Deconstructing Faith – Part 1

I don’t know what the ramifications of writing this series of posts will be, but I honestly don’t care. My website is called “Heretical Love” for a reason.

Many of you know that I’ve been on a spiritual journey. I’m sure you’ve at least gathered as much by reading some of my posts either here or on Facebook. There’s a lot that I’ve learned, and a lot more that I’ve unlearned. I don’t know what the ramifications of writing this series of posts will be, but I honestly don’t care. My website is called “Heretical Love” for a reason. Please know that I know there are churches out there doing great things and helping lots of people. I’m just not onboard with it anymore.

deconstruct

It all started a couple of years ago when Lindsey and I read a book. The book, titled “Pagan Christianity” written by Frank Viola, forced me to think outside of my comfort zone. I hated it in the beginning. Lindsey can attest that I would interrupt her from reading the book aloud, sigh often, or just throw my hands up in the air in protest. That’s when it occurred to me that I wasn’t approaching this with a teachable mindset…like, at all. So, to avoid repeating the agony that was experienced in the reading of the Table of Contents, I decided to change my mindset for the actual book. Turns out, Frank had done his research. The information and historical background that he provides to our modern version of Christianity was invigorating. I honestly found myself floored by all of it!

Why hadn’t I heard any of this before? Why was I a full-time minister, and how had I come to that place without ever knowing any of this history? It’s simple, really. I was raised and taught what my parents were raised and taught what their parents were raised and taught. By the time I reached full-time ministry, like most of my family and friends before me, I was part of a well-oiled machine. I didn’t need to know any of the modern church’s history (or at least very little of it); I just needed to know how I fit in the machine.

After finishing the book, I realized that there is a drastic difference between the American church (the organized institutions) and The Church (the Bride of Christ, the organism). Now, I had always heard pastors say something like, “The building isn’t the church! If it ain’t happening outside of these 4 walls, we’re doing something wrong!”, but the disconnect from the organization wasn’t ever made. In other words, this building may be called 1st National Church of Divinity, but outside these walls we’re still 1st National Church of Divinity – the organized institution, not The Church. All of this may not be a big “AHA!” moment for you, but it was for me.

Here’s why: Jesus never referred to his Bride as the 1st National Church of Divinity. He never said, “Go therefore and build buildings, collect ye their tithes, pay thine pastors, woo unbelievers into thine programs!” That’s absolutely ridiculous.

In Jesus’ tenure they never promoted him and put a pulpit in front of him. He was homeless. Paul’s (failed) attempt to supply the Church of Jerusalem through tithing was his idea. Cherry-picking the Bible to formulate a prosperity gospel through the damaging idea of tithing – or for any other reason – is wrong; however, giving freely of yourself to those in need isn’t. I have M-A-S-S-I-V-E issues with a “non-profit” taking in and redistributing more money to and amongst themselves than they what they give to those actually in need.

spending-priorities-of-Jesus

After reading Pagan Christianity, a few other books, and knowing what the Bible says – or doesn’t say – I decided that I could no longer continue collecting a salary working as a full-time pastor for reasons of conscience. Also, Jesus is completely capable of wooing his Bride unto himself! He doesn’t need the help of the 1st National Church of Divinity. He doesn’t need them strategically planning to target a group of 30 year old single moms with 2 1/2 kids. That’s called stalking, and Jesus would likely be quite jealous to find out how they’re attempting to steal his Girl. He just said to love her. Quit picking and choosing, and just love her. It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t look like you, speak the same language, worship God (or the same god) as you, if she’s atheist, or even in your same city/state/nation. NONE OF THAT IS YOUR CONCERN. Love her. Take care of her. That is all.

I could go on for days telling you more about what I’ve learned/unlearned after reading Pagan Christianity, but I’d rather continue with my story and have you read it for yourself. If you care to waken from your sleep, to become conscious of the machine you’ve been in your entire life, if you want to know that the matrix exists in the form of the 1st National Church of Divinity, read Pagan Christianity. Read it with your arms laid down, with a teachable mind, and with vigor to know who you truly are.

Quote from the movie “The Matrix”:
“You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” Part 2 and beyond of my story requires the red pill.

the-matrix

 

The Wrong Gospel

Was I really that person? Did I really think that way?

There once was a lady who had feet that were a knotted mess. Her feet looked that way not because of any sort of disease, but because she refused to take good shoes from the incoming donations in the community in which she served. Instead, she would dig through the piles of shoes until she found the worst pair available. She didn’t want those in need to be stuck with the worst pair. So, many years of being selfless took their toll on her feet. Her name was Mother Teresa, and these are her feet.

mother-teresa-feet

I think they’re beautiful. They perfectly capture what the actual gospel looks like. Mother Teresa’s name will live forever; not because she was better than anyone else but because she loved better than most.

There are a handful of people in history who have done so, and all of their names go unforgotten; names like:

Mahatma Gandhi
Martin Luther King
Nelson Mandela
Oskar Schindler
and of course, Mother Teresa

They cared more for others than they did for themselves. Their lives are filled with acts of defiance bravery, selflessness, and love for others.

They took a stand against the status quo – the mainstream trains of thought. They were compassionate, defenders of the innocent, a voice against injustice, keepers of the homeless, friends of the poor, and provided refuge to the outcast.

For some, it cost them their lives – the others wasted their lives for this cause. They lived the gospel.

That sounds a lot like the Jesus I’ve read about.

They lived his life within their own – “To live is Christ.” Did they walk an aisle and pray a “sinner’s prayer?” I don’t know, and quite frankly I don’t care.

I no longer stand by the modern ideas of salvation. I think they chose the gospel that so many of us have forgotten today. Today we have a newer gospel, and it looks nothing like the one any of those people (including Jesus) lived out.

The Prosperity Gospel is a sham. It’s wrong, and it’s captivating the hearts of millions of Christians.  The only people getting rich from it are the mega-church leaders making that shit up.

We’re so deep in consumerism that we’ve completely lost sight of the gospel that Jesus lived.

Look, I’m not saying that working 9-5 and paying your bills is bad. I’m saying that there is a divide between the American Dream and the Jesus gospel. It’s a chasm that millions are trying desperately to jump across – to the wrong side of.

sheep

That leads me back to my original two questions: Was I really that person? Did I really think that way? Well, yes I was, and I did.

The Prosperity Gospel is appealing because it provides Christians a way to be both “saved” and “blessed.” The blessed life that Jesus spoke of wasn’t one that lands you the newer/better paying job, allows your favorite player to catch the game-winning touchdown pass, or provides you with that $400/month car lease.

Being a Jesus follower requires your life to be transformed. It requires you to look like him; to do the things he did.

But that isn’t sexy, and it doesn’t sell, so instead we have pastors teaching that putting your best foot forward, staying positive, and giving them money will revolutionize your life. By “life” they mean that you’ll magically receive whatever you’ve been reaching for – health, wealth, etc.

As if somehow money leaving your bank account and going into theirs – or their ministry’s – will buy you a miracle.

How in the hell did we get here? How did this become equated with living like Jesus?

How cheap we’ve made his life and the life of those that have lived as he did. It’s no wonder that Christianity has no appeal to those outside of it. We’ve prostituted the Bride of Jesus to the highest bidder, and sold her off as a cheap whore.

The Prosperity Gospel doesn’t have room for selflessness. It’s a consumerist model that only gives birth to selfish hearts.

Christians today are so caught up in this whirlwind – like I was – and fighting about whose theology is right that they’ve become irrelevant.

They’ve even begun fighting about how to be relevant!

Modern Christianity as it appears today is a lost cause in my book. I can’t side with it any longer, and I can’t afford to waste any more time debating the Bible – especially when it’s become a breeding ground for hate, intolerance, and manufactured doctrine.

Instead, I’m choosing to live like Jesus did. I’m choosing to be selfless like Mother Teresa was.

I want to defend the persecuted – and if that means I’m defending those being persecuted by Christians that don’t look like Jesus, so be it.

You may not see it, but there’s a line being drawn in the sand – not by me, but by humanity. This complete disconnect has to be rectified. The side on which you stand is up to you.

I choose Jesus – I choose humanity – I choose Love.

“The juice goes out of Christianity when it becomes too based on faith rather than on living like Jesus or seeing the world as Jesus saw it.” – Steve Jobs

Love Thy Neighbor

Refugees…there are tens of thousands of them – like right now, desperately trying to escape the grip of war. These are people – men, women, boys, girls, young, and old. They’ve been peddling along trying to live their lives as normally as possible. When all of a sudden, a bunch of extremists get together and decide it’s time for a new genocide. #refugees #hereticallove

In this photo provided by UNHCR officials and taken on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013. Syrian refugees cross the border toward Iraq at Peshkhabour border point at Dahuk, 260 miles (430 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has set up an emergency transit camp in Irbil, where around 2,000 refugees are camping out and UNHCR officials say some thousands of refugees have been streaming into northern Iraq, many coming across a newly-constructed pontoon bridge over the Tigris River at Peshkhabour. (AP Photo/HO)
(AP Photo/HO)

Refugees…there are tens of thousands of them – like right now, desperately trying to escape the grip of war. These are people – men, women, boys, girls, young, and old. They’ve been peddling along trying to live their lives as normally as possible, when all of a sudden, a bunch of extremists get together and decide it’s time for a new genocide.

We’ve seen this before, and sadly, Christians have been the cause of most – not all – of them. If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, break out an Encyclopedia (or read here), and look up what happened in the Crusades, the Holocaust, heck even the extermination of Native Americans.

It’s not a pretty history for any of the culprits involved, but it’s happening again at the hands of the radicalists that are known as ISIS.

If these refugees met the stereotypical qualifications – you know: white, and European people – Americans would be singing a different tune. Unfortunately, they’re not any of those things.

These folks happen to be Muslims. Because of that, a solid portion of the American population – Christians no less – are completely resolved to letting them rot in the streets of Europe. Helping Muslims is simply out of the question.

They could be terrorists disguised as normal people! They’re all probably suicide bombers just trying to sneak in our borders to murder us in our sleep.

Right, that’s one way to avoid being a person. That’s not the only garbage excuses I’ve heard either.

Case in point, one of the many pictures I’ve seen floating around on fellow “Christian” Facebook pages in recent days:

borders

 

This kind of thinking absolutely disgusts me! It’s wrong on so many different levels. It’s incredible to hear the same people spouting off about being pro-life screaming even louder, “Death to Muslims!”

The hypocrisy and double-mindedness is thick, and it stinks! It smells like shit, and it shows the rest of the world just what they already knew about the Jesus these hypocrites represent.

The American version is a gun-toting asshole that could care less about others; especially others that believe differently than what the American church allows. Let that sink in a minute…

Can you actually see Jesus decked out in camouflage, AK-47 slung over his shoulder ready to fire at any refugee/Muslim that may try to cross a border for safety?

Nope. You can’t. That’s the answer you’re looking for. At least that’s the answer staring back at me when I look at Jesus.

Jesus never once instructed anyone to hate their neighbor. He never said to leave those in need hungry, thirsty, and without shelter. He never said to build a bigger wall around your borders to keep the less fortunate out [*ahem* Republican candidates].

Rather, Jesus was really good about loving others. Before the automatic picture of Jesus loving someone that looks like you pops in your head,

Jesus-Christ-Wallpapers
let me stop you. Instead, let me paint the picture of Jesus that is far less common.

Jesus, who spent a good portion of his time homeless, smelled. He was dirty, sweaty, and probably reeked of fish. The company that Jesus kept also replicated this. He and his disciples didn’t go to work every day inside of a mega-church preparing the weekend’s sermon, music, and video announcements for consumers/spectators that were just like them. They slept in the dirt (or mud when it rained), fished for their food, befriended prostitutes and tax collectors, and hid from the mega-church leadership (they were called Pharisees back then).

Jesus also defended the sexually promiscuous, the divorced, and even helped a Roman soldier’s daughter. Jesus, the one that was supposed to be the king to liberate the Jews from Rome’s grip, was showing love and mercy to their greatest enemy; the enemy the Jews feared and despised hated the most.

Another instance I think about is when Jesus was betrayed by Judas, and the Roman soldiers went to take Jesus into custody. Peter grabbed a sword and cut off the guard’s ear. Jesus could have easily put up a fight and possibly escaped, provided his disciples could hold them off, but he didn’t. In fact, he called Peter off and scolded him for fighting.

Then, Jesus did the unthinkable! He showed kindness and love to the arresting (now earless) soldier!

He. Was. Love. To. The. Freaking. E-N-E-M-Y! 

I know national security is important, but at the cost of likely innocent lives trying desperately to escape an enemy? I have a hard time with that. Also, it’s difficult for me to consider the refugees as our potential enemies when they’re obviously being slaughtered by ISIS.

I don’t see them looking at ISIS with a smile and a wink. I see sheer horror on their faces.

homeless-jesus

If we are truly Jesus followers, how can we possibly consider taking a stance that differs from his?

Let me help you again. We can’t.

It cannot be a part of who we claim to be, and if it is, then please quit referring to yourself as a Jesus follower when you’re not.

Love requires sacrifice. Love requires selflessness. Love requires kindness. Love will never be the wrong choice even if you get hurt in the process. Love will never be filled with regret. Loving people – even if they don’t look, think, or believe like you do – will “never fail.”

Love will sleep in the dirt, defend the persecuted, and show mercy to its greatest enemy.

Also, just because someone labels him/herself as “Muslim” doesn’t make them your enemy. That’s just another bad excuse to not be who you claim to be.

Be like Jesus – be filled with Love – show it to your neighbors around the world. Go “love thy neighbor.”

Humanity at Home

The Pope is coming to the “City of Brotherly Love.” It’s a really big deal for a lot of Americans, and a particularly big deal for the homeless community. Wait…what? The homeless community? That’s right, the homeless folks. Why is this such a big deal for the homeless? I’m glad you’ve asked! I’ll elaborate.

Most Americans are able to stroll through their mundane lives every day without having to give much thought or attention to anyone else outside of their circle. They wake up, shower, maybe eat a little breakfast, pick up their $5 coffee on their way to work, punch in and out, and head home. Granted, there may be some variety in there somewhere, but the storyline is predictable.

There’s another side to America that many prefer not to think about. On the other side of the tracks, these folks wake up in their cardboard box (or tent if they’re lucky), gather what little belongings they have, and head toward their most profitable street corner to lay down their dignity and pride to beg for food, money, or a ride somewhere. These are the homeless people. The vast majority of these people don’t have the comforts of taking a hot shower much less eating a meal or being so frivolous as to spend $5 on a cup of coffee. Somewhere along the way, life threw them a curveball, and they struck out. Sadly, we’re not as far removed from their lifestyle as we think we are.

Life could very well throw any of us that same curveball, and one way or another we could end up warming ourselves by a fire-in-a-barrel under the bridge with them. I know right now you think it’s frustrating to have to sit and wait 20 minutes for a table to come available at your favorite restaurant, but imagine waiting for hours in the wind, rain, snow, or ice to eat a meal at a soup kitchen. Imagine having to stand in line for hours hoping for a one night stay in a shelter with a bed and pillow under your head, only to be the next person in line to be let in but the first person turned away because they’re “at capacity.” Imagine the smell radiating from your body because you can’t remember the last time you had a shower. Men, imagine not being able to shave your face – ladies, your legs and armpits – for months, even years! Imagine lice, bed bugs, flies and pests relentlessly bombarding you and you having no way to find relief. Imagine having to drink dirty rain water from the side of a street curb just to quench your thirst.

Now, imagine doing all of that with your children by your side.

That’s the reality of the American homeless community. They’re scattered all over the United States, and some cities are better to their homeless people than others. The reality of their condition remains the same for most, however. I’m sure some of what I’ve described may sound like a stretch, but I can assure you it’s not. I’ve worked full-time at a homeless mission, and I know first hand how very real all of what I’ve told you really is.

I have a bone to pick with you, Church (you – the one reading this article – not the 1st National Church of Divinity on the corner lot). If you think it’s okay to ignore the person holding the piece of cardboard with something scribbled on it, you’re wrong; it isn’t (don’t worry, I have my hand raised too. I’ve been guilty of this). I know how it goes. You see the homeless person standing at the corner, and the light turns yellow, then red too quickly, and you’re stuck at the light. Now it’s the task of trying not to make eye contact with this person. Otherwise, they may approach you and ask you for money. They probably want it for booze and cigarettes (0r worse), and I’m not going to give anyone any of my paycheck-to-paycheck income. I have bills to pay and kids to feed too, you know… Yep, I know. You can see how easily that scenario was typed on to this page. I completely understand, and you’re absolutely wrong.

My wife – Lindsey – and I were talking with our (then 6 and 7 year old) kids one day about God meeting needs. They had been memorizing Philippians 4:19. When my wife asked them how God meets the needs of others, we received a reply from our 7 year old son that we didn’t anticipate. You see, Lindsey and I are now in our 30’s. We’ve been around the Spiritual Block a few times. We know all of the “right” answers to give on any given topic. In this case, we would have said that God meets the needs through faith, prayer, miracles, hard work, etc. These are all of the “right” answers. My kids aren’t polluted with all of that yet, so Ryan gave a more honest (and correct in my opinion) answer to that question. When we asked, Ryan replied, “God uses people.”

Us: …

Us 5 seconds later – staring at eachother: …

Us when it registered: Uh, yes!

God uses people to meet the needs of others. Do we pray, have faith, work hard, hope for a miracle? Absolutely, but in the end, it’s people that help in our time of need. We may have that miraculous check appear in our mailbox when we need it most, food may show up on our table, or our electric bill may get paid in full at just the right moment, but God didn’t hack the system and fudge the numbers to make any of that happen; people did it out of their own good will.

I’m rallying behind the homeless mothers with their children living in the parks of Philly awaiting the Pope’s arrival. I’m figuratively standing alongside my hairy/unbathed brothers crying out for humanity. Church (you – the one reading this article – not the 1st National Church of Divinity on the corner lot), it’s time to show Love to these people. It’s time to quit shirking your responsibilities to be Jesus to the least onto the shoulders of the government. It’s ridiculous that the government has to take a stand to be humanitarians at home because The Church (you – the one reading this article – not the 1st National Church of Divinity on the corner lot) refuses to do anything but ignore Her brothers and sisters. I don’t buy the stories anymore. I can’t sit back and listen to one more person say, “I can’t afford it” when they’re blowing $400/month on a car lease, $5/day on coffee, $100/month on TV service, and whatever other luxuries our paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle provides.

That’s not Jesus. Allow me to remind you who Jesus was. He “had no place to lie his head.” He said, “true religion is caring for the widows and the orphans.” He told the rich man to, “…go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

Jesus wasn’t telling the rich man that money was bad. He was telling him that he cared more about his money than he did about others. Jesus wanted him to learn what it truly looked like to love someone more than himself, so he extended an invitation to the rich man; give your money to the least, and I’ll show a life filled with love. The rich man decided to stare at the red light waiting anxiously for it to turn green so he could drive away.

Pope Francis

Since the majority of Americans identify with the Catholic faith, the Pope’s visit is a momentous occasion. The homeless community see it that way too, but they’re crying out for Pope Francis to use his voice to rebuke the Church (you – the one reading this article – not the 1st National Church of Divinity on the corner lot). They’re believing God to meet their needs through faith, prayer, miracles, hard work, etc., but the reality is – to say it as my son did – “God uses people.” Go be Love to them.

Truth vs. Love

Truth vs. Love
I’ve often wondered why people find me approachable. What is it about me that allows people to open themselves up, ask hard questions, and trust that I’ll be able to help them? Let me explain. Even in childhood, I can recall having friends and acquaintances come and ask for my advice or opinion about something. Sometimes it’s part of an on-going discussion we’ve had, but a lot of times it’s completely random. The questions come in a variety of different packages too. They’ll come in a text message, a phone call, an email, or through a Facebook message (sometimes public but usually private), or even face-to-face.

I believe I uncovered the reason why I get approached, and I’ll explain it toward the end of this post.

— Truth in love —

Growing up as a Christian you’ll often hear the phrase, “speak the truth in love…” thrown around. It’s pulled out of the passage in Ephesians 4 (verse 15), but what the heck does that even mean? I’ve heard it explained like this:

If you love someone, you’ll speak truth to them.
-or-
If you’re going to speak truth to someone, do so lovingly.

Until recently, I believed that either one of those answers was sufficient and likely correct. They’re certainly not wrong, but I feel as if they need to be expounded.

— Here’s my predicament —

Without getting into the apologetics of it all, truth is just that. It’s truth. It’s black and white, clear as day, plain and straightforward. There are, however, a couple of issues that I have with truth. It can be subjective and/or objective. What do I mean by that?

Well, truth being subjective is when a person takes their opinions, convictions, even their attitude, and they place those values as being true to him/herself or others around them. For example, a large part of the Christian community believes it to be wrong to consume alcohol. They’ve cherry-picked the Bible to formulate their doctrinal belief system; their *truth* that drinking is a sin.

Objective truth is impartial and impersonal to a purpose or goal. It is based on facts. For instance, if you’re in debt, and you continue to spend more than you make, you’ll remain in debt. The *truth* is that if you mismanage your finances, you’ll never know financial freedom.

The problem that I see is that neither subjective truth nor objective truth can express love. So neither of the statements that I mentioned before (If you love someone, you’ll speak truth to them -and- If you’re going to speak truth to someone, do so lovingly) really carry much merit. In the very least, they don’t give us anything to go off of.

Truth is void of love.

— So now what? —

Well, I think we have to establish what it means to, “speak the truth *in* love…”. To establish this, it might be easier to start by removing love from the equation. Just speaking the truth, or speaking truth *outside* of love can and likely will be hurtful. Unless you’re a counselor that has random people coming in to hear what you have to say on a topic, you probably shouldn’t open your mouth unless the person has approached you on the matter asking for your input. That person will probably feel judged, stupid, and humiliated. They won’t receive any love from your words of truth. In fact, they will likely perceive your *truth* as an attack.

Then how do you inject love, and when is it ok to speak the truth? I’m so glad you asked. One word – RELATIONSHIP. If you have a better relationship with your plumber than you do with this person, I can assure you that they don’t know that you love them. If you see this person sporadically, it’s possible that a loving relationship hasn’t yet been established. The absence of a relationship in which you can openly express your love for a person (telling the person you love them, showing them you love them, spending quality time with them) means you don’t have the ability to speak the truth *in* love to him/her.

I’m perfectly able to go to my wife and speak truth *in* love with her, and she can receive all of what I have to say. That doesn’t mean that the truth spoken is now rid of hurt. Remember, truth is void of love. Truth has never been equated to love. So, “…doing so lovingly” applies here. Your presentation is key. If you come across as a jerk, you are (at least perceivably).

I’m not able to approach a stranger or an acquaintance and give them my 2 cents without coming across as being judgmental or hurtful, so I won’t (writing my thoughts/observations here aren’t, and likely never will be, targeted at an individual). Nor should you. That relationship and standard of my love for that person haven’t been established (food-for-thought: knowing someone for any length of time does not equal relationship). What does that mean then? It means I need to think before I speak, and bridle my tongue. If you want to decimate any credibility you’ve established with someone, then open your mouth and tell the truth with your “tongue full of deadly poison” -or- truth *outside* of love. I can assure you that the poison will run its course and kill any relationship built to that point. Otherwise, refrain from expressing your thoughts until you both know you have a reciprocating love for one another.

— Why I’m approached —

I believe this is why I’m an approachable person: I refuse to judge individuals or the choices that they make. I’m eager, with every fiber of my being, to love someone where they are and for who they are. In fact, I desire to love and be loved in return! I also refuse to uncover a person’s flaws (real or perceived) unless that person purposefully does so him/herself. I’m confident that anyone I’ve had in my “inner circle” will speak of my loyalty and love. Unless that’s established in a relationship, you won’t find me going too deeply with a particular person. Why? Because I believe love trumps truth. I know a relationship is established when they ask the questions inviting me in. Then, and only in the confines of that established loving relationship, will I gingerly speak the truth that they’re longing to hear.

When contemplating truth vs. love, certainly seek the truth. But allow others to seek their truth for themselves, too. Perhaps we can lay our truths down for a while and focus instead on loving each other.

An Invitation

A letter particularly to church leaders:

I’ve been where you are! I feel the struggle. It’s real, it’s difficult, and it’s a burden that most lay people will never truly understand. Eventually you’ll learn more about me, and you may even tune me out when that happens. That’s okay. I anticipate that. I also expect the onslaught of backlash I’ll receive when people hear everything I have to say. I have peace with that too because I know I’m following my conscience by siding with my heretical voice.

Before all of that takes place, I want you to know that I love you. I know that you didn’t sign up for this gig expecting to become a celebrity pastor – even though it’s possible you have. I know you didn’t sign up for the overwhelming salary [as if, right?]. If you’re a missionary, I know you didn’t sign up because you thought it would be stellar to live in a grass hut using a rock as your pillow at night. You’re doing it because you have, at some point, had a deep conviction to share Love with others.

love-your-neighbor

That’s why I’ve started this website. I’ve had a growing desire to show people – including you – a Love that perhaps they’ve never encountered. Not because they didn’t know it was real, but maybe they’ve never looked at it from the perspective I’m going to present; another facet, if you will. It’s always been there, but I think our senses have just been clouded by the mainstream perception of who Love is.

So as we delve into these topics, I can’t promise you’ll like or possibly ever agree with me, but I’m asking you to just consider the idea of an open mind. Come with a teachable mindset, and let’s see if perhaps there could be another facet to this Love Gem that isn’t being talked about much. As I began to see this facet for the first time, I had to intentionally unclench my fists, remove the barrier of known “truths” and bite my tongue. I’m so glad that I did! This Love has taken me on a ride that I can’t even begin to describe. I know there will be more that I learn along the way, and I’m sure there will be times that I again have to unclench my fists. I know now that it will be worth it.

If you’re willing to take this journey, I’d like to ask that you’ll consider reading the first few posts without responding. Even if you find yourself in complete agreement, soaking it up and receiving it while reminding yourself to lay down your arms is going to be key. It’s so easy to immediately go to the automatic defenses of your mind and lay out your strategic reply – possibly without even having to think about it. I’m going to ask you not to do that. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll begin to see The Church through this glistening feature of Love, and let it shape you. This is for you – this heretical voice is extending an invitation.

I’m opening this website up for dialogue for anyone. Please be advised that I fully anticipate atheists, agnostics, denominationals, non-denoms, multiethnic, LGBTQ, straight, and international participation. Cyber bullying absolutely will not be tolerated.

Heretical Love – an introduction

Jesus was a heretic in the eyes of most, and should be today, in my opinion. If the Jesus you’ve heard about looks more like a celebrity that leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth, you’ve not yet been introduced to the heretical Jesus I’m talking about. If you’ll allow me to do so, I’d like to show you a love you’re probably unfamiliar with – A Heretical Love.


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I believe an introduction is in order. Hello, my name is David Dietz. This introduction will intentionally be short and sweet. You may or may not know who I am, but my goal is for you to get to know me through not only my posts but through personal, one-on-one conversations with you. I want you to know that you’re loved. You’re important, what you have to say is important, what you believe is important, and the purpose of this website is to allow me the opportunity to show you that.

We’ll dive into some hard topics along the way. Some of these discussions will be fun, some will be deep, and others may sting a little. I can assure you that I won’t always have the answers to your questions, but in any case, I want you to know that you have a voice. Your voice is valuable to me.

With that said, I see this website being centered around Jesus; not the Americanized country-club attending Jesus you’re probably used to seeing. More, I’d like to show you the guy that liked to party, have fun, and hang out with prostitutes; the Jesus that stood up against injustice, hate, discrimination, and harmful religious ideals to the point that they killed him for it. You may have read some about this guy, but I’m sure you’ve not seen him much at 1st National Church of Divinity, and you’ve certainly not seen him much on Facebook.

Jesus was a heretic in the eyes of most in his day, and should be today, in my opinion. If the Jesus you’ve heard about looks more like a celebrity that leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth, you’ve not yet been introduced to the heretical Jesus I’m talking about. If you’ll allow me to do so, I’d like to personally express a kind of love to you that you’re probably unfamiliar with – A Heretical Love.

Note: I’m opening this website up for dialogue for anyone. Please be advised that I fully anticipate atheists, agnostics, denominationals, non-denoms, multiethnic, LGBTQ, straight, and international participation. Cyber bullying absolutely will not be tolerated.