don't
                        > > > > > > > change (your sexuality), you don't have enough faith,
                        and
                        > >
                        > > are
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > therefore
                        > > > > > > > not good enough/ a failure'. That ends up with one
                        > > > > feeling 'not
                        > > > > > > good
                        > > > > > > > enough for God, otherwise I would have been healed'.
                        > > > > > > > I too went earnestly to a Living Waters course (run
                        by
                        > > > > Exodus
                        > > > > > > > ministries), and believed that I was 'truly seeking
                        God
                        > > with
                        > > > > all
                        > > > > > > my
                        > > > > > > > heart'.
                        > > > > > > > I guess I left because, like you, I gave up. I think
                        the
                        > >
                        > > > > > > despair
                        > > > > > > > associated with that process is one of the most
                        > > potentially
                        > > > > > > damaging
                        > > > > > > > outcomes- and is positively nurtured by those from
                        > > whom 'help'
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > and
                        > > > > > > > 'support' have been sought. I know I, for one, am
                        blessed
                        > >
                        > > to
                        > > > > still
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > be
                        > > > > > > > alive. I also know now that I am not alone in that
                        > > sentiment
                        > > > > (and
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > there
                        > > > > > > > are many more who didn't make it.).
                        > > > > > > > Yes, I am happy and secure in the knowledge that God
                        > > created
                        > > > >
                        > > > > me
                        > > > > > > > lesbian, and the loving, faithful God I have always
                        > > believed
                        > > > > in
                        > > > > > > would
                        > > > > > > > have changed/healed (whatever.) me if that had
                        genuinely
                        > > been
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > God's will
                        > > > > > > > for me.
                        > > > > > > > My partner now tells me she thinks I should ask for
                        a
                        > > refund
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > (the
                        > > > > > > > course cost me considerably, and I made significant
                        > > sacrifices
                        > > > >
                        > > > > to
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > get
                        > > > > > > > there). However, I am secure in my faith, and knowing
                        that
                        > >
                        > > I
                        > > > > am
                        > > > > > > where I
                        > > > > > > > need to be (and that is truly a position I spent 30-or-
                        so
                        > >
                        > > > > years
                        > > > > > > getting
                        > > > > > > > to, and longed for for the greater period of that
                        time).
                        > > > > > > > Cheers!
                        > > > > > > > Chris
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > -----Original Message-----
                        > > > > > > > From: patthecatwv [mailto:patthecatwv@y...]
                        > > > > > > > Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2002 3:00 PM
                        > > > > > > > To: exexgayministry@y...
                        > > > > > > > Subject: [ExExGayMinistry] coercion to join ex-gay
                        > > > > ministries?
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > I think its far too simple to assume that the decision
                        to
                        > >
                        > > join
                        > > > >
                        > > > > an
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > ex-
                        > > > > > > > gay ministry is one of either being forced into it, or
                        > > > > choosing
                        > > > > > > > entirely freely. I know that I grew up in a
                        dysfunctional
                        > >
                        > > > > family
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > and
                        > > > > > > > went to dysfunctional churches where the authority of
                        the
                        > >
                        > > head
                        > > > >
                        > > > > of
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > household/preacher was all encompassing, where
                        > > disagreement
                        > > > > was
                        > > > > > > > punished and love and acceptance withheld if there was
                        not
                        > >
                        > > > > > > immediate
                        > > > > > > > and total compliance. I learned to obey, that only
                        one
                        > > way
                        > > > > was
                        > > > > > > > acceptable, and it wasn't mine- it was their
                        > > interpretation of
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > God's
                        > > > > > > > will for me. I really did not know how to think for
                        > > myself,
                        > > > > how
                        > > > > > > to
                        > > > > > > > separate what I had been taught from reality. I
                        didn't
                        > > even
                        > > > > know
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > it
                        > > > > > > > wasn't real, that there was another way to be that was
                        > > > > actually
                        > > > > > > > healthier and more spiritually based. There was
                        > > incredible
                        > > > > > > pressure
                        > > > > > > > placed on the members of those churches to comply, to
                        > > think
                        > > > > and
                        > > > > > > > believe the same. If you doubted, you lacked faith,
                        you
                        > > did
                        > > > > not
                        > > > > > > > believe in God, and therefore could not be a part of-
                        to
                        > > be
                        > > > > > > different
                        > > > > > > > was a sin in itself. I was so damnably brainwashed, I
                        > > could
                        > > > > not
                        > > > > > > see
                        > > > > > > > any other way. I had a church pay for me to go to an
                        > > exodus
                        > > > > > > > conference, and I went willingly because I believed I
                        > > would in
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > fact
                        > > > > > > > go to hell if I could not change, and because I wanted
                        God
                        > >
                        > > to
                        > > > >
                        > > > > love
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > me
                        > > > > > > > and for them, the people I considered my friends to
                        accept
                        > >
                        > > > > me. I
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > stayed just as gay as ever, just more guilt-ridden and
                        > > > > ashamed.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > The first time I questioned out loud with a friend of
                        mine
                        > >
                        > > > > whether
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > the bible was word for word the word of God, we both
                        > > cringed,
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > > literally expecting some kind of terrible judgement-a
                        bolt
                        > >
                        > > of
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > > lightning or something equally drastic. Of course, it
                        > > didn't
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > happen,
                        > > > > > > > and I was quite relieved. I laugh about it now, but
                        it
                        > > took a
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > long
                        > > > > > > > painful journey to change those spiritually abusive
                        > > beliefs.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Of course, I became that "godless liberal" we all
                        feared
                        > > so
                        > > > > much
                        > > > > > > as a
                        > > > > > > > result of seeking, questioning, doubting, and
                        exploring
                        > > truth.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > And,
                        > > > > > > > they have rejected me, but, as a result of all that
                        > > reaching
                        > > > > out
                        > > > > > > is
                        > > > > > > > that This person my old church buddies reject now has
                        real
                        > >
                        > > > > faith
                        > > > > > > in
                        > > > > > > > God. I love him, I do not doubt his love for me now.
                        I
                        > > > > believe
                        > > > > > > he
                        > > > > > > > is there for me always, and that he created me Lesbian-

                        > > and
                        > > > > > > treasures
                        > > > > > > > his creation.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > There are books that explain that kind of
                        > > > > Christianity/religiosity
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > in
                        > > > > > > > detail and explain what is wrong with it- "The Subtle
                        > > Power of
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Spiritual Abuse", and "Toxic Faith" for example. And,
                        > > there
                        > > > > are
                        > > > > > > > books that explain the journey to learn to think for
                        > > yourself,
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > that
                        > > > > > > > journey into self-actualization like "Women's Ways of
                        > > > > Knowing".
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > To say people are forced into ex-gay ministries does
                        not
                        > > take
                        > > > >
                        > > > > into
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > account the power of culture, the indoctrination of
                        > > religion
                        > > > > and
                        > > > > > > the
                        > > > > > > > socialization process. I think most of us try them
                        > > because we
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > > believe what we've been taught- that we are terrible,
                        > > sinful
                        > > > > > > beings
                        > > > > > > > that will be rejected by God if we don't change. I
                        don't
                        > >
                        > > know
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > about
                        > > > > > > > you, but hell sounded pretty scary to me. And, I
                        wanted
                        > > the
                        > > > > > > > acceptance of my fellow church members as well, my
                        church
                        > >
                        > > > > family-
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > that is tremendous pressure, to lose the respect of
                        the
                        > > people
                        > > > >
                        > > > > you
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > trust and depend on.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > I didn't leave the ex-gay ministry because I changed
                        my
                        > > mind.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > I
                        > > > > > > left
                        > > > > > > > because I gave up- realized I was not going to change-
                        > > nobody
                        > > > >
                        > > > > else
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > really had, we all still felt "lust" for our own sex
                        > > (amazing
                        > > > >
                        > > > > how
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > they always left out the tenderness, love and romance
                        > > > > involved.)
                        > > > > > > > My attitude changes came much later, after a lot of
                        > > painful
                        > > > > soul-
                        > > > > > > > searching and prayer, and a spiritual awakening. I'm
                        very
                        > >
                        > > > > > > grateful
                        > > > > > > > to God that I made it here, and that there is even
                        more to
                        > >
                        > > > > come,
                        > > > > > > more
                        > > > > > > > to learn, more growth to experience. Im grateful to
                        know
                        > >
                        > > I am
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > loved
                        > > > > > > > by God and my prayer is that all glbt will come to
                        know
                        > > that
                        > > > > in
                        > > > > > > their
                        > > > > > > > hearts as well.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > One thing that makes me really sad though, and
                        sometimes
                        > > > > afraid as
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > well, is knowing that many of my brothers and sisters
                        in
                        > > > > Christ
                        > > > > > > will
                        > > > > > > > always reject and castigate me for being the creation
                        God
                        > >
                        > > > > intended
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > for me to be. Part of me craves that acceptance even
                        as I
                        > >
                        > > > > know I
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > will never get it from most of them. But, God loves
                        them
                        > >
                        > > too,
                        > > > >
                        > > > > and
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > there is hope. After all, I made it out, so can
                        they.
                        > > Love
                        > > > > you
                        > > > > > > > guys, Pat
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                        > > > > > > > exexgayministry-unsubscribe@y...
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                        > > > > > > >
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                      • nojam75
                        ... How would you define modernist? ... In the 20th century context, American Evangelism was refined by church leaders who were attempting to keep Christianity
                        Message 11 of 16 , Jun 9, 2002
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                          --- In exexgayministry@y..., calldon2k <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                          > --- In exexgayministry@y..., "nojam75" <nojam75@y...> wrote:
                          > I would not consider "modernist" the opposite of fundamentalist.

                          How would you define modernist?

                          > >However, Evangelism was developed as
                          > > the more marketable form of fundamentalism in our consumer
                          > culture.
                          >
                          > "Developed" by whom? That comment is based upon a lack of
                          > understanding of BOTH!

                          In the 20th century context, American Evangelism was refined by
                          church leaders who were attempting to keep Christianity relevant to
                          American society.

                          > Norm, you seem to have lumped all non-"modernists" into the same
                          > category. Believe me, they are not the same...

                          I am well aware that there are differing variations of
                          fundamentalism -- I was not trying to distinguish between the shades
                          of gray. My main issue I have with fundamentalism is its attempt to
                          define Christianity to a specific set of doctrines -- which no one
                          in 2000 years has successfully established.

                          Instead of establishing fundamentals, we should recognize that fact
                          that each of us are equipped and enabled to discover our own
                          relationship with God. The Bible and religion are tools to assist,
                          but it's ridiculous to say the message of life can boiled down to a
                          specific set of doctrines.

                          - Norm!
                        • Michael Airhart
                          Somehow, discussions about evangelism inevitably focus on the quacks who are loudest and slickest about their heresy -- while ignoring the majority of
                          Message 12 of 16 , Jun 9, 2002
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                            Somehow, discussions about evangelism inevitably focus on the quacks who
                            are loudest and slickest about their heresy -- while ignoring the
                            majority of Christian evangelistic ministries.

                            Specifically, Catholic, Quaker, Mennonite, and Lutheran evangelistic
                            ministries.

                            We all know that attention-grabbing quacks terrorize and threaten
                            Catholics, Mormons, Jews, and Adventists among others if they fail to
                            bow to American nationalism, consumerism, and racist Southern
                            distortions of the Bible. They even collect money from the working and
                            enslaved poor and give it to the rich -- sometimes themselves, sometimes
                            the secular rulers of their despotic nations. Pat Robertson is infamous
                            in this regard.

                            *GENUINE* evangelical programs have historically fed, educated and
                            otherwise empowered the poor to take control of their own physical and
                            spiritual lives; to make Jesus' liberating message their own -- within
                            their own cultural context; and to enact Jesus' message of social
                            justice within their communities even as that meant risking their lives
                            thwarting corrupt local authorities and foreign economic and political
                            manipulation.

                            Who is to blame for our grossly distorted perspective on evangelism? The
                            heretics? The media? Church officials who are afraid to rock their
                            boatloads of wealthy donors?

                            Whoever we blame, I wouldn't blame the real evangelists -- their job is
                            to accomplish social justice, NOT to make fortunes as well-dressed,
                            limo-escorted policy wonks and blabbermouths on cushy American talk
                            shows and infomercials.

                            Sincerely,
                            Mike
                          • calldon2k
                            ... Hi Norm, I did not use the term modernist ...you did. Maybe you should give your definition so I will know exactly what you are talking about. However, I
                            Message 13 of 16 , Jun 10, 2002
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                              --- In exexgayministry@y..., "nojam75" <nojam75@y...> asked:

                              > How would you define modernist?

                              Hi Norm,

                              I did not use the term "modernist"...you did. Maybe you should give
                              your definition so I will know exactly what you are talking about.
                              However, I would consider extreme "liberal" more the opposite of the
                              ultra-legalistic fundamentalist. How would you differenciate between
                              liberal and modernist?

                              > > >However, Evangelism was developed as
                              > > > the more marketable form of fundamentalism in our consumer
                              > > culture.
                              > >
                              > > "Developed" by whom? That comment is based upon a lack of
                              > > understanding of BOTH!
                              >
                              > In the 20th century context, American Evangelism was refined by
                              > church leaders who were attempting to keep Christianity relevant to
                              > American society.

                              Again, refined by WHAT church leaders? I would consider
                              myself "evangelical" in that I tell folks about Jesus. I believe in
                              the more traditional "fundamentals" of the faith so, I guess I would
                              be called a fundamentalist in the purest sense but I am NOT a
                              legalist in any sense!

                              I don't mean to be contencious. I just think we have different
                              definitions for the same words we are both using.

                              > > Norm, you seem to have lumped all non-"modernists" into the same
                              > > category. Believe me, they are not the same...
                              >
                              > I am well aware that there are differing variations of
                              > fundamentalism -- I was not trying to distinguish between the
                              shades
                              > of gray. My main issue I have with fundamentalism is its attempt
                              to
                              > define Christianity to a specific set of doctrines -- which no one
                              > in 2000 years has successfully established.

                              Sure, some HAVE established those doctrines. THAT may be the problem
                              with those who disagree with those doctrines! Over the centuries,
                              there HAVE BEEN groups of believers who accepted most of
                              those "fundamental" doctrines.

                              > Instead of establishing fundamentals, we should recognize that fact
                              > that each of us are equipped and enabled to discover our own
                              > relationship with God. The Bible and religion are tools to assist,
                              > but it's ridiculous to say the message of life can boiled down to a
                              > specific set of doctrines.

                              It is obviously ridiculous to you. However other believers would
                              disagree with you on that! I never implied that "the message of
                              life" can be boiled down to a specific set of doctrines alone.

                              Of course, that is why you consider yourself a modernist and I do NOT
                              consider myself a modernist.

                              No problem.

                              D*
                            • nojam75
                              ... I would not try to differentiate liberal in discussing the fundamentalist-modernist spectrum. Maybe we are just using different terminology to describe
                              Message 14 of 16 , Jun 10, 2002
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                                --- In exexgayministry@y..., calldon2k <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                > ...How would you differenciate between
                                > liberal and modernist?

                                I would not try to differentiate liberal in discussing the
                                fundamentalist-modernist spectrum. Maybe we are just using different
                                terminology to describe similar concepts. In my (admittedly limited)
                                study, 19th & 20th century, protestant Christianity developed in the
                                direction of either extreme fundamentalism and extreme modernism
                                theologies. Needless to say, there is a spectrum of theologies
                                within these exetremes -- at least from my perspective.

                                > ...Again, refined by WHAT church leaders?...

                                I'm not an expert, so I can't identify specific leaders through
                                history. Since many, if not most, American protestant churches are
                                non-denominational, I don't think it is possible to say one person is
                                _responsible_. But just within the last 25 years, it is obvious that
                                the trend is for churches to become more customer-friendly through
                                features such as contemporary music, pop-psychology, pseudo-
                                professional counseling, demographic-specific groups (singles,
                                seniors, ex-gays, etc.), social activity groups, etc. These are not
                                bad features in themselves, but what concerns me is that the
                                underlying fundamentalist doctrines (specifically hell) are often
                                downplayed. Being raised in such churches, I was amazed, appalled,
                                and angered that through all the supposed "Christian education" I
                                received, I never learned the real history of the church.

                                Off hand, the Rev. Billy Graham stands out as an example of a
                                fundamentalist-leaning, Evangelical Christian who has been careful to
                                accentuate the positive aspects of Christianity while downplaying
                                damnation and fundamental doctrines.

                                > ...but I am NOT a
                                > legalist in any sense!

                                I think you agree that you are a fundamentalist-leaning Christian in
                                that you uphold certain doctrines as being essential for any and all
                                Christians. I wouldn't call you a 'legalist', because I'm not sure
                                what is meant by that term.

                                > ...It is obviously ridiculous to you. However other believers
                                would
                                > disagree with you on that! I never implied that "the message of
                                > life" can be boiled down to a specific set of doctrines alone.

                                I know other Christians would disagree with me on my opinion. That's
                                why I call them fundamentalists. :-)

                                - Norm!
                              • BearJER@juno.com
                                Mike, I agree that Pat Robertson certainly did the body of Christ and himself a dis-service when he bought an expensive race horse. I don t know what he was
                                Message 15 of 16 , Jun 11, 2002
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                                  Mike, I agree that Pat Robertson certainly did the body of Christ and
                                  himself a dis-service when he bought an expensive race horse. I don't
                                  know what he was thinking, but I believe that the 700 Club's ministry
                                  called Operation Blessing has helped lots of poor people, so I'm not
                                  exactly sure where you're coming from in saying he is infamous in
                                  enslaving the poor? He has been highly respected among black Christians
                                  -- he is not a racist. In fact, his co-host for many years was a black
                                  man, Ben Kincheloe. I think we should quit the name calling and simply
                                  state when we disagree with a person's policy or philosophy without
                                  slamming other sincere Christians.

                                  Thanks for listening.

                                  Jerry in Michigan

                                  On Sun, 9 Jun 2002 11:19:57 -0400 "Michael Airhart"
                                  <mairhart@...> writes:
                                  > Somehow, discussions about evangelism inevitably focus on the quacks
                                  > who
                                  > are loudest and slickest about their heresy -- while ignoring the
                                  > majority of Christian evangelistic ministries.
                                  >
                                  > Specifically, Catholic, Quaker, Mennonite, and Lutheran
                                  > evangelistic
                                  > ministries.
                                  >
                                  > We all know that attention-grabbing quacks terrorize and threaten
                                  > Catholics, Mormons, Jews, and Adventists among others if they fail
                                  > to
                                  > bow to American nationalism, consumerism, and racist Southern
                                  > distortions of the Bible. They even collect money from the working
                                  > and
                                  > enslaved poor and give it to the rich -- sometimes themselves,
                                  > sometimes
                                  > the secular rulers of their despotic nations. Pat Robertson is
                                  > infamous
                                  > in this regard.
                                  >
                                  > *GENUINE* evangelical programs have historically fed, educated and
                                  > otherwise empowered the poor to take control of their own physical
                                  > and
                                  > spiritual lives; to make Jesus' liberating message their own --
                                  > within
                                  > their own cultural context; and to enact Jesus' message of social
                                  > justice within their communities even as that meant risking their
                                  > lives
                                  > thwarting corrupt local authorities and foreign economic and
                                  > political
                                  > manipulation.
                                  >
                                  > Who is to blame for our grossly distorted perspective on evangelism?
                                  > The
                                  > heretics? The media? Church officials who are afraid to rock their
                                  > boatloads of wealthy donors?
                                  >
                                  > Whoever we blame, I wouldn't blame the real evangelists -- their job
                                  > is
                                  > to accomplish social justice, NOT to make fortunes as well-dressed,
                                  > limo-escorted policy wonks and blabbermouths on cushy American talk
                                  > shows and infomercials.
                                  >
                                  > Sincerely,
                                  > Mike
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                  > exexgayministry-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                  > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >

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