Last night, I had an interesting exchange about the Bible and homosexuality with a group of high schoolers that I’ve never met, and probably won’t meet. I embedded the post above, but you can see the whole conversation that took place below:
First of all, as a youth pastor active on social media, this is interesting stuff to me. New Trier High School is the public school that most of the kids in our youth ministry attend. This public Facebook page, New Trier Confessions, is obviously an unofficial page and is said to be a place where people can post “confessions” and the admins of the page say the post everything (as long as it isn’t offensive, though, one could argue that the admin’s definitions of offensive might be different than mine). On the Google form where you can submit your confession, they say: “Confessions are 100% anonymous. If you need help or just want to pour heart out here’s your place to be. It could be about anything or it could be about nothing. Just make sure your post isn’t offensive!”
So, I liked the page a week ago or so, and have just been skimming things as they show up in my News Feed. I saw this one tonight, and felt that perhaps it was an opportunity for whoever wrote this confession to see that there was at least one person who had a different view on the Bible and homosexuality than they had heard.
There are a number of things that I think are interesting about this interaction I had last night:
- This was a quick and easy way to interact with a group of students I wouldn’t have been able to interact with otherwise.
- The question from the admin of “Pastor, how did you find out about this page?” is hilarious to me. How did I find your public Facebook page? There is still a sense, by some young people, that stuff they post online isn’t public, or at least, people won’t be able to find it. But they can. And they will.
- There are a lot of youth who don’t trust the Bible, think it’s outdated, irrelevant and not something to be taken seriously (as seen by some of the comments).
- I didn’t have the comments with the most number of “likes” but my comments were seen and liked by some youth who now know that there are some pastors who think it’s okay to be gay, and who don’t think that being gay means you’re going to hell.
I’ll admit, I did feel a bit like I was “creeping” on their territory or page, and it’s not a page that I’ll interact with a lot, but I still think it was a pretty easy way for me to have a voice in that conversation, and who knows what effect a few small comments might have on some students who know they’re gay but are hearing very negative things from the religious communities in their life.