There is Nothing to Writing

kinnon —  May 13, 2007 — 1 Comment

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.

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

One response to There is Nothing to Writing

  1. His post was powerful.

    And his willingness to endure, and obediently sacrifice for a greater good – his wife and marriage and terms of employment.

    We are all called to endure, I am unable to understand how someone with such a restless mind is going to adjust to going backwards, he is clear choices are slim to none.

    Sometimes you can’t go home again.

    Stepping back into a denomination you know is corrupt, into a worship system that is oppressive to quick minds, and a congregation more gregarious than one is personally comfortable with, highlighted a difference between interdependence and codependence in reading his post.

    His blog friends are being gentle, they are the church too.

    I have to believe IMonk. I have to believe there are healthy SBC congregations, blissfully unaware and ignorant of the larger whole. I have to believe this congregation has the wisdom and love to care for his family gently and carefully.


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