a simple believer in "love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love your neighbor...including your enemies." I have struggled with organized traditional Christianity for many years. I was once a fundamentalist Baptist pastor. Yet, I was also in the closet as a gay man. My devotion to the church was adamant. My love of God through Jesus was "flawless." I was a "soldier" for jesus. But, being found to be gay, I was cast out of the church as an abomination, and hated by God---so the head pastor told me. He told me that he would make sure I never served the church again. So, I remained outside the institution and maintained my faith. About 5 years ago, I found a new gay friendly denomination called: Ecumenical Catholic Communion. It was very Anglican/Catholic without any ties to Rome. While the small group of 25 persons were 90% gay as well as the pries and his legal husband, it soon became very oppressive with all the hierarchical overlord attitude. The board and clergy made a few unethical, unbiblical decisions that sought money over helping the needs of the small struggling membership. One person was slowly dying of CHF and unable to afford meds and food. The leadership refused to help him stating that "if we help him, then we will be expected to help others." My partner of 2 1/2 years and I had had the fill of "churchianity" and left the church. I was then contacted by the pastor and warned that to remove myself from his spiritual guidance was now jeopardizing my eternal salvation. He told me that he feared for my soul and suggested that I was going to Hell leaving his care. What transpired was my rejecting all traditional Christianity and seeking the man, rabbi, teacher, social worker, reformer, Yeshua of Nazareth. I meet Sundays with a handful of "hurt" Christians. We discuss issues and hold to the 2 commandments Yeshua said summarized all the Law and Prophets: You shall love the Lord your God with all your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength. And second is Love your Neighbor as yourself." Yeshua defined our neighbor as including both friends and enemies.... It has taken many years of deep hurt by the church to finally call it quits. Now I seek the gospel that existed before the "organized, legalized church as Rome approved of." I find comfort with The Friends and all its variety of thought. Therefore, I would appreciate developing friendship from members of this group. I am a Seeker of the Light that we all bear... Rick
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