Change

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In the past few weeks the news outlets have carried stories of politicians who have changed their political affiliation. These individuals have been demonized and canonized, depending upon which side of the aisle is responding.

Never once have I heard someone say, “Good for you. Good for you for thinking deeply about important issues. Good for you for being open to opposing views, for having enough humility to admit you may have been wrong. Good for you for having enough integrity to align your values with your affiliation. Good for you for having the courage to change.”

I see the same thing happening in the Church. People change their viewpoint on an issue and they are demonized and canonized, but rarely are they affirmed for their courage to change. It’s as if change itself is bad when it comes to faith. It implies doubt which is often perceived negatively by a church culture that wrongly confuses faith with certainty.

Faith isn’t static. It grows and it matures, which means the only way forward requires at least some level of change.

I want to be part of a church that encourages deep questions and affirms change, even when we disagree with that change. I want to be part of a church that is humble enough and trusts God enough to call us to repentance, to a change of mind, when needed.  I want to be a part of a church whose love for one another and whose sense of community is stronger than fear. I want to be part of a church that believes that God’s love is big and unchanging, even when we change.

 

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  • Wendy Preuninger Horton

    I want to be part of that church too! Where vulnerability and wrestling with the mysteries of this world are welcomed. Where our authentic selves can show up and be in community with each other and learn from each other. It leaves me to wonder why we all think we all ought to have it all figured out? Thanks so much for sharing and for the courage to put your thoughts out there, authentically.

  • Lee Hulsether

    thanks for a great message, jess!

  • John Ridgway

    While it is certainly true that many politicians (and Church leaders) are demonized for changing their minds, it is also indisputable that an equal or greater number of folks are demonized and disparaged for taking an unwavering stance that is consistent with their principles and
    convictions. Those who stand on principle are often labeled as “intransigent” and “knuckle-draggers”. Should we not also affirm those who refuse to “go along to get along”, or is all change a mandatory ingredient for deep thinking and enlightenment? If we hear God in our heart telling us not to bite that apple, should we obey or just go with the more widely held attitude?

    • Jeff Marian

      Standing on principle is great. Being open to the whisper of the Spirit is too. Following the crowd just to fit in? Not so much.