These are some things I fear by one, being who I am; two, expressing my investigations in this blog; three, pastoring the way I do. They are:
- angering my superiors;
- upsetting people in my community who can do damage;
- being excommunicated;
- losing my friends;
- my family being hurt because of me;
- our church closing down;
- being unemployed;
- being attacked and ridiculed;
- offending more people than I help;
- being wrong (truly a heretic).
The thing is, I have experienced all of these things more than once, and am still experiencing some of them now. Some of them are momentary, some are continual. I not only know the pain of them, but I also know the rewards. I am frequently invited to just keep things to myself… my questions, my doubts, my thoughts, etc.. That is not the problem. The problem for me is that my outer life is necessitated by my inner life. The fruit comes from the root. To keep these things to myself would mean a kind of suicide I’m not willing to commit. It’s like being invited to keep myself to myself. So, in the end, the perpetual struggle is to press on in spite of my fear.