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              What many would consider their worst nightmare has become a reality for Christopher Yuan. While attending dental school, he began living promiscuously as a homosexual and experimenting with illicit drugs. Within a few years, he was expelled from dental school, imprisoned for drug dealing and discovered that he was HIV positive.

              But God has turned his nightmare into an exciting and inspiring story of redemption, grace and transformation. Christopher has an understanding heart for and a desire to minister to those working through issues of sexuality and to those living with HIV/AIDS. He speaks locally and internationally to youth, on college campuses, in churches and in prisons.

              Christopher graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 2005 and Wheaton College Graduate School in 2007 with a Master of Arts in Biblical Exegesis and is currently pursuing a doctorate of ministry at Bethel Seminary. He now teaches at Moody while continuing his speaking ministry which has reached four continents around the world. Christopher has spoken at both Saddleback Church and Willow Creek Community Church in America and at many conferences including InterVarsity's Urbana and the Moody Pastors' Conference and Men's Conference. He is also featured in the award-winning documentary, "HOPE Positive: Surviving the Sentence of AIDS" and has co-authored with his mother, Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God, A Broken Mother's Search for Hope (forthcoming May 3, 2011 by WaterBrook Multnomah a division of Random House).

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Valparaiso University - "Beyond Sexuality"

I spoke at Valparaiso University on April 19 through the invitation of the Campus Crusade for Christ student group at VU. On March 25 the VU Diversity Concerns Committee organized a school sponsored event titled "Beyond Tolerance" where Dr. Niedner (former Theology department head) shared how he moved from a traditional understanding to a progressive understanding of homosexuality (read a local newspaper's reporting of this event here). Although my invitation was months prior, the timing seemed perfect to continue the conversation with the Crusade event by calling it "Beyond Sexuality" focusing less upon sexuality and focusing more upon a relationship with Christ.

Unfortunately, many were "concerned" about this Crusade event. Faculty, staff and students wrote two editorials in the school newspaper expressing their objection before having any idea of what I was going to say. One editorial even had 44 VU professor signatures. You can view both editorials here.

The meeting went very well and only two picketers (who were not from the school) showed up. It was great to see many students from the Gay Straight Alliance present who wore a pink triangle in solidarity. Most were civil with only a few who audibly expressed their objection. The question and answer period was a nice opportunity to continue the conversation by hearing from the audience. The questions were mostly concerns and objections. In particular was the issue of my drug involvement. Even though I had clearly stated in my testimony that not all homosexuals do drugs, this accusation came up more than once.

The evening ended and several people came up with more questions. Most did not agree with me but several thanked me for coming and respected me and my position. Two particular people stood out for me. One was a young girl who said that she was an atheist and a GSA ally. She was ashamed of her school because of how they treated me but I remained civil and even apologized once when I lost my patience. She said, "If there is a god, then you are a man of god." Another student came up to me who was transgendered male-to-female and said, "I appreciate you coming and sharing your perspective. But I don't know why I am wearing this pink triangle. It is supposed to represent tolerance but you were shown anything but tolerance today."

There were a few reporters at the meeting as well. An unbiased reporter seems to be a rare find today. But the four articles which came out, one from a local paper and three from the school newspaper, the Torch, were written well. You can view the front page article here (page 1 and page 2) and here are the links to the two editorials.

I am thinking about posting the video of my presentation on Youtube. Let me know if you'd be interested in watching it. Be blessed!

This is an editorial which came out a week later in the school newspaper where students pointed out that VU's disapproval of me speaking as not tolerance, but intolerance.


Blogger Cathleen said...

One of my favorite books that WOWWED me is called Beyond Gay it is an excellent testimony to everyone's walk - everyone dealing with the dark part of their life. It is troubling that it seems difficult to buy this book. It would be excellent to republish...I'm working with Ignatius Press on it at the moment but have not received details if this is possible. I think focus on the family and all people should read this book. It is about genuine conversion atleast that's what it did for me. The world is afraid of the truth I can't explain why since God who is love loved everything into being...just the noise and anger gets exhausting when all we want as Christians is TRUTH and love...without shame.

May 25, 2010 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Evelyn said...

Christopher, I would love to hear your talk at VU. Evelyn

October 16, 2010 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Christopher Yuan said...

Thanks Evelyn. I'm still working on getting this hour long video on the internet. I'm hoping I can do it for free! We'll see. I'll keep things posted on this blog.

October 16, 2010 at 10:22 PM  
Blogger Alisha Quinn said...

I, too, would love to hear your talk. Please keep us posted on whether or not you're able to post it! Thanks! :)

November 16, 2010 at 8:00 PM  

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