This summer, a student at my school committed suicide. He was gay, and struggling with that because the church, and our school, teaches that homosexuality is wrong.
This college has seen the homosexuality debate pretty closely; we were visited by Soulforce last spring, our psychology department does research on successful de-gayification, and there have been some well-placed pep talks by a few prominent ex-gay faculty members. Like most evangelicals, they still hold fast to the position that homosexuality is sinful; students who admit to being gay are required to have counseling.
Some evangelicals are starting to realize that homosexuality is not a sin. I really believe that the rest of them will catch on eventually and that the majority of the church will concede at some point in the future, and that thought really saddens me. It bothers me more than if I thought Christians were going to keep being stupid about homosexuality forever, because it’s one thing to be decades behind on issues likes environmentalism and global warming, but homosexuality is about people. Every year more people lose their lives because they are told that who they are is sinful.
What is going to happen when, 50 years from now, the church recognizes that they were wrong? What are they going to do about the lives they took? It’s one thing for the church to change their minds about something like environmentalism. They can start hugging trees now and nobody cares about the forests that died while they were busy scoffing at environmentalists. But what about the unnecessary deaths of gay people? Will Christians be able to accept responsibility for their lives, and tell their loved ones that they died because the church was wrong?
Related news: tomorrow, Anglican archbishop of Nigeria Peter Akinola is speaking at Wheaton College. There are protests planned against Akinola, who is anti-gay and is leading the movement to split the worldwide Anglican church over the issue of homosexuality. According to our college newspaper:
Akinola will preach at a 10:30 a.m. worship service Sunday in Edman Chapel to members from 20 Anglican churches and will speak in chapel the following day.
And my favorite part:
Akinola was invited to speak in Edman as part of a worship service designed to celebrate global church unity.
Information on the protest is here.