“Can you be queer and a Christian?” That was the marketing hook for Maurice Tomlinson’s latest failed effort at faking compatibility between homosexuality and Christianity. The event which featured a heart-breaking film centered on the journeys of several members of the LGBT community from across the world in relation to “god” (they used the common “g” in the film) was saturated with just as much emotion as there was deception. It sought to marry homosexual behavior to Biblical faith, with the exception of one of the 6 characters openly cursing expletives at “Jesus” and celebrating the worship of Hindu gods.
The recently appointed Bishop of Kingston in the Anglican Church, Bishop Garth Minott brought the keynote address. Rather than defending the holiness of God and stressing the need for repentance according to the Scriptures, his address contained no biblical references at all. He expressed his hope for the removal of the law against buggery and the wish for the shooting of a similar film with homosexual children as the focus.
Dialogue or no dialogue?
Subsequently, the floor was opened by the host, Maurice Tomlinson who invited the 30 persons who attended to a dialogue on the film and the themes therein. I raised my hand and was acknowledged and asked a question that sought to address the substantive reason for the event. I asked the Bishop this question:
“1st Corinthins6:9-11, Genesis 19, Jude vs 7, 1Timothy1, Romans 1. These are verses that speak to homosexuality- how do you reconcile the reality of what these verses say – disobey them and say God accepts this practice as holy?” I then proceeded to read 1Corinthins 6:9&11 and was interrupted after the first few words “Do not be deceived”. The host, Maurice Tomlinson, who claims to be a Christian and a homosexual noted that he did not want me to read the verse. I conceded. The Bishop then went on to say that the Bible does not address homosexuality but is open to same-sex relationships. He cited David and Johnathon as an example of such. I asked if he was saying that David was a homosexual. To which he replied “That isn’t what i’m suggesting” though clearly, it was, what else would be the purpose of mentioning David and Johnathon in that context? I was then threatened with being kicked out and told that it in fact wasn’t a dialogue. Moments later I recognized that the reading of the Word of God was barred at this so-called “gay- Christian event”, and so was any dialogue that would highlight the lies which were already being spoken. I rose to my feet and boldly read the scripture “1st Corinthians 6:9 says: Do not be deceived. The sexually immoral, adulterers, men who have sex with men and thieves will not inherit the kingdom of God.” While Maurice Tomlinson pushed me out I said “We love you guys but the only hope for coming to Jesus Christ is with repentance and turning away from sin. Jesus loves you. We recognize the dignity of every person but there must be repentance to be holy. Jesus is Holy!”. And the door slammed shut before me. Three other faithful witnesses to the truth and love of the Lord Jesus Christ remained inside the event:
Dayna shares her thoughts:
At the “With Wonder” film premiere, I went with the expectation to witness to the word of God and what is clearly stated in the scriptures. I went to have an honest biblical dialogue, hoping my questions would be answered. What I was not prepared for was a discussion purely centered on a secular worldview justifying a lifestyle that was contrary to the Word of God. What I was also not prepared for was a film that showcased men and women as ministers in the church, fists raised high in the face of God, blatantly indulging in a lifestyle that was against God’s truth. At the beginning of the film, I could already tell how the LGBTQ community was deeply broken, looking for community, and searching for love.
The brokenness was palpable and so was the war for truth. To be queer and Christian was the main paradox of the evening and I wanted to leave those who are a part of the LGBTQ community pondering and searching out the truth for themselves. To say I was shocked would be an understatement; as I witnessed the deep level of perversion and deception that bound a broken community looking for community.
Simple questions. No answers.
While I admit convictions can only come from the Spirit of Truth, I chose to act as an advocate of truth and to my surprise, there was no room for biblical discourse or dialogue on the controversial question “can you be Christian and queer?” There was no room for a Christian discussion on sexuality and there was no space for biblical interjections. We were told, “This is not a church.” I managed to ask one question trying hard not to offend those who claim the name of Jesus yet claim a different gospel. “Do you believe that we need to come alongside those who are wrestling with same-sex attraction (as to not make it some unusual phenomena) and attend to that brokenness instead of rejecting the truth of God
that says the homosexual lifestyle/practice is a sin; and where is the response to the Gospel that bids us forsake ourselves?” To my shock, my question couldn’t be answered. Can you be queer and Christian? I thought to myself, as I looked around the room at the broken men and women who attempted to exchange biblical truths for secular lies. I headed to the Bishop of Kingston and asked, “Where do we draw the line?” To which he responded: “We do not draw a line, all are welcome, all are acceptable, all must be tolerated.” However, as a Christian, I know that God has already drawn the line and there can be no middle ground. There is no such thing as a queer Christian, and the same could be said for
murderers, thieves, adulterers, and drunkards of whom will not inherit the kingdom of God unless they repent. I left praying for that community and hoping they would return and embrace the truth.
Sarah shares her thoughts:
“With Wonder” was my first time at an event of this kind, that being, an LGBT event that purported to be Christian. During the discussion section, it was evident that though the occasion was said to be about being Christian, there was no acceptance of Christ. This was shown from the first question asked which was “how do we reconcile the gay lifestyle and scriptures which clearly state that homosexuality is a sin?”. When Daniel who asked the question started to read the scripture he was cut short, with the comment “we know what the scriptures say, we don’t need to have the scriptures”. This quote is the essence of the LGBT deception in the church. All those who claim to be Christians and accept LGBT lifestyles as good, know what scripture says but believe they don’t need it. The bishop who the question was directed to started his answer with “I spent 7 years studying scripture”. With that much experience, he testifies against himself that he should be abundantly certain about what scripture says on LGBT matters. There was no search for truth, they did not care about the truth, they did not care what God
had to say on the matter, they cared about justifying their lifestyle.
No regard for the Word of God
When it was time for me to ask my question, I first asked “can I read the bible” but I was quickly told “no bible reading please”. Once more this solidified that The Word of God and Christ himself were not welcomed at this event. Bringing up the woman caught in adultery, I mentioned that though Jesus did not condemn her, he told her to go and sin no more, showing that even in the privacy of our bedroom, God holds us to a standard. Though adultery is between 2 consenting adults, God calls it a sin. Instead of addressing the sin of adultery, the bishop said the system of stoning was the sin being addressed in the account. This was a clear attempt to ignore the clear instruction that Jesus was calling her out of a
the lifestyle of sexual sin.
Wanting love but rejecting the truth
My experience that night showed me that those who are in the LGBT community are desperately searching for love. As humans, made for God’s love, some in the LGBT lifestyle wants Christ’s love but without the sacrifice required. God calls us to sacrifice the flesh. Matthew 16:24 ‘Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’
God’s love is transformative. When we claim to be Christians and still cling to sin we are saying ‘God’s love is not powerful enough to change me.’ And nothing could be further from the truth.
Alison shares her thoughts:
The film itself was heartbreaking. Persons who have experienced genuine hurt, and very poor counsel, stand on their trauma as the proverbial soap box and justification to live any way they please. Christianity is merely a cloak they wear, and is as malleable as their own self-perceptions. With that thinking, God has thus become the object that worships them and their desires to do as they like.
Scriptural evidence or lack thereof
The third question came from me. It was addressed to Bishop Minott. I asked if he could provide any scriptural shreds of evidence or grounds upon which he came by his position of being queer and Christian since his initial address was void of any.
Before he could respond, Sean Major Campbell interjected and was allowed to insinuate that the question was baseless since we don’t consult the Bible on many things we do nowadays like brushing our teeth and using microwaves. Bishop Minott then began his response to me stating “If I gave you a scripture that would suggest being queer and Christian, I would be dishonest to you, because the word queer is not in the bible.” It was then that I tried to clarify that I would prefer us not to be lost on the semantics but that with the general understanding of the definition queer be used to answer the question. I did not get that far before Maurice Tomlinson was in my face, shouting at me to leave.
He shouted several times; Why don’t you just leave?!” “Leave!” I, as calmly as I could in the circumstances, said I would leave if he could provide a valid reason why I was being kicked out of the public forum for asking a question and participating in the dialogue. I began to ask for the respect and dignity that they spoke of earlier.
A discussion with Bishop Minott
The meeting closed a few minutes after and I went to Bishop Minott to hear his full response since I couldn’t in Mr. Tomlinson’s outbursts. I posed the same question and he gave the same response. I then asked him to define the word queer. He said it’s a person who identifies themself as having deviated from the heteronormative descriptors of sexuality and sexual orientation. I said we can agree on that definition for now and I continued into my next question where I asked; do you think there is sufficient scriptural evidence to say that our identities are not determined by us but rather by the creator of human beings?’ He said he can think of the passage by St. Paul that says; if any man be in Christ…” I completed it and gave the address of 2 Corinthians 5: 17. He then said that St. Paul was writing to those who were in the faith and that that should not be applied to those outside of it. I then quoted Genesis 1:26 and said that the trinity met and said let us make man in our own image meaning having and bearing the image and identity of God in body, soul, and spirit and that this was long before Christ came for persons to make a decision to be in the faith. His response was that the Old Testament was written to the Jews almost insinuating that the creation story has no bearing or usefulness on our lives and living today. We tussled on that for a bit. I then asked what was the source of his confidence since he agreed that scripture doesn’t give the go-ahead for his position. He said that the Bible speaks at length on love and that God is a God of love and so it would only be natural that God is all-embracing of all peoples and practices that are done in love. I then raised 1st Corinthians 13 and said that the Bible gives a definition of love. I listed the verses and stopped at verse six which says “Love does not rejoice in evil but rather rejoices in the truth.” I said, what is Truth, as love and truth cannot be defined the way we want. This line is in the biblical definition of love. He then asked me “what is evil”. I said “evil is sin and all that separates us from God”. He quickly said “No, that is not what evil means in this passage. Evil means anything that is not love.” Confused I said to him, are you saying that love does not rejoice in anything that is not love and rejoices in love? To which he did not answer and I realized in that moment that this was a conversation in futility.
Isaiah 66:2 says “These are the ones I look on with favor those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who trembles at my word.”
There are those who claim to be Christians but who have no regard for the Word of God, others twist the Word to mean what they wish. Brothers and sisters I feel “compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly
people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality.” (Jude vs 3-4). Contend.