To speak the truth–it is a Christian value, arguably. And yet, many of us are afraid to say what’s in our hearts, hesitant to reveal ourselves too completely. We have learned, over the years, whether in Sunday School or junior high or in the women’s Bible study we attend, to edit our true selves. As a writer whose work has been published primarily, at least in this decade, by Christian publishers (tho that was NOT the case in prior decades), my work should be Christian, right? But what does that mean?
I cannot possibly agree with every Christian, because Christians (thank God) hold a variety of different viewpoints, particularly in non-essentials. Although I must admit many of us struggle to accurately assess which tenets of the faith are essential, and which are not. So should I write to please others? (Please click through to read a great post by my friend and fellow Redbud Sheli Massie). If you are not a writer, you’re not exempt from thinking about your voice as a woman. Should you speak to please others? While we don’t want to offend, nor do we want to water down the truth–or muffle the voices God gave us. Are you courageous enough to let your voice be heard, to have an opinion? To be a voice for the voiceless when others refuse to do so?
I’ve been thinking about my voice as a writer, why I do what I do. The phrase I”m ruminating on these days, as a way of perhaps capturing my purpose: I help thinking women connect more deeply with God. I”m unapologetically egalitarian, but hold a high view of Scripture, believing that the Bible, rightly understood, supports this position and declares not just in one verse but throughout that there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus. I believe meditating on Scripture is not just allowed but biblically mandated. I believe that how we live is just as important as what we think, that God seeks us way more diligently than we seek him. I believe, first and foremost, in grace. And I believe women of faith can be women who think. That we can question, wonder, ask–and challenge the status quo when it needs to be challenged.
So often, we defer, or simply don’t speak up. God gave you a voice, are you willing to use it? What purpose are you using it for? Which status quo are you challenging today? Who might be set free if you were to speak the truth?
Excellent thoughts, Keri. The only amendment I’d suggest is that instead of saying, “I’m unapologetically egalitarian, but hold a high view of Scripture” it could be “I’m unapologetically egalitarian, and hold a high view of Scripture”. Because I’m right there with you as an egal and I think it is a position I’ve reached because I value Scripture as the very word of God.
That said, I have to tell you that your last question is almost jarring in its simplicity: “Who might be set free if you were to speak the truth?” Wow, to think that we can be part of what Jesus meant when he said the truth will set us free. What a concept!