Jayne Ozanne – Just Love – A Journey of Self-Acceptance (and ITV on Conversion Therapy)

ITV news is at it again.  Presenting a one-sided piece of ‘news’ which is in reality propaganda – with no attempt at any kind of balance.   Look at the video  in the link which treats those who believe that someone might change their sexuality (something which has demonstrably happened) as being almost equivalent to terrorists – or at the very least heretics against the new morality. Vicky Beeching could not resist tweeting her delight at this.  Which reminded me about a new book I read a couple of weeks ago.

This was such a depressing read about a woman from a privileged position seeking for identity, love and relationships.  Perhaps the saddest bit was where she recounted being raped by an Anglican priest.  There is the now familiar story of how she sought to be delivered from ‘homosexual’ demons.

In this review lets reflect upon some of her own statements which indicate the wrong teaching that is a key part of this ‘progressive’ theology move away from Christianity.

1)  This new theology  has a Fundamentalist certainty. 

Jayne claims that it is God who ‘changed my heart and mind’.  This is part of both the certainty and the blasphemy of this new theology.  God got it wrong in his word but he is now correcting his mistakes through Jayne, Vicky, Steve and other progressives who have discovered that God really wants what our culture wants.

There is also a remarkable certainty about their own spirituality – I can honestly say I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t aware of the presence of Jesus. How amazingly fortunate is that?!   And yet there is so little of Christ in this book.  Jayne finds that this constant sense of the presence of Christ (would that I had that!) does not bring her true, joy, peace and happiness.

2) This new theology also contains a somewhat simplistic creationism.

Apparently no matter what we are – it is God who is to blame.  He made us this way. I remember hearing John Bell from the Iona Community say, ‘If being gay is so wrong, why does God keep making gay people?’ Sexuality is an integral part of our created being, whether heterosexual or homosexual or somewhere in between.

What if someone who was promiscuous was to argue ‘if being promiscuous is so wrong, why did God make me this way?”.

3) The new theology uses the word love without ever being able to tell us what is means. 

I could respond in love to any situation that I was in, because God IS love. It really is just that simple. We are called to JUST LOVE – no matter who, no matter where, no matter how, no matter why. JUST LOVE! That’s all. The rest is up to God.

Just love.  It sounds so sweet.  It sounds so nice.  It sounds so lovely.  And it is utterly meaningless waffle.  Love is love.  But what is love?  Lets ask him…”this is love for God, to keep his commands”  (1 John5:3) ” This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10).

4) The new theology is very accommodating to our culture and our own perceived needs –  

Jayne describes how in her relationship with ‘Geoff’, a non-Christian, she decided to  ” throw caution to the wind and sought out the views on ‘sex before marriage’ from a close Christian couple who I respected, and who I knew had slept together before they themselves had got married. After a couple of long talks, I decided that there was a theological case for it being permissible if we were truly ‘committed to each other’. I immediately rang Geoff and asked if I could come over as I wanted to spend the night with him. He was stunned but delighted.”

5) The new theology relies on feeling –  

Jayne recounts how she was overcome by desire – (the old Christians would have called it lust) but because this desire was so internal…it must be right…

Yes, I might have recognised in my head that certain guys were desirable, that they were good intellectual or spiritual matches for me, but I had not felt this level of physical attraction before. It was as if I had been hit by a bus – such an overwhelming feeling, which was totally beyond my control. Unexpected and uninvited.

6) The new theology looks for its satisfaction in something other than Christ. 

By this time, I was racked by one particular question that kept haunting me through my lonely evenings at home and my long days of solitude in the library: ‘Would what I desire give me the happiness I longed for, or was it a sandcastle that would disintegrate the moment I touched it?’ In other words, was what I longed and craved for – intimacy with a woman – a false desire? Was it purely a thought that had been sent to torment me and cause me great anguish; if I ever finally acted on it, would I then find myself hating it? Or was it something that I would find fulfilling and life-giving, which would bring me great joy and peace – even if it was forbidden fruit? I so desperately wanted to know the answer to this, and yet the cost of trying to find out was so exceptionally high. I began to think I just needed ‘one experience’ that would help me to know the truth. I believed it would at least bring me some peace as I would finally know the answer to who I am. But how could I find out?

Jayne later records how she found the true peace and happiness in a relationship.  Although it too was a relationship that did not work out.

7) The new theology redefines sin and has a loose attitude towards traditional biblical morality.

It is astounding that Jayne then records how as an ‘evangelical’ Christian she went out to explore  ” The Village District, hoping to find a lesbian bar where I might try and meet someone. ”  Never mind the sexuality aspect – heterosexual or homosexual does not matter – it’s never right to seek to pick up someone in order to use them for a sexual experience in order to ‘find yourself’.

8) The new theology redefines truth. 

The important thing is that we’ve owned our truth, and we are no longer having to hide. You see – the truth will always set us free. However, once the truth is out, then people have a choice that only they can make.

The truth will set us free.  Jesus is the truth.  But for Jayne the truth is the ‘truth’ about ourselves, not the truth of Christ.

9) The new theology hates the church .

The church gets blamed for everything.  Especially any church which seeks to remain faithful to the Jesus of the Bible and the Bible of Jesus.

Eventually we just gave up going anywhere, and I found myself becoming increasingly weary and cynical of anything to do with church. It seemed to be the source of such pain and division, and quite frankly I’d had enough. There was part of me that wondered if Jesus was still going too.

10) The new theology is very friendly with the ‘world’

Later that Saturday evening I found myself speaking on Radio 5 Live, having rung in to offer my own thoughts and experiences about coming out as a gay evangelical.

Within the year I found myself being elected back onto General Synod, and by January 2016 I had launched a campaign to secure an apology to the LGBTI community for the pain and hurt caused by the Church of England, which the Archbishop of Canterbury personally gave in front of the world’s media at the 2016 Primates Meeting.

Jayne, like her ally Vicky, clearly sees herself as on some kind of campaign and mission.  And of course ITV, the BBC, the printed press and virtually all of the secular media cannot get enough of them.  They so fit the cultural narrative which allows the secular media to attack the church whilst praising themselves.

This is not just a campaign for an acceptance of them or their views – but a campaign to exclude all other views.   Hence the attack on all forms of ‘conversion therapy’ (including prayer)  and their wholescale adoption of contemporary liberal sexual philosophy.  Today for example Vicky boasted:

4 hours ago

What matters for these mixed up ‘Christians’  is not Christ or our identity in him – but their sexual identity.  To defend their new theology and their new identities they are prepared to go to great lengths to attack the church and those who remain faithful to Christ.  This is where Jayne will use CCPAS and try to get government funding so that she and her colleagues can be appointed the defenders against ”spiritual abuse’.
But there is another story….one that is reflected in another book I reviewed – Jackie Perry’s, Gay Girl, Good God and a new book that I have just started reading – David Bennett’s War of Loves. 

51IREvl4iwL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_At 14, David Bennett came out to his parents.
At 19, he encountered Jesus Christ.
At that moment, his life changed forever.

As a young gay man, David Bennett saw Christianity as an enemy to freedom for LGBTQI people, and his early experiences with prejudice and homophobia led him to become a gay activist. But when Jesus came into his life in a highly unexpected way, he was led down a path he never would have predicted or imagined.

In A War of Loves, David recounts his dramatic story, from his early years exploring new age religions and French existentialism to his university experiences as an activist. Following supernatural encounters with God, he embarked on a journey not only of seeking to reconcile his faith and sexuality but also of discovering the higher call of Jesus Christ.

A War of Loves investigates what the Bible teaches about sexuality and demonstrates the profligate, unqualified grace of God for all people. David describes the joy and intimacy he found in following Jesus Christ and how love has taken on a radically new and far richer meaning for him.

Jayne and Vicky’s story are stories of self-acceptance…Jackie and David’s are stories of Christ-acceptance.  Self love, or Christ’s love?  You choose.

50 thoughts on “Jayne Ozanne – Just Love – A Journey of Self-Acceptance (and ITV on Conversion Therapy)

  1. I find it odd that these people claim that the Holy Spirit is almost without fail telling them TO do what they want to do, whereas I find God’s Word frequently telling me NOT to do the things I want to do.

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    1. Sorry if I should not be using this blog for this purpose but I have twice emailed Dominic Stockford’s church and got no reply. So this is a plea to Dominic: Please could you reply to my email. (If David thinks that this is inappropriate use of his blog, please do not post it.)

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    2. Do you know what the first command in the New Testament is?

      A person’s interpretation of scripture is not always accurate. It is consistent with the bible that a person may have the wrong understanding of what God is calling them to do and be lead by the spirit (or angel!) into a deeper understanding.

      If scripture was so straightforward then Jesus would not have needed to have a teaching ministry.

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      1. I’m saying that just reading scripture does not necessarily mean that you have understood it. The NT is full of people who knew and believed the scriptures, but whose beliefs were very different to the way of Jesus.

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      2. You don’t believe that the Pharisees and the Sadducees knew and believed the scriptures?! You don’t believe that the Jewish males, at least, were taught the scriptures from a young age?!

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      3. The Sadducees certainly didn’t (you do know what they believed?) – they took away from the Scriptures and the Pharisees added to them. Being taught the Scriptures is not the same as believing or understanding them.

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      4. My criticism is that you criticised John Bell for saying that it is OK to be gay, yet you do not also criticise David Bennett for being gay.

        The rest of my criticism is ironically that you have accused Jayne Ozanne of saying things that she hasn’t actually said (eg that her theology supports hook ups).

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      5. Again – did I say that her theology supports hook ups? Its what she said she did – and apparently expresses no remorse about it. And I already answered the Bennet one…

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      6. The Jewish people, especially the religious leaders, in the first century did know the scriptures and believed them, but did not always agree with Jesus interpretation of them.

        Frankly I feel like you are just disagreeing now for the sake of it.

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  2. Thank you for the clarity of your thought, rigorous critique of Christian deviations, but gracious tones.
    I pray for you this morning but you may be kept safe from evil attacks and temptations.

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  3. 1 Ozzayne
    It has been truly said that we live before an audience of One. A number of years ago after a funeral service of a Christian, I got into a conversation with a young man who purported to be a Christian from the same church of the deceased. It was about God’s presence with us everywhere,. Oh yes he’s with me when I go to the cinema, he said. To watch what? You Jesus be, as it were, sitting there alongside eating popcorn, chuckling along to some X rated film, or you you not be there at all if you truly believed he was with you?
    And from this review, Ozzayne seeks out a meeting in a lesbian bar, while at the same time: “I can honestly say I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t aware of the presence of Jesus. How amazingly fortunate is that?!”
    2 ITV
    There I was, minding my own business, watching ITV News at 10, hoping to find some glimmer sanity being shed onto Brexit and the travesty of democracy by the PM as she sets aside any truly democratic working in the Executive of Parliament, the Cabinet (I didn’t) when I was accosted by the hidden camera journalistic chat with a Christian under the guise of revealing the horrors of conversion therapy. Like much that goes under the name of investigative journalism, there is first the decision that what exposed is abhorrent or illegal, and the methodology involves tricking or dishonesty, a lack of genuine questioning or seeking. From what I recall, the christian answered well, but out of a fairly substantial book of course material only one or two small phrases were highlighted, as a “gottcha,”whereas the explanation of the course seemed to focus psychology of upbringing -family life.
    3 By the way, I am not the Geoff in Ozanne’s book!

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  4. Well put, Dominic,
    but it’s not so odd when we think of how inventive the evil heart of Man is. There is an illuminating exchange recorded in A Beautiful Mind between John Nash and George Mackey, who was visiting Nash in mental hospital. This is exactly the sort of reasoning that many Christians use for doing what they want to do.

    MACKEY:

    How could you, a mathematician, a man devoted to reason and logical proof … how could you believe that extraterrestrials are sending you messages? How could you believe that you are being recruited by aliens from outer space to save the world?

    NASH:

    Because the ideas I had about about supernatural beings came to me the same way that my mathematical ideas did. So I took them seriously.

    In contrast, Abraham knew the voice of God when he was called to sacrifice Isaac because God had spoken to him in many different ways.

    Yours,
    John/.

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  5. The message from Jayne Ozanne and Vicky Beeching seems to be, “Just follow your heart.” But as John Bloom says in his book, ‘Don’t Follow Your Heart,’ “The truth is that no one lies to us more than our own hearts. No one. They don’t tell us the truth, they just tell us what we want. They are not benevolent, they are pathologically selfish. In fact, if we do what our hearts tell us to do we will pervert and impoverish every desire, every beauty, every person, every wonder, and every joy. Our hearts want to consume these things for our own self-glory and self-indulgence.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. From the beginning Satah has been saying “Did God really say that” and he is still saying it today. I don’t believe that it is Jesus who is with her all the time but Satan. The message she is being given does not align with the “Word” of God but with the word of Satan.

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  7. I think it is a misreading to take moments out of Jayne Ozannes autobiography and assume that they are necessarily consistent with what she believes. If you have read the book then you’ll know she’s faced harder times than most and mental and physical health problems often lead people to behaviour that they would rather not admit to. I’m quite sure that if you wrote a warts and all autobiography it would contain behaviour that your theology doesn’t endorse!

    I read the section quoted in your point 4 as revealing the hypocrisy in the evangelical world – vocally opposed to being gay, but also secretly having extra marital sex. If straight church leaders are not sexually moral, how can they sit in judgement on gay people?

    I didn’t read the section quoted in your point 7 as her looking for no strings sex. It could be read that way, but even if that is the correct reading then I am certain that Ozanne does not endorse or promote hookups.

    In your point 2 you compare being gay with promiscuity. But promiscuity is a chosen and harmful behaviour whereas being gay is an unchosen orientation. John Bell is celibate so arguably he is one of the most sexually moral individuals in the church. I fail to see how if it is a sin for him to be gay, how it isn’t a sin for David Bennett to be gay – what’s the difference?

    Lastly it’s a bit odd to write a piece prompted by ITNs investigation of SOCE and then barely mentioning it! I had hoped that you could clearly denounce the practice.

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    1. There is a great deal of hypocrisy….but that does not mean that we do not accept the Bible’s teaching! Ozanne shows no repentance or remorse for her behaviour at all ) I have to go by what she writes. There are plenty who argue that promiscuity is something genetic…..and I’m not arguing for people to convert from being ‘gay’ but celibate. Ozanne and Beeching argue against that. What do you want me to denounce? The fact that people can change their sexuality….

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      1. I agree with you that you should “go on” what she actually wrote, but I think you need to understand that this is an autobiography. Just because something happened to her does not mean that she is promoting it.

        If you aren’t arguing that gay people must become straight then you need to rethink your criticism of John Bell. Your treatment of him is typical of how gay celibate people can be mistreated by church leaders who make negative assumptions about them because of their orientation.

        I think if you are opposed to people being required to become straight you should actually say so.

        I think if you are opposed to SOCE (consensual or not) then you should also say so. Otherwise why refer to it in the title?

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      2. Would you like to tell us how I have mistreated John Bell? I don’t think people are ‘required to become straight. I think we are required to live holy lives if we are Christians…

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      3. In that section you criticise him for saying that it isn’t wrong to be gay and, by pretty strong implication, criticise him for being gay.

        If it isn’t OK to be gay for John Bell, why is it OK to be gay for David Bennett?

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      4. If you are going to comment and critique my article please critique what is said and lets not waste time arguing about what I didn’t say. Read it again…you will forgive me but I don’t think I need to explain what I have said again and I really don’t want to waste time arguing about what I didn’t say. Read it again.

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      5. I am criticising your words which make seemingly contradictory statements.

        If it is OK for David Bennett to be gay then surely it is also OK for John Bell to be gay?

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  8. “12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. 13 Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but yield yourselves to God as men who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
    15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means![b] 16 Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification.
    20 When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But then what return did you get from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
    (St Paul’s Epistle to the Romans)
    You have a choice: to be a slave to sin or a slave of righteousness. Being a slave to sin involves obeying your passions. Which choice has Jayne Ozanne made?

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    1. If you read the book then you’ll read some of the horrific things she has put herself through trying to please God and the church.

      Before you condemn her, consider if you have gone as far as she has for your faith.

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  9. What did you make of David’s book? He describes himself as a gay celibate Christian, should Christians continue to give themselves the label ‘celibate gay’ if their identity is fully ‘in Christ’. Is it a necessary/helpful/appropriate descriptor?

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    1. Just reading it. I think if your primary identity is in anything other than Christ it is wrong – but I don’t think that David is saying that. If I say I am Scottish or hetrosexual or married that can be helpful….saying you are gay and celibate is helpful when you are discussing sexuality

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      1. Why should gay people have to say that they are celibate? Single straight people never seem to be condemned for failing to explicitly say so.

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    2. Church engagement with issues related to gay people is never going to get anywhere unless people in the church accept that “gay” is not a label or an anti-Christian identity.

      It means a person who experiences lifelong attraction to the same sex and who is not attracted to the opposite sex.

      Bisexual means someone who is attracted to both sexes.

      Trans means someone who experiences being a gender at odds with their apparent sex (at birth).

      Intersex refers to someone with no distinct sex at birth.

      Like it or not, these are real human beings in our world. If we cannot accept those basic facts then there can be no engagement.

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      1. You seem to be thinking that loving people means accepting whatever identity they ascribe to…I don’t….you will find that there are lots of ‘real human beings’ who are adulterers, polygamists etc ….does that mean we should accept it..

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      2. Sorry, you misunderstand me.

        I’m not talking about loving people.

        I’m talking about meaningful engagement with gay (or any LGBTI ) people or discussion about them.

        I’m not talking about identity. I’m talking about recognising genuine phenomenon and *not* dismissing it merely as a chosen identity.

        Again if it is only an identity for other gay people, why is it not only an identity for David Bennett?

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      3. I’m not sure what you are arguing about or who you are arguing against? Of course I believe in ‘meaningful engagement’ with LGBT people – not only do I believe in it – I do it…this week just had a long conversation with a Lesbian ‘meaningfully engaging’.

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      4. Well my initial reply wasn’t actually to you (although I totally get that the structure of these forums doesn’t make that clear). I was responding to Jim’s post about identity.

        I’m saying that churches cannot engage meaningfully with gay people unless they are willing to acknowledge that being gay isn’t (just) a chosen identity, but refers to a genuine characteristic (exclusive, lifelong attraction to the same sex).

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    3. Continued…

      I do not know David Bennett personally, but I have followed his story closely enough to know that he is a faithful believer who is doing his best to lead a christ centred life (as are many other lgbti people) even though he is part of a controversial sexual minority.

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    1. Why does anyone continue to be born who find themselves with any sort of problematic attraction? Because creation isn’t as it’s supposed to be, we’re part of it, and it isn’t fully reborn – yet.

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    1. It depends what you mean by ‘conversion therapy’…its a very loaded term….Ozanne and Beeching lump together prayer and rape! Can people change? Yes they can. Might therapy help? Sometimes. Would I offer conversion therapy to anyone in order to seek to change their sexuality? No.

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      1. From my point of view I’d say that conversion therapists often stretch the term “prayer” to beyond breaking point.

        I would respectfully suggest that if you don’t have much to say on the subject of actual conversion therapy/SOCE (and haven’t researched it) that you don’t put it in the title of your blog?

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  10. Just to note I’m one of those “former LGBT identifiers”-now close to being married to a woman from a previous “gay” identity. No gay conversion therapy used, though I’m personally against it due to the fact it says to the LGBT identifier “be straight” rather than “look to Christ and be saved”.

    I understand the “gay celibacy” approach and it has been helpful to some in Christianity. However the intrinsic problem with it is that it continues to identify people with sin, and more precisely their sinful desires. Our desires do not define us, whether we are in Christ or not defines us. Thus, it falls into the danger of creating a subcategory of Christian that isn’t bibically valid. For example, some might have forbid me from marrying a woman on the basis of previous attractions. In my view it is important to view people as the New Creation, rather than use these subcategories that are abiblical.

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