BRIDGING THE GAP:
Homosexuality is something that can be viewed from different points of view. Within the scope of the 21st-century, it is something many churches approach with caution. It is often viewed as a “taboo topic” in churches for the response from the Christian community, often leading to conflict.
“Being a pastor’s daughter, I do understand the difficulty with dealing with those touching subjects and all the backlash that you get with it,” says Micah Brady, a sophomore English major at Biola University. “It’s sometimes exhausting and unnecessary like my dad gets comments on what he wears, and it’s like you don’t want to even deal with homosexuality.”
Micah Brady grew up in a Christian home. Her father is a pastor at her home church so she grew up in a Christian community, as well.
“I accepted Christ when I was about 4 years old,” says Brady. “I heard my parents talking to my brother about accepting Jesus and I was like, ‘I want Jesus too!’ so that’s how that happened.”
When asked about God, her response truly portrays her faith and her never-ending reliance on God.
“I think God, first and foremost, to me is a protector,” says Brady. “When I was little I struggled a lot with fear and having God as a protector meant a lot. He’s also pretty amazing and indescribable, it’s overwhelming to even comprehend.”
Brady is bisexual, giving her a unique perspective on the world and Christianity. Since homosexuality is a topic of great conflict in the Christian community, many receive negative comments.
Although Brady says, “All the people I’ve ever told are people I know and will be accepting and loving. I’m not out at my home church or have never been open in a church,” says Brady. “Biola is full of young people that are more in touch with the subject in general, and so they’re super understanding. I haven’t had any direct conflict.”
Brady speaks on how her openness allows her to connect with those who are wrestling with their identity and build up their confidence in the way God has made them.
“One of my favorite things about being openly bisexual is just how many people I’ve met and they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, me too! I thought no one else dealt with that.’” says Brady. “That’s just really fulfilling to me, to be able to talk to people about it and be like, ‘No, you’re not alone. This is super normal. You’re not weird and you don’t have to hate yourself.’ But a lot of people assume.”
Biola is a unique campus for its students all come from varying backgrounds. Throughout the years, Biola and the local church have come a long way to embrace those struggling with their sexual identity. Despite this progress, there is still much Christians can do to love and build up those struggling to find their place in the church.
“Making it a normal topic of conversation helps a lot. I feel like Biola deals well with that like they at least acknowledge it as something that exists. One of the bigger struggles though [is] that Biola doesn’t acknowledge transgender or queer identities, so not acknowledging that really isolates those who struggle with it in particular,” says Brady. “I think also it’s important for Biola to have people within the school that speak out about their experiences ‘cause it’s really great how Biola brings in outside speakers and people who do have personal experience but also when we have outsiders come in it still perpetuates the idea that no one within Biola deals with this and still lets people feel isolated within the school.”
This duty does not only apply to Biola University and Christian campuses but also to the local church.
“[It’s] very difficult ‘cause there’s so many churches and such a wide variety of point of views,” says Brady. “If it is a good and safe environment, truly, I think just treating it as a sin amongst many other sins is very helpful in alleviating the guilt that many people deal with. If it’s not a safe environment then I would advise people to find a new church if they’re struggling with it.”
Everyone goes through struggles whether that be identity, mental illness, etc. Looking to God’s Word, the story of Zacchaeus comes to mind.
In Luke 19:9-10, Jesus says to Zacchaeus, “‘Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’”
Zacchaeus was a Jewish tax collector. Tax collectors in biblical times were people who took money from the Jews for the Roman Empire, and most of the time, they stole additional money and possessions for themselves. Zacchaeus was hated by the Jews for betraying his own people, therefore ostracizing him from the Jews. Despite Zacchaeus’ faults, Jesus desired to reach out to Zacchaeus by having a meal with him, which at the time would be extremely taboo. Jesus showed love and forgiveness to Zacchaeus when no one would.
Similarly, many people wrestling with their sexual identity and various struggles are turned away from the church. However, none of these people should be dismissible or ostracized. No matter one’s past or present state, God stands with open arms to embrace those who have lost their way; Christians are called likewise.