“Well, we already have our secretary and piano player. But I know there’s always room for someone to make cookies.” The head elder laughed and smiled as she said this.
My husband and I smiled and chuckled along. We were sitting on a worn old couch in the parsonage of a Lutheran church in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), snacking on fruit salad and homemade quiche. My husband was finishing up a weekend of candidating to be a pastor there, and I was along for the ride. …
Content warning: medical trauma, cardiac arrest, CPR, spousal death
“Babe….Something’s wrong…I think you need to take me to the hospital.”
Ray said this from the bathroom while I was still in bed. He was getting cleaned up to go to church and lead the liturgy like any other Sunday. He and just one or two other people would be in the sanctuary to film the service and put it on Facebook Live, like so many other churches. …
“So, Mr. Beach. Is there a special lady out there for ya?” asked one of my community college students. I’d given them time to make progress on a paper when this student spoke up.
I took a second to consider my answer since I’d begun the process of coming out about a year before this. My answer could represent a brave moment in one direction or a perpetuation of the last 15 years of my life, where I had fought against my homosexuality.
“No, but there is a special guy.”
“Wha…?” he asked. The rest of the students stopped typing…
By Guest Writer Dr. Gary Fox
If you’ve read Eric’s account of his experience with the ex-gay movement, in particular, Living Hope, he doesn’t look back on his experience as bad. My experience wasn’t bad either.
I went to Living Hope for two years, albeit much earlier than Eric did. It was the 1990s, and at that time, they were still claiming people could indeed change their sexual orientation. Like many people who get involved in reparative therapy, I had hoped and prayed that God would change my sexuality.
I do need to explain a little bit about my upbringing…
Can I still look back on that year at Living Hope as a positive thing now that I can no longer get behind those ideas of orientation, sexuality, and faith? Can that empowering, edifying time remain so when what empowers and edifies me now is the exact thing this ex-gay ministry, and many other groups like it, want us to fight against?
My answer is ‘Yes’, but with a very huge asterisk after it.
(This is the second in a 3-part episode. Part 1 can be found here.)
“You heard of Mumford and Sons?” Drew asked as he drove us west down I-30 towards Arlington. “This just came out.”
I hadn’t, but I listened as he played this band’s EP on his car’s CD player. It was catchy and very moving.
“This is so much better than the worship they have at Living Hope,” he said. We were gonna be late to my first time at an ex-gay-ish ministry, but it was on purpose. …
“So I wanted to ask if you could help me with something, “ said my friend from church.
I knew what was coming next in this kind of conversation over beers between two 20something church guys. We were on the back patio of a Dallas bar called the Ginger Man, an Uptown spot with an intimidating tap selection. My Belgian strong ale was helping with the heat, which had just lowered to 80 degrees.
“You got it, Drew.” Sweat ran down my side and onto the rough wooden table we sat at. This wasn’t the first time a church friend…
This is the second post in a series containing smaller reflections of being a Gay Christian. Part 1 can be found here.
Another Dimension of Intersectionality and a Rejection of an Old Dichotomy — I grew up believing the evangelical Christian idea of needing to exist between two cultures: sacred and secular. My Baptist upbringing and fundamentalist undergrad education perpetuated this dichotomy for a while, which was a factor in me coming out later in life.
Since I was a teenager during the 90s, I fully bought into the Christian ‘countercultural’ movement of books, music, and films meant to be…
Classical-style mansions with well-manicured lawns swept past my window as I drove through Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood. My AC was on because this particular’ day had temperatures in the 80s and had me on my way to a church that didn’t have air conditioning. I needed to cool myself down because I was pretty nervous. And when I get nervous, my temperature rises.
A few months previous, I’d called it quits on a 15-year fight against my same-sex attractions. So many different factors had convinced me to change my mind, embrace my attractions, and now identify as a gay Christian…
(This is the continuation of an earlier guest post by Dr. Matt Davis.)
As a psychologist, my pet peeve is when people overuse the term ‘trauma.’ I think doing so is an injustice to those who have survived life-threatening events, including sexual violence. Many people experience terrifying emotions and flashbacks triggered by things they perceive could be another threat to their life or physical integrity. But, popular culture doesn’t care about my pet peeves, so everyone gets #triggered by everything. So I’ll take this opportunity to indulge in speaking about this ‘lowercase t’ trauma.
Something else that made me slow…