My name is Ken. I was raised conservative Church of God and I have been taught my whole life that homosexuality is a sin. I began my coming out journey about five years ago when I was fifteen. Now I am in a committed relationship with a guy who was raised the same way I was. He too believes that we are both going to hell, but we don’t know how to change. We have prayed and fasted but to no avail. My question is this: Are we really going to hell for following our hearts?
Thank you for your letter. The struggle you and your boyfriend are having is because the institutional church has not caught up with the modern-day world when it comes to matters of sexuality.
Old ideas around sexuality are still being applied to people today, and they just don’t fit as God’s people have grown past the ignorance and a lack of understanding of how and why sex is practiced.
Here are just two quick examples:
- Biblical marriage required “planting a seed” that grew into a baby. We know that is not how reproduction works.
- To be married in the biblical sense meant the woman was the property of her father, who made a business deal with the groom to have his daughter. (Ask your Mom whose property she is.)
The “Bible” version that has been preached to you concerning this issue is full of inaccuracies and misunderstandings of the culture. There is plenty of biblical scholarship that points to the fact that gay folks are loved by God, and were created that way, and therefore are a blessing in this world.
I would be most happy to answer any questions that you might have after reading it over.
The fact that you and your boyfriend are in a committed relationship with God as your center is far more important than the gender of the two people sharing that love. The reason the prayer and fasting are not working is because there is nothing to change.
Do the homework I gave you, and know that neither you nor your boyfriend is going to hell for following your heart of love and commitment.
Editor-in-Chief of Whosoever and Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church of Atlanta, Rev. Paul M. Turner (he/him) 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 1980s and have been legally married since 2015.