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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Kim Davis, Smoking, and Spoiled Children

I’m a few days behind on the times, it seems, since I don’t read a lot of American news in Spain, but I did just finish reading up a little on the Kim Davis situation and just wanted to give my take really quickly, because I do plan on keeping up with this blog (both fun Spain things and things like this) while I’m gone.

In case anyone reading isn’t super familiar with the situation, what’s happening is basically this: a county clerk (or something along the lines of that; she’s a government employee, which is the point) was taken into custody earlier this week for refusing to issue marriage licenses following the Supreme Court ruling earlier this summer. Her defense was that her religious convictions prevented her from participating in or facilitating sin, and she now faces greater charges and possibly prison time. Needless to say, people have gotten pretty riled up on both sides of this debate.

My take? Continue reading “Kim Davis, Smoking, and Spoiled Children”

Grey Area

So I’ve already written a lot about this topic on here, but I recently had the opportunity to have an article published on Bedlam Magazine, so I’m just going to leave that right here. In it, I talk briefly about same-sex relationships, the conclusions I’ve come to regarding them, and how Christians can view them differently.

http://www.bedlammag.com/grey-area-an-alternate-perspective-on-same-sex-relationships-from-a-gay-christian/

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)”

why i don’t like the term same-sex attraction

As usual, I know that this probably won’t be a popular opinion, which is exactly why I’m writing about it. I want to be able to talk about the things that are seemingly unspeakable, at least for “respectable” Christians.

Now, to be fair, a lot of people don’t like the term gay, and that’s totally fine. When I came out to my parents, they adamantly voiced their opinions against that label. I think at one point they outright told me that I wasn’t gay. I think I probably made some sort of face at them, but then decided not to say anything more about it because it didn’t matter. It was okay. Regardless of what they wanted to call it, that’s what I was: same-sex attracted, gay, whatever. It all really means the same thing.

What I want to talk about is why I personally don’t like the term same-sex attraction. Continue reading “why i don’t like the term same-sex attraction”

what would you do?

I just read an article this morning that I think would definitely stir the Christian pot. Take a look really quickly for yourself and try to think about what you would do, and I would encourage you to think about this especially in terms of this being a very close friend of yours. What would you do? Why or why not?

Personally, I wouldn’t give it a second thought (provided I was invited to this wedding obviously). Continue reading “what would you do?”

good intentions

I think that most of us would agree and can relate to situations in which our well-meaning straight friends say something or point us to something, whether it’s a book, online sermon, article, or anything else that unintentionally hurts us, sometimes a lot. Something like that happened to me earlier this week, which is what I want to share with you for this post.

Now, I typically like to say that I don’t get offended very easily, and I still hold to that as I’m writing, but what I experienced earlier this week was something that was a rather unique experience in a really uncomfortable way. I can’t remember the last time (if ever), I’ve ever experienced anything like it before, but I’m sure that perhaps some of you have encountered something like this: Continue reading “good intentions”