Five Minute Friday: Way

Conversation

Gentle Reader,

Back at the chat tonight for the first time in over a month. How I have missed them. There’s an encouragement that only a writer can give to another writer. She gets it. He knows the struggle. Tonight this community of far-flung wordsmiths affirmed my abilities and told me to keep going. Because, you see, the temptation to quit is always there, but sometimes, on some days, it’s stronger. It’s been a mighty weight for awhile now. Just pack it all in. Fall silent.

I am so grateful for these people. They helped me push against that weight tonight.

Plus, where else can you talk about collecting spit and the joys of curly hair in humid weather?

Kate says: way.

Go.

Dang but do we live in a “my way or no way” culture. Which is odd, because we’re supposed to be all about tolerance and respect. Except the tolerance and respect really only extends to those inside the circle. Those who are the same. Somebody comes in as a challenger and forget it. The tongue-gloves come off. Verbal punches fly fast and thick.

No, this is not me claiming persecution. Christians in the United States haven’t the slightest idea what persecution is.

This is me stepping back and taking stock of the last month. I’ve written about touchy subjects. Spent hours thinking and talking about weighty issues. Reading – always reading – trying to find that place between being informed about current events and becoming utterly overwhelmed. All that, I don’t mind. I like it, in fact. Sign me up.

What I don’t like is hostility.

At this point I believe that all Americans, and especially Christians who live in America, should be made to take a logic and critical thinking class. This was one of the first courses I took during my first semester of college, way back during the time of the dinosaur. We spent hours learning the difference between modus ponens and modus tollens. Got into immediate trouble if we dared allow ad hominem to dance upon our tongues. Were introduced to the No True Scotsman and told to stay away from him. Our professor wrote sentences from news stories on the chalkboard and made us deconstruct them, forcing us to learn to appreciate a good argument or line of thinking, even if we ultimately disagreed with it.

Perhaps a political science class is in order as well. Preferably with a very cranky teacher who rarely gives anyone a grade higher than “B” and requires formal debates. No “because” in his class. You make a statement, you’d better be able to defend that statement, no emotional appeals allowed, and if you can site legal precedent, so much the better.

And definitely, absolutely, certainly theology classes. A lot of them. Staring with hermeneutics.

As I think about the events of the past weeks, I see that, above all, we have to remain teachable. Humble. Open to considering another point of view. Always remembering that none of us knows everything all the time.

Stop.

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9 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Way

  1. Amen! We need more of these things – these skills are disappearing and we’re all in trouble for it. But leading the way, we need the gospel to change our hearts. This is a great word, Marie! Thank you!

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    1. It does have to start with our hearts. All the knowledge in the world won’t help if we don’t speak it with an attitude of pure, unadulterated love. Thanks for that reminder!

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  2. Tongue-gloves!! Love it! Thank you for delving into touchy things. As a pastor, it’s been a challenge to be faithful to what I’m hearing from God and speaking it while at the same time maintaining safe space regardless of political leanings. Thanks for your words. FMF16

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    1. I honestly don’t envy you or any other pastor right now. It has to be difficult to preach truth while being conscious of not alienating people. There does have to be room for discussion in our churches because that’s how we all grow. May God give you grace, insight and strength as you go forward.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve never taken a class like that but it sounds like a great idea! Respect for different views and the ability to discuss issues properly and actually listen to each other would make a big difference.

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    1. It’s only been recently that I’ve realized just how much I utilize my journalism degree. I may not write for a newspaper, but so many of the required classes were foundational in how to navigate through the constant, rushing river of events and stories. It’s so easy to get carried away in what’s going on. Time and again I come back to the things I learned.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Always learning indeed! I needed to read your post today friend. Often too much noise when sometimes all we are simply trying to do is love God’s people. I’m in the 60 spot this week.

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