Thinking Anglicans

Vicky Beeching comes out as a lesbian

Last week Patrick Strudwick in the Independent broke the story about Vicky Beeching: Vicky Beeching, Christian rock star ‘I’m gay. God loves me just the way I am’.

Another interview by Jonathan Merritt appeared at RNS Christian rock star Vicky Beeching comes out as gay: An RNS interview.

Channel 4 News had an interview which is included in this report: ‘They made me feel like they thought I was demon-possessed’.

The BBC Radio 4 Sunday interviewed her in the last ten minutes of this episode.

Comments on the matter from others have included:

Eddie Green Outwards and Upwards

Accepting Evangelicals have issued a press release: Evangelical support for Vicky Beeching.

Symon Hill at Ekklesia Vicky Beeching and the EA: Who represents evangelicals?

Peter Ormerod at Comment is free Why Vicky Beeching coming out matters.

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Pluralist
Guest

These stories interest me less and less – perhaps she should have entered the Celebrity Big Brother House. I don’t care what evangelicals think, so long as their influence on the body politic is nil. For those who find themselves in conflict, either leave or build your own alternative. The Anglican unwillingness to leave and in a plural society is what gives the conservatives their grip – there are never consequences to their conservatism. And no one needs to be repressed when you can walk out. Religion around the world is increasingly nasty and underlining its reputation for repression.It is… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Vicky Beeching happens to be a personal friend of the family of Archbishop Justin. I find this to be vastly encouraging in her present situation. Here is an Evangelical Anglican prepared to be totally honest about the reality of her life as, co-incidentally, another a child of God who is gay.

FrDavidH
Guest
FrDavidH

My sympathies lie with the comment from Pluralist above. The increasing nastiness of religion in countries like Uganda, Russia and Iraq makes one wonder if religious belief encourages mainly hatred. If the Anglican Church can’t even agree over who one is allowed to love, what credibility is left in its broader credal statements? Becoming a tolerant secularist may be a better road to happiness and fulfilment than indulging in irrelevant arguments – or “listening process” -the ‘world’ has already resolved.

JCF
Guest
JCF

Congrats, Vicky, and Welcome Out! “The Truth Shall Make You Free”

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

Symon Hill’s question is very pertinent. There seems to be an impression abroad, perhaps particularly in the media, that these groups have a monolithic character and represent the totality of those who might call themselves ‘Evangelical’ . While the EA might like to believe this (as might others with such preposterous names as ‘Anglican Mainstream’ or the ‘Christian Institute’) they can represent no one but themselves. The same goes for bodies at the other end of the candle. The ‘Catholic Group’ in Synod by no means represents all Catholic Anglicans, there are many within and outside Synod who, while holding… Read more »

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

This is a game changer.

Vicky Beeching’s an evangelical superstar, and established media commentator. Her coming out interview was courageous and raw, and has already inspired others to be open about their sexuality. It’s the ultimate testimony.

I’m glad for her, and for the effect this will have on the church. Evangelical opinion is key to creating a better community for all.

ian
Guest
ian

I don’t care what evangelicals think, so says pluralist.
I am wondering if by any chance there is a condition of evangelicalphobia, and if pluralist suffers from it.
I think that when I was a young anglo catholic I did, but since then I’ve come to believe evangelicals are children of god, wonderfully made!

Lorenzo Fernandez-Vicente
Guest

Come on! Pluralist, should we also build our own hotel chains, if unhappy with those who would not host us? open our own bakery company? have segregated marriage venues? And last I looked, evangelical influence on the body politic, here and in the US, is far from nil.

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

Lorenzo, Pluralist is not alone in his opinion of Evangelicals, on this site or in TEC. Many in TEC actively work against Evangelical political influence in the U.S. and state openly that they aren’t actually Christians. At least he’s honest. The segregation has already happened. Evangelicals have charities they support, liberals others. And yes, they also have different favorite churches for weddings, etc. An Evangelical wouldn’t want to be married by a priest who says there are many ways to God or that the resurrection is a fantasy, etc. Liberals don’t want to be married by priests who are “Fundagelicals”… Read more »

Fr Paul
Guest
Fr Paul

“But tragically it is Vicky who is wrong on the morality of gay sexual relationships.” – Ed Shaw on the EA website in response to Vicky ‘coming out’.

Suspect that like Chalkey the EA will just write her off….

Paul
Guest
Paul

I am fully supportive of Vicky Beeching’s decision and wish her well. I just hope that she does not allow her ‘coming out’ or her sexuality to wholly define her from this point on. She was a theologian and a musician before this point and I hope that she can continue to contribute those gifts to the wider church and not become simply the one who ‘came out’. Like all of us she is much more than her sexual identity.

Tim Chesterton
Guest

Chris H. says ‘An Evangelical wouldn’t want to be married by a priest who says there are many ways to God or that the resurrection is a fantasy’ Chris, I am an evangelical, and the priest who officiated at my wedding had very different theological convictions to mine. Why did he officiate? Because he was my rector. He happened to be a personal friend, but that was beside the point. Someone early on made the statement that evangelical opinions are not monolithic. In my experience that’s true, and I think people should beware of making categorical statements like ‘an evangelical… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest
Susannah Clark

My impression is that, more and more, people in the pews reflect the public’s growing acceptance of sexual and gender diversity. To this extent, the ground is shifting, whatever the theological stances that may be proclaimed as ‘official positions’. There is no one evangelical position. There are people who go to churches which identify as evangelical churches. When people like Vicky come out, they contribute to the sea change in opinion taking place, and the subversion of imposed moralities. Human conscience and kindness are God-given graces. God’s grace is at work, in people’s hearts and minds. Most Christians now recognise… Read more »

Nathaniel Brown
Guest
Nathaniel Brown

“The increasing nastiness of religion in countries like Uganda, Russia and Iraq makes one wonder if religious belief encourages mainly hatred.” I wonder if religion isn’t rather a place to which people flee when “things” get to be too much? After all, it’s easier to believe than to think; and if you can construct a belief system that is simpler, more comforting and self-justifying – well, that’s a lot easier and more cozy than confronting the real work and having to re-think and adjust. “I am wondering if by any chance there is a condition of evangelicalphobia, and if pluralist… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
Guest
peterpi - Peter Gross

Chris H, Evangelicals write off whole groups of people, based on what I consider to be superficial characteristics. If people believe that God is all just, all merciful, all knowledgeable — if God is Love — would such a God write off someone because of whom s/he loves? How s/he worships God? Too many evangelical Christians say “yes”. Buddhist? Nope, won’t make it in, no matter how you lead your life while alive, no matter how charitable you are, no matter how you acknowledged your faults and tried to make amends. Ditto Hindus, Muslims, and any Christian who isn’t the… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Public provision of services is a different matter. They have to be non-discriminatory. Indeed, it is one way that evangelical influence can be nil, whilst they make a noise. I’ll state openly that *I* am not a Christian but a Religious Humanist or something like that. My phobias are oppositions to those who would limit the liberties gained of others.

Jo
Guest
Jo

Chris H, I don’t think most liberals would want to be married by a priest who doesn’t believe in the resurrection either. Liberal doesn’t mean non-believer, and liberals are no more keen on hypocrisy than anyone else.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“Many in TEC … state openly that they aren’t actually Christians.”

Is that your claim, Chris H? Because I want citations (esp re “many”)

@ Pluralist, et al: while I get the cynicism, I really wish you’d post it to another thread. THIS thread should be for celebration of Vicky and her witness: Alleluia!

Paul B
Guest
Paul B

Game changer; no. Richard is right people are individuals and all Anglican groups, though Beeching was always in new frontiers though suspect will be long gone now, represent a very small number of worshippers.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Andrew Symes, Executive Director of Anglican Mainstream, has this take on the matter
http://anglicanmainstream.org/vicky-beeching-is-gay-why-it-matters-and-what-the-church-needs-to-do/

The Ed Shaw article referenced in the above can be found at
http://www.eauk.org/church/stories/christians-and-same-sex-attraction-the-other-side-of-the-story.cfm

AndrewT
Guest
AndrewT

That Andrew Symes article is ridiculous. Apparently it’s fine for him to go to the media, presumably because he has “the truth”, but when anyone else does it they are “leveraging” or somesuch. He gives the impression that Beeching would have shown more integrity by getting a girlfriend and never telling anyone about it. How bankrupt Mr Symes’ theology is.

John
Guest
John

Sincerely hope this doesn’t mean we all have to learn to love ‘Christian rock’.

Fr Paul
Guest
Fr Paul

“Christian rock”? Have you even listened to her?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkILap_mUYs

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

“identify the anti-Christian secular or neo-pagan ideologies at work here”

Yes, Mr Symes, that’s _exactly_ what’s happening when a young woman who is still a practicing member of a mainstream church talks about a decision which will leave her a practicing member of a mainstream church. It’s anti-Christian paganism, of course it is, that’s exactly right.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Quoting Andrew Symes’s last paragraph in full below. It’s either repugnant or incoherent, perhaps both. However we need more than this – firstly to identify the anti-Christian secular or neo-pagan ideologies at work here, and address the problem of those promoting these ideas now openly attempting to force the Church to abandon its core doctrines. Then we need advocates of a positive theology of sexuality, marriage and spirituality in addition to or perhaps as a nuanced alternative to the current understanding of “love the sinner but hate the sin”, or “if you’re a gay Christian you can’t have sex”. Perhaps… Read more »

FrDavidH
Guest
FrDavidH

Underneath Ed Shaw’s sanctimonious ‘apology’ to Vicky, he still displays the kind of teaching Vicky found so damaging in the first place. I hope no young gay people cross the threshold of his Church to have the yoke of guilt placed upon them, giving rise to self-hatred and confusion, based upon the false premise of biblical literalism. To condemn all gay people to life-long celibacy is utter nonsense.

Nathaniel Brown
Guest
Nathaniel Brown

“Sincerely hope this doesn’t mean we all have to learn to love ‘Christian rock’.”

Now THAT spectre is going to keep me up all night!

John Roch
Guest
John Roch

Unfortunately, 55 seconds of that Youtube link were much more than enough, thank you.

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

One of my observations about the Christian world is that various subcultures exist which are almost completely invisible to each other. When someone who doesn’t particularly like Christian Rock or Vicky Beeching’s music comments to the effect that her testimony seems to have little traction – well it might be that the message is meant for a different audience. Bear in mind that the people who have appreciated her music will be differently affected by this news. It is also a mistake on every side to imagine that simply because a group – like “evangelical” or “catholic” or “liberal” does… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Whatever we may think of the youth-oriented big-band music scene in evangelical circles, it does seem to have some goodly influence with teen-agers. We may not like their music, but we must accept the fact that Vicky Beeching’s influence in Bible-Belt U.S., is fundamental to their basic understanding of the faith.

Vicky’s ‘coming-out’ as an intrinsic Gay will no doubt make some of these young people – and perhaps a few older ones – reflect on the effect her faith has on their appreciation of her music.
It cannot be a bad thing!

Pam
Guest
Pam

Vicky Beeching has taken a brave step. She will be accepted by many, I hope. But just what does ‘acceptance’ mean for gay and lesbian people in the Church. Does it mean ‘I love you even though you are gay’ or does it mean ‘You are fully accepted for ministry and, if you marry, you will still be accepted for ministry’? Just how much ‘acceptance’ has traditionally been given to lesbian women in the church?

Tim Chesterton
Guest

Vicky Beeching is Christian rock? No, no no. This is Christian rock:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9DryC90TvA

AndrewT
Guest
AndrewT

Listening without responding is like watching without acting: empty and pointless.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Andrew T, remind me never to book an opera seat next to you

John
Guest
John

Just to be clear – I am entirely in favour of Vicky Beeching’s coming-out and think it will do much good. Nor do I object to ‘Christian rock (or whatever)’. It’s merely not for me. Of course, I also think it’s largely rubbish but that doesn’t matter, does it? Many ‘Evangelical’ (however defined) Christians wouldn’t like and would think rubbish the music(s) I like. Note the ‘all’ in my original posting.

Simon Dawson
Guest
Simon Dawson

Pam, You asked – about acceptance – “Does it mean ‘I love you even though you are gay’ or does it mean ‘You are fully accepted for ministry and, if you marry, you will still be accepted for ministry’?

In my experience it is not mutually exclusive, but fits within that old Christian paradigm of a journey and transformation.

The starting point is not knowing some one is gay because they are closeted. The act of coming out starts the journey, which will then pass through your first stage to reach your second stage.

Simon

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Well Tim, if that’s Christian Rock, give me the ‘Hard Place’ My ears is delicate!

Tim Chesterton
Guest

Laughing out loud, Ron! Back in the 1970s I was a big fan of Randy Stonehill, and also of his mentor Larry Norman. That was before a lot of Christian rock went commercial, and it was pretty exciting for a young Christian like me to see that you could use ‘Christian’ and ‘rock’ in the same sentence. Nowadays, of course, everyone takes it for granted.

Laurence Cunnington
Guest
Laurence Cunnington

I digress from the subject of the thread but, Father Ron Smith, you must be the only person to have hyphenated the word ‘teenagers’ since about 1960. Do you still write ‘Roumania’ and ‘alarum clock’? 🙂

Pam
Guest
Pam

Simon Dawson – thanks. It’s just a little bit annoying that a male heterosexual has an easier time than a female homosexual. In the Church of all places.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Mark Bennet
thank you for your comment!

Simon Dawson
Guest
Simon Dawson

Pam – Yes I understand.

I spent a decade, the 80s, in the armed forces. This was a time when when those caught participating homosexual acts faced two years in prison, yet it was still easier to be a gay man in the armed forces than a woman.

With all of Jesus’ affirmation of women it is sad that the church is no better than the armed forces, but I now suspect it is worse.

Best wishes

Simon

Doug18
Guest
Doug18

“Many in TEC actively work against Evangelical political influence in the U.S. and state openly that they aren’t actually Christians.” Chris H

I keep coming back to this thread hoping to find a list with citations as JCF asked for.

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

Sorry Doug, my original response seems to have disappeared/never made it here. How about Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori calling evangelicals idolaters at the last General Convention? Also, on 26 January 2013 she went to South Carolina and during her sermon talked about evangelicals point of view as: “It’s not terribly far from the state of mind evidenced in school shootings, or in those who want to arm school children, or the terrorism that takes oil workers hostage.” The video and transcript, along with several agreeing comments are on the Episcopal News Service site.Doesn’t sound like she thinks they’re Christian to… Read more »

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

Tim, Perhaps it’s a difference between this diocese and the UK. Choosing location and priest are separate decisions. Many TEC parishes are 60-90 miles apart(Montana is the size of Great Britain but with only 40 parishes.)So they often share priests with the Methodists, Lutherans, etc. Events often occur in different churches between denominations, so people often decide they want to be married in this or that church or that Fr. X is who they want to perform the service. TEC priests rarely stay more than 3-5 years so they may be more familiar with one from another denomination or focus… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Guest

Hi Chris, thanks for your reply. I live in western Canada, not the UK, and at one point in my ministry I was in what I believe is the third most northerly Anglican parish in the world, so I think I know something about distances!

JCF
Guest
JCF

I’m sorry, ChrisH, I thought you meant that Episcopalians were *describing themselves* as “not being Christian”. My bad at the misunderstanding.

Are “Evangelicals” (self-described) Christian? Well, they have the benefit of the doubt, at any rate. There are some I might debate (especially if they encourage the sort of violence that killed their purported Lord). Just my 2c.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Scott Lively has referred to “a tidal wave of gay theology”

http://www.wnd.com/2014/08/churches-warned-tidal-wave-of-gay-theology-looming/