What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

Look at the callender in the upper right corner and you'll see that it's been a bit sparse around here lately. Frankly, a big part of me didn't want to sit down and write this tonight. Partly out of obligation to the 2-3 readers I have* and partly because I felt like it would do me some good to sit and write, I sort of forced my self to log on. Maybe it's just the pace of my life lately (see here), I don't know, but I've lost my fire for blogging. No, this isn't a notice that I'm giving it up, it's just been hard to get motivated about it. I really can't say why, but I just don't feel like it.

Well, I guess if I were honest, I can say something about why. Over the past few weeks I've been writing sporadically about fundamentals of Christianity. I threw a gauntlet down of sorts in the begining that Christians ought to be able to agree on the basics of Christianity and that we ought to stop fighting over trivial matters. While I still think that this is a great ideal, I guess I'm not so sure I want to write any more about it. Frankly, I figure that I will offend somebody or spark some angry debate and I don't want to do that - or more accurately, I don't want to feel the wrath of those offended. I want to write more on the subject, but the thought of doing so is a bit oppressive.

Jesus took stand on things. He stood up and said this is right and that is wrong, unequivocably. He was not afraid to step on toes, even to the point of calling those who defined 'religion' in His day, basically, evil. My friend Douglas Jacoby recently posted some interesting observations (writen in 1991) about the nature of God's prophets throughout history. Namely, they are almost always in a small minority (frequently alone) and are almost always persecuted and opposed by a majority of religious leaders. He offers several examples from scripture, go check it out.

Being in the minority is not fun, especially if it's a persecuted minority. If one examines the scriptures honestly, you start to see why they killed Jesus. He stood up and told the people, the leaders, that they were wrong and in fact were far fom God. To stand up for God can be a lonely position. I don't want to be isolated and persecuted for speaking up for God, so I guess that's why I've hesitated to post my thoughts on specific fundamentals.

I recognize that this all sounds a bit arrogant. Who am I to assume that I speak for God? Certainly, just because history shows that God's prophets were in the minority does not mean that every minority view is from God. I would say, however, if everyone in the religous world agrees with you, better watch out. So when I think about posting my take on Christian fundamentals, I know that if it is to be close to God's it will be uncomfortable to many. I will not find much agreement.

The 'Christian' population in the US is very large and on some level quite homogeneous. There's a certain agreement on not challenging each other on what we believe about fundamental things. Sort of a "Don't ask don't tell" environment. We're all 'Christian' so it's all good. Frankly, that turns my stomach. Jesus wasn't afraid to tell people that they were flat wrong, and even the brothers in the first century corrected each other on fundamentals in doctrine (Acts 18:24-26, Acts 19:1-5, Galatians 2:11-14). We ought to trust our Bibles and our God to lead us and take a stand on His plan.

But even as I type this I know that my version of God's plan and anothers will be different. And I know that it's easier and more comfortable to discuss less important matters than to resolve our differences on fundamentals. But as I look around at 'Christianity', I see some great hearted people with some amazing thoughts and insights on God, but I know that we are on different pages on fundamentals and it tears at my heart. What they define as Christianity and what I difine it as are differnet things. I long for a united church. I long to be able to say "I'm a Christian" and to have people know precisely what that means. Is it too much to ask?

I guess at some point I've got to take my stand and throw out there what I believe. It is a bit silly, isn't it, to get worked up about exposing my heart when this little corner of the net is clearly not that well traveled anyway. Oh well.

* Actually, my web host tells be I have lots of readers. Supposedly there have been over 1,650 unique visits to salguod.net this month. Almost every day was over 200 page views. Seems like I ought to have more comments. (hint, hint ...) :-)

3 Comments

Is there anything worthwhile you do that you *don't* lose the fire for every once in a while?

I understand your hesitancy. I've been burned badly a couple of times in posting things I felt strongly about (both on my blog and on others' sites) and have felt crushed. I sincerely hope I've never done such crushing to you. But in the end of every "crushing" event for me, I learned something about myself and have grown. My entire "Evidence of God" series came out of such an interaction where an atheist literally flogged me on his own website, then blocked my IP address so I couldn't defend myself in his comments. But I think that was exactly what I needed--to feel defenseless and to ask myself why that mattered to me so much. I realized that I was more interested in how I looked than how God looked.

If you don't want us to vent our wrath ;), you could ask us to withhold comments until your series on fundamentals is complete. But in the end, this blog is for you and your own spiritual development. If it is helpful for you to write things down, you should. If it isn't, then you should stop. Don't worry about what we think--although hopefully our thoughts can help refine yours (or at least prepare you for the resistance you'll meet with others).

(Not to make your blog seem even more insignificant, but most of your daily page views are probably from spam bots and search engine robots! I see the same hugely inflated values on my traffic page, and I can't believe they are real. But a few of us are living breathing human beings...)

Erik,

Thanks for the reasuring words, it really helps. Mostly it helps to know that I'm not off my rocker in feeling this way.

I won't block comments or even ask that you withhold them, but I would like you to hold back on the wrath part. :-)

The spam / search bot thing makes sense, why didn't I think of that?\ 'Googlebot' or something was one of the things listed somewhere in those stats about who's been here. Bring on the searchbots since they make it easier for real people to find me, but spambots be gone! (Think that helped?)

"But as I look around at 'Christianity', I see some great hearted people with some amazing thoughts and insights on God, but I know that we are on different pages on fundamentals and it tears at my heart. What they define as Christianity and what I difine it as are differnet things. I long for a united church. I long to be able to say "I'm a Christian" and to have people know precisely what that means. Is it too much to ask?"

Questions (rhetorical, to spur your thinking and writing. Not intended as foreshadowings of wrath.):

1) Why do you feel so strongly that Christianity needs *a* definition instead of *many* definitions? Is there evidence within the life or teachings of Christ for such a demand?
2) Do you think it is possible that the diversity within Christianity is something God intended?
3) In your opinion, where does diversity become disunity (not doctrinally, but practically speaking)?
4) Why do _you_ feel such a deep need for Christian unity?
5) How do you feel that your life would be different on a daily basis if this wish for unity were fulfilled? Would you pray or worship or disciple or work or raise your family differently?



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  • "But as I look around at 'Christianity', I see some great hearted people with some amazing thoughts and insights on God, but I know that we are on different pages on fundamentals and it tears at my heart. What they defin...

  • Erik, Thanks for the reasuring words, it really helps. Mostly it helps to know that I'm not off my rocker in feeling this way. I won't block comments or even ask that you withhold them, but I would like you to hold ba...

  • Is there anything worthwhile you do that you *don't* lose the fire for every once in a while? I understand your hesitancy. I've been burned badly a couple of times in posting things I felt strongly about (both on my bl...

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