Letter from the Editor: why I wrote about homosexuality on campus
We’ve had some big conversations in the past year. One that’s come up repeatedly is homosexuality on campus. Thrust into the spotlight through the Biola Queer Underground going public last May, homosexuality has been one of the hot topics.
In the past few weeks, though, it’s started to simmer down. So why is it making a comeback in the final few issues of the Chimes?
Because we believe it matters. We think that this conversation needs voices of the Church in it. We want those voices to be bold, courageous, nuanced and informed. To accomplish that, we think that this conversation needs faces, especially on campus.
Over the next three weeks, we’ll publish a three-part series: Homosexuality on Campus. In it, we’ll talk to students who range from Richard, who struggles with same-sex attraction while believing it’s a sin, to a former student who has come out, to members of the administration regarding how they handle this topic.
Stigma surrounds conversations of sexuality — homosexuality, most of all. We talk about sexual orientation, “lifestyle” and gay marriage without thinking about the people it affects.
How much would it change our tendency to rattle off homophobic slurs or quickly condemn the student who doesn’t embrace his gay lifestyle if we carefully stopped and considered the people this affects? (Students at Biola fall on both ends of this spectrum and all throughout.)
Stopping and thinking is just what we want to do. These stories aren’t sexy and they’re not for the sake of controversy. It’s a project in understanding people more than anything.
I’ve met with the people who will be covered multiple times over the past three months. I’ve prayed and sought wise counsel and thought about whether to run this series — and if so, how and when.
Biola, I think you’re ready for a conversation that runs deeper than knee-jerk reactions to panels and posters. These profiles are not intended to provide any commentary on what the Scriptures say about homosexuality. As a publication, we support Biola’s stance on human sexuality — though we always encourage thoughtful and careful research into various viewpoints.
This isn’t about an agenda. It’s about stories that are powerful, moving and painful. We want you to get to know the people who live day in and day out with this thing that makes them so different — they’ve nearly abandoned the faith because of it. We want you to meet the students who walk alongside you with a burden so much bigger than you know they have.
My sources have taken a huge risk merely by sharing their story with me and now, you. They’re laying themselves out there for you to see and they’re terrified of your response. One told me he thought there wouldn’t be anything positive.
Biola, breaking down fear and stigma surrounding difficult social issues starts here. We don’t have to compromise our biblical doctrine to be a community that exemplifies grace, love and care for every individual.
I can only pray that as you meet these individuals, you will briefly set your tendency to judge their sins aside. However, should you choose to judge, then go and ahead and judge me for my tendency to gossip and my sinful struggle with pride as well.
My prayer is that we will walk away from one of these stories and understand our place in Christ’s kingdom better. My prayer is that you will walk away from these articles with a better sense of the people behind these labels — that the labels will be a little less scary. My prayer is that we will be strengthened in our spiritual and scriptural convictions in ways that lead to the most excellent way of love.
If you have questions or concerns that run deep, please contact me. I’m always happy to meet in person. My email is attached to this piece and the first of the series, and I welcome your response.
All for his glory,
Editor-in-Chief, The Chimes ‘11-’13