Once upon a time, as the very old saying goes, there was once a boy raised in a tug-of-war between a degrading society and rigid religion. He decided to go with the religion, feeling he may have hope going that way. As he became an adult, he realized the society had challenges against his faith, his chosen religion he never heard when he was younger. Then, while in college, he heard about the devastating truth of religion- a total contradiction to what he had always heard being a Christian was about. As he read the Bible, he was stunned that even Jesus was against the religious mindset and acted nothing like the religious people he had known all his life.
That young boy that became a man would like to thank you for reading this story (and hopefully not falling asleep). Now for the reason for that short story.
Do you remember that earlier post about Eric Wilson? It turns out that the Christian publishing industry has a Pharisaic heart when it comes to entertainment, it must be "pure" (no swearing, no reference to alcohol, smoking, drugs, porn, no reference to magic of any sort, etc.). It's getting me to wonder how any Christian is supposed to get anything book that isn't Amish fiction out there. Or any movie that's like Passion of the Christ, Book of Eli (with the language and heavy violence), Soul Surfer (with the bare skin showing) done and out. As Eric Wilson put it on his facebook, "Have we become too sensitive?"
I dare say we've let the spirit of timidity (something God said in the New Testament to not ) let in (at all). We're ashamed to let people know we're Christian (unless we live in a church-driven town like Alva, OK) and we feel ashamed to watch R-rated movies and read "dark" books (like Stephen King, romance, Dean Koontz, etc.).
Or are we Christians conditioned to feel ashamed? Not long ago, on goodreads.com, I made a group for readers of Christian horror and other kinds of heavy (and gritty) Christian books called Hardcore Faith, open to anyone, whether they were Christian or not. I made it since I was shocked that, for a site centered on reading books, it had nothing for one of my favorite genres. It's growing slowly, but people are finding each other that like the same kind of books. We're out there, finding each other. Giving suggestions and commenting (with respect) to each other's literary tastes. The point? The Christian publishing industry may end up noticing something about us readers- we don't go with the rules of expectancy. We're Christians, so that means we HAVE to enjoy nothing but Christian Amish fiction, watch Little House on the Prairie, always talk Christianese, blah, blah, blah, right? No. I don't know if I get it from my father or whatnot, but I've always been a rulebreaker on many levels- I read horror, mystery, sci-fi, contemporary drama, and YA. Not Amish (nothing against them, it's just not my taste). I used to watch Little House on the Prairie as a child, now I watch Supernatural, Fringe, The Walking Dead, Touch, 7th Heaven, Spartacus, and even Person of Interest. I don't watch tv for tv sake (besides, nearly all tv shows these days are nothing but filler filling people's carnal desires for swearing, sexual crap, and "tv-friendly" violence, very few shows catch my attention well, the abovementioned are just about half of what gets my attention).
And I'm familiar with how kids talk (though I don't say it all, I have an aversion to swearing like a sailor) and can speak slang without trying to figure out what kids are saying, not even online lingo confuses me anymore.
No longer self-righteous about my faith, now I'm reminded of what it really means to be like Jesus- even to the point of giving other people a chance.
How about you?