Opinion: ‘Welcoming, but not affirming’: Being gay and Christian

August 31, 2016

Dr Mark Jennings With 40 per cent of same sex couples in Australia identifying as Christian, LGBT people are likely to be a significant presence in Christian churches.

In an article for The Conversation, Dr Mark Jennings, a lecturer in religious studies at Murdoch University, spoke to LGBT people and the pastors of LGBT people in Pentecostal Charismatic Churches in Australia to find out more about the attitudes and experiences of church goers and leaders.

He found most pastors were ‘welcoming but not affirming’ of LGBT people in their congregations, meaning LGBT people were welcome to attend but their sexuality could not be ‘affirmed’ by allowing them to volunteer or minister.

This barrier is preventing LGBT Christians from moving into more senior roles in Pentecostal-Charismatic churches, where they could promote a more inclusive position, writes Dr Jennings.

The injustice of this rejection is being keenly felt by both LGBT people and some of the pastors themselves, he says.

To read the full article, click here.

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