We LGBTI people have to live into the transformative freedom which comes from being immersed in God’s infinite, unconditional, intimate love. We are not going to transform ourselves or the church unless we embody this divine reality. The tyrannical, abusive God who many still worship has to be condemned to history as the source of prejudiced, toxic opinions and practice. Until we release ourselves from the tyranny of magical thinking, fundamentalism, co-dependence on abusive authority, we are not going to find the freedom, confidence and vision that will release energies to transform the place of LGBTI people in the Church of England and the parts of the Anglican Communion where tyranny reigns.
This morning, I began to re-read Jesus: The Unanswered Questions by John Bowden, published by SCM Press in 1988. The Preface by David Jenkins, then Bishop of Durham, were immediately prophetic. David Jenkins writes that John Bowden “has a passionate faith in God which is concerned with Jesus, truth, freedom and the possibilities of the future. The whole book is an expression of pilgrimage, a pilgrimage which is clearly embarked on in faith and to be pursued in hope.” David Jenkins concludes with this appeal, a mantra that the bishops of the Church of England would do well to have at the forefront of their minds as they meet next week: “So the future of a true Christian faith must lie with an exploration that persuades, a love that serves and a vision that combines an ever expanding realism with unquenchable hope.”