Nothing Can Separate Us

 


Edited By: Mike ArbuckleUnpublished Copyright © 1998, 1999
All rights reserved
To obtain permission to use this material,

 

“One-Third of All Youth Suicides Involve Gay Youth; Therefore, School Systems Need to Promote ‘Understanding’ of Gay Lifestyles To Protect and Enhance the Self-Esteem of Gay Youth.”

What does this mean? The Lord has showed me scripture that have really touched my heart. The Ministry that he gave me is Zion Gay Christian Youth Ministries. But of course if I were to go into Scripture that would spoil the message that I’m going to bring you. First off the Churches today are “Handing homosexual teens over to Satan. What kind of Church would do that? I was in that same Situation. Here is an article that a friend did for me, as he was a witness to what the pastor of a Foursquare Church also is a letter that I had received from the pastor via email. I also sent a letter to people that are and continue to support me.

SUNDAY, MAY 17, 1998. SUNLAND, CA–

Pastor Rick Reisner called a special congregational gathering this evening at the Sunland Foursquare Church. The meeting was called to give three members of the congregation an opportunity to repent of their sexually immoral sins or be removed from the congregation excommunicate until they publicly repent, apologize and ask for forgiveness. A cheerful farewell was also given to a member-family who was leaving the church.

Approximately 100 members present in audience heard Pastor Reisner read several passages from the Bible regarding sexual immorality including verses from Leviticus, Romans, 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy. Pastor Reisner also quoted verses from Matthew, 1 Corinthians and Titus which address the issues of removing unrepentant sinners from the congregation as well as committing their souls into the hands of Satan so that they may be saved on the Day of Judgement.

Member’s Marke Bridge and Jana Cox were asked to stand in front of the congregation and repent, apologize and ask for forgiveness for their sexually immoral sins. Cox is currently pregnant with the young couples’ second child conceived out of wedlock. Since this will be the couples’ second child, it was the second time that they were required to stand before the congregation or face excommunication. Although no date for their wedding was announced, the couple was tearfully, yet cheerfully reintegrated back into the congregation. Applause resounded as Pastor Reisner encouraged the congregation to acknowledge Jesus’ forgiveness of Bridge and Cox’s sexual immorality and their public confession.

Silence filled the sanctuary as Pastor Reisner gave three opportunities for 18-year-old Steve Payne to repent of his sexual immorality. Terrified, yet resolved, Payne sat mute facing the accuser, his friends and the rest of the congregation. A member since age 12, Payne had given written notice to Pastor Reisner effective two days ago requesting to be removed from the rolls of membership. But Pastor Reisner did not publicly acknowledge receipt of Payne’s letter and instead chose to proceed with the excommunication. Payne shares a studio apartment with his boyfriend, Frank, and it is assumed that allegations of sexual immorality stem from Payne’s monogamous, homosexual relationship even though the word “homosexuality” was never once mentioned in the pastor’s quoting of scripture.

Thanks in part to his Christian education by Pastor Reisner and the Foursquare Church, Payne aspires to be a pastor himself and has already established a cyber-ministry dedicated to the Christian education of gay/lesbian youth (www.angelfire.com/la/gayChristianyouth) and is currently attending another church, Christ Chapel of North Hollywood.

Having been given ample opportunity to repent of sexual immorality which went unanswered by Payne, Pastor Reisner then prayed and warned his congregation to have nothing more to do with the 18-year-old claiming scripture which says that churches are to banish and avoid any further communication with unrepentant sinners. Although the Pastor Reisner threatened it, the committing of Payne into the hands of Satan was not accomplished, and the meeting was concluded with a cheerful farewell to a member-family followed by a time of prayer. Payne left the church. No one spoke to him.

(–Witnessed and reported by Dana Seufert, email: Surfr92651@aol.com. Seufert loves the ocean but hates gnarly reefs. He is a professional musician with 20+ years of experience in music ministry and looks like a cross between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Eric Stoltz, Ludwig Van Beethoven and Sammy Hagar. Seufert is a free-lance journalist writing about all kinds of humorous and silly stuff, especially the most ludicrous which occurs vainly in the name of Christ Jesus).

 The following was written or included by Steve Payne:

Church address and letter to all that was supporting me…please forward this to anyone. I gave permission. Thanks. In the case you have not receive the letter that Pastor Rick sent me, here it is:

 

Subj: Re: Please Read

Date: 98-05-13 04:23:49 EDT

From: BigREVRic

To: PRAISHIM98

Steven,

I want you to know that we are having a congregation meeting on Sunday evening (17th). If by that time you have not repented of being involved in homosexuality, you will be taken out of fellowship with this congregation…based on 1 Cor 1:1-5.

1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife.

2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this?

3 Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present.

4 When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present,

5 hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord. (NIV)

It will also be based on Matt 18:15-17:

15 “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.

16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’

17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

Marke Bridge & Jana Cox have been given the same deadline to repent before the congregation or face being removed from fellowship based on the same scriptures.

I am fairly sure you will not agree with this or in any way understand our position that each of you has forced upon us. You know that we loved you & we will continue to love you, but we are accountable before God to take this scriptural stance. It is not our way of doing things…it is God’s way. He loves sinners…so do we. He hates sin…. so do we. We will always be here to help restore you…. if you so desire.

I can not in words explain the pain this causes Bobbie & me. But there is no room whatsoever for negotiation or for compromise on homosexuality. It is an abomination to God. We tried (Mitch, Troy, Don, Bobbie, Me) to help you because you said you wanted help & wanted out of this bondage…. when you feel this way again we will be waiting with open arms to embrace you. I know you don’t mean to do wrong or to hurt the heart of God, but I am afraid that is exactly what you are doing.

I will continue to pray that God will open your eyes…and that you will come running back to the Body of Christ.

God Bless your decision-making.

Pastor Rick

 

Steve Payne

Praishim98@aol.com

www.angelfire.com/la/gayChristianyouth

 

May 18, 1998

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I would like to start and say THANKS and may GOD BLESS you… This has been a Struggle for me. I would ask that you please continue to pray for me in this struggle. And continue to pray for my partner and our relationship as we might break up. Satan said to God: “Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.” (Job 1:7) Job was plagued with many trails and Scripture states: “The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the Four Corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him.” (Job 1:12-22, NIV) this was the First Test.

I would like to explain what took place at the Church when Dana and me went…As you know I took a witness and went to hear what was going to be said. They said that there was another person that was involved and was confronted about their sexual immorality. And they mentioned my name and ask if I was going to repent. I stayed in my chair and did not say anything to them. The congregation look at me and I did nothing…I faced my accuser. There was a few seconds of silences. They prayed for me. He also mentioned that I had known them for many years…I believe that it was recorded. Dana or will try to get a copy of the tape from Church. They did not follow what I stated in the Letter that I had written to them.

Since the Pastor has changed his email address IN THIS LETTER I HAVE PROVIDED THE ADDRESS TO THE CHURCH AND ALSO THAT OF THE FOURSQUARE HEADQUARTERS ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER. If you would like to write please do. May the Lord take this into his hands through my writing.

 

Church Address:

Sunland Foursquare Church

Pastor Rick & Bobbie Reisner

10602 Sherman Grove

Sunland, Ca 91040 USA

818-352-5943- phone

Foursquare Headquarters

Roger Williams

1910 W. Sunset Boulevard, Suite 200

P.O. Box 26902

Los Angeles, CA 90026

(213) 989-4221-phone

Please send all general correspondence in care of the Communications Office.

Regarding Scripture I have faith that, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NIV) Also Paul says it best in Romans starting at chapter 8: 38″For I am convinced that neither death nor life, either angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 9:1 I speak the truth in Christ–I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit.” No I’m not lying and I pray that he will take care of it. Paul also continues at Roans 9:2-5 which reads: “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.” I really have to say I feel like Paul here in Roans.

Thanks again for the support and the continued support.

 In His Service,

 Steve Payne

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”-Phil 4:13

 

 Forward

 

I would like to thank all the people those supported me and also have helped me with this matter. First off I would like to thank Bill, Dana, my pastor at Christ Chapel of the Valley, and the congregation. And everyone that has emailed me and given me support. Paul wrote to the Philippians congregation and stated:

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”- Phil 4:13. The Lord has done some awesome things and he continues to do so. I also thank the Lord for everything and I pray that he will help those teens that are struggling between being GAY and Christian. That you can be a GAY CHRISTIAN!

 

 “Whosoever”

 

What did Christ mean when he said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16, KJV) Who is the “Whosoever”? This precious and well-known verse speaks of the divine love, which moved God to provide salvation for the world through His Son. There are two words used for “life” in the Greek N.T. Zoe, meaning “life” in its absolute sense, as God has given it, is used in this verse. It signifies spiritual life in John. This word is frequently used for “eternal life” with its special emphasis upon the quality of life and its endless duration through the ages to come. This life is available only through belief in God’s Son. The biblical concept of “eternal life” is more than immortality, and it involves not only the soul but also the body.

The meaning of whosoever is that anyone that believes in his Son has eternal life. Jesus goes on to state,

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17, NIV) So we see here that Christ did not come to the earth to condemn the wold, but that we might be saved through him. Of course things can separate us from God and Scripture clearly says that.

Know listen to what Paul said in Romans, “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey–whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:8-23) Last verse bolded, For the wages of sin is death. No problem right? Christ came and so we have eternal life through him.

In other word Paul also states that “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1, 2) Those that are in Christ have no “condemnation” at all. If a person has one partner and is committed and is following Christ there is no problem. Know for sins that are condemned are that when he wrote to Timothy he states, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5, NIV) This goes along with Jesus words at John 13:35, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

As we can see with many Scriptural references, Christ does accept those who have received him. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one will boast.” (Eph. 2:8, 9, NIV)

As we go into the book of Romans we shall see that “Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Many churches have said that we live in sin because being Gay; but what does Paul have to say? We shall see.

Yes you can proudly say that you “Love Jesus!” God has shown me from his Word that was written to Paul the letter in Romans. That we can be Gay and Christian at the same time. The following will be Parts of Romans Chapter 8 through Chapter 9. We as the gay community have been told that we cannot be gay and Christian. That it is an abomination to God. AS WE look into what Paul wrote this would confirm that God loves us very much and that we are his people. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” -(Romans 8:28, NIV) Yes God will help those that love him and that have accepted Jesus as Savior. For Paul wrote, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”-Romans 8:1,2, NIV. We have no Condemnation if we are in Christ. Amen! (Please Compare Romans 8:29)

One thing I know the Lord is doing is using the Gay Community to reach out to those that have been thrown out of there churches because they are gay. I have also started a Ministry of my own. SO that people can know that God loves them. My ministry is call, “Zion Gay Christian Youth Ministries.” Paul writes, “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” (Romans 8:30, NIV) He has called the Gay Community to be called, and he is justifying us. And at one point we shall be GLORIFIED!

“31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Romans 8:31-35, NIV) Paul connects seven rhetorical questions to lead us to the wonderful truths that: (1) God is for us; (2) He will freely give us all things; (3) He has justified us; (4) He prays for us; and (5) we cannot be separated from His love. All of these precious blessings are granted to those who are in Christ Jesus. With encouragement such as these, the Gay Christian can endure suffering with hope and assurance. And SHAME ON THOSE CHURCHES!

  • Most Churches are so legalistic meaning legalism. The Microsoft Bookshelf defines these words as: “Legalism-1.1.Strict, literal adherence to the law or to a particular code, as of religion or morality. A legal word, expression, or rule.” Some Churches today are “fundamentalism” which mean: “1.a. Often Fundamentalism. An organized, militant Evangelical movement originating in the United States in 1920 in opposition to Liberalism and secularism. b. Adherence to the theology of this movement. 2. A movement or point of view characterized by rigid adherence to fundamental or basic principles.” But it is what Scripture says, not what men say!

As Paul continues in Romans, we know as Christian Witnesses of the only True God (John 17:3) that “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” (Romans 8:36 NIV) Yes we do face death. We are like sheep to be slaughtered. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” -Romans 8:37, NIV. Yes we are conquerors through him who loves us. We have a promise that no one else will have unless they “SURRENDER” all their selves.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38, 39, NIV. We can be assured that nothing can separate us from the love of God. As long as we are faithful to him he will surely bless us. For Isaiah says: “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”-Isaiah 55:11. Yes His word that goes forth will not return to him without result. Amen.

What the Lord has showed the same thing and me that Paul’s statement is “I speak the truth in Christ–I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit–2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.” (Romans 9:1, 2, NIV) Its not what I speak but that of the Lord. And we can be Gay and Christian at the same time. As I quoted before in Romans 8:1: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” WE are set free in Christ Jesus.

In regard to me being kicked out of my church, it hurt very much. And I took what Paul wrote in the following verses: “For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, 4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs [church fathers], and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.” ((Romans 9:3-5, NIV) Yes I wish I could die for those who caused pain and disfellowshipped me. But I pray that God will open the pastor’s heart and anyone that has gone through the same thing. We don’t need to give up our salvation for Paul states at Philippians 4:13: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” In this verse, we can understand what Paul meant that The fervor of Paul’s evangelical heart is displayed in this verse. His Israelite brethren, because of their unbelief, are not the recipients of all the gracious works of God in salvation to which earlier discussions allude. But the apostle is concerned for them to the extent that he could wish himself “accursed” (anathema, Gk.) or “devoted to destruction” in the place of them. Paul has walked so closely with the Lord that a spirit of compassion similar to that, which led Jesus to make atonement for the human family, is now operative in Paul also. The fact that he specifies his “countrymen according to the flesh” prepares us to understand the term “Israel” as a reference to literal Israel in the discussion to follow. We can also apply that to us today. (Compare Romans 9:6- 14)

In the Old Testament Paul states in the book of Romans “For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. (Romans 9:15, 16, NIV) Yes the will have mercy on those he wants to have mercy on. “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”-Romans 9:17. The trials we go through the Lord will be there and he will help us. “Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.”(Romans 9:18, NIV) (Compare Romans 9:19-24)

God to many of his prophets called Israel to be his people. And through out Biblical History, Israel was God’s chosen people but to day are we His people he is using? As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” and, “It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God.'” (Romans 9:25-26, NIV) Yes God has said to us that ‘you are not my people,’ He will say he will call them sons of the living God. Praise the Lord! (Romans 9:27-29)

Since Israel was not faithful we can agree what Paul says at Romans 9:30-32: “What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.” Yes we as Gentiles have abstained salvation through Christ Jesus and he loves us not matter what. Nothing can separate us from the Love of God! (Compare Romans 9:33)

I would like to invite you to attend a church that is a gay Church. They are God’s people and he is moving and working. He has blessed me with a wonderful ministry, for those that have been rejected from their churches that they attended most of there life. The Lord has given a Scripture to apply to the Ministry that he has given me. “I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand– I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.'”-Isaiah 51:16, NIV. I want to start a group of Gay Christian youth that will be able to stand and say I can be Gay and Christian at the same time. WE can do it. The door is open. The Lord is preparing and wants us to prepare. If you can help in anyway please let me know. 

 If you haven’t accepted the Lord please pray this prayer:

Father in Heaven,


I have left you because of Scripture that was I was being told that condemned me, and I pray that you would help me to understand your word. I accept you Sons ransom and I receive you into my heart. I pray that you also forgive me of my sins. I love you Lord and I accept you.

In your Sons name,

Jesus Christ

Amen!

If you prayed this prayer, please email me and let me know and I will send you information.

May the Lord Hold you and Keep you