I am a 29 year old lesbian who is in a very loving relationship with my partner. I am in the process of coming out to my family and a select few of my friends. I am having trouble reconciling my sexuality with my spirituality. See, I once was involved with a cult, Boston Church of Christ, you may or may not have heard of it but it is all over the country and I know there is one there in your home state named the Atlanta Church of Christ. Anyway, in that church and other born-again Christian churches that I have belonged to, I have acquired several mental tapes that run over and over inside my head telling me how this lifestyle is worthy only of hell. It has even gone as far as people telling me to my face that if I left the BCC, I would not be able to shed the evilness of homosexuality because only their church, the true church, could heal me. Now I have left all churches and I am trying to live a full life as a lesbian but something inside is still missing a closeness with God. I have bought a few books to try to help; “Don’t Be Afraid Anymore” by the pastor who started the MCC churches, “What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality” and “Coming Out Spiritually”. These books are all fine and good but I still can’t turn off those tapes. I struggle daily with this issue although I do try not to think about it and try to keep myself busy with my daily work. This just puts off the problem but doesn’t solve that void I feel. I need some advice from a real person. I need to know that I am “good enough” to go to heaven. What I mean is that, I want to know that God doesn’t look at my homosexuality as a pass to go directly to hell. Also, how am I going to turn off those tapes in my head? I am scared, real scared of what is ahead of me and definitely afraid of what is on the other side of this life. Can you help? I will read some of the responses that you gave to others and I am sure that they will give me some hope by the answers you have given.
Who died and made this church the King and or Queen or worse yet GOD of the Churches? I mean did I miss something? Has the free will God has bestowed upon each and every one us been signed over to this new church that has the answer of the ages? I know that you might think I am being sarcastic, but my dear child of God, I am not. I wanted you and the readers to see what power you have given these people. They want control of your mind and most likely your pocketbook so they will scare you into doing what they want because they think they have the secrete to living the “true life of God.”
Let me share what Jesus had to say about such people:
But let the greatest among you be your servant. And whoever makes themselves high will be made low, and whoever makes themselves low will be made high.
But a curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! because you are shutting the kingdom of heaven against people: for you do not go in yourselves, and those who are going in, you keep back. A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! for you go about land and sea to get one disciple and, having them, you make them twice as much a son or daughter of hell as yourselves. A curse is on you, blind guides, who say, Whoever takes an oath by the Temple, it is nothing; but whoever takes an oath by the gold of the Temple, they are responsible. You foolish ones and blind: which is greater, the gold, or the Temple which makes the gold holy? And, Whoever takes an oath by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever takes an oath by the offering which is on it, they are responsible. You blind ones: which is greater, the offering, or the altar which makes the offering holy? The one, then, who takes an oath by the altar, takes it by the altar and by all things on it. And the one who takes an oath by the Temple, takes it by the Temple and by God whose house it is. And the one who takes an oath by heaven, takes it by the seat of God, and by God who is seated on it. A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! for you make people give a tenth of all sorts of sweet-smelling plants, but you give no thought to the more important things of the law, righteousness, and mercy, and faith; but it is right for you to do these, and not to let the others be undone. You blind guides, who take out a fly from your drink, but make no trouble over a camel. A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! for you make clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of violent behavior and uncontrolled desire. You blind Pharisee, first make clean the inside of the cup and of the plate, so that the outside may become equally clean. A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! for you are like the resting-places of the dead, which are made white, and seem beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead one’s bones and of all unclean things. Even so you seem to people to be full of righteousness, but inside you are all false and full of wrongdoing. A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! because you put up buildings for housing the dead bodies of the prophets, and make fair the last resting-places of good people, and say, If we had been living in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in the blood of the prophets. So that you are witnesses against yourselves that you are the sons of those who put the prophets to death. Make full, then, the measure of your ancestors. You snakes, offspring of snakes, how will you be kept from the punishment of hell? — Matthew 23:13-33
These are the folks who planted these tapes in your head. They LIED to you Laurie by telling folks what is appearing good, what is looking Good, teaching that God only created one type of people, claiming to be the ultimate authority on God — what a lie! Jesus spent an entire ministry speaking about people’s personal faith. Their minds, beliefs and relationship with God was for them to work out and design, not for some group of power hunger people to decide what that relationship should be or had to be in order to be acceptable.
These folks are not comfortable with the fact that God has created a great variety of sexuality and the fact that there is more then one way to express one’s sexuality. That sexuality is in fact an extension of expressing our love for another person.
I assure you that you are a child of God, a creation of God and that your sexuality is a part of that creation! God does not make mistakes nor does God make things to only later destroy it because after giving them an incredible variety in tastes, needs and expression decides you can’t do that. In other words, God didn’t change the rules in the middle of Creation!
My sister in Christ, do not be afraid, for Jesus came that you might have life and have it abundantly. Remember Jesus also said:
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the One who can destroy both the soul and the body. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet, not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your God. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. so don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Who ever acknowledges me before people, I will also acknowledge before my god in heaven. — Matthew 10:28-32
Please listen not to me, but rather the words of Jesus:
If you are hated by the world, keep in mind that I was hated by the world before you. If you were of the world, you would be loved by the world: but because you are not of the world, but I have taken you out of the world, you are hated by the world. Keep in mind the words I said to you, A servant is not greater than his lord. If they were cruel to me, they will be cruel to you; if they kept my words, they will keep yours. They will do all this to you because of my name — because they have no knowledge of him who sent me. — John 15:18-21
And finally these words of our Savior:
Happy are those whose heart’s desire is for righteousness: for they will have their desire. Happy are those who have mercy: for they will be given mercy. Happy are the clean in heart: for they will see God. Happy are the peacemakers: for they will be named sons of God. Happy are those who are attacked on account of righteousness: for the kingdom of heaven will be theirs. Happy are you when men give you a bad name, and are cruel to you, and say all evil things against you falsely, because of me. Be glad and full of joy; for great is your reward in heaven: for so were the prophets attacked who were before you. You are the salt of the earth; but if its taste goes from the salt, how will you make it salt again? it is then good for nothing but to be put out and crushed under foot by people. You are the light of the world. A town put on a hill may be seen by all. And a burning light is not put under a vessel, but on its table; so that its rays may be shining on all who are in the house. Even so let your light be shining before all, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your God in heaven. — Matthew 5:6-16
My sister, you believe in Jesus as the Christ. God has given you a very special person to love and honor. Today I give you good news — destroy the tapes and celebrate the life and gifts that God has given you to share with the world!
Editor-in-Chief of Whosoever and Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church of Atlanta, where Whosoever Founder and Editor Emeritus Rev. Candace Chellew was ordained, 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.