Our names are Justin Massey and Nathan Barber. We are two gay students dedicated to justice and love in the name of Jesus. We have highly opinionated, (sometimes) well-informed voices, but we have only two. Our LGBT brothers and sisters in the church have different stories to share, ones that we cannot adequately represent. While our stories overlap at times, they cannot be conflated to one, singular experience. We hope that our writing will be an encouragement to those who are unable or uncomfortable speaking out. We hope to one day be seen by our fellow Christians as human beings made in the image of God, as valuable members of Christ’s body, rather than as an “issue” to be fought over. We hope that you may gain insight through our individual experiences and thoughts, and that you might be blessed and challenged in the way we ought to engage our world as followers of Christ.
There are many contentious topics that flow throughout our culture and our churches. We easily fall into the sensationalized debates the world hands us, and our core identities and world views seem to inherently separate us. While we sometimes deem these differences to be irreconcilable, we are still called to seek unity as the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:10) and to love one another as Christ loves us. We have the unique experience of existing between two polarized realms. As LGBT Christians, we are members of a particular community that refuses to be wrenched into opposite sides of an unapologetic, and often shamelessly divisive culture war. We are disadvantaged, but well-equipped to share our individual experiences and narratives. We are The Faithful Within two complex identities, dedicated to the furtherance of unity and reconciliation within ourselves and our communities.