Every once in a while we do this around here at Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion: Pick a topic and keep on talking about it until there is nothing left to say.
If you have been tracking with me on this blog for any length of time, or any of the other blogs where I hang out regularly, you may have heard the term “post-evangelical wilderness”. Despite what you may think, this “post-evangelical wilderness” is not simply some fanciful construct created by young punk bloggers living in their parents’ basements with nothing better to do with their lives than sit around all day in front of their computer screens and write whatever strikes their fancy. This post-evangelical wilderness is a real place inhabited by real people with real stories. These are people who have grown up in evangelicalism or invested a significant season of life in evangelicalism, but who now, for whatever reason, feel seriously out of place in evangelicalism in its current state–people who are, to borrow an oft-used (around here, at least) quote from Rachel Held Evans, “caught between who we once were and who we will be, the ghosts of past certainties gripping at our ankles”.
It occurs to me that some of you may not have any idea what I am talking about when I speak of the “post-evangelical wilderness”, so I am going to offer some snapshots over the coming days/weeks of what this looks like on the ground in my world.
To lead off today’s post, we are going to jump into the way-back machine and take it for a joyride.
Those of you who were in and/or around the Passion movement back in the early 00’s probably remember this song. There are a shit ton of other worship songs which express basically the same idea: Christ is enough for me, Jesus you are more than enough, …stuff to that effect.
Back in happier times, when I was still a young hot-blooded evangelical, I ate those songs up eagerly. But these days I’ve turned it around: Lord, am I enough for you?
Herein lies one of my frustrations with evangelicalism and its emphasis on “getting saved” as the defining moment of one’s spiritual life: Once you’ve prayed the prayer, signed the card, thrown the stick into the fire at youth camp, or whatever you did, supposedly you’re all good with God and that question becomes a non-starter. Real life dictates otherwise.
For as often as we say Christ is enough for me, Jesus you are more than enough, etc., …when do I get to hear God speak that over me? When do I get to hear the Lord say to me “You are worthy. You are enough”?