Hello Saints, it’s Pastor Chris, remember me?
I hope you are all doing well and I can’t wait to see you in person later this month (Sunday June 26th). This weekly email was inspired by a conversation I had recently with someone who I would regard to be as rock solid for Jesus as anyone you’d ever meet and yet, was having a bit of a faith crisis. (The faith crisis was not about who Jesus is or that he is God.) If I’m honest, 20 years ago my reaction would have likely involved a combination of shock, disappointment topped with a dose of urgency (to “fix” this person ASAP). But now, I meet such conversations with open arms and a smile because a crisis of faith is biblical and “believe and do not doubt”, AND “help my unbelief” can be true at the same time.
There is A LOT I could say about this subject of “deconstruction” because I firmly believe it’s a sign of health to wrestle with such matters and the church needs to do a better job of providing a safe space for healthy dialogue rather than giving the impression (or overtly stating) that doubts and questions are off limits.
At the end of the day, I encourage everyone to strip down their faith as needed because, and you’ll know this if you’ve heard me preach more than a couple of times, there’s LOTS of things we’ve been told we MUST believe that either simply aren’t true or at the very least aren’t required to believe in order to be a faithful follower and disciple of Jesus. I’m fairly certain of a handful of things and one of those is, that there isn’t going to be a theology quiz for entrance into the new creation (heaven). Don’t get me wrong, I believe (correct) theology is important but it’s not about believing the right things in order to be “in” as opposed to “out” in God’s eyes, but it’s about the fact that proper theology will more readily allow us to see God in a proper light. Jesus is the image of the invisible God and that frees us to live in the loving, healthy and free manner God intends for us to live (“I will give you rest…my burden is light”). Maybe we can do a follow up with some core belief basics like the Apostle’s & Nicene Creeds, but I think that’s probably plenty for now.
Much love & burden free living,