These were the words of a gentleman (and I use the term loosely) who came to church last week. He didn’t say it straight away of course. Oh no, the man (let’s called him Roger – I have no idea what his name was but I can’t just keep calling him “The man”), stopped me outside church and asked me if I was the minister, I said that I was one of them and asked if I could help him. It was at this point that I was informed that (and I quote), “I’ve read your blog and you’re going to Hell, you faggot loving liberal. You and all your friends are going to burn in the fires of Hell.” And he laughed, manically. He seemed quite pleased with the idea. He had known me for less than a minute and was delighted with the prospect that we wouldn’t be spending eternity together, frankly, so was I.
I found this statement quite interesting though. Among my ‘friends’ are quite a few pastors, some archbishops, a bishop or two and many ministers, some of whom would share Roger’s view that I am a Hell bound liberal but are too polite to say it. I must inform them of their eventual and ultimate destination because of their close ties to me.
I digress (it’s a fault of mine), so according to Roger I and all my friends are going to Hell. Wishing to clarify the situation I inquired of Roger where he was bound and was told, in no uncertain terms after he had finished laughing, that he was bound for Heaven because God loves him and all he stands for (and presumably all he stands against as well – e.g. faggot loving liberals such as myself.) I was then informed, “I do not wish to pollute myself any more. I have done what God told me to do and condemned you to Hell.” At which point he walked off.
I waved but he didn’t look back. I think I’ll miss him, we had such a nice conversation. A life long friendship was merely seconds away.
But this chance and random encounter got me thinking, not about if I’m going to Hell or not but about his God and my God. They seem to be very different. Roger and I have vastly differing views on the Almighty, in fact we seem to have vastly different Almightys.
I was told by Roger that he reads the blog so if he wishes to add any comments or corrections to the next part he is free to and I will not delete or edit them.
Let me list a few things about Roger’s God that I gleaned from my short conversation with the anointed Roger;
1) Roger’s God hates faggot loving liberals (and I’m sure lots of other members of society as well – I doubt women would rate highly on Roger’s God’s priority list) and he sends Roger to tell them, with much glee, that they are Hell bound.
2) R.G. (that’s Roger’s God in shorthand, no doubt another burning offence, but since I’m Hell bound anyway I don’t care anymore) seems to take great delight in the fact that some of his creation (most of it if Roger has his way) are lost and will be sent to the burning fires of the Pit. Roger seemed ecstatic at the prospect.
3) R.G. seems to offer no way back from my Inferno bound trek. May be there isn’t one and I (and all my friends) are beyond all hope of salvation anyway.
4) R.G. and Roger seems to have forgotten about that little passage in the Bible we call the New Testament and that bit part figure who appears once or twice named Jesus.
The big difference between R.G. and my God is that R.G. hates me and all I stand for, whereas my God loves Roger, even if I think he is somewhat misguided.
R.G. will take great delight in watching me toast for all eternity; my God will mourn the loss of a sparrow let alone Roger.
R.G. will condem me; my God will reach out to all the Rogers’ of the world with a hand with nail marks in it.
I don’t want to follow a God that hates: I don’t like Roger’s God anymore than he seems to like me. The God I serve is a God of love, and that love is not just for the loveable people of the world but for everyone, without exception – yes even faggot loving liberals like me.
And that is what I take from this encounter with R.G. and Roger – my God is bigger than his.
My God has a love that knows no bounds – not of race or class nor of belief or sexual orientation.
God loves you whoever you are and that includes all the Rogers of this world.
Like it or not my God (or just God as he should be called) has a place in his heart for you, has love for you, has hope for you far more than I do Roger, but that is why HE IS GOD and I’m just child that he loves.
Picture found on the internet.