• Stephen Oliver B-M

A queer utopian dream: An authentic Christianity

Queer community in action - WERK for Consent- A Queer and Trans Dance Protest against sexual violence, Washington D.C. USA, January 27, 2018 - Photo: Ted Eytan

There is an archetypal dream of a home, a secure safe home in a safe neighbourhood. There is the dream of a caring community where all are invited to participate as community. Part of our dream is the intimate kitchen and the open hearth for meals of celebration with friends and neighbours, the friendly pub and the walk along the dreamy country lane or pathway in the woods. We dream too of that blissful moment before sleep in our comfortable bed lying with the person of our dreams, the person that loves us at the deepest place of our being. The intimate of sexuality is this envelopment of our innermost self. It is the ecstasy of being sensually loved, profoundly at home in our bodies, in flesh, in nature, in the world and the universe.

The dream of a home is an outward expression of this drive to be inwardly loved, enveloped gently, wholly accepted, feelings held and cared for, our innermost self cherished. It is the meaning of the gospel of the Queendom of God, a bliss and joy beyond the ability of words to convey, the ultimate wealth that money cannot buy, that state of being that poverty can afford and can be beyond the grasp of the multi-billionaire. When we can be safe from all pretensions that traditional Christianity requires, the cover up of our innermost protective walls can be let down, and the child or paradise that Jesus offers, is at last free to enter. That part of us that we learned early to bury and hide, the ‘Queer’ part of us vulnerable to the hurt of rejection for just being ourselves, alive and spontaneous, walks free with dignity and pride.

The dream of a Queer Christian Church is a place of authentic acceptance and forgiveness, an environment safe from violation and safe to be uniquely oneself. It is a place where we are safe to make mistakes without being attacked and humiliated, the place we are understood, heard and affirmed as profoundly OK. Such a Church celebrates Holy Communion as ’at-one-ment’ in an authentic loving community; Its evangelism is realisation of this loving ‘at-one-ment’ in the Global Family that is our world.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of the Spirit of Truth to overcome the forces of alienation at work, at home, in the community and in nature. It is a world where ‘location, location, location’ is not about a place of exclusive exclusion of others, of what makes us most human, but the location of being at rest, at home, ‘at-one-ment’ from the deepest place within to the outermost environment. Family may be the recognition of the fundamental and biological ties that bind us all and all of nature, but for Queer Christianity, fundamentally it is love that makes a family, the receiving and acceptance of one another in the innermost gentleness of the soul. It is the necessary element of gentleness that makes Christian Gospel redemption and liberation - the salvation from violation of another in all aspects of our relationships.

Ironically, the traditional Church preaches salvation from sin yet it is in itself so much of the source of sin and hate in the world. The deepest hurts are those of exclusion, the many signals we send that communicate to others that they are lesser persons. The subtle and not so subtle names or labels that communicate them being queer, slightly sub-species, are the mans by which we create hurt, amplify hurt and evacuate and rape the human soul. Where does all the hate in the world come from we wonder, and how can we preach so the world can hear the gospel of reconciliation? We evaporate the hate of the world not by penitential flogging for sin but, in the characteristic Word of Jesus, ‘metanoia’, meaning ‘change your ways’. We break down the wall that divide and build up loving communities that bring all humanity together, a world in all its diversity, the wonder of our Creation.

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