Space for confusion

Bringing a new voice to the conversation

Isaac B. Polpos, Guest Writer

Illustration by Micky Flores-Nieves

Heartbroken. I am simply heartbroken at what is happening on campus right now.

Before you keep reading just to figure out what side I am on in regards to issues on campus, let me stop you right there. I am not on any side. The language that surrounds “one side or the other” is part of the polarization that is continually perpetuated. This perpetuation is precisely what breaks my heart.

Absolutely, I am devastated that people are feeling unseen, unheard and discriminated against on campus; that is not how things should be. I am devastated that people at a Christian university seem to have strayed from the truth of Scripture. I am also devastated that there are people on campus who are afraid to speak up in class, talk to professors or express that they aren’t 100% sure of what they believe about the tensions on campus.

Especially in regards to conversations surrounding the LGBTQIA+ community, there needs to be more space for people to figure out what they believe and why they believe it. Personally, I have been trapped in a constant push and pull of what to believe and why for a while now.

I grew up being taught one way and I live in a world that is telling me something else. Then there is that pesky little thing called my heart that is singing to a totally different tune.

The problem is, everyone is saying what they believe is the truth and anyone who even slightly disagrees is either hateful or sinful. Accusing someone of either of those things simply because you disagree is not going to help anyone or anything.

I am tired of hearing people say “You’re feeling guilty for a reason” or “Get better opinions” or “There is no other way to feel.” I’ve heard all of these from people with differing points of view; they aren’t partial to just one.

Allow me to be totally honest here, something that a lot of people are scared to be right now. If I had to pick between leaning “left” and leaning “right,” I would pick neither. I lean towards Scripture. I don’t find my identity in politics and that is exactly what these conversations have turned into, whether that be the intention or not. I refuse to fall into the narrative of choosing one side out of fear or choosing one side out of tradition.

I choose Scripture because that is my deep, personal conviction. Do I expect everyone else to fall in line with that belief system? No. Do I expect everyone who claims to follow Jesus to fall in line with it? Absolutely. But this piece is not about what you should or should not believe. We have way too much of that these days. This is more of a plea for everyone to take a step back and realize that not everyone is as clear on their convictions as others might be.

A Christian university should be a place that promotes asking questions and discovering answers; instead, we have a place that silences questions yet still demands answers. People say we should all know where we stand, but if we stand “on the wrong side of things” we are automatically terrible people. Since when did attempting to follow Scripture while still learning how to love people in the best way make someone an awful person?

We are trying. Well, I guess I can only speak for myself here. I am trying. I am trying to obey Scripture and remain true to God’s heart while also loving God’s people to the best of my ability.

So, I am sorry to disappoint those of you who were looking for a juicy opinion on either extreme ends of the political spectrum. That’s not what I am here to do. Since people are into the word “deconstruct” these days, let me put it this way: I am here to deconstruct the idea that there is a line of beliefs and you’re either on one end or the other. I am here to build up the idea that our identities can’t be defined by one line. We are three-dimensional creatures with multidimensional identities.

Some of what was written here may rub some of you the wrong way. Honestly, I’d be shocked if it didn’t. Here’s a challenge. Instead of writing me off as just another ignorant or luke-warm Christian, let’s use this as a launch point for a conversation. An actual conversation, where we listen to each other to understand before we listen to each other to respond and accuse.

I want to paint a different picture here. I want to make space for the confusion to allow conviction to flourish.