Becket Cook: Homosexuality & Culture [AS Lecture Series]


[light music]>>It’s so weird being here
because it’s really crazy and ironic because I was telling my friend who I drove down with
that about 10 years ago, this was before I was
saved, I was driving in LA and I saw a billboard for Biola. I didn’t know what it was and I read the small type underneath and it said Biblical Institute of Los
Angeles and I remember thinking, ew, a Christian university, gross. [audience laughing] And it’s just crazy that I’m here and it’s just such a testament
to God’s grace and his mercy. It’s so insane, I can’t believe it. Anyway, so I’m just
gonna dive into my story. I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. I was raised Catholic and I went to Catholic schools my whole life, elementary school and high school. While being raised a Catholic I kinda went through the motions of it, never really connected
with it, never felt, I kinda of was just being a good son, never questioned it, or
it was never challenged. I was surrounded by
Catholics my whole life, so I just assumed that was the way it was. I don’t know if I believed
in God when I was kid. It was an idea that was there, but I never quite connected with it, and while this was going
on in elementary school, very early on, I think
in fourth or fifth grade, I started noticing in myself that I was attracted to the same sex. That was a really kind of
disorienting experience because I knew it was considered wrong, and I knew it was considered bad, and so it was a bizarre kind of life because I had these two worlds where on the outside I was totally normal, but on the inside I was dealing
with this inner struggle. In elementary school, I never thought of it as a permanent condition. I just thought eventually this will pass. It’s just something that
is affecting me right now. Then, when I went to high school, I went to an all boys high school, and I ended up becoming best friends with someone else who was gay,
and having that confidante and that best friend to confide in and to share our secrets
with was pretty amazing, and it really allowed me to explore that and be open about it very early on, so I still in high school didn’t
think that it was gonna be, I never envisioned it being my life. I just sort of assumed
eventually it would go away, and then I would get married
and have kids blah, blah, blah. It wasn’t until I went away to college, I went to a very liberal, progressive secular humanist
liberal arts college. I went away to college, and even after the first semester, things dramatically changed. The faculty of the college,
all of the students, certainly the faculty of the college, they were all, I’m pretty sure, secular humanists, pretty much atheists. It’s interesting because there
was a chapel on the campus, but it was never used as a chapel, but there was never talk of God. There was never talk of
the existence of God, and it became more and
more apparent in college. I was really challenged in college with the idea of God existing,
and I also was continuing to deal with the
struggles of my sexuality, and I ended up having a best friend in college as well who was
gay, and that was actually, again, it was really
helpful to have someone. In college, I wasn’t out,
I was out to a few people, to my best friend, but I was
pretty closeted about it. Again, in college I was
really challenged by my school about the existence of God,
and by the time I graduated, I pretty much thought
Christianity was a fairy tale, and I thought it wasn’t real. I thought this can’t be real. I’d never felt a
connection to it as a kid, plus operating at the same time
was the fact that I was gay. My family was Christian, a lot of them left the Catholic church and became Evangelical Christians. I knew that my family and that Christians at large basically thought
that who I was was wrong, so I felt like, well, if that’s the case, then I can never be a part of that club, so I’m just gonna get rid of
the idea of God all together. This sounds extreme, but I really thought of it in terms of Christianity
is the KKK and I’m black, so I can never be a part of that club. I just felt that strongly. With my family, I felt really alienated, even though they all loved
me and they loved seeing me. ‘Cause after college,
I moved to Los Angeles, which I’ll get to, but
when I would go home, they loved seeing me, and they
loved hanging out with me, but at the core, I knew
that underneath it all, they thought who I was was wrong, so I always felt really
alienated from my family even though they didn’t feel that. It wasn’t until right after college, I actually moved to Tokyo for a year, and I met my first boyfriend. He was actually from Dallas as well, but was visiting my roommate in Tokyo, and we ended up falling in love. It was the first time I’d
ever experienced that, and that was when I felt totally empowered to come out completely. I came out to my family, came
out to everyone after that. I moved back to Dallas right after Tokyo, came out to everyone,
and I think homosexuality became my identity then. That’s when it really became cemented as my identity because I was so in love. I was in this relationship for two years, and then I just felt
completely kind of free in this new life, in this relationship, and that relationship, of course, failed, and I moved to Los Angeles. A lot of my friends from high school and college, basically everyone moved to LA or New York to pursue their dreams. I ended up choosing LA, and I moved to LA to basically
pursue fame and fortune. I moved to LA, I pursued
acting, I pursued writing. I had some success at both, but ultimately I fell
into production design, but when I first moved
here, I was surrounded by a group of friends. I became friends with this group that they were all from the East Coast. A lot of them were from high school who’d gone to Ivy League
colleges on the East Coast, and they all moved to LA, so I
was in this crowd of friends. They were all really smart, funny, sophisticated, amazing, super ambitious. They’re all super successful actors, and writers, and directors,
and producers now. So, in my twenties in LA, the goal was to make a mark on the world. That was the goal, was to make it. As I was in my twenties in LA, everyone around me, it
was like almost every day, there was somebody in my friend group, who just sold a screenplay, or just made a five-movie
deal at Fox, or whatever. That was our raison d’etre,
that was what we lived for. That and relationships, we lived for our careers and our relationships. We were either fighting
for one thing or another. We were looking for love or looking to climb the rung, or
get to the next level, make the next movie, or whatever. In LA, I went through
a series of boyfriends. In LA, I think I had four
more serious relationships. I lived with them, they all
lasted about two years each. It was always the same
cycle over and over again, but it was interesting because I knew, this whole time this was all happening, I knew I wanted to know the meaning of life just like everyone since the beginning of time
basically wants to know. I wanted to know the meaning of life. I knew that Christianity
was not gonna happen, so I looked for it in other things, and one of the things I looked
for it in was the theater. I would go to New York a
lot, and I dated someone in New York for two
years, and London as well. Almost every night I was
there I would go see a play. I would go see really serious plays by like Harold Pinter,
Checkhof, and Eugene O’Neill, Tom Stoppard, really
serious profound plays. I was going to these plays. I didn’t really know it at the time, but in retrospect I
realized that I was going to these plays to find the meaning of life because I thought these guys are so smart, and they’re going to tell
me the meaning of life. What I found though every time I would go to a play, is I would leave frustrated. I would leave feeling kind of empty because I would feel like
the play would get so close to the truth but then
it would just evaporate, and then in would crumble apart. I was so frustrated, but I
kept doing it and kept going. The plays always answered
the question what about the human condition, but they could never answer the why, and so that experience, I
felt confounded all the time by these plays and by the theater. I also looked for meaning in art. I would go to museums
in New York and London, and all over the world. I would go to museums as
much as humanly possible. Every time I would go to New
York, I would go to MoMA. I was really fond of contemporary
art and conceptual art, and I would read novels just
to try to gain some sort of insight on the
meaning of life, Tolstoy, which actually Tolstoy
had some meaning in life, but I would read a lot of
novels to try to gain insight. I was living this life of
pursuing these relationships, pursuing my career, trying
to keep up with my friends ’cause they were all
becoming super successful, and some of them became super famous. One of them just got a
star on the Walk of Fame, which is funny, last week, and [laughs] so, I was trying to keep up. I just wanna read you a quote from Augustine from The Confessions. There are a couple
quotes about the theater that really resonated with me
when I read The Confessions. One of them, he says, “I
enjoyed fables and fictions, “which could only graze the skin.” Then, he goes on to say, “But
my sin was this, that I looked “for pleasure, beauty, and
truth, not in him, but myself “and other creatures, and
the search led me instead “to pain, confusion and error.” My time in LA, with this group of friends and with
everyone, it was really fun. It was a fun ride, I would go to movie premiers all the time. I would go to parties almost every night. I would go to the Oscars, to the Emmys, to the Golden Globes, to after parties. For a long time, that really sustained me, going to these things,
being in this elite crowd, I guess, in Hollywood,
going to all these things, getting invited to things. That really did it for me for a long time. It sustained me, and
then, I don’t know when, maybe five to six years ago, the law of diminishing returns set in, and going to these things started feeling more and more empty. Being fulfilled by this stuff, even my relationships, I just felt I was going through the same
cycle with every single person, and it was ending up the same way. We would break up, and
it was always the same. I felt like this is unsustainable,
my life is unsustainable. I don’t think what’s gonna happen to me because I knew
that this couldn’t go on. Then, four and a half
years ago, I was in Paris at Fashion Week, and I went
to a bunch of the shows, and I went to all the after parties. This was a pivotal moment for me because I was at an after party, I think it was Stella
McCartney’s after party at this club in Paris called Regine. I was sitting at a table with Rachel Zoe and her husband Roger, and
we were drinking champagne. I was looking out all over the crowd, there was a sea of people. I felt so dead that night, I felt totally dead and empty. I was looking out over this
crowd, and I was thinking, every famous fashion person in
the world is here right now. This is supposed to be the
most amazing thing right now where I am, and we’re
supposed to be, allegedly, having the time of our lives, and I was just feeling completely dead. I took a cab home that night to the apartment I was
staying in in Paris. I felt so empty and alone
and terrified of the future. I was terrified of how am I gonna, what am I gonna do for
the next half of my life, like I can’t keep doing this ’cause it’s certainly not
doing anything anymore. It’s not fulfilling. I went to my apartment that night, and I just felt numb and confused. Then, I came back to LA,
got back into my life in LA, those thoughts sort of faded a little bit. Six months after I got back to LA, I was at a coffee shop
in Silver Lake in LA I was with my best friend at the time, we’re still best friends,
and he’s amazing, but he and I, we would go to this coffee shop
every Saturday basically and just hang out, and that Saturday, we noticed a table right here behind us, and they were a group of
people who had Bibles out. Honestly, I’d never seen a
Bible in my life in Los Angeles ever, in public. It was the first that had ever happened. They had their Bibles out, and my friend and I were
just like what is going on? This is so bizarre, we’re in Silver Lake. This is not the right place for a Bible. [audience laughs lightly] Silver Lake’s a really
progressive liberal area of Los Angeles, so it was
very bizarre to see that. Everyone got up and left except
one person, and he stayed. My friend across the table was like, “Ask him what they were doing. “Ask him about what’s happening.” I was like, “No, no, no, that’s crazy, “I don’t wanna do that.” [audience laughing] He insisted, he kept
saying, “No, just ask him.” ‘Cause he liked to engage in
conversation about just issues. [audience and Becket laughing] So, I turned around finally,
and I turned to this guy and I said, “So, are you a Christian?” He said, “Yes.” And, I said, “Oh, so tell
me about that, what is that? “What is your faith, ’cause
I don’t even know anymore “what Christianity is.” It had been so long, God had
been so absent from my life. At that point, I would pretty
much call myself an atheist at that point, I wasn’t
even agnostic anymore. I said, “What is your
faith, what do you believe?” He told me his faith, he
shared the gospel with me. I was surprised that we
even stayed to talk to him, and I was really surprised by is, of course, I got to the
question of the gay issue, and I said, “So, what’s the deal? “What’s the deal with the
gay issue and Christianity?” He said, “Well, it’s a
sin,” and blah, blah, blah, and what shocked me the most is that I didn’t throw my drink on him, [audience laughing] and just leave because
normally, years before that, or even a year before that,
I woulda just been like, dude you’re an idiot, like
I’m outta here, this is crazy, but I didn’t. I was just like, wow, that’s interesting. Clearly, in retrospect now, I know that was God working in my heart. This guy invited me to his
church the following Sunday, which was Reality LA. I said yes, we exchanged phone numbers, I was like sure, I’ll go. I had no idea what I
was getting into, none. [audience laughing] I didn’t even know what a
Christian church was like. I had never been in one really. I had been in Catholic churches, but I had never been
to a Christian church. The following Sunday, I was walking into the auditorium at Reality LA. Before I walked in, I remember
putting, and it was so weird because I was so absolutely all
about gay being my identity. You have no idea. I remember a conversation
I had with my dad one year when I was gonna bring a
boyfriend home for Christmas, and there was a big scandal
in my family about it. I called my dad, and I was
like, “Dad, this is ridiculous. “I’m bringing my boyfriend home.” He was like, “Okay, okay, it’s fine.” I said, “Dad, you know
I was born this way, “just deal with it.” He was like, “Just come home,
don’t make your mother upset.” Or, something like that. [audience laughs] So, I was absolutely, my identity as a gay man was so absolute, it just was. There was no doubt that
this was who I was, and this was how I was gonna
live the rest of my life, and so what was interesting and
crazy was that when I walked into the auditorium at Reality, I consciously took that thought
and put it on the shelf. I thought you know what,
what the heck do I know? Maybe it’s not my identity,
maybe it’s not who I am. I don’t even know. I’m just gonna go in here and
see what happens, who knows. I walk in, the first
things that happens, well, there’s worship music playing,
and I immediately cringe ’cause I’m like, ew, Christian music. [audience laughing]
Weird, this is weird. Then, I was like, Well,
wait, it’s not that bad. I can get down with this. [audience laughing] I found my seat and the pastor came out, Pastor Tim Chaddick, and he came out, and he preached on Romans 7 for an hour. [audience laughing] While he was preaching the
gospel and preaching his sermon, everything he was saying was
not only flipping everything I’d ever known about what religion was or what Christianity
was or what church was, everything he said, every single line, every sentence rang true
in my heart and in my head. Everything he said, I was
literally on the edge of my seat. I was like, this is
true, true, true, true. Everything he was saying, I was mentally affirming the entire time, and I didn’t know why. I was like wow, it was bizarre. After the sermon, he invited
people to get prayed with on the sides of the church
by the prayer ministry, and the worship music came on again. I had this moment of, do I go
over there and get prayed with ’cause if I do that, then
I’m admitting to myself that this could be real,
and I kept hesitating. I would take a step, and then step back, and then I was like, I’m
here, I’m just gonna do this, and so I went over to
the side of the church, and I went up to this guy, and I said, “I don’t know what I
believe, but I’m here.” He said, “Okay, let me pray with you.” He prayed with me, it seemed really long. It was really powerful. I remember being, just like, wow, shocked by how intense it was, and
I had never heard a prayer like that before, and
after that, I thanked him, and I went back to my seat, and sat there for a few minutes and was kind of numb. I was just processing
everything that was going on, and all of a sudden, it was
like Isaiah and the temple, when he sees God’s holiness,
and just comes undone. I just came undone, and
God revealed himself to me in that moment, and I
just completely fell apart and just was sobbing
and sobbing and sobbing. It seemed like an eternity, but I was sobbing for like 20 minutes, and it was like the
most gut-wrenching sob, or crying I’ve ever done. In that moment, I knew, God
took the scales from my eyes. It was like the curtains were parted. I knew that the Bible was
real, that Jesus was real, that the resurrection was
real, that God was real, that eternal life was real,
all in just like a flash. It was boom, and I was like, whoa. I felt [laughs slightly] like
Paul on the road to Damascus. [audience laughs] It was really intense, and then I went home right after church. I don’t even know how I made it home. I was so undone, and I got home. I wanted to take a nap
because I was so overwhelmed. I got into bed, and I was about to take a nap, and it happened again. The holy spirit just overwhelmed me, and God just revealed
more of himself to me. I just was like, whoa,
and I jumped out of bed, and I was like, “God, you have my life, “it’s yours, this is it, it’s done.” It was crazy. [Becket laughing] [audience cheering and clapping loudly] The tricky part was telling
all of my atheist best friends [audience laughing] over
the next three weeks that I was a Christian now,
but that’s another story. That was interesting. Actually, I’m still
close with a lot of them, with most of them, but
another thing that happened that day that God revealed
to me, just in that moment of regeneration and conversion,
I just knew in my heart and to the core of my being that being with another man could
never be glorifying to God. I just knew that. I hadn’t even read the
Bible at this point. I later, immediately, the next day started reading the Bible, and
what was interesting about reading the Bible was
before I was regenerated, if I ever tried to read
the Bible in the past, or in high school or whenever, it always seemed like a foreign language that I didn’t speak, or
that I couldn’t understand, but right after that, when I read the Bible,
it was like I could speak that foreign language, and
I understood it perfectly. I remember reading the Bible voraciously. The words jumped off the page at me, like every single word was like, oh, my gosh, that’s true, that’s true. I was just blown away by how true it was. Wait, there was one other point
I wanted to make about that, yeah, so reading the word
of God just confirmed and affirmed all of that
stuff that happened to me, my conversion, just every aspect of it. I’m still blown away
when I read the Bible. I’m still blown away by the truth of it. I’m still absolutely,
literally, every day. This happened, I got saved four years ago, September 20th, 2009, and I
still wake up every morning and am in shock, I’m in shock I’m here. I’m blown away by God’s grace. I see all the things that happen, just everything that happened,
just even my being able to leave homosexuality as my identity on the shelf was totally God doing that. After my conversion I knew that I could no longer pursue
relationships with men, which brings me to, I’m
gonna go over five points or questions that I
get asked all the time. The first one is: isn’t it
unfair that you have to be alone? A lot of people ask me this, Christians and non-Christians ask me this. They say, isn’t it unfair that you have to be alone for the rest of your life? Excuse me, and my response to that is no. What’s unfair is that
Jesus had to be beaten, crucified, and die for my sin, what’s unfair is that God
had grace on a wicked sinner and reconciled me to himself
and gave me eternal life, what’s unfair is that I get to
have an intimate relationship with the king of the universe, what’s unfair is that on the
last day, Jesus Christ is going to declare me not guilty, that’s unfair. I never feel like I’m being
cheated out of something. Honestly, I have no desire
to be in a relationship again with a man, and I don’t
feel like I’m being cheated. I have the most amazing relationship in the world with Jesus, and
so yeah, amen. [laughing] [audience cheering and clapping] As Paul says, as you all
know, in Philippians, he says, “I count everything as loss
because of the surpassing worth “of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. “For his sake, I have suffered
the loss of all things “and count them as rubbish in
order that I may gain Christ.” He says, in Romans, “For I
consider that the sufferings “of this present time
are not worth comparing “with the glory that is
to be revealed to us.” He goes on in Second Corinthians, and this is how I feel all the time about this issue in my life. “For this light momentary
affliction is preparing us “for the eternal weight of
glory beyond all comparison.” Is it unfair? No, absolutely not, I
feel like the luckiest guy in the world, even though
I don’t believe in luck. I feel like the luckiest
guy in the world, seriously. The second question I get a lot. Actually, this is a friend of
mine, asked me this question. She is culturally Jewish, very smart, I was really surprised that she even knew to ask this question, but she asked me to explain to her one night
my faith and what it meant. She said, “If you’re saved
now, and you’re sealed “with the holy spirit, and
nothing can separate you “from the love of God, “why don’t you now go out and date a guy? “Why can’t you have a relationship “with a guy now ’cause you’re saved?” My answer to that is when I got saved, God gave me his holy spirit,
and he gave me a new heart and new desires, and I’m
a new creation in Christ, and so it goes against my new nature. I liken it to falling
in love with somebody, that first kind of, I don’t
know if you guys have had this experience, you’re young, but, [audience laughing] that first kind of
period of falling in love with somebody, and it’s
absolutely this magical. You only have eyes for that one person, and so it would be like
falling in love with somebody, and in the first week cheating on them. It doesn’t make any sense. It would go against your nature, it would go against who
you’re in love with. Again, Paul says, “Therefore,
if anyone is in Christ, “he is a new creation. “The old has passed away,
behold the new one has come.” That’s what I told her. I told her, “I’m a new creation.” Of course, I still struggle
with same-sex attraction and desire, but I have to
say God’s had grace on that, and he’s really minimized
that in my life, that desire. Yeah, I’ll get to that in a minute. I just wanna quote a couple more things if you’ll bear with me. Paul says in Ephesians, by the way, as you can tell I love Paul. [audience laughing] He was amazing [laughs], and
so in Ephesians, he says, “Put off your old self which
belongs to your former manner “of life, and is corrupt
with deceitful desires “and be renewed in the
spirit of your minds, “and put on your new self
created in the likeness of God “in true righteousness and holiness.” He also goes on in Romans to say, “We know that our old self was
crucified with him in order “that our body of sin might
be brought to nothing, “so that we would no
longer be enslaved to sin. “For the one who has died
has been set free from sin. “Now if we have died with Christ, “we believe that we also live with him.” Then, he goes on to say, “So, you must also
consider yourselves dead “to sin and alive to God and Christ Jesus. “Let not, sin therefore,
reign in your mortal body “to make you obey its passions. “Do not present your members
to sin as instruments “for unrighteousness, but
present yourselves to God “as those who have been
brought from death to life “and your members to God as
instruments for righteousness.” Another question I often get
is, but aren’t you born gay? As I said, I used to think that. I went through different
stages in thought. I sometimes thought in
was hormonal in utero, in my mother’s womb, I
thought maybe it’s hormonal. I thought maybe it is nurture, not nature, and at certain points of my
life I thought it was genetic, so I didn’t know if it was
environmental, genetic, whatever, but the point of that
is it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because the doctrine of total depravity is that all of us, we’re completely broken
to the core of our being including our genetics
and our genetic coding, That to me is a mute point,
whether you’re born gay or not. It doesn’t matter. We’re all born sinners, so
it doesn’t make a difference. The fourth question I get a lot is, didn’t God create you that way? Shouldn’t you follow your heart? It’s interesting, last
week I was at a restaurant in Hollywood called
Mozza, my favorite place, and I was sitting at the counter ordering, and the guy who was waiting
on me had waited on me before, and we’d had conversations about stuff. The hostess was wearing
a sweater that said, follow your heart on it, and I asked the guy who
was waiting on me, I said, “Hey, Adam, let me ask you a question. “See the hostess over
there, what she’s wearing, “what does it say on her shirt?” He said, “Follow your heart.” I said, “Yeah,” and I said, “Do you think that’s good advice, “bad advice, or neutral advice?” He said, “Hmm, I think
it’s neutral to good.” I said, “Really?” I said, “Hitler followed his heart. “Stalin followed his heart. “Woody Allen followed his heart “when he married his adopted daughter.” “Who was like 80 years
younger than he was.” [audience laughing] People follow their hearts all the time when they want to. People, who, yeah, when
they’re in a marriage or in a relationship, who
leave that relationship to pursue someone else, are
just following their heart, I told this guy Adam, I
said, “No, it’s bad advice.” I said, “Our hearts are deeply wicked.” I think Paul says it well
again, he says in Romans, in Chapter 1, he says, “For
although they knew God, “they did not honor him as
God or give thanks to him, “but they became futile in their thinking, “and their foolish hearts were darkened. “Therefore, God gave them up
to the lust in their hearts “to impurity, to the
dishonoring of their bodies “among themselves because
they exchanged the truth “about God for a lie and worshiped “and served the creature
rather than the creator.” He goes on to say, “And
since they did not see fit “to acknowledge God, God
gave them up to a debase mind “to do what ought not to be done. “They were filled with all manner “of unrighteousness, evil,
covetousness, malice. “They were full of envy, murder, “strife, deceit, maliciousness. “They are gossips,
slanderers, haters of God, “insolent, haughty,
boastful, inventors of evil, “disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.” So, I don’t think it’s
good to follow your heart. [audience laughing] I don’t think Paul thinks so either. The last question I get
that I wrote down was, are you straight now? A lot of people ask me that. A lot of people think I am. It’s weird, this photographer I work with, he always, when I’m on the
set, he tells everyone, “Oh, Becket’s straight now.” I’m like, “What, no, I’m not.” [audience laughing] The point is my sexuality
is not my identity. Jesus is my identity. [audience member yells] Yes, amen over there, I
like this side over here. [audience and Becket laughing] As I said, I still
struggle with this desire. God created the universe,
and he can change my desires. He can heal me of this completely, and he can make me attracted to a woman. I don’t know what’s gonna
happen in the future, but all I know now is that
I’m to be obedient to him, and to his word, and Jesus says, he says, if you wanna be my disciple,
you have to deny yourself, and take up your cross and follow me. I have to do that every day. I can’t, every day I could
easily just go and get into a relationship if I wanted to, but I choose to take up
my cross and follow him because it’s infinitely
worth it obviously. I just wanna read this story
in the Bible that is in Mark, that’s very parallel to this issue today, and I’ll explain why, but
it’s the rich young man. And as he was sitting, I’m sorry, as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt
before Jesus and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I
do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him,
“Why do you call me good? “No one is good except God alone. “You know the commandments, do not murder, “do not commit adultery, do not steal, “do not bear false
witness, do not defraud, “honor your father and mother.” And he said to him,
“Teacher, all these I’ve kept “from my youth,” and Jesus
looking at him, loved him, and said, “You lack one thing,
go sell all that you have “and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure “in heaven and come follow me.” Disheartened by the saying
this man went away sorrowful because he had great possessions. That’s how I feel about this issue today. I feel like so many
people, for so many people in our culture, especially
in 2013, it’s a deal breaker. It’s like if you ask
someone, a gay person, or someone, who just
doesn’t believe it’s a sin, if you ask them, hey, here’s the gospel, do you wanna follow Christ? Do you wanna give your life to Christ? Then, you say, you’re going
to have to give this aspect of your life up, oftentimes,
more often than not, the answer is no, it’s not worth it. I’ve talked to so many
friends of mine who are gay, and I’m like, you’re
gonna let this one issue, this one thing keep you from eternal life. It makes no sense to me. Obviously, now, as God has opened my eyes, it makes no sense that you
would let this one issue in life prevent you from being reconciled to God and having eternal life. I feel like Paul, when Paul
quotes Isaiah, and he says that “Behold I am laying in
Zion, a stone of stumbling.” I feel like this is the
stone of stumbling today. This issue is a stumbling
stone for so many people. It’s a stumbling stone for so
many people to come to Christ, and it’s so disheartening,
but God has amazing grace. I’m a testament to that. I just wanna close with one last thing. This issue, the gay issue,
has become such a dominant, defining issue in our culture today, and there’s so much noise around it. It’s so incendiary, it’s so explosive, and I just wanna end with
this very simple thing that Jesus said, that’s
so simple yet so profound. In Mathew, Jesus says,
“Enter by the narrow gate. “For the gate is wide and
the way is easy that leads “to destruction, and those
who enter by it are many. “For the gate is narrow
and the way is hard “that leads to life, and
those who find it are few.” Thank you. [audience clapping]>>Narrator: We hope you
enjoyed this message. Biola University offers a variety of biblically-centered
degree programs ranging from business to ministry
to the arts and sciences. Learn more at Biola.edu. [bright music]

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