A letter to these Biola Professors and why I am concerned and hurt they signed the Nashville Statement.
I want to start off by saying, I love the Church. I love my Christian friends. I love my Christian family. And I am trying to follow Jesus. It is a hard calling.
I went to Biola and I loved it! Best times of my life happened there. I am 29 and I struggle with homosexuality. I like to think Biola is what kept me founded on truth and love in my very complex struggle regarding homosexuality. It helped me search for truth and taught me what the Christian life should be.
Biola also taught me a couple of things concerning the Christian community and how it indirectly ignores Christians who struggle with homosexuality. It taught me marriage is the relationship all Christians value over any other relationship, even over the Church. I learned Christians don't really value Celibacy or caring for the singles. I learned future Church leaders are going to be carrying on the idolization that sex, marriage, and family are. And the scariest thing of all, Biola taught me many Christians are not willing to lay down their life for their friend, especially if they struggle with homosexuality, but they are willing to speak up against homosexuality.
At first, I was frustrated with my friends, but I realized they are only following their Church leaders, their mentors, their professors, their Bible professors. Biola even has a program called the Center for Marriage and Relationships.
Any programs happening soon to promote celibacy and singleness for the sake of the gospel? Do Church leaders really want to talk about this? It seems we avoid those parts of scripture a lot.
A good handful of my male friends were Bible majors or students who wanted to be in ministry. Most of them all wanted to be like Erik Thoennes. Dave Talley, JP Moreland, Matt Williams, basically any professor who was married and played sports.
They wanted to get a wife by the time they graduated college, have kids in about 3 years, and work in ministry.
They wanted to lead the Church.
Teach the Church.
Have sex. Lots of it.
Feel loved. Feel successful. Feel like they made it. Be like their professors, mentors, and Church leaders.
Besides, they had professors and pastors talking about how great sex and marriage is in all their sermons and lectures. How their wife is the hottest wife around. Every example of true love I heard at Biola or at a Church was how they met their “best friend” and married them.
Eventually, this affected me. As I was learning about what it meant to struggle with homosexuality, I realized Christians didn’t really know what to do when they met me. They thought I was hungry for a penis all the time. Or that I am always lusting or that I am called to Celibacy or that marriage was going to save me somehow.
Because marriage was going to do that for them. Marriage fits the successful Christian life standard and they needed to defend marriage too!
Save it from the liberal gay movement.
Because sex is for a man and a woman.
We have to speak out against sexual immorality, but really speak out against the gays, even though all my friends made out with their girlfriends until they got an erection or started lusting.
It’s like you can make out until it gets lustful. Heterosexual standards are silly sometimes.
But for sure we know homosexuality is wrong.
And Erik Thoennes, Donna Thoennes, JP Moreland, and Dave Talley signed a statement today to remind us that it is wrong.
And this statement did the very thing that the church has been doing for the last 30 to 40 years.
Reminding people like me that Christian leaders care about getting the truth out in the open but do not invest any time or energy to actually teach about how to care and love Christians that struggle with homosexuality.
As I was reading the Nashville Statement, I agreed with mostly everything, but the more I kept reading, the more I was wondering when is the Church going to come in?
When is the Church going to be responsible and do its job?
As I read each article, hurt and pain started to build up……
Article 1 - God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church.
(This is interesting because I have many friends and Christians I know that are on birth control that are married and don’t want to have kids, but just want to be in love and not spend any time with Christian brothers and sisters but want to live that American romantic life)
Article 2 - God’s revealed will for all people is chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage.
that any affections, desires, or commitments ever justify sexual intercourse before or outside marriage; nor do they justify any form of sexual immorality.
(but you have thousands of Christian couples making out like crazy, cuddling, having very intimate physical moments with each other even though their bodies don't belong to each other. Do we just want to ignore the fact that men get erections when this happens? is that not sexual? Will you address this? Is this a double standard?)
Article 8 - people who experience sexual attraction for the same sex may live a rich and fruitful life pleasing to God through faith in Jesus Christ, as they, like all Christians, walk in purity of life.
We deny that sexual attraction for the same sex is part of the natural goodness of God’s original creation, or that it puts a person outside the hope of the gospel.
(And I want to know how do us Christians deal with this in the Church? Tell us, please. Stop reminding us that homosexuality is wrong. We already know it is, but tell us how to fit in a church that idolizes the nuclear family, spends all their time with their girlfriends or wives, doesn’t care how dating effects the community, doesn’t know how to care for single people. Christians don’t even value celibacy or singleness. Please tell me who can I call at night when I feel alone? Who can I experience touch when I just need a long hug or a shoulder to lay my head on? Who can I live life with if all Christians care about is being married so they can have sex and feel one with someone? )
Article 9 - sin distorts sexual desires by directing them away from the marriage covenant and toward sexual immorality — a distortion that includes both heterosexual and homosexual immorality.
(Are you guys ever going to discipline couples that cross these boundaries? Or can couples just do everything they can physically before they start using the sexual body parts? Doesn’t lust start in the heart? Why do you pick on homosexuality so fast?)
Article 10 - it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.
WE DENY that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree.
(you bring up faithfulness here, but the Church doesn’t care about being faithful to those that struggle with homosexuality. Take the log out of your own eye before you try to take the speck out of someones else’s. I can make a list of my fellow Christian brothers who struggle with homosexuality and share with everyone all the friends that have abandoned us because walking alongside someone who struggles with homosexuality cost to much. We cost to much time, energy, we get in the way of their heterosexual plans)
Article 11 - WE AFFIRM our duty to speak the truth in love at all times, including when we speak to or about one another as male or female.
WE DENY any obligation to speak in such ways that dishonor God’s design of his image-bearers as male and female.
(this is the most heart breaking statement of all, please tell me how you guys are doing this in love? How are you loving those that struggle with homosexuality? Why are they leaving the Church in waves? Writing a statement doesn’t do anything. This isn’t love. You say you see us as image bearers, yet we are treated like second class family members in the Church. Do you really think you guys are loving us by writing this? Really?
Article 12 - the grace of God in Christ gives both merciful pardon and transforming power, and that this pardon and power enable a follower of Jesus to put to death sinful desires and to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.
WE DENY that the grace of God in Christ is insufficient to forgive all sexual sins and to give power for holiness to every believer who feels drawn into sexual sin.
(Erik Thoennes, Donna Thoennes, JP Moreland, and Dave Talley is the church even a part of this? Is sanctification just an individual experience? Isn’t the Church suppose to be a part of this process? This is so dangerous to make someone who struggles with homosexuality deal with this between themselves and God. This is so much more complex than a systematic theology statement.)
Article 14 - Christ Jesus has come into the world to save sinners and that through Christ’s death and resurrection, forgiveness of sins and eternal life are available to every person who repents of sin and trusts in Christ alone as Savior, Lord, and supreme treasure.
WE DENY that the Lord’s arm is too short to save or that any sinner is beyond his reach.
(Why didn’t you guys bring up the Church? Is there no responsibility on the Church? Do you not see how this is going to have major implications on Christians that struggle with homosexuality? Do you see how you guys put all the weight on someone who struggles with homosexuality to deal with this by themselves? What happened to carrying your brother's burdens? Feed my sheep? Is the church the hands and feet of Christ? Do you think repenting of homosexual sins is the thing that will save them from their sin? From a “lifestyle.” Do you think we need more than just a personal relationship with God? Was I made to be alone with God? Was it good for Adam to be alone with God? If it wasn't good for him, why are you making me be alone?
Overall, do you guys not see that you pursued Truth without love?
You used one hand to say “Stop, that's sin!”
and used your other hand to hide behind your back so you wouldn’t have to reach out and say,
“Please, come be a part of my life. Let me be God’s hands and feet in your life.
Let me be the person God will use to help you with your burdens.
Let me be the person who will hold you at night as you cry and mourn over this heavy burden.
Let me be the person to hold your hand as you long for healthy same sex intimacy.
Let my hand help you up when you fall.
Let my hand be the hand that is holding a phone as you call and give me an update about your day to day life.
Let this hand be the hand that opens the door to my house as you stop by because you are family.”
Do you guys not see you just shut us out so you can say the “TRUTH?”
You wrote 14 articles, one of these articles couldn’t say one thing about the Church letting go of the idol of marriage and helping a fellow brother out?
I wonder if this statement should be applied to you guys.
"Woe to you theologians, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry and you won't lift one finger to help them." - Jesus
This is serious stuff now. The church and its leaders need to stop speaking for truth if it has no agenda to lift one finger to help.
You wrote one statement, write one more about the Church being the hands and feet of Christ and talk about some practicalities now of walking alongside someone who struggles with homosexuality.
Stop hiding behind systemic theology and use your hands to do something. Be practical now. Meet our needs and let us be a part of your lives. (look up the www.the4tsandthechurch.com)
Christians struggling with homosexuality are dying over here and you are just concerned about being right.
Please, stop it now. Change the story. Open up your homes and lives.
Imagine if you guys wrote a couple of practical statements like, "Christians, we would be blessed to open up our homes, give our time, give those who struggle with homosexuality some good godly intimacy. Let's figure out what their daily needs are and pursue them."
The reactions to this Nashville Statement would be a whole different story. You would have challenged hearts and inspired hearts. Instead, you drew a line and said, " Which side are you on?" And you forgot these statements that you apparently need to make on social media will effect my life and other Christians like me.
I am not bitter, I am just a little angry, hurt, and afraid.
Afraid I will live under the umbrella of the idol called marriage that is controlling Church and I will be a second class person like I already am.
We just want to follow Jesus too! But you keep pushing us aside.