Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
Step 6
Step 7
Step 8
Step 9
Step 10
Step 11
Step 12
Give Yourself Time
Follow Jesus' Steps

Step 11:
Learn To Share Your Faith With Others

Use the brochure Invitation To Freedom or create your own approach for sharing your faith with others.  Write out your own experience with God and share it.

"Always be prepared to explain to anyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and respect."
1 Peter 3:15

Matthew 4:19; 9:36-38: "Jesus said, Follow me, and I will make you fishers for people…  Seeing the crowds, Jesus felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd, and Jesus said to his disciples, The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few: ask God to send out workers into God's harvest."

My earlier book, Invitation To Freedom, published by Chi Rho Press, is 10 chapters of study on how to lead people to Christ in personal evangelism in the gay/lesbian community, using my brochure on The Bible As Your Friend .

Further discussion of Step 11 can be found in my book Steps To Recovery From Bible Abuse in the following Lessons:

(Click on the Bible references to see them.)

John 4:3-35

Luke 5:1-11

Acts 8:26-40

Luke 24:44-54; Acts 1:1-8

On to Step 12

March 3, 2003

Jesus declared in his teachings and actions that all people have equal value to God.

To follow Jesus is to accept and recognize the value of each individual who comes into your life, even briefly and for a great variety of reasons.  Traditional "Christianity" has abandoned many of the basic ideals of Jesus but none more flagrantly than the equal value of all people.  This failure is demonstrated in church practices of separating clergy from lay people, children from adults, pagans from believers, homosexuals from everybody else, the rich and powerful from the poor and desperate, and maintaining a system of religious values based on what people do or do not do to conform to the demands and doctrines of the ruling church or denomination.


To Jesus, all of the disciples, including Judas, John, Mary and Peter, had equal value, as dramatically and powerfully pictured by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice in "Jesus Christ Superstar" (2 movie versions: 1973 and 2000) and by Martin Sorsese in "The Last Temptation of Christ" in 1988.  Jesus made provision for the future both for the thief on the cross and his own Mother at the Crucifixion.

Jesus held up a small child (about two years old) as the example of true faith and trust in God and included women as his disciples and as the first apostles and preachers.  All of this was revolutionary at the time, and is still just as revolutionary in the religious culture of today.  Any careful study of the Four Gospels makes it clear that the approach of Jesus to each person was to recognize the value and potential of even the most desperately troubled misfits like the possessed man in the tombs of Gadara and the Woman at the Well.  (See my Bible studies on these two people in lessons 41 and 45 in my book and the biblical material at John 4 and Mark 4-5 given in this web site..)

Old worn-out people have the same value to God as bright young people with unlimited potential for the future.  Emotionally disturbed people have the same value to God as well-adjusted high achievers.  No single race, sex, sexual orientation, personality type, ethnic or religious group has more value than another to God. 


Never underestimate what you can learn from the most insignificant person that might come into your life.  Nobody comes into your life by accident.  Do you look for the message from God that each person has for you if you only take the time to listen?

Leslie D. Weatherhead tells of a spiritual leader in India who had a faithful servant who came in every morning to prepare breakfast and begin house cleaning.  One morning the servant failed to show up.  The longer the leader had to wait, the angrier he became that this worthless servant was so inconsiderate as to make him wait for hours for his breakfast.  The servant finally showed up.  The leader angrily condemned him for his failure to be on time and finally stopped to catch his breath.  Then the servant apologized and said that he was very sorry to be late but that his wife died during the night, and he had to make arrangements for her burial before he could come to work.

The spiritual leader said that he suddenly was angry with himself instead of at his servant.  The complete change of emotions came when he learned facts that he did not know.  Everybody in your life can teach you something important that might even change your entire life for the better.  It all depends on the value you place on the other people your life touches.


It should be obvious to anyone with a brain that following Jesus can never lead to war.  The overwhelming lesson of the history of war shows that belief in equal value of all people must be denied and abandoned as the necessary basis for war.  The "enemy" must be demonized and the "good" side must be wrapped in the holy mantle of God's power and will.  Children and women, whom Jesus elevated to equal value to all people, are the real victims of any war.

Throughout human history, every war has simply set the stage for the next war.  The past century has demonstrated the futility of war as the final solution to anything.  World War I ("the war to end all wars") led to World War II and to the Cold War and to the present world crisis.  In many ways, the Crusades of the Middle Ages led to the present conflict of religions and cultures that are plunging the world closer and closer to a war that the President of the United States has predicted will bring peace to the world!

History was my "major" at Furman University.  My history professors, Dr. Gilpatrick, Dr. Babb, and Dr. Sanders, taught me that all history is written from somebody's point of view.  There is no objective history.  Just as there is no objective Bible study or religious writing, including everything I have written and this update.  The key to understanding is learning the point of view of the writer.


In the past several years, we have witnessed the worldwide display of grief and loss of life of certain "important" people, such as Princess Diana, President John F. Kennedy, the victims of the terrorism of 9/11, and most recently the seven astronauts aboard the space shuttle.  Throughout the entire week of news about the shuttle disaster, I kept thinking of the lack of attention that is given to the multitudes of children who starve to death every day and to the daily disaster of the spread of AIDS around the world to millions of new victims every year.  Over 15 million AIDS orphans already are suffering in Africa.  Millions more orphans are being created by AIDS in India and China.

Jesus said that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without the notice of God (Matt. 10:29).  How much more does God care about the plight of the millions of homeless, abused, enslaved, suffering children of the world!


Human value is the foundation for all truly Christian ethics and values.  As Elton Trueblood said, Jesus was the greatest humanist who ever lived.  Jesus always considered people to be more important than religion.  To Jesus, the ultimate reality of the presence of God was to be found in people.  In John 17, Jesus prayed that his followers would become united just as he was united with God so that the world would believe that God sent him and that God loved all people.

Jesus went so far as to proclaim in Matthew 25 that whatever you might do for needy people, you do for him.  The six categories of people that Jesus identified with in Matthew 25 were the "sick, hungry, thirsty (poor), naked (homeless), prisoners, strangers" all of these were considered by the contemporary religious leaders to be sinners who were being punished for their sins!

Jesus did not just love and accept humanity, he identified with his humanity and refused to compromise his humanity even in the temptations to turn stones to bread and escape his humanity by testing God.  When Jesus was baptized, he identified not with John the Baptist but with the sinners who were coming to be baptized.  This is why John questioned the request of Jesus to be baptized and said Jesus should baptize him.  Jesus insisted, and when Jesus was baptized in this extraordinary identification with all humanity, the voice from heaven proclaimed Jesus to be the beloved child of God in whom God is well pleased.  This voice thus included all humanity in what Jesus was doing, and this includes you and me and "the least of these" throughout the entire human race.


Jesus summed up his mission for all of his followers in John 13:34-35 with the new commandment that replaced all others:  "I give you a new commandment that you love one another just as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this shall all people know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

In your personal relationships and in every way opened to you, make love, not war.

May the presence of the Spirit of Jesus be with and within you to give you inner peace and to make you an instrument of love and peace wherever you go and with everyone that you meet.

The following article on helping others was published 12/9/98 as an update for this web site.


Many of you have written to me about your concern for friends and relatives who are struggling with their sexual orientation, self-acceptance, depression, family problems, and even threats of suicide.

How can you help your friends and relatives who are being overwhelmed by the homophobic pressures that they face?  If you have written to me, you know that I have attempted to listen to you and respond with the best information that I know.  Here are a few suggestions that could be helpful.

One underlying difficulty in dealing with sexual orientation is the fact that most problems are caused by ignorance, not by sin!  Accusations of "sin", "guilt", and other forms of religious attacks against homosexuals complicates our efforts to help one another with sexual orientation and practical personal and family problems.  Cultural stereotypes of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people also create barriers to health and self-esteem.  What can you do?

1.LISTEN.  Jesus listened first and fit his healing and teaching to each individual.  Listening is the first step in personal evangelism and in every ministry of help that follows the pattern of Jesus.  Listening is also the first step in modern psychotherapy, medicine, law, and retail sales!  Listening means hearing without judgment or condemnation.

2.DEFINE AND LOOK AT THE PROBLEM.  Clarify what your friend has told you.  Be sure you are really hearing what your friend is saying.  Don't jump to conclusions.  Ask, "Is this what you are saying?" or "Is this what you mean?" and let your friend reply and explain until you really know what is being said and felt.

3.KNOW AND SHARE HONEST INFORMATION.  Honest information about sexual orientation and spiritual issues can be hard to find.  A great flood of anti-gay and "ex-gay" homophobic books, web sites, and links has been unleashed in recent months.  Many of the web sites are deceptive and offer "spiritual help" to homosexuals but deliver spiritual chaos and misleading untrue "information" and "statistics".  For reliable information in addition to "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse", look at my "Resources and References" and use the many sources of information that are given by PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) in a number of good web sites and many links.

4.READ AND STUDY ALL OF MY WEB SITE.  "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse" now contains over 230 pages of basic information and updates.  It always takes time to learn new information and especially when that new information challenges and contradicts the "conventional wisdom" about sexual orientation that dominates our culture today.  Learn the truth about the Bible and homosexuality and other issues related to GLBT spirituality.

5.PASS THE TRUTH ON TO OTHERS.  Tell others how and where to find my web site.  Order a set of my materials in my "New Gay Spiritual Survival Kit" in the "Contact Us" section of my site.

6.HELP OTHERS TO BECOME HELPERS.  Whenever you are trying to help a troubled person deal with personal problems, keep in mind that whatever that person learns about how to handle stress and pressure will prepare him/her to help others with the same difficulties. 

7.FIND ANSWERS.  When you don't know the answers to questions that distress other people, study and find answers.  Feel free to e-mail me about questions that you face.  The answers are out there somewhere.  Don't give up.

8.BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER.  Help people with problems to meet and share with others who are dealing with similar situations.  This can be done through e-mail, letters, phone calls, and personal contacts.  You always grow stronger in your own life when you can help someone else grow stronger in theirs.

9.FACE AND DEAL WITH YOUR OWN PROBLEMS.  Denial is the greatest enemy of recovery.  Admit and deal with your own issues.  Learn the facts about the abusive use of the Bible and oppressive religion.  Be clear about the scientific, medical, psychological, and legal facts concerning homosexuality as set forth by the American professional associations. (See  "Sexual Orientation and the Ex-Gay Fraud".)

10.START A RECOVERY GROUP.  I have no doubt that the best way for individuals to resolve problems and issues related to sexual orientation is in small groups that meet over a period of time.  Learning, growth, healing, and recovery take time.  A regularly meeting small group provides the setting for people in the group to learn new information, test out ideas with one another, learn from one another, and change the way they see themselves and each other.  Listening and sharing also take time.  See my web site material on "Start Your Own Group" and write to me for detailed materials about setting up and facilitating a small group.

Some of you are already helping friends and members of your family to be honest and to grow in knowledge and spiritual maturity.  Some of you have written to tell me about your experiences.  Thank you!  Tell me what you are learning.  Share your experience with me and I will learn from you and pass on to others what you teach me.  With your permission, I will quote you and let your experience speak to others as you have spoken to me.

Update for February 1, 2005

When I was professor of religion at the Baptist College of Charleston, I suggested to my religion students that when they could not think of what to say to talk about Jesus.  Two of my students went to visit one of their classmates to invite him to come to the Bible study that they were having once a week in their room.  When they knocked on the door, they found the student was talking on the phone to his girlfriend and was busy studying for a test.  He barked out at the two guys: "What do you want to talk about?"

One of the students just smiled and replied: "Jesus"!  The guy went back to the phone and said, "You won't believe this, but two guys just came in to talk to me about Jesus.  I will call you back later."  He hung up the phone, and said, "OK, now talk."  As a result of this simple approach, the two students shared some materials with their friend and he decided to become a Christian and joined the Bible study group, and later he wrote a statement of his new found faith and published it in the college newspaper.


My life's work as given in my website and book has been basically "talking about Jesus."  Now that I am preparing a new book on the subject of "Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up," I am reviewing my own writings and years of personal journals.  Who is Jesus?  More important, who is Jesus to you?

What differences and contrasts do you see between Jesus and religion?  Look at the recent article by Bill Moyers "There is no tomorrow".  (See link below.)  We are living in an extraordinary time of the decline of common sense and a neglect of objective, logical, reasonable, practical thinking about just about everything.  Bill Moyers spells this out in his powerful informed analysis of where we are headed in our current religion/political headlong plunge into abysmal ignorance.


Look within yourself and ask yourself who Jesus is to you right now.  Pray.  Let God help you through the Spirit to understand and accept yourself.  You cannot accept Jesus until you accept yourself.  You cannot discover Jesus until you discover yourself.  Your image of Jesus is directly influenced by your own image of yourself.  Jesus in the Gospels is the ideal expression of human nature that God intended for you and me to experience and enjoy.

Jesus is pictured in the Gospel of John (13:34-35) giving a summary of who he is and who you are:  "Love one another just as I have loved you."  I still recommend that you give yourself a quiet undistracted place and time to read through the Gospel of Mark in one sitting.  Use a modern language version like "The Good News Bible," which was prepared to be simple and quickly read by people who had learned English as a second language.


Prayer is simply turning your attention to your spiritual resources that are already within you.  You do not have to beg God for anything.  Like any loving parent, God according to Jesus is already ready and able to give you whatever you need.   You do not need any ritual or church or priest or preacher to enable you to communicate with God and to receive everything that God has prepared for you to live a full and meaningful life.

Learn to meditate.  I am beginning to grasp just how complicated and yet simple meditation can be.  Find the path of inner exploration and peace that fits you.  The Old Testament suggestion: "Be still and know that I am God" literally means "let go and relax."  The Hebrew means "cease striving."  Religion and churches teach you to struggle and strain and work out everything.  You don't have to do that!  God has created you in God's image and given to you the Spirit and love in great abundance.  You are never a lonely pilgrim trying to make your way over a path of bloody rocks and threatening shadows.  You are a child of the Creator and a follower of Jesus, and you will succeed.  You will make it.  You will find the path that fits you.

Rembert Truluck
201 W. Washington St. #805
Greenville, SC 29601

See a great article by Bill Moyers at:

Thanks to all of you who have made contributions to help me stay on the Internet.  I continue to need your financial support for my Internet ministry.  Look at my website and click on "information about making financial contributions" on my homepage or click here: APPEALFORHELP


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