Archive for May, 2015

http://distractify.com/beth-buczynski/a-big-gay-double-rainbow-ireland/?ts_pid=2

As someone who is repeatedly blamed for disasters and earthquakes, God surprised us all by sending a Rainbow when Ireland voted for gay marriage.

Not going to write a lot more. I’m moved.

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In This article we read of a Christian bakery who refused to bake a cake for a gay person because it opposed their views on equal marriage, there has been a large amount of discussion about this case, particularly on LBC radio.

I have been sitting back and having a good think about this and it appears to me that the Christian’s even though they were backing a cake for gay marriage support which they don’t believe in may have been going against the teachings of Jesus.

Shocking!

Starting with the teaching Jesus gave on ‘going the extra mile’.

Matthew 5:41New International Version (NIV)

41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.

Jesus here is referring to the Roman soldiers who would regularly get people to carry their stuff. Ofcourse the Jews would be horrified to do this on a sabbath, but I would imagine the roman soldiers would not have cared. The Jew would not dare complain, but had to carry what was required and go for one mile. Jesus didn’t say ‘don’t bake the cake’ he said, instead, give more than they ask.

Sure, I understand that the baker didn’t want to promote gay marriage, just as I’m sure the jews would not want to support the oppressive Roman empire.

Of course Jesus spent a lot of time with people for whom the jews would not approve, such as the samaritan woman at the well, what about the Roman Centurion with his “Pias” (could be translated lover) who was ill.

Perhaps a more powerful ministry happens when we go ahead and cross borders, when we bake the cake.

This Friday is the referendum on gay marriage in Ireland. I  for one hope it passes. Because then Christians will see that LGBT people can love each other too and maintain a happy relationship. Young gay people instead of drifting into promiscuity and having relationships in an environment of fear may be able to move to having relationships that are honourable and open.

Jesus used circumstances to open dialog. What if the Christian baker had forgotten about his fear of gay people and gay marriage and instead baked the cake and shared the love of Christ with that gay person?

What if he baked the cake, plus did some rainbow cup cakes for free?

“Look, I struggle with the whole gay marriage thing, but Jesus told me to go the extra mile”.

Much more powerful than going to court and losing an equality case.

Cake anyone?

This article (Click  Here) is a brave but incredibly sad account which describes in a way my experience as a gay man growing up in the 70’s.

I am one of those people who used religion to beat myself up. I remember when I was a teenager being besotted with Tucker Jenkins from Grange Hill (a TV program).  By the time I was in my 20’s I was homophobic, a friend of mine asked me once if I’d hire a gay person and I just quoted scripture at him. Scripture I had learned by rote but not really understood. Ofcourse Grange Hill had it’s own gay teacher.

I regret terribly how I forced myself to be straight even though I spent most of my life completely cut up inside. Deeply hating myself.

For anyone brought up to believe these things about themselves it is a huge journey to actually get yourself to the place where you understand just how much God loves you as you are. That being gay, bi or trans, is not some kind of condemnation but in many ways a blessing.

Being gay, you see, is not just about who you are attracted to, it’s about how you see the world. When you find someone you actually love, you’ll know it. Whatever gender they are.

When you are “out”, when you don’t hide who you are any more it’s like you are finally set free. You can finally, when out with friends, discuss “that guy on Hollyoaks“.

I did have relationships with people of the same sex growing up, from the age of about 15. But these were not  loving relationships they were relationships that happened in an environment of fear and shame.

I hope that in these modern times we can learn to live alongside each other.

I believe the glory of God is the human being fully alive and that this includes people who are gay.

If Ireland votes Yes, it will be about much more than marriage. It will end institutional homophobia. It will say to gay people that they belong, that it’s safe to surface and live fully human, loving lives. If it’s true that 10 per cent of any population are gay, then there could be 400,000 gay people out there; many of them still living in emotional prisons. Any of them could be your son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, father or best friend. Set them free. Allow them live full lives.

(Ursula Halligan)

I was recently (today) messaged on our wonderful meetup group for the LGBT Christian Fellowship @ ST John’s with this message. It is a very curious message to be honest because it makes certain assumptions.

Basically this statement says that Jesus love and sacrifice is only for people who identify as straight – I, and my friends who love him and serve him, despite our best efforts will never be good enough (actually, no one is good enough for God, we all rely on the sacrifice of Christ). The person making this statement firmly slams the doors to the kingdom in my face.

This statement judges me, it says that I am somehow living a life displeasing to God, without even giving me the chance to defend myself or to look to Christ. It actually is a terrible accusation that I am doing something so terrible that God can never accept me. Which is ofcourse baloney. Then I get “Oh if your repent of being gay then you can become a Christian”.

Following Christ is a journey. Sure I can repent of having an embarrassing bald spot at the top of my head, but it’s still there.

Could it be that God is somehow less worried about who you love, and more about how you live. Normally I think people who make this statement are struggling with their own sexuality, don’t lie to yourself, don’t lie to God, he knows you and he loves you as you are. Begin a walk with him and he will help you live better.

I always take this kind of statement very personally, actually it makes my quite upset that someone thinks they can judge me and they don’t even know me. Jesus loves us so much, nothing, nothing is impossible with God, even so much that LGBT people can find his love whilst being rejected by the church.

Yes, I’m gay and I follow Christ, yes I live alone with my cat, and yet, somehow this person is absolutely convinced that people like me are somehow unacceptable to God, I spend hours and hours serving others in Christ’s name but guess what, because I’m gay it probably means nothing. I think my friend, when you get to heaven, you might be surprised at who is also there.. you never know… he might even let me in!