Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Thursday, June 26

New vision on Civil Unions

I am surprised no one has commented on the way i have changed from ultra conservative to a much more tolerant and understanding position on homosexuality. I thought the conservatives would be enraged and tell me why I am wrong, and that Liberals was be pleased but call for more movement.

So is it because
  • you don't care?
  • you don't talk to heretics?
  • you don't want to expose your own position?
  • You don't know what to say?
  • You are scared I might be right?
  • You have not read it?

I think it's probably the either the first or the last!

Click on the 'homosexuality' tag below to see all my posts as my views have moved.


Our evening was disturbed by ear-splitting screams from our 8 year old. We all dashed up to see what was wrong, expecting burglars, monsters, or fire. Or perhaps a nightmare or a night terror.

He was convinced he had seen a rat in his bedroom. Whatever it was, it was now hidden deep in a store room. The two girls were now gibbering with fear, while the boy was still very tearful, and we had to double up sleeping arrangements so that no one was left alone with such a hideous monster lurking.

I tried to explain that a rat is just like a rabbit, that some people have them as pets, and so there was nothing to fear.

But then my 16 year old son said “well some people have pet tarantulas, so why are you still scared of spiders?”

I have no answer.

(It was actually a small field mouse, brought in by the cat)

Wednesday, June 25


I am always disturbed by the way people wonder around completely naked in the gym changing rooms. It’s just not the way I have been brought up. But when in Rome…. So I have trained myself to be a little less prudish and make my dash to the shower with less haste.

Today, I was more relaxed, being the only one in there.

I noticed someone had left their bag on the bench: a rather effeminate shape and pattern. The pink shoes with it helped me to decide not to be wondering around naked when the guy who owned them came back in.

But then I noticed the lockers had moved….AARRGGGHHH!…I was wondering around naked in the Ladies’ changing room!

Hastily back in the men's room - I have never been so happy to see a naked hairy man coming out of the shower.

Tuesday, June 17


Sunday: preach on “bearing with one another”

Tuesday: lose temper with son

Monday, June 16

Blessings and frustrations

I understand that a Vicar in London has recently ‘blessed’ the relationship of two gay clergymen and is in trouble with his Bishop for it. He states that this is not a defiance of the church, because the church only issued ‘guidelines’ about this. This is clearly not done in the spirit of Windsor or any other conversation about thses things.

However, to do this such a short time before Lambeth is an outrageous provocation. It sets a precedent. It pressurises Lambeth to make decisions based on such events rather than on the principals of discerning the divine will first. It may be that they have rushed into doing this in case Lambeth decides to ban such actions. But the result is just that it gets the liberals a bad name, showing them in a negative and obstinate light.

Speaking as someone who now cautiously endorses civil union, surely patience would have been better?

And while I’m having a rant, I get frustrated by people who expect clergy to live to a higher standard, because they are ‘setting an example’. Well surely, if it’s not OK for them to do it then its not OK for anyone else either? And if it’s OK for the laity then why is it not OK for the clergy? Holiness and morality do not distinguish between clergy and laity. The same rules – whether conservative or liberal – must be applied equally to all.

Todd Bentley

Well I wouldn't do it the way he does, but God does not seem to be so fussy. I can point at a lot of things that I think Todd does/says wrong, but at the end of the day the deaf hear, the lame walk, and the blind receive their sight. It's always easier to criticise than to do.

So let's thank God for those that 'do' and support them rather than find fault.

My favouriet Todd Bentley quote..something along the lines of..."You say you don't have to shout for God to hear you, and that's true. But He's not a librarian either!"

How to 'counsel' in sexuality issues?

I have recently re-established contact with Christian friends in Spain. They are friends of my ultra-conservative parents. Their son is gay, their daughter lesbian, so they lament their lack of grandchildren. I am not supposed to know about their offspring’s sexuality. So in my new mostly-liberal perspective, how do I discreetly encourage my friends without causing offence to them and without shocking my elderly frail parents into a very literal heart attack?

The (scared) Oracle of God

Normally after I preach I get a good number of people saying nice things about my sermon. Mostly they are trying to be encouraging, some are simply being polite, and one or two do actually mean it.

This Sunday I had to preach at both our morning services. I have done the 9:30 before, but this was my first time speaking at the 11:00.

I didn’t feel I had prepared very well. I have not had a ‘spiritual’ week. The allocated passage didn’t lend itself to theological exegesis; it was a more practical thing, so I just had some pictures on a power point presentation and talked around the pictures. When I stood up to speak in the 9:30 my mind went completely blank, and I struggled to recover.

But afterwards, a whole stream of people came to me, not with the usual platitudes, but with a genuine sense of having been touched in the heart and convicted by the Holy Spirit. I was left with a strong sense that somehow I had actually spoken the word of God to these people.

For the second service, I knew before I said a word that it would not be so good, because it was clear by now that the message had been for the first service. So afterwards there were some people who had attended both services that said I was better the second time round. Technically, perhaps so. But I did not get the same stream of people who had been touched, just the usual numbers of encouraging/polite. Same sermon, delivered better, yet less impact.

To be honest, I am comfortable in a church where we go through the motions and have our nice ceremonies in a conventional way. But when God himself shows up, it really makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. It literally scares me. I know that ‘my sermon’ was not very good in itself, but I also know that God himself somehow inhabited those words and had his way and communicated HIS message.

That is scary.

But….even more so….if people start to treat me as the oracle of God, and then I say something that is wrong and leads people into sin…then I really am in trouble.

Postscript….when I was young, I found people usually ignored me. So I started colouring my stories to make them interesting, and they became increasingly wild. Then people became interested and started to believe me…something new which I didn’t know how to handle. And it was also embarrassing because now I had to admit that I had exaggerated, so I ended up with even less credibility than I started with.

Wednesday, June 11

What Credit Crunch?

Apparently there is a credit crunch, where banks are being more cautious about who they lend money to.

Now, they know that I have a 5x salary mortgage and I owe £XX000 on credit cards which I can not pay off at present.

So why have I just been issued with a new credit card that I didn’t even apply for with a credit limit for a further £5000?

And why has the overdraft limit on my current account been doubled without me asking?

Is it down to me to say "no!" to these people, or should I just spend, spend, spend?

Monday, June 9

Theologically Conservative, Liberal at Heart, but changing 2

I have not posted to my blog for ages – a kind of fast I suppose. I have been holding back because I was asked to run a seminar on the topic of homosexuality for my church, which took place last week, and while I was preparing I needed to focus and not get distracted. Plus my view was changing from day to day, plus my brief for the evening was changing from day to day.

In the final plan, I had to present the ‘Conservative’ view, while a Vicar from another church presented the ‘Liberal’ view, followed by a discussion session.

The turnout of 19 people was disappointing, given the size of the church. Attendees included the Area Dean, one celibate gay, one ultra-conservative retired clergyman, and one extremely liberal member of the congregation, and one non-Christian husband of a conservative member of the church, who says that homophobia in the church is the main reason why he does not sign up..

My talk was, needless to say, brilliant. On the other hand, the other Vicar’s response didn’t really respond to my points. He was coming up with stuff like “All scripture is God-breathed but some parts are more God-breathed than others”, and the usual mushy nonsense about seeing it through the culture of the day. Yes there is a valid case for this if done properly, but not if it’s just to dismiss the inconvenient truths.

During the discussion I was able to put across my mew-found ‘conservatively-liberal’ or ‘liberal for conservative reasons’ ideas described in a previous post. I have actually written a 5500 word document to explain this, since you can’t really get it across in a debate. (I may prepare an anonymous version to pass to anyone interested) People seemed very interested that having been a strong conservative, I have changed. But the retired Vicar said “You do know that is not a standard evangelical position, don’t you?” Well, how thick does he think I am? But I don’t decide on doctrine based on whether it is Evangelical or not – I work out what I think the Bible is telling me and then find that this usually falls in the evangelical camp – only not this time.

One guy complained that there were 4 clergymen in the room presenting 4 conflicting views, and what he really wanted was clear guidance form the church.

Overall the evening was a success. No blood on the carpet, and everyone a little more open minded to the opposite perspective than they had been.

I had been terrified that by opening up about my new views I would be out of favour and lose my status in the church, though I felt I still had to proceed. In fact, although it has created some tension domestically, I seem to have survived in church.

So, if any of you out there prayed for me particularly or this issue in general, thank you!