Speaking Against Spiritual Abuse, a Gay Communication Leader Comes Out

Hello Jay. If your mom’s name was Faye, I believe I know some of your family…Regardless, I have a nephew that has come out as gay, also a niece (cousins, not siblings). My great uncle on my dad’s side was gay. My sister had a housemate that was intersex. She was a medical anomaly to many and during some surgery, they took photos of her while sedated…she won a huge lawsuit later on. She died from heart problems but I know, know that God never wanted things so…This was not His plan for His children…to be forsaken by brothers and sisters, especially brothers and sisters that claim the name ‘Christian’.

Jay, please forgive us for how you’ve been treated. Forgive us, we truly do not know what we do to one another.

In His love, Chrissie Decker, West Central Maine

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Thank you for not quietly slipping out of the closet, or running back in. I wish that you and all of us as human beings could freely be ourselves, could LIVE OUT instead of hiding and wondering how we will be received if we lived and loved intimately as ourselves. I am so grateful that you are still here to share your story, and I pray that you will be divinely honoured with restitution as Job was honoured when evil tried to defame him.

I have only recently, at 46 years old, explored my sexuality with God, in an amazing opportunity that was clearly His gift. And even though I feel very confident in who I am, in knowing that I can marry whomever I choose, male or female, and be quite safe in His love, I still feel some pain at knowing that there will be some loss attached to complete openness. But freedom for others who may follow me is worth more than the pain.

I feel so grateful to those who have lived out in the face of persecution and abuse, so that we can live out, and at the same time I feel as if it should be harder, as if I should have to have carried some of their pain. And so I will gratefully live out in their light.

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Behavior is the choice. Sexual orientation is not a choice. Orientation has no affect/effect over our daily discipling walk with Jesus Christ. Any goodness we possess, how we treat others, and then seeking to make a difference within our spheres of influence in every day life–these are the real choices. Jesus invites us to both of His kingdoms where we will find the imperfect, the irregular, the queer, the hard core sinner, the cheat, the prostitute, the drug addict–THIS is the kingdom promised to me, through grace, and where I really belong.

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Thank you for sharing.

Even when I was still active in the church, I told my children I would support them in (almost) any career path that did not involve denominational employment.

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An Adventist friend of mine, who gives me SDA periodicals now and then, gave me a copy of the North Pacific Gleaner today. We play cards at the senior center here in Idaho. Pictured in this edition are the church union officers as well as other noteworthy indiduals such as Jay Wintermeher,.editor of the Gleaner.

The way Jay is being treated here by the church, after all his years of faithful service, is beyond outrage. The one who outed him should be shamed into oblivion. Jay, I hope you let it be known for and wide about this travesty. The church should suffer a backlash and not be in able to quietly sweep you out like rubbish.

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If we’re talking about SDA Christians, here, @JimWibberding, I’d say it’s for the same reason I don’t castigate my neighbors for mowing their lawns, watching the game “over a cold one,” and/or engaging in other kinds of work or pleasure on Sabbath: I have no agreement with them as it pertains to these activities.

On the other hand, I do have an agreement with members of my local denomination, and/or, virtually, with the larger global membership, as it pertains to these activities, and/or the fourth commandment. I have this by virtue of membership in an organization which deems such behavior against its standards.

Said another way, the difference is the term you used: The context of the church structures. Structures differentiate behavior.

I can stand idly in a park, or on a corner, listening to music. I might even sit down and eat lunch there, then momentarily nap.

I can’t do any of these in your office, next to your desk at work. Why?

The context of the job structures. Structures differentiate behavior.

HA

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Please, @bness: What do you mean when you say, “Being gay is perfectly normal”?

I take it you are using “perfectly” as an intensifier, here. If so, what do you mean by “normal”?

In other words, are you saying it’s a likely outcome of human genetics, and thus, “normal”?

It seems that “normal,” in such a context, is a technical term that has to do with likely outcomes, given a certain material framework.

Are you saying that being gay is genetically normal? If so, what does that mean?

I ask these questions because I’ve enjoyed collegial, deferential discussions with you about race — a complicated, divisive subject — in the past. Because of this, I suspect we may be able to reach some consensus in this matter.

Put another way, that something is “an outgrowth of what it means to be human” could not be what you mean by “normal,” because everything humans experience falls under this heading, and no one would call everything in which humans engage, or which comes from our God-designed genetic systems — e.g., Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome — “normal.” Unless you are doing so. Are you?

Perhaps you are using this word to console the author; i.e., as a counselor. If so, I would understand this is not a claim on your expertise, but on your compassion, and leave it at that.

I’m not a biologist, and I certainly don’t specialize in genetics. So, I welcome your clarifying responses.

You also say:

I’m not clear what the rationale is behind this argument. It seems one, again, could describe any maleficent behavior this way, and close the logical loop.

I agree with this statement, in this case, but with caveats.

Jay Wintermeyer’s testimony, above, describes him as an ideal SDA person and employee. So, this leads me to agree with you.

However, his narrative leaves out details which are relevant to adjudication of it.

For example, on what basis was he accused of being gay, and on what basis was he terminated?

When accused, was he practicing homosexuality? If he was, this is a relevant detail in the story he does not provide. If he wasn’t, why and on what basis did the church fire him?

HA

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There are some problems with this story.

  1. Children of 3 do not know whether they are gay or not.
  2. What was in the letter that prompted the investigation? The church does not condemn gay orientation, but gay practice. What did the letter say? If as an administrator, I received such a letter, I would show it to the employee, and ask about it. If the letter were true, I would come up with some equitable solution, taking into account the church’s position and the employee. If the employee denied the letter, I would discard it and let the issue drop. But the employee had better be honest.
  3. Wintermeyer seems to have had a positive church experience, enjoying his work and being engaged in activities he apparently loved. And remained employed until May 2022, signifying a positive view by his employers. So why the sudden change of heart by W.? Why is the church so bad when it apparently was so good?
  4. The church’s position on homosexuality is known, and published. If you are a practicing gay, and not saying so, you will fall afoul of that policy if you are found out. Is that surprising? No. If a Republican were secretly working for a Dem’s campaign, and was found out, he would be fired.
  5. I assume that Wintermeyer will receive sustentation, or a severance package (he is eligible with 35 years of service). He did not say he did not, and the church could be sued if he did not. So he is being treated fairly. He apparently got a good recommendation, as he has gotten a good job so quickly.

So all this condemnation and handwringing is silly. The church has a position. it followed policy. If you do to like the policy, that is just your opinion. The policy is not out of line, unChristian, or illegal.

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This comment deleted for “Morning After” Reasons….

I said I would not answer you, but I thought this was so funny, I had to commend your it. Kudos!

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Thanks, Allen, and while I know we’ve had-I mean, have-our differences, I was sort of interested to see your response to my comments on the topic of intolerance.

Specifically, I am intolerant of the most basic claim of all organized religions, i.e., that they are the authorized distributors for god’s messages to human beings, and I see my refusal to accept that premise as having been so practical and beneficial in my life that I am as unlikely to retreat from it as a physicist would be apt to recant his belief in atoms and electrons.

But I suspect you, like most other adherents to religious thinking, would be intolerant of my suggestion that there are better ways to understand our maker than going to church and studying 2,000 year old “hand me down” stories about him and that you absolutely reject my assertion that god doesn’t need middle men to relay his “good news” to his creatures.

So while I think I can more or less predict your response and that you would have referred me to some antiquated hearsay (i.e., would quoted an old kindergarten memory verse or two) that purportedly agrees with, and not coincidentally supports your position, I was willing to consider anything new, interesting or more logical that you might have to say on the subject.

IOW, while I found it kinda sad-but also predictable-that you’re so dogmatically religious about keeping your promises, I accept and respect your insistence on maintaining “radio silence”.

:wink:

Even Scripture says you do not need a middle man. We can all come before the throne of grace by ourselves (Heb 4:16). Jesus invites us to come (Matt 11:28). So, if you want to approach God, go ahead the way is open to all.

And as far as needing scripture, the Scripture teaches that that is not necessary either. "The heavens declare the glory of God. (Ps 19:1), so God can be known without scripture. And Paul says this: “Indeed, even Gentiles who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even thought they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts.” (Rom 2:14,15).

I personally consider the scripture a great gift, for it is mine, addressed to me, that is instructions God has given graciously to me that I might come into his presence. But I would not presume to say that my way is the only way. We are all different, and God delights in differences. So go to him personally and enjoy his presence. He is waiting for you.

Over and out…

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Sure, I can clarify. the word “perfectly” is being used colloquially, as in I am “perfectly fine.” So, you can ignore that word, I was just using it for emphasis.

When I say normal, I mean that genetic mutations are normal. Obviously, some genetic mutations are also detrimental, but that does not make them abnormal. The word normal is a loaded word, because so often it is used as the opposite of abnormal, when the better pair of words to use in a situation like sex and gender might be typical vs. atypical. IOW, the typical outcome in human development and genetics is that you get a person who is cis-male or a cis-female who is heterosexual in orientation. Atypical outcomes would a cis-male who is gay, or a trans person. Both of these atypical outcomes are normal, from a genetic perspective.

Since there is nothing morally wrong with such individuals or in how they choose to express their gender or sexuality, we can consider such outcomes part of normal gender and sexual variation. I am not making a deeper point than that. Being gay or trans is just part of the normal spectrum of gender/sexual variation.

I find this whole part of the situation very distasteful. It was an anonymous letter. Such a source should not even have been used to depose him at all.

Secondly, what does “practicing homosexuality” even mean? Does it mean any kind of same-sex sexual behavior? Does it mean that a single “slip” of same-sex behavior with another person? I think this is where the church has simply taken a wrong direction. It should not be the church’s place to police this, unless we are equally as diligent in policing all other single individuals in their heterosexual behavior, since pre-marital (or non-marital, or extra-marital) sex is just as wrong when practiced outside of marriage. Do we really want the church to start policing all that?

As long as the allegations against Jay are via an anonymous letter I think they should never have been acted on, and I suspect would not had a similar allegation of him having say heterosexual relations with an unmarried woman been the case instead.

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Thanks, Allen, and while I appreciate the Bible study, I think you’ll agree that the Bible is a two-edged sword which can be used to support just the opposite of everything you’ve said and which historically has lead to some rather despicable results.

Which is why I prefer to study more secular stuff about our creator:

Personally, I enjoy the immediacy of god’s first book, Nature, to sitting in church and sifting through another recapitalization of a mountain of age-old quotes from some self-professed holy man or woman in the hope of potentially finding a few flecks of gold.

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I only quoted because you did not want a kindergarten verse recitation (I tried to go deeper), and I wanted to show you that scripture did not disagree with your thinking.

As far as Muir goes, I have spent days in the Sierra wilderness with my Dad and brothers as we hiked his namesake trail. Delightful time, and beautiful country, especially on a clear sunny day in the summer (of course the pain and suffering on the trail tend to fade…). Skied at Mammoth Mt. ski resort, too, and again beautiful.

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I realized some time ago that the Bible is a Rorschach image that displays whatever one wants to see.

But Spectrum implies that I must be boring others at this point so I’ll bow out.

(I would mention, though, that hearing whales sing in the Pacific below while parked at a scenic overlook in Big Sur was one of those more spiritual moments in my life.)

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The comparisons of good and evil for instance found in Galatians 5 would seem to make that impossible. The OT is more ambiguous, but the NT is pretty clear.

You could actually hear the whales while standing on the shore? I did not know that was possible. I know the sounds travel for great distances, even 100s of miles, but I did not know you cold hear them on land. Astounding.

Do you consider slavery good or evil?

Because the Bible can go either way.

Just sayin.

But now you’ve got me wondering about the whales. Maybe it was a surfer playing a recording on his boom box??? If so, the moment doesn’t seem so spiritual or miraculous.

But then again, according to Jim Bon Jovi:

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How about keeping concubines? That’s fine, too, in the bible. Multiple wives? Good to go! No problem. Procreating with your slave girls? Also just awesome. Blessed by God, even!

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Uh… yeah.

Multiple wives.

Definitely biblical.

And call me henpecked if you must, but I’m gonna have to check with my current spouse and get back to you on that…

:flushed::wink::rofl:

(Oh, and I’d like to remind @ajshep that I’m not a big fan of Galatians or any of Paul’s version of Jesus’ gospel as he never met Jesus personally and there is no reason to believe anything he said was “Jesus Approved” other than the fact that Paul repeatedly insists (perhaps too much!?!?) that this must be the case. Also, if one reads Robert Eisenman’s book “James the Brother of Jesus” one finds pretty compelling reasons to believe that James, himself, didn’t buy into Paul’s “discipleship” either….)

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