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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Off The Fence

Tonight I picked up a young lady in my taxi and we got into a conversation about the upcoming church plant. At this point she informed me that she was a lesbian and, although being raised as a Catholic, she felt that Church affiliation and Christian faith was incompatible with her sexual orientation.

We had a wonderful chat and I was able to wait for her to do what she had to do and then drive her back home so we got two trips in which to talk. Jess, her name, was a lovely person and told me about the homophobia that she had faced at times.

As I spoke to her I realized that, a long while ago now, I had moved off the fence and wanted to develop my homosexual agnostic stance. Here I will make clear that I believe a person can be gay and a Christian and they do not need to repent because I do not believe that Gay orientation is a sin. Promiscuity in any sexual orientation is a sin but Christians who are gay or in a gay relationship are still very much loved by God and a part of His Church.

Tonight I went to the gay bar to have dinner during my shift. I had a great chat with one of the bar staff who was openly gay. I shared honestly my aims in starting spiritual discussion at the pub and he suggested I attend the closing event of a week-long gay/lesbian festival in Newcastle which is a picnic and funday and he said I should take flyers because there would be people there who would want to connect with the type of discussion and community that I would like to foster.

In closing I want to share Jess' response to my story. She thanked me for caring about gay people and said that it made her feel good that a heterosexual Christian was prepared to become involved in the gay community in a loving, supportive, pastoral manner. It is these conversations that make the ministry worthwhile.

6 comments:

iEmerging Church said...

I could not agree more. Thanks for sharing this!!

Pete said...

sweet.

I find it odd that people do not see fidelity and love is same sex committment. As I male, I only know my own sexuality, but my base desires want to use sex for fun and escape. it is easier to have sex with someone with no committment in some ways. there is no "emotional component" that can effect the "fun." that said, I think the above description shows the basic nature of sexual sin: sex is for me, it has no covenant, and I use it to fix a need/problem not show love and intimacy

I see the love of christ in any relationship between two consensual adults who commit to love and honor each other and build each other up in an exclusive covenant. real covenant relationships build the character christ calls us to. The fruit can be the best sex ever but it is hard and when the relationship has issues, sexual intimacy can suffer.

the viee that the idea that sex can be recreational or non committed, with multiple partners, nonconsenual, coercive and that commitments are about fulfilling just me are the real dangers that lead to promiscuity, divorce, adultery, prostitution, rape. etc.

image a world were sexually no children were sexualized. where no one cheated and committment mattered. that would be sexual justice.

Andrea and Otfried said...

Gay people often feel terribly judged and rejected by Christ's church. I'm glad you are reaching out to this community.

Duncan said...

Thanks for your courage in making your stand on this issue Les. Stating your opinions runs the risk of closing some funding avenues though I imagine running a church in a gay bar had already done that. I found Lewis Smedes' work on sexual ethics helpful - recognising that no matter what context we're in, the call faithfulness, respect and honour still stands.

Stuart said...

Thanks Les, I was deeply encouraged from your post. Too often questions around the inclusiveness of people are grounded in a theology, as though the only task is to rethink how we think (a hangover from the Reformation days, if nothing else...).
My thoughts now are based on more the sociology of such a church. I personally don't like the thought of a church for gay people (in the same way as I don't like the thought of a church for straight people) as the tags are always limiting.
My prayer is that the church that is growing up around, in and through you flourishes. That people will be people and find themselves accepted and loved by God.
Speaking from Melbourne I know there is a greater freedom to move in the ways you do here than you do under the shadow of the Sydney Church. All courage to you!
I look forward to meeting this collection of people in weeks to come, and pray that they will accept me in all my "people-ness".
Good on you.

EmJayDee said...

Thanks Les for this post. And all the best with the relationship building. And the funday. Sounds great.