In a recent post, blogger and critique pal Mike Duran offered two free copies of the latest issue of Midnight Diner, a genre periodical he worked for until his busy schedule required him to step down. In describing the content of the stories published by the Diner, Mike said
The Diner does not serve wimps: there is language, gore, and appropriate nastiness.
That triggered a thought that’s been rolling around in my head (without much obstruction, apparently 😉 ) for some time.
First, my reaction to the line from Mike’s post. It was a series of questions really. Is it wimpy to refrain from “language” (by which I assume Mike means “bad language”), to choose against gore, to shun “appropriate” nastiness? And if so, why? Why do we think it takes courage, toughness, fortitude to look at what is appalling? Is it a character strength to not be appalled by the appalling?
That line of thinking led me to the morality issue (they didn’t even know how to blush – Jeremiah 6:15). Of late I’ve been made aware of a number of professing Christians who apparently think nothing of engaging in premarital sex even as another group proclaim they are gay.
I scratch my head at this and think, What are they learning in church? Have we become so enamored with the way the world thinks that we no longer say, Here are the Biblical standards.
And there it is. The way the world thinks seems easier. Everybody’s doing it makes it appealing. Conversely, standing alone makes a person feel like a weirdo.
Someone I know recently made a decision to live the party life, at least a little. The fact is, he knows the Biblical standard, but he wants to have some fun first.
In my way of thinking, he’s exhibiting weakness and delusion. Weakness, because he knows the right thing, the best thing, but he’s giving in to what he wants now. Deluded because he thinks he’d be missing out if he passed on the stuff the world is doing—that somehow God would let him miss something important … or fun.
He reminds me of the people of Israel when they made the golden calf to worship. Moses had been gone too long. They wanted god now. In fact, they wanted a god of their own making. They wanted a god that let them play, not the One that scared them by speaking from a burning mountain and gave them a list of do’s and do-not’s.
The world probably looks at someone who doesn’t drink or do drugs or hook up, who doesn’t sleep with his girl friend or cuss when he’s mad (or glad or surprised or wanting to be cool) as a wimp or a weirdo.
But how much easier it is to give in than to stand against. How much weaker, less noble to live for self gratification than to live for Someone else.
It’s ironic. The Apostle Paul had a list of religious things he said he counted as rubbish in order that he might gain Christ. Today we Christians don’t even want to count as rubbish the rubbish of our lives in order to gain Christ.
Honestly, who’s the real wimp, who’s the true weirdo?