You could call this the “rules of engagement” for following this blog, I suppose. Really, it’s just an introduction to me, to how I think, and to the blog I’ve always wanted to write but have been a bit too scared to start.
I’m sure you’ve all recognised or at least witnessed a problem with modern communication. Perhaps it’s fruit of the social media age, or perhaps a result of the lost art of debate, but everyone just takes things so personally. Gone are the days where we could kick ideas around, debate them, be wrong, be right, be convinced, be open-minded or leave with the same idea we arrived with.
Instead, we wade into debates, morph into keyboard warriors and unwittingly hurt the humans on the receiving end of our short-answer “wisdom.” (Not you of course. Because this blog isn’t about you, remember). Often, this opinion flinging lacks context. Many times it lacks research. Far too many times, it lacks compassion.
This blog isn’t a place for that. It’s a place to kick ideas around. It is so because of the next point I feel strongly about.
Christianity is diverse. There are many doctrines and streams. We must know what we believe and why. If we don’t, we can be taken for a ride. We can be fooled. We can be dangerous.
I once heard someone say “Everyone has a philosophy. Even if you say ‘I don’t have a philosophy’ that is your philosophy.” We don’t have a choice about whether or not we have one. We only have a choice regarding how we develop it: consciously or haphazardly.
I’d almost always known what faith meant to me. But it was only very recently I started to examine what my particular brand of Christianity was, and what doctrines it was made up of. I’ll be honest; some of the doctrines that had slipped into my belief system didn’t actually line up with my read of the Bible, or my deep-seated belief about who God is.
Those things weren’t serving me well, and I wonder if I could contribute to the world in a completely positive way if my service came out of some of those ideas.
I look around at the church in general, and I see a lot of haphazard philosophies of faith. It’s not healthy. It’s not serving the world well. At best, this can be innocuous — just a weird idea or two. At worst, it can lead people up the garden path, plant potentially harmful ideas, or even justify covering up that which should be exposed and stopped (Exhibit A: the unfolding of the Australian Royal Commission into institutional abuse. Heartbreaking).
I’m not saying everything I talk about on this blog will be revelatory or even on the money. Sometimes it will be just things worth thinking about. Sometimes it will be just thoughts I’m examining – fully formed or not so much.
Here’s the thing: Truth is truth from all angles. We shouldn’t fear turning it over and over and examining it. Because if we turn it over and examine it and find, to our horror, that it wasn’t true — why keep it in our backpack of beliefs? Why continue devoted to the falsehood?
If it is truth, then how exciting it is to look further and further into why it is, and how it can make the world a better place!
But like I said, this blog isn’t about you. If you read something here that you disagree with — cool. Feel free to kick it around with me. Just don’t come at it from a keyboard warrior angle. This is about ideas, about finding the best way to live out a relevant faith, and about exploring the complexity of Christianity.
Of course, I’ll also be publishing some fiction here on the blog. Some of it is thoroughly Christian fiction. Some of it won’t have any elements of faith in it. (I am not a big fan of preachy fiction). I’ve got a couple of short stories that simply explore an idea…or that had to be written for uni! So I thought “Heck why not put them up here?”
I’m quite excited about some of the topics I’ll be exploring here, including “things you aren’t supposed to ask as Christians.”
I’ve never been keen on causing controversy. But some of these topics have been burning in my brain for upwards of 5 years. Perhaps it’s less something I want to write, and more something I need to write.
Thanks for joining me on the journey. I hope you find something that gets your brain going. If not, I hope you find some free fiction you enjoy.
Coming in the following weeks:
– Billy Graham: Why we need to listen to what he’d have done differently.
– Benny Hinn: Thoughts on the prosperity gospel
– Issys and Ariadne: a little piece of short fiction exploring the idea of eternity. Zero basis in fact!
Over and out,