So… your mind is “made up” about homosexuality.
So is mine. Can we just admit that? I will, even if you won’t.
You may consider yourself open-minded. Still, where you are today is “made up” of several deep questions, ideas and experiences you’ve gleaned over time regarding the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
I first realized this on a mission trip in Toronto years ago as I walked through a gay community.
Our team was on a prayer walk together, and I found myself completely at ease praying in areas dominated by various foreign cultures. Even the “rougher” neighborhoods weren’t as intimidating as when we turned onto a street where the GLBT community had taken root. I’m not proud of sharing how uncomfortable I felt in that moment, and yet that’s exactly what happened. I realized that I had a firm conclusion about what I was experiencing.
That’s not to say that over time my thoughts and ministry to the GLBT community hasn’t grown. Again, it’s the realization that today my mind is somehow “made up” – just like yours is. The question is if you’re aware how it happens:
- If you encounter a progressive catalyst, you’ll change your mind progressively. As an example, read a previous post I shared on this very website about how society continues to give us new data we’re supposed to respond to. (You may also want to note how the questions I posed at the end of it remained unanswered.)
- If you encounter an aggressive catalyst, you’ll change your mind aggressively. As an example, recall the last time God spontaneously humbled and broke you over something. (You may also want to note the new questions you asked that you weren’t asking before that moment occurred.)
Since your mind is “made up” for now, how about we talk about something else… like cheese?
Did you hear how Kraft Singles is removing chemical preservatives from its individually wrapped cheese slices? In similar news:
- Subway and Pizza Hut are removing the chemical azodicarbonamide from their breads. The FDA-approved additive is also famously used in yoga mats and shoe rubber.
- Chick-fil-A is removing high-fructose corn syrup and artificial dyes from its sauces and dressings.
- Kraft Foods is removing artificial dyes from varieties of macaroni and cheese.
- PepsiCo will remove brominated vegetable oil from Gatorade.
These significant changes are costing each company gobs of money that they didn’t plan to spend. One might wonder how their minds were “made up.”
Apparently, it tracks back to the volume level of a few people.
Food blogger Vani Hari publically criticized Subway in detail for not being as “fresh” as it claims to be. She also targeted Chick-fil-A and Kraft, while a Mississippi teenager publicly petitioned PepsiCo to make the aforementioned changes to Gatorade.
Arguably, these are changes for the better. It may be the very approach you take in life, trying to be a vocal change-agent on whatever side of whatever issue you’re lobbying for. Perhaps you see those who disagree with you as the big conglomerates who are putting “additives” into our culture that shouldn’t be there. Consider the frequency (and irony) of how often you see yourself as the hero in these scenarios.
We live in a world where the loudest voices (not necessarily the most voices or the right voices) can change everything.
This has typically been true throughout history, but has only amplified in recent years. Anyone with a video camera and a YouTube channel can impact public opinion in a matter of moments.
You probably already knew that. Let me tell you one other thing you already know.
The most important voice on any topic isn’t who you drift into thinking it is.
- It’s not the next motivational speech-giver (even though you’ll be inspired by someone who speaks with passion and end up buying all their books).
- It’s not the next Presidential candidate (even though you’ll be tempted to vote for a political savior in the next election).
- It’s not the next student in your ministry who “gets it” (even though you secretly hope they do, stereotypically stand up on a cafeteria table at school, tell everyone to come to your youth group and ultimately brings fifty friends to hear you share your next talk about Jesus).
You know Whose voice I’m talking about because He’s been talking to you this whole time.
The Holy Spirit.
It’s His still, small, quiet whisper that matters most. Even if what He says is in the minority, He is the actual and only majority. He, the Son and the Father are One on this, and everything.
Anyone and anything can change a person’s mind… whether it’s about cheese, chicken, noodles, Gatorade or homosexuality.
Only God can actually transform someone’s mind.
So to bring it back to homosexuality:
- Are you arguing points from a “made up” mind, or praying for un-making wisdom with fear and trembling?
- Are you convincing kids to convince others, or are you speaking from conviction that requires Someone convicting you?
- Are you in conversation elevating the phrase, “Yeah, but I have a friend who…” or are you saying, “I’d like to introduce you to my Friend,” and letting Him elevate the conversation?
Your mind is already “made up.”
The question is if you’ll let it become unmade and transformed, creating environments and serving opportunities where students will wrestle with God and let Him transform them, too.
Colossians 2:8 brings it home: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”
Thank you for loving students!
Tony / @tonymyles
P.S. - While we are on the topic, a new Revised Edition of the book from Shawn Harrison, Ministering to Gay Teenagers, will be available for purchase early next week! Keep an eye out!