Monday, June 14, 2010

Such Adventures...

Well, this is the 200th post of "Adventures of a Christian Collegian," and I am sorry to say that it is also the last post. It took me awhile to figure out what to do with this blog, but ultimately I decided that I had really said all I needed to say about homosexuality and my college experience. I want to take this time to just reflect back on these past four years, in my usual completely random and unedited style, and thank all of you for being a part of the adventure. Because, truly, "adventure" is one of the only appropriate words to describe it.

Man, this is a lot harder to do than I thought. How do I encapsulate four years and all the incredible experiences I had in that timeframe? How do I talk about how much I grew in God, how many wonderful, challenging, interesting, frustrating, infuriating, complicated, or downright fun people I encountered? How do I mention my shift in theology, and my oftentimes erratic relationship with God? How do I talk about the many, many mistakes I made, many of which weren't even hinted at on this blog?

It's true that this blog doesn't even come close to representing a complete picture of my life, struggles, views, and quirks. As much as I've tried to be authentic, when push comes to shove it simply isn't feasible to write about every time I stumbled, every time I was depressed, or even every time I was joyful and at peace. There is a lot that I've processed away from this space online, and as the years went on and the friends around me grew closer, the amount of personal things that I processed became less and less.

And that's how it should be. One of my biggest hopes is that, as the church and society become more tolerant and educated about the issue of homosexuality, people won't have to rely on online contact, which can only do so much in the development of strong Christian men and woman. It can do almost nothing compared to genuine fellowship and community with living, breathing people. Sure, it can be messy. There is a lot of false or potentially harmful information out there, and it is often mixed in with good intentions and sincere, honest people.

I am reminded of the recent passing of Alan Medinger, who wrote Growth Into Manhood, a book which pretty succinctly summarizes the traditional conversion model of homosexuality. It's a theory that I've spoken out against multiple times, and which has led to a lot of harm among families and men seeking to live out their faith in boldness and orthodoxy. I think it creates more ex-ex-gays than it does ex-gays, and it certainly has no scientific backing. Does that mean Medinger was a bad person or a bad Christian? No. Just a bad theorist.

The thing is, this journey isn't an easy one, and it doesn't have clear route markers or hurdles to jump. Some people are going to believe some silly stuff for a season, and then find that it doesn't work for them. Others might hang onto it for life, but then again, I'm sure I'll have some prejudices or dumb ideas still lurking in my mind when I pass from this life to the next, as well. The main thing is whether or not I genuinely love Christ and love truth, regardless of whether or not I get either of those things perfectly right all the time.

Does this mean that we don't continue to speak out against what is untruthful or potentially harmful? Of course not. But we also have to recognize shared humanity, shared journeying, and shared belief in Christ. An elderly woman in a small southern town may never resolve the prejudices about race which she was raised with, but that does not mean that Christ's grace, love, and forgiveness couldn't be expressed in other aspects of her life. We're human beings, and we're tricky. As I've grown more, I've realized that black and white is a horrible way to see.

And sometimes I have to stop and look and realize just how much I have grown over the past four years. Every stupid mistake, petty argument, broken relationship, irresponsible choice, and foolish endeavor taught me something about myself and my relationship with God. Every individual who interacted with me, online or in person, positively or negatively, did something to help make me a better person and show me a way to be, or not to be. I hope those whom I am out of contact with now see this and realize that, good or bad, I appreciate them.

There have been an amazing adventures over the past four years, and this blog only shows a fragment of them... Vacations, conversations, parties, concerts, books, music, movies... I really am losing coherence just thinking about all the fabulous things I have done, and I praise God daily for all the things he has shown me over the past four years. I've screwed up a lot, and realize that I still have a lot to learn and a long way to go on the path of sanctification, but when I take in everything, I am left with a sense of wonder and awe about how much He has done.

Now I am at a place where I really have no idea what is ahead of me. I feel I've defined my views on homosexuality here, and I will be leaving this blog up in order to encourage others. I have a new blog up, although there is nothing at all there yet. Feel free to subscribe to it, so when I do eventually post there, you will know. Until then, I would love for longtime readers and lurkers to say their goodbyes to "Adventures of a Christian Collegian." Even if I never blog again, I'll always be around to engage with comments and e-mails.

Until then, than you all for everything. Thank you all for being a part of the adventure. Thank the fellow believers for challenging me and encouraging me in my walk with Jesus Christ. Thank the nonbelievers for keeping me on my toes and challenging me. Sure, we never agreed, but it was great to engage in respectful dialogue and learn how to think about what I believed and why I believed it. I hope and pray that you all come to a full relationship with Jesus Christ, and I pray that you all enjoy the adventure, whether you're in college or not.


Also, enjoy my girl Florence's cover of the Candi Staton gospel classic. You knew I wouldn't just leave you guys hanging without some amazing music, right? Much love and peace to you all. I can't wait to see the comments.

15 comments:

warren throckmorton said...

Dude, say it ain't so!

Well, ok, you are just transitioning I guess and that is a good thing.

Appreciate your take on things, especially our common ground on reparative stuff.

swscratch said...

Thanks for sharing a piece of your heart and mind with us. You never failed to invoke thought. Best wishes in your walk going forward.

AJ said...

Wow this is sad :( Gonna miss your blog Jay! It was one of the first I found a few months ago when I started looking for other christians who struggled with SSA like me.

Anyways I always look forward to reading new posts from you when I see in my RSS feed that there is a new one. Sad that this will be the last time. Hope you do keep blogging on your new blog when you have time! Anyways thanks for being so honest here and sharing your life with us. Good luck with your future endeavors!

naturgesetz said...

Jay, thank you for sharing so much about yourself on this blog. It is encouraging to find good people who can accept themselves for who and what they are and still realize that their sanctification is a work in progress and that the Lord's will does not always correspond to our desires. What I'm trying to say is simply that it's good to have the testimony of self-accepting homosexuals who accept God's word on morality and therefore strive for celibate chastity.

Thank you for leaving the blog up. I'm sure it can serve as a valuable resource and encouragement for future readers.

I'm looking forward to your new blog.

God bless you always.

Brandon said...

I never knew there were blogs like this online until a friend pointed yours out to me. I remember reading through several of your posts and thinking, "This is great! Finally, somebody I can relate to. And I can leave comments! And, hey, I can even have my own blog!" I thank that friend for directing me to you, Jay. You're a good friend. You're an inspiration. Not just because of your blog, but because of who you are. Because of your openness and willingness to communicate with others you inspired me to make my own blog, and in so doing, I gained many new insites, friends, maturity, strength, resolve, humility, as well as self confidence, and so much more. And you are just a really cool guy to know besides all of that. You're a caring person, Jay, and that means a lot.

I'm going to miss seeing new posts on this blog. But I am glad you are going to keep it up. It'd be such a huge loss and shame if all of this no longer existed.

Please keep in touch. And may God bless you in all of the many more adventures to come in your life's journey.

:)

Aaron said...

So sad to see this blog go. You are a year younger than me, but man your writings and thoughts on homosexuality and the church had way more wisdom than I could have imagined. Definitely helped to kick start the development of my own journey to having my own opinions of LGBT and the church.

Now I am part of the planning board of a Christian/LGBT group on the campus of our Midwest University and I have met some amazing men and women through it, who have truly shown me that the LGBT belong in the church and that you can be both.

While I am so sad to see your blog go, I have much to thank you for, so thank you, and keep writing and inspiring. Much love

AR

Brian said...

Thanks for sharing with us over the years. It's been a ride!

Derek Jay Melony Trey etc said...

As fully functional active members of the great gay community, we are disappointed in you Jay. As a confused gay sex addict, you should know better than to throw stones at your gay brothers and sisters. Your anti-gay-sex/sinner stance as if to be a black person shunning self to be white, breeds contempt within the very people that you are. That is your choice. That is your depression.
Subsequently, your writings have brought us to this point, to impart publicly the following;
On this day we the under signed withdraw completely, all mental emotional physical and spiritual ties and support from you and all forms of Christianity from all past present and future time lines, now and forever without restraint, never to rejoin or re-enact the colossal pain subterfuge and misinformation such religious manifestation represents. We now move our support of self and humanity to the clarity of A Course in Miracles, where our non-christian untainted brother Jesus' words rests wholly in truth honesty inclusiveness and right-thinking via compassion forgiveness and the undying power of love, now and forever.
Jay, our final take on you is; if you ever write another word, it will be one word too many.
All Singed: Derek Jay Melony Trey Monica David Shelly and Brent

College Jay said...

Thanks everyone!

Except the troll who uses multiple names, doesn't know how to punctuate, and whose support of self comes from some New Age book written in the 1970's. It's pretty hilarious that your first comment under this pseudonym indicates a "withdrawal of support" that was never there to start with. One thing I will not miss about blogging is the trolls.

:-)

Doug said...

Lame.

donsands said...

You have a great gift for writing in a clear concise way. You speak the truth in love, and that's what our Savior has called us to do. His Word is truth.

And as our Lord was despised for speaking the truth, -at times-, we too shall be. And at other times the Lord brought joy and encouragement to hearts and souls with His words. And His Spirit will do the same through us as well. For His glory of course.

Keep on writing Jay. You truly have a gift.

Our Savior is with us, -those who have repented and trusted in His death and resurrection-, from life's first cry,until we die, or the Lord returns.
Our Father loves us more than we will ever know. His mighty hands have us, and His heart loves us with an everlasting love.

All for Jesus and the Cross. Galatians 6:14

ps I tried to comment before but blogger was being difficult, I guess.

Doug said...

Derek +,

I can certainly understand your feelings. No one likes to feel judged falsely when you know you are doing nothing wrong. I wish you and yours the best on your trek and am glad you have Jesus walking by your sides.

Best always

Diakonos said...

... What are the trolls doing out of the caves!?

I love you, Jay. Through our discussions, not only have I become less calloused and more considerate of differing opinions, I've also become more confident in my own convictions, and have seen an increase in my desire to search for truth. That is something everyone needs.

I'll keep in touch... hopefully better than I have been as of late. Always will love you bro. Peace.

DubTurbo Review said...

I am very proud of you for your braveness to start this blog, and I am very sorry that you stop here.

I will get some ideas from your blog to my website.

You are grate. God bless you!

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