Letters to the Editor
How Can Homosexuals Repent?
This is in response to the Letter to the Editor (in the Sept. issue). How exactly is a homosexual supposed to "confess and repent" from homosexuality?
a) Saying that someone should just "confess and repent" doesn't leave into account that this would have to be a PROCESS as opposed to a one-time event. In fact, it's a very long, drawn-out, frustrating, process. Many of your "true-life" stories of people coming out of homosexuality don't delve into the actual process, which (I think) would be the most beneficial part of such an article.
b) I understand the sinfulness of the actual "act" of sex, but are you also saying that the "feelings" and "emotions" THEMSELVES are also sinful? I've heard Christians on both sides of the issue here, and if I wasn't a Christian, it wouldn't be an issue at all! You are unclear here on where exactly you stand. If my "emotions" are sinful, how would one repent of those?
c) How can so MUCH of Pop Culture be so far off on this issue? It seems that this is SO much of an uphill battle, with not that much of others' support or understanding, and not that much of a tangible reward for fighting so hard, AND no actual way of measuring tangible success, is the battle really worth it all?
d) In the August issue, you had the headline "Gay Doesn't Mean Happy." I think the more accurate headline would be "Gay Doesn't Always Mean Happy." To imply that ALL gays are unhappy, and consequently, all straight people ARE happy, is just inaccurate. I, personally, feel miserable in this middle ground of not being able to act on gay feelings, but not having heterosexual feelings at all, so I'm not a part of the gay community, but not a part of the Christian straight community, either, so I don't feel like I belong anywhere. I wish I belonged to one or the other not belonging is not the "Good News" of the Gospel.
e) Please refrain from the whole "Adam and Steve" argument. It trivializes the matter. It doesn't solve anything. It implies that there are an equal number of "Adams" (men) and "Eves" (women) in the world. (There aren't.) I'd imagine many gay people don't even believe the "Adam and Eve" account anyway, so it would be a moot point for them. And if God really has one specific "Eve" out there for me, He's waiting a REALLY long time for me to find out anything about her.
Jeffrey Starks, Lorain
To answer your question I must tell you that I find women to be very beautiful. And as you know, during the spring and summer women start to bare more skin. My emotions tell me to indulge in their beauty. I have a choice to lust or not to lust. The Bible says that if a man should lust after a women (other than his wife) he is an adulterer. If I want to be a God pleaser, I learn to deny myself and not indulge in lust even though there is a strong attraction and temptation to do so.
Ultimately, I can be a God pleaser or a man pleaser. I can live for God or live for self. As a Christian, I choose to follow the word of God and to agree with His word about sin. No matter how good sin seems to be or feel, I choose to trust His word and follow after the Spirit and not the flesh. My life is more abundant as a follower of Christ than it was when I gave full reign to my flesh and emotions and lived a sexually sinful life. Jesus satisfied my soul when sex couldn't. Jesus satisfied my soul when no other person could. Only Jesus satisfies. The choice is yours. Your special to God and He has a perfect plan for you. Just trust Him.
Respectfully, Jon Hanna
Nix the Adam and Eve Clich?
I would like to respond to your response to Melissa in your Sept. 2002 issue. First let me tell you that I have been witnessing to a lesbian friend of mine for about a year now. She believes that homosexuality is not prohibited according to the Word (there are technical reasons why she believes this that would take way to long to explain). Yet she claims to be born again. This is where the dispute arises in our friendship and we have discussed this over the last year about what each of us believes. I am trying to get her to turn from her sin and turn completely towards Jesus.
By doing this I have to be careful about things I say and how I say them in order not to present Jesus to her in a negative way. In your response to Melissa about her homosexuality you presented to her what the Word says about how she is living and explained how she needed to repent from her sin. I agree with you on this. Then you ended your response with the old "Adam and Steve" cliche. I, as well as my wife, was shocked that this was actually printed in a magazine such as this one.
As believers we need to watch what we say and how we say it. I don't think Jesus would have responded in this manner nor should you. In closing let me say that I love Connection Magazine and look forward to reading it in the future. It is truly a great publication. Even if it may "miss the mark" once in a great while, if I may use a cliche of my own.
Sincerely, Jeff Barricklow, Lorain
Thanks for your genuine concern. I will tell you a story behind the statement that God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.
A person that I know tried to find help to change when his life was once steeped in homosexual sin. No one seemed able to help him. Not counselors, not psychiatrists, not anyone he turned to. Then one day while watching television he happened to hear an evangelist say the now infamous clich?. It happened instantly. When he heard the words 'God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve', he was set free. Delivered! To him, the words were a truth that rose in his heart like the light of a rising sun breaking over a mountain, exposing the valley below. Today he claims victory in Jesus and serves as a pastor in Cleveland.
Now you know the truth-the reason for sharing those words. Having hope that this same simple and honest truth would be eye opening and freeing for someone else. Perhaps the more politically correct version is that God made Adam and Eve male and female, not male and male, nor female and female.
It's my understanding that the offenders will always be offended at God's word until they agree with it.
Respectfully & Honestly, Jon Hanna
I Am Freed From Homosexuality
My e-mail is in response to Melissa Maxwell's Letter to the Editor, in your September 2002 issue.
I am sure there are a number of publications that promote hatred of homosexuals, but Connection Magazine isn't one of them.
In a time when everything goes, it's easy for our perceptions to get distorted. It's easy to get swept away by the world when you have no real anchor, no sound foundation. It's imperative that we do more than profess Christ Jesus and follow church protocol. We must allow the Living Word of God to direct us, to be our anchor and our foundation.
You see, for over 25 years I revolved in and out of the homosexual closet, and I too considered myself a Christian. After all, I went to church, paid my tithes and sang in the choir. However, there is a problem with this picture. Like oil and water, Christianity and homosexuality can't mix.
I am grateful to the Lord for allowing me to never believe I was born a homosexual. In truth, God is love, so I trusted that the Lord would not make me something He detests. In fact, it says in the book of Romans 1:24, 26, 28, that God gave people up to uncleanness, to vile passions and to a debased mind, which shows He didn't make people like this, but He would allow what we allow.
The more I prayed and read the Word, the more uncertain I felt about my life and lifestyle. Over and over again the Lord took me back to I Corinthians 6:9-10 "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God."
I felt I was being maligned for something I had no choice about. I didn't want to see it, read it, or believe it, but there was no getting around it. At one point I went to the Lord in prayer trying to make a deal. I'd serve Him all my life, but I still wanted my life my way. The answer was frightening. "Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience." (Colossians 3:5-6)
I fought against what the Lord was telling me for a long time. But finally, I realized I had to stop justifying myself and make a decision - did I want God's will or my own.
Again, back to I Corinthians 6, but this time I read and understood verse 11. "And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."
Finally, I prayed and asked the Lord to wash me, to take away my desire to be gay, and to show me why I ended up in that lifestyle. Jesus Christ did all I asked.
The day I was born again started out like any other, but that day was the beginning of a new me. Like my Pastor always says, "it doesn't take a 12 step program. It takes the Holy Spirit dwelling in you." I now know this as a fact.
The things I searched for, longed for, love, peace, joy acceptance, purpose, and so much more, I now have in abundance, and it's never ending. The True God is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34) What He's done for me He'll do for anyone who will come to Him-on His terms.
So now I understand that when a true Christian speaks against fornication and homosexuality they are not against those that are (sinning), but against those things that oppose God and (sins) which destroy those that Christ Jesus came to save.
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25)
"?Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it." (Matthew 7:13)
"I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life, " (Deuteronomy 30:19)
Sharon Bishop, Euclid
You're one bold witness for Jesus. Thanks for standing for truth and declaring your victory. What a powerful testimony! You're a living testimony that we don't have to live life in a disorderly, confusing and sinful way. By the blood of the lamb and the word of your testimony, you are defeating satan. Your kicking him in the face and making him choke on his lies.
Thanks again for sharing your story and wisdom with Connection Magazine and our readers.
Fellow Warrior, Jon Hanna
A Teen Reader Needs Advice
Hi, I'm your daughter's best friend's sister. Anyway, it's really cool to know the editor. I'm going to take an issue of Connection Magazine to school to show my friends. Can I ask you a question? Whenever I go to Christian camp, I become really close to God. But when I go home it seems that I keep getting further away from God and I gradually seem to forget Him. When I go back to camp, I come closer to Him again, but then further. Over and over. Camp is only one week a year, and it isn't enough for me. How can I stay close to God when I'm not at camp, but at home? And how can I learn to trust in Him more? Please help me. God Bless You.
Love, Jessie Palmeri, Garfield Heights
Thanks so much for reading Connection and sharing it with your friends at school. You pose a great question about being close to God.
It sounds like you've found a spirit-filled camp that blesses your relationship and fellowship with God. However, since you can't spend the rest of your life at camp you need to take God home with you.
The Bible says that God inhabits the praises of His people. When you shout or sing praises to His name and glorify Jesus, God is there. When you praise Him in a dance, He's there. You can worship God in your room. Go ahead and dance, sing, shout, jump around and praise Him with all your heart mind and strength. You may not always feel the presence of God but He has made this promise to you: "I will never leave you nor will I forsake you," and "when you seek Me I will be found by you, when you seek Me with all your heart." You also need to attend a church where the Holy Spirit isn't quenched.
God Bless You Always, Jon Hanna