Monday, August 27, 2012

Controversial, Offensive, and Changing People's Minds

I've said before that I write because I like to write. In many ways it's therapeutic for me, and It's a bonus that people read and engage with what I write.

I write about theology, my past experiences (which shapes my theology), and my journey of deconstruction... as well as reconstruction.

I write about what I think, believe, experience, and what I feel. I know that many people are on the same journey that I have been on the past couple of years. Some are further along and some are just beginning. I know that the journey can and will be scary at times. It has been for me. I also know the comfort it can bring to hear (or in this case "read") someone else say "Me Too." this is another reason why I write.

I also know that there are many out there who don't necessarily agree with everything i say, or any of it for that matter. I understand that some of my thoughts about God, Jesus, the Bible, or The church in general, do end up offending some people.

Here is what I am NOT doing when I write.

I do NOT write to offend anyone.

I can honestly say that I have never written a single post with the intention of offending anyone. However, I have written many posts knowing that people will be offended. I live in the "Bible belt" for goodness sake, it happens.

As stated above, I mostly write about the process of deconstruction that I've went through and am goings through. This mostly includes the rethinking of many widely held doctrines within the conservative church in which I grew up. I know when writing about topics such as... "The divinity of Jesus", "The authority and inerrancy of the Bible", "the virgin birth", "sex", and especially "homosexuality"... I know there will be Some people who will disagree. Some people that will be offended. And some people that will feel the need to defend their faith.

And sometimes people will feel the need to be nasty. I get that this is all part of the risk of writing down my thoughts for others to see.

I do NOT write to be controversial just for the hell of it.

See what I did there? But in all seriousness, I really do not set out to be controversial. However, it's hard not to be controversial to somebody, Somewhere when writing about theology, especially deconstructing certain doctrines.

Funny thing is, when I brace myself for negative feedback because I think a post is going to cause a "stir", nothing... It always seems to be the ones I don't give much thought to as being controversial that usually ruffle the most feathers.

I do NOT write to change people's mind.

If your theology brings you into a deeper relationship with God, and compels you to love other people as Jesus did and taught... Then by all means, hold on to that theology.
The beliefs I use to hold to didn't do that... They didn't provoke me to love other people, and God was nothing more than a ticket into heaven (pretty selfish reason to believe in the selfless gospel Jesus talked so much about, I think).

Besides, I have found that people do not usually change their mind because they simply read an article, or at least I don't. Life experiences change people's minds. You probably won't change your views about Gay people by reading a blog post, no matter how convincing that post may be. However, getting to know someone who is gay, becoming friends with them, and sharing a meal together... that may cause you to see things a little differently.

So it is not my goal to change anyone's mind... However, I do think it's a positive thing for us to have to actually think about the beliefs we devote so much of our time and energy to. I have found time and time again that people are quick to defend something they have never even thought about themselves. This was me for many years. I could rattle off rebuttals to doctrines that really made no sense to me once I gave them some thought.

So, in short....

I write for myself, to provoke thought and conversation, and for others on a similar journey to know they are not alone.

I do not write to offend anyone, to be controversial, or to change anyone's mind.

Just wanted to make all that clear.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

On the same page as you. Its so comforting to read someone else's thoughts that I don't even know that is going through a similar deconstructing experience. Thank you!!