Looking beyond the Church walls.

So I haven’t ‘blogged’ for ages, and I hoping this may be a little different to others. Mainly because I don’t want to convey my opinion too much, but more bring to your attention the opinions of others.

If you know me, have me as a ‘friend’ on Facebook or follow me, you may have picked up over the last few months that I am well and truly against outing and this week the subject of outing Bishops has yet again reared its ugly head. Now I’ve already written an article for Vada about this a few months ago, and I have made my feeling very clear across the board, so I’m not going to harp on about that. However with it being hot LGBT news at the moment, Pink News has published a few articles, which can be found below.

Peter Tatchell Article – 24th July 2014
Peter Tatchell Article – 3rd October 2014

I’m not going to beat around the bush (pardon the expression), it’s the comments I want to talk about. You can have a look for yourself but I’ll quote a few that really struck a chord with me.

“I say out them, expose them for the hypocrites that they are and bring their churches tumbling down around them.”

“Let’s show the world just how hypocritical the churches are and let’s take away their power”

“If there was a mechanism to effectively ban religion then I would advocate it.” 

“Education, human rights, and growing affluence are all we need”

“Name them. Shame them. Show them the same mercy that Christianity has given us during the past 2,000 years….”

“Everyone goes along with the hypocrisy and two-facedness. That’s just life in the Church of England
So do us all a favour and thrust a little bit of honesty upon the Church”

Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of sensible comments there, and I’m well aware I may have taken the above out of context, or read them wrong myself, however, with Pink News being a secular LGBT site, we get a glimpse into what it’s like looking from the outside in.
I don’t know about anyone else but it makes me scream the question what on earth are we doing?! How is this spreading God’s wonderful, unfathomable, unconditional love?

The Church is becoming more known for what it is against, than what it is for. Recognised more for its flaws, rather than its benefits, and that really does break my heart.
I’m not pinning the blame on anyone, neither am I professing I know all the answers, but we have, we are, and I’m reasonably sure we will continue to mess things up, big style.
As a Church, we get things wrong, and reading through the comments, some of them I agree with, but I feel we’re so focussed on what is going on internally that sometimes I feel we are blind to what goes on outside the Church walls. What people think of us, as Christians.

Helping to head up the LGBT Fellowship I find myself going along to lots of secular LGBT meetings, and therefore meeting a lot of new people. Sometimes they’re are incredibly welcoming, other times I can sense the tension because they know I’m a Christian and they’re trying to figure out whether I’m there to heal them!
But every time, before the F word slips out, I agree to go to the pub, or talk about sex, I wonder, what opinion do you have of me because I’m a Christian?
Is it that of love, forgiveness, and welcome? Or is it that of hypocriticalness, homophobia and judgement?

Whatever our sexuality, our beliefs, our theology, we are Christians and in that our aim is to model our life on Jesus. “Love one another. As I have loved you.”

2 thoughts on “Looking beyond the Church walls.

  1. I find myself agreeing , I have many friends and family members ‘beyond the church walls’ and work out side of the church so get a feel for what people think of Christians . We do not look good as ambassadors for Christ . The sad thing is we do have good news. You write well Lucy would like to read more

  2. I think there are occasions where people are wary because of certain types of Christians wanting to pray with you, heal you, show you the right way etc. But I think the issues go much deeper that many, many people just don’t see the point of all that religious stuff and its relevance for contemporary life. There is a profound cultural dissonance between current world views and church/dogmatic Christianity which the Church persistently refuses to address. Christianity as offered by the Church is no longer tenable. People are well able to love each other without Jesus having to tell them. They can well make social and ethical decisions by reason and debate without the need to look for proof texts in ancient texts, or to seek supernatural endorsement. In fact I think most people in their heart of hearts really are convinced that above us is only sky, certainly for the ways in which they conduct most of their lives. They just don’t believe that believing in Jesus is the way to life after death. More and more, I think, believe that this life is all we have and we’d better get on a make something of it. They may sometimes draw on ancient wisdoms in this task, but don’t feel the need to buy into whole systems. You can believe the historical Jesus had some inspiring and challenging things to say and not be very bothered about calling youself a Christian. I think post Christian is a useful descriptor of a society which embraces these kinds of approaches but there is no chance now that there will be a reformation in the church from which might emerge a post Christian religious lifestyle.

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