Time for Love; the Bible and Same Sex Attraction is a documentary made by the Auckland Rainbow Community Church and Ponsonby Baptist Church. I was privileged to speak at the launch of the film on Sunday and this is what I said:
This film is a gift, a generous gift.
It is made for those in the church who would exclude those who made the film.
An incredibly generous offering to reach across the divide and invite conversation.
Congratulations to director David Dennis and his team and congratulations to those who were interviewed – they have all been very open about their own personal journeys and woven that into their considerable expertise as scholars and theologians.
They will all probably get some flak – from the conservative and maybe even the liberal side of the church!
But I think they have all done an outstanding job of facing head on the hard questions; nobody flinched in the face of Sodom, Leviticus, Paul – they have taken seriously the scriptures and taken seriously modern scholarship, science and experience.
And they have applied what one speaker called the ethics of interpretation – asking what is life affirming and what is life denying. And they have all come across as so life affirming.
And that I hope is how the church will receive this film – this film is life affirming and we ask again that those who would deny the life of Christ to the LGBT community would take a moment to view it and to reflect deeply on what is being asked of them. They are being asked to stop denying life in Christ to God’s children.
As Tim Meadowcroft says in the opening of the documentary “The church has always believed this does not mean the church should always believe this.”
The church loses credibility with our secular society every day we stay exclusive.
But the place change is really happening is amongst the lay people of our churches. When they have sons and daughters, grandchildren and friends inviting them to their wedding with a partner of the same gender, then love generally wins out.
This film though will be helpful for them to have some thoughtful education so they can put what they instinctively know is right into some theological words.
So our grateful thanks to all who have worked on this film; now it is our job to circulate it widely, to get it seen, so that hearts and minds can be changed and we can finally put this dark period of church history behind us.
Watch the film here