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My newest journey on the opposite side of Soulforce action

In 2006, the first Equality Ride came to North Central University where I was a student. I was not out at that time and I thought that God could not accept me because of my sexual orientation.

As a school, we geared up for the Soulforce visit in April and were fed propaganda about their agenda. We were taught what the Bible says about homosexuality in Chapels. We knew that Soulforce's motives were not good, but that we should show them love. At the same time we felt that if we were to go and talk with them that day there might be some form of sanction brought against us.

Well, they came and it was a very difficult time for me. I was angry at what they were doing to my school and how they were making a dangerous space for my many LGBTQA friends on campus. At the same time I was hurting and I wanted them to help me. I was conflicted and overly protective. I was watching everything. I went to everything. I wanted to make sure to protect my friends from the Equality Riders twisting their words for the media.

In the end, I learned that NCU was very wrong about the Equality Ride's intentions. I think it was the first time I had heard that God can love and affirm me without reservation regardless of my gender identity and sexual orientation. That was part of the beginning of my coming out journey and trek to accepting myself and knowing that my God does the same.

I did come out. I got kicked out of NCU in May 2009, two months before my graduation date, because "bisexuality is not an accepted lifestyle choice condoned by NCU and the Assemblies of God..." That was a tough time for me, but Soulforce was there to support me.

Now I am about to embark upon this newest Equality Ride for myself and it will be a challenging experience, but as long as we bring the same message of love then it will all be worth it.

Soulforce 2010 Equality Ride

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Gay Agenda? Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin? (Navigating the muddy waters of what it means to love our neighbor)

To jump right in- I asked about what this "gay agenda" thing that I kept hearing straight people talk about was and my friend from church was kind enough to answer. I was worried that I maybe wasn't gay enough or the right kind of gay to be privy to this information. This all came from me becoming a fan of Soulforce on Facebook. About 30 comments, a few private messages, and some people trying to get me to come back to my old church for an exorcism later, I was able to get the answer to my question- what is the gay agenda?:

He said:

Satan really doesn't want you to know the truth. The spirit of Antichrist drives this "agenda". No human organized it. It is spiritually driven. It is not driven by the Spirit of God, but rather the spirit of Antichrist. That is why no one has told you the "agenda". No human knows it all, not completely. God, does, and God reveals it to whomever He decides. This is why I've only been able to give you what I know. There is an agenda, it's not from God, you are being deceived and used. that is all I know for sure. Everything you said about Soul Force sounds wonderful. It is just not God's agenda. It looks like God's agenda, but it's not.

I think it's great that you speak out against persecution, such as racism and gender bias and able-bias. It's great that you speak out against discriminating against things people can not change about them selves. However, human behavior is changeable. And most human behavior displeases God. I'm no less guilty. The difference, I hear nothing from you about any desire to change what you CAN change or even allow God to change it in you.
Yesterday at 10:26pm ·

Then he added:

This is what the Lord laid on my heart all day, today, while I was at work. I had to figure out a way to compose it.

God's "perfect" agenda (for marriage and sex): one man and one woman, married for life, exclusive sex partners. No sexual activity, of any kind, is allowed outside of that relationship. Due to humanity's weaknesses and frailty, God does allow for divorce (without remarriage to another), but it's not His "perfect" will. However, God does allow for remarriage for one case, but only in the case of widow-ship. Having multiple wives is allowed in the case of needing to father a child for a deceased brother or brothers.
Here is the agenda I didn't fully have ready to type yesterday; as I said above, it's not a human agenda:

Satan desires to use humanity's weaknesses, ignorance, deceitfulness, confusion and such to hurt humanity and thwart God's agenda.
God designed us to have weaknesses AND strengths. Our weaknesses are what He uses to draw us to Himself. By His strengths we are made strong. We NEED God due to our weaknesses. On the other side, our strengths are a design God gave us to help and support each other and to be able offer in praise and worship back to Him.
We can be weak in so many different ways, some by choice, and others by design. Here is a short list: Morally, ethically, mentally, physically, emotionally, psychologically, socially, sexually, physiologically, financially, spiritually, neurologically, etc.
Satan recruits and uses any willing person (saved or otherwise) to use people's weaknesses against themselves and each other. This is how Satan (the "Adversary") fights against God.
How does this fit in the above conversation? Every time you speak to anyone anything positive about the LBGTQ lifestyle, you are recruiting potential LBGTQ sympathizers and LBGTQ participants. The very mention of anything relating to anything LBGTQ is seen as the planting of Satanic "thought seeds". This is why NCU and like minded schools do not want anyone with a LBGTQ lifestyle on their campuses. They don't even want anyone sympathetic to the LBGTQ cause on their campuses. To these schools it is a liability. People pay hard-earned money to send their kids to schools that protect against such things. NCU is such a school. These schools can't and wont change because they would have to close down if word ever got out that they supported bringing in and teaching students with or in support of a LBGTQ lifestyle. This liability issue is possibly, why Amanda was expelled, and with no apologies.
You may not understand this but the LBGTQ lifestyle is understood by most "real" Christians to be a chosen moral/sexual/spiritual "weakness". This goes against everything these schools teach. They want nothing to do with the possibility of such a person getting into ministry. They would rather you seek help, FIRST, and then go to them to learn how to help others.
It doesn’t matter, at all, about any of the stuff Soul Force is “right” about. Instead, it’s the stuff that Soul Force supports that are “sin” that these schools and all real Christians take issue with. This is why it’s an oxymoron to hyphenate Christian with anything. (IE. Christian-Buddhist)
22 minutes ago ·
This also led to a conversation about tolerance...
I see people all up-in-arms about the "gay agenda" pushing tolerance on straight christian people. I don't think I have ever asked for tolerance. To me tolerance holds a negative connotation. It still perpetuates the idea of there being someone who is right and someone who is wrong. It sends me the message that you are wrong/weak/sick/sinful/horrible/deceitful/going to hell/I hate you/fill-in-the-blank... I said that I don't want tolerance. I want justice! I want love! I want the truth! It goes back to the whole "love the sinner, hate the sin" comment that we are often plagued with and it is difficult to navigate those muddy waters.
We were discussing that topic for Bible Study and this is the reflection I wrote:
I think “love the sinner, hate the sin” comes off so easy because we view sin as action and in the case of homosexuality boil that down into a sex act. And there are places in the Bible that talk about God not being able to abide in the presence of sin and that God hates sin. So Christians try to hate sin as much as God does. And fail miserably. And I just have problems when thinking about God this way… not being able to abide with his people without Jesus’ sacrifice. And people need to accept that sacrifice and meet all these conditions to be in the Lord’s favor and therefore God’s favor and etc. More on that later… When looking at pedophilia (sorry to take it there) I see that as a sin. I see it as an act of monstrosity against a child. Some pedophiles claim they love children and would never hurt them and that they were born that way and they can’t help it. I would tell them that they need to resist that temptation. I can love them and hate what they do. But when it comes to things that are so rooted within people it gets tricky. Because hating what they do, is hating what they think, and in turn a huge part of the way they are identified by others and possibly themselves. This is hard. That is probably what started the ex-gay movement… this idea that there are maybe some people born homosexual or are conditioned that way and that they in themselves are not sinful if they can refrain from the same-sex sex act. This is hard. It sounds good. Until you look at the intensity of identity and connection and relationship and all of that stuff. But the phrase, as problematic as it is, although seeking common ground serves to divide us even further and is not useful in any context. So, what else could we say? If homosexuality isn’t a sin, it doesn’t matter. But yet people still don’t believe this… and would like to agree to disagree. However, this issue is important and is oftentimes a matter of life or death for those stuck under the bus so to speak. I’m not sure I have an answer. I have just stepped out of a very fundamentalist background and am still looking at the Bible and what I believe. It all seems very hopeless at times. I get the fuck-its really easy and would just like to say nuke the world. But, I need to think more. I also don’t like “love the sinner, forgive the sin” because it still implies that we are sinning… and willfully so like a slap in the face of God. And then that is also problematic, because those of us who are queer and Christian are accountable to our body of Christ family as well. And when looking at that there are places in Scripture that talk about correcting gently and with love. And if that doesn’t work it has levels of going through authority until people are cast out… I believe when NCU kicked me out they were doing it for many reasons… one to show me “tough love” and hoping that I would see that I am wrong and that I need to figure some stuff out before they can let me continue there. (As they had already given me a semester to fix my beliefs and be straight or at least struggle with it… had I told them I was struggling with it they would have probably let me stay under the condition of counseling, but I told them I thought it was okay and I was self-affirming. I was also a vocal activist and there is a rule that says we cannot hold a public opinion contrary to NCU or the AG so they had to let me go). They also have the whole community to look out for and homosexuality is often seen like teen-pregnancy in those cases and they don’t want struggling people led astray by a significant outlier... and with the influence of “The Urban Legend” there would be mass pandemonium and all the new freshmen would be coming out because that is the “in” thing to do because Amanda Lee opened the door. We would have gays all over and that is clearly against “The Way” (NCUs set of community standards)! Also, to have me graduate and continue to speak out I would make NCU and the AG look bad to parents, donors, etc significantly handicapping the school from doing its mission. The cliff story that I told at training is really maybe at the heart of it. They are trying to save me from plummeting off this cliff to my death and eternal punishment… even if it means shooting out my tires or knocking me out and blowing up my car and then going to the court and saying that I shouldn’t have a license because I feel compelled to drive down that road that leads to my destruction. I love and respect the people who kicked me out. It is a very hard place for me to be where I feel pulled to love or hate them. I love them and hate what they did. I think what they are doing is wrong, but I understand the position they are in and why they had to make that decision based upon their rules and understandings of Scripture. Is it okay for me to love NCU and hate what they do? Loving the institution and hating their policies? Their policies are a huge part of who they are so by saying I hate the policies would that mean a blanket statement against the school? Is what they hear “hate” and assume that I am a zealot against them and all they hold most dear? Is what they hear “wrong” and assume I am trying to take away their right to practice their religion in the way they see it to be? Are we as the Ride doing the exact same thing for the opposing side? Are there sides? Is our side right and their side wrong… both sides standing up against different sides of the same issue kind of creates that story of the unstoppable force meeting an immovable object… or does it? I just want God to come down and address the world all as one in each their own tongue/hand and tell them whether or not gay is okay… but then I am just missing the point again. Blah. I just want all the hate to stop. But is that possible? Is believing LGBTQA people are wrong and that homosexuality is a sin an act of hate? Is believing Christians’ interpretations of the Bible are wrong and asking them to change what they believe to suit the needs of the LGBTQA community an act of hate? Is there a way to be completely loving without stepping on toes and turning people off and challenging hundreds of years of beliefs and traditions and understanding of the world? Is there an entirely altruistic act possible on this planet? How do you live each day with this much passion for any cause and love for anything when this world seeks to trample innocence and good? Is an I’m-okay-you’re-okay-we’re-all-okay-world a world that steps up for justice and righteousness? Am I looking at my whole world from a Christian context? Is it the system? How do I change it? How can I if I don’t know the answer? Do I need an answer? Am I okay???
So the question that I have is, "How is my love being received?"
My man who wrote the above posting on my Facebook page is trying to show me love the way he knows how... as a Christian, I have been taught that souls are on the line and that their blood is on my hands if I don't reach out. It goes back to the cliff story. But is that cutting off our nose to spite our face?
*I'm afraid I have more questions than answers and this is really me figuring things out and wrestling with the hard task of being a child of God among other children of God.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Equality Ride Training
Austin/Lakeway, TX
January 5th-13th

There is so much to say... training was intense, to say the least. We dealt with some pretty heavy stuff and it was emotional at times. Friendships were forged in the midst of that and there was much fun to be had by all. Everyone was super wonderful and I miss them dearly. I can't wait to see their fabulous faces in a bit over a month!

I read Stuart's blog (which I haven't figured out how to follow everyone yet, but that will come) and his training post was perfect. Haha, although I need more shout outs to Pecos. Our cabin was amazing! My Pecos Pals are Sabrina, Stuart, Nick, & John. Wonderful people, all.

So I don't have much more to say about training. It was intense and fun. I'm still processing a lot of stuff from training and trying to plan my stop (Southwest Baptist in Bolivar, MO) and 3 workshops. Busy bee to distract from all of the hate mail I have been receiving after posting about my donor page and more about the Ride... I think I will just make a new blog about all the hate mail soon.

Until then I remain affectionately yours,

Amanda Lee

P.S. If you have any contacts at Southwest Baptist or in Bolivar area for me send me an email!