True Freedom Trust

The True Freedom Trust has a new website and it’s really user-friendly.

True Freedom Trust Website
True Freedom Trust Website

True freedom Trust (TfT) is a confidential Christian support and teaching ministry for men and women who accept the Bible’s prohibition of homosexual practice and yet are aware of homosexual tendencies, or struggle with other sexual and relational issues. They also offer support to families, friends and church leaders of those who face these issues in their lives.

True Freedom Trust do a brilliant work here in the UK. Why don’t you go and check them out?

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13 Comments on “True Freedom Trust

    • To be fair, all three abandoned their marriage vows. That’s wrong, regardless of their sexual activity afterwards. You’ll find that TFT has many members who have upheld their marriage vows regardless of their sexual temptations and who in doing so have discovered the joy of living a holy life and honouring the marriage bed.

      • What are the alternatives? If the spouses of +Gene or Scott Rennie sought evangelical pastoral support I’m not sure that they would not have been told that they had grounds for divorce. Not being able to consummate the marriage is a pretty good reason to have it nullified ( couldn’t the women in these circumstances claim that their spouses essentially entered into marriage under false pretences). The vitriol aimed at +Gene or Scott Rennie is not based on their being divorced (which is another point : would a heterosexual man who divorced his wife be similarly described as “abandoning” them?). And of course it’s well known that boWhth +Gene and Rev Rennie have good relationships with their former wives.

  1. It’s not for me to discuss the personal circumstances of either Gene Robinson or Scott Rennie, but as a general principle I would have said that, if a homosexual man marries a woman through a desire to hide, deny or disprove his homosexuality or out of a misguided hope that marriage will “cure” it, that is a good reason for regarding the marriage as invalid in the first place and hence for an official annulment.

    • You make a good point, but in all three cases we have situations of men who spent several years married, some fathered children, and then decided to break their vows. At the same time, I know plenty of men in the same situation who have stuck by their families, have learnt that love isn’t just about sex, and have fantastic marriages today.

      You might want to have a read of this piece.

  2. Hello all,

    at the risk of getting too trenchant here, have you Peter, and has Phil Barnett who wrote the open letter on the TfT site, checked the facts (as far as they’re publicly known) about the three men referred to?

    On Gene Robinson, Stephen Bates says this: “But eventually his wife met someone else – it was actually the reverse of his opponents’ persistent smear that he had walked out of the marriage to live with his male partner, or their suggestion that he should have stayed with his wife, whatever the circumstances – and in 1985 the couple separated, before being divorced, so that his wife could remarry, the following year” (‘A church at war’, p67). Over the page Bates quotes Robinson saying, “It was a year and a half after the divorce before I met Mark”.

    Stephen Bates also quotes Roy Clements at length. This seems relevant here: “I realized I was gay in the early 1980s. I was well established in Evangelical circles. I had been in denial. I believed homosexuality was something you did and I had not done any so I was not one. But it gradually dawned on me that this was not something that held water. I became aware that homosexuality was an identity…” The next paragraph starts, “I realized I was going to be in a hopelessly difficult position once loyalty oaths were being demanded. I began to look for a way out of public ministry. In the end the whistle was blown” (‘A church at war’, p34). Clements does not go into detail about exactly what happened, admittedly, though I can’t help wondering what that last sentence about ‘the whistle was blown’ means.

    I haven’t looked up anything about Scott Rennie, granted.

    But it does seem to me that to say “all three abandoned their marriage vows”, or, as Phil Barnett does, “all three left wives and children to pursue a gay-lifestyle” is simply inaccurate.

    in friendship, Blair

    • Hi Blair,

      Can I just clarify in response where I am coming from. I am not suggesting that Gene R abandoned his wife for his male lover. What I am suggesting is that he had such a low view of his marriage vows that instead of trying to stay true to the covenants that he had made, he abandoned them. I simply can’t see how a Bishop of the church should have such a lax attitude to these things.

      As for Roy Clements, I think you need to read more than just Stephen Bates’ polemic and you should find out what the whistle blowing was about.

      The bottom line is this – all three left their marriage vows, their wife (and kids). The reason they did that was to pursue homosexual relationships – if not, why did they divorce?

      • Hello again Peter,

        I still don’t see how what you’ve said is an accurate or fair summary, given what I quoted. Gene Robinson was not a bishop when he and his wife divorced, and they divorced so that his wife could remarry. On what basis can you say that “instead of trying to stay true to the covenants that he had made, he abandoned them” as though his wife had no part in it?

        Granted that Stephen Bates’s book is a polemic (though he certainly doesn’t criticise only evangelicals). But he quotes Roy Clements at length without commentary or ellipsis marks so there’s grounds for thinking that any bias of Stephen Bates’s hasn’t distorted what RC was saying.

        I’m not sure what to make of your comment on Roy Clements (“you should find out what the whistle blowing was about”). I have read sources other than Stephen Bates – Dr Clements himself for instance – and am still not sure. The articles from his (now defunct) website are on the Courage site, and in some of them there’s snippets of his side of the story of what happened in 1999. I would just note that press articles of the time speak of a “celibate friendship with another man”.

        Having typed all that it could be questioned why – neither of us is in much of a position to argue on this, surely? I don’t suppose you know the 3 men personally any more than I do…

        I wonder if there would be more mileage in discussing the TfT’s open letter to the C of Scotland?

        in friendship, Blair

        • Some might argue that by virtue of his divorce alone he is disqualified to be a leader in the church. I would count myself among them. It doesn’t matter whether he ended up with a man or a woman afterwards.

          • Hi Derek,

            granted, some might argue that – although it’s not the reason usually cited…

            Are any of the current C of E bishops divorced, dare I ask?

            Blair

            • I think C of E bishops aren’t allowed to be divorced although I’m not sure of the situation up here in scotland (actively/openly gay people are allowed to be priests – and deacons! – here, but not bishops. Which is just peculiar).

              Peter, do you concede that the opprobrium that would be directed at a divorced heterosexual minister is markedly different from the criticisms aimed at +Gene and Scott Rennie? Peter : do you think that being divorced per se should be a barrier to ordained ministry and, if so, would you at least concede that (unlike the gay clergy issue) you’re in the minority (even amongst evangelicals) if you do?

              The TfT article is invoking (even if only at the dog whistling level) the cliche of gay men abandoning their wives to engage in promiscuity. When “conservative” christians talk of the “gay lifestyle” they usually mean something other than style and moisturiser ;-).

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