I recently rededicated my life to Jesus after 10 years in a Spiritualist church which believed Jesus was a good guy but not that we need salvation in particular. I have been in a Pentecostal church for the past 4 weeks and am being fed and nurtured. I am out to a few people who say they neither condemn nor condone my “lifestyle.” In my work and non-church settings I am very out. I struggle with many things. My partner of 6 1/2 years is afraid I will dump her for Jesus and I am afraid she will dump me because of Jesus.
I am told by some that my life doesn’t match up with the Word and I am in for problems. Others, lesbian Christians, tell me that Paul was warped and not really speaking about monogamous relationships but wild orgies. And that Paul didn’t like women.
My problems are about whether or not I stay in this relationship or do I end a 6 1/2 year relationship after a month of church
Dear Please Reply,
Let me give a couple of clear and to the point answers and then go back and explain them. First, if you leave your girlfriend for Jesus you are on the wrong page of Christianity. Second, if this church is not fully supportive of a loving, committed and beautiful relationship then get out of that church. By the way, which word don’t you match up with? If they mean by “word,” the Bible, then they truly need to lose you as an attendee. It doesn’t matter if you found Jesus there or not, they are attempting to control your relationship with God. Leave now. “Do not pass go, do not collect $200.00.” Third, if you leave this woman you love and have been with 6 and a half years after being in this church for a month then I have some swamp land in Florida that is going to be real valuable and I will sell it to you for a good price.
My dear Child of God, I know the first part of this note was strong, but I wanted to make sure I had your attention and the attention of anyone who reads this column. As a Christian, I understand the reason you have this relationship to begin with is because it is a gift from God. If you have re-dedicated your life to Jesus, then you should also now see God has been with you the whole time, during the good and bad, the up and the down and including the beauty of bringing your partner into your life. Instead of being worried about dumping her or ending this relationship you ought to be praising God from here to the Rocky Mountains for such an awesome gift.
I will say again for all to read and understand — the Bible is not the basis for one’s salvation. The Bible is not the inerrant Word of God. The Bible is not the final authority on your relationship with God or even your partner. The Bible is a collection of writings that are prose poetry, song, historical accounts and narrative history. It is an attempt to help first the Jew and now we Christians to have a clearer picture of God and give us some idea of what our relationship with God can be about and from the writers perspective what an ancient peoples relationship with God was.
The Bible is a “deep in the soul” inspired collection of writings that we can turn to for comfort, guidance and wisdom. Nowhere in all of scripture is the love you have for your partner condemned. For them to say it condemns you and your partner’s love for each other is to lie to you. Finally, we do not have one original piece of manuscript from that time — not one. My God is a God who is so awesome that God gave me a mind to use and think for myself, rather then make me a puppy who follows the magic tricks of a particular time period.
It does not matter if St. Paul liked women or not, he was just flat out wrong in some of his theology. Compare the saying of Jesus and that of Paul. I am telling you he missed the boat sometimes. For instance Jesus puts no conditions on people participating in communion, by the simple phrase, “as often as you do this do this in remembrance of me.” Yet Paul says that you must be of a certain mind and gives all kinds of interpretive language for who can and cannot participate in this sacred act.
You have the opportunity for your relationship to grow and blossom in the love of God and what Jesus attempted to teach us. For my humble 2 cents worth, to throw all that away because someone has told you it is not within the “word” would be a serious mistake. They have not been with you and looked deep into the eyes of your partner and saw the grand, special and deep love God has given you. Trust your heart-felt love and celebrate your life!
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.