I’m off to Omaha, Nebraska in the morning so I’m going to let Nancy do my blog today. On an email list I host, a young man wrote in recently frustrated that the leadership of the congregation he attends aren’t response if to his doubtful or difficult questions about the effectiveness of their program. He’s felt rejected and some have labeled him a heretic for poisoning others in the fellowship with is concerns. He just couldn’t understand why his fellowship couldn’t be a safe place to ask questions and discover truth on this journey.
Most of us have known the frustration of trying to confront the institutional mindset that distract a group of people from living relationally in the life of God. I love the way Nancy answered him:
Thanks for sharing your journey story. Four years ago I shared a similar anguish with Wayne and Lifestream over my journey out of religion. I’m celebrating with you today. Go ahead, grieve for a time. It’s painful. Then get up and follow Christ who is leading you out of religion and into a way of knowing, relating and responding to Him you didn’t learn in the institution.
Don’t bother confronting institutional mind-sets of those in leadership. If you are like me, God is asking you to confront your institutional mind-set and that’s an invitation and entrance to freedom in Him.
There is a lot of free stuff to read and download on the LifeStream site that will help you along the
journey adventure of discovering Life in Him. I personally related to an article entitled “The Nut
Four years ago I Googled “naked church” and found cyber brothers and sisters who encouraged me as I’m encouraging you; follow Christ—not the institution. For many folks the journey out is not quick, painless or easy. I stumbled and staggered into it myself. God closed a door [religion] that no one could open and opened a door [life in Him] that no one could close. If not, I might still be banging on that door asking leadership to confront THEIR religious mind-sets. Yikes!
Welcome to the adventure!
I love the spirit and content of that. Go ahead and grieve. It is painful when others don’t want to engage the questions. But then pick yourself up and keep following. What God is confronting most often is in us, not in others. No one can restrict the true freedom that is found it Christ. This is an adventure after all, and there are highs and lows as it unfolds.
That’s why Paul and Silas could still rejoice in a prison cell after they had been beaten for their faith. Freedom is a reality within; it’s not getting other people around you to do what you think is best.