The Word Rabbit

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This article was written on 30 Sep 2015, and is filled under Uncategorized.

Evangelism

Hello, evangelicals. Here is a message.

I don’t like you. Our God commands me to love you and, of course, I do as God’s instructions weigh pretty heavy on me. Were you in trouble or if you needed my help, then it would be provided unstintingly and to the limit of my ability to do so. However. It would be a mistake to interpret this as a wholly uncritical adoration of everything you do because, let’s ne honest, some of it is pretty foul.

One of the things is your habit of relating to our God through charisma alone as though that’s a safe guide. When I was in the depths of depression, my emotions told me that I should throw myself off a multi-storey car park in Kingston. When I’ve been completely hyper as a reaction to that depressive state, my emotions have also told me that I was able to do pretty much anything I set my hand to. Emotions, then, are not a good guide.

Then there’s the Biblical literalism. You believe every word of a book whose authors are often unknown and that was translated by people who may have had an agenda and who may have put their own biases into the text. Some of the authors disagree with each other and there are more than a few areas of paradox. If this is the text you want to go to war over, good luck.

And then there’s the massive homophobia. I can cope with the idiocy of your being charismatics and the asininity of Biblical literalism because it’s mainly confined to your barn-like churches and played out by your worship bands where choruses are repeated over and over again until your congregation is in a state of emotional otherness. But the homophobia is poured out into the society that I live in.

On Saturday, I met one of your number. She goes to Holy Trinity Brompton, knows Nicky Gumbel and loves him dearly. And she’s also a massive bigot, as became clear when we were talking to each other. In fact, it was like talking to a Christian version of Alan Partridge. By the end of our little talk, it was all I could do to restrain myself.

She thinks, for instance, that children adopted by gay couples might turn out gay themselves causing, in her words ‘the human race to die out’. Also, they might think being gay ‘is normal,’ which in my world, it is. She illustrated this by saying that she had no gay friends but had once met someone who was trans and felt sorry for him. Quite what relevance this has went unexplained.

The conversation lurched on to stop and search. She felt that it showed that ‘the police are doing their jobs’. When I mentioned that a black sergeant I’d met was stopped and chose to keep what he did for a living secret to see how they did, she thought that was a good idea. And when I mentioned that he found that his treatment bordered on racist and that he was never given a reason for being stopped, she changed her mind.

This woman decided that she was all for transparency and that the black guy should have said he was a police officer. Quite why, she didn’t say. Asked about the policing of Stephen Lawrence, she said there are, and this is a quote, ‘a few bad apples’. Not, say, evidence of a police force with severe issues and evidence of an intelligence led intrusion into private lives.

What that conversation did, other than jeopardise my blood pressure, was point out that, whatever the justification for their views, evangelicals are best avoided. They don’t feel comfortable with gay people, even though they may not know any because, well, the Bible and stuff. Nicky Gumbel is a hero, despite his Alpha Course often troubling people who are gay quite deeply. And there are few other beliefs thrown in for good measure which are openly crackers.

This blog is anonymous, although it wouldn’t take a huge effort of will to find out who I am. But if you’re an evangelical, you launch into a rant and the man opposite smiles and nods before disappearing out of your life for a very, very long time, then you just might have found me.

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