I got this email last week, and it really touched me. I know this woman isn’t alone. Many have come through this pandemic and election season confused about what is true and how to deal with people in our lives who seem to have fallen prey to many of the lies that are disarming the power of his church.
My heart hurt for this lady and what she is going through, but I also admire the courage of her honesty and how to handle what’s going on around her:
Today, I got an email from someone I looked up to circulating a conspiracy theory about vaccines, and it kind of just cracked me open. I’m seeing the people who taught me to value truth abandon it or not even using the slightest bit of discernment as they circulate clearly problematic “information.”
I just don’t know what to do. It’s hurting me more than I expected. The isolation of this year is hard, homeschooling our three boys is hard, the political turn the country has taken has been deeply concerning. Watching what’s happening in the church is by far the hardest.
This year the church looks nothing like the church to me. I watched my Mom and her husband make fun of the black lives matter movement. I listened to my sister’s pastor preach against black lives matter for having points he disagreed with. I watched people I went to Bible school with mock George Floyd’s death and condemn the protests that followed. My entire family, right down to cousins, seem to have bought into the “rigged election” lies. With that comes political conspiracy theories using the name of Jesus. Now the vaccine conspiracy theories. Most of my family is wrapped up in this. I feel so sad and so tired. I feel brittle. Every day Jesus teaches me more how much He loves me, I’m completely 100% all in with Jesus, but for the first time in my entire life, I’m not so sure what to do with Christians. I don’t know who they are anymore. It makes me cry.
What I thought was, isn’t. The people I respected, I now do not. The people I trusted, I now do not. I don’t want to be part of a church that is a thinly veiled political party with spiritual window dressing. But I do want Jesus and all the He has for me, wherever that might be.
I’ve had quite an exchange with her and even interact a bit with this email on The God Journey podcast set to air tomorrow (February 5). I wrote the blog on The Symptoms of Delusion to engage in this kind of conversation. If you are having some of the same struggles this lady is and would like to get together with some other people to talk about it, I’m going to hold an open Zoom conversation this Sunday, February 7 at 10:30 am Pacific Time. Please understand me. This is not for people who take offense to her email and want to argue that the election was rigged, that Donald Trump is a modern-day Cyrus, that there isn’t racial injustice in this country, or that the vaccine is unsafe. This is for those who want to have a different conversation — how do I navigate a Christian world I feel so out of step with? And, what might God be doing in our day through all of this that can give me hope?
And, if that doesn’t include you, please don’t feel judged or excluded from God’s life or my love. This is a very trying time and rather than fight over the controversy on Sunday, we just want to talk to those who are feeling alienated from their friends and family who see politics very differently than they do.
If you’d like to join us, please email me and I will send you a Zoom link. We’ll spend about an hour together and see what God does.
I’m looking for ten or so people who are between 25 and 40 years of age with a sense that God has given you specific gifts to help equip others to live in his love in a bit more unconventional way than some of our religious boxes provide. I already have a few in mind, but I sense there are some others who would like to get together weekly on Zoom and see where the conversation goes. This is not so I can teach you anything. I have no agenda or curriculum for you to follow, but just a willingness to walk alongside a few younger people while God is shaping something in their hearts. This will be a chance for us to bounce questions and insights off each other and see what God does. I only want people who are already familiar with the passions of my heart from having read at least a few of my books or listened to a fair amount of podcasts. I hope to encourage people who feel as if God is inviting them on a similar walk.
If you’d like to be considered, please email me. If I don’t know you already tell me a bit about yourself and why you would be interested in this kind of gathering. I’m looking to start with about ten or twelve people so I’m going to be praying about who that might be off of the things you share with me. If there’s more interest then I’ll have to see about starting another or what else God might have in mind.