I’m writing to ask for spiritual guidance along my journey. I am a 20 year old lesbian in a fairly small Midwestern city. I was raised within the United Methodist Church, the same church my parents currently attend. I am also a local activist for tolerance and diversity, so I decided to see where my minister stood upon the issues of GLBT individuals and the Church. (He gave me two options — be a lesbian in a Christ-like monogamous relationship and be cast out of heaven or be celibate and not act upon my feelings.) I brought along Peter Gomes’s book “The Good Book” to which he basically said that one mustn’t construct their religion to suit their own purposes. At this point, I’m sure that being a lesbian is what God intended for me. But I simply cannot bring myself to go into that church.
My current dilemma is this: While I understand that I shouldn’t leave the church over one issue, I feel deep in my heart that this is a big principle and I can’t stand being in an environment where I’m not welcome. I have turned to doing personal services in my dorm room and reading sermons online so as to maintain my relationship with God without having to have to attend a mainstream church where I have my doubts in attending. I feel horrible for equating organized local Christianity with intolerance but given the situation, I’m sure it’s understandable. Please try your best in guiding as I know there’s a lot here. BTW, the closest accepting church is nearly an hour’s drive and I would have to get my parents’ to loan me their car for the day to go (which could be a possibility now that I think about it)
Every once in a while it is good to print a letter where the person in the course of their questions answers it for them selves. Sometimes we don’t realize we have answered our own question because we are expecting something else. So here is your answer:
BTW, the closest accepting church is nearly an hour’s drive and I would have to get my parents’ to loan me their car for the day to go (which could be a possibility now that I think about it)
My child of God, you do indeed know the answer now go and do it and be blessed in your service to God.
By the way people leave and go to different churches over far less important issues. You need to be where you can serve God and spiritually grow.
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.