Another One Bites the Dust – Tim Farron’s comments on gay sex

Liberal Democrats annual conference 2015

This article was published on Premier Christian Website in response to Tim Farron’s recent comments re gay sex.  A number of years ago we warned that the whole issue of sexuality had become the religion of our contemporary society and the shibboleth question.  At first we were told that accepting the current liberal absolutist morality would be voluntary, but we knew it would soon become determinative and prescriptive.  The fact that someone who apparently upheld the biblical view that sex outside marriage is wrong should be hounded and intimidated in this way is dreadful.  Bear in mind he was not be criticised for party policy or his actions but for the way he thought.  The thought police are now part of our civic culture.  Today in the Times David Aaronvitch suggested that we should offer absolution to the sinner who has now repented.

Why Tim Farron’s comment on gay sex lets the Church down

By: David Robertson | 26th April 2017

Having repeatedly refused to answer the question ‘Is gay sex a sin?’, Tim Farron has finally given in to media pressure and stated: “I don’t think gay sex is a sin”. David Robertson responds

I feel real sympathy for Tim Farron. He is a decent man and a Christian who, whatever you may think of his politics, comes across as sincere, intelligent and passionate. Because of his Christianity he has been hounded for years. And although I profoundly disagree with his support of same sex marriage I have defended him many times – including on television and on this blog.

 

Overall he has acquitted himself well but this week he seems to have let himself down and those who were defending him. After years of deflecting the question of whether gay sex was wrong, he has now publicly stated that it is not. In doing so he has let himself, the Liberal party and the Church down. Why?

Farron’s comments will not prevent the criticism or the attacks. Although it may make the news story move on – which was undoubtedly the intention. Before he looked evasive when he refused to say whether or not gay sex was wrong. But now he looks weak – giving into the media pressure or perhaps the media advisors in his own party: “Make it go away Tim”. This of course may be grossly unfair – it is possible that all along he really thought that gay sex was not wrong and that it was some kind of principled evasion that he now accepts looks bad. But it is doubtful whether many will believe that he was that stupid.

Farron’s apparent U-turn is not helpful to the Lib Dems because it makes them look illiberal. I was a founder member of the Social Democrats – the ‘Dem’ part of the Lib Dems. Because I uphold the teaching of Jesus that all sex outside of marriage (which is between a man and a woman) is wrong, then I would no longer be welcome in my old party. Tim Farron tried to defend and exemplify the traditional liberalism that allowed diversity of views and freedom of expression. But by caving into this pressure one can sense that even the Liberals have headed down the increasingly totalitarian thought-police route of our culture.

Note that this was not about policy, or politics (Farron has repeatedly voted in favour of LGBT rights). This media storm was only about Farron’s personal thoughts. So it seems unless our politicians think the right thoughts they can be outed and condemned. That’s hardly the essence of a liberal society, is it?

Tim Farron has let the Church down. Now it’s not just liberal clergy (who have never been too keen on Scripture anyway) but an increasing number of ‘evangelicals’ who are changing their view.  So whether it is the liberals who say that the Bible has got it wrong, or the post-truth evangelicals who say that we have got the Bible wrong, it leaves the rest of us being treated and viewed as some kind of out of touch Westboro Baptist group. It feels as though we’re being picked off one by one.

I’m afraid that when I heard of Tim’s turnaround, the thought ‘another one bites the dust’ struck me. I say this with incredible sorrow because I can only imagine the struggle and pain that Tim has gone through – and I know how easy it is to snipe from the sidelines. I also know how easy it is to give in to the pressures.

So let’s not be too quick to rush in to condemn or to justify. We need to pray for Tim as we do for all our political leaders. If our hearts are heavy because we regard him as an errant brother then we must pray all the more. And let us be aware of the price that Christians are asked to pay as they are increasingly targeted by the illiberal secular thought police. Channel 4’s behaviour in this witchhunt has been despicable but we can expect it to be repeated.

The Church needs to get its act together. If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, then little wonder that the troops are confused. When so many Church leaders are caving into the demands of contemporary culture it is hardly surprising that Christians like Farron follow. And its not enough for those of us who hold to the teaching of Jesus to expect others to be our martyrs. We need to be the salt and the light.

Let’s not circle the wagons, retreat into the bunkers, or shoot our own wounded. But instead let’s confess our own sin, look to the Lord and endeavor to serve him with new obedience. May the Lord raise up those who will stand in the gap, who will be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves. And may he have mercy on us all.

Premier has another couple of excellent articles on this subject:

I gave my homosexuality to God

And Why Farrons Christianity Costs Him


14 thoughts on “Another One Bites the Dust – Tim Farron’s comments on gay sex

  1. In the light of your conclusion : “Let’s not circle the wagons, retreat into the bunkers, or shoot our own wounded. But instead let’s confess our own sin, look to the Lord and endeavor to serve him with new obedience. May the Lord raise up those who will stand in the gap, who will be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves. And may he have mercy on us all.” your introductory comment is telling:

    “Today in the Times David Aaronvitch suggested that we should offer absolution to the sinner who has now repented.”

    The misappropriation of language is as stunning as it is the revealing, Who is sinned against, who offers absolution? Who is worshiped? Who is the god of this age? The pagan god of sexuality, perhaps? The sovereignty of sexuality and and intolerant tolerant licentiousness supplants God.

  2. This does not surprise me. I have no idea what he really believes, but the pressure on all christians in the house of commons and the Lords to conform and to thijnk as they do must be tremendous.

  3. Reposting this on http://www.crazyrev.blogspot.com

    Thank you, David, for your usual incisive thinking – although I was taken to task, recently, in a ‘closed’ group, for challenging a CoS minister who did ask for prayer for you – but did so “even although we all disagree with his views”!!! He even complained about my statement that he had been arrogant in including people whom he did not even know. I did suggest that if more of David Robertson’s views were preached from CoS pulpits, the Kirk might not be in the sad situation in which it now is. The thread was deleted by the censors – oops, moderators!

  4. When I stood in the last General Election (for the Christian Party), and in the Richmond Park and North Kingston By-election (for the Christian People’s Alliance) I was concerned that the increasingly illiberal nature of those living in this area would ensure I got questions on this matter, and that follow ups to my answer [All sex outside marriage is wrong, I do not believe that marriage should be between any other than a man and a woman] would be vociferous and aggressive. In fact, this matter never came up once! The only aggression I encountered came from those who objected to my support for the existence of Israel. Sometimes I think that we look for worries where they do not really exist.

    Also, Tim Farron was hounded by the main stream media, and some of those within the Westminster/elite bubble. That’s a different reality entirely to what most of us face ‘out on the stump’.

  5. Whenever I get tired of this battle and get tempted to just throw in the towel and stop caring about sexual orientation, I remember how the population of the western (Christian) world is dwindling. God wants us to marry, be in love, and have babies. Yet homosexuality goes in the very opposite direction. If everybody followed it, the human race would die out fast. And it’s legitimate to assert that if something’s good for some, it should be good for all. Therefore, homosexuality is not good!
    Maybe we should start fighting back with facts that illustrate the shortcomings of homosexuality, i.e.. high suicide rates, disease rates, suffering of their children, etc. As I always say: homosexuality is wrong because it’s ridiculous.

  6. Wouldn’t it be nice to think Mr Farron is using the original – and in my view proper – meaning of the word ‘gay’.

  7. The only people who have not been weighing in on this sin debate are the bishops. And I thought their job was to provide spiritual and moral leadership. They appear to be terrified of saying anything against the LBGT identity and equality gospel. I suppose they think they are safer keeping their heads down and letting the flock take the flak. It is a long time since I have witnessed such a debate where those who know the answers refuse to participate and totally ignorant views go uncontested.

    Would it be too much to expect the Crown Nominations Commission to select bishops who show two qualities: first an unwavering commitment and desire to preach the gospel and, secondly, an unequivocal rejection of the alternative anti-christian religion of Equality and Identity Politics?

    1. The article states that classic “Christian theology does not hold that individuals are sinful because of their desires”, but what about Jesus own words? “I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5. Does Jesus not know classic Christian theology? And, by the way. Tim Farron has actually said that ‘gay sex’ is not a sin.

  8. Isn’t it about time out culture stopped preferring gay sex, equality for women and Islamic terrorism over other issues that are as important, and in some cases more important?

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