I attend a traditional Baptist Church where I am the Minister of Music. I Love God and my Church the Our and Wife constantly preach Homo’s are hell bound. I don’t want to end up in hell. My lover and I have been together for 18 years. We have two Children and are raising them to know God. But at times when in Church Service I feel I don’t belong and I’m headed to hell. However I still come home to my family a start over the next day. It is my belief that God loves us all and that I am striving to make Heaven my final resting place.
Can you shed some light on this? I’ve read portions of Bishop Gomes Book and it has helped. But I really want to be sure. What scriptures can I read to get an answer from God?
Am I fooling myself? Is my working in the Church and believing that God is present in my home a lie?
Dear Please Help,
Please remember that God created us with a mind, the ability to think and figure things out for ourselves. Unfortunately today’s churches, especially those on the religious right, have decided that you have no mind of your own or logic. They spend an incredible amount of time trying to make people believe that God is nothing more than the worst baby sitter you can imagine.
With that in mind let me give you some of my logic that I hope will help you.
The analogy that has worked with me and I share with you is based on four points of scripture. These scripture, I believe, form the foundation of our faith and how we live within that faith.
“God has made clear to you, what is good; and what is desired from you by the Lord; only doing what is just, and loving mercy, and walking without pride before your God.” — Micah 6:8
“Master, which is the chief rule in the law? And he said to him, Have love for the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest rule. And a second like it is this, Have love for your neighbor as for yourself.”
— Matthew 22:37-39
“And he will put the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then will the King say to those on his right, Come, you who have the blessing of my Father, into the kingdom made ready for you before the world was: For I was in need of food, and you gave it to me: I was in need of drink, and you gave it to me: I was wandering, and you took me in; I had no clothing, and you gave it to me: when I was ill, or in prison, you came to me. Then will the upright make answer to him, saying, Lord, when did we see you in need of food, and give it to you? or in need of drink, and give it to you? And when did we see you wandering, and take you in? or without clothing, and give it to you? And when did we see you ill, or in prison, and come to you? And the King will make answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, Because you did it to the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. Then will he say to those on the left, Go from me, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire which is ready for the Evil One and his angels: For I was in need of food, and you gave it not to me; I was in need of drink, and you gave it not to me: I was wandering, and you took me not in; without clothing, and you gave me no clothing; ill, and in prison, and you came not to me. Then will they make answer, saying, Lord, when did we see you in need of food or drink, or wandering, or without clothing, or ill, or in prison, and did not take care of you? Then will he make answer to them, saying, Truly I say to you, Because you did it not to the least of these, you did it not to me. And these will go away into eternal punishment; but the upright into eternal life.” — Matthew 25:31-46
“For God had such love for the world that he gave his only Son, so that whoever has faith in him may not come to destruction but have eternal life.” — John 3:16
There are probably many more scriptures but as I said earlier these seem to set the foundation of our belief and actions there of.
So as I look at these readings and say to myself I have always sought to be or do things that are just. I have given the greatest effort to have mercy and forgive as I have been forgiven. I have walked as humbly with God as humanly possible. I also know, within the deepest part of me, that I love God with all my heart soul and strength. I have spent an entire lifetime trying my best to love my neighbor as myself. Indeed I have spent my career feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and the imprisoned.
Certainly the reason I do all that is because I understand and accept Jesus the Christ as my Savior. Therefore, it becomes very hard for me to imagine that one day when I arrive at heavens door, that whoever is doing the check in will say, “Well Paul you lived a life of doing justice, having mercy and walking humbly with God. You appeared to have loved God with all your heart, soul and strength. You certainty attempted to love your neighbor as yourself. You understood and accepted Jesus as the Messiah. However, you fell in love with the wrong gender. Go to Hell.”
You see, my friend, those who tell you that you are flawed and God doesn’t want you if you’re gay have missed the logic of both scripture and the unconditional love of God. You are hardly fooling yourself. In reality it is those who would hurt you and cast you out that are fooling themselves.
Editor-in-Chief of Whosoever and Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church of Atlanta, Rev. Paul M. Turner grew up in suburban Chicago and was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1989. He and his husband Bill have lived in metro Atlanta since 1994, have been in a committed partnership since the early 1980’s and have been legally married since 2015.