By Gavin Ward

I’ve been trying to think of a word that could sum up the whole issue of sexuality and spirituality and I keep coming back to misunderstanding.

There are so many different layers to this issue and this seems to be able to sum up most of them.
There is misunderstanding between people, misunderstanding of what the biblical texts say about sexuality, and in particular homosexuality, misunderstanding about what Jesus said or did not say.

There are so many places we can get our wires crossed. And in the end I believe that all people just want to be understood and accepted as who they are.

Last week I brought up the idea of reconnecting spirituality and sexuality and as we work this out for ourselves, there is so much room for misunderstanding of ourselves both by us and others around us.

Misunderstandings are part of life. Communication breaks down, we hear what we want or expect to hear, words are taken out of context, and we jump so quickly to conclusions. Everyone talks but nobody listens.

The Bible has been misunderstood and distorted to feed the fires of homophobia. So many misunderstandings come from being told half-truths which, if you think about it, is also a half-lie.

So let me tell you the truth. The Bible does not condemn homosexuality or homosexual people. It does not vilify or put down LGBTI people and it certainly should never be used to back up so many hateful and angry words. But misunderstandings are so powerful.

We need to be able to listen and try to understand others around us and, even if we can’t fully comprehend someone else, and let’s face it this is most of the time, we need to be able to respect and accept that person for who they are.

We all are different and it is through those differences that we are able to be the wonderful and diverse community that we are.

And if you ever feel that no-one really understands you, know that God does, and that you are accepted and loved just as you have been created to be.

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