“We understand that your blog is personal, and we know we can’t censor it. In fact, we have no problems with the tone or spirit of what you are saying in your blog. But we’d like you to say it differently. We’re not telling you what you can or cannot say, we’re just telling you how you can or cannot say it. Mkay?”
So, just to be clear…you don’t want to censor my blog, but you do want to tell me what words I can use….?
…Yeah. That’s the gist of the conversation I had with my sending agency this week.
I’m really not all that surprised. Christians have been trying to save me ever since I became one. So it’s really not all that shocking to have it happen again.
I can’t say it doesn’t hurt though.
The blow was delivered by a truly lovely woman, someone I respect, and who, I believe, was just doing her job. And even though she was so nice about it, it still stung. It stings now even.
And it leaves me wondering who it is that gets to decide what is wholesome and what is not, what is helpful for building others up and what is not, what is beneficial and what is not. Who chooses what is useful and what is not?
I’ve always felt that part of the problem with the church is that is has no feet. We are a giant, wobbly, disjointed body with no feet. If we were a real person, there would be a documentary about our hideous existence. And the freaks that like documentaries about that kinda stuff (me included) would Netflix it, and watch in stunned silence because it would be so totally grotesque to see the Church, all deformed and lumpy, and barely able to speak with her own mouth because even her lips were at odds with each other. We would find out that she was indeed born with feet, but that she hated the idea of any part of her body getting dirty so she used her hands to chop them off. With her misshapen head lagging off to one side, she would slur that she tried for years to make her feet act more like hands, but that they were always a mess, always covered in filth. And even though it was their job to touch the ground, to stand in the dirt, even though they were designed for that, it made the rest of her body so uncomfortable that she let her hands whack ‘em off. Then the feet would come into focus in the background, severed, and floating loosely in a pickle-jar behind her, doing no good for anyone…
I’m not afraid to get dirty. But it makes some people uncomfortable.
Now I’m being called upon to write a blog for an audience of Christians that don’t like the way I talk. And that pretty much makes me want to stop blogging all together.
You know, one of the things that always strikes me as odd, is how often people tell me, “Your honesty is refreshing”, or “Thank you for your transparency”, “Thanks for being ‘real’” And every time I see or hear those words, I think to myself, How sad that honesty, transparency, and realness seem to be such rare commodities of Christ’s Church.
But, it appears that what is more important to the Church is a facade of “Wholesomeness”, designed by a select few, and insuperable by all.
So where does this leave the feet, like me? Is my choice to act like a hand, or else climb on in the pickle-jar? Ouch….
I dunno. Here’s a little something from 1 Corinthians 12 to chew on:
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.