God and gay.

Talked to my vicar today about being gay and christian as have been upset about what some christians have to say about it. It doesn’t bother me that someone has a differing view… It’s that they talk to me like I’m dirt and like I’m not a christian and I disgust them. It’s very hurtful!

Anyway, he’s given me some books to read. The first one I’m reading is Strangers and Friends by Michael Vasey… so there will be more to come about ideas, thoughts and questions from reading this.

The books I’ll be reading afterwards are God for Nothing by Richard MacKenna, Living in Sin? by John Shelby Spong and We Were Baptised Too by Marilyn Bennett Alexander and James Preston.

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12 Comments »

  1. Michael Said:

    Tricky topic this, I’ll be interested to know what you have to say.

  2. GHF Said:

    If being gay is a sin …… is it a bigger sin than murder? Or fraud? Or slavery? Or bigotry? Yet all these are deemed acceptably forgivable.

    I don’t understand the whole “better standard of christian” issue. One either is or isn’t a christian.

    We’re all subject to the same temptations, failings and crass stupidity leading to sin as each other.

    Instead of dwelling on what divides us, why can’t we all unite and love one another?

    Jesus said – love one another as I have loved you. He didn’t say, – love one another, but only if it’s acceptable to the better grade of christian.

  3. csmounday Said:

    I’m sorry that people have been talking down to you. It makes me feel sad that some Christians find it hard to live under the banner of grace and to feel obligated to express their condemnation. I hope those books can speak to you in ways that others have failed.

  4. Michael Said:

    Hmmm…I guess that people talk down to each other anyway pretty much regardless of the topic!! I think that there is mixed in with the life of faith the life of religion…hans Kung (who’s worth reading) once said that all religions,Christianity included need to be redeemed in Christ… Hans Kung is a catholic theologian -or was until he got struck off for not toeing the party line!!

    But the point is that religion is inextricably linked to prejudice and so we are all having to struggle with our unreformed instincts one way or another-This means that a good number of church goers struggle with homsexuality not so much because of their faith but because of their innate conservatism…this is neithe good nor bad I feel -just another example of the sorry state of our fallen natures.

    That said I think it is helpful to understand that the church does have a genuine prohblem with homosexuality which is really nothing to do with individual lives but everything to do with the way the church does its theology-most ‘straight’ christians would dearly love to wish the whole thing away but -at this particular juncture of church culture -they simply cannot..

    Until recently I was at a church which had a lesbian and a gay couple-in fact these two couples had been married to one anothre as ‘straights’ before coming out so to speak…bit confusing I know. Though it was the case that these individuals were obviously noticeable among the general congregation I think they were as well accepted as they could be within church life-I got the impression that the prejudice aimed their way was just simply prejudice-not especially ‘christian’-whatever that means but just normal prejudice. I wonder to what extent lesbian and gay people still meet with prejudice in their everyday lives and whether the level of it is greater or less than they meet from their church communities?

    But I think it is naively unhelpful to decide that christians just ‘shouldn’t have’ prejudices regarding sexual orientation-my daughter is 13 and most of her class at school still seem to have these gende based prejudices one way or another…minorities always seem to get it in the neck one way or another..none of us is perfect in any way really!

  5. Emeth Said:

    Personally, I have found that I don’t get any comments from people who aren’t christians other than the odd “I thought you were christian though?”

    All the prejudice I have recieved has come from christians… however, don’t get me wrong, MOST christians are very supportive… My church is even having a meeting with the bishop this month to discuss giving gay blessings… However, the few comments that come from christians are very hurtful.

    Again, don’t get me wrong, again, I’m not saying that christians “shouldn’t have prejudices regarding sexual orientation”, on the contrary, I say in the post that I don’t mind if people have differing views and don’t think it’s right… I believe they have that right! That isn’t the problem though… I’ve had people disagree with being gay and I’ve talked with them about it… I’ve also had people that disagree with it but have showed me so much love anyway.

    The problem I have is with the christians that have told me I’m not a christian, or I’m going to hell etc etc etc which there have been quite a few… One in partic that really messed me up a hell of a lot.

    I’m not writing this blog to “right the world on sexuality”… I’m writing so I can gain a deeper understanding in my place in God and can, to be honest, have a better knowledge of the bible so I can argue with those people that are plain nasty about it.

    I don’t pretend to know all the answers – but I refuse to be screwed up again by a christian trying to “fix me”

  6. Michael Said:

    Yes, amen to that!! I have a friend who worked for The Courage Trust for some years which is or was an evangelical organisation originally set up to ‘fix’ christians in the way that you say. After a while the trust issued a statement saying that it didn’t find from its experience that ‘fixing’ was possible or even desirable…this caused huge consternation and a withdrawal of funding from most quarters but it seemed to me a really courageous and honest statement to make.

    There are 2 very useful publications on the theology and bible base of the issues involved: Issues of Human sexuality-by the Anglican House of Bishops…and Permanent Faithul and Stable-a discussion by Jeffrey John who is the guy who was almost elected archdeacon of Lincoln but had to withdraw because of his sexuality.

    Here in Fine art we learn that the meaning of the object is neither fixed nor the property of the creator-paintings and objects have their own life which is completed by the viewer…in many ways the bible is similar and so you will never I think out argue ‘plain nasty folk’ THE REALLY BEST THING IS EITHER AVOID THEM COMPLETELY OR BEFRIEND THEM!!
    I do think that the church is going through a sea change in the way it believes and this whole issue is the focus of the turmoil of change. It seems to me that ‘straight’ christians need the friendship of ‘gay’ christians and vice versa…..though I do see that there will be genuine difficulty involved along that line.

    I was once one of the ‘plain nasty’ folk in that I simply believed that the relevant passages in scripture that denounce homosexuality had strong and blanket application today… regardless of what the rest of scripture said about how we are to be with one another…you wouldnt have budged me on it by argument at the time I don’t think because the whole thing seemed obvious to me at the time..yet now my views are very different and I think the change came as I grew in faith and understanding and realised that gender in its own right isn’t exactly top of Gods concerns regarding the world!

  7. Emeth Said:

    Exactly, I completely agree!

    I find cos you’re told certain things or there’s “social norms” you take certain things as “just being right”… It’s not til I realised I was gay and had to start looking into scripture and the “personality” of God, that I did start to realise that God is not going to send me to hell for loving someone of the same sex… What sort of God is that? That I were to love and serve and do the best I could (although it’s a very poor best), for God to say to me “sorry, your a dyke” and turn away! It doesn’t add up…

    Even the scripture that people quote is taken out of context… people quote leviticus, and yet ignore the rest of the rules that tell us not to sow two seeds in the same field, or not to eat pork, or not to get tattoos or piercings, or not to wear clothes woven of two clothes etc etc etc…

    People quote Sodom and Gomorrah but again, that wasn’t cos the men were gay! It was because they were going to gang rape one of the daughters!

    It makes me laugh that people are so wrapped up in the ‘rules’ and the infallability of the bible that they don’t see that if the bible isn’t wrong, then Jesus is a sinner! (he picked the wheat on the Sabbath)

    Jesus says “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”… Now, I can understand why so many “moral” rules are around…. don’t steal, it’s hurtful for someone to earn something and have it stolen. don’t commit adultery, you’re supposed to be with one person and have given yourself to that person. Don’t murder – obvious.

    Nowhere in the commandments does it speak about “don’t be gay” or “don’t be with anyone but a woman”…. Also, Jesus tells us the two commandments is love the Lord you God with all your heart, soul and mind and love people as you would love God. Yes, you will serve God and follow His commandments if you love Him, but to the best of your ability! EVERYONE sins! And I can’t believe that God would look at me and condemn me for loving a woman which hurts noone… and yet let other people in.

    I would not be surprised for ONE SECOND if I saw Judas in heaven… If he was so distressed that he threw the money back and hung himself, I think that shows the utter dismay he was in… Imagine betraying someone you love, and then them being sentanced to crucifiction?! I would feel I was never able to be forgiven and so it’s not surprising he hung himself.

    Either way – someone close to me says (not that he believes in levels of sin, but to make a point) “who’s the greatest sinner? The homeless man who steals food to survive? Or the society that leaves him there?”

    NOTHING is black and white in the bible, and one of the few things I can say with utter conviction is that those who say it is, are wrong.

  8. Emeth Said:

    P.s… I agree with you regarding the courage trust, now THAT’s courageous… I remember coming across their site a couple of years ago and being quite shocked because they were basically saying I needed to be fixed LOL…. So for them to be open-minded enough to see that it can actually be very desctructive by “changing” someone whos gay is fantastic. Shows that people even with extremely set views in anything can have their mind changed… God is good 😉

    You might enjoy “strangers and friends” by Michael Vasey is this topic interests you… It seems a good book looking at homosexuality in society, culture and in relevance to the scripture.

    Emeth 🙂

  9. Andrea Said:

    I’ve read your blog and found it to be very interesting. I personally believe that no one can judge you for being Christian and gay because if we judge others than we will be judged just like it says in the bible. Being a Christian is not only confessing that Jesus is your Lord and Savior but also a lifestyle, taking on the character of Jesus by possessing the fruits of the spirit. I know that many very religious people and Christians probably look down on you because of your sexual orientation and what the bible says. I not saying being gay is okay but people should take inventory of their own selves first before sending someone to hell. Sin is Sin. There is no sin to big or small. If we don’t agree with what someone is doing we should respond in love and earnestly pray for that person that God will show them the way and what is right. Sometimes by telling someone that they going to hell, they are a sinner, and constantly nagging a person pushes them away from God and not drawing them near to him. In closing I want you to know that God loves you uncondtionally. What God don’t like is sin, not the sinner. That’s why he died.
    The word of Gods says that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. He who is without sin cast the first stone.

  10. Emeth Said:

    Thankyou for taking the time reply and give your opinion, it’s very much appreciated 🙂

    Emeth x

  11. Peter Scott Said:

    in response to your letter, I just want to say that Jesus Loves you. He really Loves you, and the closer you get to the Father is the more you will learn, and understand. You will look at things through the eyes and with the mind of Jesus. And HE will mold you into what he wants you to become in him.

  12. Michael Said:

    Right..I think I’ve finally got it figured out…!!!

    1) No human being on the planet has choice over who they are-we do not choose our family nor our genes. This goes for EVERYBODY..actually I didnt choose who I am and sometimes I think I would much rather have been someone else-I still struggle with all sorts of issues at the ripe old age of 55-So being human on the face of Gods earth is nothing to do with gender and nothing to do with sexuality AT ALL but rather to do with playing the cards we are dealt in the best way we can…this means being orientated Godward.

    2) We do know that the greatest imperative is to Love the Lord our God with all our hearts all our strength all our minds and to love our neighbour as ourselves. This too is regardless of gender/orientation.

    3) It is legitimate for those we raise up as teachers and preachers in our churches to expound views regarding sexual practice and orientation-those issues are discussed in the Bible within their cultural context. Not much point in having teachers,preachers and theologianns if we don’t listen to them but the trouble is they disagree and are fallible humans too.

    4) In terms of ones own personal walking after God each must carry their own load and thus each of us is called to Godliness in terrms of our behaviour-this behaviour and mental/emotional struggle is mainly to do with our inner desires and our selfishness of heart-this is the same for all and each must deal with it as best they can-picking up odd bits of scripture to chuck at each other like rocks is COMPLETELY WRONG…the only person we need rebuke for thoughts deeds attitudes we don’t like is ourselves!!

    5) The current struggle of the church with itself over attitudes towards human sexuality is in part to do with the political will of the times we live in. There are no easy answers because the minute we begin to try and speak for anyone other than ourselves then we speak as if for the whole church and the whole church is awry on this point- The chief fear is about how the church theologises the bible-in other words how should we live? Thus it is obvious that there is genuine cause for concern here-but this concern should not have a focus upon individuals who must work out their own salvation as best they may…however given the cultural/historical framework of the time it is legitimate that those who seek public and perhaps priestly office within the church will have to face the issue of sexuality-for others it should not be an issue. Since we are all born in disorder then we should seek solidarity not exclusivity, mutual atiy and friendship over legality.
    6) Finally, my own personal view is that no lay person is competent to pass judgement upon the issue-it is simply too complex and demanding at this current time-the best thing we can do is regard sexuality as an issue of relatively minor importance and then get on with the lives given us.


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