Are You SURE You’re a Christian??

“Are you sure you’re a Christian? Because I don’t really think so–even though you say you are–and my ideas on your spiritually are more important than YOUR ideas on your spiritually…”

Well, I think I’ve entered into some kind of Hall of Fame:

I got my first, face-to-face, questioning of whether I know Christ.

Yesterday, my close relative told me she is praying I will become a Christian in case I’m not.

My mouth dropped. Perhaps you can relate. This girl has known my relationship with Jesus, without question, and she has sought counsel from me as a spiritually mature “sister.”

Now, because of my blog – my love and support for my daughter and the LGBTQ community – she is concerned about me.

You may be in that Hall of Fame. Perhaps you recognize the conversation. You may have been told you are not really a Christian, because you are lesbian, gay or transgender, and are no longer willing to hate yourself for it.

You may have had hell thrown in your face. A lesbian friend emailed me yesterday about that very thing—her sister said she’s going to hell because she is marrying a woman.

So apparently this saved-by-grace thing doesn’t really mean saved by grace. Apparently we “sinners” missed the fine print, because if you do something other Christians consider dealbreakers—and being LGBTQ or condoning same is that dealbreaker—then you are in some real danger. (This relative did not wear a head covering and I think her salad had bacon on it, but perhaps I’m quibbling??)

Her denomination believes that once you “truly” accept Christ, that will not be revoked from you. But that “truly” is their asterisk. I’ll explain by way of a story.

Growing up we had a neighbor named “Pam,” a mother of four. She was divorced.

No wait, not divorced. She was a Catholic, married in the Catholic Church, and the Catholic Church does not recognize divorce. So she could not get a divorce. Instead, her marriage was annulled. Yeah. “Annulled” means “declared invalid, made nothing.” After raising four children in their home together for some 35 years, their marriage was made nothing.

It never happened, people. This marriage never happened.

So, apparently she’s never been married, and her four kids never had a father.

It’s like going back in time, and you have to be careful not to disturb anything or the whole future will be different! I wonder as they signed those “annulment” papers, whether they watched for their kids to fade out and disappear because they never happened either??

Cue Wayne’s World flashback sequence here:


The mind is capable of all kinds of gymnastics to accommodate our own belief system.

So my experience of God, through Jesus Christ, which my family member had no reason to doubt, is now in question. Because her Southern Baptist tradition does not believe that you can lose your place with God, she is now wondering if my faith was REAL in the first place! Seriously?? It’s the Baptist’s version of annulment!

Well, she can rest her pretty little head, because I know Jesus, I love Jesus, I abide in Jesus. He has grown and matured me as no person could have. She just might not recognize it, because I’m one of the rare ones who actually just does what Jesus told us to do… love God and love others, knowing all the other stuff (laws, rules) will line up right under that. I’m taking Jesus for his word on that. Like the Good Samaritan Jesus extolled, I’m not judging the condition of my neighbor before I show God’s love.

But since she raised the question, I am now kinda concerned about HER faith! She accepted Christ as her Savior… but does she know him?? Because, to be honest, she don’t seem to be hearing his main message, to love God and love others, abide in him, and let him take care of everything else. She is a very committed worker bee, but honestly, it seems that she don’t really trust him much at all.

Jesus passionately warned religious leaders: “What sorrow also awaits you experts in religious law! For you crush people with unbearable religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden.”

To my family member… Sweetheart, that sounds like you!

She knows practically nothing about the LBGTQ community, and yet she has answers for them! 

I’m glad I met with her. Now I know. I’m going to pray for her to come to know Jesus–not the law, but the real Jesus, who supersedes the law.

If this chinks into that rulebook in her head, that would be wonderful. She could pray to know Christ more fully as he means to be known.

If not, then it’s okay. She can just tell herself:

This conversation never happened…


[To read more from Susan Cottrell, visit]

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SUSAN COTTRELL is a national speaker, teacher, and counselor with years of Biblical study and discipleship experience. Her books include: Mom, I’m Gay – Loving Your LGBTQ Child Without Sacrificing Your Faithas well as How Not to Lose Your Teen and The Marriage Renovation. Through her nonprofit organization – – Susan champions the LGBTQ community and families with her characteristic tender-heartedness, and she zealously challenges Christians who reject them with her wise insistence that “loving God and loving others” are the foundation of the rest of the scripture, just as Jesus said.

She is the Vice-President of PFLAG Austin, and her “Mom, I’m Gay” book has been endorsed by The Human Rights Campaign and others. Sharon Groves, PhD, HRC’s Religion & Faith Program Director says, “I often get asked by parents for resources that can address the struggles of raising LGBT sons and daughters without having to leave faith behind. Susan Cottrell’s book, Mom, I’m Gay, does just that. This is the kind of book that parents will love.”

She and her husband have been married more than 25 years and have five children – one of whom is in the LGBTQ community. She lives in Austin, Texas, and blogs at and here in IMPACT Magazine’s FreedHearts and Jesus Blog columns.