Bigger Fish to Fry

I know this is my own fault; I’m quite aware that by virtue of my attentiveness to social media, I’ve put myself in a prime position to be frustrated.  I’ll own that.

What is it that’s not settling well with me this morning? Well, I’m just not certain that I agree with what the voices that dominate my feeds are selling me this morning, namely that the two biggest earth-shattering crises I need to concern myself with today involve Mark Driscoll’s citation habits and the Phil Robertson GQ kerfuffle.

Apparently, I need to either defend or decry Pastor Mark because he failed to attribute some info in his writing. First, I’d love to say I had time to get worked up about that, but on a practical level, I have 70 high school students turning in writing portfolios today, so I’m going to be spending the next few days worrying about other people’s source attribution (or lack thereof). So, from a time management standpoint, I appreciate every other person with a blog handling that one because, as I said, I just can’t pencil it into my schedule right now. Secondly, I don’t know that I’m shocked by this stink.  When pastors wander (willingly or otherwise) into the arena of celebrity, it seems like only a matter of time before the target becomes too big and arrows start to find their mark (no pun intended). Maybe we need pastors to take that mantle to inject evangelical thought into the public discourse, but I gotta be honest.  If I were a pastor and the ladies on The View wanted to have a sit-down with me on the couch, I personally might look for ways to draw down.

I guess I’m also supposed to write a scathing letter to A&E and talk like I’m part of the most marginalized and persecuted group of people the world has ever known, but as with Driscollgate, I’m just not sure I’m up to it this morning.  A conservative fellow voiced a conservative, Biblical view of sexuality, and people didn’t like it. As a result, if I want to see someone on TV say “Happy, Happy, Happy,” I’ll have to watch reruns. I get the reality that space for such thought in the public sphere is growing small, but I can’t honestly say I’m feeling ‘persecuted’ this morning for my similar view of sexual morality (and baby version of his famous beard). Nobody has rushed into my office and shoved a gun in my face about it; no one has burned down my church; no one has threatened me.  From my chair, it appears that a guy said, “Hey, here’s what the Bible says.”Those in authority replied, “Shut it.” Again, I don’t find this shocking. Sad? Sure. Shocking? No. This has been the pattern since the days of the Old Testament prophets, right?  This is kind of the reception Jesus promised we’d get, right?  Apologetically, I hope that explains why I’m just not going to give the majority of my mental energies and concern to this crisis today.

Before you think me apathetic, though, let me assure you.  There are realities I’m going to wrestle with today.  There are issues that will put me into full-fledged panic mode; they just won’t involve celebrity pastors or duck hunters.

Here, instead, is just a smattering of what might command my the attentions of my heart and mind today:

  • I have three kids and I want to be able to stand before God someday and say that I provided the best environment I could for them to learn about Jesus and come to know and love Him. Today, I’ll make decisions and have interactions with my kids that show them what I believe about Jesus.
  • I’m an elder at a young church (in both a corporate and congregational sense) searching for a man to replace its lead pastor/planter who took a new position.  As I read resumes, make phone calls, and otherwise examine candidates, I feel a tremendous weight not only to make sensible practical decisions, but moreover to be keenly sensitive and open to the Holy Spirit’s leading in this process so that when all is said and done, I can know that by God’s grace, our elders have shepherded our people well.
  • I struggle every day with confidence issues. As there is no reason for secrecy, here is an admission: I often catch myself “fishing” for compliments because I so desire affirmation. Though I believe on a cognitive level that my validation comes only through Christ and his great love for and work in me, I wrestle with need for human validation that too often goes beyond just being a part of my personality and wanders into a sinful idolization of other people’s opinions.
  • I work at a school with somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 kids, and there are far too many of them I’m quite certain don’t truly feel loved and valued by anyone; I can see it on their faces, sense it in the way they interact with others, hear it in the way they speak.  In the chaos of school’s due dates, direction, and sometimes discipline, how can I, in word and deed, communicate to them that they matter, that I appreciate them for the unique creation of God they are?
  • I have a daughter…this means boys will start showing up at my house someday with intentions.  This is further complicated by my pacifistic leanings and lack of gun ownership.  If there is any consolation on this matter, I have many friends (and a brother) who don’t share similar convictions; I suppose they could help out.  😉

So, I do hope you’ll understand, evangelical social media firestorms, if I decline your invite to go into full-on freakout mode over what you seem to be suggesting are extinction-level events.  I’d love to weigh in and create some serious white noise from a D-list blogger vying to be heard among the Twitter RT-All Stars, but I’m just going to leave the dirty work of dissection and critique to you today.  I just feel like I’ve got bigger fish to fry; you know where to find me if you need me.

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