LGBTQ students at Christian colleges refuse to choose between sexuality and faith

By Lauren Slagter

The pastor’s booming voice filled the Spring Arbor University chapel as he grew more passionate, testifying to students about the power of prayer.

“I don’t have the time to tell you the history of those who have come to our church transgender and given their heart to God and changed,” the visiting pastor said during the hour-long service on Nov. 6, moving around the stage in jeans and a button-down shirt as he spoke. He held a Bible in one hand and gestured with the other to underscore his points.

“I don’t have time to tell you the stories of lesbians that come to our church and repent of their sins and now are living straight lives. I don’t have time to tell you about murderers who walk in and they get changed by the power of God,” he continued, his voice rising with each refrain. “I can’t tell you the drug dealers who actually hand me drugs and say, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.’ And it’s not by my might, it’s not by my power, it is by the spirit of the Lord.”

He paused. Applause filled the room.

But the LGBTQ people in the audience who’d just been compared to murderers and drug dealers were not inspired. They were filled with sadness and frustration. And they wanted to do more than sit in silence.

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