1. A Thinker says:

    As an ex-member of SVC, who has had an occasional intellectual curiosity in your views, I came across your essay yesterday.

    I was really impressed.

    It is very refreshing and inspiring to read a combination of Scripture, scholarly interpretation and the latest science. Especially from a Pastor of a local church ( who I have myself heard preach).

    That takes a lot of guts to change your views on a big subject, after so many years, and risk criticism from SVC members and also from within the local Christian community.

    Also I respect you for writing this essay as part of a course, where your tutor held strongly opposing views.

    No “better scholar” could have written it better because it has been written with your heart as well as your mind.

    I strongly sense that Jesus is guiding you.

    It has clarified my views on same-sex marriage ( which have been confused since I became a Christian.)

    I will certainly read the referenced articles, and any other articles that you post here.

    I hope that a version of this essay can be shared in time with the wider non-Christian community.

    Can I finish by recommending that you , and anyone else reading , watch the recent Mayor Pete Buttigieg TV interview on Ellen DeGeneres show.

    It ties in with your essay and I found it equally inspiring.

  2. Paul Penney says:

    Thank you for your essay. To say it touched me, would be an understatement. I am terrified of the church and of the future. I have been through various Christian conversion therapies. Married a woman at the command of the men of God in my church. Then had four children, the marriage came to a very mutual end and I had to leave the church or be disfellowship. I wandered lost meeting men and desperately searching for Jesus. I love him and God with my whole heart but knew that I was a dark failure, as was said to me, “You will never make a disciple! ” I avoided church for ten years or more. Slowly a frond encouraged me to attend a Vineyard church. It wa swarm and loving and appear e to be accepting. Eventually I was asked to work for the church. My faith was growing and I was thrilled. However over to me, and being single, I had with the help of the couple who led the church, I Covenantedto be single and live a celibate love fe. I failed in secret. I started drinking in secrecy and mentally began to fall apart. I asked The Mumfords where they stood as www told quite clearly on the bible. I resigned from church and never went back. I ended up needing therapy for my mental illness and am now much much better. I met a man four years ago and fell in love. We married and are very happy. We moved to Southampton a year ago. I love this city. I still pray, I am madly in love with Jesus. God still leads people to me and I get to pray with them and see God bless them. I study the bible and wrestle with it. I am terrified of church. The thought of it leaves me cold and I still have dreadful nightmares. Your essay has shone a ray of hope into my heart. i thank you for your bravery, your honesty and you compassion. I hope that there will be more like you in the church and many many damaged, lost ones like me will find a home in a family. Thank you.

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