Following on from the announcement that a Bishop of the Church of England has come out as “Gay but in a celibate relationship” I noted a response from GAFCON which concluded that despite his affirmation that he is not a practicing homosexual they felt:
“It is not modelling a helpful way to live, given the reality of our humanity, and temptation to sexual sin”.
I had just been listening to an interview of Jackie Hill Perry by Priscilla Shirer and had made a number of notes about temptation which came out of their discussion which I have summarised below.
Temptation is part of human life, we all struggle with temptation, whether with “Same Sex Attraction”, gossip, telling lies, cheating, stealing or more. What God’s grace gives us is the power to overcome temptation. His salvation allows and empowers us to change following our conscious choice to walk in freedom and obedience to his word. As such we grow in strength to turn our back on past behaviours and patterns of living and are able to call on God to help us overcome any temptation to sin or fall back.
We are all sinners, all born into sin and some of us discover that a lot later than others. Who knows when this particular Bishop received God’s grace and turned from his previous lifestyle? I don’t think anyone should seek to judge him, he receives God’s grace and mercy as he moves forward in his walk with God as do the rest of us when we confess our sins and turn to God for forgiveness. He may stay in that relationship, he may move on, but the important thing for me is that he grows in his understanding of biblical teaching and pulls on God’s promises to help him transform.
Having said that I do think it would be great if he would join the growing movement of those speaking out against homosexual sin and openly stand up for Biblical truth. Given his position in the church this could prove to be powerful in bringing more LGBT people to salvation than his silence.
Let’s not forget our God gives us amazing strength to overcome all things, any and all sinful behaviour can be forgiven. God is good to those who are obedient to him, I pray for obedience, love and truth to be central to the lives of all our church leaders.