Our witness: The unheard stories of LGBT+ Christians, edited by Brandan Robertson

by
22 June 2018

Malcolm Johnson reads accounts of God’s love known

AN OBSERVER of the gay scene recently commented that “The Love that dare not speak its name never stops shouting today.” That may be so, but is anyone listening? Brandan Robertson comments: “Our voices are drowned out by the sound of dogmatic preaching about being ‘unnatural’, ‘abominations’ or ‘threats to family values’. Our voices are ignored by Church leaders… and sometimes silenced by our families. But we keep speaking and everywhere there are LGBT+ Christians who refuse to be silenced.”

Robertson, who is a Lead Pastor of the Missiongathering Christian Church in San Diego USA, has collected testimonies of 23 people (100 were submitted). Eight are women, and the majority (16) live in North America. Every aspect of the sexual spectrum is covered. The “+” in LGBT+ denotes an inclusivity of all identities, including the many different expressions of sexuality and gender. It also ensures that all communities feel welcome.

This book is a powerful witness of God’s love in action, and tells how these individuals came to realise that God has created them to love and be loved.

The authority of the Church of England stands on three pillars — Scripture, Tradition and Reason; these writers, prompted and guided by Robertson, help us see how the third of these, our experience, informs the debate around sexuality.

I did not find this book an easy read — there is not an ounce of humour in it. To those Christians still in the closet, however, it will show them that they are not alone. To non-gay men and women, if they bother to read it, it will help dispel the clouds of ignorance which the Church surrounds this subject with. Christian leaders might well be nudged by the Holy Spirit seen in these testimonies to embrace LGBT women and men as equal and essential members of the church community.

Most of all, it will help LGBT Christians in their fight to live out the Gospel teaching in their lives.

The Revd Dr Malcolm Johnson is Master Emeritus of the Royal Foundation of St Katharine.

Our witness: The unheard stories of LGBT+ Christians
Brandan Robertson, editor
DLT £12.99
(978-0-232-53325-5)
Church Times Bookshop £11.70

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