Packed house at Underground’s first public event

Reporter Ky Sisson
The Biola Queer Underground along with Soulforce and LGBTQ Biola alumni held their first public event to discuss the Bible and homosexuality as well as experiences as a homosexual-Christian. 120 people filled the room and heard stories of challenge, suffering, and hope from Biola alumni as well as Soulforce representatives. The evening began with Soulforce employees J. Mason and Crystal Cheatham informing the audience of different terminologies such as the difference between gender and sex. They also went into different interpretations of the Bible on the subject on homosexuality and continued to defended their beliefs that it is permissible in the faith.

After Mason and Cheatham spoke, Biola film graduate, Kate Logan, showed a trailer of her documentary about a gay student who was sent by his parents to a juvenile delinquent camp in the Dominican Republic because he was gay. She said that telling the story of this student changed her views on homosexuality. You can read more about her documentary at

After a two minute break, Sarah Train, the moderator of the evening and a 2007 Biola grad, transitioned into the panel consisting of three Biola grads and one Fuller Seminary grad who works at Soulforce. They shared their stories of coming out and life as a homosexual-Christian. The panel also brushed on their time as a LGBTQ Biola student.

Every one in attendance was asked to fill out a question card for the panel. The questions that were asked include their views on anti-gay conversion therapy, their time as a Biola student, the difference between transgender identity and sexual orientation, and to end the evening, how straight supporters can help the Biola Queer Underground.

Ellie Ash-Balá reads the BQU's welcome letter to the audience at their first-ever public event.

12 Responses

  1. Mark
    Great coverage Ky!
  2. Bill Nesbitt
    Why was the Biblical point of view not presented? It is a slippery slope once you give an inch. Don't do it Biola!!! And that is not unloving, just Biblical truth. What is unclear about I Cor. 6:9-11?
  3. Joy
    Bill Nesbitt: They actually talked about that very verse and gave an interpretation of it, One than MANY Christians hold to be true, that does not condemn homosexuality. Also, the "Biblical" point of view is not synonymous with "Your" point of view. Or, are you the only person qualified to interpret the Bible?
    • Bill Nesbitt
      I'm no one special. But let scripture interpret scripture. The sky is blue. If you say it is red, that doesn't mean it is not blue. The OT Lev. 18:22 which says it is an abomination and the NT Rom. 1:26 which says it is unnatural. If the Bible says homosexuality is sin, your rejection of that position doesn't mean it is not sin. The authority doesn't rest with me our you but the Word of God 2 Peter 1:20,21.
      • Bill Nesbitt
        In other words, the OT and NT agree.
        • Joy
          The Bible does not in any way interpret itself. Why do you think there's a biblical studies department at Biola? And why then does Talbot Exist? Why would we even need to discuss theology if the Bible is so clear on every issue? I believe that scripture is alive and everything, but being able to interpret itself is stretching it a little too far. The entire point of places like Biola, is to provide a place to learn things like Biblical interpretation and be able to impact the world with that knowledge. If there was one way to interpret scripture there would be no denominations. There would be no confusion over baptism, or speaking in tongues, or what the end times will look like. There simply isn't a clear answer on a lot of things. All of this doesn't mean the Bible is in any way fallible, it means God's given us his spirit in order to be able to look at this more closely and use discernment. These people, the gays, are saying that they're Christians. There are also many other Christians who would agree with their stance on this. Before you say that this is so "clear" you should hear their side of the story. Hear their interpretation, and come at it in a loving way, instead of with a hardened heart that has already decided to not engage and truly listen. These are children of God, who have the holy spirit within them, and they are hurting. How can you, as their brother in Christ, judge them and completely ignore their suffering without giving them a chance to speak? Has your fear blinded you that much? You owe them the benefit of the doubt. It's not an issue of, Blue is Blue, that is much too simplified. But you are right about one thing: The Authority is God's. So, maybe you should let HIM judge. Have you asked him about this? I'm SURE the LGBTQ Christians have.
  4. Bill Nesbitt
    I am not afraid. I haven't judged gay men and women. God's Word has already done that. Christ says that "if you love me, you will keep My commandments." (John 14:21) And go to a Biola or a Talbot Bible prof and ask them if scripture interpreting scripture is not the correct way to approach God's Word. I went to Talbot many years ago, and I believe they will agree. And I care about their suffering. I do. And the answer is repenting of their sin and coming to a saving faith in Christ. (I John 3:9,10). For solid Christians to come alongside them and gently confront their sin. I came to Christ in LA when I was 26 and homosexuality is no worse than my sins at the time of premarital sex and drunkenness but I repented and walked with Him and sought to live a pure life until I was married at the age of 33. God calls all sinners to repentance (Acts 26:20). Christ said, "repent and believe in the gospel." (Mark 1:15) I am open. I am open to whatever the Word of God teaches not what is popular in a world that continues to move further and further away from God and His truth.
    • Joy
      It makes me sad that people like you are a part of Biola. You are so blind to the truth that you can't hardly see anything clearly. The things I am explaining are simple ideas, A Talbot grad, I would hope, should be able to understand them. I pray that instead of having a hardened heart God will give you a softer one that can love more fully. I hope that He won't hold this sinful unrepentant heart against you, because I believe it is sin. The Bible speaks to this very attitude you have in so many instances and condemns it. Because of your heart there is nothing I can say or do that will convince you. God will have to make a change in you. I will pray that He does.
      • Bill Nesbitt
        I will be praying for you, Joy. Take care.
  5. Costa
    Bill, I'm wondering if you've ever taken a moment to listen to your gay brothers and sisters - those who believe that being gay and Christian at the same time are possible. Have you listened to them explain why they believe the Scriptures in these instances are misinterpreted? I'm certain you don't take everything in the OT and NT literally, do you?
  6. Susie
    Hi, Bill, I understand that you're coming from a position where you feel it is necessary to "come along side" of your fellow believers to set them straight. But when you don't listen, or when you don't listen with your full attention (letting the person speak while you mentally plan what you're going to say next doesn't count), you come across as very arrogant. If your views are correct, then there is absolutely no harm in fully listening and striving to understand other viewpoints. It could even help you to strengthen your viewpoints even more. But there is a harm in not doing this. No one is going to listen to or respect what you say if you don't listen to and respect what they say. I'd also be very careful about asserting that the Bible is clear on the issue. First, it comes across as extremely disrespectful to people who hold different viewpoints, and like I said, if people don't feel respected, they're not going to respect and hear you, either. Second, you seem to understand that our own culture can influence how we interpret the Bible, but did you realize that this can work both ways? Meaning, your feelings about homosexuality influence your reading of scripture, too. This may seem very hard to believe since I can see how you may think that Scripture is clear on the issue, but keep in mind that back in the day, conservative Christians were equally sure that the Bible was crystal clear that racial integration and interracial marriage were both sinful. Christians have even used Scripture to assert that enslaving people of African decent is the morally right thing to do. Obviously, these are beliefs that the vast majority of conservative Christians today would find appalling. I don't think we could even see now how anyone could have believed those things. And yet, back in the day, conservative Christians were totally sure that what we now know is wrong, was absolutely right. This ambiguity and uncertainty is too scary for many Christians to accept. But it's true. The important thing to remember is that Jesus still died on the cross for all who believe in Him, and His grace is big enough to cover all of our sins, even those that we don't recognize or see as sinful. If this weren't the case, then we'd all be in big trouble because nobody has it all down pat!
  7. Anthony
    I believe that, regardless of your personal or "Biblical" opinion on the issue, there is one thing absolutely clear. Many homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgender people (Christian or otherwise) have been severely abused in the past half century or so. What makes this tragic is the pretense of such abuse being under the mercy and grace of God's love. My own belief on this issue aside, but.that's sick. If anyone is sinning here, it is hardly the homosexuals suffering, desperately searching, for their own salvation. I know far too many homosexual Christians who have been pressured to fight for their salvation when Christ already fought for them. THAT is an undeniable truth. So we, as Christians, (homosexual and heterosexual alike) need to lay down our arms, cease declaring each other's ignorance, and do as Christ commanded: Love one another. I see very little love, on either side. And that's not necessarily anyone's fault alone. Bitterness, paranoia, and outright misunderstanding have a way of clouding the most stalwart individual's judgment. I may not be the most learned Biblical scholar. But I know enough of God that I'd rather err on the side of love.

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