A website was launched today in order to help Christians with same-sex attractions.
Living Out is co-ordinated by three Christian leaders who experience same sex attraction, and aims to share stories, offer advice, and to help church leaders to understand and care for those with same-sex attractions.
The site was founded by Sam Allberry, the Associate Minister of St. Mary’s Church, Maidenhead, Sean Doherty who lectures in Christian ethics at St. Mellitus College in London and Ed Shaw, who serves as Associate Pastor at Emmanuel Bristol.
The founders all experience same-sex attraction, and share their own individual stories.
Ed Shaw said: “Living Out is for you if you’re somebody who experiences same sex attraction. We want you to hear different stories from the ones you’re perhaps hearing. We want you to hear that it’s possible to stay loyal to what the Bible says and flourish in life.
“Our society thinks the Church is homophobic, thinks the Church doesn’t understand homosexuality. The Church isn’t homophobic. We do understand homosexuality and we want to be part of getting that message out to the world around us.”
The site specifies, however that the group opposes equal marriage, and that gay people are required to live a life of celibacy. It says: “We affirm that marriage is an institution created by God in which one man and one woman enter into an exclusive relationship for life. Marriage is the only form of partnership approved by God for sexual relations and homoerotic sexual practice is incompatible with His will as revealed in Scripture. We do not accept that holding these theological and ethical views on biblical grounds is in itself homophobic.”
The site hopes to work in partnership with local churches and with other organisations who offer support and encouragement to gay christians.
Yesterday the Church of England published a report on “human sexuality” which noted a tension between the church and contemporary culture, but which recommends that same-sex marriages and civil partnerships should be blessed, and that homophobia should be tackled across the church.
The Pilling report, which was headed by Sir Joseph Pilling, recommended that gay civil partnerships and marriages could be blessed by the Church of England, that homophobia should be tackled in and around the church, and that there should be greater understanding from both sides of the argument around issues such as equal marriage.