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De-constructing

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Categories: Meanderings (look it up), Rantings


One of the dangers in opening up a discussion like this–when you start asking questions about things like religious systems and institutional church–it can create the impression that you are simply anti-whatever-it-is you are questioning. In reality, I’m more for true relationship with Jesus than I am against something else. But when you’ve been engrained in the religious system as long as I have, you have to spend some time de-constructing what is in place before you can re-construct something better. We usually don’t have any motivation to change something unless we can see what needs changing. So for awhile, it might seem that I’m just “raging against the machine”, but track with me for awhile, and things will get better. 🙂

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Great expectations, part 2

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Categories: My Story, Rantings

In my last entry, I made a rather blunt remark that great expectations can be a terrible curse. I’d now like to pick up that thread and explain that statement.

It’s not that we shouldn’t strive for excellence, have vision and goals, or just go through life by the seat of our pants and all be under-achievers. That’s not what I mean. Great expectations are when people are so enamored with your gifts and your perceived potential that they fail to see the real you. And those kinds of expectations are so weighty that the greatest of men and women buckle under them. Why? Because there is no such person as super-Christian, and none of us were meant to carry that kind of burden. I’m convinced that this is a huge reason why we’ve seen so many high-profile “celebrity” ministers fail morally and financially. We just aren’t built to be worshiped that way.

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Great expectations, part 1

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Categories: My Story, Rantings

So…some more about my background…and with it, some of the cracks that started to appear in my religious foundations…

I grew up as a “good kid”. I said my prayers (usually), I ate my vegetables (mostly), I obeyed my parents (except for a few compulsive behaviors). But even when I didn’t do everything right, I tried very hard to please. I hated to be in trouble. For the most part, I was all about following the rules. Not only did I consider it my honorable duty to keep the rules, but I felt it was my moral obligation to help everyone else keep them, too. If I noticed my mom slightly speeding, I’d point out the speed limit signs. When I saw a classmate breaking a rule, I’d helpfully remind that person that we weren’t supposed to do that.

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What this is, and is not

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Categories: You need to read this

We’re early in this discussion, and in my last post I gave a little bit of personal background. Before I continue that thread, I think it’s fair to let everyone know where I am, and am not, going with this.

  • I am not here to start church-bashing. Jesus loves His church, and so do I. I don’t intend to disrespect Jesus by slamming the church.

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A Bit of Background

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Categories: My Story

Welcome. This blog is intended to be an ongoing discussion of a journey of faith–a journey of seeking something real, a journey of deconstructing and reconstructing paradigms, a journey away from performing religious duties and toward becoming a true disciple of Christ. So I think it would be good to start off with some of my back story, so you’ll know a little bit more of where I’m coming from.

As far as Christians go, I don’t think you’d find too many people more “churched” than I was. I have spent my entire life in church culture, and not just in one vein of it. In my early years, my mother was a devout Episcopalian. An only child, I was baptized in that church as an infant; I can remember my mother dragging me out of bed to early morning Lent services where we were the only two people in attendance (except, of course, for the priest). My father left when I was two…then during a 9-year divorce my mother had a born-again experience, and my father returned to his evangelical roots after backsliding for awhile to become a hippie. My parents reunited when I was eleven; Mom had left the Episcopal Church by this time, and we all attended a Christian Missionary Alliance church for awhile.

All during this time, though, my parents had been influenced by the charismatic movement and the Word-of-Faith movement, and eventually all three of us received the experience of the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. We realized we were going to have to find a church that permitted that sort of thing, so we began attending a variety of charismatic churches, whose worship was way different from anything I’d been used to. Instead of organs and hymns, they used guitars and drums and sang simple choruses over and over again. People actually smiled as they sang, and they raised their hands. Then sometimes they’d stop singing the song and everyone would just sing to God out of their heart. It was fresh, alive, more Jesus-freaky than anything else I’d experienced before. I loved it. It has flavored my worship of Jesus ever since.

A couple more things I should tell you about my background. First–not only did my family go to church–they went to church a lot. I already mentioned Lent in the Episcopal Church. In the other churches we didn’t do Lent, but we did go on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night (or Friday night) every week. When the church had special services, we were there every night. And when I started playing piano, I added Thursday night to the schedule, for worship team practice. Plus, from junior high on, I was in Christian school at one of the churches we attended, so I was there every day during the week. I didn’t just go to church; I lived at church.

The other thing is that my parents were highly influenced by the burgeoning Word of Faith movement. At first there weren’t Word of Faith churches, so whenever there were special meetings within driving distance, we went. Of course, when Word of Faith churches started springing up, we went to one–and it became one of the first charismatic mega-churches of the 1980’s.

So that’s my background. My religious/church experience was broad in the sense that I had a wide variety of church expressions ranging from liturgical to evangelical to charismatic. But my church experience was also very thick because of all the time I spent in those different churches and meetings.

So when my religious mindsets began to fail me, and when the religious institutions began to reject me as a result, you can imagine the upheaval I went through. It has rocked the foundations of my whole life…more on that later…

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Hello

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Categories: General

Hi, all,
This is my first blog on blogspot. I have some cool ideas for what to write here, but it’s late–so late in fact that I almost spelled “but” with two t’s. Just to let you know I’m here. Check back in a couple of days and I’ll have some cool stuff on here for you to think about.

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