about Me

about Me

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

FIRST THE GOOD NEWS: A Thorough Examination

Hi Bishop!

Kevin Main blessed me with a copy of your book and I finally got it on Thursday. Read almost half of it in the first sitting that same day, then finished it off on the second pick-up on Saturday (yesterday). I had felt like I was the last person on earth to get to read it and so the anticipation was huge. I had avoided, as much as I could, reading your early blogs that shared parts of the rough draft and I think I only read one. So I really wasn't sure what to expect.

What I discovered was a book that captivated me, kept a smile on my face faithfully, brought me to tears more than once and continued to confirm what I've always said before: you are the most anointed and relevant minister I've ever known.

This is a well-crafted masterpiece. Rare and original. I'd often toyed with the idea of creating such a book based on my own studies and life. But in the past few years when I finally discovered that there were believers who had already published such affirming books I felt it was not necessary, nor did I feel any longer qualified as theirs were so good.

Yours certainly joins the ranks as a "must read" and adds so much more to it that, as you said, it's not really just a book about being gay. You had something to say that no one else could have said.
I also appreciated the fact that you shared opinions/beliefs that are not necessarily in alignment with those of other authors of gay-affirming books. Such as what certain verses really say. Example, if Jesus really did (even thru implication) say anything about gays, if the word Eunuch could imply both gays AND physically mutilated men, if Paul ever had in mind any same-sex oriented men in  his writings, etc.

I'll admit when I first read books such as Gay Christian 101 (by Rick Brentlinger), The Children Are Free (Connely & Tyler?), Pastor Sandy Turnbull's latest (God's Gay Agenda), etc, I was quick to agree with their findings. We often do that, don't we? We can get so eager to "prove" our beliefs, so when we hear anything that adds weight to our argument we eat it up! "See! See! They see it too! Why can't you?!" hehehe.

But you have helped me to appreciate, once again, a diversity of perspectives. Even concerning bisexuality. So I'm still digesting all you said and of course will begin reading it again probably later today or tomorrow. I'm still shaping and forming my beliefs as we all are. Right now I DO think the books of the Bible contain many affirming passages (including things Jesus said) and that in it's original language and context none of the "clobber" verses were referring to the committed love relationship found between two people. But again I take your thoughts into consideration and value them equally as well.

As I've said before, our personal stories aren't identical but they do have points that are similar, so your personal letters at the end to your kids and Terri and Debye moved me personally as well. Your pain from venom-laced messages from "concerned friends" is a pain many of us have felt for decades, yet I think you probably get top-prize for volume. Take what I dealt with from others and multiply it by a gayzillion and that's probably what you went thru. Hats off to ya again! You stood your ground, kept your cool (as much as you could) and are still standing!

Finally, I thought your book was complete and covered much of my favorite issues within religion, fundamentalism, and current mainstream theology. I loved the way you kept the GOOD NEWS thread clear through it all. You wrote about what you knew and that was powerful! I only have three questions that lingered in my mind as I finished.

1. You had mentioned in Chapter 9 that you'd talk about David & Jonathan but you didn't get a chance to or perhaps changed your mind about addressing your thoughts on their relationship. I'm just curious what you see there between them, if anything.

2. You mentioned not really seeing others as bisexual. I, myself, don't use that label anymore, but I still have to admit I have an attraction to women. I've read studies on how its all on a scale and that someone can be like 80% attracted to the same sex and 20% to the other or 60% to same and 40% to opposite and so on. From an early age I recall attractions to both and they were genuine. So I can't deny its a real issue for some. If we flat out deny there is such a thing as a bisexual, isn't that the same as when others flat out deny that we are born gay or that we could have possibly started having same-sex attraction at an early age? Which brings me to the final question:

3. You mentioned believing that we are born gay. I believe the same also. But do you think its hereditary? In the genes? From what limited studies I've found on it, there does seem to be some findings to suggest it, and in my own family I've seen a match on what I read but I was just curious what you think.

So once again you have created a gem, worthy to stand alongside all your other classics. Your mind, your writing style, your "realness", your wit, your ability to talk TO this generation and not over them or down to them (us) is always refreshing and once again I'm changed, encouraged, built up, inspired and more determined. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

In Christ,

Mike Gordon

Gordon Family Ministries, Philippines

Thanks so much for your very thorough, thoughtful, and insightful review, Mike...I really appreciate it...I was going to answer your three (very good) questions here on the post, but I think I'll just write them to you, personally, for now...again, thanks!