Being Gay at Bethel: Revisited

Being Gay at Bethel: Revisited

Here’s a piece I wrote back in the spring about some good changes and things I see happening back at my alma mater (that sounds weird to say…).

Bethel is one of my favorite places, and I’m thankful for the ways God is moving there, especially in the sense that LGBTQ students are starting to feel safer and that the atmosphere is shifting for the better. Hopefully, this is just the beginning.

Editor’s Note: The following article is a reflection on discussion prompted by the piece, “Being Gay at Bethel,” published May 2015 in the Clarion. Because the article was published in the last month of the year, the Bethel community had no opportunity to discuss and respond to the article, and many in our community left Bethel with more questions than answers regarding Bethel’s policies and attitudes towards the LGBTQ community. In publishing this article, we hope to inspire further conversation. In the first chapel of the year, biblical studies professor Juan Hernandez Jr. challenged the Bethel community to speak up for the poor, the captives, the blind, and the oppressed, imitating Christ in this way. At the Clarion, we strive to speak up on issues that matter most to the Bethel community. Venegas, a junior linguistics major at the time “Being Gay at Bethel” was published, has since graduated and now works at Cyber Village Academy as an office administrator.

There’s…

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the fingerprints of God on a “secular” society

the fingerprints of God on a “secular” society

Tonight when I go to bed, we will have already spent 12 amazing days in the beautiful country of España, meaning that we’re already more than 10% done with our 105 total days on Spain Term (I know it’s not exactly 100 days like the hashtag, but hey)! Isn’t that crazy? It feels like there’s no way that we’ve been here this long, but at the same time, it feels like we’ve already been here for a month. And that makes absolutely no sense, but I’m sure everyone has experienced that sensation at one point in life or another.

Recap:

Anyway, for this update, I want to talk a little about finding Jesus in the little things around you and appreciating the fact everyone single one of the 7 billion people on this planet was made in the image of God. It’s just something that I’ve been thinking about for a day or two. But first! Update! Continue reading “the fingerprints of God on a “secular” society”

Call Me Radical; I’m Supposed To Be

Something that’s been brought back to the forefront of my mind in the past week is that words have different connotations associated with them regardless of whether we realize it or not. Part of what reminded me of this is the fact that I’m at linguistics boot camp for the summer, and that falls underneath the category of semantics and pragmatics, what words mean according to their definitions and what words mean according to how people use them. The other part of what reminded me of this has been reexamining what I want to be known for and what living like Jesus and being a Christian really mean, partially influenced by my reading of Love Does by Bob Goff, which everyone should read at some point in their lifetime.

But back to the main point. Since starting this blog earlier this year, I’ve been called a lot of things, some good and some seemingly bad. I won’t mention too many of the good things, just because I don’t want this to be about me, but what does seemingly bad mean? Continue reading “Call Me Radical; I’m Supposed To Be”

It’s Sunday and I’m Not in Church

This post may be shocking or worrisome for many, but I’m about to embark on an experiment for six months, partly driven by what I feel like is a calling right now and partly driven by the fact that my circumstances have lent themselves to this experiment. As you may have guessed from the title of this post, my experiment is going to be a hiatus from church attendance until I return from studying abroad in Spain in December. Continue reading “It’s Sunday and I’m Not in Church”

my story: part two

read part one here:

Ohmyword. It’s been such a long time since I published the first part of this post series that I almost forgot about it. That wouldn’t be good. School and life just really got ahead of me for a bit (which tends to happen rather frequently). But I’m back with the second part of my story out of…(let’s be honest, I don’t know how long this series is going to be haha). So, check out the link up top there if you need a refresher on part one of my story or if you haven’t read it yet, since I’m going to be picking up right where I left off 🙂

So my story picks up with me sitting in youth group, listening to this testimony and trying to come to terms with the fact that I’m gay…in a church youth basement, sounds pretty picturesque, doesn’t it? Yeah, no, it really wasn’t at all. I didn’t know what to think, or what I was supposed to think. So I didn’t. I didn’t think about it, at least for the next couple hours. Continue reading “my story: part two”

a reintroduction: the who, what, when, where, and why

Wow, it’s been almost a week since I’ve been around here. That’s kinda crazy. Spring break feels like it was barely yesterday when I first put this up publicly and watched God do some crazy things. But life seems to have gotten ahead of me a little bit. As short-ish update: I’ve been sick this whole entire past week (story of my life), so getting by with school and getting healthy again have been my priorities. However, I’ve definitely been keeping track of how many days it’s been since I last wrote anything, and hopefully, I’ll be able to be around about once or twice a week with a new post, God-willing and life-providing in the future.

Anyway, something that I neglected to think about when I initially put this blog out there was the fact that I had already been writing for two months before anyone saw any of it. Thus, I’m sure people have inferred from reading the newest posts what this blog is about and sort of what my stances are, but I thought that a nice little reintroduction post was in order before I get on with talking about some more things. And I promise I will! I definitely have some questions from followers and readers that I’ve been meaning to answer in posts; I just need to wrap my head fully around them and make sure that I’m saying what God wants me to say about those things. So be on the look out for those after this post. Continue reading “a reintroduction: the who, what, when, where, and why”

making sense of the seemingly insensible (on same-sex relationships)

This post will conclude what is, in my mind, a three part series on what I believe about and what God has been teaching me about celibacy and relationships in regards to LGBT Christians. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I’m done talking about those things. I just feel like all three of these posts are intricately tied together, which is why I’ll link to them here as well in case you haven’t read them.

Part One: when the church talks about celibacy

Part Two: what celibacy really means (for same-sex relationships)

So take a look at those two posts if you haven’t read them yet. Hopefully you’ll see that they all sort of flow together.

Finally, one last thing before I get started on this post. Don’t forget that at the bottom of every page on this blog there’s a button you can press to subscribe via email. That way, you’ll get an email every time I post something new. So go and do that if you care to follow along with what I’m writing. I always love to connect with new people, share thoughts, and see what they have to say. Continue reading “making sense of the seemingly insensible (on same-sex relationships)”

Again, I just want to thank everyone who visited this blog yesterday for being so overwhelmingly supportive and wonderful. It really means so much more than you think, and I appreciate it so much. God has been so good, and everyone has been really awesome.

That being said, I also received a minor flood of messages and things like that yesterday filled with support and also questions. I may have forgotten to mention that I absolutely love hearing your thoughts and your questions. If there’s anything specific that anyone would want me to talk about, look into, or address, please, please, please feel free to message me, text me, email me, whatever you want.

The whole point of this blog is so that I can share what God has been teaching me, and if you can help God teach me more by asking me hard questions, I’d absolutely love that. As I said in my last short post, everything I write here is for His honor. So, if there are questions, please ask them. I’d love to address them here for the benefit of everyone.

Jesus loves you ❤

what celibacy really means (for same-sex relationships)

I just want to start off this post by saying that I’ve been wanting to write this specific post for a long time. What I’m about to write here is something that I truly believe God has personally taught me, and the reason that I waited to write it is because I wanted to make sure that I was right with Him and knew exactly what I wanted to say, because this is something that’s (possibly) so simple and yet shook my whole world and turned it upside down. It’s that important to me (and most likely for many of you).

Basically what I want to do in this post is articulate what exactly I believe celibacy means for gay Christians. I’ve already expressed my frustration with the way that the church chooses to handle and talk about celibacy in another article which I’ll link to here, but in this post I want to talk about what celibacy actually looks like, in a realistic and practical way, because I believe that the church and most Christians do not have a correct understanding of what celibacy is and what it requires, something that profoundly affects daily life for gay Christians and the way that they interact with the church. Finally, I also think that having a correct definition of celibacy can be very freeing for gay Christians who feel “stuck.” This should be just radical enough to shake things up a bit. Continue reading “what celibacy really means (for same-sex relationships)”

when the church talks about celibacy

I’m going to be really honest. It’s gotten increasingly difficult for me to listen to almost any pastor on the issue of homosexuality in regards to faith, which is just another reason that I’m so thankful for people like John Pavlovitz who are willing to go out on a limb on things like this and say things that are encouraging for people like us (see previous post). That’s just my shameless plug for this post. But anyway, I say all of that, because I was at church just this past weekend and at the end of a sermon that seemed to have absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality or gay issues at all (it was focused on the interaction between Paul and one of the churches he planted), the pastor decided to start talking about it. Continue reading “when the church talks about celibacy”