Friday, April 24, 2009

One step forward, two steps back

While not wishing to blow my own trumpet I do appear to be somewhat unusual in being both Christian and of a liberal/leftwing persuasion. Being that way is, at times, likely to try the patients of a saint, so what chance do my patients have when I see things like this? Yes, we have yet another attempt by a Christian group to "cure" gays.

*Pauses for a moment to hit head repeatedly against keyboard*.

Let's not dwell too much on the theology side of all this but let's not ignore it either. There are precisely 6 verses in the Bible that deal with same sex relationships. As we all know though none of the Bible was originally written in English, the various books were written in different languages at different times and have been translated many different times. Hence it is not surprising that those same verses can equally be read as dealing with abusive sexual relationships or even be dealing with priestly codes of behaviour.

This whole episode is particularly personal to me, I'm not gay myself but the attitude of many main stream churches to homosexuality is one of the reasons why I am not a regular church goer. It, along with a number of other issues, has put me off somewhat. And I'm not the only one. There are plenty of left/liberal Christians out there who are as uncomfortable with the church as I am. And yet, in recent months I have started to feel the urge to return to church more often and be part of something a little more communal and not just keep my faith to myself. I have been encouraged by people like Rowan Williams and his views on the environment and by John Sentamu and his criticisms of the BNP. The Main stream church has seemed, recently, to be increasingly reflecting views that I share and passionate about.

Yet we then come back to things like this conference and the constants obsession with gays. In some ways it is like the conservative party. I know a number of people who are believers in the free market who simply can't bring themselves to vote conservative because of their obsession with Europe. I'm struggling with the church because of it's obsession with gays.

The fact is that some people are gay. That's the way they are. It harms no one and there is no solid theological basis for opposing it. So can't we all just grow up and let it go? If the church want to get the likes of me back through the door then in taking a step forward in recent times they have just taken two steps back.

Anyway, Akela is off to camp with his tribe of horrors this evening. I may knock out some kind of anti Daily Mail rant before I go but other than that I'll see you all Sunday night!

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