Things I Think..

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36 Responses

  1. Joel Brown says:

    #6 – I feel you

  2. Dan from Georgia says:

    I am glad you are getting better Micheal, and I would like to say that your voice is one that gives me hope because many of the things on your mind either mirror, confirm, or codify what goes on in my mind from time to time. You’re thoughts make me feel like I am not crazy and condemned, but that there is a brotherhood out there for me.

  3. Michael says:

    Joel,

    I can’t imagine what that would feel like from your side…I think I would not struggle at all and repent later…

  4. Michael says:

    Dan,

    Thanks as always…you’ve been a blessing to this community and we’re grateful for you.

  5. DavidM says:

    #6 – A daily struggle for me. I do not have the capacity to care in the least bit for him or his salvation. I don’t like that I feel this way. But when I look at the horrors he has created I find that all the compassion and caring that I have is only for the victims, none for the perpetrator. May God stop him cold.

  6. Linn says:

    #6 God has taken care of other people like Putin in quite drastic ways. I don’t think Putin’s afterlife will be very fun, either, but I’m not in charge of that.

  7. Em says:

    My prayer for Putin (& some others) is that they suffer strokes, but are left with enough brain cells to receive redemption.
    For my family and Michael I pray they receive grace and mercy – strength of mind and body plus wisdom and discernment that begins with a healthy respect/fear of our Creator

  8. Michael says:

    Putin is a reprobate, as is his enabler Kirill…they have no hope of salvation because they believe they already have attained it…

  9. Elena says:

    As always, Michael, you put the dot on the I in the lies and cross t in the Truth!
    Your words reflect my feelings also… Specially #9…
    Beside the sadness and unbelief of what’s happening in this century… my mind and heart turns to The Word, it is described so well all we see and feel, and you covered it well!
    Stay healthy, stay strong!

  10. Captain Kevin says:

    #8 Huge AMENNNN!!!

  11. Captain Kevin says:

    #1: I don’t know if I should care either, but I find myself nodding in agreement quite a bit.

    #10: Glad you’re on the mend. Still praying.

  12. Reuben says:

    Feeing 4 & 5

  13. Nancy Holmes says:

    #9 really speaks to me. I have felt for years that the so called division between “secular” and “Christian” is a man-made one, and that we can indeed find, often in the most unexpected places,something of God throughout His world.

  14. Em says:

    Michael, the reason I want to disable, not slay Putin is because the Lord says He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (hell?)!
    Still I suspect you are right about Pewtin……

  15. Alex says:

    #4 – Yes. I find that I know very little about God/Jesus now. The things of which I was so certain have mostly fallen away. But what I do know and believe, in their simplicity, is enough. More than enough.

    #9 – There is no longer any division for me. Suffering can do that to you.
    You learn to see God where you haven’t seen God before (or didn’t believe God would occupy *that* or *there*).
    This song, by a man who grew up in India with his missionary parents, speaks to me on this point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evRTFR_5N6o

  16. Josh says:

    Often, the choice is deconstruction or completely walking away. I’ll take deconstruction.

  17. Reuben says:

    Thought 8

    The highlights of my day are seeing the update videos. I was in therapy today, and discussed this with her. The biggest leap of deconstruction is watching that real ministry take place.

  18. Dread says:

    Reuben

    I had dinner last night with a family including the Ukrainian grandma that was gotten out by Joel and his team. A nice Holy Week blessing.

  19. Steven says:

    Re: #8: could not agree with you more! Too often Christians are so busy infighting about politics and social issues that we are too busy fighting a war against each other and instead neglecting the spiritual war that we are in all day every day.

    By the way, can someone give a good explanation of proper deconstruction, in the simplest statement possible? From my understanding (in the simplest of nutshells), it’s taking what you believe/have been told and then rejecting those things that are not in accordance with proper theology. Am I off here?

  20. Reuben says:

    Dread, that is awesome!

    BTW, I received a book today called “The Evangelical Universalist” by Gregory MacDonald. Thanks Michael!

  21. Reuben says:

    Steven, Im no expert in the matter, but for me, the deconstruction started happening about 9 years ago. I completely collapsed after leaving the church and renouncing my faith after 12 years as a pastor. Calvin’s Institutes was a major catalyst, but the slow progression for me was mostly looking back at all the horrible teaching, beating the sheep, being beaten by the sheep, realizing I was in a very dogmatic cult of sorts. I spiraled into Anti-Theism, which is not to be mistaken with Atheism. Atheists simply say there is no god. Anti-Theists say god and religion are destructive, and should be fought out from society and culture. There vast aspects of Anti-Theism that I still hold dear and will defend, but as Michael said, for me, at this moment of trying to reconstruct things,

    “Deconstruction happens when you meet the real Jesus and forcefully reject all the lies you’ve been told about Him…it’s the healthiest thing happening in the church…”

    I feel that happening to me. I don’t want to be associated with Christianity, I just want a god I can understand, a god that I have never met before, but the window is slowly opening.

    I have been to the place of rejecting all of it.

  22. Josh says:

    Steven, I don’t think there is a definition or any standard method of deconstruction. Its just a name people have given to a process they have observed. It would have to be different for each individual, I would think, depending upon the type of religious environment the individual was raised in. For me, it was seeing how much of my religious landscape was tangled up with right-wing political crap. It was so entangled, it was hard to tell what was crap and what wasn’t. I had to tear it all down to find out what was real. I’m still in the tear-down process, but have stabilized from the free-fall that began it all.
    Generally, the individual would have no idea where the deconstruction would end. It may end with better theology, or it may end with no theology at all. It is just finding yourself in a religious environment that no longer fits, and deciding that you have to get out.

  23. Reuben says:

    Perfect, Josh

    Politics and the overwhelming link to the church was a major process for me as well. It took years, but I wound up completely off the American political landscape, (although it’s used a lot in outright lies and total lack of knowledge) and joined a party that few even know exists in America.

    Christianity, and this is just IMHO, should probably drop the political dogma entirely. I understand there are issues that Christians feel strongly must be supported, but this is country that can not see itself through its own arrogance, what it does, how it is transforming our global affairs, what we have done to other nations, what we don’t do, economics, clear down to how we live. We don’t realize we are an evil nation, hell bent on driving everyone into the dirt, profiting off of human suffering, forcing people to make massive life or death decisions based on what economic class they are in… it’s insane to me. Again, all IMHO

  24. Corby says:

    The BEST book on deconstruction with the aim of reconstruction is “After Doubt.” I had to read it for a class and it actually helped me process through some thing, and definitely helped equip me to walk with others through deconstruction, not around it.

  25. Reuben says:

    Long time no see, Corby. I hope things are well!

  26. Michael says:

    I don’t think for most “deconstructing” people that there is a big mystery about what caused it.
    It was the cognitive dissonance between who the church declared themselves to be and who they really were.

    When someone tells you they love you and you find out they lied…you assume they lied about other things as well.

    Add to this the fact that in American evangelicalism who you hate is as important to the tribe as who you love.

    I do not offer those in the process a book or “warnings”…I offer them my time and my heart and settle in for a long ride.

  27. Kevin H says:

    Deconstruction, as already has been said here, is very broad and different in experience from one person to the next. It is not something that can be neatly defined or categorized step-by-step.

    It also have become one of the enemies du jour of some evangelicals who constantly need something to fight and hate with little effort to understand the complexities of the issue or care about the people who are actually deconstructing.

  28. Michael says:

    “It also have become one of the enemies du jour of some evangelicals who constantly need something to fight and hate with little effort to understand the complexities of the issue or care about the people who are actually deconstructing.”

    Amen

  29. Michael says:

    Reuben,

    I’m sleep deprived and cranky as a snake…but you hit the sweet spot.

    Too many of these people would not know Jesus if He appeared in front of them…so they sell their version of “God” for profit.

    You will find Him helping you dig out of the rubble…

  30. Steven says:

    Thanks for the replies, everyone. Duane, I’ve skimmed the article you linked to but will re-read it later when I am able to devote more time.

    From what I can tell, I may have been in this process for a few years now…and maybe, just maybe, it explains why I feel further and further away (so to speak) from people’s views in our brick-and-mortar church. Not because I’m doing something wrong, but perhaps because I’m doing something “right.”

  31. Josh says:

    The scary part for me is not knowing if I am doing something right or wrong. I just knew I couldn’t keep doing the same thing.

  32. pstrmike says:

    I have had some deconstruction and subsequent reconstruction of my faith. It has become a siren’s call, and something that I have to be careful with. I’m not always confident that I’ll end up in the right place, but also looking back that same concern was the catalyst that formed my own deconstruction to begin with.

    I think the tension and uneasiness stems from the more I know about God, the less I really know about Him.

  33. JefferyInvestery says:

    Not sure if any have read “The Critical Journey”? The journey of faith is described as more of a circle with 6 zones instead of maybe what reformers might see as a staircase going upwards. The circular model helped me see that the Christian life is not linear and there are many different seasons. In this book the concept of The Wall is discussed. I would believe deconstruction happens in this phase.

    Deconstruction = Gods will vs. Man’s will

    Freedom = Grace to submit to Gods will

  34. Pineapple Head says:

    Sheesh,

    This yea, as an experiment, we posted a Facebook ad for our Easter service. Never again. All it does is attract atheists and fundamentalists who feel the need to comment or message us that “we’re doing Easter wrong.” I had to ban one woman who kept posting comments about us celebrating a pagan holiday. What a headache!

  35. Pineapple Head says:

    Oh yeah, and Ben Courson is a piece of narcissistic work.

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