Politics

Theological guidance for Farron on gay sex | Letters

Fr Alec Mitchell says the former Lib Dem leader needs better spiritual direction, while the former bishop of Oxford Richard Harries explains how Farron could have avoided all the fuss

Tim Farron needs better theological education and spiritual direction (Farron: I misled voters on gay sex, 11 January). He says that “if you’re a Christian you’ve got a very clear idea of what you think a sin is”, but I’m not so sure he’s so clear himself. Theologically, sin is not so much a breach of law (which would be dealt with by punishment) but rather a breach of grace (dealt with, thank God, by forgiveness). It isn’t really about what is done, but what is meant by what is done. Thus it is possible to be sinful while sharing heterosexual love (for example), and yet sinless while sharing homosexual love. We all live lives afflicted to greater or lesser extent by sin; but it isn’t our state of being that makes us sinful; it’s what we intend when we do things, to ourselves, to others, to God.
Fr Alec Mitchell
Manchester

• I wish Tim Farron would stop claiming exclusive use of the word “Christian” for those who share his negative attitude to same-sex relationships.

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