In New York City there was a trans woman named Meredith. She loved God, and gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly – in fact, she felt completely loved and accepted by Him. But she was too afraid to ever go into any church, based on many of her friends’ treatment by Christians.
One day at about three in the afternoon, she had a vision. She distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to her and said, “Meredith!”
Meredith stared in fear. “What is it, Lord?” she asked.
The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor and caring for those with AID’s have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now go to Long Island and bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. He is staying with Steve the business man, whose house is by the sea in Montauk.”
When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Meredith gathered her closest friends and consulted with them. They agreed she should listen to the voice of God and go. Meredith was very nervous, because she had heard of “Super pastor” Peter, who had founded several evangelical mega-churches around the U.S. So her closest friend, a gay man named Nick, went with her.
About noon the following day, Pastor Peter went up on the roof balcony to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance while meditating. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds – even unnatural-looking deep sea creatures. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
“Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten or done anything impure or unclean. I have always followed the Bible in all things. I guard my heart from temptation. I love the sinner but hate the sin.”
The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
While Pastor Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, Meredith arrived at the house and spoke into the gate buzzer, asking if Pastor Peter was staying here.
While the pastor was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, a trans woman and her gay friend is looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”
Peter went down and said to them, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?”
Nick replied, “We have come from New York City. My friend, Meredith, is a God-fearing trans woman, who is respected by everyone in our community. A holy angel told her to ask you to come to her house so that she could hear what you have to say.”
Peter was so surprised, he invited them into the house to be his guests. Luckily his friend Steve and he had recently been having discussions about the LGBTQ+ community, commenting on how they didn’t know anyone from this community themselves. In fact, they knew of no Christian who had any relationships within the LGBTQ+ community – none were found in any churches they knew of, and they had connections with thousands of evangelical churches, large and small.
Peter at Meredith’s House
The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the believers from Montauk went along. They arrived at Meredith’s house in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Meredith had arranged for many of her friends to come over – almost all of them from the LGBTQ+ community, and a couple of witches were in the group, too.
Some of the Christians would not go in, it was too unnerving, and they were grossed out and felt extremely uncomfortable. They got online and soon all sorts of social media comments and rumors were flying all over the internet, talking about how the pastor must have lost his mind. Or maybe he would go in and tell them about what sinners they are, quote the Bible verses which speak against homosexuality and witchcraft and what evil, unnatural sins those are, and that they have to stop behaving that way immediately if they want to accept the gracious salvation and new life from Christ. Preaching the word while being as loving as possible.
“That must be what he’s doing,” they said. “Because if he now accepts them as they are, all of a sudden, in their sinful lifestyle, he’s turned away from the Bible and must be a heretic, no longer a true Christian. His churches will die.”
Peter entered the house, and Meredith was overcome by the presence of God in him, and fell to the floor. But Peter helped her up. “Stand up,” he said, “I’m just a regular guy, myself. I struggle as much as you do.”
Peter went into the living room and found a large gathering of people. He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against the Bible for a Christian to accept or associate with the LGBTQ community or lifestyle, or with pagans and witches. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. I have to admit, I am a bit shocked, myself. This goes against what I’ve always believed the Bible says. May I ask why you sent for me?”
Meredith answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me and said, ‘Meredith, God has heard your prayers and remembered your gifts to the poor. Send to Long Island for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Steve the business man, who lives by the sea in Montauk.’ So I consulted with my friends, then came to find you. Thank you, pastor, for coming. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”
Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every community the one who fears him and does what is right. You know the message God sent to everyone, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”
“We are witnesses of a new life lived within God through Jesus Christ. We teach what he did in his ministry two thousand years ago. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by those who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The evangelical Christians who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the homosexual community – and witches, too! For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God, of all things!
Then Peter said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days and teach them more – for no other Christian had ever associated with them.
(inspired by The RobCast episode of 12/7/21: “A Brief Guide to Ecstasy” on Acts 10)