Rev. Paul M. Turner of Gentle Spirit Christian Church is a signatory to a theological statement against gun violence that was delivered in 2014 to Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and the state Legislature and published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in response to the “guns in church law” that Gov. Deal signed into law that year. It reads, in part:
An interfaith clergy coalition, Outcry: Faith Voices Against Gun Violence, has come together to raise our voices as people of faith all across Georgia in hopes of preventing gun violence in our state.
We believe that God calls us to value every human life and commands us to live in peace with one another.
We believe that God also commands us to love our neighbor and therefore it is our responsibility to do all that we can to ensure the safety and security of all people.
We can no longer be silent about gun violence in our state. We will oppose political decisions driven by fear that promote the notion that the answer to gun violence is more guns. As citizens of Georgia and as leaders of faith communities we oppose House Bill 875 and any legislation that would allow more guns in more places in our state.
Through our faith, we have a vision for human community that is built on solidarity and trust, not fear and terror. We hope and work for the day when neighborhoods and communities all across our state will be places where human life is valued and celebrated, not tragically ended by gun violence. In this hope, we are encouraging all people of faith to become informed and active in preventing gun violence in Georgia. We pray for moral clarity and courage as we seek to build peace and good will among the human family. We commit ourselves to praying and working for public policies that promote the flourishing of our communities and our congregations in safety and peace.
Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge has published a new e-book, Be Bulletproof: How to Defend Your Faith, Love Your Enemies, and Finally Make Peace with the Bible. Featuring the first article written on the idea of spiritual self-defense that later became her 2008 book Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians, this 30-page resource contains everything you need to begin building your bulletproof faith including:
- What spiritual self-defense is (and isn’t)
- How to answer those who want to argue (or not)
- How to love your critics (even if you don’t like them)
- Answers to what the Bible does (and does not) say about homosexuality
Use this form to download your free copy of Be Bulletproof: How to Defend Your Faith, Love Your Enemies, and Finally Make Peace with the Bible.
About the author
Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge was ordained by Gentle Spirit Christian Church in 2003 and currently serves as pastor of Jubilee! Circle in Columbia, S.C. She holds a Master of Theological Studies degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University and is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches and The Guardian.
Transgender Day of Remembrance: Rev. Paul M. Turner’s remarks at the 2009 observance at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on November 20th.
The Questing Parson – who in real life is the Rev. Guy Kent, former pastor of the Epworth United Methodist Church in Atlanta’s Candler Park neighborhood and now serving as a retired supply pastor at a rural church in Northwest Georgia – is adding video interviews to his popular blog, the first of which is the interview with the Rev. Turner.
The 41-minute interview, which is available in its entirety on the Questing Parson blog and on Vimeo, is posted below for the viewer’s convenience – first in its entirety, and then in four segments.
The interview with Rev. Turner was conducted earlier in the year and chronicles his struggle with being called to the Christian ministry while being gay. At moments emotional, sometimes inspiring, and throughout informative, the interview presents a deeper understanding of the struggle of gay Christians as well as appreciation for the marvelous ministry to the homeless, the marginalized, and the LGBTQ community conducted by Gentle Spirit Christian Church.