Have the Conversation on LGBTQIA – Part 3

tThousands of former members have noticed the oppression at UBF stemming from spiritual abuse. Hundreds have documented their stories publicly on the internet. A few have spoken up about the threats received when you disobey your Korean shepherd. I share with you now yet another layer of oppression at UBF. If you are not cisgender and heterosexual, you have another layer of burden to deal with. The clear UBF teaching on homosexuality is that such people are not merely immoral, but are like swine flu, spreading throughout the world. Gender and sexual minorities are spoken against at UBF as the harbingers of the end of the world and destroyers of society. I seek to have the conversation however. Here is part 3, which I have completely changed after learning about Alan Turing.

The Imitation Game

A Royal Pardon in 2013 for Turing

Alan Turing holds a special place in my life, since I am a computer engineer. My entire livelihood is due in large part to Turing’s mathematical genius. Today I learned more of his story and read about an amazing act of mercy that occurred in 2013.

Alan Turing was convicted of homosexuality in 1952 in Great Britain. Yes that’s right. To be gay in England just 50+ years ago was a crime. The punishment was 2 years in prison or castration by chemicals. Turing chose the chemicals. He committed suicide not long after (His cause of death is still up for debate however).

“Society didn’t understand Alan Turing or his ideas on many levels but that was a reflection on us, not on him – and it has taken us 60 years to catch up.”

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “I pay tribute to the government for ensuring Alan Turing has a royal pardon at last but I do think it’s very wrong that other men convicted of exactly the same offence are not even being given an apology, let alone a royal pardon.
“We’re talking about at least 50,000 other men who were convicted of the same offence, of so-called gross indecency, which is simply a sexual act between men with consent.”




  1. Joe Schafer

    Brian, thanks for this article. Until Sharon and I watched The Imitation Game, we did not know about Turing or this sad chapter in history. Then, on the same weekend, we watched Call The Midwife (a truly great BBC series) which dealt with the very same subject. A young man who is married to a young woman, with a baby on the way, yet struggles with homosexuality, and gets caught in a police sting. Season 4, Episode 3.It was heartbreaking.

    • Wow, heavy weekend! I’m still feeling the effects of watching The Imitation Game. I seem to have the blessing/curse to deeply absorb the feelings of injustice of other people’s experiences. I keep feeling the need to echo the voice of justice for LGBTQIA people, former ubf members, and any oppressed people.

      My hope in this third part is to move away from the right/wrong arguments that will never be resolved, at least not in my lifetime. My vision for the church is to be infused with a healthy does of empathy. Our theologies would be much more helpful if we started with accepting people’s genuine situation and self-narratives.

      I see Jesus doing this kind of thing all the time in Scripture. He didn’t shatter His ideas about God onto people, but led people closer into God from wherever they were. I think this is what Paul had in mind, at least partially, when he said to stay in your situation in which you were called.

    • Joe Schafer

      “I see Jesus doing this kind of thing all the time in Scripture. He didn’t shatter His ideas about God onto people, but led people closer into God from wherever they were. – See more at: http://www.ubfriends.org/2015/07/18/have-the-conversation-on-lgbtqia-part-3/#comment-18855

      I think Brian is right. In our zeal to uphold the divinity of Jesus, Christians have tended to ignore his humanity. Jesus was a first century Jew. He lived within a specific cultural context, and his teachings (what he said, and what he didn’t say) can be misconstrued if we ignore that context. People tend to imagine that whenever Jesus spoke, he was laying down universal principles and laws. But that isn’t always the case. Much of his teaching (or lack of it) was contextual. For example, Jesus lived in a time when slavery was embedded into the social fabric. He never denounced the institution of slavery. Some of his parables involved slaves being physically beaten by their masters, and he didn’t present it as wrong. Does this mean that slavery and beating of slaves was/is okay in the sight of God? Of course not. This has huge implications for how we appeal to Jesus on many issues, for example, on sexual morality.


  2. bekamartin


  3. That Lifezette article is a great read, Joe.

    Two points stand out to me from there: “Often, for instance, we read that Jesus did not say much about given issues, usually involving sexual behavior, so therefore he did not regard those matters particularly grave or sinful. Recently, that argument is taken to mean that Jesus did not condemn homosexuality, and that Christian prohibitions on that point stemmed from a twisted and repressive Paul of Tarsus.”

    I agree that the “Jesus was silent” argument is not helpful and rather weak. Jesus was silent on many things. Furthermore, I hesitate to claim to know Jesus’ mind. I don’t know what Jesus would do. I do raise questions to ponder though, such as: What if Jesus did invite “those” people to His wedding?

    This point is highly intriguing: “Did the living Jesus recorded in the New Testament believe that his mission extended to gentiles? None of the four canonical Gospels explicitly declare that he recognized any duty beyond the frontiers of Judaism, which is remarkable when we recall that all four were written at a time when the Jesus movement had opened its doors to non-Jews.”

    I’ve wondered similar things. As a Gentile myself, where are the demands that I submit to the Jewish regulations? Due to being in the Gentile world and due to Jesus’ silence on many things, isn’t is the churches responsibility to figure these things out? To navigate the sexual landscape of our time requires that we allow the conversations and viewpoints to be openly addressed and debated.

  4. Id like to think that Jesus would invite “those” people to his wedding. He was after all, said to be a friend to the outcast. I have a harder time believing that he would ever have married though.