I’m going to write briefly about something that’s on my mind and my heart at this moment. I don’t plan on elaborating too much. Yeah, right.
I just skimmed through my roommate’s copy of Christianity Today that arrived in the mail. I’m not a huge fan of this magazine. I’m not a huge fan of other Christian magazines I’ve read, either (Relevant comes to mind), but I’ve not been able to really put my thumb on the reason, or actually reasons, since whatever they are, I’m sure they are many.
Well, I believe I’ve identified one of the reasons. So much of these magazines seem to be focused on either trying to re-think or re-approach any given topic in Christianity, OR on debating why we shouldn’t re-think or re-approach any given topic in Christianity. Overlapping with that, 90% of the articles are about, in one way or another, “How should we, as Christians, view this issue?” or “As Christians, we need to view this issue this way. . . . ”
Now, I’m not really a theological scholar, and I’m certainly not a glistening example of a well-lived Christian life, but recently the thing that Jesus has been pressing into me on is that I need to have a relationship with him. And really a relationship, not “relationship” in Christianese; a relationship in the way I have a relationship with my father, or my close friends, or the way I will have a relationship with my wife someday, etc. In (very, very slowly) doing this and trying to line up with and go where He’s leading me, it seems that “where I stand” on any given daily issue is given to me by Him. My mind has been changed so much in the last 6 years on the things that I used to think Christianity was about, not by reading books by renowned Christian authors or by hearing good, convincing sermons, but by the Holy Spirit. (Of course, that being said, there have been a great deal of issues on which I began to question and/or completely change my old views on, only to later read a book or hear a sermon that lined up with my changed view.)
So it seems to me that all these Christian journalists are running the wrong race: telling all of us, and themselves, what social or personal issues we should focus on as Christians. This especially seems like the “wrong race” to me when it’s pretty apparent that lots of these people have a list, short or long, of pet issues that they spend all of their efforts trying to reconcile with and advance through Christianity, and it doesn’t appear to me that they’ve spent much time really seeking what God says about it. But, of course, I can’t really be the judge of that.
Like I said, I’m not a scholar, and in terms of a maturing Christian, I’m the 2nd grader still wearing diapers and playing with his Little Tykes toys, but I was excited to put my finger on one of the things that rub me the wrong way about those magazines. I’d like to conclude by saying that I won’t look through another one of those magazines, but I know I’m going to.