I was sacked as columnist three years ago. The deputy editor said a few of his readers didn’t like what I had written one week – supporting traditional marriage while gently suggesting that society think twice before legalizing same-sex marriage.
I suggested that freedom of expression and the Press surely allowed this. He sounded embarrassed, muttering “future contributions are no longer welcome”.
Today, three years later, the same newspaper rang to ask for my comments on gay marriage in church. It seems the House of Bishops and the Church of England Synod have taken a line similar to mine this week and their chief reporter wanted my views.
“What about your readers, Bill?” I almost asked. “I thought your paper had given up press freedom for fear of offending readers.” I said neither of these things. I simply repeated comments that had once got me sacked.
I mentioned that a loving God had already told us that marriage was between a man and a woman. A loving God had provided 66 books of wisdom on how to live and wasn’t it a tad selfish of a minority to now stand on their modern rights and demand that the rest of the church tear up the Bible so that they could enjoy their own way. If they actually loved the Church, perhaps they would think twice before tearing the Body of Christ in two.
This side of a loving God inspired me to write my latest novel Actual Love.
This love puts self last. It puts others first and never brands opponents bigots or demand that they be sacked. The number of Christians sacked or disciplined for not blessing gay marriage now ranges wide across the professions.
Actual Love is a Godly kind of loving. It says, ‘I will love these people even if it kills me!’ In the case of God’s Son that actual love was shown on Calvary’s cross. This is a love that says that your own comfort, desires, wishes and beliefs are not to be first.
If you love your neighbours how can you then demand that they be pilloried, prosecuted or penalised just because they happen to disagree with you?
Am I making sense? What’s your take?