Tag Archives: Justin Welby

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

October 28: Idols

‘Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. It remains a constant temptation to faith.’ (CCC #2113)

Rather than seeing through our fellows a glimpse of the divine, we divinize them. That is our sinful tendency: we reduce people to the image that pleases us. In our failure to release others to be icons, we bow down and worship them as idols.

Idolatry is especially subtle and destructive on relational levels. Friendships can start with the best of intentions and become demonic. The needy soul can twist a holy (enough) person into a despot or sexpot, and vice-versa. The drive to worship the creature involves two deceived players with complementary desires to worship and be worshipped. Our churches are full of them: ‘they’ are us.

Some of us are graced with obvious idolatrous tendencies. As a boy becoming a man, I had a strong tendency to eroticize masculinity—to bow down before the raised phallus and other symbols of powerful masculinity. Satan worked overtime to take an emotional vulnerability and pervert it. The sexy beach culture in which I grew up enkindled such perversion; life consisted of a series of altars at which I worshipped mere men.

Ideally, men could have become mentors, fully clothed, whose confirmation might have provided a bridge to normal, precluding a multitude of sins. Ah well…

My deception dawned on me when I realized that instead of liberating desire, homosexual practice enslaved it. Potential icons became idols.

A more subtle form of idolatry exists in traditional heterosexuality when one spouse makes the other a god. That becomes apparent when the divinized one stumbles, and ceases instantly to be a savior. The revelation of spousal idolatry can ignite the fiery process of transforming idols into marital icons, windows to the merciful God that both spouses need to be saved.

Church leaders facilitate idolatry when, instead of reflecting Jesus in their weak humanity, they leech His light. That is obvious when they demand a form of submission from persons all too eager to idolize the ‘religious.’ Christians must be taught to stand as adults alongside church leaders, respecting their function but not deferring to their whims. We must allow our leaders to be flawed icons who guide us and with whom we can disagree.

‘Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God. The commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless disintegration. Idolatry is a perversion of man’s innate religious sense.’
(CCC #2114)

Please join us as we pray for:

1. Northeast Region, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Garry & Melissa Ingraham – Coordinators: For strength and vision for Garry & Melissa, for existing groups and to see new groups established.

2. Aguas Vivas: Leon, Mexico, Emma – Coordinator: Grace and strength to finish their first Aguas Vivas pilot group.

3. RHN: His Way Out Ministries, Phillip Lee, Bakersfield, CA: For health issues. HOPE Group, David Fisher, Castro Valley, CA: for God to bring good leaders for new groups in outlying areas.

“Courage for Reverend Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury), that he would ensure that the Church becomes a clear fountain of transformation for persons with same-sex attraction!”


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October 25: Flesh of Our Flesh

‘The bride belongs to the bridegroom.’ (Jn 3:29)

We who welcome the Cross as the sign and seal of God’s unfailing love for us welcome Jesus as Lover. Calvary is the means by which He betroths Himself to us. His broken flesh is the means by which He incarnates Himself into our flesh—the whole of our humanity. Blood tore the veil of sin, water cleanses us for Him, His Spirit indwells us and makes us new. We are His, He is ours.

St. Paul recognized this profoundly. He addressed the sexual impurities of the Corinthians as the spiritual adulteries that they were. ‘The Lord is meant for the body, and the body for the Lord’ (1Cor 6:13) he exclaimed, then forbade them from spiritually bonding with false lovers as to prevent them from breaking one-Spirit communion with God. He reminds us that Christians—purchased by Jesus through His blood, and raised with Him through His Spirit–now belong to God in our very bodies. His faithful love commands a faithful, bodily response to Him.

I just met with an Archbishop whose eyes conveyed the depth of his spousal bond with Jesus. He wanted to know more about Living Waters but actually I needed to know something from him. As we shared with the Church leader about how we minister to persons coming out of deep sexual sin and wounding, he replied: ‘The key to all of this is intimacy with Jesus.’ Enough said. In exchange for all my words, he summarized the essence of what we and all healers do (or should do): invite broken ones into the Cross—bridal intimacy that has power to transform the most sin-wracked frames into vessels of honor.

Many of us have served couples whose one-flesh unity was ruptured by sexual infidelity; some of us have been those couples. The beauty of yielding our bodies to give love highlights the damage done by breaking vows with our bodies. If we can see and ache for the infidelities we have committed with each other, might we not ask God for the grace to feel the damage done when we as mere creatures violate our spousal pledge to the Creator?

His intimate love invites us to surrender our heart afresh to Him, especially when native lust tempts us to wander. As we grieve over sin, let us also lament the spiritual adultery which resists communion with the very One who is our cure. His very Presence is the antidote for the addictive soul; He alone composes us and invites us to rest once more in perfect love.

‘The knowledge that God is truly with us—that it is possible to be in familiar communion with Him—is the primary need of every lonely, suffering soul. Our work as ministers is that of praying “Come Lord Jesus” then inviting each one into the healing Presence.’ Leanne Payne

Please join us as we pray:

1. Ohio, Crispin & Annelyse DeBellis – Coordinators: For strength and vision for Cris & Annelyse, for existing groups and to see new groups established. Blessings on partnership with their church to establish more Living Waters groups throughout Ohio.

2. Aguas Vivas: Cordoba, Argentina, Maria-Innes- Coordinator: For Lord’s guidance, strength and protection as they finish their first Aguas Vivas (LW) group.

3. RHN: Prayer for wisdom, discernment and protection for RHN board members: Andrew Comiskey; Stephen Black; Karen Booth; Robert Gagnon; Denise Schick; Jason Thompson.

“Courage for Reverend Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury), that he would ensure that the Church becomes a clear fountain of transformation for persons with same-sex attraction!”


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