..

AUGUST 1971

VOLUME

II NUMBER

7

11 I LWAIIKf(

• Dun.

METROPOLITIAN COMMUNITY CHURCHES

HOIOLULI

PIIOElIX

• TICIo.
• DAlLAl

VACA TION

AT

YOUR

METROPOLITIAN

COMMUNITY

CHURCHES

-

THROUGHOUT

THE U. S. A.

CHURCHES Los Angeles, Calif. San Diego, Calif. San Francis co, Calif. Chicago, Ill. . Costa Mesa, Calif. Miami, Fla. Phoenix,A r iz. Washington, D. C. Dallas, Tex. Honolulu, Hawaii Oakland, Calif.

MISSIONS Tampa, Fla Sacramento, Calif. Milwaukee, Wise. Denver, Colo. Tucson, Ariz. San Jose, Calif.' Fresno, Calif. New Orleans, La

Publisher: DonHughes Co-Editors: Pat Rardin Connie Vaughn Treasurer: Rev. louis loynes Feature Writers: C. ShawnFarrell Pat Rardin Graphic Designer: Connie Vaughn Staff: Marty Seneca Kathy Laine Ken loihana Printed by: MCC-LA Board of Elders of Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Ccmnunity Church Reverend Troy D. Perry Reverend John H. Hose Reverend Richard A. Ploen Reverend louis loynes IN UNITY published monthly by is the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Camnuni Churches. ty Editorial offices in los Angeles, California.Mailing Address: 2201 South Union Avenue, Los Angeles, Ca. 90007. Copyrighted 1971. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without pennission is prohibited. Address letters to Editor of IN UNITY No anonymousletters will •. be considered for publication. There is a monthly theme far the magazine, which most of the articles will follow. See elsewhere for this list.

FROM THE DESKS OF YOUR EDITORS
We, as your edi tars, VX)uld like to invite any and all of you who read this to write articles for In Unity. You do not have to be a professional writer, although we would also like to receive articles from professional writers. We, as the editors, ~~v~. ad no prior h training in this job, the only thing I can say is that we are trying. Won't you try along with us? Wewould also like to extend a special invitation to all ministers who are not affiliated with M. C. C. to send us articles. You, who recognize homosexuals as humanbeings and God s children, I speak up. Let us hear from you. , And you, who are ministers, pastors or warship co-ordinators within M. C. C., why haven I t we heard frxm you? If you can write a sennon, you can write an article. Wewould also like a little background material frxm each and every one of you,so we can start letting the whole fellowship knowa little about each of you, a little about your churchon mission. This is your magazine, your voice to the nation so USE IT. Now,what to write about? If you are a minister affiliated with M. C. C., that has already been Partially answered. The most obvious answer is to write about the church or your particular rel~ous sect and the homophile. There is certaful y much to be said on that subj ect. Also you may wish to write an article following our monthly theme. Following is a list of the themes, what month they will be used and when the material must be in our office.

FOR
Sept. Oct.

SUBJECT
Youth, Education and the Homophile Fellowship General Conference Third Anniversary of MCC L.A. Thanksgiving Birth of Christ .

DUE DATE
8/10/71

9/13/71 10/12/71 11/10/71

Nov. Dec.

This is your magazine in name only right now. Let I S make In Uni ty your voice to the nation. If you can't type, thats all right. Just write it out. Or if you have a cassette recorder, use that and send us the tape (only cassettes, please).
I
\.

FROM THE PEN OF:

Reverend

Perry

Dear Members and Friends: Well, Itls that time of the year again. It's vacation time and so many of you travel across this big wonderful country of ours to see all the local sights; visit places like the Grand Canyon, New York Ci ty, beauti ful Florida,the plains of Illinois and many, many other areas. It',s also that time of the year for our General Conference. We hope many, many of you will take vacations and come to Los Angeles, September 3rd, 4th and 5th for this annual spi ri tual feast. We want you here to let the Lord Annoint and bless you. Our General Conference this year will start on Friday at 7 o'clock at the Mother Church, September the 3rd. That night will be a keynote address by yours truly, you won't want to miss this. Saturday weill start our services at 10 o'clock in the morn;,ng with a fantastic sermon by Rev • . ~on'Han son, the pastor of our Ch urch ' in HOnolulu, Hawaii. You'll want to
~~ . 'f~":'

choir from any of our Churches and Missions.That night the speaker will be Rev. Alice Naumoff, the dynamic assistant pastor of our Church in San Francisco.You won't want to miss that service. Sunday morning, of course, will be our Lord's Service with friends from all over the Southern California area, besides all of you out-of-towners. You won't want to miss this service. Our main speaker will be Rev. Roger Harrison, pastor of Christ Chapel, Costa Mesa, California, Metropolitan Community Church. We will be ordaining ministers in that service. At the evening service on Sunday evening the speaker will be Dr. Evelyn Hooker. Or. Hooker, as you know, was the Chairwoman of the National Institute of Mental Health Task Force on Homosexuality. Her report on our community went to the President of the United States. You won't want to miss hearing this dynamic woman speak to us. Monday, of course, is open, and for all of you out-of-towners or you Southern Californians, Disneyland's open. It's Labor Day, a holiday. You may want to stay over and see the sights. We have many other attractions in this area that are just as great. So don't forget! See you September the 3rd, 4th and 5th, in Los Angeles. Until t hr n , Yours in Christ,

he'ar

this

young

man speak.

, ' 0 u r bus in e< s me e tin g s wi 1 1 star t s }';:'-;;',:<at pproximately a 10 :40 and weill break at noon for lunch. That aftert" r, '. noon will be the delegates business ~ , ,', meeting wi th the reports from our q·ifferent committees, commissio~s, ~" an d b o a rd s Al t of you delegates Wl 11 .of course want to be there. At 7 0 :" clock that night we start the great wonderful service and you won't want . t~ mtss that.ln that evening service '<',welre gOing, to have a Sing-In, with all of the groups from all of the Churches t~at make it to our General Conference. Weill be giving away a trophy to the best Choral group or
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-

"

this do ... 'in remembrance

of me.
2

1J. D==O D

Dr. Frank G. Slaughter started his Biblical research in 1949, wrote his first Biblical novel in 1951(The Road to Bithynia) and in 1963 wrote this book based upon the 12 famous words of Christ."Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church." (Matthew 16:18) One of his reasons for writing this novel was that after 15 years of Biblical research he was convinced that Simon Peter was not the man who is ordinarily described from the pulpit. There he is often described as a bumbling, unlettered and vacillating fisherman whose faith often waivered and who denied Christ,solely to save himself. This certainly does not sound like the rock Jesus said would build His Church or the fearless apostle who stood before the Sanhedrin and denounced those who crucified Christ. Now the great leader who humbled himself at Antioch and let Paul step ahead of him. This book starts out when Simon is 13 years old and on his first visit to Jerusalem. During this visit the Jewish -revolt started by Judas of Galilee (sometimes called Judas Zealot). After Simon hears his own father call Judas the Messiah, he is taken to the home of relatives. He slips away to join the revolt and his father and goes to Sepphoris.Upon coming over the crest of a hill he sees a sea of crosses. Literally hundreds of crucified men dying and dead.Quite a shock for a 13 year old b o y ; IJpon the largest cross is Judas, the man his father had called the Messiah. Since his father is also crucified during this attempted revolt, Simon becomes the bread winner of the family.
3

Many years later ;:imon Peter, already an elder in his congregation, his beard starting to grey, was a leader among the fishermen bf the sea of Galilee. He was a leader because of his courage in facing the frequent storms on the Sea of Galilee, his humility and his strength. He was a little hesitant about believing Jesus at first, but who wouldn't be, after seeing hundreds crucified for following a false Messiah. He had been baptized by John and was a little disappointed because he really didn't feel any different. Did he really believe Jesus to be the Messiah? I do not think there can be any doubt of this nor of the courage it took to follow him after his experience as a boy. Not that all his doubts vanished all at once, for no one really completely changes that fast, but having some doubts yet, it took an awful lot of courage to follow Jesus. Mary Magdelene,ex-actress and dancer, believes she received the falling sickness (epilepsy) from God for her sinfullness and when Jesus cures her, states what happened in a very simple and direct way. She states that. Jesus cast out the demons of pride, anger and hate. This reminds Peter that he had told Jesus "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Oh Lor d (L uk e 5: 8) • I tis a 1 so away, in this book, of telling all who read it that they are not really Christians unless they also cast out the "demons" of pride,anger and hate. Sr. Slaughter is not just writing novels about the Bible, but is also trying to give everyone who reads them examples of how to live, how to be Ch r i s t i an s •
II

con't

on page

25

2~ UNIVERSAL

ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE FELLOWSHIP OF METROPOLITAN CHURCHES 3, 4, 5 1971

COMMUNITY

SEPTEMBER LOS ALL MEETINGS: ANGELES,

CALIFORNIA Church 90007

Metropolitan Community 2201 So. Union Ave. Los Angeles, California Phone: (213) 748-0123

INSPIRATION The Fastest THE Growing

DEDICATION - CONTINVATION OF Denomination in America GROWING DENOMINATION IN AMERICA

FASTEST Hear:

Reverend Troy D. Perry, Founder and Moderator Doctor Evelyn Hooker, UCLA-Chairman of the Hooker Task Force and many others. Standing Committees and Cornrn i s s ions 8:00 P. M. Inspirational Convocation Reverend Perry - Keynoter All-Day Busines s Meeting Participating All Chur ch Dinner - Official Delegates

AGENDA:

Septemb er 3,

September

4,

September

5,

Inspirational Service 11:00 A. M. Brunch, .Plenipotentiary Session P. M. if needed. Evening Service 7: 30 P. M. Dr. Hooker

Speaking.

4

Howto spend a vacation? Well if you took it during the last two weeks of June, there was plenty to do, places to go. We; Connie, my betrtec-hal.f , Spider, Quinn, Don Paul and myself left , for Sacramento on June 24th. A simple little trip with good freeways all the way, we trought. Then the car started heating up and so we stopped at a Shell Gas Station. Against one person's advice, coolent and antifreeze was put into the radiator, along with more water. In two miles we were in another Shell Station with no water, coolent or antifreeze left. This station attendent said it was probably the thermostat. So there we stayed, in 101 degrees weather, while a new thermostat was put into the car. I guess we sort of "carried on" while waiting. The other attendent sat on a bench watching and listening, running! out as a custaner arrived and then running right back in to his bench. Well, the thermostat seemedto do the job, but it kept us fran getting to Sacramento until 11 P. M. After checking into our hotel, we tried to locate others there for the march. The M. C. C. telephone was rot answered at that time of night so we tried G. L. F•• They knewothers were there, but not where. Wethen got the names of a couple of bars and directions to the first one. Well the directions got us to a bar alright, but not the one we intended to go to. By this time I was thinking, "This really is our day. " Especially whenwe found out we had just missed the group from Los Angeles. Fran.there we went to another bar just downthe street. It must have been midnight because our luck finally changed. We found out where the M. C. C. Center was and, believe it or not, it was just a block fran our hotel. Wewent there and found all but one sound asleep. With this one (Tom, Don's betteI"-half) we then closed a local straight bar. Wehad an interesting talk with the bartender (straight) who even got interested in joining our march. Then he found out that our march was to start at the same time as he had to be at work, so he wished us luck. He went to the 5

hotel, left a call for 6:30 A.M. and fell into bed. That call sure came in a hurry, but after a fast shower and breakfast, we felt much better. Wethen went to the rallying point for the march, Manywere already there and more kept arriving all the time. The bus load from Los Angeles was already there, a bus load fran San Francisco M. C. C., another fran S. 1. R. in San Francisco, sane by car and a few on foot. Then, at eleven, the march ~ormed and we started. It was rather slow at first, but as we got closer to downtown and there were more people around, we started chanting "2-4-6-8, gay is just as good as striaght", "gay Power" and"3-5-7-9 lesbians are mighty fine. And so we arrived on the steps of the Capitol Building. Fromthe opening song, "Whenthe Saints go Marching In" it was a very good feeling. The Master ofCeremonies was Reverend HowardWells, M. C. C. , San Francisco. Reverend James C. Brownled the assembly in the invocation. With the invocation, a rainbow appeared. Have you ever seen a rainbow on a clear day? Have you ever seen a rainbow in a perfect circ.le? This rainbow "halo" covered the Capitol Building and all those assembled on the steps. Spectators, whowere residents of Sacramento, stated that they had never seen anything like it before. This rainbow got brighter, then faded sanewhat, but was still visible during all the speeches and then at the benediction, again was bright and strong. Then it vanished with the final amen. The speakers were Morris Kight of G.L.F.-L.A., Dr. Marty Rogers, a professor at Sacramento State College, Assemblyman John L. Burton (D-San Francisco). Assemblyman Willie Brown(D-San Francoscc) , Frieda Smith of Warnen'sLiberation, Rev. Troy D. Perry and Bishop MarkHarding gave the benediction. There weren't as many there as we would have liked, but I do believe that everyone that was there will agree that it· was great being there. The only way you can make sure that your State Legislatures knCM what you want is by writing them or Con't on page ~6

We" here ,in Lo~ AngeZes", have just had a five day SpirituaZ Reneiaal: Conference. We were bZessed ~n hav~ng the f~ne young Pastors" Reverend Brad WiZson of Miami FZorida and R~verend Howard W~ZZs ,of San Franc~sco" CaZifornia" as guests. We" as your editors" wouZd l-ike to share tihei» f~ne sermons w~th you" just as they were given to us.

~~Vo~~~~ WI~$@~
fA$r@~ tiJoCo~o' M~~M~q flO~~~A
I bring you greetings fram your sister church in Miami and our tampa mission, which after meeting today will probably become the next chartered church in the Fellowship. Wehave a very dynamic young pastor there by the name of Lee Carlton and Lee is doing a bang up job and God is blessing in Tampa, as He is blessing in Miami. EverytiIne that we come together in our Fellowship meetings it becomes just like a camp meeting to many of us. God blesses and Godmoves and the Holy Spirit meets with us. Wefind the bonds of love drawing us closer and closer together and we say t "Miami and Tampaare only a beginning." Soon by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will find Metropolitan Conmunity Churches in every large city in the South, that's our prayer and that's our desire. Will you bow your heads with me please. Our Father, in these very momentswe ask that You send Thy Holy Spirit anew and afresh upon us, on every one of us. cause our hearts and minds to be open and cause the power to flow freely into our hearts and our lives. Our Father, we're not worthy by our own works to proclaim Thy Gospel and yet You have called us, You have annointed us, and You have sent us forth, so we ask You now, Our Father, to again pour out Thy Spirit and move in our hearts and lives. Convict t convert and consecrate onto the glory of Jesus of Nazareth, in whose name we pray. Amen. If you have your Bibles, turn with me to the Book of Acts, to the first

~~Yo ~OWA~~ W~L~~

M~rOR MoCoCo
~~~ F~A~CI$COq CAUfo
Thank you very much for your welcome. I bring you greetings from the nor the rn kin g d 0 m • M ain 1y, fro m "you r brothers and sisters in the San Francisco Church, the East Bay Church whick is Berkeley and Oakland. Also, our Sacramento Mission and our San Jose Mission want to express their love for you. At this time I would like to read out of the Bible before we go into the sermon. I read from the Book of Majtthew, 5th chapter, starting with the 38th verse. This is the Sermon on the Mount. "You have learned how it was said, eye for eye and tooth for tooth, but I say this to you, offer the wicked man no resistance, on the contrary, if anyone hi ts you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well. If a man takes you to law and would have your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone orders you to go one mile, go 2 miles with him. Give to anyone who asks and if anyone wants to borrow, do not turn away. You have learned how it was s a i d , you must love your n e i ghb 0 ran d hat e you r en e my , but I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Iri this way you will be sons of your Father in Heaven, for He causes His Son to r f.s e on Bad men as well as good, and His reign is to follow honest and dishonest men alike. For if you love those who love you, what
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con t on pg

l.B

6

by Rev.

Brad

Wilson

~ When I was asked to write an article about vacation land Florida. I thought well. once I" start to tell the story of our beautiful sunshine state everyone at MCC is going to know that we in Florida brag. But we believe that Florida is the most beautiful state in the Union and now we even have two congregations of Metropolitan Community Church serving our community. One congregation is in Tampa with Lee Carlton as Pastor and I have the privilege of pastoring the Miami congregation. which is the older of the two. If you visit the city of Tampa. you'll find several universities.the University of South Florida. University of Tampa and Florida College.It was from beautiful Tampa Bay that American Forces sailed for Cuba in the Spanish American War. And there. in the City Park. you'll see a canon that is a memorial to Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders who made that journey.You can visit Yuba City with its quaint old world Spanish restaurants. Yuba City is actually the Spanish section of Tampa. Then go out to visit Busch Gardens. It was buil t by the Anheuser-Busch Company and is famous around the world for its beauty. The brewery is in the middle of the area. but it has a beautiful garden. with tropical and sub-tropical plant life and animals. And opening probably in December of this year will be Disneyworld in Orlando. And I know that. after visiting Disneyland in California. that we are going to have to have sometning that is one up and one better. Then. if you go down into the State. you'll visit the Citrus Belt wnere those fine Florida oranges are grown. You'll really see where all that liquid vitamin C comes from. Then going on down into the state you will visit Cape Kennedy. which is the center for the space research program of the United States.
7

Fur the r do w nth e c 0 as tis r~i ami • whi ch is the largest ci ty in the State of Florida population-wise. Be sure to visit with us there. There are so many things to see in the area around Miami. You can visit the old home of John Deering. which is called Viscia Castle. This is an old Italian Castle which was taken apart in Italy Cfld put back together here. You can visit the Sea Aquarium. the Parrot Jungle and the Monkey Jungle. Of course. if you want to make the rounds of the establishments that serve our community. there are several in Miami and in Miami Beach.You may want to visit Virginia Key.which is the beach where a number of our people meet. Also 21st St. Beach in Mi ami Beach. wh i ch is famous as THE Gay Beach in Florida. nriving on down through Florida, ,you could go to Key West with its Navy base. its quaint streets. the home of Ernest Heningway. the home of Audubon. the naturalist. some of the old fortresses built in this area to protect that part of the United States prior to and during the American Civil War. This is the furthest south you can go in Florida or in the United States. You can then come back up on the other side of the State of Florida. Drive up to Sarasota and visit the Ringling Brothers Circus winter home. Also the home of Mr. Ringling. the hug e m an s ion h e b u i lt an d the m use urns all in the Sarasota area. On the whole all of Florida is really vacation land, U. S. A. It's sunshine land. We really have 'excellent weather.We have friendly people and probably the most open. rewarding people in the entire country. You can really get into the scene and get to know th em. An d. 0 f co u r se • Metropolitan Community Church in Florida would like to welcome you to our services in Tampa and Miami. And we have great hopes in the future of seeing other congregations of MCC in Florida.

by Thomas
A Piature
2

Warren

ism. of Osaar Wilde

It is perhaps safe to say that Oscar Wilde is the one writer of the nineteenth century whom everybody reads or has read. The fascinating mixture of pathos and bathos characteristic of his artistic career still draws us to him, to his many biographies written mostly by admirers and a few by his detractors, to two or three of his epigramatic comedies, to his only novel, Dorian Gray~ and to his critical commentaries and essays. Like the French novelist, Stendhal, Wilde regarded himself as a voice of the coming age, not of the one that was ending. Wilde proposed to speak for the young, and not to speak for the Victorian artists who wilted with the close of the 1800's.Indeed. Wilde's mode was founded on his passion for youth and the youthful. The characters in his books are constantly being alerted by clever characters to the danger of listening to people older than themselves. To diminish that danger. Wilde's characters are often parent1ess. And. when they are parent1ess. they are invariably witty and physically attractive. Thus, the ideal Wilde character is an orphan with the dry intellect of an English clubman and the body of a young Greek god. His literary idealizations to one side, the famous trials make it clear that Wilde, in his private life, sought after youths whose physiques were far more appealing than their wits - as was made clear by the prosecution's parade of grooms, offi ce boys and the street arabs (hustlers) who testified on the subject of Mr. Wilde's affections. It was Hesketh Pearson, I believe, who stated t~at Wilde would have escaped the law had he not alienated the ruling class with the publication

of his The Soul of Man Under SoaialCertainly, a writer of Wilde's social station, under ordinary circumstances, could have counted on some aid and comfort from his peers; but as it turned out such was refused him. before, during. and after his imprisonment at two years of hard labor. The "scandalous" homosexual activities such as Wilde's were, according to accounts of the time, widespread and common. The London police had files on a variety of male brothels illicitly operating at the time of Wilde's arrest, hundreds of dossier on the many wealthy ~nd titled clients who frequented them. It is therefore strange that Wilde. practically speaking. should be made the only victim to be sacrificed at the altar of Victorian morality.

It is not too strange, after all. .once one has read Soul of Man~ keeping in sight the smug hypocrisy that permeated English mentality as typified by Kipling. Balfour. and Gladstone. While he advocated individualism, he did so for the sake of a particular goal, the realization of a complete personality. and at the expense of that hallowedinstitution, private property. Wilde wrote: lilt (private property) has let individualism entirely astray. It has made gain, not growth. its aim. So that man thought that the important thing was to have. and didnot know that the important thing is to be •••• One's regret is that society should be constructed on such a basis that man has been forced into a groove in which he cannot freely develop what is wonderful. and fascinating. and delightful in himin which. in fact. he misses the true pleasure and joy of living." ilde, then, espouses individualism by encouraging society to make individualism more complete than it can be now. and for this reason he sponCon
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·re
8

At age l5.my mother made the most daring decision of her life. Besides myself. there were 2 sisters, and a brother younger than I.She was alone with the 4 of us, our father having left us. So, as Rev. Perrys' "Impossible Dream" has come true with MCC, so has my families', with my mothers decision to come to America. All of this having taken place about 15 years ago. so you can understand my anxiety in returning for a vacation with my Mother. Our cause for return having been due to family illness. did put a bit of a gray cloud over our journey though. While we were there, we did manage to partake in a small, and limited amount of sightseeing. My cousin. being 23, took the 2 of us to a bar in Amsterdam one evening for a cocktail. Much to my utter amazement. also my moms, we immediately noticed half the bar crowd was gay. By this, I don't mean half on one side of the room. and half on the other, but intermig1ed, in unity, like it should be. The gay crowd was very friendly toward one another,like hand in hand, arm in arm, without any fear of a "bust"! One thing I did notice about the gay crowd. most of them have long hair and dress in sport coats and bell bottom slacks. Very sharp

dressers, but not quite as casual as here in L.A. Another thing we really noticed which we'll never forget, at 2:00 AM when the last tram left for its destination, there were herring carts directly outside the bars,with tons of gay kids flocked about.whi1e' awaiting the trams. Most of the men selling the herring made very campy rema rk s : Gay life in Amsterdam has its advantage's and disadvantages just like in L.A. The major disadvantage. in my opinion would be the living quarters. There is a very bad housing shortage. All 0 f my 1i fe, I will cher ish my memories of Holland. but L.A. is my home now. Regardless of all the glamorous things you read about Europe, the majority of Americans are longing for their return home to the mainland. i nc l ud t n q my Mother and I, most often before their vacation draws to an end. The weather, WOW.it rained about two weeks of the three we were there. whi ch is very normal! But, I feel the same way about Holland as I do San Francisco. it's a nice place to visit. but it's always nice to be home. Hans Wagner

LOS ANGELES.

C .••. LlF.

90007

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{VIEWPOINT
-c.
Shawn Farrell August is the month of vacation. All across this great land people are traveling to resort spots, and to visit relatives. Here, many of our friends have also journeyed to other places for recreation and relaxatlo~ These are not the trips I want to discuss wit~ou. These are pleasant interludes in the daily working of our lives which·make home seem even more beautiful when we return. Let us examine the idea of vacationing, and in so doing - examine our own spiritual welfare. Have you been on vacation from God? Did you pack your soul into a small suitcase and journey far from your spiritual home? Are you staying. in the motels and hotels of vanlty,eatIng in the cafes of selfishness and drinking the wines 6f pride? Have you taken a vacation from the responsibility of being a Christian? What does it mean to be a Christian? To follow the teachings of Christ thatls what it means - totally and without reservations or excuses.
. .

"Are ye able ," said the Master, "To be crucified with Me?" And heroic spirits answer "To the death we' U foH()IJ) Thee. Lord, we are abLe - our spirits 1-,-' are Tr,1.ne. RemoLd us, make us Like Thee divine, Thy guiding radiance above us shal.l: be A beacon to God, to Love and purity." These words are from an old hymn. Are ye able? That is the eternal question God asks of all mankind Are ye abler Are you able to turn the other cheek. when you have been abused by deeds or words, and ask God to bless the one who has abused you? Are you able to

love all men - all your brothers and sisters as children of the Living God? Are you able to stand before the world and declare your alegiance to Jesus Christ? Can you come humbly before the Throne of Grace and with comp 1ete submi ss ion say"Not my wi 11, but Th ine be done?" Do you th i s day, at this very moment bear any ill feeling toward anyone of ~dls children?Look deep, my brethern - search your souls, my sisters, for if in 'any way. you fall short of Christls teach ings you have been on a vacat ion from God! Not like the pleasant trips one may take each summer,a vacation from God is a journey into darkness and knliness. But, there Is always the road home - there is always the highway back to our Heavenly Father. That highway isH is blessed Son Jesus Christ. He waits to greet you at the door of your soulls most secret sanctuary. See how the glowing light of His love points the way - see how His arms are stretched forth to receive the weary traveler. "Come unto Me - all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Hear His sweet voice echoing down the highways of time, "Welcomt..home, my be loved, we 1come home ,"

"Freedan! Sweet freedom! II

10

r1CC - DALLAS Dallas is coming alive much sooner than many of us expected. After recelvlng our charter on May 23rd, we and some members of our congregation were filmed for a TV documen-· tary that wi 11 have' been shown in Dallas before this article is published. We have also been approached to appear on a local live TV program. The First Unitarian Church has been very kind to us and we feel right at home worshiping at their facilities. However, we have started a building fund and look forward to having our own church building. Our normal attendance is about 50 and this fig ures h 0 u 1 din c rea seat ago 0 d rate as time passes. June 12th marked our first official MCC wedding after receiving our charter. No, it wasn't Tricia and Eddie -- it was Doug and Gary. They'll be the married couple in the TV documantary. Our overnight campout was a great success. Two generous members of our congregation, Peggy and Dee, offered their private property at a nearby lake for the event. Attendance was about 75 and everyone had a wonderful time. The pastor of our church,Rev. Richard Vincent, and his companion,Victor, took a brief vacation to California the first week of July. They were pleased to visit the MCC Community Center in San Francisco and met Rev. Howard Wells, as well as some of the congregation. The visit to the mother church in Los Angeles was extremely inspiring. What a wonderful feeling! What beautiful people! Our pastor was honored to assist at MCCLA services on July 4th and some new ideas were brought back to Dallas from California. If you have an opportunity to come to MCC Dallas, we hope you will worship the Lord with us.Please pray that we will serve Him well.
FRESNO MISSION

NEWS

OF OUR CHURCHES

NOTICE!! IF YOUR CHURCH NEWS ITEM IS MISSING FROM THIS COLUMN~ PLEASE CHECK ~lITH YOUR CHURCH SECRETARY OR REPORTER. THESE FOLLOWING ITEMS ARE THE ONLY ONES WE'VE RECEIVED.

by Irv Beazley DENVER CHURCH
3

MEETING 14 3
\~Y

PLACE: and 0 t
S tre e t ,

Den ve r

MAILING

ADDRESS: P.O. Box 11303, Colorado Denver 80211

PARSONAGE: PHONE: SERVICES:

3248 Wyandot 303 - 477 - 1984

Street.

7:30 Pt~, Sundays

Oenver is preparing for a visit by Rev. Perry, on July 30th. Rev. Perry's visit will surely stimulate interest in the Church throughout the Denver area. As informed by Rev. Carnes' letter, God is continuing to bless our Denver Mission, as attendance increases. Denver has recently applied for a charter in the Fellowsh i p •
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We are happy to report the M C C Mission in Fresno has a home! Starting August 1st, worship services will be held at 7:30 P.M. in the church parlor of The First

Christian Church of Fresno. The location is 1362 "N" Street; just across the street from the Y. M. C. A. The coffee and social hour starts a 6: 15 P. M. Anyperson that feels like a nice trip to Fresno is encouraged to join us. The Lord is really working for us in . Fresno. Our brothers and sisters are showing a genuine interest in MC C and there is considerable interest from the - "straight" population as well. There is still a lot of ~rk to do and people to reach, but with Godbehind us progress and success is certain; all we need is time. In addition to our worship services, a rap session is to be held each Thursday evening. Reverend Phil Kimbal of the First Christian Church told us that the people of his congregation have shownan interest in attending our services. To this we really say AMEN! this point we have had To an average of fifteen people per meeting, but we know this is only the beginning. Watchus grow! Better yet, cane visit us and help us grow. The, L. A. Worship-Coordinator, Lee Spangenberg, plans to have several guest speakers in the future to give the people of Fresno exposure to the manydifferent ways messages are delivered in ~~C C. See you there.

Also a proposal was sub mi t te don their own property and h as been acce p t e d , On July 20th it went into escrow. AMEN. God is Good? V.ES. Christians are on the move. in Phoenix and throughout the world • SAN Hello. DIE G 0

San Francisco! Hello. Los Ahgeles! your way!

We1re

coming

With Love in Christ Ted SWeet

These two seem to be the echoes heard from down South! The congregation is proud to announce a new home, Weichel Hall. Unfortunately. the home needs extensive renovation. So Rev. Howard Williams has declared (with the Board of Directors and Board of Deacons approval) that July w i 11 b eRe n crv ate We ich e 1 H a 11 r~ nth • 0 The latest report is that the walls have all been spackled and painting is in progress. Th e b u i 1din g isap art 0 f Ch 01 1as View Methodist Church. and has been rented to MCC on a 24 hour basis. 7 days a week. PRAISE THE LORD.

PHOENIX On July 11th, Phoenix held their General Business Meeting. the purpose of which was to elect, by democractic means, a Board of Directors, and possibly to call a pastor~ IN UNITY is proud to announce the Rev. Cunningham was elected as full time Pastor. Rev. Robert J. Cunningham has been serving as Interim Pastor, and driving from his home in San Diego each week, the 6 hour trek to Phoenix has rewarded the Reverend owith the vote of confidence and of our love. Last week Rev. Ken Jones. and ,·the Crescendos of Los Angeles, went to visit Phoenix and help celebrate their first anniversary. There were 60 good souls in attendance. and $1.10r).00 was collected for their building fund.

SAN

FRANCISCO

MCC - SPEAKING Up. the official Christian publication of MCC of San Francisco, has announced in the July 4th issue an initial (and hopefully interim) change. That being. the newsletter will be going to a semimonthly publication. As stated by the Editor in that particular issue: "In essence. when the newsletter is viewed in the light of dwindling finances for publications. it is a microcosm of the critical financial situation within the church. The reduction in content is reflective of a lessening of activities. MCC is capable of sponsoring. Indicative of hoth is a sincere need for each of uS to pause and show concern that has apparently been absent." The newsletter staff of SPEAKING UP invites Bay Area Organizations and citizens to route information of
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I

HYMN fOR GAY fREEDOM
(Tune: BattLe Hymn of the RepubLia)
Deep .ir. the hearts of Gay Peop.Iecharred by bitterness and pain, By four=thousand years of slavery, of injustice, fear and shame. Burns the spark of humand.igni. which ty history wi.Ll.claim As Christ's her-i.tage to all. Gay People, we stand tcgether; Gay People, we stand together; Gay Peeple, we stand together For the dignity of all. Throughthe overcomingof despair nowthe spark burstE, into flame, Pushing outward through each of us, frxrn thE: Spirit whence it came; Spreading for-tl: to every city, every nation to proclaim The dignity of all. Gay People, we march together; Gay People, we march together; Gay People, we march together' For rhe dignity of all. See the vision of Christ's life-style stretch before the eyes of all, Fromthe Spirit we've received it and we respond to that Call: For all shall live in freedan, claim their power, break downwalls Full humanity for all. Gay People, ffilrChon together; Gay People, march on together; Gay People, march on together Claim ~ist's heritage for all.

upcoming events to them. Also the staff encourages members of MCC to attend these events and in turn,they wish that these organizations would reciprocate and attend functions of MCC. Their objective is to give better definition to "Christian Outreach" contingent on unity within the community! Other bits of news from up ~orth: The bowling team of MeC - San Francisco, is now tied for first place. Two, Four, Six, Eight, who do we appreciate •••• ? On July 24th, at the Oakland Coliseum. Billy Graham will be appearing.A block section of 50 seats have heen reserved for MCC members and friends. Sunday worship services are still being held at California Hall at 1 :00 PM. with evening Services at 1760 Market St. at 8:00 PM.

THE WIZARD

OF ID

The above "Hymn for Gay Freedom" was written after- the Gay Freedom March on Sc.aramento~June 2E:~ L971 and wc:sinspired by God's manifest Presence in His rainbow haLo around the sun~ a sign of coming freedom to his peopLe.
by BISHOPICHAEL-FRANCIS ITl<".IN,C.L.C. H
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The following is a service directory and and complete listing of the Churches and Missions of the UNIVERSAL FELLOWSHIP OF ME TROPOLITIAN COMMUNITY CHURCHES.

Christ Chapel, Metropolitan Carrnuni y Church t 1259 Victoria STreet Costa Mesa, California 92627 114-548-6868 Rev. Rodger Harrison, Sunday 7: 00 PM Pastor

Metropolitan Carmunity Church Los ~eles 220I ~union Ave. ws Angeles, Calif. 9000? 213-748-0123 Rev. Troy D. Perry, Pastor Rev. John H. Hose, Assi$tant Pastor Rev. Richard A. Ploen, Minister of Christian Education Rev. Kenneth R. Jones, Minister of Visitation Sunday 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM' 7:00 PM Me tropol i tan Carmuni Church ty San DiV~o Cho11as lew Methodist Church 906 North 47th Street San Diego, California 714-234-9909 Rev. John H. Hose, Pastor Deacon Howard Williams, Asst. Pastor Sunday 7: 30 PM

Metropoli tan Conmuni Church ty Miami 2175 N. W. Alton Street Miami Beach, Florida 33142 305-377-1088 Rev. P. Brad Wilson, Pastor Rev. Don Hoffman, Asst. Pastor Sunday 11: 30 AM& 7: 30PM or Metropolitan Carmuni Church ty Phoenix 401 E. Roosevelt Phoenix, Arizona 85002 602-274-.9567 Rev. Robert J. Cunningham, Sunday 1: 00 PM Pastor

Metropolitan Carmuni Church ty was~ton, D.C. PO BOx 1 Riverdal,e , Maryland Rev. Paul Breton, Pastor Metropoli tan Carmuni Church ty Dallas 4015 Normandy Dallas, Texas 214-824-0770 Rev. Richard Vincent, Pastor Sunday 7: 30PM Hetropoli tan Ccmnuni Church ty Honolulu, Hawaii 2500 Pali Highway Honolulu, Hawaii 808-247-2738 Rev. Ron Hanson) Pastor Sunday 7: 30 PM Eastbay Hetropoli tan Comnuni Church ty 440 Santa Clara Avenue Oakland, California 94610 Rev. Jim Sandmire, Pastor Sunday 7:30 PM

Metropolitan Camnuniy Church t San Francisco california Hail 625 Polk Street San Francisco, California 94102 415-864-3576 Rev. Howard Wells, Pastor Rev. Alice Nauroff , Asst. Pastor Sunday 1: 00 PM MCC Conmuni, ty Center 1760 Market ~treet San Francisco Good Shepherd Parish, Metropolitan Conmuni Church ty Chi 3342 Broadway Chicago, Illinois 60657 312-248-1525

ro~h

Rev. Arthur Green, Pastor Sunday 7: 00 PM

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MIS

S ION

S

LABOR OF LOVE

Tampa. Mission P. O. Box 1063 Tampa, Florida 33602 Rev. Lee J. Carlton Harmony Mission of San Francisco Metropolitan Canmuni ty Church 902 "J" Street Sacramento, California 95814 Deacon Joseph H. Gilbert, Sunday 5:00 PM Worship Church

Coordinator

Milwaukee Mission of Chicago Church Prince of Peace Parish Me tropo litan Canmuni ty Church 2024 West Highland Avenue Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233 Paul W. Sydman, Pastor Denver Mission of Los Angeles Church Metropolitan Canmuni ty Church 3143 \Alyndot Denver, Colorado 80211 Sunday 7: 30 PM Tuscon Mission of Phoenix Church Metropoli tan Ccmmuni ty Church Broadway & Country Club Tuscon, Arizona Deacon A. Mros, Missionary San Jose Mission of San Francisco Church Contact through San Francisco Church Fresno Mission of Los Angeles 1362 "N" Street Fresno t California Lee Spangenberg
t

Church

Worship

Coordinator

New Orleans Mission of San Diego Church Elysian Fields Parish Metropolitan Canmuni ty Church The Upstairs (Theater in back) 604 Iberville Street New Orleans, La. 70130 Rev. [avid E. Solomon, Missionary IS

Once there was a little saint who had lived a long and happy life. One day God's angel came to the little saint, who was in the monastery kitchen washing pots and pans. "God has sent me," said the angel. liThe time has come for you to take up your abode in eternity." "I thank God for thinkin.g of me,"said the 1 ittle saint. "But, as you can see, there is this great heap of pots and pans to be washed. I don't want to seem ungrateful, but do you think I might put off taking up my abode in eternity unti 1 I have finished7" The angel looked at him in the wise and .Ioving way of angels. "l'l~ see what can be done ," he said, and vanished. The little saint went on with his pots and pans, and a great number of ot?er things, too. One day, as he stood hoeing in the garden, there again was the angel. The saint pointed with his hoe up and down garden rows. "Look at all these weeds," he said. "Do you think eternity can hold off a 1itt le longer7" The ange 1 smi 1ed , and again he vanished. The saint went on hoeing, and then he painted the barn. What with one thing and· another, time raced on until one day he was In the hospital tending the sick. He had just given a drink of cold water to a feverish patient when he looked up and .there was the angel. This time the saint just spread his hands in a gesture of resignation and compassion and drew the angel's eyes after his own around the ward where all the sufferers were. Without a word, the angel vanished. That evening, when the little saint reti red to his cell In the monastery and sank down on his pallet, he began to think about the angel, and how he had put him off for such a long time. Suddenly he felt very old and tired, and he said, "God, if you would like to send your angel again, I would like to see him now." He had no sooner spoken than the angel stood beside him. III f you s till wan t to ta k e me, II sa • d I the saint, III am ready now to take up my abode in e tern ltv ;" The angel looked at the little saint in the wise and loving way of angels, and said, "Where do you th ink you have been 7" -James Oillet Freeman Reprinted from DaiLy Word

How to Spend a Vacation c on l t: by having a march and/or rally on the State Capitol steps. After an uneventful trip home and a few hours sleep, it was downto the M.C.C. Publications Office bright and early the next morning. I to write an article on the march for the next day's newsletter and Connie to make a collage of pictures she had taken at the march and to print the newsletter. Late to bed again, but in .church the next morning for services. After services, a brunch and a couple of hours aimlessly killed, it was to the staging area of the Christopher Street West Parade. Wegot there early and it was a good thing too. There was a mix-up on the starting time and at six the police said move or there is no parade. Since this was an hour before everyone thought the parade ~uld start, there was quite a lot of scrambling around, but by 6: 15 it had started. There were over 2,000 participants and about 15,000 spectators. The only news coverage was a very small article in the Herald-Examiner, which was very inacurate. It stated that there were about 400 people in the parade and about 2,000 spectators and sane floats. M. C. C. -L. A. had two floats. Onewas a float for the King and Queen of the MayFestival and the other was something else. It was 55 feet long,18 feet high and 20 feet wide, was adorned with 7,000 fresh roses (it had been in the NewYear's Day Rose BowlParade). It was an 1890's locomotive pulling a tender and two passenger cars. The deaf group frxm M. C. C. had a hone made float on a truck and mother's of hanosexuals were seated on another truck. There were other floats ,; many signs, convertibles and people who just walked. There were crazy costumes, mcd clothes, those in the train were in choir robes and conservatibly dressed participants. And I might just say the clothes of the spectators were just about the same. That night it was late to bed again, but we managedto sleep a little later in the moring. Weneeded it, at least I was still on vacat ion.Dont t know what I'd have done if I had to go to work bright and early that Monday morning. It will be a .. vacation long remembered. The March the t halo-rainbow, the Parade all might have caused sane lack of sleep, but the feeling of being able to participate was enough to compensate. As I said, it will definetely be a vacation long remembered. -by Pat Rardin
r,

Emminent

Homo.

can't

sors socialism as a communal strategy, comparable to the society made up of separate but equal works of art. The socialism proposed by Wilde is unknown today. "It is clear, then, that no authoritarian Socialism will do. For while under the present system a very large number of people can lead lives of a certain amount of freedom and expression and happiness, under an industrial-barrack system, or a system of economic tyranny, nobody would be able to have any such freedom at al. ••• Every man must be left quite free to choose his own work. No form of compulsion must be exercised over him •••• gut I confess that many of the socialistic views that I have come across seem to me to be tainted with ideas of authority, if not of actual compulsion ••• All association must be quite VOluntary. It is ~ in voluntary associationsthatman lsrine."

~~~--~~~ ---- --- -- -~~

However utopian Wilde's sentiments may appear, however upsetting they may ~ave been to the comfortable rulers of Imperial Britian, that they speak directly to youth of today cannot be dismissed. Consider Wilde's thoughts on the subject of authority: "When it is violently, grossly, and cruelly used, it produces a good effect, by creating, or at any rate bringing out, the spirit of revolt and individualism that is to kill it. When it is used with a certain amount of kindness, and accompanied by prizes and rewards, it is dreadfully demoralizing. People, in that case, are less conscious of the horrible pressure that is being put on them, and so go through their lives in a sort of coarse comfort, like petted animals, without ever realizing that they are probably thinking other people's thoughts, living by other people's standards, and never being themselves for a single moment." It's truly wonderous that Wilde was not arrested much earlier, when one contemplates the . probable rage the English ruling class must have felt on the occasion of reading Wilde's audacity.
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\·Jere it not for his homosexuality, I seriously doubt that Wilde's perception of society would have been so incisive. That his sexual tastes were different, and the conscious analysis of that grave difference, no doubt led him to his eventual intellectual and aesthetic state of rebellion against Victorian conventions,many of which are still strongly held even today. Instead of challenging Victorian society only by the written word, he acted also in such a fashion as to invite scandal.Indiscrete by nature, he was indiscrete by conviction, and he waged his rebellion somewhat openly. Indeed, he sensed that his homosexuality seemed to have an important effect upon his art: "One can fancy an intense personality being created out of sin." Yet, I suspect Wilde might have pooh - poohed the sinfulness of his activities and applied to his conduct his own epigram: "Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others." \~ilde,nevertheless, succeeded in relating his homosexuality to aesthetic theory. His only formal critical work, Intentions, contains the embodiment of his aesthetic theory also found in his later plays and stories. In a general fashion, he indicates that the spheres of art and of morals are completely separate and apart. Yet, frequently, he writes that for the artist "sin" can be rewarding, by instilling itself in his content and affecting his for m - a not ion \~. H. Au den a 1s 0 a t times affirms and which is often assumed by the symbolists. In Wilde's view the aim of humanity is the liberation of personality; when the day of true civilization arrives, sin will be an impossibility because the human spirit will be able to transform into elements of a richer experience, or a finer susceptibility,or a newer mode of thought, acts or passions which are uncommon unto the commonplace. Hhether or not the "permissiveness" in the realm of personal morals late17

1y decried by political hacks and the middle-class press is an indication of the transformation of the human spirit described by Wilde, I cannot say. Let us hope that soon the true sins of humanity - war, co e r c ion, i g nor an ce -

1 ill sup e r cede private passions and tastes.And that if the prying eyes of the authorities must focus at all it will be on the real crimes. It is perhaps as dangerous to try to describe the real man through his art as it is to describe him through the eyes of biographers and journalists. Most scholars, regrettably, see Wilde and his literary endeavors as the epi tome of fri vol i ty , a superficial soul with a peculiarly bright way with words: a silly, charming paradoxist.If they read him seriously, they faithfully ignore his critical works (possibly on the grounds that clever wit and original thought are incompatible, which is the usual case among scholars themselves), and read his plays and stories, which were, after all, popular entertainments. His poetry, serving to some degree as a mirror reflecting the interior man, is dismissed, unread and unappreciated (using the fine Latin sense of the word), like so much of the vain and futile exercises in artistic miming scholars are wont to indulge in for the hoped-for delectation of fellow scholars. Though some of his early poetical efforts, while at Trinity and Oxford, won him prizes, a careful reading of his poems indicates the sentiments were not addressed to the respectable, balding dons of Oxford, but to the sensitive young, particularly those whose recent loss of innocence made them capable of sharing the bittersweet lanquor of Wilde's poetical moods. His last great poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, was certainly not addressed to the comfortable, stuffed-shirts populating the English establishment, but to all feeling people open to the prospect of gazihg on human misery and cruelty, wh os e sense of justice and c omp e sstm still might grow. This poem, in essence a devastating polemic against English prisons, was devoted not so m u ch tot he ins tit uti 0 n , but tot h e
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dark emotions in the human mind capabl~of creating such places of human degradation and pain. and to the miserable atmosphere of heartlessness which prison life engenders itself. I can think of no description. poetic or in prose. which better transmits a more moving scene of hopelessness and humiliation of the spirit. Having once read this work of genius. having breathed the vapors of human despair evoked by this gentle man. one cannot help but know Oscar Wilde better:
"Some love too little, some too long, Some sell, and others buy; Some do the deed with many tears, And some without a sigh: For ea~h man kills the thing he loves, Yet ea~h man does not die."

Re v. Wi ,l.s ,Se rm~n ·(Jon-':{' on '
chapter (and I'm using the J. B. Phillips translation). Jesus is speaking to His disciples (after his death and His Resurrection and He had appeared to them and just before His Ascension) He looks at His disciples and He said, "But you are to be given power and whenthe Holy Spirit has came to you and you will be witnesses to me not only in Jerusalem, not only throughout Judea, not only in Samaria, but into the uttennost parts of the earth." And then, in the Bookof Acts in the 4th chapter, we find that the church was together in unity and in harmony. They had cane together in that upper roan and the Holy Spirit came downupon them. The New Testament tells us that they were filled with the Holy Spirit. NaYin these days when God is moving so mightily in our midsts, we knaYthat it has been the v.orking and the leading of the Holy Spirit in the lives of manyindividuals, but that's not enough; that is not enough, the full pranise of Godis to every one of His children, the pcMerof the Holy Ghost. NaY there are those whowill say that is only for the First Century Church; NO, it was not only for the Apostolic Church, but it is for the church today, the power of the Holy Spirit. Andthere are those that say it's only for certain segments of the church, it's only for the clergy, that only the clergy ought to be filled with the

Holy Spirit. That's not what the NewTestament teaches. Jesus prayed for all His disciples. In JohI), the 17th chapter, He prayed for those that were with_ Himand for every man and every t.OllaJ'l that would ever cane after them. That they might be seared by the Spirit, that they might be filled with the Holy Spirit, that they might go out into the world and change the world. I want you to go with me for a few minutes, back before Pentacost and I want you to look at this group of men. You talk about a motley crew, there wasn't a Phd, amongthem. Here was this big and I'm a hillbilly, so I can say it, here is this big hillbilly called Peter, and he was as crude and coarse as anybody ever was. I can just see that big old manwith those calloused hands, £ran having v.orked every day of his life. I can : see Jamer; and Zebedee and the others, the fdsbermen that came along and they began to follow after Jesus. I imagine that they were kind of smelly people, because they had been out in the fishnets. Andthey follaYed after Jesus for three years and they , saw every min!.cle that He performed. He told them, "You know, after I've gone away the Holy Spirit will came and what I've done, you'll be able to do, yes, that and even more!" But I can just imagine that day, that GoodFriday, when 'they got together and one of them looked at the other one and Peter probably said to Thomas, "Well, you were kind of right to be a doubter. Lookat the shape I'm in. I left everything I had to follow after this man and he's hanging on a cross." AndThanas, I love those doubters, Thanas looked up and said, "I told you so." And Luke looked up and he said, "Well I guess I'd better go back and find my profession allover again. " Andeven John the Beloved had his doubts. William Berkley said that they were fearful, faultering men. They were most upset. But after the Resurrection of Jesus, and after that day of Ascension whenHe pranised to them the Spirit of God, and on the day of Pentacost whenthe Holy Spirit came downas a dove in flaming fire, that group of men that were so faultering and fearful became flaming apostles of Gods good news that went out and changed the world for God. AndI believe that this is the destiny of our Fellowship. Menand wanenwhohave surrendered their lives to God, going out into the world and changing the v.orld.
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This past week a Unitarian pastor dropped in on our service in Tampa, and they have camp meeting up there every Sunday. He looked at Brother Carlton and he said, "Pastor Carlton, I wish that the Unitarians had the spirit that your people have got." And I've heard secular pastors in other denominations say, "I don't know what it is about Metropolitan Canrnuni y t Church, but they've got a spirit about them that we just can't understand." And I'll tell them what it is, it's the HOLY SPIRIT! It's the Holy Spirit leading, guiding and directing. But you know, some of us tonight aren't as powerful as we ought to be. Some of us are kind of fearful.LooK around you at the empty seats. Now I know that some of you were out last night, because I was out too. But I was out there and I must say, you do have sane nice scenery in Southern California. My other half is home, waiting, I hope. But you were out last night, and I'm going to ask you a question and I don't want to embarrass you or maybe I do, because Roy Pearson said, "It's the duty of the ministry, the pastor, the evangelist, to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable." I'm going to ask you a question and it may make you a bit uncomfortable. Last night when you were out there, how many people did you invite to church? I get a little bit tired of people who tell me, "Oh the church is the most wonderful thing that ever happened in my life. Oh , I don't know where I'd be without the church." And then you say, "Well who have you invited lately?" And they look at you like a bolt of lightning had struck. But I find that men and wanen who are filled by the Holy Spirit will go out into every bar, into the highways and the byways and say, "Cane on brother, there is a feast for you at MCC." Two of our girls in Florida, prayed through and found the way that they had longeQfor. They went into a bar the other night and one of the girls started telling them about the troubles that was in her life, and they looked at her and said, "Sweetheart, you know what you need, you need Jesus. You need Jesus!" And right there they prayed that girl through. Those girls were filled with the Holy Ghost and they were more concerned about evangelizing the world for Jesus Christ,then making themselves look good in the eyes of men and women. We cannot be concerned about what the world thinks of us, we already know what they think of us as a minority. They know we know where they stand in that
19

regard and they tell us that these are not the promises of God for us. They tell us that God doesn't love us. But the witness of this church and congregations across America has proven to us that God DOES love us. And the promise of the Holy Spirit is for everyone of us. For everyone in this roam this evening, the promise of the Holy Spirit is there. There's power, but you and I have to reach out and find that POWer and that's the first step in surrender. Dr. Dale Oclhamwrote, "Dead to every worldly pleasure. Dead indeed to sin am 1. But alive to Christ my Saviour. Daily to Him I'm drawing nigh. Let me see Jesus only. Jesus only. Jesus only. And the man and the woman that canes to that place in their experience when they're willing to die out to their own desire,their own self will, then they're a candidate for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. God wants to sanctify believers,but men and women first have to be willing to surrender, to yield, to say an eternal YES to God. And then you have to consecrate, you have to set yourself apart and say, "This is the destiny of God and my life," and then yield yourself that He might sanctify you, that He might fill you and that He might use you. Dr. Eo Stanley Jones, who is one of the greatest Christians that ever lived,as a young man had all the finest academic training. He went to India as a missionary and Dr. Jones will tell you that on that first tour of duty, he was a miserable failure. He flopped allover the place.His body was broken, his spirit was broken, he couldn't understand what was wrong but he came back to the United States a broken man; but he picked up the New Testament and he turned to the Book of Acts and he read about the indwelling and the infilling of the Holy Spirit and he knelt down and he prayed, "Lord, do it again. DO IT AGAIN, LORD, IX) IT TO ME ~" And E. Stanley Jones got up off his knees and went into India and he confronted Gandhi with the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and it was E. Stanley Jones who made Gandhi aware of the power of the gospel and then he said that Gandhi was a secret disciple; I don't know about that, but he took the principles that Jesus laid down as E. Stanley Jones read it to him from the New Testament. It was the gospel of Jesus Christ that set the people of India free from the imperialistic designs of Great Britian and nothing else. And the same is true today when men and wanen are enslaved and are captive in a dark sin-benighted world. Its the man and woman that is filled with the
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Holy Spirit that's going to go out and be the aid to liberation. The man and ~ that has an eternal yes to God and has said, "I will go where you want me to go and I'll be what you want me to be." I can remember-he young upstart t out of college, I looked at a friend of mine and I said that "I'll never go to Kentucky to pastor. Boy, I was in for a rude awakening when Godgot a hold of my life and I spent one year there. I spent a year aroong those people. I thought I had the answers, but Godhad to take me to a place to find a lot more and I can think back on my' experience and as I told my church the other day, I said "I once said that I'd never leave a church during a building campaign" but you know, God has ways of working. The Holy Spirit's leadership is the most important thing in your life tonight. And I don't believe that it's whoyou are living with, or what society thinks of you, the most important thing is that you yield or bend. Youwant an old fashion, heavensent revival in this church. It has to begin with you. It has to begin in the depths of your being as you surrender yourself to God. OswaldJ. &ni.thwn:>te, "Lorn, possess me I'X)W I pray. Souls are dying everyday. Help me lead them in Thy way. With Thy Spirit fill me." This is the will of God, even your sanctification. And even nowGod would fill you with the power, the porNE!r of the Holy Spirit if you're only willing to yield and to say YESto Him. Bowyour heads. Eyes are closed ,heads are down. And even now the Holy Spirit of God is speaking to your heart. You're fear-ful. You're faultering. Youwant to becane a flaming apostle of the good news of God, and as our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed I want to ask you to do one thing. Lift up your hand and . say "Pastor Wilson, tonight, pray for me, I need the Holy Spirit. Yes, others ,others, yes, yes. Yes, God bless you. God bless you. We're not even going to stand and sing a song of invitation tonight. There are so manyof you here that have lifted your hands and awaits for you the power of God. Rise up out of your seats and very quietly start rroving tavard that altar. Right noe, Cane on. Don't wait for sanebody else. Cane on! Right now! Maybe you just want to turn and kneel right there in your seat. God's speaking. God's moving! Listen brother, listen sister. Listen to the call of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Cane! Cane! "It is not by might nor by power, but by Thy Spirit" sayeth the Lorn of Hosts. That's the way to victory and while you're here at this altar t let go and let God fill you. Let's pray together brothers and sisters. Father, we thank you for the prxmi.se of Thy Holy Spirit, and hear these men and wanenwho have cane to yield themselves to You, that they might be filled to everflowing. Sanctify them. Sanctify them by Thy Spirit. Oh, even now, Holy Spirit of God come and dwell in every heart and t life that's around this altar. Set these men and these waren apart; that they might go forth like a mighty army. Let the fires of Pentacost begin to burn here. Set us on fire! Not that we can make Metropolitan Carmuni Church the largest ty demonination in America, but that we can bring men to the kno\.r.71edge God is love. That God that loves us. Again, Our Father, fill, fill, each heart and each life with Thy Spirit. Cane, Oh Holy Spirit of God. cane. Cane, and make our hearts Thy abiding place.: For in hte nameof Jesus and to His glory we pray. Amenand Amen.

Rev.

Wells

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right~ave you t~ claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you anything exceptional?Even the pagans do that, do they not? You must therefore be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect." Here ends the reading of the Holy Scripture. Let us pray.Our Gracious Heavenly Father, as we prepare our hearts to be sensitive to Your presence, we ask that you let us really dwell on these words and search out ways that we can apply that boundless ~isdom that is in them. These things we ask in Christ's name and for His sake we pray. Amen. Last night Rev. Brad Wilson told us about the very important fact that the peace in wisdom that characterizes the Holy Spirit is held from no one, if a person really desires to be touched by God's presence. And tonight I want to think a few moments, about the attitudinal prerequisities for making ourselves sensitive to God moving in our lives and knocking at our souls. I was think.Con t: next pag,e 20
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ing about this last night as I went to bed. I was thinking how I could adequately describe this spiritual attitude I speak of, this spiritual sense, this attitude, this prerequisite for God coming into our lives. And something very peculiar happened last night! In the middle of the night I woke up and I was aware of a dream that I was having, at the time I woke up.And when I think about it, I am sure it was God talking to me. I pride myself on being a pretty analytical person; Troy knows what I mean. God doesn't seem to speak to me in w ay s that H e s pea k s to, I g ue ss , a lot of other people and dreams are one of the ways He just doesn't speak to me. But He did last night, I am absolutely sure of it. It was one of these things that I like to think about and dwell on; not for just 24 hours, like I've been dOing, but for a long, long time. It's one of t~ese things you kind of want to Slt ln your mind, you want to look at it at different angles,'cause it was so fantastically wonderful and awe inspiring, so if I don't give an adequate description of it or what I feel it means, then please bear with me. It's something I don't think I can comprehend in its entirety in 24 hours, but I want to share it with you in my own inadequate way. I was dreaming about an enclosure and in th is en c 10 sure we re a lot 0 f people. These people were not very imposinga they were thin and looked like they had been going without food a lot, they looked like they were tired, they also looked very frightened. And, as I gazed on this scene, some officials of some sort and I couldn't tell in what era of history this was, it could have been today or it could have been 2000 yrs. ago. Two officials walked in and dragged one of the persons out and th rew him in an arena. In this arena was a big burly man, he must have been 7 feet tall and portions of his body matched his height. He was a giant! Around this arena, this small arena. were thousands of bleachers and many people sat in these bleachers and they were lookinq down in the arena. The captive was told that he had to fight for his life barehanded against this huge, huge man;
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and needless to say. the captive's f ran tic e f for ts t 0 de fen d· him s elf were to no avail, because this gi ant merely played with the person, holding him off, teasing him, and finally the frightened captive collapsed. He was physically exhausted,his body was uncontrolled and he was sobbing. The giant gently picked up this person and with a flick of his wrist he b r 0 ke h is n e ck , We 1 1, the pe 0 p 1e who were captives were rather frightened about this and they were asking, "What can we do? What can we do? There's so many of them. That person can kill each and everyone of us. We don't have a chance." So one of the members of the group offered a plan and he said, "Well. we won't be able to save all of us but some of us might be spared, depending on how those of us who wi 1 1 die meet our impending deaths. Now listen, those people want us to fight. They want us to react against them in hate and fear. They want us to react on their own terms. They assume"that we are going to be more concerned with our own individual selves than our group; so.if any of us are to survive we're going to have to put the welfare of our entire group before the welfare of our own individual selves and this is what we are going to have to do. He're going to have to not fight. ###BOT_TEXT###lt;/e're going to have to actuaTry, one at a time. walk in there, the person who is chosen to die; he's going to have to walk up to his executioner and he's going to have to kiss his hand and he's going to have to offer his neck to him. If enough of uS do it the giant and spectators will realize that this game of murder has come to an end, because they don't kn ow how to cope with love. Now some of our lives will be spared,if we're lucky perhaps our oppressors will realize the evil of their ways as they witness the strength of love that we have for one an other. "Well the group agreed to do this. They agreed to the idea of self-sacrifice for survival. The next victim was taken out and he was th r 0

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/ n in tot his are n a wit h this big burly guy. and the person, at least the first time he walked in there, he w a s afraid and he fell to the ground and cowered; the crowd yelled and screamed and applauded.
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Then all of a sudden it hushed as this little bitty man stood up and he smiled and walked over and kissed th e h and 0 f th e g i an t , Th e big bur 1y man recoi led in shock and there was a look of amazement on his face and he wondered, "What was this skinny 'litt1e runt trying to do?" Then the captive fell to his knees and he bent his head, offering his neck to .his m u r de re r • Th e crow d s tar te d to hoo and the giant looked around at the crowd, they were an angry crowd, and finally he went over to the little man and shoved him to the ground and said, "Get up! t~hat are v o u trving to do? Get up and fight like a man." The victim looked up at him and he smiled at him and said, "I don't have to because I'm not afraid anymore.May God forgive you for what you are about to do to me because I have already forgiven you." And that was the last thing that little man said because the heel of the giant came down and crushed his throat. Time and time again captives· were 1 e d 0 ut an d th ey did th e s ame th in g and the giant started to become very annoyed and started reacting in even more irrational ways in order to conjure up some fear and hate; he would torture his victims before he killed them. Then all of a sudden the boos that were coming from the crowd ~urned into cheers,as quickly as a spark runs through dry grass, because all of a sudden the people were starting to note this strategy that was being used and their derision turned into unbounded respect for these people because they realized it took a great deal of courage not to fight, not to respond in an emotional way to being killed in a very ignominious type of manner. The giant heard these cries as the next victim was led out and the next victim was the person who suggested the plan in the first place. The giant's legs started to tremble and he started to shake allover as he listened to the cheers of the crowd for those little ..bitty captives who were being killed, and finally he fell to the ground and said, "I can't go on! I can't go on! What I'm do i n q is somehow all wrong. I've thoughtlessly destroyed life. I've thoughtlessly destroyed

my own life by responding to what the crowd wants me to do,and I don't know how to make it up. I.don't deserve any mercy. Can there really be any forgiveness for me?" And the person was crying and he'd realized for the first time in his life what sin was a 11 about, because he was ri gl1t in the middle of it there, and love had touched him and love had conquered. But the intended victim walked over to this huge man and he embraced l1im and he said, "You are already forgiven because you have demonstrated your willingness to give yourself up to the Dower of love. the power of Jesus Christ." About that time I woke up. I've never had a dream like this before and I don't remember dreams very well, but thi s one I remembered in every detail; it was a nightmare and at the same time it was the most fantastic thing,it was just unbelievable, and I thought, "Hell, I'll forget ab o u t it in the morning" but I didn't forget about it this morning. It was still there in the same clarity and that's wh en I started to think "well, maybe God is talking to me. " As you can see there is a lot of analogy in this dream. What does the man, the big burly man, represent? Does he represent sin or does he represent you and I before Christ came into our lives? What does all the spectators represent? Do they represent the world or do they represent what the world would have us do? And what do the victims represent? Do they represent you and I as Christians having to stand up to the oppression that we have to stand up to as Christian homosexuals. Does it represent Christ? I hope you think about it tonight. I hope you find your own answer to this dream. I know I'll never forget it. So right now I'd like to ask this question of you. How many persons in this dream can you identify with? How many of us, during at least one part of our lives, find identity with the murder as we go crashing through 1 i fe hurting ourselves, in the course of hurting others by being on ego trips, by being pretentious, by being selfish and insensitive to the needs of othCon't next page

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er people until Christ came into our lives. And how many of us can identify with the people in the crowd urging an individual to respond to the whims of the world rather than to the will of God with that individual's life. How many of us can identify with the captives? People who. in times of personal challenge. put aside petty grievances. differences and misunderstandings and responded our of pure Christian love and unbounded faith and in so doing emerged victorious over seemingly overwhelming odds. I would like to suggest to you just one interpretation. It's very hard for me not to see the captives as members of the homosexual community. and r~etropolitan Community Church in particular today. You know. for 2000 years we've been under the yoke of oppression.We have been ghettoized. We have been ghettoized by a stereotype that is just as confining as any physical confining area we could suffer thru. We have been looking out for ourselves as individuals, and for those individuals that have been pulled out of the ghetto by being caught in a bar. by pOlice.or being fired from their jobs or being given up by their families. about the only thing we can conjure up for them is that. "BOY. I'm sure glad that it wasn't me." And we were worrying about when we were going to be dragged out of our ghetto. that twilight half-existence that we lived. that secret way we lived filled with guilt and fear and hate. And then I see Metropolitan Community Church. and that individual who suggested a plan. a plan that took great courage and spiritual fortitude. Metropolitan Community Church. a Church that sai d , "Hell let's suffer together! Let's show we are not afraid anymore and that there is nothing they can do to hurt us. Let's show that love does conquer all." So what did we do? We started dOing something that our oppressors, and I use oppressors in a very loving sense. I don't refer to any indivi duals. I do not refer to h uman beings, I'm referring to a stereotype. Our oppressors said that, "Homosexuals don't have the moral c apacity and fortitude for worshipping
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God because they don't love, they do not know the meaning of the word love, they only lust." Well we shot that down pretty quick didn't we? They said, "Well, they just can't get it together. All they care about is running around and saddling up to some nice warm body every night and not worrying about what their name is. They wouldn't have the capacity to form a Church." Well, I think there are 20 or so Churches and missions across the nation in about two years now, isn't it? That takes a little bit of organization and spirit. They said, "Well. God isn't going to give them the Holy Spirit.because they're unredeemable; they have to change. They have to do it our way, God's not going to bring His blessings on them." Well. is there a person here who believes that tonight? (No) We shot that down. And we grew and grew because we quit listening to what people said we couldn't do and we just did what God said we should do. and a few of uS have been dragged out. A few of us have lost our jobs. A few of us have been given up by our families. A few of us have gotten a raw deal from the establishment. But you know. after we come out of it. we're just that much more powerful. aren't we? Because it didn't hurt nearly as much as we thought it would and we overcame and we loved the people who are messed uP. who don't have it together like we do. And we feel sorry for them. And a person who acts in a paranoid way. you know, I just can shed tears for them. I felt. my goodness. I wish there was some way I could reach them for their own sake. because I'm free. You know. I feel that we definitely have a great commission here. I sincerely feel that God is using the homosexual in a very special way. You know.God takes the lowest and He makes him the highest. He always works this way. He takes the weakest and He makes him the strongest. because when He shows He can do that then people say."Well, that is a very powerful God, isn' t it? And you know something else. we are making. Satan very uptight; because we've had a very special place in his heart. You know. he thrives
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on despair, and fear, and loneliness and a lack of sense of direction,and boy, we sure gave him a great deal of it~ didn't we, for the last 2000 years. All of a sudden we're standing on our hind feet and he's getting scared. You know there's not m u ch 0 fan y th in gin the w 0 r 1d that I can think of that's more frightening than a homosexual that has self respect. And you know, when a person hears the word "homosexual" he thinks of a certain way, he has something in his mind, you know, and then say "Christian" and he has a certain thing in his mind,and you say"Christian Homosexual" and it just blows his mind apart. And then\ you sock it to him when his defenses are down, and this is the way you get to pe cp 1e , an d you know th e re 's a lot 0 f nice people whose minds we've blown. Their whole little world is just shattered before them, and then when there's love you pick up the pieces and together we build a bigger, better world for them. A world in which they can really see how fantastic~l1y large and great and overpowerlng God is. His love and His grace and His wisdom and His concern, He loves everybody. . Getting back to Satan. I had a ~ather liberal background when lt comes to theology and I don't worry about Satan too much. I was always ve ry po sit ive • You know, we' ve got to talk about love and we don't have to worry about evil. Well, there is evi 1, and he moves in ways that you wouldn't even suspect. When we let our guard down he moves in.He sticks complacency in there. He sticks apathy. He sticks ego trips. He sticks an unwillingness to forgive and what does all this come out to be, dissension. It all comes out as a sense of lack of direction, you've lost something. In the fleeting moments of awareness we become aware that something has gone out of our lives, and things do not fit together like they used to.You know, when we first came to an awareness and a need for .. Christ, we asked Him to come into our lives. you know, all the pieces started to fit together. Have you ever had that experience? Then when we quit searching for God, and find out what He wants us to do, and ex-

periencing all those surprises He has for us, everything seems to float apart in a thousand different directions and then Satan moves in. We feel so lonely inside, you know, and he moves in and he moves in on a congregational level and these little things that are not too much, that we think can't hurt much if we just cheat a little this time; if I love all my neighbors except that queen that did me dirty last week, then I'll be able to hold on to the Lord. Hell, it doesn't work that way. And I just wonder what those people in that stockade would have done if a feN of them had said, "Well, I go along with this but I'm not going to forgive this so-and-so over here because he hurt me, he hurt my feelings last week." All of them would have died. Or how about that individual in that stockade that said,"Well I'll go along with this idea of sacrificing myself for the people, but I won't sacrifice myself for that person over there because I'm better than he is and I shouldn't have to die for him." All of them would have died. Or how about that person who's in every congregation who says we can't do this and this and this because there are too many prOblems, there's too many ramifications and there's too many legalistic things we have to think about so we're going to have to sit back and kind of thingk about it before we can do it. Well they would have been sitting there when they dragged the 1 ast person out of the stockade. I wonder how many people we have like that in our congregation here tonight.People who, I think, are definitely Christians but who have gotten mixed up in this thing of looking for ways of not responding to God's will for their lives.How many of us can think right now of a person who we'd rather not forgive because it feels so good not to forgive them and to feel that '1urt, that choked up feeling inside of us? Now, think of a person you recently, but somebody a long time ago. Think about that person you don't think too much of. Who you feel is just a little bit lower than you. Think about what you're here for at Metropolitan Community Church. To hear a sermon, to drink coffee or to
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work in any and every way you can to reach out to the person three blocks away whose having problems. If you can identify with the two negative attitudes then we need a spiritual renewal.and that's what you're here for tonight. God has promised each and everyone of us that if we want Him to move in our lives, to fill us with that peace that transcends all understanding and to really feel that we can jump out of these seats and say, "God's with me and nothing can stop me and I know where I'm going to go because He's going to point the way."If that's the way you want to feel tonight, then you're going to have to quit thinking of negative things. You're going to have to quit thinking about the prQb1ems that you have. You're going to have to quit thinking about the people who have offended you. You're going to have to say, "Buz z off. Satan, I don't need you anymc re ;" I just want God to move in my life. I want to rededicate myself to God thru Christ and we're going to have to approach God with a child-like faith and say, "t.o rc protect us from those temptations that separate us from you.Protect us from complacency, indifference, apathy, ego-trips and blind pride that would prevent this Church from what it has to do and fill us, Lord, with Your spiri"t. Keep us on the true path and don't let us lose sight of the great commission that You have given uS as Christian Homosexuals. Keep us clear of emotional trivialities. Keep our heads clear. Keep our hearts strong and keep our fai th unfettered by doubt and fear because we don't have the time or the Iu xu r y for anything e l se ;" Let us pray. Our Gracious Heavenly Father, You've promised us Your spirit. You've promised to lift us up out of our despair and loneliness that many of us are in right now. You've promised to kick us off our perch of complacency and apathy and indifferences of the world and the cares of the concerns for the person next door to us, because we are so hung up on our ego trips; and we ask for these things and we wonder why You don't give it to us. We wonder why we do dirty things to the person
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next to us. We wonder why You don't touch our lives and we're boiling over with hate and concern about our own little petty things. So our Gracious Heavenly Father we ask You to knock us off our pedestal, break us up real good and pick up those pieces down there and put us up a little bit higher, a little bit wiser, with a little bit more love and we'll be sure to give You the honor, the glory, and the praise as befitting Your name, in Christ's name and for His sake we pray. Amen.
REV.BRAD WILSON'SERMON S MCC-lA JULy16, 1971 I whispered to Troy and to Howaro over here, we oopyright our rna'ter'Lal,also. If you use any of it,we get the royalties - okay? Fine, that settles that question. John, don't you go telling where I got it fram whentheir copyright ran out. I've enjoyed the fellowship of these past days,and in the horneof John and his better-half I enjoyed the fellowship there. I met Bowardlast summer,when Bill and I were in San Francisoo, but we were all so busy rurming around we really never got to knoweach other. I can say that we formed a very warmfriendship in these last coupl€ of days and I trust, that before long the Elders of the Fellowship will decide that they need to call all of the pastors together to go off someplace and just have a retreat by ouselves, so we can get to know each other and kind of pick uor minds apart; pray together to find exactly what God has in store for us as a people in these caning days. If I asked you what the greates disease in the world was, the greates killer in the world, what would you say? Loneliness! Loneliness is the greatest killer. Doctor-T. M. Ling, who is an English psychiatrist, said exactly that. After years of clinical counseling, and working with individuals, he found that loneliness was responsible for-the great number,vast number, of suicides far above any other reason that was given. Anddid you knowthat the city of Los Angeles has the second highest rate of suicides than any city in the United States. The city of Miami, Florida has the third highest; and you know, they say to me•. "Well, in Con l i: n e xt: page

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Peter's courage is proven again and again. After almost being killed as a boy and seeing those hundreds of crucified men, he still trys to defend Jesus. It is true he runs away, but his courage wins out over his fear and he follows the arresting party. He again runs from the courtyard of the high priest, but this is because he knew he couldn't help at all if he were arrested too. True it didn't help, but he couldn't know that then. And what about the courage it took to go to the crucificxion? I have never seen anything like that (as he had) and I don't think I have the courage to deliberately go to one. "Upon this Rock", yes Jesus knew that a firm foundation was needed, not just to start a church, but so it could survive.Peter was that foundation.He was not interested in glory or even recognition as a leader. He just wanted to do what he had been told to do, give others the faith he had, show others the Way. However, he certainly could speak up when he wanted to as when he was before the high priest Caiaphas and the Priestly Council as a prisoner (the same small part of the Sanhedrin who had condemned Jesus). Here he just plainly told them that they had crucified the Son of God. The Church had problems right from the start. Many of the Jews who were converted came from other countries and were not as strict in their observing the Law, had a problem keeping the Church together as he believed the liberals were correct. Right from the start he had this conflict within himself,as well as within the Church.When the persecutions started, he deliberately got himself and John arrested by the Sanhedrin. They were released after Rabban Gamaliel told the counci 1, "Now I say to you let these men alone.For if this work be of men, it will come to naught. But if it should be of God, you cannot overthrow it, lest you are found to fight even against God". This was a great victory for the young church and helped them to get many more converts. And this in turn made Caiaphas and Saul step up their persecutions.

There has been much said about the conflict between Peter and Pa~l. But was there any real conflict? Peter had a monumental job, right from the very start, in trying to keep the very orthodox and the more liberal from the Dispersion together in one church. As for Peter disagreeing with Paul, did he? He never answered Paul in Antoich, when Paul publicly shamed him. Could it be that he did not answer Paul because he believed Paul was right? Dr. Slaughter believes this is so and does not show them in any real conflict at all~ Peter lived to be, for those days, quite an old man.Dr.Slaughter agrees with Dr. Oscar Cullman, who is perhaps the foremost authority on Peter, that Peter was also crucified. Not being an authority on the subject, I do not know if it happened as Dr. Slaughter has it happen or not, but it makes a fitting, although a rather sad, ending for the book. It is really not supposed to be sad, I suppose, but how can a crucifision be anything but sad?

Re u s w i l.e on Se rmon July l6 con l t: Miamiyou've got all of those old people that are really frustrated, they're sick and they're broken down. They have no reason to go on and so they go up in those beautiful high-rise apartments they have in MiamiBeach and they jump out the windows, and that's whyyou have the highest suicide rate. "Well, I was able to compile same statistics, while working in a hospital and I found that the vast majori ty of suicieds in the city of Miamiwere in the age group of 20 to 30, not 50, 60, 70 or 80; but 20 to 30. Andwe, in the gay corrrnuni , have the highest rate of ty suicides than any group in the world. And I'll tell you, it's really sanething when you see one of your ownpeople brought into a hospital in a total coma, and see them literally drown in the flem of their ownlungs, because they overdosed themselves because life had becane too unbearable to live. The loneliness that we know. This past week Ken said not to tell he's been doing it, but he's not here so I'll tell you. Ken's been taking me out every evening to the bars in this city and I guess somebody is going to say, "Well, Brad Wilson sure does like to look Con't next page

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around." Well sweetheart, you've got sane pretty nice scenery out here and I like to look. But I'll tell you this, I've never seen more lonely people in my life than I've seen in the bars in the city of Los Angeles and in the greater Los Angeles region. I've seen these guys and I know, sweetheart, that they've spent hours and hours primping, canbing their hair, making themselves look beautiful; putting on those tight,white levis to go standing in that bar asa lonely person and they will go home just as lonely as they were when they walked in the doorx,And sane cf us whoname the name of Christ and say that we're Christians, we certainly don't help the situation any, because we look at the beautiful body and that handsome face and we say,"Oh boy, I've got to have that", and you have it alright. Youhave it for one night and never bOtne~ Imaouttne real dept 1 of tliit humanbe:We putavery oWprICe' on huiilan II e and humanlove in the gay society. Welook at one another and we say, "Ohgee whiz, what a score!" Well brother, let me tell you, I'm more than ~~. I'm more than ~ mind.I' ffA""":rO'!:'A ~ every man and every WOllenin this roan and in this world is a total person and has the right to happiness.A right to knowother things than loneliness. The despair! The sadness! I knowthat Troy Perry, HowardWells,John Hose and I can sit here for hours and hours and hours and tell you cases of young men and wamen that we've delt with that are lonely, lonely; longing for someone to love them. I get so tired of those words,I love you. Weuse to have a friend back in Miamiand Bobused to do a number, he'd came in and say, "I'm in love with him, what's his name." And that's just exactly the way it was;it would last for an hour or a day or a week and he loved them, but he never got to really knowthem. l:3ob died last year, in a hospital, a lonely person himself with no one to care for him except Bill and I. His ownfamily rej ected him. He was dying, I called his mother and said, "Wouldyou take Bob?" and she said, "Yes, I'll take him.", and then the day he was to get on the plane to fly hometo Witchita, she called up to say,"I don't want him." A dying man, with dying needs, a longing heart, that all his life had sought for love and understanding and I always say to Bill "ThankGod that we were there." Wehad the privilege of reaching out to Bob and saying to Bob,"We love you". Not as a sexual toy, but as a person lovedm God:27

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A few years ago, in this country , there broke out an epidemic of transistor radios. Rememberhose transistor sistors t that used to walk downthe street with a radio pinned against their ear, remember them? Well, a group of psychologists were doing same surveys and compiled same statistics about those people and do you knowwhat the biggest thing in their life was? They were lonely and they liked to hear same racket so they felt like they belonged. Lone.l.inesa Lone.lneas l Sane of l i you have testified that the church has became a great part of your life and it's caused the loneliness to go away. Well let me tell you samething sweetheart, from the looks of these pews tonight and these empty seats, you can either yell ouch or amen. Sameof you don't really believe that Christ is the answer or you'd have every seat in this auditorim filled. You'd go out to that lonely brother and that lonely sister, but you say, "Ohwell, if I ask them to go to church they're going to say that I'm cruising them". Get your mind up on Jesus Christ! If you are . risen with Christ set your mind on the heavenly things and stop living at a gut level! Back in Miami I walked up and I put my anmaround one of the boys in the chruch and someonesaid, "Oh look, Brad's cruising so-and-so", And I just said, "Brother your minds in the gutter." Because I love that person as a pastor, and I love that person because he's my brother, and not because he's a sexual object to be played with and then cast aside and thrown down. Andyou knowwhat happens with a lot of us whenwe pick up a number, or we try to pick up a number and we say we are Christian. This is not my outline, I'm trying to let the spirit take hold, alright. Alright? Sameof us go along and we pick up a number and he just isn't what we think he ought to be and brother we just can' t wait to stomp him downin the dust. Wesay we're Christian and I'm going to tell you something, I'm a little bit concerned about church playing. This week I heard this one say that ones on an ego trip, and another say that ones on an ego trip, and they talk about this and they talk about that. If you gossiped to outsiders like I've heard gossip this week, no wonder you've got empty seats here tonight.Still your tongues! NObody's yelling Amen? Cause you knowit's true. I've quit preaching and gone to meddling. But I'm telling you brother, I'm telling you that the most im:portant person that Con i t: next page

we can reach, that we can guide that per-son to, is the person of Jesus Christ. We sit back and we sing,Christ for me,Christ fo~ me. It's not just for me,but for the world that He died. For every man and every wanan in all the world, whether they are straight or gay, black or white, rich or poor. Back homein the church in Miami whenwe got started, sanebody came to me and said, "Well, we want a social church so we can have all the better people~ Beloved, there's no such thing in the world, to the outside world as a good homosexual. Andwe don't have blue-bloods in the gay world, nowwe've got chandalier queens; I call them salad queens.Youk:rx>w, they set them big tables, they invite you over to their house when they have to get out the crystal t and if they don't have crystal, they'll buy plastic. Might hurt Tam's business,but they go along and they might worry about which fork you eat your salad with. Brother I want you to realize that there's gay kids out in Los Angeles tonight that don"t have a salad to eat. They don't have soup to eat and they do not have peanut better and jelly to eat. They are out there hungry and you sit back canplacent. You sit back complacently and smugly. You sing the songs of the church and you pat yourself on the back and tell yourself howpious you are.It's just like the Pharisee's and the Sadducee's in the days of Jesus. Whatwe need to do is reevaluate our whole life style. There's far more in life than having that crystal chandalier or driving that big car, or going out and getting yourself so deep in debt that you'll never get out, just to keep up with same dizzy queen that lives downthe block.The need within the chun:::h today is to realize that we cannot play church any longer. They cane to me and they say. "Oh I like ponp and ceremony," Bob's been to Miami and he can tell you we have more panp and ceremony than Carter had liver pills. A Russian Orthodox Associate Pastor,you knowwe got pomp and ceremony, but we go parading up and downthose aisles. But the prayer in my heart is God just won't let it be pomp and ceremony, Let there be a real burning downin the depths of the being of every man and every wanan that is within Me"tn)poli tan Cannuniy Church to demonstrate t the love of God and to heal the loneliness that's in our world. To reach out and say to these people, "Godloves you. Youbelong to God. Godpurchased your salvation on Calvery. Youbelong to Him." We

say, "Well, we ought to do it this way and that way and we oughtn't to have all of those fine things. Wemovedinto a beautiful church and whenwe got in that church we found a lot of our spiritual life just dissipated. We've been meeting, of all places, in the Odd Fellows Hall lately. That's right! And it may not be beautiful and it may not have a lot of stained glass but I'll tell you there's a new spirit in the hearts of the people in Miami. A new sense of we thought we had it made, but we're not as big as we thought we were and we got to start out all over again. Godwarrts to break us, I'm sure of this. He wants to break us up so he can put us back together again like we ought to be. There's a story they tell about an old Indian.The missionaries came and they preached to him and first thing he did was bring his horse. He loved that horse. Lovedthat horse even more than a squaw, and the missionary looked at him and said, "No, Goddoesn't want your horse, take him back. " And so he went out and he got the furs that he had trapped the last season and he brought them in and he laid them in front of the missionary and said he wanted to give them to God. And the missionary said, "No, Goddoesn't want your furs, take them back".And then,he brought his bowand his arrows, his mosr prized possessions. With that bowand arrows,he could hunt. He could provide food for his family and the skins they needed. He laid it downat the altar and the missionary looked at him and said, "No, Goddoesn't want your bow and arrow." And then the Indian got the message and he laid himself at the altar. And that's what God wanted. There are sane of us that have brought our worldly possessions and said, "I'm willing to give up this." But what Godwants out of us tonight is our lives, our beings, our total soul. Sameof you say, "Well, I'd do it, but I'm afraid.I'm afraid that I'll be alone then." But listen to the words of Jesus, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the ends of the earth. " And if you want to begin to live tonight, if you want an end to the loneliness that's in your life, and if you want to help heal the loneliness that is in our world, then give yourself to Jesus Christ. You'll never, never be alone any nore , He'll go with you and He'll guide you and He'll keep you. NowI realize that this has not been a polished hamolytically correct sermon for. those of you
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in the seminary, but I'm telling you this out of the depths of my heart. I too am one that believes that God is raising up a people; a people that will-go out and change the course of hi.s'tory just like the Apostolic Church of the first century. .And brother, that group of people isn't going to be found in the first church of the hypocrits or the second church of the Pharisees. Godhas already drawn His Spirit from the major denominations in this country and they just haven't woke up to it yet; they're still asleep. But God's packed His bags and roved out because they had other priorities and I'm telling you that Godwants.to use us as a people, but we've got to get the right priorities in life and we've got to be determined to live and love and serve God above all else and to love our brothers. If you, right now, oould let your minds go out that door and into the city, you would begin to hear the cry, "Oh God. I'm lonely." .And only you and I can reach these people. Will you let Godtake control? NowI believe that I'm going to ask you to do sanething. Sane of you real Iy want that old deep experience in your life, but do not knowwhy it's not there; because you've been bikkering amongyourselves. Can you say Amen ouch? You've or been talking about one another and God's held back His blessing for that very reason. That very reason! I think Howard kind of hit it last night; we're going to have to say to our brothers, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry.".And to our sisters, I'm sorry. I ask you to forgive me before God." Then Godwill pour out on this church the revival that you desperately want. Tonight, not for youn sake alone, but for the sake of the whole world, settle with your brother. Settle with your sister and then settle with God that He might be able to work in your midst e . Let us pray. Our Father, even row we think of Toomy he came to us as a little boy of as five and he crawled upon my lap and he said, "Gee daddy, I'm lonely." .And God,if a tyke of five knows loneliness, howmuch nore can that fellow or that girl at 30 know. How hungry can a heart be - and yet, we've set back and said we believe. We believe that Christ is the answer. Webelieve! Lord help us to share, now, what we believe. Help us to fall in love with Youand fall in love with each other.That we can go out and love a wot'ld that seems 29

so unlovable t that we might be agents of reconciliation in this day. For in the nameof Jesus and to his glory, we pray. Amen and Amen.

REV. HOWARD WELLS' JULY 17. 1971

SERMON

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During the time of Jesus, the Jewish Nation based its national ethical code on a body of civil and religious laws called the Talmud. If a Jew studiously followed the voluminous dictates of the Talmud. the Jewish Religious Leaders assured him that he was leading a life that was pleasing to God. . But there were some serious.fatal flaws in this moral code; the most important was that.because the Talmud was set, limited. and carefully defined;it could not adequately respond to all of the situations human beings find themselves in. As a consequence. individuals often found themselves in situations in which strict application of the Talmud would not result in a satisfactory solution to their predicament. Because of the inadequacy of the Ta1mud,peop1e would often react to situations in irresponsib1e,egotistica1, irrational ways. Another important f1 aw in the Talmud was the popularly held notion that because the Jewish religious leaders were the interpreters and arbitrators of the Jewish Law, they felt that they were above the Law, and unfortunate1y,they acted accordingly. The Law was not inherently evil or superficial; it was just inadequate because of its inherent limitedness. And because of a set of laws limitedness, s~ciety tends to force people into preconceived catagorizations in order that the laws will always be applicable and it also conditions individuals to avoid situations in which the laws do not realistically apply. Christ freed all men of the shackles of law when he substituted the dictates of the Holy Spirit for law. Paul points this fact out in Romans 7:6 "We are free to serve God, not in the old obedience to the letter of th e Law. but in anew way, in th e Spirit."
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Freedom - what does that word mean to the Christian? What is Christian freedom? Christian freedom is a state of mind and grace whereby an individual can find spiritual strength and guidance tailored to meet his specific needs. With Christian freedom, one has a perfect, infallible guideline to follow in ones relationship with God, society and oneself - brotherly love, or "agape" if you prefer •. Brotherly love is an infinitely wonderful freedom to utilize, but like every other freedom, brotherly love has associated responsibilities; since the freedom of brotherly love is boundless, the scope of Christian responsibility is infinite. How many times have each of us hidden ~ehind the legalistic morality guiding our society down its stumbling way in order to avoid meeting the responsibilities of brotherly love? We have all heard stories of individuals being attacked and robbed in public places without anyone assisting the victim. We have all passed drunks in the street,and pretended that we didn't see them. I'm sure that all of us can list personal examples how we have used legalism to cop out on our call to personal responsibility.We are all plagued by the escapism that is inherent in legalistic morality. Law may be indeed a necessary feature of a community and can even be constructive. But when the motive of the 1aw 0 b se r v e r is to hid e b eh in d the letter of the law in order to escape the higher demands of its spirit, or to except the complexities of responsible decision, that is cheap legalism. Today, there is a scarcity of mature individuals in our society willing to face up to the Christian ethic of brotherly love. The AngloA me ri can p rin cip 1e is" M in d you r ow n business"; the law limits your obligation; you are responsible only for what you do: NOT FOR WHAT YOU SHOULD OR COUL D HAvt DONE AS A CH RI STIAN. The motive and purpose behind law, however hidden it might be, is to minimize obligation, to make it clear exactly how much you must do and no more. Such an attitude gives rise to absolute negatives and affirmatives in human relations in or~

der to avoid the complexities of realistic human situations and when this happens, the sin of catagorization rears its ugly head. Albert Schweitzer is quite right to say that "the good conscience is an invention of the de v i l " and such a perverted good conscience is the child of legalized morality. This situation reminds me of the legend of the Grand Inquisitor in Dostoevsky's novel liThe Brothers Karamozovll• It is Ivan's story to Alyosha about the terrible burden of personal freedom. Christ returned to earth, and the Spanish Inquisitor, recognizing Him in the crowd watching a religious procession, had Him arrested at once. In the dead of night he visited Christ in secret, embarrassed trying to explain ·that most people do not want freedom, they want security. If you really love people, he argued, you make them happy, not free.Freedom is danger, openness. They want law, not responsibility; they want the neurotic comfort of rules, not the spiritual open places of decision-making. They prefer absolutes to relativities. The Christ, he says, must not come back to start again all of that old business about freedom and grace and commi tment and personal responsibility. Let things be, just let the law handle them. Let Him please go away. Psychologically, the Inquisitor's plea is suited to many people. But there are many that it does not fit - some of the exceptions are the sincere Christian homosexual who has come to an understanding with God. People are, in any case, going to have to grow up into the Christian ethic of Brotherly Love, no doubt of it. The Christian is called to be mature, to live by grace and freedom, to respond to life in an affirmative manner, to be responsible. Love refuses to put a ceiling or floor on concern for the neighbor. Love, unlike law, sets no carefully calculated limits on personal obligation; it seeks the greatest good in every situation. It maximizes or optimizes obligation and responsibility. As homosexuals, we are intimately acquainted with the sordid, dehumanizing consequences of legalized morality. This is evidenced by the fact
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that so many people can persecute us with a clear conscience because "Th e Bible says that ••• 11 or liThe law says that •••• 11 A society with an· unders tan din g 0 f h uman sex u a 1i ty tha t could best be described as embryonic, has relegated us to the status of IIthingsll and has given us the tacit freedoms of the bars and the baths and little else. As homosexuals our freedoms have been limited as evidenced by the fact that society has limited our moral responsibilities; we are not allowed to assume the responsibilities of marriage, we are not allowed to serve our country in the armed forces, we are not allowed the responsibilities of child rearing. This situation reinforces the fact that personal freedom is directly proportional to personal responsibility. And if we are not allowed to assume moral responsibility even tho we might be qualified to do so, we will always be treated by society as IIthingsll. We have been pushed down into a moral gutter, and we wi 11 allow ourselves to ~tay there until we pick up our own selves and start God's approval. Until we are truly willing to accept our responsibilities to God and to ourselves, we will never be free of the dehumanizing chains of social oppression. At present, we find ours~lves engaged in the awesome task of establishing guidelines of personal conduct for the homosexual. The ramifications of this undertaking are enormous - if the guidelines that we establish help the homosexual to revolutionize his presently dehumanizing value system that revolves primarily around the bars and the baths, then they will undobuted1y serve as an important basis for revolutionizing all American social mores concerning sexuality -a revolution that shall be even more far-reaching than the industrial revolution or the advent of the nuclear age. For 2000 years, we have been laboring under unChristianlike, dehumanizing religious and social dictates concerning human sexuality. It's time for them to be updated. The establishment of such profound guidelines for the gay community can only be effected by our responding to the guidance of
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the Holy· Spirit as we determine the moral validity of every aspect of our present lifestyle in the light of the question, IIWill the glory of God be advanced if I continue to do this ••• or to value that ••• ?11 Let's climb down from our ivory tower and get down to specifics; a few weeks ago, a man walked into my office and said "Rev. Wells, I've been a member of MCC for about one month now. I've acknowledged my need for Christ in my life and I've really been trying hard to be a good Christian. Before I became a Christian,l went to the baths every night and I sti 11 have the overpowering desire to continue going to them, even after I joined MCC! If I'm really a Christian, why can't I stop going to the baths?"This man's problem is typical of many new Christian homosexuals - so many of us are under the impression that our whole value system is going to change into a straight "Eh r i s t i an " value system

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1 i thall 0 f th e ant isex u a 1 h an 9ups associated with it the moment after our initial experience with Christ. What we fail to realize that in so doing, we are automatically dictating to the Lord what a Christian homosexual should value and what he should not value the inevitable result of such an attitude is the frustration and disappointment suffered by the man who approached me concerning the baths. In order to shake him out of his mistaken impression of how a new Christian should react to his old mode of living I asked him, "Why do you want to quit going to the baths? Did the Lord tell you that it is wrong?" IIWe1111, he said, "I've been told by several people in the Church that I can't be a Ch ri st i an and go to the baths at the same time!" I urged him to ask God for guidance in this matter and to always go to the Lord when he is unsure of the moral validity of any aspect of his old lifestyle. It turned out that God did not feel that it would be advantageous to the man's Christian maturation process if he continued to go to the baths with such frequency, and as a result of the man's sincere willingness to be re sp on s tve to
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God's will for his life, the Lord gave him the strength and wisdom to develop more meaningful alternatives to the baths - at present, he says that he goes only once a week - and he never fails to bring someone to Church who he meets at the baths! This man's successful reaction to the dilemma of dealing with his pre-Christian value system typifies the spiritual maturing process that every Christian homosexual must go through if his life is to be a valid light of hope to the gay community. If the man had continued to the pretentious, self-righteous admonitions of a few pseudopious members of the Church rather than sensitizing himself to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, he would become disgusted with his new-found faith and the Church, and we would have lost a valuable MCC~er. As we face personal moral dilemmas, we must acknowledge that the dictates of the Holy ~Spirit must prevail in our lives if we are to emerge victorious. A logical question to this position is -If the Holy Spirit promises each of us a tailormade value system, why should the Church offer guidelines to Christian living?" As we grow in the knowledge of Christ. we find it advantageous to associate with other Christians in order to worship together, and to offer one another encouragement and advice when we are faced with problems and the need for decision making. In effect,the Church points out potential spiritual pitfalls that we, as indidual Christians, might face and it offers ways to avoid them, based on the COllective experience of other Christians. Oftentimes, these warnings and advice take the form of for· mal Church guidelines for Christi.an living, and a person would be a fool to catagorical1y ignore these basic guidelines because they are based on other Christians' experiences that he might face - but we must always remember that these guidelines are ., just that, guidelines, not unequivocal, final solutions to human problems.There are times that guidelines should be followed and there are times that they should be ignored;we

need to use common sense and the Holy Spirit to efficiently modify general guideli~es into specific, custom-made answers. To offer guidelines as catagorical answers would be to limit God, and when you limit God, you unknowingly become a tool of Satan. Therefore, it would be just as wrong to say that going to the baths is always wrong as to say that everyone should go to the baths. As we grow in our fellowship of Christian livin~, we are going to discern common spiritual characteristics among ourselves -certain general ways of successfully dealing with problems unique or prevalent to the gay community such as going to the bars and baths, communal marriages, fidelity among gay married couples, child rearing in gay househ old s , b isex ua 1i ty, e tc • With th e se combined experiences, we will be able to establish and continually refine practical Christian guidelines to help our gay brethern develop happy, meaningful lifestyles. Ultimately, whether these sorely needed guidelines are developed depends on you, not on MCC as an institution; whether we are able to effectively reach out and respond to lonely, downtrodden human beings will depend on whether YOU consciously seek God's will for YOUR own life and respond to that will. . There is no place for moralistic legalism in MCC, only love that is focalized on the individual and the specific situation.
REV.BRAD WILSON'S SERMON MCC-LA JULY18. 1971 I want to take an opportunity to thank you for the privilege that has been mine to share with you this last week in Spiritual Renewal. For those of you who were not here last night. you missed. perhaps. one of the greatest sermons for our carmunity that I have ever heard. I want to take this opportunity to again encourage the Publications Department of the Fellowship to pub11sh Howard's sermon in In Unity magazine and get it out. because he said sane very vi tal things and he really caused us to begin to think. You know. sanetimes when we have to start to think. it's a frightening experience. But it's 32

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only by thinking and reasoning and working and loving together that we are going to change the course of humanhistory. Let us pray. Our Father, this hour would you draw us out of the sidestreets and the bywaysof life, and cause us to remove the roadblocks that we might becane truly the Church of the Living God. In the name of Jesus, we pray. .Amen. Howardread to you the Gospel of Luke this morning, the fourth chapter when Jesus is in the temple and He begins to read from the Old Testament. He declares, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He anointed me to preach the good tidings to the poor, He hath me procl.aim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those that are bruised, to proclaim the acceptable year of our Lord," In that one passage out of the Old Testament, quoted by Jesus, is the very reason that Metropolitan Cammunity Church exists in the United States today. For we have been called, we have been called of Godto proclaim to the world the good tidings of God to the poor. Not only to those who are financially ~assed, but to those whoare spiritually disgraced, to those who live in spiritual poverty. To declare unto them that the Love of God is mademanifest in the body and in the pet'son of Jesus Christ. To say to people,that for generations has been told that God does not love us, that this is not true, that the works of Christ upon the Cross at Calvary are just as vital to the homosexual as they are for Johnny Straightarrow, whowalks downthe street. Godhas called us to proclaim release to the captives. I'm not speaking of that man or wanan that's in jail. I'm speaking of that man and that woman that is in the prison of their own minds, wallowing around in self-~ity, in self-hate. So long we walked around and we beat our chest and we said, "Woeis me, v;oe is me! I'm a homosexual, woe is me!" Back in Miami, we've got a few of them who, when I say the word "homosexual" in the pul.p.i.t , they cringe. Because they are still captive and they are still slaves to the identity and to the stereotype that society has placed upon them. And so it's the message and the ministry of the Church to destroy this image and to set the men and wanen free in the Spirit. Free so that they can begin to love themselves because if we don't love ourselves, we're never going to love the v;orld and change the world to the Power of God.
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He has declared to us our ministry is to bring healing to the blind. Youknow the world is full of a lot of blind people whohave 20/20 vision. Anda lot of us of that kind wear' blinders. Andwe try to remove from our everyday life the concepts of the Christian faith. Wesay, "Well, you know that in my everyday life, I'm a Christian, but "'7hen go hane and I go inI to my bedroom, it's another story. " And I like what Troy Perry says when he says, "Youknow God is there too!" There are a lot of blind people whowant to kind of set areas in their life apart and are blinded to the truth of the Love of GOd. They are blinded to the truth that in every relationship there should be sanething of the Divine. Andcertainly He has called us to bring liberty and healing to the bruised. Manytimes as I enter into the pulpit in the Church in Miami, I look about me and I see there are sane very bruised people.Oh, they don't bear physical marks upon their bodies, but downin the depths of their spirit they are bruised and they are broken. It's the ministry of the Church to heal the bruised and the broken and to end the heartache and the suffering. That is the only reason we exist. We are not here to play Church. Weare not here to be pompousand self-righteous. And I want to tell you one thing about those of you that have been every n~t at this Spiritual Renewal Conference, God Bless you, but don't look at your brother who wasn't here and pass judgement on him. You have no right to do so. Don't you judge his spirituality or the fact whether he is in every service of this Church. Because we get a little bit like the Pharisees and the Sadducees. I get them, they comein and they say, "OH, those poor people out there in the bar." And they just click their tongues and they carry on and they talk about them, instead of loving them. I pray to God that we don't becamethe Church of the Pharisees and the Sqdducess, but that we continue to be the Church of the Living God. A loving fellowship of men and wanen who seek to restore unto God that which is his. But we start wandering off in side roads. NCM lived for a while in the mounI tains of W. Virginia and Kentucky. I was born in W. Virginia and that makes me a hillbilly. But I Pastored in Kentucky and I mean, you've got rough country out here, but I've been back in sane of those boondocks in Kentuckywhere there hasn't been Con't next p a ae

any sunshine in generations; moonshinemaybe, sunshine no. But you got out on those :roads and took a wrong turn, you found yourself up a hollow in a deadend and you had to turn around and go back. You stayed on the main highway, brother. You didn't get out on those side roads because the chances are if there had been a good rainstorm, you just bogged downin the mudand spinned your tires. And·that is sanething we have to be very careful of in the Church today; that we don't get out on the side roads and get in the mud and can't get out. A group of individuals came to me one day and they said, "Preacher we want to set you free, we really want to set you free. And the way you are going to find your freedan is to take a trip with us." And brother they weren't talking about going to Virginia Beach in Miami, they were talking about dropping a little bit of acid and popping a few pills and taking a trip. Want to set you free because that's how you're going to find yourself? No man finds himself outside of Jesus Christ, and he that the Son has set free, is free indeed; and brother, I don't need the side road of the drug culture. Gay people you talk about them, instead of loving them. I pray to God that we don't becane the Church of the Pharisees and the Sadducess, but that we continue to be the Church of the Living God. A loving fellowship of men and wonen who seek to restore unto God that which is His. But we start wandering off in side roads. NowI .Ioved for a while on the mountains of W. Virginia and Kentucky. I was born in W. Virginia and that makes me a hillbilly. But I Pastored in Kentucky and I mean, you've got rough country out here, but I've been back in same of those boondocks in Kentucky where there hasn't been any sunshine in generations; moonshinemaybe, sunshine no. But you got out on those :roads and took a wrong turn, you found yourself up a hollow in a deadend and you had to turn around and go back. You stayed on the main highway, brother. You didn't get out on those side roads because the chances are if there had been a good rainstonn, you just bogged downin the mudand spinned your tires. And that is sanething we have to be very careful of in the Church today; that we don't get out on the side:roads and get in the mud and can't get out. A group of individuals cane to me

one day and they said, "Preacher we want to set you free, we really want to set you free. And the way you are going to find your freedan is to take a trip with us." And brother they weren't talking about. going to Virginia Beach in Miami, they were talking about dropping a little bit of acid and popping a few pills and taking a trip. Wantto set you free because that's how you're going to find yourself? No man finds himself outside of Jesus Christ, and he that the Son has set free t is free indeed; and brother, I don't need the side road of the drug cul ture , Gay people you knowlooking for experiments in life, look';' ing for a little bit more, another thrill, another kick. Listen! God is just now opening the doors and the gates to our freedan and allowing us for the first time in our experience to walk with our heads high and our shoulders back, and brother, I donot need a monkeyon my back again! So I say to those individuals who want to set me free by that method that they've got nothing for me and nothing for the children of God, for we're FREE ALREADY! ! We're free in Jesus Christ. And there are those who cane along and they want to give it to you in the realm of legalism. Howardspoke about legalism last night and the morality of legalism. Those individuals who want to cane along and say, "now this is the way it ought to be done," and I say, "Whydo we have to do it that way?" "Well, that's the way we used to do it in OUR Church." Well, that's the way we used to do it in MY Church, too. Sanebodysaid, "I never pick on my background." I'll tell you that sane of the biggest bigots who ever walked the face of the earth are in The Church of Godgeneral offices in Anderson, Indiana. They sit back and they say, we've got legalism --- you dress this way, and you act that way, you walk this way, you do this, you do that." And then they have a witchhunt to cast out the honesexuals. Brother, I don't need to go back to what they have! One dear brother the other day came in and he said,"Oh, Pastor, I don't think we ought to kiss at Cammunnion," Shouldn't exchange the Holy Kiss, the Kiss of Peace. I said, "Whynot?" "If same heterosexual came in and saw us doing that, what would he say?" Whathave they said for generations? Andwhat difference does it makewhat they say? That t s the old thing of letting your gayness daninate your life instead of Jesus Christ. Then we have those dear sweet souls that cane . Con' t next page 34

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along and say let's have a lot of pompand a lot of pageantry. I like pampand I like pageantry. I think there's beauty in it, but be careful in your pamp, in your pageantry, that you don't lose the Spirit of God. I can rememberwhenDr. Carde.l was Pastor of Carthage St. Church in Middletown, Ohio. In 33 years they didn't have any panp and pageantry, but brother, they had the Spirit. The Spirit was present, he moved and he del t and that's far more important than putting on a floor shew on Sundaymorning for somedizzy queen that didn't get enough frxm the night before. To sore of our people, I made a statement the other night and Rev Van • Hecke brought it up last night. I talked about chandelier queens. But same of the people in this life have got the wrong priorities. Ohbrother, we've been conditioned to this, I'll grant you that, we've been conditioned to this just like any minority's been conditioned to certain reactions and reflexes. I've got a dear soul in the Church back in Miamiwhocame from a background that was just nothing but dirt, pollution and corruption. He'll tell you that again, again and again. He just can't forget it. But you knowwhat his big thing is? Buying crystal ashtrays. He spends hundreds and hundreds of dollars and he has, I'm telling you. Andyou go to his house and allover the house there are crystal ash trays. Andyou don't dare use one either, if you smoke. That's his status symbol. That says he made it. Sane of the rest of us have got: the idea that we have to have the biggest house or the biggest apartment. I tell my kids back harne, I say"Don't steal ·that chandelier piece by piece frxm the department store. If you want it, buy it." Andthat's for the windON dressers in the crowd. You'll knowwhat I mean about that. We've got the wrong priorities. We think that we have to live a lush and lavish life and we have to spend our time aping a society that is so sick and corrupted that it's pathetic. Brother, I donot need the externals that the heterosexual world's got and take up their problems too. Success is not a four bedroon house and a two car garage and three poodles. And the Kingdan of God is not the external things, but is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit and that's the most important thing -in your life. Sane of us live just for sexual ex35

periences. I'm getting to all of you, aren't I? But same of us live just for those sexual experiences. Sanething within us that says boy, if I can't be the great Casanovaof Selma Street or in Miamion Biscayne Boulevard on Virginia Beach, then I just haven't got it. I knewone indi vidual, and Howard(Wells), he lives in your city new. You've got him, God Bless you. This individual was so concerned about the numbersthat he kept a rotary file. Brother, that's a life out of balance, whenyou treat your brother or your sister as a piece of property that you use for 20 or 30 minutes or maybe all night and then kick him out of bed and say to go your way, I'm all done with you. Friends, we're off to re-evaluate our life and to quit calling ourselves the gay Church. If you want to put labels on me, there is only one label I want and that is the label "Christian". Then, if you want to put another label on me you can call me a Christian Pastor because I believe that is the most noble and highest calling that Godcan give to any individual is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I just happen to be a homosexualthat's a Christian and a Christian Pastor. I don't need any other labels on me, thank you, but Christian. We've got to begin to start seeing ourselves as Christians,as followers of Jesus Christ; not here to feed our own little egos; not here to make ourselves feel good. I think sometimes, you know, we go through some mighty rough hours. The other day somebody came to me and said they were going to leave the Church, they were not happy, things are just in such chaos. I said, "Oh you want , to leave too? I'm thinking about it." And you knowsomething, this is not going to be an easy day. I don't knewabout you here in Los Angeles, but· we've got one major denomination that everytime they get a chance, they take a swipe at us. I just say right on, honey, you hit me again because every time you hit me, five more cane to Church. But there is going to be opposition and there is going to be persecution and you'd better believe it. And it's going to take men and WOllen hohave w gotten off the side roads and into the main way of the faith that are going to last. It is going to be men and women who have came to the awareness that Godloves them and that His grace is all sufficient and that we can overcame the world. Not
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the individuals who cane to Church for .a few weeks and then, when the road gets a little bit rough and a little bit tough, they go wandering off on same side road. It'll never \-X,)rk that way! But men and w0men that are willing to walk in faith and to contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the Saints. I'm going to tell you something, I believe this roam is full of God's Saints right now. ·1 believe that there are men and WOllenere that h aren't going to have to wait for an act of martyrdom to becane a Saint and be canonized. I believe in the NewTestament connotation that there are Saints here and nCM,men and wanen who have fallen in love with Jesus Christ; men and WOllen ho have w said, "This is my life, take it, use it, fill me by thy Spirit and then send me forth into the world." And that is the man and the wananwho is going to triUmph over all opposition and all the foes and all the power that Satan can throw. I think of the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. He asked his disciples, "Whodo you say that I am?" and they came up with various answers, they were out on the side roads. They were out on the side roads, but he said, "Whodo you say that I am?" And Peter replied, "Thou art the Chrsit, the Son of the Living God." And so long as we as a people lift up this Jesus of Nazareth, who is the Son of God made flesh, whenwe lift Himup, all men will be drawn unto Him. This is our Ministry, this is our message and this is our destiny; to procl.afm the Living \-X,)rdf Jesus o Christ. In the nameof the Father and of the Son and of .~he Holy Spirit •. Amen.
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Love and concern for our fellowman has been the foundation of our entire growth. This is a strong base for us to build and it is important that at this time of increased interest and concern for our rapid growth that we not forget that "Lo v e is the only strength that make things one without destroying them.1I Let us not forget that if we as in-. dividuals fail to live up to the basic pre ce p ts 0 f be h av i 0 ran d attitude toward our fellow man that we always expect of others? the people that we meet in our everyday lives judge MCC as what they see in us as individuals. They see us as mirrors of the Church itself. Let us all truly mirror our Church and its ideals in our daily lives and bring the message to others. Why not let the rest of your friends find out about the wonderful love that God has for them? Bring someone to ·Church with you next week. Deacon Bi
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1 ill sup e r cede private passions and tastes.And that if the prying eyes of the authorities must focus at all it will be on the real crimes. It is perhaps as dangerous to try to describe the real man through his art as it is to describe him through the eyes of biographers and journalists. Most scholars, regrettably, see Wilde and his literary endeavors as the epi tome of fri vol i ty , a superficial soul with a peculiarly bright way with words: a silly, charming paradoxist.If they read him seriously, they faithfully ignore his critical works (possibly on the grounds that clever wit and original thought are incompatible, which is the usual case among scholars themselves), and read his plays and stories, which were, after all, popular entertainments. His poetry, serving to some degree as a mirror reflecting the interior man, is dismissed, unread and unappreciated (using the fine Latin sense of the word), like so much of the vain and futile exercises in artistic miming scholars are wont to indulge in for the hoped-for delectation of fellow scholars. Though some of his early poetical efforts, while at Trinity and Oxford, won him prizes, a careful reading of his poems indicates the sentiments were not addressed to the respectable, balding dons of Oxford, but to the sensitive young, particularly those whose recent loss of innocence made them capable of sharing the bittersweet lanquor of Wilde's poetical moods. His last great poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, was certainly not addressed to the comfortable, stuffed-shirts populating the English establishment, but to all feeling people open to the prospect of gazihg on human misery and cruelty, wh os e sense of justice and c omp e sstm still might grow. This poem, in essence a devastating polemic against English prisons, was devoted not so m u ch tot he ins tit uti 0 n , but tot h e
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dark emotions in the human mind capabl~of creating such places of human degradation and pain. and to the miserable atmosphere of heartlessness which prison life engenders itself. I can think of no description. poetic or in prose. which better transmits a more moving scene of hopelessness and humiliation of the spirit. Having once read this work of genius. having breathed the vapors of human despair evoked by this gentle man. one cannot help but know Oscar Wilde better:
"Some love too little, some too long, Some sell, and others buy; Some do the deed with many tears, And some without a sigh: For ea~h man kills the thing he loves, Yet ea~h man does not die."

Re v. Wi ,l.s ,Se rm~n ·(Jon-':{' on '
chapter (and I'm using the J. B. Phillips translation). Jesus is speaking to His disciples (after his death and His Resurrection and He had appeared to them and just before His Ascension) He looks at His disciples and He said, "But you are to be given power and whenthe Holy Spirit has came to you and you will be witnesses to me not only in Jerusalem, not only throughout Judea, not only in Samaria, but into the uttennost parts of the earth." And then, in the Bookof Acts in the 4th chapter, we find that the church was together in unity and in harmony. They had cane together in that upper roan and the Holy Spirit came downupon them. The New Testament tells us that they were filled with the Holy Spirit. NaYin these days when God is moving so mightily in our midsts, we knaYthat it has been the v.orking and the leading of the Holy Spirit in the lives of manyindividuals, but that's not enough; that is not enough, the full pranise of Godis to every one of His children, the pcMerof the Holy Ghost. NaY there are those whowill say that is only for the First Century Church; NO, it was not only for the Apostolic Church, but it is for the church today, the power of the Holy Spirit. Andthere are those that say it's only for certain segments of the church, it's only for the clergy, that only the clergy ought to be filled with the

Holy Spirit. That's not what the NewTestament teaches. Jesus prayed for all His disciples. In JohI), the 17th chapter, He prayed for those that were with_ Himand for every man and every t.OllaJ'l that would ever cane after them. That they might be seared by the Spirit, that they might be filled with the Holy Spirit, that they might go out into the world and change the world. I want you to go with me for a few minutes, back before Pentacost and I want you to look at this group of men. You talk about a motley crew, there wasn't a Phd, amongthem. Here was this big and I'm a hillbilly, so I can say it, here is this big hillbilly called Peter, and he was as crude and coarse as anybody ever was. I can just see that big old manwith those calloused hands, £ran having v.orked every day of his life. I can : see Jamer; and Zebedee and the others, the fdsbermen that came along and they began to follow after Jesus. I imagine that they were kind of smelly people, because they had been out in the fishnets. Andthey follaYed after Jesus for three years and they , saw every min!.cle that He performed. He told them, "You know, after I've gone away the Holy Spirit will came and what I've done, you'll be able to do, yes, that and even more!" But I can just imagine that day, that GoodFriday, when 'they got together and one of them looked at the other one and Peter probably said to Thomas, "Well, you were kind of right to be a doubter. Lookat the shape I'm in. I left everything I had to follow after this man and he's hanging on a cross." AndThanas, I love those doubters, Thanas looked up and said, "I told you so." And Luke looked up and he said, "Well I guess I'd better go back and find my profession allover again. " Andeven John the Beloved had his doubts. William Berkley said that they were fearful, faultering men. They were most upset. But after the Resurrection of Jesus, and after that day of Ascension whenHe pranised to them the Spirit of God, and on the day of Pentacost whenthe Holy Spirit came downas a dove in flaming fire, that group of men that were so faultering and fearful became flaming apostles of Gods good news that went out and changed the world for God. AndI believe that this is the destiny of our Fellowship. Menand wanenwhohave surrendered their lives to God, going out into the world and changing the v.orld.
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This past week a Unitarian pastor dropped in on our service in Tampa, and they have camp meeting up there every Sunday. He looked at Brother Carlton and he said, "Pastor Carlton, I wish that the Unitarians had the spirit that your people have got." And I've heard secular pastors in other denominations say, "I don't know what it is about Metropolitan Canrnuni y t Church, but they've got a spirit about them that we just can't understand." And I'll tell them what it is, it's the HOLY SPIRIT! It's the Holy Spirit leading, guiding and directing. But you know, some of us tonight aren't as powerful as we ought to be. Some of us are kind of fearful.LooK around you at the empty seats. Now I know that some of you were out last night, because I was out too. But I was out there and I must say, you do have sane nice scenery in Southern California. My other half is home, waiting, I hope. But you were out last night, and I'm going to ask you a question and I don't want to embarrass you or maybe I do, because Roy Pearson said, "It's the duty of the ministry, the pastor, the evangelist, to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable." I'm going to ask you a question and it may make you a bit uncomfortable. Last night when you were out there, how many people did you invite to church? I get a little bit tired of people who tell me, "Oh the church is the most wonderful thing that ever happened in my life. Oh , I don't know where I'd be without the church." And then you say, "Well who have you invited lately?" And they look at you like a bolt of lightning had struck. But I find that men and wanen who are filled by the Holy Spirit will go out into every bar, into the highways and the byways and say, "Cane on brother, there is a feast for you at MCC." Two of our girls in Florida, prayed through and found the way that they had longeQfor. They went into a bar the other night and one of the girls started telling them about the troubles that was in her life, and they looked at her and said, "Sweetheart, you know what you need, you need Jesus. You need Jesus!" And right there they prayed that girl through. Those girls were filled with the Holy Ghost and they were more concerned about evangelizing the world for Jesus Christ,then making themselves look good in the eyes of men and women. We cannot be concerned about what the world thinks of us, we already know what they think of us as a minority. They know we know where they stand in that
19

regard and they tell us that these are not the promises of God for us. They tell us that God doesn't love us. But the witness of this church and congregations across America has proven to us that God DOES love us. And the promise of the Holy Spirit is for everyone of us. For everyone in this roam this evening, the promise of the Holy Spirit is there. There's power, but you and I have to reach out and find that POWer and that's the first step in surrender. Dr. Dale Oclhamwrote, "Dead to every worldly pleasure. Dead indeed to sin am 1. But alive to Christ my Saviour. Daily to Him I'm drawing nigh. Let me see Jesus only. Jesus only. Jesus only. And the man and the woman that canes to that place in their experience when they're willing to die out to their own desire,their own self will, then they're a candidate for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. God wants to sanctify believers,but men and women first have to be willing to surrender, to yield, to say an eternal YES to God. And then you have to consecrate, you have to set yourself apart and say, "This is the destiny of God and my life," and then yield yourself that He might sanctify you, that He might fill you and that He might use you. Dr. Eo Stanley Jones, who is one of the greatest Christians that ever lived,as a young man had all the finest academic training. He went to India as a missionary and Dr. Jones will tell you that on that first tour of duty, he was a miserable failure. He flopped allover the place.His body was broken, his spirit was broken, he couldn't understand what was wrong but he came back to the United States a broken man; but he picked up the New Testament and he turned to the Book of Acts and he read about the indwelling and the infilling of the Holy Spirit and he knelt down and he prayed, "Lord, do it again. DO IT AGAIN, LORD, IX) IT TO ME ~" And E. Stanley Jones got up off his knees and went into India and he confronted Gandhi with the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and it was E. Stanley Jones who made Gandhi aware of the power of the gospel and then he said that Gandhi was a secret disciple; I don't know about that, but he took the principles that Jesus laid down as E. Stanley Jones read it to him from the New Testament. It was the gospel of Jesus Christ that set the people of India free from the imperialistic designs of Great Britian and nothing else. And the same is true today when men and wanen are enslaved and are captive in a dark sin-benighted world. Its the man and woman that is filled with the
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Holy Spirit that's going to go out and be the aid to liberation. The man and ~ that has an eternal yes to God and has said, "I will go where you want me to go and I'll be what you want me to be." I can remember-he young upstart t out of college, I looked at a friend of mine and I said that "I'll never go to Kentucky to pastor. Boy, I was in for a rude awakening when Godgot a hold of my life and I spent one year there. I spent a year aroong those people. I thought I had the answers, but Godhad to take me to a place to find a lot more and I can think back on my' experience and as I told my church the other day, I said "I once said that I'd never leave a church during a building campaign" but you know, God has ways of working. The Holy Spirit's leadership is the most important thing in your life tonight. And I don't believe that it's whoyou are living with, or what society thinks of you, the most important thing is that you yield or bend. Youwant an old fashion, heavensent revival in this church. It has to begin with you. It has to begin in the depths of your being as you surrender yourself to God. OswaldJ. &ni.thwn:>te, "Lorn, possess me I'X)W I pray. Souls are dying everyday. Help me lead them in Thy way. With Thy Spirit fill me." This is the will of God, even your sanctification. And even nowGod would fill you with the power, the porNE!r of the Holy Spirit if you're only willing to yield and to say YESto Him. Bowyour heads. Eyes are closed ,heads are down. And even now the Holy Spirit of God is speaking to your heart. You're fear-ful. You're faultering. Youwant to becane a flaming apostle of the good news of God, and as our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed I want to ask you to do one thing. Lift up your hand and . say "Pastor Wilson, tonight, pray for me, I need the Holy Spirit. Yes, others ,others, yes, yes. Yes, God bless you. God bless you. We're not even going to stand and sing a song of invitation tonight. There are so manyof you here that have lifted your hands and awaits for you the power of God. Rise up out of your seats and very quietly start rroving tavard that altar. Right noe, Cane on. Don't wait for sanebody else. Cane on! Right now! Maybe you just want to turn and kneel right there in your seat. God's speaking. God's moving! Listen brother, listen sister. Listen to the call of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Cane! Cane! "It is not by might nor by power, but by Thy Spirit" sayeth the Lorn of Hosts. That's the way to victory and while you're here at this altar t let go and let God fill you. Let's pray together brothers and sisters. Father, we thank you for the prxmi.se of Thy Holy Spirit, and hear these men and wanenwho have cane to yield themselves to You, that they might be filled to everflowing. Sanctify them. Sanctify them by Thy Spirit. Oh, even now, Holy Spirit of God come and dwell in every heart and t life that's around this altar. Set these men and these waren apart; that they might go forth like a mighty army. Let the fires of Pentacost begin to burn here. Set us on fire! Not that we can make Metropolitan Carmuni Church the largest ty demonination in America, but that we can bring men to the kno\.r.71edge God is love. That God that loves us. Again, Our Father, fill, fill, each heart and each life with Thy Spirit. Cane, Oh Holy Spirit of God. cane. Cane, and make our hearts Thy abiding place.: For in hte nameof Jesus and to His glory we pray. Amenand Amen.

Rev.

Wells

Se~mo~

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right~ave you t~ claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you anything exceptional?Even the pagans do that, do they not? You must therefore be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect." Here ends the reading of the Holy Scripture. Let us pray.Our Gracious Heavenly Father, as we prepare our hearts to be sensitive to Your presence, we ask that you let us really dwell on these words and search out ways that we can apply that boundless ~isdom that is in them. These things we ask in Christ's name and for His sake we pray. Amen. Last night Rev. Brad Wilson told us about the very important fact that the peace in wisdom that characterizes the Holy Spirit is held from no one, if a person really desires to be touched by God's presence. And tonight I want to think a few moments, about the attitudinal prerequisities for making ourselves sensitive to God moving in our lives and knocking at our souls. I was think.Con t: next pag,e 20
t

ing about this last night as I went to bed. I was thinking how I could adequately describe this spiritual attitude I speak of, this spiritual sense, this attitude, this prerequisite for God coming into our lives. And something very peculiar happened last night! In the middle of the night I woke up and I was aware of a dream that I was having, at the time I woke up.And when I think about it, I am sure it was God talking to me. I pride myself on being a pretty analytical person; Troy knows what I mean. God doesn't seem to speak to me in w ay s that H e s pea k s to, I g ue ss , a lot of other people and dreams are one of the ways He just doesn't speak to me. But He did last night, I am absolutely sure of it. It was one of these things that I like to think about and dwell on; not for just 24 hours, like I've been dOing, but for a long, long time. It's one of t~ese things you kind of want to Slt ln your mind, you want to look at it at different angles,'cause it was so fantastically wonderful and awe inspiring, so if I don't give an adequate description of it or what I feel it means, then please bear with me. It's something I don't think I can comprehend in its entirety in 24 hours, but I want to share it with you in my own inadequate way. I was dreaming about an enclosure and in th is en c 10 sure we re a lot 0 f people. These people were not very imposinga they were thin and looked like they had been going without food a lot, they looked like they were tired, they also looked very frightened. And, as I gazed on this scene, some officials of some sort and I couldn't tell in what era of history this was, it could have been today or it could have been 2000 yrs. ago. Two officials walked in and dragged one of the persons out and th rew him in an arena. In this arena was a big burly man, he must have been 7 feet tall and portions of his body matched his height. He was a giant! Around this arena, this small arena. were thousands of bleachers and many people sat in these bleachers and they were lookinq down in the arena. The captive was told that he had to fight for his life barehanded against this huge, huge man;
21

and needless to say. the captive's f ran tic e f for ts t 0 de fen d· him s elf were to no avail, because this gi ant merely played with the person, holding him off, teasing him, and finally the frightened captive collapsed. He was physically exhausted,his body was uncontrolled and he was sobbing. The giant gently picked up this person and with a flick of his wrist he b r 0 ke h is n e ck , We 1 1, the pe 0 p 1e who were captives were rather frightened about this and they were asking, "What can we do? What can we do? There's so many of them. That person can kill each and everyone of us. We don't have a chance." So one of the members of the group offered a plan and he said, "Well. we won't be able to save all of us but some of us might be spared, depending on how those of us who wi 1 1 die meet our impending deaths. Now listen, those people want us to fight. They want us to react against them in hate and fear. They want us to react on their own terms. They assume"that we are going to be more concerned with our own individual selves than our group; so.if any of us are to survive we're going to have to put the welfare of our entire group before the welfare of our own individual selves and this is what we are going to have to do. He're going to have to not fight. ###BOT_TEXT###lt;/e're going to have to actuaTry, one at a time. walk in there, the person who is chosen to die; he's going to have to walk up to his executioner and he's going to have to kiss his hand and he's going to have to offer his neck to him. If enough of uS do it the giant and spectators will realize that this game of murder has come to an end, because they don't kn ow how to cope with love. Now some of our lives will be spared,if we're lucky perhaps our oppressors will realize the evil of their ways as they witness the strength of love that we have for one an other. "Well the group agreed to do this. They agreed to the idea of self-sacrifice for survival. The next victim was taken out and he was th r 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/ n in tot his are n a wit h this big burly guy. and the person, at least the first time he walked in there, he w a s afraid and he fell to the ground and cowered; the crowd yelled and screamed and applauded.
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Then all of a sudden it hushed as this little bitty man stood up and he smiled and walked over and kissed th e h and 0 f th e g i an t , Th e big bur 1y man recoi led in shock and there was a look of amazement on his face and he wondered, "What was this skinny 'litt1e runt trying to do?" Then the captive fell to his knees and he bent his head, offering his neck to .his m u r de re r • Th e crow d s tar te d to hoo and the giant looked around at the crowd, they were an angry crowd, and finally he went over to the little man and shoved him to the ground and said, "Get up! t~hat are v o u trving to do? Get up and fight like a man." The victim looked up at him and he smiled at him and said, "I don't have to because I'm not afraid anymore.May God forgive you for what you are about to do to me because I have already forgiven you." And that was the last thing that little man said because the heel of the giant came down and crushed his throat. Time and time again captives· were 1 e d 0 ut an d th ey did th e s ame th in g and the giant started to become very annoyed and started reacting in even more irrational ways in order to conjure up some fear and hate; he would torture his victims before he killed them. Then all of a sudden the boos that were coming from the crowd ~urned into cheers,as quickly as a spark runs through dry grass, because all of a sudden the people were starting to note this strategy that was being used and their derision turned into unbounded respect for these people because they realized it took a great deal of courage not to fight, not to respond in an emotional way to being killed in a very ignominious type of manner. The giant heard these cries as the next victim was led out and the next victim was the person who suggested the plan in the first place. The giant's legs started to tremble and he started to shake allover as he listened to the cheers of the crowd for those little ..bitty captives who were being killed, and finally he fell to the ground and said, "I can't go on! I can't go on! What I'm do i n q is somehow all wrong. I've thoughtlessly destroyed life. I've thoughtlessly destroyed

my own life by responding to what the crowd wants me to do,and I don't know how to make it up. I.don't deserve any mercy. Can there really be any forgiveness for me?" And the person was crying and he'd realized for the first time in his life what sin was a 11 about, because he was ri gl1t in the middle of it there, and love had touched him and love had conquered. But the intended victim walked over to this huge man and he embraced l1im and he said, "You are already forgiven because you have demonstrated your willingness to give yourself up to the Dower of love. the power of Jesus Christ." About that time I woke up. I've never had a dream like this before and I don't remember dreams very well, but thi s one I remembered in every detail; it was a nightmare and at the same time it was the most fantastic thing,it was just unbelievable, and I thought, "Hell, I'll forget ab o u t it in the morning" but I didn't forget about it this morning. It was still there in the same clarity and that's wh en I started to think "well, maybe God is talking to me. " As you can see there is a lot of analogy in this dream. What does the man, the big burly man, represent? Does he represent sin or does he represent you and I before Christ came into our lives? What does all the spectators represent? Do they represent the world or do they represent what the world would have us do? And what do the victims represent? Do they represent you and I as Christians having to stand up to the oppression that we have to stand up to as Christian homosexuals. Does it represent Christ? I hope you think about it tonight. I hope you find your own answer to this dream. I know I'll never forget it. So right now I'd like to ask this question of you. How many persons in this dream can you identify with? How many of us, during at least one part of our lives, find identity with the murder as we go crashing through 1 i fe hurting ourselves, in the course of hurting others by being on ego trips, by being pretentious, by being selfish and insensitive to the needs of othCon't next page

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er people until Christ came into our lives. And how many of us can identify with the people in the crowd urging an individual to respond to the whims of the world rather than to the will of God with that individual's life. How many of us can identify with the captives? People who. in times of personal challenge. put aside petty grievances. differences and misunderstandings and responded our of pure Christian love and unbounded faith and in so doing emerged victorious over seemingly overwhelming odds. I would like to suggest to you just one interpretation. It's very hard for me not to see the captives as members of the homosexual community. and r~etropolitan Community Church in particular today. You know. for 2000 years we've been under the yoke of oppression.We have been ghettoized. We have been ghettoized by a stereotype that is just as confining as any physical confining area we could suffer thru. We have been looking out for ourselves as individuals, and for those individuals that have been pulled out of the ghetto by being caught in a bar. by pOlice.or being fired from their jobs or being given up by their families. about the only thing we can conjure up for them is that. "BOY. I'm sure glad that it wasn't me." And we were worrying about when we were going to be dragged out of our ghetto. that twilight half-existence that we lived. that secret way we lived filled with guilt and fear and hate. And then I see Metropolitan Community Church. and that individual who suggested a plan. a plan that took great courage and spiritual fortitude. Metropolitan Community Church. a Church that sai d , "Hell let's suffer together! Let's show we are not afraid anymore and that there is nothing they can do to hurt us. Let's show that love does conquer all." So what did we do? We started dOing something that our oppressors, and I use oppressors in a very loving sense. I don't refer to any indivi duals. I do not refer to h uman beings, I'm referring to a stereotype. Our oppressors said that, "Homosexuals don't have the moral c apacity and fortitude for worshipping
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God because they don't love, they do not know the meaning of the word love, they only lust." Well we shot that down pretty quick didn't we? They said, "Well, they just can't get it together. All they care about is running around and saddling up to some nice warm body every night and not worrying about what their name is. They wouldn't have the capacity to form a Church." Well, I think there are 20 or so Churches and missions across the nation in about two years now, isn't it? That takes a little bit of organization and spirit. They said, "Well. God isn't going to give them the Holy Spirit.because they're unredeemable; they have to change. They have to do it our way, God's not going to bring His blessings on them." Well. is there a person here who believes that tonight? (No) We shot that down. And we grew and grew because we quit listening to what people said we couldn't do and we just did what God said we should do. and a few of uS have been dragged out. A few of us have lost our jobs. A few of us have been given up by our families. A few of us have gotten a raw deal from the establishment. But you know. after we come out of it. we're just that much more powerful. aren't we? Because it didn't hurt nearly as much as we thought it would and we overcame and we loved the people who are messed uP. who don't have it together like we do. And we feel sorry for them. And a person who acts in a paranoid way. you know, I just can shed tears for them. I felt. my goodness. I wish there was some way I could reach them for their own sake. because I'm free. You know. I feel that we definitely have a great commission here. I sincerely feel that God is using the homosexual in a very special way. You know.God takes the lowest and He makes him the highest. He always works this way. He takes the weakest and He makes him the strongest. because when He shows He can do that then people say."Well, that is a very powerful God, isn' t it? And you know something else. we are making. Satan very uptight; because we've had a very special place in his heart. You know. he thrives
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on despair, and fear, and loneliness and a lack of sense of direction,and boy, we sure gave him a great deal of it~ didn't we, for the last 2000 years. All of a sudden we're standing on our hind feet and he's getting scared. You know there's not m u ch 0 fan y th in gin the w 0 r 1d that I can think of that's more frightening than a homosexual that has self respect. And you know, when a person hears the word "homosexual" he thinks of a certain way, he has something in his mind, you know, and then say "Christian" and he has a certain thing in his mind,and you say"Christian Homosexual" and it just blows his mind apart. And then\ you sock it to him when his defenses are down, and this is the way you get to pe cp 1e , an d you know th e re 's a lot 0 f nice people whose minds we've blown. Their whole little world is just shattered before them, and then when there's love you pick up the pieces and together we build a bigger, better world for them. A world in which they can really see how fantastic~l1y large and great and overpowerlng God is. His love and His grace and His wisdom and His concern, He loves everybody. . Getting back to Satan. I had a ~ather liberal background when lt comes to theology and I don't worry about Satan too much. I was always ve ry po sit ive • You know, we' ve got to talk about love and we don't have to worry about evil. Well, there is evi 1, and he moves in ways that you wouldn't even suspect. When we let our guard down he moves in.He sticks complacency in there. He sticks apathy. He sticks ego trips. He sticks an unwillingness to forgive and what does all this come out to be, dissension. It all comes out as a sense of lack of direction, you've lost something. In the fleeting moments of awareness we become aware that something has gone out of our lives, and things do not fit together like they used to.You know, when we first came to an awareness and a need for .. Christ, we asked Him to come into our lives. you know, all the pieces started to fit together. Have you ever had that experience? Then when we quit searching for God, and find out what He wants us to do, and ex-

periencing all those surprises He has for us, everything seems to float apart in a thousand different directions and then Satan moves in. We feel so lonely inside, you know, and he moves in and he moves in on a congregational level and these little things that are not too much, that we think can't hurt much if we just cheat a little this time; if I love all my neighbors except that queen that did me dirty last week, then I'll be able to hold on to the Lord. Hell, it doesn't work that way. And I just wonder what those people in that stockade would have done if a feN of them had said, "Well, I go along with this but I'm not going to forgive this so-and-so over here because he hurt me, he hurt my feelings last week." All of them would have died. Or how about that individual in that stockade that said,"Well I'll go along with this idea of sacrificing myself for the people, but I won't sacrifice myself for that person over there because I'm better than he is and I shouldn't have to die for him." All of them would have died. Or how about that person who's in every congregation who says we can't do this and this and this because there are too many prOblems, there's too many ramifications and there's too many legalistic things we have to think about so we're going to have to sit back and kind of thingk about it before we can do it. Well they would have been sitting there when they dragged the 1 ast person out of the stockade. I wonder how many people we have like that in our congregation here tonight.People who, I think, are definitely Christians but who have gotten mixed up in this thing of looking for ways of not responding to God's will for their lives.How many of us can think right now of a person who we'd rather not forgive because it feels so good not to forgive them and to feel that '1urt, that choked up feeling inside of us? Now, think of a person you recently, but somebody a long time ago. Think about that person you don't think too much of. Who you feel is just a little bit lower than you. Think about what you're here for at Metropolitan Community Church. To hear a sermon, to drink coffee or to
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work in any and every way you can to reach out to the person three blocks away whose having problems. If you can identify with the two negative attitudes then we need a spiritual renewal.and that's what you're here for tonight. God has promised each and everyone of us that if we want Him to move in our lives, to fill us with that peace that transcends all understanding and to really feel that we can jump out of these seats and say, "God's with me and nothing can stop me and I know where I'm going to go because He's going to point the way."If that's the way you want to feel tonight, then you're going to have to quit thinking of negative things. You're going to have to quit thinking about the prQb1ems that you have. You're going to have to quit thinking about the people who have offended you. You're going to have to say, "Buz z off. Satan, I don't need you anymc re ;" I just want God to move in my life. I want to rededicate myself to God thru Christ and we're going to have to approach God with a child-like faith and say, "t.o rc protect us from those temptations that separate us from you.Protect us from complacency, indifference, apathy, ego-trips and blind pride that would prevent this Church from what it has to do and fill us, Lord, with Your spiri"t. Keep us on the true path and don't let us lose sight of the great commission that You have given uS as Christian Homosexuals. Keep us clear of emotional trivialities. Keep our heads clear. Keep our hearts strong and keep our fai th unfettered by doubt and fear because we don't have the time or the Iu xu r y for anything e l se ;" Let us pray. Our Gracious Heavenly Father, You've promised us Your spirit. You've promised to lift us up out of our despair and loneliness that many of us are in right now. You've promised to kick us off our perch of complacency and apathy and indifferences of the world and the cares of the concerns for the person next door to us, because we are so hung up on our ego trips; and we ask for these things and we wonder why You don't give it to us. We wonder why we do dirty things to the person
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next to us. We wonder why You don't touch our lives and we're boiling over with hate and concern about our own little petty things. So our Gracious Heavenly Father we ask You to knock us off our pedestal, break us up real good and pick up those pieces down there and put us up a little bit higher, a little bit wiser, with a little bit more love and we'll be sure to give You the honor, the glory, and the praise as befitting Your name, in Christ's name and for His sake we pray. Amen.
REV.BRAD WILSON'SERMON S MCC-lA JULy16, 1971 I whispered to Troy and to Howaro over here, we oopyright our rna'ter'Lal,also. If you use any of it,we get the royalties - okay? Fine, that settles that question. John, don't you go telling where I got it fram whentheir copyright ran out. I've enjoyed the fellowship of these past days,and in the horneof John and his better-half I enjoyed the fellowship there. I met Bowardlast summer,when Bill and I were in San Francisoo, but we were all so busy rurming around we really never got to knoweach other. I can say that we formed a very warmfriendship in these last coupl€ of days and I trust, that before long the Elders of the Fellowship will decide that they need to call all of the pastors together to go off someplace and just have a retreat by ouselves, so we can get to know each other and kind of pick uor minds apart; pray together to find exactly what God has in store for us as a people in these caning days. If I asked you what the greates disease in the world was, the greates killer in the world, what would you say? Loneliness! Loneliness is the greatest killer. Doctor-T. M. Ling, who is an English psychiatrist, said exactly that. After years of clinical counseling, and working with individuals, he found that loneliness was responsible for-the great number,vast number, of suicides far above any other reason that was given. Anddid you knowthat the city of Los Angeles has the second highest rate of suicides than any city in the United States. The city of Miami, Florida has the third highest; and you know, they say to me•. "Well, in Con l i: n e xt: page

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Peter's courage is proven again and again. After almost being killed as a boy and seeing those hundreds of crucified men, he still trys to defend Jesus. It is true he runs away, but his courage wins out over his fear and he follows the arresting party. He again runs from the courtyard of the high priest, but this is because he knew he couldn't help at all if he were arrested too. True it didn't help, but he couldn't know that then. And what about the courage it took to go to the crucificxion? I have never seen anything like that (as he had) and I don't think I have the courage to deliberately go to one. "Upon this Rock", yes Jesus knew that a firm foundation was needed, not just to start a church, but so it could survive.Peter was that foundation.He was not interested in glory or even recognition as a leader. He just wanted to do what he had been told to do, give others the faith he had, show others the Way. However, he certainly could speak up when he wanted to as when he was before the high priest Caiaphas and the Priestly Council as a prisoner (the same small part of the Sanhedrin who had condemned Jesus). Here he just plainly told them that they had crucified the Son of God. The Church had problems right from the start. Many of the Jews who were converted came from other countries and were not as strict in their observing the Law, had a problem keeping the Church together as he believed the liberals were correct. Right from the start he had this conflict within himself,as well as within the Church.When the persecutions started, he deliberately got himself and John arrested by the Sanhedrin. They were released after Rabban Gamaliel told the counci 1, "Now I say to you let these men alone.For if this work be of men, it will come to naught. But if it should be of God, you cannot overthrow it, lest you are found to fight even against God". This was a great victory for the young church and helped them to get many more converts. And this in turn made Caiaphas and Saul step up their persecutions.

There has been much said about the conflict between Peter and Pa~l. But was there any real conflict? Peter had a monumental job, right from the very start, in trying to keep the very orthodox and the more liberal from the Dispersion together in one church. As for Peter disagreeing with Paul, did he? He never answered Paul in Antoich, when Paul publicly shamed him. Could it be that he did not answer Paul because he believed Paul was right? Dr. Slaughter believes this is so and does not show them in any real conflict at all~ Peter lived to be, for those days, quite an old man.Dr.Slaughter agrees with Dr. Oscar Cullman, who is perhaps the foremost authority on Peter, that Peter was also crucified. Not being an authority on the subject, I do not know if it happened as Dr. Slaughter has it happen or not, but it makes a fitting, although a rather sad, ending for the book. It is really not supposed to be sad, I suppose, but how can a crucifision be anything but sad?

Re u s w i l.e on Se rmon July l6 con l t: Miamiyou've got all of those old people that are really frustrated, they're sick and they're broken down. They have no reason to go on and so they go up in those beautiful high-rise apartments they have in MiamiBeach and they jump out the windows, and that's whyyou have the highest suicide rate. "Well, I was able to compile same statistics, while working in a hospital and I found that the vast majori ty of suicieds in the city of Miamiwere in the age group of 20 to 30, not 50, 60, 70 or 80; but 20 to 30. Andwe, in the gay corrrnuni , have the highest rate of ty suicides than any group in the world. And I'll tell you, it's really sanething when you see one of your ownpeople brought into a hospital in a total coma, and see them literally drown in the flem of their ownlungs, because they overdosed themselves because life had becane too unbearable to live. The loneliness that we know. This past week Ken said not to tell he's been doing it, but he's not here so I'll tell you. Ken's been taking me out every evening to the bars in this city and I guess somebody is going to say, "Well, Brad Wilson sure does like to look Con't next page

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around." Well sweetheart, you've got sane pretty nice scenery out here and I like to look. But I'll tell you this, I've never seen more lonely people in my life than I've seen in the bars in the city of Los Angeles and in the greater Los Angeles region. I've seen these guys and I know, sweetheart, that they've spent hours and hours primping, canbing their hair, making themselves look beautiful; putting on those tight,white levis to go standing in that bar asa lonely person and they will go home just as lonely as they were when they walked in the doorx,And sane cf us whoname the name of Christ and say that we're Christians, we certainly don't help the situation any, because we look at the beautiful body and that handsome face and we say,"Oh boy, I've got to have that", and you have it alright. Youhave it for one night and never bOtne~ Imaouttne real dept 1 of tliit humanbe:We putavery oWprICe' on huiilan II e and humanlove in the gay society. Welook at one another and we say, "Ohgee whiz, what a score!" Well brother, let me tell you, I'm more than ~~. I'm more than ~ mind.I' ffA""":rO'!:'A ~ every man and every WOllenin this roan and in this world is a total person and has the right to happiness.A right to knowother things than loneliness. The despair! The sadness! I knowthat Troy Perry, HowardWells,John Hose and I can sit here for hours and hours and hours and tell you cases of young men and wamen that we've delt with that are lonely, lonely; longing for someone to love them. I get so tired of those words,I love you. Weuse to have a friend back in Miamiand Bobused to do a number, he'd came in and say, "I'm in love with him, what's his name." And that's just exactly the way it was;it would last for an hour or a day or a week and he loved them, but he never got to really knowthem. l:3ob died last year, in a hospital, a lonely person himself with no one to care for him except Bill and I. His ownfamily rej ected him. He was dying, I called his mother and said, "Wouldyou take Bob?" and she said, "Yes, I'll take him.", and then the day he was to get on the plane to fly hometo Witchita, she called up to say,"I don't want him." A dying man, with dying needs, a longing heart, that all his life had sought for love and understanding and I always say to Bill "ThankGod that we were there." Wehad the privilege of reaching out to Bob and saying to Bob,"We love you". Not as a sexual toy, but as a person lovedm God:27

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A few years ago, in this country , there broke out an epidemic of transistor radios. Rememberhose transistor sistors t that used to walk downthe street with a radio pinned against their ear, remember them? Well, a group of psychologists were doing same surveys and compiled same statistics about those people and do you knowwhat the biggest thing in their life was? They were lonely and they liked to hear same racket so they felt like they belonged. Lone.l.inesa Lone.lneas l Sane of l i you have testified that the church has became a great part of your life and it's caused the loneliness to go away. Well let me tell you samething sweetheart, from the looks of these pews tonight and these empty seats, you can either yell ouch or amen. Sameof you don't really believe that Christ is the answer or you'd have every seat in this auditorim filled. You'd go out to that lonely brother and that lonely sister, but you say, "Ohwell, if I ask them to go to church they're going to say that I'm cruising them". Get your mind up on Jesus Christ! If you are . risen with Christ set your mind on the heavenly things and stop living at a gut level! Back in Miami I walked up and I put my anmaround one of the boys in the chruch and someonesaid, "Oh look, Brad's cruising so-and-so", And I just said, "Brother your minds in the gutter." Because I love that person as a pastor, and I love that person because he's my brother, and not because he's a sexual object to be played with and then cast aside and thrown down. Andyou knowwhat happens with a lot of us whenwe pick up a number, or we try to pick up a number and we say we are Christian. This is not my outline, I'm trying to let the spirit take hold, alright. Alright? Sameof us go along and we pick up a number and he just isn't what we think he ought to be and brother we just can' t wait to stomp him downin the dust. Wesay we're Christian and I'm going to tell you something, I'm a little bit concerned about church playing. This week I heard this one say that ones on an ego trip, and another say that ones on an ego trip, and they talk about this and they talk about that. If you gossiped to outsiders like I've heard gossip this week, no wonder you've got empty seats here tonight.Still your tongues! NObody's yelling Amen? Cause you knowit's true. I've quit preaching and gone to meddling. But I'm telling you brother, I'm telling you that the most im:portant person that Con i t: next page

we can reach, that we can guide that per-son to, is the person of Jesus Christ. We sit back and we sing,Christ for me,Christ fo~ me. It's not just for me,but for the world that He died. For every man and every wanan in all the world, whether they are straight or gay, black or white, rich or poor. Back homein the church in Miami whenwe got started, sanebody came to me and said, "Well, we want a social church so we can have all the better people~ Beloved, there's no such thing in the world, to the outside world as a good homosexual. Andwe don't have blue-bloods in the gay world, nowwe've got chandalier queens; I call them salad queens.Youk:rx>w, they set them big tables, they invite you over to their house when they have to get out the crystal t and if they don't have crystal, they'll buy plastic. Might hurt Tam's business,but they go along and they might worry about which fork you eat your salad with. Brother I want you to realize that there's gay kids out in Los Angeles tonight that don"t have a salad to eat. They don't have soup to eat and they do not have peanut better and jelly to eat. They are out there hungry and you sit back canplacent. You sit back complacently and smugly. You sing the songs of the church and you pat yourself on the back and tell yourself howpious you are.It's just like the Pharisee's and the Sadducee's in the days of Jesus. Whatwe need to do is reevaluate our whole life style. There's far more in life than having that crystal chandalier or driving that big car, or going out and getting yourself so deep in debt that you'll never get out, just to keep up with same dizzy queen that lives downthe block.The need within the chun:::h today is to realize that we cannot play church any longer. They cane to me and they say. "Oh I like ponp and ceremony," Bob's been to Miami and he can tell you we have more panp and ceremony than Carter had liver pills. A Russian Orthodox Associate Pastor,you knowwe got pomp and ceremony, but we go parading up and downthose aisles. But the prayer in my heart is God just won't let it be pomp and ceremony, Let there be a real burning downin the depths of the being of every man and every wanan that is within Me"tn)poli tan Cannuniy Church to demonstrate t the love of God and to heal the loneliness that's in our world. To reach out and say to these people, "Godloves you. Youbelong to God. Godpurchased your salvation on Calvery. Youbelong to Him." We

say, "Well, we ought to do it this way and that way and we oughtn't to have all of those fine things. Wemovedinto a beautiful church and whenwe got in that church we found a lot of our spiritual life just dissipated. We've been meeting, of all places, in the Odd Fellows Hall lately. That's right! And it may not be beautiful and it may not have a lot of stained glass but I'll tell you there's a new spirit in the hearts of the people in Miami. A new sense of we thought we had it made, but we're not as big as we thought we were and we got to start out all over again. Godwarrts to break us, I'm sure of this. He wants to break us up so he can put us back together again like we ought to be. There's a story they tell about an old Indian.The missionaries came and they preached to him and first thing he did was bring his horse. He loved that horse. Lovedthat horse even more than a squaw, and the missionary looked at him and said, "No, Goddoesn't want your horse, take him back. " And so he went out and he got the furs that he had trapped the last season and he brought them in and he laid them in front of the missionary and said he wanted to give them to God. And the missionary said, "No, Goddoesn't want your furs, take them back".And then,he brought his bowand his arrows, his mosr prized possessions. With that bowand arrows,he could hunt. He could provide food for his family and the skins they needed. He laid it downat the altar and the missionary looked at him and said, "No, Goddoesn't want your bow and arrow." And then the Indian got the message and he laid himself at the altar. And that's what God wanted. There are sane of us that have brought our worldly possessions and said, "I'm willing to give up this." But what Godwants out of us tonight is our lives, our beings, our total soul. Sameof you say, "Well, I'd do it, but I'm afraid.I'm afraid that I'll be alone then." But listen to the words of Jesus, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the ends of the earth. " And if you want to begin to live tonight, if you want an end to the loneliness that's in your life, and if you want to help heal the loneliness that is in our world, then give yourself to Jesus Christ. You'll never, never be alone any nore , He'll go with you and He'll guide you and He'll keep you. NowI realize that this has not been a polished hamolytically correct sermon for. those of you
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in the seminary, but I'm telling you this out of the depths of my heart. I too am one that believes that God is raising up a people; a people that will-go out and change the course of hi.s'tory just like the Apostolic Church of the first century. .And brother, that group of people isn't going to be found in the first church of the hypocrits or the second church of the Pharisees. Godhas already drawn His Spirit from the major denominations in this country and they just haven't woke up to it yet; they're still asleep. But God's packed His bags and roved out because they had other priorities and I'm telling you that Godwants.to use us as a people, but we've got to get the right priorities in life and we've got to be determined to live and love and serve God above all else and to love our brothers. If you, right now, oould let your minds go out that door and into the city, you would begin to hear the cry, "Oh God. I'm lonely." .And only you and I can reach these people. Will you let Godtake control? NowI believe that I'm going to ask you to do sanething. Sane of you real Iy want that old deep experience in your life, but do not knowwhy it's not there; because you've been bikkering amongyourselves. Can you say Amen ouch? You've or been talking about one another and God's held back His blessing for that very reason. That very reason! I think Howard kind of hit it last night; we're going to have to say to our brothers, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry.".And to our sisters, I'm sorry. I ask you to forgive me before God." Then Godwill pour out on this church the revival that you desperately want. Tonight, not for youn sake alone, but for the sake of the whole world, settle with your brother. Settle with your sister and then settle with God that He might be able to work in your midst e . Let us pray. Our Father, even row we think of Toomy he came to us as a little boy of as five and he crawled upon my lap and he said, "Gee daddy, I'm lonely." .And God,if a tyke of five knows loneliness, howmuch nore can that fellow or that girl at 30 know. How hungry can a heart be - and yet, we've set back and said we believe. We believe that Christ is the answer. Webelieve! Lord help us to share, now, what we believe. Help us to fall in love with Youand fall in love with each other.That we can go out and love a wot'ld that seems 29

so unlovable t that we might be agents of reconciliation in this day. For in the nameof Jesus and to his glory, we pray. Amen and Amen.

REV. HOWARD WELLS' JULY 17. 1971

SERMON

AT MCC-LA

During the time of Jesus, the Jewish Nation based its national ethical code on a body of civil and religious laws called the Talmud. If a Jew studiously followed the voluminous dictates of the Talmud. the Jewish Religious Leaders assured him that he was leading a life that was pleasing to God. . But there were some serious.fatal flaws in this moral code; the most important was that.because the Talmud was set, limited. and carefully defined;it could not adequately respond to all of the situations human beings find themselves in. As a consequence. individuals often found themselves in situations in which strict application of the Talmud would not result in a satisfactory solution to their predicament. Because of the inadequacy of the Ta1mud,peop1e would often react to situations in irresponsib1e,egotistica1, irrational ways. Another important f1 aw in the Talmud was the popularly held notion that because the Jewish religious leaders were the interpreters and arbitrators of the Jewish Law, they felt that they were above the Law, and unfortunate1y,they acted accordingly. The Law was not inherently evil or superficial; it was just inadequate because of its inherent limitedness. And because of a set of laws limitedness, s~ciety tends to force people into preconceived catagorizations in order that the laws will always be applicable and it also conditions individuals to avoid situations in which the laws do not realistically apply. Christ freed all men of the shackles of law when he substituted the dictates of the Holy Spirit for law. Paul points this fact out in Romans 7:6 "We are free to serve God, not in the old obedience to the letter of th e Law. but in anew way, in th e Spirit."
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Freedom - what does that word mean to the Christian? What is Christian freedom? Christian freedom is a state of mind and grace whereby an individual can find spiritual strength and guidance tailored to meet his specific needs. With Christian freedom, one has a perfect, infallible guideline to follow in ones relationship with God, society and oneself - brotherly love, or "agape" if you prefer •. Brotherly love is an infinitely wonderful freedom to utilize, but like every other freedom, brotherly love has associated responsibilities; since the freedom of brotherly love is boundless, the scope of Christian responsibility is infinite. How many times have each of us hidden ~ehind the legalistic morality guiding our society down its stumbling way in order to avoid meeting the responsibilities of brotherly love? We have all heard stories of individuals being attacked and robbed in public places without anyone assisting the victim. We have all passed drunks in the street,and pretended that we didn't see them. I'm sure that all of us can list personal examples how we have used legalism to cop out on our call to personal responsibility.We are all plagued by the escapism that is inherent in legalistic morality. Law may be indeed a necessary feature of a community and can even be constructive. But when the motive of the 1aw 0 b se r v e r is to hid e b eh in d the letter of the law in order to escape the higher demands of its spirit, or to except the complexities of responsible decision, that is cheap legalism. Today, there is a scarcity of mature individuals in our society willing to face up to the Christian ethic of brotherly love. The AngloA me ri can p rin cip 1e is" M in d you r ow n business"; the law limits your obligation; you are responsible only for what you do: NOT FOR WHAT YOU SHOULD OR COUL D HAvt DONE AS A CH RI STIAN. The motive and purpose behind law, however hidden it might be, is to minimize obligation, to make it clear exactly how much you must do and no more. Such an attitude gives rise to absolute negatives and affirmatives in human relations in or~

der to avoid the complexities of realistic human situations and when this happens, the sin of catagorization rears its ugly head. Albert Schweitzer is quite right to say that "the good conscience is an invention of the de v i l " and such a perverted good conscience is the child of legalized morality. This situation reminds me of the legend of the Grand Inquisitor in Dostoevsky's novel liThe Brothers Karamozovll• It is Ivan's story to Alyosha about the terrible burden of personal freedom. Christ returned to earth, and the Spanish Inquisitor, recognizing Him in the crowd watching a religious procession, had Him arrested at once. In the dead of night he visited Christ in secret, embarrassed trying to explain ·that most people do not want freedom, they want security. If you really love people, he argued, you make them happy, not free.Freedom is danger, openness. They want law, not responsibility; they want the neurotic comfort of rules, not the spiritual open places of decision-making. They prefer absolutes to relativities. The Christ, he says, must not come back to start again all of that old business about freedom and grace and commi tment and personal responsibility. Let things be, just let the law handle them. Let Him please go away. Psychologically, the Inquisitor's plea is suited to many people. But there are many that it does not fit - some of the exceptions are the sincere Christian homosexual who has come to an understanding with God. People are, in any case, going to have to grow up into the Christian ethic of Brotherly Love, no doubt of it. The Christian is called to be mature, to live by grace and freedom, to respond to life in an affirmative manner, to be responsible. Love refuses to put a ceiling or floor on concern for the neighbor. Love, unlike law, sets no carefully calculated limits on personal obligation; it seeks the greatest good in every situation. It maximizes or optimizes obligation and responsibility. As homosexuals, we are intimately acquainted with the sordid, dehumanizing consequences of legalized morality. This is evidenced by the fact
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that so many people can persecute us with a clear conscience because "Th e Bible says that ••• 11 or liThe law says that •••• 11 A society with an· unders tan din g 0 f h uman sex u a 1i ty tha t could best be described as embryonic, has relegated us to the status of IIthingsll and has given us the tacit freedoms of the bars and the baths and little else. As homosexuals our freedoms have been limited as evidenced by the fact that society has limited our moral responsibilities; we are not allowed to assume the responsibilities of marriage, we are not allowed to serve our country in the armed forces, we are not allowed the responsibilities of child rearing. This situation reinforces the fact that personal freedom is directly proportional to personal responsibility. And if we are not allowed to assume moral responsibility even tho we might be qualified to do so, we will always be treated by society as IIthingsll. We have been pushed down into a moral gutter, and we wi 11 allow ourselves to ~tay there until we pick up our own selves and start God's approval. Until we are truly willing to accept our responsibilities to God and to ourselves, we will never be free of the dehumanizing chains of social oppression. At present, we find ours~lves engaged in the awesome task of establishing guidelines of personal conduct for the homosexual. The ramifications of this undertaking are enormous - if the guidelines that we establish help the homosexual to revolutionize his presently dehumanizing value system that revolves primarily around the bars and the baths, then they will undobuted1y serve as an important basis for revolutionizing all American social mores concerning sexuality -a revolution that shall be even more far-reaching than the industrial revolution or the advent of the nuclear age. For 2000 years, we have been laboring under unChristianlike, dehumanizing religious and social dictates concerning human sexuality. It's time for them to be updated. The establishment of such profound guidelines for the gay community can only be effected by our responding to the guidance of
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the Holy· Spirit as we determine the moral validity of every aspect of our present lifestyle in the light of the question, IIWill the glory of God be advanced if I continue to do this ••• or to value that ••• ?11 Let's climb down from our ivory tower and get down to specifics; a few weeks ago, a man walked into my office and said "Rev. Wells, I've been a member of MCC for about one month now. I've acknowledged my need for Christ in my life and I've really been trying hard to be a good Christian. Before I became a Christian,l went to the baths every night and I sti 11 have the overpowering desire to continue going to them, even after I joined MCC! If I'm really a Christian, why can't I stop going to the baths?"This man's problem is typical of many new Christian homosexuals - so many of us are under the impression that our whole value system is going to change into a straight "Eh r i s t i an " value system 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1 i thall 0 f th e ant isex u a 1 h an 9ups associated with it the moment after our initial experience with Christ. What we fail to realize that in so doing, we are automatically dictating to the Lord what a Christian homosexual should value and what he should not value the inevitable result of such an attitude is the frustration and disappointment suffered by the man who approached me concerning the baths. In order to shake him out of his mistaken impression of how a new Christian should react to his old mode of living I asked him, "Why do you want to quit going to the baths? Did the Lord tell you that it is wrong?" IIWe1111, he said, "I've been told by several people in the Church that I can't be a Ch ri st i an and go to the baths at the same time!" I urged him to ask God for guidance in this matter and to always go to the Lord when he is unsure of the moral validity of any aspect of his old lifestyle. It turned out that God did not feel that it would be advantageous to the man's Christian maturation process if he continued to go to the baths with such frequency, and as a result of the man's sincere willingness to be re sp on s tve to
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God's will for his life, the Lord gave him the strength and wisdom to develop more meaningful alternatives to the baths - at present, he says that he goes only once a week - and he never fails to bring someone to Church who he meets at the baths! This man's successful reaction to the dilemma of dealing with his pre-Christian value system typifies the spiritual maturing process that every Christian homosexual must go through if his life is to be a valid light of hope to the gay community. If the man had continued to the pretentious, self-righteous admonitions of a few pseudopious members of the Church rather than sensitizing himself to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, he would become disgusted with his new-found faith and the Church, and we would have lost a valuable MCC~er. As we face personal moral dilemmas, we must acknowledge that the dictates of the Holy ~Spirit must prevail in our lives if we are to emerge victorious. A logical question to this position is -If the Holy Spirit promises each of us a tailormade value system, why should the Church offer guidelines to Christian living?" As we grow in the knowledge of Christ. we find it advantageous to associate with other Christians in order to worship together, and to offer one another encouragement and advice when we are faced with problems and the need for decision making. In effect,the Church points out potential spiritual pitfalls that we, as indidual Christians, might face and it offers ways to avoid them, based on the COllective experience of other Christians. Oftentimes, these warnings and advice take the form of for· mal Church guidelines for Christi.an living, and a person would be a fool to catagorical1y ignore these basic guidelines because they are based on other Christians' experiences that he might face - but we must always remember that these guidelines are ., just that, guidelines, not unequivocal, final solutions to human problems.There are times that guidelines should be followed and there are times that they should be ignored;we

need to use common sense and the Holy Spirit to efficiently modify general guideli~es into specific, custom-made answers. To offer guidelines as catagorical answers would be to limit God, and when you limit God, you unknowingly become a tool of Satan. Therefore, it would be just as wrong to say that going to the baths is always wrong as to say that everyone should go to the baths. As we grow in our fellowship of Christian livin~, we are going to discern common spiritual characteristics among ourselves -certain general ways of successfully dealing with problems unique or prevalent to the gay community such as going to the bars and baths, communal marriages, fidelity among gay married couples, child rearing in gay househ old s , b isex ua 1i ty, e tc • With th e se combined experiences, we will be able to establish and continually refine practical Christian guidelines to help our gay brethern develop happy, meaningful lifestyles. Ultimately, whether these sorely needed guidelines are developed depends on you, not on MCC as an institution; whether we are able to effectively reach out and respond to lonely, downtrodden human beings will depend on whether YOU consciously seek God's will for YOUR own life and respond to that will. . There is no place for moralistic legalism in MCC, only love that is focalized on the individual and the specific situation.
REV.BRAD WILSON'S SERMON MCC-LA JULY18. 1971 I want to take an opportunity to thank you for the privilege that has been mine to share with you this last week in Spiritual Renewal. For those of you who were not here last night. you missed. perhaps. one of the greatest sermons for our carmunity that I have ever heard. I want to take this opportunity to again encourage the Publications Department of the Fellowship to pub11sh Howard's sermon in In Unity magazine and get it out. because he said sane very vi tal things and he really caused us to begin to think. You know. sanetimes when we have to start to think. it's a frightening experience. But it's 32

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only by thinking and reasoning and working and loving together that we are going to change the course of humanhistory. Let us pray. Our Father, this hour would you draw us out of the sidestreets and the bywaysof life, and cause us to remove the roadblocks that we might becane truly the Church of the Living God. In the name of Jesus, we pray. .Amen. Howardread to you the Gospel of Luke this morning, the fourth chapter when Jesus is in the temple and He begins to read from the Old Testament. He declares, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He anointed me to preach the good tidings to the poor, He hath me procl.aim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those that are bruised, to proclaim the acceptable year of our Lord," In that one passage out of the Old Testament, quoted by Jesus, is the very reason that Metropolitan Cammunity Church exists in the United States today. For we have been called, we have been called of Godto proclaim to the world the good tidings of God to the poor. Not only to those who are financially ~assed, but to those whoare spiritually disgraced, to those who live in spiritual poverty. To declare unto them that the Love of God is mademanifest in the body and in the pet'son of Jesus Christ. To say to people,that for generations has been told that God does not love us, that this is not true, that the works of Christ upon the Cross at Calvary are just as vital to the homosexual as they are for Johnny Straightarrow, whowalks downthe street. Godhas called us to proclaim release to the captives. I'm not speaking of that man or wanan that's in jail. I'm speaking of that man and that woman that is in the prison of their own minds, wallowing around in self-~ity, in self-hate. So long we walked around and we beat our chest and we said, "Woeis me, v;oe is me! I'm a homosexual, woe is me!" Back in Miami, we've got a few of them who, when I say the word "homosexual" in the pul.p.i.t , they cringe. Because they are still captive and they are still slaves to the identity and to the stereotype that society has placed upon them. And so it's the message and the ministry of the Church to destroy this image and to set the men and wanen free in the Spirit. Free so that they can begin to love themselves because if we don't love ourselves, we're never going to love the v;orld and change the world to the Power of God.
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He has declared to us our ministry is to bring healing to the blind. Youknow the world is full of a lot of blind people whohave 20/20 vision. Anda lot of us of that kind wear' blinders. Andwe try to remove from our everyday life the concepts of the Christian faith. Wesay, "Well, you know that in my everyday life, I'm a Christian, but "'7hen go hane and I go inI to my bedroom, it's another story. " And I like what Troy Perry says when he says, "Youknow God is there too!" There are a lot of blind people whowant to kind of set areas in their life apart and are blinded to the truth of the Love of GOd. They are blinded to the truth that in every relationship there should be sanething of the Divine. Andcertainly He has called us to bring liberty and healing to the bruised. Manytimes as I enter into the pulpit in the Church in Miami, I look about me and I see there are sane very bruised people.Oh, they don't bear physical marks upon their bodies, but downin the depths of their spirit they are bruised and they are broken. It's the ministry of the Church to heal the bruised and the broken and to end the heartache and the suffering. That is the only reason we exist. We are not here to play Church. Weare not here to be pompousand self-righteous. And I want to tell you one thing about those of you that have been every n~t at this Spiritual Renewal Conference, God Bless you, but don't look at your brother who wasn't here and pass judgement on him. You have no right to do so. Don't you judge his spirituality or the fact whether he is in every service of this Church. Because we get a little bit like the Pharisees and the Sadducees. I get them, they comein and they say, "OH, those poor people out there in the bar." And they just click their tongues and they carry on and they talk about them, instead of loving them. I pray to God that we don't becamethe Church of the Pharisees and the Sqdducess, but that we continue to be the Church of the Living God. A loving fellowship of men and wanen who seek to restore unto God that which is his. But we start wandering off in side roads. NCM lived for a while in the mounI tains of W. Virginia and Kentucky. I was born in W. Virginia and that makes me a hillbilly. But I Pastored in Kentucky and I mean, you've got rough country out here, but I've been back in sane of those boondocks in Kentuckywhere there hasn't been Con't next p a ae

any sunshine in generations; moonshinemaybe, sunshine no. But you got out on those :roads and took a wrong turn, you found yourself up a hollow in a deadend and you had to turn around and go back. You stayed on the main highway, brother. You didn't get out on those side roads because the chances are if there had been a good rainstorm, you just bogged downin the mudand spinned your tires. And·that is sanething we have to be very careful of in the Church today; that we don't get out on the side roads and get in the mud and can't get out. A group of individuals came to me one day and they said, "Preacher we want to set you free, we really want to set you free. And the way you are going to find your freedan is to take a trip with us." And brother they weren't talking about going to Virginia Beach in Miami, they were talking about dropping a little bit of acid and popping a few pills and taking a trip. Want to set you free because that's how you're going to find yourself? No man finds himself outside of Jesus Christ, and he that the Son has set free, is free indeed; and brother, I don't need the side road of the drug culture. Gay people you talk about them, instead of loving them. I pray to God that we don't becane the Church of the Pharisees and the Sadducess, but that we continue to be the Church of the Living God. A loving fellowship of men and wonen who seek to restore unto God that which is His. But we start wandering off in side roads. NowI .Ioved for a while on the mountains of W. Virginia and Kentucky. I was born in W. Virginia and that makes me a hillbilly. But I Pastored in Kentucky and I mean, you've got rough country out here, but I've been back in same of those boondocks in Kentucky where there hasn't been any sunshine in generations; moonshinemaybe, sunshine no. But you got out on those :roads and took a wrong turn, you found yourself up a hollow in a deadend and you had to turn around and go back. You stayed on the main highway, brother. You didn't get out on those side roads because the chances are if there had been a good rainstonn, you just bogged downin the mudand spinned your tires. And that is sanething we have to be very careful of in the Church today; that we don't get out on the side:roads and get in the mud and can't get out. A group of individuals cane to me

one day and they said, "Preacher we want to set you free, we really want to set you free. And the way you are going to find your freedan is to take a trip with us." And brother they weren't talking about. going to Virginia Beach in Miami, they were talking about dropping a little bit of acid and popping a few pills and taking a trip. Wantto set you free because that's how you're going to find yourself? No man finds himself outside of Jesus Christ, and he that the Son has set free t is free indeed; and brother, I don't need the side road of the drug cul ture , Gay people you knowlooking for experiments in life, look';' ing for a little bit more, another thrill, another kick. Listen! God is just now opening the doors and the gates to our freedan and allowing us for the first time in our experience to walk with our heads high and our shoulders back, and brother, I donot need a monkeyon my back again! So I say to those individuals who want to set me free by that method that they've got nothing for me and nothing for the children of God, for we're FREE ALREADY! ! We're free in Jesus Christ. And there are those who cane along and they want to give it to you in the realm of legalism. Howardspoke about legalism last night and the morality of legalism. Those individuals who want to cane along and say, "now this is the way it ought to be done," and I say, "Whydo we have to do it that way?" "Well, that's the way we used to do it in OUR Church." Well, that's the way we used to do it in MY Church, too. Sanebodysaid, "I never pick on my background." I'll tell you that sane of the biggest bigots who ever walked the face of the earth are in The Church of Godgeneral offices in Anderson, Indiana. They sit back and they say, we've got legalism --- you dress this way, and you act that way, you walk this way, you do this, you do that." And then they have a witchhunt to cast out the honesexuals. Brother, I don't need to go back to what they have! One dear brother the other day came in and he said,"Oh, Pastor, I don't think we ought to kiss at Cammunnion," Shouldn't exchange the Holy Kiss, the Kiss of Peace. I said, "Whynot?" "If same heterosexual came in and saw us doing that, what would he say?" Whathave they said for generations? Andwhat difference does it makewhat they say? That t s the old thing of letting your gayness daninate your life instead of Jesus Christ. Then we have those dear sweet souls that cane . Con' t next page 34

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along and say let's have a lot of pompand a lot of pageantry. I like pampand I like pageantry. I think there's beauty in it, but be careful in your pamp, in your pageantry, that you don't lose the Spirit of God. I can rememberwhenDr. Carde.l was Pastor of Carthage St. Church in Middletown, Ohio. In 33 years they didn't have any panp and pageantry, but brother, they had the Spirit. The Spirit was present, he moved and he del t and that's far more important than putting on a floor shew on Sundaymorning for somedizzy queen that didn't get enough frxm the night before. To sore of our people, I made a statement the other night and Rev Van • Hecke brought it up last night. I talked about chandelier queens. But same of the people in this life have got the wrong priorities. Ohbrother, we've been conditioned to this, I'll grant you that, we've been conditioned to this just like any minority's been conditioned to certain reactions and reflexes. I've got a dear soul in the Church back in Miamiwhocame from a background that was just nothing but dirt, pollution and corruption. He'll tell you that again, again and again. He just can't forget it. But you knowwhat his big thing is? Buying crystal ashtrays. He spends hundreds and hundreds of dollars and he has, I'm telling you. Andyou go to his house and allover the house there are crystal ash trays. Andyou don't dare use one either, if you smoke. That's his status symbol. That says he made it. Sane of the rest of us have got: the idea that we have to have the biggest house or the biggest apartment. I tell my kids back harne, I say"Don't steal ·that chandelier piece by piece frxm the department store. If you want it, buy it." Andthat's for the windON dressers in the crowd. You'll knowwhat I mean about that. We've got the wrong priorities. We think that we have to live a lush and lavish life and we have to spend our time aping a society that is so sick and corrupted that it's pathetic. Brother, I donot need the externals that the heterosexual world's got and take up their problems too. Success is not a four bedroon house and a two car garage and three poodles. And the Kingdan of God is not the external things, but is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit and that's the most important thing -in your life. Sane of us live just for sexual ex35

periences. I'm getting to all of you, aren't I? But same of us live just for those sexual experiences. Sanething within us that says boy, if I can't be the great Casanovaof Selma Street or in Miamion Biscayne Boulevard on Virginia Beach, then I just haven't got it. I knewone indi vidual, and Howard(Wells), he lives in your city new. You've got him, God Bless you. This individual was so concerned about the numbersthat he kept a rotary file. Brother, that's a life out of balance, whenyou treat your brother or your sister as a piece of property that you use for 20 or 30 minutes or maybe all night and then kick him out of bed and say to go your way, I'm all done with you. Friends, we're off to re-evaluate our life and to quit calling ourselves the gay Church. If you want to put labels on me, there is only one label I want and that is the label "Christian". Then, if you want to put another label on me you can call me a Christian Pastor because I believe that is the most noble and highest calling that Godcan give to any individual is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I just happen to be a homosexualthat's a Christian and a Christian Pastor. I don't need any other labels on me, thank you, but Christian. We've got to begin to start seeing ourselves as Christians,as followers of Jesus Christ; not here to feed our own little egos; not here to make ourselves feel good. I think sometimes, you know, we go through some mighty rough hours. The other day somebody came to me and said they were going to leave the Church, they were not happy, things are just in such chaos. I said, "Oh you want , to leave too? I'm thinking about it." And you knowsomething, this is not going to be an easy day. I don't knewabout you here in Los Angeles, but· we've got one major denomination that everytime they get a chance, they take a swipe at us. I just say right on, honey, you hit me again because every time you hit me, five more cane to Church. But there is going to be opposition and there is going to be persecution and you'd better believe it. And it's going to take men and WOllen hohave w gotten off the side roads and into the main way of the faith that are going to last. It is going to be men and women who have came to the awareness that Godloves them and that His grace is all sufficient and that we can overcame the world. Not
Con li: next page

the individuals who cane to Church for .a few weeks and then, when the road gets a little bit rough and a little bit tough, they go wandering off on same side road. It'll never \-X,)rk that way! But men and w0men that are willing to walk in faith and to contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the Saints. I'm going to tell you something, I believe this roam is full of God's Saints right now. ·1 believe that there are men and WOllenere that h aren't going to have to wait for an act of martyrdom to becane a Saint and be canonized. I believe in the NewTestament connotation that there are Saints here and nCM,men and wanen who have fallen in love with Jesus Christ; men and WOllen ho have w said, "This is my life, take it, use it, fill me by thy Spirit and then send me forth into the world." And that is the man and the wananwho is going to triUmph over all opposition and all the foes and all the power that Satan can throw. I think of the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. He asked his disciples, "Whodo you say that I am?" and they came up with various answers, they were out on the side roads. They were out on the side roads, but he said, "Whodo you say that I am?" And Peter replied, "Thou art the Chrsit, the Son of the Living God." And so long as we as a people lift up this Jesus of Nazareth, who is the Son of God made flesh, whenwe lift Himup, all men will be drawn unto Him. This is our Ministry, this is our message and this is our destiny; to procl.afm the Living \-X,)rdf Jesus o Christ. In the nameof the Father and of the Son and of .~he Holy Spirit •. Amen.
THE GREATEST
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Love and concern for our fellowman has been the foundation of our entire growth. This is a strong base for us to build and it is important that at this time of increased interest and concern for our rapid growth that we not forget that "Lo v e is the only strength that make things one without destroying them.1I Let us not forget that if we as in-. dividuals fail to live up to the basic pre ce p ts 0 f be h av i 0 ran d attitude toward our fellow man that we always expect of others? the people that we meet in our everyday lives judge MCC as what they see in us as individuals. They see us as mirrors of the Church itself. Let us all truly mirror our Church and its ideals in our daily lives and bring the message to others. Why not let the rest of your friends find out about the wonderful love that God has for them? Bring someone to ·Church with you next week. Deacon Bi
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