On being off the grid of Christendom

546568_10150626681765592_1073851354_n

When I went off the grid of organized Christianity, I went through this blackout period when I could not stomach hardly anything to do with God, Christianity, the Bible, prayer, etc… An interesting place to be for a former seminary grad and successful Senior Pastor. Didn’t go to church, didn’t converse about God or Christianity, didn’t pray, didn’t read my Bible, didn’t listen to “Christian music”… nothing! It was during this period when I, in many respects for the first time, became deeply connected to myself, others, the divine, and life, and became a new foundation for forging ahead, including my interests in Jesus.

*

There was a way that art opened me. It was the poets, painters, photographers, musicians, dancers, writers, tattooers, playwrights and performers who emboldened me to plummet the depths of my own soul, and travel the distance of my deepest feelings.

*

I found that most people don’t really want to know the truth. There are plenty of people who want to know the truth on their terms or require that the truth be contained within certain boundaries of comfort. But truth can never be known this way. You have to seek truth from a place of not knowing, and that can be a very threatening place because we think we already know the truth or we are afraid of what the truth might be.

*

I came to a decision. Whatever anyone said they believed, including myself, if it didn’t produce love, freedom and beauty, I didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

*

Jesus said “I am the truth,” which we mistakenly turned into some kind of a theological proposition about God, the gospel, eternal life, etc… Jesus confronted this mentality when he scolded the religious leaders for burying their heads in the scriptures while missing the truth that Jesus was, lived, and expressed. Jesus’ words “I am the truth” have so many layers of profound significance that many Christians never discover because they plug these words into some sort of formula for “being saved” or theological litmus test. We have pressed no further than the foot of Mt. Everest, when it comes to these words of Jesus, and speak as though we have reach the summit.

*

So much of religion seems to be about fear:

fear of going to hell; fear of having bad theology;

fear of not satisfying your end of the bargain so God will favor you and bless you;

fear of others finding out how much you’re not really like the person you project and pretend to be; fear of trusting your own inner guidance and fear of thinking for yourself;

fear of not upholding the expectations of your religious sub-culture; fear of sexuality;

fear of people who are different;

fear of the world…

I spent over a year soaking in one verse of scripture, “God is love” and every one of those fears disintegrated. There is no fear in love, or so I learned.

Latest Comments

  1. vanessa says:

    I’m clinging to this once again….thank you, Jim.

  2. Tony Prince says:

    Amen! LOL … I went thru something similar to you…I sometimes miss the corporate sense of things etc. but I feel I have more real FREEDOM than I ever had. God bless you.

  3. Carol says:

    WOW. How very well expressed.

  4. Bren says:

    When I left ChristianDom in 1989, I left fear behind… the REALITY of Father’s abiding Presence became even clearer… before coming out I received this word while in prayer: http://www.enterrest.com/Gods_Vision_For_His_Church.htm

    I said to Father, if this is you…. I surrender all, YOU make it happen. I have grown more since leaving than I did before. My total dependency was on the Lord and not on man to confirm… if that makes sense.

  5. markrandallpixley says:

    At the end of the day, the shadows of people who simply used me like a Holy Ghost condom to build empires of control drag my heart back to this one thing…while I could remain hurt, bitter, disconnected and distant there is something so compelling about love that makes me shake off the abuse and get back up to face the day…I want to love even the prostitutes of love, because ultimately that’s all I’ve got to give, and all I want to be…it is the only truth I can find worth living for.

  6. peter says:

    I, too, walk that path into freedom and life and away from fear and hatred and paranoia. :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) Well, well said. Thank you! ~peace

  7. Martina says:

    Hey Jim,
    First off, thanks so much for writing your blog. It’s so insightful and I really enjoy enjoying what you have to say. You are a beautiful human, not because of your blog but because you are! Haha!
    This post rings extra true for me today. I was just last night telling my boyfriend how this is exactly how I feel right now! I’m studying worship ministry right now at a Christian campus and while the practical pointers are nice and the general help in cultivating ideas (for worship) I really enjoy, the theology expected of me is just so ridiculous. I’m currently taking systematic theology and I have mixed emotions about it. While it’s helpful for me to hear what others think and learn how to engage in discussion when I completely don’t agree, it is exceedingly difficult when I feel like we’re talking about two completely different Gods! An angry, demanding, righteous pagan one that isn’t real and the one I know that doesn’t care about sin like we have tended to interpret and loves us sooooo much that He’s the fuel to our lives! I hate hearing Christians say “well the bible says” and “this ministry says this.” There’s no real heart talk and that’s so depressing knowing my fellow peers are going to be going into churches and never really learning how to actually question scripture, tradition, their own experiences and the interpretations they’ve made of them. Just a brainwash system and I’m getting fed up with feeling like I’m expected to want to train robots as well. At the same time, I still see people who do get love and just want to love without the righteousness shpeel. It’s the craziest thing when they still have a terrible view of themselves and “just want to get out of the way to let the spirit move” instead of offering themselves as a gift to the world–Jesus!!!
    All that said just to say, I completely agree with you and am very much looking forward to the end of my classroom work and time I’m going to be spending relaxing after college, basking in the beauty of life and love (real ministry to me). Thanks for your putting to words of my feelings! You’re awesome!

  8. Dan Jones says:

    I two was a seminary student but never completed my venture. I became disillusioned with some, but not all organized denominations. Some stress and misinterpret fear as it is used in the Bible and use it today to scare people into being believers. I came out of my turmoil having a greater understanding of God and how He works in the world. Since God created all good I view the experience of Life as God working through us. All the good in life didn’t just happen out of the cosmos so I give credit where the credit is due. Jesus is still the most influential human that has ever walked on earth. I really like Him and try to be just like He was.

  9. Beth says:

    https://www.facebook.com/escapingchristianity

    If this speaks to your heart, and it did mine, check out this page!

  10. JoyJoy says:

    Jim, reading your blog leaves me astounded as I recognise the parallels so many of us are experiencing on this journey into Love. Thank you for putting into words what I find so hard to express.

  11. Beth Morey says:

    yes and yes and yes!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s