I often visit the webzine Whosoever, and today discovered the new Seeds of Hope section. Thank you for your words of encouragement. I am a Christian, and have just recently began to struggle with my sexuality in the realization that I desire to spend the rest of my life with another woman — I still struggle with being able to say that I am gay — I grew up in a FreeWill Baptist Church, and am struggling with the fact that we don’t have to give up our relationship w/Christ bc of our sexuality, or even give up my sexuality in order to maintain a relationship with Christ. Some days I feel as if my head is going to explode. My faith in the Lord is not in question, yet my walk with Him is suffering.
I am so thankful for those such as yourself and Candace Chellew who have a passion for serving Christ by helping others. What a blessing your words have been. Thanks for your time and any help.
Dear Candace S.
Thank you for your letter. I am going to answer your letter in the column because what you are saying and have great concerns about are so very typical of our community as a whole.
I appreciate the great influence that your church has had on you in your belief system. However, remember that just because that is what you grew up with and who you were taught by doesn’t make them right. As a matter of fact over the couple of thousand years since the advent of The Christ, we have had all kinds of different denominations come into being for one reason or another and all of them saying they were the way of salvation and righteousness.
Jesus wasn’t even a year in heaven and the original church was arguing about whether one had to be a Jew than a Christian. Remember, the stories around circumscion? Dietary laws? Gentiles? Free or Slave? My point here is that your personal relationship with Christ is what is importan, not your sexuality or what a given denomination says about it.
Not once in all the miracles and healings of Jesus did he ever ask anyone what their sexual orientation was. Not once in any of his public teachings did he asked those listening about their sexual orientation or state that if anyone that was listening were gay they had to leave and could not be a part of God’s Kingdom. Your relationship with Christ has absolutely nothing to do with your sexual orientation.
But when the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then will he be seated in his glory:
And before him all the nations will come together; and they will be parted one from another, as the sheep are parted from the goats by the keeper.
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 Creator, 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 or sisters, you did it to me.” — Matthew 25:31-40
The above passage makes clear what Jesus is expecting in our relationship to him.
Finally, my dear sister in Christ, you say your faith in Christ is not in question, yet your walk is suffering. If you have faith in the Christ how can your walk suffer, except by the lies and deceptions of the world we live in? Remember in almost every instant that Jesus healed someone it was with this statement: “Your faith has made you well.” If you have faith in Jesus then walk with and in Jesus. Find those places that understands the message of The Christ and doesn’t teach some pretentious theology that says you must believe and act in a narrow way or be threatened with the burning fires of hell.
Read Matthew 25:31-40 again closely and know that it is your walk, who you love and commit yourself to in this life is the blessing.
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.