The Revd Dr Sam Wells, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, gave a lecture to the Greater London Changing Attitude group at St Martins on Wednesday 30 January 2013.
The entire lecture can be downloaded here but below are some extracts.
…….And is there a place for LGBT persons in this model? Absolutely. They’re in the front seat of the van. Why? I’ll give you three reasons. One, because a terrifying, murderous and persecuted history, which has left LGBT persons so marginalised, scapegoated, and diminished in the church it’s astonishing they’re still here, makes LGBT persons almost uniquely qualified to identify with those people closest to Jesus’ heart, Jesus’ company, and Jesus’ ministry. After hundreds of years of seeing LGBT persons as living in Babylon, in an exile of their own making, the church is finally beginning to realize that they’re not in Babylon – they’re in Egypt, in a captivity imposed upon them by others. Of course LGBT persons are sinners – everyone is; but at last the church is beginning to recognize that this is a people incalculably more sinned against than sinning, with an inexhaustible store of wisdom and grace to teach their brothers and sisters…….
……LGBT people are made this way because God wanted ones like them to do a job no one else could do; and if the church is somewhat slow in affirming specific vocations and attending to long-hidden gifts it’s because it has hundreds of years of unlearning to do in breaking the habits of oppression and letting the Holy Spirit speak through an exiled people……..
…….What needs to happen now is repentance for the church’s ignorance and cruelty, a renewal of the church’s mission, and a reappraisal of the resources at the church’s disposal. And to lead the church as it discovers what it means to be a minority, to be misunderstood, mistrusted, and seen with contempt, who better to be its leaders and teachers than those who have been in that place all along. I wonder who those people might be…..