Why I’m Exhausted by “A Church is not THE Church” and Why I’m Glad I Was Churchless

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Have you ever heard someone be very vulnerable and exposed, share their story about how the Church has hurt them, and then someone else said, “Listen, I get it. But you need to remember a church is not the church! You shouldn’t ditch the necessity of church just because of a few bad apples.”

Do you know the word for that?

Dismissive.

For the same reason, I’m exhausted by hearing “not all men are going to rape you, so stop being afraid”. I’m exhausted by basically hearing “you were vulnerable. someone hurt you. but stop having rational fears that relate to the pain you went through.”

“Not all men”

“Not all cops”

“Not all white people”

“Not all Christians”

Dismissive. Is your theory right? Sure. It is true that not all Christians will be like the ones who hurt you? Sure. But people are trying to protect themselves for damn good reason. The theory is right, but it isn’t helpful to say. In fact, it’s harmful.

Here’s why if you feel confused.

Church is an extremely vulnerable place. People don’t usually go to church because they’re bored. They go because their heart is longing for something more; they go because it’s a shot at healing; they go because they want to belong. These are all extremely vulnerable things to feel. There is no place for dismissiveness.

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One Step Forward (God’s Movement in My Life Regarding the LGBTQ+ Community)

IMG_4560Before you read this, I want you to first be aware that I am absolutely NOT an important voice in the LGBTQ+ community. I personally don’t find any straight voice to be very important on these issues. I have provided more voices at the bottom of this blog because I think it’s more important to listen to the voices of those who have experienced these challenges, and a few of the ones who have helped me the most are Eliel Cruz and Kevin Garcia (also the people I know in real life.) I have not experienced challenges or oppression for my sexuality or my gender identity. I decided to share my story for the purpose of sharing my story and in hopes that maybe someone can be encouraged or enlightened, and to explain why I arrived at the (seemingly) radically different views that I have arrived to. I may still be wrong in some ways, and may not use appropriate language. I asked two close Christian friends who are part of the LGBTQ+ community to read and review this, so I’m hoping it’s affirming and encouraging to such an important community.

Now, for my story.Read More »

Where Is God?

And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.

– Philippians 3:15b, NIV

526123_10150806564552345_2146827565_nI was a teenager l when I was led to this particular verse in a part of the bible that I had never read. The whole story is probably in an old journal, but I was in a place of doubting God worked in a personal way with me. While I saw Them* work this way in the life of a friend, I doubted that They would use me. At that thought, another thought entered my head: “Philippians 3.”

What? No. I avoided Philippians for a reason. I had never read chapter 3.

“Philippians 3.”

I don’t feel like standing up and walking to the kitchen, where my bible was.

“Philippians 3.”

FINE. I marched to the dining room table and flipped open my bible to Philippians 3.Read More »

When You Still Love People Who Did Terrible Things to You

IMG_1278Frequently as I can manage, I stand with my toes in the wet sand and stare out at the Pacific Ocean. The amount of revelations I have had while standing on some San Diego County beach is endless. I spend all my time inside my own head: thinking, wondering, processing.

I remember once as a kid, boogie boarding with my family. My boogie board flipped over and for too long, I couldn’t get on the other side. I was stuck underneath the board. When I finally was able to push the board out of my way (after being sure of my death), my mom and brother were a few feet away, laughing and playing. It was the first time I understood the ocean as a terrible force. I still loved it, but it terrified me.

Something being terrifying and horrible does not stop love.Read More »

Allowing the Anxiety to Exist: A Post About Breakdowns and Connecting with Others

unnamed“We need one another. There’s no reason to judge. People are more fragile than you could possibly imagine.”

– Jamie Tworkowski If You Feel Too Much

Last night I got dinner with two young men that I hadn’t spent quality time with in over a year. The last time I had hung out with either of them individually, neither was allowed to legally drink. Now the three of us sat around a table drinking beer and eating sliders. (OK, I had cider, but the cashier called it a beer when he handed it to me. SO. Counts.)

Anxiety became a topic of conversation between us, and the words coming from one of them echoed what I had been processing lately. Anxious thoughts, flashbacks, triggering moments… they need to exist in what they are. Pushing down the anxiety and trying to control it will make it worse. Read More »