February Newsletter 2012

Dear Friends

Australian survey reveals mission damage…

 An survey by Australian evangelical organization ‘Olive Tree Media’ has revealed the extent to which church teaching on homosexuality are turning people away from the Gospel.

The survey asked people who did not identify themselves as Christian to identify the  biggest blocks to belief for them.

Among doctrinal ‘belief blockers’ , Church doctrine on homosexuality came top of the list with 69% of respondents saying that it had a negative effect and 29% saying it was a complete block to faith for them.  This was ahead of the problem of suffering, doubts over the supernatural, and the doctrine of hell and condemnation.

Only reports of Church child abuse were a bigger obstacle at 76%.

But Olive Tree Media have tried to play down the significance of the survey results placing homosexuality as 9th in its list of problem areas.   The report summary can be downloaded at Olive Tree Media    or by following this link.

Upcoming UK events…

As I write this, the Church of England General Synod is meeting in London and AE is represented there at the LGB&T Anglican Coalition stall.  There is an Act of Witness planned for Thursday morning to remind Synod members of the many hundreds of LGB&T clergy who minister faithfully in the Church of England.  For more information please see the AE Blog from 2 weeks ago.

Places are still available at the Evangelical Fellowship conference in Worcestershire  at the beginning March where the conference title will be “From Prejudice to Praise” and the speaker will be Benny Hazlehurst.  For more information and booking details visit:  http://www.eflgc.org.uk/events.asp#Forthcoming

Also in March, Changing Attitude inn Canterbury and Rochester have invited Benny to lead a day on an inclusive theology of sexuality.  It is in Saturday 31st March at All Saints Church Whitstable.  For more information see www.changingattitude.org.uk/find-a-diocesan-group/diocese-a-e/canterbury  or email AE member Rev Simon Tillotson at tillotsons@gmail.com

A night in Shropshire…

Talking of events, here is a review from Dave Griffin who invited us to go to Shropshire to speak.

“Accepting Evangelicals recently travelled to Church Stretton in Shropshire to speak at one of our Engaging Issues meetings.

This is a large discussion group which invites only knowledgeable speakers. It considers serious subjects and attracts participants from all persuasions.

I was asked to share something of our personal experience which included subtle rejection by some Christians. Not because my wife or I are gay but because our daughter is, and because we love her and accept her just as God made her.  And that makes us suspect in some quarters.

As I started to speak I was delighted to see a “friend” & his wife, who hold traditional views on homosexuality, from our old Evangelical church at the back.

At the end of the evening, after Benny’s excellent talk, most folk present were sympathetic but my friend’s response was that he was uncomfortable “surrounded by enemies” who disagreed with him.

My wife gently said to him later that it was exactly how we had felt many, many times!”

If you would like someone from Accepting Evangelicals to come and speak at your church or event, please email us.

God Bless and Keep You

Accepting Evangelicals

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