What causes someone to change their mind on the Bible’s view of homosexuality? Part Three
Part Three: A third reason why we can change our mind on what Scripture has historically said about whether or not homosexuality is acceptable in God’s eyes has to do with the company we keep. By this I mean, what are you reading, seeing and viewing in today’s media? I’m not advocating we turn off the TV or stop reading articles and books that take positions different from our own, but we need to be careful that those positions may alter our view, not because of their reasoning, but because of the status of the person writing the material.
One author I have always enjoyed for his devotional work is Henri Nouwen. During the last years of his life, however, not only was there an open shift in his theology regarding homosexuality but also the uniqueness of Christ and His work as the only way to God. Only after his death did some of the reason for that shift become apparent—Nouwen himself secretly struggled with same-sex attraction. Couple that with his dabbling in eastern religions, Nouwen began to shift his own views. It wasn’t so much his own wrestling with Scripture that brought about his positional shift; it was what was going on in his own life, under the radar, so to speak. But Nouwen’s status, huge and imposing in the Christian world, had and still has a powerful impact on those who read him.
Who we listen to really does matter. Again, I’m not saying that we should not read anything that differs from our own viewpoint, or anything that differs from an historic Christian doctrinal position. We need to have our own positions, and the historical Christian position, sharpened by interacting with how the current culture is thinking. But we also have to be aware that when someone we look up to, someone we admire begins to shift their position on what the Scriptures say, that can have a significant impact on us. We can be swayed, not merely on the basis of a reasoned argument, but because we don’t want to look “out of step” with people whose thinking we have admired.
Have you ever been swayed to a different position than what the Scripture has historically taught (on anything) because someone you admired or respected took a different position?