Some time back, at the Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s conference, I enjoyed chatting with a writer Mary DeMuth. So when, last year, I learned that that she has a daily podcast, (called Pray Every Day) I checked it out and have since been listening regularly.
I had meant to drop a note just to thank her for the podcast, which was helping fill a void that came about from missing church. And then, when I got some bad news you’ll read about below, I decided it was a good time to write her, and I took the liberty of asking could she include in her prayers a mention of Perelandra College.
Here are some clips from what subsequently developed:
“Mary, I don’t know if you got around to praying for Perelandra College or didn’t but let’s say you did, because what I asked for seems to have been answered. What happened was, we had been working on an ad to run in Christianity Today Online for Perelandra College. CT had encouraged us for months, and I labored quite a bit over the ad, and finally submitted. Soon thereafter, I received this reply from my contact at the magazine:
“I just heard from my ‘ad approval committee’, which looks at new advertisers.
“Unfortunately, we will not be able to accept your ad due to our approval guidelines:
primarily in that there is some concern over the longevity and history of the school.
I hope you can understand.
“Thank you though for your consideration.”
To which, I replied:
“This is quite disappointing. Are these folks aware that we have been around since 2002? And I would certainly love to know what in our history might raise any concern.
“Our history is simple: we began as an attempt to empower Christian writers, were accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council, but gave up accreditation at the time of our five-year renewal because our primary financial backer had died and others had backed away when the church that sponsored us disbanded. Since then, we have attempted to find our way and believe we are now in a solid position to create a sort of sanctuary for Christian artists and thinkers.
“I believed Christianity Today had risen above its catering to the evangelical establishment. Apparently not. Correct me if you disagree.”
After which I received this note:
“I’ve talked with my publisher and after further reviewing your e-mail, we are going to allow your banner placement.
“We will get it up and running right away.
“Thank you for this placement and my apologies for any confusion in this matter.”
Of course, after CT relented, I felt a bit guilty about my comment regarding CT catering to the evangelical establishment. Especially since my CT contact had been quite kind and helpful. But now I wonder if that comment might have moved them to change their minds. Perhaps it’s not always best to be diplomatic.
I could write a book (and no doubt will if I live long enough) about ways Christian establishments have left me disillusioned, but perhaps I should more readily excuse them.
A problem with believing in Jesus is, it can make one expect too much of his followers.