Raised Christian, but did not go into that faith as an adult.
I am curious, are there any poly-friendly Christians out there?
I'm sure people are out there, but they aren't gonna advertise.
If so, I have to ask, what have your experiences been if you're "out" about being in a poly relationship to others Christians that you know? And, how have you handled the reactions where many in return say this type of relationship is a sin, not allowed, etc.?
I started to laugh when I read that. BTDT. But what is there to handle really? It's their baggage, not yours.
DH and I lived together first. My parents were horrified at the time. One of my siblings told me they were worried about me going to hell.
I calmly told sibling "God made me as I am, so it's not a secret to God. (to comfort sibling) As for going to hell? I don't believe in hell, but if I end up there? I'm prepared to take the heat and be responsible for my own actions. (to set a boundary, because it isn't sibling's biz)"
I actually didn't and still don't believe in "God" the way this siblings did back then, but to save time? I used language they know.
Later when my siblings also lived with partners before marriage (INCLUDING the going to hell one) it wasn't a big deal any more. Because nothing doom happened to me.
A lot of is was shaking off whatever THEY were brought up with and not just going on auto-pilot believing "whatever" just because. And me accepting that whoever it is? They are going to be at whatever point in their faith development in that moment.
Sometimes I've just said "Thank you. In this situation, you need not concern yourself for my sake." Which is a nice way to say "Mind your own business."
Or "Thank you. I will take that on board and give it more consideration when I get home." They don't have to know I already considered it and threw it in my mental trash can.
Or I say "Thank you. This topic is not up for discussion. If you keep bringing it up, I have to leave." And then I just count. They bring it up? I leave.
At that point in my life I was the weird one "Doing things you aren't supposed to do." My mother wigged out when I told her I was bi, so I never got around to telling her I was poly. When we got married, a guest told us she was glad we weren't "living in sin" any more. I just said "Thanks" while thinking "We've been doing fine. Didn't know you have been sitting on pins and needles about it. And what kind of thing is that to say at a wedding? Whatever."
At this point in my life? Whenever I do things? My family just goes "Oh, there she goes again. Doing things." but nobody bats an eye any more.
Since you are ordained and seeking chaplaincy you have probably read James Fowler. According to Fowler, a lot of adults stop in Stage 3 -- Synthetic Conventional. And if I'm honest, it's easier to deal with a congregation of Stage 3 people. They don't question
things. A stage 4 Individuative Reflective person? They DO questions things.
They are transitioning out of doing things because of the "external authority" saying so -- the parents, the minister, the teachers, the sacred text, etc. They are moving into becoming their own "internal authority. While people may have told them some things to start, they have tried the thing out and find it holds for them. They actively and thoughtfully choose to retain this or that value, belief, idea etc. Other ones? They have discarded because it doesn't hold true for them or work for them.
For some of the stage 3 people, it seems like they are "backsliders" because of the questioning, but really? They are engaging more deeply with their faith and trying to gain a deeper understanding, a personal understanding, a meaningful understanding.
It's not like people walk around with a name tag that says "Hi, I'm Bob, I'm stage X" or something. So if people tell you that you are a sinner for doing whatever?
Just accept that they are reacting. Their reaction belongs to them, and their reaction is couched in their current understanding (or misunderstanding) of whatever faith they happen to be.
Doesn't really have anything to do with you.