So I was doing a radio interview recently. Again, due to the title of my book, it was not a Christian show, station, or host (that I know of). The station branded itself as featuring liberal (aka progressive) talk radio. I get the opportunity to do this a lot, which is awesome (and sometimes nerve-racking).

Whenever doing interviews like this there are always some common themes that I get challenged to discuss (like Hell which I mentioned here). This day was not different. So the host blasts me (he was respectful, though) with this question:

I’m a homosexual male…will that keep me out of Heaven?

Ouch! That was awkward. I stumbled for a split second. This is when I said, “Um..” to gather my thoughts for a moment. Now, you’re not supposed to say um because it doesn’t make for a good public speaking. But it was short and quick and I immediately asked him to clarify his question.

Specifically, he wanted to know if the alleged ‘sin’ of homosexuality would keep someone out of Heaven.

I explained that as I understand the Bible and teachings of Jesus, no particular ‘sin’ will keep a person from eternity with God. In fact, I explained that I am quite a sinner myself.

As I understand it, no particular action or set of actions (rituals/legalism) can earn you your way into heaven. And no set of actions will necessarily keep you out of Heaven. The message of Jesus is about believing in him and faith, not rituals and repetition–something that religious people of the day lost sight of. First and foremost, it is about faith and belief.

I referenced my favorite phrase of Jesus at this point. I told the host that Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

I explained that, from my perspective, what you believe about Jesus said here is what determines you eternity with God, not your actions specifically.

I also explained that I am very thankful about this because i would never be able to ‘earn’ my way into Heaven, since I am quite imperfect.

But this does not mean we are totally off the hook.

I did also mention that Jesus challenges us all on how we live. If we believe in him, we do have to answer for our actions and may even have to change them. In fact, as imperfect as I am, I have had to change many things in my life in order to try to be more like Jesus. Ultimately, we are all responsible for ourselves, our actions, and what we believe.

But Heaven itself is about what we believe about Jesus.That’s what I told the host.

At the end, the host actually thanked me for my answer. WOW!

They don’t all go well, but that one did.