My Writing Manifesto: Why I Write
For a blog challenge from Jeff Goins, I was asked to write a manifesto to answer the question, “why do I write.” It’s a fair question and one that will help guide my writing.
I see many people today with a false image of God (of the Bible). They believe God to be angry, judgmental, and not very approachable. I know that I use to see God that way. I believed that Jesus was cool and loving, someone that I would want to know. I believed that God demanded perfection, and I didn’t measure up. It was like Jesus was the good guy shielding me from all the anger from His father. I believed that God loved me but that he didn’t like me very much.
I also see that too many Christians mix up the Old Covenant Law with the grace and truth (New Covenant) that Jesus brought. It seems that they want to pick and choose certain laws from the Old Covenant to bring in to Christian living, but they also want to claim grace. The problem is that you can’t have both. If you keep the Law, then God has to bless you because of your obedience, or punish you for disobedience. On the flip side of that coin, if you break a law, then you are guilty of breaking them all. On the side of grace, it’s all about what God does for us, gives us and enables us to do. We live under a New Covenant with better promises (that doesn’t need the Old Covenant Law).
Lastly, I see so many people trying to become ‘better’ Christians. I also see many cultural Christians, people who are Christian in name only simply because they have gone (or go) to church, or they believe in God, or they simply live in the Bible Belt where ‘everybody’ is a Christian. I used to be like that. I would read my Bible in order to learn how to be a better Christian. The problem is that God did not create Christians; He created human beings. When Adam fell, he introduced sin into the world, which causes human beings who are made in the image of God to act inhumanely and act unlike God. Therefore, God wanted to restore humanity to its state of being His image bearers, not simply good Christians. To do that, He sent Jesus, His Son, into the world, as a human being to show us what it really means to be human, and have a real, intimate relationship with God as our father.
The solution to these issues is to change the way we think, and ultimately the way we act and live. I hope that my writings will cause people to think about what they believe, why they believe and see if it actually lines up with the Bible in the total context of who Jesus Christ is.
Jesus came to reveal the Father to us. He was the perfect picture of the Father. He was the exact representation of the Father. It was like the Father said, “Let me show you a real life, exact human representation and image of Me.” Everything in the Bible points to Jesus, and everything about Jesus shows me who my Heavenly Father is. Therefore, I want to help people understand who their Heavenly Father is by looking at, writing about and living out the life of Jesus.
I also want people to understand the New Covenant and how amazing it really is. I want people to see how great, how far reaching, how messy, risky and scandalous his grace is.
Lastly, I want people to understand what it means to become more appropriately human by following the teachings of Jesus. I want them to understand that it’s not about being a better Christian; it’s about becoming a better human being by submitting our lives to Jesus and accepting all that he has done for us.
And, I want to help a lot of my fellow Christians lose their passion for dumbness. It seems that we Christians say and do some of the dumbest, head-scratching, “I can’t believe they did that” stuff! We are called to be wise and loving, yet it seems that some Christians checked their brains out when they began to follow Jesus.
So, I encourage you to come along with me on this journey of discovery. I have not arrived, by any means. I am constantly being stretched in my own thinking. Most of the time, that stretching comes from dialogue with other people who think differently than I do. My philosophy of life is this: I am closed-minded in what I believe because I know why I believe it, but I am open-minded to change my beliefs when I am shown where I am wrong.
While I do write on theological matters and things that pertain to Christian living, I don’t want to write to just Christians. I desire my writings to create conversations with everyone, Christians and non-Christians alike, because we are all human beings!
Will you journey with me? Will you be willing to dialogue, converse and even debate some things in order to grow? In two words I can sum up my writing mission: Thinking Allowed!