I am a lesbian who has been married for 16 years- 3 children and have been in a relationship with a woman for 4 years now. Prior to leaving my marriage, I was very active in the local Catholic Church. I recognize now that what I was doing then was trying to create a community which valued diversity and embraced the vision the I had of Christianity-one that included gays and lesbians, in preparation for my own coming out. Anyway the upshot of this is I have totally lost my faith. I can’t stand to hear about the notion of God because to me now it is a construction of the patriarchy to maintain male power and dominance. … I refuse to even wear the symbols of Christianity because of the way the religious right has used Christianity to beat up the minorities of the world, who don’t fit their narrow view of the kingdom.
Hmm, this sounds like the story of a good and decent man many years ago who valued diversity and went about his life trying to include those who were the outcasts, misfits and horrible and unacceptable people to the rest of society. The church that he was a part of was also about male power and dominance. As a matter of fact they went so far as to arrest him, bring him to trial and sentence him to death.
My dear sister in Christ, the only difference I see in these two stories is that Jesus didn’t leave the faith, he saw it through to the very end. He was called and answered. He answered that call and all that went with it so that when God calls you, you too can answer the call. May I gently remind you the religious right didn’t go to the cross so others might have life. The Christ did. Jesus once said to the religious right of his day, “you will go across the country to gain one convert and then turn them into twice as much a son of hell.” He was very much aware of what he was up against, as are we. He said he was sending us out among wolves “as sheep to be slaughtered.”
Lost faith? No. Forgive me, but I think you are just righteously angry. You can walk away but what of the folks that God has sent to you to be touched by the spiritual gifts that you have? God’s call to you to do justice, act mercifully and walk humbly with God has nothing to do with those who try to stop you or us. It has everything to do with you knowing and sharing the exciting truth of God — “whosoever believes in me shall not perish but have life everlasting.” No one can take that from you. No one. Only you can choose to walk away. I know that it is hard, but I do what I do so others can live fully in the unconditional love of Christ. How about you?
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.