This one could definitely get me in trouble. Heh-heh.
Let’s say I edited a book. In all fairness, it was a book passed on to me from another editor, but basically, it was my project. And let’s say I liked the book because it was all about redeeming the pagan holiday commonly referred to among a particular segment of Christians as “Satan’s day.” The book’s approach was to show how the origins of the holiday, while pagan and “evil,” had been reclaimed by early Christians, just as Christmas and Easter were reclaimed holidays. This formed the backbone for the argument that what had been intended for evil, could be redeemed for good. Fair enough.
Well, now assume that when the authors were interviewed on the radio, of course they weren’t given the time to provide all the background necessary to convince some of the traditionalist hold-outs who do not hold the same view of grace, and the complaints began pouring in. One of the things that might happen, since I was the editor of the book, is that I would be handed some these complaints. Most of them would be your typical fare: “This ain’t sompin gud Bible-fearin folk should be a-riten”–that sort of thing.
However, consider what would happen if “the rest of the story” was that I’d be forced to fight tooth and nail on principled grounds I believed were set forth in this book, but was ultimately canned as a result. I haven’t been fired, yet, but I’m sure it’s coming. Point is, would it be worth it to lose my potential for further ministry over this one book?
Of course, it’s a loaded question. And ultimately, not one for any of us to decide. That’s God’s call, right? Is He calling me to make a stand for this, or is He telling me to let this go? I have to be faithful and sumissive to His leading first. The rest is up to Him.
Bottom line here is I think we’re all tempted to step into these situations and make our decision according to our own logic, experience, prejudices, personalities, and persuasions. We tend to consider self-reliance a blessing, a right, and a duty, rather than what it often is: a dirty sin.
So the real question in this somewhat-hypothetical scenario is: Did I follow God’s leading in editing the book? That’s my pergogative alone to decide. And just as it’s heretical to say grace is insufficient to redeem a human holiday, it’s equally heretical for me to try to charge ahead with my own agenda of changing things.
I want to remember the balance here when we talk of revolution in Christian writing. We need to extend freedom just as we’re requesting freedom be extended to us. I have to be an example of the grace I’m calling for first, before I can expect it from others.