I believe – or perhaps I just want to believe – the Christian church is willing to have the conversations around how to include the LGBT community not just politically, but corporately. I really need to believe we are willing. But I think I, and others, realise we need pioneers wiling to show us how.
Emily Timbol is a pioneer. She leads the way towards turning our often selfish monologue into a meaningful dialogue in “Two Words: Why Hearing ‘I’m Gay’ Changed My Straight, Christian Life”.
For generations, Christians have heard with both barrels the party line concerning homosexuality, engaging in rallies against the “gay lifestyle”. We’ve swallowed what they told us, for fear of going to hell if we didn’t, without a thought for the hell we were subjecting folks to in the process. Most Christians think they understand what it means to be a marginalised minority, and a few Christians may even appreciate what prejudice and inequity truly are. But if you’ve ever wondered what it really feels like to be on the receiving end of “love the sinner, hate the sin”, especially if you’ve ever uttered those words yourself, you need to do yourself a favour and read “Two Words”. It will change you. I hope it does.
What’s most refreshing about Timbols book is her different voice on the issue of homosexuality and the church. Timbol writes with true empathy, describing her indignation and willingness to act against injustice politically and personally with a gritty down-to-earthiness, which makes you both jealous for her courage, and jealous for the depth of her wonderful friendships.
The church is now without excuse when it comes to initiating those (sometimes awkward) conversations which need to happen with the LGBT community. Need to happen, because change is coming, whether the church wants it, welcomes it, or not.
Timbol provides in “Two Words” a template for not just the way Christians can talk to – and about – homosexuality and the LGBT community, but also demonstrates how we may quickly cover the unknown territory between Christians and the latter which frightens us so much. But cover it we must, because God’s love is on a relentless trajectory to reach His beloved, a love which will cover the ground we’ve been unwilling to – regardless of our squeamishness, our exclusivity and our interpretations of scripture – with or without us.
I love this book Emily Timbol. We can change the world through our simple words, and I know God smiles for your courage.
Love, Jo xxxby