Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Postscript - A Word About Candor


I’ve had a couple of recent events that have pushed me into deep thought again, about this issue of my frankness, which may see harsh.

First, I had an e-mail (in response to this manuscript) where someone seemed quite stunned (maybe disturbed would be too-strong of a word . . . then again maybe not) about how I’ve described some of my early Christians experiences. The person seemed to see my description as incredible, as if it was from an extremely unfortunate and rare, circumstance.
More about that is a second.

The second thing that happened was that I posted a comment on another Christian forum, with equal candor as I have here, and I was censored. I guess it surprised me a little bit, since that forum/blog is quiet open-minded. I’m not offended in the slightest about the censor . . . but, combined with the other item, it got me thinking. Am I too brash? I wrestle a lot with how to word things when I write. But I feel highly motivated to be honest in my writing, and speaking. God is a God of truth. I feel that too much damage has been done by the dishonesty in not only the Christian community, but in human relationships in general.

I certainly don’t write with the intention to offend, nor do I write for the shock value. The e-mailer implied that my experiences were extreme (or embellished). I really don’t believe that they are even that unique. I think I speak as a common man, with common experiences, but I’m also willing to take the risk to speak very candidly.

I decided to peel back the onion of truth further than I had originally intended after I read several of the works of Frank Schaeffer. In his Crazy for God, as well as his earlier fictional, Calvin Becker Trilogy, he speaks with shocking honesty. I really appreciate his candor and it helps me to know that he and I are made of the same stuff, and that his folks, (my Christian heroes), were mortal. So my goal, when I speak with such frankness, is to resonate with the deep, silent hearts of others who have had these experiences . . . but never the audacity (or chance) to speak of them.

3 comments:

Trevor said...

Thanks for posting this. I'm following this series with great interest! My experiences are not identical to yours, but I have spent time with a missionary organisation, so I understand some of the pressures to 'fake it'.

Looking forward to the subsequent chapters.

MJ said...

Yeah, come along for a journey and we will compare notes to see if we ended up at the same place.

pennyyak said...

(maybe disturbed would be too-strong of a word ... No hyph.

person who sent email was stunned, you then mention disturbed... Stunned seems the stronger term, and I would switch the placement of those words.

More about that is a second. in a second

No, your experiences are not unique. You are correct about that.

his folks, (my Christian heroes), Don't think you need both parentheses and commas together


but never the audacity (or chance) to speak of them.... Or the eloquence and energy you have devoted to it - good job.