The Revolution: Think small!

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Sometimes you get to feeling so trapped. You can’t be the pure-thinking child Jesus said to be because everywhere you look are problems. I really wish it didn’t have to be this way.

The bottom line right at the top: the problem in CBA is the book-buyers. There was never a command to “Go, ye, into all the world and create a sanitized gospel for the weak-minded who might not appreciate being confronted by the revelation of true life.” But that’s what bookbuyers have shown they want. And CBA has answered that call.

Beyond the shameful lack of editing, I don’t question the books on the CBA bookshelves or the people who decided what those books should be. For the most part, they’re just filling felt needs. I question the fact that Christians should have their own bookshelves to begin with. Where was that in the great commission? Where was “create for yourselves a safe place to buy books” in the greatest commandment? You may ask what CBA bookshelves have to do with the great commission and the greatest commandment. Unfortunately, the answer seems to be “Nothing.”

The same evil mindset that said boys and men had to be sanitized, homogenized, and made “nice” has perverted everything from our churches to our bookshelves. Once tamed, life dies and I’m starting to see this literally everywhere. Come behold beautiful suburban Colorado Springs. We took nature and tamed it and now we don’t have breathtaking scenery anymore. We have strip malls and suburbs and our landscaping is decorative and mildly obnoxious.

It’s a mindset as pervasive as it is destructive. It places convenience, tolerance, “compassion,” and appearances above realities. It removes the wildness and replaces it with mildness. There was never a command to create a “safe place” away from the world. Where’s the great love in that? Even the church wasn’t designed to be a “safe” place. Historically, the church has been a community where you work out your faith. Now that God and everything else is “safe,” no one seems to care.

But guess what? The entire house of cards is coming down. I’ve seen it like a vision from God. I’m not much for wild prophecy, but if I had to eat honey and grasshopper pie to convince you all, I really would. Maybe I will yet.

Here’s the key: think smaller. Not bigger. Live your life as a slave to Christ through the calling He’s placed on your life. Slavery isn’t fun. It isn’t “victorious.” There’s not much that’s more humbling. Some of you may remember the little article in World magazine by Joel Belz (not online) about thinking smaller as Christians—interestingly the same “Good Fiction” issue where Dr. Veith announced the infamous Westbow contest a few months back. He used the example of the mighty Babel to speak of an annoying habit we Western Christians tend to have in thinking of everything on a very large scale. I can’t help but bring it up in relation to this Christian writing revolution we’ve been discussing with all our big plans on how to bring it about.

We’re not going to bring it about. Either it’s going to happen or it won’t, but it won’t be because of any of us. As my Dad likes to say, we either join God in what He’s already doing or we don’t. Either we accept our roles to play, or not, but we need to be content being faithful in little before we’re faithful in much.

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4 thoughts on “The Revolution: Think small!”

  1. Reading this post was like listening to a perfectly focused bell choir. Every note on pitch; every ringer in sync. All I can say is yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.
    If we each learn the secret of keeping our eyes on the Master conductor, we’ll ring our seemingly insignificant G# bell in time and in tune. It may seem small, but what would the symphony be without it?

  2. Mick,
    I love what you have to say about joining God in what He is already doing. Too many times, our plans are our own, not His.
    I do, however, feel I need to remind myself and others that just because a person holds a different viewpoint does not mean that they are either weak-minded or immature in Christ. Why do we always assume that if someone disagrees with us, they must be…wrong?
    You are right when you say, “Where was “create for yourselves a safe place to buy books” in the greatest commandment?”
    The Bible doesn’t say that. What the scripture does say is, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.”
    It is for this reason that I will not watch certain movies or listen to particular songs. There is nothing noble in them. If it does not edify, if it does not glorify, if it does not magnify, it has no place in my life.
    So I am careful what I write. “Edgy” for the sake of being “edgy” is not glorifying to God. True life, in all of its ugliness can be. Unfortunately, we as humans always fail to draw the line. We take matters into our own hands, and we push further and further until we are as perverse, as immoral, as sick as the rest of our dying world, and we claim that it is to honor God. We say it it “real life.” We say that we write to show the redeeming power of God. That may be true…sometimes. Or is it?
    So you see, I have reasons for thinking as I do. My thoughts are not your thoughts. We disagree on the place of the CBA. That doesn’t mean one or the other is wrong. Simply that we are called to different tasks.
    I appreciate your viewpoint, and I’m not afraid to rethink my position. I know God has shown me more than once that I…ahem…on occasion…have been wrong. Still, I don’t think so on this one. I know where I stand. I know why I stand there. Call me conservative. Call me safe. But, my brother, don’t call me weak-minded or immature.
    You would not, after all, want to be considered “intolerant.”
    Respectfully,
    L. Ludwig

  3. L.,
    You did understand I was referring to a certain segment of CBA book-buyers and not all of them, right? There is a vocal minority who complain about everything that doesn’t match with their version of Christianity. They are the modern-day Pharisees I’m talking about.
    But I’m sorry, I do take issue with the mindset that says we should separate from the world. Show me where Jesus ever walked out on a sinner. Today, our Zacheus’s are movie makers, and our Mary Magdalenes are those song-writers you’re not listening to. And how do you expect to be salt and light if you aren’t even engaging with them?
    Like I said, I wish it didn’t have to be this way. I’m not trying to be argumentative. Every one of us has room to grow in this area, myself included, and I’m ashamed and convicted by my own message here. I could really stand to be more “offended” for the sake of the gospel sometimes.
    But I refuse to walk away from my chance to influence someone simply because I don’t agree with their message. Is it their fault they don’t understand? No. It’s mine. I haven’t told them about my God, have I?

  4. Mick and L.,
    I understand what both of you are saying, and very much appreciate both sides of the coin.
    I have to say that I agree with Mick more, in that to share the gospel with those who need it, we need to involve ourselves in their lives. We don’t need to subject ourselves by living IN the world, however, we need to have a background understanding of where the world is, how they got there, and what they desire and need—and to do that, we have to listen to what they’re saying, truly listen. Even more so, we have to speak the truth in everything we do.
    The Bible is 100% truth, but it’s not “comfortable” and clean and always good. It speaks of some very harsh happenings. It touches on every issue and speaks boldly the truth of Christ. It does not give “pat” answers and “fluff” truths. It’s hard. It’s edgy. And we need to take our cue from it, speaking boldly, powerfully and above all, truthfully.
    We have way to much political correctness in our society, and as a result, our beliefs, our rights, our faith, is being watered down to make it acceptable. Even more so, we Christians tend to lock ourselves up in a bubble and ignore what’s happening in the world around us because we think it will “taint” us. WE CAN’T DO THAT! We need to be aware, so aware, of movies, books, web sites, magazines, music, so we can have that background on the world, and so we will know what we’re talking about when we speak the truth against it.
    We need to be careful because we’re human and can be influenced by it. We need to meditate on Christ Himself. But as Mick said, Jesus didn’t stay away from the dregs of society, so to speak. He ate with them, spoke with them, LISTENED to them. And those “dregs” turned out to be some pretty evil sinners (consider Paul, for example). But they would never have known Christ personally if it weren’t for His involvement in their world.
    I’m getting off my soap box now. :D

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