Within Christianity, there are many many voices telling us all sorts of things: how to pray, how to not pray, how to read the Bible and with what study resource, how we should vote, whom we should hate or be afraid of, what qualifications it takes to be a “leader,” and how important it is to follow those leaders. Mega-pastors and celebrity Christians meet with political principals, visit the pope, and purport to speak for all believers when they push domestic and international policy issues.
Real life consists of moment after moment of ordinary things — who better to understand this than ordinary people? Beachside Diversions, original oil painting by Steve Henderson; licensed print at Great Big Canvas, Framed Canvas Art, and Vision Art Galleries.
There is a strong message, aimed at the sheep, to render obeisance to these leaders: buy their books, listen to their radio programs, be one of the thousands in the football stadium at their event, follow their teaching because they, somehow, have greater wisdom and learning than others. No part of our lives is too private or intimate for their not to have an opinion on it; we look to them for advice on how to use our faith to raise our children, interact with our boss, manage our finances, and lose weight the Christ-sanctioned way.
But when we focus on the celebrity voices of the self-styled leaders of the Christian movement and lifestyle, we forgo much wisdom from real people, living real lives — you, me, our neighbor. Maybe we’re not as articulate; we’re certainly not as aggressively promoted; but we ordinary, regular Christians have a voice, and there comes a time when God asks us to use it.
If you are a writer, a speaker, a blogger, a teacher who has something to say, but you feel discouraged because you’re too ordinary and there aren’t enough people out there listening to you, please read the rest of the article at my Commonsense Christianity, BeliefNet blog, Why Ordinary Christians Can — and Should — Speak up.