Commentary

Letters to the Editor

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R. Nolen Miller
via the Internet

God's messengers: As an Evangelical Lutheran minister, I commend you for Laura Bond's nuanced article about the ministry of Reverend Reynolds. Reflecting on similar divisions in my own denomination over issues regarding human sexuality, I see both pain and the opportunity for spiritual growth as we ponder questions such as: Is the church always right? How do I read the scriptures most faithfully? Is God still speaking? Does God have anything new to say? How do we hear God's voice?

In the past, God has often spoken through the last, the least and the littlest, and through rejected minorities rather than through the establishment. So when minorities -- be they ethnic, sexual, spiritual -- have something to say, we had better listen up!

I believe that every human being is created in the image of God, and that sexual variation is not an accident, a sickness, or a sin. Clearly, not everyone agrees on this, but this disagreement itself can be a gift to us: an invitation to be in greater dialogue, to pray like we've never prayed before, to listen harder and deeper, and with greater humility and respect. "A House Divided" encourages this kind of dialogue.

Pastor Bea Chun
San Jose, California

Fear factor: Today's so-called culture war would have us believe that every issue is us against them -- including homosexuality. If you're Christian, you must condemn gays (or the "gay lifestyle," if it makes you feel uncomfortable to think you're actually oppressing a separate class of people); if you're gay, you're a hypocrite -- and sometimes ridiculed in the gay community -- if you say you are a Christian. The truth is that there are more gay Christians than most people realize. Despite having grown up being told that the truth would set them free, many gay Christians are afraid to tell anyone.

However, I suspect the Hateful Right may realize that we number in the hundreds of thousands in the United States alone. Like all oppressors, they must continue to vilify us to maintain their sense of superiority and supremacy. What a grossly distorted gesture of reconciliation that they should reach out to African-Americans to help perpetuate the oppression of gays.

Many African-Americans are insulted that advocates for gay rights have likened these extremists to the KKK and the struggle for gay rights to the civil-rights movement. Comparisons like these are necessarily imperfect because our experiences are different, but one parallel does seem clear: Until people of conscience --whatever their race, whatever their faith, whether they are straight or gay -- speak up against oppression, it will continue. From John 1:5: "The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood."

Thank you for being a light in the darkness.

Randy Triezenberg
Sacramento, California

The gospel truth: That Reverend Reynolds believes what he does about homosexuality and is preaching it as gospel to his congregation should come as no surprise. This thinking is completely consistent with the teaching at Iliff. And that he adds a large dose of politics is very consistent with many black churches around the country, which utilize various forms of liberation theology. What would have made good press is if a conservative theologian were to come up with the same conclusions that Reynolds does.

You may think that I am lambasting homosexuality here. I am not. I'll keep my views on that to myself for now. I am mainly concerned about priorities. A healthy church should hold up the primacy of the Bible, and should preach salvation, redemption and sanctification based on the cross of Christ every Sunday. It sounds as though Reynolds has put other things ahead of the Gospel.

Todd Frederick
Wheat Ridge

All God's children: Reverend Reynolds is really showing the true spirit of God to the nation. God loves all of us. God accepts all of us. God wants us to have life, love and happiness. Every one of us is a sinner, and none of us is in a position to judge the sinfulness of another.

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