Dear Mr./Mrs. Evangelical…

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To those who authored and signed the “Nashville Statement”,

You question why Christianity is dying in America. I see it in books that you author and blog entries you write. So you question why people are turning away from religion and then you publish this garbage. Shame on you. Look in the mirror. The answers you seek about the decline in Christianity may just be staring right back at you.

I would love to sit down with any person listed as a signatory on this document and share in a conversation about it. Maybe we could both grow from seeking to understand one another? So how about we get a drink from Starbucks and listen to one another. And don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be a Unicorn Frappuccino. I’m sure that’s too gay for you anyways. We can just enjoy a regular cup of black coffee that is heavily diluted with white vanilla flavored creamer since I’m sure that is how you prefer to drink it anyways. Hmmm… Actually, Starbucks and their “liberal agenda” may not be the best place. I wouldn’t want you to be uncomfortable. Does Hobby Lobby, Chick-fil-A, or Cabela’s serve coffee? We could always go there. I don’t mind meeting you on your turf. Oh, I know there are some bakeries we could go to. They won’t bake me a wedding cake if I marry a guy but maybe they would serve me a scone to go with my coffee while we talk? Hmmm… Maybe. Continue reading

Singing, We Need Revival

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Holy Spirit rain down. Change us from the inside.
Singing. We need revival.

These lyrics from the song “Revival” by Soulfire Revolution (feat. Kim Smith) became an anthem for me as I sensed my ministry focus shift a few years back. It was a shift that led to my call, acceptance, and ordination to the office of Seventy. In many ways, congregational life in the Christian church is in the midst of its own huge shift as well, or at least needs to be. The needs and demands are changing. Building glorious structures of praise, beautifying our property, and traditional 11 am worship on Sunday meet the needs of many of our active members, but they no longer meet the needs of many in our communities. An “If we will build it, they will came” approach to living out congregational life is no longer relevant in our Western culture society today.  Continue reading

A Year Later: Orlando, Equality, and the Journey Forward

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When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
That nothing here is promised, not one day
This show is proof that history remembers
We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger
We rise and fall and light from dying embers,
Remembrances that hope and love last longer.
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love,
cannot be killed or swept aside.
I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story.
Now fill the world with music, love, and pride.

-Lin-Manuel Miranda, excerpt from his acceptance speech
after winning “Best Score” at the 2016 Tony Awards
just 24 hours on the Pulse Nightclub Massacre.

A little over a year ago I had begun to finally understand my sexual orientation. It was a journey that took a long time and, in that moment in time, I was relieved to finally begin to understand who I was. The next step for me was to begin to stop living in fear, publicly “come out”, and claim my truth as a bisexual male. Of course, that eventually happened on December 5, 2016. Though, before I had even picked the date that I wanted to come out on, I almost came out one year ago today in response to the tragedy that occurred in the early morning hours of June 12, 2016. Continue reading

Because you asked… Why come out?

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After about 6-8 weeks of sharing my personal truth with close friends and family, I publicly came out as bisexual on Monday, December 5, 2016. I must admit, I was fearful. I was concerned. I was scared. As a full-time minister for a denomination that was just three years shy of being fully supportive of LGBT rights in the United States, I was concerned about potential backlash from people who just weren’t there yet on this issue. Especially so since a large part of my ministerial focus is working with youth. I was concerned about stereotypes and stigmas and how parents, congregational leaders, fellow leaders in youth ministry, etc would respond. To put it in the context of our present-day culture, I was fearful about people’s possible perceived truths (aka alternative facts) with what it even means to be LGBT. I also knew that I couldn’t let the fear of the “what if” control me any longer. I knew that I needed to come out and that I needed to so publicly. Continue reading

#AlternativeFacts: Are we all guilty?

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The truth is this… I’m gay. I only came out as bisexual as a way to help me deal with my true sexuality. I can now say that I was only lying to myself to try and be more comfortable with who I am. #AlternativeFacts

You, see #AlternativeFacts isn’t just a buzz phrase used by the Trump administration to justify their lies. Alternative facts are used by everyday Americans all the time to justify their own preconceived ideas, fears, and loyalties. Alternative facts are what birth’s oppression and marginalization. It’s what helps people justify their own prejudices. Continue reading