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John Wesley's original chapel hosts service celebrating Gay Pride

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Tomorrow morning, a group called Christians At Bristol Pride will hold a ‘Service of Celebration’ with the sole intention of affirming LGBT+ lifestyles for Christians and then attending Pride Bristol.

The LGBT+ group has secured the use of The New Room in John Wesley’s original chapel, the oldest Methodist building in the world. This is despite Wesley’s own views on homosexuality, and the stated position of the Methodist Church on human sexuality.

The pro-LGBT+ 'service', taking place on Saturday 14th July at 10am, has been advertised using flyers inviting members of the public to join “an affirming service with songs, prayers and symbolic actions”, with an additional note calling for attendees to join the Pride march in Bristol town centre afterwards. From the publicity, the exact nature of the proposed 'symbolic actions' is not clear.

The group behind the 'service' has printed material saying 'God affirms you' to those celebrating Bristol Pride. It's true that all people, made in God's image, have inherent dignity - and that all who turn to Jesus are welcomed - but the message 'God affirms you' leaves out the need to turn away from what is wrong in God's eyes, and is incompatible with being a disciple of Jesus. It seems loving, but actually leaves people abandoned to "the ways of the flesh". 

In response, there will be a witness from Pastor Dia Moodley of Spirit of Life Church, Bristol, and a rally for truth taking place at 9.30am tomorrow, Sat 14th July, outside John Wesley's chapel at:

The New Room, 36 The Horsefair, Bristol, BS1 3JE.

If you can, please join their witness and rally to show your support for the biblical view of human sexuality, and highlight the need for the Methodist church to hold to its own core teachings on human sexuality. 

The pro-LGBT+ service is also in contradiction to the founder of Methodism's teachings, John Wesley, who described homosexuality as an “idolatry being punished with that unnatural lust, which was as horrible a dishonour to the body, as their idolatry was to God”.

The Methodist church also passed 'Six Resolutions' in 1993 stating that though “a person shall not be debarred from the church on grounds of sexual orientation in itself” (Resolution 3) they reaffirmed "...the traditional teaching of the Church on human sexuality; namely chastity for all outside marriage and fidelity within it” (Resolution 4).

Whatever the proposed symbolic actions are, they can only serve to move the church still further from its Wesleyan roots.

Christian Concern chief executive Andrea Williams commented:

"The heritage of sound biblical teaching on human sexuality that was faithfully proclaimed by Christian men like John Wesley should be upheld by the church, not torn down. Methodism is dear to my heart, and I find it very sad to see buildings intended for the proclamation of the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ being used to celebrate a sexual lifestyle that He condemned." 

If you can, please join the rally for truth in Bristol, but even if you cannot be there, please pray that:

  • A biblical witness and understanding of sexuality will be proclaimed outside The New Room
  • The Methodist church will respond strongly to its oldest building being used for Pride celebration services
  • The Church will be bold to speak out on matters of biblical sexuality 

Further information

John Wesley's view on homosexuality (commentary on Romans 1:27):

The Methodist Church's view on human sexuality (Resolution 3 & 4):