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Small Needs to be the New Big

I got an e-mail today from an Ollie Erickson, it was a great e-mail, and challenged me a lot. He had been reading my blog for a bit and pointed out that some of the things that I say in my entries (ie. sarcastic comments, stupid one-liners) and some of the comments that are made on these entries, might be taken the wrong way. He never judged or pointed fingers. He just said “just for you to consider as people around the world may be reading your posts without knowing you very well.” Some people do take me the wrong way, and then I end up getting into a lot of unwanted or unneeded explanations of what I say. It was a very humble letter simply pointing out something I might not have seen. He was right. So I changed a few things.

Here is what sucks though. The fact that I could write an amazing post, sent from God himself (I’m sure all of mine are anyway, I’m KIDDING), and then end it with a line that someone doesn’t agree with or offends someone and all of sudden everything in the post just lost its entire meaning. An example of this happened to my friend a few weeks ago. He wrote a great post about how culture and someone’s surroundings affects how people view sin and righteousness, it was an interesting take. He used the story about the mom who hired a stripper for her eleven year olds birthday party. He ended the post with a questionable line like “so mom, next time why don’t you just buy him a playboy.” It was a humourous way to end a serious entry. Was it needed? Probably not. Was it funny? Yes. Does he actually think that his mom should buy him a playboy? No.

After a few reputable pastors and people in his hometown read his entry, uproar followed. How dare you post an entry such as this? This is highly inappropriate. His spirituality was in question and it went on for quite a while. All quite ridiculous. I love Ollie’s way of going about things. While he was disturbed a bit by some things that he saw, maybe even offended, he never let that affect anything else. He was able to approach me on what was said and at the same time still understand the point of my website and entries in general. Thank-you Ollie for being an example to us all.

All this to say after receiving an e-mail from Ollie and after observing all the fuss about my friends post it only proves the way people read things. Isn’t it interesting how people can take one sentence and apply it to an entire section of writings? Isn’t it odd that one verse (oops, I mean sentence) can take so much focus that we completely forget the point of the book (oops, I mean blog post).

How often to we take one verse and spend hours debating/preaching/meditating/writing about? I’ve heard more sermons on Jeremiah 29:11 than the amount of verses that are even in Jeremiah. I’ve heard Romans 11 quoted to prove almost anything, from predestination theology of salvation to why someone’s dad died to why the hurricane hit a big city. Could it be possible that at times we’ve let one verse or a little tiny section be taken from our Bible and used it to capture our entire Bible itself? Have we been so focused on what we like/dislike that we forget that there is an entire story there waiting for us to fall in love with? The point of the Bible is the Bible as whole, not individual verses of inspiration or systematic theologies. The same goes for everything else. I do it all the time. If a pastor says something I disagree with or something that I think is just ignorant, I won’t hear another word they have to say. When we focus so much on a little part of something, we make the big picture/story have everything to do with that little part. Instead, why don’t we take the WHOLE picture and start to apply it to all the little parts of it. I bet we would have a lot different thoughts and ideas about not just the Bible.

2 Comments

  • Nathan,
    Your exactly right about our tendency to miss the forest for the trees. Especially when it comes to Scripture. May we each continue to read/learn on past the things we don’t “like”. Jesus said tons of stuff that His hearers didn’t like. Some turned their ears off and moved on to what was comfortable, some decided to see what the whole picture was. I hope that I continue to be in the latter group.

    Also, please don’t change your writing too much. You are a gifted thinker and writer. I’ve enjoyed your blog specifically because its you who has written it. You can’t write anything that won’t offend someone. I guess what is important is why it is that someone gets offended. Grace is extremely offensive – its not fair! Thank God that His Son offended the world unto death.

  • I like this Ollie guy.
    Someone needs to keep you in line with all of your “God Loving” Hippy crap.

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