Justin MasseyFollow @JustinSMassey
I’m Justin, a displaced Californian in a frigid land called “the Midwest.” I enjoy singing, creating art, grabbing coffee with new friends, encouraging old friends and trying new things. I’m a senior at Wheaton College studying Political Science a.k.a. “how old straight, white men make important decisions on my behalf.” I appreciate the small things in life such as the rugged cuteness of small fluffy animals (e.g. the slow loris). While I am quick to tease others for their “hipster” tendencies or “basicness,” I will readily admit I sometimes wear large glasses or sneak a sip of a PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte). To be honest, I often exude more sass than even I know what to do with. However, I anticipate the sum of all my quirks and thoughts will come to something of an interesting read!
On a more serious note, I am one of many faithful LGBT persons within the Church. My journey as a gay man has shaped the way I understand the grace and love of God. All of my complex story makes me who I am: a beloved child of God. Sometimes people consider me a “political advocate,” which I think is meant as a criticism (as if Christians weren’t called to make the world a better place). I suppose I am an advocate. As a follower of a radical, loving Savior, I feel I must follow His example and speak out against the hurt and injustice around me. I know I am privileged in many ways, and I believe if you are able to speak out for those who can’t, you must. Thus, I will speak out for justice whenever possible. I invite you to follow this blog, engage with me and let your own voice be heard. I’m convinced that dialogue and relationships are central to anything worthwhile in this life.
Nathan BarberFollow @Nathan_Barber
I’m Nathan. I’m a pastor’s kid, born-and raised, from the Idaho panhandle. I play the cello, and I currently study Music Performance at Wheaton College. I’ve been a musician all my life, and I love how music can simultaneously elevate and break the human soul. I think I want to be a music therapist someday. I’m an INFP, a hopeless romantic, a chronic introvert, and a social media addict. I love (actually, I NEED) the beauty of nature. I watch way too much Netflix for my own good. I try my best to follow Christ, and fail often. I’m messy, and I seem to live on the proverbial ‘struggle bus’, yet God still amazingly manages to love me.
And, oh yeah.
I’m also as gay they come.
As a gay Christian, I exist in the center of a culture war, and I struggle daily to live out Christ’s radical message of love in amidst the chaos. After I came out in the summer of 2013, nearly every assumption and belief I had about God was uprooted. I was left vulnerable and exposed, trying to reassemble the pieces of my faith (did I mention I like mixed metaphors?). Many might think it easiest for me to just reject the Christian faith entirely, but as Nadia Bolz-Weber likes to say, “I could never pull that off”. Instead, I have come to call myself a ‘progressive Christian’ because it gives me the space I need to live in the uncertainty of faith while I try to love people the best I can. So despite the chaos, and despite the fact I literally have no idea what I’m doing, I’m left slowly figuring out what exactly the words ‘gay Christian’ mean. Luckily, I’m not alone in this endeavor. So please join me in this conversation. Together, let us pursue justice, learn to love one another, and ultimately seek Christ as we discuss faith, sexuality, and many issues facing the church.