i’m not strong enough yet;

I spent so many years in a closet. Hiding behind junk, praying nobody opened the door. Praying that the closet would melt away from me. Feelings would leave. Things would change.

A wife. Children. A marriage ceremony that she would plan. We’d fight over the details. Debate whether that weird cousin was invited.

It didn’t happen. Continue reading

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Learning again how to live in the body

When I decided to come out, I didn’t do so lightly. I was already out to the majority of my non-Christian friends and family, but I hadn’t yet told most of the people at church.

I changed my mind when I found myself in a relationship with a man. It seemed inconceivable to me that I would pursue a relationship with someone and wouldn’t share in that with my brothers and sisters in Christ. If nothing else, I felt there was an integrity issue in amongst the whole thing. By not talking about it, I was all but bare-faced lying each Sunday, and the other days as well. Continue reading

The language of war

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Galatians 5:13-26

I’ve had to learn an awful lot about self-control over the last few years. The control necessary to remain in good and faithful fellowship with the believers I gather with every Sunday. The control necessary to stop myself imploding with anger and sorrow as I hear preachers around the globe snipe at my lifestyle. And, of course, the control necessary to live within the LGBT community, but remain faithful to Christian values.

Until you’re one of the minority, you don’t really learn self-control. Before that, I did of course have plenty to say about Paul’s list of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Part of any Christian walk is learning how to be critically self-evaluative. Discovering your strengths and your weaknesses enables you to walk down the narrow path, and to move away from those ‘works of the flesh’. Continue reading

Fragments from world-weary pages

Since I became a Christian, I have always kept a journal. Usually, I write in them sporadically rather than keep them religiously or with any real discipline. They’re notebooks where I jot down thoughts, prophetic words and prayers. Sometimes scripture I want to revisit, or things I want to remember; occasionally they’re sermon notes.

To contextualise, I attend a charismatic CofE church in London. Therefore, I believe in and fully affirm the concept of prophetic words, physical healing and the continuance of spiritual gifts and ‘charisma’ long since the time of the early apostles.

Since starting this blog, I’ve been toying with sharing the words below. These are a selection of eight of the ten most recent entries in my journal, edited only to protect the anonymity of both myself and those mentioned therein. Nonetheless, there’s enough in there for someone who knows me well enough to figure it out. If that someone is you, say hello. Continue reading

Letters to the Church (II)

Dear Church,

Your words are so beautiful.

Love, grace, joy. Faith, hope and love. We will never let you go. We love you.

We would be devastated if you left us.

Please don’t leave. There is a home for you here.

You make promises you can’t keep, but thank you for trying.

We look together at the Son of Man, the Son of God. A warrior who chose words and grace over swords and chains. I like to think he was a big hugger. That he always had a box of tissues to the side, just in case, and that he made the best, most comforting cups of tea. Continue reading

Their blood is on our hands

I recently watched For the Bible Tells Me So for the first time. I went in not really knowing what to expect. I mean, I already knew the stories of Gene Robinson and Anna Wakefield and her mother Mary Lou Wallner. I had heard plenty about the documentary, and to be honest, I was mostly watching it to fill some time before I went to sleep.

But seeing the story of those families play out in front of me I felt rage start to fill me. These were all parents who had raised their children according to tradition that they had been raised with. To their knowledge, this was just what the Bible said. God hates “faggits”, as one letter to Bishop Robinson put it. And one by one they went on a long journey of reconciliation, with the exception of one family. But that journey turned them all from actively homophobic to activism toward equality. Continue reading

What are you doing here?

Here we are. The first post.

I’ve blogged before. For a while I wanted to be a journalist, before the performing arts took their hold on me. Words have always gripped me, grappling with my heart and dancing across my mind, filling my thoughts with conscious and unconscious brushstrokes of freshly-formed metaphor, imagery, allegory.

Remember these chains – taken from the words of Paul when he wrote to the Colossians. He was in prison, probably malnourished, probably dying. He had a thorn in his side, but all he could repeat was the grace and the glory of God. But at the very end of his note, after some teaching and some words of advice, he quivers. Continue reading