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.