A Whole General Session Devoted to “Exposing” Me

This video is from a recent United Kingdom Anglican Conference that occurred last week. One of their main stage sessions was titled:

Evaluating the “Love is all you need” approach of Andrew Marin

Yep, that’s right … they had a whole General Session on me, how I live my life, my book, and my theological and social understanding of culture, the Church and the gay community.

This conference was put on by Anglican Mainstream, who, needless to say, in the last few months have literally called me some pretty nasty names in print. In fact, in the last article they wrote about me, they said that I “was more dangerous to Christianity than Gene Robinson (the first ever appointed bishop who is gay).”

The crazy thing for me is that I have had some really well known Christian leaders in England (who know some of the Anglican Mainstream leadership) directly speak with them, telling them that I would LOVE to speak with them either on a conference call, or be at their event in person to answer any and all questions/accusations that they might have.

Guess what? They didn’t want to do either. Shocker …

So instead, this video is what we get. I cried a few times listening to what they claimed about me. For 53 minutes my heart was beating out of my chest in nerves listening to them talk about me the whole time. It’s a strange thing. Very uncomfortable. 

After Anglican Mainstream not once, not twice, but three times turned down my offer to dialogue with them in person, private or in public, one of the straight Anglican Bishops in England wrote me the following note:

“I was invited to the conference, but when I saw the programme, I decided not to go. I don’t think there would be a chance for anyone other than them to get a word in edge-wise. They have an agenda. Sorry Andrew. Try as you might, their minds are closed.”

I still have hope! Do you hear me England … do you hear me Anglican Mainstream … I still have hope that one day you would be bold enough to talk to me personally. If you, the readers of the blog, don’t want to watch all 53 minutes, just start watching at minute 46:40 and go until the end. It sums up their whole message against me really well. And just a side note, during the end, the speaker said he

“would love to ask me a few questions.”

Well Dr. Vinay Samuel and crew, I’m still waiting for you to actually accept any of my offers to talk, because every time I have reached out to you, you have refused! So stop pretending like you actually want to talk to me. Once again, my email is andrew@themarinfoundation.org and my office number is 773-572-5983. I look forward to peacefully discussing all of your issues with me to fully clear the air.

Much love.

www.themarinfoundation.org

About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org). He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • Christine

    Ah, Andrew! This is sad. Because through the glories of our technological age, a prophet can now hear first-hand (so to speak) all of the myriad of ways he’s being criticized… I pray that the histories of the saints, of people like Elizabeth Elliot, who spoke a hard word and weren’t accepted much at first but were latter redeemed, can bring you some comfort. That, and Jesus, who knows what it’s like to be dissed publicly by guys in robes who really should be the very ones who recognize him for who he is. God bless, and I’m praying for you!

  • http://www.chrishyde.info Chris Hyde

    Andrew…I’m sure that there are many people in conservative circles who would agree with this guy. But at the end when he says, “We need to go into that community and tell them right from the start what is against God and then have the courage to stay in the community and work through it”, he doesn’t realize how that approach will be received. That approach immediately shuts down the conversation! His idea of what is right “theologically” just doesn’t work practically.

    Andrew, I applaud what you are doing. I am a pastor and believe VERY strongly in your ministry. Don’t let these things discourage you. Whenever you take a strong stand for something you believe in, other people will take shots at you. It will continue to happen. You don’t need to defend yourself. Stand firm and do what God has called you to do. I know it hurts but let the voice of God’s calling on your life sound louder in your ears than anything anyone else says! You’ve got my support!

  • http://adammclane.com adam mclane

    You know, there is part of this which is a little flattering. I mean, they are spending an hour talking about your book. It shocks me how they respond to ministry questions with academic responses. Herein lies the problem with the academic nature of theology… something that NEVER was commanded to be an academic study in the first place.

    The disturbing thing I heard… trying to separate “neighbor” and “living incarnationally.” The fact that he can academically separate the two shows that they are so steeped in modernism that you wonder if the speaker has actually met a person outside the context of church in 30 years.

    Also odd in that they talk about doing battle. It’s not really battle if you aren’t brought to the fight. That’s what we like to call “an ambush.”

  • Dean

    Andrew
    There are a few things problematic here. I know one of the persons in the picture. I would say that I find it problematic that an asian person (of colour) is used to front this ‘critique’. The engagement with Black and Asian Christians is neglible and so missiologically I have a problem with how AM view minorities. CVS lives in Oxford but not necessarily cowley or Blackbird Leys which are disadvantaged communities in Oxford.
    My thing is to turn up at the church when you are here and worship with them with no strings and then say I am Andrew and just wanted to worship Jesus with you. Sometimes, its like the guess who’s coming to dinner vibe.
    I was reminded this week of Psalm 23, you prepare a table in the midst of my enemies.
    I would also wish you to reflect on the term ‘hater’ in spite of their treatment of you. Don’t let them hit you with language that you don’t need to use.

    Just my take. I would even come with you that day but just a thought.

    D

  • http://www.couragescotland.org Ruairidh MacRae

    Andrew
    Thank you for standing alongside the LGBT community in general – and the LGBT Christian community in particular. In doing so, in asking the straight Christian community to think again, to ask them to ask “who is my neighbour” and “how would Jesus ask us to deal with these people”. Thank you for trying to build the bridge culturally, spiritually and emotionally. Thank you for displaying love – without judgement and without compromise – to the secular LGBT community in helping us Gay Christians to demonstrate Christ’s embracing love for our fellow folks in the LGBT Community. And thank you for being willing to shoulder some of the hatred, condemnation and nonsense spouted by some within the Church. I am sorry that you are being attacked personally by cowardly men who are happy to pontificate from their unassailable ‘divinely’ sanctioned and blessed (not) positions which allow them to ignore the mission, commands and calling of Jesus to his disciples. I’m sorry you are getting it in the neck. Those elements are happy to do the same to the people in their pews, the people in the families of their members, to the folks in pulpits around them, to the LGBT community in general and particular.
    Remember that they are NOT the ‘mainstream’ (whether Scripturally, spiritually or numerically (in the CofE)) and that it is easy to condemn, but a lot more difficult (and incarnational) to live in the tension, engaging people who are different (as Jesus constantly did) without condemnation. So thank you, and I’m sorry for your pain brother, but I think it makes your work all the more Christlike and attractive when you are willing to be ‘counted amongst us’.

  • http://www.livingitout.com Rachel

    Hi there, I’m so sorry that there are people around who hate – and that you’ve been on the receiving end. A very hard thing to know how to respond to, and one that brings up so many strong feelings that they can be really hard to manage.

    The experience gives you more in common with a LGB community – we also hear things almost daily which are dishonest and untruthful about us, and have to find ways to survive and continue to love despite it. Not a good thing to have in common!

    Something I’ve found helpful when hearing lies about myself and my life, and have been powerless to respond (like when there’s anti-gay stuff on the news) is to feel overwhelmingly angry and vengeful but know that it’s OK to feel these things, God knows I feel them, and even though I shouldn’t, I’m forgiven already when it was anger and vengefulness that sent Jesus to the cross. Not sure if that makes sense as a theology, but it helps me to survive practically, hope it’s not telling my grandmother how to suck eggs (do you have that phrase in the US?) and I hope you find ways to manage the hate too.

  • Ty

    wow… I’m Native American and our culture is more open than this narrow mind. I am angered by the thoughts of these “people”. In our culture, gay people are respected because we are “two spirited people”, which is awsum… I would like to question them about the respects of other people and cultures….
    Andrew has open many minds towards christianity here on the Navajo Reservation through his book. I am currently using his book as a reference for parents and religion here in New Mexico. Keep up the GREAT work Andrew… DO NOT EVER let these people bring you down… your are an AWSUM person for bring up such a topic…. THANK YOU!!!
    Love
    Ty
    divaty1@unm.edu

  • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

    Don’t let them get you down, Andrew. They may be closed to you, but that’s not necessarily permanent and it’s likely not universal to that whole crowd.

    On a lighter side, looks like you’re giving Jay Bakker a running for most hated Christian leader, at least in that corner of the planet. (j/k) :P

    Take care and enjoy your weekend. -Jon

  • http://timothykurek.wordpress.com Tim Kurek

    If they are after you and you are more conservative in your beliefs, they are going to outright hate me… This is scary Andrew!

    BUT as the saying goes, ANY PUBLICITY IS GOOD PUBLICITY! May God continue to use you in your mission!

    tim

  • Person

    “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” ~Matthew 5:11-12

  • Paul Henry

    My schedule has not allowed me the time to view the video fully, nor take the time to read and think about these comments: But I wonder if the problem is not one of a “modern” world view versus a “post-modern” view (in the fuller context of what post-modern entails). I am about to leave town for a week, so I doubt that I will find the time soon; but will do so when I return. More than all else – I support you call Andrew, your work, and your visioin of God’s grace reaching into excluded communities.

  • http://dannyjbixby.blogspot.com Danny Bixby

    Sorry to hear this.

    I suppose it comes with the territory, unfortunately.

  • Jules

    Hey Andrew!

    I’m sorry that you are being attacked. I truly see you as very conservative and as I have said to you before have been cautious of your methods. This is probably because I hear the missional mind that I used for many years. No matter of that, I respect your heart and support your willingness to meet my community in the middle for the sake of love and grace.

    Blessings to you!

  • http://suem-musingaloud.blogspot.com sue

    Sorry that you were put through this, Andrew.

    Anglican Mainstream really are a very poisonous lot, it is actually a tribute to be reviled by them!

    Hello to Ruairidh – we met in September at the retreat you were leading. I’ve just checked out your courage Scotland blog – hope it is all going well.

  • Joe S

    The key phrases are at the 43-44 minute mark: “The rights agenda that has marginalised religion completely” “It is a state sanctioned… aggressive secular agendas that see religious reasoning as the enemy.”

    Anglican Mainstream exists in the context of a country (and a continent) that has gone from opting out of religion (a consumer led movement) to one that almost regards religious reasoning itself to be a form of sedition – i.e. a society that actively harasses/ridicules religious “dissenters”. Orthodox Christian teaching on marriage and sexuality is only one reason to bash so-called “ignorant/bigoted” Christians. That bashing goes on all day every day over here.

    Your ministry, which is a response to the American situation, with its language of “reaching out” between independent communities, isn’t so relevant to a society that has never had a separation of community and state culture. The state here has always, to a much greater extent than America, dictated the values of all communities – and right now it is dictating post-Christian values.

    Your ministry/approach would almost certainly be “sanctioned” by the current British establishment – so AM would automatically view it as at odds with their own ‘agenda’ (even though you view/express your own mission in terms of inclusion).

  • http://www.lifewalk.info David Foreman

    Dude, This kind of crap is no surprise. I know it hurts, but YOU know the truth, and those who know you know the truth. Religion always hates truth, love and grace. Praying for you.

  • http://www.kenrawson.com Ken Rawson

    Andrew!!! Keep your chin up, man. The fact that they won’t engage you in conversation speaks volumes. It sounds like to me that his key problem is that you refuse to draw a line in the sand (and that you dare to leave it up to the Holy Spirit to convict).

    Dude! this guy is playing monday morning quarterback while you are on the field! He thinks you should do what you do, but make sure that everyone knows what is acceptable and what is not. I think he needs to get out of his seat and move onto the field and experience your life.

    I love you, your ministry, your heart, and all of it. Don’t let the haters get you down, my man. The truth will win out!

    Bless you, my friend!

  • http://xanga.com/djfree Darren

    Hey Andy!

    Wow, man, it’s been awhile. I’ve been really busy lately, so I rarely get to respond to any of these posts, but I read them faithfully :)

    Anyway, I didn’t get a chance to see the whole vid (see above statement about being busy). I watched the first 10 minutes or so (they really didn’t get far into talking about you at that point), and then just skipped to the 46 minute mark as you suggested.

    I join those above who (more or less) intimated that you should “count it all joy” that you’re suffering for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake. Perhaps once the pain, anger, and disappointment subsides, you’ll actually be able to even FEEL some of that “joy” ;) In the meantime, don’t let ‘em get you down. You are here to please NO man, woman, child or combination thereof. You are here to follow God in faith. And from what I can tell, you are as faithful as any guy whose chosen to walk this difficult path Jesus laid before us. Be encouraged, my friend. We’ll never get 100% agreement from anyone in the Church. If we did, it would be a pretty boring Church :) Granted, they’re being pretty crude and mean in some of their critiques. But hey, I guess that’s the log in their eyes they’ll need to deal with!

  • willi stewart

    Michael Riddell has a book Threshold of the future, in chapter 5 it looks at issues of holiness and mission. Part of his conclusion is…”The holiness of Jesus, and it’s missionary consequence, will of course take us beyond safety. It leads us like Peter, into situations where all the boundaries are gone. We must enter environments which are morally and theologically ambiguous, and in which we find ourselves distinctly uncomfortable……..As the Bible affirms, God is love, and the expression of love is the highest priority of divine mission” Certainly rings true for me! Keep on going Andrew.

  • Nalai

    My father made an incredible observation as we watched and discussed. A quick background of my father he studied theology and has had many varying positions all within religous organizations. Anyway as we discussed the many contridictions of the presenter and the lack of truly answering many of the quesitons my father said to me. You know Nalai I think the biggest disconnect in this entire presentation is more a cultural aspect of the peole of the U.K. not knowing what it means to truly experience our Lord and Savior. If one has experienced Him fully then living a life of incarnational ministry and trying to understand fully what it means to be like Jesus and with Jesus is truly what we have been called to do or as Andrew puts it our “Kingdom job description.” The entire presentation tried so hard to make everything Andrew does within the context of theory and acadamia that it seems they have forgotten what it means to live out our Christian lives in relation to and relation with any place we find ourselves.

    I read an article on line about Christians and the church in the U.K., but the main piece was that the average church goer in the U.K. is 61! I was shocked I think its time they change their rhetoric and know what it means to experience God and inspire a generation that is asking for guidance and spiritual awakening. Experiencing God will allow us to go into those places of tension and be authentic…Sorry this got long they are just my thoughts (of course with the help of my dad)

  • Becky

    Interesting…I watched the opening minutes and observed these two things before forwarding to the spot you recommended: racism,the observation of the moderator that the speaker is “obviously not English”; and sexism, the speaker was talking about the ministry of HIS WIFE. Why was she not speaking on behalf of her ministry? Paul exulted to the Philippians (1:15-18) that Christ was preached regardless of motive, an he rejoiced. PRAISE GOD! Christ is being preached! When Jesus stood among His accusers, He stood alone. As you stand among your accusers, you are NOT alone. Be comforted with Deuteronomy 7:21 and Psalm 3:3 (the entire psalm is wonderful).
    Look past the insults, because they have truly opened a door for you.
    Love and prayers as you minister forward. I pray that you are wrapped with the Comforter.
    Love and prayers!

  • pm

    Ready for an online article about U.K. & The Pope? Try:
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/02/02/pope.uk.equality/

  • http://jwalkergs.wordpress.com/ Jason

    Andrew,

    I finally had a chance to watch all of this and it made me very sad. It made me sad that people who’s orders and mission dictate they draw people to Christ by showing His love are using their positions to call out and attack the motives of a single individual trying to do the same, and then not letting that person respond. What a shame.

    I’ve only known of your ministry for a few days now, but I want you to know it has already made a difference for me. It has given me, a Christian who happens to be gay, hope that there is at least one person out there who gets it. There is at least one person out there who can love without trying to “fix.”

    Press on, Andrew! You are doing God’s work. I’m praying for you.

  • Sam

    The presentation has very little substance and is rather boring. Samuel manages to diss both you and the missional church, apparently (obviously?) because that is what his audience wanted to hear. Somehow I missed the evidence to back up his statements. I don’t think I’ll have another go at it though – I have more interesting things to do, such as watch paint dry.

    I doubt this presentation will cause you much harm. It is basically empty and obviously biased rhetoric.

  • Sue

    I’m not sure whether or not you’ll want to hear this, but I was really put off by this post and your response to the Anglican Mainstream (AM) session. To my mind it (your post) didn’t demonstrate much in the way of “bridge-building.”

    I say this not to be combative, but to share how you come across to someone just getting familiar with your work. I recently purchased your book (at of all places, a conservative, Anglican seminary) because it was creating a stir within Church circles I frequent and I wanted to find out more for myself. I haven’t gotten far enough into it to fully determine if AM misrepresented your ideas, but it didn’t seem to me that they did. (And yes, I watched the entire video.)

    So, here’s what was most off-putting about your response:

    The AM session was NOT all about you. At least half, if not more of the session, dealt with the work of another author. And nothing was said that attacked or even challenged you personally – nothing about “how you live your life” as you put it. Your ideas were engaged and critiqued, which I assume people should expect when they publish something. It’s sad to me that you can’t separate that from your self.

    The AM critique was not entirely negative. Much of it praised some of your most basic ideas. You seem to have missed that part, or at least you didn’t report it.

    I can understand your desire to want to interact with AM leadership one-on-one, but I think it’s naïve to expect they would give you a public platform when they disagree so fundamentally about methods.

    This post seems to be strongly influenced by past interactions you’ve had with AM, and I’m sorry those encounters were less than ideal. But that doesn’t excuse your very defensive and somewhat self-centered response. Had you responded to them differently, I would be much more inclined to give your book serious consideration.

    BTW – Chad Thompson came to virtually the same conclusions as you did in his book Loving Homosexuals as Jesus Would, which was published in 2004.

  • Phelim McIntyre

    Andrew – I spoke at that conference and I have alerted Spring harvest to major concerns I have with your theology. Both myself and Lisa Nolland have attenmpted to email and ring you but you have never got back to us. Why? Both Lisa and myself were also at the meeting held by he lady from Spring Harvest (I’m the ex-gay guy from the UK who has worked with churches on outreach to the gay community, how to pray for them and counsel them.

    I have also spoken with ex-gay ministries based in the Chichago area and none seem to have any success contacting you – so may be its not just me. A lot of people who have concerns about your theological position have the same problem.

  • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

    Phelim – Don’t try to play coy because the email you’re referring to by Lisa was not a nice, open invitation to dialogue. I respond to emails that want to have a conversation, not just accuse me of things that aren’t true. If you want, I’d love to start a moderated dialogue with you and a third-party person so there won’t be any back-and-forth anymore. And yes, I deleted your last comment because I refuse to be involved in a finger-pointing match. By the way, Lisa’s husband has publicly called me some really nasty names on Anglican Mainstream…why would I ever want to respond to that? Stop the name calling first, then I’ll think about talking. And who, might I ask, are you referring to in Chicago? I’d love to know because I don’t really believe you.

  • http://www.peregrination.org.uk Phelim McIntyre

    Andrew I have sent an email explaining my position. Proper action is being considered and as for name calling! Your blog raises big questions about the name calling. Pot to kettle – chromakey check!! You have my email and I have sent my skype profile and mobile number so you can get in contact with me. I sent a quote from your book using the chapter on the Big Five and a quote from a pro-gay pressure group to a British theologian and they could not tell the theological difference!

    If Dr Nolland’s email was an issue please challenge her – she attended the presentation you gave and has heard you not just read your book. Her husband is a professor of New Testament at a leading evangelical college. As such he commented on your book from a position of theological understanding and has raised serious concerns about your theology. Groups like Redeemed Lives and others who work with the gay community and have done so for well over twenty years are raising serious concerns about your practice. Lisa has written on sexuality and culture, she works with young people in the secular field and knows her stuff – it is these people that are your fiercest critics because they deal with the flotsam and jetsam of the gay community. I regularly deal not with the vanilla stuff your book talks about but the red, blue, yellow and brown stuff of the whole bdsm field. How does your model work with them?

    As I said in the post you so kindly deleted – those involved with the conference appear to be unaware of any request to dialogue with us or to attend the conference. Somewhere communication broke down – they did NOT refuse you as you claim so the finger pointing is as much from your direction as anywhere else. The ball is in your court. If you want to dialogue, as someone who has been involved with the Anglican Listening Process and has major UK gay leaders on hot dial on my phone I am willing to dialogue but are you willing to dialogue with people who are your critics?

  • http://www.peregrination.org.uk Phelim McIntyre

    Andrew – have been doing some serious thinking over the last 24 hours. THe language I’ve used has not been that Godly (to put it politly). I regularly get hate mail from both the homosexual community and also from Christians, both liberal and “evangelical”. I have been doing what those who oppose what I do have been doing. From your comments, and your artilce about Christianity Today, I realise that I have just been adding to the hurt that you have been getting. SORRY.

    Yes I still have serious concerns about the theology in your book and also your acceptance of things said by the gay community about science and theology but that doesn’t excuse my language.

    I trust things went well at Spring Harvest and if you can get to the email with my mobile number on it or can give me a number to ring I’d love to talk to help clear up the mess I and others have helped make.

    As to the AM stuff, I would ask you to re-read it or re-watch with the understanding that they are not trying to expose youi. They are pleased that someone is doing what you are doing but like me they have theological, sociological and missiological concerns about what you are doing and the way you are doing it.

    GOD bless!


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