Archive for April, 2012

Today I was delighted to be given a copy of “iBeleive” at church this morning, it’s bright, glossy cover and interesting stories, sadly, were marred by an advertisement on page 48 claiming “70% of people say keep marriage as it is”.

So all those who collected this magazine, visitors to our church even church members probably think that this is what our church believes. That our church wants marriage only for straight people and gay people are not good enough to be in a long term committed relationship.

For me as a gay man in the church yet again, it says I am some how a lesser being, some how I will never be good enough for God (even though I know the truth) and that I must live alone, as a single person, something which few people would be able to cope with.

Almost every week I come and serve at St John’s playing in the band, I spend hours serving in any way I can, not for reward but just to be part of this amazing family and I wonder if they are confused by the mixed messages, as are a lot of LGBT people that the Church of England and other groups put across about this subject. Well, you try being gay! trying to work out how to live in a right way before God.

So more about this advertisement. Firstly, the advertisement is already under investigation by the ASA in regards to being misleading and offensive.

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/04/03/exclusive-regulator-to-assess-claim-coalition-for-marriage-ad-misleads-readers/

So what is the truth, do people really think LGBT people have to live as single people all their lives? This blog I think presents a very valuable breakdown of the interesting (but mildly confusing) statistics.

http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/4984

What it does say, overall is that people are very confused about what marriage really is. Who it was designed for. What God thinks of Marriage and loving, committed relationships. People are worried about gay people being in a relationship long term some how magically destroying their marriage. They are worried about everyone having the same rights wether in a straight or LGBT relationship. They are worried, some how, Gay people will turn them gay. I have even not been allowed in someones house because I’m gay.

Why, oh why, are people so afraid of us? I’m a nice guy. Really.

UPDATE

I wrote to the magazine…

Dear SIr/Madam,

Firstly let me say how delighted I was to receive a copy of your magazine at church this morning. Delighted, except for one thing which I found most upsetting. Especially since the magazine was given to just about everyone in my church.

I have in fact written a blog post about it.

https://imagaybloke.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/gay-people-attacked-in-my-own-church/i

I thought you  might like to see how your readers feel.

Their reply was…

Dear Paul

Thank you for your email.

I was deeply sorry to read how offended you were by the complimentary copy of iBelieve sent through. Nothing was further from our intention and I apologise for the offence caused.

Thank you for taking the time to write, and I hope that my apology will go some way towards healing the hurt.

Thank you again for writing

New Life Publishing

Advertisements

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/04/21/senior-anglican-clergy-church-should-rejoice-over-equal-marriage/

After me having a rant about only those against us Gay People standing up, some other leaders in the church of England have stood up on our side. Happy days!

Along with these leaders, I’m sure others will stand up now, and in fact, perhaps the dialog that we have needed between LGBT people and the church is to move forward a step.

Praise God!

(and I’m a Christian).

For some time the hot potato for the Anglican Church has been Gay Marriage, beautifully shoved aside by Transport For London in a double decker bus of an issue when they denied a Christian group the right to tell me that I can become straight simply by choosing to be straight and becoming “More Hetrosexual”, that somehow by forcing myself to pretend to be something I am not, I can please God more, that he will accept me more. I didn’t think that this is how grace works.

Even the view of some, that being gay means you have to be celibate, is cruel, telling someone they do not have the right to love another person for their whole life, for me, at least is unbearable. Paul the Apostle said that if a widow was filled with desire, she should marry. What am I supposed to do?

Frankly, I am very very close to walking away from church for good. Never to return. I am so tired of being bullied by people who have the answers, who feel “right”. Even in my own church, where I know a lot of people are loving and accepting of me, I know of one or two who find having me there with my children uncomfortable, I have overheard comments, one lady went to a seminar (that I was not at, but saw the DVD of it) and spoke about me, it’s like being at school, being bullied all over again and I don’t want to put up with it, but if I leave, nothing will ever change.

If God doesn’t want me in his Kingdom that’s fine. But if I am thrown into hell, don’t think I will not protest, that I did attend church, I did pray, I did seek him, I did EVERYTHING I COULD to get him to make me straight and nothing worked. I trusted Jesus to make sort things out so I could be what I thought he wanted of me. But it did not work. So I came to the conclusion that he wanted me as I am, without one plea.

Being a person of faith in these days is hard enough, but when people of the same faith, even the same denomination persecute you it can become unbearable.

Surely, this is not the love of Christ. But the judgement of the pharisees: Trying, yet again to live by the law that Jesus died to fulfil so we could be set free from it.

I am so grateful to those who do love and accept me as I am and have worked this stuff through, and, if I turned up at church with a partner would be fine with it. But the Christians speaking out seem to be those who want to condemn. There was nothing from Christians on the side of busses saying “God Loves and accepts you as you are if you are LGBT”. The message we are getting is that we are not loved or accepted as we are and we have to jump through hoops to find the love and acceptance of Christ.

So, Christians who can’t cope with LGBT people, can you find someone else to judge and condemn for five minutes, I need a break.

Core Issues’ co-director Mike Davidson this morning on LBC said “We know Homosexuality is not a choice, but we help people choose to become more hetrosexual”.

Eh?

So…

Being blue is not a choice but we help you become more red?

 

Stonewall Bus Advertising Campaign (LGBT people, this is what the Christians are seeing).

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Anglican Mainstream Response… (Christians…this is what LGBT people are seeing is a message from YOU).

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Desmond, what do you think?

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Say no more.

UPDATE!!!!! Turns out the Authorities in London did not like the message either:-

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/04/12/religious-groups-respond-to-stonewall-with-ex-gay-get-over-it-london-bus-adverts/

 

 

Fear is a powerful controller.

I know people, who, for one reason or another, are in hiding, not on the outside, but on the inside, their friends think they are straight, they think they are just a normal guy, but I know the truth about them, and it hurts, because I’ve been there.

You know the type of person, they are like a chameleon, they fit in with every situation by simply imitating people around them, and, in fact, I don’t think they know they are doing it. You see when you face up to what, or who you really are, you no longer have to try so hard to imitate what you are not, if you are transgendered or gay, you can just live as you are. It’s better for you and your mental health, it might not be better for those who wanted you to be “normal” but I think it’s better to be free, than to be normal.

I feel like these people, like I was,  are like small birds locked in a cage with a secret exit, sometimes, just sometimes they fly out of the back enjoy the freedom if being who they are, that might be visiting someone else who is like them, just secretly, alone, dressing as their true gender, it could be anything. But if they could just see that the bars of the cage that are of their own making, or of others, they could be free.

Sadly, freedom from captivity is rarely a pain free event, when Auschwitz was liberated, it took years for the people to ACTUALLY be free. In fact, I often catch myself retreating back into the cage, simply because it feels safe there. But soon I feel like I’m going to burst if I don’t get out. My friends say that when I’m out with gay friends I come alive, I’m a different person and I know that’s true. If you can, if you are straight, try and spend some time with a bunch of gay people, or a transgender person, you’ll see something amazing, something, actually, quite beautiful, I have a transgender friend and when he is being herself (mistake intended), there is something wonderful, her looking at high heals, pink, anything girly and she almost shrieks with delight.

Jesus said, “The father seeks worshippers that worship him in spirit and in truth”, if you want to worship God in truth, that means acknowledging your and my true state, who we really are, he knows us already and yet he loves us still.

If you want to talk about this stuff please get in touch. Coming out should be planned if you’re going to do it. You need a support network. I’m still coming out and it’s been 3 years.

 

 

 

Church of England to Ban NIV Bible

Posted: April 1, 2012 in Opinion

I have heard some concerning news this morning.

It seems the church of England is going to ban the use of the NIV Bible. It appears they are concerned with the number of errors in translation that are in it.

Apparently there is a committee that looks after the approved books for use in services and when it decides a book is to be used/not used then thats what happens.

Personally, it’s a great loss, despite the problems with the NIV like any translation, it’s text is easy to read and I find the print is clear.

You can see a copy of the letter here