Thursday, June 26, 2008

Marching with pride in Jerusalem

Something nice to read out of Gafcon

I am not a typical gay activist, but I am marching in Jerusalem today for the right to love, and be loved

Four weeks ago I had no plans to visit Jerusalem, let alone speak at the city's march for pride and tolerance. I am a Christian who believes in the Bible. I am also gay.

After a last minute decision, I came to Jerusalem to report from the Anglican Gafcon conference on behalf of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement. Gafcon is a grouping of Anglicans from around the world who believe that the church is straying from biblical teaching, particularly with regard to sexual morality.

The Lesbian and Gay Christian movement, like the Anglican church, contains people of a wide range of Christian theology: some are Catholic, some liberal, some evangelical. I would describe myself as an evangelical.

I am an evangelical because I believe in the supernatural power of God to change people. I believe that God revealed himself in Jesus and showed his love by even being prepared to die for us. I believe that this was more than the action of a great man, and that this is demonstrated by his rising from the dead. These are orthodox Christian views that I share with Christians all over the world. I also believe that it is not wrong to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

I would never describe myself as a gay activist. This week is the first time I have written anything other than articles for a church magazine. I am, though, a Christian activist and I have been since I accepted Jesus at the age of 14.

I am marching in the Jerusalem pride march today because, as a Christian, I believe that Jesus came to set people free from legalism, that God loves us just as we are. Jesus said the greatest commandment was to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind". And the second was like it: "Love your neighbour as yourself."

We are marching to claim the right to love; the right to be loved by our parents and families for who we are and to share our love for them; the right to love and care for our children and others who need our help; the right to love one another, and have that love acknowledged and regarded; and for those of us who are believers, the right to know and share God's love.

We are the lucky ones, we are free to march and live our lives. In many, many, countries around the world, including many in which Anglican church leaders are powerful politically, as well as religious leaders, such as Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya, people are still harassed, arrested, tortured and killed for their failure to love the right person; their failure to be a "real man" or "real woman". We are all real people, made in the image of God. That is why it is such a privilege for me to march in Jerusalem.

Christians are called to be Jesus's witnesses "in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). It seems I have accidentally come back to the start. In marching in the March for Pride and Tolerance in Jerusalem, I will also be witnessing for the Jesus who sets us free.


spiralx said...

Says it all, really, doesn't it!

gayuganda said...

Yes it does.

Like the unassuming way he puts it. He is no activist, but hell, he is a Christian, and that is what it is all about!

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