Epistle Emails

Many thanks to those of you who have sent us emails to let us know how much God is touching you. It is very encouraging for us.

God bless you -
The writers and contributors of the Epistle.


February 2004

What a blessing that this website was referred to me by my sister in Christ.
Thank you for your message of inclusion, salvation, and redemption.

Peace be with you. Hector


July 2004

Thank you!

Just want to say I am so grateful to find a website like yours! What a blessing it is to me. I needed an encouraging word tonight and I got it from your website. Thanks and may God richly bless you and
this very needed ministry.

Clarence


August 2004

hi just seen your site. great site i enjoyed reading it's many parts

hi God bless yall
i was a U.P.C. youth pastor and Minister and was married living a lie knowing who i was but God in his love and mercy some how, helped me find freedom of coming out and being the gay man i was created to be. i remember the call to go and love and Minister to GLBT community. i been down a long hard road and through the fire but God has used the fire to mold me into a man he can use.
Now I been praying and talking to different men and women of God and now feel it is time to step out and start a spirit filled Gay church, are asst. in one. God has been so good to me.


August 2004

Hello;
I'm Jonathan, a straight Christian who happened upon your site
as I was looking for the definition of "epistle".
I really enjoyed reading your "Letter to Christians who don't like us" section. It was well thought out, and addressed many of the issues and questions that I have been aware of, and asked myself, about homosexuals and Christianity.
I think one of the greatest barriers in front of Christianity
is the way we treat other people, Christians or not.
I believe your website and organization is doing a good job of tearing this barrier down.

Good Work;

Jonathan
Whistler, BC
Canada


October 2004

Thank you so much for letting people know that God is available to
them, no matter who they are. My partner and I, along with our thirteen year old son attend a wonderful church in Ithaca NY. The pastor is a wonderful woman who cannot stress how important it is to love everyone. NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE. God has blessed you. Keep informing people that salvation is available and ready for them just by loving Jesus.
Peace and Many Blessing to you and you staff!

Douglas


October 2004

I just had to write you guys and tell you that your website is awesome and has been a tremendous blessing to me. From the very spirit-filled articles, to the poetry, letters and everything else you guys have incorporated there. I am convinced that the Lord lead me there to read some articles in particular and I have been blessed by the site since then. God bless all involved and please keep it up. You all are truly a gift.

~ Christi


January 2005

hey my name is Kelly iam 17 and i live in nc and in
the small town i live in i cant find alot of ppl to know me for me and i think this site help me see that i need to be happy that i can love God and not worry about it being wrong when iam wiht my girlfriend. u dont know how happy iam to find some ppl that feel the same way i do. thanks a lot for making this site. my God bless u everyday. love yall Kelly


April 2005

I think this website is great. I believe it is a work of God. God who loves all his creation. I came upon it when I needed reassurance. May your works be fruitful and blessed. Thank you.

Maria


July 2005

I have truly enjoyed your site and thank God for it.
It is so great to see a "happy website" regarding this subject that so many of us face or once faced. I myself am gay and Christian. Today I am very thankful to God. He speaks to me daily in almost everything giving me little reminders and hints and nudges of His UNCHANGING love and I believe God is calling me into a Franciscan ministry. Please pray for me that that is His will.
Again, God Bless you and all who work to propagate this excellent ministry.

Jacob, AL


November 2005

I just wanted to Thank you

Hello! My name is Adam, and I just wanted to thank you guys for posting a testimony from a man who was once homophobic.

I stumbled upon the testimony of Ian while searching the web. I was immediately caught into his story and compelled to read the full article. In it, he speaks about the blindness, the stupidity of hatred against all people, gay, straight, or otherwise. I began to feel like I wasn't alone.

You see, I've been a Christian without a church for a long time. I hold radically different beliefs than other Christians do, such as that we should love all people, regardless of their decisions, that believing in God is a choice you can't force on people, and that God is something that will take you a life time to learn, and unfortunately you'll die long before you know him completely, regardless of how long you'll live. But I had always thought my feelings of freedom regarding other people were held only within me, and that no one else felt the way I did. Oh, they said they did, that loving others is the greatest commandment, but then they would gossip and spread hatred and distaste even among themselves. I'll tell you now, I am guilty of that sin, even now. I am not perfect.

I used to hate gays. I used to speak out against them, shun them, avoid acting in plays because I had encountered one too many gay individuals. I too used to hope that some kind of cure could be found to stop this horrible mutation of the human genome. I thought gays were terrible, mutated creatures, and when I heard they didn't always act effeminate, my hatred was increased because now they were sneaky!

I began to change that feeling over a long period of time, mainly through talking with people who felt that gay marriage should be allowed. One defining moment of this change was in my Civil Rights class. I was asked to defend a bill currently going through the state government, which would ban gays from marrying within churches. At the same time, an amendment was going through the state, which would put a stop to all same sex alliances. During my defense of the marriage act, I stated that preventing all alliances was a violation of rights, and that the marriage act merely separated what the state wanted from what the church wanted. It was wrong, but it was a step up from what I had wanted even a month before hand.

I like to think I'm a rational person most of the time. I go through my little bouts of anger, my temper tantrums, but I'd like to think at the end of the day that I've been a somewhat good person. I don't think we were ever meant to hate people of a different sexuality. I don't think they were given their burden as a lifelong test of their commitment to God. I don't think gays should be shot, beaten, spit on, yelled at, prevented from entering places all people go, harassed, or prevented from living happy, fulfilling lives. But I used to.

It's nice to see someone else has been through the same experiences. It's nice to know that someone else takes the bad in people, looks for the good, and sees the potential of humanity. I never would have realized that, or anything else I've failed to mention in this letter, unless your site had posted that testimony of Ian. Thank you, and God Bless.

Sincerely,
Adam


January 2006

Hello,
My name is Glen and I am a gay Christian of 25 years. I recently came across your website and I cannot tell you how blessed I am by your writings and teachings. Your site is a wealth of inspiration and wisdom and uplifting food for thought. I truly enjoy passing through here often to catch another morsel of God's love and wisdom from the gifted authors.

One author in particular really strikes me and hits home in my heart with their message. Edrick has composed incredible and beautiful works that I can relate to whole heartedly. It’s raw and real. No namby pamby with Edrick and that is how it should be. To the point.

I really enjoyed the topic "True" Christians are a Mess…I was thinking on these lines this week over how hypocrisy runs rampant in the Christian circles and for that reason, I find myself distancing from organized Christian groups. However there is one group that I am a member of and that is called Gay Christian Network or also known as GCN.

I personally feel that Edrick's piece I mentioned above would be a good message to post on our message board and would like to request permission to post it if possible. If you are not familiar with GCN… you can connect to it here...

http://www.gaychristian.net/.

I did not want to post until I asked you fellows first and if you prefer I do not… then I respect that completely.

In any case, Thank you all so very much for your awesome website…I will be a regular coming back often to absorb some more insight and inspiration!!

Thanks so much,
Sincerely,

Glen M.


February 2006

Thank you and may your work be blessed.

A Christian friend has directed me to your site. The fact that he, as a fairly fundamentalist Christian was reading your site, shows to me that the spirit must be moving him and that your site must be doing great work.

I have left organised Christian religion, since as a homosexual I feel unwanted. I hope your work will enable others to stay within the church.

Danie


February 2006

I agree

While I am Heterosexual, I also feel a lot of conservative christians are judgemental and hateful toward anyone who does not see things their way. I believe Jesus' teachings are good. I just have problems with the things that are done in his name. God bless.

Jeff


February 2006

Thank you for your necessary site.
The articles are expertly researched and hewn with sobering insight and objectivity.
Please include my twin brother Liam in your prayers. He is currently in a coma. Also please pray for me, that I am able to do the work I've been called to do using all the gifts God has given me. Thank you once again.

Casimir


May 2006

your website

As a gay Christian evangelical pastor having struggled over 40 years before coming out I think it has an excellent content, although somewhat dull in make-up.

May the Lord bless you as you continue to serve Christians in the LGBT (and hopefully many, many others!)

Greetings, in Him, Johan from the Netherlands


June 2006

Hi - have just read your article, "True Christians are a mess": thank
you. We are indeed.

Sadly I can't speak for the whole church, but for my own part, I
apologise for the way that the rest of us have often treated LGBTs
and I hope that you can find it in your hearts to forgive us for the
ways we've vilified and abused you.

I wrote the following review last year and hope that it might
contribute to healing the breach:
http://www.christianbookshops.org.uk/reviews/achurchatwar.htm

Grace, love and peace to you all in Jesus' name,

Phil


September 2006

Hi, just want to say that I've been closely examining your writings
about Jonathan and David. Absolutely stunning. Thank you for the effort you have put into this.

Best regards,
Mike H.


October 2006

Comments: A Letter to Christians Who Don't Like Us

Peace, Blessings, and Love,

I am a heterosexual Christian. I understand exactly what you are saying in this article. Unfortunately there are many Pharisees and antichrists in the church. I, as well struggle with the evangelical as well as other Christian mentalities of condemnation toward others as if they had it all figured out and know it all; and in so knowing are somehow certified to judge Gods creation. I find that most Christians don’t really get it. I think your response and the scriptures you referenced to support it are right on the target. In fact, I refer to many of the same scriptures when debating with other Christians about other peoples, cultures, and religions. And believe it or not, this is sometimes even more difficult than trying to convince them that they have no right as to judge or condemn anyone!

A Christian is one who follows the “Way” of Jesus Christ. To be a follower of Christ, we must allow Him work through us. We can do nothing of our own except plant seeds of love and truth, God does the rest. He leads, we follow. We are all laborers in the field. If a Christian does not profess the love of Christ crucified for the sins of the World, and that he rose from the dead to show us that death has no hold on us, that person is not of Christ. If a Christian preaches anything other then to Love God with all your heart, mind, body, and spirit and to place Him above all physical and spiritual things in our lives; that person is not a Christian. If any Christian cannot love his neighbor or enemy, whether they like them or not, as Jesus instructed us to do, he has no right to call himself a Christian. If a Christian claims to be “born again”, but has not surrendered themselves to Jesus’ commandment of love, then they live in world of delusion. We as Christians are called to be edifying to one another, to Christ’s Body, and Christ knows who those are.

There is no escaping truth, and we as Christians have been instructed by Jesus Christ to ask, seek and knock continually for answers, for help, for the gifts of the Spirit and the Spirit of Truth. If we ever think we have it all figured out, we should beware, for that is a delusion. None of us have it all and none of us have any business judging another, least we jeopardize our own salvation. God sends no one to Hell. If we find ourselves there, it will be of our own choosing. God gave us a free will that we may choose Him. He loves us too much to ever force us to do or become anything. Everything we do is our choice, and we need to make them carefully.

Jesus said, “I know my sheep and they know me”. Any person claiming to be a Christian is in fact, either a part of the body of Christ or he is not. It does not matter what they proclaim to be, or what they proclaim to know, or how much scripture they can quote or have memorized; the one clear fact remains… God is the judge. He sees the inside of the person. God knows the truth. The truth may be relative to us, but not to God. And when it is all said and done, God will be God and what will be will be. And we, in our infinitely small ability to understand God’s ways can only strive to know God and serve God with whatever grace we have been given by God to do so. God is who is; Alpha and Omega, the almighty and one true God, creator of all things, in and throughout all, whether we know or believe it or not; God is who is. And the perfect shall only be known when the perfect arrives.

Indeed, we are all sinners, men and women, alike created in God’s own image to love one another as He loves us, with compassion and understanding, without judgments and in truth. I will throw no stones for I am not without sin.

May the peace of Christ be with you. Do not ever let anyone tell you that God does not love you. God is Love, and without God there cannot be love. If a man has not the love of Christ in his heart, then he does not know Christ. God’s ways are not our ways. Faith is Trust. God pours out grace and mercy on the good and wicked alike and is no respecter of persons. According to Jesus’ parable about the laborers all getting the same pay for different amounts of work at the end of the day, In the race to win the prize, those who cross the finish line last will be the first to enter the kingdom of Heaven… and those who think they are first will be last.

May the Grace of God be abundantly poured upon you and yours.

Rob


November 2006

Bravo

I'm neither gay nor lesbian, but was directed to
your "Letter to Christians Who Don't Like Us" by a friend.

The letter is brilliant, your site is wonderful, and it's good to see people proving that Christianity and common sense can peaceably coexist.

Well done on a wonderful site.

Amanda


November 2006

Thank You

Hello,
My name's Tim, and I live in Ohio. I was born and raised in a Christian home, and throughout my childhood, I was conditioned into believing many of the various modern Christian myths that promoted intolerance, elitism, racism, etc. and I even memorized the verses that would back these claims. However, as I grew older, I became more and more aware of the hypocrisy of these various beliefs that undermined the entire teachings of Christ. Eventually, I became somewhat the voice of reason in my youth group, and was often the "devils advocate", for lack of a better term, in religious debates. When someone would say something like, "In the bible, it says that..." followed by some sort of anti-semitist or elitist statement, I would be able to respond with, "Christ said...". Eventually, I became (and still remain) very unpopular in my church, and this is a very sad thing indeed, for it is the only family I know. I began to lose hope in the humanity of the teachings of Christ, and felt very alone in this world when it came to understanding his message. However, recently, I have found many articles and churches that promote his message of peace, love, and tolerance, such as your website. So please, allow me to say thank you, and also allow me to apologize for my fellow Christian peers when they persecute you for who you are, which is a glorious creation of God, just like them. I truely admire this website, for it truely proclaims the teachings of Christ.

Thanks again,
Tim


November 2006

Dear Sir/Madam,

I gather courage to write to you regarding our small church for the GLBT. In a country like Pakistan, it is next to impossible for such groups to pray together. I have the honour of bringing these people together for prayer for the first time in our country (I dont know whether or not we have any pastor for GLBT in the whole asia).

The concept of bringing GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL & TRANSGENDER together for prayers is very close to reality. Salvation is for EVERYONE. Here in our country it is almost a sin to minister to such people. You might be aware of the fanatacism here. That is why we have different strategy and have regular prayer meetings, seminars, bible study periods, workshops etc at my home (a cell church). Would you like to contact me at my address.

I hope you would guide me.

MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor,
Pakistan.


January 2007

Hello Epistle Webmaster:

I found your site, quite by accident this morning while searching for
information on the existence of homosexuality during ancient times. I watched a program on the history channel called "The History of Sex," which included a segment revolving around the ancient Egyptian community and how they viewed homosexuality: rather casually for a long time, according to the program.

As a gay man, who refused to come out for many years partly due to
shame, and partly due to my desire to NOT sin, I was very intrigued with the subject matter because if there was homosexuality in ancient Egypt (I already knew about homosexuality in ancient Greece) then homosexuality, almost certainly, had to have existed in, say...Israel.

In any case...I am very happy to have found your website, and intend to direct a good friend of mine (an ex-Jehova's Witness) who is still unable to find peace with his homosexuality for religious reasons. Well, I myself sometimes wonder whether or not God actually frowns upon homosexuality. I'm just not sure. I do suspect, as your site suggests, that in some way God himself created us this way-- so...why would he have an issue with homosexuals he's created? I jump back and forth between these two notions every few months, but more often than not am very comfortable with my homosexuality, despite the fact that I am not "all the way out."

I am not an overly religious person: I do not attend church; I believe
that "church" is inside us all. I believe that a people do not have to congregate inside a church in order to worship or believe in God/Jesus Christ. In fact...most people I know, though avid church-goers, are the biggest hypocrites I've ever met. They're judgmental, critical of others, feel happiness when things go wrongly for others and are general practitioners of hate far too often to call themselves good Christians or good Catholics. There...I've said it: it's entirely possible that I do not attend church to avoid exposure to these kinds of people. I've grown so comfortable and so accustomed to worshipping God/Jesus "on the inside," for so long that I no longer HAVE a desire to enter a church. I feel that God/Jesus are with me at all times, and sometimes even believe very deeply in the fact that they love me, despite my homosexuality. I'm glad I am not the only one who feels this way :o)

By the way...your site is put together very nicely (I used to be a web
designer/producer) and I will be perusing the rest of your content as time allows. Thank you for all of the obviously hard
work and time you've put into your pages-- and God bless.

ROB


February 2007

spiritual marriage

As a Christian who has spent the time and effort to study the Bible (obviously not all of us have) I come upon an item called the marriage supper of the Lamb, a consummation of the wedding between the groom (our Lord Jesus) and the Bride (the mystical church). Within this paradigm, we the church, take the female role that of receiving from the Lord. Since some of us (myself included, who have been "given" the transgendered position in life, it seem that we have a much better perspective on this process than your typical male dominated Christian culture allows. I sometimes wonder when those precious males meet their Lord find themselves in the female position will like it? They are so dominant and self absorbed, they put themselves on the throne and play God telling everyone what is right.

Well God works with remnants, throughout the history within the Bible, and there is only a remnant of the church worthy of being called the Bride. The church rampant will only take charge under the false prophet not until then. Those who are working towards that end will find they have backed the wrong horse in this battle.

God speed and I sincerely hope that this website prospers.

Blessings
Thomas


February 2007

site

Hi there. I have been viewing your website and I absolutely love it. I passed it along to my friends online. I hope to attend one of your services in the near future. I'd love meeting some of the folks. Keep up the good work.

Gennee


March 2007

Thank you

I am a heterosexual, married christian man and I have been blessed by the material on your site. I have many friends who are gay and lesbian, and deal with self injury, drug abuse, and suicidal tendencies. I have struggled for years to find a way to come to terms with the place of homosexuality in God's creation and up until now all I have had is secular postmodern, almost gnostic views on sex, and extreme right wing puritan interpretation of scripture. Your site presents clear arguments, with historical, contextual and linguistic arguments that really stand up to scrutiny that I can both use in public debate forums as a witness of Christians who can accept people's sexual orientation, and as refutations to those who's identity in Christ and even will to live has been shaken deeply by both extreme views.

Robert


March 2007

arsenokoitai....thanks

I've read through more explanations of the Clobber Passages than I care to admit (or can even remember). Up until they get to that word, I usually find myself agreeing with the authors, but for some reason, nothing has ever really convinced me of an explanation for Corinthians or Timothy. They either sound like they're reaching for something that isn't there or offer some long explanation on Koine Greek grammar that goes over my head. Up until you get to Corinthians and Timothy, your interpretation is no different than the rest (I really can't say anything about the next page though since I've already read a very thorough dissection of Romans). Same old explanations. But you've managed to convince me about what it says in those two passages. It makes good, logical sense (something that's sorely lacking these days). I'll end this now before I start making even less sense. Thank you. Even though it was only a small part of all I've read, this site has helped me settle the interpretation issue, hopefully once and for all.

Daniel M


March 2007

Thanks so much for your web site- I enjoyed the articles on Homosexuality and the Bible. I love it when I can learn something new- that is old. Thanks and many blessings,

Steve


June 2007

Just a note to tell you that you have an excellent site. I just
linked to it on my blog, A Christian Voice For Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, And Transgender Rights, located at
www.christianlgbtrights.org

Best wishes,
Jerry Maneker


October 2007

The Sept./Oct. Webzine

Hi Edrick!

Just got through reading the Sept/Oct webzine! Awesome! I loved the article/sermon on Grace. Oh my, isn't that the truth! The Word is very clear that we must be forgivers to be forgiven. How often do we hold grudges and justify our own behavior rather than humble ourselves and give grace? I was inspired, my friend. Thank you for sharing!

Cindi


October 2007

Great website

I am a gay Christian - who has been serving the Lord in my own quiet way.

I deeply appreciate the articles in this website - and Edrick's writings mean so much. I wish they could be bound and put into a book! The church needs to hear his message so much.

I am very grateful for The Epistle - and want to commend all of you for your fine work! It means a lot to us.

Dave


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