One of the big problems I have with being a Presbyterian at a Seventh-day Adventist college is theological difference. The main things are the same, because we are protestant denominations, but the extra things, and mainly the lifestyle things, are very different. Presbyterians and Adventists both believe in Jesus and the trinity, and we use the same bible. Presbyterians use the creeds and we are a more reformed tradition. Adventists have a prophet, not found in the bible. Her name is Ellen Gould White. She wrote books about how to live properly. She saw visions from God and because of her writings and visions she is a prophet within the church.
When I met with the Committee on Preparation for Ministry last week one of the questions they asked me was about what difficulties I have had as a Presbyterian in this environment. I told them about some of the theological differences I have faced and what I have felt when certain topics have come up. One of the real touchy subjects that come up is homosexuality. This tends to be a touchy subject no matter where you are, however being in an über conservative Christian setting the tension is only exemplified. The general consensus over here is that homosexuality is evil, all homosexuals are going against the bible and they need to convert to the straight life. I, on the other hand, disagree with this sentiment. For the most part I keep my views to myself. When things I do not agree with get mentioned in class I just keep my head down because I do not feel like dealing with the debate that would come up when I say what I believe. Homosexuality is not one of the topics that I stay quiet through. Even though it gets me glares and often I do not feel safe after speaking up I do anyway. If I do not speak up, no one will.
I skipped my New Testament Epistles class on Thursday but during the class one of my classmates told be everything that was taken place (via facebook chat) and once again the topic turned to homosexuality. I was not there to give the nonjudgmental viewpoint. While I was glad that I was not present to have to listen to all of the homophobic things being said I realized that I have a role in this place. I am the person who stands up for others. Even though those others have not made themselves known, I stand up for them. If I did not say what I feel needs to be said I would not serve my role.