Yet Another Evangelical Conversion

On the Washington Post Faith page, yet another evangelical pastor describes how he came to change his mind on what he calls the “sex question”. What do you suppose was the critical factor in this conversion? Right. Listening to the testimony of real people.

A New Kind of Christianity

Brian MacLaren, described as a leader in the evangelical “Emerging Church” movement, in “A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith
“, tells how he no longer sides with the views of his friends and associates of a similar church background:

Most of my good friends sincerely and passionately hold the strict conservative view on homosexuality with which we all were raised. They can’t understand why I don’t stand side by side with them on this issue any more. To some, I’ve become a traitor, to others, a casualty in the culture wars, to others, frankly, a problem and an embarrassment. Read the rest of this entry »

“And Grace Will Lead Me Home”: A Conservative, Evangelical, Theological Case for Gay Marriage

There are, thankfully, many sources available today which can counter and debunk the infamous clobber texts which have for so long been used abused in the course of bigotry and exclusion. There are also an increasing number of progressive theologians who have thoughtfully addressed considered matters from an LGBT or queer perspective, and developed a growing body of gay and lesbian, or queer, theology. What we do not often see is sympathetic theology from a conservative evangelical source.

Dr Mark Achtemeir: Conservative theologian, straight ally.

I was delighted therefore. to come across a recent paper by Dr Mark, Achtemeier, who describes himself as can “out, self-affirming, practicing conservative evangelical”, in which he tells of the process of theological enquiry which led him to reverse his longstanding opposition to LGBT inclusion, and instead to argue in favour of same –sex marriage and ordination. Addressing the Covenant Network of Presbyterians on November 5 2009, Dr Achtermeier begins cautiously:

I have every confidence in the ability of my colleagues to address this discussion with genuine wisdom and deep insight. For myself I confess the topic makes me nervous. The reason is this: if you had told me just eight or nine years ago that on this date I would be standing before this group, speaking out in favor of marriage and ordination for lesbian and gay Christians, I would have declared you out of your mind.

But here I am, and here you are. And all I can say is that because of this experience I have learned never to make confident predictions about any situation in which God is involved.



Read the rest of this entry »

Listening Parents: “Fortunate Families” Need Help

We as lesbians, gay men and trans people know from our own experience the difficulties, confusions and pain that may accompany the process of facing and dealing with our identities. This is further compounded by the difficulties of dealing with the Church and its hostility.  But we are not the only ones who find the process difficult – so do our parents and families.

Once they have come around to an understanding of us, parents can be our staunchest allies. In the various debates around gay marriage, there have been many valuable and articulate voices raised by parents who have insisted that they want to see their gay sons and daughters able to access the same rights and respect, from Church and from state, that their straight children receive. The challenge to us is, how do we help them to reach that place of acceptance and understanding in the first place?

Fortunate Families is one organisation specifically addressing the needs of Catholic parents of gay or lesbian children.  Their current newsletter has a report on a listening service that strikes me as worth promoting: Read the rest of this entry »