I grew up in an Evangelical/Fundamentalist Church known as the “Plymouth Brethren”. These days I am not a fundamentalist, nor would I be recognised by many mainstream evangelicals as “one of them”. I sometimes wonder why I am even a Christian.
I am not a fundamentalist. Strange to say, it was my evangelical seminary, St. John’s College, Nottingham, U.K. which enabled this change. St. John’s made me fully aware of critical biblical scholarship, so that I could no longer affirm that the Holy Scriptures were without error
Nor am I am an evangelical. Truth to tell I am, in the sense that I confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. But I am not, in the sense that evangelical Christians make false assertions and promises.
Here I report a false assertion: As recently as May of this year an evangelical sister of mine asserted that I should “repent” of being gay. As her words came at the end of a lovely family celebration of my 65th birthday, I chose not to argue with her and simply thanked her for her care.
Had the venue been different I would have protested to her.
I would have said that no person should be asked to repent of “who they are”.
In other words, I believe that some people are intrinsically gay or lesbian, by the will of God, and by the fabulous creative processes of God which we call “evolution”.
In that light I reject the evangelical promises, that God will make gay people straight if they pray hard enough.
Goodness gracious I prayed “hard enough” for 20 or more years. I prayed that God would make me “straight”. After all those years of un-answered prayer I had to believe that the evangelical promise of “change” was false.
I wonder why I am a Christian.
For Christianity continues to spawn and encourage homophobes.
Some homophobic Christians are fundamentalists, such as the members of the odious Westboro Baptist Church (see http://www.godhatesfags.com/ )
Other Christians are in those evangelical Churches which assert “hate the sin, and love the sinner”. Statements such as this are rooted in an inhumane and unbiblical dualism.
Then there are those mainstream Christians in Churches such as my own Episcopal Church. They are soft enough to welcome gay and lesbian Christians. But not one of them in which I have served or worshipped have been hard enough to go to bat in the public arena for we gay and lesbian disciples of Jesus.
Fundamentalists hate fags.
Evangelicals insist that that should change.
Mainstream Churches damn us with faint praise.
Meanwhile, young kids are brutalised and murdered because they are gay.