My name is Johnie Guerra. I’m straight and happily married with four wonderful boys. I’m the grandson of two pastors and my parents did their best to raise me with a Bible-based upbringing.
Recently, I’ve started attending a church with an inclusive ministry for LGBT people, volunteering at a youth group for LGBT kids, and started posting spiritual messages of Christian equality for LGBT people.
I’d like to share one of my inspirations for my current efforts, my friend Julian.
I met him ten years ago and we quickly became great friends—more than friends, like brothers. Our families have become one big family. His mother is like an aunt to me and my children think of him as an uncle.
Over the years, I’ve enjoyed seeing how wonderful he treats people. He loves to laugh and always opens his home to everyone.
Today, we’re two happy guys who’ve packed on a few pounds but years ago, before our paths crossed, there was a time he wasn’t so happy.
I’ve heard his “coming out” story and it breaks my heart that words like depression, suicide, and exclusion were in his story. “It would be easier on everyone, including me if I could straighten out!” is what he told me.
I know God put me in his life to let him know He loves everyone. From now on, I will stand up for him and be a voice that uses words like love, inclusion, and acceptance. He never has to feel he has to “straighten out” anymore.
All Christians have to make a decision. But, before they do, I hope they think about it.
To judge and call LGBT people sinners is to act as the religious leaders of Jesus’ day.
It’s parallel to those who used the Bible to support segregation, prejudice, and slavery. But when the doors of churches open to all those who seek the kingdom of Heaven, that is the fulfillment of the Bible’s universal theme of love. It is impossible for God to exclude LGBT people from Heaven when He’s allowed them to make the world, especially mine, so wonderful.
So to my friend Julian and all who have been judged unjustly, God loves you and so do I. Just as you are.
Photo via flickr user Senthil Prabu.S.