The Warrior: Drew’s Story
CC image courtesy of Flickr, Ryan Hyde.
HA note: The author’s name has been changed to ensure anonymity. “Drew” is a pseudonym.
My lightbulb moment was more of a straw moment. The straw that broke this camel’s back. As a part of a homeschooling/fundamentalist group for my entire life, I had already gone through a lot of things that shook up my worldview: church-splits, friends who had been abused, bitterness and judgement from people I felt I should trust, and crumbling fundamentalism in the face of good questions from non-fundamentalist friends. Many of these things have been talked about at length elsewhere. So I just want to cover one thing: the moment where it all sort of snapped into place for me.
I was in church one day and the band played a new-ish song. I had been in services when they played it before, but hadn’t paid attention. Suddenly though, everything seemed to slow down as I took in the lyrics.
“Your hand shall find out every foe
And as a fiery furnace glows
With raging heat and living coals
They will feel your wrath upon their souls
Oh the warrior will conquer all
The world will fall before His feet.”
I looked around the room. I saw my fellow church-goers raising their hands, closing their eyes, swaying to the music, looks of joy on their faces.
And I just didn’t get it.
Why would we celebrate this? Why would we celebrate the fact that God is going to totally obliterate people who don’t believe in the same stuff we do?
The congregation’s celebratory response to this vengeful, violent message nauseated me.
I realized that this song represented two beliefs that had been major players in the community where I had spent my life.
- You should fear and/or despise people who disagree with you. In fact, you should do your best to stay away from places where you could encounter them (avoid public school, secular art, or making friends with non-Christians).
- You can rest assured that the lost will meet the horrible fate they deserve. In fact, you are even allowed to be a little smug about it sometimes (as long as you are usually sad about it).
I almost instantly realized I didn’t buy into that fearful and bitter worldview anymore.
In college, I had started to meet people and make friends who were not fundamentalist Christians (or even Christians at all). They were wonderful people, and I didn’t want to be part of a culture that pushed them away or just tried to shove a belief-system down their throats.
In that moment, I knew I needed to step back from the fundamentalist Christian homeschooling circles I had run in for so long and start looking for a worldview that made room for nuance, open-mindedness, and graciousness.
I consider the search for this new worldview to be ongoing- an awesome journey that takes me further and further away from that room where people are celebrating The Warrior.