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Re: coercion to join ex-gay ministries?

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  • 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 1 of 16 , Jun 2 10:23 PM
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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 2 of 16 , Jun 3 9:19 PM
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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 3 of 16 , Jun 4 12:03 AM
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          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...
          > >
          > >
          > >
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          > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          > ________________________________________________________________
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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 4 of 16 , Jun 4 9:55 AM
          • 0 Attachment
            --- 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 5 of 16 , Jun 5 7:43 PM
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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:
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              > > >
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              > > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > >
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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 6 of 16 , Jun 5 9:53 PM
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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...
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > > 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]
                > > > >
                > > > >
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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 7 of 16 , Jun 6 9:22 PM
                • 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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                  > > > > > >
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                  > > > > > >
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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 8 of 16 , Jun 6 11:11 PM
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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 9 of 16 , Jun 8 11:53 PM
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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...
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > 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
                      > > > > > >
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                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                      > > > > > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > ________________________________________________________________
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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 10 of 16 , Jun 9 12:11 AM
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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 11 of 16 , Jun 9 8:19 AM
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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 12 of 16 , Jun 10 5:27 PM
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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 13 of 16 , Jun 10 7:40 PM
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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 14 of 16 , Jun 11 8:48 PM
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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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