Guest speaker Becket Cook to discuss “Homosexuality and Culture”
One Sunday morning Becket Cook, a production designer in Hollywood, walked through the doors of Reality L.A. church as a pro-gay atheist and out the doors a Side B Christian.
COOK PLANS TO SHARE HIS PERSONAL TESTIMONY
Nearly four years later, Cook will be guest speaking at Biola to address the matter of “Homosexuality and Culture” at 7 p.m. on Nov. 21 in Calvary Chapel. His perspective, Side B, accepts same-sex attraction but believes homosexual activities are dishonoring to God. The event is worth one chapel credit, will offer warm beverages and is part two of AS’ “God Where Are You In Culture” lecture series.
“It is hard to talk about, so we’re going to talk about it,” said Mark Nesbitt, AS religious lectures coordinator.
Cook plans to talk about his life before and after salvation, including the challenges and victories he said have followed his lifestyle change. Lastly, he wants to address the most frequently asked questions that he receives as a Christian who struggles with same-sex attraction and does not pursue relationships with men anymore, said Cook.
“We can’t shy away from the truth...It has to be talked about. It has to be dealt with. There are so many churches and people who never really are clear about it,” said Cook.
As Cook was sitting in the sanctuary of the church, he received prayer, was overwhelmed with the presence of God and gave his life to Jesus, said Cook.
“It was seriously like the scales just fell from my eyes. I saw the truth so…crystal clearly. I knew immediately that the Bible was real – everything was real. The resurrection was real. Jesus was real. Eternal life was real,” Cook said.
It was also immediately revealed to him that his homosexual lifestyle was a sin, Cook said. He read the Bible multiple times immediately after getting saved, which made it clearer, he said.
STUDENTS AND ALUMNI HAVE VARIED OPINIONS
Students and alumni have had varied opinions on the idea of Cook speaking on this issue from a Side B perspective.
Atticus Shires, junior theatre major and co-founder of NakID, an independent Side B ministry on campus, said that by hosting this event, Biola is finally allowing people with firsthand experience to have a voice.
“We’ve had events like this in the past and they were very disastrous … [but Cook is] someone from the gay community who has perspective of same-sex desires, rather than some Talbot professor coming and giving his hermeneutical opinion on Leviticus 18:22,” Shires said.
Other students said they feel unsure about approaching what has been a tricky topic in the Christian community. Matthew Valci, freshman biochemistry major, said that LGBTQ issues were not spoken about in his background.
Mitchell Griffith, freshman cinema and media arts major, has noticed discrimination towards LGBTQ people on campus and thinks having Cook speak is necessary, he said.
“There’s a certain kind of insensitivity about it [at Biola], where we limit people to their certain sins,” Griffith said.
Trenton Waterson, a gay Biola alumni, said it is wonderful that Cook will be speaking but believes a Side A perspective must eventually be offered to students as well.
“Where do you draw the line between feeling guilty because you’re introducing the Side A view, or not feeling guilty because you’re endorsing your [Side B] view, while still offering the Side A perspective?” Waterson said.
PURSUING MORE DISCUSSIONS ON SEXUAL IDENTITY
President Barry Corey addressed the student body after the Biola Queer Underground, an anonymous group of LGBTQ students and allies at Biola University, became public during the spring 2012 semester. Corey said that Biola would be facilitating more intentional discussions about sexual identity in the future.
Cook hopes Biola students will feel more equipped after hearing his story. Students are only able to point people to Christ when they understand the nuances of the issue, said Cook.
“Speaking the truth in love is really the answer,” he said.