‘Sin’ is one of those odd, stuffy-sounding Christian words that nowadays means very little outside of church. Even in church I often feel like it deserves to be tucked away, collecting dust on the shelf next to the 1950s hymn books and Bibles with missing front covers. Despite my aversion to the word itself, the concept of ‘sin’ seems as real and relevant as ever. To me, ‘sin’ describes the dark side of humanity. It is woven into the fabric of our very existence…. Read more

What if the message of Jesus that is widely understood by Christians is a distorted version of his original message? What if our understanding of Jesus’ message is actually a concoction of selected quotes from Jesus and Paul, Greek philosophy, and a post-enlightenment desire to reduce everything down into a neat, scientific formula? What if in reading the Bible as a scientific text book or instruction manual we have ended up paying more attention to the writings of Paul than to the life… Read more

Growing up in church I knew the Christian message back to front. It was my reality, my Truth, my reason for living. It went like this: God created me in my mother’s womb, and loved me so much that he wanted me to have eternal life with Him in Heaven. Tragically, all of humanity had fallen and was deeply sinful and bad, and God hated sin so much He couldn’t stand to look at me. In His amazing love He sent His only… Read more

Over the last ten years my Christian faith has undergone a dramatic transformation. The beliefs that were once absolutely fundamental to my understanding of the universe and my own existence have been gradually deconstructed. It has been a confusing, unsettling and sometimes painful process, but I now feel I have in some way emerged from that confusion, and am feeling a sense of clarity, hope and excitement about my faith that I have never felt before. In the early stages… Read more

I am a born worrier. It’s in my nature, it’s how I am programmed. If worrying was a competitive sport I would be a regional champion. Think of any possible misfortune and the chances are I have worried about it at some point. As a teenager I really lacked confidence so I mostly worried about what people thought of me. At uni I worried about being single. Then I got a boyfriend and started worrying about our relationship. Then that… Read more

There is something about human nature that makes us virtually incapable of appreciating what we have. We in 21st Century Britain have better living standards than the vast majority of people on Earth and throughout history. We have more food than we could ever need. We are free to do what we like, go where we like, say what we like. There is no real threat to our lives from war, corruption, famine or natural disasters. Our parents’ and grandparents’ generation fought to the… Read more

There is this idea ingrained deep in the British psyche that feelings and emotions aren’t important. Stiff upper lip, hold it all in, keep calm and carry on. We just don’t have time for all that foolish emotional nonsense. Well whoever came up with that was an idiot. Our emotions are how we experience the world – if we become emotionally detached and unable to feel the right things at the right times (which is what mental illness does) then we are not really… Read more

This seems like an odd thing to want to shout from the rooftops about. Part of me thinks it is incredibly self-indulgent and no-one will really be interested. Another part (the English part I think) wants to stop all this fluffy, melodramatic nonsense about feelings, swallow it all back down and get on with pretending to be normal. But another part, the part that is shouting loudest, thinks that this sort of stuff isn’t talked about enough, and that a few… Read more

Not because He sometimes makes mistakes. Not because He enjoys to watch them live lonely, frustrated, unfulfilled lives. And not to give Christians a chance to practise their praying skills. I think God actually creates people with homosexuality as part of their identity, and intends for them to fall in love and have happy, fulfilling relationships. When I was a teenager, being gay was definitely a sin. But if you were unfortunate enough to have such inclinations you could escape hell by simply being… Read more

  I have been a Christian all my life. As a youngster I went to Sunday school, and as a teenager my church youth group was pretty much the centre of my world. Christian youth camps were the highlight of my year and I helped run the Christian Unions in my school, sixth form college and eventually university. It all suited me just fine – for me the Christian Bubble was a very happy place to be, and to this day I have never… Read more

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