If same-sex marriage, evolution, end-times, and biblical inerrancy were settled issue – where would your energy go?
I have been thinking about this question for the past year as I returned to an evangelical context from 7 years away. For 7 years I attended a mainline (inter-religious) school and worked at a mainline (liberal) church.
I was struck upon my return to evangelicalism at the amount of energy that goes to LGBTQ discussions, defending creation and biblical authority, and end-times prophecy.
I kept thinking:
“imagine all the good that could be done if our energy didn’t go to this”.
So it has been eye-opening to be appointed to a church this summer where our energy doesn’t go to those issues – it turns out that my suspicion was right! An amazing amount of good does get done when your energy is not being sapped by those controversies.
Those controversies are exhausting and they occupy a disproportionate amount of mental and relational energy for evangelicals.
I sort of get why so many evangelical, charismatic, fundamentalist, and pentecostal young people walk away from the church in their late teens and early 20’s. I get why so many people are now claiming to be ‘nones’ and ‘dones’. If you were raised conservative and then you settled those issues, your faith might seem spent.
I am in the midst of developing a thing for folks who are thinking about faith again as an adult but who want to begin again with those issues off the table. What would faith look like if those 4 variables were changed to givens? Where would your energy go?
I would love to hear from you:
Where would your energy go?
or if you have settled those issue, what has your energy gone to instead?
August 27, 2017 at 1:15 am
My energy goes to giving away stuff out of my garden, coaching people on how to be efficient/stop wasting energy 😉
August 30, 2017 at 4:29 am
This is good, Bo. I was thinking today that, instead of yelling at/aboutJohn Piper, et al., about their exclusion, it might be good if i spend time including instead.
August 30, 2017 at 6:05 pm
My energy goes into helping my students remember the great questions that old books never stopped asking but consumer culture stopped heeding.
But the question stacks the deck pretty flagrantly, no? I imagine an evangelical who disagrees with you on these questions could just as easily ask what good we could do in the world if only the Bo-Sanders faction would quit wasting energy assailing the ethical traditions of the church and spent their time on more worthy things.
Beyond my own sense of just card-playing, I do wonder whether this kind of thinking encourages folks to avoid, even more than they’re already inclined to avoid, anyone who disagrees in favor of socializing only with the already-convinced.
Okay, I’m done hijacking your post, Bo. Be well, friend!