"Sin" is something that we allow to interfere with our relationship with God. God does not leave the created child … the bond is infinitely beyond that which an earthly parent may feel about their physical child. It is the child, by free will, who may choose to try and leave (escape?) God. At times we have all been guilty of being so involved and wrapped up in material things and activities that we "forget" God … "I just don’t have time to pray or have a conversation with God … He/She will understand, I am sure." Or, even worse, "I am going to do what I want to do and I don’t think it is any of God’s business." Does that strike a familiar note on how some children speak to their parents (and others) today? When I was in studies at San Miguel Mission in the 50’s I was told that, in order for a sin to be a sin, three conditions had to exist: (1) the action had to really be a sin [a fracture in our relationship with God], (2) the person performing the act had to know that it was a sin, and (3) the action had to be performed with the complete will of the individual.  It's the truth but we often play games in rationalizing the latter two.
       "Abuse" (as a noun) is defined in the dictionary as "(1) wrong, bad, or excessive use (2) mistreatment; injury (3) a bad, corrupt custom or practice (4) insulting or coarse language (5) deception." The abuse can be in different forms … verbal, physical, emotional, sexual, etc. … and it can be applied by ALL individuals involved in the incident. In recent times the term "sexual abuse" has been applied to cases from an elementary school boy giving a girl classmate a quick kiss to a talented, highly respected and prominent Methodist minister being charged by eight women. It is very important to realize that an individual’s sexual orientation and the occurrence of sexual abuse are NOT related … that’s like comparing apples and oranges … either one may have a rotten spot. In fact, studies have shown that a far greater number of sexual abuse cases involve heterosexual-type incidents than do homosexual-type incidents … and a large number of those are within immediate families.
       "Harassment" is (1) the act of troubling, worrying, or tormenting another; as with cares, debts, repeated questions, etc. (2) to trouble by repeated raids, attacks, etc. This can be applied to abuse if the abuse is a repeated pressure to comply with the will of the antagonizer.
       "Consensual" means that all parties involved are in agreement for the event to occur. However, that does not go without question. An individual might "consent" only under pressure of threats, abuse and/or harassment, or because they desire to be considered part of the crowd … failing to exercise their own personal self-will which renders them slaves to the will of another against their own better judgment. It’s their decision … YES. They are responsible for their own decisions and the consequences of those decisions … YES. But the other person who urged them down the chosen path also bears a major part of the burden. The instigator knows this is true … it is viewed as a victory of her/his will over another. Personal ego is deeply involved. How often have you heard about the "conquest" of another?
What is the bottom line? It means that the divinely created spirits (souls) of ALL humanity, either presently dwelling in materiality or "on the other side," are from the One Source … God. There are no favorites … God loves each with an infinite love that can not be divided [try dividing infinity by any number you choose to use.] Each is unique and special, yet all are made in the same image … spirit… the image of God … the Holy Spirit. Each has a spiritual body (astral body) that is forever part of them regardless of which plane of existence they inhabit … demonstrated by Jesus whose earthly body first had to be glorified before he could be touched (John 20:17) and, in a completely real sense, he took that glorified body into the magnificent infinity of his true Reality (Luke 24:51.)
       So, each of those who are now dwelling in the material and submit to God’s plan for them in this life, shall likewise be glorified and they and their astral body shall enter into that same infinity. If we do our very best … if we are steadfast in our intimate relationship with God but are foiled by interference from others, then we have still gained the Promise. Woe be to any person who would judge the divine destiny of another or to interfere with that destiny! With this I will share a personal experience that will be in A Journey to the Light, a book that I have been working on for a number of years and hope to have ready by the end of 1997. This is an excerpt from the current draft.
       On my way to Detroit to install Rev. Nancy Wilson and Rev. Heather Anderson as co-pastors of MCC-Detroit, I stopped for the night at the home of the pastor of MCC-Indianapolis. That night I had a very significant and profound experience … something that is beyond earthly explanation. This experience went as follows: I saw a Being that was, in every way, the most beautiful "thing" I had ever seen. The Being was totally nude and without any hair. There was not the slightest blemish on the body. There were no sex organs, not even breast nipples. It was somewhat akin to seeing an undressed mannequin in a store window but, yet, totally different. The Being was obviously alive with a glow that was beyond description … yet soft to the eyes. Translucence best describes my impression of the Being’s appearance. There was an air of total peace and tranquillity. No words were spoken and no gestures were given … only a penetrating smile of intense pure love. I came back with a jolt and an eternal message planted in my mind: True Love does not come from the gonads!

SIN:  ABUSE, HARASSMENT OR CONSENSUAL?
by Richard [January 1997]
AUTHOR'S NOTE:  Additional areas so often associated with sex (quite an obsession, isn’t it) might as well be discussed in this issue and then we can get on to other things in future issues. In reading this article, please also keep in mind other non-sexual human actions and activities in community.
As you probably already know, the gonads are the sex organs. This would explain why the Being appeared as completely nude … that I might be assured that no sex organs were needed. The glorified body has no purpose for such "implements" of the material world.