He comes back for you

jesus comes back for youIt has been a very long time since I posted on this blog. A very very very long time. I first started
writing on this particular blog, when I converted to Christianity and was baptised at St Mary's Cathedral in  Glasgow. A Scottish Episcopal Church and a member of the Anglican communion.

I have always had faith, believed in G-d and yet have always struggled with how to contextualise him in my life. Of course to contextualise G-d and how your faith applies to your everyday life, then you have to actually decide how you perceive G-d. Far too many people seem to brush over this very imporant detail.

All this upheaval in my faith happened when aged 40, I came out as a lesbian. So many friends argued that being a Christian and being gay is not compatible. Well I'll have you know that based on that reasoning being a Christian and smoking is not compatible, as are multiple modern "normal" Practices of our daily lives. (divorce and remarriage, premarital and extramarital sex - both heterosexual and homosexual just to name a few....)

I realised that G-d has given me salvation I need and like my concept of G-d I have to contextualise how the bibles speaks to my faith.

Around the time, I came out there was a female priest in Stewkley, England (Church of England) that was having a difficult time. Her problem of course was not being a Christian and being lesbian, but rather that she had a publicly visible role and in order to spare the Church embarrassment she faced a Sophies choice scenario- lie or leave. The devil you do, the devil you dont......

How well you will fare as a lesbian or gay person in a Church environment is quite reliably measued by the way that the church hierarchy treats its own clergy. I identify strongly with this woman's situation for a number of reasons.

First of all she had been married and has three children, just like me. While I had an interest in women when I was younger, I married and struggled with sexual relationships until I came out and started being honest with everyone around me. She came to realise her sexuality as a result of an ongoing battle with depression and relationships that touched her during that battle.

Perhaps what annoyed me the most is the salacious and viscious way in which the newspapers decided to villify her for her very difficult journey - just because she was a vicar. This of course makes it very difficult for the church hierarchy to do the right thing and support their priests particularly when emotional health is at play, simply because the Church is pressurised into being seen to do the right thing, than rather actually doing the right thing. If anything the Church should have turned its power against the papers rather than the vicar, which so obviously was the case.

Problem I have with this, is that Jesus was a radical, a mover and shaker of his time. he touched the untouchables and challenged the society in which he preached. I dont see the Church of England doing this. Its all PR and pomposity. Michelle Morton wasn't given the space to deal with the emotional fallout and to be honest the press have a lot to answer for the pain it must have caused her children and husband too.

I actually crossed paths with Michelle (now Michelle Bailey) many years later and she has remained faithful to her G-d and to Jesus. She continues to serve within the church as a children's worker in which she exceptionally skilled and I hope that one day soon an even handed and fair bishop will give her a licence once again.

I take communion regularly from an openly gay priest in Glasgow. In fact the vice provost at the Cathedral is in a civil partnership.

I will make two points about the bible and homosexuality. Firstly all the alleged references to gay sex happen to be nuanced in all sorts of other scenarios, which change the context entirely and in fact often do not refer to gay sex when read properly and secondly theres a fabulous scriptural quote about logs and splinters in eyes. So if youre divorced (and especially remarried) Jesus specifically forbids that but says nothing of homosexuality! Furthermore when quoting from Old Testamant Scripture dont get me worked up about the fact that most Christians I know eat pork and shellfish, so when you say those laws dont apply anymore then it would be prudent not to pick and choose which apply and which dont, but simply to apply New Testament doctrine using the Old Testament as a guideline and context where biblical foundation is found in the new Testament.

I will write another blog entirely on whether the bible is straight from G-d or not and how I can claim to be a Christian by believing anything other than it is!

And by the way the Epistles of St Paul were written by a man, to other men. They may have been inspired by G-d and his faith , but lets get real, they could only have been perfect if written by Jesus himself, which they were not! Paul had his own agenda and only by understanding where he came from will you understand the reasoning behind his communications and prolific letter writing.

And it doesnt matter what the church or its congregation do to you - If youre faithful Jesus comes back to get you.

Ruthie Richards-Hill

Ruth, a free range human being and a middle aged mum of three adult children and very young grandmother to two little girls, is a glass artist, and a digital strategist, She retains the right to change her mind about anything and believes in a compassionate approach to most things, you can contact her using the contact page on this blog.

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