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3 Great Things About Readers Like This One ...

1. Even when they are upset with me, they are polite and generous and civil. ... like this kind person who (mis)read my introduction to Andrew Marin's book Love is an Orientation. (A revised version of the "parable" part of that foreword appeared in A New Kind of Christianity, Chapter 17.)

I'm writing to you concerning your remarks in Andrew Marin's book. If I hadn't seen Andrew on Ytube or heard my pastor talk about him, I might not have read the book based on your foreword.

I'm not trying to pick a fight, but I was greatly disturbed with the sweeping allegations you made against the gay community on page 10 of the foreward. You accused gay people of trying to recruit young people into their way of life, but you name no such organizations; you say Jesus condemned homosexuals, but you didn't give a reference. To my knowledge, Jesus said nothing about homosexuals, but he did say a lot about self-righteousness, hypocrisy and divorce. He was big on social justice as well as personal salvation. Now if you're going to use Paul, then you should have mentioned him.

You criticize countries(which ones?) that are allowing this lifestyle to run rampant as somehow undesirable. What's happening in these so-called unnamed countries? I know in Uganda where they want to make gayness illegal by executing them is pretty awful.

You also blamed the gay community for breaking up families and churches which I thought was a pretty strong one-sided allegation. I know what's happening in the American Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. I've heard Bishop Robinson interviewed and I believe he thinks he's doing God's will just like you think you are.

Now you have a right to your opinion, but when you make the above serious accusations, you better give some credible sources. That's my complaint.

I was so upset after reading your foreword that I looked you up on the Internet and was shocked to see that you are associated with Sojourners and that you campaigned for President Obama in 2008. The persona I saw on your website didn't seem to square with the foreward you wrote in Andrew's book. I thought the writer of the foreward must be a different Brian McClaren.

I am a straight Christian married for xx years this week. My husband and I just joined a xxx church whose pastor is openly gay. The church isn't a "gay church" but a family church which welcomes all people. We don't hear any sermons about being gay or straight; we hear sermons about God'd love and acceptance. Yes, we have gay couples and singles who attend. Some of them are as old as I am (60+) who have been with their partners for many years. In the majority are straight couples, singles, and children. The Body of Christ is very diverse.

The pastor of Riverside Church in New York once said something that I thought was profound. Can't we be be of 2 minds, but of one heart? I'm hoping that is how you receive my message.

I appreciate you reading my message.

In Christ's love and grace,

2. They are willing to listen to "the other side." We sent this reply ...

So sorry about the misunderstanding. Please read the 3rd paragraph on page 12. Brian isn't talking about homosexuality. He's talking about fundamentalism.

And then we received this response:

Thank you so much for writing to clarify! How did I miss that key word, "parable" right before he started the "lifestyle" business? I'm glad I wrote and you could explain the truth to me!! Now what I read about Brian matches up with the foreword!

... I apologize for my misinterpretations of Brian's message. I guess he's like Stephen Colbert using a right wing persona to ridicule the right!

I applaud Brian for his non-judgemental stand! I will look to read more from him on the Internet.

God bless you and Brian! I will read more carefully from now on!!

In humility,

3. They're humble, which continually humbles me.
I'm thankful for readers like you!