Ghetto Buskers and Lepers
Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and falsehoods grapple: who ever knew truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter? – John Milton.
If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention. – bumpersticker.
It occurs to me the thing we have to fear most as artists, as writers, as citizens, as Christians especially, is agreeing to comfortable delusions. To embracing a consensus of wishful thinking that offers certainty over reality. We naturally gravitate to the like-minded, but if we’re not careful, our assembly can discard any sense of defined mission and mutate into a gated-community of enfeebled intellects bent solely on keeping the disagreeable from spoiling the view. We come to fear dissent not because of toxic malcontent, but because it treads all over the manicured lawns and tramples the flowerbeds.
Confining this to the realm of Christians in the arts and writing, I think we must resist the call to become ghetto buskers, entertainers in the modern evangelical echo chamber, hat in hand hoping for spare change. CS Lewis once said reality was iconoclastic. I think all truth belongs to God and no discovery will ever blindside His reality. Christians must pursue excellence in their vocations with passion and humility, circumspect but ultimately unafraid to ask hard questions, portray difficult situations, question the status quo, and handle the madness and mystery in the gray areas of our existence.
Are we always going to get it right? No. But like the lepers outside the gate in 2 Kings 7, we’ve got to do something. ‘Cause sitting around pretending, while we wait to die isn’t any kind of destiny.