First of all, thank you to all who you who responded by posting here, or on facebook or (more often) by email; I appreciate your responses.
The odd thing is that only a few of these people have made any response to my blog (although I sent the link by email to several). I suspect I understand why. But as the aim was to see if there was a ‘market’ for this kind of forum, I feel I must conclude that there is little scope of such dialogue. And this makes me very sad.
There were those who suggested that this was not the ‘big issue’ and should not be considered as such. I totally agree (which is why – in my blog – the words ‘big issue’ are in inverted commas!) However, from the private approaches and responses I have had I realise it IS a big issue for many... a big issue for gay evangelicals who are afraid to ‘come out’ and a big issue for those who feel they still belong to the evangelical ‘tribe’ and yet question the received wisdom on this particular matter. For them the ‘issue’ is very big indeed. I suspect I would not have been approached by them, had that not been the case. So, while I agree that it OUGHT not be the ‘big issue’, clearly for many it is, and I think those who suggest that I should not get involved in this because it is not the ‘big issue’ are failing to understand what a big issue it actually is for a very large number of people; those who are gay and evangelical and who are afraid, and those who are evangelical and questioning and are confused. My recent experience suggests to me that this is far from a small number, and for them the issue is a very big one indeed.
I am hanging onto the hope and belief that what I have experienced is but a very small and unrepresentative minority of folks and I KNOW that most of my traditionalist friends who may puzzle over my present views and uncertainty are yet full of grace in their comments and arguments. My experience of other comments has served to increase my respect for you guys (and many of you have been good at constantly commenting in public for which I am grateful). I hope you know who you are… I love you!
To those who felt unable to respond to my blog but for whom this remains a defining moment, I understand both your present situation and your fear of openly responding... let’s at least keep the door open.