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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.

Your Turn.  Post a Comment

  1. Jerry Lewis

    Only at places like bola does anyone take to heart that "side A, B" nonsense from the bigot/quack. Is Kevin Terry next? November 24, 2013

  2. James Palm

    I happen to respectfully disagree Jerry. The fact of the matter is many people that are Christians struggle with homosexuality. I happen to admire Cook for standing up and speaking about his weakness and his determination to "die to his own desires." He is honest, which is more than I can say for some Christians who struggle in other areas such as pornography, gambling, lust, gluttony, or any other sins that sent our Lord to the Cross. I personally give my applause to this man for standing up for Christ! God bless you Jerry :). February 6, 2014

  3. Riley

    I'm thrilled to hear that there will be a currently gay man speaking at Biola! As someone in the LGBTQA community, biola has been a terrible place for me. Students are horribly misinformed on this topic and having someone who has gone through all of this is a great step :) Hopefully one day we'll get to having a Side A speaker. But even Side B is good at this point. February 23, 2014

  4. ChristiFub

    The best film of the year <a href=http://downloadcaptainamericathewintersoldierhd.wordpress.com/>“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”</a> Many positive !!! July 31, 2014

  5. writerJerome

    Becket Cook is a homosexual who hates homosexuals and homosexuality. His teachings are lazy from an intellectual vantage, and evil from a moral one.
    He admits he was born gay, and assumes that makes him an evil sinner.
    His line about Jesus being his identity is a red herring. If he was heterosexual, he would never say he gave up his heterosexual identity.
    He assumes he is going to be healed of something which is not an illness.
    Becket Cook is a walking bag of toxic hate for himself and others. It's as if he "corrected" Jesus (who never spoke a word against homosexuals during his life). Becket Cook's gospel is "Hate your homosexual neighbor as yourself."
    "When you come to Christ, many things change some do not, such as eye color and sexual orientation," explained John Smid, the long-time leader of Love in Action, the oldest ex-gay ministry.
    "Other than a few bisexual lesbians, I would say 99.9% of Christians seeking a change from homosexual to heterosexual did not experience it," explained Alan Chambers, long-time president of Exodus International. After the ex-gays spent 40 years creating "change" testimonials, they admitted nobody changed to heterosexual and closed down. October 8, 2015

  6. Launa

    Writerjerome obviously has no experience of the power of Christ Jesus to change the lives of sinners even homosexuals. We were ALL born in sin! Christ Jesus died gor sinners. And yes sin IS an illness! September 26, 2016

  7. Lauren Frey

    My name is Lauren Frey, author of this review.

    Since writing this article four years ago, I regret some ways I presented the information. A journalist is responsible for reporting in an unbiased way. I failed to do that. While I don’t think this comment will remedy the negative effects my bias had, I want to offer the following criticisms of myself for a future reader's reference.

    I was biased in the first sentence, attempting to sum up Cook's story. It was not accurate nor unbiased to have pitted "pro-gay atheist" against "Side B Christian,” which was not how Cook phrased his experience in my interview.

    These terms I wrote -- "pro-gay atheist" and "Side B Christian" -- perpetuate the false binary that, morally, “pro-gay” and “Christian” represent intrinsically disassociated identities, states of the soul. This is a deeply harmful​ belief​. I wish I had been thoughtful enough to refuse writing a sentence that stimulated the moral superiority of those who hold to this. That people can be Christian and gay is the very thing Cook came to ​share about.

    I also should have presented the Side A perspective more fully -- both as a term and as a counter-perspective to Cook's Side B viewpoint. Unfortunately, this was partly prevented by my editor. I had initially included three more interviews with students, two of whom were undergrad members of the LGBTQ community. These were cut out due to word limits.

    I share this not to blame the editor​ -- I should have pushed back more. I share it to point out to the Chimes that it is pointless to publish perfunctory and nondialectical articles on really important realities. Please don't allow it. And for the sake of​ journalism, if word count is an issue, please allow for longer versions of articles to appear online, where most students read and share the news, anyway​.

    But I regret not pushing back when​ my editor​ essentially deleted the counter-perspective. The review had potential to engage students in a conversation about what Cook ​had to ​say and in how it fit into the larger picture of discussions at Biola and in the Christian community.

    In essence, this review failed to report.

    And if Side A was better represented, it would have been in line the “How Do We Love?” debate Biola hosted a year later with Wesley Hill and Justin Lee. Hopefully, the ​dialogue will continue -- and with better reporting than mine.

    Finally, the word “struggles” suggest that it is something to be conquered or corrected. In writing that, I was biased. "Struggles" is not objective. I should have chosen "experiences."

    I am sorry I wrote an article with bias -- with fear. I encourage Biola and those who care about its gloriously diverse community to speak up for our LGBTQ friends.

    I hope that the Chimes is held accountable by its readers and that it encourages​ its writers to do their research so that reporting demonstrates balance and exacts discourse of the ever-growing and diversifying student body. September 23, 2017

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