Throughout my life, I’ve experienced attraction to both men and women. Growing up Southern Baptist, I didn’t have much room to talk about sexuality. We were just told that if we didn’t have sex or masturbate we would be following God. I remained quiet. Later, I felt called to ministry. In the midst of my conservatism, I decided to attend the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
In the midst of my studies, I was reminded over and over that a complex sexuality didn’t mix with my professors’ ideas of what it means to follow Jesus. I fell deeper and deeper into despair. I found no more legalistic of a professor than Dr. Heath Lambert. In his class, there wasn’t a stitch of grace. We were told that any diversions from heterosexuality or conservative constructions of gender would lead to hell. I felt worthless. Night after night, I struggled with whether or not I should take my life. I don’t know if I ever got any closer than I did when I was in Dr. Lambert’s class.
Presently, I am tired and sunburnt as I walk 83 miles in opposition to the death penalty in Ohio. I didn’t plan on writing anything about the current meeting of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Honestly, I just wanted to ignore it. But when I saw my professor Dr. Lambert speaking in the media and on stage about his views on sexuality and gender, I couldn’t. I had to share that his views almost killed me. I know I’m not alone.