A snowstorm nearly kept him in Chicago and delayed his arrival at his hotel until 2 AM, but Christopher Yuan still made it to chapel on Wednesday, February 27, to begin his time at Cairn University. In Wednesday morning’s chapel, Christopher began by saying, “The issue of homosexuality is an extremely relevant issue, especially when it comes to how we relate and how we minister in this context as Christians.” He went on, “Today I want to lay the foundation of my testimony and why this is so personal to me.”
Christopher went on to tell his family’s story. He was raised outside Chicago in an upper-middle class Chinese-American family. It was not until he was attending dental school in Louisville, KY, that he came out as a gay man and began openly living a gay lifestyle. Soon after, his parents gave their lives to Christ. As Christopher moved further into a life of drugs, sex, and money, they began to pray for God to intervene in his life. “My mom prayed a bold prayer, ‘God, do whatever it takes to bring this prodigal son home.’” For seven years, his parents prayed. God’s miracle came in the form of Christopher being arrested and imprisoned for drug possession.
In prison, Christopher found a Gideon New Testament and read through the book of Mark. “I was trying to pass the time, but what we have in our Bibles is not just ink on paper. What we have in our Bibles is the very breath of God; it is living, powerful, and sharper than any double-edged sword.” Imprisoned, he also discovered that he was HIV-positive. He felt that it was a death sentence. But God began to use His Word in Christopher’s life. “The last thing I held onto was my sexuality. I read in the Bible that God loved me unconditionally and yet found passages that condemned homosexuality.” He began to search Scripture, looking for something that would let him continue to hold onto his homosexuality, but he could not find anything. He was at a turning point. “Unconditional love is not the same thing as unconditional approval of my behavior.”
As he gave himself fully over to God and continued to study Scripture, Christopher came to a conclusion: “My identity is not in being gay. My identity must be in Christ alone. I always thought that the opposite of homosexuality is heterosexuality, but it is holiness. Change is not the absence of struggles, but the freedom to choose holiness in the midst of our struggles.”
While Christopher was still in prison, God called him into ministry. He attended Moody Bible Institute as soon as he was released and has been in full-time ministry since. He now teaches in the Bible Department at Moody.
“I made a lot of stupid decisions. Bad decisions with huge consequences. One of those is being HIV-positive. But the reality is I am no different than any of you. All of our days are numbered…As a child of the living God, I must live with a sense of urgency,” Christopher said. He finished with this challenge to the student body: “This world we live in today – with wars, famine, disease, the economy crashing, orphans, widows –this world does not need any more good Christians. Christians who are doing good in the eyes of man, but doing little for the kingdom of heaven. The times we are in today are not asking for one more good Christian, the times we live in today demand great Christians. Christians who don’t settle for mediocrity…who live for an audience of One, who live with a sense of urgency, who live for the kingdom of Christ. Do you want to simply be a part of history or do you want to create history? We need a revival in this land, and a revival must begin with one. I don’t know how many days the Lord will give me, but I’ve prayed for one thing: that I will live to see this generation rise up and take their place in this world and turn it upside down for the sake of Christ.”
Christopher Yuan will remain at Cairn through Friday and will be available to interact with students during that time. He will present class sessions on passages of scripture in relation to homosexuality and on the idea of nature vs. nurture. In addition, he will speak in chapel again Friday.
Perspective: It’s an important word. It is full of meaning, and its implications are profound, both for us as individuals and for us as a society, a society that seems,