Tim Farron, as leader of the Liberal Democrats and a Christian, was asked if he thought gay sex is a sin. He said no – eventually. He was wrong.
What he should have said was this.
“I find the idea abhorrent. God will judge us.”
What did you say??!!??
I hope by now you are wondering where I am going with this. Because if you follow me on Twitter you will know I have a habit of retweeting Nathan Hamm, Glennon Doyle and anyone else who champions Christian love and inclusion for the LGBTQ community. (Go follow them now!)
So this is how I think Tim Farron should have continued.
“You ask me how I view this as a Christian. Well, If God is going to judge us, I certainly should not. The idea that I have any right to a judgemental opinion on consensual love between two people is abhorrent. If it harms no-one, it’s none of my business. I am not entitled to an opinion and you shouldn’t be asking me for one. By asking me to make a judgement, you are making me a judge where I have no right to be one. In politics I may seek to uphold the fabric of society, and LGBTQ people are not – with their loving relationships – giving me any cause for concern. In fact, some of them are making a better go of marriage and community cohesion than some of the straight people.
“I am also not going to judge the people who declare gay sex to be wrong. I’m not going to pile judgement upon judgement. Neither should you. Now these people are beginning to be marginalised, and Jesus has great compassion for marginalised people, regardless of what ideas they have in their heads.
“We all say that God will judge but He’s not keen on the possible outcome of that judgement because He’s perfect and we are not. Any outcome that sends us away from him breaks His heart. That’s why He’s sent Jesus to redeem us. So there’s even less point in being judgmental. God has already done something to save people on all sides of the argument. Let’s just accept that and stop feeling entitled to think that our own opinion on gay sex counts.
“Having said that it is very hard not to have an opinion. It’s hard not to think over the issues and wonder what is God’s heart. I would never discourage anyone from thinking it through, praying about it, studying the Bible together and seeking the truth. Doing this earnestly will change you in ways you are not expecting. Don’t forget, Christians are called to serve the people they like the least. If you want to accuse me of being counter-cultural, just try to imagine doing that.
“Having an opinion is not the same as judging. I may have a strong opinion on many issues but I can deliver my views and policies without seeking to send any human to condemnation. I won’t make excuses for people in the wrong, but I won’t treat them like I’ve never also been in the wrong. It’s so important to remember that nobody’s perfect; we should all be humbled by that.
“But saying “gay sex is wrong” or “not wrong” isn’t an opinion: it’s a judgement. There’s no softening that. So the answer to your question is no, I, Tim Farron, have no judgement to offer. And my opinion is that love wins.”
For what it’s worth I, Janet, the author of this blog admit to being very judge-y. For which I am sorry. Writing this is unlikely to stop me entirely but it might help a bit.
I don’t often blog about Christian faith, but sometimes it just happens. Read another by clicking here.