Anglican Mainstream is feeling isolated and beleaguered at the moment. Lisa Nolland despairs in her latest articles on their web site about the failure of key players in the evangelical Anglican British world to respond to the threat from “illiberal Liberalism.” Other evangelicals are apparently failing to indicate the pastoral response that biblically faithful Christians should be giving to lesbian and gay Anglicans and failing to take action in response to the erosion of the broader sexual ethic in the church, not to mention outside its walls. The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans is apparently prepared bravely to enter this dangerous arena.
Lisa is able to recognise that the approach advocated by Anglican Mainstream “is hotly contested and considered deeply offensive by many.” However, she still believes it to be true and she receives confirmation from her friends with same-sex attraction (SSA). SSA sounds like the acronym for a disease, and in Mainstream’s mentality it is – a disease of the soul. Mainstream is unable to understand the experience of faithful, orthodox Christians, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and heterosexual, for whom homosexuality isn’t a problem and love between two people of the same sex is as delightful and blessed as heterosexual love.
Anglican Mainstream is clearly shocked by the action taken by the Church of Scotland over the appointment of the Revd Scott Rennie as minister of Queens Cross church in Aberdeen. Lisa Nolland warns that what happened in Scotland will soon happen in England.
Lisa ackowledges reality:
“… there are many partnered gay and lesbian Anglicans embedded in our churches, parishes and diocesan structures now.”
From her perspective:
“… these people need pastoral support to move beyond their disordered response to a disordered situation. Yes, people with same-sex attraction (SSA) are more than welcome in our churches, but like all of us who live below God’s best, that should be in order than our lives be transformed by Jesus. It is an entirely different matter for them to be given responsibility to lead, teach and provide role models to the flock – in this case of sexual behaviour and lifestyle that is directly contradictory to biblical and Anglican teaching.”
Is it loving, she asks, to allow people to continue to live and believe a lie about themselves?
Lisa takes her own prejudices, shared by her friends with “same-sex attraction” to be valid for the majority of Christians and those of us who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered. This is a minority view held by those LGBT people who feel guilty about being who they are and accept a conservative understanding of Christian tradition and teaching. This tradition, as with other traditions once held to be inviolable, is changing.
The response of the church to me and tens of thousands like me in the Anglican communion will be loving when it stops treating us as people who need to be healed and changed and welcomes us unconditionally as we are, people created by God and loved by God – right now, just as we are.