When is an inclusive church, not an inclusive church?

Posted: May 10, 2012 in LGBT Issues

Well folks, I didn’t sleep much last night and I woke up early so I thought I’d put pen to paper (well fingers to keyboard).

As you all know, for a while the children and I have been attending a wonderful church. I have many friends, who, despite me being gay love and accept me, not in a “love the sinner hate the sin” way, but actually in a way that has contributed I think to a lot of inner healing from the past.

But recently some things have come along that made me think that perhaps things were not as rosy as I thought.

“The Gay Marriage Meeting”, there was a meeting in the Lady Chapel about gay marriage, which, frankly I did not go to, the reason was a woman behind me started going on about gay people and how we wanted everything.

The iBelieve magazine, that was given out free with an advertisement by a group that didn’t want gay marriage and in fact the advertisement is under scrutiny from the Advertising Standards Authority as it is misleading, it uses statistics that are from the Catholic church and not a cross section of the population (there is an article about it in this blog).

Then our church set up a facebook page! It was all going brilliantly. Until this…


The banner was not posted by me . But some one else in the church.

    • Me I love it – and LGBT people will know exactly what it means because of the rainbow colours, we have rainbow colours in our main stained glass window
      A membera good sign to make us all feel welcome and at home – I shall look for the rainbow of hope

    • Another Member Do we really need to know this why cannot you be a human being like the rest please stop labbeling yourse4lf and just be a quiet human being for once,!

      Me I shall now be a quiet human being you won’t see me again. (at this point frankly I felt like leaving the church)
    • Another Member I think the point is that some human beings don’t feel accepted as human beings if they are upfront about who they are. Keep working on it pls folks. Human beans or jelly beans, we need each other with all our weird flavours. (Maybe these are Harry Potter’s Every Flavour Beans? The next one might be earwax flavour but God loves ’em all..)
    • Another Member its all about love for one another whatever – i think our fb group is a space to explore that concept

      Another Member Good luck to you. Love who you would like to. I do not need every five minutes to hear you banging drums and blowing trumpets there are much more important issues in our community, families, and the world than this.

      Me I’m really saddened by what you’ve said. You have no idea the impact that this kind of homophobia has on people. If you don’t want me or others like me at St Johns, my kids and I will find somewhere else.
      This is a terribly important issue. The church over the years has terribly wronged LGBT people. Every year LGBT people commit suicide because of bullying a lot of them are quite young, teenagers and some of that has come from so called Christians. This is an important topic. As important as families and community. As a gay person I will, I’m afraid be banging on about it.
Ok – so after that I just wrote to the vicar and said, really, I don’t think I should carry on coming to St Johns, it was clear this person is not only struggling with the issue she’s trying to push it neatly under the carpet and I wonder who else has issues with this.
Oh and I’m entirely nervous about posting this on the blog. Only because I’m not sure it’s appropriate. I mean, if I say nothing, just go along with all this, then for those who are not out and who are questioning their sexuality, church will never be a safe place.
Please please don’t think that my church is anti-gay. Actually this is just one person, but Hitler was just one person.
Has anyone got a drum I can bang?
  1. Bishop Craig says:

    It is really quite sad, and I feel that even if only one person is reacting in the way this individual did if the others don’t challenge it then they are complicit in it as well. If a church is claiming to be inclusive, then it needs to be inclusive. Unfortunately, many churches talk about it but few actually practice it. Inclusion is a lot like pregnancy – you can’t be partly inclusive. It’s an all or nothing proposition. I think your post is proper and important, because I am absolutely other people in other churches claiming to be inclusive are encountering the same thing. On what basis, then, would Jesus exclude? Sexuality? Ethnicity? Employment status? Health status? The part of town they live in? National origin?

  2. Paul C says:

    Thank you, that’s really encouraged me Bishop Craig. – oh and I’ve put a link to your blog here too.

    Another post this morning…

    (church member) Here’s an idea- Why don’t we all agree that being a voice banging on for the voiceless and speaking up against all kinds of injustice is a calling we all share, and why don’t we do a bit of listening and encouraging of one another? Blimey, I’m starting to sound like a primary school teacher. Have a good day y’all xx

  3. Hi Paul, There are some encouraging voices in this which gives me hope for you and your church community. It’s a very human thing to pay too much attention to those struggling with realities that are bigger than their experience. ‘Conversion’ is a dialoge for all in a faith walk. Your voice is so needed here. Keep the conversation going about Christ’s acceptance of you, no one can change that and make a bit of room for their limits ( but not too much :-))Let your love for them be your ristastance. Love and prayers Clive x

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