Should I stay or should I go? (stay)

Posted: January 16, 2016 in Uncategorized

So last night I had a meeting with the Vicar and a great friend of mine. Which to be honest left me in a quandary.

  • St John’s, my church I attend is so accepting it’s great, even with a well attended LGBT fellowship which I started 3 or so years ago that has a membership of around 10 regulars.
  • The upper echelons of the Church of England would probably be pretty upset to find out the group even existed or that in fact that St John’s is so welcoming to the LGBT community. (But it’s not just us)
  • I do not agree with the views of the Primates. I think, they are as the church was about slavery simply wrong on this one. Did you know the CofE voted for slavery to stay, and the used the Bible to back it up. Just as they voted against women being in leadership, and used the Bible to back it up. Here we are again.
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury decided to say he was sorry about the hurt caused to the LGBT community
    • There is no such thing as the “LGBT Community”, it would have been better if he had said those people who are LGBT, we are not an organised conglomerate. It shows that he does not recognise us as people but thinks of us as some kind of organisation.
    • There is no such thing as the LGBT agenda. It was invented by the Right wing church to make out that all LGBT  people wanted to take over the world – which we don’t, we just want to exist, to be accepted.
    • How can you hurt someone and then apologise as if the hurt has not happened, knowing you will go on hurting those who you have hurt. Yes, Jesus I know we have to forgive 70×7 but it’s pretty hard going.

Leaving the church makes a statement, it says I cannot exist in this environment. But at St Johns I am thriving, I love playing in the band, leading worship occasionally, being involved with Street Angels and the other things I do in the church. That would all be gone. St Johns is home, but there is the nagging feeling that I am the naughty child, not caused by St Johns but the attitude of those above me, the fear that one day I may be thrown out of the church along with my LGBT brothers and sisters. If that happens, it happens, maybe I’ll just start another church.

So I have decided to stay and fight from the inside. Even though it probably means more pain and rejection by the primates and the “establishment” of the church. If as LGBT people we can show that actually, we are no different from anyone else we just love the same gender.

I think, to be honest most Anglicans in this country are more Episcopalian, I know another COFE church locally who welcomes LGBT people.

The thing is, and this bothers me, that the Vicar and those who support us stand by us may be subject to the same kind of rejection, it may come to our church being “excommunicated” in the same way the Episcopalian.

The UK church of England has operated a don’t ask don’t tell policy for hundreds of years in fact. In any congregation there are LGBT people. They are there, but some of them are just good at hiding.

Yes, it would be easier to walk away. But whatever I do it’s going to be painful, if I walk away I lose my family, if I stay I have to endure the pain of knowing that to be a “proper Anglican” I have to remain single and alone. To be honest, if I met someone I would go ahead and be with them. I know St John’s wouldn’t have a problem.

The Christian life is based in pain, the pain of the one whom the religious leaders rejected, who was hung on a Roman cross for us. I find a lot of similarities with Christ and LGBT people at this time, but it’s not just us, divorced people often feel the same, single people often feel that the church is aimed at families, even though Paul the apostle said it was better to be single.

I have to do the bigger thing, I have to stay. But it scares me. So St John’s if you want me I’m still here.

I spoke to a vicar friend of mine yesterday, he said “I was sad, then I was angry”, I said “that’s funny, I was angry then I was sad”.

Church rejects, Jesus loves you so much, if you come to St John’s you’ll be part of our family. Come and join the other church rejects.

Alan and Keith, thanks. St John’s, thanks for being my family. Archbishop, primates, go read your bible and find out who Jesus is.

Paul.

Update (already!)

http://stlaurencecowley.org/2016/01/14/partial-suspension-of-the-episcopal-church/ – Some churches are now giving vocal support to the Episcopalians.

https://lettertoarchbishops.wordpress.com/sign/

http://www.vancouver.anglican.ca/news/bishops-statement-regarding-the-primates-actions < Canadian Church Response

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3399866/Anglicans-sanction-US-Episcopal-Church-gay-marriage.html – Diocese of New York response

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/revangelical/2016/01/14/the-danger-of-disembodied-theology-a-response-to-the-anglican-primates-2016.html – Article on the Danger of Disembodied Theology.

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/01/16/archbishop-plans-to-move-easter-but-insists-marriage-cant-be-changed-for-gays/?utm_source=PNFB&utm_medium=SocialFB&utm_content=FBN&utm_campaign=PNFacebook – A bit tongue in cheek but makes a good point.

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Comments
  1. Well, He did say we’d have to carry a cross to follow Him. You can’t say you weren’t warned.

  2. Paul C says:

    True my friend, true.

  3. […] Communion do more to speak out against these atrocities? The Archbishop of Canterbury has been pulled up already for talking about the hurt to the LGBTI community as if this is a clear entity, and I’d add […]

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