Finding God in the Margins

with John Herron

John is a former pastor, former gymnast, Cadbury chocolate connoisseur and gay Christian.

In this talk John talks about his deep-rooted faith, his coming to Christ, his sense of belonging and his love for Zephaniah 3:17. He describes how Bible passages brought deep fear, an internal ‘civil war’ with a deep longing for being healed and being ‘normal’. This led to damaging experiences of reparative therapy. Coming out meant that he had to step back from his ministry but through a process of healing and restoration he has come to a new space of belonging and service. This talk touches on: 

  • Early Years
  • Teenage Years
  • Christian Conversion
  • Internal Civil War
  • Ordination and sublimation
  • Reparative Therapy
  • Reconstruction, loss and the ‘Truth’
  • Finding healing in a new community
  • Rebirth

Suggested Questions:

  • What messages have you absorbed about LGBTQIA+ people from the church?
  • How do such messages contrast with the lived experience of gay people you know (if you know any)?
  • For many this is a non-negotiable issue until it affects them personally. How would you respond if your son/daughter/brother/sister came out as gay?
  • Consider how the analogy of judging a tree by its good or bad fruit might apply here.
  • The authority of the Bible has been used to support many issues over the years, including: slavery, the death penalty, the role of women and anti-semitism. Is it worth considering whether the conventional take on LGBTQIA+ Bible texts might also need re-reading or re-thinking?
  • What cost do you see in the lives of LGBTQIA+ people?