A Matter of Integrity: Your questions to Steve Chalke answered

It’s taken a little longer than I would have liked, but I’ve put together this video response to the key questions that have been raised in the MOI conversation so far.

I hope it’s helpful. Please keep the conversation going and please do come back to me with your thoughts and feedback.

God bless,

Steve

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6 thoughts on “A Matter of Integrity: Your questions to Steve Chalke answered

  1. Pam Riley

    When I gave my life to Jesus at the age of 14 in 1975, It was against a background of vocal demonstrations against global injustice and unfairness. As an idealistic teenager Jesus represented to me divine compassion, acceptance of others and passionate hatred of injustice. We campaigned against apartheid, third world debt, and domestic racism. At the same time Tom Robinson was singing about being glad to be gay, and I thought, OK why not? I was ‘straight’ but couldn’t see what the problem was. But then I was a young naïve Christian and when I spoke up for gay rights I was quietly silenced by well-meaning older Christians who I respected. This, I was told, was not the same. Gay people must remain celibate, that is the only alternative open to them. If you speak up for Gay inclusion you are no longer an evangelical, you risk being rejected yourself by the Christian community you have joined. So I sadly went along with the crowd, condemning homophobia and bullying, feeling compassion and love for those struggling with the issue but never quite able to accept their right to a relationship, especially if they professed a faith.
    When I was a student, I remember an old school friend who had come out as a lesbian asking me bluntly if I thought it was all right for women to love each other. I fudged an answer. Of course it is, but it doesn’t have to be expressed sexually, in other words, condemning her to a life of repressed celibacy. Fortunately she did not take my advice, but she did eventually lose her faith. Another friend was a wonderful Christian, deeply respected by everyone in the CU. After graduation he came out, none of knew quite how to react. I can’t help feeling that we did not give him the support he needed at the time. Many years on, he has dropped out of sight, but I still think about him and wonder if we could have done more. I have never been happy with this and feel for the last 37 years I have been a coward. Then, the gay marriage bill came up. A dear member of our Church trotted round with the infamous petition and I refused to sign it. She was shocked and tried to talk me round, I felt sad and awkward, because I didn’t want to hurt or offend her. We agreed to differ, but I found myself wondering if I really felt comfortable in a church which would deny any one the right to express their love and commitment to each other in the sight of God. What I have lacked is an intelligent, authoritative polemic addressing the arguments from within the evangelical community. Thank you Steve, for providing this and I hope it becomes part of a positive conversation for change.

    Reply
  2. Sally mann

    Thank you Pam. I completely endorse what you say. This conversation is well overdue. If Christians can join this conversation in humility and respect we’ll all benefit. Can I suggest that you stay in your church and extend patience and grace to those who disagree? But please do not stay quiet. If we gently speak up for what God is saying to us perhaps kind words will disarm anger. There will be gay people and people with gay family members listening as you speak. Knowing that a follower of Jesus is a safe person to speak to will greatly help them. I’m with you as you do this, and so are lots of others.

    Reply
  3. Rachel

    Can a person still ask questions? Can you address Paul’s handling of homosexual behavior in Timothy? The plain reading leads me to think Paul viewed homosexual behavior as sinful on it’s face. I’ve no doubt he didn’t understand homosexual identity. Clearly the idea of committed, faithful homosexual relationships was not known at that time. Paul likely saw homosexual behavior as evidence of out of control passions. I don’t think he understood it. Is this enough, then, to disregard his inclusion in a list of sins…all the rest we agree today are sins? I would like it to be. I do think the church’s position on this has been harmful. I’ve often thought of the traditional church position as laying and impossible burden on the back of people. I am just struggling with, essentially, saying Paul was wrong in making a list of sins.

    Reply
  4. honestcretan

    Thank you for mentioning Asexuality at the beginning. I did a little cheer when I heard it, not on purpose it just came out. Its a very difficult thing to be an Asexual and a Christian, it’s good to know I’m not entirely forgotten by everyone in my struggles

    Reply
  5. C

    Hi. I can’t express how happy, refreshed, reassured I feel to have read/heard all you’ve said on the issue of homosexuality and Christianity. One of the reasons I’ve found it hard to fully commit to any church/religion is because of the stance of all Christian churches and denominations I’ve come experienced on sexuality – an unwillingness to even acknowledge there might be anything other than heterosexuality leaves many people (wonerful, loving, kind gay lesbian and trans people) feeling judged and rejected. I find it hard to believe that Jesus wants anyone to be left out in the cold and condemned for who they are, as you say, at the core of their being. Thank you for being brave enough to put yourself out there and be open about what you believe. It’s been inspiring for me.

    Reply

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