Well . . . not always so hidden, but sometimes it is. It slithers into our daily lives just like we perceive the “snake” in the garden to have done, and the words aren’t all that different. And the agenda certainly isn’t.
Coming from different families, lifestyles, philosophies, communities, and denominations, we view our conduct and what’s acceptable within that framework formed by opinions and patterns from what we’ve learned and experienced and where we’ve lived and known. To alter those early and ever-forming patterns in our lives takes a reason, an effort, and a lifestyle change of some kind.
It’s been my observation that some individuals raised up in the faith have become mechanical in their overall walk with the Lord. Be sure to notice I said “some”. I used to envy those who knew Jesus at an early age and remained faithful and productive in their faith throughout their lifetimes. The terrible choices I made for a season of my life caused me to have major regrets. However, since it was my road to travel, the severity of focus on those regrets has matured, and I can take joy in having been rescued from a lifestyle I wasn’t raised to lead nor was I designed to embrace. It wasn’t an easy path to salvation for me, but upon finding the Truth, it’s been a walk of passion—wavering here and there under the enemy attacks but remaining solid in the faith of who Jesus is and what He continues to labor in accomplishing in my life. (I often picture him tipping His head back and staring up at the Father, keeping his lips closed but communicating His . . . King James longsuffering.)
The “hidden” agenda surfaces in unique ways, gliding into our thought processes to produce what the military labels “conduct unbecoming”. While not a legal term imposed upon Christians, we do slip into that mode too easily sometimes.
Christian writers—and, oh, how the blogs, etc. have disputed that term for us who are born again and write—are called to a diverse plethora of writing. Some write sweet and some write raw. Within those variables are even more diverse voices and styles. I think the not-so-hidden agenda occurs when these two opposites of the Christian writing world clash and thrash and trash each other. On the one extreme you have the legalists who barely allow for conflict (code for sin) in order to measure up to self-defined holiness as opposed to the other extreme who desire to include profanity and some graphics in multiple areas in order to insure the stories are “real”. At either extreme, it’s tempting to ask: Who are you trying to impress?
The extremes in Christians result in those who are glued to legalism expanding to those who want to live like the world and indulge their vices. Somewhere in between them is a place where Christ ministers and produces grace for our weaknesses but not tolerance for our sinfulness. A yielded will to the Holy Spirit is the only road to true holiness. We can’t “just do it”. Yielding is hard for humans—just look at the battle that takes place between merging vehicles! To complicate matters of the flesh, just as many Christians justify ritualistic rigidity as do Christians who spew profanities as justifiable expressions. Stirring up the controversies, debates, and arguments is the enemy of our souls giving equal time and fuel to both sides and celebrating with amusement the rage produced by the conflict.
The battle between writers is senseless, especially among the ranks of Christian writers. The decision to communicate stories in written form is not a big mystery. A writer writes. He must decide for whom. And once the decision is made and the voice, style, theme, and plot begin to roll, the discussion regarding how it is told remains between the writer and the Lord. It is not for you and me to determine what someone writes about or how they write about it. No one is forced to read literature which they abhor—except in school. There are publishers for all different kinds of books and agents to represent them.
It’s not about the kind of writing and storytelling we produce. It’s more often about not succumbing to the hidden agenda of the enemy by being dragged into controversy and discord with other writers who are Christians.
Father, I’ve been sucked into the controversy myself. I have formed opinions and preferences, but I want to view all things through your precious, wise eyes. Help me not to tear down but to build up when possible. Help me to spot and identify fraud. Help me to be reliable and to rely only on you. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
*Please continue to pray for Kristy Dykes and her family.*