One of the gifts of God I am learning to receive is the ability to admit I was wrong. I may have been wrong for many reasons (fear, unwillingness to be open to new ideas, apathy, anger, unsure of where I would end up if I let other ideas go).
About 4-5 years ago I felt compelled to readdress some conclusions I had held to for many years regarding what the Bible says and doesn’t say about sexuality and gender. I was very nervous, because at that time I was in a denomination that I appreciated and had brought great warmth and friendships to me. So, I knew that if I changed my mind, there would be other decisions and consequences I would have to move into because of my growing desire to live from an authentic place.
I scoured the internet for articles, bought many books on Amazon, and attended a conference on human sexuality. After reading well over 1,000 – 1,500 pages and spending hundreds of hours thinking and talking with others, I decided I need to let go of my old thoughts concerning sexuality and learn to embrace the new idea, no matter where it took me.
So, I made the inner choice: I will find a minister position that will allow me to fully embrace inclusion of LGBTQ individuals.
That decision (along with the grace of God and the love of my wife) led me to The Reformed Church of Poughkeepsie, where they said, “We want to be a church for everyone – no matter what. Period.” That brought me relief, because that meant me as well – a person, a pastor, who was trying to follow the Spirit’s leading and at times not doing it in a stellar way.
I am still learning what this new idea is bringing me. This is what I found to be the second gift: when I expanded my idea of who I thought God was pleased with, I found myself being loved even deeper, held even tighter, and with a new but mysterious kind of certainty that is found when one can say, “I might not be correct about this, let me (re)consider it.”
For me, my life changed when I began to think differently concerning my LGBTQ brothers and sisters. For that, my life has radically changed. It’s a new life, a second beginning. My prayer is that many more will rapidly and deeply reevaluate their views on the LGBTQ brothers and sisters around us and that the Spirit will baptize us anew and lead us forward to being ONE.