Rising Gay Christian: Bright, Able And Wrong

Luke Tryl is an Oxford-educated young Tory-on-the-move. Luke-TrylHe was President of the Oxford Union in 2007; stood as a Conservative candidate for Lambeth Council in 2010 , a useful Tory precursor for a subsequent shot at Parliament; was appointed Head of Education at Stonewall after experience at various policy think-tanks ; and was elected chairman of Dulwich & West Norwood Conservative Association in March this year .

Still only in his late 20s, last month he was appointed Special Adviser to Nicky Morgan, the new Education Secretary. I wish him well personally as he continues his climb up politics’ greasy pole.

But Luke self-identifies as gay and Christian, and in an autobiographical piece for the Faith and Sexuality Project  he promotes the idea that because Christ never mentioned it directly, “Jesus… never condemned homosexuality.”

This is naïve and simplistic. The same for instance could be said about child brides. And incest. And FGM. And zoophilia. And cannibalism. And animal cruelty. And deforestation. And spitting on other people’s food. And a host of other activities, ills and evils.

Furthermore it’s a self-serving and untrue conclusion that cheapens the radical demands which Jesus lays on all his followers.

Luke has a personal agenda of course but regrettably he is not alone in his views. Soaking wet liberal clergy similarly misrepresent the issue. And last Christmas the tabloid news site HuffPost mockingly displayed a blank-paged Bible in response to its own headline, “What Jesus says about homosexuality” .

Candy-FlossFurther, with the doctrinal authority that accompanies celebrity, Elton John informs us that “if Jesus was alive today” (oops, fallen at the first fence; Elton clearly is not too strong on the most basic tenet of his religion) the Lord would be in favour of gay marriage for priests as “he was all about love and compassion and forgiveness and trying to bring people together”. And fairies, Father Christmas and cuddly bunnies too, no doubt.

So, leaving aside the candy floss of pink theology we can turn instead to the challenges of reality and truth:

During his three-year ministry Jesus engaged almost entirely with Jews in the land of Israel whose religious and cultural background was the Hebrew scriptures – what Christians today call the ‘Old Testament’. As is well known, the ‘Law of Moses’ found in these scriptures is formidably firm about much sexual morality: for instance it specifically prohibits incest (Leviticus 18:6f), adultery (20:10) and bestiality (20:15) as well as homosexuality (18:22).

Did Jesus try to alter or amend this Law? Absolutely not; he told his followers specifically that he did not come to change even “a jot or tittle” of the Law.

raising the barNot only that, he raised the bar significantly and told us we are judged on our thoughts and attitudes as much as our outward actions. “You have heard that it was said (that is, in the Mosaic Law) ‘Do not commit adultery’, but I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart,” he said in his Sermon on the Mount.

Time and again, using specific examples to illustrate the general principle, Jesus moves from the outward action proscribed by Mosaic Law to the deeper attitude of heart he requires of his followers. ‘Do not commit murder’ (outward) becomes ‘Do not even be angry’ (inward). ‘Take an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ (outward) becomes ‘Do not even resist an evil person’ (inward).

So, although Jesus doesn’t mention incest, it is self-evident that if you are a follower of Christ you cannot copulate with your close family or even look at them sexually.

Similarly, although Jesus doesn’t mention bestiality, the man who proudly claims to have enjoyed “interspecies intercourse” with a dolphin and a dog  cannot – and hopefully does not – claim to be a committed Christian.

Therein lies the rub. Luke wants to have his cake and eat it. He wants both to follow Christ and to have sex with men.

Of course as a free citizen he is able to go to bed with whoever he chooses within the law. But if he joins the army he cannot fight for the enemy. If he signs for the local football club he cannot kick a rugby ball on the pitch. If he chooses to cycle to Birmingham he cannot travel via the motorways.

And if he decides to follow Christ he cannot bed another man.

merciful JesusChristians sin and do wrong, Luke and yours truly included, and certainly Jesus’ commands are radical and demanding. But it is disloyal, unChristian even, for us actively to promote a morality that is flat against his teaching.

(It is significant that singer-theologian Vicky Beeching, in an interview with gay activist Patrick Strudwick that inevitably includes a hefty dose of his agenda-driven vitriol about the church, avoided any reference to the Faith’s founder when she came out as lesbian this week.)

So what would Jesus say to Luke? Probably the same as he said to the woman caught in the act of adultery: “I don’t condemn you, but go and sin no more.”

12 thoughts on “Rising Gay Christian: Bright, Able And Wrong

  1. Excellent piece Alan. Well said. Nicky Morgan is supposed to serve the best interests of the nation’s children not be an instrument for Stonewall’s propaganda machine. Falling for lies and half truths shows very bad judgement indeed for someone in such a powerful position.

  2. Jesus speak about Marriage directly.
    Dealing with all of the Synoptic gospels Mark 10 verse 8 can ONLY be a man and woman as married (and polyamory is also excluded). So Luke the conservative candidate and Elton are both completely wrong … and we haven’t even got into the letters of the NT.
    Canon B30 is quite clear that marriage is only between a man and a woman and is Jesus Christ’s command to us.

  3. Excellent article. This young man has a very weak understanding of the Gospel if he thinks that active homosexuality in an acceptable part of the life that follows and serves Christ. It is no more acceptable than adultery.Christ calls us ton righteousness and holiness-nowhere does he compromise with sin-a homosexuality is defined as sinful behaviour both throughout the Old and New Testaments-in act described as an abomination-there cannot be any clearer condemnation than that. Stop pretending Stop deceiving-it has no place in the Christian life and the Holy Spirit is not and cannot be with those who promote and practise it.
    Repent and turn to Christ!

  4. To be wrong about the weather might get you and your friends soaked. To be wrong about the speed limit might get you fined, or worse still kill someone, but to be wrong about this issue is going to bring people to hell.

  5. Ironically, your blog header quotes Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Tutu is one of the world’s biggest pro-gay Christian leaders and has been one of the most influential Christians in accepting gays in the church.

  6. I’m pretty sure the reason Jesus stooped and wrote on the ground with the woman taken in adultery was simply to distract His and her accusers and give her time to assess her situation and repent of her sins, which I suggest under the circumstances, she was extremely likely to do, given the time to collect her thoughts. Only then was Jesus legally able to forgive her sins and prevent the stoning under the Old Testament law which, of course, He was and is committed to uphold. I am quite sure this situation did not open the door to free for all adultery, homosexuality or any other sins, which, of course, need to be repented of and turned from. Repentance of sins is shown repeatedly in other scriptures as being a requirement for receiving forgiveness and is a fundamental basis of Christian doctrine.

  7. Luke Yryl quote ‘Jesus never condemned homosexuality’ WRONG
    Matt 10v15 and Luke 10v12 quote Jesus as comparing the destiny of unwelcoming towns to the disciples as those of Sodom and Gomorre.
    The story of Lot’s daughters clearly highlights that homosexuality is a sin so Jesus’s reference to the destiny of these towns clearly shows His view on homosexuality

  8. The problem with Luke Tryl’s approach to interpretation is that he risks using the Bible rather like a drunk man uses the lamp post “for support rather than illumination”. Biblical interpretation is difficult and reading and interpreting Scripture is not a simple process of drawing inferences or believing that any specific absence can be treated as endorsement. However, I think in this case of Luke Tryl his various statements are more an expression of ideology rather than an attempt at spiritual insight.

    Although the issue of same-sex relationships is promoted as part of an equality agenda, the unrecognised irony is that sexuality is actually the one area in human life where we are all unequal. However, I suspect that Luke Tryl is a canny enough young politician to realise that his stance on gay issues is an effective technique for confusing the Left in British politics and to also to increasingly marginalise and exclude feminist and women’s issues from the political agenda.

  9. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. Exodus 33.19

  10. Jesus also never spoke out about slavery – so to use your logic – Jesus must condone slavery, as the old testament condones it, and therefore in his eyes if I was to “purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you.” or “purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land” (Leviticus 25, 44-45) this would be absolutely fine, and actually far more acceptable than homosexuality – sorry but like Luke you don’t get to have your cake and eat it.

  11. @ Paul Harrison. I think your logic is a little flawed. Just because Jesus (or anyone for that matter) did not speak out against something is not proof he condoned or condemned it. You are not following the clear logic of Alan’s article at all. But a simple reading of the above comments makes it very clear that Jesus did condemn all sin, including homosexuality (not to mention formication and adultery), as per the references to Sodom & Gomorrah above. Then, one only has to understand that an Apostle is one sent by Christ, and who gave us the last words of Christ… such as the Apostle Paul. And a true Christian will know that both Christ & Paul soundly condemned all homosexuality through a simple reading of Romans 1 vv 18 to 32, especially vv 24 to 29. Selah
    PS:. Excellent and very poignant article by Alan. Many thanks for presenting the truth in love. And true “love” (as opposed to “lust”) “is pure” and “does not behave itself unseemly,” and “thinketh no evil”… let alone does evil. (1Cor 13:5).

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