Refocusing Faithfulness

Course Details

Faithfulness to God and the Bible is often understood as maintaining a conservative position on LGBTQ+ identities and relationships. For those within the Church who identify as both Christian and queer, this has resulted in heartache and, at times, harm.

Refocusing Faithfulness is a six week, Bible-based course that presents a theology in favour of LGBTQ+ individuals and relationships and is open to those both within and outside the LGBTQ+ community.

Why 'Refocusing Faithfulness'?

We affirm: faithfulness to God; the faithfulness of God; faithfulness to the Bible; faithfulness in relationships;

…and we’re Refocusing faithfulness, not Reframing, not Redefining.

What to expect

6 Weeks

Journey together for six, weekly sessions.

Open to All

We all come to the material from different backgrounds. Mutual respect is paramount.

Safe Spaces

Church has often been an unsafe space for LGBTQ+ individuals. We prioritise the safety and confidentiality of all.

Biblical Exploration

We value the Bible and faithful interpretation is central to our approach.

Small Group Discussion

Each week is comprised of one or two short talks, followed by discussion in small groups.

Personal Reflection

All participants receive their own workbook for use during and between sessions.

Weekly Sessions

The Bible plays a crucial role in shaping our faith and in revealing the loving character of God. In Week 1, we introduce the exegetical and hermeneutical tools of interpretation we’ll be using throughout the course.

Many LGBTQ+ Christians are taught that to remain faithful to both God and the Bible, they need to remain celibate. We explore in Week 2 why we do not believe that this is what the Bible teaches.

The Bible presents loving, committed relationships as the remedy for the age-old problem, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). Week 3 examines what the Bible considers to be at the heart of loving and godly relationships.

Before moving on to consider the ‘Clobber’ passages in Week 4, we include a written chapter in the workbooks, Same-Sex Practice in the Biblical World. This is challenging material but examines the types of same-sex activity that existed in the ancient world in which the Bible was written.

Week 4 looks at the seven primary texts used by non-affirming Christians as arguments against same-sex relationships, setting them within the broader context of the types of same-sex activity in the Biblical world. We’ll consider why we do not believe the traditional, restrictive interpretation of these texts is accurate and how these texts can indeed speak into our lives today.

We step back in Week 5 to examine the Bible’s stance towards gender. We look at the loving and gracious response of God in the Bible to individuals who did not fit within the gender norms of the day. We consider how the Bible might speak to wider LGBTQ+ experience.

As we ask the question, “So, what next?”, Week 6 deals with a subject that many within the LGBTQ+ community in particular have had to battle with – shame. We’ll look at how we, as the Church, can support LGBTQ+ individuals to process shame and find the freedom to stand tall as the people God created them to be.

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We’re currently developing resources for wider use. We’ll be making these freely availably but would greatly appreciate your support as we take these next steps.