Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's True, It's True, We Don't Exist!

One of the oddest experiences I ever had in the wild world of the Internet was to be told in the midst of a discussion on faith and Christianity that people of my kind did not exist.

How could one be a Christian and hold no fear of the works of His hands as revealed by science? But far more importantly than this one petty and false could one be a Christian without cruelty and condemnation?

To the minds of many these days, this seems to be a contradiction of terms. Indeed, we have become a byword among the nations, just as the prophets warned long ago. Look at the popular portrayals of the faith these days, and what do you see? Not the works of God's hands, but the twisted works of our own.

It's easy, when you look at the preponderance of debates in the media, to understand why someone might come to this conclusion. Extremes grab attention. They
sell. Those of us who are moderates, who try to follow Paul's admonition to gently instruct find ourselves being shouted down by voices to the right of us and voices to the left of us...and it's easy to simply give up in the face of such convergence of opposition. I should know--I very nearly left the faith, not because I lost my belief in God but rather my trust of those who claimed to serve Him.

When I returned, it was with not only a stronger understanding of why I believed--but a strong conviction that I do no good to heal our self-inflicted damage by running away from the problem. Instead, I believe my calling is one of healing...not of the body, but of the spirits we have damaged within and without. In the silence of contemplation is submission to God--in the silence of complacency, submission to the world.

And when someone can actually tell me to my online face--and mean it--that I don't exist...I see the steep price we have paid for our silence. This blog, and all of my other works, are ultimately an expression of this calling: to give boldness to the voice of moderation and above all to point the way to God's grace as best as I can.

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