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Guest elimatthew

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  • 2 years later...
Guest elimatthew

My name is Eli. I live in Tampa, FL. I might as well address you personally as we do seem to be a minority of 2.

Thanks for the DVD referral. I haven't seen that one. I grew up southern baptist, became a witch as a child (my Sunday School teacher was kicked out of the church on so called charges as such), practiced Wicca for 20 years, then discovered personal issues that couldn't be overcome by pagan practice. Went to MCC, UU churches for several years....but have now landed at the Episcopal Church of downtown Tampa. Congregations tend to have personalities, and I do love the ritual, tradition and social skills of Episcopalians.

Unfortunately I haven't found any lesbians in this community. I attended the Biblical Archeology Review annual conference last year because Biblical interpretation and context is important. There are still people who believe "quoting" the scripture is authoritative. I think of them as God's "mini me" on earth trying to drive me out. But I know God doesn't need a mini me, in fact to a living present God it's blasphemy.

Just finished reading Thomas L. Thompson on Biblical Myth. The Bible is a basket of Near Eastern literature, more akin to a library than a book. As such it contains the roots of civilization, and contains irony and humor as well as counterText that requires people to think. Thus the inconsistency and contradiction. Parallel and contradictory narrative prevents the Bible from being factual. Hence people who try to use scripture as a weapon can be defeated by Biblical Literacy.

I know it's the Way for me, but I need a forum to practice. Are you interested in such a quest?

Cordially,

Eli 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest elimatthew

Greetings Lesbians and (perhaps) Christians,

I have ordered the Bible Tells Me SO from Netflix and look forward to viewing it.

For the sake of those trolling this topic, I'd like to post some observations from time to time to generate discussion.

The most obvious question is why belong to a club that doesn't want us. The Church reinforces certain values that I'd like to be able to assume in those I share my life with. Likewise, not being a perfect person, these same people will have to nourish the Christ in me as I may in them. This is vague but quite specific when a friend does or believes something that might terminate relations or hurt/offend. Of course it's about living in community, but the Church has lasted since the dark ages and the tradition holds wisdom (borrowed or stolen as it may be). How long will the LGBT consensus last?

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The Church reinforces certain values that I'd like to be able to assume in those I share my life with. Likewise, not being a perfect person, these same people will have to nourish the Christ in me as I may in them. This is vague but quite specific when a friend does or believes something that might terminate relations or hurt/offend.

If you don't mind a bit of an aside, this is something that I've been struggling with lately. If you had any additional observations there, I certainly wouldn't mind reading them.

I don't want to get specific, because it could get too identifying and then I'd be breaking a confidence, but I'm struggling with what is or should be my reaction when someone I consider(ed?) a friend does something I feel they definitely should not have done, for moral reasons. Not something simply self-destructive, but something that affects others in a severe, negative way.

Part of the struggle is also that these things I think they should not have done do not affect me directly or personally . . . other than feeling upset about it. On the one hand, I feel like my reaction is pretty natural, almost unavoidable. On the other, it feels like it might be an overly judgmental overstep to feel angry with someone for doing something that has not caused me harm in any way.

I've told them how I feel and that I believe it would be best for everyone involved, even including them (there are 2 situations here) too, if they stopped doing the bad things. They agreed with me that the bad things are in fact, bad, but either don't think they're really bad, just a little bad (one), or feel powerless to stop (the other). I don't agree with the assessment of powerlessness. I think it's completely bogus, and have told them so.

The "badness" is also ongoing. It's not a one-time bad thing that someone feels bad about doing in the past and isn't doing anymore. I think forgiving them would be a whole lot easier if that were the situation, but unfortunately, it isn't. These situations have also caused me to realize that forgiveness is a heck of a lot easier for something that's past tense, not present and probably future tense.

What's the role of friendship in this sort of situation? I've definitely told them how I feel. I feel it was correct that I did that. But it didn't change anything.

As I'm entitled to be or not be friends with whomever I like, I don't feel I'm . . . I don't know exactly . . . obligated to continue the friendship, if I don't want to? But throwing away a friendship of multiple years feels wrong too. Continuing the friendship feeling the way I'm feeling AND dumping them over it both feel wrong.

How would you think about or make a decision about that? (You, meaning elimatthew and anyone else reading that wants to chime in.)

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Guest elimatthew

Every time you feel uncomfortable declare "So and so, you know I'm praying for you". Use every opportunity to get God around this person, and then let go.

I'm a very open person and often get involved with people with "issues". Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

I have de-friended someone after several years of friendship. But she was agnostic and I didn't have any of the Christian influences to work with. The issue was she chose to be cheap and manipulative with me, while channeling my generosity to male scam artists. I could have been less generous and lowered my expectations, but when I added up what I could trust her with emotionally....just wasn't worth it. She chose to be unavailable when I needed her. So no friend. That's an option (without Christ).

I find myself getting into a tizzy sometimes, the latest example being about murder. A friend whom I'm sharing theology with "LOVES" Joseph Campbell, so I've read his summaries. I discover Joseph Campbell doesn't know that murder is wrong. He describes an Eastern sacrifice scene where the high priest kills the young female victom and both have become the transcendent Oneness of the universe as the soul lays down the body.....TERRIFYING. This is why I'm not a witch anymore. I want the earth itself to cry out with blood guilt (as in Cain story). So I not only hate Joseph Campbell and the other relative-ists, I wonder how I can ever trust this friend anymore.

I'm in a tizzy over this academic issue, then I realize that to God it's not academic. I have to tell you this friend did time for manslaughter many years ago. But perhaps there is more to it than that, or he hasn't repented. I don't know and didn't want to know. Now I realize God is not going to let me get away with benign ignorance. God is moving in me and I don't know what will happen.

But I do know I'll never go up to his apartment again. And I am bound to remain engaged because ....well, God is moving in me and I'm curious as to what is going to happen.

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  • 10 years later...
MimiG said:

 My Christan counselor told me I would lose my salvation and go to hell. I disagree. My question would be; how would you handle comments like 'you can't be Christian and gay'?

i would explain that, as a Classics minor, i took ancient Greek as my language and read Bible passages in the original Greek. Having learned as a student of the ancient Greek language that the word pai means child or male child, if the child is known to be male, i was disabused of the notion that sexual abuse of children is missing from condemnation and that it's condemnation was erased and replaced with later cultural prejudices. i would also remind them that raping angels would be evil even if the angels had been female. i would point out that in none of the Gospels of Christ did Jesus ever condemn or even address homosexuality; and i would urge them to consult a Hebrew speaker to learn what the original Old Testament said about whom a man should not lay with (because incest was also addressed in early religious translations). Then, i would remind them that God is a perfect being and, as such, does not make mistakes, that i am His/Her creation, made in Their image, exactly as God intended and with all of the goodness of God's creations and that i am proud. 

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