It's 5:03 in the morning.
I was just laying in bed, about to sleep and feeling tired finally after a nights work and mental stimulation.
I was comfortable and I was ready to sleep.
However, I couldn't stop thinking about a conversation that I had with someone while at work tonight.
I was on patrol and an acquaintance sought to have me weigh in on the discussion that she was having with her co-worker.
"Do you go to church?" She asked me.
"Yep. Why, would you like to come? " I replied.
"I have a question, and you can answer honestly, please answer honestly..."
By the tonal fluctuations in her voice I could tell that she was sincere and was about to ask me a very personal question.
" Am I going to hell for being gay?"
I'm going to be honest here, when she asked it, a part of my own heart instantly hurt with her.
" Are you afraid of going to Hell because you are gay?" I asked.
She told me how in her relationship, her significant other is starting to become increasingly fearful of the end times, and in that, she is afraid that they're going to hell for being gay.
There were many things that I wanted to say. Many responses that I wanted to give... and all of them were focused on the truth, and the heart that was seeking it.
I started off by telling her that I am not qualified to judge who goes to hell and who doesn't. I personally am far to faulty for that... plus, the job is taken by a qualified applicant.... Jesus. I mean he passed the bar, I failed half the exams.
To respond to her question I stated the fact that the Bible states that homosexuality is a sin.
The more important fact that I really tried to emphasize, is that God loves her/us/you/me.
HE does. IF you are reading this, know that God loves you. If you are gay, and you are reading this, Know that God loves you.
A lot of churches like to quote verses from the Bible in a pointed context to stab folks with it.
IT is almost as if they get a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction from it.
Westbro Baptist Church is a prominent face out there holding up signs that "GOD HATES FAGS" or "GOD HATES GAY PEOPLE"
Some of them will quote Leviticus 18: 22 You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.
I'm not sure.... maybe its me.... but I didn't read anywhere in that text that God hates people who deal with homosexuality.
I confessed to her that there are things that I struggle with as a heterosexual man. Are these sins of mine any less offensive? Is lust any less lustful for a man than for a woman?
... Am I defined by this one thing?
... is my struggle with this sin, the summation of who I am as a person?
Hell no. ( I said it)
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
God so loved the world...
God, LOVED, WORLD.
Even gay people. Are you defined by the fact that you're attracted to someone.... or are you defined by the fact that you are created by God, in His image, Knit together in the womb?
Deuteronomy 14:3 Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing
5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
Jerimiah 13: 27 “As for your adulteries and your lustful neighings,
The lewdness of your prostitution
On the hills in the field,
I have seen your abominations.
Woe to you, O Jerusalem!
How long will you remain unclean?”
Homosexuality is a sin. Eating pork, shellfish, snake, owl and other things God said aren't food ... is a sin. Being proud in the heart is a sin. Lusting is a sin.
My friend isn't less human for the sin. Jesus died for her too.
Repentance is a huge part of the salvation process, and it is important for all believers to exercise grace and patience with all people.
I gave my friend one of the cards I carry for church. I hope she comes and enters into the House of God, as the gentiles did in Acts 15... I hope that she comes and hears and applies the word to her life.
I hope that for a lot of us out there.