Whether it’s religions or potential mates, in the end everything is a product: one choice among many in the supermarket of personal values. And the individual is the neutral, liberated consumer who can take their pick from the shelves.In other words, we have inculcated in our pupils an ideological analogue to consumer capitalism. And there is nothing neutral about that at all.
Evangelism isn’t about pamphlets and theories and door-to-door sales pitches. Instead, it’s living life from a place of profound joy and letting that joy be definitive and overflowing. For us Christians, that joy is given to us by the grace of our Savior Jesus Christ. To share it, we don’t need pamphlets and marketing strategies. We simply need the joy that comes with the story and living our lives defined by that joy.
I would like conservative Christians reading this to better understand the larger picture from the perspective of people who have been harmed, and to consider for themselves personally and in their own churches how they may have been complicit in that harm, so that we can have more authentic and loving relationships with our neighbors.
I am set apart from most of the contributors here by the fact that I was and continue to be supportive of queer sexualities and have never tried to hide this fact. I want to explain here why I was so troubled by the General Synod of 2016 and its aftermath when I was supportive of same-sex marriage, and why it troubled me to the point that I seriously considered leaving the Anglican Church entirely. All of these problems have, most regrettably, only gotten worse, and I write this letter in deep ambivalence, pain, and desperation.
The way truly to know ourselves is not idly to look within ourselves, but rather to look away from ourselves at the one who calls us by name, who commands us to love him by loving our neighbor, who sends us into the vineyard to work today.
I hope that The Living Church will continue to bear witness to the truth of God that springs up from the earth. It is our aim to seek out and lift up the ways that ordinary men and women respond to God’s call to proclaim the Gospel and to serve their neighbors in love.