By Lisa Severine Nolland
I am writing to church leaders (mostly Anglican, but of other Christian denominations and traditions). And I am serious in my question here: will you be happy for the Rainbow Flag to have pride of place at your church?
Of course you will not have to fly it next month, nor perhaps next year, or even ever. You personally will not be forced to marry SS couples though your church may well have to facilitate these ceremonies.
But the professional people in your congregation will increasingly live under the Rule of the Rainbow Flag. They will have to learn to affirm LGBT values in the workplace or be experienced as ‘homophobic’. They will have to attend ‘diversity’ sessions where guidelines are given on making the workplace ‘safe’ for certain kinds of minorities, which they will be forced to implement. They will come to know and like very loveable ‘married’ SS couples— and so they should. But in the absence of clear and persistent Christian teaching into the area, they will become increasingly irritable if you happen to mention homosexuality in a less-than-favourable light (which you decreasingly will feel inclined to). They will be got at: many already have been.
For your part, you kept a low profile on SSM because you knew what a minefield it was, and how desperately you needed funds for the building project. You kept busy with ’Gospel ministry’ of a relatively non-controversial, up-beat nature, hoping things would soon settle down and that it would be back to business as usual. You kept hoping that the good that was happening on other fronts would outweigh the bad you sensed was occurring behind the scenes.
But your fundamental miscalculation was that Rainbow Flags were now flying from every other edifice in your town or city, save the church. ‘Why is the church so hateful and discriminatory?’ people ask your parishioners. And because you have given them very little in terms of how to respond to LGBT arguments, they experience it along the lines of ‘Have you stopped beating your wife yet?’
It is not too late to get involved on the SSM front. Various groups like C4M, Christian Concern and Christian Institute are involved 24/7, as are Anglican Mainstream and www.gaymarriagenothanks.com. Perhaps these groups’ brands are not close enough to home. Fine, but then please find another outlet.
This is not the end, nor even the beginning of the end. We are living in the midst of a massive sexual revolution which will make the 60s look like innocent and benign by comparison.
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