The Burden of Truth
By Josh Beaudoin
“And you will know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Find part 1 here
In part one, I talked about my background and first coming out experience. I grew up in a conservative Adventist household, and my childhood was pretty good, but coming out as bisexual within that religious context was challenging, especially considering my own theological understanding—mainly, that I, like my family, believed homosexuality* was a sin, yet I knew I couldn’t live the rest of my life in the closet.
In this part, more than any of the other parts, I will be talking about the theological side of the issue. I purposefully do not mention any specific Bible verses or arguments for or against the topic. This is not the place for theological argumentation. Because of this, there are some places where I assume I’m correct, without giving an explanation or defense as to why I think I’m right. This isn’t because I don’t have a defense, but because this isn’t the place to share it.
I understand many people will think I’m wrong, and that’s ok. I hold a great deal of respect for many people who hold the traditional view on homosexuality, and I ask only that you listen, not that you agree.
After coming out to my friend, I was an emotional wreck. I didn’t know what to think about myself or my sexuality, and this prompted me to go to the Bible and study the topic in depth for myself. I went through Bible study lessons, read articles from the Biblical Research Institute (the official scholarly branch of the Seventh-day Adventist church), looked up the topic in commentaries, and read what Ellen White had to say on the topic. Everywhere I looked, I came to the same conclusion: that homosexuality was a sin.
So, I looked elsewhere. I started reading Christian sources that supported the idea that homosexuality was not a sin and was, in fact, perfectly moral and in line with the law of God. I read every source online I could find, and still with every source I read, I could find plenty of theological holes and could easily prove the arguments inaccurate and not founded on solid Biblical principles.
In this respect, I’m glad I grew up in the home that I did, because my parents did a good job at equipping me with the tools I needed to navigate and interpret the Bible. They taught me how to ask questions, and to always go back to the inspired word of God. However, that was about to backfire.
Something still wasn’t right. After all my research, I still couldn’t figure out the “why.” Why would God care about and proceed to punish two people who love each other—who happened to be the same sex—and wanted to spend the rest of their lives together married?
I knew I needed to reach out to someone to try and iron out this question of “why.” On February 8, 2021, I met with a faculty member on campus. We had a short conversation—only 38 minutes. Going into the conversation, I didn’t know what to expect. This was only my second time coming out to someone, so I was extremely nervous, and was shaking for most of the conversation.
There wasn’t an agenda for the meeting, and I had no idea what the person was going to say. I just sat in silence as they talked, absorbing every word they said.
After the conversation, I was in a tailspin. To this day, I have no idea how it happened, but what they said completely transformed the way I viewed the Biblical perspective on homosexuality in a way I never thought possible.
The only thing I know is that it wasn’t the person talking, it was the Holy Spirit.
I left the meeting in a somber mood. I could feel that I wasn’t the same person I was before the conversation. Everything was different.
I didn’t know what to think, so I went on a walk to try and sort through everything in my head. All the research and Bible verses I had ever read, I started going through them one by one, turning them over and over and over. The more I thought about it, the more everything made sense, and the more I was convinced the Bible did not condemn homosexuality as I had believed.
After the walk, I sat down with my Bible and journal. I went into scripture and examined every word for myself. I wasn’t going to take our conversation at face value. If I was to accept the proposition that homosexuality was not a sin, and rather perfectly moral, I needed to be certain. I prayed and studied and journaled and prayed some more.
I wanted to be wrong. I had sometimes fantasized about what it might be like to have an earthshattering revelation like this, and the fantasy always ended with me dancing through a field of flowers. Instead, I was miserable. My whole world and everything I thought I knew about this topic was wrong, completely wrong, and it scared the hell out of me.
Yes, I was free, but this freedom was burdensome. I knew from the moment I left the conversation that I had a duty to share the truth I had learned—the burden of truth, and this wasn’t a burden I was able to bear, at least not by my own strength.
Over the coming months I continued to study and pray about the topic. If I got this wrong and shared it with other people, I could potentially take people to Hell with me, and that wasn’t a chance I was going to take unless I had certainty—unless I was assured of my salvation.
*While the term “homosexuality” is received differently by people both in and out of the LGBTQ+ community, I’ve opted to use the term in this part of my story because of the theological nature.
Hello everyone, I’m Josh Beaudoin, the editor-in-chief of The Collegian. I’m from central Alberta, Canada, and first started at The Collegian in 2019 as the writer of the food column. I love to spend time outdoors and regularly hike in places like Mount Rainier National Park and Banff National Park. I also do quite a bit of reading about social and political topics.