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more than a single story, even at Wheaton College

wheaton Wheaton, Illinois is a curious little city.

Located about 40 minutes from where I grew up, the otherwise unremarkable suburb among suburbs has become nationally recognized for being both “the most churched city in America” and one of MONEY magazine’s top 25 highest earning towns in the United States.  The fact that there are apparently more Churches (and banks) lining the city streets than there are in any other town in the country has led some to jokingly refer to the city as the Evangelical version of Rome.

Now, Google: “The Harvard of Christian Schools” and you’re likely to land upon what is probably the city’s proudest landmark. Wheaton College is the town’s flagship academic institution and, as your research suggested, one of the foremost private Christian universities in the United States.  It’s the school I probably would have attended if the tuition were (quite) a bit cheaper, and if my GPA wasn’t an abysmal 1.6 by the end of my last year of high school.

Earlier this month, some 100 Wheaton students made waves when they held a silent demonstration on the steps of Edman chapel in reaction to their school’s invitation for author Rosaria Butterfield to lead one of Wheaton’s mandatory tri-weekly chapel sessions.

butterfield

Butterfield: an “unlikely convert” – once an atheist and a tenured college professor in a committed gay relationship – now a Christian ex-gay activist, a homeschooling mother, a homemaker, and a pastor’s wife.

This is big news. Wheaton College is a wealthy, conservative private Christian school in one of the wealthiest, most conservative suburbs in America.

One visible example of this mentality is that all students who wish to attend the university are forced to sign an agreement of moral behavior on a yearly basis, what is bombastically referred to by campus officials as “the Covenant.”  This sacred community agreement (which includes mandates to “refrain from the consumption of alcohol or the use of tobacco in all settings” also) specifically includes a section all undergraduates must intellectually agree to that states “pre-marital sex, adultery, homosexual behavior and all other sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage between a man and woman” are sinful and can result in expulsion.

Whatever your thoughts on the subject, one thing should be clear: Wheaton does not by any means boast a very progressive or liberal student body. I don’t say this disparagingly, only to point out that at a school like this, when nearly 1 in 20 of all the students at this extremely traditional institution decided to silently sit on those chapel steps earlier this month, it was probably an indication that something very troubling was about to happen.

the danger of a single story For those who are unfamiliar, Rosaria Champagne Butterfield is a Christian speaker and author who is widely celebrated among some, and entirely dismissed in other circles.  Butterfield’s story is relatively new on the scene.  It is unique and, if nothing else, fairly controversial: Rosaria describes herself as a former “leftist lesbian college professor,” and is known for traveling and speaking on her “journey out of the homosexual lifestyle” into popular evangelical Christianity.

I understand why many people might doubt or reject her story, but I also understand why others may cling to it, hoping for a radical miracle of their own.  Because we do share a religious tradition, a good amount of my personal beliefs probably line up rather well with hers.  I can honestly raise my right hand in the air and affirm right along with Rosaria beautifully Christian concepts like the divine inspiration of the Bible and God’s undying, self-sacrificial love for all of humanity.

However, I also happen to subscribe to what Butterfield dismissively refers to asthe revisionist heresy” – the growing recognition among evangelical Christians that, contrary to the destructive landscape our churches have wreaked on the public consciousness for the past forty years, the sacred, trustworthy, God-breathed words of the Holy Bible do not ever actually speak to the issues of sexual orientation or a committed same-sex relationship.  As such, this teaching insists, we need to repent of the grave sin of misreading our Bibles to judge and condemn the gay community, and welcome these folks into the full life of the Church, as Jesus would.

Some of the students who attended this demonstration surely agreed with me on this, but many did not, and held to the traditionally-articulated belief that the Bible teaches that homosexual sex is unavoidably always a sin.  What united them, what drove these young folks to come out in droves of support in response to Rosaria’s talk, wasn’t any shared allegiance to a particular club or even to a certain gay-affirming theology. The only thing all these students held in common was a heart for the LGBT community, a passion to see Christ’s body represented faithfully on their campus, and a very legitimate concern that Rosaria’s story of a supernatural change in sexual orientation would be used damagingly, by some members of their community, as further “evidence” that gay people can simply become straight, just like Rosaria did, if only they would just try hard enough.

Now, the really cool part of this melange of affirming and non-affirming students gathering together for this demonstration was that it celebrated the staggering yet obvious truth that no one person’s personal story can somehow fully capture everyone else’s experiences – that we need the measuring stick of each other’s unique perspectives to try and get access to that elusive, bigger picture.  In this spirit, attendees centered around the phrase “more than a single story,” a reference to a wonderful blog post examining how some Christians are already using Butterfield’s story against the LGBT community. more than a single story Tragically, because student reporting of Butterfield’s talk has been censored and stripped from the school newspaper’s website (ostensibly in an administrative attempt to limit further outrage at their students), only an obscure, archived version of that original article remains. (UPDATE: Wheaton has just electronically re-published that article.)

As a result, many people have misunderstood what actually happened here and subsequently portrayed the event inaccurately and quite poorly.  It would be hard to find a more contrived and condescending example of this than the “open letter” just written to the students of Wheaton by Jeremiah Dys of The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, a popular Christian organization that was founded on the principle that women must unilaterally submit to male leadership in the Church, the home, and the workplace. The article is long and terrible.  Published last week, it begins on a high horse and wavers there, but then seems to rapidly descend into a series of awkward, nervous threats:

“What is worse, you clearly have those older and wiser than you on campus from whom you wish not to learn, but believe you ought to teach. There’s a whole discussion there that needs to be had about the generational arrogance of the youth, but you will learn that soon enough. Still, Christianity – to which you claim to hold – exhorts youths like you to listen to your elders. In the meantime, heed the words of Abraham Lincoln: ‘Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.'”

This is awkward.  Jeremiah not only misattributes these clever words to President Lincoln, but he also completely misses the point of this saying by trying to apply it here…somehow managing to forget that this was a silent demonstration.  No “foolish mouths” were opened, no angry fists clenched, no vitriol hurled at Rosaria or the Wheaton staff and administration.  The participants in this demonstration merely indicated to the rest of campus their concern regarding Rosaria’s talk, then silently walked inside the chapel with the rest of the student body and respectfully listened to the entirety of her message.  Afterwards, they spent a couple of hours in respectful dialogue with Butterfield and a few representatives from the college.

As the participants themselves will tell you, their demonstration recognized the validity of Rosaria’s own story but also encouraged others to share their own personal narratives related to this multifaceted, complicated conversation on the intersection of Christianity and homosexuality.  They recognized that no one person’s story can describe everyone else’s experience, especially when it comes to questions of sexuality and spirituality, and wanted others to understand this as well.

But ah, perhaps even though the students did not speak, their mere presence and attitude was, as Dys insists, “visibly rude” and antagonistic. This point I must concede.  The inflammatory signs that students were holding at this silent demonstration went so far as to read such controversial and “arrogant” things as “We’re all here to listen and share,” “I’m gay and a beloved child of God. This is my story,” “We’re all loved by God, “and “Rosaria’s story is valid, mine is too.”

As threatening as I’m sure these messages must have been to Dys’ cold, graceless worldview, they are hardly the “demands of affirmation of sexual license,” “rhetorical grenades“, or “message[s] that only masquerade as Christian” he describes them as.  Truly, the only person in this entire situation who has brayed ignorance and been revealed as a fool is Dys himself, particularly when he cryptically refers to “a sexual orientation that runs counter to the teachings of Christ“– apparently suggesting that Jesus had a word to say on the question of sexual orientation (let alone on homosexuality). Though I’ve now read several similar reports of the bitterness these angry, divisive protesters brought to campus, it should be clear by now that nothing of the sort took place.  

demonstration

above: unruly protesters

If I could say just one thing to the students of Wheaton College who were brave enough to declare that “more than a single story” should be put on a pedestal and offered up as a slice of universal truth, it would be this: you are going to change the world.   You already are.  Keep daring to believe that your story is just as valid as the ones those in power are telling you to believe.

These people have been and will continue to try and dismiss you and your God-given stories on account of your age, on account of your passion, on account of your trembling voices.

To this, we can only look to the cradle which holds our faith, the holy scriptures, which remind usthis is why we labor and strive: because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe…Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”

60 Comments Post a comment
  1. This is good. So good.

    February 20, 2014
  2. Jordan-Ashley Barney #

    Hello dear writer,
    My name is Jordan Barney and I was the co-creator of the demonstration. This is literally the most accurate representation of what we were all trying to do. Thank you for doing your homework and supporting us. The other opposing articles have been hurtful at times but ones like this give my heart hope. We will never give up. Thank you so much for writing this.

    February 20, 2014
    • Jordan, you are so welcome. I did try to do my homework and research exactly what happened here because I too felt that a lot of the articles about the event got it very wrong. I’m so glad you appreciated this post and that it was able to encourage you a bit. I’m honored to meet you, and blessed to hear that you will never give up sharing your stories.

      – ryan

      February 20, 2014
    • Kyle Hass #

      I’m a high school student living in Wheaton and I’d love to help any way I can. Thank you all of what you’re doing, God really is the heart of good things like this.

      February 20, 2014
      • Kyle, I’ve passed your comment on to Jordan. thank you for your support!

        February 23, 2014
  3. Thank you for this article. The way the demonstration has been painted by most of the people writing blogs and articles about it is laughably/heartbreakingly false. I actually tweeted at Jeremiah Dys about the inaccuracy of his article today. He said to look his number up and give him a call. I think I’m going to do that…should be interesting.

    February 20, 2014
    • yes, I’ve been meaning to reach out to him as well. It was just…terrible. Please keep me updated on how that goes!

      February 20, 2014
  4. Isaac B. #

    Thank you thank you thank you.

    February 20, 2014
  5. Melissa #

    Hello,

    I also appreciate the accuracy of your report. I feel that mudslinging is not an appropriate way to respond to an issue you take a position on. I was wondering if you were comfortable answering a question I have: Am I understanding you correctly that you and those who started the “More Than a Single Story” campaign are saying that all Christians who are or were living a homosexual lifestyle at one point in their life choose whether continuing their lifestyle is right for them? Rosaria chose not too, but others should feel free to continue that lifestyle?

    Thank you for your time,

    Melissa

    February 20, 2014
    • Isaac B. #

      Rosaria’s story is a valid, legitimate story, but it is a single story. Feminism, intellectualism, liberalism and an LGBT identity are not contrary to the Christian faith. This is a dangerous dichotomy that excludes valuable Christian perspectives, all of which exist in individual students on our campus. This was and is the only chapel message on these topics this year and this conveyed this single story to be the ONLY story. We found this to be harmful to a fully embracing, inclusive message of Christ’s love. So we held a silent demonstration.

      February 21, 2014
      • Joshua #

        Dear Isaac, I wish only to give a faithful word to you in what follows. From your post, I can imagine that you are not ready to receive it as your conviction, but I hope that in years to come it serves as a testimony to you and will pray for that. You use a great phrase when you wrote about “dangerous dichotomy.” Another dangerous dichotomy to consider is one between supreme love and absolute truth. Christians indeed need to be careful to not raise their preferences to the level of universal standard. But Jesus is one whose preference is indeed absolute truth and the universal standard. And that standard is exacting and what defines love. We might have different perspectives, but Jesus will not come to understand differently or to change His mind about His creation through dialogue; as absolute ruler, His preference and absolute standard is the final word which will not require a conversation. And from supreme love, He died for this broken world so that those who rebel against His design and standard–including those who pursue a lifestyle of same-sex attraction and homosexual romantic activity. Brother, you are not interpreting the Scripture accurately according to its single perspective on this issue. And this makes you wrong. I pray that you can be told that you are wrong and humbly thank the Lord for redirecting you. These sinful lifestyles are not the only sins or the worst sins, but they are among the sins that His blood was intended to atone for in those who turn to Him as Savior and bow down their preferences and perspectives in submission to His single story. A faithful message through the preaching of God’s word in His beautiful design for gender-distinguished (not genderless) complementary marital relationships can still be heard in many churches in this nation. I’m sad that you most likely have not been exposed to that faithful word and that most likely you have just heard the standard of marital romantic relationships without the beauty of its gospel foundation. My appeal to you in years to come is that you consider that there actually is a beautiful design and foundation at the root of Christ’s standard and preference in this area and that the result is great worship to Jesus Christ. I love you brother.

        February 25, 2014
      • Ron #

        Absolute truth? Joshua, you tread on dangerous ground when claim to have access to absolute truth. You claim to have access to “the” truth as though you and those who make that claim are especially appointed or even anointed by God…a being who when asked whom God was answered Moses how? God was then and is now a mystery who you claim to not only know but understand. Go through the history of your faith and look at what once was condemned and the mass murder committed in the name of Christ because men at those times knew the ABSOLUTE TRUTH. And you now condemn others, pointing fingers at them for who they are (not a choice by the way but WHO THEY ARE). Your arrogance contributes to the death of people in the LGBTQ community. Yet you accept no responsibility for that, do you? Neither did the German Christian church for Hitler. Christianity is a not a homophobic religion. It is unconditionally LOVE based. Yet, you have assigned an unloving value judgment to it. How hard would it be for you to accept and love others whose lifestyle you abhor? Wasn’t THAT THE HEART OF JESUS LIFE AND WORDS? If you don’t think so, reread the stories with your eyes and mind open.

        February 28, 2014
      • Bryan Ryan #

        Ron, you reveal your own *absolute truths.* You assert hat homosexuality is unquestionably about “WHO THEY ARE ” This is popular and appears sensitive. I’m sure the object is to humanize individuals, but since the garden of Eden when has lack of volition really been compassionate? Of course longings of heart, mind, and body are imprinted on the fabric of our beings. When was such ever in question? It was once a laughing matter when esteemed theologian Rev. Leroy insisted,”The devil made me do it!” A generation and a word swap later, Whe can be accountable for their motivations?

        Equating God’s “I AM” with your “WHO THEY ARE”? brings to my mind the aspect of of Romans Chapter 1 that should send shivers down the spines of all manner of sinners. Idolatry is not that men adore and worship one another, really. It’s when, to justify this or any other worldly or heavenly (small “H”) fascination, we consciously spurn the cruel restraints of nature, nature’s God, and His moral code.

        March 2, 2014
  6. Reblogged this on Anna Shane and commented:
    This accurately represents the students at my university and the meaning behind our protest.

    February 20, 2014
  7. finally an article that “gets” it

    February 20, 2014
  8. denice #

    the verse you ended with totally contradicts your article. How does one who advocates or even merely condones homosexuality set an example of purity, regardless of age?

    February 21, 2014
    • Well Denice, honestly I do not really consider myself the best example of this kind of spiritual purity, but I also don’t think that my own purity is affected by my condoning of committed, monogamous, same-sex relationships (any more than it would be for condoning committed, monogamous, opposite-sex ones).

      If you’re interested in studying the Bible and trying to understand how many Christians are, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, reaching the conclusion that the six isolated passages traditionally used against LGBTQ people should be understood within their proper, cultural contexts, I have plenty of book, film, and article recommendations I’d love to pass on to you, from a variety of both “traditional” and “revisionist,” heterosexual and LGBT perspectives. Please email me if you’re interested! I would love to talk more, over the Internet or in person.

      February 21, 2014
      • My sister graduated from Wheaton College a few years ago. =] It’s nice to see such thoughtfulness from the current student body. I, myself, am about to graduate from Aurora University. A friend of mine shared a link to this article on Facebook and I was particularly interested given the title–I saw that Chimamanda Adichie TEDTalk a few months ago and loved it. It really is the perfect basis for what they were doing… Anyway, I replied to this particular comment because I would be interested in the titles of the book/film/articles recommendations you mentioned!

        February 21, 2014
      • hey Amanda, I’ve just linked a few resources (bolded) in my above comment, and I definitely recommend you check those out. Additionally, if you’re looking for more basic resources in terms of understanding the modern intersection of Christianity and homosexuality, I’d recommend checking out my friend Justin’s blog. Justin works with a group called the Gay Christian Network, a wonderful nonprofit organization that is seeking to create healing in the church and the lgbt community while really making room for a variety of Christians with strong convictions on both “sides” of the “homosexuality debate.”

        Now, if you’re interested in learning more about the sort of biblically-conservative, fully orthodox LGBT-affirming theology that many evangelical Christians are starting to wrestle with, I’d recommend checking out The Reformation Project. It’s a nonprofit I work with that is seeking to reform church teaching on homosexuality through (believe it or not!) the preaching and teaching of the Holy Bible.

        I’d also love to talk with you anytime – just send me an email or Facebook message.

        blessings!

        February 25, 2014
  9. Lana Wood #

    I really hope you forwarded a copy of this directly to Jeremiah Dys.

    February 22, 2014
    • I actually tried to tweet it at him, but I don’t know if he saw it. You are welcome to pass it on to him if you’d like!

      February 25, 2014
  10. Bethany #

    You are all very correct to say that Rosaria’s story is a “single story”– the story of God’s mercy and grace to a sinner in need of salvation. Praise God!

    February 23, 2014
  11. Patrick #

    I grew up in Wheaton and two of my siblings attend Wheaton College. I consider myself a christian but find it hard to celebrate where I come from due to the hypocrisy, small-mindedness and bigotry that comes out of places like Wheaton College. Its so nice to see that there are still those who see the true message of Christ and his teachings- to love one another- through all the politics that tend to go with it. Thank you for writing this.

    February 23, 2014
    • thanks for your support, Patrick – I’m so sorry to hear things are hard for you back in this town. I’m sure growing up in that environment is really easy for some folks, and a lot harder for others and I am glad you have found a sense of support through this blog. If you’re interested in continuing this specific conversation, please consider checking out OneWheaton.

      February 25, 2014
  12. Kyle #

    I am currently a student at Wheaton and I am good friends with one of the organizers of this event. You have summed up the purpose of their demonstration nicely and I am excited to see where this conversation carries on to from here.

    I am also a bit concerned about how you portray that Community covenant that we as Wheaton students sign each semester. The use of words like “bombastic” and “forced” seem to denote a negative connotation towards it. While there is much disagreement on the campus about various parts of the community covenant, whether about its treatment of homosexuality or its policy towards alcohol and tobacco usage, I think it is important to recognize that each student at Wheaton chose to go to this school with the understanding that they would abide by it. It’s not like we were tricked into signing something we hadn’t read, since applicants are in fact required to read the covenant (or at least say that they read it) before filing an application for the school.

    The reason for my concern is that your treatment of the covenant in this article seems to create an “us versus them” mentality between students and faculty/staff when in fact my experience has been one of open and honest dialogue when students are willing to come forth with their concerns and questions. The best example would be the annual Town Hall Chapel which is tomorrow, and students are openly encouraged to speak with residence life staff and members of the chaplain’s office if they wish to discuss any issue relating to their life at Wheaton.

    Once again I wish to affirm how you have described and treated the demonstration that took place before chapel the other week and thank you for your article. If you wish to dialogue further regarding what I have written please don’t hesitate to reply.

    February 24, 2014
  13. Katie #

    “18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

    24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” ~Romans 1:18-26

    The God-breathed Scripture certainly does address this. But God also sent His son to die for every single sinner. (John 3:16).

    February 24, 2014
    • Thanks for your comment, Katie. I’m quite familiar with the passage of scripture you cite above (indeed, I’m unsure anyone reading this post who is even vaguely familiar with the Bible hasn’t read it). It’s clearly one of the most scathing biblical condemnations of idolatry (v 23,25), empty promiscuity (v 24), and excess lust (v 26-27) that the writers of the New Testament record.

      However, though St. Paul is unavoidably painting these examples of same-sex sex in a particularly negative light here, one possible observation we can make is that what Paul is talking about is not a set of Christ-centered, committed same-sex relationships…but aimless sex, lust, and promiscuity, all somehow tied up in idolatry (not to mention a possible allusion to Gaius Caligula).

      PS – I totally agree with you that these verses do not contradict God’s radical love, such as that revealed in passages like John 3:16!

      February 25, 2014
      • Tom Fishburn #

        Nor do these verses contradict John 3:17, and, Romans 2 where Paul says we should not judge and why we should not judge. My take on Romans 1:24 is that pervasive homosexuality is a result of God’s doing because of the main problem of Sin (capital intended). And since God does no evil we must attempt to understand that God is getting our attention to believe, trust and obey. The Apostle Paul makes the emphatic point that the spirit of the law gives life, and, the letter of the law kills. I do not intend to kill anyone with the traditional conservative view that seems to dismiss the understanding that with Jesus as the eternal High Priest a new and better covenant has been given us. God desires mercy not sacrifice. Sexual orientation is not the issue. I am a heterosexual that must confess my sin and continue my life by faith believing in God’s mercy and giving mercy to others. I still fall short at 60 years old with all my adult years as a believer. We all live in a broken world that needs the hope that only a relationship with our Savior gives. LGBT folks need to be welcomed as they are into the life of faith.

        February 26, 2014
  14. Joe #

    I’m curious why these students chose to attend Wheaton and why they continue to stay there in spite of the obvious differences in their beliefs from the explicitly stated beliefs of the college. Wouldn’t a better protest be to take their tuition dollars elsewhere? The diversity of school choices and the freedom to choose those options in the US is incredible, especially compared to the rest of the globe.

    February 24, 2014
    • good question, Joe! While I can’t speak to the reasons the LGBT-affirming students at Wheaton decided to attend and remain at this institution, I suspect there are, as always, a variety of stories to be heard here. I’m sure some of the students didn’t even begin to hold these opinions until recently, some probably attend the school for fiscal, spiritual, or other practical reasons, and others might hope to change the environment from within rather than leave it entirely. That’s my 2 cents, but I’d love to hear from any Wheaton students (past or present) who can answer this question!

      February 26, 2014
  15. Chris #

    I am a 57 yr old married male, 1979 graduate of Gordon College in Wenham Massachusetts. (Given the proximity, Gordon grads would tell you that THEY are the Harvard of the Evangelical World… but I digress.) This article was so comforting and validating to me it made me weep. My personal struggles are many, and right now my marriage of 35 years (to another Gordon Grad) is on very shakey ground. Our separation is very amicable; but I am about to light off some bombs in my life that will turn my world upside down, cause division from many family and long time friends, and just generally destroy the calm I have always striven to maintain in my life. I am a gay man who has been in counseling on and off for 40 years and have been involved in earnest ex-gay personsal research and therapy for the last 20 years. If it’s out there, there is probably no ex-gay therapy that I have not at least read about, and it is probably something that I have tried or been involved with. Even currently, I am a leader for a support group of USSA men (Unwanted Same Sex Attraction). But for my own life, I am raising the white flag, giving up the fight, releasing the struggle, “giving in to heresy” & embracing my identity as a gay man. I still believe that every individual should have the right (without undue pressure from any outside influences) to decide if they want to live their life as “someone who struggles with same sex attraction”. But I now believe that I or anyone else can be a sincere Christ believer and be a gay person. THANKS SO MUCH for this article, you express so well the thoughts and groanings of my soul. I will probably spend the rest of my life sorting through the conservative evangelical ideology that I have been entrenched in my whole life. Words like those you wrote above, are life giving words to me.

    February 24, 2014
    • oh Chris, God bless you. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us here and thank you for your kind words to me as well. I can’t even imagine the pain you’ve been through all of these years, the heavy burdens, hard to bear, that have been laid upon your shoulders, while too many of your Christian brothers and sisters (me included) have not lifted a finger to help you (Matthew 23:4).

      Although the journey you’ve been on is indeed very foreign to my own experience, I can actually speak to being a child of the sort of “mixed-orientation marriage” I think you’re describing – my mom is gay and my dad is straight, and they were married for a good number of years as well. Though they’re divorced now, I have always deeply appreciate their shared commitment to my siblings and I and the love they each have always shown me. Though their marriage indeed ended, I love them both more than I can describe.

      I wonder if you’ve heard of the Gay Christian Network? It’s an organization that connects gay Christians (and those who care about them) to dialogue and shared lives together, while respecting a variety of opinions on the morality of same sex relationships. They’re a great resource.

      I’m not sure if you have connected with them or similar groups in the past, but I have found them to be a great blessing to many of my LGBT friends.

      I hope you to know that there are so many, many others, Chris, like yourself…folks who may have been living lives of pain and silence for years. So many people who might think they are the only ones trapped in this stories. But you are not alone! God is with you and others are as well, and we want you to know there is actually this big, unbelievable community out there of folks who know how you feel and who desire to surround you and flood you with the love of our good God. Please reach out to me anytime. May God be with you in your journey, friend. Grace and Peace upon you.

      February 26, 2014
      • Chris #

        Thanks much for your reply, again, your words speak life. I must clarify about my “painful” life up to this time. My wife is a wonderful, gracious, merciful and forgiving woman. I married her under false pretenses and the incredibly naive assumption that the “gay would go away” after I married. I lived a double life for a while (“while”= 3 children and fifteen years). During those years I lived in constant torment that if anyone (in the world I chose to live my life) really knew me, I’d get thrown out on my figurative and literal posterior. At that 15 year mark I had a nervous breakdown, was suicidal, went into intensive therapy, and came clean with my wife and a few others close to me. Thus began my life of living in authenticity with those around me while I pursued ex-gay therapies of all sorts for 20 more years, up to the present time. Because my wife may read this and she and others may recognize that I am writing these comments, it’s important to me that I point out that my life has not been “misery and pain”. Does, and did, pain exist in my life on levels that many (straight folks) don’t have to deal with? Yes….but… My life has also had a ton of joy, supplied by many friends and supporters and family along the way; ESPECIALLY by and thru my wife and 3 beautiful, incredibly well adjusted children. I believe if I was a stronger person, I would have been able to accept my struggle / “life work” of living with same sex attraction and still maintain a strong, engaged, intimate and fulfilling marriage relationship (I think many people in my circumstances have done just that) that both my wife and I could have been satisfied with. But for me it has not been so; I have continued to struggle with dis-engagement with myself and those closest to me. I believe my lack of engagement is directly attributable to me being “disconnected” from myself, thus making it subjectively impossible for me to see my disconnection to others. I have not been able to overcome subconscious choices that have led me into personal isolation which has been isolating for those near me, most notably my wife. I am most grieved by the pain I have brought into her life; and while we continue to live under the Lord’s grace and mercy I will probably always live with some measure of regret for the unwarranted (in my eyes) pain and struggle I brought into her life. Thanks for being here realrattlesnake.

        February 26, 2014
      • Bryan Ryan #

        Chris,

        I also have attended some events designed for men who want to walk away from unwanted same-sex desires. Do you think these gatherings harmed you or helped you? I’m not talking about prolonging your double life – that seems to have been your decision regardless of special gatherings. One of these organizations boasts that if a gay man were to attend their retreat, he may not agree with everything, but he would leave a better man–a better gay man. Do you agree?

        At one of these gatherings, an actively gay man with no intention of changing, expressed to a leader that he had misunderstood the purpose of the weekend (which could not have been more clearly stated, in my opinion). He had come to focus on turning away from unwanted sex/ pornography addiction. As is common at such gatherings, all in attendance were asked to share their feelings. Concerns were expressed and I believe all but one had and and Fattic acceptance and support for him, just the way he was. They wanted him and welcomed him to continue. One objected individually but it was not a strong conviction and he would embrace the man also, if he decided to stay. He did continue with us for a time. He decided to leave at some point on very positive terms. I think it was unanimous, We all felt sad that he did not stay, yet believe that both he and us had come to a very authentic conclusion with 100% integrity and acceptance.

        My own purpose in attending these gatherings was never to “become heterosexual.” I did what to get to a balanced view of my own and others’ masculinity so that I did not objectify men. I cannot argue with the experiences of those around me who speak of much-diminished or even zero interest in sexual male attraction. I know hundreds of men in mail organizations who give up lives of rage, bitterness, unforgiveness, fear, loneliness, based on retreats and fraternal organizations, so I hold little skepticism regarding personal resolution of lifelong responses. My friends who seek to internalize, integrate, and resolve their same-sex attractions struggle with various issues related to self image and socializing and envy and feeling out of sync with pop-culture manhood. Apparently ex-gay is a pejorative, maybe many of my friends are ex-bi-curious. I made dear friends and I associate MUCH more closely with these men then any single or corporate group of gay men that I know. Perhaps I need to get out more.

        February 26, 2014
      • Chris #

        Hi Bryan, I think I know what gatherings you’re speaking about, and I have attended and been a part of these events. These have been secular (ecumenical) based events and others have been decidedly Christian / faith based. These have not harmed me at all from my perspective. I believe I am more mature and more in touch with the masculinity that is a part of me, having been a part of these gatherings. Now, I have come to a late understanding that there are legitimate needs of the masculine soul; these needs are always legitimate but certain deprivations, experiences and personality types will combine to apply forces that “bend the twig” towards getting these met in ways that are different from man to man (**we are more than a single story**!). More kind and open evangelicals will say that homosexual behavior is nothing more than trying to meet a legitimate core need of the self with “illegitimate means”; then therapy, group counseling, support groups and education are offered to help individuals live as “believers who are struggling with same sex attraction”. And the very loud –but silent–implication is that true “strugglers” (and obediant believers) will remain in the struggle within the framework of the church and their (prescribed) evangelical faith and NOT engage in any type of homosexual behavior, neither monogamous and definitely NOT polygamous or loosely sexual in any way (most believers of any stripe will agree on that last point). There are many who experience a “healing change” of either lessening same sex desires, or increased opposite sex desires or both. BUT! There are many more who do not, what of them? They don’t pray hard enough? Their faith is not real? They are not repentant enough? Only God knows why some experience subjectively measurable change and some do not. Just as people were sick and died in the days that Jesus walked the earth (not everyone experienced healing- even though He was among them), so it is today. I accept that there are people like Rosaria Butterfield who do experience a change in their orientation; but it’s also true that others don’t…. But I’m getting off track: No, to answer your question, these experiences of ex-gay therapies have not been harmful to me, and neither my wife nor I would say that all my time spent in these therapies as a same sex attracted “struggler” was a waste of time or a just a delay of the inevitable. I have grown and matured through the carefully chosen therapies and groups i have been a part of and during that time my nuclear family has stayed together while my children grew up without the stress and strain of marital strife, long separations and a divorce process. The latter is largely due to deliberate decisions of my wife and I to make this marriage work, and so we did. Now, as an “empty nest couple” we find ourselves at a crossroads, we don’t know where this will end up, but we are determined to do this together at the very least in a relationship of friendship if an intimate-partnership proves to be unattainable.

        February 26, 2014
  16. Bryan Ryan #

    Pretty good article, but I take issue with your judgment:

    “Whatever your thoughts on the subject, one thing should be clear: Wheaton does not by any means boast a very progressive or liberal student body.

    That you leap from mentioning the “bombastically” referred-to Covenant to this judgment makes me infer that you think that covenant is drawn up by students.

    Detour: Actually I’ve never heard it called anything but the Community Covenant. It’s for faculty, staff, AND students. It’s not too different from morality clauses common to religious schools and even some secular companies. For instance, Hollywood actors and athletes sign off on things that are constitutionally (or sometimes biblically) permitted, such as skydiving or motorcycling or drunkenness–for limited times.

    I suspect that some people sign off with mental “asterisks” in their heads, or skip ahead to the “product,” as with software agreements. Some may agree in principal and realize that the very nature of grace with people, allows them to then sign off in good conscience with grace for the words. In other words they agree to the spirit and heart, perhaps not the letter of the law. Also, in the semesters that follow, by nature their worlds will enlarge, they will encounter people and experiences that broaden their worldview.

    One more bit about Wheaton’s progressive element is by no means miniscule. Student clubs and student-initiated gatherings often included liberals, environmentalists, feminists, and movies Jerry Falwell would not be caught dead at (oops). These may not reflect majority opinions, but they certainly packed rooms. A word about the college leadership. I’m sure the only one to wag his (her) finger at a gathering in support of LGBTQ concerns would be the Fire Marshall, because of so many in attendance….standing, sitting on floors, in doorways. Also, student-centered departments have intentional, warm, and grace-filled staff and activities regarding LGBTQ concerns. I don’t see them advocating, neither do I see them abdicating. They support, listen, and respond–as nimbly as cold, graceless elders could be expected to.

    One more point about progressiveness among WC’s student body. A bit more research into the Wheaton Record’s dusty old stacks might yield a surprise as to how many students supported Barack Obama’s (re)election.

    If you are “shocked, shocked!” at a measly silent protest. I say you need to get out more–even out to Twitter, Facebook, and the Wheaton Record. Wheaton College may still be beyond your childhood dreams, but it’s not Frankenstein’s nightmare either. Come visit, you won’t be dragged outside the city with pitchforks and torches–and Perry is just a harmless, lovable little fuzzball.

    February 24, 2014
    • Chris #

      As a point of clarification, the Community Covenant is only binding for undergraduate students. The rules that grad students must follow differ, as do the rules for faculty and staff. For instance, grad students can drink without violating the terms of their enrollment, whereas undergraduate students cannot. Also, students can hold a position different from the college’s on the sinfulness of being gay or engaging in homosexual activity, so long as the do not engage in it (actions, not belief, are what is prohibited in the Community Covenant), whereas faculty cannot publicly believe anything other than the college’s stance on the sinfulness of homosexuality, otherwise they risk their employment at the institution.

      February 26, 2014
  17. I’m a Wheaton alum (and former editor of the student newspaper) and I am so proud of these students. Wheaton, despite the issues surrounding this, has come a long way. I side with the students who protested, and commend them for engaging in a conversation rather than just mindlessly shouting. What amazing maturity. I doubt that someone like Rosaria Butterfield would have even been invited to speak when I was there–she would have been deemed too controversial. Students, you did the right thing and you’re right–one story doesn’t tell everyone’s story.

    February 24, 2014
  18. I’m very interested in the evidence you have regarding the context of the 6 passages in Scripture regarding homosexuality – because I want to use them to help my brothers and sisters in Christ see the gay community as fellow Adopted Sons of God. Thank you for sharing your heart so courageously.

    February 24, 2014
    • Noah, thank you for your words. I’d love to talk with you about this anytime, and I appreciate your questions. Here is a great place to start. I left a few other comments and resources on this thread that respond to similar questions, feel free to read those and please send me an email or anything else if you’d like to know anything further.

      February 26, 2014
  19. Oops, I meant for this to stand alone, not as reply to Bryan Ryan.

    I stumbled through the article at this sentence: “One visible example of this mentality is that all students who wish to attend the university are forced to sign an agreement of moral behavior on a yearly basis, what is bombastically referred to by campus officials as “the Covenant.”

    Your characterization at the beginning shows an editorial bias that clouds whatever follows. A legitimate perspective is undermined out of the starting gate by a loaded choice of words. Here are the phrases that cause me to stumble:

    1. “Students who wish to attend” should be “students who apply to” Factual accuracy
    2. “are forced to sign” should be “voluntarily sign an agreement” No one is conscripted or forced to attend any college or university. NOTE: the agreement is called “the Community Covenant” and is signed by all students, faculty and staff.
    3. “Bombastically referred to by campus officials as “the Covenant” should be “commonly referred on campus as “the Covenant”. Let the reader decide if “the Covenant” is a bombastic reference. Your judgment of that precludes the free exercise of the reader to judge for him or herself.

    This early paragraph makes me doubt the accuracy of all that follows it.

    In setting your context you used the statement as evidence or Wheaton´s mentality as fruit of a wealthy, conservative suburb. Guilt by association. Like a conservative arguing that Harvard´s student responsibility manual is evidence that Cambridge and Harvard are wealthy and liberal. Easy to throw out there for the fans without having to justify the actual connection or not. Wealthy and conservative, used in this way, are code words meant to influence the reader negatively. You never say, for instance, that Wheaton College was fiercely abolitionist from its founding in 1860. Or that women and African-Americans were among the first graduating class. That Wheaton has a tradition of open protest (like the students who protested against the ROTC program during the Vietnam War).

    You put forward a caricature that is too facile.
    Moreover, the words offer no real meat to the argument that the students, from many places other than this suburb, exercised their right to protest the story of a woman not from that milieu, from a place very different from Wheaton at all. I think that this lead-in description of the environment is misleading. Turned me off.

    Fortunately, the story is more than a single blog.

    February 25, 2014
    • Chris #

      I understand your grammatical, and philosophical critiques that point out the writers bias regarding the Wheaton College community and “the covenant”. However, I disagree that your critique and accurate (IMJ) assessment of his bias somehow nullifies or negates his opinions as expressed in the article. If anything, his stated and implied bias makes his points in the article all the more poignant. He remarks that some have written to demonize the silent protesters, and others have written to demonize the speaker and the college for inviting her to speak. I read him pointing out that all parties behaved well throughout the protest, the speakers presentation, and the ensuing dialogue in the aftermath. He is careful to note that everyone interacted with respect and openness, showing a willingness to listen to each other. With his opening statements he shows that he has a dubious opinion of a community that enforces moral behavior with such authority. And then he goes on to explain that what he saw unfold was respectful and open, honest dialogue. I appreciate his choice of words (it’s a blog, not an academic article) that show his feeling and emotional connection to the issue and his mixed feelings of fondness and suspicion towards the community that he is writing about.

      February 25, 2014
  20. Jessica Prewitt #

    Well, where to begin really….I live in Wheaton, across the street from Wheaton College, I am a true resident of Wheaton, born and raised. From the outside looking in Wheaton is a picture perfect place to live, raise a family and surround yourself with like minded believers, with that being said, there is a dark side to Wheaton. There is this “underground life”. People like myself who may be believers but chose to live their life in a different light have to move in silence. I personally do not struggle with homosexuality, but I know many who do. The many that I know are current Wheaton College students, past WC students, clergy, etc. I was very happy to have stumbled upon this article as in my eyes it showed a progressive, united Wheaton. Now I know that not every student shares the same views and opinions, however, to see a group of kids “rebel” against this uber conservative school shot off fireworks in my mind. I remember when the school started to allow its students to dance and the news channels came out to cover the first dance, it was that monumental in Wheaton’s history that the media got involved, it was that monumental because that forever laid the ground work for Wheaton College to become culturally relevant. Christ was culturally relevant, Paul was culturally relevant. If we as Christians are going to live life in this image of Christ then don’t you think our ONLY job is to love? Doesn’t it make complete sense that Wheaton College would open up its arms and lovely welcome those of alternative lifestyles? Unfortunately I don’t see Wheaton publicly doing ANYTHING of the sort. I will say this and then leave it alone because my thoughts are all over the place, I was created in God’s image, I am perfectly imperfect, I am perfectly sinful, perfectly created to be the way I am to constantly remind me of God’s never failing love and mercy, so who am I to sit here and judge you because you choose to sin differently than I? I often find myself thinking that those in leadership and decision making positions at Wheaton College need to take a class on being compassionate and a class on what it means to be Christ like, last time I checked, pointing out the spec in my eye when you have an entire forest in yours isn’t something Christ would do! Kudos to the kids who go against what Wheaton has to say or stand for when they know they can be kicked out; because its the right thing to do, kudos to the kid who is gay and openly loves others as he is called to, kudos to that roommate that you told you’re gay and they have done nothing but accepted you and loved you. I love all you Wheaties, continue to fight for what you know in your heart is right, don’t let anybody tell you cant be what you know you are because of where you’re from or what religion you are. Its okay to be a Christian and liberal.

    February 25, 2014
    • Amen, Jessica – it’s as okay to be a Christian and liberal as it is to be a Christian and conservative! I really appreciate your insight and compassion for both gay and straight folks, and for the greater Wheaton community as a whole.

      As another reader wrote, “it’s not the kind of place where, as a gay person, you face much open hostility towards you. The sentiments are much more subtle and tend to be masked by a (dubious) sense of evangelical concern. It’s not outright homophobia so much as the silent judgment and tacit disapproval of a large community of people much wealthier and much holier than you.” I thank God you are working right where you are at to introduce folks to the way bigger, way awesome story of God’s amazing love for all of us. Please let me know if you ever want to talk further!

      February 26, 2014
      • jessica prewitt #

        Arealrattlesnake, I would love to speak further with you!!

        February 26, 2014
    • Chris #

      This train keeps getting better and better 😉 Thanks Jessica, Realrattlesnake, and you other commentators!

      February 26, 2014
  21. Kendall #

    I stumbled across this and as a Wheaton grad felt compelled to comment. I am really proud of the students that spoke truth so compassionately. I consider myself well on the liberal spectrum of things, politically, socially, and theologically. I fully support LGBTQ relationships and ordination and have since about half-way through my time at Wheaton. I came to Wheaton because I grew up Evangelical and it seemed a natural/expected next step to take. I didn’t think twice about the covenant and signed it without due attention as I submitted my application. During my time in college I began to think really critically about what I believe about God and the world. While this was hard at times because the institution of Wheaton and its policies are quite conservative, there was, when you looked in the right places, a great community of faculty and students who dialogue about faith, culture, and justice in an open and respectful way. While there is no denying the institution of Wheaton (i.e.:board of trustees, alumni from the 40 years ago with the money) maintain the conservative policies, I would say a majority of the faculty and quite large percentage of the students are much more progressive then the official policies or covenant indicate. Indeed, the students themselves represent more then just one story. I am glad this generation of Wheaties are asking that chapel services represent the diversity of the student body. Also worth mentioning, have you heard of onewheaton? (http://www.onewheaton.com/us.html) It’s a vibrant community of LGBTQ Wheaton allies/grads.

    February 26, 2014
  22. Paul Richard Strange, Sr. #

    Self-serving slander
    No surprise it’s highly popular to condemn and hate Wheaton these days…all in the good ole Name of the Lord and Tolerance, too, by the self-affirmed inventors of it, nonetheless!

    March 1, 2014
    • Paul, I couldn’t agree with you more – too many people are hating on what is really a very academically and spiritually rigorous and engaging institution. I hope you haven’t mistaken me – or many of the commenters here – for one of these haters!

      God bless

      March 10, 2014
  23. Biblical scholars with full credentials from accredited institutions hold the conservative view of opposition to all expressions of homosexuality; Rob Gagnon is a leading example; Wheaton’s own Doug Moo is another. Biblical scholars with full credentials from accredited institutions hold the liberal view, too—John Boswell and Robin Scroggs are leading examples.

    The person in the pew is left with dueling authorities whose dog fights (to transpose the metaphor) are mostly happening above his or her head. It’s doubtful to me whether most Christians without Greek training can really handle the difficult arguments (from both sides) about the meaning of ἀρσενοκοίτης (arsenokoites) in Pauline literature. I suspect that many Christians take their position on homosexuality for the same reason that most people take their position on global climate change: party loyalty. And what else can they do? Some of the important arguments in this field are simply not perspicuous. Most Christians have to take Doug Moo and the NIV committee’s word for it—or not—that Paul in 1 Corinthians 6 condemned all expressions of homosexuality, not just exploitative forms.

    Leaders and teachers like Moo, Gagnon, Boswell, and Scroggs will be held responsible for their teaching. They’ll be “judged with greater strictness” (James 3:1) “as those who will have to give an account” (Heb. 13:17). But let’s remember one of the questions regularly on Jesus’ lips throughout the Gospels: “Have you not read…?” Ordinary Christians, people not called to be biblical scholars, will also be held responsible for how they read Scripture.

    And there is at least one accessible argument (I think there are more) that doesn’t require advanced biblical training: it’s a biblical natural law argument used by Jesus himself. When asked about divorce in Matthew 19, Jesus appealed to the original created order. He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt 19:4-6). Jesus, in other words, appealed to the creation narrative and its original purposes for marriage as abidingly normative. If the Bible is the story of grace restoring nature—of Creation, Fall, Redemption—then hetero- marriage is at the beginning of the story. And it’s the end. Christ will marry his bride (consistently portrayed in the feminine in Rev. 19). To introduce homosexuality into this story is to subvert the entire Creation, Fall, Redemption metanarrative of Scripture.

    You can say it’s different strokes for different folks—that “it’s as okay to be a Christian and liberal as it is to be a Christian and conservative.” But this relativizes Scripture, turning it into a wax nose. It is an implicit denial of God’s authority and ability to speak to us through His word on important issues. As Machen demonstrated many years ago, Christianity and theological liberalism are separate religions entirely, formed on different bases with different authorities. (Is it an accident that nobody in the history of the church got pro-gay views out of Scripture until the 20th century?) Jesus didn’t just condemn sexual immorality, he condemned those who promoted it—and those who tolerated those who promoted it: “I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality” (Rev. 2:20; cf. Rom. 1:32).

    Liberals and conservatives can’t co-exist here. If conservatives are right then you, Kenji, are encouraging people like Chris (in the comment thread) to step boldly onto what Jesus called “the road to destruction.” I love Chris and all my neighbors, including you, Kenji—and for that very love’s sake I cannot agree to disagree when OneWheaton, Justin Lee, Rachel Held Evans, and others are building smooth exit ramps from the way that leads to life. Jesus condemns members of the churches of Pergamum and Thyatira for merely “holding the doctrine” of false teachers. Whether you commit homosexual acts or not, holding the doctrine you do is itself immoral, and I repeat Christ’s commands to those two churches: “You have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent.”

    November 5, 2014
    • Did you just copy and post a blog post to this page? Also, Boswell and Scroggs are not the leading examples of the affirming position, not anymore. I always recommend Brownson for starters.

      November 26, 2014
      • No, I wrote this for your blog.

        I had seen reviews of Brownson, but I had not read him, so I picked up his book at the library. I honestly just don’t have time to get through the entire book right now with other projects going on, but I read sympathetic and unsympathetic reviews, I read his chapter on the traditionalist view, and I skimmed elsewhere in the book. (I do also hope to read the entire thing—I’ve now seen the book recommended in multiple places.) So I admit to an incomplete understanding of his “moral logic” argument, but I think I can comment justly on what I did read. Simply put, his effort to redefine complementarity to exclude the biological (and focus instead on “kinship ties”) seems to run counter to an essential element in the Gen. 1-2 context: the fact that God’s very first command to the first human couple was “be fruitful and multiply.” Of course there are elements in the context that focus on the pair’s similarity: Eve had to be similar to Adam in a way the animals were not in order to complement him. But if the way God created the world is the standard by which we judge the way things ought to be, then it’s especially important that we get Genesis 1-2 right—and I deny that Brownson is executing a faithful reading of that passage. The entire church, throughout its history, is in agreement with me on this point.

        And this gets me back to my argument in the “blog post” above. I myself used to think of homosexuality as sort of a proof-text issue. Trot out what Mel White and others like to call the “clobber passages,” and you’re done. I’m actually thankful that scholars like Brownson have made more sophisticated arguments (and I did notice and appreciate that he was not incendiary in his rhetoric), because they have forced those holding the traditional, orthodox viewpoint to dig deeper into their Bibles (and, I think, to be a better help to Christians struggling with same-sex attraction). I now see Christian approbation of homosexuality as a challenge to the entire model of scriptural interpretation generally shared by traditionalists, the creation-fall-redemption model. The prooftexts are still important and valid, but only within a model in which creation provides norms. The models used by revisionists—and I would include Brownson in this group—are driven by Christ-of-culture views in which the Bible simply cannot be allowed to deny our appraisals of our own experience. Perhaps Paul was not indeed aware of the possibility of faithful homosexual unions; but wasn’t God?

        I prefer the honesty of Emory University’s Luke Timothy Johnson:

        I think it important to state clearly that we do, in fact, reject the straightforward commands of Scripture, and appeal instead to another authority when we declare that same-sex unions can be holy and good. We appeal explicitly to the weight of our own experience and the experience thousands of others have witnessed to, which tells us that to claim our own sexual orientation is in fact to accept the way in which God has created us.

        December 5, 2014
  24. Alex #

    this thread is nothing more than one group of ill-informed sinners paying homage to another. What part of “abomination” is it that you do not understand. Admittedley, Jesus did not address homosexuality as it was presumed that this behavior was CLEARLY condemned throughout BOTH the OLD and New Testaments. This is also why he did not address issues like rape or incest, both clearly having been addressed in the Old T’. I invite you to re-read your scriptures thru the eyes of Jesus, a teacher of the law, and not thru the eyes of those who have perverted grace. Jesus did NOT die so that you could continue in your filth, but so that you could REPENT and return home, where forgiveness, without further judgement, awaits. GO AND SIN NO MORE, he gently commanded the adulterous woman. Without repentance, there is no forgiveness. Jesus did not DUMB-DOWN the requirements of the law; he clearly up’d the requirements (ie : even if you look upon a woman with lust, you have already committed sin in your heart). Jesus challenges us to discard ‘self’ and pursue the love of others. Discard your love of money, and give to the poor. Discard your fleshly lusts and promote purity. Discard your anger and promote forgiveness. When the rich man asked how he could enter the kingdom, Jesus’ response WAS NOT “live and let live.” He commanded the rich man to follow the commandments, all of which center around giving up yourself for the sake of others. We do not kill or steal, for the sake and love of my brother. We do not commit adultery, for I would not think of harming my brother in that way, etc… The homosexual lifestyle is in complete rebellion of God’s word, completely rebels against the good of the concept of community and seeks only to satisfy SELF.

    January 7, 2015
  25. Fobazi #

    May I use the “Danger of a Single Story” image? I will give credit of course.

    April 1, 2016

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Church Unity between Division and Compromise | Henry Center for Theological Understanding
  2. Five Reasons not to Sign the Evangelicals for Marriage Equality Petition
  3. WORLD magazine gets it wrong on Wheaton College | A Real Rattlesnake Meets His Maker
  4. Student at Wheaton College pelted with an apple over human sexuality question - Faithfully LGBT

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