Will Homosexuality Keep You Out of Heaven?
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.
This entry was posted by Jason Berggren on May 26, 2010 at 10:05 am, and is filed under Touchy Subjects, Unauthorized Blogs. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
[…] I discussed some interactions during some radio interviews regarding Hell and homosexuality. In both of them I mentioned one of may favorite statements by Jesus. It […]
I don’t call myself a Christian, but I have an interest in it.
I like this as a wrap up of everything you said:
“Ultimately, we are all responsible for ourselves, our actions, and what we believe.”
I believe that God knows and understands that each of us has a different makeup than anyone. So what makes sense for one person does not make sense for another.
As a parent, I require my daughter to show me her homework, but I do not require that of my son. That’s because my daughter tends to blow off her homework, while my son takes it very seriously. DIfferent requirements for different people.
God has 6 billion different children currently. My guess (and of course, this is all just conjecture) is that he’s not so concerned with where consenting adults stick their penises. In fact, my guess is that if Christians weren’t so hung up on sex, we’d see less “scandal” about high profile leaders sticking their penises into places where they are unwelcome, or hurting spouses because of it.
I know a lot of gay people — I live in a relatively gay tolerant community. I can honestly say that my gay friends are among my most generous friends. Kind to those in need. Tremendously likely to behave like the Good Samaritan. If God overlooked this lean toward kindness and compassion (true Christ-like qualities) because of what turns them on, then I think God is being caddy and lame.
Thanks for the comments. I would certainly agree that some of the kindest people I’ve met have been homosexual. In fact, I once had a client say, “You’re so honest, are you gay?” As you can imagine that was a bit awkward, but it made me wonder (pensively) why he didn’t say, ” You’re so honest, are you a Christian?”
I understand you example with you kids, and I agree to a point. But I would add this, they both have to do their homework. That’s not ‘grey’–the point is, there are some absolutes. Just something to think about too.
Please pray for my parish. This weeeknd a lesbian couple is being allowed to baptize their twin babies , who were conceived through vitro, at our church. Yes, the babies are innocent and should be baptized, but I believe it should be done privately. The fact that they are being allowed to participate in a public baptism opens a very dangerous door. I think our Pastor is making a big mistake because it tells the parishioners, and the other families participating, that this is acceptable. How can they renew their baptism promises when they are openly living in defiance of God’s law? They may be using these babies to drive an agenda and once they get their foot in the door, watch out! You know what comes next: You baptized our babies, now why can’t you marry us. They’re both sacraments, right? Pray for our Pastor and the Deacon who runs our baptism program, who gave permission for this, and for me because I fear some day, because I stand totally with the magisterium of the Church, it may cost me my job.
I sure will. Sounds like you have examined this through quite well.
Thanks for the link, although I think the site is a bit skewed.
I found this website most helpful as I did research into what the Bible actually says and doesn’t say about homosexuality and how we respond to it.
Jason, one of the things I “hate” about Christianity is how each of us can take a passage or part of the Word and skew it any which way we choose…and I understand that this site may be doing exactly that. But it’s still informative reading.