Stephanie joined Bloomsbury Central Baptist as an intern for six weeks across July and August and shares some of her experiences in this blog.
I haven’t got a fixed opinion about the LGBTQ+ topic at the moment. I had thought that I did, and what I thought was my opinion had done me quite well for a long time. But now I notice that isn’t very sustainable in the long run.
Same-sex marriage was legalised in Germany at the end of June this year, and this calls me to engage in a renewed discussion of this topic. My time at Bloomsbury has been the time when I got unsatisfied with my existing view, and decided to spend time on this topic.
Previously I had reached the point of accepting and loving every human being – no matter what their sexuality or orientation, and this point of view had done me very well because I had very little to no contact with the LGBTQ+ scene in Germany. However, I know that I would like to continue my thinking on this, because I want to form a more complete opinion on this subject. I want to be prepared, and not to “hide” anymore.
The internship at the Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church gave me a specific reason to address this: I was at the Pride Parade and the subsequent service in St. James’ Piccadilly. It was challenging, and a good and valuable experience for me.
I know now very clearly that I don’t want to be one of those people who cause unhappiness and hatred. We encountered a group of “Christians” who were preaching that LGBTQ+ people will go to hell and are wrong. This group of people made me both sad and angry at the same time. So I don’t want to be like them, because it can’t be right, and it can’t be what Jesus wanted Christians to do. Jesus often asked his followers to love each other! And finally there is no one who is more or less sinful than the other. Therefore it’s equally easy or difficult to love an LGBTQ+ or an ‘ordinary’ person.
So the question arises as to which point of view I am representing. At the moment I don’t know exactly. But I am interested in getting to know other opinions and views. And so I find myself in the middle of my journey to an answer.
Therefore I still have the same position as before – but now it is my starting point, not the end of my journey. I’m beginning to ask questions, to want to know more. The whole thing is not so easy, because you scrutinise your image of God and your view of the Bible, which is very challenging (for me). It requires a lot of courage to dig over the foundations on which you are standing, and to the search for new insights. But I’m sure it’s the worth the effort, and ultimately you can get into a place of greater freedom.
Of course, I don’t know where and when this journey will finish. But I hope that it ends with, or leads into, mutual acceptance and respect. Ultimately I hope to find a place of genuine togetherness, not just coexistence.