I had an extraordinary experience this summer. I heard an Anglican charismatic vicar Mark Stibbe give THE BEST sermon I ever heard—which was, oddly, on writing. He prayed for an impartation of the spiritual gift of writing, and I believe I received it. I came back full of excitement, and wrote much and well.
TEN days later, this man, genuinely insightful and spiritually gifted, leaves his wife and family for another woman, and leaves ALL ministry. His forthcoming book was cancelled. I recently spent a couple of hours listening to his videos, and reading a book he’d written. Stibbe knows God, understands God. Oh, would the church find a way to extend grace to those who publicly fall, for all of us fall—privately.
The Vicar of Oxford’s most conservative evangelical church recently wrote about his battle with same-sex attraction, and resolve to remain celibate.
Andrew Brown in The Guardian writes, The vision he sets out of a celibate gay Christian life lacks joie de vivre. In fact, he compares it to depression, alcoholism and blindness (and talks of) loneliness and sexual frustration.
I feel evangelicals offer gays a cruel choice: solitude and celibacy (a life few can sustain without depression, or worse) if they want full acceptance by the body of Christ. Might this be going beyond what Christ requires?
Another post on this subject was Christians, Quit being so Oppositional, inspired by the Chik-fil-A controversy, and In which I trace my evolving views on Gay Christians.
The truth is that male religious leaders have had — and still have — an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Jimmy Carter
4. The sexism in the Christian Church has been making me rather cross this year. Here are three posts I wrote on the subject
5 The Wounds I was Given at the House of my Friends
If someone asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ he will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’ (Zech 13:6)
Since April 2011, we’ve been at the most emotionally and spiritually healthy church we’ve ever been at, St. Andrew’s, Oxford. An oasis for us, or an abiding city, I don’t know–but I do know I have no more energy or patience for a church with continual dramas.
My previous Anglican church experience, sadly, was extremely toxic for me–a combination of my own sin and those of others in leadership. But we have to forgive Churts, church hurts, as all other sins against us, or we remain blocked and stymied in our spiritual growth.
I have (successfully, as far as I know) worked through forgiveness this year. Posts:
6. Thin Places We’ve been self-employed since April 2010 (when I started blogging) and so are freer to visit thin places, where the veil between the world is permeable and transparent.
I attended a Revival Alliance Charismatic convention in Birmingham, with some of the world’s most gifted Charismatic leaders—Heidi Baker, John and Carol Arnott and the very wise Bill Johnson. When the music stopped, the room filled with singing, high soprano, which everyone said was angels singing. Dozens of eyewitnesses, including my children, and a friend of ours, an Oxford-educated Physics teacher, claimed they saw diamonds materialize.
7 When God Accredits You (a surprise post in my top 10).
I was going to go through my favourite posts, month by month, but I’ve run out of steam in January, which, fortuitously, was an excellent blogging month
January 2012—A reflective month, in which I blogged between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.. So less edited, less-guarded, more personal.
2 See what God is blessing and join it. Bono.