April 18, 2018
Today I welcome my dear friend Brandan Robertson back to the show. Brandan Robertson is a pastor, speaker, author and LGBT activist from San Diego, US. Today we talk about his experiences as an LGBT pastor in the US, and about the release of a new book Brandan edited and compiled, 'Our Witness: The Unheard Stories of LGBT Christians'.
Brandan shares a few of the most powerful stories sent to him by LGBT Christians of rejection, prejudice and abuse by members of the evanglelical church, and the dark and profound impact these have had on people's lives. And I discovered in our conversation that many of these stories come from the church in the UK, which, far from being more inclusive and progressive, is causing just as much damage to the lives of LGBT Christians. This was horrifying for me, and shows us just how much work needs to be done on LGBT inclusion.
We also talk about the power of stories, over the power of theology and argument, to change people's perspectives, and how Brandan himself came to understand this.
Brandan also talks about his experiences as an LGBT pastor, with a church which whilst it has many LGBT Christians, still has people who disagree on LGBT theology - including members of the LGBT community themselves. And he offers words of encouragement and hope to members of the LGBT community pursuing the journey of faith.
This is one of the deepest, powerful and arguably most important conversations I've had on the podcast. Whatever your perspective, I'd ask you listen with an open heart and open mind, and allow yourself to be moved.
You can buy 'Our Witness' on Amazon now.
April 11, 2018
I'm delighted to welcome my dear friend Teresa Colón to the show today. Teresa is a writer, podcaster, and mental health advocate, who has a dignosis of Bipolar Disorder. Today Teresa shares her raw, honest and inspiring story with us.
Teresa talks about her long journey to diagnosis, and how being bipolar has impacted her day to day life. She shares how creativity, and in particular writing, helped her come to terms with her journey, and own the truth of her story - as well as bringing life and healing to others. Then she talks about how her diagnosis impacted her faith and her spiritual journey, and helped her understand how she is loved, blessed and precious - just as she is.
Finally, Teresa and I talk about our new podcast - my second podcast, to go alongside Poema - called Creating Normal, about creativity and mental illness.
This conversation with Teresa left me, and will leave you, especially those with mental illness, a message of genuine hope, and solidarity.
You can find Teresa's work at WoundedBirdsMinistry.com & the Creating Normal podcast here.
April 3, 2018
Today the on-off series 'Questions We Don't Ask' continues with a discussion of hell. Which, obviously, means the question is 'What The Hell?'. So many people have so many different perspectives on hell, it's such an emotive and divisive topic in many ways. It's one that deserves examination and deeper reflection, because what we believe about hell has a huge bearing, indeed is usually born from, who we think God really is.
My friend Charles Porter and I discuss the different perspectives today, each sharing our own views and experiences, the thoughts of some well known authors/thinkers on this subject and, as ever, it takes us into interesting and unexpected directions, ending with a discussion and experience of divine grace and Judas in the garden, which left us both in tears.
Like all the questions in this series, it's merely a jumping off point into a bigger, wider discussion of Christian spirituality that many of us are having. I hope you'll come join us.