Patrick Chen, on Christ the Liberator

When Jesus began his teaching ministry in the Temple, he chose as his text the passage from Isaiah,

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed

This can be viewed, in modern political jargon, as his “keynote address” – and it is about liberating the oppressed, not about imposing narrow religious rules on sexual activities. For all queer Christians, who so often feel we are on the receiving end of supposedly religion-based attacks for our transgression of the rules, it is important that we remember this.

The theologian Patrick Chen elaborates on Christ as liberator in the third part of his Christological reflection on sin and grace for LGBT Christians:

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Gay Marriage, UK: The Legal Challenge Begins

Rev Sharon Ferguson is a pastor with the Metropolitan Community Church in Camden, North London, a parish, she notes, is “noted for its peace and justice work”.  It is part of the Gospel requirement that as Christians we should be combating injustice, and standing up for the oppressed. Rev Ferguson and her partner, Franka Strietzel, have now taken the first steps in a campaign on her own behalf, and that of others in lesbian or gay committed relationships – the campaign for full marriage equality;

“My whole life is about campaigning for equality and justice as a pastor in a parish that is known for its social justice work,” she added.

“It’s part of my daily life to challenge discrimination, but with this campaign what is really nice is that it’s about love.”

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Women-Church, Queer-Church – and House Slaves


 

Rev Andy Braunston, MCC

 

In 1895 Elizabeth Cady Stanton published the final part of the Women’s Bible. This book was a commentary on the Bible with one simple premise: texts that oppressed, or could be used to oppress women, were not the word of God but the words of men Over a hundred years later Christianity is still experienced as an obstacle by some women. Read the rest of this entry »

Faith at Pride, London Version.

The “Pride Month” of June is almost over, but Pride continues regardless. As always, London pride will be in July, not June – this Saturday, July 3rd. As always, there will be a range of faith -based groups participating. There will be two Catholic groups formally joining the march, supported by individuals from the Soho Masses – which will be formally represented by an information table at Trafalgar Square. I am certain that there will be numerous other faith -based groups too.

In addition to the individual denominations, the LGCM (Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement) is co-ordinating a visible, combined presence by promoting these t-shirts:

From Ekklesia:

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Christians are planning an organised and visible presence at the upcoming Pride march through the streets of London this weekend. Read the rest of this entry »

John McNeill on “GAY MYOPIA”*

One of the curiosities of the human psyche is that we tend to pay more attention to bad news to good. – a phenomenon well known to newspaper editors.  Here, I have to plead guilty myself. Especially in the current extraordinary saga surrounding clerical abuse in the Catholic Church, there is an awful lot of bad news that regrettably needs airing. For gay, lesbian and trans people in the churches, we also have to face the very visible opposition by some in the church, and those highly visible opponents of LGBT equality and inclusion, who claim to be speaking for the church. It is not surprising then, that so many queers and others are  convinced that the Christian churches are uniformly hostile, and only the high-profile bad news is reported – with a few exceptions for the major events, like the election of openly gay bishops.
The truth, however, is far more complex, and includes a lot of encouraging features that are seldom reported.  This becomes strikingly clear is you read just a little way back into recent history, as I have been doing.  Two books I have been reading, Gary Comstock’s “Unrepentant, Self-Affirming, Practicing” and Michael Vasey’s  “Strangers and Friends“, both date from just fifteen years ago, but in their telling of then current events, they read as if they were much older.  For instance: