God’s Easter gift of resurrection power

For many, pastel spring dresses, prim white lilies and baskets filled with colorful eggs and rich chocolate embodies the Easter celebration. Yet none captures the essence of Easter as much as a recent cover story for Venus Magazine – a 13-year-old periodical which targets Black gays and lesbians.

In the cover story, publisher Charlene E. Cothran, an active, outspoken, card-carrying lesbian for 29 years, one who lobbied government for equal treatment and contributed financially to the cause, came out of the closet – a second time.
This time she said, “I have recently experienced the power of change that came over me once I completely surrendered to the teachings of Jesus Christ. As a believer of the word of God, I fully accept and have always known that same-sex relationships are not what God intended for us.”

 “I don’t expect that this message will be widely received, quite the contrary. But, I do know that there is someone, possibly reading this very article, who is tired and unhappy living this way. Someone, in your heart of hearts, is searching for a way out, but you just can’t seem to break free on your own. I am speaking to my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters who want real peace; the kind you’ve heard about, sung about, read about. It is simpler than you think to acquire it and there is no condemnation once you’ve entered it.”

“Although I have lived as a lesbian for my entire adult life, it is without a doubt my soul’s purpose to use my gifts to LOVINGLY share the truth about how we got here: How we came to be gay or lesbian, how we came to enjoy our ‘lifestyle’ and how we came to believe that this was OK with God. [Romans 1:21-28]

“Many argue that each individual should determine for themselves what God intends for him or her. This would indicate that we each have a separate set of biblical rules to live by. This is untrue. If you are ready for change and willing to open yourself to the truth, God’s love can bring your current belief system in line with His Word. Jesus will cleanse and forgive all confessed sin from a willing heart. Homosexuality is only one of them. It is no greater sin than any of the others, but it is sin.”

Cothran’s about face began after a business conversation with a local pastor became personal.

“I felt the power of conviction upon me as she spoke but I resisted and hardened my heart against the truth as I had done many times before. I was not willing to hear her or give up my all to God, especially knowing that I had a confirmed speaking engagement scheduled the following week at the Schomberg Center during New York City Gay Pride,” Cothran wrote.

Did Cothran lose her mind? “I didn’t lose it, I gave it away! In fact, I traded it in for a new one! [Romans 12:1-2]. … The spirit of God spoke directly into my soul and said you will choose this day who you will serve …” and Cothran chose to serve God.

“I gave God my heart and soul … a river of tears flowed as Jesus washed me and forgave me and redeemed me for His work. I intend be just as ‘out’ about my transformation as I was about my lesbian life. I have given every gift I have back to God, including VENUS Magazine. The target audience will remain the same but the mission has been renewed. Our new mission is to encourage, educate and assist those in the life who want change but can’t find a way out. My brother, my sister, please follow me out of this.”

She concluded with “10 Ways to Get Out of the Gay Life, If You Want Out.” They can be found at http://www.venusmagazine.org/cover_story.html

That’s what Easter is about. Not new clothes, sweet treats and potted plants. Easter is about the life-changing power brought into the world with the death, burial – and most importantly – the resurrection of Jesus Christ. By acknowledging and accepting His payment to free us from our sins – yes, even those activities which the politically correct no longer call sin – a new life, a new way explodes on the scene for anyone who embraces it.

The life Christ offers is so new that an established publisher of a magazine for Black gays and lesbians declared her life’s work wrong, turned it inside out and dedicated everything she had to show others the way out of the closet a second time, as she did.