Aliens & Outsiders. Fitzgerald (photo right) and Us.

The Culturally Savvy Christian is an alien and exile. This is a role evangelicals have abandoned in our pursuit of social acceptance and quest for the American Dream, which we have been pursuing through traditional forms of power (money, success, influence.)

Sadly, in this system, talent and hard work do not assure success. The three Divas got the fewest votes on last night’s American Idol, and children of the wealthy get preferential treatment in college admissions. Being an outsider can affect your acceptance ideologically, personally and professionally, and every outsider must decide how to deal with his fate.

Iconoclastic Sculptor, Francisco Brennand has chosen to enjoy his marginalization, viewing it as the result of his own choices, liking his “segregation and to be considered a renegade artist.”

The talented but financially strapped writer, F. Scott Fitzgerald, was optimistic that he could work within the system, when heartbreakingly, he really was, in the words of Billy Wilder, a great sculptor who was hired to do a plumbing job and did not know how to connect the pipes so the water could flow. “His gifts did not suit the medium” and it is sad to read the journals of a man tilting against the windmills only to fail.

The lessons I am learning personally? These are difficult times for seers, prophets and artists. Be true to your calling but don’t expect traditional success or wealth. You may end up like Joni Mitchell’s street-corner clarinetist, “playing real good for free,” but play nevertheless.

Also today: An update on the tragic tale of fallen journalist and Christian Jack Kelley. And ” Shadowmancer” wants to be the “Christian Harry Potter.” Will it succeed? (Should it succeed?)

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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