Last Friday I got up early before work and wrote a response to Piper’s suggestion that Christianity has “a masculine feel.”
I worked on it during breakfast and while I sipped my first cup of coffee, but when it came time to hit “Post” I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Instead I shared this interview about the power of Story.
The same thing happened a few days before that, this time while I was drafting my thoughts on the controversy around Mars Hill, Driscoll’s marriage book, and some of his recent interviews. Again, I got part way through preparing my post and just stopped, unable to continue. Eventually I ended up posting something different that day as well.
Part of my hesitation is simply exhaustion. It is incredibly emotionally draining to sustain the continual outrage that sometimes feels like the only proper response to the damaging things I see being done in the name of the faith.
But it’s more than that; I’m tired in a different way, tired of defining myself by what I’m against.
There is a place for that I think, for a time. As I started to rethink the assumptions I had about of my faith – to question the theology, reconsider the social implications, reimagine what it might mean to take God and his Word seriously – it was unavoidable and perhaps even necessary that at the beginning of that journey I would find my identity in what I was against.
For a time that may be a necessary part of our stories, we have no alternative narrative yet, only the knowledge of what we have chosen to reject.
The danger is that it’s easy to get stuck there. It’s easy to go through life defining ourselves by what, or who, we are not.
I know it’s easy for me.
But I also know it isn’t healthy, not forever.
There will be things that need to be spoken out against from time to time, but perhaps it is more important, and more effective, if we spend our energy creating something beautiful, powerful, and transformative.
We must start to tell another story, to articulate an alternative narrative that is shaped by what it affirms, what it creates, more than what it denies or destroys.