Thoughts on Bishop Orama’s pronouncements

I posted a brief blog on Wednesday 5th, reproducing Bishop Orama’s thoughts on homosexuals. The net exploded into activity, ranging from those who were supportive, to those who were vitriolic in their opposition. Sadly, some of those most vitriolic, and calling for war, are those who I’d consider to be similar to me in thought.

I believe the only Christian response to these sort of comments is to do as Jesus called us to do – to turn the other cheek, to persevere in love and forgiveness. The institutional church’s attitude to the comments will be the clincher as to how I relate to the church in the future – not to God. I’m increasingly convinced that some of the directions taken within the emerging / emergent church movement are the directions that we need to be moving in.

Church should be a place of growth and challenge, in a supportive environment. It shouldn’t be a place of refuge from the world – because we’re called to be in a constructive engagement with the world. Too often we in the church think that people outside should have to conform to what we consider to be the ideal community – based on our ideas. However, the reality is that our ideas are somewhat skewed by tradition and practice, not always according with what really is the ideal community.

I was reading yesterday Brian McLaren’s book, A Generous Orthodoxy. He used the image of church as a hospital – a place where people can find healing. Unfortunately, too often, the people from outside who want to find healing only find a place full of sick, or under trained, doctors and nurses. I don’t think being gay is a sickness from which I need healing, but I do think that the church should be a place where I can find some healing and rest from the pains and traumas that come from living as a gay man in the world. I also think that I have the call to serve and nurture others, and that the body of Christ, the Church, suffers if I’m not there – in the same way that it suffers if others with similar callings are not there.


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