I’d really like to hear………..

I’d really like to hear………..

“Being willing to change allows you to move from a point of view to a viewing point – a higher, a more expansive place, from which you can see both sides.”

Thomas Crum

be-willing-to-changeAs I read all of the posts about gay marriage, Christianity, homosexuality, ExGay stories, and the deep struggles of so many gay men and women to reconcile their lives with their homosexuality I find such a diverse selection of beliefs and convictions. Frankly, I’d love to hear this sometime:

“I’m an evangelical Christian, I believe in the Bible and its’ messages for our lives. I’m truly listening to the life stories of my LBGT friends. I’m trying to understand what it may be like to be a person of faith and gay.”

“For the sake of my LBGT friends, I’m truly praying, seeking, and considering whether or not I’ve been wrong in my understanding of the Bible and its teaching on homosexual relationships. Until I completely understand what that is, I’ll love them, support them, and keep searching with an open heart.”

One of the first things I realized about four years ago is that there are extremely diverse teachings on homosexuality and the Bible. Men and women of scholarly research and knowledge have come to differing conclusions. Straight scholars, LBGT scholars, pastors, teachers and others disagree on the true teaching on this matter and what the Bible says and doesn’t say about same sex relationships.

This realization caused me to begin to rethink all of this for myself. I had taught against gay relationships for over twenty years with great conviction. But admittedly, I had only read or studied this from one perspective and believed I had no need to look any further. I held fast to believing the matter had been researched enough and that scholars much more learned than I am believed it to be a settled matter and there was no need for further discussion on it. I took on their convictions and held tightly to them.

When I found the diversity of belief to be coming from equally knowledgeable and experienced men and women I had to humble myself and begin to ask the harder questions. Had I been wrong? Was my dogmatism stemming from my own convictions and research, or was I just repeating what I had heard. Was my teaching a mere repetition of rhetoric that came from the culture of faith I had associated with?

I find there are far too many others just like myself. Those who believe they need to stand firm against homosexual relationships and gay marriage just because they had been taught that is the way they should believe.

I’m challenging those who really have never been open to reading or studying this matter from a different viewpoint. I’m asking if you might be willing to open up your hearts and minds to see differing views and to ponder – “Have we been wrong?”

I won’t deny, I now believe I was wrong. I now hold to a belief that gay men and women should be allowed to embrace and enjoy the intimacy of a committed relationship, and marriage if they so choose to make it a legal entity. The changes came as I was challenged to research it for myself and to open my own mind and heart to asking the harder questions.

Sure, I’m now in a committed gay relationship as a result of my convictions changing. But this is not why I’ve changed my perspectives four years ago when I did. Things changed when I reluctantly attended a six hour workshop on the Bible and homosexuality. I did have somewhat of an open mind when I went, but I was also skeptical to listen to the different views that were going to be presented. As a result of the information presented I began to read through the Bible on this issue for myself.

When my heart began to believe differently, I wasn’t looking for a gay relationship for myself. I began with an openness to validate the pain and suffering that so many of my gay friends had gone through. I listened to their hearts for the first time without judgment that their homosexual inclinations would lead them into sin if they acted upon it. As I listened, the new information I was digesting was validated. Their stories, and life experience resonated in what I was willing to consider. I could now see that the passages I had long believed to condemn homosexual relationships were not saying what I believed they had said at all! I was shocked and also somewhat frustrated about what I had been taught because I could now see that I had been wrong and believe that others were too.

I understand that there are those who have convictions different than mine. I’m not claiming that I have the definitive answers. If I did, I’d be as wrong as I was before. I have my own convictions and truly want there to be freedom for others to believe differently. I would just like to see more people grasp that this matter isn’t as much of a sure things as once thought.

I believe that the faith community is now in a deep quandary and changing because some of the brave few are actually asking themselves the question, “Have I been wrong?” Can we look at this with an unbiased eye to see what is really said in our Bible and how to apply the wisdom and teaching of Jesus to this matter today in our contemporary culture? Can you honestly come to a place of willingness to affirm a gay relationship within the faith of Christ if you find you’ve been wrong?

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