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We are sorry to tell all those who gained strength from Dr. Truluck's work and research that he passed away at age 74 on November 13, 2008.

In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to a memorial fund to help pay for funeral expenses and to keep his legacy and work going. Contributions can be made to Russell Truluck, P.O. Box 627 Travelers Rest, SC 29690.

To learn more about Dr. Truluck, click the "About the Author" section of this web site.

NEWS AND EVENTS

If you have trouble getting a copy of my book,
you can purchase a copy from me.  Send me a check or
money order for $30.00 to cover the cost of the book
plus packaging and postage.  I will send you a book
by Priority Mail and you will have it in a couple of days
.
_________________________________________________

"APPEAL FOR HELP"
Update for Sunday, August 29, 2004

My longtime friend Amir Ragsac, who designed and created my website and who designed my book cover, sent this letter to some of his friends earlier today.  I asked him if I could pass his letter on to you, and you may want to pass it on to others also:

 "Dr. Rembert Truluck, a friend, pastor, teacher, writer and minister has waged a personal, moral and public war against right-wing Christian conservatives and their associated ill effects on law, politics, social mores and human rights, for over the last four decades.  Through his work and involvement with LGBT churches such as the Metropolitan Community Church, and through his book and Web site, Dr. Truluck has helped many gays and lesbians deal with the idiosyncrasies of their Christian faith and to win their struggle and acceptance of their own sexuality, and indeed has dissuaded many young people from suicide through his personal ministry. 

 "Dr. Truluck's work and ministry is significant. Over 27 million people from across the globe have visited his Web site, and many thousands have been helped by his book, "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse."  I personally believe that his work has touched many more lives, however indirectly, by opening up the hearts and minds of those in our churches, government, workplace, and that of our very own families and friends.

 "Dr. Truluck's ministry currently receives no outside financial support or any outside grants of any kind, and will shut down soon if no offer of assistance is provided.  Please help, encourage, and support this important, living gay ministry that is so needed today, and help ensure that it continues to be an important resource to those in our community.  Please visit Dr. Truluck's Web site at www.otkenyer.hu/truluck/index.html to learn more about his work and why it is so critical, especially now, as right-wing Christians and conservative Republicans would once again choose to use the Bible, however wrongly, as a weapon to bash and deny gays and lesbians their full and equal right to marry, and thus deny their right to family.

 "I make a personal appeal to you, and encourage you to help Dr. Truluck's ministry so as to ensure that his important work continues. Contributions, no matter how small, are welcome and so needed.  Tax-deductible contributions can be made to Dr. Truluck, in care of Chi Rho Press, a gay non-profit organization based in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  Additional information on how to make a donation is posted below.

 "I thank you for taking time to read my rather lengthy e-mail.  This is a personal appeal, for a very personal cause. I hope that you and others decide to give their support to him that have supported our community for so long and in so many ways, one who has fought our battles for us, and for one who has given so much of his life to make so many of us whole again."

Amir Ragsac


Contribution directions for Dr. Truluck:

 

Dr, Truluck is now retired and no longer receives any proceeds from his book. Please send any contributions to his home at:

Rembert Truluck 201 W. Washington St. Apt 805; Greenville SC 29601.

 

 

A PERSONAL NOTE (from previous updates):

"The main pressure on me now is financial.  I still need your help and
support to continue my ministry of writing, teaching, website, updates,
e-mail ministry, travel and all of the rest of what I have been doing
for the past 7 years. I am grateful for your encouragement and support.
Thanks to all of you who have sent financial help that has truly kept me going during the past few weeks.

If you have any personal connections with LGBT supportive foundations or grant resources, please pass this letter along to them.  Thanks.

Dr. Rembert Truluck
201 W. Washington St. # 805

Greenville, SC 29601
http://www.otkenyer.hu/truluck/index.html

Write to Adam DeBaugh and Chi Rho Press at:
PO Box 7864, Gaithersburg, MD 20898
Phone/fax: 301-926-1208

Here is a new website that a friend sent to me this week.  You might be interested in seeing it:

http://www.boycottforequality.org/details.php

"VARIETIES OF MINISTRIES"
April 23, 2002

REV. PAUL SMITH

Visiting with Rev. Paul Smith and the people of Broadway Baptist Church in Kansas City was an exciting and encouraging learning experience for me.  Paul has served the church as pastor for forty years and has developed an extraordinary team ministry that includes everybody in the church.

Broadway has had a long history of innovative ministries and has included and affirmed LGBT people for many years.  Recently Rev. Paul came out as gay himself and took the leap of faith into his own truth that has inspired and encouraged many other people, including me.  I learned a lot from Paul and from his entire team of Christian ministers.

JULIE

I learned from and greatly appreciated Julie, who is earning her degree in sign language.  Julie faithfully signed the events of the weekend for a hearing impaired African American gay man who was present for the entire five and a half hours of the Saturday workshop and for everyone at the Sunday worship.  Julie's faithfulness and talents were one of many manifestations of the "varieties of ministries" at Broadway that demonstrated 1 Corinthians 12:4-7:

"There are varieties (haireseis: "heresies") of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are varieties of ministries (diakonos: same as "deacon"), and the same Lord (teacher). And there are varieties of effects (energon: "used only of supernatural power"), but the same God who works all things in all persons.  But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good."

The word "varieties" in 1 Corinthians 12 is the same word as "heresy" and can be used for both good and bad variations or "diversities" (KJV).  No two people have exactly the same calling in Jesus.  People at Broadway Baptist Church were encouraged and supported in discovering their individual spiritual gifts and developing and using them in ways that were appropriate and fit them.

The abusive use of the Bible and religion in our culture has clouded and distorted the truth.  As a result, other people have rejected the spiritual gifts of some people as heresies.  The truth, however, is setting us free.

GERRY

Gerry Young was my first contact with Broadway Baptist Church when he approached me about coming for a weekend to teach and share my ministry of encouragement and information about "Recovery from Bible Abuse."  Gerry did a great job of organizing, advertising and promoting the events of the weekend and his tireless efforts of support and outreach laid the foundation for everything that happened.  Special thanks to Gerry!

PHILIP AND PETER

Philip and Peter were my hosts while I was in Kansas City and I cannot thank them enough for their kindness, energy and support.  Philip is the worship and music leader on the church staff and Peter is the person who saw to it that my materials were available and ready for the various events.  They opened their home and hosted a Saturday evening dinner for sharing and dialogue.  I enjoyed them, their two greyhounds and Waldo, their cat!

RAYLENE AND BILL

Raylene and Bill facilitated their 12-step small group preparation for the weekend.  Small Group dialogue and ministries already have a long history at Broadway and laid a foundation for everything that we experienced in my workshop and other events.

MICHAEL AND STEVE

Michael and Steve organized the Friday night reception, where I was able to meet and begin to share in dialogue and friendship with many of the people who had worked to prepare for the weekend and were present for the various events of the weekend.

DONNA AND MARSHA

Donna worked along with co-pastor Marsha Fleischman in the preparation and delivery of lunch on Saturday.  Marsha has developed and led many ministries of the church and in her teamwork with Rev. Paul, she taught me once again how powerfully and effectively the Spirit of Jesus calls and equips women for discipleship and ministry of all kinds, in spite of what the disastrous current Southern Baptist Convention policies about women might be!

MAC

Mack helped to promote the events with posters and other activities, and his work along with the work of many others whose names I did not know made history with team ministries to lay a foundation for and celebrate the first event of my "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse" teaching ministry in a local Southern Baptist Church with an openly gay pastor and an accepting and affirming congregation.

What a personal joy and encouragement my visit to Kansas City was for me!

The people I have named here were listed in the Sunday bulletin and thanked for their part in making the weekend happen.  Many others also gave their time and energy as ongoing partners in the service of Jesus in the church and in the community.  Artwork has become a great part of the message of the church, both in the collection of "Faces of Jesus" in the halls and some very creative artwork by Donald Batman and others in the sanctuary.

BROADWAY BAPTIST CHURCH

Broadway Baptist Church meets in an impressive 125 year old historic building that has been transformed by new ideas and current challenges to make a powerful impact on the entire city.  The worship style and enthusiasm in the sanctuary of the church on Sundays is innovative and adapted to the realities of today's world.  The church has resisted living in the past and has broken the bondage to medieval religion that limits and undercuts the effectiveness of most local churches today.

Rev. Paul is a compassionate teacher and a writer and his ministry reflects the Spirit of Jesus in helping people to become informed and equipped to think for themselves and to accept and affirm themselves as individuals in the image of God.  I was inspired and greatly encouraged by what I experienced at Broadway Baptist Church.

TRANSGENDERED GOSPEL CHOIR

This Saturday, April 27, 2002, I will share my "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse" materials and help along with others to lead a time of learning and inspiration for the "Transcendence Gospel Choir" of the City of Refuge church in San Francisco.  See their web site.

Several of you in the San Francisco Bay Area have contacted me about participating in a small group study and dialogue group in my home.  I am working on setting a date for our first meeting, and if you are interested, please send me e-mail and tell me about yourself and give me a phone number where I can reach you.

Rembert Truluck

Celebrate who you are with joy and thanksgiving.

This is update for October 23, 2001: REPORT ON TRIP TO MCC WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA.

"SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP"

Spiritual leadership in many varieties was demonstrated at MCC Winston-Salem during my visit there this weekend.  Pastor Ken Hull and his partner Jerry were gracious and generous hosts.  I learned a lot from them and came to appreciate greatly their effective ministry of encouragement and leadership in the church.

Meeting with the people in my workshop and in the enthusiastic worship services on Sunday also revealed a high level of spiritual ministry and leadership.  One reason that spiritual leadership was so evident was that many people had worked hard to develop and lead small groups for spiritual growth and sharing.

This was a rare privilege for me to go to a church to lead workshops and preach where my book was already in use in several home study groups for several months.  I had the privilege of meeting with the group leaders and their partners on Saturday night and learned from their experiences and their enthusiasm for what they were doing.

Listening to the group leaders tell of their ministries and share their problems and questions made me realize that I need to develop a guide book for small group spiritual growth leaders.  I am working on it now.  (See chapters 4 and 5 and lesson 40 in my book.  Also see START YOUR OWN RECOVERY GROUP.

LEARNING FROM EACH OTHER

At MCC Winston-Salem I was able to observe first-hand the powerful spiritual impact that Christian people can have on each other if they have the opportunity to learn new information and dialogue with others.  I am most grateful for what I learned by listening to the pastor and people of this church.

Adam DeBaugh, publisher of my book at Chi Rho Press, had visited MCC Winston-Salem earlier in the summer and had introduced my book and helped to get the book started in groups.  Many people in the church and some visitors already had my book, and many others bought books during the weekend.

ACCURATE INFORMATION, TIME, DIALOGUE

I have long been convinced that three necessary elements for spiritual growth and recovery from abusive religion are ACCURATE INFORMATION to replace misinformation, TIME to study, learn and think through new ideas and experiences, and DIALOGUE with others who are dealing with the same issues.

Small group discussion and dialogue are not free from stress and challenges.  No two people see things in exactly the same way, and the differences in people are both a source of learning and a source of stress and challenge.  Each member of a group is important and necessary for learning and growth to take place.  Several people shared leadership in each group, and every person contributed to the discussions.  Group membership varied from time to time, but there were three ongoing groups with approximately 9 people in each group.  New groups will be formed as needed.

ACCEPTING AND AFFIRMING

Group leaders and members emphasized the need for creating and sustaining a nonjudgmental atmosphere of acceptance and affirmation.  Effective spiritual dialogue requires "open spaces" where individuals feel free to think for themselves and express their ideas without fear of rebuke and rejection.  None of these processes are easy or automatic.  Religion usually is judgmental and condemning by nature.  Special effort is required to cut through traditional religious thinking and to allow and encourage people to be honest and open without fear.

Some indication of the effective spiritual leadership that is emerging in MCC Winston-Salem is the fact that a local Southern Baptist pastor and a Methodist pastor attended the activities that I led.  Both of these pastors are already affirming and accepting of GLBT people and were present because they wanted to learn more about helping people recover from religious abuse!

I felt that I had come into a wonderful radical new kind of "revival" that is spiritually powerful and is dealing honestly and successfully with recovery from abusive religion.  This looks like a new and growing movement in the direction of spiritual revival.  I thank God that I was able to experience and see the revival for myself at MCC Winston-Salem.

Thanks to every person who helped to make the weekend such a positive and spiritually uplifting experience for everyone.

Rembert Truluck
October 23, 2001

Report on visit to Vermont Law School October 5, 2001:

"RELIGION, SEXUAL ORIENTATION & THE LAW"

Vermont Law School was an exciting and very positive experience.  All day on Friday, October 5, 2001, I participated in the seventh annual "Conference on Sexual Orientation and the Law" sponsored by "The Alliance" of Vermont Law School.  This "Conference of Clergy & Lawyers" provided an in-depth time of dialogue, panel discussions, special presentations, and other features with the purpose of "examining the intersection between religion and the law and what it means for the GLBT community."

Law professors, clergy, political leaders, activists both for and against the Vermont law providing for civil unions of same-sex couples, and law students contributed to the conference.  I learned a lot of law related to religion and sexual orientation that I did not know.  One of our speakers was Professor David Cruz of the University of Southern California Law School in Los Angeles.  He challenged us with a powerful presentation: "On Nature Worship and the Constitution: Dis-establishing the Religion of Gender."  Professor Cruz and his partner celebrated their civil union Friday morning shortly before the conference began.

MY PARTICIPATION

I had the opportunity to present much of my own material.  Dan Stafford, student chairman of the conference, had printed 21 pages of my web site in the official program.  I had the pleasure of quoting myself in my presentations.  I also had the opportunity to respond to many of the statements made by other conference leaders.  Some participants made assumptions that had to be answered.

Three areas of GLBT concern needed to be clarified: statistics about LGBT people, the causes of homosexuality, and the idea that gays want special rights.  There are no accurate statistics about GLBT people, because most homosexuals are still in the closet and unknown.  We don't want "special rights," but we do need and want protection from special abuse and attacks because of our sexual orientation.

The causes of homosexuality are not the legal issue.  The Supreme Court of Tennessee ruled that the state laws against same-sex relations were in violation of the state constitution's guarantee of the right to privacy.  The state had argued for the laws by calling an anti-gay psychiatrist to testify that homosexuality was caused by early childhood trauma and all of the other tired discredited arguments.  The superior court judge stopped the testimony and ruled it to be irrelevant because the issue was not about the origins of homosexuality but about the right to privacy.  The court of appeals and the state Supreme Court agreed.  The unfair Tennessee laws against GLBT people were over.

CORDIAL AGREEABLE ATMOSPHERE

Even though very different views were expressed in the conference, everyone was respectful of others and listened and took seriously the ideas and opinions that were expressed.  It was the first time that I had been in a conference where strong disagreements about GLBT rights were given equal time and expression.  I learned a lot and enjoyed being part of such a vigorous and helpful dialogue.

The law students who moderated the discussions did a great job, and all of the participants on the panels represented their churches, organizations, or other groups with well prepared and effectively presented information.  Vermont law allows same-sex couples to have a civil union recognized by the state, and we heard from people with the Human Rights Commission who had worked for the law and from political leaders who had worked against it!

The law students and conference participants managed to create an accepting nonjudgmental atmosphere for dialogue and discussion that was most impressive.  I was honored and encouraged to be included in this event, which is an example of how progress can be made in GLBT human rights everywhere.

THANKS TO LAURA AND NORA

While I was in Vermont at the Vermont Law School conference on "Religion, Sexual Orientation & the Law," I met many highly motivated creative people who are living in successful same-sex committed loving relationships.  I am grateful for all that I learned from every person at the conference.

Two very special people were Laura and Nora who invited me to stay with them on Friday night at their home in a remote area of the mountains.  They had designed and build their house themselves.  The house is located on 43 Acres of beautiful Vermont woods and mountain scenery.  The maple trees, including maple syrup trees, and others were in full fall colors.

Laura works for the Vermont Law School, and Nora is a teacher.  They have been together for 8 years, and their family includes two frisky dogs and two friendly kitties.  We had some strong wind and rain while I was there.  A large tree was blown down across the road when we started out on Saturday morning for me to get on the Interstate to Burlington.  Laura and Nora were driving their pickup truck to show me the way.  We turned around, and they led me back to the highway another way.

Laura and Nora are a great partnership in everything that they do.  This was not the first time that I had the joy of observing gay or lesbian couples demonstrate what domestic partnerships are all about.  Laura and Nora did, however, encouraged me very much in our efforts to gain respect and civil unions for our GLBT sisters and brothers.  Many of the people at the conference were living evidence of the joy and success of long-term same-sex committed relationships.

A special thanks to Laura and Nora and to every one of the other people at the conference who included me in your group and who became my teacher in many very pleasant ways.

Click here to see my web site biblical material on the committed same-sex relationships of Ruth and Naomi & David and Jonathan.

Click here for report on Dr. Truluck's participation in Soulforce at New Orleans during the 2001 Southern Baptist Convention.

Click Here for Report on Dr. Truluck's visit to Resurrection MCC in Houston, Texas, January 6-9, 2001. 
Click here for additional information about this event.
See also the material below on "IN THE BEGINNING GOD":

Click here for report on weekend workshop and preaching at New Hope MCC in Santa Rosa, California , included in update on "Credibility."

     Dr. Truluck is available to speak at churches and other groups.  He has conducted Bible conferences, spiritual renewals, church revivals and workshops in hundreds of churches, conferences and other meetings as a Southern Baptist pastor, evangelist, teacher, and college professor from 1952 to 1981 and in Metropolitan Community Churches and other gay and lesbian affirming and accepting congregations since 1981.

Dr. Truluck's book, STEPS TO RECOVERY FROM BIBLE ABUSE , was published on January 31, 2000.  See Book Offer for details.

Please click here: e-mail Dr. Truluck and request to be put on the e-mail list to receive updates if you do not already get them.

Update for January 14, 2001
"HEALING POWER OF LISTENING"

Thanks also for making links to my web site from yours!

Yahoo now reports that over 1400 web sites have links to mine.

(Be sure to change your e-mail address for me to rtruluck@nuvox.net.)

Listening has been a basic feature of my ministry for many years.  Listening is the main thing that I have done regarding the tens of thousands of e-mails that I have received in response to my web site, book and updates.  I learn a lot from your e-mails about what concerns you and what you have learned from your own experiences.  I also try to respond to every e-mail letter.  I always include in my response the letter that was sent to me so that writers can read again what they wrote and learn from it.  When I go to lead workshops for churches and other groups, I spend a great deal of time listening.

As I reflect upon my recent trip to Resurrection MCC in Houston, I realize more clearly than ever that listening is the starting point of teaching.

LISTENING OPENS DOORS FOR DIALOGUE

A whole new world of understanding and dialogue can begin when we listen with empathy and non-judgmental openness to those who are different from us and even those who demonize and condemn us.  We will make a lot more progress when we listen long enough to understand what homophobic religious and political leaders are really saying.  When we take seriously the ideas and feelings of others and listen attentively, they frequently can see for themselves the errors and mistakes in their own attitudes.

God listens to us.  That is the assumption in all prayer.  "If God listens to us, we ought also to listen to each other."  Love is expressed through listening.  See 1 John 4:11: "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."  Read all of 1 John for helpful information about God's love and ours.

WHY LISTENING TEACHES

Teaching succeeds only when students believe that teaching is relevant and personally helpful.  Jesus always listened and adapted his teaching to address the real needs of real people.  Jesus listened even when he was trying to teach his enemies the truth that they had distorted, misunderstood and rejected.  Preaching is not listening.  Pontificating is not listening.  Judging and condemning is not listening.  Gossip is not listening.  Most of the negative communicating that we do is negative because it is not listening.

The first thing that you want to teach to people is that you respect them and that you care about them.  Listening is the best method that we have to do this.

WHY LISTENING HEALS

Non-judgmental listening allows and encourages people to think for themselves and to face and deal with their own issues in constructive and practical ways.  Telling others what they ought to do changes very little human behavior.  Listening with empathy and respect to someone work through their own ideas and feelings can lead to dramatic changes in attitudes and actions.

WHY LISTENING EXPRESSES LOVE

Redemptive listening requires self-discipline.  Our cultural conditioning and human pride often impel us to make judgmental comments when people tell us the truth about themselves.  Judgmental opinions and words of criticism cut off dialogue and lead to misunderstandings and rejection.  Learn just to listen.  Resist the temptation to comment and express opinions about everything that others share with you.

Small group dialogue ends when people in the group stop listening to each other and start criticizing and contradicting each other.  Accepting what others say without approval or disapproval requires objective disciplined listening.  Breaking old habits of judging and criticizing others when they disagree with you will take special effort.  With God's help, however, you can do it.

WHY LISTENING IMITATES JESUS

The first thing that Luke reported Jesus doing was LISTENING.  Luke's story of the appearance of Jesus in the Temple at the age of 12 says that Jesus "listened and asked questions." (Luke 2:41-52)  Read all the way through the Gospel of Mark in one sitting and notice the listening ministry of Jesus.  You will be surprised at how much and in how many ways Jesus listened and taught others to listen.  This exercise will be overwhelming if you do this for all Four Gospels.

At the Transfiguration in Luke 9:35 the voice from heaven said: "This is my Son, My Chosen One: LISTEN to Him!"  This reflects the most important verse about God in the Hebrew Bible: Deuteronomy 6:4: "Hear O Israel, The Sovereign your God is One."  The word "hear" means listen and is SHEMA in Hebrew.  The verse is called "The Shema" and was written on little scrolls and placed in the leather pouches called phylacteries that devout men wore on their arms and foreheads.  See also Deuteronomy 18:14-22 where Moses predicted that God would raise up a prophet like himself and "you shall LISTEN to him."

CREATIVE LISTENING

Listening is not just passive silence while someone else talks.  Listening is responsive to what is felt and said.  Keep to yourself your opinions of what the other person says.  Instead, ask neutral clarifying questions.  Express your genuine interest in what is being said.  Just "u-huh" or an occasional understanding "grunt" or whatever comes naturally to you to encourage the speaker to keep talking and tell you more indicates that you are still paying attention and care about what is being said.

Sometimes you might want to repeat what you hear and ask if what you heard is correct.  You can become a creative and healing listener if you try.  "Am I hearing you right?" can open the way to let another person tell you how helpful your listening has been.

COMPASSIONATE LISTENING

Compassion means feeling what another person feels.  The Greek word in the Gospels for compassion comes from the word for the viscera and means that you feel "in the pit of your stomach" the pain and deep feelings of another person.  In the Gospels "compassion" is used only of Jesus or of God or characters in parables who represent Jesus or God.  True compassion is a gift from God into your heart to make you more like Jesus in how you hear and relate to other people.

Don't say too quickly that you understand when you really don't.  Many years ago in Greenwood, SC, where I was pastor, I visited with a woman whose mother recently died.  As she described her grief and loss, I said, "I understand how you feel."  She quickly replied, "How could you understand how I feel?  You still have your mother!"  I backed off and admitted that I did not really understand her feelings.  I tried to redeem myself by pointing out that God understands.  Yet I have always felt uncomfortable about how my easy statement that I understood when I really didn't caused this woman, who was a friend, to feel cut off and not affirmed as I intended.

Dr. Wayne Oates, my teacher in pastoral care, often reminded us that when people are distressed and suffering, just being there is the most important thing that we can do.  Being with people, "standing with them" (paraklete) and listening to them can say far more than our opinions or wordy comfort.  Dr. Oates said that we should let our loving presence speak for itself and not mess up what we are doing as representatives of God by trying to explain everything, which we do not understand anyway!

During my clinical pastoral education in the state mental hospital, Dr. Oates, who had written several books on religion and mental illness, told us that we first have to sit at the feet of the mentally ill and let them teach us before we can teach them.

AFFIRMATION LISTENING

You will be surprised by how helpful you can be by simply listening with real interest and no comments.  That's hard to do.  We are always tempted to pass judgment and give advice.  Resist the temptation to "play god" with people by saying too glibly "I see" or "I understand" or "I know what you mean" especially when none of these statements are really true!  Be "accepting and affirming" with one another just as we want churches to be for us.  The Spirit of Jesus can develop in you an accepting and affirming lifestyle that will be demonstrated in how you listen.

Thanks for listening.

Rembert Truluck

"Mary was listening to what Jesus said, sitting at his feet"
--Luke 10:39 shows Mary in the posture and attitude of a disciple.

Update for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 2001
"CELEBRATE FREEDOM"

Today, January 15, 2001, is the special day to remember the life and ministry of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Read one of his speeches today.  Find "I Have A Dream" online and read it.  Buy a book of his messages and study them.  They speak to us of what real freedom is and of what the true Spirit of Jesus is all about.

Racism and homophobia walk hand-in-hand in our culture and limit and undermine everybody that they touch.

This is a short update today.  Just to remind you to think about Martin Luther King, Jr. for a while today and remember how far all of have come and realize how far we have yet to go to enter into "the dream" for everybody.

"IN THE BEGINNING GOD"
Update December 29, 2000

"In the beginning God created…" is the way that the Bible begins.  "Genesis" means "in the beginning."  The year 2001 is just around the corner.  The Twenty-first Century begins Sunday night!  God has exciting new beginnings in store for you.  You don't have to wait until January 1 to start over and begin new directions for your life.  Every day is a new beginning and the opportunity to live life "one day at a time" with hope, confidence, love, growing self-esteem and compassionate outreach to others.

The creative presence of God within us is our best hope for seeing the beginning of a new world where love, joy and peace reign and where the inclusive unconditional love of God pervades all aspects of human life.  Abusive oppressive religion will vanish when God creates in all of us the new heart and new mind promised through the Spirit of Jesus or through whatever path you have experienced the presence of God in your life.

(Read again the prophecy of the New Heart in Jeremiah 31:31-34, which is repeated exactly in Hebrews 8:6-13.)

One of the greatest problems with traditional religion is the emphasis on a once-in-a-lifetime experience with God, that is often called "being born again," and that turns out to be the end of the road instead of a new beginning that leads to spiritual growth to maturity in love, humility, kindness and self-respect along with compassion and acceptance of other people.  Whatever you experienced in the past, your lively enjoyment of God and your usefulness in changing the world depend on what happens today, not years ago or even yesterday.  God creates new life in you every day.

TODAY

"Today is the first day of the rest of your life!"  I frequently have to remind myself of this when I get into the well-worn rut of the "same old thing" day after day.  Today, however, is important for many reasons. One special reason is that Col. Dr. Margarethe Cammermeyer, whose military experience was told in her book and a television movie "Serving in Silence" with Glenn Close, interviewed me today on Gay Radio.

Tom Hawken, Executive Producer at the GAYBC Radio Network in Seattle, invited me to come on the program and talk about my web site and book.  See the Link to Gay Radio. Interviews on GAYBC remain on their web site and can be heard at your convenience.  My interview will be available beginning tomorrow.

NEXT WEEK
On January 5 to 9, I will be in Houston, Texas, at Metropolitan Community Church of the Resurrection to lead workshops and other events and to preach at both Sunday morning services.  See the details of my schedule at "Contact Us" page of my web site (See Link below).  If you live in the Houston area, I hope to see you on this visit.  While in Houston, I will stay with Rev. Carolyn Mobley and her partner Adraine Bowie.  Adraine is a professional video producer and will tape the workshops so that we can make my workshop presentations available to you through an up-to-date video.

I am grateful to Rev. Ralph Lasher for his detailed and inspired planning for this event and to Rev. Dwayne Johnson, Pastor of MCCR, for his enthusiastic encouragement and support of these plans.  Also thanks to Vickey Gibbs and Diane Jasso for their help. You can reach me in Houston or get information from the church at (713) 861-9149.  See the MCCR web site.

NEW INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER

I have had to move to a new ISP for e-mail and to host my web site.  You can e-mail me now at rtruluck@nuvox.net, and that will be my permanent e-mail address.  Please change your e-mail address for me to rtruluck@nuvox.net .  my domain name will be moved to AT&T small business hosting in a couple of days.  There will be no interruption of your link to my web site at http://www.otkenyer.hu/truluck/index.html or your e-mail to me.

Change is necessary for progress.  Sometimes we put off making needed changes until we have to run to catch up.  The Internet world is changing constantly.  Many of you have great ministries over the Internet.  Good for you!  You know how hard it is to keep up with the changes and the fast developments of new opportunities.

"LEARNING FROM YOURSELF"
Update for January 20, 2002:

You are your own best teacher.  Whenever people write long e-mail letters to me telling me of their situation in great detail and asking for my suggestions and help, I usually write back and suggest that they read again carefully their own letter to me to see if they can find clues in their own story as to what they should do about their situation.  I sometimes suggest that they ask themselves what advice they would give to someone else who wrote the same story to them.

Whatever it takes, getting yourself to think objectively and logically about your own situation is a necessary step in finding solutions that really work for you.  You can learn a lot more from yourself than you imagine.  Your own experiences are special to you.  You are the world's authority on your own experience.  Treasure it.  Write it out in a daily journal.  Learn from it.  Nobody can tell you what to do with you life with the authority that you already have.

CLIENT CENTERED THERAPY

Years ago, Dr. Carl Rogers began to teach and practice an approach to helping people that focused on encouraging and helping the individual to find solutions for him/herself rather than telling the client what the therapist thought should be done.  Client centered therapy is non-judgmental and accepting.  Client centered help focuses on a lot of creative listening.

Many people seem to think that they can be most helpful to others if only they can give the right advice.  Actually, however, giving free advice is, as the saying goes, worth what it costs!  The only way you can help somebody else to find and follow a healthy path is to encourage that person to think and act for him/herself.

YOUR STOREHOUSE OF RELEVANT KNOWLEDGE

Nobody really knows as much about you as you do yourself.  Nobody can improve on your own self-awareness.  Uninformed advice can greatly muddy and distort your view of your own situation and can delay any workable solutions that you might have discovered for yourself.

Have you learned to be objective, logical, reasonable and practical about yourself?  If so, what has most helped you to see yourself clearly and honestly?

THINK AND DECIDE FOR YOURSELF

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions" is a sobering old saying, and it applies double when that road is the "good intentions" path of giving advice to other people.  You cannot help other persons by trying to do their thinking for them.  You can, however, be of great help if you encourage others to think for themselves and draw upon their own ideas and experiences to decide issues for themselves.

These truths are so "self evident" that it is amazing to me how so many preachers, teachers, family members and "best friends" think that the greatest help that they can give to others is to decide for them and try to convince them about what they ought to do.

PRACTICAL TECHNIQUES OF HELPING

LISTEN is the first step in being helpful.  Listen to learn.  Listen to understand.  Listen to avoid giving stupid advice.  Listen to become involved and credible with the other person.  Listen in order to be heard yourself.

Therapeutic listening means listening intently with total concentration on what the other person is saying, feeling and acting out.  Caring enough really to listen to another helps far more than any amount of prattling on about what the person should think or do.

ASK QUESTIONS

Mary talked with Jane about how upset she was with Bob.  Jane said, "You should leave him and forget him."  Why didn't Jane say, "What have you thought of doing?"  You don't know what another person is thinking or feeling until he/she tells you.  If you ask non-judgmental questions, you can learn a lot about what is really happening.  Remember, whenever you are trying to help other people, your opinion is not nearly as important as their opinion.

Jesus asked questions that opened the way for people to take a good honest look at themselves: "What is your name?" "Do you really want to get well?"  "Will you go away also?"  "What do you want?"  "What do you want me to do?"

"How can I help you?" is a question that opens the way for another person to relate to you honestly and openly and to begin to think about who they are, what they want, and to face their own situation more objectively.

REDEMPTIVE CONVERSATION

Redemptive healing conversation always centers in people, not in ideas.  People are dynamic, growing and changing and are capable of feelings and actions that go beyond even their own expectations and hopes.  Really listening to what other people say about their feelings and thinking can open the way to great "aha! Experiences" where new ways of seeing old experiences and ides spring forth in life-changing power.

Read the Book of Job and see how Job's friends were helpful as long as they sat in silence with him in his pain and trouble.  When they began to condemn Job for what they imagined he must have done to deserve so much pain and loss, Job called them "miserable comforters" and said they were full of "hot air" and did not know what they were talking about (Job 16:2).

LET GO AND MOVE ON

Even in helping troubled people, the principle of "let go and move on" is vital.  Let go of your own opinions and advice and move on to take seriously and respond honestly to the other person's real feelings, ideas and experiences.  Encourage others to get accurate information, think clearly and objectively, consider their options, make their own decisions that really fit them, and act on what they are honestly convinced is the best plan of action for them.

Whenever you encourage others and help equip them to think for themselves, you set them free to be honest and to enjoy the full and meaningful life that really fits them.

Unfortunately, much religion is too busy giving advice really to listen and be of effective help to anybody.

Rembert Truluck

"ON GIVING ADVICE"
Update revised on September 28, 2001.

Tens of thousands of e-mails have come to me in response to my web site in the past 4 years as a result of over 12 million hits since the site was published on September 14, 1997.  Many readers ask questions and many ask for help.  Some ask for advice.

I answer all e-mails, including the critical and judgmental ones.  I get my share of "hate mail" along with the compliments and letters of appreciation.  Sometimes I have to look up information to give my answer, and sometimes I read letters several times and think about them for a while before writing. 

My disclaimer on the Home Page of my site states that "the contents of this site are published as an information service and do not constitute professional advice."  I try to avoid giving personal advice in my e-mail.  For one thing, I never really know the whole story of what an individual situation might be.  For another, the temptation to give advice can be a seductive trap to attempt to "play god" and give absolute answers and advice when the personal problems of an individual may be far beyond my ability to know or understand. 

Far more important than giving advice is our obligation to help others to become equipped with the facts and all necessary information to discover answers for themselves.  My site is filled with information and important facts that relate to recovery from religious abuse.  See information on dealing with anger, family problems, and coming out in the "Twelve Steps to Recovery." 

Jesus often was asked for advice, and even though Jesus had perfect knowledge of God and people, he usually gave information instead of advice.  Jesus taught people to think for themselves.  His teaching style included clear exposure of false and abusive religious teachers and teachings that had oppressed and confused the people.  In addition, Jesus was careful to give factual information about God and about what the Hebrew Bible did and did not mean. 

Read Matthew 22 for several instances where Jesus gave information as a response to difficult hostile questions.  Then read Matthew 23 to see how Jesus exposed the hypocrisy of oppressive judgmental legalism and revealed the facts about the abusive use of Scripture to humiliate and condemn people.

INFORMATION THAT I GIVE

One of the suggestions that I often make is to contact the nearest Metropolitan Community Church and get to know the pastor.  MCC clergy are usually well equipped to listen to GLBT people and are able to refer people to community resources for help.  You can also contact MCC headquarters for help in locating churches and services in your area.  See URL and address below. 

If no MCC is available, I suggest that the reader find a friend who is objective and can be trusted to share and help think through the situation.  Sometimes a professional counselor, doctor, or psychiatrist might be needed.  There is no way that I can take the place of a local person who knows the individual and the circumstances.  Some GLBT support groups are available through GLBT community centers and HIV groups.   Many churches, schools, colleges, and other organizations offer GLBT positive services and counseling.  Local college chaplains often can give direction and practical help.

ACCURATE INFORMATION is of utmost importance in finding solutions to personal frustrations and confusion about GLBT spiritual issues and in dealing with internal and external homophobia faced by the individual.  Advice without accurate information is worse than useless.  Religious advice from pastors, teachers, parents, and friends who do not know the facts about the Bible and homosexuality can be deadly medicine that confuses and wounds the individual.

Whenever you are tempted to give advice, give information. 

"You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free"(Jesus in John 8:32).  Then Jesus pointed out how the people believed the lies of false teachers and added: "Because I speak the truth, you do not believe me." (John 8:45)

See UFMCC web site:  where you can find a complete list of local MCC congregations and ministries and helpful links.  Call UFMCC at (310) 360-8640 or write to UFMCC at 8704 Santa Monica Blvd., 2nd floor, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

The Internet offers an overwhelming volume of information, but all of it is not accurate or useful.  As in all learning, consider the source of your information. Be on guard for seductive uses of the Internet to give false information.  Be aware of the cunning uses of the Internet to advance the cause of religious and political hate groups as well as other highly specialized personal agendas.

Recently I saw "Inherit the Wind," the 1960 movie version of the Tennessee "Scopes Monkey Trial" with Spencer Tracy, Frederic March, Gene Kelly, and a cast of other great actors.  It is a brilliant presentation of the conflict between religion and evolution in the public schools in 1925.  The issues and arguments are the same today in the present conflict between homosexuality and religion.  Rent the video and see "INHERIT THE WIND" if you can.

JANUARY 14, 2000, UPDATE:  (See also "THINK")

"THE BIBLE AND SPIRITUAL TYRANNY"

The publication date for my book is January 31, 2000.  I am excited about it and can hardly wait to see the book.  This book is timely and greatly needed.

This week I received e-mail announcements that a group of eighteen churches of various denominations in Silicon Valley are planning a study of the Bible and Homosexuality to be held in February at the First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto, California.  This study is intended to "speak out in support of gay and lesbian people" to help inform people as the state of California moves rapidly to a state-wide vote on the "Knight Initiative" on March 7, 2000, to deny marriage to same-sex couples.

Other recent announcements reported plans by the United Methodist Church to deal directly with Gay and Lesbian marriage rights at their National conference in May.  Another e-mail called for volunteers to help with the Millennium March on Washington for Equality on April 30, 2000, to make GLBT voices heard around the world.  THE NEED FOR A FRESH LOOK AT "THE BIBLE AS THE FRIEND OF GLBT PEOPLE" IS ACCELERATING RAPIDLY EVERY DAY!

THE BIBLE AS A WEAPON

Much of the misinformation and hostility against GLBT people is based on the abusive use of the Bible and religion. 

The publication of my book on "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse" at the end of this month is a significant event for all of us.  Until the misuse of the Bible against GLBT people is faced and effectively answered with objective factual information, change in favor of GLBT people will be painfully slow. 

As I have reviewed the translations of the main Bible passages used in my book, I have been struck by how many of the most familiar verses have been incorrectly translated.  The "Great Commission" in Matthew 28:18-20 is taken by the average Christian to say "Go into all the world."  Countless sermons have been preached on "Go!"  The fact is, however, that the Great Commission does not say: "Go."  In the original Greek, the only imperative in the Great Commission is "make disciples."  The word "go" is a participle and means "as you go."  Jesus did not say: "Go."  The commission says: "As you go, make disciples of all people."  The result of this mistaken translation is that many multitudes of well-meaning people have gone out.  But few have used their time and energy to make disciples.  The emphasis on "Go" has somehow overlooked the main purpose to "make disciples."

The first verse in the Bible is always incorrectly translated.  Genesis 1:1 is given as: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."  The Hebrew word for "God" is the plural form "Elohim."  The "im" at the end of the word makes it plural.  The correct translation would be: "In the beginning Gods created the heavens and the earth."  The explanation is usually given that the plural is the "plural of majesty" and not to be taken literally.  But the Hebrew text does not say that.  The traditional translation is simply incorrect.  The translation of Genesis 1:1 is an interpretation, which is true of all translations.

The few obscure verses that are translated in order to read homophobia into the biblical texts are not the only passages that are incorrectly translated.  Many of the most familiar texts in the Bible are consistently translated incorrectly.

How can the Bible be the "word of God" if the words are wrong?  It is clear in the Gospels that Jesus, not a book, is the "Word of God."  Any truly spiritual Christian approach to the Bible follows the Spirit of Jesus in using the Bible.  The superstitious approach to the Bible, however, makes the Bible a magical end in itself.  The Bible can be flipped open, and wherever the pages fall, some people believe they will find the passage that speaks for God to them.  Such nonsense puts the Bible into the class with card tricks and magic.  God has given us a brain and expects us to use it.  Can you be objective and open minded about the Bible?  If you can't, then you can't really use it honestly and responsibly, can you?

My purpose is not to dismiss or reject the Bible but to restore the use of the Bible to sanity and to realistic honest study and research.  Jesus approached the Hebrew Bible with a clear sense of his own spiritual purpose and with a common-sense objectivity that somehow has been missed by a lot of preachers, teachers, and other religious leaders.  To make the Bible into an end-in-itself and to make absolute the wide variety of interpretations of Bible materials is idolatry that obscures the face of God and substitutes human speculations and greed for the good news of Jesus. 

The mission of Jesus Christ and the good news of his gospel depend on a radical effective challenge to the prevailing abusive use of the Bible to confuse, mislead and destroy God's children.  We have no choice but to try. 

How can you be part of the solution to the spiritual dilemma of Bible abuse in our churches, homes, schools, politics and personal lives?  How can you become better informed and better equipped to answer anyone who asks you as a GLBT person "to give a reason for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and respect"? (1 Peter 3:15)  

ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

I don't have all of the answers.  The longer I work on my web site material and try to understand and communicate the true message of Jesus, the more I realize that I do not even know the right questions to ask most of the time.  I certainly don't have all of the answers.  I am continuing to explore, question, learn, study, listen, and search for the truth.  The goal of our mission is to know, live and speak the truth in love.  All of that comes as gift from God. 

ADDITIONS TO WEB SITE

I have added an INDEX of Bible Passages to my web site at the end of the first page of "Resources and References."  These Bible passages are intended to make this site and my book more useful to you.  I have just completed navagational links from the Bible Texts to the Bible List.

Changing the way you see things begins with a sense of need for change and a willingness to take the time to learn and study something new.  Becoming part of the solution to Bible abuse will not happen by accident.  You will have to work at it.  Only self-discipline and an unquenchable desire for the truth will propel you onto the "road less traveled" that leads to enough life, light and love to make a difference for yourself and for other people around you.

Our greatest enemy is ignorance, not other people.

Rembert Truluck

"And God said: Behold.  I have given you a brain.
 Now use it."
CLICK HERE for January 18, 2000, update on "THINK"

See "Book Offer"

Update for October 8, 2000
"FACE-TO-FACE"

SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

I have never met or seen most of you who receive these updates.  The Internet has created a new kind of world that allows us to communicate with each other without knowing each other.  These updates also go to many of my closest long-time friends and to my family.  I am grateful to all of you who have written to me and let me get to know you better.

Thank you for sharing your experiences and ideas with me.  You have been my teacher a lot more than you realize.  I keep learning and growing and changing (for the better) because you have taken the time to write to me.

The purpose of these updates as well as my web site and book is to change the world one person at a time by giving accurate relevant information related to issues and decisions that all of us face.  We can be easily misunderstood even when we talk face to face.  Within the limitations of e-mail, false impressions and misunderstandings are inevitable.  But we keep trying.  We have no other choice.  The misinformation and deceptions that dominate the world's view of GLBT people demand that we continue to try to tell the truth as long as we can and by whatever means is available to us.

"WE SEE THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY"

Paul ended his great hymn of praise of love in 1 Corinthians 13 by saying: "Now we see through a glass darkly ("a mirror dimly" NASB), but then face to face.  Now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known, but now faith, hope, and love remain, but the greatest of these is love."  We can love people with faith and hope, even if we never see them face-to-face.

Every time we send an e-mail message to someone, we are acting in faith and hope.

The person that you have the most difficulty understanding is often yourself.  Paul admitted in Romans 7:15: "I do not understand myself."  He had mixed feelings about the commandments and Law that he had once been conditioned to trust and follow.  Now, however, his new relationship with God through Jesus caused him to recognize an inner war in his mind between law and grace.  The powerful message of chapters 8, 9 &10 of Romans flows out of Paul's own inner struggle to understand himself and to overcome abusive religion.

The darkness and confusion created by abusive oppressive religion has greatly multiplied the suffering and self-rejection of millions of people, not just Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transsexual folk.  Multitudes of people today are looking through a glass even darker than the one Paul mentioned, because the good news of truth in Jesus has been perverted into judgmental legalism by abusive sick religion far beyond anything that Paul imagined might happen.

FREEDOM ON THE INTERNET

A large part of the world still does not have free use of the Internet.  A news story today revealed that China's policies regarding the use of the Internet have prevented many Internet providers from moving into the China market.  The government closely regulates and monitors what the people of China can access on the Internet and tracks the sites that are seen in order to weed out "subversive sites."  Internet technology can both give enormous access to information and can track and control what people are allowed to see and hear.

Nobody knows how much longer the incredible access to free information that we have now on the Internet will last.  The ultimate virus could kill it all in a click.  Internet access flows through very limited points of relay that could be shut down, as some have been from time to time.  All that we can do is to use this marvelous means of communication to the fullest as long as it lasts.

Tyranny is always threatened by the truth.  Dictatorships in politics and in religion cannot survive under the searing light of truth.  Ignorance, lies and misinformation are always the chief tactics of tyrants.

Children are learning the ways of the Internet while their parents remain in the dark and un-linked.  Children always thought that they knew more than their parents, and now for the most part, it's true.  I often ask people if they are on the Internet and they reply, "No, but my children are!"

HOW DOES JESUS FIT INTO ALL OF THIS?

Jesus fits into the Internet picture just as Jesus has always fit into human life.  The Holy Spirit of Jesus is within those who "follow" Jesus, and that automatically puts the Spirit of Jesus into Internet communication.  We don't have to "put Jesus into the Internet."  Jesus is already there through people like many of you.  How are you using your connection to the Internet as a means of finding and doing the will of God in your life and encouraging others to do the same?

Does the Internet help you to think for yourself?  I am convinced that one purpose of the ministry of Jesus was to help people learn to think for themselves.  Jesus challenged the authority and power of abusive religion to control people.  Sick religion destroys your self-esteem.  Love and truth in Jesus gives it back so that you can trust yourself, feel good about yourself and think for yourself.

BREAKING OUT OF ISOLATION

For many GLBT people, the Internet has become an escape from the dismal isolation and loneliness that often cut us off from other people.  We have found people to talk with and share ideas.  The limitations are obvious, however, when our main connection with others is with faceless folk on line.

This is one of the main reasons for the form of my web site, book and upcoming "Jesus Bible Studies for Everybody."  The best format that I know for learning, growing, recovery and healing is small group home study on a regular planned basis.  Accurate relevant information is essential for the success of these groups.  There is no adequate substitute for face-to-face spiritual sharing, learning and growth.  One-on-one or two-or-three at a time is still as necessary as in the time and ministry of Jesus.  People really have not changed, though our technology has.

CORRECTING MISINFORMATION

Millions of people, including our GLBT sisters and brothers, are "victims of misinformation."  I try to deal with and respond to an avalanche of misinformation in e-mail every day.  My purpose in my web site, books, updates, e-mail and group workshops is simply to give accurate well-researched information in a convincing and relevant form.  I am learning constantly how better to do this.  You are helping me learn both by listening to me and by sharing your experiences and ideas with me.  Thank you!

Rembert Truluck

"I will give you my Spirit to be your teacher and to
reveal to you what is really happening in your world."

"I will not leave you stranded.  I will come to you."

"Where two or three have gathered together in my name,
here I am in their midst"

--Jesus in John 14:26-27; 16: 13-15 and 14:18; Matthew 18:20

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