Undivided: Guilt & Shame or grace & forgiveness and sex & sexuality (Responding to Vicky Beeching part 2)

Two years ago I wrote and spoke quite a bit about the problem of guilt and shame and especially the Guilt Driven Life. This came to my mind when I saw the full title of Vicky Beeching’s book “Undivided: Coming Out, Being Whole and living free from shame.”

Vicky’s book is essentially about trying to escape from shame. Sadly, I believe that she turns in the wrong direction so that the story continues to be one of running and hiding rather than discovering what it means to be clothed in Christ’s righteousness and truly free from guilt and shame. This is because she has experimented with the three dangers that I argued led to guilt/shame driven lives and churches:

–        Legalism

–        Magic/Supersition

–        Licence

Let me show how she tries each of those Continue reading


Undivided – Some initial thoughts in response to Vicky Beeching

I’ve just finished reading “Undivided” by Vicky Beeching.  It’s her “coming out” story. Vicky was a prominent young worship leader with songs like “The Wonder of the Cross” “Deliverer” and “Breath of God” being sung at church services and conferences around the world.  A few years ago Vicky came out as gay.

My aim here is not to do a full review of her book -others will have provided their’s elsewhere, nor do I specifically want to talk about homosexuality here.  Regular readers will know that I disagree with her, that I believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman.  You can read the two pdf files on our resources pages where I respond to the type of theological arguments that Vicky makes (See Same Sex Marriage and also Wesley on the Slave Trade ). What I do want to do however is pick up on five things that we cannot ignore. Continue reading

Relentless Spiritual Warfare (3) I am tempted to believe that I am dependent on others for my relationship with Christ (2 Samuel 20 v11-13)

The commander in chief of David’s army, Amasa’s body lies in the road. Joab has assassinated him. One of Joab’s men then stands by the body and calls out:

“Whoever favours Joab, and whoever is for David, let him follow Joab.”[1]

Loyalty to David has now been explicitly linked to loyalty to Joab. The both are presented as going hand in hand, even though David had demoted Joab from commander in chief, even though he hadn’t even sent Joab out as the leader (when Amasa failed to return, David overlooked Joab in favour of Abishai).

This happens in the Christian life when: Continue reading

Relentless Spiritual Warfare (1) I am tempted to believe that I have no share in the inheritance offered by Christ (2 Samuel 20 v 1-3)

In my sermon on Sunday I identified 4 types of temptation that we face. The context was that we were looking at 2 Samuel 20 and we saw that David faced relentless trouble and op position in the later years of his reign following his sin with Bathsheba. We live in a fallen world and this means that spiritual warfare is an ongoing, persistent and seemingly relentless aspect of the Christian life.  Continue reading

Not just clumsy … Wrong

You’ll have seen the commentary on the Northern Men’s Convention and the controversial publicity for this year’s event. Following Graham Nicholl’s challenge on the Affinity site that the language of the invitation was clumsy, a statement from the convention appeared on their website this morning apologising and acknowledging that the language was “clumsy.” By midday, that apology had disappeared Continue reading

Talking about the Gay Lobby

On Friday I wrote about the controversy surrounding the Northern Men’s convention’s publicity. In particular these words:

“The leadership from those in authority in the denominations who should be the guardians of biblical truth has been muted to say the least and even in Bible teaching churches many appear to be wavering under the onslaught of the gay lobby. Add to this scenario the increasing problems associated with immigration, and Islam in particular and indeed many other things which push Christians further and further to the margins, there is for many a feeling of despair and even fear about standing up and speaking out.”

It is thought to be this statement that led to former Liberal Democrat Leader, Tim Farron to pull out from the conference.  Continue reading

When People Leaving Is Good

I love growth. I’m excited and encouraged when new people join our church. I am even more excited when they stay. I find it hard to say goodbye or to let go. When you have a small congregation (and the structure of what we have done in Bearwood means that we have a cluster of small congregations) it is painful and maybe discouraging when people leave. It can even be frightening. We don’t have a guaranteed steady pipeline of new people coming to fill the gaps.

Yet, there are sometimes good reasons why people leave. I’ve hinted and mentioned these in previous posts. Recently, I did some analysis about why/how people come and join us but I also included some analysis on why people leave.

Here are three good reasons for people to leave: Continue reading