An essay of mine, “To Feel Your Mind Change – On Welcoming Gay Christians,” recently appeared on Bearings Online, a site hosted by the Collegeville Institute.
Here are the first few paragraphs:
I suppose there is no one way in which our minds change. Sometimes all it takes is a nudge: a bit of new information and we swing like a door on oiled hinges. But there are other times when, like Job, the only thing that will move us is an interrogation from a storm-clad God. Only after the hurricane asks what we know of the wisdom of the ibis, the dwelling of darkness and light, the storehouse of the snow and the procedure for hooking a leviathan do we allow our minds to unfold a new map. At other times our minds change like the glacier ice of the anthropocene. An ever-so-slight rise in tube-bound mercury, the absorption of the sun’s warmth over a decade—and things begin to thaw, slow, but still unsettling.
It is fascinating, this mind-changing stuff. A somewhat popular theology magazine that still bears the curious title The Christian Century has, at varying intervals since 1939, run a series of essays by prominent theologians in which they describe how their minds have changed. When I have the chance to peruse the back issues it is these essays that I find the most interesting.
This week I am thinking of these essays and of the changing of minds in general as I prepare to participate in a significant service in the life of the congregation I serve. A little over a year-and-a-half ago, an overwhelming majority of the congregation voted to “affirm LGBTQ+ persons” in all aspects of church life. Out of respect for those who disagreed, the decision was initially received with sobriety. Now, too soon for some and too late for others, it is time to receive the decision in worship. The order of service indicates that about three-quarters of the way through I will stand before the gathered community and offer reflections on I Corinthians 12.
You can find the rest of the essay here.