It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything on this website. In the past few months, I’ve moved 600 miles away, gotten a new job and my wife gave birth to our new son. Needless to say, it’s been a little nuts. But even when I have some free time where I can keep a complex thought in my head longer than 60 seconds without being interrupted by two screaming kids, I still haven’t had much of a desire to do any four-finger blogging.
Because I’m questioning the purpose of this whole thing.
Please know that this is not some passive-aggressive attempt at seeking some verbal affirmation to validate my website. If you like Fourfingerculture, then great! If you don’t like it, I honestly don’t care. Besides, verbal affirmation is not my love language. It doesn’t do much for me. Now, if you were to donate to my cause with money or article submissions, that would be a different story. J
I have been playing it safe when it comes to the articles I’ve been writing on here. Outside of a few articles that have lightly stirred up the pot, I really haven’t said much that the general populous doesn’t agree with. Honestly, it’s not my intent to write things for the sole purpose of having people argue. I hate arguing. But it’s also not my intent to write simple little things that everyone agrees with that challenge no one.
My whole aim for fourfingerculture was to simply address things that commonly get swept under the church’s rug and provide a place for careful and positive discussion. And I’ve not gone that edgy yet, but now that I’ve given it careful thought, I’m not sure that I want to.
Because most don’t like to discuss them.
People like to debate and defend their views on religion, morality and culture, but only a few seem to want to actually discuss these things with others in order to learn something. Having solid beliefs is important, but too often we defend them to the point of being divided with other Christians. We enjoy reading material that echoes are own views; and we enjoy reading incendiary opinions we don’t agree with so we can scoff and feel superior, but most don’t enjoy putting these elements together for humble discussion.
And frankly, there’s certain things I’m almost afraid to discuss because some of my views no longer mesh with my conservative, fundamental upbringing. I’ve remained silent on many things, but I’ve let a few opinions slip out that have caused nothing back backlash and concerned looks. Just the other day, I was accused of searching out man’s intellectual ideas instead of God because I casually mentioned that I have trouble believing that hell is a place where people get tortured for eternity.
But this is exactly what fourfingerculture should be! I want to look at scriptures and wrestle with the concept of hell in contrast to a God whose mercy is unending. I want to confront the anger many Christians have with homosexuals. I want to probe and doubt the Americanized culture that has intertwined with our churches. I want to seriously discuss what it means to love my neighbor. I want to openly talk about issues about violence and sex and masturbation (yeah, I said it). I want to flesh out answers about whether or not Christians should drink alcohol or do yoga or give five dollars to the crack addict begging for change on the corner. I want to rethink the ways we evangelize, do church, worship to music and pray for the sick.
Even now, I may have some readers who think that I have fallen in the pit of a Godless theological liberalism or that I’m some clueless young punk who will wise up one day. If that’s you, I understand where you are coming from. But questioning these issues are no longer for fringe groups that have eyebrow piercings and smoke ganja on the weekends. And whether you like to admit it or not, you have wrestled with at least some of these issues; you may just have been taught to never confront them. I’m a firm believer that God is not surprised by our questions. In fact, I believe he welcomes them with open arms.
So the fate of fourfingerculture is to either dive into the swamp of edgier issues with our faith; a move that is most likely to fail with heated arguments and hurt feelings, or to play it safe and occasionally update the site with writings that everyone will be comfortable with.
I’m not sure which way it will go. I’m not sure which way, if any, would be beneficial. I wouldn’t be opposed to some advice and some prayers. And forgive me if you think I’m taking this too seriously. I do realize that I only have a few faithful readers and the website’s best days are those with only 80 views, but if I can encourage or challenge just one person, this is an epic win. If I offend or confuse someone, then fourfingerculture is an epic failure.