Hello all, I've been stopping by less and less over the last couple of years but I hope you'll indulge me a bit in this post. This has long been a place where I felt comfortable grappling with many of the issues I encountered in my life of Faith in Christ. Over the past decade, many of the kind members on this site have given great advice, a listening ear, and a swift kick in the rear on occasion, all of which have been needed and, in retrospect, not appreciated nearly enough. I've been reading through some of my past posts and cringing at the borishness and ignorance of them in most cases. I realize that I really am no longer the man I was when I first joined the Forums. Things that seemed to matter so much at the time no longer seem to matter at all. Since the Pandemic, my thoughts and opinions, including my thoughts and opinions on the nature of God and my faith, have significantly evolved and continue to do so. I no longer agree with my former stances on the immorality of homosexuality, the invalidity of women's ordination, or the literal interpretation of scripture. However, I still stand firm in the understanding the God is Love and I have the new insight that we honor God most when we practice radically inclusive love, compassion, and forgiveness for others and for ourselves. More to the point, as I read through my posts, I discerned an unseemly willingness in myself to weaponize and politicize the doctrines of the faith to push my personal worldview, agenda, and prejudices. The fact is, God is God and I am not. And I admit that I was all too willing to believe that God and Christianity just happened by lucky coincidence to affirm all my unexamined personal positions on any given topic and condemn all those who disagree with me. I am coming to appreciate that all people deserve to love and be loved in the way that they resonate with; that consenting adults should be able to choose to live their lives in truth and integrity without fear of judgment from people who claim to speak for Christ; that women have a powerful ministry and witness to share in the priesthood; that God's love and revelation for today are not confined in the literalist interpretations of proof texts written between 2000 to 5000 years ago; that the Spirit is active even now and is doing a new thing to bring justice and healing to the world that may not fit our preconceived notions of propriety; and that we are each of us called to seek meaning in and communion with God in a free and responsible way, questioning and rejecting any message, no matter its source, that creates barriers rather than building bridges, lifting people up, and working for justice, freedom, and peace in the world. While I respect that many on here may have different views, I think it is important for me to "come clean" and say that my previous posts are just "so much straw" in light of the new perspective that I believe God has saw fit to give me. I deeply regret statements I made that I now see to have been intolerant, misogynistic, self-righteous, and in some cases hateful. If I have ever offended anyone here or have caused pain, I am truly sorry. Please know that I am learning and trying to do better. God is Love, that's the meat and potatoes of it all. Everything else is just gravy. Thanks so much for taking time to read this. God's blessings to you!