According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Saturday, May 9, 2020

The Christian Liberation of Being Gay



Conversion Therapy' Is Fake Medicine - Progressive.org
~ Unhelpful advertisements sharing and extending pain and harm ~


"Homosexuality is not a disease.
The name 'therapy' alone is misleading."


I must apologize once again. This time for the simple fact that I don't put up enough articles on homosexuality as I should. To be sure, there are many articles on this site, but not lately, as I've been exploring many other topics which need to be said and taught. Especially when requiring religious faith, and especially the Christian faith, which I was raised in, that it be updated into contemporary forms of constructive, postmodern theology.

If you don't know my background let me share briefly share it here.

I have had deep bible training and education through the college and seminary level (an undergrad Bible Minor; and, graduate M.Div.). My Baptist faith studies centered on language-based inductive and expository biblical studies. I tried to shun any indoctrinating classes in favor of biblical studies classes.

In my childhood I attended public schools and later, the University of Michigan, entering with a full academic ride to study Aerospace Engineering after turning down a Congressional appointment to the USAF Academy in Boulder, Colorado. At Michigan I majored in applied mathematics, science, and as much classical language, literature and history as my schedule could manage. There I met George Medenhall and David Noel Freedman along with many other very helpful professors and TA's.

During my time at Michigan I became involved with a vibrant local church campus ministry along with the organization Campus Crusade for Christ. Though this latter was welcomed and quite well attended by students across the Michigan campus it was my local church which had the larger, more indoctrinating programs and active ministries which attracted me the most. Each fellowship provided many wonderful years of faith acquisition, witness, studies, fellowships, and ministries towards examination of my inherited faith. But as you can guess, with so much of the good, came acceptable standards of non-biblical thinking and testimony based on conservative doctrine.

To my everlasting regret, I burned out deep in my third year having prematurely attained the level of graduate mathematics. To this day I have wished I had completed my senior year. But be that as it may, I was too conflicted to go any further, having lost any interest and reason for going forward until the Lord cleared up my confused heart.

By the following fall I had regrouped enough to enroll and begin an additional two years of undergraduate studies completing a Psychology major (added to previous psych and sociological studies at Michigan) with a deep minor in biblical studies at the local Baptist College. At graduation I left latter that summer from my home state of Michigan to teach at a small private Christian high school in West Palm Beach, Florida, where I met many wonderful students, parents, church members, and staff.

I taught one year, had been blessed, and been a blessing, to my students, and returned back home feeling called to finish biblical studies this time on a graduate level. When coming back I first worked at a commercial electrical trade business to fill up my empty bank account. As you can guess, Christian schools pay poverty wages while requiring nearly all of your time. By January of the following year, with the encouragement of a dear friend, I applied and was accepted into Seminary.

After 34 years of local lay ministries in several churches I have, even as I was then, been rethinking how the Christian faith might better be centered around the love of God instead of my interpretation of the Bible which my faith circles called Truth. When done, Christ's love won out over my more limiting doctrinal worldview of how things should be, and should be done. It took awhile but thankfully the Lord has led me to spend these past eight ten years laying out important differences between my traditional faith inheritance and where I think its orthodoxy should better be directed given the context of God's love when considered first, last, and foremost above all church doctrines.

The result has been this blog here, Relevancy22, wherein I share doctrine by doctrine, topic by topic, in as methodical fashion as I can, reasons why the Christian faith must be reconstructed when re-centered on the love of God and Christ's atoning death. This re-orientation into the Love of God has been revolutionary in my life as I hope it may be in you, my readers.

Which, I think, at the last, was probably why I never finished Michigan nor held a decisive job in life. Though I spent my years, like the Apostle Paul, in tent ministries, as a consultant and technician to small area businesses. When not working or volunteering at Civic, Educational, or Ecological organizations, I have spent nearly all my life in ministry in one form or another. Out of sight, underneath the fabric of interfering church eyes, ministering to thousands and thousands of youth, college age, and young professionals. From deacon, elder, and pastor's kids, to the many youths and young adults searching for life's questions, direction, and meaningful purpose.

In the end my real business has been the Lord's. My dedication was to the same. My long, oft times difficult journey was worth the lost of mathematics degree and career. It was my time the Lord wanted. My dedication. Nothing else. Peace.

R.E. Slater
May 9, 2020

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Stop anti-LGBT+ 'conversion therapy' - National Secular Society



"This so-called therapy makes people sick, not better. The ban is an
important signal from society to all those who are unsure about
their homosexuality that it's okay to be the way you are."



End conversion therapy for minors in Maryland – The Black and White


When I consider homosexuality I think back to my dear friend and homosexual roommate of two years at the University of Michigan. To his testimony of lifehood, value, and personal respect for himself,  I also discovered the gay students I had met during those years along with dorm-mates and homosexual groups I inadvertantly discovered along the way. As a lad from a country farm and small country school background, I had entered the Land of Oz. One of strangeness and mystery.

My overall experience has been one of positiveness. I discovered a loving, beauty-appreciating gay lifestyle which I admired along with the sad fact of constant societal assaults upon their being and personhood. This latter was what saddened me the most.

From these experiences I can tell you I am not gay, but gay-appreciating. I may not have understood it in my youth but as the years have rolled by I believe I can welcome and embrace gay men and women better than I had been taught by the church in my formative years of youth and college.

When considering Conversion Therapy I consider it one of the most harmful practices by the state and church. It leaves nothing but emotional and spiritual scars, suicides, feelings of worthlessness, and deep separation from the mainstream of humanity.

As a Christian, I wish for all to know how deeply loved and accepted the LGBTQ community is for who they are, as persons and as a group. To personally convey that God does not ask LGBTQ's to change their personhood or identity. If any change is to be made at all, perhaps it might be made in removing toxic relationships from their significant circles of identity and fellowship rather than put up with its continued abuse. Life is difficult enough without bearing the additional burdens heaped on by toxic judgmental voices of misunderstanding speaking death and not life into one's soul.

In all this I, and other Christian brothers and sisters, send prayers of peace and love always!

R.E. Slater
May 9, 2020

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From a well meaning friend who deeply vibrates with the homosexual community:
"So Russ, do you mean you can't pray the gay away?? 😆


My intentional response meant in kindness and support:
"No. Nor do I wish to. To quip Dr. Suess, 'A person is a person no matter how gay.'"



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Rainbow flags in front of the Brandenburg Gate at an event to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage in Berlin, Germany, June 2017.


Germany bans gay conversion therapy for minors

by Frederik Pleitgen and Amy Woodyatt, CNN
Updated 8:26 AM ET, Fri May 8, 2020

Berlin (CNN) Germany has become the latest country to ban gay conversion therapy for those below the age of 18.

On Thursday, the country's parliament approved a ban of so-called conversion therapies -- which claim to be able to change a person's sexual orientation or identity -- for minors, and for adults who have been forced, threatened or deceived to undergo the controversial treatment.

So-called conversion therapies, also known as reparative treatments, rely on the assumption that sexual orientation can be changed or "cured" -- an idea debunked and discredited by major medical associations in the UK, the United States and elsewhere.

Oklahoma takes a step toward banning conversion therapy

Under the ban, advertising the intervention to young people is also outlawed, and those in breach of the law will face fines or a jail sentence of up to a year.

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn said that the ban was an "important signal from society for all those who are unsure about their homosexuality."

"Homosexuality is not a disease. Therefore the name therapy alone is misleading," Spahn said in a statement.

"This so-called therapy makes people sick and not better. The ban is also an important signal from society to all those who are unsure about their homosexuality: It is okay to be the way you are," he added.

Studies have found that efforts to change a young person's sexuality can put them at a greater risk of depression or suicide.

Despite being condemned by medical bodies and having its science debunked by experts worldwide, the practice is legal throughout most of Europe, where campaigns and petitions to halt it exist in several countries.

CNN's Rob Picheta and Jamie Ehrlich contributed to this story.


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What Gay Conversion Therapy Is Really Like


The new movie "Boy Erased" tells the true story of Garrard Conley — the son of a Baptist pastor who, after being outed to his parents at 19, was sent to a two-week long "gay conversion therapy" program. Conley talked about what the experience was really like, and discussed his efforts to make the practice of conversion therapy on minors illegal. It is currently legal to practice conversion therapy on minors in 36 states. Conley was joined by his mother Martha, who experienced a change of heart while Garrard was in the conversion therapy program and removed him before it was complete. "Boy Erased" arrives in theaters on Friday November 9.


Conversion therapy: God only knows


An estimated 700,000 adults in the U.S. have received a controversial treatment known as reparative, or conversion therapy, under the belief that homosexuality is caused by nurture, not nature, and can be "cured." Erin Moriarty talks with young men and women who had undergone the treatment (voluntarily or at the behest of their families) in order to adhere to their church's teachings; with Alan Chambers, who was the charismatic director of Exodus International, which promised to convert those with "same-sex attraction"; Nashville pastor Stan Mitchell, who has rejected conversion therapy; and Jeff Johnston of Focus on the Family, which continues to promote the practice for parishioners who do not want to be gay.