When I was allowed to return in the church in the evening December 31, 2008, I gradually noticed a trend which hits its climax around 2011. Believe me, I have been vocal about this, hence I’ll not be accused of backstabbing.
This has been our members liking the books written by Dr. John Piper and Bro. Joshua Harris. For those who are not familiar with them, Dr. Piper wrote the books Desiring God and Don’t Waste Your Life. Joshua Harris, on the other hand, wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl. Not only some of the singles of Baptist churches, but also well-intent Christian churches are reading them, even to the point of hero worshipping the authors. Don’t get me wrong. I have their books. I came across Don’t Waste Your Life back in 2008, when one of my mentors, Dr. Abel Bernardo gave it as an encouragement to me. I bought Harris’ I Kissed Dating Goodbye when I was still one of the Main Leaders in our youth ministry – around 2002. With all sincerity, intent, and wholesome outlook, I read them. They are blessings to me, especially during the path of restoration which culminated at the go-signal of my church allowing me to go back. During this time, I witnessed single professionals reading this book, putting quotes on Facebook mostly associated with these authors or their contemporaries, mostly single ladies and some working bachelors of my time.
I will not dwell on the Calvinistic theology of both Piper and Harris, neither will I hit them in an ad hominem fashion, just like what some believers and preachers have done to their advocates, just to preserve their position. I don’t post articles to pick up a fight, both verbal and physical. Besides, outsiders will deem this article as a jargon. One more thing: I respect Dr. Piper and Bro. Harris for their zealousness, intelligence, and poetic way of expressing their position on certain issues on Christianity. In fact, I even share some of their positions. What I wanted to point out is using certain things, ideas, to establish a sense of elitism. There are believers that make inside language which mere ordinary looking mortals do not know. These people have finally channeled the inner pride through patronage of these authors. However, when you pointed out that you understand their inside language, you’ll be met by either dead silence or a troll label. Give me a break, you do that even in topics of Christianity? Let’s respect Dr. Piper and Bro. Harris by reading their works, pointing out their position, agreeing with them, or disagreeing with them. However, for crying out loud, do not use them as vehicles of ego tripping, displaying attitude of exclusivity, and the likes. If it really became a blessing to your life and you’re not sharing it, what does it become of you? We become a bunch of inappropriately competitive, proud believers. Intellectual competitions must be put where it is appropriate, and it’s not in the church. Their work and pieces of advice are not meant as trade secrets. It is a shame that even geeks will not hesitate to share their geek lingos or terms to non-geeks, yet some of us didn’t do so in the realm of Christian ideas. Some of us keep it to themselves like a trade secret. Seriously? Putting the getting ahead mindset even in the realm of spirituality? Frankly, this elitist attitude must be dealt with indifference. It is best ignored. No, I am not referring to misunderstood ideas being tried to share. I am referring to good ideas used by people with elitist attitude in the process that they’re the only ones who can understand or decipher them. THEY ARE BEST IGNORED.
Nowadays, I’m glad the inside jargons have subsided. I’m sad that well-meaning authors are used as vehicles of pride and elitism. I believe these authors are happy when you share ideas that they also have, but to use their beliefs and books as medium of pride, elitism, and inappropriate intellectual competition? I don’t think they meant it that way.
I am always an advocate of transferring knowledge from one person to another. If it will make someone or a group a better person or group, I will not hesitate to share it, especially if they do not have a questionable agenda.
Fellow brethren, let us have an attitude of positive inclusivity when it comes to Christian ideas. It’s like food, it’s happier to eat a good food when you share it with someone than eating it on its lonesome.