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Re: [findingfaith] New to the site

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  • Benjamin Seaman
    A lot of what you have said resonates within me. I find myself questioning the status quo of the church that I help pastor. I see that our spiritual life could
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 4, 2003
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      A lot of what you have said resonates within me. I find myself questioning
      the status quo of the church that I help pastor. I see that our spiritual
      life could be so much better (more alive??) but people seem to be content
      with monotony and meaninglessness in their Christ-walk. I don't know how to
      help people through that. I'm not even sure people want to be helped through
      it. Were the Pharisees content with all their neat rules? Did they find
      security in the drudgery of the life they lived and maybe were threatened by
      the adventure of a life lived focused on God? It's really hard to be a
      pastor to people who want nothing more than Sunday mornings and Wednesday
      nights. Aaaggghhh!!!

      Anyway, my faith has been shaken by what I see in the people of our church
      (other churches too) and yet I have found new life in getting back to
      Scripture and reading God's word for the specific purpose of know God.
      Brian's books (I think I have read all of them), Sweet's books (same) and
      others have served to focus me on what really matters - that's God. Dawn, I
      think that getting back to the Bible and letting God's truth permeate our
      lives is the best thing that we can do - though it doesn't feel like enough
      sometimes, especially when surrounded by people who like being dead.

      Enough said - sometimes my own thoughts criticize me!

      Later


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "dawnnotdepressedanymore" <danrice@...>
      To: <findingfaith@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2003 11:56 PM
      Subject: [findingfaith] New to the site


      > Hi to whoever sees this! I've just read three Brian McLaren books--
      > A New Kind of Christian, More Ready Than You Realize, and Adventures
      > in Missing the Point (with Tony Campolo). To make a very long story
      > shorter, let me just say that I'm in the middle of a very difficult
      > crisis of faith right now, angry at God, angry at organized
      > religion, etc. I was born and raised a staunch Southern Baptist,
      > which until the past three years has been very satisfying for me and
      > seemed to have all the "answers". I have just recently come out of
      > a ten year bout with chronic major depression--I have made it to the
      > other side, so to speak. But as I am now no longer depressed, it
      > seems to me that God has played this enormous joke on me--that after
      > ten years of trying to die and wanting to die--He brought me through
      > only to find out, when reality finally set in, that life sucks and
      > then you die, and He's up there laughing His head off. I don't mean
      > to sound so dire, but nothing in my life is like I thought it would
      > be (after my depression lifted). To me, my marriage is falling
      > apart, and my kids are distant. I can say my job has gotten more
      > tolerable, now that I am able to cope with stress in a rational
      > way. All this to say that Brian's books have made an impact on me
      > spriritually. It was like a light finally came on for me--yes, this
      > was the kind of Christianity that I could believe in, and moreover,
      > share with others. I really don't have anyone to talk with these
      > concepts about--all my family and friends are Catholic or Southern
      > Baptist and think postmodernism is straight from hell. So I'm
      > hoping I can have some dialogue with someone(s) from this site. I
      > truly want to have hope again and to believe that God wants the best
      > for me--I want to love God again. Right now, I'm just too angry.
      > That is something I will have to work on. But, tonight I did buy a
      > new Bible (which I haven't read in years) and I'm excited about
      > learning what it has to say.
      >
      > Well, I've rambled on and on. I hope I will hear from one of you
      > soon. Thanks!
      >
      > Dawn
      >
      >
      >
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    • Eland, David R
      Ben Said: ...I find myself questioning the status quo of the church that I help pastor. I see that our spiritual life could be so much better (more alive??)
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 4, 2003
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        Ben Said:
        ...I find myself questioning the status quo of the church that I help
        pastor. I see that our spiritual life could be so much better (more
        alive??) but people seem to be content with monotony and meaninglessness
        in their Christ-walk.

        Dave:
        Wow. Unfortunately you are not alone as a pastor or believer. But
        you are also not alone as a person desiring more "life". My guess is
        there are others in your own congregation with the same desires.

        Ben:
        ...I don't know how to
        help people through that. I'm not even sure people want to be helped
        through
        it. ... It's really hard to be a
        pastor to people who want nothing more than Sunday mornings and
        Wednesday
        nights. Aaaggghhh!!!

        Dave:
        Many do want to be helped but may not know how to ask. Perhaps more
        important, God surely wants them to be helped. I pray that God will
        show you one person to start with.

        Ben:
        ...Anyway, my faith has been shaken ... I think that getting back to
        the Bible and letting God's truth permeate our
        lives is the best thing that we can do - though it doesn't feel like
        enough
        sometimes, especially when surrounded by people who like being dead.

        Dave:
        Good for you. I pray that "thinking God's thoughts after him" will
        refresh you and give you wisdom about how to tackle the challenge he has
        given you... I have experienced that sometimes God's first step in
        using us as agents of change is to make us feel sick of things the way
        they are. When I could stand it no longer I cried out to him in
        frustration, disappointment, and weakness. I sought him in prayer and
        fasting. God's answer was to bring about change in me, from the heart
        outward so that I could then help others to change. It's usually a slow
        process, but I'm slow learner :-)

        Be encouraged. I'm confident that God is at work in this.

        -Dave
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