Hear These Words Of Mine

Through the mumbo jumbo of numerous individuals and a nationwide game of “telephone,” I fear people are losing this purpose of my group, founded on and continuing through withholding judgment and asking questions.

BridgePointLoma Given the Absolutely-Not.

"[The Vice President of Student Development at PLNU] told me that administration will shut down any club centered around sexual orientation that makes it through the club chartering process, " the ASB Advisor told me, who has been working and advising me on how to give BridgePointLoma its best chance on getting chartered. I was slightly caught off guard since all my other conversations with the VP left me feeling

Students paving the way for BridgePointLoma

On BridgePointLoma's Facebook page, co-founders Sean Lewis and Melissa Roth describe the group as “A nondiscriminatory community that is dedicated to the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gendered, queer, and questioning students.”

Hear These Words Of Mine

Posted on by Sean Lewis in News | 5 Comments

Matthew 7

Why was BridgePointLoma originally started? Let’s go back to my April article in the Point Weekly.

What is making that unbelieving student want to learn about our faith? Or that struggling gay Christian to say, “I still want in on this thing you call Christianity”? — The road to love

Questions.

From this impeding loneliness, I felt questions, and I didn’t know where to go with them. I knew that when I signed up to go to this university, it did not support the homosexual lifestyle. To my dismay, I still wanted to come to a Christian university because I had this passion for God, yet I still had an innate desire to kiss a guy over kissing a girl.

As these questions sat on my heart, it never seemed okay for me to ask them, at least without fear of losing many friends in the process. After a long and gruesome process, I made it to where I am today.

7“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” — Matthew 7

“Where can our experiences be heard without the questionable smirk on her face or the reprimanding glare in his eyes?” — The road to love

Fear.

In spite of this fear I had overcome, I put together BridgePointLoma. I didn’t want students — who were encountering my same sorts of feelings — to have to go through the same frightful process I had to. I wanted to form a respectful community. So I made BridgePointLoma, where

we hope LGBT students at PLNU can share their neglected stories, lingering questions, and increasing trials with their Christian comrades, and together, we can learn what it means to practice listening to and dignifying your political or theological enemy and actively learning to live and love in real-time. We hope to seek reconciliation not based on a change of belief system but rather from a commitment to live in relationship with opposing worldviews while seeking to understand and dignify the humanity of the “other”. — BPL Mission Statement

1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” — Matthew 7

Too often, people point fingers and make their claims, but BridgePointLoma is not about making — or even reaching — theological or political claims. We are not trying to change a belief system. We are not trying to figure out if homosexuality is a sin. Our sole focus, our foundation, is that there is an overlooked population and to better engage with them, we need to hear their stories and experiences along as share ours with them.

24“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” — Matthew 7

Through the mumbo jumbo of numerous individuals and a nationwide game of “telephone,” I fear people are losing this purpose of my group, founded on and continuing through withholding judgment and asking questions.

I don’t believe that advocating for BridgePointLoma is causing PLNU to compromise its theological beliefs. I am not asking it to. The group is not asking it to. I am advocating for a place that can be shared across PLNU’s campus, where “we can learn what it means to practice listening to and dignifying your political or theological enemy and actively learning to live and love in real-time.”

Amidst the temporal forums that PLNU puts together, these suffering students need something more sustaining. Yes, they can get a counselor to constantly share their stories with, but what I needed more than anything was friends who would listen to my story. Friends, the people who expressed love with me on a day-to-day basis. Their perception of me is what was important. The random members of a book discussion or a forum could not provide me with that. Hence, BridgePointLoma.

So when people say that BridgePointLoma is contrary to the beliefs of Point Loma Nazarene University, I look at them puzzled because I wonder why the university is against seeking reconciliation through “a commitment to live in relationship with opposing worldviews while seeking to understand and dignify the humanity of the ‘other’.” To me, that is BridgePointLoma

Friends, I am not trying to tear down the university. I am trying to build a bridge between two hostile communities. BridgePointLoma. Since the news entered social media, a lot of what has been happening feels much like bridge burning, thwarting my original intentions. I feel the petition – although something I would like to see happen – is too radical for the goals I would like to accomplish through BridgePointLoma. We gain no ground stirring up more ruckus between these communities. We just get left with the rubbish remains of a rundown construction site.

PLNU is a fantastic university, and I hold no bitterness towards it or any of its administration. Although administration and I disagree on the importance of BridgePointLoma, we are both staying in touch and continuing this two-way conversation through their methods with minimal pushback. Family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers, I greatly admire your support. Thank you for hearing my words, but we all know this is much greater than I.

BridgePointLoma Given the Absolutely-Not.

Posted on by Sean Lewis in News | 4 Comments

“[The Vice President of Student Development at PLNU] told me that administration will shut down any club centered around sexual orientation that makes it through the club chartering process, ” the ASB Advisor told me, who has been working and advising me on how to give BridgePointLoma its best chance on getting chartered. I was slightly caught off guard since all my other conversations with the VP left me feeling optimistic. Read more

Students paving the way for BridgePointLoma

Posted on by Sean Lewis in News | 4 Comments

On BridgePointLoma’s Facebook page, co-founders Sean Lewis and Melissa Roth describe the group as “A nondiscriminatory community that is dedicated to the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gendered, queer, and questioning students.”

“We wanted to form a community and a safe haven for students from these backgrounds and provide a voice to them and their experiences.” said PLNU senior Sean Lewis. Read more

condemnation (part I)

Posted on by Sean Lewis in Voices | 1 Comment

The wind whipped through the trees above my head, drowning out all other sounds. The moon was a mere sliver of luminescence, only faintly casting it’s light on the cold evening. I had just finished work, and was walking down the campus mall back to my apartment. Almost nobody was in sight, since it was midnight on a school night. Only a single woman was walking towards me on the other end of the path, carrying a side bag and looking towards the ground.

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The Greatest Of These Is Love

Posted on by Sean Lewis in Voices | Leave a comment

December nights in San Diego can get surprisingly cold from time to time. After throwing a thermal over my t-shirt, I pulled over the thickest sweatshirt I could find and slid my jeans right over my warm sweats. In the process, I remembered a pair of purple wool gloves that I took from Mama Lewis just before I left Oregon and covered my hands. Opening the door, I turned to my roommate sitting at his desk, dreading the difficult conversation to come, I mumbled, “I’m going to tell [a friend].” Walking out the door, I heard an empathetic “good luck” slipped through just before it closed.

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