Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 16)

To My Evangelical Friends and Family : I’m Sorry, I Just Can’t Reach You

I’m sorry, I just can’t reach you.

Trust me, I so wish that I could.

I get it. I truly do. You’re an Evangelical. White, conversative, and perhaps still a Trump supporter. I’ve been who you are, I was a conservative Evangelical pastor for 22 years. So, I understand completely. I’ve seen, heard, and lived it all.

But now that I’ve walked away from it, every bit of it, I guess I wonder why you haven’t too.

When I was entrenched in that system of faith, no one could pull me away. Not reason, not tragedy. Not family, friends, or even truth. I was a captive, totally submitted to the conservative Evangelical Borg. Yet, all by choice, if I’m honest.

You think I’ve lost my mind. That I’ve fallen away. To you, I’m now an enemy of sorts, a project to turn back to your beliefs and ways.

You ask, “what happened to you?” You quote the Bible at me. You hold the flames of eternal torture over my head. Silent treatments here, silent treatments there. You condemn to hell nearly everything about me, perhaps even praying for my demise. Apart from a complete return to your acceptance and approval, it seems that in your mind, there is nearly nothing worthy about me. I’m lost. A heretic. A child of the devil. A “woke,” “baby killing” reprobate.

No matter what I say, no matter how I feel. No matter the Bible verses I point to, no matter the changes in my heart that have set me free. No matter the hurt you cause, the people you isolate. No matter the suffering you create, the destruction you rationalize. No matter the science, history, or facts. No matter my patience, no matter my pleading. No matter the tears in my eyes, nor the pain in my face. Nothing seems to get through. I’m not searching for perfection, I’m just searching for some humanity.

Yet, like the orange that can’t be pulled from the tree, no matter the force, because it isn’t ripe, I can’t reach you, and to keep on trying only breaks me and emboldens you. Lord knows, I’d do anything.

So, I’m standing with the ones you reject. I’m extending the love you refuse to give. I’m embracing the God that frustrates and offends you. I’m giving voice to the ones you oppress. I’m chasing the evils of your beliefs out of the shadows.

I’m finally breathing for the first time. I’m hearing the Jesus within me for the first time. I’ve tasted and seen that the Lord is thoroughly good: non-violent, inclusive, affirming, equality bringing, and unconditionally loving. I’m proclaiming good news to the poor, freedom for the imprisoned, and Light in the midst of darkness. For me, God is All and in all, inseparably and irrevocably. The Gospel in purest form. The earth is my sanctuary, humanity is my community, and love is my worship. And, that’s all I need to see, live, and believe. Finally, I’m alive and being me.

So, if I seem distant, it’s because I’m stewarding the Light within me. If I offend you, it’s because I am finally speaking. If I don’t participate in your attempts to change me, it’s because I’m at peace with who I am, and I’m finally realizing Jesus is too, and always has been.

I’m sorry, I just can’t reach you. Only an honesty from within yourself, ever can. And that is what I pray.

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Grace is brave. Be brave.

 

Check out Chris’ latest book, Stupid Shit Heard In Church available on Amazon (link below)…

What people are saying:

“After reading just a few chapters, I had to schedule an appointment with my therapist, it’s that good.”

“This book is changing  the world.”

“Profound, life-changing; that says it all!”

 

Christian, Which Side Are You On?

Jesus loves everyone, He is pro-human.

He is All and in all.

 

He stands for everyone, but He doesn’t stand with everyone.

He takes sides. Definitive sides. Everywhere He goes, everything He does, and everything He says takes a side.

 

When Jesus invites people into His life, He seeks followers, not believers. Followers of His actions, example, and teachings. For Jesus, mere beliefs don’t change anything, actions can change everything. In fact, He scolds those whose faith is merely an exercise in creedal accession and lacking in actions that duplicate His. Their beliefs count for nothing and cost Him greatly. Over and over again, Jesus sides with the follower, not the believer.

When Jesus interacts with the poor in spirit, heart, mind, health, sustenance, and possessions, He takes care of them, defends them, and clothes them in high standing and value among all of humanity. He berates the privileged, the down-lookers, the stingy, the hoarders, the best-life living, the callous, and the wealthy, admonishing them to check their attitudes and write the checks that flip the tables of classism and privilege. Over and over again, Jesus sides with the poor, not the privileged.

When Jesus dines with “sinners,” He strips them of the label and tattoos their forehead with “friend.” When a woman is caught in adultery, He steps in and across to “Jackie-Chan” the religious haters and thrust a force field over her, disarming bigoted stones. Nobody rants against faith-phonies and legalism-pushers like Jesus. Nobody spits out religious to-do steps, sin-management, and “you must invite Him into your heart” like Jesus does. One religious lung-biscuit after another, He vomits faith-conservatism out of His mouth. The religiously condemned and oppressed are His people. The condemners and the oppressors, not so much. Over and over again, Jesus sides with the condemned, not the condemner.

When Jesus gathers His disciples for one last huddle, He tasks them with making “learners” of Him throughout the world. Yes, “learners,” not “lorders.” Learners who are free to think, free to doubt, free to question, and free to believe or disbelieve. Their learners–learners who can be learners of Him within all faiths, for He is All and in all. Those who want to use Him for political purposes, for gaining power over people, or for demanding their flavor of faith upon the masses, He resists and disowns, as they are far from being in tune with His message and mission. To any who wish to lord, colonize, or bulldoze their faith into hearts and society, He spreads donkey dung upon their self-serving path and dies on a cross so everyone will know the difference between Him and them. Over and over again, Jesus sides with the learner, not the lorder. 

When in the face of a capitalistic society, Jesus tells the controversial story of a boss who pays some workers exactly what he promised for the amount of time they worked. At the same time, he hires other workers to work less time, but pays them the same as those who worked longer. Of course, the original workers were furious, surely claiming that the boss was being “unfair” and socialistic. Jesus highlights the story to uplift the value of grace. The boss didn’t withhold blessings from the first workers, he simply graced the others. By capitalistic standards, it wasn’t fair. In the mind of Jesus, it was better than fair, it was grace. When it comes to anything, from “an eye for an eye” to “selling all your possessions,” Jesus doesn’t side with “fairness.” He doesn’t side with a “fairness” that rigs systems towards the benefit of the “haves” over the “have-nots.” Jesus sides with grace. And to those who withhold it, they receive His deep disdain. Over and over again, Jesus sides with the gracious, not the fair.

When confronted by a group of the religious who insisted that God favored them and were the center of His approval, heart, and blessings, He told them about a shepherd who had a 100 sheep, but left 99 of them to rescue one that got away. But not just got away; shoved out. The one who saw his escape as his only path of survival. The one that had been condemned, marginalized, thrown to the curb, and branded as an outsider. The one “loss” that was deemed by the 99 as the cost of being a “free” herd of sheep. So, Jesus turns over their religious calculations through a simple story to show that God actually sides with the one, not the 99. 

The one gun victim, not the 99 gun owners. The one transgender child, not the 99 MAGA bullies. The one gay teenager, not the 99 religious bigots. The one searching for the whole truth, not the 99 book banners and racist history erasers. The one raped woman, not the 99 political careers. The one falsely convicted, not the 99 hooded courtrooms. The one who can’t breathe, not the 99 cops who refuse restraint. The one medically vulnerable, not the 99 anti-maskers. The one following Jesus out of church, not the 99 in church who don’t follow Jesus at all. Over and over again, Jesus sides with the one, not the 99.

 

Everywhere Jesus is, He’s taking a side.

For the cross is the divine line drawn across the cosmos that makes absolutely clear that God does, indeed, take sides.

 

Christian, which side are you on? 

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Grace is brave. Be brave.

 

Check out Chris’ latest book, Stupid Shit Heard In Church available on Amazon (link below)…

What people are saying:

“After reading just a few chapters, I had to schedule an appointment with my therapist, it’s that good.”

“This book is changing  the world.”

“Profound, life-changing; that says it all!”

 

It’s Colonization, All Of It

It’s colonization, all of it.

 

It’s not, “pro-life.”

It’s not, “protecting kids in classrooms.”

It’s not, “preserving family values.”

It’s not, “making America great again.”

It’s not, “restoring religious freedom”

 

No, not even close.

It’s colonization, all of it.

 

It’s what you do when you have not love.

It’s what you do when you have not Jesus.

It’s the best idea of those whose hearts long only for self, even to the destruction of others.

For colonization is greed wrapped in spiritual justification. It’s the face of evil masked in holiness.

It’s the stealing of what belongs to others and making it your own. It’s the taking of what God created for equality and highjacking it for supremacy. It’s the enslavement of what should be free and hoarding it for elitism. It’s the condemning of all that is divine and beautiful, and shaming it into religion. It’s the forcing of yourself into someone’s life and living, to the point that their life is no longer a life of their own.

It’s greed, selfishness, control, and power plastered with divine lipstick and the gloss of moral urgency. Nothing is good, divine, or worthy about it. Every sin that is sin is involved. Colonization is the fruition of corruption. It’s the wake of evil souls. It’s the manifestation of those who have exchanged love for lordship that they might bulldoze the world.

 

Fox News colonizing the truth.

Elon Musk colonizing Twitter.

A worship singer colonizing an airplane.

DeSantis colonizing Florida schools and Disney World.

Let’s call it what it is… it’s colonization, all of it.

 

Republicans colonizing women’s bodies.

Republicans colonizing human sexuality.

Republicans colonizing healthcare.

Republicans colonizing the economy.

Republicans colonizing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

 

White Evangelicals colonizing the Bible.

White Evangelicals colonizing Jesus.

White Evangelical men colonizing church and home.

White Evangelicals colonizing libraries.

White Evangelicals colonizing American history.

White Evangelical Christians colonizing everything and anything they can overpower into their submission.

 

History reveals the dark tale. If they can’t covert you, they will colonize you; if they can’t colonize you, they will crucify you. Sadly, it’s true, all of it.

There is nothing of Jesus, God, love, morality, holiness, or goodness involved. Only insatiable evil, salivating out of colonizing mouths gaping with spiritual depravity.

 

For when Jesus instructed, “Go make disciples of all nations” the word translated as “disciples” is actually the word “learners.”

Notice He didn’t say, “lorders.” He said, “learners.” 

People learning Jesus-love, Jesus-feeding, Jesus-healthcare, Jesus-economy, Jesus-ranting-against-the-religious.

People learning Jesus-compassion, Jesus-equality, Jesus-generosity, Jesus-human-serving, and Jesus-least-of-these-defending.

For “learners” aren’t colonizers and condemners, “learners” are lovers and servants, just like Jesus. 

If only Christianity had adopted the slogan, “No lords, only learners.” Oh, the world we’d be living in.

Colonization and colonizers have nothing to do with Jesus and everything to do with control, power, and ferocious greed.

It’s colonization, all of it. It’s what they do.

 

Let’s learn this.

Learn this now, before learning is colonized too.

It’s coming. It’s here. Look around.

Show up, show out. Like never before, the time is now.

 

“‘So tractable, so peaceable, are these people that I swear to your Majesties there is not in the world a better nation. They love their neighbors as themselves, and their discourse is ever sweet and gentle, and accompanied with a smile; and though it is true that they are naked, yet their manners are decorous and praiseworthy.’ All of this, of course was taken as a sign of weakness, if not hedonism, and Columbus being a righteous European was convinced the people should be ‘made to work, sow and do all that is necessary and to adopt our ways.’ Over the next four centuries (1492-1890) several million Europeans and their descendants undertook to enforce their ways upon the people of the New World.”  

Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, Dee Brown (pgs 1-2)

 

It’s colonization, all of it.

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Grace is brave. Be brave. 

 

Check out Chris’ latest book, Stupid Shit Heard In Church available on Amazon (link below)…

What people are saying:

“After reading just a few chapters, I had to schedule an appointment with my therapist, it’s that good.”

“This book is changing  the world.”

“Profound, life-changing; that says it all!”

 

 

I’m So Exhausted

I’m so exhausted.

There are no other words. 

There’s no way around it, and I refuse to hide as if it’s shameful or indicative of some kind of deviance or weakness. 

So much hate everywhere. There is almost nowhere where it is not. Every crack, seam, crevice, platform, and instance. No more gowns and hoods. No more gloves or inside handshakes. No more concealment, embarrassment, brake pumping, or situational empathy. All out in the open, proudly parading in the light of day, longing for open spaces and closed minds. Zero to sixty at the drop of a hat. The curtain has been pulled back. The scab has been picked. The cancer has metastasized. The cover has been opened of the American sewer. Unrestrained, unchecked, and unabated hate of every kind, spewing everywhere. 

Sensory overload, news overload, trauma overload, opinion overload. “Do this, don’t do that” overload. Billboards, screens, “breaking news,” and algorithms raping our minds for every moment of our attention.

The rich get richer, the poor get poorer.
The oppressors keep winning, the oppressed keep suffering. Heartbreak and heavy lifting.

We’re all getting screwed. Everyone of us.

Only the few that hold all the cards are immune, drifting in yachts built by slavery ships and wooden canoes.

System after system designed to keep us dependent, compliant, and functioning just enough to serve their seven-deadly-sinning. Rats in a rat race designed by wolves. We are but cogs in the clock of those who rule our time.

The more we awake, the more they seduce our sleep. Distraction after distraction, dragging us around like dogs on a leash and spinning truth like a breakdancer on crack. 

 

Lies are approved. 

Violence is budgeted.

Oppression is focused-grouped.

Power and privilege are hoisted, legislated, and canonized as Scripture. 

 

I’m tired of face-slap debates, knees on necks, and people-erasing.

I’m tired of trucks with confederate flags flying and spiritualized patriarchy.  

I’m tired of Monday morning quarterbacking, Bible masturbating, and Transgender suicide legislating.    

I’m tired of “don’t say gay,” don’t see slavery, don’t learn history, don’t trust science, don’t question systems, don’t report abuse, don’t deny men, don’t read books, don’t resist injustice, don’t free think, and don’t believe the truth that you are truly seeing.  

 

Everywhere we turn. Every breath we breathe. It’s inescapable.

 

I’m so exhausted. 

You’re exhausted. We’re exhausted. 

It’s where we are, it’s who we are. 

It’s our teary-eyed, tired-eyed communal lament. 

It’s the closing of the blinds. The curling up into the fetal position. 

 

So, I’m listening to jazz again, returning my soul to a simpler time.

Taking in stories of enduring value, goodness, and humankind.

I’m turning off the news, the screens, and the voices wasting my time.

I’m protecting the streams stirring within me, welling up within me, and opening the door only when it’s time.

I’m resting more. Being careful more. Listening to me, more. 

To the blips on my own radar screen.

To my own pulse, presence, and people.

 

So, let’s rekindle, recalibrate, and renew together, that we might reconnect and resist all the more.

Cause I’m so exhausted, and I’m guessing you are too.

 

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Grace is brave. Be brave.

 

Check out Chris’ latest book, Stupid Shit Heard In Church available on Amazon (link below)…

What people are saying:

“After reading just a few chapters, I had to schedule an appointment with my therapist, it’s that good.”

“This book is changing  the world.”

“Profound, life-changing; that says it all!”

 

 

There’s No Such Thing As A Christian Nation

There is no such thing as a Christian nation.

It doesn’t exist.

It can’t exist.

Not a chance.

Not with Christ.

For Christ cannot be nationalized. He refuses the platform. He rejects any and all power established through vote, people, government, or popularity. He seeks no political party, no people group, and no established system of organization.

He cannot be colonized, weaponized, militarized, bulldozed into existence, marched down the street, hammered by a gavel, or flown over a stadium.

He dwells outside of walls, structures, and human constructs. He tears down all that would cage Him, franchise Him, leverage Him, and hoist Him upon a flag.

For Jesus lives in the margins, the cracks, the undefined, and the unconstituted. He cannot be legislated, demarcated, or plotted on a map.

Far beyond theology, denominations, creeds, rules, religion, news networks, social media, speeches, conferences, prayer formulas, mission statements, worship centers, bibles, and books.

He blesses all.

Lives in all.

Claims all… equally.

He is all, in all, and for all, or He means nothing at all.

There is no budget that can commandeer him, no army that can assert Him, no democracy that can elect Him, no dictator that can enforce Him, and no office, house, branch, or anthem that can contain Him.

In fact, you can surely be sure that any person, group, or effort to nationalize Him is not of Him. Not even close.

Perhaps it’s becoming all the more clear. The code has been cracked; the mystery has been solved. The cancer has been disguised as the cure; the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is revealed. Hidden in plain sight, Christianity without Jesus is the anti-Christ and the nationalization of this Christianity is his ultimate pursuit.

For you can nationalize hate.

You can nationalize greed.

You can nationalize racism.

You can nationalize violence.

You can nationalize injustice.

You can nationalize white supremacy.

But, you can’t nationalize Jesus.

For Christ can’t be nationalized, but all that is anti-Christ surely can.

Within every call, drumbeat, and chorus to nationalize Christianity is the screaming confession that, “we have not, believe not, and worship not Jesus.”

Don’t be fooled, all the pursuits of Christian nationalism and the establishment of a Christian nation. They have nothing to do with Him and cannot exist with Him, by Him, or for Him.

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Grace is brave. Be brave.

 

Check out Chris’ latest book, Stupid Shit Heard In Church available on Amazon (link below)…

What people are saying:

“After reading just a few chapters, I had to schedule an appointment with my therapist, it’s that good.”

“This book is changing  the world.”

“Profound, life-changing; that says it all!”

 

 

 

Conservative Evangelicalism, Are You Going To Kill Me Too?

The Bible is laced with stories of murder.

Christianity is laced with stories of murder.

Conservative Evangelicalism is laced with stories of murder.

 

Fact, fact, fact.

 

Everywhere you turn, it’s here, there, and everywhere; past, present, and future.

Whether intended or not, spiritual, emotional, and physical death are the wake your creeds have long created upon the sea of humanity. It’s undeniable, well documented, and refuses to be erased. Sadly, yours is a murderous brand of believing. Tough to hear, sad to say.

Don’t believe me?

Noah’s Ark, the Crusades, Indigenous Indian colonization, Black slavery, the list goes on and on. And now, your continued brutal assault on the LGBTQ community, the black community, the poor, women, minorities, and any and all of those who would stand against you and your pursuit to nationalize your white, male-driven, conservative Evangelical faith and the white supremacy it enables.

I understand, perhaps not all individuals within the conservative Evangelical faith support these pursuits, but as a former conservative Evangelical pastor of 20+ years, I know for sure, beyond any doubt, that your system of faith is a well-oiled catalyst, breeding ground, and incubator for violence of every type and kind. That’s the truth.

You know the saying, “If it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it probably is a duck.” A past of repeated, consistent behavior is a trustable indicator of the future. Patterns are powerful at predicting. One only needs to connect the very dots your faith system hopes to conceal. As your Lord and Savior Donald Trump declared, “I love the poorly educated.” 

Yes, I’m concerned. And, I wonder why you aren’t. Because now, more than ever, it seems that many among your faith system are willing to knowingly and cheerfully embrace any evil and all costs to lie, cheat, and bully your way into having democracy vanish and your dictatorship emerge, even to the spiritual rationalization of murder. 

You actually called the murder of a police officer during the January 6th insurrection, a “legitimate political discourse.”

You called the reality of school shootings a clear need for more people to have more guns, “if only the victims had been carrying guns.”  

You tell women in the inevitable event of a rape to, “lie back and enjoy it.” And don’t forget, there is such a thing as, “legitimate rape.”

You position yourself as against abortion, “every life is a sacred gift from God,” but refuse to support the solutions that actually work to remedy it. It’s as if you’ve decided that you can benefit from the problem more than the cure. 

You declare that, “America is not racist” while frantically trying to erase all the clear history that  reveals the contrary. In fact, it wasn’t until 1995, that your SBC finally admitted your supportive role in black slavery. Which, by the way, makes me wonder, how do you admit to fostering black slavery in the past and try to erase the history of it now? 

You want us to believe that you are, “pro-women” and “pro-life” but yet hold fast to patriarchal leadership and the demonizing of a woman’s choice, all while you objectify their bodies. Not to mention, all the violence and death you are quick to rationalize when it serves your purposes and decry when it doesn’t. 

Violence, murder, death, and abuse. 

Everything you touch that refuses to be white-washed and converted is subjected to your brutality. The history and present, they don’t lie.

Which leads me to wonder, are you going to kill me too?

For some, that may seem like a barbaric question. But at frequent moments in time, yours has been a barbaric system of faith. I would be ignorant not to consider the possibility. History and the present clearly shows me, it’s what you do.

So, I’m wondering. 

If one day, your dreams come true and you rule the country and make all the rules, when I refuse to pledge allegiance to your so-called Christian flag, are you going to kill me too?

If one day, your dreams come true and you rule the country and make all the rules, when I refuse to give up my land and property into your ownership and control, are you going to kill me too?

If one day, your dreams come true and you rule the country and make all the rules, when I refuse to work in your camps and serve your plantations, are you going to kill me too?

If one day, your dreams come true and you rule the country and make all the rules, when I profess to be a “progressive” and refuse to attend your churches, sing your songs, and believe your brand of believing, are you going to kill me too?

If one day, your dreams come true and you rule the country and make all the rules, if I should have an LGBTQ child who I affirm, support, and empower, are you going to kill me too?

If one day, your dreams come true and you rule the country and make all the rules, if I should stand between the barrel of your gun ready to shoot an innocent black man, are you going to kill me too?

If one day, your dreams come true and you rule the country and make all the rules, if I should refuse to surrender my daughter into your sexual pleasure and service, are you going to kill me too?

If one day, your dreams come true and you rule the country and make all the rules, when I can no longer benefit your pursuits or become a burden, are you going to kill me too?

If one day, your dreams come true and you rule the country and make all the rules, when I feed the poor, heal the sick, favor the brokenhearted, proclaim justice for the oppressed, visit an adulterous woman at a well, give hospitality to a Samaritan, feed thousands for free, dine with “sinners,” proclaim that all are equally imaged in God, place my hope in Love not a nation, denounce your politics, and stand in fierce resistance to your self-righteous, evil religiosity, are you going to kill me too? 

 

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Grace is brave. Be brave.

I’m Progressive, And I’m Walking Away From “Deconstruction”

I was a conservative Evangelical pastor of 20+ years.

Racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, Republican, hell-preaching, bible-weaponizing, hateful, and hurtful; that was me.

Until I came to a moment of suicide.

It all started with my collision with honesty. An honesty that wrecked me. Coming forth from within, it forced me to realize and admit that the conservative Evangelical faith simply doesn’t work. Not even close. Everything that I had devoted my life to revealed itself to be a scheme. I had memorized the Scriptures, prayed the right formulas, and performed all the to-do steps. Yet, faced with the Light of truth breaking free from within me, I was confronted with the reality that nothing in my life had become any better, only worse. My faith was a fraud. Fake, empty, and cruel. I had become a monster far removed from the example of Jesus. 

At the height of those moments of devastating inner clarity, I told my wife to find a better husband and my children a better father. I was a broken down man. Beat to the pulp of my very core. Death, seeming to be the only way out. It was a darkness beyond darkness. 

There was much that was uncertain back then, but I can certainly tell you this now, not a single “deconstruction” sage, book, or conference could have talked me off the ledge upon which I was standing. “Deconstruction” could never have rescued me, nor turned back my desire for the ending of me. It could never have given me a new beginning from what I thought was an inescapable tragedy. 

And so, I’m here; alive, changed, progressive, affirming, inclusive, and empowered. But not by “deconstruction,” but rather by something far greater.

Please hear me well. I deeply love all my “deconstruction” friends. I love all “deconstruction” people, and I desire no conflict with you. We are all taking a journey of faith. Furthermore, I’m not writing to condemn “deconstruction” or those whose lives have benefited from it. I’m just telling my story, the lessons I’m learning, and what I’m discerning.

In reality, I have never been an intentional part of the “deconstruction” movement, though perhaps many would say that my writing has played a significant role in their “deconstruction.” 

For that, I am truly honored and appreciative. 

Yet, though I have no desire whatsoever to disconnect with anybody, I find it necessary to “walk away from deconstruction” in the sense that my path is increasingly moving in a different direction from what I see “deconstruction” increasingly becoming. And, here’s why.


First, in truth, there’s no such thing as “deconstruction.”

This is what I’m learning and this is what I’m discerning.

This whole faith “deconstruction” thing, it really isn’t about deconstructing at all.

In fact, there is no such thing as “deconstruction.” White, conservative Evangelicalism has already deconstructed all of us. There’s nothing left to deconstruct.

Piece by piece, they’ve taken all that was already holy, pure, beautiful, and divinely created about you and I and smashed into pieces.

We were perfect from the beginning, affirmed by the Universe, innocent from eternity. There was nothing wrong with us, yet they whispered such accusations into our ears and we believed them. And not just believed them, we believed them all the way

We bit the apple. Sucked in by the tractor beams of the white, conservative Evangelical Death Star. With Jesus as the hood ornament of their world bulldozer, they plowed over all that is good and of God with lies, manipulation, shame, guilt, and fear.

Seduced by their evil wizardry, we became less than human. Haters, judgers, bullies, and fakes. Nothing like Jesus.

See, we don’t deconstruct, we are the deconstructed.

They told us that we’re depraved, an evil blemish at birth.

They told us that we’re lost sinners in need of the salvation of a fire-breathing God who would joyfully drop-kick us into hell if we don’t repent in all the conservative Evangelical ways.

They told us that we’re not good enough, incapable of spiritual discernment, and that we need their guidance, discipleship, steps, formulas, discipline, and accountability to draw closer to God and keep Him there, lest we err and block the gleam of God’s eyes and summon the withdrawal of His favor.

They told us that if you are a woman, you’re hopelessly inferior to men and incapable of the same leadership, discernment, value, and authority as they.

They told us to prequalify people for love, abandon our LGBTQ children, and believe that they have the one and only true faith—a faith that God exclusively approves and ordains to take control of all of society, at any cost.

They told us that the Bible is the perfect Word of God, church is our home, the world is the enemy, they know all the answers, and we should never think or believe without them.

They told us that Jesus is a warrior, God is a Republican, progressives are going to hell, and racism is best served with “thoughts and prayers.”

They substituted trust with fear, Grace with conditions, inclusion with exclusion, divine affirmation with divine wrath, equality with privilege, social justice with selfish selfishness, peace with violence, integrity with hypocrisy, the Gospel with self-righteousness, and Jesus with the devil.

They deconstructed us all like Chauvin’s knee on George Floyd’s neck, spiritually policing the life out of us.

Make no mistake, everything that white, conservative Evangelicalism touches is deconstructed into ashes.

For we are the deconstructed. 

We are the deconstructed.

I repeat, we are the deconstructed.

It’s not something we do or can do, it’s who we are. 

That’s why there is no “deconstruction,” there can only be “resurrection.” And the difference between the two is cosmos-quaking and life changing. 

It’s resurrection. 

It’s the moment, like Lazarus in the tomb, that we hear and respond to the call of Jesus screaming from within our soul to, “get the hell out of there!”  “You’re alive, you’re good, you’re whole, you’re holy, you’re secure, you’re saved!” “Always have been, always will be!”

It’s resurrection.

The moment that the Light within us breaks free and pushes away the stone, kicks over tables, and shakes the conservative Evangelical dust off our feet. 

It’s resurrection.

Yet, like Lazarus, there’s a holy and sacred process of being unwrapped from the conservative Evangelical burial clothes that long entombed us and covered from our eyes all that was and is good about God, ourselves, and the world around us. 

It’s resurrection, not deconstruction. 

One bandage, one shroud at a time. Unraveling the layers of brainwashing, condemnation, and hate that strangled us.

It’s resurrection, not deconstruction.

One lie, one half-truth, one fear at a time. Peeling away the twisted images we believed about God, ourselves, and all of humanity.

It’s resurrection, not deconstruction.

The revealing and reclaiming of our true self, the good that was already there and already enough. 

Scales being resurrected away. 

Learning to breathe anew, learning to believe anew.

Learning to love anew, learning to be loved anew.

Learning to know ourselves, love ourselves, and be ourselves anew.

It’s resurrection, not deconstruction.

We were always beautiful, always loved, always affirmed, always included, always secure, forever and forever.

It’s resurrection, not deconstruction.

For we once were the deconstructed.

But now, we are the resurrecting.

The difference is night and day, and that’s why I’m walking away.

Second, “deconstruction” is just another spiritual treadmill.

It’s hard to say, but I believe it to be true. 

Please hear me well, yet again. I deeply love all my “deconstruction” friends. I love all “deconstruction” people, and I desire no conflict with you. We are all taking a journey of faith. 

Yet, I can’t deny nor hide what I’m seeing. So much of “deconstruction” has largely become conservative Evangelicalism wrapped in shiny new “progressive” paper. It has all the Evangelical components. Do this, don’t do that. Study this, read that. Try this, try that. Attend this, pray for that. Quote this Scripture over here, use this commentary over there. Listen to this podcast here, go to this conference there. It’s all so Evangelicky. 

Much of “deconstruction” isn’t about working out a God-driven “resurrection” from within that reveals and reclaims who we are, who God truly is, and seeing the world anew. Instead, it’s about a human-driven effort to “reconstruct” ourselves, “reconstruct” our faith, and “reconstruct” God. What is Jesus rolling away Evangelical stones from around our soul, “deconstruction” has turned into a human effort to tumble down walls through “better” exegesis and “better“ creeds.

It’s just conservative, Evangelical, performance-driven, behavior-management, belief-conforming religion with progressive make-up plastered on.

Truly, I mean no disrespect and desire no harm, but the term “deconstruction” reduces a holy, sacred, miraculous, and Spirit-driven process into a journey of human effort, steps, and measurements. 

In fact, I have never had so many people reach out to me in tears when they began to see their journey away from conservative Evangelicalism as a sacred-centered “resurrection” and not just a human-centered “deconstruction.” For them the pressure was removed, the divine was revealed, the process was given room to breathe, and real, lasting change could emerge.

The difference is night and day, and that’s why I’m walking away.

 

Third, many progressive “deconstruction” voices have turned a holy, sacred, and miraculous process into a monetized program of profiting sages pimping their books, talks, conferences, and ministry empires.

It’s all so triggering. It’s like going backwards instead of moving forward. Not just going backwards, but even worse, it feels like a falling from Grace. 

I’ve even heard the idea of starting a “deconstruction” worship service. 

What’s next, a “deconstruction” Bible?

I’m reminded of Joshua’s “stones of remembrance” described in the Old Testament. It is said that God instructed that they be placed to remind the people of Israel entering into the Promised Land to never go back to the slavery of Egypt. God knew that some would actually not be satisfied with the Promised Land and would either want to return or try to have one foot in both worlds. 

Sadly, I fear this is already happening. Much of “deconstruction” has taken on the empire-building, franchising, profiteering, legalism, churchiness, and religiosity of Egypt and brought them into the progressive Promised Land of “resurrection.”

The telling of “resurrection” stories has been polluted with ”deconstruction” to-do steps.

Listening to the mind of Christ within has been polluted with intellectualism, “new” biblical scholarship, “woke” exegesis, and the wisdom of wise “deconstruction” sages. 

The self-revelation of “resurrection” has been polluted with the self-improvement of “deconstruction.” 

Jesus’ statement, “You have heard it said, but I say unto you” has been polluted into a “deconstruction” call to somehow read the Bible in front of you better, instead of a call to read the mind of Christ within you better. 

One reveals the real you through “resurrection” and the other tries to change you, through you, through your “deconstruction.”

For me, the difference is night and day, and that’s why I’m walking away.

 

Fourth, it’s easy for Evangelicals to dismiss and condemn “deconstruction.”

Why? Because it’s filled with human effort. And human effort always and eventually breaks down.

It’s so easily criticized, and perhaps, rightly so. Why? Because it all boils down to their opinion versus ours. Their interpretation versus ours. Their understanding versus ours. Their beliefs versus ours. Their mind, versus ours. Their scholarship versus ours.. 

Yet, how much more difficult is it to discount, disarm, and disqualify a person’s “resurrection?”

How much more difficult is it to discount, disarm, and disqualify a community’s “resurrection?”

A resurrection that begins and ends through and with the power of God alone.

A resurrection that is ”worked out,” and not “worked on.”

A resurrection that flows like a river welling up from within, not franchised like a business.

A resurrection that is an experience, not an exegesis. 

It’s far more difficult, I would say.

Because the difference is night and day, and that’s why I’m walking away.

But not without leaving some suggestions for the “deconstruction” movement, if you would allow me…

1) Consider not calling it “deconstruction.” 

2) No more steps, only stories. Tell your story, and let that be enough. 

3) Refrain from enabling “deconstruction” consumerism, conformity, and gated community.  

4) Take the needle out of your veins of becoming or being a “deconstruction” sage and building a ministry empire.

5) Be a team player. Value all voices, not just your own.

 

Grace is brave. Be brave.


 

 

The Horrific Gospel Of White MAGA Christianity

Among MAGA Christians, it’s a deeply loved story.

Noahs’ Ark.

Everyone’s heard it.

 

The ideas, themes, and tenets are simple…

 

1) The default position of God is to kill His enemies.

2) God sees his newly-created humanity as falling short of expectations.

3) Fueled by wrath, His best idea is to mass murder all of them through a global flood.

4) The “good news” is that God saves a precious, redeemable few on an Ark.

 

“I am going to destroy all flesh because the world is full of violence.”  -Genesis 6

Oh, the irony. God’s response to violence is to commit more violence.

 

Wonderful, isn’t it?

Millions of babies, children, families, and people screaming, gasping, and drowning. God’s a murderous tyrant, but no big deal. Let’s paint murals about it in the halls of our Children’s Ministry. Indoctrinate them early.

In the mind and heart of MAGA Christianity, “No need for critical thinking or discerning. We love it. As is. Every bit of it.” “Praise God for His faithfulness. He is holy, just, and good!” In fact, you’ll never hear a MAGA Christian question it or denounce it. Instead, they will even recreate it, line by line and piece by piece, and even lay down some serious cash to celebrate it and make it a tourist attraction.

This isn’t just the story of Noah’s Ark. This is the horrific Gospel of white, MAGA Christianity. Sadly, it has all their treasured themes–enemies, murder, hate, violence, duplicity, hypocrisy, elitism, and privilege–all spiritualized for their viewing and doing pleasure.

Enter Jesus.  

It’s been years since the days of Noah’s Ark. Apparently, God still hasn’t been through an anger management course. Not surprisingly, much of humanity is still pissing Him off. But this time, God decides that He won’t send a flood. Instead, He wields a hot, burning hell of fire. Threading his beard with His fingers, he chuckles to himself, “Floods are for amateurs.”

But, don’t be misled, God’s not a monster, right? No, new leaves are being turned. This time, he creates a “loving” work-around to keep a larger, select group of people from becoming the next victims of his default position to kill his enemies. Pacing the halls of heaven, he conjures up his best idea yet–Jesus. God will murder His own son Jesus instead. It’s brilliant! Then, those who believe all the correct things about Jesus and follow the rules will be saved and go to heaven, gated and sealed far away from all the dirty, disgusting, unbelievers. It’s a win, win. God still gets to murder something, but keeps a larger, select group of people alive so He can sleep a bit better at night, curled up in his hell-heated blanket.

Nothing to see here. Millions of people who somehow, for whatever reason, miss the MAGA Christian mark will spend eternity tortured forever in hell. That’s right, tortured in hell, forever. At least, in the flood they got to die, but in hell they are forced to live forever being tortured by demons and fire. God’s a diabolical, vindictive mass torturer who’s powerless to save all, and creates a system of winners and losers, right and wrong, saved or unsaved, heaven or hell, and calls it all “love” and the “Kingdom.”

In the heart and mind of MAGA Christianity, “No big deal, no need for critical thinking or discerning. We love it. As is. Everything about it. Just act, believe, join, live, and become exactly like us and you’ll be fine.” “Holy, holy, is the Lord Almighty!”

It’s the Ark 2.0 We win! Everyone else… tortured forever.

Enter the Native American Indian.

Minding their own business and tending to their own lives with a gentle spirit, they possess and steward their land with great care and competency. Yet, white, male Christians, intoxicated by years of being groomed by the horrific gospel of white MAGA Christianity, travel vast oceans with an ominous heart willing to take what is not their own, at any price. They arrive on the shores of Native land, ready to conquer. When greeted by the Indigenous people, they discern their beautiful, peaceful humanity, not as an opportunity for mutual respect and partnership, but rather for exploitation. Soon, they will rape, pillage, steal, and destroy the American Indian and their land, convinced they are spiritually justified in doing so. In their white, 15th century MAGA minds, they rationalize and determine that the American Indian is evil and must be colonized or killed.

It’s the Ark 3.0. Manifest Destiny. Drown the Red man, long live the white man.

Nothing to see here. Millions of men, women, children, and babies raped, pillaged, and murdered. Land stolen, lives destroyed, an entire people erased from the planet.

In the heart and mind of white MAGA Christianity, “No big deal. No need for critical thinking or discerning. Besides, look at what God did with the flood. Murder, death, cleaning house, it’s just part of God’s glorious plan” “This land is your land, this land is my land. From California to the New York island!”

Enter slavery.

This new Ark 3.0 needs building. In their minds, God has bigger dreams. It’s to be a nation, not just a boat. A country, not just a colony.

In the beginning, in order to do the heavy lifting, they enslaved the American Indian, but soon an even better option presented itself–the black man.

Experts at using the Bible to justify their bidding, these white, male MAGA Christians personified God as creating a lesser, evil race best suited for slavery. It was an economic decision as much as it was a racial one. Money is power. Power is privilege. And, in the mind and heart of white MAGA Christianity, the white man was destined by God to lord and hoard it all. But if Ark 3.0 was going to succeed, it needed little Arks spread out everywhere. Little Arks to manage the spiritualization of slavery, stoke the hell fires, and rationalize, promote, and protect whiteness everywhere.

Enter church.

MAGA churches here. MAGA churches there. Patriarchal, white, privilege-promoting, and racist-ladened churches everywhere. Some protestant, some not. It didn’t matter, the horrific Gospel of white MAGA Christianty was upstairs, downstairs, around the corner, on every corner. It was baked into nearly every expression of Christianity. In fact, if early American Christianity and churches were centered on, “loving your neighbor as yourself” there wouldn’t be many early churches, and perhaps, not much of early American Christianity. That wasn’t their purpose. Instead, someone had to repeatedly spiritually justify all these evils, and MAGA churches were a critical, necessary place.

Sadly, this is still true today. The desire to build Ark 3.0 is still much alive. It’s the white MAGA American dream.

When it’s all said and done, this is what America means to white, male MAGA Christianity. For them, it’s a divinely created Ark where God destroys their enemies and saves them alone from the rest of the evil world. It’s uniquely blessed, privileged, and protected by God for the white man, established through the spiritually justified murder, marginalization, and demonization of millions of people. Men, women, children, and babies. Nothing to see here. “God Bless America, land that I love!’

Everywhere white MAGA Christianity goes, there you will find an enemy they must fight, violence as their solution, and white privilege their ultimate priority. History tells the tale, many more people die because of MAGA Christianity than ever live and find life because of it.

It’s heaven for them, hell for the rest.

Freedom for them, conformity for the rest

Prosperity for them, poverty for the rest.

Inclusion for them, exclusion for the rest.

Divine favor for them, condemnation for the rest.

Anointed biblical interpretation for them, heresy for the rest.

Double standards for them, one standard for the rest.

It’s Noah’s Ark 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 for them, infinite devastation for the rest.

 

This is the horrific gospel of white, MAGA Christianity.

I am going to destroy all flesh because the world is full of violence.” -Genesis 6

 

God’s response to violence is to commit more violence.

There is nothing more MAGA Christian than that.

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Grace is brave. Be brave.

F*ck You, Space Billionaires

Bezos, Branson, and whoever else is in the billionaire bitch mix.

I have something to say. 

We have something to say.

No, there is no illusion that you will listen nor consider the words. 

Yet still, hear the pounding sounds of countless shouting from the wilderness, with middle fingers raised firm and high, “F*ck you, space billionaires.”

That’s right, f*ck you and the space-cock you fly in.

I wish it weren’t true, but it’s the only linguistic that can suffice. You deserve every and all profanity because yours is a profane life.

It gives me no pleasure in declaring the truth that, while deemed the richest by some, you are, in fact, the poorest of the earth. Your heart, your compassion, your being, and your soul are thoroughly bankrupt. The debt you owe to society for your evil avarice and neglect towers high above the diabolical throne upon which you squat and drop your selfish stew all over the world. Connect all the piping throughout the world, no sewage system can contain your wasted life.

For your greed, not your wealth, has blinded you to the rest of the world. Your riches have become a veil to an empty, darkened, and diseased sense of purpose as to what it means to be human. 

We can see underneath the curtain of your wizardry. You have never set out to be generous, philanthropic, or even fair. If you had, you wouldn’t be a billionaire circle-jerking with your boys in space. Instead, every person your influence has touched would be living lives far removed from the burdens they carry. And, your life would be publicly common and secretly generous to the extreme.

But, that is not you, and that has not been your choice. You’re a taker, not a giver.

You have built your empire of materiality and self-centeredness on the backs of people. You didn’t achieve it, they did. The risks weren’t for their benefit, they were for yours. The hard work wasn’t for them, it was for you. 

When Jesus, a true man of greatness, cast a vision for His life, it was to help the world not exploit it, all at the cost of His sacrifice, not others.

When Jesus worked hard, it was to extravagantly and disproportionately care for and bless all people, not use them, abandon them, and run their lives into the ground.

When Jesus was given all power and authority in heaven and on earth, He immediately began washing people’s feet.

When you have been given virtually all power to change the world, you ride your cunt-capsule to the stars.

See the difference.

You are not the American dream, the European dream, or any dream. You are a scheme, through and through. You don’t live for people, you live from people; a leech raping all who are enslaved to the very economic system you exploit. A system of easy socialism for the top, and brutal capitalism for the bottom. Yet, regardless of one’s economic preferences or ideology, one pivotal truth remains–no one becomes a billionaire without becoming the equivalent sum of evil. 

But you don’t care, your life tells the story. You don’t give a shit, and that’s the problem.

Any good that you have done, which I am sure is worthy of applause, has unfortunately been a collateral blessing along your self-seeking pursuit to the title, “Narcissist of the World.”

You say, “Look at the jobs we have created, look at the science we have developed.” Bullshit, bullshit, and more bullshit. Your employees, the suffering, the world-changing potential of your power, and the environment all cry out, “bullshit.”

Imagine what you could do for planet earth.

Imagine what you could do for life-saving and life-giving medicine.

Imagine what you could do to end world poverty.

Imagine what you could do to rescue climate change.

Imagine what you could do for economic, educational, and judicial equality.

Imagine what you could do for mental, physical, and emotional health.

Imagine what you could do for the differently-abled.

Imagine.

Imagine.

Imagine. 

Yet sadly, there is no need for imagination, you could easily do it all, and still have room for the gold-leafed toilet paper that wipes your cold, white ass.

But you don’t and you won’t, because you can’t see beyond the micropenis of your soul.

While others may bow and genuflect at your presence and power, I’m not impressed.

No, I’m disgusted at your disgustingness.

I would never want to be like you. 

Imagine the compromises, imagine the callousness, imagine the rationalizations, imagine the evil that would have to be adopted into one’s life and heart in order to become like you.

You are not success, you are not admirable, and you are not good. 

The devil’s crotch smells of flowers compared to your stench.

You are the worst of what humanity can become, not because of what you have done, but because of what you leave undone.

You literally have the power to change and transform the world. 

You literally have the power to positively and significantly impact every life on planet earth.

Let me repeat that for those in the back of your flying space dildo… 

You literally have the power to positively and significantly impact every life on planet earth. 

But you don’t, and you won’t.

You could literally save the world, but instead, you turn your back on it.

So, from my heart, our heart, the heart of planet earth, and all living things…

F*ck you, space billionaires.

F*ck you.

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Grace is brave. Be brave.

.Check out Chris Kratzer’s book getting rave reviews… Stupid Shit Heard In Church.

 

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