I was raised a Christian and I attended Christian schools. I used to play the bass guitar in church but I don’t remember the last time I woke up on a Sunday and decided I was going to church. I do still believe in God, though. I know He rules in the affairs of men and I don’t need to go to church to hear from Him. I believe in Him in my heart and that’s all that matters.
I believe there is a heaven and there is a hell. Sometimes, I get the feeling that a place has already been prepared in hell for me and that any day, any moment, I would be dragged there. I have no control over how and when I get there – if I will go there at all.
It’s all in the hands of God.
No man can tell me whether I am going to hell neither can I tell whether anyone is going to heaven or hell. In the same vein, no one can look at another’s deeds and proclaim him hell-bound. Only God decides that.
God decides when to curse and when to bless. He decides who to afflict with ailment and who to cure. He decides who to make rich and who to strike with poverty. I believe we all live on the grace of God.
That I am alive today doesn’t mean I am more righteous or any more deserving of God’s grace than the men, women and children who were washed away in a blink of an eye by the Tsunami in Japan. It’s all by His Grace – given freely. None of us can work for that grace.
That’s why I am in no hurry whatsoever to condemn homosexuals and pray fire and brimstone on them. So this one is for my self-righteous Christians who have decided to strike fear into us by falsely preaching that if we don’t banish our homosexual brothers and sisters, God will curse us and we will never receive his favour.
Let’s start off at Proverbs 14:34: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people.”
For me, there is only one righteousness. It is outlined in Mark 12:28-31:
“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
But then loving God with all your heart and loving your neighbour as yourself doesn’t guarantee that God will exalt your nation. And failing to do any of these doesn’t automatically mean that God will set your nation on fire. He decides.
That is why the bible says in Isaiah 64:6 that “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
We are all sinners – pastors, bishops, choirmasters, mass servers, ushers, instrumentalists and gay men and women alike. And no matter what you do – whether you pray all day and all night or have gay sex morning, noon and night – your righteous acts are like filthy rags before Him. If the world (or the nation) is going to suffer God’s damnation, it wouldn’t just be because some men are having sex through the anus. It would equally be punishment for thievery, murder, adultery, idolatry, fornication, deceit and all the other acts God abhors.
With this in mind, when an adulterer was brought before Jesus by stone-wielding men and women ready to pelt him to death, our Gracious Saviour looked around at them all and said: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7).
At that moment, the stones fell to the ground. We are all sinners. None of us can decide that our sins are less grievous than the other. The man who has regular virginal sex is as sinful as the one who has anal sex. God will not punish the gay man any more than he would punish the heterosexual man.
But let’s not forget, He is a gracious God. With His infinite mercies, He forgives and forgives in equal measure. That’s why He sent his “only begotten son” to come and die for us all.
According to Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He loves us all in equal measure and He suffered equally for us all. The homosexual man didn’t increase Christ’s pain and suffering more than the heterosexual man did. He didn’t die more for the man who claims to be righteous and less for the sinner.
In dying for us all, not only did Christ demonstrate His love for us. In Ephesians 3:17-19 it is stated: “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
So boundless is His love that there is enough for each and every one of His creations. And it is this love that He wants us to demonstrate when he says to us: “love your neighbour as yourself”. He doesn’t say, love the heterosexual more than you love the gay man.
It is for this reason that I believe that it is wholly un-Christian for any believer to jump on a moral high horse and proclaim homosexuals as the scum of the earth who deserve to be exterminated and condemned to eternal damnation. Using scripture to fuel hatred and discrimination is the most despicable thing to do. I have no doubt in my mind that there will be some homosexuals in heaven but there will be a lot more heterosexuals burning with me in hell.
I believe we must embrace gays and lesbians as fellow human beings who contribute to the diversity of the human experience and have a lot to offer humanity. I believe it is high time our society accepted that homosexuality is a fact of life and the earlier we lifted the stigma, the better. If we keep up with this gay bashing attitude, we only succeed in driving our dear, gay brothers and sisters underground denying them access to healthcare and other vital services and making it easy for them to spread disease among themselves and in the wider society.
But don’t take it all from me. Listen to Nobel laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who should be one of the most popular preachers on this planet.
“I could not for any part of me be able to keep quiet, because people were being penalized, ostracized, treated as if they were less than human, because of something they could do nothing to change – their sexual orientation,” he says in his book, ‘The Rainbow People of God’. “For me, I can’t imagine the Lord that I worship, this Jesus Christ, actually concurring with the persecution of a minority that is already being persecuted.”
Then in an interview with the BBC, Desmond Tutu says: “If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn’t worship that God.”
God is not homophobic. He loves us all. He loves the gay man and he loves the straight man. He loves the armed robber and he loves the prostitute. He loves the priest and he loves the cheat. And he enjoins us to love one another. Christians, therefore, should be among the first to warmly embrace gay people.
That’s what God wants us to do. Anyone who professes to be a Christian but is filled with hatred for homosexuals and discriminates against them is failing in his duty as a believer. It’s that simple. Therefore, even though I don’t like going to church and I feel there is a place already prepared for me in hell, I am glad that in my heart I harbour no hatred for any man who enjoys anal sex with another man. My willingness to embrace gay people and my failure to condemn them might just be my saving grace. But then, it’s not for me to decide. God decides – out of His abundant, amazing Grace and his infinite mercies.