Jesus wasn’t a homophobe so why are you?

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Last November, Paul Davies, decided to get baptised as a public declaration of his commitment to God. For months before that, Paul wrestled with the desire to become a Christian and part of Church, against his strong beliefs that homosexuality is not a choice, but is natural. He wrote the following article for a special issue of ‘Quench’ on LGBT+ about the way the in which some Churches have treated LGBT+.

Christianity has for a long time been one of the most prominent anti-gay institutions. As a Christian, I find this deeply upsetting. Homophobia goes against my faith which teaches me that God loves everyone. In fact, if you’re going to take one single message from the Bible, it should be a message of love. Jesus didn’t condemn anyone, except religious leaders, so the Church has no place doing it either. Despite my feeling on this, I’m well aware that I’m in the minority. The majority of Christians still condemn homosexuality.

I’m thankful to admit that this is starting to change. I was inspired to write this article when I heard about a group of Christians who attended a gay pride march in Chicago. I know what you’re thinking. A group of not just Christians, but American Christians, at a gay pride march sounds like a recipe for disaster. I’m glad to say that it wasn’t. The group were holding up banners apologising for the way the church had treated homosexuals. Their apology sparked a fantastic response from the marchers. There were tears, waving and even one dancer left the march to hug the Christians.

For me, the image is heart warming. There’s a lot of media attention for Christians who condemn homosexuality. Such as the crazy Westbro Baptist Church who claim that ‘God hates Fags’. (By the way, don’t be too offended by the Westbro nut jobs, apparently god also hates Sweden as well, because of the ‘Satanic IKEA’.)

It’s rare to see such a powerful display of acceptance from Christians. This is partly because anti-gay Christians are a lot more vocal, and partly because the media would rather report on condemnation than acceptance. In the summer some of the people in my church went to a gay bar because they had karaoke. The staff were shocked that Christians would want to go there but we hadn’t given it a second thought. The crazies are much few and far between but we’re all quite likely to have heard about their shameful campaigns.

The truth is that there are many Christians, particularly the young future leaders of the church, who find the idea of condemning homosexuals repulsive and morally wrong. Many see that the homosexuality of the Bible and of today is completely different.  In the Bible when homosexuality is mentioned it is in the context of rape or extra marital affairs. This is a historical difference in culture and language which has tainted Christianity over the years. The word homosexuality didn’t exist when the Bible was written, so the relations referred to are not the same as we would understand homosexuality now. Christians need to accept and understand this, like they have over issues such as slavery.

The future’s bright for acceptance within the church. We’re starting to see the cobwebs being brushed off. The more modern, independent Churches are already changing the religious Christianity, not the message, but the man-crafted ideology that has corrupted the real message of Christ. The old institutions are going to either change, or die along with their congregation.

There is so much more to say on this issue, this really is just a brief article about this topic, especially with the recent prevalence of the gay marriage debate. Please feel free to express your views on this post in the comments box below but do so with respect.

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The Beauty of World Book Night

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On 5th March World Book Night distributed 40,000 free books. I was lucky enough to meet up with

All Quiet on the Western Front

Emma Dodd and was given ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ by Erich Maria Remarque. The book follows a young German soldier called Paul and his time fighting in World War One. This is not a book I would have picked to read myself, but that is the beauty of World Book Night, because this is one of the best novels I have ever read. It is so far from the subjects I usually write about but Remarque has taught me a lot in 200 pages.

Aside from Remarque’s writing skills, the book is very moving. History hasn’t allowed us on the “winning side” to sympathise with the “enemy”, but the truth is, as the book shows, that there was very little difference between the boys in one trench, to the boys in the opposite trench. In his own words, Remarque wasn’t picking a side, but wanted to tell the story of a lost generation. The heart-ache of the families who lost their brothers, husbands, sons, that pain was just as strong in Germany as it was in Britain, France, Italy and America. And, for those who did survive, Remarque believes those boys lost their lives too, through Paul and the other soldiers, the reader is exposed to the result of asking teenagers to fight for survival and become murderers. And he paid for expressing that opinion- the Nazis exiled him from Germany when they took power years after the book’s publication.

I will happily pass this book on to another reader. Thank you World Book Night for helping me find great book, I would have otherwise dismissed.