Millions in America's Bible Belt have sung along to Vicky Beeching's gospel songs. Now, they may be crying out with confusion over the Christian rock star's latest revelation: She's a lesbian.
"What Jesus taught was a radical message of welcome and inclusion and love. I feel certain God loves me just the way I am, and I have a huge sense of calling to communicate that to young people," the British gospel singer told The Independent.
Beeching has written, recorded and performed popular worship songs over the last 10 years, including "The Wonder of the Cross," "Above All Else" and "Glory to God Forever" (with Steve Fee). She has also performed at U.S. megachurches and music festivals.
"When I think of myself at 13, sobbing into that carpet, I just want to help anyone in that situation to not have to go through what I did, to show that instead, you can be yourself—a person of integrity."
Beeching's revelation shouldn't come as a complete shock. She tested the waters in April when she came out in support of gay marriage, then followed up with posts on LGBT theology in April and June. Now, she's setting out to change church views on gays and lesbians with what sounds like Matthew Vines-type theology.
"It takes work to assess the historical context of verses—like when Paul said 'women should be silent in church'. When we look at their historical context, and assess the original language they were written in, some of these verses they make sense in a completely different way than they do from a first scan," she wrote in her last blog post.
"The deeply entrenched views of the church on any topic are unlikely to change overnight. They have changed regarding slavery. They have changed, in many places, regarding the role of women. But it requires work to get there; to prayerfully examine the Bible. If you're willing to do that, I'm going to recommend great places to start reading."