Just talk to me

talk_to_meI’ve gotten some hints through the grapevine that one of my recent posts – If we have to choose sides – was a bit concerning to some people.  If you read the post you know that I published it with trepidation, expecting blowback.  I got a handful of encouraging comments (thanks!) but did I receive any criticism?  Nada.  Zip.  I attributed this to controversy fatigue.  By the time I posted people had spent two days hashing over the same sex marriage issue; changing their profiles pictures on Facebook, linking article after article that supported their side, and debating endlessly.  I published my piece just as it was quieting down.  We were all feeling a little hung over and ready for junk food and college basketball, or “Duck Dynasty”, or whatever helps you unwind.

I  didn’t know whether to be relieved or disappointed by the lack of response, but if you are an incredibly small-time blogger you learn to live with the sound of crickets.  So it was a surprise to find out that there were people who reacted negatively after all.  They just didn’t react to me.  Perhaps they didn’t want to offend me, or were afraid I’d offend them, and it would be uncomfortable or pointless.  If so, I understand their reservations. Talking about difficult subjects is typically difficult.  But if anyone who is reading this was troubled by what I wrote in that post, or in any other post, let me make an appeal to you.

Just talk to me.

I blog, which indicates that I’m not an especially private person.  I blog about controversial issues which indicates…a lack of prudence, probably, but also my desire to incarnate what I want to see among Christians.  I want us to be able to tell each other the truth about what is in our heads and hearts, even if we will sometimes disagree.  I want there to be fewer shadowy places, fewer topics that are forbidden, and far more light.  It’s okay if it gets a little heated sometimes.  Really.  What’s not okay is hiding our opinions or objections out of fear.  I am fine with the Body sometimes being like the Council at Jerusalem, which got pretty rowdy at points.  Far better than being like the McCarthy hearings (“Will you now name the names of those in your congregation who read Love Wins?”).

Which is why, if you disagree with me on women in ministry, or politics, or church governance, or liturgy and ritual, or the inerrancy of the Bible, or whether “Taken” was a terrible movie- or any of the other stuff I’ve written about – I will try not to react with anger, manipulation, shaming or shunning.  I will listen to you.  I promise.

But I can’t listen to you if you won’t talk to me.  If I’m wrong, you may be a channel God uses to correct me.  If you are wrong…well, God once spoke through a donkey so why not through me, once in a while?

Some of you only know me online.  If you don’t want to lay your concerns out in a public forum, feel free to email me.  Here ya go:  sharon65a@sbcglobal.net.  Every Nigerian prince and Asian singles site seems to have my email address, so why shouldn’t you?

Some of you know me in person, and I’ve heard that a few of you are concerned.  Just talk to me.  I can’t guarantee the outcome of the conversation, but I will listen and do my dead level best not to yell or cry.  I promise.

I’m not offended that people would talk about me rather than to me.  I know I’ve done the same thing.  But it’s unproductive, isn’t it?  I’m the only one that can answer for myself; can clear up misunderstandings or confirm suspicions.  And I am more than happy to do both, or neither, or let the chips fall where they may.  I’m even crazy enough to think that we can still be friends even if you decide I’m dead wrong about something.  Is that going too far, going beyond the gospel?  I don’t think so.

So please, if you’re concerned that I’ve gone off the rails, gone beyond the pale of orthodoxy, lost the plot – just talk to me.  You know where to find me.


About Sharon Autenrieth

Wife, mom to 5, homeschooler, Christian Education Director, idealist, malcontent, follower of Jesus.
This entry was posted in Bible, blogging, Christianity, church, homosexuality, religion, spirituality, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Just talk to me

  1. Julie Cox says:

    I would like to know the Hebrew or Greek word that the Bible interprets as “hate”. As in, hate what is evil. Does it mean the opposite of love; is it malicious, or does it indicate that we should just stay away from it (ex.–I hate germs)?
    I suppose I responded to a post and not the blog regarding my opinions and that was that we can “hate” a lifestyle choice, but still love people who choose them.


    • Actually, I almost made a little caveat – “except for one FB friend who thought I was interpreting my classmates comments unfairly” – but I decided it was unwieldy to explain that in THIS post. Your comment was very graciously stated, too. 🙂 You raise a good question & one I’m willing to investigate a bit later today. Funeral this morning for one of the saints of our church.


  2. jubilare says:

    *cricket sounds*

    But in all seriousness, I will talk to you, quite a lot (you should see some of my epic-length comments) when I feel the need. Your feelings, as expressed in this post, are very like mine. I’ve seen what secrets and not-talking does, and I want none of it!

    “I’m even crazy enough to think that we can still be friends even if you decide I’m dead wrong about something.”

    Thank God, else I’d have very few (and rather boring) friendships.


  3. Wow! You get emails from the Nigerian prince too? I thought we had something special. That scoundrel!!!!

    I’ll talk to you. I always read your blogs. If I don’t comment, it’s because I had nothing to say. Shocking, I know. 🙂


  4. Let me try this one more time…one day I will figure it out! I write comments and they disappear…maybe that’s a sign 🙂

    I am one of those people that kept their head low in the battle of the sexes/marriages. It wearied me more than I can remember in a spiritual sense. I am an intercessor at heart, and the warfare I experienced last week was akin to one of Frank Peretti’s early novels. I said little, watched much, grieved much. I have my opinions, which I would rather leave alone. Really, most times it is not worth a nickel. I did read your blog with interest. I don’t fully agree, you know that. But what we can agree on is this: God is love and in Him there is no darkness at all. He will bring truth to light, and it may not (probably won’t be) in my lifetime, although I think He gives us glimpses.

    I stayed out of the fray because I watched anger and sarcasm and families fight (that’s just on facebook) and friends say sharp words. I don’t want any part of that. I saw photos of situations and images that were comparing apples to oranges. I watched Jesus get misquoted too many times. I read your blog where you said people were calling people an abomination to God and not sin an abomination to God.

    I have been in the ministry too long to understand what kind of rocks get thrown when you stick your neck out and stand for righteousness. It’s not fun. But then when I get to heaven, I hope to meet Paul and John and Peter and Joan of Arc and all the others that have gone before me and were TRUE martyrs. They truly contended for the faith. I just get annoyed. I get my feelings hurt. I think I have an opinion that’s not being heard. When we really start getting martyred for the faith then I think there will be something to talk about.

    Recently I heard a statement that has caused me to use a few less words (well, not in my response today, sorry 😉 There are 3 sides to every story…my side, your side and the truth. Hopefully, if I am quiet enough, I will hear God’s truth and know His heart. That’s what I really want…

    And finally, I am very jealous that you hear from princes (don’t care about the Asian singles). All I get are the old ladies with false promises of millions of dollars!


    • Carrie, when you first comment here I have to approve it. Not power tripping just a WordPress thing. Maybe that’s why you haven’t seen previous comments?

      Three sides to every story…I believe that!


  5. Sean Asbeck says:

    We can’t talk about this – you blogged about one of the things about which we do not talk.


  6. You’re wrong. I’m not really sure about what, because I didn’t read your previous post. I just felt like that’s what you were looking for. Hope I’ve been helpful. My work here is done. *flies out the window*


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