Language, language, language. What power do our words really carry? Will we ever know? I’m pondering the use of the phrase “solid Christian” or “solid believer” or…, just “solid.” I myself use the term sometimes when I’m describing someone; “oh, they are a solid Christian…” Whatever “solid Christian” means, we mean it as a good thing. Depending on what circles you’re in, the term solid=conservative evangelical.
Was speaking with a pastor today during lunch at our Presbytery meeting. We were talking about Princeton Theological Seminary and how their President is retiring this year. President Gillespie has been there for 20-some years and is definitely conservative theologically. So the question is will they go for someone more liberal after having a conservative President for so many years (and there are many faculty who are probably hoping and praying (yes, I think liberals still pray) for a more liberal President). This pastor described Gillespie as “solid” (of course, meaning conservative, Evangelical, etc.).
I’m not really sure where this is going…People want “solid” pastors, “solid” Inquirers. Am I solid? What if I’m a wandering, questioning doubter? That’s definitely not solid. But is that bad? When we describe the conservative evangelicals as “solid” – what term then do we use for those who are not conservative evangelicals? Weak? Flaky? Frail? Half-assed Christians?
Again, we do like to label people. We like to define them. Why do we want people to be “strong believers” — “solid Christians” — I don’t know if Yaconelli would have been a fan of that. We are a mess. We are weak. A friend of my good friend Josh calls people “strugglers.” I like that.
I’m not a strong Christian. I’m a Christian struggler.