By: Eric Jones | Campus Life Site Director
I’ve shared about A. before. I’ve known him since I started at Ponderosa 3 years ago. He was always waiting on the front step of the school to help me carry in the donuts and juice. He was honestly more dedicated to Campus Life breakfast at Pondo than I was. While I was lamenting only having access to the school before class and arriving at the school before 7 am, A. was excitedly waiting for every Thursday to roll around.
We initially bonded over our love for old-school heavy metal. He’d randomly text me Pantera lyrics out of the blue and I’d respond with the obligatory rock fist emoji, index and pinkie fingers raised in salute.
As I got to know him more, conversations got deeper. They drifted from the concerts we’ve attended to his family dynamics. He confided how hard it was for him living with two siblings who both identify as transgender. How he felt like he was walking on eggshells every day at home lest he accidentally misgender them and set them off. And yet he was troubled because he saw nothing wrong with being trans. “To each his/her/their/zir own” as he might say.
With that background, our conversation at Campus Life small group recently becomes even more poignant.
One of the other students in our small group who identifies as LGBTQ, made an off-had comment about how Christians would keep them from going to heaven because they are trans and gay. What a perfect set up to explain that actually no one goes to heaven, no one receives salvation because they are straight or cis-gendered. The only reason anyone is saved is because of dependence on or faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. I explained that this is the essence of Christianity.
Christianity isn’t about behavior modification or being “good enough.” Christianity is fundamentally about Christ! It is about what St. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5, “…in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them…” God, in Jesus, is the one acting. Anything we do in terms of changing our behavior can only be as a result of God’s action in Jesus.
Thank you for being a part of the ongoing conversation with youth in our city and helping us share God’s story. It’s our honor to be the storytellers on your behalf who meet kids right where they are and give life to their story.
Providing young people in our community with the opportunity to make an informed decision to be a follower of Jesus Christ and become part of a local church.