Tag Archives: Church

Christian students kicked out of their university

This article was published in a student-run newspaper at a right-wing Christian University. After making significant changes to its doctrinal statement, ousting many of its staff and faculty, and relieving a gay student from all his ministry opportunities—despite his commitment to being single and following the community covenant—the University appears hostile for other students who also experience same-sex attraction. The writer has asked to remain anonymous to protect his identity.

 

Medieval author Christine de Pizan had some choice words for the conspiracies of her time—after all, blaming women for corruption in society and oppressing them as a result of such blame did not line up with her own observations of the female “race.” In The Book of the City of Ladies, Pizan argues that “Even if some wicked women have done evil things, it still seems to me that this is far outweighed by all the good that other women have done and continue to do.” Furthermore, she says, “This should prove to you that not all men’s arguments are based on reason, and that these men in particular are wrong.” I have utmost empathy for Pizan, because people like me are also mischaracterized and thrown to the curb far too often—thanks to individuals acting in “the name of God and the Bible.”

The fact is that I’m gay. No, I’m not nor have I ever been in a relationship with another guy. I’m not writing to change your political or theological perspective on the issue, either. Instead, I want to stand up against the mischaracterization that we (the gay community) receive all the time in places like my school. You say, “dude, I’m not condemning you at all—but the gay community is an endorsement of a sinful lifestyle! Don’t identify with it.” Exactly my point. In the same manner of Pizan’s time, when women as a collective were ignorantly thought to have corrupt motives, the Church today does not even try to understand the gay community.

Historically speaking, people fear what they don’t know—anything that looks different. And I believe that’s our problem. We look threatening, and it brings a whole host of mischaracterization.  The F Word.  This mischaracterization puts me into a constant state of fear, not only at school but also at home. My parents have no idea that I don’t like women, but I cannot tell them. In a meeting with Christopher Yuan (a well-known author and speaker) last year, he suggested I “test the waters” and talk about the issue before coming out. So I did. I told them that I had met a gay kid at my school (sort of true) and that I was helping him by serving as an accountability partner (also sort of true). In reality, though, I am that gay kid. Their response, you ask? They told me to get away from him—simply because he might “make me gay” too. My mother also said that she “couldn’t believe gay people were at a Christian school. He must be sneaking out at night to have promiscuous sex! That’s what gay people do, after all.” I nearly began to sob—how could they say such things about their own son, knowing or not? How could they be so ignorant?

The point is that Conservative Christianity doesn’t get a bad reputation for believing gay sex is a sin. Conservative Christianity gets a bad reputation because it refuses to understand the gay community. From the outside, all that Christians see are a bunch of men in speedos dancing at pride parades; they see a group that wants to corrupt families and turn against God. They don’t ever stop and think, “Why do they host pride parades?” They refuse to think that, gasp; gay people might actually desire genuine love and families to raise—not sex, sex, and more sex. Worst of all, they refuse to see how lonely I am. I do not believe I was designed for singleness. I know what the classic response is. “But singleness is a blessing! 1 Corinthians 7:8b says, ‘It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.’” That is correct, but don’t forget verse 9b: “for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” Do you understand the incredible, God-given, natural urge within me to have intimacy with another human being? Do you understand that one day, on my death bed; I will be in the hospital and breathing my last few breaths—and will glance around the room only to discover that no one is there? No husband ever existed, no children raised, no family legacy to leave behind. This… this is not natural.

The gay community isn’t an evil effort to destroy morals and God. The gay community is made up of thousands of people, just like me, who desire love and unity through marriage. As I said before, I don’t want to change your views theologically or politically. What I want to change is the flawed and ignorant fear towards the gay community. When you see a pride parade, understand that gay people are told throughout their entire lives that they are scum. Pride is an event for gay people to feel normal and… “not scum.” I’m not endorsing everything that happens, and I personally don’t like those parades. I’m simply explaining that you mustn’t live and act out of fear toward the gay community. When we ask you to legalize gay marriage, we aren’t secretly plotting to get rid of morals and destroy families. Actually, at a time when you straight folks are divorcing more than ever, we’re the ones asking to get married! Like Pizan argues about women, I must argue that gay people have done far more good than bad. It’s well known that gay folks often find themselves in human rights campaigns, feeding the homeless, and caring for the community in general. Are you sure we’re destroying society?

It is Time for the American Christian Church to Surrender the Gay Marriage Fight, Apologize, and Share Love at the end of the day; I’m not actually for or against gay marriage (at a personal level). I’m still figuring that out—and studying scripture first. But I’m in danger. When the university administration chooses to strip a gay student of all his leadership and ministry positions (and he ends up at a nearby state school) because he’s not sure what he believes on the issue, that’s a problem. It means that for the rest of my time at school, my status is on the line. I have to live in fear of my own “Christian” community and what they might do to me. They fear us because they think we’re parasites. They think we’re in a massive plot to destroy your morals and theology. In their ignorance, they act. And thanks to those actions, I must fear. And in my fear, I am deeply broken. I leave you with this question: If Jesus was in charge of my school, would he endorse a religious bubble built on codes and regulations that strip people of their ministry and leadership opportunities—even their fate at the school—for questioning the validity of such positions? Would students like me have to live in fear?

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Unapologetic Gay Christian

As an unapologetic Gay Christian (niche within a niche), I have grown very sensitive, over the years, to those on both sides.  Justin Lee on Gay Christianity  When speaking to (non religious) gay persons I am often asked, “how can you be a part of an organization, or God, who for centuries has tortured, tormented, mocked, ridiculed, slandered, and murdered our community and throughout the years have thrown us out of churches, synagogues and mass?”  In addition, when speaking to non-gay (usually fundamental conservative) Christians, I am often asked, “how can you possibly call yourself a Christian if you are a “practicing” homosexual?”  Side note – I put practicing in quotes because I find that term hilarious.  After forty years, I think I have perfected my homosexuality, no need to practice anymore lol.

Alright so basically I respond to these often inquisitive people in the following way; keep in mind this is just my personal opinion as I am no Bible scholar, biblical historian or theologian.  I will however provide some excellent resources below (I will insert this free book here however http://www.cebiaz.com/book.pdf as it is quite insightful and informative).  How can I be a Christian, simple?  When one asks God to come into their life, they are ultimately/basically asking Gods spirit (The Holy Spirit) to dwell within their heart, soul, spirit.  Since spirits are neither male, female, black, white, gay, straight, republican, democrat, right or left-handed, it simply dwells (takes up residency).  From there, the Holy Spirit helps to guide the life of its host and whether the host is in poverty, heterosexuality, homosexuality, lead to Africa to mission or otherwise, is between the host (you, the person) and the Holy Spirit.  Everyone will have an opinion (often times people have the most and passionate opinions when it comes to politics and religion) however, you and only you will stand before your creator and have to answer for your heart, your decisions, your life!

Now as far as responding to “how can I attend church/be a Christian” etc when the church, over the centuries, demeaned, belittled, disparaged and degraded our community?  Simple, your spiritual journey is a relationship and one only between you and God.  You will come across many misinformed churches, preachers and people (many throwing some pretty mean terms your way), you (really should not) discard the steak because of a bone.  God loves ALL of His children and knows some of them are gay (Jeremiah 1:5) it is up to us to seek Him out and grow with Him.  If a church, synagogue, person etc. wants to spew out (from lack of understanding/revelation), twist, (or isolate) Bible verses (keep in mind Jesus Himself NEVER said a word about being gay), you must protect yourself and love them from a distance.  On many an occasion I have disagreed with men and woman of God –  Not just on gay issues/rights – but a myriad topics. All are growing in God just as I and are fallible.  Eat the steak, disregard the bone.  I am disturbed and saddened when I see and hear members of the gay community say, “it is people like so and so that keep me out of church and away from God.”  Let me be ever so clear, nothing, no one, no church, parent, friend, family or foe, in any way should you keep or stay away from the loving arms of our Father.  If you do, it is simply YOUR choice!  There are tons of welcoming and affirming churches, find one that suits you.  I would caution however, welcoming churches.  I have found that some “welcoming” churches welcome your money, but do not celebrate who you are!

Okay, as promised here are some resources.  I will just post a few but there are SO many great and educational resources out there.  I hope the few personal favorites help you find some answers.

First, I would like to supply a link for welcoming/affirming churches.  This list is growing daily as men and woman are opening their ears to Gods voice of inclusion http://www.gaychurch.org/Find_a_Church/united_states/united_states.htm it is my personal belief that the gay community would benefit greatly from seeking spirituality – again, just my opinion.

1)      GCN (Gay Christian Network) http://www.youtube.com/user/GayChristianNetwork#p/c/0/AUmxDbSXvPU  my friend Justin gives great insight and understanding on all aspects of being gay and Christian.  He answers viewers questions in a poignant, patient and Christian manner.

2)      ***FREE Book*** – “Homosexuality and Christianity Reconciled”  http://www.cebiaz.com/book.pdf  this book is written by Dr. Pearson.  We have been to a few of his seminars and really enjoyed what we heard/learned.  His book goes into detail and clarifies many of the Bible’s hard to understand history.

3) “Is It A Choice” Book http://www.ericmarcus.com/content/bookdetail.php?recordID=1  I have to say, I am a little embarrassed to post this book.  I am embarrassed because we are now moving into 2012 and to think that being gay is a choice is just as crazy as saying color is (albeit Sammy Sosa and Michael Jackson may disagree).  I will say however, this book answers a TON of questions for those new to the gay community/culture.

4)      “Hearts & Minds” Book http://www.amazon.com/Hearts-Minds-Christians-Homosexuality-ebook/dp/B001IBJGPU  Sadly I must confess I am not a “reader.” Sure I know how and sure I do but I cannot say that I enjoy it.  However, once in a great while a book comes around that I cannot put down and will reread, this is one of them.  I have even corresponded with the author who is an amazingly nice guy.  This book talks about being gay and spiritual, and included Bible verse break-downs.  I highly recommend this book

5)      “For The Bible Tells Me So” – Film http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpJAucyX7RE&feature=youtu.be  This documentary investigates and breaks down multiple Biblical perspectives, and provides points of view from historians, theologians etc.

6)      “Fish Out Of Water” – Film http://www.fishoutofwaterfilm.com/trailer.html this documentary breaks down the seven clobber verses and discusses various translations of them.  This film is a great resource for schools, libraries, homes etc.

7)      “Prayers For Bobby” – Movie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYhwzyKVtzY this movie is based on the true story of Bobby Griffith and his coming out in a very conservative Christian home.  The movie is stirring, compelling and life-changing.

8)      “That’s A Family” – Documentary http://groundspark.org/our-films-and-campaigns/thatfamily  As a former teacher, I presented this wonderful documentary as part of an anti-bullying theme our school implemented.  I was amazed at reduction of name-calling and  experienced an increase in my student’s respect regarding one another.   This documentary is an all inclusive informative film that simply includes, all families.

9)    There is absolutely nothing like some good spiritual food that comes in the form of song.  I once heard that people do not want to hear others sing, more so they want to hear God through the performer.  If music touches your soul and you are looking for some amazing and uplifting spiritual praise, I strongly recommend Jason & deMarco http://www.jasonanddemarco.com/  This couple has a very encouraging ministry, family and their music performs spiritual surgery with every note.

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