Same-sex attracted church leader addresses the Church of England - but his message may surprise you
Speaking at the Church of England's General Synod, Rev Sam Allberry explains what he believes the Bible teaches about marriage
I am same-sex attracted and have been my entire life. By that I mean that I have sexual, romantic and deep emotional attractions to people of the same sex.
I choose to describe myself this way because sexuality is not a matter of identity for me. And that has become good news. My primary sense of worth and fulfillment as a human being is not contingent on being romantically or sexually fulfilled - and this is liberating.
The most fully human and complete person who ever lived was Jesus Christ. He never married. He was never in a romantic relationship. And never had sex. If we say that these things are intrinsic to human fulfillment we are calling our Saviour subhuman.
I have met literally hundreds of Christians in my situation. I know of thousands more who are same-sex attracted and who joyfully affirm the traditional understanding of marriage being between a man and a woman and the only godly context for sex. If you don’t hear from more of us, it is because it is very hard to stand up and describe ourselves in this way.
As someone who uses the language of 'same-sex attraction', I have to say that my Church has not become a safe place for me. And by 'Church', I don’t mean my congregation, I mean this Synod. Not because of what the report says, but because of what has happened since.
I was bullied at school for being gay. I now feel that I am being bullied at Synod for being same-sex attracted and faithful to the teaching of Jesus on marriage. I am grateful that the report reaffirms the traditional doctrine of marriage. I am concerned that we are already preparing to pastorally undermine it. So my question to the bishops is not, 'will you preserve this doctrine?' it’s, 'do you really believe in it? Is it good news for the world?'
Many of us have found it to be life-giving - as the message and teaching of Jesus always is.
Sam Allberry is a pastor based at St Mary's Church in Maidenhead UK. He is a speaker for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, an editor for The Gospel Coalition, co-ordinator at Living Out, and the author of Is God Anti-Gay?
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