Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Redeeming Scripture.

Posted: September 3, 2018 in Opinion

 

 

I’ve not written for ages. I know. But this was very moving.

Last night at the LGBTI group I’m part of we were studying scripture. We read one verse, it wasn’t even one of the 5 verses used normally to condemn us. There was a silence, you could cut it with a knife. “This verse was used to condemn me”, said one of the group members, I felt the same. We looked though again at the verse and found out that actually, in reality it was not a verse made to condemn but to encourage.

It’s not only LGBTI people who feel condemned sometimes by people misusing scripture. My rule of thumb is this, the two most important commandments, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbour as yourself. If there is any teaching that goes against those things – then it’s not right. So people misusing scripture to condemn others just destroys faith and pushes people away from God.

Jesus complained at the Pharisees and called them whitewashed tombs, shutting the doors of the Kingdom of Heaven in their faces. Many Christians are still doing this. So let’s open some doors and welcome people in and point them to Jesus.

Advertisements

Talking to a good friend of mine who lives in the USA, a war veteran. Quoted with permission left with the lack of punctuation and capital letters, because the message is so powerful.

i seen lots of black white red and yellow gay and straight soldiers die we didnt give a damm about that.. we just lost brothers.

Dear Church of England

Posted: January 15, 2016 in Opinion

From http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35318392

The US Episcopal Church is to be barred from Anglican decision-making bodies over its stance on same-sex marriage and homosexuality, bishops say.

It means the Church will be suspended from participating in the life and work of the Anglican communion.

The decision was made by senior Anglican clergy at what was described as a “really tough” meeting, held in Canterbury, to heal Church rifts.

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said it “will bring real pain”.

The decision dates back to the ordination of openly gay Canon Gene Robinson as a bishop of the Episcopal Church’s New Hampshire diocese in 2003 – a move that divided the global Anglican communion.

Since I have found Christ I have desired to serve him with all my heart, when I was younger, I was told that I could change my sexuality and become straight by getting married, which I did, you told me that, you told me that I could change how I felt. But the whole thing was a lie that ended in a painful break up.

I have not taken communion for years and frankly I struggle to even see that I could be a Christian sometimes, it seems Christ has now become out of reach. It’s no wonder that so many LGBTI people walk away from the faith. Or never even find Christ, your demand that we become straight is just too much. It is like a blind man gaining his sight, it is like a man born deaf being able to hear.

You only want perfect people in your perfect church. Well, I for one have had enough. I don’t think that church is a place for LGBT people. I am tired of being beaten up by your decisions, when you have not even sat with me to talk things through. You do not love LGBT people and don’t say you do, you use us, and then you throw us away. For years I have served you faithfully in music and doing everything, but still you won’t let me just be myself, you want me to be something I’m not, frankly I can’t do it.

I want to say though that St John’s has become home for me, I love the people and the church and this is nothing to do with them. In a sense it’s hard to work out what to do, but I obviously cannot be in any form of leadership within the church. I cannot risk St John’s going through the same fate as the Episcopalians because of me.

So it’s a sad goodbye from me.

I guess I won’t be going to church any longer.

I’ll get my coat and walk away with a broken heart again.

I am Episcopalian.

Paul.

Update…got a meeting with the Vicar later. Please pray. Feeling very very sad right now. 

Interesting discussion on LBC Radio about this issue, basically the view that The Archbishop has sided with the bullies rather than those that have been bullied to protect the Christians who would be persecuted if they sided with the Episcopalians.

Is the solution to side with bullies for the safety of the bullied? Thinking that by supporting those who persecute LGBT people in the name of Christ it is some how going to convey the love of Christ to those who he died for?

I think the Archbishop and the Anglican church have a hugely difficult position. I don’t feel actually they’ve taken the right one, but the one that pleases the people. It reminds me of the trial of Christ. When the trial was decided simply to please the people. I am on trial with the Episcopalian church, I have been tried and found guilty. at a trial I could not attend.

Not forgetting ofcourse the Church of England was started basically so that Henry the 8th could get a divorce.

Update 2

Basically the reaction of the LGBT media is simply to tell us how bad the Church of England is http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/01/15/shock-as-anglican-communion-punishes-us-church-for-acceptance-of-gays/

Unfortunately this gives the message to LGBT people they are not welcome in the church of England, the Episcopalian church has made a statement too.

http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/007170.html 

“Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all. While I understand that many disagree with us, our decision regarding marriage is based on the belief that the words of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians are true for the church today: All who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, for all are one in Christ.”

Well, that’s the kind of Church I would love to be part of. One of my comments on Facebook was that it’s like accepted at a local level and despised at another level. That’s the way it feels. I must stand by my convictions but I don’t want to withdraw from the church I love, but how can I be part of something, who in the upper levels does not accept me?

What would Jesus do?

The Guardian has also posted an interesting Article with an MP resigning from the Church. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/15/anglican-leaders-statement-on-marriage-disappoints-liberals

 

 

 

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)

Sick to death of scientific religion.

Posted: November 12, 2012 in Opinion

I have noticed in posts on Facebook recently more and more this attitude of blaming religion for the world’s ills and making out that science just fixes things. Frankly, I’m sick of it. But why? You ask?

Man is a learning creature, some of that learning has been evil and wrong. Some of it done in the name of Christ, some in the name of science. But one thing is for certain man takes stuff that is “good” and screws it up. But we should not give up.

Scientific religious atheists are quick to point out about the terrible things done in the name of God, but ignore the terrible atrocities carried out by Nazi Germany on children in the name of science, the awful things done to gay people when they were sent to Psychiatric hospitals and were given frontal lobotomies, frontal lobotomies that did not cure them and sometimes resulted in suicides. This misguided application of leeches to patients and terrible things done in the name of science.

Instead of seeing science and religion as enemies wouldn’t it be better to learn from the terrible mistakes and work TOGETHER to forget a better future, a freer future for mankind.

Frankly I don’t care if you are an atheist, agnostic or Bible Bashing banana brained Christian, if we started of with the simple principles of Christ, to Love God with everything in us and love our neighbour as we love ourselves, (which I fail at every day), then guess what. We would have purer motives to operate within when it came to science and religion.

It is time we grew up people and made it our goal to learn together whatever our religious fever, wether science, religion, or like me a curious exploratory mixture of both. I will neither defend religion or science, but learning. I will stand with Muslims, gays, straights, homeless, lonely, poor, rich, happy sad, I will stand with humans and stop blaming science or religion for the stupid things us humans do to each other to try and make things better.

 

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.

 

The man in the boxer shorts.

Posted: June 25, 2012 in Opinion

Ok, I sadly admit I’m still on a few dating sites sadly, I’ve never REALLY got anywhere apart from once where I met the most lovely guy Rudolph we went out a few times, we still chat, but he didn’t want to live on a boat which is a bit of a show stopper for me.

Last night I was on Facebook and one of my Facebook friends, posted a picture of a rather overweight chap, on a sofa, in just a pair of boxer shorts, looking for a guy 18-30, he was 57.

There were quite a few comments and I, to my shame, joined in, people mostly, including me making fun of this guy. Which was incredibly cruel actually and hence my writing of this blog post.

If I were to ever meet him I would ask his forgiveness that I judged him based on simply a picture. When in truth he probably is a really nice guy, not my type I guess, but that doesn’t make it right for me, or anyone else for that matter to have a joke at his expense. Who knows what pain he has been through? Us gay people are quick enough to moan when someone judges us and here was I doing it with someone else.

The sad thing is, it made me realise something. It made me realise that dating sites are actually pretty useless. That in fact, I wonder how many of us who are a little more blessed in the weight area ever find anyone, since most of the guys on there are handsome and way out of our league. So however we post our photograph, or write our profile, there will always and only ever be people who want sex, want it quick and never want to see you again, that is just making sex consumerist and like having a coffee, which frankly, I don’t think it should be.

If I meet someone, I will love them and care for them and I hope they will do the same for me. I hope the guy in the picture does find someone, I hope he’s cute, funny and actually they make a lovely couple. Maybe I hope that for myself as well and one day, maybe on that site he will be shown as “in a relationship”.

So man on sofa in boxer, I’m sorry.

Oh and if anyone knows of a nice gay guy that likes boats please tell them to get in touch. Preferably not too much older than me. By the way, they have to be single.