Peter Enns – The Hardest Thing for Me about What I Do

The confession below is about sincerity and integrity. I share it here because I feel exactly the same way. For a ‘social animal’ like me, loosing friends is never easy. Yet, I am not ready to sacrifice my conscience even in order to keep a friendship. I may be wrong on what I believe – I have been proven wrong before. 😦 That is why, some day I am going to write something titled ‘How I Changed My Mind’).

Yet, until I have enough evidence to change my mind, I have to be true to what I believe. And, of course, I will express those convictions in imperfect ways, in line with my temperament, my level of (im)maturity and my ethnic makeup. I hope my friends can live with that. But if they cannot, I can’t do anything about it.

As Scripture says, let us walk together in the things we think alike, and may the Holy Spirit enlighten us in the rest. I can live with that. Can you?
And now, here is what Pete Enns has to say about it.

** * *

OK, this is going to be a little personal, but you don’t have to read it.

In case you haven’t noticed, I write about the Bible and Christian faith now and then. And if you’ve noticed that, you’ve probably also noticed that some of what I write about could be considered a bit edgy—for some, at least.

And that’s OK. When you write about God, Jesus, and the Bible, you’re going to be controversial for somebody. And, if several thousand years of recorded history are any indication, some people are probably going to be very, very, very angry with you for uttering thoughts about ultimate reality that they don’t like. They might even hate you (in Jesus’ name and for the glory of God).

But that doesn’t bother me terribly. Sure, I don’t love it, but it’s part of the job. Plus, my keyboard has delete button.

Over-the-top negativity isn’t the hard part. What’s hard is losing friends, a community, a sense of belonging, a shared narrative.

It’s not so much about friends becoming enemies, but the more subtle disorientation of not really fitting anywhere.

The insider becomes the outsider. Nothing unravels a social fabric quicker. I get it. No one likes their social fabric unraveled. It keeps us warm and safe. No offense taken.
I keep writing because I believe in being true to myself, and genuine faith cannot exist for me if I hold back and refuse to “take door number 3.” I’m not particularly brave. I don’t wake up in the morning mustering courage so I can go into battle to slay dragons. I just don’t know what else to do with myself.

I don’t know how not to turn things around in my head and look for a different angle that produces some new insights, even if that means leaving behind familiar things. I just can’t imagine not trying to work all this out—for my own benefit, and, if all goes well, for others, too.

I’m not whining. I’m not a martyr. It is what it is. I’m just saying the loss of community, of a shared narrative, is the hardest part for me. Not fitting. Not knowing where you fit, or if such a place even exists. And maybe this is how it will always be.

And I know a lot of others feel the same way.

(Source, HERE)

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Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

4 thoughts on “Peter Enns – The Hardest Thing for Me about What I Do”

  1. “I can live with that. Can you?”
    Trying my best. Though not sure others will do 😉

    Enns e aproape un erou pentru mine, nu pentru ca si-a pierdut prieteni, ci a fost gata sa renunte la o cariera frumoasa de dragul integritatii. Dar sa ajungi sa te simti tot mai mult un outsider cred ca e o situatie extrema, nu un parcurs normal al celui consecvent cu ceea ce crede. Asta mai ales intr-o comunitate unde ‘in omnibus caritas’ ar trebui sa aiba ceva greutate.

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      1. Nu la inabusirea constiintei ma gandeam, atunci nu mai e ‘caritas’. Poate se gaseste o solutie in plan relational, sa poti trai impreuna acceptand tensiunea perspectivelor diferite. In cele ‘neesentiale’, bine-nteles 🙂

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      2. Desigur. Dar atunci cind cineva rupe relatia pentruca indraznesti sa nu gindesti ca el, nu prea mai ai multe variante de pastrare a relatiei. Desigur, in timp, poti incerca sa o refaci. Dar nu exista nisio garantie. It takes two for a dance. Ti-o spun dupa destule experiente dureroase de acest gen.

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