Monday, August 14, 2006

No More War for the Zekester

My family shared a meal on Sunday with my sister-in-law's family. She's a very committed, very conservative Christian who is... well, I think that she would characterize herself as uncompromising. To one person's ear, that's strong and powerful. To another's that might sound very difficult to live with. I've been around uncompromising people and they can be like a thick sweater on a hot day. You just want to get it off of you so you can cool down.

The context here is that the subject of gay Christians came up when my wife explained why it was that we were not back attending our old church. Won't rehash it here... in fact I won't even link to it. It's the damn gay thing again. Nothing sets off evangelicals like the subject of homosexuality. My sister confirmed that she strongly believes that homosexuality is part of this culture's war against Christianity, and how anybody who thinks differently should go read the Bible. To characterize this position, The World (as in gays, liberals, judges, the educational establishment, the media, college professors, etc.) are manipulating the levers of culture in unwitting service to Satan in an effort to pull the teeth out of Christianity and otherwise destroy the cause of Christ.

I had a few epiphanies in the course of this conversation.

One, I love my sister-in-law and found myself full of both compassion and respect for her. She is fully engaged in what she believes to be what God wants her to do, and is willing to pay a personal price for it. So I respect that. I also see her as being very afraid... afraid for her family and her country, if not her faith. So I have compassion for her.

Two, I have come to a fork in the road in my faith: either I reengage in the Great American Culture War, which I fought on the conservative side for the better part of the last 25 years, or I move into a long walk in the undiscovered country of "not-Right". Not in opposition to what I believed before, but as what amounts to a conscientious objector in this bruising left/right Christian/"pagan" kulturkampf that we've made for ourselves.

See, I'm sick of the fight. Well and truly sick of it. I'm fatigued with calling people stupid (yes, even myself), worn out with quoting Scripture back and forth, bored with the hystrionics, depressed with the casulties strewn about the landscape.

More accurately, I'm tired of fighting. I don't want to just ignore the conflict... it's more like I want to take on observer status for a while, maybe mediate, maybe just carry a medic pack and treat the wounded for a while. I found the experience of just appreciating my sister-in-law for who she was a peaceful, liberating one. I want more of that in my life.

But more than anything else, I just want to work and make some money. Our house is a disaster, we need to make repairs everywhere, and I'm working 10-12 hours a day (and commuting another 2-3) so that's pretty much Job One for me. I'm hitting a real growth phase of my career, one I worked very hard to get to, and I don't have a lot of headspace to devote to proving why a bunch of people who disagree with me are wrong. Unless anyone cares to point out otherwise, I suspect I rarely change anybody's mind anyway. Better to conserve my strength. Better to pick your fights... and then find a way not to fight at all.

Peace, man.


At 1:32 PM, Blogger dufflehead said...

i'm almost to this same conclusion. i'm tired. tired of fighting for what seems to be nothing more than being right. it's time to do. time to have more mother teresa's in the world.

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Uhhhh..... I think that's what we're doing too. What else can we say that we haven't already said about the church, about religion, about stupid church people? Oh I assume we will still point out the stupid from time to time, but I want to be more encouraging to people to find freedom from the fear that religiousity promotes. That's why I have turned to quoting more recently and writing less....quoting things that encouraged me to take a different viewpoint than the one I held for 30 years of my life.

Like I said, what power do my words have anyway... at least in changing people's minds regarding subjects or positions they hold dear and personal. I know it's damn hard to change my mind.... so why argue.

Personally, while I don't know your in-law, I would find it hard.....

Uh wait a sec.... I just wrote a whole reason your sister-in-law is wrong thing and am deleting it.... no sense in arguing right now anyway..... I am tired too. I would rather go listen to music and paint or something productive right now.

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Grampa Dan said...

Thats true we do need more mother Teresa's actively serving Christ in a real way in this world.

However, this sight is called one for Truth. If there is indeed truth out there it is worth while discussing, isn't it?

After about 1 year reading Christian blogs I am left to conclude that most of these are groups of people trying to express their point of view or non beliefs system.

If I am not mistaken then the point is that to share our beliefs with each other and see what they believe.

The temptation I fall into and maybe others do to, is trying to make others see things my way. Which can become a source of much frustration and arguing.

I am left to conclude that the best we can do is share our beliefs and our feelings on issues of Faith and leave it at that.

One of my favourite lines is "Everyone has the right to be wrong" and I leave it at that.

Lots of times I am wrong, and when I am, ultimately it is the Bible and the Holy Spirit that will change my un-bending and stubborn mind long after someone else has challenged me to change my mind.

I like to read about how others are trying to make a difference in a tangible way in the world for Christ like Mother Teresa. In reading what they have done I can perhaps be inspired to do something similar as well.

A few highlights over the last year I've read is the guy who wrote into Stupid church people on how he started a church out of a group of arts people and it just grew out of nothing, God blessed it, no big master plan on his part. That was really exciting. Or the time I think Dorsey was handing out the Starbucks coupons at the Gay pride parade. Both of these acts takes real guts perserverance. I am impressed and pretty sure God is pleased.

Even this site and tons of others that share their daily lives I find inspirational for my own daily life in Christ in this world and trying to be a
more effective witness.

I try to get the best out of all the sites even when I don't agree with everything the author(s) write or believe.

Sorry if what I wrote seems stupid but it is what I believe. As I exercise my right to be wrong at this point in time. :>


At 5:21 PM, Blogger Zeke said...

Yeah Steve, "stupid" didn't refer to what you were doing at SCP. I visit regularly and you know that I appreciate you guys. I'm just saying that I'm not in a fighting mood these days, about how I'm trying to look at the battle from a healing perspective.

At 5:22 PM, Blogger Zeke said...

And Dan, nothing "stupid" about what you shared. I think you're right on.

At 8:50 PM, Blogger Craig Bob said...

I'll see you in Spiritual Switzerland Z.

At 9:04 PM, Blogger Zeke said...

You know the Swiss mined all the tunnels through the Alps, and the Germans knew that if they moved on Switzerland they'd blow the tunnels? Wonder how that fits in the metaphor.

At 11:21 PM, Blogger Tony Myles said...

Intense stuff, bro.

At 7:35 AM, Blogger jeff said...



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