Archive for September, 2012

http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/pope-says-gay-people-are-not-fully-developed-humans280912

I am so sorry for anyone reading this and believing it has any connection with Christianity at all.

It goes against so many of Christ’s teachings, about loving your enemies, doing good to others, Paul’s teachings about living under grace and not under law.

If you are Gay you are not a second class human being, you’re not underdeveloped. You are loved by God, despite what your church might tell you.

I will pray for him…but I’m running out of patience.

Advertisements

One of the common things I hear, even in accepting churches is that LGBT people are God’s second best, that gay relationships are not God’s best for man.

Sadly I think these people are wrong. Why, because God chooses the helper, the best helper that is for you if you will allow him. For Adam, Adam’s great helper for him was Eve.

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”  Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man… but for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God… made a woman… and he brought her to the man.
~ Genesis 2:18-22

First point, God wanted Adam to choose his helper from all the animals. Thus, this relationship God wanted for Adam was not a sexual one. God’s helper was Eve, she was perfect for him. Still no mention of sex though.

Second point, the right helper for anyone might not be a woman! God’s concern is that man’s and his “helper” have their emotional needs met, there is no mention of sex, or children at this point for that matter. For me the church is often obsessed with sex, with sex acts, but God seems much more concerned with the whole person. Gay people are humans that unless called to celibacy and living alone (which I think is rare), need a helper, a companion.

Where Christian’s often go wrong is by making procreation the reason for committed relationships (call it marriage if you like). This making only people who have children have a valid marriage, but that’s not what Genesis is talking about. It’s talking about a suitable helper. Actually, if two people love each other and live for other, perhaps they are disabled or unable to have children, still their relationship is just as valid.

If you say that all God want’s is a man to marry a woman and have children, you reduce God to being some kind of “child factory maker”. Gay relationships, relationships between people unable to have children are not God’s second best. Children, yes, are a blessing from God, but two people living in unity and worship of him, regardless of their ability to produce children naturally, honour him, and in honouring him, become his best. So if someone is disabled, or gay, or lesbian, or unable to have children, their relationships are no less special or valid in his site.

You see, homosexuality is not some kind of sin or disease, it’s a state of being, the outworking of which is the same needs and wants as straight people. Gay relationships, relationships between disabled people, relationships between childless people and the lives of single people should all be celebrated equally. God does not see any of us as second best or not quite as good as another human being. Jesus died for all of us, whatever our race, religion, sexuality, age, weight, goodness, badness or any other label you like. Paul the apostle said how we are all made equal through Christ.

God loves love and hates hate.

Get Real

Posted: September 14, 2012 in Opinion

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aK2SdC8GRZk&feature=related

Years and years ago while I was still in the closet. I watched this film. Back then it made me cry (which I don’t do easily, I’m tough I am). It made me upset because I so wanted to be like Stephen Carter in the film. Open about who I was. Not being something everyone else wanted me to be. But being true to myself. I was more like John the other guy who was so scared to be himself that he lived two lives. That, Is hell.

Anyway if you want to understand more of what it feels like to be gay it’s a good film to watch. There are some classic lines in there. But the key to the film is the speech that Stephen gives at 1:50.

 

Those of you who read yesterday’s post can see that I, although not a second class Christian, am, in fact a second class Anglican.

I do not have the same rights as someone who is straight within the church, even though I am on the PCC and I serve playing music every Sunday. However, none of that is good enough to make me equal with people sitting in a metre from me.

I go to a loving church.

After my last post – about the Church of England I came to the horrible realisation that maybe church, in itself, is not the Kingdom Jesus was talking about.

The Kingdom, after all is not like a human kingdom, it is not one that has borders.

Jesus had some odd things to say about it.

Its a Kingdom where all everyone is equal. (Matthew 20)

It’s a Kingdom of the Rejected. Matthew 8:10 (The story of the Roman Centurion and his Pias, male servant with which he was probably in a relationship).

Could it be that the very people the church rejects or hurts could be the very people who are welcomed, unhindered by the Christ who was rejected before them?

Church, for me should reflect Christ and his Kingdom. For now, we have a long way to go.

You see if the sons and daughters of the Kingdom, knew their King more and built church on Him, “church” would be very different from the silly pomp and circumstance, the unnecessary walls and rules that bind.

I have prepared the following chart to show “equality” in the Church of England. This probably applies to a number of other churches as well. Note that even if you attend a gay accepting church they are also tied up in church “law”. Which means despite accepting you, you will never be an equal. I have put triangles under some things where some churches may allow such things as divorcees to marry.

The truth is, even though people like me are accepted in church, in reality the rule of the church denies the grace of Christ instead of encompassing it.

Please note, this is built for the Anglican church so if your church differs, thats ok.

If you go to an Anglican church that would allow Gay people in a relationship to be confirmed please let me know. I would also like to note that being gay and in a relationship seems to be fine as long as you are not having sex. (I wonder if the COFE will send a priest to check?, and two people of the same sex in a relationship and not having sex is called FRIENDSHIP, some friendships are deep, very deep).

This does vary from church to church so if anyone has any corrections please message me on comments and I’ll update it.

You can reuse this chart but please credit this website (http://www.gcdiary.com/). It is copyright.

I have discussed the issue of gay marriage else where on this blog so please don’t post comments on that here. Have a read of the other post. Click Here

Please note, Ofcourse I am assuming those involved are in fact Christians.

I believe that if someone is a follower of Christ, who is full immersed in his grace, then they should have the same rights as everyone else, access to the same heavenly father. Is the Church of England in danger of “Slamming the doors of heaven in peoples faces?”.

cofeupdate.png

I have some further notes provided by a member of the clergy that have resulted in this updated version:

“I think the baptism line – as far as the church of england is concerned – would stretch right across the range with a rectangle. The fact is that anyone in the parish has a legal right to be baptised in their parish church, if they have not been baptised before. On confirmation, I would move the line one section to the left. Confirmation would be extended to a single gay person if they managed to stay in the church long enough to request it.

The expectation in a generally homophobic church would be that the person remained single. Some churches would be happy to confirm a gay person in a relationship. So the lines for clergy and confirmation would be the same.    You could add a line for bishops. I would put that as your confirmation line currently is. There are single gay bishops in the church of england, but some people feel uncomfortable about it.

Finally, for marriage. The right hand end of that rectangle can’t extend under ‘straight married’ because it is illegal for a married person to marry in this country.”

I would not class myself as a strong Christian. In the sense that what I thought was my faith has taken a battering over the last few years, my long held Evangelical views that made me into an abomination before God, destroyed by a fresh discovery of Christ’s grace and that those scriptures with which I had condemned myself didn’t actually mean what I thought they did unless I took them out of context.

Context is such an important thing when trying to understand Scripture. How can it say You shall not kill in the 10 commandments and yet the Israelites killing their enemies?

So, why a crisis of faith? I suppose my crisis of faith is not in fact a crisis of faith in God, but in the church. The confusion of living in an environment where the Sheep and Goats seem so much more visible (I think we all have a bit of goat in us actually). In fact even through the times where church was not a place I felt I could go, I always prayed.

I can understand why so many LGBT people don’t attend church or enjoy the fellowship of other believers.

1.  Churches often say hurtful things.

The fundamentalist Christian part of the Anglican movement are often making loud noises about how bad Gay people are, how we will destroy their marriage, or their society. But this is simply not true, if we were going to do that we would have done it by now, not with marriage either.

2. The hate levied at you often makes you over sensitive to “comments”.

Some members of the Church were talking about going to Spring Harvest, well within 5 seconds I was googling how Gay friendly Spring Harvest is, it makes me feel like a second class Christian as does the fact that I could never marry in the Anglican church that commit so much time and energy to.

On Sunday in church we were talking about putting a welcome banner across the front and I suggested adding a rainbow, I was told it would be subtle. SUBTLE!? really? I had a chat with Revd’ Rob about it, he made some very good points, but we are trying to be a welcoming church to everyone in the community. That includes LGBT people, muslims, hindus, gays, straights, fat people, tall people, short people, the list is endless, so we would never have a banner big enough to identify each one.

3. You always wonder what people think of you because you are gay.

I have a quite a few brilliant Christian friends who know I’m gay and love me as I am. But there is always the wonder if I look around the church what would they think if they knew? In a way I wonder if they do, I often have a rainbow guitar strap, but that only really means something to people who understand.

I suppose one of my big mistakes during my life is to put my trust in the church and not God completely.  When the scaffolding of church is taken away from our lives, only God is left. But when it comes back you don’t need the scaffolding any more as much. Instead you become part of the scaffolding in others lives. Church, when functioning properly is like a mutual building site. Paul the Apostle likened it to a body with its many parts.

Is it important that everyone in the church knows I’m gay so I can feel truly accepted? Yes and no. If it wasn’t an issue for some Christians then ofcourse it wouldn’t matter. But because it is an issue for some Christians, who probably think they don’t know anyone who is gay. Remember I spent most of my  life fearing that people would find out the truth about me. The greatest fear was those in the church and that still carries on even though I am open about my sexuality.

I think if some of them read this blog they would die a horrible death.  (I know they wouldn’t but this is how it feels). See that’s not probably true, but that’s how it feels.

It would be so much easier to go to a “proper gay church”. But you know then nothing would change out here in the Anglican forest and I have some really close friends at my church two or three people who I actually trust, (trust has been a hard thing since I was outed by a Christian).

So there is my crisis of faith, It’s not really a crisis of faith at all. It’s a crisis of church.