Over on Jeff’s blog he writes:
I read around the blogs & I sometimes wonder if we’re not just the blind leading the blind…
Then, to clarify in the comments, he adds:
…it just feels like we’ve identified the “circle jerk” that is US evangelicalism, and counteracted it with a blog-chic, post-modern “circle-jerk” of our own…
In some ways, we’re just like the church, only in reverse. What’s the point of that?
In response to Jeff I wrote the following comment. I think it could not have been more timely in fitting in with some of my thoughts lately. What do you think??
I respectfully disagree with you Jeff… and that’s what makes this SO much different than the circle jerking church.
How many times have you disagreed with me, expressed it, us carry it over to an email conversation or phone conversation AND still not agree. Neither of us felt as if we had to leave or change or become something different for the other to accept or approve or fit in. It wasn’t always fun, and at times this experience has been frustrating but I don’t feel I would have ever received as much rope or grace or whatever you want to call it in the church. With all that I have expressed online I would have been eventually kicked out of my church, not allowed to teach any longer, etc. Now that’s the bullshit in the church. The church doesn’t envelope free-thinkers – it usually squashes them.
At a youth pastors retreat years ago, the speaker said something that is SO true (and SO scary)… he said that as pastors we couldn’t afford to have a faith crisis b/c that could effect our jobs and incomes. The context was one of encouragement that this was one of the stresses of the job i.e. negotiation of our faith while leading others in negotiating their own.
This is such a trap… a damned if you do damned if you don’t scenario. I felt I had to eventually leave the circle jerk church b/c all it was doing was propping up my weak faith. It wasn’t making me stronger, it was making me weaker. Living life without the training wheels of the church has made me more balanced, more spiritually focused, more “evangelical” (in genuinely caring for hurting people sense) and honestly more truthful in my life and dealings with others.
I don’t feel that the people I have met online are the church in reverse… they are the church “moving forward”…. to borrow a phrase. Trademark anyone??