Faith, for the Creatives

But I don’t have an opinion…

In my new job, I am surrounded by opinionated Christians. Some are homeschoolers. Some are pro-lifers. Some are politically incorrect, some pro gun rights, some against homosexual marriage. Everyone is not every single one of these things, in fact, I’m sure there are progressive Christians here that defy many of the stereotypes I just threw out. We are not one denomination, and our statement of faith is very general to encourage diverse beliefs within the term “Christian.” But the fact remains that I am surrounded by strong opinions.

And while I’m going about my workday and hearing anger over various non-Christian “agendas” or “Hitlery” or hot topic issues, my mind is screaming “You can’t just say that!!!!!” But actually, they can. And it makes me feel like I’m missing out because I don’t have an opinion. Or I do have an opinion, but I sure am not about to voice it in such a way that assumes they all share my beliefs.

And I have to remind myself that’s a good thing. That I can’t write culturally relevant worldview articles very often. That I tread lightly on controversial subjects. That I play devil’s advocate (and am somehow not headed straight for hell.)

I used to want to be blunt, dishing out hard truth every which way, and if people didn’t like to hear it, that’s their problem. I even lived that way for awhile. And we need those people, but I believe we need others too.

I’m a writer. And not a worldview or politics or controversial writer. We need those people, but I’m not them.

I’m a person who tries to understand and dig deep into people and perspectives. I want to be an open door, a listening ear, to the misfits and forgotten and ignored especially.

Sometimes I miss that mark of course. Sometimes I’m too caught up in my own problems. But if you’re a writer or a Christian without a loud opinion about every controversial topic surrounded by people telling you to speak up…. I just wanted to share that you’re not alone. We need both types of people. We need the preachers and the counselors both. Which are you? bring about a better world *that* way.

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Faith

How to Retain Youth in Church

Questions aren’t the enemy.

The more I hear from those jaded and disillusioned by the church, those who love some idea of God but not the church’s, the more I feel the need to say that questions aren’t the enemy.

Can we just admit that we don’t know what we’re talking about?

We follow some biblical rules and we ignore others because they’re outdated or cultural or whatever reason we give. We skip over passages that don’t have an easy answer or don’t fit with our worldview. We add rules that the Bible never talks about. Can we admit that everything we do doesn’t make sense? And that’s okay. We could be wrong, we’re still figuring it out, and we can disagree on many things and still be brothers and sisters.

We can’t look down on those who question, because they supposedly have less faith or revelation or are further from God or drawn by sin and pleasures of this world.

Questioning the church – that’s not a sin. That’s not even necessarily temptation. That’s the first step to creating a personal faith that can’t be shaken when outside the church building.

I think of the many people who asked Jesus questions, who didn’t understand, and I’m pretty sure they made it to heaven just fine.

The church needs to be a place open to questions, to dialogue, not shying away from anyone who questions the norm. We don’t have to change our minds – though we might on some things – but I think we need to dialogue without judgement of the inquisitive.

 

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