The Outsider, Cliques, and My Big Insecurities

So last week, I discovered that Modern Reject was named as one of the Top 200 Ministry Blogs of 2012 by Church Relevance. I’ll be honest, I was way geeked out. I was stoked and honored, albeit a bit confused as to how I ended up on the list.

Then, Kent Shaffer, who writes Church Relevance responded to a bit of controversy as to why there aren’t more women (and less Calvinists) on the list. In his response post, other more prominent female bloggers than myself commented and listed even more prominent female bloggers who they thought should have made the list.

Some of these female bloggers even made their own lists, so as to include more women who they felt were jipped or forgotten. And in all of this, the glow and excitement of seeing my name there on that list started to wane.

I began to feel embarrassed and lame for ever even caring, for feeling a moment of encouragement, for feeling like all of this hard work of blogging was being recognized. I felt stupid and insignificant.

And why? Why had I let the subsequent discussion about female bloggers rob me of my joy? Because I’m not one of those female bloggers. I am, what I’ve always felt I’ve been–an outsider. Continue reading The Outsider, Cliques, and My Big Insecurities

Haters Welcome

Somewhere along the way, in our politically-correct, touchy-feely, walk on eggshells, be-tolerant culture, it stopped being okay to hate. The word “hate” has actually become a banned word. No, there hasn’t been an official ban on the word, but no one is walking around talking about the things they hate.

We can be opposed to something. Resist something. Object to something. Politely disagree with someone. But what we cannot do, what we are told is unconscionable, is hating anything, because hating something means we are operating in black and white. Right or wrong. Good or evil.

The problem, however, is less and less people believe in the idea of good and evil. Black and white makes them uncomfortable. Truth makes them squirm. The in-betweeness of gray, is a much more comfortable place to dwell–the uncertainty of life, as it were.

But, I believe in right and wrong, Light and darkness. Good and evil. I believe in God and God hates. Oh, we don’t like acknowledging that fact. We would rather run a thick, black, permanent marker over those passages of scripture.

But He does. God hates and well, then, so do I. Continue reading Haters Welcome

You Should Quit Reading This Blog…

So, it seems that every few months or so, I fall into a blog funk. These funks don’t usually last for long and before I know it, I’m back to feeling like my old blogging self. Over the weekend, however, I read a blog post by Josh, also known as The Minor Prophet.

He explained how he once followed blogs like mine and Rachel Held Evans, but how now, for some unexplained reason, he no longer cares. He cannot say for sure as to the reason why, but he is no longer interested in Evangelical blogs or even the idea of Evangelical Christianity, for that matter.

I spent the weekend mulling his thoughts over. My feelings weren’t hurt. I didn’t take it personally. The thing is, I kinda get it, because the thing is, I sorta feel the same way.

Which got me thinking, why do I write Modern Reject? And really, why does anyone read it, because I’m pretty sure you should quit reading this blog… Continue reading You Should Quit Reading This Blog…

“I’m a Reject” Because…

People ask me all of the time why I named this blog Modern Reject. I have to say, I love the name. It was inspired. It captures me so perfectly and the things I like to write about. But more and more, I have come to realize that it represents many of you, as well.

Lately, I’ve had the idea rolling around in my head to start a “I’m a Reject” series written by all of you. I mean, I love that you show up and read what I have to say, but wouldn’t it be nice to hear from someone else for a change too?

So what is a reject? Well the dictionary says this:

A reject is someone who is dismissed as inadequate, inappropriate, or not to one’s taste. A person or thing dismissed as failing to meet standards or satisfy tastes.

I also always think of Christ stating in Matthew, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” And isn’t that always the way it seems to go? That which the world finds useless, unlovely, imperfect, Jesus redeems and makes perfect.

So, I am asking for you to share your stories of what being a reject looks like for you. Do you reject the norms of American church life? Are you a rebel in your family, among your peers, workplace, or community? Have you been rejected for following after Christ?

Why are you a reject? But don’t just answer here. If you are so inclined, I am taking submissions to this question and will be choosing a few (I haven’t decided on a number yet) to publish here on Modern Reject.

The guidelines for submission:

Tell the story of why you are a reject.

Make it 300-500 words.

Have fun.

Tell me a little bit about yourself too.

Email me your stories by February 25th

But don’t think you have to send in a submission to answer the question. I want to hear from you right now, too.  So let’s hear it. Are you a reject? If so, finish this sentence: “I’m a reject because….”

Top 5 Most Controversial Modern Reject Posts of All-Time

If you’ve read Modern Reject even once, you may have noticed that I am no stranger to conflict or controversy. Yes, I tend to write posts that are provocative, scandalous, and taboo. Some people have even accused me of writing this way for controversy’s sake. Thing is, I have never intentionally set out to be controversial. I’m just a girl who likes to write about what’s on my mind…

Sure, I have written something and thought afterward, “Ooh, this one is gonna stir things up,” or “Uh oh. I’m gonna step on some toes with this one.” While some might call this controversial, I call it button-pushing. What I really want is to open up conversation and create a dialogue around issues that are often overlooked or swept under the rug.

Perhaps my favorite description of my so-called controversial nature came from a compliment paid to me by funny man and writer Jon Acuff himself. He called me a “boat-rocker” and I loved it!

So without further ado, here are the 5 Most Controversial Modern Reject Posts of All-Time (in no particular order), ranging from topics on sex, atheism, faith, and race. I run the gamut, what can I say… Continue reading Top 5 Most Controversial Modern Reject Posts of All-Time

Unlocking the "Me" in Christianity

Today’s guest post comes from the ever-witty, insightful and Jesus-loving Moe of Beta Christian. I first came to meet Moe via Tumblr back in the day. His blog has since grown and become, I think, one of the smartest and most engaging Christian blogs around. I’m grateful to have him appearing on Modern Reject today. Enjoy.

Can you imagine a culture where you can just be yourself without being criticized or judged? A culture where you don’t have to spend so much time and energy trying to protect your reputation? Yeah, certainly not in this planet. And certainly not in the church.

People spend an insane amount of time building a reputation inside of the church. They don’t want to be on the outside part of it, so they work too hard trying to fit in. Just look around our gatherings and we can see people working very hard at it.

Spiritual Curriculum
Because of this pressure to be so spiritual, we make the mistake of concealing who we really are. We start identifying people based on what we see and we adapt our lives to fit in: Continue reading Unlocking the "Me" in Christianity

Confession: I Didn't Wait til Marriage…

“I’m participating in a blog series hosted by Ally Spotts called Confessions of a 20-Something Christian, where 20-Somethings get honest about their lives, loves and regrets. My confession is…

I had sex long before marriage. And here’s why…

Unfortunately, one of the defining characteristics of Christians (as defined by other Christians, of course) is that we remain virgins until marriage.

Heck, that alone explains why so many Christians get married young–they can’t wait to have sex. But then there’s me.

I didn’t wait until marriage because no one told me not to. Sounds a bit over-simplified, I know, but it’s the truth. I did not grow up hearing “Don’t have sex.” I was told about the mechanics of sex at any early age and then told to use protection when I was older.

The saddest part, is that I never actually wanted to have sex. I didn’t become a Christian until I was almost 17 and by then I’d already lost my virginity.

All along the way though, I never felt right about sex. I always had a feeling that what I was doing something wrong, dirty, or shameful. I went along with it because, well, it’s what all the cool kids were doing…

No, that’s a lie. It’s not what all the cool kids were doing. I had sex because I was looking for somethingContinue reading Confession: I Didn't Wait til Marriage…

Confessions of a Reluctant Homeschooler

I’m starting a new series called: Confessions. Clever, huh? No, not really, but the purpose is to confess so many of the things I personally struggle with, keep hidden, and daily battle. My hope is that you all will join me in my confessions (Tell me I’m not alone) not to call you out, but to remind one another that we are all in constant need of His grace and mercy.

I shared with you quite a few months ago that God was indeed prompting me to homeschool my daughter for kindergarten. I shared how scared this made me, not only because I question my own abilities, but also because I never wanted to be labeled as a “homeschooling mom.”

That’s right. I’m vain. I’m selfish. Mostly, I’m vain. I so desperately wanted to avoid all of the homeschool stereotypes: denim jumpers, long hair, mini-vans, scrapbooking, soccer practice.

But alas, I submitted to the Lord and it’s official…I am a homeschooling mom. So maybe you’re wondering, is it really as bad as I had suspected? Am I already feeling the need to bake cookies and cloth diaper my babies? Well, you might be surprised…. Continue reading Confessions of a Reluctant Homeschooler

Introvert is Not a Dirty Word

I had never really considered the differences between introverts and extroverts. I had never stopped to examine what I might be. I never cared…that is, until I met my husband.

Suddenly, standing next to my then-fiance, I realized that he and I were quite different (painfully so) when it came to how we interacted with people.

One particular Sunday following a church service at the mega-church we used to attend, Jonathan was walking me around and introducing me to numerous people. As the number of new faces grew, I slowly began to shrink. I froze. I became silent. I put my head down and avoided eye contact.

He pulled me aside and, in a loving yet stern way, told me that I was coming off as rude. He knew I wasn’t rude, he explained, so something needed to change. i.e. me.

It was then that I realized that I was an introvert who had all along been posing as an extrovert. The thing I soon came to realize, also, is that “introvert” is not a dirty word… Continue reading Introvert is Not a Dirty Word

I Love Vandalism! Do You?

from the archives

Over the weekend the hubster and I watched the indie documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, which films various street artists, (also known as graffiti artists) in their quest to cover cities with their artwork. The most infamous of the street artists is the elusive Banksy, who also happened to produce the film.

Banksy has pulled off some of the most genius/risky/devious pranks and art displays among all street artists. He appears in the film with his face blacked out, voice disguised–still an enigma. No one knows who this mystery man is but, his creativity and talent are undeniable, even if you disagree with his mode of operation.

After watching this movie, I realized…I think I love vandalism… Continue reading I Love Vandalism! Do You?