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I used to think I wanted peace in faith (a guest post by Rachel Roth Tappling)

Choosing one particular post out of the 133 entries in the Out of Sorts synchroblog to feature as a guest post was nearly impossible. So many of the entries were worthy! (You can read a few of my favourites right here.)

But right from the minute I read Rachel’s post here, I knew this was the one I wanted to feature. Her words are emblematic of so many of the posts in the synchroblog, sure, but it’s also beautifully written, wise, wry, deep, beautiful, and honest about the mess and uncertainty that often accompanies our shifts. Rachel’s words will ring true for so many, I know. I’m thrilled to introduce you to her work – make sure you head over to her blog and check her out.

Here’s her post:


Addendum, 9:13pm:  Am quitting everything and going into hibernation. Have become dark and cynical despite best efforts and will hand out sandwiches to the homeless or something but only if I don’t have to talk or interact with people. What no one tells you about adulthood is that you rarely know for sure what the best course of action is. It’s all a blessed crapshoot and I need a yellow brick road of obvious.

I wrote this to a friend during Holy Week a few years ago. We’d been following an online Bible study together and were journalling our thoughts in a shared Google doc.

She was an academic-turned stay-at-home-mom writing a dissertation, and I was a full-time teacher-mom driving 45 minutes to and from work with 2 young kids, one who puked regularly out of carsickness.

We saw the online bible study and thought, yeah. Let’s dive in. I had also had an additional motive, to try to gain some peace, some clarity during Lent and emerge at Easter with some sort of renewed vision of faith.

I was disillusioned. Having spent my 20’s in full-time church work, I was feeling less-than-clear. A few years prior I’d had a harrowing experience at another church, wherein I nearly lost my job for reporting a suspected abuse situation to the authorities, rather than hand it off to my boss.

Despite the legal mandate, I was threatened with firing, accused of insubordination and gossip, unprotected when the family in question guessed my name. I was still reeling, though in a new setting.

When the bubble pops, its popped. There’s no un-popping it. And suddenly it seemed the deeper I dove into scripture and prayer for guidance and support, the more questions I had. I’d always been so eager to please, so quick with the answer.

And suddenly, I was uncomfortable, unfamiliar in my surroundings.

What started as a feeling of betrayal by certain authorities within the church, spiralled into deeper and more enduring questions about faith itself. My prayers were not bringing clarity.

I’d read Job and mourn for the children that were killed in the tornado, angry that they were written out and then replaced like possessions. I’d read Joshua and mourn for Jericho, for all the women besides Rahab who were born on the wrong side of the wall and had no red rope to save them. I’d read Romans and mourn the women, the wives submitting as slaves in a culture that ignored them, dismissed their talk as gossip, distrusted their authority. And I prayed for peace.

Plowing ahead as if nothing had happened wasn’t working. I was supposed to be leading. Teaching. Submitting to authority. I led my students in silent Bible reading and reflection to start each day, with little more guidance than passage suggestions. I would sit at my desk and pray for clarity, try to shed my tears silently while I ensured no one was texting or doing their late math homework instead. And I prayed for peace.

So I laid a fleece during that lenten season. I’d grown up learning that testing God isn’t okay, but sometimes it is okay to lay out a fleece, to ask for guidance and certainty, like Gideon when called to battle. I was testing myself.

I prayed that in the 6 weeks of Lent, my friend and I would journal, we’d pray, we’d discuss the devotions and I’d find answers.

I imagined I’d know whether I was foolish and sinful to explore other faith traditions, critically judge my own, consider leaving, let my doubts rule the day, or at least listen to them…and I prayed for peace.

But it didn’t work. The email about my cynicism came right before an Easter service in which I left twice to handle crying and/or child vomit. In which I had more quesitons than answers.

In which the Syrian civil war consumed my thoughts. What if my children had been born there? What if I’d had Muslim parents? What if my authorities kept me from school, raped me, put a veil over my face, sold me as a bride at 12 and kept me in the house?

And I wept for lack of clarity. Because my white, American, 21st century heart was confused. I had nothing like peace.

Where I,

having been born a Christian-

Because history and technology

and lots of blood and colonialism and imperialism,

(and blatant disregard for the environment)

have built for me an empire within which I am fortunate enough to live relatively conflict-free

(and through a series of many wars and mandates and conversions by sword live where the culture is “Christian”)

and thus ride this wave all the way to the pearly gates?

So within this bubble, in this tiny speck that is earth in the ocean of an infinite universe, I have been born into privilege and handed an “ancient” text about faith and so my eternity will not be hellfire?

Some days, I was stuck there. Thomas, demanding proof. I’m not trying to be cynical. But we’re talking about infinity, eternity, and vastness beyond my understanding. And I had religion lessons to teach. Children to raise. Coffee to pour and words to write.

And if He is He, God must be bigger than all of that. As such, I struggle with the preciseness of our faith.

So here I am. Doubt-filled, baptized, wide-open and seeking.

And here was Rahab. Bold, shrewd, outside yet not unwelcome.

And here was Job. Broken, angry, in conversation with the overwhelming forces that harm.

And here was Peter. Feeling betrayed, scared, distrustful of authority, outside the temple walls, loudly in denial.

What I miss when I pull my lens back and zoom out and stay there and refuse to come back because its all too much, is that these stories show the veil pulled back. The heart of God working inside those inside the tragedy. Presence inside the outsider, saving the sinful privileged. Endless chances for the frightened zealot with poor impulse control, warming his own hands.

And what I miss when I am stuck, zoomed-in only on the seeming minutia of toddler vomit, sleepless nights, bad traffic, long work hours and penny-pinching, is that despite this lack of peace, there was presence. We have some of these stories in the text we read, and some of these stories in our memories. Some connect us to the ancient saints and shrewd prostitutes and broken patriarchs of the past, and some connect us to our histories, our lessons, that time we were betrayed and that time we orchestrated the betrayal.

I didn’t get peace. I still don’t have clarity. There has been no yellow brick road of obvious. I didn’t find a way to poetically wrap up my faith crisis. The loose ends are frequently tangled . The bubble is still popped. 70 Syrian children have drowned trying to escape the world they were born into. Michigan has some 70-degree November days and all I can think about is global warming. My children still sometimes puke in the car. I still struggle with which church to join.

But what I’ve had is presence.

When a woman who’s husband passed away during the school year thanked me for the devotional time I’d given her son, unfettered and quiet space and time in the Word each day, reading Job, there was His presence.

She thanked me for giving him time to daily and privately work through angry conversations with God, which I told them was better than no conversation at all,  to wrestle. While I wept quietly into my coffee behind them, God’s presence was with my students.

While I despaired that my Lenten devotion had not ended in a triumphant Easter of clarity, I’d still been able to dine with the saints.

While carrying a sleeping toddler, while questioning Him in and outside of the church gates, and from inside my privilege of safety, God’s presence insisted that I engage, rather than pull away.

And while I carry doubt with me in-step, while I now work from home, prepare to welcome another son into this world of beauty and conflict, presence draws me into the daily blessings my hands can reach.

So, I messaged my friend. I told her it was all too much and everything is too hard.

And then I had one of those revelations that is in no way new or shocking and is, in fact, the subject of a Michael Jackson song, the AA poem, cheesy motivational office posters, and the like.

Start with yourself, you genius, you.

Express yourself with your hands and feet and debit card.  

What can you touch around you right now? What is within your reach?

So basically,I hummed “Man in the Mirror” a bit and then felt better about what is in my reach.

This could have been a story about Peter being a great witness to those also “on the outside”, but it isn’t. And this could have been a good story about Rachel, bold through doubts and outspoken about the wrestle with faith, but it really isn’t yet.

But “Are you a disciple of Jesus? Do you believe in this big God that you rage against?” The question asked Peter, the assertion of Rahab, the wailing of Job.

Yes, I am. I’m here to learn. I’m here to follow this meandering path. I’m here to find out how wrong I am and be gracefully turned around. And I’m here amidst other people. There’s no peace there, either, but there is presence.

And because I’m never ever dramatic, or throw in the towel and then pick it up again, and because I never ever ever let the minutia get to me, I email friends and declare hibernation.

I complain to my husband that the microwave stresses me out. Because it beeps at me. And coupons because they have expiration dates that I cannot seem to manage. Sometimes it all feels big, or small, and all too much. In those times, what I don’t need is peace. What I need is presence.

There is presence in prayer:

I stand in the courtyard and doubt, in the temple and hide. I wave branches and then drop them in shame, and yet I want to be a rock upon which You can build. Peter’s zeal was redirected and I pray the same for my propensity to stand in the middle, doubt and question and speak.

Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.

But as I raved and grew more fierce and wild

      At every word,

Methought I heard one calling, Child!

      And I replied My Lord.

-George Herbert

Continue Reading · Guest Post, Out of Sorts · 20

Sorting Out the Bible: How Jesus Changed the Way I Read Scripture

Sorting out the Bible :: Sarah Bessey

Years ago, when my own memorized answers about faith were crumbling, it was then that I discovered the truth: The Bible is both more wild and more wonderful than I could have dreamed. The turning point in how I read Scripture wasn’t a crisis though—not really. Rather, this change happened because Jesus became the center of everything for me.

As I share in my new book Out of Sorts, it was as my discipleship to the man from Nazareth unfolded over the years that I began to realize Jesus himself is the Word of God (John 1), and so I needed to learn to read my whole Bible through the lens of Jesus Christ. Oswald Chambers, writing about centering our lives on Jesus, said, “We are not asked to believe the Bible, but to believe the One whom the Bible reveals.” Jesus himself put it this way as he responded to religious leaders who challenged him: “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39–40, NIV).

A New Approach

When I was a child, I remember asking a Sunday school teacher if God had been “born again” between the Old and New Testament. I thought maybe that was why, to me, God seemed to change from the ancient stories of war and tribalism in the Old Testament to the Jesus I knew and loved—the God of lavish love spoken of so fervently by John, the bridegroom to a yearning bride, the one who had only to say “Follow me” for people to drop everything and run after him. In my childish reasoning, I thought that perhaps God had also experienced transformation like the rest of us.

I don’t remember my teacher’s response to my question, but I continued to carry that wondering with me: Why, in some parts of Scripture, did God sometimes seem so different from Jesus? It’s a complex question that isn’t easily resolved, but now I approach that question differently. It’s not that God was “born again” between Malachi and Matthew; rather, it’s that God became incarnate among us, and in Jesus the central truth that God is love was more fully revealed.

In Jesus, the veil between us and God was torn from top to bottom. God swept in among us here as Immanuel—God with us—and said, in essence, “Look here, if you want to see the Father, look to me—we are one.” (John 10:25–30; 14:9). Then that same Jesus laid down his life for us and rose again, curing the disease of sin that had separated us away from our true home.

Read the rest of this post over at Today’s Christian Woman by clicking here….


Continue Reading · faith, Guest Post, jesus, scripture · 1

Who Are You? :: a guest post by Erika Morrison

I’m so happy to share my friend, Erika Morrison with you today. Erika and I go way back in the blogging life together. We wrote together at the now-defunct Deeper Story site, and even went to Haiti together! She’s written a book unlike anything typical to the Christian-lady-writer genre. She’s refreshing and honest and real – you’ll love her. Erika is the embodiment of life outside the narrow boundary markers…Open the door to her spirit-led influence and you will never be the same.

The cardinals make it look so easy. The honeybees make it look so easy. The catfish and the black crow, the dairy cow and the cactus plant, all make being created appear effortless. They arise from the earth, do their beautiful, exclusive thing and die having fulfilled their fate.

None of nature seems to struggle to know who they are or what to do with themselves.

But humanity is the exception to nature’s rule because we’re individualized within our breed. We’re told by our mamas and mentors that–like snowflakes–no two of us are the same and that we each have a special purpose and part to play within the great Body of God.

(If your mama never told you this, consider yourself informed: YOU–your original cells and skin-print, guts and ingenuity–will never ever incarnate again. Do you believe it?)

So we struggle and seek and bald our knees asking variations of discovery-type questions (Who am I? Why am I here?) and if we’re semi-smart and moderately equipped we pay attention just enough to wake up piecemeal over years to the knowledge of our vital, indigenous selves.

And yet . . . even for all our wrestling and wondering, there are certain, abundant factors stacked against our waking up. We feel and fight the low ceiling of man made definitions, systems and institutions; we fight status quo, culture conformity, herd mentalities and more often than not, “The original shimmering self gets buried so deep that most of us end up hardly living out of it at all. Instead we live out of all our other selves, which we are constantly putting on and taking off like coats and hats against the world’s weather.” ~Frederick Buechner

So, let me ask you. Do you know something–anything–of your true, original, shimmering self?

I don’t mean: Coffee Drinker, Jesus Lover, Crossfitter, Writer, Wife, Mama.

Those are your interests and investments.

I do mean: Who are you undressed and naked of the things that tell you who you are?

Who are you before you became a Jesus lover or mother or husband?

Who are you without your church, your hobbies, your performances and projects?

I’m not talking about your confidence in saying, “I am a child of God”, either. What I am asking a quarter-dozen different ways is this: within the framework of being a child of God, what part of God do you represent? Do you know where you begin and where you end? Do you know the here-to-here of your uniqueness? Do you know, as John Duns Scotus puts it, your unusual, individual “thisness”?

I can’t resolve this question for you, I can only ask you if you’re interested. (Are you interested?)

I can only tell you that it is a good and right investment to spend the energy and time to learn who you are with nothing barnacled to your body, to learn what it is you bleed. Because you were enough on the day of your birth when you came to us stripped and slippery and squeezing absolutely nothing but your God-given glow.

And who you were on that born-day is also who you are now, but since you’ve been living on this planet long enough to learn how to read this article, then it follows that you’ve also lived here long enough to collect a few layers of horsefeathers and hogwash.

So, yet again, I’m inquiring: What is it that you see before the full-length bathroom mirror after you’ve divested of clothes and masks and hats and accessories and roles and beliefs and missions and persuaders and pressures–until you’re down to just your peeled nature, minus all the addons mixed in with your molecules?

Do you see somebody who was made with passion, on purpose, in earnest; fearfully and wonderfully, by a Maker with a brow bent in the center, two careful hands, a stitching kit and divine kiss?

Can you catch between your fingers even the tiniest fragment of self-knowledge, roll it around and put a word to it?

Your identity is a living organism and literally wishes to unfurl and spread from your center and who will care and who will lecture if you wander around a little bit every day to look for the unique shine of your own soul?

One of the central endeavors of the human experience is to consciously discover the intimacies of who we already are. As in: life is not about building an alternate name for ourselves; it’s about discovering the name we already have.

Will you, _______, rise from your own sacred ash?

Because the rest of us cannot afford to lose the length of your limbs or the cadence of your light or the rhythm of your ideas or the harmony of your creative force. The way you sway and smile, the awkward this and that and the other thing you do.

These are the days for opening our two clumsy hands before the wideness of life and the allure of a God who stops and starts our hearts. These are the days for rubbing our two imperfect sticks together so we can kindle another feeble, holy light from the deep within–each of us alone and also for each other.

There is no resolution to this quest; the only destination is the process. But I hope there’s a small spark here that will leave you wanting, that will leave you with a blue-fire lined in your spine, that will inspire a cellular, metamorphic process in you; an odyssey of the soul unique to you and your individual history, organisms, and experiences.

There is maybe a fine line between being lethargic about learning ourselves and not being self-obsessive and with that tension in mind, how do we begin (or continue) the process of unearthing and remembering the truth of our intrinsic selves?

Bandersnatch: An Invitation to Explore Your Unconventional Soul was written because sometimes we all need a little hand-holding and butt-nudging in our process; someone or something to come alongside us while we pick up our threads of soul discovery and travel from one dot and tittle to the next.

We are the Kingdom people and learning your own fingerprint is something of what it means for the Kingdom to come in response to an earth which groans forth it’s rolling desire for the great interlocking circle of contribution to reveal the luminous and loving Body of Christ and slowly, seriously–like it’s our destiny–set the world to rights.

Kingdom come. Which is to say: YOU, [be]come and carve your glorious, powerful, heaven-appointed meaning into the sides of rocks and communities and cities and skies.


Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 1.50.29 PM (1)Without being formulaic and without offering one-size-fits-all “how-to” steps, Bandersnatch is support material for your soul odyssey; a kind of field guide designed to come alongside the moment of your unfurling.

Come with me? And I will go with you and if you’re interested, you can order wherever books or ebooks are sold.

Or, if you’d like to read the first three chapters and just see if Bandersnatch is something for such a time as the hour you’re in, click HERE.

All my love,

Erika Morrison

View More: Morrison is a writer and speaker, a visionary and life artist. With an unconventional approach to spirituality, she paints bold, prophetic portraits of Kingdom-come. Erika makes her home and invests her heart in the Yale University town of New Haven, CT along with her husband Austin; their sons Gabe, Seth and Jude; and a female pit bull named Zeppelin. 

Continue Reading · books, Guest Post · 7

We Won’t Back Down – a guest post by Jory Micah

It’s been two years since my first book, Jesus Feminist, went out into the world. Since that time, I’ve been given the tremendous gift of meeting women from all backgrounds, temperaments, and callings all over the world who are rising up in leadership. I have so much hope for the future of the Church because of these women.  There are so many ways to be a Jesus Feminist and so many ways to create space for justice and wholeness for women – as I said in one chapter, some of us are called to the front lines while others are called to background resistance, some are called to bold confrontations and others to subversive influence. But we all have important work to do.

And today’s guest post is from a bold young woman on the front lines of articulating and advancing egalitarian thought and practices – Jory Micah. Jory burst onto the blogging scene this year with a fire in her bones about seeing the Church working fully in an alliance between men and women – as she calls it “breaking the glass steeple” – and she hasn’t relented. She’s taking on injustice and bad theology with every post with deliberate and unrelenting passion. She’s headed into enemy camp and is intent on seeing women healed and set free in Jesus’ name. I’m happy to welcome her to my space here today as a way to introduce you to her and her work. 


I remember it like it was yesterday. My girlfriends and I giggled and gossiped as we slipped on our sparkling red dresses, carefully curled our hair, and lined our lips. It was our senior year and we were getting ready for our last high school Valentine’s Day dance. My brood of girlfriends practically lived at my house. Most of them came from broken families and found comfort under the wings of my “very Christian” home.

Mom and dad bought an old victorian mansion when I was about 9-years-old. They spent years investing into the over 100-year-old home,and by the time I was 18 the home was exceptional enough for Victorian Homes Magazine to ask my parents if they could feature it. We were far from wealthy, but my hometown reeks of brokenness, poverty, and depression; so perhaps we seemed wealthy.

I went to public school most of my life and my high school was the one “on the wrong side of the tracks.” “Prexie Land,” we called it. A “prexie” is a “little president,” but we were more like “little mischief-makers.” Although my cheerleader friends and I were nicknamed the “church girls,” we didn’t do well with turning the other cheek at that point in our lives. If a girly-girl was going to make it in prexie land, she was going to have to toughen up a bit.

Prior to the Valentine’s Day Dance, one of the girls in our group caught wind that her boyfriend was cheating on her with a girl from another school. Those are “fightin’ grounds” in prexie land and we were not about to let this girl get away with it. Us “church girls” challenged this girl and her friends to meet us in the Walmart parking lot after the dance. We stuffed our duffel bags with prexie sweats and athletic eye black, grabbed the hands of our boyfriends, and headed to the dance.

Twenty minutes before the dance was over, all eight of us went into the bathroom, changed into our sweats, put eye black on our faces, and pulled our hair back in ponytails. It was go time. We grabbed our boyfriend’s hands and headed to my mom’s mini van (our ride for the night). As we drove to the Walmart parking lot, we blasted the song “Rollin'” by Limp Bizkit and got ourselves pumped up for our first real fight.

When we arrived, there were about a hundred teens from three different schools waiting for us. They were all there to watch the big “cat fight.” One by one, we spilled out of my mom’s minivan, ready to show our town how the “church girls” roll. “Yes, we love Jesus, but ain’t nobody gonna mess with our men” was our clear motto. We knew it was wrong deep down inside, but we were kids defending our territory.

My girlfriend who was the one getting cheated on began to fight her new enemy. It was most certainly a “girly-girl” sort of brawl, but still intense. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see another girl running towards the fight to gang up on my friend. Although I was just there for moral support and had no intentions of actually breaking a fingernail, I was not about to let any of my friends get ganged up on. Somethin’ fierce came over me and without thinking I ran as fast as I could and jumped on the girl’s back. She threw me off her back and that was the end of that, but it stopped the whole fight.

Now that I am 31-years-old, my girlfriends and I get together and laugh about that night. I know, I know, we were bad kids, but we were also good kids, full of love and protection for one another. As a Jesus feminist and an egalitarian blogger, I can’t help but see the symbolism.

It is not easy being a Jesus feminist in the evangelical world. Many women have left evangelicalism because they were tired of fighting for equality, they were over feeling like they are “less than” men, and they were sick of their gifts being overlooked because they were born a girl. I get that more than you might know and understand that some are called to leave the evangelical church, but if we all leave how will things ever change?

Yes, us Jesus feminists are most certainly dwelling on the wrong side of the church tracks and many have misunderstood us “church girls” as “mischief-makers,” but now is not the time to back down from this fight and give up. It’s time to throw our Bibles in our duffel bags, let go of fear, join forces, and drive to the “enemy’s camp” to take back what He stole from us.

Our battle has never been against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12) so no need to break a nail, but we are fighting the enemy of our souls – which is Satan Himself. Only the Devil would want to silence and limit half of Jesus’ Church and He has twisted scripture to do it (Mark 4:1-11). It is time to smarten up ladies and gents. How did Satan try to stop Jesus’ mission out in the wilderness? He took scripture out of context. But Jesus knew the Word better than His opponent and answered with “It is also written…”. We must take the time to learn the Bible in correct context because the Bible is our sword of truth (Ephesians 6:17) and it is our greatest weapon in this fight. The only thing more powerful than education is Jesus, making an educated Christian an unstoppable force.

Men and women of God, it is time to fight against the oppression of God’s daughters in the Evangelical Church and we do this by proclaiming the truth in love, refusing to be silenced or moved, letting go of fear, protecting and championing each other, and accepting anyone who loves Jesus into our cause despite their struggles. God is forming an army of Christians who will no longer accept any so called “biblical teaching” that limits people based off their gender, race, social status, struggles or disabilities (Galatians 3:28). Do you not see? Our power against the enemy is in our oneness. 

Any division within the body of Christ causes the Church body not to function properly. When women are held back in anyway due to their gender, half the body is not functioning as it was designed to function and we all suffer. How many women with the gift of teaching are not teaching men and women in the Church? There goes one of our hands. How many women who were gifted to lead both men and women are not being permitted to lead? There goes one of our feet. It is imperative that we fight for gender equality in the Church or the Church body will slowly die.

Do you feel the Spirit drawing you out of captivity? Do you see a ray of sunshine peeking through? Do you hear the voice of Jesus calling you to run towards freedom? God has unlocked the shackles of limitation and the chains of oppression. The prison gate is wide open. Be brave enough to leave all the darkness, lies, and confusion behind. No matter the cost, it is worth it and you do not have to run alone.

For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. -2 Corinthians 3:17

j4Jory Micah Peterson was born and raised just outside Pittsburgh, PA where she now resides with her husband, Luke and their pet chihuahua, Noella. She holds an AA from Christ for the Nations Bible Institute in Practical Theology, a BS from Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Church Ministries, and an MA from Regent University in Christian Doctrine and History. Jory is an experienced Bible teacher and speaker who is passionate about seeing women become all that God has called them to be in the Christian Church. She is currently working on her first book and blogs about “breaking the glass steeple” at Find her on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube @jorymicah. She can be found on Facebook at “Jory Micah Ministries.”

Continue Reading · Guest Post, Jesus Feminist · 29

My Weird Childhood Faith Isn’t So Weird Anymore


received the gift of tongues when I was just eight years old. An older woman in our small charismatic church introduced us Friday night Bible study kids to the idea of a “prayer language.” I don’t remember how my teacher explained it, only how she gently placed her hands on our heads, one after another, while quietly praying in tongues herself. My mouth filled with syllables I didn’t know and didn’t understand; I lifted my skinny arms to the ceiling, and I spoke in tongues like a mystic.

I was raised in small charismatic churches in western Canada, long before the Internet made it easy to keep tabs on what other Christians were up to. I grew up believing that our experiences—speaking in tongues and then the interpretation, healing, miracles, prophecy, words of knowledge, and faith—were utterly unremarkable.

As I look back on my childhood, although the gifts of the Holy Spirit were dear to us and we deeply believed in their practice, the real difference was that we expected God. We wanted the wild and the untamed Spirit to disrupt us. We lived out of an assumption of God’s good gifts and overwhelming love. We yearned to see the Kingdom come on earth, right here, as it was or would be in heaven. We figured that was what God wanted, too. Believing power would come from on high to see the lost found and the sick healed and imprisoned set free, our church operated on a first-name basis with the Spirit.

Later, when I began to spend time with other Christians outside of my tradition, I discovered that we were considered fringe. A bit suspect amongst the establishment. People thought charismatics were dangerous, the weird ones, controversial. Who knew?

Over the years, I’d seen my share of damaging abuses done in the name of the Spirit. I’ve been on the receiving end of some weird practices. I look back on some of the things I used to believe and cringe a bit. Think of an over-realized eschatology, and I’ve probably heard it preached beautifully.

Anytime I get defensive about how charismatics are mocked or stereotyped, I am presented with something like this article from Charisma “news” referring to Donald Trump as “God’s Trumpet to America,” and I have renewed sympathy for cessasionists. In my upcoming book, Out of Sorts, I write about how I’ve learned to make peace with having an evolving faith, which means that, like most of us who grew up in some form of Christianity, I’ve had to sort through what I was taught and figure out what I want to carry with me and what I want to lay down. Being a charismatic provides a lot of material.

Read the rest of this article at Her.meneutics, Christianity Today’s Blog for Women….

image source

Continue Reading · faith, Guest Post, journey · 0