Like a lot of denominations, the Seventh-day Adventist church is getting it wrong when it comes to its LGBT youth. We're completely wrong, and we're putting lives at risk. I've spoken up on behalf of dialogue, bridge-building and elevating the conversation between the church and its LGBT members, but sometimes reprehensible acts of spiritual violence and misinformation must be called out directly.
Since my first blog on HuffPost, "I'm a Seventh-Gay Adventist," my email has continually been flooded with people wanting to have a dialogue with me. People of all different backgrounds, religions and beliefs on sexuality have sent emails wanting to have constructive conversations on human sexuality and religion. Above all the other questions I receive in those emails the one that always gets asked is "Why are you still Seventh-day Adventist?"
For years I've been intrigued by languages. Being raised bilingual, I had Spanish and English languages underneath my belt, yet I was always dreaming of traveling, experiencing different cultures and learning new languages. That interest quickly turned into desire, which is why one of the bachelor degrees I'm currently working toward is in French studies. Through my education at my current university, Andrews University, I've had the incredible experience of living abroad in France for an entire school year and traveling through South America for a month, and Europe for another.
“That’ll be $31,606.00 plus fees. How would you like to pay for that?”
Like most students, I would like to pay with “fake” money through student loans and worry about the bill down the road. The question many students start to ask only too late is "At what cost?" Christian education is a staple in the Adventist community. “Church, Home, and School” has been touted as the chain links of a young person’s spiritual development.
I made my way into the living room and sat down on the comfy couch directly in front of the television screen. I didn’t want to miss a second of it. Never in my wildest dreams would Ihave thought there would be a film produced regarding sexual orientation and Christianity, especially within my church. The Seventh-day Adventist church. After an introduction from theproducers of the film, the lights went out and the journey began.