Growing up as a white, middle-class, charismatic, straight, cisgender, Christian male has been quite a ride. I’ve been blogging since 2004 and have published an equivalent of 1.5 War and Peace novels (838,208 words). I was reflecting about how my life journey has been marked by particular truths that I held to. Most of them are wrapped up in my Christian upbringing which eventually evolved to shedding most of it and landing differently. But some of them have been wrapped up in my other identities. Power, privilege, wealth mixed with my honest attempts to understand Christ have brought me to some conclusions that I never could have seen coming.
I thought it would be fun to try to trace out these truths. Most of these are results of discussions with friends and mentors and deliberate deconstruction. Somewhere around six or seven years ago I deconstructed Descartes style and have rebuilt a much different kind of truth and value system. It caused me to understand the Bible, Christianity, my upbringing, others, meaning, sex, relationships and my identity much differently. It’s a humbling experience to admit where you came from. Looking over this timeline though should certainly give me a deep compassion and empathy for the world and everyone in it.
1984 – Light
1985 – 1989 – Me, Mom, Dad, Siblings, Friends
1989 – Jesus is in my heart
1990 – 1996 – I can succeed in School, I’m a Christian, Hardy Boys, Hockey, Friends are closer than family
1997 – 1999 – I am saved, I need to get other people saved or they will burn in hell, salvation can be lost, my friends are the most important people in my life, Christian Music, swearing is wrong, masturbating is really wrong, homosexuality is wrong
1999 – 2001 – I’m better and unique because I’m a Christian, Girls!, People listen to me, The world is evil, swearing is fun, God’s exists and I can prove it, The Bible determines morality, School is a waste of time, Fear the rapture, I want to be on the Tribulation Force
2002 – 2003 – Leaders can be wrong, There are way smarter people than my pastors and my parents ( C.S. Lewis and Brian McLaren helped me see), Speaking in tongues can be really weird, Relationships give my life meaning, The rapture isn’t real, Nothing can hurt me
2004 – 2006 – The Kingdom of God is the entire point of Jesus, The Bible is not innately authoritative for the world, I can start things, Leaders usually are wrong, Christianity should be about the poor, Sex isn’t sacred and God doesn’t care, Sexual orientation is not a moral issue, Confrontation is riveting, Males suck
2007 – I’m in love, Community is life, There is no room for the wealthy and powerful with God, Beauty moves me
2008 – 2012 – Business is fun but empty, God will save all people, Hell doesn’t exist, truth is relative (yes even that truth is relative), Money controls everything, Church does a really bad job at forming people, White people suck, Power corrupts, The Bible is fascinating history, religions are institutions meant to control and maintain power
2013 – 2017 – Love is hard but it’s the only thing worth effort, Everything is a social construct, I’m incapable of following Christ, I am a cliche, If God exists then it’s only within and for the oppressed, Christianity is corrupt and hurting the world more than helping it, There is no after-life, Vulnerability is the only way to true connection, I can be hurt, Discipline and practices are important, We are what we love, Relationships still give my life meaning, Resistance to power is riveting, Life in all its forms is beautiful, I am so grateful