Take a stand on gays, says penitent

06 July 2011

A CHRISTIAN writer completed a two-week “pilgrimage of repen­tance” last Friday, to lament his “former homophobic attitudes and beliefs”.

Symon Hill (above), associate director of the think tank Ekklesia, walked from Birmingham to London, giving talks at churches on the way, ending at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church. He said his purpose was to challenge “the Church as a whole to repent of homophobia and to think differently about sexuality”.

The pilgrimage has been en­dorsed by groups including Inclu­sive Church, Changing Attitude, the Lesbian and Gay Christian Move­ment (LGCM), and the Greenbelt Festival, at which Mr Hill has spoken.

The chief executive of the LGCM, the Revd Sharon Ferguson, said: “Symon’s pilgrimage reminds us of the steady march of progress to­wards true acceptance of all God’s children. However, as well as in­dicating the changes that are occurring among Christians, the fact that Symon’s walk is still needed is a sober re­minder that we still have a long way to go.”

Mr Hill said: “I have struggled for years with issues of sexuality . . . These struggles have led me to the conclusion that it is not homo­sexuality, but homophobia that is sinful and contrary to the message of Christ.

“Many churches continue to reject loving same-sex relationships and to oppose equality. Others have failed to speak out due to a misplaced desire for unity. Given the hurt and abuse involved, minor changes are not enough. As Christians, we are called to take a stand against injustice.”

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