Why This Site
The Bible and 
Sexual Orientation & 
  the Ex-Gay Fraud
Twelve Steps 
  To Recovery
Legalism as Idolatry
Jesus and the Bible
A Response to 
  Southern Baptists
Start Your Own 
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Resources and 
About the Author
Contact Us
Jesus Bible Studies
About the Author


Doctor of Theology from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY, 1968.  Southern Baptist Pastor from 1953 to 1973, Professor of Religion at Baptist College of Charleston, SC, 1973-1981.


Bible teacher, preacher, writer and pastor at Metropolitan Community Churches in Atlanta, San Francisco, and Nashville, TN., 1988-1996, and author of Invitation To Freedom, a guide to Personal Evangelism in the Gay Community, 1993, and Steps To Recovery From Bible Abuse, 1997,  published by Chi Rho Press .

Dr. Truluck is a native of Clinton, South Carolina, and was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1953 at the age of 19 when he became pastor of Beaverdam Baptist Church of Laurens, SC, while a student at Furman University in Greenville, SC, where he graduated with a BA in History and English in 1956.  Seminary education at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, included two Master's degrees in 1959 and 1962 and Doctorate in 1968 as well as Clinical Pastoral Education at Central State Hospital in Anchorage, KY. 

Dr. Truluck served as pastor of Baptist churches in Danville and Louisville, Kentucky, and in Norfolk, Virginia; at South Main Street Baptist Church in Greenwood, South Carolina; and at First Baptist Church, Columbus, Mississippi.  He was a Baptist Sunday School Board writer for Adult Sunday School lessons and taught college extension courses in religion in Virginia and in South Carolina.  In 1973, Dr. Truluck became Director of Recruitment and Placement in Church Careers and Professor of Religion at the Baptist College of Charleston, SC, where he remained until March, 1981, when he was outed as gay, resigned and move to Atlanta, where he became involved in the Metropolitan Community Church and began the research, ministry and teaching that has led to this web site and to his forthcoming book: Steps To Recovery From Bible Abuse.

All Bible translations and paraphrases are by Dr. Truluck and are based on the original languages and patterned after the New American Standard Version of the Bible.


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 MCC since 1981.

To E-mail Dr. Truluck, click rtruluck@nuvox.net or write to 201 W. Washington St. #805; Greenville, SC 29601 (telephone # 864-370-1469), for information about this ministry.

"My Story" is taken from the Introduction to
my book,
Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse.

My book and web site, "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse,"  are based on what I have experienced and learned from many sources.  I grew up in a Southern Baptist home and church in South Carolina, a small town with cotton mills and a Presbyterian college.  My parents taught me by example the family values of love, respect for all people, kindness, generosity, truth telling, fairness, self respect, loyalty and faith in God.  "Finish what you start, always do your best work whether you feel like it or not, and take pride in your work" were the main features of the "work ethic" I learned as a child.  I learned early that hate is not a family value!  These family values continue to guide my life now.

At about the time I started to public school, I began to realize that I was attracted to other boys sexually and was not attracted to girls.  This awareness grew stronger into high school and until I was 18 years old and graduated in 1952. Of course, I dated girls, pretended to be interested in them, and kept my homosexuality to myself except for the occasional sexual experiences that I had with other boys.

During the summer of 1952, I experienced God's call to the ministry and dedicated my life to serving Jesus Christ in whatever God led me to do.  In 1956, I graduated from Furman University in Greenville, S. C.  While attending college, I serve for over three years as pastor of Beaverdam Baptist Church, a small rural church in Laurens County, SC.  There I began a lifelong emphasis on personal and small group evangelism and on Bible preaching.  I was ordained by my home church when I was 19 years old.

Before I went to Furman University, I had pre-enrolled to major in Art, then, after I decided to go into the ministry, I changed to a major in History and minor in English, which was the recommendation at the time for preparation for seminary.  I also took a lot of religion courses with some really outstanding professors.  Sometimes I wonder how different my life would have been if I had stayed with Art and become a flaming artist, cartoonist, or designer as I had intended instead of becoming a Southern Baptist preacher! 

I entered The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., where I earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree (now M.Div) in 1959 and a Master of Theology degree in 1962.  I returned to the seminary after several years as pastor of Ingleside Baptist Church in Norfolk, VA, and earned the Doctor of Sacred Theology degree in 1968.  Serving as student pastor of several churches in Kentucky and South Carolina during my seminary days, I learned about the destructive power of sick religion as well as the great power and love of Christ to change people into God's children. 

My doctoral dissertation was on "SMALL GROUP EVANGELISM IN THE LOCAL CHURCH" and helped to prepare me for work in my churches, teaching at the college, and now in writing this book.  My graduate studies and field experiences focused on group dynamics and the design and function of small groups for spiritual growth in and outside of churches.  I prepared material, promoted, taught and facilitated hundreds of small groups for inquirers, new members, Bible students and others throughout my years as a pastor and as a professor at Baptist College and more recently in First MCC Atlanta, Golden Gate MCC San Francisco, MCC Nashville, and in dozens of other MCC churches and conferences.


During the years from 1952 to 1968, I wrestled quietly with my own homosexual orientation without any counseling or helpful reading material.  The present great wealth of books and articles on homosexuality did not yet exist.  Rev. Troy Perry began the first lesbian/gay church, Metropolitan Community Church, in Los Angeles in October of 1968.  I did not know about MCC until 1981.

In 1959, I married and began to build a home and family, just as I was expected to do as a Southern Baptist minister.  We had three beautiful children, and everything seemed "normal," but I was gay and frustrated and in secret pain that I could not discuss with anybody.  I went to three different psychiatrists for help, including Dr. Corbett Thigpen, who wrote "THE THREE FACES OF EVE," but they told me that psychiatry cannot change sexual orientation.  Dr. Thigpen also told me that I am obsessive/compulsive, and they cannot do anything to change that either!  He added, however, that this is not necessarily bad and that most people who accomplish a lot are obsessive/compulsive.

I served as pastor of South Main Street Baptist Church in Greenwood, S. C., from 1968 to 1973 and of First Baptist Church of Columbus, Miss., for part of 1973.  Later in 1973, I joined the faculty of The Baptist College of Charleston, S. C., where I was professor of religion and developed a program of recruitment, church placement and field supervision of ministry students until 1981.  I visited over 700 South Carolina Baptist churches to lead revivals, Bible studies, pastors conferences and programs on church careers.  For several  years I also wrote adult Sunday School quarterlies for the Southern Baptist Convention.

Personal evangelism was an important emphasis in all of my ministry.  Hundreds of young people in the churches and at the college learned to share their faith in Christ and went with me to churches and schools to tell about their personal experiences with Christ and to tell how they had witnessed to friends, classmates, family members.  I learned that the greatest influence on students is other students.


On March 3, 1981, the President of the college asked me to resign because the trustees had been informed that I was gay.  I was outed by a long time friend and companion who was gay and a Christian and who said that God told him to do it.  The college trustees had a secret meeting where no written record was kept.  Even the college President was left out of the meeting and was informed by telephone to "secure my resignation immediately."  I resigned "for personal reasons."  No written record was kept of any of this.  Later, I was pressured by state Baptist leaders to resign my Baptist ordination to "protect my family from harassment."  On March 5, 1981, I took my 7 year old daughter to her second grade school, told her good bye as usual and said I would see her later.  I did not see her again for 5 years.  I  moved to Atlanta to live with my sister, look for work and start over.


My parents have been very supportive of my ministry in gay churches and as a gay activist and writer.  My father died at the age of 87 in October, 1997.  My mother is 87 and lives in a retirement center in Laurens, SC.   

When I moved to Atlanta to live with my sister in March, 1981, my parents came to see me and brought some of my things to me.  I had moved to Atlanta in my car and left almost all of my clothes and other possessions in Charleston, SC.  My dad asked me if I could get some medical help in overcoming my homosexuality.  I began to tell him that I had talked with three different psychiatrists about it and that there was no medical treatment to change a person from gay to straight. 

As I began to tell him the details, my dad said that my mother needed to hear this also; so she came in and we sat at my sister's dining room table and for about 3 hours I told them the real "story of my life" as a gay person.  After that, we never really talked in detail about it again.  My mother's response after we finished talking was to say that she thought I was gay all along.  She had noticed long ago how much more upset I was when one of my male friends could not come for a visit than I was when a female date did not work out! 

From the time that we had that talk, my parents were as supportive, loving, and accepting of me as they could possibly be.  I dedicated my first book, "Invitation to Freedom", to them.  My parents came to hear me preach and teach when I was pastor of Golden Gate MCC in San Francisco.  They have taken a strong stand for accepting gay people in my home church of First Baptist Church in Clinton, SC.  I have talked about this in some of my "updates" about my web site, which are listed in Resources and References.


When I left the college, I had taught over 5,000 students in my religion classes and had seen hundreds of young people go into church related careers.  The sudden and total end to my ministry, family, career, and income on March 3, 1981, sent me into shock that lasted about seven years.  Soon after I moved to Atlanta, I began to drink and became alcoholic.  My recovery from alcoholism began when I went with a friend to a gay Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, admitted that I was an alcoholic and needed help, took a white chip, and began the long road to recovery, sobriety, and health.  I thank God for teaching me to live "one day at a time."  

In Atlanta in 1981, I joined the Metropolitan Community Church and found acceptance and encouragement as an openly gay Christian.  Not until February of 1988, however, was I ready to resume church ministry.  With the encouragement of Carolyn Mobley, Jimmy Brock, Chuck Larsen, Reid Christensen, John Hose, Jay Neely, Troy Perry and others, I gradually resumed preaching and teaching.  The studies in this book grew out of my personal experiences, counseling, Bible research, preaching and teaching at First MCC Atlanta, Golden Gate MCC San Francisco, MCC Nashville and in many other MCC congregations for workshops and revivals from 1988 to the present.


Low self esteem among lesbian and gay Christians was the main issue that motivated my Bible studies at the beginning.  Later Bible studies were developed to deal with many other pressures, problems, and issues faced by homosexuals in an environment of homophobic hate, religious oppression, abusive use of the Bible against gays, and the persistent problem of homophobia within the gay community.  During my years of recovery and up to the present, I have experienced in myself and in many other people around me the prevailing self destructive feelings and actions that try to control us. 

We live in the midst of church and community alienation and suffer from chronic internalized and horizontal homophobia.  The gay/lesbian world, including MCC, as I have experienced it is a social and spiritual war zone.  All  traditional churches carry the self destructive virus of legalism and judgmental religion.  I have no intention, however, of attacking or fighting churches or individuals.  People and churches are not the enemy.  The enemy is Satan (meaning "the adversary" in both Hebrew and Greek).  The enemy is not people.  The enemy is within ourselves in the form of idolatry, ignorance, fear, hate, anger, discord, disputes, greed, and the other works of the flesh ("human works") in Galatians 5:19-21.  The answer is the "more excellent way" of following only Jesus.  The fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 is a description of the character of Jesus in the Gospels: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."

For several years, I have seen my calling to be to help gay and lesbian people feel good about themselves and stop hurting themselves and each other.  The only lasting solution that I have found is for individuals to invite Jesus into their lives and give up all other controls.  Let go of everything else and follow Jesus.  This was the first and the last message of Jesus in the Gospels.  I have seen many people do this and experience the new life Jesus gives.  MCC members and friends have contributed greatly to these studies. 


I am convinced that Christ centered personal evangelism along with disciplined Christ centered Bible study are the keys to success for Christian gays and lesbians in carrying out the call of Jesus to make disciples of all people.  This book is an attempt to speak to our need for an approach to spiritual growth and personal evangelism that is sensitive to lesbians, gays and bisexuals.

This means that we have to give careful attention not only to what we say but also to how we are heard when we talk about God's love in Christ for all people.  This means taking a fresh look at how to translate many Bible words and ideas.  It means taking seriously and listening to where people really are in their ideas and experiences.  It means being far more flexible in "becoming all things to all people" than we probably were taught to be in our past religious traditions.  I am convinced that reaching wounded and oppressed people with the gospel requires an accepting, non judgmental and non threatening attitude that reflects the attitude of Jesus.


We do not have the luxury of dealing with one problem at a time.  Whenever we speak up for Jesus Christ in the homosexual environment, we are surrounded by a jungle of issues related to judgmental religion, AIDS, parents and family issues, Bible abuse against us, politics, self esteem, and many, many more.  Our mission is not hopeless.  Jesus promised to give us the words when we appear before governors and kings, and I assume that includes queens, and verily even vicious queens!  We also have each other.  I thank God for what I learned through being in MCC.  This book would not have happened without MCC. 

We have the choice of selecting the people we want to be close to us and to influence our lives.  Now is the time to get negative people out of your life so that you can go on to experience and enjoy the full and meaningful life and hope of glory that God has prepared for you now and in the world to come.  Part of the joy of God in our lives is sharing our freedom, joy, love and hope with others.

Legalistic judgmental religion, however, is a deadly disease that spreads rapidly among religious people and that cripples and kills the spirit.  Legalism is the enemy of the good news of Jesus Christ.  Read Galatians to see how Paul saw Law as the opposite of Gospel.  Legalism is demonic.  Legalism killed Jesus and will kill you if you don't resist it.  The only cure for legalism is the new life and freedom that come into your life when you invite Jesus to take control.

My two years and three months as Senior Pastor of MCC Nashville taught me many hard lessons about religious abuse and the desperate need of gay and lesbian people to know and experience Jesus Christ.  In Christ we can be set free and recover from Bible abuse, fear of religion, fear of sex and internalized homophobia.  Legalism and homophobia are social and religious diseases that have reached epidemic proportions.  Legalism is "antichrist."  I don't know how to work it out, but I am sure that Legalism can somehow be shown to equal 666!

My experiences in Nashville taught me the liberating power of Jesus over legalism and sick religion.  I learned how people grow spiritually and help each other in small group study and dialogue that is truly centered in Christ.  For over two years I led a regular Wednesday spiritual support and Bible study group in my home.  The sessions began at 7 PM and lasted for about an hour of study and formal discussion.  Most of the study material is included in this book.  Then a lot of the real healing, learning and growing took place as we ate together and the people had opportunity to share personally and informally with one other.

No attempt was made to control or guide this sharing time following the study.  The Spirit of Christ seemed to be most active in liberating and healing ministry during these times when we shared in the "miracle of dialogue."  People usually stayed until about 9:30 or 10:00 and some seemed to stay for ever!  We finally had to set a time limit that would give formal closure to the sessions. 

Attendance varied, but the average was between 20 and 30.  The last group that I led before leaving Nashville was attended by 31 people, who did not know at the time that I was planning to resign.  Actually, I learned that groups of 10 to 15 people experience more dialogue and more healthy group dynamics than larger numbers, but we were reluctant to turn anyone away and could not find a convenient way to create more groups.  Since I left the church, the Wednesday group has continued and other groups are being formed.

One of the most rewarding features of the Wednesday group was that people would come seeking support and help and soon be giving support and help to others.  Many people in the group personally shared Christ with their friends, brought friends to the sessions, and helped them become involved in the church.  One man who came regularly to the group used the brochure to help his partner pray to receive Christ.  Later I celebrated their holy union, and when I left Nashville, they both were leaders in the church and regularly shared their faith in Christ with their friends.

On February 1, 1996, I resigned my MCC clergy credentials, resigned as Senior Pastor of MCC Nashville, and moved to Clinton, South Carolina, to take care of my parents.  My mother was 84 and my daddy was 85.  Mother was recovering from eye surgery and is practically blind.  Daddy was in need of constant custodial care because of "senile dementia" (the doctor's term) and could not be left alone.  My dad died in October, 1997.

In the book and web site, I hope to share with you what I have learned from my mistakes, from other people, from my own Bible study and personal experiences and from my time spent in the trenches of spiritual warfare against "principalities and powers and the rulers of darkness."  My battle scars have been inflicted more by myself and by my friends than by outsiders.  I have been deceived, betrayed, abandoned and demonized by people I love.  The enemy truly is within.  Only Jesus can save us from ourselves!  I pray for you that as you read and discuss this material, the Spirit of Christ will create in you a deeper understanding of your own experience with God in Christ and will clarify for you your own personal mission and ministry to change the world.


The brochure, "THE BIBLE AS YOUR FRIEND: A Guide for Lesbians and Gays," began as a Bible study at First MCC Atlanta in 1988.  It developed through many sessions, feed back, and revisions.  In 1990 in San Francisco, Don Eastman suggested that this study on "How to become a Christian" would be published by UFMCC.  It was published in 1991 and  has sold about 6,000 copies each year since.

I sent copies of the brochure to a lot of people, including my ex-lover, Dan, who had constantly encouraged me in the Bible studies and was on the Board of Directors of First MCC Atlanta.  Dan gave a copy of it to his new friend, David, who was not yet a Christian and had just begun to attend MCC with Dan.  My thought at the time was that it would be great if my ex-lover could use my brochure to help his new lover receive Christ into his life. 

David became a Christian, joined First MCC and became an active member.  In January, 1993, Dan and David were on the NBC television special on gays and lesbians hosted by Maria Shriver, who interviewed them in their home in Atlanta.  Maria observed that they were active in church.  David said, "Yes, we believe that God brought us together!"  The next scene showed Dan and David taking holy communion with their pastor, Rev. Reid Christensen, at First MCC Atlanta.  When I saw this on  national television, I was overwhelmed.  I still am!  Dan and David celebrated their holy union a few months later.  With God, all things are possible!

You have only one decision to make.  Are you willing to do the will of God?  Once you make the decision to let go of everything else and follow Jesus, God will make the rest of the decisions for you!

My recent ministry has consisted of writing another book and several articles and brochures and publishing my web site on "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse" at http://www.otkenyer.hu/truluck/ on the Internet and answering e-mail responses from the web site.  I also have continued to write articles for the local gay paper in San Francisco, and for the on-line magazine, "Whosoever." http://www.whosoever.org.

I am an active member of New Life Metropolitan Community Church in Berkeley, CA, where I have led workshops and Bible studies and preached.  I continue to led church workshops and other conferences as I am invited to do so.

Rembert Truluck        December, 1998
PO Box 24062
Oakland, CA 94623

Update for December 39, 2001


This week, I am moving to my own new apartment in Oakland.  It is a dark and stormy week.  I am moving in the rain.  Moving is always a challenge to one's sanity!  Or so it seems to me.  Moving is always a lot of work and brings both visions of new beginnings and sadness about leaving familiar spaces.

Moving to a new home is a challenging expression of letting go and moving on.  It is exciting and expensive.  It is opening new doors and closing old ones.  It is a new beginning and also an ending.  Moving to a new place is an event that hangs suspended in the past, present and future all at once.  Moving is building a wall.  Moving is also about tearing down a wall.

"Singing in the Rain" is the title of Lesson 34, page 290, in my book.  It guides you through issues related to GLBT pride under pressure.  Based on Philippians 4:1-23, the lesson talks about the power of positive thinking, self-esteem, and overcoming abuse and stress.  (Click here to see Philippians 4:1-23.)


Paul wrote Philippians from prison.  He was cut off from his friends and was lonely and depressed when he received a gift from his friends in Philippi.  The letter to the Philippians is a "thank you" note that includes the most powerful and soaring discussion of rejoicing and being happy under pressure anywhere in the Bible.  Read the entire epistle (only 4 chapters) and gather up your courage to be happy no matter what others may do and no matter what may be happening to you at the moment.

God is always everywhere equally present.  We call that the "omnipresence" of God.  So God is with you now and with me in all things.  Once we turn our lives over to God, nothing happens by chance.  God is also eternal and omnipotent.  God does not make mistakes.  We do, however, make mistakes, especially when we resist God's clear invitation to "let go and move on."


One of the most difficult parts of moving is packing up to move so much stuff.  Stuff demands care and feeding like an always-hungry pet.  I am addicted to books.  I have always accumulated books, files, and cabinets full of manuscripts and notes.  However you name it, the accumulation and transportation of stuff is a reminder of our mortality and our need to prove our value at the expense of our good judgment.

Jesus instructed his followers to travel light.  They were to take no extra clothes or anything that would impede their rapid movement to carry the good news to as many people as possible. (See Matthew 10:9-20)  I am moving only a block away from where I already lived.  So it is easy to prolong the move and make it a little like taking all day to have a tooth extracted.

What have you given up lately to make it easier for you to travel light and move on?


Getting physically comfortable can dull your mind and distract you from your real mission in life.  One thing that I hope will happen as a result of my moving again into my own space is that my writing will be accelerated and I can soon finish my books on "Jesus" and a guidebook on "Small Groups for Spiritual Recovery."

The place where I have lived for the past two years, sharing space with my best friend at his condo, has been clean, safe and comfortable.  Perhaps too comfortable!  Now, the time has come to let go and move on into a new phase in my life that I firmly believe God has arranged.

Moving means meeting new people.  It also means taking a good look at what is important in life and asking a lot of "why" questions.

"What does God want me to do?" is the uppermost question in my mind.  I already know that God does not want me to become overly attached to things or to people.  I never merely get "attached," I become "addicted" to anything or anybody that is important to me!


Every time a major change takes place in your life, you have the opportunity to take a good look at yourself and decide who you are and where you are headed.  You don't just learn from your mistakes, you also learn from what has worked for you and from the success you have already had.  Avoid the mistakes and build on the success.  Throw away whatever is useless or hinders your self-esteem and your freedom to be yourself.

When you move on, don't just move; determine clear goals that you want to reach and take practical steps to reach them.  Nobody else can do your thinking and deciding for you.  Take the time to learn accurate information about what you want to do and make clear positive realistic decisions that you can control and that won't control you.


Many things, like the rain today, are completely out of my control.  I can, however, control my own emotions and my own attitude about what is happening.  I can anticipate problems and deal with them logically and objectively.  I can look for opportunities that I may not have expected and can count on God doing things for me that I cannot do for myself.

The serenity prayer is always timely: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

Rembert Truluck

Update for Sunday, May 20, 2001

This is a brief report on my visit with my sister to see our mother on Mother's Day weekend 2001 in Laurens, SC.  We had a wonderful visit.  We went to a nearby town and saw some of my relatives that I had not seen before, but with whom my mother grew up and went to school.  We drove to places that my mother likes to visit and ate out at the local small town places that she enjoys, including a really great local S. C. barbecue place, and we went shopping.  Mostly we talked and talked and talked.

My sister bought a bathing suit for my mother to wear at the beach for her ninetieth birthday celebration on August 11, 2001.  She looks great in her new bathing suit!  We enjoyed seeing many of my mother's friends at the retirement center.  A lot of them are older than Mother.

We went to the Sunday worship together.  They are merciful on the endurance limitations of the residents and have only a 30-minute service!  The chaplain, Rev. Russell Dean, our former pastor for 25 years in Clinton, talked about mothers and told very interesting personal experiences.  Russell and his wife Helen have been good friends to me and to my family for many years.  They get my updates and have my book and are supportive of my ministry.


When Russell called on me to pray, I offered thanks for the many ministries of the Martha Franks Baptist Retirement Center where my mother lives.  The center is a family for many elderly people who are separated from their families and are building a new home and family in a new place.  It is a very challenging lifestyle with many changes and adjustments for every resident.

I thought about how much the retirement center is like the Metropolitan Community Churches that provide a family and a spiritual home for many GLBT people who are separated from their families, not by age but by homophobia and rejection because of their sexuality.

All of us need a sense of "family" where we are safe and where we are comfortable being ourselves.  Finding, building and maintaining "family" in our rapidly changing and often hostile world is a challenge that faces all of us.  For many of us, our LGBT family has shrunk to one or two people or to a very small circle of trusted friends.

Some of my friends have given up on the gay community because of so many disappointments and failed relationships.  Others continue to struggle to find companionship and some sense of family in one group after another.  Most of the e-mail that I receive in response to my web site is from people who are struggling with family rejection and are searching for acceptance and a home where they are safe and accepted and can feel good about themselves.


Soon after she moved to the retirement center in the summer of 1996, my mother began to look for the ministry that God wanted her to have in her new home and family.  It soon became evident to her that everybody else needed encouragement and someone to care about them, just as she did.  She began to make a special effort to welcome new residents and to try to help others become adjusted to their new place and new people.  This also lifted her own spirits and made her a lot happier as time went on.

Now that Mother has been at the center for 5 years this summer, she has a regular ministry of visiting other residents and especially going to spend time with many of her friends who are now in the Infirmary because of falls, illness, or declining abilities.  Mother has great difficulty hearing and is legally blind.  I am very proud of her courage and persistence as well as her practical help to others and her support, acceptance and encouragement to me in my web site, Internet and book ministry.

Have you had the opportunity to help someone else find acceptance and family?  Have you found home and family for yourself?

Update added 11/22/99

PlanetOut reported on the appearance of Rev. Mel White as the main speaker at the session on "The Church as an Agent of Social Change" at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Conference in Oakland last Friday, Nov. 12.  White urged participants to understand that anti-gay religious leaders are "victims of misinformation and it's our task to bring them to the truth in love relentlessly" and "that our only task is to reconcile." The full article can be seen on the PlanetOut web site. 

The conviction and sentencing of Rev. Jimmy Creech yesterday points up the desperate need for churches to find deliverance from the disastrous evil plague of misinformation about homosexuality and the Bible that threatens their very survival as credible spiritual institutions.


My teachers from 1956 to 1968 at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville taught me to be objective, do thorough research in the primary sources, learn and use the original Hebrew and Greek, challenge errors (even the ones in the encyclopedias and dictionaries), be relentless in searching for the truth, and to keep the life and love of Jesus Christ always as the underlying basis for all forms of ministry.  Some of my teachers were famous.  Most of them wrote books and textbooks on the subjects that they taught, like Wayne E. Oates, who wrote 57 books.

Teachers who greatly influenced my understanding and use of the Bible included Dr. Wayne E. Oates (see my update below for Nov. 5, 1999), Dr. Dale Moody, Dr. William E. Hull, Dr. Clyde T. Francisco, Dr. J. J. Owens and Dr. Jerry Vardaman (both of whom I served as a graduate student assistant), Dr. Morris Ashcraft, Dr. Eric Rust, Dr. W. W. Adams, Dr. Frank Stagg, Dr. Ray Summers, Dr. Penrose St. Amant and others in other areas of seminary education.  These professors wrote basic books in their fields that are still used as textbooks in theological schools around the world.

Dr. William Hull was my teacher and mentor through many seminary Bible courses, seminars, special research, and work on my doctoral dissertation.  He was on my doctoral committee and administered my preliminary exams, for which he also helped me to prepare.  After I received my doctorate, Dr. Hull recommended me to the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board as a writer of adult Sunday School lessons, which I enjoyed doing for about six years under the supervision of Editor John Steen.

My WEB SITE and my BOOK are the direct result of following the methods of Bible research, discipline, study, interpretation, and application that I learned from these great teachers.  I hope and pray that my book is a tribute to their investment in my life and ministry.  I realize that they would not agree with all of my conclusions, but they know that I am following their principles and methods.  They would realize also that my being gay and a gay spiritual activist has given me a point of view that notices details and issues that others may have missed.

WHILE AT BAPTIST COLLEGE, I had the privilege of inviting Dr. Oates, Dr. Moody, and Dr. Hull to come to the college to deliver special lecture series.  All of them helped us to be a better college.  I was especially impressed in the way that Dr. Dale Moody handled his discussions with the students.  We had one large meeting of all of the religion majors and other interested students, faculty and local pastors with Dr. Moody to discuss with him his work on the Broadman Bible Commentary as the author of the Commentary on the Book of Romans. 

Dr. Moody opened the meeting by admitting that he wrote the commentary on Romans and said that what he wanted to discuss was what he now disagreed with in his own commentary!  He said that further research and some recent archaeological discoveries had made him change his mind about when and where the book of Romans was written.  Moody was like that.  He was constantly on a crusade to discover the truth wherever it might lead.  He often challenged his own earlier writings and confronted Southern Baptists about a lot of issues.  After the new administration took over the school a few years ago, Dr. Moody was made to retire and leave the seminary.  Dr. Moody, like Dr. Oates and Dr. Clyde Francisco, died before his work was completed.

None of my professors in any area of study put a premium on ignorance.  Misinformation was the very opposite of what theological education was all about.  We learned the facts, the details, the basic information that would prepare us to think for ourselves and to "work out what works for us" as our lives and ministries unfolded in the midst of a rapidly changing world.

I would welcome the opportunity to defend my web site and book before the came doctoral committee that I faced in 1967 to defend my dissertation on "Small Group Evangelism in the Local Church."  In fact, a lot of the methodology and information in that doctoral thesis are also found in my web site and book on "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse."


My book will be the closest thing that we have so far to a "Gay Bible."  The main articles and every one of the 52 lessons are based on familiar biblical material and consist of Bible studies that are developed and applied to issues faced by GLBT people and by non-gay people in and outside of the churches today.  Only four lessons out of 52 are specifically about the "six clobber passages" used against homosexuals.  Most of the lessons are based on material about Jesus in the Four Gospels and bring out practical encouragement and help to anybody who is wrestling with personal spiritual issues in the face of misunderstanding and religious oppression.

A Spiritual "ATOMIC BOMB"

My book on recovery from Bible abuse will be like an information atomic bomb that could help end the war.  It can end the internal warfare that many homosexuals fight every day because of the conflict between their own misinformation about God and the Bible and the reality of their sexuality in their daily life.  Truth can set liberate you and give you inner peace.  My web site has already done that for thousands of people.  The information in "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse" can also go a long way toward correcting the misinformation that victimizes non-gay church leaders and members as well as GLBT people everywhere in our culture.


The book offers a path of individual and small group study and growth that will require time and commitment.  There is no "quick fix" for the sick religion that has permeated our culture.  Victims of misinformation have to give the time it takes to learn new material, grow, share with others, recover, and heal.  That is why the format of the book is that of an ongoing plan of daily and weekly study and learning.  I am asking you to change the way you see reality, God, yourself, and other people.  This is simply to ask you to hear and follow Jesus as the Spirit of Jesus leads you to a new way of seeing everything.

Jesus helped people one at a time.  Small groups outdoors or in homes were the teaching, healing and life-changing format followed by Jesus.  Has the church as a big business and as a complex political organization with the power to try and sentence clergy who don't conform really come up with an improvement on the methods of Jesus?  Where and in what way has the church jumped the track that Jesus started to follow?  How can we get back to the real purpose of the Four Gospels and back to the real Jesus who started what we call "Christianity" today?

How do we get back to the real Jesus, who declared that the greatest disciple is the one who is slave to the others and that the highest level of discipleship is to become like a little child?  Do you realize that there is no basis at all for the concept of "clergy" in the Four Gospels?  If you don't have clergy, then you don't create a double standard for clergy and non-clergy and you don't have to hold trials to expel clergy for doing the wrong thing.  Jesus gave the same invitation to all: "Follow me." 

Did Jesus ever gather the multitude together and say: "Verily, verily I say unto you, some of you will be clergy and most of you will be lay people, and it will probably take you about 2,000 years to figure out exactly what that means."  Of course not!  The idea is alien to the Spirit and purpose of Jesus.  "Clergy" is as hard to find in the teachings of Jesus as the ever-popular text where Jesus said, "Sell what you have and give it to the building fund."

John Shelby Spong said: "The Church Must Change or Die."  Can the churches ever live again?  Probably not in their present forms.


The word "turn" or "return" is both the Hebrew and the Greek word that is translated "repent" throughout the Bible.  To turn or return to Jesus is to repent, and without repentance, there is no hope.

Jesus said that his followers must abandon everything and follow him: "Sell what you have, give to the poor, and follow me."  What do the people of God need to give up and let go of in order to follow Jesus now?  Churches?  Bible abuse?  Money?  Secular power?  Denominational headquarters?  Legalistic doctrines?  Business methods?  Religion?  What do we keep and what do we discard?  Are we so committed to "the way things have always been done" that we cannot really believe that we have to let go of any of it in order to follow Jesus? 

You don't have to answer these questions for the Methodists, Catholics, Baptists, Muslims, Pentecostals, Buddhists, or any other "group."  You only have to answer them for yourself.  What YOU decide makes the difference for you.  You like the "woman at the well" or Andrew finding his own brother and bringing him to Jesus can be the beginning of something new and wonderfully true simply by your being who you really are honestly and without fear.  Victims of misinformation, ignorance, and the violent abuse of the truth can "forsake everything and follow Jesus."  It sounds too simple to work.  But it does work.  And nothing else ever has.

Rembert Truluck

"No one can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Christ Jesus."  1 Corinthians.3:11.

Update for November 5, 1999

Dr. Wayne E. Oates died on October 21, 1999.  Dr. Oates was a long-time friend of mine, my mentor in my doctoral work at seminary, and a great teacher, minister and writer.  Dr. Oates wrote 57 books.  He had severe back pain as a result of several back operations.  He told us that he could not sleep very long because of the pain and would get out of bed by 5 AM every day and write on his books.  Dr. Oates was a devoted Christian, a brilliant scholar, a powerful preacher, an effective teacher, and a truly compassionate man.

When I think of Wayne Oates, I think of compassion.  He was compassionate toward me and personally helped me to make it through the doctoral program.  Dr. Oates taught me the meaning of dialogue and how to listen.  He demonstrated and taught me what I know about group dynamics and supervised my project on "Milieu Therapy" during my clinical pastoral training at the Kentucky Central State Mental Hospital.  When Wayne Oates became the director of graduate studies at the seminary, he established rules for regular consultations by students with their advisors so that students would not work for months and even years and still not graduate.

Dr. Oates gave me a lot of practical advice.  Perhaps the most important was how to learn enough about the works of an important author to pass the "preliminary exams" that I had to take to move on to my doctoral dissertation.  Dr. Oates said that one could learn what an author thinks is important by reading the first and last chapters of his/her book, scan the rest, and look at the Index.  He added that if you can find a journal article by the author, read it, because the author probably says all that is unique to him/her in the article.  I did as he said, and it saved me a lot of time and helped me to graduate!

Wayne Oates was a pioneer in supervised field education for ministerial students.  He began clinical pastoral training programs for Baptist ministers.  When he retired from the seminary, Dr. Oates became Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Louisville Medical School and continued active in many forms of ministry, including the "Wayne E. Oates Institute" and his web site, until his death at the age of 82.  Dr. Oates was a devoted husband and father.  His memory will live forever in the life and work of his students.

Wayne Oates demonstrated the true meaning of "compassion" in that he genuinely felt the pain of others and responded to human need not only with love and care but also with information and practical help.  When I taught at the Baptist College of Charleston, I used many of Dr. Oates' books on pastoral care and counseling as textbooks.  Two books, "Where to Go for Help" and "When Religion Gets Sick," were helpful to me personally and in creating my web site and book on "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse."

When I was preparing to teach a course in pastoral counseling at Baptist College, I called Dr. Oates and asked him how much of what we know today about effective counseling and psychotherapy was demonstrated by Jesus in his meeting with the "woman at the well" in John 4.  His immediate reply was, "All of it!"  Dr. Oates taught me to find the truth and practical help that are available to us from Jesus in the Gospels.

I thank God that Wayne Oates was a great influence on my life and learning.  He demonstrated the very highest qualities of Christian love, objective scholarship, disciplined writing, and effective teaching.  I pray that God will raise up another prophet like Wayne Oates to give new positive direction to Southern Baptist Education for Ministry.  (See Wayne E. Oates Institute on line)

Update for December 20, 2002

My mother now is totally blind.  This happened about two months ago as her sight gradually declined into no sight at all.  The adjustments that she has made to this turn of events are truly remarkable.  My mother is 91 years old, very strong and in her right mind.  She is as clear thinking and as determined in spirit as she ever was.  I am proud of her.

The greatest adjustment that she has had to make is letting other people do things for her that she always did for herself.  Other people on the staff of the retirement center now wash her clothes for her, bring her food tray to her in the dining room, and administer her medications to her.  Her seeing friends read her letters to her, help guide her to visit other residents and show her the love and support that she has demonstrated to others during the six years that she has been a resident at Martha Franks Baptist Retirement Center in Laurens, SC.

I thank God for what I am learning from my mother.  I thank God for the people around her who are demonstrating the love and compassion that God has already poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.


I enjoyed a visit with my mother during the first weekend of December.  My children, Russell and Susan, came with their partners to join our visit on Saturday.  We talked, laughed, caught up on our news, and went out to eat together.  Mother had a good time, and we had a good time with her.  She laughed and talked and was happy, but she never saw what we look like now.

I learned again from my mother that you never give up no matter what happens.  I learned again that faith in God's presence in your life really does make a difference.  I learned that no matter how difficult life gets, you can handle it if you try.

When my mother finally realized that she would not see again, she at first was depressed and sad.  I was worried about her.  In a few days, however, she regained her positive and pleasant outlook on life, and I learned from her once again that you can't keep a good woman (or man) down!  Perhaps one reason that God keeps my mother living is to teach me and others some things that we need to know.

I talk with my mother on the phone almost every day.  I always learn things that I need to know in these phone visits.  I have often called my mother to ask her how long and at what temperature to cook a roast or ham.  She always knows!


My mother was my first teacher.  She later worked in the Kindergarten that I attended and was my first teacher in Sunday school.  I did not just learn information; I learned how to enjoy being myself and how to accept myself as a person of value and potential.  My mother believed in me; so I believed in myself.

What kind of teacher are you becoming for the people around you?  If your life touches others, you are a teacher, whether you realize it or not �whether you want to be or not.  Is your teaching positive or negative?  Do you help other people feel good about themselves?  Do you share with others the good things that God is doing in your life?  What are you teaching others by the way you handle adversity in your life?


John Bunyan was an early Baptist leader in England.  He was imprisoned for preaching and teaching without church approval.  When John Bunyan went to prison, he wrote that he was not so concerned for himself, but he was concerned for his little blind son who might not do so well without him to be with him!  John Bunyan then wrote one of the greatest of all Christian devotional classics: "Pilgrim's Progress."  Find a copy and read it.

My mother and I talked about how others had handled blindness.  We discussed the marvelous life of Fanny Crosby, the gospel song writer who was blinded at the age of four when a doctor put the wrong drops in her eyes.  Fanny Crosby wrote more hymns in evangelical hymnbooks than any other person.  Her life was active and productive.  She wrote hundreds of hymns, including my favorite: "Rescue the Perishing" after she had visited a rescue mission.  Verse three: "Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter, feelings lie buried that grace can restore.  Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness; cords that are broken will vibrate once more!"  Praise God for these inspired words and for Fanny Crosby!

John Milton was blind.

Sight is optional.  Faith, hope and love are not.

My sister, Jackque, just sent my mother a flower for Christmas.  She sent a narcissus plant.  Mother cannot see it, but she can enjoy the sweet smell of this special flower!  The card said: "To give you a sweet smell for Christmas."

As usual, my mother placed the plant outside her door so that other residents can enjoy it also.

Because my mother is blind, I have begun to record spoken versions of my updates to send to her on tape.  I am also beginning to record my book on tape.

Rembert Truluck

Kitties (4/1/03) Boris (white face) and Ivan (Gray):

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