My name is Kevin Gonzaga. I am of Filipino and Dutch in heritage. I was raised on Mewok territory in Central California in a place known as Modesto.
For most of my life I was planning on serving in Christian ministry for the remainder of my life. I was raised in Catholic and Protestant traditions but over the years have been involved in and studied a variety of Christian traditions and groups. I earned my B.A. in Biblical Studies and my MA in Theology.
However, over the years I had several significant reservations and criticisms regarding Christianity that I remained silent baout. The “Pray to Jesus to get into Heaven instead of Hell” Gospel had never struck me as true, based-in-scripture, or compelling. or the whole story. Christianity also seemed incredibly compromised by other ideologies and traditions. It appeared something at the foundations of Christianity was off and no one was acknowledging it or talking about it.
During my time at seminary I became able to articulate both my concerns and alternative ways to understand faith based around the Scriptures and Messiah Jesus. While I am devoted to the God of Israel and Messiah Jesus, while I believe in the Gospel and the Scriptures, I understand these statements in radically different ways than those from within the Christian worldview. I could no longer in good faith consider myself a Christian or work in ministry anymore.
This blog originally grew out of my need to process my own personal journey of healing and faith. I grew up in a dysfunctional home, and have struggled with addiction, depression, and juvenile arthritis. I have left a few of these posts up, but have taken down most of them because the focus of my writing has clarified and matured.
For the most part this blog is devoted to speaking faithfully on issues pertaining to the marginalized, the poor and the oppressed in our society. This is because providing justice for the marginalized, the poor and the oppressed in our society is a fundamental and consistent value expressed by the God of Israel throughout scripture. A secondary focus is prophetic criticism of Christianity and Christian culture. This is because if I have a place still within the larger apparatus of Christianity, it is a prophet, a voice in the wilderness calling people back to God.
While many of these posts will be controversial and opinionated, I am old enough to know I do not have exclusive access to the truth and need dialogue. So I welcome all comments, even and especially if you disagree with me.
Thanks for writing.
You’re welcome. Thanks for reading.
This is a very refreshing blog. I absolutely loved reading.
Glad you like it. It’s been great fun to write and I’m encouraged everyone who appreciates it chimes in. It means a lot to me. 🙂
I was searching, on web “church for sinners – Jesus” something on my heart 2 days ago and for 6 years, and then was reading the words on my mind and heart, but did not have the words. Kevin, as I was reading I knew that you are a mighty man of God, that the world has never yet seen, and will move with and in God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit as the world has never yet seen. Thanks, I can’t stop reading and She was loving it with me, annointing me as I read. Do not stop xxx
Thanks Anina! I really appreciate the kind words and such encouragements mean more than you can know. 🙂
God bless you, Kevin, for your courage and your passion, with God’s grace and power, to help others.
If you get the chance, check out my book (via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBook, etc) called, “Manhood: Navigating the Mind Fields.” It is another resource in this area to assist in setting people free and/or keeping them free.”
Yours in Christ, Peter
Thanks for sharing and God bless you.
Scott, thanks for the encouragement!
Hey Kev I really love your writting,it challenges me a lot,just wanted to know if you are ther on facebook? God bless you and please keep writting
Thanks for the encouragement!
Kevin.. I have also struggled with the same challenges as you have. I grew up both in an orthodox christian and a protestant background. As I allowed to get myself “caught up” in the rituals and what was considered “christian” and “nonchristian” … I felt like an outsider because I didn’t seem to fit in. At times I feel like a lone christian on the fringe of society. Our culture has gotten so caught up in right doctrine and what is considered politically correct, that often times, people believe that most christians are boring, robotic and hypocritical. I try to look at myself as fitting in more with the lowest of the low, as not to assimilate with many of the christian groups that have taken chrisitian beliefs and turned them into more of a socially driven political sect. Your writings hit my heart and make me feel as though I am not a crazy outsider. I am also pursuing an M.A. in religious studies as this time. Peace in Christ’s name….
Sarah, it’s a good feeling to know that you are not the only one out there. Recently Jake Hamilton spoke and shared that “It’s not about being right, it’s about being in love.” And I think He is right. I hope your M.A. goes well and is fruitful in your own journey as well as a blessing to others. 🙂
Your testimony states that you “wrestled with god” for many years… can you be more specific as to what challenges you are referring to?
I read your post about being “transparent”… the orthodox christian and catholic traditions obviously advocate confession. I was raised in the orthodox tradition, and I can say that confessing sin to another individual is a very scary…. but I always felt a huge “weight” lifted off my shoulders. There is nothing quite like speaking the words to another human being. Things that are trapped deep in the recesses of the soul, but long to come out, lest they rear their ugly heads either in repeating the malady, or promotion of guilt.
I am struggling currently with these issues. I trust god and know the truth, but find it difficult not to gravitate towards some dark tendencies that I have not been able to shake off.
Sarah, This is a sign of growth. Do not let yourself be fearful of it.
I look forward to reading more. We need more transparency, less hypocrisy. Thanks so much for sharing. I am going to share the post about the prophetic right now–I am just learning more about this so this is helpful.
Truths vary and differs, but honesty is precise 🙂 I’m glad you found honesty and clung to it.
Your candor is refreshing Kevin, I will visit here often.
Kevin, how did you become involved in social justice stuff? I really enjoyed reading your posts about racial issues, as well–as my blog deals (albeit in a more angry way, with a lot of the same themes). I especially loved the one you wrote about the sundance festival–beautiful and hella insightful especially coming from a non-Native. Do you extend this to the LGBTQ community as well?
I became more involved in social justice the more I learned about and become committed to what Jesus actually taught. For most of my life I participated in Christian culture, which in my experience, was and is very far from Jesus desire for his people. I was part of the larger systemic oppression of various groups, including the LGBT community.
However, when I began to delve deeper into my own faith tradition (I have earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies and and MA in Theology) I began to see the huge disconnect between a lot of what is common practice within Christianity (especially in the U.S.) and the actual teachings of Jesus. The God of Israel has always called his people to work for the poor and marginalized among them, and this desire was continued through the teachings and example of Jesus. I started becoming greatly concerned with social justice issues around this point.
I have done/am involved in the LGBT community as well. I wrote against Prop 8 [http://wp.me/pVYH7-5l], have presented why I (as a heterosexual) do not think homosexuality is a sin or incompatible with following Jesus [http://wp.me/pVYH7-nE], and have been part of LGBT/Ally groups at Fuller Theological Seminary(https://www.facebook.com/OneTableFuller) and now at the University of North Dakota (https://www.facebook.com/undtps).
Is social justice another description for more freedom to reject God and therefore sin?
I too have been abused emotionally, neglect, rules, cover up, narcissistic parents, etc. The church, most, are clueless, agreed. Forging through is painful, often lonely. What is our alternative if not God to give us hope, and direction?
Kevin, what you need to ask yourself: is are you or were you following Christ or following man? as in religion. You must question and refer to scripture and PRAY constantly. It is very evident that you have not established a strong foundation. Remember JUDAS ! this account tells us that a ratio of 1:12 may betray the divine knowledge through Jesus that they have been entrusted with. DON’T let this be YOU.