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Re: Love in Action: A Defense

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  • Norm
    Interesting article, Drew. I understand that you feel your article from two years ago was too harsh, so I ll try to restrain my reaction. Your article defends
    Message 1 of 23 , Feb 1, 2005
      Interesting article, Drew. I understand that you feel your article
      from two years ago was too harsh, so I'll try to restrain my
      reaction.

      Your article defends Love In Action from an allegation that its
      leader, John Smid, encouraged a participant, Tom Ottosen, to commit
      suicide rather than accept his homosexuality. From my own
      experience in a similar "ex-gay" ministry and fundamentalist
      Christianity, the promotion of suicide as an alternative to
      homosexuality is very unusual. It seems likely that there was a
      miscommunication or a misunderstanding. Since both provide
      differing accounts of the conversation, only Smid and Ottosen know
      what was said and intended in their conversation.

      It's not far-fetched for me to believe mortality was explicitly or
      implicitly part of Smid's or LIA's message. Fundamentalist
      Christianity often has a death-fixation on heaven/hell, eternal
      life/damnation, etc. Hell is still a major part of most Christians'
      doctrines even if it is usually unspoken. So, it's not unreasonable
      to think that a frustrated "ex-gay" participant could conclude that
      prematurely dying as a struggling-but-saved-Christian is better than
      dying as an unsaved-homosexual. The implicit message I received in
      my "ex-gay" experience was that if I accepted my homosexuality, I
      would contract HIV/AIDS, live without a family, and/or die alone.

      After reading your defense of LIA and your experience there, I have
      to ask, Drew: Would you recommend LIA to others? If so, what type
      of person would you refer? What cautions would you have about LIA?

      Norm!

      --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, Drew VanDyche
      <vandyche@y...> wrote:
      > Below is an article that I wrote back in January 2002 in response
      to a fanatically liberal statement by a gay professor. Although I
      think maybe I came down too harsh on Tom Ottosen, sorry Tom, I think
      it shows that no matter which side we fall on, we all can get a
      little bit out of hand. And please don't beat me up over it, even I
      cringe at how arrogantly judgemental I was being. But my professor
      made me sooooo mad! :-)
      >
      > Love in Action: A Defense by Drew VanDyche
      >
      > "Christianity's goal throughout history has always been the
      annihilation of the homosexual," Professor X stated calmly and then
      sat back in self-satisfaction to watch my reaction.
      >
      > `What an absurd statement!' I thought and `Where did that come
      from?' sped through my mind.
      >
      > "You're saying that Christians want to kill homosexuals?" I choked
      out.
      >
      > "Well, don't you think so?" His eyes peered down at me over his
      glasses.
      >
      > "No!" I looked at him in stupefaction.
      >
      > "Well, you have to admit that they would all breathe a collective
      sigh of relief if we would just go away altogether." He quipped, an
      under-current of mockery in his tone.
      >
      > Now I couldn't exactly disagree with him on this point.
      Christianity or the "Church" as I shall hereafter interchangeably
      refer to it, has been for the most part antithetical to
      homosexuality. People who purport to be Christians have committed
      horrendous atrocities in the name of God. And the Church, as an
      institution, has often passed judgement on homosexuals with both
      overt and covert hatred in word and action.
      >
      > But is this the only testimony that we have from the Christian
      sector? Today we see the Church around us constantly changing and
      adapting to life in the new millennium. We hear of gays and lesbians
      accepted as priests and pastors in local congregations and abroad.
      States are slowly accepting concepts of same-sex marriage with
      licensed ministers able to perform them. And some churches are even
      actively seeking homosexuals for membership. Are these not examples
      of positive change for homosexuals by the Church?
      >
      > But to compare those who claim Christianity with a Nazi regime of
      homosexual extinction? I find the concept appalling! The proverbial
      statement most often quoted by Christians is "love the sinner, hate
      the sin." Albeit living the proverb is an entirely different thing
      than just speaking it.
      >
      > As I wandered into class the following day Professor X handed me
      an article that he had printed off the Internet. An article that he
      claimed proved his point.
      >
      > "Love in Action: The Final Indoctrination" (Anderson) documents an
      interview done with Tom Ottosen, a former ex-gay who spent some time
      living in a ministry house run by Love in Action (San Rafael, CA).
      Tom claims that John Smid, a primary leader of Love in Action,
      warned him that "I would rather you commit suicide than have you
      leave Love in Action wanting to return to the gay lifestyle. In a
      physical death you could still have a spiritual resurrection;
      whereas, returning to homosexuality you are yielding yourself to a
      spiritual death from which there is no recovery." Ottosen goes on to
      say that at this time, Smid was clearly aware of his suicidal
      tendencies and extreme depression. This was Ottosen's second year in
      Love in Action.
      >
      > If this statement is true, then I am deeply grieved and ashamed
      that John, not a trained psychotherapist, but an administrator type,
      in attempting to convey the gravity that he felt regarding the
      situation, took such an extreme position. But is an equally
      incendiary response from the left warranted? And should all
      Christianity be condemned by one man's actions?
      >
      > It is on this one man's testimony alone and one article alone that
      Professor X takes his position. How do I know this? Because I have
      done the research and find no corroboration for Ottosen's claims.
      Not one person has ever stepped forward to give credence to
      Ottosen's claims. Dennis Anderson, himself, is untraceable via the
      world wide web except in reference to this one article, written back
      in 1994 for a pro-gay Sonoma County publication called "We the
      People" who it would seem hold the copyright. All other references
      to Dennis Anderson on the Internet lead directly back to this one
      article and this article is even cited as a source for other pro-gay
      anti-Christian propaganda. There are no citations given except this
      one interview, no references to any other documentation supporting
      it, nor has the article been peer-reviewed.
      >
      > John Smid has continuously denied all allegations regarding this
      article. And even ex-ex-gays Jeffrey Coates and Gary Hayashi, former
      members of the Anaheim based ministry "Desert Stream," respond that
      they have never heard anyone from within ex-gay circles recommend
      suicide. The idea is preposterous. Without more evidence how can
      anyone be anything but skeptical about the veracity of this article?
      The other reason that I remain dubious of this accusation stems from
      my own experience with Love in Action. (I was a graduate of the 1988
      live in program along with well-known "Love Won Out" conference
      speaker and ex-gay poster boy John Paulk.)
      >
      > Love in Action and other ex-gay ministries were birthed in the
      early 70's in response to the waning free-love generation and on the
      rising popularity of the Jesus movement. During this time, many self-
      help and twelve steps programs were instituted and a population of
      maturing hippies and flower children sought solace in answers other
      than that of instant gratification and open relationships. Many "ego-
      dystonic" homosexuals, (A psychological catch-phrase describing
      those with an internal or external statement of identity that is not
      syntonic or compatible with one's belief system) with roots in
      Christian middle-class suburbia, began seeking resolution to the
      conflict within them by the hope of changing what they considered to
      be their sexual orientation. The philosophy fueling these efforts
      consisted of a mixture of biblical fundamentalism, Freudian
      psychology, and an in-depth scrutiny of self, followed by teaching
      in regards to sex roles and gender identification. In other words, a
      > "why we do the things we do" approach to habitual behavior and
      its modification. This was accomplished primarily through a 24-hour
      live-in accountability program for those wanting to follow a "Steps
      Out of Homosexuality" program run by Frank Worthen, founder of Love
      in Action and considered to be the father of all ex-gay ministries.
      >
      > Based in the small town of San Rafael, California, just north of
      the Golden Gate and just twenty minutes from the gay Mecca of San
      Francisco, Frank found his converts by advertising in San Francisco
      alternative papers with just a simple "Gay? Want Out? Call Frank"
      and his phone number. He was soon overwhelmed by the number of calls
      that he was receiving. The ministry began as a way to provide call-
      in support as well as small group meetings for those desiring an
      out.
      >
      > Love in Action quickly became a media target by militant gays who
      felt that such constituents of their community should not even be
      given the right to attempt to change their sexual orientation even
      if they were conflicted about it. Gay proponents responded with a
      disdainful "get over it" and "give in" rhetoric to those struggling
      to accept their sexual identity. After all, the American Psychiatric
      Association removed homosexuality from the deviant behavior list,
      why shouldn't every individual with homosexual tendencies? Again, we
      see another knee-jerk, oversimplified and polarized response to what
      is really a personal and complex issue.
      >
      > When Frank first started out, changing a person's orientation
      wasn't his primary focus. A statement that was often heard out of
      his mouth was "It's not my goal to change you. If you come out of
      this year having a closer relationship with Jesus, then I am
      satisfied."
      >
      > Anita Worthen, a woman he married after she came to him for
      counseling regarding her gay son, also proved to be a powerful
      influence upon the ministry. We now jokingly state that she "put the
      pants on" Love in Action. Her masculine qualities, clearly the
      dominant of her gender and character traits, often invalidated the
      feminine and often campy sides of our personalities and she had no
      tolerance for anyone manifesting affectations of "our old life."
      Many, no scratch that, "I" still bear the scars of emotional
      wounding by her moral superiority, righteous indignation and
      forthright personality. (Resolution doesn't come easily once one
      falls out of grace with Exodus or any of its affiliations.)
      >
      > But the majority of the problems for the ministry did not begin
      happening until John Smid joined the ministry and the live-in
      program was born. John, a strict disciplinarian with a tendency to
      utilize his own conversion experience as an ideal grid for change,
      was quick with a frown of disapproval and ostracizing sanctions for
      those unable, or as he usually defined it "unwilling" to conform to
      it.
      >
      > However, even with his faults in view, I do not believe that John
      would ever encourage a person to suicide. With his track record of
      judging others by his own standards, it would be easy for one
      already prone to self-condemnation to turn John's personal
      conviction statement into a condemnatory mandate.
      >
      > In my opinion, Tom wanted a way out. He could have walked away at
      any time, but maybe did not have the resources or wherewithal to
      make such a drastic life change, after all, he'd given up so much to
      put himself into the situation; twice even. John's mistake afforded
      Tom the opportunity to solidify his choice by projecting blame on
      Love in Action. I am not saying that Love in Action is entirely
      without fault. But by turning it into a life or death, fight or
      flight situation, Tom didn't have to take full responsibility for
      his choice. Tom Ottosen used this situation to catapult him out into
      a new reality. He got more than his 15 minutes of fame, but where is
      he now? Is he better off? Did his internal conflicts simply
      disappear because he escaped what he and others still consider to be
      a cult?
      >
      > The media loves to polarize issues and conflict is drama. If you
      can bump up the conflict, you increase the drama and multiply your
      audience. Love in Action became a high profile debate in the bay
      area and Frank Worthen, a wonderfully kind man, was exalted by the
      Christian media to a pedestal, not of his own choosing, and then was
      subsequently cast down from it by its secular counterpart.
      >
      > For most of those that I know through Love in Action, we have come
      out from the experience stronger than we were before. Many of us
      have integrated our homosexual identities into our over-all
      existence. Many still manifest a bi-polar behavioral modification
      syndrome of addiction and repression. Some are still not sure where
      exactly we fit on the Kinsey scale, and yes, some of us have even
      married women and had children. Regardless, we have not given up our
      faith, or our hope, nor do we think that our time with Love in
      Action was wasted. A very wise one once said, "It's not what happens
      to you in life that matters, but how you respond to it." Some of us
      still attempt to live by that motto.
      >
      > Whether you are a Christian or non-Christian, I leave you with
      these thoughts. Christian mythology and philosophy says that man
      fell from grace and was cast out of paradise when he partook of the
      Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I believe that when we
      polarize, posture ourselves faction against faction, one against
      another, turn everything into all black and all white, we continue
      to partake of that tree. God never wanted us to be good he wanted us
      to be real. (Hayashi) Reality is not black and white. Reality can
      only be portrayed fully in the rainbow of all its glory.
      >
      >
      >
      > Works Cited
      >
      > Anderson, Dennis "Love in Action: The Final Indoctrination" We the
      People March 1994
      >
      > Hayashi, Gary "Free to be Loved" Conference Speaker, San Francisco
      Vineyard Nov 1996
      >
      >
      >
      > Bio: Drew VanDyche
      >
      > Drew VanDyche (ASCAP) holds a Bachelors degree in Performing Arts
      from the University of Tampa. His artistry, articles, reviews and
      editorials have appeared in various publications including what he
      warmly calls local "gay" rags. His poetry has been published in
      numerous anthologies including the Library of Poetry's Millennium
      Edition and most recently, the University of Tampa's "Quilt"
      anthology 2002. In 2000, he teamed up with composer Chuck Whiting
      (BMI/ASCAP), Nashville, TN and formed VanDyche/Whiting Productions
      to foster their love for music and even had the opportunity to work
      with Nashville Star winner, Buddy Jewell, on his poignant country
      balled "The One." Chuck is currently pitching songs to the powers
      that be in Music City, while Drew is taking time off in California
      before he returns to grad school.
      >
      >
      >
      > Drew VanDyche
      > aka: Drewcifer, Drewski, Drewblood...
      > http://profiles.yahoo.com/vandyche
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Drew VanDyche
      Norm: Thanks for being understanding. I know what it is like to feel self-loathing and it is a programming that I am unraveling with my therapist. I m not
      Message 2 of 23 , Feb 1, 2005
        Norm:
        Thanks for being understanding.
        I know what it is like to feel self-loathing and it is a programming that I am unraveling with my therapist. I'm not exactly sure how it came into being, but somehow the concept that I was inherently evil worked into my psyche. That somewhere inside there worked a death wish. I have only begun to realize that the "spirit" inside me is pure, having accepted the gift of a Savior and yet that "spirit" is housed within my soul, which is not.

        Would I recommend LIA to others? No. There are other ministries that I would recommend prior to any kind of live in experience. "Theotherapy" being one of them. Theotherapy utilizes a lay person facilitated gestalt therapy (role-playing) model and was highly beneficial on my journey towards becoming a whole person.

        I think you can get information about theotherapy through the Belmont Church in Nashville.
        http://www.belmont.org/

        And yet my heart is to provide a "family" for others, something that I never truly had, a safe place for growth into the fullness and wholeness as children of God. I have often pondered whether a live-in program model falls short in and of itself, or whether or not there is a way to make it work. My dream is to one day own a house or property where God brings others to live to learn to love each other in spirit and in truth. I hope that some day I have the chance to see it happen.

        In His Care,
        Drew


        Norm <nojam75@...> wrote:

        Interesting article, Drew. I understand that you feel your article
        from two years ago was too harsh, so I'll try to restrain my
        reaction.

        Your article defends Love In Action from an allegation that its
        leader, John Smid, encouraged a participant, Tom Ottosen, to commit
        suicide rather than accept his homosexuality. From my own
        experience in a similar "ex-gay" ministry and fundamentalist
        Christianity, the promotion of suicide as an alternative to
        homosexuality is very unusual. It seems likely that there was a
        miscommunication or a misunderstanding. Since both provide
        differing accounts of the conversation, only Smid and Ottosen know
        what was said and intended in their conversation.

        It's not far-fetched for me to believe mortality was explicitly or
        implicitly part of Smid's or LIA's message. Fundamentalist
        Christianity often has a death-fixation on heaven/hell, eternal
        life/damnation, etc. Hell is still a major part of most Christians'
        doctrines even if it is usually unspoken. So, it's not unreasonable
        to think that a frustrated "ex-gay" participant could conclude that
        prematurely dying as a struggling-but-saved-Christian is better than
        dying as an unsaved-homosexual. The implicit message I received in
        my "ex-gay" experience was that if I accepted my homosexuality, I
        would contract HIV/AIDS, live without a family, and/or die alone.

        After reading your defense of LIA and your experience there, I have
        to ask, Drew: Would you recommend LIA to others? If so, what type
        of person would you refer? What cautions would you have about LIA?

        Norm!

        --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, Drew VanDyche
        <vandyche@y...> wrote:
        > Below is an article that I wrote back in January 2002 in response
        to a fanatically liberal statement by a gay professor. Although I
        think maybe I came down too harsh on Tom Ottosen, sorry Tom, I think
        it shows that no matter which side we fall on, we all can get a
        little bit out of hand. And please don't beat me up over it, even I
        cringe at how arrogantly judgemental I was being. But my professor
        made me sooooo mad! :-)
        >
        > Love in Action: A Defense by Drew VanDyche
        >
        > "Christianity's goal throughout history has always been the
        annihilation of the homosexual," Professor X stated calmly and then
        sat back in self-satisfaction to watch my reaction.
        >
        > `What an absurd statement!' I thought and `Where did that come
        from?' sped through my mind.
        >
        > "You're saying that Christians want to kill homosexuals?" I choked
        out.
        >
        > "Well, don't you think so?" His eyes peered down at me over his
        glasses.
        >
        > "No!" I looked at him in stupefaction.
        >
        > "Well, you have to admit that they would all breathe a collective
        sigh of relief if we would just go away altogether." He quipped, an
        under-current of mockery in his tone.
        >
        > Now I couldn't exactly disagree with him on this point.
        Christianity or the "Church" as I shall hereafter interchangeably
        refer to it, has been for the most part antithetical to
        homosexuality. People who purport to be Christians have committed
        horrendous atrocities in the name of God. And the Church, as an
        institution, has often passed judgement on homosexuals with both
        overt and covert hatred in word and action.
        >
        > But is this the only testimony that we have from the Christian
        sector? Today we see the Church around us constantly changing and
        adapting to life in the new millennium. We hear of gays and lesbians
        accepted as priests and pastors in local congregations and abroad.
        States are slowly accepting concepts of same-sex marriage with
        licensed ministers able to perform them. And some churches are even
        actively seeking homosexuals for membership. Are these not examples
        of positive change for homosexuals by the Church?
        >
        > But to compare those who claim Christianity with a Nazi regime of
        homosexual extinction? I find the concept appalling! The proverbial
        statement most often quoted by Christians is "love the sinner, hate
        the sin." Albeit living the proverb is an entirely different thing
        than just speaking it.
        >
        > As I wandered into class the following day Professor X handed me
        an article that he had printed off the Internet. An article that he
        claimed proved his point.
        >
        > "Love in Action: The Final Indoctrination" (Anderson) documents an
        interview done with Tom Ottosen, a former ex-gay who spent some time
        living in a ministry house run by Love in Action (San Rafael, CA).
        Tom claims that John Smid, a primary leader of Love in Action,
        warned him that "I would rather you commit suicide than have you
        leave Love in Action wanting to return to the gay lifestyle. In a
        physical death you could still have a spiritual resurrection;
        whereas, returning to homosexuality you are yielding yourself to a
        spiritual death from which there is no recovery." Ottosen goes on to
        say that at this time, Smid was clearly aware of his suicidal
        tendencies and extreme depression. This was Ottosen's second year in
        Love in Action.
        >
        > If this statement is true, then I am deeply grieved and ashamed
        that John, not a trained psychotherapist, but an administrator type,
        in attempting to convey the gravity that he felt regarding the
        situation, took such an extreme position. But is an equally
        incendiary response from the left warranted? And should all
        Christianity be condemned by one man's actions?
        >
        > It is on this one man's testimony alone and one article alone that
        Professor X takes his position. How do I know this? Because I have
        done the research and find no corroboration for Ottosen's claims.
        Not one person has ever stepped forward to give credence to
        Ottosen's claims. Dennis Anderson, himself, is untraceable via the
        world wide web except in reference to this one article, written back
        in 1994 for a pro-gay Sonoma County publication called "We the
        People" who it would seem hold the copyright. All other references
        to Dennis Anderson on the Internet lead directly back to this one
        article and this article is even cited as a source for other pro-gay
        anti-Christian propaganda. There are no citations given except this
        one interview, no references to any other documentation supporting
        it, nor has the article been peer-reviewed.
        >
        > John Smid has continuously denied all allegations regarding this
        article. And even ex-ex-gays Jeffrey Coates and Gary Hayashi, former
        members of the Anaheim based ministry "Desert Stream," respond that
        they have never heard anyone from within ex-gay circles recommend
        suicide. The idea is preposterous. Without more evidence how can
        anyone be anything but skeptical about the veracity of this article?
        The other reason that I remain dubious of this accusation stems from
        my own experience with Love in Action. (I was a graduate of the 1988
        live in program along with well-known "Love Won Out" conference
        speaker and ex-gay poster boy John Paulk.)
        >
        > Love in Action and other ex-gay ministries were birthed in the
        early 70's in response to the waning free-love generation and on the
        rising popularity of the Jesus movement. During this time, many self-
        help and twelve steps programs were instituted and a population of
        maturing hippies and flower children sought solace in answers other
        than that of instant gratification and open relationships. Many "ego-
        dystonic" homosexuals, (A psychological catch-phrase describing
        those with an internal or external statement of identity that is not
        syntonic or compatible with one's belief system) with roots in
        Christian middle-class suburbia, began seeking resolution to the
        conflict within them by the hope of changing what they considered to
        be their sexual orientation. The philosophy fueling these efforts
        consisted of a mixture of biblical fundamentalism, Freudian
        psychology, and an in-depth scrutiny of self, followed by teaching
        in regards to sex roles and gender identification. In other words, a
        > "why we do the things we do" approach to habitual behavior and
        its modification. This was accomplished primarily through a 24-hour
        live-in accountability program for those wanting to follow a "Steps
        Out of Homosexuality" program run by Frank Worthen, founder of Love
        in Action and considered to be the father of all ex-gay ministries.
        >
        > Based in the small town of San Rafael, California, just north of
        the Golden Gate and just twenty minutes from the gay Mecca of San
        Francisco, Frank found his converts by advertising in San Francisco
        alternative papers with just a simple "Gay? Want Out? Call Frank"
        and his phone number. He was soon overwhelmed by the number of calls
        that he was receiving. The ministry began as a way to provide call-
        in support as well as small group meetings for those desiring an
        out.
        >
        > Love in Action quickly became a media target by militant gays who
        felt that such constituents of their community should not even be
        given the right to attempt to change their sexual orientation even
        if they were conflicted about it. Gay proponents responded with a
        disdainful "get over it" and "give in" rhetoric to those struggling
        to accept their sexual identity. After all, the American Psychiatric
        Association removed homosexuality from the deviant behavior list,
        why shouldn't every individual with homosexual tendencies? Again, we
        see another knee-jerk, oversimplified and polarized response to what
        is really a personal and complex issue.
        >
        > When Frank first started out, changing a person's orientation
        wasn't his primary focus. A statement that was often heard out of
        his mouth was "It's not my goal to change you. If you come out of
        this year having a closer relationship with Jesus, then I am
        satisfied."
        >
        > Anita Worthen, a woman he married after she came to him for
        counseling regarding her gay son, also proved to be a powerful
        influence upon the ministry. We now jokingly state that she "put the
        pants on" Love in Action. Her masculine qualities, clearly the
        dominant of her gender and character traits, often invalidated the
        feminine and often campy sides of our personalities and she had no
        tolerance for anyone manifesting affectations of "our old life."
        Many, no scratch that, "I" still bear the scars of emotional
        wounding by her moral superiority, righteous indignation and
        forthright personality. (Resolution doesn't come easily once one
        falls out of grace with Exodus or any of its affiliations.)
        >
        > But the majority of the problems for the ministry did not begin
        happening until John Smid joined the ministry and the live-in
        program was born. John, a strict disciplinarian with a tendency to
        utilize his own conversion experience as an ideal grid for change,
        was quick with a frown of disapproval and ostracizing sanctions for
        those unable, or as he usually defined it "unwilling" to conform to
        it.
        >
        > However, even with his faults in view, I do not believe that John
        would ever encourage a person to suicide. With his track record of
        judging others by his own standards, it would be easy for one
        already prone to self-condemnation to turn John's personal
        conviction statement into a condemnatory mandate.
        >
        > In my opinion, Tom wanted a way out. He could have walked away at
        any time, but maybe did not have the resources or wherewithal to
        make such a drastic life change, after all, he'd given up so much to
        put himself into the situation; twice even. John's mistake afforded
        Tom the opportunity to solidify his choice by projecting blame on
        Love in Action. I am not saying that Love in Action is entirely
        without fault. But by turning it into a life or death, fight or
        flight situation, Tom didn't have to take full responsibility for
        his choice. Tom Ottosen used this situation to catapult him out into
        a new reality. He got more than his 15 minutes of fame, but where is
        he now? Is he better off? Did his internal conflicts simply
        disappear because he escaped what he and others still consider to be
        a cult?
        >
        > The media loves to polarize issues and conflict is drama. If you
        can bump up the conflict, you increase the drama and multiply your
        audience. Love in Action became a high profile debate in the bay
        area and Frank Worthen, a wonderfully kind man, was exalted by the
        Christian media to a pedestal, not of his own choosing, and then was
        subsequently cast down from it by its secular counterpart.
        >
        > For most of those that I know through Love in Action, we have come
        out from the experience stronger than we were before. Many of us
        have integrated our homosexual identities into our over-all
        existence. Many still manifest a bi-polar behavioral modification
        syndrome of addiction and repression. Some are still not sure where
        exactly we fit on the Kinsey scale, and yes, some of us have even
        married women and had children. Regardless, we have not given up our
        faith, or our hope, nor do we think that our time with Love in
        Action was wasted. A very wise one once said, "It's not what happens
        to you in life that matters, but how you respond to it." Some of us
        still attempt to live by that motto.
        >
        > Whether you are a Christian or non-Christian, I leave you with
        these thoughts. Christian mythology and philosophy says that man
        fell from grace and was cast out of paradise when he partook of the
        Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I believe that when we
        polarize, posture ourselves faction against faction, one against
        another, turn everything into all black and all white, we continue
        to partake of that tree. God never wanted us to be good he wanted us
        to be real. (Hayashi) Reality is not black and white. Reality can
        only be portrayed fully in the rainbow of all its glory.
        >
        >
        >
        > Works Cited
        >
        > Anderson, Dennis "Love in Action: The Final Indoctrination" We the
        People March 1994
        >
        > Hayashi, Gary "Free to be Loved" Conference Speaker, San Francisco
        Vineyard Nov 1996
        >
        >
        >
        > Bio: Drew VanDyche
        >
        > Drew VanDyche (ASCAP) holds a Bachelors degree in Performing Arts
        from the University of Tampa. His artistry, articles, reviews and
        editorials have appeared in various publications including what he
        warmly calls local "gay" rags. His poetry has been published in
        numerous anthologies including the Library of Poetry's Millennium
        Edition and most recently, the University of Tampa's "Quilt"
        anthology 2002. In 2000, he teamed up with composer Chuck Whiting
        (BMI/ASCAP), Nashville, TN and formed VanDyche/Whiting Productions
        to foster their love for music and even had the opportunity to work
        with Nashville Star winner, Buddy Jewell, on his poignant country
        balled "The One." Chuck is currently pitching songs to the powers
        that be in Music City, while Drew is taking time off in California
        before he returns to grad school.
        >
        >
        >
        > Drew VanDyche
        > aka: Drewcifer, Drewski, Drewblood...
        > http://profiles.yahoo.com/vandyche
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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      • JC
        Sorry guys... but I cannot even come to the table with the idea that anti-gay Christians are often very well intentioned. They may *believe* that they are,
        Message 3 of 23 , Feb 1, 2005
          Sorry guys... but I cannot even "come to the table" with the idea that anti-gay Christians are often very well intentioned. They may *believe* that they are, but that does not make it so. Their actions are based in the desire to control; and this desire to control is based in fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear."

          Having grown up in a fundamentalist family, and having been educated in an evangelical college and seminary, I say from my own experience that some of our more conservative brothers and sisters are often not ready to let God do the saving of individuals and of the creation. There is this need to manipulate that is based in doubt and fear and not the sovereignty of God.

          When I rest in the idea that Jesus is the Lord of all, then I let go of my own desires to control what does not belong to me.

          My Two Cents,
          James


          nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

          <<If you were to be able to just take every viewpoint he has (except
          his view on homosexuality), you would have to conclude that he is
          pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love. I challenge you to remove
          his viewpoint on homosexuality and see if you would not agree with
          his position on most everything else. If not, then who is following
          Christ's teaching and who is not?>>

          Jerry, take a closer look. The arguments of the anti-gay folks,
          like Dobson, are often very well-intentioned, but their goals and
          objectives seem to be different from those of Jesus. The arguments
          have to do with very secular concerns: control over chaos, majority
          rule, fear of the other, fear of the unknown, and an idealization of
          a family unit that Jesus himself never lived or idealized.

          -Alex


          --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry" <BearJER@J...> wrote:
          >
          > Once again my point was proven over and over again because a
          person cannot express anything but left-wing views on this site
          without being attacked. Do you think Jesus would respond in such a
          fashion? Definitely not! You talk about James Dobson spreading
          hate? How so? For a person to speak about his understanding of
          what the Bible teaches is not hatred, unless it contains hatred in
          words or deeds. It may be wrong, but it is not hatred unless he
          hates people and advocates hatred. I see no evidence of that at all
          in what he teaches. If you were to be able to just take every
          viewpoint he has (except his view on homosexuality), you would have
          to conclude that he is pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love. I
          challenge you to remove his viewpoint on homosexuality and see if
          you would not agree with his position on most everything else. If
          not, then who is following Christ's teaching and who is not?
          >
          > Jerry
          >
          >
          > THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: Jesus said it: "Do unto others as you would
          have them do unto you."
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Norm
          Drew: ...I m not exactly sure how it came into being, but somehow the concept that I was inherently evil worked into my psyche. That somewhere inside there
          Message 4 of 23 , Feb 1, 2005
            Drew: >>>"...I'm not exactly sure how it came into being, but
            somehow the concept that I was inherently evil worked into my
            psyche. That somewhere inside there worked a death wish. ..."<<<

            Although I don't know your history and I'm not qualified to act as
            therapist, my knee-jerk reaction would be to hold fundamentalist
            Christianity and "ex-gay" theology responsible as the part of the
            roots of your self-loathing. I know fundamentalist Christians
            and "ex-gay" promoters claim that they are offer affirmation and not
            hell-fire sermons. However, original sin doctrine and damnation are
            major parts of most Christians' belief systems. So, it's not
            surprising that any Christian would learn from the earliest ages
            that s/he is sinful, evil, and damned. Gay Christians are
            particularly at-risk of believing that we are evil because we have
            seemingly inate "sinful" attractions.

            >>>"...I have only begun to realize that the "spirit" inside me is
            pure, having accepted the gift of a Savior and yet that "spirit" is
            housed within my soul, which is not."<<<

            For me, the most profound change in theology was the realization
            that Jesus' message was about building the kingdom of God here and
            now -- not the afterlife. As I've said before, fundamentalist
            Christianity is too death-orientated. I was raised in a "bunker"
            fundamentalist church that was just waiting for The End and was very
            dismissive of society/humanity. Even evangelical churches that
            specialize in positive community outreach often concentrate on the
            afterlife and end times. Too often, the message is that we humans
            fall short and are ultimately incapable of creating anything
            meaningful in our mortal lives -- except for recruiting new
            Christians.

            The idea that God created us to build God's kingdom during our
            mortal lives is very empowering. I credit many of the recent social
            advances (racial justice, gender equality, human rights,
            environmental stewardship, etc.) to the theology of being citizens
            of God's kingdom here and now. The recent MLK holiday observance
            and a special service at my local UCC celebrating its open and
            affirming pledge remind me how far our society has come in a
            relative short time and how the progress our society needs to
            continue to strive for.

            >>>...I have often pondered whether a live-in program model falls
            short in and of itself, or whether or not there is a way to make it
            work. My dream is to one day own a house or property where God
            brings others to live to learn to love each other in spirit and in
            truth. I hope that some day I have the chance to see it happen.<<<

            For some reason, I find "ex-gay" live-in programs interesting. When
            I was pursuing the "ex-gay" lifestyle, I wondered if I was "screwed-
            up" enough to join a live-in program. :-) Afterall, the weekly "ex-
            gay" meetings and daily regiment didn't seem to have any positive
            effect on me. The idea of an intensive, 24/7 program seemed
            drastic, but must work somehow. Right?

            Your dream of creating a home is beautiful and you seem to
            understand the risks and possible short-comings of the live-in
            model. Locally, we have a gay mens Christian community that
            ultimately would like to build some kind of home. The caution I and
            others have is how exactly would such a community be structured,
            would appropriate boundaries be set, and would how would such a
            community avoid codependence and other unhealthy relationships.
            Again, I assume you are considering these things so I don't mean to
            rain on your parade, but I would be interested in hearing more.

            Norm!

            --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, Drew VanDyche
            <vandyche@y...> wrote:
            > Norm:
            > Thanks for being understanding.
            > I know what it is like to feel self-loathing and it is a
            programming that I am unraveling with my therapist. I'm not exactly
            sure how it came into being, but somehow the concept that I was
            inherently evil worked into my psyche. That somewhere inside there
            worked a death wish. I have only begun to realize that the "spirit"
            inside me is pure, having accepted the gift of a Savior and yet
            that "spirit" is housed within my soul, which is not.
            >
            > Would I recommend LIA to others? No. There are other ministries
            that I would recommend prior to any kind of live in
            experience. "Theotherapy" being one of them. Theotherapy utilizes a
            lay person facilitated gestalt therapy (role-playing) model and was
            highly beneficial on my journey towards becoming a whole person.
            >
            > I think you can get information about theotherapy through the
            Belmont Church in Nashville.
            > http://www.belmont.org/
            >
            > And yet my heart is to provide a "family" for others, something
            that I never truly had, a safe place for growth into the fullness
            and wholeness as children of God. I have often pondered whether a
            live-in program model falls short in and of itself, or whether or
            not there is a way to make it work. My dream is to one day own a
            house or property where God brings others to live to learn to love
            each other in spirit and in truth. I hope that some day I have the
            chance to see it happen.
            >
            > In His Care,
            > Drew
            >
            >
            > Norm <nojam75@y...> wrote:
            >
            > Interesting article, Drew. I understand that you feel your
            article
            > from two years ago was too harsh, so I'll try to restrain my
            > reaction.
            >
            > Your article defends Love In Action from an allegation that its
            > leader, John Smid, encouraged a participant, Tom Ottosen, to
            commit
            > suicide rather than accept his homosexuality. From my own
            > experience in a similar "ex-gay" ministry and fundamentalist
            > Christianity, the promotion of suicide as an alternative to
            > homosexuality is very unusual. It seems likely that there was a
            > miscommunication or a misunderstanding. Since both provide
            > differing accounts of the conversation, only Smid and Ottosen know
            > what was said and intended in their conversation.
            >
            > It's not far-fetched for me to believe mortality was explicitly or
            > implicitly part of Smid's or LIA's message. Fundamentalist
            > Christianity often has a death-fixation on heaven/hell, eternal
            > life/damnation, etc. Hell is still a major part of most
            Christians'
            > doctrines even if it is usually unspoken. So, it's not
            unreasonable
            > to think that a frustrated "ex-gay" participant could conclude
            that
            > prematurely dying as a struggling-but-saved-Christian is better
            than
            > dying as an unsaved-homosexual. The implicit message I received
            in
            > my "ex-gay" experience was that if I accepted my homosexuality, I
            > would contract HIV/AIDS, live without a family, and/or die alone.
            >
            > After reading your defense of LIA and your experience there, I
            have
            > to ask, Drew: Would you recommend LIA to others? If so, what type
            > of person would you refer? What cautions would you have about
            LIA?
            >
            > Norm!
            >
            > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, Drew VanDyche
            > <vandyche@y...> wrote:
            > > Below is an article that I wrote back in January 2002 in
            response
            > to a fanatically liberal statement by a gay professor. Although I
            > think maybe I came down too harsh on Tom Ottosen, sorry Tom, I
            think
            > it shows that no matter which side we fall on, we all can get a
            > little bit out of hand. And please don't beat me up over it, even
            I
            > cringe at how arrogantly judgemental I was being. But my professor
            > made me sooooo mad! :-)
            > >
            > > Love in Action: A Defense by Drew VanDyche
            > >
            > > "Christianity's goal throughout history has always been the
            > annihilation of the homosexual," Professor X stated calmly and
            then
            > sat back in self-satisfaction to watch my reaction.
            > >
            > > `What an absurd statement!' I thought and `Where did that come
            > from?' sped through my mind.
            > >
            > > "You're saying that Christians want to kill homosexuals?" I
            choked
            > out.
            > >
            > > "Well, don't you think so?" His eyes peered down at me over his
            > glasses.
            > >
            > > "No!" I looked at him in stupefaction.
            > >
            > > "Well, you have to admit that they would all breathe a
            collective
            > sigh of relief if we would just go away altogether." He quipped,
            an
            > under-current of mockery in his tone.
            > >
            > > Now I couldn't exactly disagree with him on this point.
            > Christianity or the "Church" as I shall hereafter interchangeably
            > refer to it, has been for the most part antithetical to
            > homosexuality. People who purport to be Christians have committed
            > horrendous atrocities in the name of God. And the Church, as an
            > institution, has often passed judgement on homosexuals with both
            > overt and covert hatred in word and action.
            > >
            > > But is this the only testimony that we have from the Christian
            > sector? Today we see the Church around us constantly changing and
            > adapting to life in the new millennium. We hear of gays and
            lesbians
            > accepted as priests and pastors in local congregations and abroad.
            > States are slowly accepting concepts of same-sex marriage with
            > licensed ministers able to perform them. And some churches are
            even
            > actively seeking homosexuals for membership. Are these not
            examples
            > of positive change for homosexuals by the Church?
            > >
            > > But to compare those who claim Christianity with a Nazi regime
            of
            > homosexual extinction? I find the concept appalling! The
            proverbial
            > statement most often quoted by Christians is "love the sinner,
            hate
            > the sin." Albeit living the proverb is an entirely different thing
            > than just speaking it.
            > >
            > > As I wandered into class the following day Professor X handed me
            > an article that he had printed off the Internet. An article that
            he
            > claimed proved his point.
            > >
            > > "Love in Action: The Final Indoctrination" (Anderson) documents
            an
            > interview done with Tom Ottosen, a former ex-gay who spent some
            time
            > living in a ministry house run by Love in Action (San Rafael, CA).
            > Tom claims that John Smid, a primary leader of Love in Action,
            > warned him that "I would rather you commit suicide than have you
            > leave Love in Action wanting to return to the gay lifestyle. In a
            > physical death you could still have a spiritual resurrection;
            > whereas, returning to homosexuality you are yielding yourself to a
            > spiritual death from which there is no recovery." Ottosen goes on
            to
            > say that at this time, Smid was clearly aware of his suicidal
            > tendencies and extreme depression. This was Ottosen's second year
            in
            > Love in Action.
            > >
            > > If this statement is true, then I am deeply grieved and ashamed
            > that John, not a trained psychotherapist, but an administrator
            type,
            > in attempting to convey the gravity that he felt regarding the
            > situation, took such an extreme position. But is an equally
            > incendiary response from the left warranted? And should all
            > Christianity be condemned by one man's actions?
            > >
            > > It is on this one man's testimony alone and one article alone
            that
            > Professor X takes his position. How do I know this? Because I have
            > done the research and find no corroboration for Ottosen's claims.
            > Not one person has ever stepped forward to give credence to
            > Ottosen's claims. Dennis Anderson, himself, is untraceable via the
            > world wide web except in reference to this one article, written
            back
            > in 1994 for a pro-gay Sonoma County publication called "We the
            > People" who it would seem hold the copyright. All other references
            > to Dennis Anderson on the Internet lead directly back to this one
            > article and this article is even cited as a source for other pro-
            gay
            > anti-Christian propaganda. There are no citations given except
            this
            > one interview, no references to any other documentation supporting
            > it, nor has the article been peer-reviewed.
            > >
            > > John Smid has continuously denied all allegations regarding this
            > article. And even ex-ex-gays Jeffrey Coates and Gary Hayashi,
            former
            > members of the Anaheim based ministry "Desert Stream," respond
            that
            > they have never heard anyone from within ex-gay circles recommend
            > suicide. The idea is preposterous. Without more evidence how can
            > anyone be anything but skeptical about the veracity of this
            article?
            > The other reason that I remain dubious of this accusation stems
            from
            > my own experience with Love in Action. (I was a graduate of the
            1988
            > live in program along with well-known "Love Won Out" conference
            > speaker and ex-gay poster boy John Paulk.)
            > >
            > > Love in Action and other ex-gay ministries were birthed in the
            > early 70's in response to the waning free-love generation and on
            the
            > rising popularity of the Jesus movement. During this time, many
            self-
            > help and twelve steps programs were instituted and a population of
            > maturing hippies and flower children sought solace in answers
            other
            > than that of instant gratification and open relationships.
            Many "ego-
            > dystonic" homosexuals, (A psychological catch-phrase describing
            > those with an internal or external statement of identity that is
            not
            > syntonic or compatible with one's belief system) with roots in
            > Christian middle-class suburbia, began seeking resolution to the
            > conflict within them by the hope of changing what they considered
            to
            > be their sexual orientation. The philosophy fueling these efforts
            > consisted of a mixture of biblical fundamentalism, Freudian
            > psychology, and an in-depth scrutiny of self, followed by teaching
            > in regards to sex roles and gender identification. In other words,
            a
            > > "why we do the things we do" approach to habitual behavior and
            > its modification. This was accomplished primarily through a 24-
            hour
            > live-in accountability program for those wanting to follow
            a "Steps
            > Out of Homosexuality" program run by Frank Worthen, founder of
            Love
            > in Action and considered to be the father of all ex-gay ministries.
            > >
            > > Based in the small town of San Rafael, California, just north of
            > the Golden Gate and just twenty minutes from the gay Mecca of San
            > Francisco, Frank found his converts by advertising in San
            Francisco
            > alternative papers with just a simple "Gay? Want Out? Call Frank"
            > and his phone number. He was soon overwhelmed by the number of
            calls
            > that he was receiving. The ministry began as a way to provide call-
            > in support as well as small group meetings for those desiring an
            > out.
            > >
            > > Love in Action quickly became a media target by militant gays
            who
            > felt that such constituents of their community should not even be
            > given the right to attempt to change their sexual orientation even
            > if they were conflicted about it. Gay proponents responded with a
            > disdainful "get over it" and "give in" rhetoric to those
            struggling
            > to accept their sexual identity. After all, the American
            Psychiatric
            > Association removed homosexuality from the deviant behavior list,
            > why shouldn't every individual with homosexual tendencies? Again,
            we
            > see another knee-jerk, oversimplified and polarized response to
            what
            > is really a personal and complex issue.
            > >
            > > When Frank first started out, changing a person's orientation
            > wasn't his primary focus. A statement that was often heard out of
            > his mouth was "It's not my goal to change you. If you come out of
            > this year having a closer relationship with Jesus, then I am
            > satisfied."
            > >
            > > Anita Worthen, a woman he married after she came to him for
            > counseling regarding her gay son, also proved to be a powerful
            > influence upon the ministry. We now jokingly state that she "put
            the
            > pants on" Love in Action. Her masculine qualities, clearly the
            > dominant of her gender and character traits, often invalidated the
            > feminine and often campy sides of our personalities and she had no
            > tolerance for anyone manifesting affectations of "our old life."
            > Many, no scratch that, "I" still bear the scars of emotional
            > wounding by her moral superiority, righteous indignation and
            > forthright personality. (Resolution doesn't come easily once one
            > falls out of grace with Exodus or any of its affiliations.)
            > >
            > > But the majority of the problems for the ministry did not begin
            > happening until John Smid joined the ministry and the live-in
            > program was born. John, a strict disciplinarian with a tendency to
            > utilize his own conversion experience as an ideal grid for change,
            > was quick with a frown of disapproval and ostracizing sanctions
            for
            > those unable, or as he usually defined it "unwilling" to conform
            to
            > it.
            > >
            > > However, even with his faults in view, I do not believe that
            John
            > would ever encourage a person to suicide. With his track record of
            > judging others by his own standards, it would be easy for one
            > already prone to self-condemnation to turn John's personal
            > conviction statement into a condemnatory mandate.
            > >
            > > In my opinion, Tom wanted a way out. He could have walked away
            at
            > any time, but maybe did not have the resources or wherewithal to
            > make such a drastic life change, after all, he'd given up so much
            to
            > put himself into the situation; twice even. John's mistake
            afforded
            > Tom the opportunity to solidify his choice by projecting blame on
            > Love in Action. I am not saying that Love in Action is entirely
            > without fault. But by turning it into a life or death, fight or
            > flight situation, Tom didn't have to take full responsibility for
            > his choice. Tom Ottosen used this situation to catapult him out
            into
            > a new reality. He got more than his 15 minutes of fame, but where
            is
            > he now? Is he better off? Did his internal conflicts simply
            > disappear because he escaped what he and others still consider to
            be
            > a cult?
            > >
            > > The media loves to polarize issues and conflict is drama. If you
            > can bump up the conflict, you increase the drama and multiply your
            > audience. Love in Action became a high profile debate in the bay
            > area and Frank Worthen, a wonderfully kind man, was exalted by the
            > Christian media to a pedestal, not of his own choosing, and then
            was
            > subsequently cast down from it by its secular counterpart.
            > >
            > > For most of those that I know through Love in Action, we have
            come
            > out from the experience stronger than we were before. Many of us
            > have integrated our homosexual identities into our over-all
            > existence. Many still manifest a bi-polar behavioral modification
            > syndrome of addiction and repression. Some are still not sure
            where
            > exactly we fit on the Kinsey scale, and yes, some of us have even
            > married women and had children. Regardless, we have not given up
            our
            > faith, or our hope, nor do we think that our time with Love in
            > Action was wasted. A very wise one once said, "It's not what
            happens
            > to you in life that matters, but how you respond to it." Some of
            us
            > still attempt to live by that motto.
            > >
            > > Whether you are a Christian or non-Christian, I leave you with
            > these thoughts. Christian mythology and philosophy says that man
            > fell from grace and was cast out of paradise when he partook of
            the
            > Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I believe that when we
            > polarize, posture ourselves faction against faction, one against
            > another, turn everything into all black and all white, we continue
            > to partake of that tree. God never wanted us to be good he wanted
            us
            > to be real. (Hayashi) Reality is not black and white. Reality can
            > only be portrayed fully in the rainbow of all its glory.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Works Cited
            > >
            > > Anderson, Dennis "Love in Action: The Final Indoctrination" We
            the
            > People March 1994
            > >
            > > Hayashi, Gary "Free to be Loved" Conference Speaker, San
            Francisco
            > Vineyard Nov 1996
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Bio: Drew VanDyche
            > >
            > > Drew VanDyche (ASCAP) holds a Bachelors degree in Performing
            Arts
            > from the University of Tampa. His artistry, articles, reviews and
            > editorials have appeared in various publications including what he
            > warmly calls local "gay" rags. His poetry has been published in
            > numerous anthologies including the Library of Poetry's Millennium
            > Edition and most recently, the University of Tampa's "Quilt"
            > anthology 2002. In 2000, he teamed up with composer Chuck Whiting
            > (BMI/ASCAP), Nashville, TN and formed VanDyche/Whiting Productions
            > to foster their love for music and even had the opportunity to
            work
            > with Nashville Star winner, Buddy Jewell, on his poignant country
            > balled "The One." Chuck is currently pitching songs to the powers
            > that be in Music City, while Drew is taking time off in California
            > before he returns to grad school.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Drew VanDyche
            > > aka: Drewcifer, Drewski, Drewblood...
            > > http://profiles.yahoo.com/vandyche
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >
            >
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            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Bob Griffith
            Jerry, I can agree with much of what you say. There are people in both the left and the right, conservative/liberal, pro/anti-gay, etc., who cannot abide with
            Message 5 of 23 , Feb 1, 2005
              Jerry,

              I can agree with much of what you say. There are people in both the left
              and the right, conservative/liberal, pro/anti-gay, etc., who cannot abide
              with other people�s different opinions. For many homosexuals who have
              suffered through the torment of attempting to reconcile their faith and
              their orientation, and those who have actually gone through ex-gay
              ministries, this is a very raw topic. Some continue to feel they are the
              victims. Some respond in ways that are not loving - doing similar things
              that they accuse their opponents of doing. This is the reality of the
              human condition.

              Dobson may be very sincere in what he says and does. His ministry puts
              out a whole lot of misinformation about gay people and their lives, a
              false witness that leads to a whole lot of actual hatred. That is
              inexcusable and he needs to be called out on his ministry's actions. I
              don't think Dobson "hates" homosexual people, but he certainly does hate
              homosexuality. He certainly dislikes (in very strong terms) those who
              advocate pro-gay opinions in society and the Church.

              Jerry - if you want to find hatred, you will. If you want to find
              screwed-up theology, you will. If you want to find anything within the
              Body of Christ, you will. There are people here who are very angry and
              hurt. You may be one of them in some way - I don't know. Just look to
              the way of Jesus and you will be fine.

              Bob
            • nyguy_1225
              Message 6 of 23 , Feb 1, 2005
                <<Sorry guys... but I cannot even "come to the table" with the idea
                that anti-gay Christians are often very well intentioned. They may
                *believe* that they are, but that does not make it so. Their actions
                are based in the desire to control; and this desire to control is
                based in fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear.">>

                Not all the time. Let's remember that most, if not all, of us were
                also anti-gay Christians at one time. We were Christians who were
                misled and believed the lie that any and all expressions of
                homosexuality were categorically incompatible with Christianity. We
                believed this lie because we believed that the people who taught it
                to us knew what they were talking about. We didn't believe it and
                hold on to this theology for reasons of malice or control. We
                believed it because we sincerely believed at the time that it was
                the truth.

                Fortunately, when we realized Christian hostility towards
                homosexuality and homosexual relationships rests entirely on a
                prejudicial and uninformed reading of Scripture rather than God's
                revealed word, we adjusted our thinking and our theology. But if
                you can't "come to the table" with the idea that some anti-gay
                Christians are very well intentioned, you're not being objective or
                fair. If we all bought into it, and we have personal experiential
                knowledge of being gay, and it took many of us a long time to
                realize that anti-gay theology is not biblically sound, how much
                more difficult is it for those who have no personal experiential
                knowledge of being gay to see the errors of their theology. Don't
                put them all in a box. You'd only be guilty of doing the same thing
                that many of them erroneously do to us.

                -Alex


                --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...> wrote:
                > Sorry guys... but I cannot even "come to the table" with the idea
                that anti-gay Christians are often very well intentioned. They may
                *believe* that they are, but that does not make it so. Their
                actions are based in the desire to control; and this desire to
                control is based in fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear."
                >
                > Having grown up in a fundamentalist family, and having been
                educated in an evangelical college and seminary, I say from my own
                experience that some of our more conservative brothers and sisters
                are often not ready to let God do the saving of individuals and of
                the creation. There is this need to manipulate that is based in
                doubt and fear and not the sovereignty of God.
                >
                > When I rest in the idea that Jesus is the Lord of all, then I let
                go of my own desires to control what does not belong to me.
                >
                > My Two Cents,
                > James
                >
                >
                > nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                >
                > <<If you were to be able to just take every viewpoint he has
                (except
                > his view on homosexuality), you would have to conclude that he is
                > pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love. I challenge you to remove
                > his viewpoint on homosexuality and see if you would not agree with
                > his position on most everything else. If not, then who is
                following
                > Christ's teaching and who is not?>>
                >
                > Jerry, take a closer look. The arguments of the anti-gay folks,
                > like Dobson, are often very well-intentioned, but their goals and
                > objectives seem to be different from those of Jesus. The
                arguments
                > have to do with very secular concerns: control over chaos,
                majority
                > rule, fear of the other, fear of the unknown, and an idealization
                of
                > a family unit that Jesus himself never lived or idealized.
                >
                > -Alex
                >
                >
                > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry" <BearJER@J...>
                wrote:
                > >
                > > Once again my point was proven over and over again because a
                > person cannot express anything but left-wing views on this site
                > without being attacked. Do you think Jesus would respond in such
                a
                > fashion? Definitely not! You talk about James Dobson spreading
                > hate? How so? For a person to speak about his understanding of
                > what the Bible teaches is not hatred, unless it contains hatred in
                > words or deeds. It may be wrong, but it is not hatred unless he
                > hates people and advocates hatred. I see no evidence of that at
                all
                > in what he teaches. If you were to be able to just take every
                > viewpoint he has (except his view on homosexuality), you would
                have
                > to conclude that he is pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love. I
                > challenge you to remove his viewpoint on homosexuality and see if
                > you would not agree with his position on most everything else. If
                > not, then who is following Christ's teaching and who is not?
                > >
                > > Jerry
                > >
                > >
                > > THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: Jesus said it: "Do unto others as you
                would
                > have them do unto you."
                > >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • JC
                Sorry Alex, I cannot agree here. I do believe that many of us held onto anti-gay ideologies out of fear. I know I certainly did. I was scared to death of
                Message 7 of 23 , Feb 1, 2005
                  Sorry Alex, I cannot agree here. I do believe that many of us held onto anti-gay ideologies out of fear. I know I certainly did. I was scared to death of what might happen to me should I open my mind for a second to the idea that I could be Christian and gay. What I (willingly) believed (anti gay theology) was a way for me to 'feel in control' of a situation that was definitely out of my control. It was *only* when I let go of my own need to control; when I fell back into the arms of God, not at all sure that I would be caught; that I experienced true freedom and started to come into the light.

                  I put us all in the same boat. We are *all* fear-driven creatures, grasping at those things that we can never have. This remains true for me and I suspect will while I am alive on this earth. I am not judging the anti-gay Christian any more than I judge myself for my (current) inabilities to 'let go and let God.'

                  And I do believe that perfect love casts out all fear - every time.

                  Peace,
                  James

                  nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                  <<Sorry guys... but I cannot even "come to the table" with the idea
                  that anti-gay Christians are often very well intentioned. They may
                  *believe* that they are, but that does not make it so. Their actions
                  are based in the desire to control; and this desire to control is
                  based in fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear.">>

                  Not all the time. Let's remember that most, if not all, of us were
                  also anti-gay Christians at one time. We were Christians who were
                  misled and believed the lie that any and all expressions of
                  homosexuality were categorically incompatible with Christianity. We
                  believed this lie because we believed that the people who taught it
                  to us knew what they were talking about. We didn't believe it and
                  hold on to this theology for reasons of malice or control. We
                  believed it because we sincerely believed at the time that it was
                  the truth.

                  Fortunately, when we realized Christian hostility towards
                  homosexuality and homosexual relationships rests entirely on a
                  prejudicial and uninformed reading of Scripture rather than God's
                  revealed word, we adjusted our thinking and our theology. But if
                  you can't "come to the table" with the idea that some anti-gay
                  Christians are very well intentioned, you're not being objective or
                  fair. If we all bought into it, and we have personal experiential
                  knowledge of being gay, and it took many of us a long time to
                  realize that anti-gay theology is not biblically sound, how much
                  more difficult is it for those who have no personal experiential
                  knowledge of being gay to see the errors of their theology. Don't
                  put them all in a box. You'd only be guilty of doing the same thing
                  that many of them erroneously do to us.

                  -Alex


                  --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...> wrote:
                  > Sorry guys... but I cannot even "come to the table" with the idea
                  that anti-gay Christians are often very well intentioned. They may
                  *believe* that they are, but that does not make it so. Their
                  actions are based in the desire to control; and this desire to
                  control is based in fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear."
                  >
                  > Having grown up in a fundamentalist family, and having been
                  educated in an evangelical college and seminary, I say from my own
                  experience that some of our more conservative brothers and sisters
                  are often not ready to let God do the saving of individuals and of
                  the creation. There is this need to manipulate that is based in
                  doubt and fear and not the sovereignty of God.
                  >
                  > When I rest in the idea that Jesus is the Lord of all, then I let
                  go of my own desires to control what does not belong to me.
                  >
                  > My Two Cents,
                  > James
                  >
                  >
                  > nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                  >
                  > <<If you were to be able to just take every viewpoint he has
                  (except
                  > his view on homosexuality), you would have to conclude that he is
                  > pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love. I challenge you to remove
                  > his viewpoint on homosexuality and see if you would not agree with
                  > his position on most everything else. If not, then who is
                  following
                  > Christ's teaching and who is not?>>
                  >
                  > Jerry, take a closer look. The arguments of the anti-gay folks,
                  > like Dobson, are often very well-intentioned, but their goals and
                  > objectives seem to be different from those of Jesus. The
                  arguments
                  > have to do with very secular concerns: control over chaos,
                  majority
                  > rule, fear of the other, fear of the unknown, and an idealization
                  of
                  > a family unit that Jesus himself never lived or idealized.
                  >
                  > -Alex
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry" <BearJER@J...>
                  wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Once again my point was proven over and over again because a
                  > person cannot express anything but left-wing views on this site
                  > without being attacked. Do you think Jesus would respond in such
                  a
                  > fashion? Definitely not! You talk about James Dobson spreading
                  > hate? How so? For a person to speak about his understanding of
                  > what the Bible teaches is not hatred, unless it contains hatred in
                  > words or deeds. It may be wrong, but it is not hatred unless he
                  > hates people and advocates hatred. I see no evidence of that at
                  all
                  > in what he teaches. If you were to be able to just take every
                  > viewpoint he has (except his view on homosexuality), you would
                  have
                  > to conclude that he is pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love. I
                  > challenge you to remove his viewpoint on homosexuality and see if
                  > you would not agree with his position on most everything else. If
                  > not, then who is following Christ's teaching and who is not?
                  > >
                  > > Jerry
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: Jesus said it: "Do unto others as you
                  would
                  > have them do unto you."
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Drew VanDyche
                  James: Forgive me, but I find the term anti-gay misused, overused and a simplistic label to throw around and incompatible with conversations about such a
                  Message 8 of 23 , Feb 1, 2005
                    James: Forgive me, but I find the term "anti-gay" misused, overused and a simplistic label to throw around and incompatible with conversations about such a complex issue as "faith and sexuality" and I wish we would stop using it. It is a polarized, sociological/political term and I prefer to speak in psychological terms regarding individuals rather than lumping people together as factions. Again, to postulate in those terms is partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We are all fallen short of the glory of God. Only when one relinquishes control to freedom in Christ are we free to love self and others. That love only becomes unconditional when we cease to judge. I'm not sure that "righteous anger" is accessible to any human being not born of a virgin.
                    Just my thoughts,
                    Drew

                    JC <roo7861@...> wrote:
                    Sorry guys... but I cannot even "come to the table" with the idea that anti-gay Christians are often very well intentioned. They may *believe* that they are, but that does not make it so. Their actions are based in the desire to control; and this desire to control is based in fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear."

                    Having grown up in a fundamentalist family, and having been educated in an evangelical college and seminary, I say from my own experience that some of our more conservative brothers and sisters are often not ready to let God do the saving of individuals and of the creation. There is this need to manipulate that is based in doubt and fear and not the sovereignty of God.

                    When I rest in the idea that Jesus is the Lord of all, then I let go of my own desires to control what does not belong to me.

                    My Two Cents,
                    James


                    nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                    <<If you were to be able to just take every viewpoint he has (except
                    his view on homosexuality), you would have to conclude that he is
                    pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love. I challenge you to remove
                    his viewpoint on homosexuality and see if you would not agree with
                    his position on most everything else. If not, then who is following
                    Christ's teaching and who is not?>>

                    Jerry, take a closer look. The arguments of the anti-gay folks,
                    like Dobson, are often very well-intentioned, but their goals and
                    objectives seem to be different from those of Jesus. The arguments
                    have to do with very secular concerns: control over chaos, majority
                    rule, fear of the other, fear of the unknown, and an idealization of
                    a family unit that Jesus himself never lived or idealized.

                    -Alex


                    --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry" <BearJER@J...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Once again my point was proven over and over again because a
                    person cannot express anything but left-wing views on this site
                    without being attacked. Do you think Jesus would respond in such a
                    fashion? Definitely not! You talk about James Dobson spreading
                    hate? How so? For a person to speak about his understanding of
                    what the Bible teaches is not hatred, unless it contains hatred in
                    words or deeds. It may be wrong, but it is not hatred unless he
                    hates people and advocates hatred. I see no evidence of that at all
                    in what he teaches. If you were to be able to just take every
                    viewpoint he has (except his view on homosexuality), you would have
                    to conclude that he is pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love. I
                    challenge you to remove his viewpoint on homosexuality and see if
                    you would not agree with his position on most everything else. If
                    not, then who is following Christ's teaching and who is not?
                    >
                    > Jerry
                    >
                    >
                    > THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: Jesus said it: "Do unto others as you would
                    have them do unto you."
                    >


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


                    Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
                    Children InternationalWould you give Hope to a Child in need? �Click Here to meet a Girl
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                    ---------------------------------
                    Yahoo! Groups Links

                    To visit your group on the web, go to:
                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/exexgayministry/

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                    exexgayministry-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

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                    Drew VanDyche
                    aka: Drewcifer, Drewski, Drewblood...
                    http://profiles.yahoo.com/vandyche



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Drew VanDyche
                    Norm: I love talking to you! You come across as very balanced in your thinking and it appeals to me. Now, where are you located and tell me about this gay
                    Message 9 of 23 , Feb 1, 2005
                      Norm:
                      I love talking to you! You come across as very balanced in your thinking and it appeals to me.
                      Now, where are you located and tell me about this gay christian community? It sounds exciting.

                      As far as my thinking I was "evil" that came out of my upbringing, but not out of my ex-gay experiences. I'd like to talk to you more about that, maybe by phone or by personal email. My personal email address is vandyche@.... Best times to talk are in the evenings except for Tuesday nights in which I take a playwrighting class in SFO.
                      Drew

                      Norm <nojam75@...> wrote:

                      Drew: >>>"...I'm not exactly sure how it came into being, but
                      somehow the concept that I was inherently evil worked into my
                      psyche. That somewhere inside there worked a death wish. ..."<<<

                      Although I don't know your history and I'm not qualified to act as
                      therapist, my knee-jerk reaction would be to hold fundamentalist
                      Christianity and "ex-gay" theology responsible as the part of the
                      roots of your self-loathing. I know fundamentalist Christians
                      and "ex-gay" promoters claim that they are offer affirmation and not
                      hell-fire sermons. However, original sin doctrine and damnation are
                      major parts of most Christians' belief systems. So, it's not
                      surprising that any Christian would learn from the earliest ages
                      that s/he is sinful, evil, and damned. Gay Christians are
                      particularly at-risk of believing that we are evil because we have
                      seemingly inate "sinful" attractions.

                      >>>"...I have only begun to realize that the "spirit" inside me is
                      pure, having accepted the gift of a Savior and yet that "spirit" is
                      housed within my soul, which is not."<<<

                      For me, the most profound change in theology was the realization
                      that Jesus' message was about building the kingdom of God here and
                      now -- not the afterlife. As I've said before, fundamentalist
                      Christianity is too death-orientated. I was raised in a "bunker"
                      fundamentalist church that was just waiting for The End and was very
                      dismissive of society/humanity. Even evangelical churches that
                      specialize in positive community outreach often concentrate on the
                      afterlife and end times. Too often, the message is that we humans
                      fall short and are ultimately incapable of creating anything
                      meaningful in our mortal lives -- except for recruiting new
                      Christians.

                      The idea that God created us to build God's kingdom during our
                      mortal lives is very empowering. I credit many of the recent social
                      advances (racial justice, gender equality, human rights,
                      environmental stewardship, etc.) to the theology of being citizens
                      of God's kingdom here and now. The recent MLK holiday observance
                      and a special service at my local UCC celebrating its open and
                      affirming pledge remind me how far our society has come in a
                      relative short time and how the progress our society needs to
                      continue to strive for.

                      >>>...I have often pondered whether a live-in program model falls
                      short in and of itself, or whether or not there is a way to make it
                      work. My dream is to one day own a house or property where God
                      brings others to live to learn to love each other in spirit and in
                      truth. I hope that some day I have the chance to see it happen.<<<

                      For some reason, I find "ex-gay" live-in programs interesting. When
                      I was pursuing the "ex-gay" lifestyle, I wondered if I was "screwed-
                      up" enough to join a live-in program. :-) Afterall, the weekly "ex-
                      gay" meetings and daily regiment didn't seem to have any positive
                      effect on me. The idea of an intensive, 24/7 program seemed
                      drastic, but must work somehow. Right?

                      Your dream of creating a home is beautiful and you seem to
                      understand the risks and possible short-comings of the live-in
                      model. Locally, we have a gay mens Christian community that
                      ultimately would like to build some kind of home. The caution I and
                      others have is how exactly would such a community be structured,
                      would appropriate boundaries be set, and would how would such a
                      community avoid codependence and other unhealthy relationships.
                      Again, I assume you are considering these things so I don't mean to
                      rain on your parade, but I would be interested in hearing more.

                      Norm!

                      --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, Drew VanDyche
                      <vandyche@y...> wrote:
                      > Norm:
                      > Thanks for being understanding.
                      > I know what it is like to feel self-loathing and it is a
                      programming that I am unraveling with my therapist. I'm not exactly
                      sure how it came into being, but somehow the concept that I was
                      inherently evil worked into my psyche. That somewhere inside there
                      worked a death wish. I have only begun to realize that the "spirit"
                      inside me is pure, having accepted the gift of a Savior and yet
                      that "spirit" is housed within my soul, which is not.
                      >
                      > Would I recommend LIA to others? No. There are other ministries
                      that I would recommend prior to any kind of live in
                      experience. "Theotherapy" being one of them. Theotherapy utilizes a
                      lay person facilitated gestalt therapy (role-playing) model and was
                      highly beneficial on my journey towards becoming a whole person.
                      >
                      > I think you can get information about theotherapy through the
                      Belmont Church in Nashville.
                      > http://www.belmont.org/
                      >
                      > And yet my heart is to provide a "family" for others, something
                      that I never truly had, a safe place for growth into the fullness
                      and wholeness as children of God. I have often pondered whether a
                      live-in program model falls short in and of itself, or whether or
                      not there is a way to make it work. My dream is to one day own a
                      house or property where God brings others to live to learn to love
                      each other in spirit and in truth. I hope that some day I have the
                      chance to see it happen.
                      >
                      > In His Care,
                      > Drew
                      >
                      >
                      > Norm <nojam75@y...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Interesting article, Drew. I understand that you feel your
                      article
                      > from two years ago was too harsh, so I'll try to restrain my
                      > reaction.
                      >
                      > Your article defends Love In Action from an allegation that its
                      > leader, John Smid, encouraged a participant, Tom Ottosen, to
                      commit
                      > suicide rather than accept his homosexuality. From my own
                      > experience in a similar "ex-gay" ministry and fundamentalist
                      > Christianity, the promotion of suicide as an alternative to
                      > homosexuality is very unusual. It seems likely that there was a
                      > miscommunication or a misunderstanding. Since both provide
                      > differing accounts of the conversation, only Smid and Ottosen know
                      > what was said and intended in their conversation.
                      >
                      > It's not far-fetched for me to believe mortality was explicitly or
                      > implicitly part of Smid's or LIA's message. Fundamentalist
                      > Christianity often has a death-fixation on heaven/hell, eternal
                      > life/damnation, etc. Hell is still a major part of most
                      Christians'
                      > doctrines even if it is usually unspoken. So, it's not
                      unreasonable
                      > to think that a frustrated "ex-gay" participant could conclude
                      that
                      > prematurely dying as a struggling-but-saved-Christian is better
                      than
                      > dying as an unsaved-homosexual. The implicit message I received
                      in
                      > my "ex-gay" experience was that if I accepted my homosexuality, I
                      > would contract HIV/AIDS, live without a family, and/or die alone.
                      >
                      > After reading your defense of LIA and your experience there, I
                      have
                      > to ask, Drew: Would you recommend LIA to others? If so, what type
                      > of person would you refer? What cautions would you have about
                      LIA?
                      >
                      > Norm!
                      >
                      > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, Drew VanDyche
                      > <vandyche@y...> wrote:
                      > > Below is an article that I wrote back in January 2002 in
                      response
                      > to a fanatically liberal statement by a gay professor. Although I
                      > think maybe I came down too harsh on Tom Ottosen, sorry Tom, I
                      think
                      > it shows that no matter which side we fall on, we all can get a
                      > little bit out of hand. And please don't beat me up over it, even
                      I
                      > cringe at how arrogantly judgemental I was being. But my professor
                      > made me sooooo mad! :-)
                      > >
                      > > Love in Action: A Defense by Drew VanDyche
                      > >
                      > > "Christianity's goal throughout history has always been the
                      > annihilation of the homosexual," Professor X stated calmly and
                      then
                      > sat back in self-satisfaction to watch my reaction.
                      > >
                      > > `What an absurd statement!' I thought and `Where did that come
                      > from?' sped through my mind.
                      > >
                      > > "You're saying that Christians want to kill homosexuals?" I
                      choked
                      > out.
                      > >
                      > > "Well, don't you think so?" His eyes peered down at me over his
                      > glasses.
                      > >
                      > > "No!" I looked at him in stupefaction.
                      > >
                      > > "Well, you have to admit that they would all breathe a
                      collective
                      > sigh of relief if we would just go away altogether." He quipped,
                      an
                      > under-current of mockery in his tone.
                      > >
                      > > Now I couldn't exactly disagree with him on this point.
                      > Christianity or the "Church" as I shall hereafter interchangeably
                      > refer to it, has been for the most part antithetical to
                      > homosexuality. People who purport to be Christians have committed
                      > horrendous atrocities in the name of God. And the Church, as an
                      > institution, has often passed judgement on homosexuals with both
                      > overt and covert hatred in word and action.
                      > >
                      > > But is this the only testimony that we have from the Christian
                      > sector? Today we see the Church around us constantly changing and
                      > adapting to life in the new millennium. We hear of gays and
                      lesbians
                      > accepted as priests and pastors in local congregations and abroad.
                      > States are slowly accepting concepts of same-sex marriage with
                      > licensed ministers able to perform them. And some churches are
                      even
                      > actively seeking homosexuals for membership. Are these not
                      examples
                      > of positive change for homosexuals by the Church?
                      > >
                      > > But to compare those who claim Christianity with a Nazi regime
                      of
                      > homosexual extinction? I find the concept appalling! The
                      proverbial
                      > statement most often quoted by Christians is "love the sinner,
                      hate
                      > the sin." Albeit living the proverb is an entirely different thing
                      > than just speaking it.
                      > >
                      > > As I wandered into class the following day Professor X handed me
                      > an article that he had printed off the Internet. An article that
                      he
                      > claimed proved his point.
                      > >
                      > > "Love in Action: The Final Indoctrination" (Anderson) documents
                      an
                      > interview done with Tom Ottosen, a former ex-gay who spent some
                      time
                      > living in a ministry house run by Love in Action (San Rafael, CA).
                      > Tom claims that John Smid, a primary leader of Love in Action,
                      > warned him that "I would rather you commit suicide than have you
                      > leave Love in Action wanting to return to the gay lifestyle. In a
                      > physical death you could still have a spiritual resurrection;
                      > whereas, returning to homosexuality you are yielding yourself to a
                      > spiritual death from which there is no recovery." Ottosen goes on
                      to
                      > say that at this time, Smid was clearly aware of his suicidal
                      > tendencies and extreme depression. This was Ottosen's second year
                      in
                      > Love in Action.
                      > >
                      > > If this statement is true, then I am deeply grieved and ashamed
                      > that John, not a trained psychotherapist, but an administrator
                      type,
                      > in attempting to convey the gravity that he felt regarding the
                      > situation, took such an extreme position. But is an equally
                      > incendiary response from the left warranted? And should all
                      > Christianity be condemned by one man's actions?
                      > >
                      > > It is on this one man's testimony alone and one article alone
                      that
                      > Professor X takes his position. How do I know this? Because I have
                      > done the research and find no corroboration for Ottosen's claims.
                      > Not one person has ever stepped forward to give credence to
                      > Ottosen's claims. Dennis Anderson, himself, is untraceable via the
                      > world wide web except in reference to this one article, written
                      back
                      > in 1994 for a pro-gay Sonoma County publication called "We the
                      > People" who it would seem hold the copyright. All other references
                      > to Dennis Anderson on the Internet lead directly back to this one
                      > article and this article is even cited as a source for other pro-
                      gay
                      > anti-Christian propaganda. There are no citations given except
                      this
                      > one interview, no references to any other documentation supporting
                      > it, nor has the article been peer-reviewed.
                      > >
                      > > John Smid has continuously denied all allegations regarding this
                      > article. And even ex-ex-gays Jeffrey Coates and Gary Hayashi,
                      former
                      > members of the Anaheim based ministry "Desert Stream," respond
                      that
                      > they have never heard anyone from within ex-gay circles recommend
                      > suicide. The idea is preposterous. Without more evidence how can
                      > anyone be anything but skeptical about the veracity of this
                      article?
                      > The other reason that I remain dubious of this accusation stems
                      from
                      > my own experience with Love in Action. (I was a graduate of the
                      1988
                      > live in program along with well-known "Love Won Out" conference
                      > speaker and ex-gay poster boy John Paulk.)
                      > >
                      > > Love in Action and other ex-gay ministries were birthed in the
                      > early 70's in response to the waning free-love generation and on
                      the
                      > rising popularity of the Jesus movement. During this time, many
                      self-
                      > help and twelve steps programs were instituted and a population of
                      > maturing hippies and flower children sought solace in answers
                      other
                      > than that of instant gratification and open relationships.
                      Many "ego-
                      > dystonic" homosexuals, (A psychological catch-phrase describing
                      > those with an internal or external statement of identity that is
                      not
                      > syntonic or compatible with one's belief system) with roots in
                      > Christian middle-class suburbia, began seeking resolution to the
                      > conflict within them by the hope of changing what they considered
                      to
                      > be their sexual orientation. The philosophy fueling these efforts
                      > consisted of a mixture of biblical fundamentalism, Freudian
                      > psychology, and an in-depth scrutiny of self, followed by teaching
                      > in regards to sex roles and gender identification. In other words,
                      a
                      > > "why we do the things we do" approach to habitual behavior and
                      > its modification. This was accomplished primarily through a 24-
                      hour
                      > live-in accountability program for those wanting to follow
                      a "Steps
                      > Out of Homosexuality" program run by Frank Worthen, founder of
                      Love
                      > in Action and considered to be the father of all ex-gay ministries.
                      > >
                      > > Based in the small town of San Rafael, California, just north of
                      > the Golden Gate and just twenty minutes from the gay Mecca of San
                      > Francisco, Frank found his converts by advertising in San
                      Francisco
                      > alternative papers with just a simple "Gay? Want Out? Call Frank"
                      > and his phone number. He was soon overwhelmed by the number of
                      calls
                      > that he was receiving. The ministry began as a way to provide call-
                      > in support as well as small group meetings for those desiring an
                      > out.
                      > >
                      > > Love in Action quickly became a media target by militant gays
                      who
                      > felt that such constituents of their community should not even be
                      > given the right to attempt to change their sexual orientation even
                      > if they were conflicted about it. Gay proponents responded with a
                      > disdainful "get over it" and "give in" rhetoric to those
                      struggling
                      > to accept their sexual identity. After all, the American
                      Psychiatric
                      > Association removed homosexuality from the deviant behavior list,
                      > why shouldn't every individual with homosexual tendencies? Again,
                      we
                      > see another knee-jerk, oversimplified and polarized response to
                      what
                      > is really a personal and complex issue.
                      > >
                      > > When Frank first started out, changing a person's orientation
                      > wasn't his primary focus. A statement that was often heard out of
                      > his mouth was "It's not my goal to change you. If you come out of
                      > this year having a closer relationship with Jesus, then I am
                      > satisfied."
                      > >
                      > > Anita Worthen, a woman he married after she came to him for
                      > counseling regarding her gay son, also proved to be a powerful
                      > influence upon the ministry. We now jokingly state that she "put
                      the
                      > pants on" Love in Action. Her masculine qualities, clearly the
                      > dominant of her gender and character traits, often invalidated the
                      > feminine and often campy sides of our personalities and she had no
                      > tolerance for anyone manifesting affectations of "our old life."
                      > Many, no scratch that, "I" still bear the scars of emotional
                      > wounding by her moral superiority, righteous indignation and
                      > forthright personality. (Resolution doesn't come easily once one
                      > falls out of grace with Exodus or any of its affiliations.)
                      > >
                      > > But the majority of the problems for the ministry did not begin
                      > happening until John Smid joined the ministry and the live-in
                      > program was born. John, a strict disciplinarian with a tendency to
                      > utilize his own conversion experience as an ideal grid for change,
                      > was quick with a frown of disapproval and ostracizing sanctions
                      for
                      > those unable, or as he usually defined it "unwilling" to conform
                      to
                      > it.
                      > >
                      > > However, even with his faults in view, I do not believe that
                      John
                      > would ever encourage a person to suicide. With his track record of
                      > judging others by his own standards, it would be easy for one
                      > already prone to self-condemnation to turn John's personal
                      > conviction statement into a condemnatory mandate.
                      > >
                      > > In my opinion, Tom wanted a way out. He could have walked away
                      at
                      > any time, but maybe did not have the resources or wherewithal to
                      > make such a drastic life change, after all, he'd given up so much
                      to
                      > put himself into the situation; twice even. John's mistake
                      afforded
                      > Tom the opportunity to solidify his choice by projecting blame on
                      > Love in Action. I am not saying that Love in Action is entirely
                      > without fault. But by turning it into a life or death, fight or
                      > flight situation, Tom didn't have to take full responsibility for
                      > his choice. Tom Ottosen used this situation to catapult him out
                      into
                      > a new reality. He got more than his 15 minutes of fame, but where
                      is
                      > he now? Is he better off? Did his internal conflicts simply
                      > disappear because he escaped what he and others still consider to
                      be
                      > a cult?
                      > >
                      > > The media loves to polarize issues and conflict is drama. If you
                      > can bump up the conflict, you increase the drama and multiply your
                      > audience. Love in Action became a high profile debate in the bay
                      > area and Frank Worthen, a wonderfully kind man, was exalted by the
                      > Christian media to a pedestal, not of his own choosing, and then
                      was
                      > subsequently cast down from it by its secular counterpart.
                      > >
                      > > For most of those that I know through Love in Action, we have
                      come
                      > out from the experience stronger than we were before. Many of us
                      > have integrated our homosexual identities into our over-all
                      > existence. Many still manifest a bi-polar behavioral modification
                      > syndrome of addiction and repression. Some are still not sure
                      where
                      > exactly we fit on the Kinsey scale, and yes, some of us have even
                      > married women and had children. Regardless, we have not given up
                      our
                      > faith, or our hope, nor do we think that our time with Love in
                      > Action was wasted. A very wise one once said, "It's not what
                      happens
                      > to you in life that matters, but how you respond to it." Some of
                      us
                      > still attempt to live by that motto.
                      > >
                      > > Whether you are a Christian or non-Christian, I leave you with
                      > these thoughts. Christian mythology and philosophy says that man
                      > fell from grace and was cast out of paradise when he partook of
                      the
                      > Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I believe that when we
                      > polarize, posture ourselves faction against faction, one against
                      > another, turn everything into all black and all white, we continue
                      > to partake of that tree. God never wanted us to be good he wanted
                      us
                      > to be real. (Hayashi) Reality is not black and white. Reality can
                      > only be portrayed fully in the rainbow of all its glory.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Works Cited
                      > >
                      > > Anderson, Dennis "Love in Action: The Final Indoctrination" We
                      the
                      > People March 1994
                      > >
                      > > Hayashi, Gary "Free to be Loved" Conference Speaker, San
                      Francisco
                      > Vineyard Nov 1996
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Bio: Drew VanDyche
                      > >
                      > > Drew VanDyche (ASCAP) holds a Bachelors degree in Performing
                      Arts
                      > from the University of Tampa. His artistry, articles, reviews and
                      > editorials have appeared in various publications including what he
                      > warmly calls local "gay" rags. His poetry has been published in
                      > numerous anthologies including the Library of Poetry's Millennium
                      > Edition and most recently, the University of Tampa's "Quilt"
                      > anthology 2002. In 2000, he teamed up with composer Chuck Whiting
                      > (BMI/ASCAP), Nashville, TN and formed VanDyche/Whiting Productions
                      > to foster their love for music and even had the opportunity to
                      work
                      > with Nashville Star winner, Buddy Jewell, on his poignant country
                      > balled "The One." Chuck is currently pitching songs to the powers
                      > that be in Music City, while Drew is taking time off in California
                      > before he returns to grad school.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Drew VanDyche
                      > > aka: Drewcifer, Drewski, Drewblood...
                      > > http://profiles.yahoo.com/vandyche
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
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                      >
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                      >
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                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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                      Drew VanDyche
                      aka: Drewcifer, Drewski, Drewblood...
                      http://profiles.yahoo.com/vandyche



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • JC
                      I agree with you regarding the term anti-gay , Drew. I was simply quoting it from the previous post I was responding to. Cheers, James Drew VanDyche
                      Message 10 of 23 , Feb 1, 2005
                        I agree with you regarding the term "anti-gay", Drew. I was simply quoting it from the previous post I was responding to.

                        Cheers,
                        James

                        Drew VanDyche <vandyche@...> wrote:

                        James: Forgive me, but I find the term "anti-gay" misused, overused and a simplistic label to throw around and incompatible with conversations about such a complex issue as "faith and sexuality" and I wish we would stop using it. It is a polarized, sociological/political term and I prefer to speak in psychological terms regarding individuals rather than lumping people together as factions. Again, to postulate in those terms is partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We are all fallen short of the glory of God. Only when one relinquishes control to freedom in Christ are we free to love self and others. That love only becomes unconditional when we cease to judge. I'm not sure that "righteous anger" is accessible to any human being not born of a virgin.
                        Just my thoughts,
                        Drew

                        JC wrote:
                        Sorry guys... but I cannot even "come to the table" with the idea that anti-gay Christians are often very well intentioned. They may *believe* that they are, but that does not make it so. Their actions are based in the desire to control; and this desire to control is based in fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear."

                        Having grown up in a fundamentalist family, and having been educated in an evangelical college and seminary, I say from my own experience that some of our more conservative brothers and sisters are often not ready to let God do the saving of individuals and of the creation. There is this need to manipulate that is based in doubt and fear and not the sovereignty of God.

                        When I rest in the idea that Jesus is the Lord of all, then I let go of my own desires to control what does not belong to me.

                        My Two Cents,
                        James


                        nyguy_1225 wrote:

                        <his view on homosexuality), you would have to conclude that he is
                        pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love. I challenge you to remove
                        his viewpoint on homosexuality and see if you would not agree with
                        his position on most everything else. If not, then who is following
                        Christ's teaching and who is not?>>

                        Jerry, take a closer look. The arguments of the anti-gay folks,
                        like Dobson, are often very well-intentioned, but their goals and
                        objectives seem to be different from those of Jesus. The arguments
                        have to do with very secular concerns: control over chaos, majority
                        rule, fear of the other, fear of the unknown, and an idealization of
                        a family unit that Jesus himself never lived or idealized.

                        -Alex


                        --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry" wrote:
                        >
                        > Once again my point was proven over and over again because a
                        person cannot express anything but left-wing views on this site
                        without being attacked. Do you think Jesus would respond in such a
                        fashion? Definitely not! You talk about James Dobson spreading
                        hate? How so? For a person to speak about his understanding of
                        what the Bible teaches is not hatred, unless it contains hatred in
                        words or deeds. It may be wrong, but it is not hatred unless he
                        hates people and advocates hatred. I see no evidence of that at all
                        in what he teaches. If you were to be able to just take every
                        viewpoint he has (except his view on homosexuality), you would have
                        to conclude that he is pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love. I
                        challenge you to remove his viewpoint on homosexuality and see if
                        you would not agree with his position on most everything else. If
                        not, then who is following Christ's teaching and who is not?
                        >
                        > Jerry
                        >
                        >
                        > THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: Jesus said it: "Do unto others as you would
                        have them do unto you."
                        >


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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                        exexgayministry-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

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                        Drew VanDyche
                        aka: Drewcifer, Drewski, Drewblood...
                        http://profiles.yahoo.com/vandyche



                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                        Yahoo! Groups Links









                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Drew VanDyche
                        James: You get a big hug from me! I always get scared that something I say is going to be lambasted. Of course that s living out of fear also. Ah well, I am
                        Message 11 of 23 , Feb 1, 2005
                          James:
                          You get a big hug from me!
                          I always get scared that something I say is going to be lambasted.
                          Of course that's living out of fear also. Ah well, I am only human.
                          :-)
                          Drew

                          JC <roo7861@...> wrote:

                          I agree with you regarding the term "anti-gay", Drew. I was simply quoting it from the previous post I was responding to.

                          Cheers,
                          James

                          Drew VanDyche wrote:

                          James: Forgive me, but I find the term "anti-gay" misused, overused and a simplistic label to throw around and incompatible with conversations about such a complex issue as "faith and sexuality" and I wish we would stop using it. It is a polarized, sociological/political term and I prefer to speak in psychological terms regarding individuals rather than lumping people together as factions. Again, to postulate in those terms is partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We are all fallen short of the glory of God. Only when one relinquishes control to freedom in Christ are we free to love self and others. That love only becomes unconditional when we cease to judge. I'm not sure that "righteous anger" is accessible to any human being not born of a virgin.
                          Just my thoughts,
                          Drew

                          JC wrote:
                          Sorry guys... but I cannot even "come to the table" with the idea that anti-gay Christians are often very well intentioned. They may *believe* that they are, but that does not make it so. Their actions are based in the desire to control; and this desire to control is based in fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear."

                          Having grown up in a fundamentalist family, and having been educated in an evangelical college and seminary, I say from my own experience that some of our more conservative brothers and sisters are often not ready to let God do the saving of individuals and of the creation. There is this need to manipulate that is based in doubt and fear and not the sovereignty of God.

                          When I rest in the idea that Jesus is the Lord of all, then I let go of my own desires to control what does not belong to me.

                          My Two Cents,
                          James


                          nyguy_1225 wrote:

                          pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love. I challenge you to remove
                          his viewpoint on homosexuality and see if you would not agree with
                          his position on most everything else. If not, then who is following
                          Christ's teaching and who is not?>>

                          Jerry, take a closer look. The arguments of the anti-gay folks,
                          like Dobson, are often very well-intentioned, but their goals and
                          objectives seem to be different from those of Jesus. The arguments
                          have to do with very secular concerns: control over chaos, majority
                          rule, fear of the other, fear of the unknown, and an idealization of
                          a family unit that Jesus himself never lived or idealized.

                          -Alex


                          --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry" wrote:
                          >
                          > Once again my point was proven over and over again because a
                          person cannot express anything but left-wing views on this site
                          without being attacked. Do you think Jesus would respond in such a
                          fashion? Definitely not! You talk about James Dobson spreading
                          hate? How so? For a person to speak about his understanding of
                          what the Bible teaches is not hatred, unless it contains hatred in
                          words or deeds. It may be wrong, but it is not hatred unless he
                          hates people and advocates hatred. I see no evidence of that at all
                          in what he teaches. If you were to be able to just take every
                          viewpoint he has (except his view on homosexuality), you would have
                          to conclude that he is pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love. I
                          challenge you to remove his viewpoint on homosexuality and see if
                          you would not agree with his position on most everything else. If
                          not, then who is following Christ's teaching and who is not?
                          >
                          > Jerry
                          >
                          >
                          > THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: Jesus said it: "Do unto others as you would
                          have them do unto you."
                          >


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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                          Drew VanDyche
                          aka: Drewcifer, Drewski, Drewblood...
                          http://profiles.yahoo.com/vandyche



                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





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                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





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                          Drew VanDyche
                          aka: Drewcifer, Drewski, Drewblood...
                          http://profiles.yahoo.com/vandyche



                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • nyguy_1225
                          That may have been your experience which is valid and to be respected. But to imply that was or is the experience for everyone would be an error. I was not
                          Message 12 of 23 , Feb 1, 2005
                            That may have been your experience which is valid and to be
                            respected. But to imply that was or is the experience for everyone
                            would be an error. I was not only an "ex-gay" Christian but I was
                            an "ex-gay" ministry leader. In that capacity I got to know scores
                            and scores of gay Christian people who through a variety of
                            circumstances had come to know a powerful and loving God and
                            sincerely wanted to walk "rightly" before Him and were led to
                            believe that Christianity and homosexuality were incompatible. It
                            was a community of caring and sincere people who were seeking after
                            God with honest and genuine hearts. I know that because I was one
                            of them.

                            Becoming a Christian for me was life-changing experience in many
                            positive ways. And God placed wonderful and sincere Christians in
                            my life as a new believer who enveloped me with the love of Christ
                            and did everything they could to help me get firmly planted in the
                            faith. And I, like a sponge, soaked up everything I could from
                            them. And since they were loving and God-seeking people they taught
                            me wonderful things about God and the Bible. But they also told me
                            that one could not be both gay and Christian. They didn't "clobber"
                            me with Lev 18:22 or the few other passages often used to endorse
                            antigay theology. They were loving people. But they shared with me
                            what they had been taught about these passages from those who taught
                            them Christianity. And since the statements seemed clear enough on
                            the surface neither of us had reason at the time to question them
                            further or to better understand the historical context or situations
                            and circumstances to which they were written. The simple fact is I
                            took my Christianity seriously and wanted to walk obediently to an
                            awesome, loving, gracious and merciful God -- like a child would
                            want to do with a loving father. Once I came to see, however, that
                            anti-gay theology rested entirely on a prejudicial and uninformed
                            reading of Scripture rather than sound exegesis and it did not
                            reflect the heart of God or his word, I had the courage to not only
                            embrace this for myself but to teach it to others. And frankly,
                            I've seen scores of people, both straight and gay, slowly change
                            their thinking on this issue when given the chance to look closer
                            and more deeply.

                            Some of us understand "the fear of God," a phrase we repeatedly come
                            upon in the Bible, not as a cowering terror, dread and trepidation
                            before a vengeful, ruthless and hardhearted God, but rather as a
                            reverent awe of an incredibly loving and wonderful God. It would be
                            incorrect, if not insulting, to imply that everyone who embraced
                            anti-gay theology did so for the same reasons you did.

                            -Alex


                            --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...> wrote:
                            > Sorry Alex, I cannot agree here. I do believe that many of us
                            held onto anti-gay ideologies out of fear. I know I certainly did.
                            I was scared to death of what might happen to me should I open my
                            mind for a second to the idea that I could be Christian and gay.
                            What I (willingly) believed (anti gay theology) was a way for me
                            to 'feel in control' of a situation that was definitely out of my
                            control. It was *only* when I let go of my own need to control;
                            when I fell back into the arms of God, not at all sure that I would
                            be caught; that I experienced true freedom and started to come into
                            the light.
                            >
                            > I put us all in the same boat. We are *all* fear-driven
                            creatures, grasping at those things that we can never have. This
                            remains true for me and I suspect will while I am alive on this
                            earth. I am not judging the anti-gay Christian any more than I
                            judge myself for my (current) inabilities to 'let go and let God.'
                            >
                            > And I do believe that perfect love casts out all fear - every time.
                            >
                            > Peace,
                            > James
                            >
                            > nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                            >
                            > <<Sorry guys... but I cannot even "come to the table" with the
                            idea
                            > that anti-gay Christians are often very well intentioned. They may
                            > *believe* that they are, but that does not make it so. Their
                            actions
                            > are based in the desire to control; and this desire to control is
                            > based in fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear.">>
                            >
                            > Not all the time. Let's remember that most, if not all, of us
                            were
                            > also anti-gay Christians at one time. We were Christians who were
                            > misled and believed the lie that any and all expressions of
                            > homosexuality were categorically incompatible with Christianity.
                            We
                            > believed this lie because we believed that the people who taught
                            it
                            > to us knew what they were talking about. We didn't believe it and
                            > hold on to this theology for reasons of malice or control. We
                            > believed it because we sincerely believed at the time that it was
                            > the truth.
                            >
                            > Fortunately, when we realized Christian hostility towards
                            > homosexuality and homosexual relationships rests entirely on a
                            > prejudicial and uninformed reading of Scripture rather than God's
                            > revealed word, we adjusted our thinking and our theology. But if
                            > you can't "come to the table" with the idea that some anti-gay
                            > Christians are very well intentioned, you're not being objective
                            or
                            > fair. If we all bought into it, and we have personal experiential
                            > knowledge of being gay, and it took many of us a long time to
                            > realize that anti-gay theology is not biblically sound, how much
                            > more difficult is it for those who have no personal experiential
                            > knowledge of being gay to see the errors of their theology. Don't
                            > put them all in a box. You'd only be guilty of doing the same
                            thing
                            > that many of them erroneously do to us.
                            >
                            > -Alex
                            >
                            >
                            > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...> wrote:
                            > > Sorry guys... but I cannot even "come to the table" with the
                            idea
                            > that anti-gay Christians are often very well intentioned. They
                            may
                            > *believe* that they are, but that does not make it so. Their
                            > actions are based in the desire to control; and this desire to
                            > control is based in fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear."
                            > >
                            > > Having grown up in a fundamentalist family, and having been
                            > educated in an evangelical college and seminary, I say from my own
                            > experience that some of our more conservative brothers and sisters
                            > are often not ready to let God do the saving of individuals and of
                            > the creation. There is this need to manipulate that is based in
                            > doubt and fear and not the sovereignty of God.
                            > >
                            > > When I rest in the idea that Jesus is the Lord of all, then I
                            let
                            > go of my own desires to control what does not belong to me.
                            > >
                            > > My Two Cents,
                            > > James
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > <<If you were to be able to just take every viewpoint he has
                            > (except
                            > > his view on homosexuality), you would have to conclude that he
                            is
                            > > pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love. I challenge you to
                            remove
                            > > his viewpoint on homosexuality and see if you would not agree
                            with
                            > > his position on most everything else. If not, then who is
                            > following
                            > > Christ's teaching and who is not?>>
                            > >
                            > > Jerry, take a closer look. The arguments of the anti-gay folks,
                            > > like Dobson, are often very well-intentioned, but their goals
                            and
                            > > objectives seem to be different from those of Jesus. The
                            > arguments
                            > > have to do with very secular concerns: control over chaos,
                            > majority
                            > > rule, fear of the other, fear of the unknown, and an
                            idealization
                            > of
                            > > a family unit that Jesus himself never lived or idealized.
                            > >
                            > > -Alex
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry" <BearJER@J...>
                            > wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > > Once again my point was proven over and over again because a
                            > > person cannot express anything but left-wing views on this site
                            > > without being attacked. Do you think Jesus would respond in
                            such
                            > a
                            > > fashion? Definitely not! You talk about James Dobson spreading
                            > > hate? How so? For a person to speak about his understanding of
                            > > what the Bible teaches is not hatred, unless it contains hatred
                            in
                            > > words or deeds. It may be wrong, but it is not hatred unless he
                            > > hates people and advocates hatred. I see no evidence of that at
                            > all
                            > > in what he teaches. If you were to be able to just take every
                            > > viewpoint he has (except his view on homosexuality), you would
                            > have
                            > > to conclude that he is pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love.
                            I
                            > > challenge you to remove his viewpoint on homosexuality and see
                            if
                            > > you would not agree with his position on most everything else.
                            If
                            > > not, then who is following Christ's teaching and who is not?
                            > > >
                            > > > Jerry
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: Jesus said it: "Do unto others as you
                            > would
                            > > have them do unto you."
                            > > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
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                            >
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                            >
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                            >
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                            >
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • JC
                            I feel like my point has been totally misunderstood. I never implied (and certainly did not mean to) that people who do not believe that Christianity and
                            Message 13 of 23 , Feb 1, 2005
                              I feel like my point has been totally misunderstood.

                              I never implied (and certainly did not mean to) that people who do not believe that Christianity and homosexuality are compatible are not loving, sincere, well-meaning, etc. Many of them most certainly are. I have known scores of them. But their need to control others does not issue from a place of spiritual wholeness. Anytime any of us try to manipulate or control (even if we genuinely believe that we are being led by the Spirit), we are somehow less than we could be, and less than we ought to be. That could also be said of me if I tried to manipulate or control someone who thought my sexuality was sinful.

                              I was in no way casting a blanket judgment on those who disagree with me (like my own, dearly loved parents with whom I have a wonderful relationship). But I do stand by my original point that the desire to control is based in fear and fear is based in something less than God's best for us.

                              James

                              nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                              That may have been your experience which is valid and to be
                              respected. But to imply that was or is the experience for everyone
                              would be an error. I was not only an "ex-gay" Christian but I was
                              an "ex-gay" ministry leader. In that capacity I got to know scores
                              and scores of gay Christian people who through a variety of
                              circumstances had come to know a powerful and loving God and
                              sincerely wanted to walk "rightly" before Him and were led to
                              believe that Christianity and homosexuality were incompatible. It
                              was a community of caring and sincere people who were seeking after
                              God with honest and genuine hearts. I know that because I was one
                              of them.

                              Becoming a Christian for me was life-changing experience in many
                              positive ways. And God placed wonderful and sincere Christians in
                              my life as a new believer who enveloped me with the love of Christ
                              and did everything they could to help me get firmly planted in the
                              faith. And I, like a sponge, soaked up everything I could from
                              them. And since they were loving and God-seeking people they taught
                              me wonderful things about God and the Bible. But they also told me
                              that one could not be both gay and Christian. They didn't "clobber"
                              me with Lev 18:22 or the few other passages often used to endorse
                              antigay theology. They were loving people. But they shared with me
                              what they had been taught about these passages from those who taught
                              them Christianity. And since the statements seemed clear enough on
                              the surface neither of us had reason at the time to question them
                              further or to better understand the historical context or situations
                              and circumstances to which they were written. The simple fact is I
                              took my Christianity seriously and wanted to walk obediently to an
                              awesome, loving, gracious and merciful God -- like a child would
                              want to do with a loving father. Once I came to see, however, that
                              anti-gay theology rested entirely on a prejudicial and uninformed
                              reading of Scripture rather than sound exegesis and it did not
                              reflect the heart of God or his word, I had the courage to not only
                              embrace this for myself but to teach it to others. And frankly,
                              I've seen scores of people, both straight and gay, slowly change
                              their thinking on this issue when given the chance to look closer
                              and more deeply.

                              Some of us understand "the fear of God," a phrase we repeatedly come
                              upon in the Bible, not as a cowering terror, dread and trepidation
                              before a vengeful, ruthless and hardhearted God, but rather as a
                              reverent awe of an incredibly loving and wonderful God. It would be
                              incorrect, if not insulting, to imply that everyone who embraced
                              anti-gay theology did so for the same reasons you did.

                              -Alex


                              --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...> wrote:
                              > Sorry Alex, I cannot agree here. I do believe that many of us
                              held onto anti-gay ideologies out of fear. I know I certainly did.
                              I was scared to death of what might happen to me should I open my
                              mind for a second to the idea that I could be Christian and gay.
                              What I (willingly) believed (anti gay theology) was a way for me
                              to 'feel in control' of a situation that was definitely out of my
                              control. It was *only* when I let go of my own need to control;
                              when I fell back into the arms of God, not at all sure that I would
                              be caught; that I experienced true freedom and started to come into
                              the light.
                              >
                              > I put us all in the same boat. We are *all* fear-driven
                              creatures, grasping at those things that we can never have. This
                              remains true for me and I suspect will while I am alive on this
                              earth. I am not judging the anti-gay Christian any more than I
                              judge myself for my (current) inabilities to 'let go and let God.'
                              >
                              > And I do believe that perfect love casts out all fear - every time.
                              >
                              > Peace,
                              > James
                              >
                              > nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                              >
                              > <<Sorry guys... but I cannot even "come to the table" with the
                              idea
                              > that anti-gay Christians are often very well intentioned. They may
                              > *believe* that they are, but that does not make it so. Their
                              actions
                              > are based in the desire to control; and this desire to control is
                              > based in fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear.">>
                              >
                              > Not all the time. Let's remember that most, if not all, of us
                              were
                              > also anti-gay Christians at one time. We were Christians who were
                              > misled and believed the lie that any and all expressions of
                              > homosexuality were categorically incompatible with Christianity.
                              We
                              > believed this lie because we believed that the people who taught
                              it
                              > to us knew what they were talking about. We didn't believe it and
                              > hold on to this theology for reasons of malice or control. We
                              > believed it because we sincerely believed at the time that it was
                              > the truth.
                              >
                              > Fortunately, when we realized Christian hostility towards
                              > homosexuality and homosexual relationships rests entirely on a
                              > prejudicial and uninformed reading of Scripture rather than God's
                              > revealed word, we adjusted our thinking and our theology. But if
                              > you can't "come to the table" with the idea that some anti-gay
                              > Christians are very well intentioned, you're not being objective
                              or
                              > fair. If we all bought into it, and we have personal experiential
                              > knowledge of being gay, and it took many of us a long time to
                              > realize that anti-gay theology is not biblically sound, how much
                              > more difficult is it for those who have no personal experiential
                              > knowledge of being gay to see the errors of their theology. Don't
                              > put them all in a box. You'd only be guilty of doing the same
                              thing
                              > that many of them erroneously do to us.
                              >
                              > -Alex
                              >
                              >
                              > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...> wrote:
                              > > Sorry guys... but I cannot even "come to the table" with the
                              idea
                              > that anti-gay Christians are often very well intentioned. They
                              may
                              > *believe* that they are, but that does not make it so. Their
                              > actions are based in the desire to control; and this desire to
                              > control is based in fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear."
                              > >
                              > > Having grown up in a fundamentalist family, and having been
                              > educated in an evangelical college and seminary, I say from my own
                              > experience that some of our more conservative brothers and sisters
                              > are often not ready to let God do the saving of individuals and of
                              > the creation. There is this need to manipulate that is based in
                              > doubt and fear and not the sovereignty of God.
                              > >
                              > > When I rest in the idea that Jesus is the Lord of all, then I
                              let
                              > go of my own desires to control what does not belong to me.
                              > >
                              > > My Two Cents,
                              > > James
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > <<If you were to be able to just take every viewpoint he has
                              > (except
                              > > his view on homosexuality), you would have to conclude that he
                              is
                              > > pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love. I challenge you to
                              remove
                              > > his viewpoint on homosexuality and see if you would not agree
                              with
                              > > his position on most everything else. If not, then who is
                              > following
                              > > Christ's teaching and who is not?>>
                              > >
                              > > Jerry, take a closer look. The arguments of the anti-gay folks,
                              > > like Dobson, are often very well-intentioned, but their goals
                              and
                              > > objectives seem to be different from those of Jesus. The
                              > arguments
                              > > have to do with very secular concerns: control over chaos,
                              > majority
                              > > rule, fear of the other, fear of the unknown, and an
                              idealization
                              > of
                              > > a family unit that Jesus himself never lived or idealized.
                              > >
                              > > -Alex
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry" <BearJER@J...>
                              > wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > > Once again my point was proven over and over again because a
                              > > person cannot express anything but left-wing views on this site
                              > > without being attacked. Do you think Jesus would respond in
                              such
                              > a
                              > > fashion? Definitely not! You talk about James Dobson spreading
                              > > hate? How so? For a person to speak about his understanding of
                              > > what the Bible teaches is not hatred, unless it contains hatred
                              in
                              > > words or deeds. It may be wrong, but it is not hatred unless he
                              > > hates people and advocates hatred. I see no evidence of that at
                              > all
                              > > in what he teaches. If you were to be able to just take every
                              > > viewpoint he has (except his view on homosexuality), you would
                              > have
                              > > to conclude that he is pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love.
                              I
                              > > challenge you to remove his viewpoint on homosexuality and see
                              if
                              > > you would not agree with his position on most everything else.
                              If
                              > > not, then who is following Christ's teaching and who is not?
                              > > >
                              > > > Jerry
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: Jesus said it: "Do unto others as you
                              > would
                              > > have them do unto you."
                              > > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
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                              >
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                              > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/exexgayministry/
                              >
                              > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                              > exexgayministry-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                              >
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                              Service.
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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                              ---------------------------------
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                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Norm
                              James and Alex s discussion about the chracterization and motives of ex-gay promoters and participants has been interesting. I try to be fair when
                              Message 14 of 23 , Feb 3, 2005
                                James' and Alex's discussion about the chracterization and motives
                                of "ex-gay" promoters and participants has been interesting. I try
                                to be fair when characterizing the few "ex-gay" leaders I've met by
                                describing "ex-gay" people as sincere, well-meaning people of
                                faith. I don't believe most "ex-gay" promoters hate gay people
                                (i.e. "Love the sinner, hate the sin).

                                However, I will also argue that their sincerity and well-intentions
                                are undermined by their interest to defend and promote religious
                                fundamentalism. I also argue that the "ex-gay" movement contributes
                                to a literal homophobia -- not by hating gay people, but by
                                negatively stigamatizing anything associated with homosexuality.

                                I have to agree with James' point that fear is a major motivation of
                                the "ex-gay" movement and fundamentalist Christianity. I believe
                                that the desire of most "ex-gay" participants is to confront their
                                fear of being a "bad Christian" and find a way to control their
                                sexuality and ultimately control their spirituality.

                                Although I recognize Alex's description of the "fear of God"
                                = "reverence and awe" in the conservative Christianity I was raised,
                                I struggle to dismiss the idea that there wasn't a more basic fear
                                underlying my and most other Christians' faith. It's hard to
                                explain-away fear as "reverence" when you also believe in eternal
                                hell/seperation from God.

                                Norm!


                                --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...> wrote:
                                > I feel like my point has been totally misunderstood.
                                >
                                > I never implied (and certainly did not mean to) that people who do
                                not believe that Christianity and homosexuality are compatible are
                                not loving, sincere, well-meaning, etc. Many of them most certainly
                                are. I have known scores of them. But their need to control others
                                does not issue from a place of spiritual wholeness. Anytime any of
                                us try to manipulate or control (even if we genuinely believe that
                                we are being led by the Spirit), we are somehow less than we could
                                be, and less than we ought to be. That could also be said of me if
                                I tried to manipulate or control someone who thought my sexuality
                                was sinful.
                                >
                                > I was in no way casting a blanket judgment on those who disagree
                                with me (like my own, dearly loved parents with whom I have a
                                wonderful relationship). But I do stand by my original point that
                                the desire to control is based in fear and fear is based in
                                something less than God's best for us.
                                >
                                > James
                                >
                                > nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                >
                                > That may have been your experience which is valid and to be
                                > respected. But to imply that was or is the experience for
                                everyone
                                > would be an error. I was not only an "ex-gay" Christian but I was
                                > an "ex-gay" ministry leader. In that capacity I got to know
                                scores
                                > and scores of gay Christian people who through a variety of
                                > circumstances had come to know a powerful and loving God and
                                > sincerely wanted to walk "rightly" before Him and were led to
                                > believe that Christianity and homosexuality were incompatible. It
                                > was a community of caring and sincere people who were seeking
                                after
                                > God with honest and genuine hearts. I know that because I was one
                                > of them.
                                >
                                > Becoming a Christian for me was life-changing experience in many
                                > positive ways. And God placed wonderful and sincere Christians in
                                > my life as a new believer who enveloped me with the love of Christ
                                > and did everything they could to help me get firmly planted in the
                                > faith. And I, like a sponge, soaked up everything I could from
                                > them. And since they were loving and God-seeking people they
                                taught
                                > me wonderful things about God and the Bible. But they also told
                                me
                                > that one could not be both gay and Christian. They
                                didn't "clobber"
                                > me with Lev 18:22 or the few other passages often used to endorse
                                > antigay theology. They were loving people. But they shared with
                                me
                                > what they had been taught about these passages from those who
                                taught
                                > them Christianity. And since the statements seemed clear enough
                                on
                                > the surface neither of us had reason at the time to question them
                                > further or to better understand the historical context or
                                situations
                                > and circumstances to which they were written. The simple fact is
                                I
                                > took my Christianity seriously and wanted to walk obediently to an
                                > awesome, loving, gracious and merciful God -- like a child would
                                > want to do with a loving father. Once I came to see, however,
                                that
                                > anti-gay theology rested entirely on a prejudicial and uninformed
                                > reading of Scripture rather than sound exegesis and it did not
                                > reflect the heart of God or his word, I had the courage to not
                                only
                                > embrace this for myself but to teach it to others. And frankly,
                                > I've seen scores of people, both straight and gay, slowly change
                                > their thinking on this issue when given the chance to look closer
                                > and more deeply.
                                >
                                > Some of us understand "the fear of God," a phrase we repeatedly
                                come
                                > upon in the Bible, not as a cowering terror, dread and trepidation
                                > before a vengeful, ruthless and hardhearted God, but rather as a
                                > reverent awe of an incredibly loving and wonderful God. It would
                                be
                                > incorrect, if not insulting, to imply that everyone who embraced
                                > anti-gay theology did so for the same reasons you did.
                                >
                                > -Alex
                                >
                                >
                                > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...> wrote:
                                > > Sorry Alex, I cannot agree here. I do believe that many of us
                                > held onto anti-gay ideologies out of fear. I know I certainly
                                did.
                                > I was scared to death of what might happen to me should I open my
                                > mind for a second to the idea that I could be Christian and gay.
                                > What I (willingly) believed (anti gay theology) was a way for me
                                > to 'feel in control' of a situation that was definitely out of my
                                > control. It was *only* when I let go of my own need to control;
                                > when I fell back into the arms of God, not at all sure that I
                                would
                                > be caught; that I experienced true freedom and started to come
                                into
                                > the light.
                                > >
                                > > I put us all in the same boat. We are *all* fear-driven
                                > creatures, grasping at those things that we can never have. This
                                > remains true for me and I suspect will while I am alive on this
                                > earth. I am not judging the anti-gay Christian any more than I
                                > judge myself for my (current) inabilities to 'let go and let God.'
                                > >
                                > > And I do believe that perfect love casts out all fear - every
                                time.
                                > >
                                > > Peace,
                                > > James
                                > >
                                > > nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > <<Sorry guys... but I cannot even "come to the table" with the
                                > idea
                                > > that anti-gay Christians are often very well intentioned. They
                                may
                                > > *believe* that they are, but that does not make it so. Their
                                > actions
                                > > are based in the desire to control; and this desire to control
                                is
                                > > based in fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear.">>
                                > >
                                > > Not all the time. Let's remember that most, if not all, of us
                                > were
                                > > also anti-gay Christians at one time. We were Christians who
                                were
                                > > misled and believed the lie that any and all expressions of
                                > > homosexuality were categorically incompatible with
                                Christianity.
                                > We
                                > > believed this lie because we believed that the people who taught
                                > it
                                > > to us knew what they were talking about. We didn't believe it
                                and
                                > > hold on to this theology for reasons of malice or control. We
                                > > believed it because we sincerely believed at the time that it
                                was
                                > > the truth.
                                > >
                                > > Fortunately, when we realized Christian hostility towards
                                > > homosexuality and homosexual relationships rests entirely on a
                                > > prejudicial and uninformed reading of Scripture rather than
                                God's
                                > > revealed word, we adjusted our thinking and our theology. But
                                if
                                > > you can't "come to the table" with the idea that some anti-gay
                                > > Christians are very well intentioned, you're not being objective
                                > or
                                > > fair. If we all bought into it, and we have personal
                                experiential
                                > > knowledge of being gay, and it took many of us a long time to
                                > > realize that anti-gay theology is not biblically sound, how much
                                > > more difficult is it for those who have no personal experiential
                                > > knowledge of being gay to see the errors of their theology.
                                Don't
                                > > put them all in a box. You'd only be guilty of doing the same
                                > thing
                                > > that many of them erroneously do to us.
                                > >
                                > > -Alex
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...> wrote:
                                > > > Sorry guys... but I cannot even "come to the table" with the
                                > idea
                                > > that anti-gay Christians are often very well intentioned. They
                                > may
                                > > *believe* that they are, but that does not make it so. Their
                                > > actions are based in the desire to control; and this desire to
                                > > control is based in fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear."
                                > > >
                                > > > Having grown up in a fundamentalist family, and having been
                                > > educated in an evangelical college and seminary, I say from my
                                own
                                > > experience that some of our more conservative brothers and
                                sisters
                                > > are often not ready to let God do the saving of individuals and
                                of
                                > > the creation. There is this need to manipulate that is based in
                                > > doubt and fear and not the sovereignty of God.
                                > > >
                                > > > When I rest in the idea that Jesus is the Lord of all, then I
                                > let
                                > > go of my own desires to control what does not belong to me.
                                > > >
                                > > > My Two Cents,
                                > > > James
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > > nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                > > >
                                > > > <<If you were to be able to just take every viewpoint he has
                                > > (except
                                > > > his view on homosexuality), you would have to conclude that he
                                > is
                                > > > pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love. I challenge you to
                                > remove
                                > > > his viewpoint on homosexuality and see if you would not agree
                                > with
                                > > > his position on most everything else. If not, then who is
                                > > following
                                > > > Christ's teaching and who is not?>>
                                > > >
                                > > > Jerry, take a closer look. The arguments of the anti-gay
                                folks,
                                > > > like Dobson, are often very well-intentioned, but their goals
                                > and
                                > > > objectives seem to be different from those of Jesus. The
                                > > arguments
                                > > > have to do with very secular concerns: control over chaos,
                                > > majority
                                > > > rule, fear of the other, fear of the unknown, and an
                                > idealization
                                > > of
                                > > > a family unit that Jesus himself never lived or idealized.
                                > > >
                                > > > -Alex
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry" <BearJER@J...>
                                > > wrote:
                                > > > >
                                > > > > Once again my point was proven over and over again because a
                                > > > person cannot express anything but left-wing views on this
                                site
                                > > > without being attacked. Do you think Jesus would respond in
                                > such
                                > > a
                                > > > fashion? Definitely not! You talk about James Dobson
                                spreading
                                > > > hate? How so? For a person to speak about his understanding
                                of
                                > > > what the Bible teaches is not hatred, unless it contains
                                hatred
                                > in
                                > > > words or deeds. It may be wrong, but it is not hatred unless
                                he
                                > > > hates people and advocates hatred. I see no evidence of that
                                at
                                > > all
                                > > > in what he teaches. If you were to be able to just take every
                                > > > viewpoint he has (except his view on homosexuality), you would
                                > > have
                                > > > to conclude that he is pro-family, pro-God, and advocates
                                love.
                                > I
                                > > > challenge you to remove his viewpoint on homosexuality and see
                                > if
                                > > > you would not agree with his position on most everything
                                else.
                                > If
                                > > > not, then who is following Christ's teaching and who is not?
                                > > > >
                                > > > > Jerry
                                > > > >
                                > > > >
                                > > > > THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: Jesus said it: "Do unto others as you
                                > > would
                                > > > have them do unto you."
                                > > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
                                > > Children InternationalWould you give Hope to a Child in need?
                                > ·Click Here to meet a Girl
                                > > And Give Her Hope·Click Here to meet a Boy
                                > > And Change His Life Learn More
                                > >
                                > > ---------------------------------
                                > > 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:
                                > > exexgayministry-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                > >
                                > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
                                > Service.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
                                > Children InternationalWould you give Hope to a Child in need?
                                ·Click Here to meet a Girl
                                > And Give Her Hope·Click Here to meet a Boy
                                > And Change His Life Learn More
                                >
                                > ---------------------------------
                                > 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:
                                > exexgayministry-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                >
                                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
                                Service.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • nyguy_1225
                                I agree with
                                Message 15 of 23 , Feb 3, 2005
                                  <<I will also argue that their sincerity and well-intentions are
                                  undermined by their interest to defend and promote religious
                                  fundamentalism.>>

                                  I agree with much of what you said. And as you know all too well, I
                                  would be the very first to admit that far too many hold to antigay
                                  theology for all sorts of unethical reasons.

                                  Perhaps most significant of these is the fact that evangelicals have
                                  been notoriously prone to withdrawing financial support from
                                  organizations that demonstrate even the slightest open-mindedness to
                                  this question. As a Jewish believer, I've witnessed this time and
                                  again over the past 20+ years with rabbis and other Jewish leaders
                                  I've spoken and met with who were unable to demonstrate even the
                                  slightest open-mindedness to Christ as Messiah, knowing it would
                                  almost certainly have meant their financial and social ruin,
                                  destroying not only their careers but their standing in the Jewish
                                  community as well. I dare say Christians and especially Christian
                                  leaders are in a similar position and under similar pressure.

                                  For some, their Bible institute teachers may not have known better.
                                  But there are other better educated evangelicals who should and some
                                  cases do know better. Some deny, without any basis, the information
                                  referenced in the much scholarly research that's been done on this
                                  issue. And some are obviously not above intellectual dishonesty and
                                  chauvinism, often exercised under political and economic pressures.

                                  As F.F. Bruce candidly observed in a `Christianity Today'
                                  article: "A [biblical scholar or Christian leader] who always has to
                                  be looking over his shoulder, lest someone who is in a position to
                                  harm him [in terms of "personal comfort, income and the like"] may
                                  be breathing down his neck, has to watch his step." Bruce says that
                                  he was fortunate enough to always earn his living as a biblical
                                  scholar employed by a non-religiously affiliated university. Very
                                  few evangelical scholars and leaders are so fortunate.

                                  However, what I don't hear in your post, or in most of the others
                                  that appeared this week, is an acknowledgment that there are also
                                  many innocent and sincere people who ascribe to anti-gay theology
                                  because they sincerely believe it to be the truth of scripture. I
                                  think if we're going to be fair and balanced it's critical that we
                                  acknowledge that these people exist too. When we do not, can not,
                                  or will not acknowledge this, we stifle, if not completely being to
                                  a halt, opportunity for open and respectful dialog among us. And
                                  that hurts everyone.

                                  -Alex


                                  --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Norm" <nojam75@y...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > James' and Alex's discussion about the chracterization and motives
                                  > of "ex-gay" promoters and participants has been interesting. I
                                  try
                                  > to be fair when characterizing the few "ex-gay" leaders I've met
                                  by
                                  > describing "ex-gay" people as sincere, well-meaning people of
                                  > faith. I don't believe most "ex-gay" promoters hate gay people
                                  > (i.e. "Love the sinner, hate the sin).
                                  >
                                  > However, I will also argue that their sincerity and well-
                                  intentions
                                  > are undermined by their interest to defend and promote religious
                                  > fundamentalism. I also argue that the "ex-gay" movement
                                  contributes
                                  > to a literal homophobia -- not by hating gay people, but by
                                  > negatively stigamatizing anything associated with homosexuality.
                                  >
                                  > I have to agree with James' point that fear is a major motivation
                                  of
                                  > the "ex-gay" movement and fundamentalist Christianity. I believe
                                  > that the desire of most "ex-gay" participants is to confront their
                                  > fear of being a "bad Christian" and find a way to control their
                                  > sexuality and ultimately control their spirituality.
                                  >
                                  > Although I recognize Alex's description of the "fear of God"
                                  > = "reverence and awe" in the conservative Christianity I was
                                  raised,
                                  > I struggle to dismiss the idea that there wasn't a more basic fear
                                  > underlying my and most other Christians' faith. It's hard to
                                  > explain-away fear as "reverence" when you also believe in eternal
                                  > hell/seperation from God.
                                  >
                                  > Norm!
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...> wrote:
                                  > > I feel like my point has been totally misunderstood.
                                  > >
                                  > > I never implied (and certainly did not mean to) that people who
                                  do
                                  > not believe that Christianity and homosexuality are compatible are
                                  > not loving, sincere, well-meaning, etc. Many of them most
                                  certainly
                                  > are. I have known scores of them. But their need to control
                                  others
                                  > does not issue from a place of spiritual wholeness. Anytime any
                                  of
                                  > us try to manipulate or control (even if we genuinely believe that
                                  > we are being led by the Spirit), we are somehow less than we could
                                  > be, and less than we ought to be. That could also be said of me
                                  if
                                  > I tried to manipulate or control someone who thought my sexuality
                                  > was sinful.
                                  > >
                                  > > I was in no way casting a blanket judgment on those who disagree
                                  > with me (like my own, dearly loved parents with whom I have a
                                  > wonderful relationship). But I do stand by my original point that
                                  > the desire to control is based in fear and fear is based in
                                  > something less than God's best for us.
                                  > >
                                  > > James
                                  > >
                                  > > nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > That may have been your experience which is valid and to be
                                  > > respected. But to imply that was or is the experience for
                                  > everyone
                                  > > would be an error. I was not only an "ex-gay" Christian but I
                                  was
                                  > > an "ex-gay" ministry leader. In that capacity I got to know
                                  > scores
                                  > > and scores of gay Christian people who through a variety of
                                  > > circumstances had come to know a powerful and loving God and
                                  > > sincerely wanted to walk "rightly" before Him and were led to
                                  > > believe that Christianity and homosexuality were incompatible.
                                  It
                                  > > was a community of caring and sincere people who were seeking
                                  > after
                                  > > God with honest and genuine hearts. I know that because I was
                                  one
                                  > > of them.
                                  > >
                                  > > Becoming a Christian for me was life-changing experience in many
                                  > > positive ways. And God placed wonderful and sincere Christians
                                  in
                                  > > my life as a new believer who enveloped me with the love of
                                  Christ
                                  > > and did everything they could to help me get firmly planted in
                                  the
                                  > > faith. And I, like a sponge, soaked up everything I could from
                                  > > them. And since they were loving and God-seeking people they
                                  > taught
                                  > > me wonderful things about God and the Bible. But they also told
                                  > me
                                  > > that one could not be both gay and Christian. They
                                  > didn't "clobber"
                                  > > me with Lev 18:22 or the few other passages often used to
                                  endorse
                                  > > antigay theology. They were loving people. But they shared
                                  with
                                  > me
                                  > > what they had been taught about these passages from those who
                                  > taught
                                  > > them Christianity. And since the statements seemed clear enough
                                  > on
                                  > > the surface neither of us had reason at the time to question
                                  them
                                  > > further or to better understand the historical context or
                                  > situations
                                  > > and circumstances to which they were written. The simple fact
                                  is
                                  > I
                                  > > took my Christianity seriously and wanted to walk obediently to
                                  an
                                  > > awesome, loving, gracious and merciful God -- like a child would
                                  > > want to do with a loving father. Once I came to see, however,
                                  > that
                                  > > anti-gay theology rested entirely on a prejudicial and
                                  uninformed
                                  > > reading of Scripture rather than sound exegesis and it did not
                                  > > reflect the heart of God or his word, I had the courage to not
                                  > only
                                  > > embrace this for myself but to teach it to others. And frankly,
                                  > > I've seen scores of people, both straight and gay, slowly change
                                  > > their thinking on this issue when given the chance to look
                                  closer
                                  > > and more deeply.
                                  > >
                                  > > Some of us understand "the fear of God," a phrase we repeatedly
                                  > come
                                  > > upon in the Bible, not as a cowering terror, dread and
                                  trepidation
                                  > > before a vengeful, ruthless and hardhearted God, but rather as a
                                  > > reverent awe of an incredibly loving and wonderful God. It
                                  would
                                  > be
                                  > > incorrect, if not insulting, to imply that everyone who embraced
                                  > > anti-gay theology did so for the same reasons you did.
                                  > >
                                  > > -Alex
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...> wrote:
                                  > > > Sorry Alex, I cannot agree here. I do believe that many of us
                                  > > held onto anti-gay ideologies out of fear. I know I certainly
                                  > did.
                                  > > I was scared to death of what might happen to me should I open
                                  my
                                  > > mind for a second to the idea that I could be Christian and
                                  gay.
                                  > > What I (willingly) believed (anti gay theology) was a way for me
                                  > > to 'feel in control' of a situation that was definitely out of
                                  my
                                  > > control. It was *only* when I let go of my own need to control;
                                  > > when I fell back into the arms of God, not at all sure that I
                                  > would
                                  > > be caught; that I experienced true freedom and started to come
                                  > into
                                  > > the light.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > I put us all in the same boat. We are *all* fear-driven
                                  > > creatures, grasping at those things that we can never have.
                                  This
                                  > > remains true for me and I suspect will while I am alive on this
                                  > > earth. I am not judging the anti-gay Christian any more than I
                                  > > judge myself for my (current) inabilities to 'let go and let
                                  God.'
                                  > > >
                                  > > > And I do believe that perfect love casts out all fear - every
                                  > time.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Peace,
                                  > > > James
                                  > > >
                                  > > > nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                  > > >
                                  > > > <<Sorry guys... but I cannot even "come to the table" with the
                                  > > idea
                                  > > > that anti-gay Christians are often very well intentioned. They
                                  > may
                                  > > > *believe* that they are, but that does not make it so. Their
                                  > > actions
                                  > > > are based in the desire to control; and this desire to control
                                  > is
                                  > > > based in fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear.">>
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Not all the time. Let's remember that most, if not all, of us
                                  > > were
                                  > > > also anti-gay Christians at one time. We were Christians who
                                  > were
                                  > > > misled and believed the lie that any and all expressions of
                                  > > > homosexuality were categorically incompatible with
                                  > Christianity.
                                  > > We
                                  > > > believed this lie because we believed that the people who
                                  taught
                                  > > it
                                  > > > to us knew what they were talking about. We didn't believe it
                                  > and
                                  > > > hold on to this theology for reasons of malice or control. We
                                  > > > believed it because we sincerely believed at the time that it
                                  > was
                                  > > > the truth.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Fortunately, when we realized Christian hostility towards
                                  > > > homosexuality and homosexual relationships rests entirely on a
                                  > > > prejudicial and uninformed reading of Scripture rather than
                                  > God's
                                  > > > revealed word, we adjusted our thinking and our theology. But
                                  > if
                                  > > > you can't "come to the table" with the idea that some anti-gay
                                  > > > Christians are very well intentioned, you're not being
                                  objective
                                  > > or
                                  > > > fair. If we all bought into it, and we have personal
                                  > experiential
                                  > > > knowledge of being gay, and it took many of us a long time to
                                  > > > realize that anti-gay theology is not biblically sound, how
                                  much
                                  > > > more difficult is it for those who have no personal
                                  experiential
                                  > > > knowledge of being gay to see the errors of their theology.
                                  > Don't
                                  > > > put them all in a box. You'd only be guilty of doing the same
                                  > > thing
                                  > > > that many of them erroneously do to us.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > -Alex
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...>
                                  wrote:
                                  > > > > Sorry guys... but I cannot even "come to the table" with the
                                  > > idea
                                  > > > that anti-gay Christians are often very well intentioned.
                                  They
                                  > > may
                                  > > > *believe* that they are, but that does not make it so. Their
                                  > > > actions are based in the desire to control; and this desire to
                                  > > > control is based in fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear."
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > Having grown up in a fundamentalist family, and having been
                                  > > > educated in an evangelical college and seminary, I say from my
                                  > own
                                  > > > experience that some of our more conservative brothers and
                                  > sisters
                                  > > > are often not ready to let God do the saving of individuals
                                  and
                                  > of
                                  > > > the creation. There is this need to manipulate that is based
                                  in
                                  > > > doubt and fear and not the sovereignty of God.
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > When I rest in the idea that Jesus is the Lord of all, then
                                  I
                                  > > let
                                  > > > go of my own desires to control what does not belong to me.
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > My Two Cents,
                                  > > > > James
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > <<If you were to be able to just take every viewpoint he has
                                  > > > (except
                                  > > > > his view on homosexuality), you would have to conclude that
                                  he
                                  > > is
                                  > > > > pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love. I challenge you to
                                  > > remove
                                  > > > > his viewpoint on homosexuality and see if you would not
                                  agree
                                  > > with
                                  > > > > his position on most everything else. If not, then who is
                                  > > > following
                                  > > > > Christ's teaching and who is not?>>
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > Jerry, take a closer look. The arguments of the anti-gay
                                  > folks,
                                  > > > > like Dobson, are often very well-intentioned, but their
                                  goals
                                  > > and
                                  > > > > objectives seem to be different from those of Jesus. The
                                  > > > arguments
                                  > > > > have to do with very secular concerns: control over chaos,
                                  > > > majority
                                  > > > > rule, fear of the other, fear of the unknown, and an
                                  > > idealization
                                  > > > of
                                  > > > > a family unit that Jesus himself never lived or idealized.
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > -Alex
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry"
                                  <BearJER@J...>
                                  > > > wrote:
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > Once again my point was proven over and over again because
                                  a
                                  > > > > person cannot express anything but left-wing views on this
                                  > site
                                  > > > > without being attacked. Do you think Jesus would respond in
                                  > > such
                                  > > > a
                                  > > > > fashion? Definitely not! You talk about James Dobson
                                  > spreading
                                  > > > > hate? How so? For a person to speak about his
                                  understanding
                                  > of
                                  > > > > what the Bible teaches is not hatred, unless it contains
                                  > hatred
                                  > > in
                                  > > > > words or deeds. It may be wrong, but it is not hatred
                                  unless
                                  > he
                                  > > > > hates people and advocates hatred. I see no evidence of
                                  that
                                  > at
                                  > > > all
                                  > > > > in what he teaches. If you were to be able to just take
                                  every
                                  > > > > viewpoint he has (except his view on homosexuality), you
                                  would
                                  > > > have
                                  > > > > to conclude that he is pro-family, pro-God, and advocates
                                  > love.
                                  > > I
                                  > > > > challenge you to remove his viewpoint on homosexuality and
                                  see
                                  > > if
                                  > > > > you would not agree with his position on most everything
                                  > else.
                                  > > If
                                  > > > > not, then who is following Christ's teaching and who is not?
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > Jerry
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: Jesus said it: "Do unto others as
                                  you
                                  > > > would
                                  > > > > have them do unto you."
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
                                  > > > Children InternationalWould you give Hope to a Child in need?
                                  > > ·Click Here to meet a Girl
                                  > > > And Give Her Hope·Click Here to meet a Boy
                                  > > > And Change His Life Learn More
                                  > > >
                                  > > > ---------------------------------
                                  > > > 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:
                                  > > > exexgayministry-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
                                  > > Service.
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
                                  > > Children InternationalWould you give Hope to a Child in need?
                                  > ·Click Here to meet a Girl
                                  > > And Give Her Hope·Click Here to meet a Boy
                                  > > And Change His Life Learn More
                                  > >
                                  > > ---------------------------------
                                  > > 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:
                                  > > exexgayministry-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                  > >
                                  > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
                                  > Service.
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Norm
                                  Alex: However, what I don t hear in your post, or in most of the others that appeared this week, is an acknowledgment that there are also many innocent and
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Feb 3, 2005
                                    Alex: >>>"However, what I don't hear in your post, or in most of the
                                    others that appeared this week, is an acknowledgment that there are
                                    also many innocent and sincere people who ascribe to anti-gay
                                    theology because they sincerely believe it to be the truth of
                                    scripture. ..."<<<

                                    I acknowledged that many people who uphold anti-gay theology are
                                    sincere in their beliefs and may be ignorant of many aspects of
                                    their beliefs. However, I would not be as generous and describe
                                    these people as "innocent". Granted, many who uphold anti-gay
                                    theology were probably indoctrinated by their clergy, communities,
                                    and parents. But ultimately we are all responsible for the beliefs
                                    we choose to accept -- especially when we apply these beliefs to
                                    others.

                                    I'm not sure what more we can do as a group or as part of the
                                    greater community to acknowledge the sincerity of those who support
                                    anti-gay theology. In light of the past election, reaching across
                                    political, religious, and cultural divisions is a major challenge.
                                    (I've just begun reading Jim Wallis' "God's Politics", BTW, so it's
                                    been on my mind lately.)

                                    Is our language too harsh? I will admit that the short-hand
                                    terminology I use ("anti-gay", "fundamentalist", "ex-gay lifestyle",
                                    etc.) may be considered crude. Are we too quick to group all "ex-
                                    gay" promoters with anti-gay hate groups? I always try to be careful
                                    about not doing that. In the larger context, are gay rights
                                    promoters going too far too fast? This would seem to be confirmed in
                                    the last election results.

                                    I'm sure we can always improve the way we communicate. But dialog is
                                    two-ways. In my experience, those who are committed to their view of
                                    scripture see little point in discussing their beliefs outside of
                                    strict, scripture doctrine.

                                    The reality is that personal interest is usually the primary
                                    motivation for questioning and exploring assumed beliefs. As you
                                    mentioned earlier, you and I formerly supported anti-gay theology.
                                    It wasn't until we personally experienced and applied this theology
                                    to our own lives that we seriously questioned it.

                                    Norm!

                                    --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, nyguy_1225 <no_reply@y...>
                                    wrote:
                                    >
                                    > <<I will also argue that their sincerity and well-intentions are
                                    > undermined by their interest to defend and promote religious
                                    > fundamentalism.>>
                                    >
                                    > I agree with much of what you said. And as you know all too well,
                                    I
                                    > would be the very first to admit that far too many hold to antigay
                                    > theology for all sorts of unethical reasons.
                                    >
                                    > Perhaps most significant of these is the fact that evangelicals
                                    have
                                    > been notoriously prone to withdrawing financial support from
                                    > organizations that demonstrate even the slightest open-mindedness
                                    to
                                    > this question. As a Jewish believer, I've witnessed this time and
                                    > again over the past 20+ years with rabbis and other Jewish leaders
                                    > I've spoken and met with who were unable to demonstrate even the
                                    > slightest open-mindedness to Christ as Messiah, knowing it would
                                    > almost certainly have meant their financial and social ruin,
                                    > destroying not only their careers but their standing in the Jewish
                                    > community as well. I dare say Christians and especially Christian
                                    > leaders are in a similar position and under similar pressure.
                                    >
                                    > For some, their Bible institute teachers may not have known
                                    better.
                                    > But there are other better educated evangelicals who should and
                                    some
                                    > cases do know better. Some deny, without any basis, the
                                    information
                                    > referenced in the much scholarly research that's been done on this
                                    > issue. And some are obviously not above intellectual dishonesty
                                    and
                                    > chauvinism, often exercised under political and economic pressures.
                                    >
                                    > As F.F. Bruce candidly observed in a `Christianity Today'
                                    > article: "A [biblical scholar or Christian leader] who always has
                                    to
                                    > be looking over his shoulder, lest someone who is in a position to
                                    > harm him [in terms of "personal comfort, income and the like"] may
                                    > be breathing down his neck, has to watch his step." Bruce says
                                    that
                                    > he was fortunate enough to always earn his living as a biblical
                                    > scholar employed by a non-religiously affiliated university. Very
                                    > few evangelical scholars and leaders are so fortunate.
                                    >
                                    > However, what I don't hear in your post, or in most of the others
                                    > that appeared this week, is an acknowledgment that there are also
                                    > many innocent and sincere people who ascribe to anti-gay theology
                                    > because they sincerely believe it to be the truth of scripture.
                                    I
                                    > think if we're going to be fair and balanced it's critical that we
                                    > acknowledge that these people exist too. When we do not, can not,
                                    > or will not acknowledge this, we stifle, if not completely being
                                    to
                                    > a halt, opportunity for open and respectful dialog among us. And
                                    > that hurts everyone.
                                    >
                                    > -Alex
                                  • Drew VanDyche
                                    Bravo Norm! I love the way you think! ... Drew Norm wrote: Alex: However, what I don t hear in your post, or in most of the others that
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Feb 3, 2005
                                      Bravo Norm!
                                      I love the way you think!
                                      :-)
                                      Drew

                                      Norm <nojam75@...> wrote:

                                      Alex: >>>"However, what I don't hear in your post, or in most of the
                                      others that appeared this week, is an acknowledgment that there are
                                      also many innocent and sincere people who ascribe to anti-gay
                                      theology because they sincerely believe it to be the truth of
                                      scripture. ..."<<<

                                      I acknowledged that many people who uphold anti-gay theology are
                                      sincere in their beliefs and may be ignorant of many aspects of
                                      their beliefs. However, I would not be as generous and describe
                                      these people as "innocent". Granted, many who uphold anti-gay
                                      theology were probably indoctrinated by their clergy, communities,
                                      and parents. But ultimately we are all responsible for the beliefs
                                      we choose to accept -- especially when we apply these beliefs to
                                      others.

                                      I'm not sure what more we can do as a group or as part of the
                                      greater community to acknowledge the sincerity of those who support
                                      anti-gay theology. In light of the past election, reaching across
                                      political, religious, and cultural divisions is a major challenge.
                                      (I've just begun reading Jim Wallis' "God's Politics", BTW, so it's
                                      been on my mind lately.)

                                      Is our language too harsh? I will admit that the short-hand
                                      terminology I use ("anti-gay", "fundamentalist", "ex-gay lifestyle",
                                      etc.) may be considered crude. Are we too quick to group all "ex-
                                      gay" promoters with anti-gay hate groups? I always try to be careful
                                      about not doing that. In the larger context, are gay rights
                                      promoters going too far too fast? This would seem to be confirmed in
                                      the last election results.

                                      I'm sure we can always improve the way we communicate. But dialog is
                                      two-ways. In my experience, those who are committed to their view of
                                      scripture see little point in discussing their beliefs outside of
                                      strict, scripture doctrine.

                                      The reality is that personal interest is usually the primary
                                      motivation for questioning and exploring assumed beliefs. As you
                                      mentioned earlier, you and I formerly supported anti-gay theology.
                                      It wasn't until we personally experienced and applied this theology
                                      to our own lives that we seriously questioned it.

                                      Norm!

                                      --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, nyguy_1225 <no_reply@y...>
                                      wrote:
                                      >
                                      > <<I will also argue that their sincerity and well-intentions are
                                      > undermined by their interest to defend and promote religious
                                      > fundamentalism.>>
                                      >
                                      > I agree with much of what you said. And as you know all too well,
                                      I
                                      > would be the very first to admit that far too many hold to antigay
                                      > theology for all sorts of unethical reasons.
                                      >
                                      > Perhaps most significant of these is the fact that evangelicals
                                      have
                                      > been notoriously prone to withdrawing financial support from
                                      > organizations that demonstrate even the slightest open-mindedness
                                      to
                                      > this question. As a Jewish believer, I've witnessed this time and
                                      > again over the past 20+ years with rabbis and other Jewish leaders
                                      > I've spoken and met with who were unable to demonstrate even the
                                      > slightest open-mindedness to Christ as Messiah, knowing it would
                                      > almost certainly have meant their financial and social ruin,
                                      > destroying not only their careers but their standing in the Jewish
                                      > community as well. I dare say Christians and especially Christian
                                      > leaders are in a similar position and under similar pressure.
                                      >
                                      > For some, their Bible institute teachers may not have known
                                      better.
                                      > But there are other better educated evangelicals who should and
                                      some
                                      > cases do know better. Some deny, without any basis, the
                                      information
                                      > referenced in the much scholarly research that's been done on this
                                      > issue. And some are obviously not above intellectual dishonesty
                                      and
                                      > chauvinism, often exercised under political and economic pressures.
                                      >
                                      > As F.F. Bruce candidly observed in a `Christianity Today'
                                      > article: "A [biblical scholar or Christian leader] who always has
                                      to
                                      > be looking over his shoulder, lest someone who is in a position to
                                      > harm him [in terms of "personal comfort, income and the like"] may
                                      > be breathing down his neck, has to watch his step." Bruce says
                                      that
                                      > he was fortunate enough to always earn his living as a biblical
                                      > scholar employed by a non-religiously affiliated university. Very
                                      > few evangelical scholars and leaders are so fortunate.
                                      >
                                      > However, what I don't hear in your post, or in most of the others
                                      > that appeared this week, is an acknowledgment that there are also
                                      > many innocent and sincere people who ascribe to anti-gay theology
                                      > because they sincerely believe it to be the truth of scripture.
                                      I
                                      > think if we're going to be fair and balanced it's critical that we
                                      > acknowledge that these people exist too. When we do not, can not,
                                      > or will not acknowledge this, we stifle, if not completely being
                                      to
                                      > a halt, opportunity for open and respectful dialog among us. And
                                      > that hurts everyone.
                                      >
                                      > -Alex





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                                      Drew VanDyche
                                      aka: Drewcifer, Drewski, Drewblood...
                                      http://profiles.yahoo.com/vandyche



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