I'm extremely grateful for the life and work of Rob Bell. I learned about Rob Bell when I was in High School because of the Nooma Videos he created. I love those videos and own all of them.
Rob Bell's amazing rhetoric and thoughtful questions taught me an essential skill to have as I live in a society in which the scientific method is the number one authority for answers -
how to question
Because of the questions I have about God, life, and my same sex attraction, I believe homosexuality goes against God's creative, beautiful, and self-reproducing art. And I like to thank Rob Bell along with my other favorite writers for helping me come to that truth.
But there has occurred a very interesting dilemma in my life, since I believe homosexuality is sinful, I am put in the same box as the conservative church, "We hate homosexuals and discriminate against them."
And what is ironic about all of this is I am attracted to the same sex and I am a part (a very unique part) of the homosexual community.
As I have tried to understand gay affirming theology by listening to gay affirming Christians who are gay and in relationships, it does help me see the other side more clearly and at times makes me wonder if it is really wrong to be in a godly, loving, gay relationship. As of right now, I still believe it goes against Gods creative, beautiful, and self-producing art.
But interesting things occur when I try to tap in these small communities, such as the BIOLA UNDERGROUND or whatever their new name is called, I end up being DISQUALIFIED from their group because of my beliefs. I was going to attend a conference where gay college students where going to share their stories of persecution as they attend a conservative christian school, but I was not allowed to attend because the Biola Underground said I wasn't a safe person. They told a director of the conference that I would snitch on them or something like that. Apparently, I'm a gay hunter. I was confused for the longest time about why I wasn't a safe person and I think it was really because of my beliefs. I was told I would be escorted out by security or the police if I attended the conference.
Biola Underground, you want people to accept your beliefs but you reject other Christians who btw are also attracted to the same sex and think they are going to snitch on you, what are we in 3rd grade?
Guys isn't that frustrating? You try to learn about other people's beliefs but they don't let you and yet they say you discriminate against them.
So as I am related to the gay community, and live in the conservative Christian community, gay communities such as the Biola Underground and their "allies" say things about ME that are not true, very offensive, disrespectful, and worse of all NOT CHRIST LIKE.
A group like the Biola Underground preaches "the church" is not accepting and rejects gays from their communities, yet the Biola Underground did the same thing to me as well as others.
So, I needed advice and I wanted to talk to leaders that are leaders of gay affirming theology.
So why not talk to ROB BELL?
One day he posted on facebook he was taking in applications for people who wanted spiritual advice from him. So I applied. And I was chosen.
One day I was talking to the producers of the show and it got a little heated.
I explained to them my story and belief system and one of the producers right away objected to my views. I told her I understand. Then she asked a question I got really angry at,
"Richard, don't you think you deserve to be loved in your life? Have TRUE LOVE?"
I replied with an angry sarcastic chuckle,
"I find it very offensive you think I can't be loved by my friends or even have "TRUE LOVE" with them."
Isn't this what this whole debate is about? What love is?
If I read my DAMN Bible right, isn't the primary form of LOVE found in CHURCH Community and not a temporary human way such as marriage? Like what the Hell did Paul try to do? PLANT MARRIAGES? Is that what he died for? JESUS and MARRIAGES? Is that what Jesus died for? Marriages and not the CHURCH COMMUNITY?
The producers stayed quiet and again reminded me they disagreed with my views.
Then the day came and I was able to chat with ROB BELL!
I walked to the desk that was set up on the beach and was so excited to see one of my favorite Christians standing to greet me! We shook hands and sat down.
I shared with him a little about my life and told him I grew up in a conservative Christian home.
He told me he heard of those before.
Then I explained to him the dilemma I was in.
I told him I'm a Christian who believes homosexuality goes against Gods ways but I also struggle with it. And so I get confused on what to do because I see gay communities that attack the very communities and friends that love me and meet the needs in my life. I think it is unfair of them to reject me and also attack the communities I am a part of. Rob (i really called him by his first name) what should I do?
He told me
He knew many Christians who are on both sides of the line that find love in their church communities concerning this topic, so he "totally 100% agreed" these gay communities need to respect the boundaries of Church beliefs. It isn't fair that the community that loves you is being called a bigot. What you should do is set yourself apart from them so it doesn't cause you distress. Don't get involved in fights about this. Something people need to learn is their boundaries and that we can go to which ever place fits for us to worship God the way we think we should worship God. If you think it is immoral to live a gay live find a community that can help you flourish in that, and if you think it is God approved to be in a gay relationship then find a community that can help you flourish in that. Lets respect each other and have boundaries.
I was in love with his response because it reminded me that humans have a hard time with respect, especially Americans. Entitlement bleeds out of us.
I wish the Biola Underground can really admit they are not fit for the theology of Biola just like I wasn't fit for their theology. But they won't.
Then a couple of months after I got to talk to Robbie Roggers (the first gay athlete to come out, he plays soccer)
I told him I read his book "Coming out to play" and I read it in one day. And I loved it! I also connected with him very deeply since we both love God and are part of the Christian community.
He talks a lot about his faith in the book. I told him I am also gay (I don't really like saying that because it usually means something I don't agree with, but for the sake of communication I said that) and I am a Christian.
I said I landed on the other side of the conversation believing it's immoral to act on my attraction. I continued saying it is already hard being in the evangelical community, it becomes worse not being accepted by the gay community, which I am also apart of, because of my belief of it being immoral acting on my attraction and so how do both Christian communities come together on this topic.
He replied with a really calm, kind, and respectful way.
He said he obviously disagreed with me and believes God made him that way and everyone can experience true love. And he said it is frustrating when a community stresses being open minded but they themselves are not. He said he doesn't know what to do but he can see how it is frustrating.
I really admire Robbie Roggers and think he is awesome. I just wish he didn't think marriage love is the "True" love. I wish I can have coffee with him or something. Maybe that can happen one day. I would love to talk with him one on one
Well sorry for the long post, but I wish gay communities can respect the beliefs of others. It would be nice if they can be more tolerant of the communities that love someone like me who is attracted to the same sex.