Post 56: Gay, Lesbian and Adventist: The Film!

What do thoughtful Adventists say about the film that will be released on 29 April 2012?

“The movie, which simply tells stories rather than taking an advocacy stance, is powerful. It disturbed me but forced me to face realities. It can, I believe, do much to make Adventists more compassionate in this controversial area of lifestyle.” – Dr William Johnsson, retired editor The Adventist Review

“Whatever one’s position regarding homosexuals and the church may be, this film is worth seeing because it candidly probes issues with real human faces and stories.” – Dr Roy Gane, professor, Andrews University (Seminary)

“It’s a very powerful film. Gentle in its way. Only tree stumps could get through the film without tears or sobs; yet it ends with joy.” – Dr Charles Scriven, president of Kettering College of Medical Arts

You can decide whether this film is for you: see http://www.sgamovie.com/trailer/

Here’s some text that the film’s producer, Daneen Akers wrote to help set it in context when film supporters invite others to screenings:

Seventh-Gay Adventists is a character-driven documentary about faith on the margins set in the context of the fastest growing Christian denomination in the United States (and one of the fastest growing denominations worldwide) with a membership of approximately 17 million. The film follows three gay and lesbian Seventh-day Adventists as they wrestle with how to reconcile their sexual orientation and their deeply held faith, and it explores what it means to belong when you find yourself on the margins.

The film was created with the intent of promoting conversations about religion and sexuality with an opportunity to hear rarely heard voices in the larger conversation about gay rights, particularly in faith communities where the debate is often quite shallowly as God vs Gays. But the subjects of this film don’t fit easily into any box and exist on the margins of all of their communities of belonging. Their church is uncomfortable with their sexuality, yet they often don’t feel like they fit in the larger LGBT community because of their loyalty to a church which has not always been tolerant much less accepting and affirming of their sexual identities. Their yearning to belong, to fully embrace themselves and define a spirituality of their own is compelling for all of us, even for viewers who can’t tell their Adventists from their Mormons.

The film is just stories and doesn’t invite arguments or contention–it’s just an opportunity to listen and enter someone else’s faith walk–and that’s why it’s so powerful. The film is playing well, even for conservative Adventists, and several Adventist thought leaders have endorsed the film.

Thanks Daneen! You and your husband Steve are helping the church we love better understand how to deal Christianly with precious people!

Arthur Patrick, 21 April 2012

About adventiststudies

Arthur Nelson Patrick, DMin, PhD, is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Avondale College of Higher Education, New South Wales, Australia
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