I’ve spent a good few days wondering about whether I had the courage to blog about this. I’ve finally decided to take a deep breath and go for it. Here goes…!
Vicky Beeching. Christian music star. Theologian, commentator. A passionate lady who had impacted many lives. Also, as she has the sheer unadulterated guts to announce this week – gay. Of course, the Christian world has taken off. Opinions ranging from “you go, girl!” to “you come from the devil and are going to HELL” have been thrown at her.
I don’t especially want to comment on the theology of homosexuality. Better minds than me have pondered it. For those who know me, my position is probably fairly clear. For those who don’t, I have no wish to be tarred and feathered – today, at any rate. To be honest, Vicky’s sexuality doesn’t make a tiny bit of difference to her salvation, and so it doesn’t really make a great deal of difference to me. There are though, a few things I really wanted to say in the wake of all this has thrown up.
The first thing is a huge, unqualified, heartfelt “well bloody done”. Not only to Vicky, but to all those who dare to be open and honest about their sexuality in an environment that historically has not welcomed it. Because we have a problem in the church. We seem to have elevated sex into the most important part of life – maybe because it strikes at a very core part of our identity. Sexual sin definitely seems to have been made into the most important sin. But for those who don’t fit into hetero-normative roles, that can be very damaging. Because hearing that you are WRONG all the time is wearing.
I’m not even particularly aiming to come down on one side of the fence or another. I’m well aware that Christians sit on both sides of the fence on this. I’d point you towards Vicky’s blog, and also to the amazing folk at livingout.org – different views represented there, but both God-loving people who truly desire to follow God’s wills for their lives.
Different views, but all people who have made it ok to experience same sex attraction and still be a Christian. Because here’s the thing. Vicky’s sexuality and the rights/wrongs/what-bloody-evers of it have nothing to do with me. They really don’t. What does is that she’s made it public. And what that does is lift it out of the dirt and the murk and the “Good-Christians-Don’t-Do-That”, and made it ok to struggle. To not have all the answers. To not fit the box. And when you’ve spent your life not fitting the boxes, and you’re worn out from it, and you just don’t know if you can carry on, or if God can ever accept you, it’s bloody liberating to discover you aren’t alone.
I think the other thing I wanted to say was a plea to Christians to understand that whatever you think of her sexuality, Vicky hasn’t come at this decision – both to embrace her sexuality and to be public about it – easily. She’s gone through agonies about it – and researched, thought and prayed it all through. And when that comes from an Oxford educated PHD, it isn’t something to be taken lightly. Disagree with her, sure. But please don’t accuse her, or anyone else who agrees with her – or who disagrees with you – of manipulating the Bible, or not taking it seriously. It isn’t true, and it bloody hurts. Vicky is a lady who clearly takes the Bible very seriously, and has spent her life studying it and praying about it. That, if nothing else, surely demands that we take a look at her views and respect what’s brought her to where she is, even if you don’t agree.
Thank you Vicky. For showing all of us that it’s ok to struggle with sexuality as a woman of faith. That took guts. Thanks to the guys at Living Out too. And all of those who stand out about the painful and difficult parts of their lives, and show us what it means to have a real faith – one that deals with all the struggles and all the joys and all the very real parts of being human.