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Re: Exodus launches deceptive ad campaign

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  • nyguy_1225
    Hi Jackie: Re your question below: In addition to the more high-profile ex- gays who have left these ministries, some of whom were mentioned in other replies
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 28, 2004
      Hi Jackie:

      Re your question below: In addition to the more high-profile "ex-
      gays" who have left these ministries, some of whom were mentioned in
      other replies to your post today, I can offer you my own perspective
      and experience. I myself am a former "ex-gay" as well as a
      former "ex-gay" ministry leader who had been directly and indirectly
      involved with the "ex-gay" movement for over 20 years. I still
      follow the movement closely. During that time I had the opportunity
      to get to know hundreds of "ex-gays" personally -- many who were
      from Exodus-based ministries across the country and many others from
      similar "ex-gay" ministries that for one reason or another never
      came under the official Exodus umbrella. I had the pleasure to
      minister together with many of them as well and can therefore tell
      you that most were caring and sincere people who were seeking after
      God with honest and genuine hearts. I know that because I too was
      one of them.

      So what happened to all the people I knew? Very few of them still
      claim they aren't gay. But what's most tragic is that most of them
      have long since left the Church altogether. It has been my
      experience that either Christian people who are gay learn to
      integrate a theologically conservative, committed Christian faith
      with their sexuality or one of the following three scenarios will
      generally occur:

      (1) REPRESSION AND DENIAL:

      They continue to repress or suppress their sexuality. Instead of
      learning to lead honest and authentic lives they succumb to the
      pressure of conformity and denial. In doing so, what they're often
      really saying is: I'm now more acceptable to myself and to the
      people around me. Unfortunately, they don't usually feel that way
      in the long run. Increasing numbers of Christian counselors now
      readily admit that "ex-gay" ministries are trying to force people
      into a mold that doesn't really fit and the results often lead to
      depression, addiction and sometimes even suicide. Says Terry
      Norman, a D Min and professional Christian counselor: "When people
      repress their orientation, in order to make all that work, they
      [often] hide under layers and layers of incredibly destructive
      behavior." Norman concluded by saying: "Ultimately, it kills." And
      if it doesn't physically kill them, it will slowly eat away at their
      soul. I know because that's what began to happen to me.

      (2) LEAVE THE CHURCH:

      With the second scenario in the wake of discovering that the promise
      of change is a false promise they throw out the baby with the bath
      water. They conclude that if the Bible doesn't say exactly what
      they were told it says then any and all turning to Jesus isn't worth
      anything at all. And unable to separate the two, in hurt, in anger
      or in disappointment, they tragically end up leaving the Church and
      their rich faith altogether, trading off the Kingdom of God for a
      life of God knows what.

      (3) ADOPT LIBERAL "ANYTHING GOES" THEOLOGY:

      With the third scenario they seek a group to give them comfort and
      find too often that only the theologically extremely liberal are
      willing to take the "outcasts" in. I call this adopting
      an "anything goes" theology. The formerly orthodox believer then,
      although slowly and reluctantly at first, begins to adopt the
      beliefs of the group that is willing to accept him or her. The old
      ideas and beliefs are so closely associated with the group that
      inflicted the rejection that they avoid them at all costs. And the
      rich gospel they once joyfully embraced becomes so watered down one
      couldn't find it with a magnifying glass.

      These are the scenarios that have befallen most of the Christian gay
      people I've known over the past 20-plus years. Of course, these are
      also a few of the sobering realities that Exodus never reveals to
      their followers or would-be followers.

      -Alex

      --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Jackie Y"
      <francesfarmer19@h...> wrote:
      > Dear Alex,
      >
      > I have a question concerning the ads that Exodus places and the
      claims of
      > Wayne Besen. I am in no way wanting to challenge what Mr. Besen
      is saying,
      > but do want to know the facts a little better. Several times I
      have read
      > the same reports about the leaders represented in the Exodus ads
      and their
      > ministries as having gone "back" into homosexuality. Here is what
      I want to
      > know, when this is reported, the word "MANY" is used and then only
      two main
      > incidences are given, I would hardly call this "MANY" and would
      like to know
      > if there was further proof substantiating the use of the word. I
      have
      > always thought that many would mean a large portion of them. I
      am, as I
      > said, not challenging that this is not true, but I did see a
      questionable
      > statement that might be a detraction from the integrity of the
      statements.
      > Thanks for any insight, help.
      >
      > Jackie
      >
      > >From: dixibehr@a...
      > >Reply-To: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com
      > >To: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, WBesen@a...
      > >Subject: Re: [ExExGayMinistry] Exodus launches deceptive ad
      campaign
      > >Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2004 22:39:19 EDT
      > >
      > >
      > >In a message dated 7/27/04 7:01:37 PM, no_reply@yahoogroups.com
      writes:
      > >
      > ><< Besen
      > >
      > >states, among other things, that the Exodus campaign says "gay
      > >
      > >people can become heterosexual through prayer and therapy."
      > >
      > >However, what I have always found most interesting about Exodus'
      > >
      > >guarded marketing ploys is that they are extremely cautious about
      > >
      > >the half-truths they proclaim. For example, they NEVER claim that
      > >
      > >they, nor anyone who has come to any of their ministries, have
      > >
      > >become "heterosexual." >>
      > >
      > >FWIW, a clergyman of my acquaintance had some e-mail
      correspondence with
      > >Heather Schaife, secretary and spokesman for EXODUS. She said IN
      SO MANY
      > >WORDS
      > >that EXODUS has never claiemd to make people straight, or change
      them from
      > >homosexuality, and that anyone who says they do is not
      spiritually mature.
      > >When
      > >asked what EXODUS is doing to correct this popular misconception,
      she
      > >replied,
      > >"I'm bringing this correspondence to a close. It is not
      profitable."
      > >
      > >
      > >To drag strangers into the conversation, a Stranger greater than
      anyone
      > >connected with EXODUS' said, "Let your yes be yes and your no be
      no,
      > >because
      > >anything beyond this is of the evil one."
      >
      > _________________________________________________________________
      > FREE pop-up blocking with the new MSN Toolbar – get it now!
      > http://toolbar.msn.click-url.com/go/onm00200415ave/direct/01/
    • Jackie Y
      Thank you Alex, I appreciate your kind reply! I have read your three scenarios before and know that what you are talking about is all too true. I would have
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 28, 2004
        Thank you Alex,

        I appreciate your kind reply! I have read your three scenarios before and
        know that what you are talking about is all too true. I would have to say
        that I can see myself in about all three of those scenarios and understand
        them all to well. When I first read, several months ago, what you had to
        say, I thought that it must be said that although this may happen, it does
        happen for a reason. I distinctly remember when I first began to question
        certain teachings, I fully beilieve that the Lord spoke to me, or showed me
        in no uncertain terms, that "even the questions came from him". It was a
        delightful experience and one that I hold dear and try to grasp when I feel
        things such as his undying love for me slip away. I know that we can go in
        all different directions, and a lot of it is caused by pain, but in the end,
        I truly believe that he holds us firmly because of what he did for us on his
        cross. More than ever, I have come to believe that it is not about us as it
        is about him. Through the years that I have been a believer, I have subdued
        and repressed the positive and unconditional love of God, and exchanged it
        for a more than legalistic approach to God. That damage is hard to undo,
        but it comes in time and it comes because he is true to himself and to us.
        I have seen too much CONTRARY to what I have believed over the years that to
        not question would be absurd. It has been said that once you put God in a
        box, you will see how he does not fit. When I stepped outside of the
        legalistic box, it was scary, but in that fear, I began to wonder why I felt
        so safe before when "I had everything figured out". Safety in numbers or
        having all the (wrong) answers can bring a measure of security....until that
        security no longer satisfies.

        Please don't get me wrong, I am not alluding in anyway that you have come
        across that way, I just wanted to VENTILATE a littlle and share my initial
        thoughts to what you shared before, and the same initial thoughts when I
        read it again this evening. I appreciate what you do, and all that you
        share here. I must read your book, read some of it online and was deeply
        moved by both your experience and your ability to put it into words. Thank
        you for your time and reply.

        Sincerely,

        Jackie

        PS. I am a post op transgendered woman caught somewhere in the middle of it
        no longer matters and hey, this feels good. ;-)


        >From: nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
        >Reply-To: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com
        >To: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [ExExGayMinistry] Re: Exodus launches deceptive ad campaign
        >Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 22:51:31 -0000
        >
        >Hi Jackie:
        >
        >Re your question below: In addition to the more high-profile "ex-
        >gays" who have left these ministries, some of whom were mentioned in
        >other replies to your post today, I can offer you my own perspective
        >and experience. I myself am a former "ex-gay" as well as a
        >former "ex-gay" ministry leader who had been directly and indirectly
        >involved with the "ex-gay" movement for over 20 years. I still
        >follow the movement closely. During that time I had the opportunity
        >to get to know hundreds of "ex-gays" personally -- many who were
        >from Exodus-based ministries across the country and many others from
        >similar "ex-gay" ministries that for one reason or another never
        >came under the official Exodus umbrella. I had the pleasure to
        >minister together with many of them as well and can therefore tell
        >you that most were caring and sincere people who were seeking after
        >God with honest and genuine hearts. I know that because I too was
        >one of them.
        >
        >So what happened to all the people I knew? Very few of them still
        >claim they aren't gay. But what's most tragic is that most of them
        >have long since left the Church altogether. It has been my
        >experience that either Christian people who are gay learn to
        >integrate a theologically conservative, committed Christian faith
        >with their sexuality or one of the following three scenarios will
        >generally occur:
        >
        >(1) REPRESSION AND DENIAL:
        >
        >They continue to repress or suppress their sexuality. Instead of
        >learning to lead honest and authentic lives they succumb to the
        >pressure of conformity and denial. In doing so, what they're often
        >really saying is: I'm now more acceptable to myself and to the
        >people around me. Unfortunately, they don't usually feel that way
        >in the long run. Increasing numbers of Christian counselors now
        >readily admit that "ex-gay" ministries are trying to force people
        >into a mold that doesn't really fit and the results often lead to
        >depression, addiction and sometimes even suicide. Says Terry
        >Norman, a D Min and professional Christian counselor: "When people
        >repress their orientation, in order to make all that work, they
        >[often] hide under layers and layers of incredibly destructive
        >behavior." Norman concluded by saying: "Ultimately, it kills." And
        >if it doesn't physically kill them, it will slowly eat away at their
        >soul. I know because that's what began to happen to me.
        >
        >(2) LEAVE THE CHURCH:
        >
        >With the second scenario in the wake of discovering that the promise
        >of change is a false promise they throw out the baby with the bath
        >water. They conclude that if the Bible doesn't say exactly what
        >they were told it says then any and all turning to Jesus isn't worth
        >anything at all. And unable to separate the two, in hurt, in anger
        >or in disappointment, they tragically end up leaving the Church and
        >their rich faith altogether, trading off the Kingdom of God for a
        >life of God knows what.
        >
        >(3) ADOPT LIBERAL "ANYTHING GOES" THEOLOGY:
        >
        >With the third scenario they seek a group to give them comfort and
        >find too often that only the theologically extremely liberal are
        >willing to take the "outcasts" in. I call this adopting
        >an "anything goes" theology. The formerly orthodox believer then,
        >although slowly and reluctantly at first, begins to adopt the
        >beliefs of the group that is willing to accept him or her. The old
        >ideas and beliefs are so closely associated with the group that
        >inflicted the rejection that they avoid them at all costs. And the
        >rich gospel they once joyfully embraced becomes so watered down one
        >couldn't find it with a magnifying glass.
        >
        >These are the scenarios that have befallen most of the Christian gay
        >people I've known over the past 20-plus years. Of course, these are
        >also a few of the sobering realities that Exodus never reveals to
        >their followers or would-be followers.
        >
        >-Alex
        >
        >--- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Jackie Y"
        ><francesfarmer19@h...> wrote:
        > > Dear Alex,
        > >
        > > I have a question concerning the ads that Exodus places and the
        >claims of
        > > Wayne Besen. I am in no way wanting to challenge what Mr. Besen
        >is saying,
        > > but do want to know the facts a little better. Several times I
        >have read
        > > the same reports about the leaders represented in the Exodus ads
        >and their
        > > ministries as having gone "back" into homosexuality. Here is what
        >I want to
        > > know, when this is reported, the word "MANY" is used and then only
        >two main
        > > incidences are given, I would hardly call this "MANY" and would
        >like to know
        > > if there was further proof substantiating the use of the word. I
        >have
        > > always thought that many would mean a large portion of them. I
        >am, as I
        > > said, not challenging that this is not true, but I did see a
        >questionable
        > > statement that might be a detraction from the integrity of the
        >statements.
        > > Thanks for any insight, help.
        > >
        > > Jackie
        > >
        > > >From: dixibehr@a...
        > > >Reply-To: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com
        > > >To: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, WBesen@a...
        > > >Subject: Re: [ExExGayMinistry] Exodus launches deceptive ad
        >campaign
        > > >Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2004 22:39:19 EDT
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >In a message dated 7/27/04 7:01:37 PM, no_reply@yahoogroups.com
        >writes:
        > > >
        > > ><< Besen
        > > >
        > > >states, among other things, that the Exodus campaign says "gay
        > > >
        > > >people can become heterosexual through prayer and therapy."
        > > >
        > > >However, what I have always found most interesting about Exodus'
        > > >
        > > >guarded marketing ploys is that they are extremely cautious about
        > > >
        > > >the half-truths they proclaim. For example, they NEVER claim that
        > > >
        > > >they, nor anyone who has come to any of their ministries, have
        > > >
        > > >become "heterosexual." >>
        > > >
        > > >FWIW, a clergyman of my acquaintance had some e-mail
        >correspondence with
        > > >Heather Schaife, secretary and spokesman for EXODUS. She said IN
        >SO MANY
        > > >WORDS
        > > >that EXODUS has never claiemd to make people straight, or change
        >them from
        > > >homosexuality, and that anyone who says they do is not
        >spiritually mature.
        > > >When
        > > >asked what EXODUS is doing to correct this popular misconception,
        >she
        > > >replied,
        > > >"I'm bringing this correspondence to a close. It is not
        >profitable."
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >To drag strangers into the conversation, a Stranger greater than
        >anyone
        > > >connected with EXODUS' said, "Let your yes be yes and your no be
        >no,
        > > >because
        > > >anything beyond this is of the evil one."
        > >
        > > _________________________________________________________________
        > > FREE pop-up blocking with the new MSN Toolbar � get it now!
        > > http://toolbar.msn.click-url.com/go/onm00200415ave/direct/01/
        >

        _________________________________________________________________
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      • Jackie Y
        Hi Alex, Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa......it was not your book that I was referring to, it was Anthony s....so sorry for the temporary air caught
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 28, 2004
          Hi Alex,

          Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa......it was not your book that I was
          referring to, it was Anthony's....so sorry for the temporary air caught
          atwixt my ears.

          Jackie

          _________________________________________________________________
          Overwhelmed by debt? Find out how to �Dig Yourself Out of Debt� from MSN
          Money. http://special.msn.com/money/0407debt.armx
        • JC
          Hi Alex: I know your three categories were not meant to be exhaustive, but I don t believe I fall into any one of those. I hold fast to my Christian faith, but
          Message 4 of 14 , Jul 28, 2004
            Hi Alex:

            I know your three categories were not meant to be exhaustive, but I don't believe I fall into any one of those.

            I hold fast to my Christian faith, but my theology is definitely more progressive than it used to be, and I am more open to the idea of God in 'the other' . That is true because of my experiences of life and Christian faith since coming out. That being said, I am not a "theologically extremely liberal" Christian in regard to my theology. I am still a Christian who looks to Scripture and tradition to interpret my experiences. I wrestle with God and am full of doubts and assurances, because of my on-going relationship with Jesus Christ.

            I no longer claim the evangelical label, but the Christian one I am proud to wear. And this I do with a progressive approach to how I apply my historical faith to this crazy world we live in.

            Just my two cents,
            James

            nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
            Hi Jackie:

            Re your question below: In addition to the more high-profile "ex-
            gays" who have left these ministries, some of whom were mentioned in
            other replies to your post today, I can offer you my own perspective
            and experience. I myself am a former "ex-gay" as well as a
            former "ex-gay" ministry leader who had been directly and indirectly
            involved with the "ex-gay" movement for over 20 years. I still
            follow the movement closely. During that time I had the opportunity
            to get to know hundreds of "ex-gays" personally -- many who were
            from Exodus-based ministries across the country and many others from
            similar "ex-gay" ministries that for one reason or another never
            came under the official Exodus umbrella. I had the pleasure to
            minister together with many of them as well and can therefore tell
            you that most were caring and sincere people who were seeking after
            God with honest and genuine hearts. I know that because I too was
            one of them.

            So what happened to all the people I knew? Very few of them still
            claim they aren't gay. But what's most tragic is that most of them
            have long since left the Church altogether. It has been my
            experience that either Christian people who are gay learn to
            integrate a theologically conservative, committed Christian faith
            with their sexuality or one of the following three scenarios will
            generally occur:

            (1) REPRESSION AND DENIAL:

            They continue to repress or suppress their sexuality. Instead of
            learning to lead honest and authentic lives they succumb to the
            pressure of conformity and denial. In doing so, what they're often
            really saying is: I'm now more acceptable to myself and to the
            people around me. Unfortunately, they don't usually feel that way
            in the long run. Increasing numbers of Christian counselors now
            readily admit that "ex-gay" ministries are trying to force people
            into a mold that doesn't really fit and the results often lead to
            depression, addiction and sometimes even suicide. Says Terry
            Norman, a D Min and professional Christian counselor: "When people
            repress their orientation, in order to make all that work, they
            [often] hide under layers and layers of incredibly destructive
            behavior." Norman concluded by saying: "Ultimately, it kills." And
            if it doesn't physically kill them, it will slowly eat away at their
            soul. I know because that's what began to happen to me.

            (2) LEAVE THE CHURCH:

            With the second scenario in the wake of discovering that the promise
            of change is a false promise they throw out the baby with the bath
            water. They conclude that if the Bible doesn't say exactly what
            they were told it says then any and all turning to Jesus isn't worth
            anything at all. And unable to separate the two, in hurt, in anger
            or in disappointment, they tragically end up leaving the Church and
            their rich faith altogether, trading off the Kingdom of God for a
            life of God knows what.

            (3) ADOPT LIBERAL "ANYTHING GOES" THEOLOGY:

            With the third scenario they seek a group to give them comfort and
            find too often that only the theologically extremely liberal are
            willing to take the "outcasts" in. I call this adopting
            an "anything goes" theology. The formerly orthodox believer then,
            although slowly and reluctantly at first, begins to adopt the
            beliefs of the group that is willing to accept him or her. The old
            ideas and beliefs are so closely associated with the group that
            inflicted the rejection that they avoid them at all costs. And the
            rich gospel they once joyfully embraced becomes so watered down one
            couldn't find it with a magnifying glass.

            These are the scenarios that have befallen most of the Christian gay
            people I've known over the past 20-plus years. Of course, these are
            also a few of the sobering realities that Exodus never reveals to
            their followers or would-be followers.

            -Alex

            --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Jackie Y"
            <francesfarmer19@h...> wrote:
            > Dear Alex,
            >
            > I have a question concerning the ads that Exodus places and the
            claims of
            > Wayne Besen. I am in no way wanting to challenge what Mr. Besen
            is saying,
            > but do want to know the facts a little better. Several times I
            have read
            > the same reports about the leaders represented in the Exodus ads
            and their
            > ministries as having gone "back" into homosexuality. Here is what
            I want to
            > know, when this is reported, the word "MANY" is used and then only
            two main
            > incidences are given, I would hardly call this "MANY" and would
            like to know
            > if there was further proof substantiating the use of the word. I
            have
            > always thought that many would mean a large portion of them. I
            am, as I
            > said, not challenging that this is not true, but I did see a
            questionable
            > statement that might be a detraction from the integrity of the
            statements.
            > Thanks for any insight, help.
            >
            > Jackie
            >
            > >From: dixibehr@a...
            > >Reply-To: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com
            > >To: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, WBesen@a...
            > >Subject: Re: [ExExGayMinistry] Exodus launches deceptive ad
            campaign
            > >Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2004 22:39:19 EDT
            > >
            > >
            > >In a message dated 7/27/04 7:01:37 PM, no_reply@yahoogroups.com
            writes:
            > >
            > ><< Besen
            > >
            > >states, among other things, that the Exodus campaign says "gay
            > >
            > >people can become heterosexual through prayer and therapy."
            > >
            > >However, what I have always found most interesting about Exodus'
            > >
            > >guarded marketing ploys is that they are extremely cautious about
            > >
            > >the half-truths they proclaim. For example, they NEVER claim that
            > >
            > >they, nor anyone who has come to any of their ministries, have
            > >
            > >become "heterosexual." >>
            > >
            > >FWIW, a clergyman of my acquaintance had some e-mail
            correspondence with
            > >Heather Schaife, secretary and spokesman for EXODUS. She said IN
            SO MANY
            > >WORDS
            > >that EXODUS has never claiemd to make people straight, or change
            them from
            > >homosexuality, and that anyone who says they do is not
            spiritually mature.
            > >When
            > >asked what EXODUS is doing to correct this popular misconception,
            she
            > >replied,
            > >"I'm bringing this correspondence to a close. It is not
            profitable."
            > >
            > >
            > >To drag strangers into the conversation, a Stranger greater than
            anyone
            > >connected with EXODUS' said, "Let your yes be yes and your no be
            no,
            > >because
            > >anything beyond this is of the evil one."
            >
            > _________________________________________________________________
            > FREE pop-up blocking with the new MSN Toolbar � get it now!
            > http://toolbar.msn.click-url.com/go/onm00200415ave/direct/01/


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          • nyguy_1225
            Message 5 of 14 , Jul 28, 2004
              <<I have read your three scenarios before and know that what you are
              talking about is all too true. I would have to say that I can see
              myself in about all three of those scenarios and understand them all
              to well.>>

              I think many of us have walked in one or more of them along the way
              (I know I sure have) and yet each of our journeys is unique. Our
              walks with God are fluid -- not static -- and we learn as we go.
              Most importantly you seem to have a firm grasp on the fact that God
              loves you. You know that he can not love you more and that he will
              not love you less. I believe that at the end of the day that's the
              most important truth any of us can possess.

              -Alex

              --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Jackie Y"
              <francesfarmer19@h...> wrote:
              >
              > Thank you Alex,
              >
              > I appreciate your kind reply! I have read your three scenarios
              before and
              > know that what you are talking about is all too true. I would
              have to say
              > that I can see myself in about all three of those scenarios and
              understand
              > them all to well. When I first read, several months ago, what you
              had to
              > say, I thought that it must be said that although this may happen,
              it does
              > happen for a reason. I distinctly remember when I first began to
              question
              > certain teachings, I fully beilieve that the Lord spoke to me, or
              showed me
              > in no uncertain terms, that "even the questions came from him".
              It was a
              > delightful experience and one that I hold dear and try to grasp
              when I feel
              > things such as his undying love for me slip away. I know that we
              can go in
              > all different directions, and a lot of it is caused by pain, but
              in the end,
              > I truly believe that he holds us firmly because of what he did for
              us on his
              > cross. More than ever, I have come to believe that it is not
              about us as it
              > is about him. Through the years that I have been a believer, I
              have subdued
              > and repressed the positive and unconditional love of God, and
              exchanged it
              > for a more than legalistic approach to God. That damage is hard
              to undo,
              > but it comes in time and it comes because he is true to himself
              and to us.
              > I have seen too much CONTRARY to what I have believed over the
              years that to
              > not question would be absurd. It has been said that once you put
              God in a
              > box, you will see how he does not fit. When I stepped outside of
              the
              > legalistic box, it was scary, but in that fear, I began to wonder
              why I felt
              > so safe before when "I had everything figured out". Safety in
              numbers or
              > having all the (wrong) answers can bring a measure of
              security....until that
              > security no longer satisfies.
              >
              > Please don't get me wrong, I am not alluding in anyway that you
              have come
              > across that way, I just wanted to VENTILATE a littlle and share my
              initial
              > thoughts to what you shared before, and the same initial thoughts
              when I
              > read it again this evening. I appreciate what you do, and all
              that you
              > share here. I must read your book, read some of it online and
              was deeply
              > moved by both your experience and your ability to put it into
              words. Thank
              > you for your time and reply.
              >
              > Sincerely,
              >
              > Jackie
              >
              > PS. I am a post op transgendered woman caught somewhere in the
              middle of it
              > no longer matters and hey, this feels good. ;-)
              >
              >
              > >From: nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
              > >Reply-To: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com
              > >To: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com
              > >Subject: [ExExGayMinistry] Re: Exodus launches deceptive ad
              campaign
              > >Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 22:51:31 -0000
              > >
              > >Hi Jackie:
              > >
              > >Re your question below: In addition to the more high-profile "ex-
              > >gays" who have left these ministries, some of whom were mentioned
              in
              > >other replies to your post today, I can offer you my own
              perspective
              > >and experience. I myself am a former "ex-gay" as well as a
              > >former "ex-gay" ministry leader who had been directly and
              indirectly
              > >involved with the "ex-gay" movement for over 20 years. I still
              > >follow the movement closely. During that time I had the
              opportunity
              > >to get to know hundreds of "ex-gays" personally -- many who were
              > >from Exodus-based ministries across the country and many others
              from
              > >similar "ex-gay" ministries that for one reason or another never
              > >came under the official Exodus umbrella. I had the pleasure to
              > >minister together with many of them as well and can therefore tell
              > >you that most were caring and sincere people who were seeking
              after
              > >God with honest and genuine hearts. I know that because I too was
              > >one of them.
              > >
              > >So what happened to all the people I knew? Very few of them still
              > >claim they aren't gay. But what's most tragic is that most of
              them
              > >have long since left the Church altogether. It has been my
              > >experience that either Christian people who are gay learn to
              > >integrate a theologically conservative, committed Christian faith
              > >with their sexuality or one of the following three scenarios will
              > >generally occur:
              > >
              > >(1) REPRESSION AND DENIAL:
              > >
              > >They continue to repress or suppress their sexuality. Instead of
              > >learning to lead honest and authentic lives they succumb to the
              > >pressure of conformity and denial. In doing so, what they're
              often
              > >really saying is: I'm now more acceptable to myself and to the
              > >people around me. Unfortunately, they don't usually feel that way
              > >in the long run. Increasing numbers of Christian counselors now
              > >readily admit that "ex-gay" ministries are trying to force people
              > >into a mold that doesn't really fit and the results often lead to
              > >depression, addiction and sometimes even suicide. Says Terry
              > >Norman, a D Min and professional Christian counselor: "When people
              > >repress their orientation, in order to make all that work, they
              > >[often] hide under layers and layers of incredibly destructive
              > >behavior." Norman concluded by saying: "Ultimately, it kills."
              And
              > >if it doesn't physically kill them, it will slowly eat away at
              their
              > >soul. I know because that's what began to happen to me.
              > >
              > >(2) LEAVE THE CHURCH:
              > >
              > >With the second scenario in the wake of discovering that the
              promise
              > >of change is a false promise they throw out the baby with the bath
              > >water. They conclude that if the Bible doesn't say exactly what
              > >they were told it says then any and all turning to Jesus isn't
              worth
              > >anything at all. And unable to separate the two, in hurt, in
              anger
              > >or in disappointment, they tragically end up leaving the Church
              and
              > >their rich faith altogether, trading off the Kingdom of God for a
              > >life of God knows what.
              > >
              > >(3) ADOPT LIBERAL "ANYTHING GOES" THEOLOGY:
              > >
              > >With the third scenario they seek a group to give them comfort and
              > >find too often that only the theologically extremely liberal are
              > >willing to take the "outcasts" in. I call this adopting
              > >an "anything goes" theology. The formerly orthodox believer then,
              > >although slowly and reluctantly at first, begins to adopt the
              > >beliefs of the group that is willing to accept him or her. The
              old
              > >ideas and beliefs are so closely associated with the group that
              > >inflicted the rejection that they avoid them at all costs. And
              the
              > >rich gospel they once joyfully embraced becomes so watered down
              one
              > >couldn't find it with a magnifying glass.
              > >
              > >These are the scenarios that have befallen most of the Christian
              gay
              > >people I've known over the past 20-plus years. Of course, these
              are
              > >also a few of the sobering realities that Exodus never reveals to
              > >their followers or would-be followers.
              > >
              > >-Alex
              > >
              > >--- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Jackie Y"
              > ><francesfarmer19@h...> wrote:
              > > > Dear Alex,
              > > >
              > > > I have a question concerning the ads that Exodus places and the
              > >claims of
              > > > Wayne Besen. I am in no way wanting to challenge what Mr.
              Besen
              > >is saying,
              > > > but do want to know the facts a little better. Several times I
              > >have read
              > > > the same reports about the leaders represented in the Exodus
              ads
              > >and their
              > > > ministries as having gone "back" into homosexuality. Here is
              what
              > >I want to
              > > > know, when this is reported, the word "MANY" is used and then
              only
              > >two main
              > > > incidences are given, I would hardly call this "MANY" and would
              > >like to know
              > > > if there was further proof substantiating the use of the
              word. I
              > >have
              > > > always thought that many would mean a large portion of them. I
              > >am, as I
              > > > said, not challenging that this is not true, but I did see a
              > >questionable
              > > > statement that might be a detraction from the integrity of the
              > >statements.
              > > > Thanks for any insight, help.
              > > >
              > > > Jackie
              > > >
              > > > >From: dixibehr@a...
              > > > >Reply-To: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com
              > > > >To: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, WBesen@a...
              > > > >Subject: Re: [ExExGayMinistry] Exodus launches deceptive ad
              > >campaign
              > > > >Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2004 22:39:19 EDT
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >In a message dated 7/27/04 7:01:37 PM,
              no_reply@yahoogroups.com
              > >writes:
              > > > >
              > > > ><< Besen
              > > > >
              > > > >states, among other things, that the Exodus campaign says "gay
              > > > >
              > > > >people can become heterosexual through prayer and therapy."
              > > > >
              > > > >However, what I have always found most interesting about
              Exodus'
              > > > >
              > > > >guarded marketing ploys is that they are extremely cautious
              about
              > > > >
              > > > >the half-truths they proclaim. For example, they NEVER claim
              that
              > > > >
              > > > >they, nor anyone who has come to any of their ministries, have
              > > > >
              > > > >become "heterosexual." >>
              > > > >
              > > > >FWIW, a clergyman of my acquaintance had some e-mail
              > >correspondence with
              > > > >Heather Schaife, secretary and spokesman for EXODUS. She said
              IN
              > >SO MANY
              > > > >WORDS
              > > > >that EXODUS has never claiemd to make people straight, or
              change
              > >them from
              > > > >homosexuality, and that anyone who says they do is not
              > >spiritually mature.
              > > > >When
              > > > >asked what EXODUS is doing to correct this popular
              misconception,
              > >she
              > > > >replied,
              > > > >"I'm bringing this correspondence to a close. It is not
              > >profitable."
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >To drag strangers into the conversation, a Stranger greater
              than
              > >anyone
              > > > >connected with EXODUS' said, "Let your yes be yes and your no
              be
              > >no,
              > > > >because
              > > > >anything beyond this is of the evil one."
              > > >
              > > >
              _________________________________________________________________
              > > > FREE pop-up blocking with the new MSN Toolbar – get it now!
              > > > http://toolbar.msn.click-url.com/go/onm00200415ave/direct/01/
              > >
              >
              > _________________________________________________________________
              > Is your PC infected? Get a FREE online computer virus scan from
              McAfee®
              > Security. http://clinic.mcafee.com/clinic/ibuy/campaign.asp?
              cid=3963
            • nyguy_1225
              Thanks for sharing! Words are very powerful things -- and they often
              Message 6 of 14 , Jul 28, 2004
                <<I no longer claim the evangelical label, but the Christian one I
                am proud to
                wear.>>

                Thanks for sharing! Words are very powerful things -- and they
                often mean different things to different people. It's obvious even
                from your short post that you love Jesus and have a personal
                relationship with him. Frankly, as far as I'm concerned (and I
                believe as far as God is concerned as well) that's where the rubber
                meets the roads. How that love and relationship gets expressed will
                look different for different people. Christianity is richer, wider,
                deeper and fuller than any one man or one group's expression of
                it. But if you no longer "claim the evangelical label" (which is a
                valid choice) I guess the question that comes to mind for me is what
                connotation or connotations does this word or label have for you
                that you no longer choose to claim it?

                -Alex

                --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...> wrote:
                > Hi Alex:
                >
                > I know your three categories were not meant to be exhaustive, but
                I don't believe I fall into any one of those.
                >
                > I hold fast to my Christian faith, but my theology is definitely
                more progressive than it used to be, and I am more open to the idea
                of God in 'the other' . That is true because of my experiences of
                life and Christian faith since coming out. That being said, I am
                not a "theologically extremely liberal" Christian in regard to my
                theology. I am still a Christian who looks to Scripture and
                tradition to interpret my experiences. I wrestle with God and am
                full of doubts and assurances, because of my on-going relationship
                with Jesus Christ.
                >
                > I no longer claim the evangelical label, but the Christian one I
                am proud to wear. And this I do with a progressive approach to how
                I apply my historical faith to this crazy world we live in.
                >
                > Just my two cents,
                > James
                >
                > nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                > Hi Jackie:
                >
                > Re your question below: In addition to the more high-profile "ex-
                > gays" who have left these ministries, some of whom were mentioned
                in
                > other replies to your post today, I can offer you my own
                perspective
                > and experience. I myself am a former "ex-gay" as well as a
                > former "ex-gay" ministry leader who had been directly and
                indirectly
                > involved with the "ex-gay" movement for over 20 years. I still
                > follow the movement closely. During that time I had the
                opportunity
                > to get to know hundreds of "ex-gays" personally -- many who were
                > from Exodus-based ministries across the country and many others
                from
                > similar "ex-gay" ministries that for one reason or another never
                > came under the official Exodus umbrella. I had the pleasure to
                > minister together with many of them as well and can therefore tell
                > you that most were caring and sincere people who were seeking
                after
                > God with honest and genuine hearts. I know that because I too was
                > one of them.
                >
                > So what happened to all the people I knew? Very few of them still
                > claim they aren't gay. But what's most tragic is that most of
                them
                > have long since left the Church altogether. It has been my
                > experience that either Christian people who are gay learn to
                > integrate a theologically conservative, committed Christian faith
                > with their sexuality or one of the following three scenarios will
                > generally occur:
                >
                > (1) REPRESSION AND DENIAL:
                >
                > They continue to repress or suppress their sexuality. Instead of
                > learning to lead honest and authentic lives they succumb to the
                > pressure of conformity and denial. In doing so, what they're
                often
                > really saying is: I'm now more acceptable to myself and to the
                > people around me. Unfortunately, they don't usually feel that way
                > in the long run. Increasing numbers of Christian counselors now
                > readily admit that "ex-gay" ministries are trying to force people
                > into a mold that doesn't really fit and the results often lead to
                > depression, addiction and sometimes even suicide. Says Terry
                > Norman, a D Min and professional Christian counselor: "When people
                > repress their orientation, in order to make all that work, they
                > [often] hide under layers and layers of incredibly destructive
                > behavior." Norman concluded by saying: "Ultimately, it kills."
                And
                > if it doesn't physically kill them, it will slowly eat away at
                their
                > soul. I know because that's what began to happen to me.
                >
                > (2) LEAVE THE CHURCH:
                >
                > With the second scenario in the wake of discovering that the
                promise
                > of change is a false promise they throw out the baby with the bath
                > water. They conclude that if the Bible doesn't say exactly what
                > they were told it says then any and all turning to Jesus isn't
                worth
                > anything at all. And unable to separate the two, in hurt, in
                anger
                > or in disappointment, they tragically end up leaving the Church
                and
                > their rich faith altogether, trading off the Kingdom of God for a
                > life of God knows what.
                >
                > (3) ADOPT LIBERAL "ANYTHING GOES" THEOLOGY:
                >
                > With the third scenario they seek a group to give them comfort and
                > find too often that only the theologically extremely liberal are
                > willing to take the "outcasts" in. I call this adopting
                > an "anything goes" theology. The formerly orthodox believer then,
                > although slowly and reluctantly at first, begins to adopt the
                > beliefs of the group that is willing to accept him or her. The
                old
                > ideas and beliefs are so closely associated with the group that
                > inflicted the rejection that they avoid them at all costs. And
                the
                > rich gospel they once joyfully embraced becomes so watered down
                one
                > couldn't find it with a magnifying glass.
                >
                > These are the scenarios that have befallen most of the Christian
                gay
                > people I've known over the past 20-plus years. Of course, these
                are
                > also a few of the sobering realities that Exodus never reveals to
                > their followers or would-be followers.
                >
                > -Alex
                >
                > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Jackie Y"
                > <francesfarmer19@h...> wrote:
                > > Dear Alex,
                > >
                > > I have a question concerning the ads that Exodus places and the
                > claims of
                > > Wayne Besen. I am in no way wanting to challenge what Mr. Besen
                > is saying,
                > > but do want to know the facts a little better. Several times I
                > have read
                > > the same reports about the leaders represented in the Exodus ads
                > and their
                > > ministries as having gone "back" into homosexuality. Here is
                what
                > I want to
                > > know, when this is reported, the word "MANY" is used and then
                only
                > two main
                > > incidences are given, I would hardly call this "MANY" and would
                > like to know
                > > if there was further proof substantiating the use of the word.
                I
                > have
                > > always thought that many would mean a large portion of them. I
                > am, as I
                > > said, not challenging that this is not true, but I did see a
                > questionable
                > > statement that might be a detraction from the integrity of the
                > statements.
                > > Thanks for any insight, help.
                > >
                > > Jackie
                > >
                > > >From: dixibehr@a...
                > > >Reply-To: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com
                > > >To: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, WBesen@a...
                > > >Subject: Re: [ExExGayMinistry] Exodus launches deceptive ad
                > campaign
                > > >Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2004 22:39:19 EDT
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >In a message dated 7/27/04 7:01:37 PM, no_reply@yahoogroups.com
                > writes:
                > > >
                > > ><< Besen
                > > >
                > > >states, among other things, that the Exodus campaign says "gay
                > > >
                > > >people can become heterosexual through prayer and therapy."
                > > >
                > > >However, what I have always found most interesting about Exodus'
                > > >
                > > >guarded marketing ploys is that they are extremely cautious
                about
                > > >
                > > >the half-truths they proclaim. For example, they NEVER claim
                that
                > > >
                > > >they, nor anyone who has come to any of their ministries, have
                > > >
                > > >become "heterosexual." >>
                > > >
                > > >FWIW, a clergyman of my acquaintance had some e-mail
                > correspondence with
                > > >Heather Schaife, secretary and spokesman for EXODUS. She said
                IN
                > SO MANY
                > > >WORDS
                > > >that EXODUS has never claiemd to make people straight, or
                change
                > them from
                > > >homosexuality, and that anyone who says they do is not
                > spiritually mature.
                > > >When
                > > >asked what EXODUS is doing to correct this popular
                misconception,
                > she
                > > >replied,
                > > >"I'm bringing this correspondence to a close. It is not
                > profitable."
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >To drag strangers into the conversation, a Stranger greater
                than
                > anyone
                > > >connected with EXODUS' said, "Let your yes be yes and your no
                be
                > no,
                > > >because
                > > >anything beyond this is of the evil one."
                > >
                > > _________________________________________________________________
                > > FREE pop-up blocking with the new MSN Toolbar – get it now!
                > > http://toolbar.msn.click-url.com/go/onm00200415ave/direct/01/
                >
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
                >
                >
                > ---------------------------------
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                > To visit your group on the web, go to:
                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/exexgayministry/
                >
                > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
                Service.
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • dixibehr@aol.com
                In a message dated 7/28/04 6:23:01 PM, roo7861@yahoo.com writes:
                Message 7 of 14 , Jul 28, 2004
                  In a message dated 7/28/04 6:23:01 PM, roo7861@... writes:

                  << I hold fast to my Christian faith, but my theology is definitely more
                  progressive than it used to be, and I am more open to the idea of God in 'the
                  other' . That is true because of my experiences of life and Christian faith since
                  coming out. That being said, I am not a "theologically extremely liberal"
                  Christian in regard to my theology. >>

                  Even among evangelicals--those who wear the classic label properly--there is
                  a wide degree of meaning. The main emphasis is, or should be, on the simple
                  truth that Jesus is the all-sufficient savior.

                  OTOH, what I call American pop-evangelicals, hold to a debased form of faith
                  that is simplistic (as opposed to simple) and can't answer today's questions.
                  It even tends towards the heresy of Pelagianism--the doctrine that a man can
                  save himself--and Nestorian Christology--a doctrine that separates Jesus from
                  Christ. (I won't elaborate on these here.)

                  I will also distinguish evangelicalism from fundamentalism--an honorable
                  theological position that is all too frequently misused.

                  I would urge all people on this list to visit the site musingson.com (or is
                  it musingson.org?). It's by a presbyterian minister's wife. She's definitely on
                  a journey herself.

                  The main thing is: don't let the ignorance and prejudice and bigotry of
                  anybody cheat you of Jesus. That way the Devil wins.

                  Hugs,

                  Jack
                • JC
                  Hi Alex, Jack and All: First of all, I should say that I know the evangelical and fundamentalist subcultures (and their differences) very well. I was raised
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jul 29, 2004
                    Hi Alex, Jack and All:

                    First of all, I should say that I know the evangelical and fundamentalist subcultures (and their differences) very well. I was raised in the home of a fundamentalist minister and educated in an evangelical liberal arts college and received a master of divinity degree from an evangelical seminary.

                    The one gift of my evangelical background that I continue to celebrate is my relationship with Jesus Christ. I believe in the "warm hearted" experience and the changed life as a result of a vibrant relationship with God. However, evangelicalism fails (in my opinion) when it becomes exclusive in its claims about a whole host of issues. There is a great difference between proclaiming that Jesus is the Savior of the world (which I do) and proclaiming that we have a corner on all truth. I am not talking about the "scandal of particularity." I am talking about an attitude that prevents dialogue from even beginning because of the assumption that we have nothing to learn from people of other traditions.

                    Enjoying the Discussion,
                    James


                    nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                    <<I no longer claim the evangelical label, but the Christian one I
                    am proud to
                    wear.>>

                    Thanks for sharing! Words are very powerful things -- and they
                    often mean different things to different people. It's obvious even
                    from your short post that you love Jesus and have a personal
                    relationship with him. Frankly, as far as I'm concerned (and I
                    believe as far as God is concerned as well) that's where the rubber
                    meets the roads. How that love and relationship gets expressed will
                    look different for different people. Christianity is richer, wider,
                    deeper and fuller than any one man or one group's expression of
                    it. But if you no longer "claim the evangelical label" (which is a
                    valid choice) I guess the question that comes to mind for me is what
                    connotation or connotations does this word or label have for you
                    that you no longer choose to claim it?

                    -Alex

                    --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...> wrote:
                    > Hi Alex:
                    >
                    > I know your three categories were not meant to be exhaustive, but
                    I don't believe I fall into any one of those.
                    >
                    > I hold fast to my Christian faith, but my theology is definitely
                    more progressive than it used to be, and I am more open to the idea
                    of God in 'the other' . That is true because of my experiences of
                    life and Christian faith since coming out. That being said, I am
                    not a "theologically extremely liberal" Christian in regard to my
                    theology. I am still a Christian who looks to Scripture and
                    tradition to interpret my experiences. I wrestle with God and am
                    full of doubts and assurances, because of my on-going relationship
                    with Jesus Christ.
                    >
                    > I no longer claim the evangelical label, but the Christian one I
                    am proud to wear. And this I do with a progressive approach to how
                    I apply my historical faith to this crazy world we live in.
                    >
                    > Just my two cents,
                    > James
                    >
                    >

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • nyguy_1225
                    Thanks for your comments; I m enjoying the discussion too. So you re a PK! You probably have lots of stories. Actually there are all sorts of evangelicals
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jul 29, 2004
                      Thanks for your comments; I'm enjoying the discussion too. So
                      you're a PK! You probably have lots of stories.

                      Actually there are all sorts of evangelicals (just as there are all
                      sorts of gay people!). According to one evangelical history
                      professor: "Once past a shared commitment to a supernatural gospel,
                      evangelicals are all over the place theologically." [Mark Noll] The
                      president of Southern Baptist Seminary joins a church historian at
                      Westminster Seminary to declare that "No single evangelical
                      tradition exists." [Albert Mohler, Jr. and D. G. Hart] A Regent
                      College theology professor states: "Evangelicalism is a network and
                      tradition of Christians united on a few select convictions. As
                      such, evangelicalism is not essentially committed to this or that …
                      so long as Christ is glorified, the Bible obeyed, the gospel
                      preached and the kingdom extended." [John G. Stackhouse, Jr.]

                      "Evangelical identity," says an Anglican evangelical, "has come to
                      embrace such a wide range of theological options." And he grants
                      that it has been so ever since the 18th century split between John
                      Wesley and George Whitefield – during the very beginnings of what is
                      known as evangelicalism. [Gerald Bray] He notes that "from that day
                      to this, there has never been an evangelical church or even a
                      confession of faith, which all evangelicals can accept as definitive
                      of this movement."

                      I suppose for me, I like the "evangelical" label because I think it
                      says something about my own commitment to a supernatural gospel. I
                      happen to love the Word of God and never cease to be amazed at its
                      richness and depth. And as a Jewish believer, I am enthralled by
                      the fact that God, through the prophets of Israel, gave clear and
                      detailed prophecies concerning the promised Messiah (Christ) who
                      would one day set foot onto the stage of human history.

                      And not just a few isolated references: God provided more than 300
                      prophecies spread throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. And it wasn't
                      just a few people who came together to formulate such an intricate
                      and detailed plan: The Hebrew Scriptures were written over a 1,000
                      year span and by more than 30 different authors -- which eliminates
                      any possibility of editorial manipulation because the prophecies
                      were written by different people who lived in different places and
                      at different times in history -- yet each pointing to the same one
                      individual. And these prophecies encompass a wealth of identifying
                      characteristics about him.

                      There are prophesies of his pre-existence, his ancestry, his birth,
                      his character, his ministry, his dual nature, his death, and his
                      resurrection. Stuff like this never ceases to blow me away. Marv
                      Rosenthal once said: "To suggest that mere men maneuvered and
                      manipulated to make the myriad of events surrounding the birth of
                      Christ fit the Old Testament pattern is ludicrous. Far easier would
                      it be to disassemble a complex watch, throw the dismembered parts
                      into a running clothes dryer and believe that in due course, given
                      enough time, the watch would be whole, running on time, to the very
                      second." I find that this high view of Scripture which I have
                      always had (as both a gay man and an "ex-gay" man) is often not
                      shared by non-evangelicals.

                      -Alex


                      --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...> wrote:
                      > Hi Alex, Jack and All:
                      >
                      > First of all, I should say that I know the evangelical and
                      fundamentalist subcultures (and their differences) very well. I was
                      raised in the home of a fundamentalist minister and educated in an
                      evangelical liberal arts college and received a master of divinity
                      degree from an evangelical seminary.
                      >
                      > The one gift of my evangelical background that I continue to
                      celebrate is my relationship with Jesus Christ. I believe in
                      the "warm hearted" experience and the changed life as a result of a
                      vibrant relationship with God. However, evangelicalism fails (in my
                      opinion) when it becomes exclusive in its claims about a whole host
                      of issues. There is a great difference between proclaiming that
                      Jesus is the Savior of the world (which I do) and proclaiming that
                      we have a corner on all truth. I am not talking about the "scandal
                      of particularity." I am talking about an attitude that prevents
                      dialogue from even beginning because of the assumption that we have
                      nothing to learn from people of other traditions.
                      >
                      > Enjoying the Discussion,
                      > James
                      >
                      >
                      > nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                      > <<I no longer claim the evangelical label, but the Christian one I
                      > am proud to
                      > wear.>>
                      >
                      > Thanks for sharing! Words are very powerful things -- and they
                      > often mean different things to different people. It's obvious
                      even
                      > from your short post that you love Jesus and have a personal
                      > relationship with him. Frankly, as far as I'm concerned (and I
                      > believe as far as God is concerned as well) that's where the
                      rubber
                      > meets the roads. How that love and relationship gets expressed
                      will
                      > look different for different people. Christianity is richer,
                      wider,
                      > deeper and fuller than any one man or one group's expression of
                      > it. But if you no longer "claim the evangelical label" (which is
                      a
                      > valid choice) I guess the question that comes to mind for me is
                      what
                      > connotation or connotations does this word or label have for you
                      > that you no longer choose to claim it?
                      >
                      > -Alex
                      >
                      > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...> wrote:
                      > > Hi Alex:
                      > >
                      > > I know your three categories were not meant to be exhaustive,
                      but
                      > I don't believe I fall into any one of those.
                      > >
                      > > I hold fast to my Christian faith, but my theology is definitely
                      > more progressive than it used to be, and I am more open to the
                      idea
                      > of God in 'the other' . That is true because of my experiences of
                      > life and Christian faith since coming out. That being said, I am
                      > not a "theologically extremely liberal" Christian in regard to my
                      > theology. I am still a Christian who looks to Scripture and
                      > tradition to interpret my experiences. I wrestle with God and am
                      > full of doubts and assurances, because of my on-going relationship
                      > with Jesus Christ.
                      > >
                      > > I no longer claim the evangelical label, but the Christian one I
                      > am proud to wear. And this I do with a progressive approach to
                      how
                      > I apply my historical faith to this crazy world we live in.
                      > >
                      > > Just my two cents,
                      > > James
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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