Saturday, March 27, 2010

Jesus, save me from your followers

I intentionally steer away from writing about politics, or even discussing them for that matter. It’s such a polarizing subject that it’s rare to find someone with whom I can air my thoughts and not fear I will be labeled a hypocrite, homophobe or some equally endearing kind of moniker. But it’s because of this reason I’ve decided venture out into the unknown.

As a writer, I have the tendency to stick with what I know and with that which I am most comfortable. But as I get more serious about writing, I am beginning to see how this will act as a major hindrance if I ever desire to improve my craft. One author puts it this way, “I write to learn and discover, not to air what I already know.” I like this approach.

Another part of my resistance in openly engaging in political discussion is because of the dissonance that is created by my faith. For some, it is their faith that pushes them into the political arena. For me it is just the opposite.

Faith and politics are two extremely personal and emotional subjects. Both elicit responses from the viscera, and in turn, wind up exiting the mouth before passing through the brain for a much needed inspection of humility and civility. What you end up with is a shrill debate with no understanding or progress.

In the days ahead, I will attempt to sketch out a series of conflicts between my faith and my politics, not for the purpose of resolving them, but more as an exercise to communicate my desire to hold both in tension. I’ve watched too many of my friends abandon one or the other because of this friction. I don’t subscribe to either/or thinking any longer. My world view is not that tidy, even as much as I wish it could be.

Faith would not be faith without the handmaiden of doubt, the doubles partner of uncertainty, and the antagonist of chaos. Faith blooms and flourishes because of what is unseen, not because of what is visible and obvious. For me, politics plays this role. It is my Lex Luther, my Mr. Glass, waiting to test the strength of its counterpart.

Karen asked me a question this week that I can’t get out of my head. She said, “Do you think more people would be interested in Christianity if it weren’t for the reputation of its followers being so judgmental?” In my mind, the essence of its Good News is anything but judgment, so how in the world did it get to this point? Jesus; OK, Christians: Not so much. The bumper sticker sermon that reads, “Jesus, protect me from your followers.” is not hard to comprehend.

This blog was born first for my sake. My first motive was to write for myself and not for an audience. I needed this blog more than you did, and still do. And if that ever changes, you will be able to tell. I will hang up writing.

3 comments:

Les said...

Looking forward to your first "political" post. I gather it will be a unique, interesting take as usual.

Vance said...

Excellent and insightful as always. Karen summed it up well. Instead of knowing us by our love, they know us, can define us by "what we're against."

Randy said...

Kev, take a look at this book. I think you might find it really interesting. http://www.amazon.com/Praise-Doubt-Convictions-Without-Becoming/dp/0061778168

would be interested to hear your perspective on it.