Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Why I don't make a good Baptist

Every group has them. They are the boundary markers that get set up to tell whether a person is "in" or "out." These markers could be written or unwritten, spoken or unspoken, yet either way, after a time, you know what they are, because they will make their way to the forefront of conversation, and judgements will be passed down accordingly. Really, these boundary markers are nothing more than values commonly held by that group. Values help define identity and create community. Values are a good thing, but problems arise when they start to contradict one another. My problem is that I've been told I make really good beer. Our ales even won first and second place this past Sunday at our local brewpub's homebrewer contest. It was a very exciting experience to watch people try your craft and comment glowingly on it. One person said, "You've got a gift here." (of course to some that's like saying you have a gift for making good porn films) When we won, there was the need to call people to let them know, but none of my Baptist friends were on the list. I know they would not be able to share the joy. That's what makes this mid-life shift a hard one for me to reconcile. I wish I could just set the fence posts and run the wire that says alcohol is of the devil. It would be tons easier on me, but I can't seem to view the world that way anymore. To create such tight boundaries would limit the places I could go, not just for my sake, but for other people who live in outside territory. My world was safer before, but in comparison to what I am finding, it was more black and white also. I see more color today, more beauty, more danger and more risk. Cheers.


Blythe Lane said...

Great post. I always felt that way for enjoying certain elements of film/tv and pop culture. There were certain shows/movies that I could never admit to watching, let alone really enjoying, because those things were associated in my world as "secular," or "Christless." And the thing was, I often was able to see more Christ in those things than in those that professed not to "be secular." Thanks for sharing.

Congrats on the homebrew accolades. If I'm ever in your neck of the woods I'd love to try it. I have yet to find one that I really enjoy.

Megiddo1918 said...

I fear no beer, but Noah's son Ham taught me to fear too much of it and unfaithful sons...or both.

yourplanispuny said...

Thanks for inspiring us to freedom instead of cowardice masquerading as piety. A lot of people like religion because it offers them a coccoon in which to avoid risk. The problem is that if you avoid risk you avoid life and you forfeit opportunities to be truly redemptive. So, go to where the people are celebrating life. When they run out of beer, brew up some of your miracle brew. In this way, you might just demonstrate the way of Jesus, who was decidedly NOT a good Baptist.