Don't worry about the people close to you who are changing; change is the natural and healthy response to experiencing a rich and varied life.
Worry instead about the people around you who never change. They're the ones with the problem.
Which sort of got me thinking about change, we all change, or should, it's part of the maturing process. I certainly have very different opinions to those I had 10, 20, or 30 years ago, it's called growing up.
Listening to the News Quiz on radio 4 at the weekend, one of the guests commented that she had a Theology degree, and how she used to be a fundamentalist evangelical Christian but that nothing knocks that out of you like studying theology. Of course this got a laugh, but it is true, I have studied theology, albeit not to degree level, and a serious dispassionate academic study will certainly knock the edges off any fundamentalism. It will also knock the edges off intolerance, bigotry, and certainty. At least in certainty that your own opinion is always right.
I think it is a shame that we can't oblige all Church leaders to actually study theology, Anglican Methodist and Roman Catholic ministers have to, I'm not so sure about some other denominations, certainly there is no restriction on setting up your own Church calling yourself Reverend (or even Bishop) and preaching from your own biased and prejudiced point of view.
That is the situation of many of the new churches that are springing up all over the UK as they have done for many years in the US, it is often these unqualified self appointed Church leaders who spout the hate that is such a problem for many who are different, who don't conform with the preachers idea of normal. Any serious study of the Bible will show internal contradictions, passages that are difficult to understand in the light of Jesus' teachings, when we read the Bible we need too ask ourselves the questions, Why is this in the Bible? What does it tell me about God? What does God's want to tell me through this passage now?
There is only one real fundamental of Christianity, sure there is the Trinity, and Resurrection and redemption, but everything flows from Love. That is the fundamental, so when I hear preaching that doesn't sit comfortably with what I think I know, I ask myself first how does this show love?
But now I' going out so I have to change.