LGBTQ Advocate and Andrews University Alumnus Eliel Cruz Writes Time Magazine Editorial
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11310
LGBTQ Advocate and Andrews University Alumnus Eliel Cruz Writes Time Magazine Editorial
I’d go further.
As long as the official SDA teaching is that EGW is essential part of Adventism, SDA chruches and schools are not safe for children of any race, creed, color or gender, given Ms. White’s Claim that god hates chilren who misbehave, that he doesn’t want them to laugh or joke, that sports are bad, that at least one seventh of every person’s time must be spent being indoctrinated into the cultish SDA ways, that young girls shouldn’t wear sandals because it makes little boys on the brink of puberty think of babies and sex, that the creator’s creatures shouldn’t allow their faces to express sadness as Satan will see this and take the opportunity to abscond with their souls, ad infinitum.
Its my understanding that EGW’s claims are currently being downplayed from what was the case when I stopped attending their churches more than 40 years ago, and while this is ostensibly a good thing, the fact is that this amounts to an intentional cover-up—a “White Wash”, of the darkest sort—undertaken not for the good of future members, but rather out of sheer embarrassment and utter fatigue after being forced to rationalize, for so long, that which is reasonably indefensible.
To my mind, unless and until SAD-ism makes a clean break with their prophetess and asks forgiveness for having foisted her off on parents and their children as one of god’s only messengers here on earth and which congregants, according to EGW, have no choice but to acquiesce to her outrageous and often contradictory “guidance from god”, they cannot be absolved for the ongoing damage being done to past, current and subsequent generations.
I think it only a matter of time when the church will have to accept forms of LGBTQ people. I see this happening due to increasing social and political interests. I can see a time when Federal laws will require it, just like Civil Rights Laws.
Since we have made allowances for divorced individuals to remain in membership in spite the strong language of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount forbidding divorce except for adultery. As to divorce and re-marriage in the church we have mostly a “Don’t ask, Don’t volunteer information.” When was the last time we have heard a sermon on this subject?
It is not a large step to quiet opposing viewpoints toward LGBTQ individuals. Personal feelings that may oppose this direction will not have free speech.
Until we can freely and openly talk about what it means to be LGBTQ and who we are, no one is truly safe in the church.
Yes, I hope one day this and many other topics will not be an issue for Adventists, but until then, we can’t keep silent or else our complicity feeds the toxicity of the church. People are dying because of what the church (and our schools) teach and their blood is on all of our hands.
I agree with Eliel Cruz that Adventist schools / colleges / universities are not safe places for LGBT Adventists.
I have long advocated that as soon as a young Adventist has an intuition / inkling that he / she is gay / lesbian that they immediately distance themselves from the homophobic Adventist schools, congregations and families.
A young person needs to develop self respect, self esteem and dignity in order to progress from adolescence to maturity.
This is impossible in an environment where there is disrespect, disdain, derision, disparagement and discrimination.
They need to seek out the nearest public community college/ university where with in state tuition, they can avoid student indebtedness, but more importantly retain their dignity and self esteem.
Not good optics for our denominations’ schools and colleges to have their hateful homophobic attitudes exposed in Time Magazine !
it’s important to note that adventism, like a number of other denominations, teaches that LGBT behaviour is sinful because the bible clearly teaches this…adventism didn’t invent an animus towards homosexuality…it didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to persecute gay people…it incorporated in 1863 to uphold and teach biblical truth until the end of time…
individuals, including LGBT individuals, who are not interested in biblical truth are going to have a problem with adventism because they have a problem with the bible…on the other hand, individuals, including LGBT individuals, who are interested in biblical truth, are going to find it refreshing that adventism shares and nurtures their interest…
adventism invites all people, including LBGT people, to experience the healing that is currently available through christ, our mediator in heaven…there are a number of gay adventists who have demonstrated that an LGBT sexual orientation can respond to the power that is in the gospel…they have shown that while many aspects of their orientation continue, the lifestyle associated with LGBT doesn’t need to…some gay adventists have chosen heterosexual marriage…others, perhaps most, have chosen a joyful, active life as single adults, free from the responsibilities that a marriage imposes…
while the entire world around us yields to the delusion that LGBT behaviour is morally neutral, i earnestly hope that adventism can continue to maintain its biblical position, even as it refines the way it relates to LGBT members and the public…because of the highly personal nature of LGBT, i believe it should be dropped as a condition for baptism, employment and ordination/commissioning…individual members should be left to settle this question on their own terms, and at their own pace…LGBT is a situation for individuals and the local church to navigate…
The notion of “Bible Truth” is an example of reification; that is, taking something that is abstract or conceptual and treating it, or talking about it as if were tangible and concrete.
If history teaches us anything it is that any truth, including that supposedly expressed in the Bible, is permeable and subject to new truth, as new insights into nature—including human nature—become available.
To think that there is nothing new under sun and to believe that man has learned nothing of consequence in the two millennia since the Bible was written is not only demeaning to mankind but is to discredit god, who clearly wasted his time in bestowing upon humans the ability to think for themselves and achieve ever higher levels of enlightenment.
But then again, aren’t you the one who essentially accused me of abusing my child because I didn’t raise her as a good SAD-ventist!?!
You are absolutely correct that the Bible is woefully anti gay and homophobic and definitely states that gays should be celibate.
This for me illustrates a sadistic God, who creates five per cent of the planet’s population as gay / lesbian ( one in twenty —- multiple millions ) with zero input nor choice from them in the way they were created.
Then God immediately condemns them for the way He created them and imposes a cruel sentence of life long loneliness on them.
Furthermore, He sadistically gives them the same hormonal /neurological sex drives as their heterosexual cousins and siblings, while expecting them to have zero sex their entire lives!
This God hates the gays He creates and His homophobic scriptures have caused untold misery for millennia for millions of gays.
i see this question vastly differently…it’s clear to me that a gay orientation is nothing more than a simple variant of the fallen human nature that all of us have inherited…gays are no more fallen or sinful than straights…all of us are lost together, through no choice of our own, and certainly through no choice made by god in our creation…if god had his way, we’d all be naturally sinless and immortal in eden…
the fact that we’re not in eden isn’t a reflection of the way god made any of us, or an indication that his plan is to sadistically torture some or all of us…rather, it’s a reflection of the choices our ancestors have made, going all the way back to adam and eve…god is a god of free choice…he isn’t going to intervene if we make choices that are against what he wants for us just because those choices bring profound hurt and loss…instead he is going to allow us to see and feel the consequences of those choices so that we can learn through bitter experience that his choices for us are best…
to be alive and human is a fearful responsibility…this is because god really will give us what we choose, whether we understand the consequences of our choices, or not…he is not going to subvert our choice capacity by giving us only the good things he wants to give us…some of us are choosing eternal death, and god will give us that choice…on the other hand, some of us are choosing eternal life, and we will even more certainly receive this choice, since it reflects both our choice and god’s will…
what we need to understand, and accept, is that we don’t get to choose our starting point in life…that choice has been made long ago by others, namely adam and eve, and all our ancestors who have gone before us…the fact that this reality has an element of unfairness in it doesn’t change its reality…
the choice we do have - the choice that all of us have - is to rail against god for our starting point in life, which wasn’t his choice for us, or cooperate with the plan he has devised for our complete rescue from our unfair starting point into a future that far supersedes what we would have had had all our ancestors, including adam and eve, chosen only what god wanted for us from the very beginning…that’s it…there are no alternatives…we can spend our lives feeling sorry for ourselves and lashing out at anything and anyone that crosses us, or we can carefully and systematically piece together a future for ourselves that far surpasses what we can imagine…
this complete rescue that is within each of our potential is the entire point of being an adventist, and of spending a lifetime in progressively understanding god’s will in order to do it…god is a power that is altogether beyond what we can naturally imagine…by definition, he is always right, not because he grasps this position for himself selfishly, but because this is who and what he naturally is: eternal, infinite, always right…it’s supreme folly to think that any kind of advantage can be gained by going against what we know is his will in any particular…
all of this black and white reality is what our church must always maintain…whether it’s pretty or not, truth, brutal truth, is what we must always be about…the entire calling of our exceptionalism in this fallen world is to keep clear in everyone’s mind, gay and straight, what all of our opportunities are, and how to take advantage of them…to do what you imply, which is to throw out the bible and everything that crosses your immediate perspective, is exactly the wrong thing to do…thank god there are enough adventists who understand something of the reasons for our existence, who will never do this…
You state that:
GAYS ARE NO MORE FALLEN NOR SINFUL THAN STRAIGHTS
I agree with you, but if that is the case, why are they singled out by God for the harshest of cruel penalties / punishments, when they have done no wrong, and when their orientation is not of their choosing ?
Why does God condemn them to a life time of loneliness ??
Why are they expected to endure a lifetime of zero sex, while still possessing the same hormonal and neurological sex drives as their straight siblings and cousins ?
This seems harsh, cruel, sadistic, and definitely unfair and unjust.
And this injustice currently affects 375 million current LGBT on the planet ( not a small number ). One in twenty of every tribe, race, nationality is born gay / lesbian !
I am not sure what Eliel Cruz wished to accomplish by his piece in TIME Magazine. He certainly obtained a lot of publicity, but also furthered polarization on the issue. Attacks tend to make defensive. And it is kind of difficult to find any defense that would appease the kind of accusations being made.
As to the topic itself … I am very curious about the book by Alicia Johnston, The Bible & LGBTQ Adventists. Somehow it may produce a somewhat more productive dialogue.
Here’s an explanation, Robin.
We’re created in god’s image, right?
So that means some percentage of god is gay.
But some other part of god is self-loathing and hates the part of himself that is fascinated with the idea of having sex with the gay part of himself.
So some of his prophets, who also hate the fact that they themselves are attracted to men, as well as detesting their own masochist tendencies, insisted that gays were sinners to the second or third power and thus deserving of special punishment.
Which gets us to where we are today where pretty much everyone is ashamed and confused by sex and is afraid to even discuss it.
Admittedly, this probably ISN’T the explanation Jeremy will come up with but it is an explanation, while also having the attribute of being biblically plausible, given god’s purported omnipotence.
(But no. I’m not even going start to address the question of whether or not Jesus was gay. That’s an even easier “Yes,”)
robin, i have to tell you that i think you’re unnaturally fixated on this question of sex, as if sex is a primary, never mind the main, ingredient for happiness…are you able to internalize the fact that there will be no sex in heaven while everyone is unimaginably happy…
as for hormonal and neurological sex drives, i think you need to accept the fact that people are not animals…we can control our urges, and it is the case that urges subside and wane over time in accordance with disciplined choices…do you believe that god gives strength and grace to LGBT individuals to live a life in harmony with the bible, or don’t you…your entire conclusions are based on a false supposition that everything god asks us to do, or not to do, is left for us to do or not in our own strength…but there is such a thing as faith that brings tangible divine aid to our side…there is such a thing as a connection with god that can overcome things in this world that would be impossible without that divine aid…divine aid isn’t merely a figure of speech, or empty talk…it’s a reality…
and are you for even one moment believing that all heterosexuals are in blissful marriages that are consummated through blissful sex each and every night…actually they’re not…in most hetero marriages, sex wanes over time…this is because it gets boring…it’s also because increasing age decreases ability and desire…there are many, many unhappy and less than happy hetero marriages outside of the church as well as within it…we know this because of the staggering divorce statistics we see everywhere…
we - and by we, i mean you - need to accept that when god calls us to something, he prepares the way…he gives us the strength to do what he asks…no-one, gay or straight, is left out in the cold to effect his own salvation in his own strength…all god is asking of us is to do what we can to cooperate with him, and he’ll take care of the rest…i think you’re way too consumed with what you see is unfair in the LGBT situation…you’re not factoring into your thinking, at all, that god gives more grace when and if it’s needed most…and don’t overlook the advantages there are in being gay…it’s well-known that we’re generally smarter, more talented, better off financially, and better looking…
i think you need to stop worrying so much about things that seem unfair…in the big picture, everyone who goes on to be saved will have carried a cross of self-denial that god will have enabled them to bear…no-one is singled out for special unfair treatment…
No Jeremy, I am NOT fixated on sex in marriage.
I concede that sex only occupies a tiny fraction of the marital week, and less so as people age.
What is ineffable, sublime, transcendant about a loving relationship is the camaraderie, companionship, support, loyalty, affirmation, devotion and affection that couples give each other —— far outweighing the sex that couples enjoy.
LONELINESS is the horrid antonym for these sublime elements of marriage, and that is what a sadistic God insists is the penalty for being born gay.
Believe me in my 85 years I have seen many widowed pastors, church workers, conference presidents, who when widowed are often remarried within a year of their wife’s demise. ( and often disastrously to some inappropriate woman )
They remarry, not for the sex, because most are in the VIAGRA age group, but because they cannot stand the LONELINESS !
And many of these same church men who rush into second marriages, are the ones most vehement in denying loving relationships to their gay / lesbian parishioners!
Another advantage of a relationship whether gay or straight, is the economic advantages it provides.
Believe me, two can live more cheaply than one, quite apart from the tax / social security / estate planning and other financial benefits a legal partnership provides.
And due to COVID and other economic downturns, I personally know couples, both gay and straight, where one unemployed partner would have been HOMELESS, if not for the support of the remaining working partner.
These powerful economic benefits are denied, by God, to our gay / lesbian population.
But the most important, sublime, element that God denies our gay friends, is the camaraderie, companionship and affirmation that a joyful union bestows.
The 375 million gays / lesbians currently living on our planet ( one in twenty of the planet’s population ) did nothing to deserve this. They had zero input / choice in the way God created them.
I say, unfair and unjust and CRUEL !
ok so why am i not lonely…why are none of the single heteros i know from my church lonely…did you know that there are people in hetero marriages who are horribly lonely…and i’ve known long time gay couples who are so bored with each other - so lonely - that they open up their home once or twice a week for dinner parties in the hopes of getting lucky with one of the invited, usually younger, attendees…assuming one or both partners do get lucky, this carries on for a time, only to fall apart, at which time the boredom and loneliness start up all over again and spurs the announcement of a new dinner party…
in my case, i was almost overjoyed earlier today to hear that two of my students couldn’t make it for lessons - the sister was scheduled to receive a 2nd vaccine shot, and was already feeling ill - which means i have my whole house to myself for an entire evening - finally…i’m now relaxing in the jacuzzi in my ensuite, just off my bedroom, while typing out this comment…tomorrow i’ll likely take my BMW out to the mountains, given the glorious weather predicted, where i’ll hopefully be alone in a forest or lakeside somewhere…and guess what…i don’t feel lonely…i don’t even feel any hint of loneliness…
but if i did feel lonely, i could go outside and talk to one of my neighbours…i could call up somebody from my church…or i could drive downtown and strike up a conversation with total strangers in a park, a macdonald’s, or a coffee shop…i could easily go out to Stampede right now, or visit a bar later on tonite, and immerse myself in a crowd and chat with all kinds of people, given that calgary is now fully open (we’re more than 75% partially vaccinated, and 50% fully vaccinated)…i don’t see that loneliness is ever a possibility just because i’m not in a sexual relationship with someone…
so what’s stopping any gay or straight person from taking out a roommate and sharing expenses if they can’t make it on their own…i’ve had my share of live-in bf’s, room-mates, and in-betweens…i can tell you that a home with two people definitely costs more than a home with one person…you eat twice as much food…when you go out, your bill is twice as high…you can’t spend as much on clothes or gadgets because disposable income needs to be divided equally…you never save, because there’s always something to spend money on…
yrs ago i finally realized that i could make ends meet on my own…i could save up and buy my own house, my own car, stock my fridge and freezer with my own food, go out when i want, travel where i like, without anyone’s help…in fact i made the decision to strike out on my own even before my re-baptism because i didn’t want to be bogged down with someone else’s problems, needs, and constant wants…i realized that i could live my life on my own terms, according to my own tastes and time tables, and be much more productive and happy…in my case, choosing to be single had essentially nothing to do with financial considerations, and i think there are many others in the same boat…
and 7.5 billion people - according to your guesstimates - are born lost, through zero choice of their own…god certainly didn’t create them lost…and btw, have you ever thought about railing against satan, who’s the direct cause of all the evil in the world…why does he get off scot free in your eyes, while god gets all the blame…
robin, i think you’re just feeling sorry for yourself…LGBT individuals don’t have it harder than anyone else…god and the adventist church haven’t singled them out for special persecution…if any LGBT person feels lonely and pathetic, it’s their own fault…they can take their lives into their own hands and make choices in harmony with god’s will that will bring them happiness in the here and now, and eternal life in the future, just like anyone else…
Fact? Did Jesus say no sex or no marriage?
Was there a marriage ceremony in Eden?
And what about:
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them.…Gen 6:4)
Elsewhere, “the sons of God” refers to angels. Why are we so sure we understand every isolated statement in the Bible?
Sounds pretty idyllic.
But what I can’t figure out is why EGW and the Bible didn’t simply say to those with different mindsets, supposedly decadent lifestyles and/or ugly emotional deficiencies, “Just do everything like Jeremy does it”?
Oh, and if you really are so self-satisfied and in need of nothing, why spend two seconds—much less countless hours—posting really impressive comments for those who actually should already be similarly self-actualized and reasonably shouldn’t want or need anything from you?
I’m not a shrink but I suspect a real psychiatrist would be amused at your analyzations of other people’s problems and attempts at being a life coach by basically blaming the victim; might even find some of your absolutist, “Church Lady”. suggestions, somewhat psychotic.
Facts don’t matter in this, or any other forum, Harry.
What matters is that you have faith.
After that, you can prove anything, as long as everyone else in the choir has faith in the same things in which you place your faith.
Can you explain what you mean by the following: “individual members should be left to settle this question on their own terms, and at their own pace…LGBT is a situation for individuals and the local church to navigate.”
sure…this comment is actually a paraphrase of an egw text that i believe many egw readers would know well:
“The place, the circumstances, the interest, the moral sentiment of the people, will have to decide in many cases the course of action to be pursued.” Lt 53, 1894.
i was also thinking of other well-known egw passages, specifically:
"The course pursued toward Doctor Osborn has been all wrong. Had this man been handled judiciously he would have been a blessing to the church. He has used tobacco to a greater or less degree, but this habit was not as offensive in the sight of God as the defects in the character of those who might judge him, for God weighs the motives.” 12MR:285.
“If we come to persons who have not been enlightened in regard to health reform, and present our strongest positions at first, there is danger of their becoming discouraged as they see how much they have to give up, so that they will make no effort to reform. We must lead the people along patiently and gradually, remembering the hole of the pit whence we were digged.” 3T:21.
my feeling is that the subject of LGBT has been contorted and hyped beyond all semblance of proportion…i don’t think it’s something the general church needs to stop all it’s doing in order to address…this is because LGBT isn’t one of the pillars of our faith - it isn’t something our prophet has received supernatural visions and written extensively on…while our biblical position is correct, and i think quite clear, ultimately LGBT is a subject for a local church and involved members to deal with…it isn’t a general concern for church members everywhere to get all worked up over, as has been happening for many yrs now…
as i see it, egw is in essence saying, in these, but also in many other texts, that local churches need to feel free to take into account their individual circumstances, including the prevailing moral values in their congregation, not to determine if homosexuality is something god approves or not, because we know he doesn’t, but in order to know how to best handle their local situation in a way that maximizes the opportunity for spiritual healing and advancement for all involved…
specifically, i don’t think egw is teaching us that the GC, or any part of the church, should be telling Hollywood SDA Church whether or not it should ordain a trans woman as elder, or whether the Chico SDA Church should baptize the wife of a female church member…these are challenges and opportunities for Hollywood and Chico to deal with, in accordance as god directs…
the church at large can certainly hold these communities up in prayer, which i’m sure would be much appreciated…but i don’t think we should insist on a uniform policy of advancement and conformity according to what we think is appropriate, and if we don’t see one, organize or join a rally to push to have local pastors and conference and union leaders fired, or withold our tithe from their part of the lord’s vineyard…
sadly, i think our conservative church members have this particular subject of LGBT all wrong…they have greatly erred from beginning to end…when dealing with people who have often suffered a great deal, as not a few gay people have, there is much more to consider than whether something is black and white right or wrong…i note that the bible teaches that on some, we are to have compassion, making a difference, Jude 22…i think this means that on some, we are to have compassion, making a difference…