Disclaimer: This is not an indictment of (*). I enjoy (*), and most people, I think, also do.
Once upon a time, there was bright, zealous, well meaning church member named Joe. Whether by upbringing, or by discovery as an adult, s/he became involved in (*).
There was truth to be had in (*). Lots of truth. It was easy to tie it back to Gospel Truth. The truth in (*) made Joe feel good, grounded, part of something exciting and real. As Joe progressed in their knowledge and involvement in (*), it also made them feel important. Joe began to make a name for themselves, in real life, and especially online. The writings of Joe came to be admired, championed as pioneering thoughts on the matter of (*). Before Joe knew it, they were making money, and then a living preaching the gospel of (*). Can you believe it–Joe became so good at (*) they could build a career on it? Extraordinary, and so exciting.
Joe rose through the ranks of (*), meeting the heads of the field, experts and dignitaries, and, inspired by their greatness, and their glorious condescension in mentoring Joe, Joe threw themselves into the work of (*) with renewed fervor. The glorious, heady high was wonderful, but Joe felt a stirring within him. It was unfair to keep this light under a bushel. Selfish, even. Sure, there were people who naturally flocked to Joe because they had an interest in (*). But that wasn’t enough.
Joe handpicked people to recruit and mentor, sometimes invoking the spirit when explaining to prospective mentees the gravity and importance of what they were offering. Joe wished all to come unto the Gospel of (*), but also formed a special, insular club around himself of specially recruited adherents they had personally vetted and trained. They could be trusted to hold the proper reverence due to something as important as (*).
There were problems, yes. Sometimes Joe’s spouse or offspring became withdrawn or resentful because of the time, attention, and money that went into (*). Sometimes they didn’t appreciate the importance of what Joe was doing, when Joe bent the whole family’s lifestyle around the tenants of (*). Sometimes, Fellow church members, or even church leadership expressed concern or frustration with the way that (*) worked its way into every testimony Joe bore, every lesson they taught, every comment they made in class. Sometimes, sometimes.
Joe had seen it happen. Divorces and excommunications where the haters blamed (*). That wasn’t really the problem. (*) was the truth and the light.
The real problem is, people just DIDN’T. Understand. How. Important. (*). Is.
They didn’t understand how (*) is really the Gospel, and how the Gospel is (*).
Joe read this blog post, and meant to write a long reply about how it doesn’t apply and/or how this is blasephemy against (*), but then thought better of it. There is no time for that, because Joe’s time is needed for (*), not for haters who just don’t understand.
*(Essential Oils/ Feminism/ Crossfit/ Homeopathy/ Political Worldview or MLM of Your Choice)