Yesterday I saw the movie "Mandela- Long Walk to Freedom"
A bit long and one does know how it ends. I really learnt more about Winnie and why their marriage broke up than any other history from the film.
However I found myself being very angry at the white supremacists in the early part of the film - the insufferable woman who objected to being interrogated by a black legal counsellor and, of course, the police and jailers. I hoped but doubted they lived to see Mandela become President of South Africa.
I found my anger being redirected to those who would continue to discriminate against LGBT people today.
Coincidentally I found an article today, now nearly 10 months old, interviewing the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam.
“Sometimes Christians have had to rethink the priorities of the Gospel in the
light of experience. For example, before Wilberforce, Christians saw slavery as Biblical and part
of the God-given ordering of creation. Similarly in South Africa the Dutch
Reformed Church supported Apartheid because it was Biblical and part of the
God-given order of creation. No one now supports either slavery or
apartheid. The Biblical texts have not changed; our interpretation has.”
“The possibility of 'gay marriage’ does not detract from
heterosexual marriage unless we think that homosexuality is a choice rather
than the given identity of a minority of people.
“Indeed the development of marriage for same sex couples is a very strong
endorsement of the institution of marriage.”
While I hesitate to equate black oppression in South Africa during the era of apartheid with discrimination of homosexuals in Western countries today, I have seen gay friends commit suicide and it is quite clear that both forms of discrimination have been due to Church teachings especially by Evangelicals.
I read that Bishop Holtam, despite his statement, has not been willing to flout the official position of the Church of England.
Similarly here in New Zealand, while most of our bishops would happily see an end to discrimination of LGBT people within the church, most are very quiet in face of opposition from the evangelicals, notably in the diocese of Nelson but also found in a few churches within each diocese eg St Matthew's here in Dunedin.
Today in New Zealand, now in Scotland, and soon in England and Wales as well as Canada and a number of states in the USA there is no official discrimination of homosexuals EXCEPT WITHIN THE CHURCH.
I can no longer remain a member of an organisation where I suffer discrimination. It is not so much for my own sake, I long ago realised that I had no future within the church despite my aspirations as a teenager and young adult. I think it is very unlikely I will ever want to be married. When I was young society, supported and encouraged by the churches, victimised me. Today any young gay person can find acceptance in much of society as long as they stay away from the churches. The churches lament their declining numbers among young people yet clearly reject one group based on their God given sexual attraction.
Much of this comes from those who place a few verses in the Bible above the clear biblical instruction to love. Wilberforce is one of their heroes but they do not follow him.
I have read the Bible almost daily from when I was about 13 until the middle of last year. I now no longer read the Bible except in church. I blame Evangelical teaching for any psychological problems I may have, largely overcome but no thanks to church teaching or at least not in evangelical circles.
Evangelicals, whether they be the Vicar of St Matthews, Dunedin, the Bishop of Nelson or the soon to arrive CMS missionaries from Kenya are my enemies and I figuratively spit on them. They are emulating that great apostle of hate, Bishop Peter Jensen.
If they and their kind are able to prevent the General Synod in May of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa/New Zealand from making changes to the church position in regard to ordination of GLBT people and same-sex marriage, I will visit my lawyers to change my will and will seek some way in which I can still receive the Eucharist but no longer openly participate or be associated with the Anglican church.
GAFCON communiqué mentions missionary bishop
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