I’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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.