“All you do is sit down at a keyboard and open up a vein.” A mild paraphrase of the words of the famous American sportswriter, Walter “Red” Smith. (Smith used “typewriter”, rather than” keyboard.”)
My friend, the InternetMonk, and the man I call my iPastor is one who regularly opens up a vein. Michael’s shocking openness stuns many. He kicks at the darkness of the post-evangelical wilderness ’til it bleeds daylight. (Metaphor borrowed from Bruce Cockburn.) He is often viciously attacked by those who cling to a fading modern understanding of the faith. (Would that it were at least pre-modern.)
There are times that I have cringed at what Michael has written. I am not one who is as willing to be as public about my condition in this journey as is my friend. There are times that I experience a body blow from his writing – the truth hurts. And there are times when his writing elicits tears. The vein he opened this weekend did just that.
I must admit that my many debates and excursions into theology have often left me as a fool, longing for the bride of Christ to be acceptable to me and my theology. I’ve become very blind to what matters most in the church. I’m afraid of many things that I ought to fear. I want to keep my answers and my insecurities and hide them in a church that allows me to be what I want to be, all the while standing behind walls of my own preferences.
This is a humbling time. I can teach a lesson on humility, but I have problems in living the lesson, and I hide- desperately- from the reality of living humility. Spending so much time in seeking to believe what is right has become sourly disconnected from living the Christ-life well. I’ve become demanding of what I feel I must have. God isn’t playing this game, but is pursuing the reality of the love of Christ and the fruit of the Spirit in me. He is not the God of my demandingness, but the God of the basin and the towel.
Michael is one of the father’s of the The People formerly known as… meme. I would challenge those of us who’ve been impacted by that meme to read and respond to Michael’s post.
UPDATE: Please read my friend, Ed Brenegar’s take on this.