@alexandriahayse this thread makes me happy as an old guy, child of mixed parentage with lots of scars from such a past
@BrandonT 6/& final
But unfortunately, churches tend to become their own little kingdoms, focused on serving their own needs or advancing their own agendas at the expense of others—Not all, but most.
I stayed because I felt God asking me to help create the church intended & not the one I inherited.
And it’s a pain in the ass (modern translation of thorn in the flesh, right?) church people are the worst—but I stay for the sake of those needing justice, hope & for those who catch that passion.
And, One for all
When a community of faith (or a community united around any value/idea/vision) puts their individual talents, networks and resources together, they can accomplish so much more.
& this is the intended purpose, in my mind, for the church: to be a collective force for good, justice, hope & Peace within local communities—and the more unity that can take place across a community (state, region...world) among different groups, the greater the potential impact.
And that said, those smaller communities of faith benefit from knowledge of and relationship to other, similar home-based communities.
Working with small churches across international communities, as well as small churches in USA, we’ve seen that Isolation is a place where unhealth can thrive—usually through unhealthy leaders. Being known and knowing others provides a way for wholeness and integrity of character if all can act and contribute within the same value structure.
So, all for one:
The benefits of relationship, community, the collective care & encouragement that a true-loving group can provide is important. That doesn’t have to happen within the four walls of a place with a cross on the wall and a licensed minister, alter and a set schedule of worship or other meetings. That can take place (as it often does most effectively throughout history and around the world today) in sincere, home-based communities.
I’m a Theological offspring - 4th gen pastor who wanted absolutely nothing to do with church or ministry. I know (as I think most here agree) “church” (local congregation to denomination) is not necessary for salvation, and these days may more often wreck someone’s faith than build it.
Cliché alert: all for one and one for all
@BrandonT I’m going to take a stab at answering a good, if not central, question among those that are deconstructing faith.
(Disclaimer up front: I do not feel my answer is authoritative and I won’t attempt to defend my simple thoughts in a text debate; text is such a difficult place for sincere, respective dialogue, so if anyone disagrees or has another angle, let’s set a time for an appear.in call and I’d be happy to listen and learn as well as contribute.) 1/?
Hey @mike during the interview with Jennifer Knapp, you reference your favorite definition of sin—do you have the reference for that definition?
@Haiko I find the young adults we serve in Europe & Middle East have a hard time deconstructing their faith; so rather than struggle to reform faith, abandoning quietly is easier (decline in Europe is well known, but there is a scandalous rise of atheism in Middle East recently).
While faith is very much a society institution, it is tightly maintained within the family units. So the natural tension w/family through deconstruction process is debilitating in these cultures & current economies)
@vishnu while quickly talking to my 18-year old son about Mastadon, I said, “the liturgists are an important group trying to rescue faith in Jesus from what the church has made it, restoring the good to all people”
It actually dovetails into other conversations we hope to be having with him in the next couple months 🤞🙏
@Ken a concluding thought from A’, “...even when we know things by God’s Spirit, none but his Spirit truly knows them.”
I found great intellectual & faith challenges in both books and grateful that I read them together.
Any books from different eras/perspectives that you’d recommend reading together?
...A’ writes, “they are in love with their own opinions, not because they are true, but because they are their own. If this were not so, they would have equal respect for the opinions of others, provided they were consistent with the truth...
A’ continues, “...It appeals me, because even if their explanation is the right one, the arbitrary assurance with which they insist upon it springs from presumption, not from knowledge. It is the child of arrogance, not of true vision...”
@Ken ...B’ comes to faith early through parents influence, pursues meaning by diving deep into exploring & serving his faith, and is essentially kicked out of orthodox Christianity by critics for wrestling with many of the same questions as A’...
A’s confessions are dense and repetitive, not sure he was looking for dialogue; whereas B’ writes with intentional space, as if to invite you to have room to add to his thoughts and questions...
1600 years separate my January reading authors: (A)ugustine & (B)ell each wrestle w/theology & philosopy especially to understand mysteries of eternity...
...A’ came from scandalous youth while pursuing lust & meaning in various popular philosophies, credits his faithful mothers prayers for his conversion, overcame critics as he questioned their accepted thought, and founded much of orthodox Christianity...
broken. pastor who questioned black-&-white foundations to find God’s grace abounds in the gray. learning & serving globabally from Cairo, Egypt.
This is an instance for folks who follow The Liturgists Podcast, The Alien Podcast, and other things The Liturgists create.