Born-again Christianity has become synonymous with social conservatism, but a growing number of adherents don’t see it that way according to an item in The Independent:
Jeremy Marks used to believe you could make a gay man straight through prayer. Despite knowing he was himself gay, as a committed evangelical Christian he was utterly convinced that homosexuality was wrong in all circumstances.
In the late 1980s he set up a group which he hoped would “heal” homosexual men and women on their way to becoming straight. Then something remarkable happened. He began to change his mind.
“However much support we gave people it didn’t result in a change in their orientation at all,” the 60-year-old explains. “Once support was withdrawn they just felt high and dry, worse than before. Many lost their faith altogether. The only ones that did well accepted they were gay, found a partner and accepted it was right. It made me begin to realise that what I was doing was wrong, not them.”
Evangelicalism, the fastest growing form of Christianity in Britain today, is often seen as a byword for social conservatism. Yet evangelicals are by no means a unified group. And there are even signs that a small number are finally beginning to shift of the crucial question of same sex relationships.