Recently the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) decreed that people in a same-sex relationship could not be a full member of the Church and their children could not be baptised. They also cut ties with the Church in Scotland as it moved towards a more liberal approach to same sex relationships. Rev Stafford Carson, a key protagonist of this new policy, declared the church needed to be clear it did not approve of same-sex relationships, and that such behaviour and ‘lifestyle’ is ‘at variance with a life of obedience to Christ’.
No doubt he earnestly believes his position to be true – but Rev Carson is in need of the love of God himself – for no man who has connected to the absolute purity and all-encompassing love of God could make such statements.
This declaration is based upon their ‘understanding of scripture and the Church’s understanding of a credible profession of faith’ and upon which they deem it is ‘clear that same-sex couples are not eligible for communicant membership nor are they qualified to receive baptism for their children’.
This is the kind of completely flawed, prejudicial, judgemental, loveless and Christ-less thinking that arises from the small minds of men reliant upon their own interpretation of words in a book, words written by the equally small minds of men devoid of a true connection to the love of Christ and who themselves did not embody and live the love of Christ.
The love of Christ and God is Universal and unifying – it does not judge nor condemn – but loves all equally and is certainly not dependent upon one’s sexuality. Such attitudes say more about the people making them than those they talk about.
To implement such a policy is a further turn towards darkness, away from the all–encompassing love of Christ, away from inclusivity, unification and acceptance of all as equal Sons of God.
It is a turn towards narrow-mindedness, judgement, exclusivity, prejudice, bigotry, discrimination, superiority and away from all that Christ taught and represented. Jesus was forever showing love and inclusion to the marginalised, the excluded, the outcasts, the demonised, the judged – bringing into the fold those that others had cast aside and who were considered the lowest in society, including prostitutes – his love of people was not inhibited in any way by their choices. He did not judge people because of who they were, their life choices or their ‘lifestyle’ – yet the PCI seem to think they can and that it is ok to do so – that they know better than Christ.
Furthermore, for most, if not all, sexuality is not a ‘lifestyle’ but an inherent part of who we are – something we are born with and cannot just discard or change on a whim – and for PCI to make out it is just a ‘lifestyle’ shows a deep level of ignorance.
Rev Carson claims he and the Church are ‘committed to Christ’s teaching’ and that they ‘speak in love, but speak the truth we must, this report does not say we are closing the door on anyone’ as they state all are still welcome to attend church. Really? Really? Gay people can attend whilst you hold your nose and look down upon them from your lofty tower – signalling them out by not giving them communion – as if they are some lesser species deemed not clean enough by you to receive the sacrament of communion.
It is disgusting that so-called men of God can make such statements and vile policies and claim them to be in the name of God, Christ, and Truth. There is no truth in such a policy – it is completely devoid of the love of Christ – there is no obedience to Christ only obedience to all that which is against Christ.
It is such statements and teachings that give religion a bad name, that turn people away from religion, from God and from Truth. The baby gets thrown out with the bathwater and I did the same myself many years ago, not realising that there is truth, there is true religion that is based on the all-encompassing love of God that lives in the hearts of all and does not come from the limited minds of mankind.
Thankfully many have seen this policy for what it is and have walked away, no longer to be associated with such Christ-less views – and if the Church keeps going with this stance it will find its membership ever-dwindling as more wake up to the truth in their own hearts and realise such policies could never come from or be endorsed in any way by God.
The Presbyterian Church in Ireland takes a turn towards darkness …..but you do not need to follow it.
Evil happens when good people sit back and say and do nothing especially in the face of such overt discrimination and prejudice. Those who speak with their feet and walk out the door are showing the way – for to continue to attend the church when its leaders endorse and condone such a policy is to say this is ok, it is to say discrimination is ok, judgement is ok, prejudice is ok and ultimately, evil is ok.
Evil is anything that separates us from the love of God, from knowing who we are as Sons of God, from knowing we are love and that there is nothing we can do or say that will make God love us more or love us less – we are loved way beyond our deepest imagining of what that love could be. The teachings that have been perpetuated in pulpits across this land, that we are sinners, not worthy, not good enough etc. are evil as they are designed to keep us feeling lesser, to keep us from knowing the truth of who we are…..that we are all glorious, amazing, beautiful, divine Sons of God with an essence of love untouched by any harm, hurt, abuse or torture.
This is the truth that sets us free – free to know who we are, who everyone else is and free to love all equally – irrespective of race, gender, sexuality, lifestyle or any other identifying factor. This timeless truth has been presented by many down through the ages – yet it is one we manage to avoid living time and time again, choosing instead the prejudicial, narrow minded ramblings of our minds than the fulsome, boundless love of our hearts – perhaps it is time, or overdue the time, we actually give this truth and love a go?