Toxic Religion (#695)
Feedback from two of our listeners take Brad and Wayne back to their two most recent podcasts to talk about "the gift of detachment" as it effects toxic relationships your own family, and the failure of religious thinking that divorces our faith from an engagement with a Living God. Along the way, they talk about why principles alone, even those drawn from Scripture, are not enough to give us the insight we need to navigate our curcumstances with wisdom and grace. Everything can be twisted to please ourselves and stamp God's name to it, which is why learning to follow Jesus often leads us counter to our preferences.
If You Can Help Us in Kenya
I am in a struggling position right now, and I listen to your podcasts with as much of an open mind as I can muster. I do appreciate so much of what you are saying here, and I do hope you will continue to produce them. I cannot begin to tell you how much of my life has been ruined by both extremes of “toxic religion” of which you speak. Those who claim to know the true heart of God apart from the scriptures and who criticize me for not being “truly spiritual” and those who claim infinite knowledge of the scriptures and would call me schizo for hearing the voice of God. I only wish I knew others like you in my area with whom I could have fellowship on a regular basis and not feel compelled to attend a “music and light show” in ultra high volume or a screaming session with huffing. I will continue to listen to your podcasts for now and I hope you know how much I appreciate you publishing them here free of charge.
(From Wayne) Thank you, Rick. I’m glad the podcast is such an encouragement to you. It is difficult today. Religion permeates our thinking, robbing people of a rich relationship with Jesus that grows in our hearts over time. They want quick answers and often a desire to control the questions. Keep following him. Don’t worry what others say or how they judge. You know the light that is rising in you and how it is transforming your heart. Keep following him and in time you’ll find some people to have these conversations with as well… Blessings, my friend!
I agree that there are those who want to control the questions, and I have often said myself that those who have all the answers don’t allow questions. I am trying to follow him, I could just use a little nudge from him once in a while. I am stuck in a 35-year marriage which has been a nice little slice of Hell on a daily basis, except when I am away from her. I am also sick of hearing people tell me to try “The Love Dare” or read “Gary Smalley” and other “How to lay down and be a doormat for your overbearing wife” type books. I am still waiting for God to speak to me. I listened with great interest to one of your earlier podcasts about “When Desparate Prayers Go Unanswered” and I can well identify with the young man you mentioned who falls somewhere between an atheist and an agnostic. I am more like someone who knows that God exists, but seriously doubts that he cares. When I see others who are suffering more than I am, I just want to say, “Oh well, I guess he still has others he hates more than me”.
I’m sorry you’re stuck in such a destructive marriage and feel so un distant from God’s love and care for you. It may be the two are connected, that living in such pain makes it difficult to recognize his way to you. I guess I would want to ask why you’re in such a destructive relationship? God doesn’t condemn you to a life of pain because your wife isn’t willing to treat you better or you both find the help you need to find a loving relationship together. If I were you, I would find the help you both need or find your way out of it. You might both be better alone than living in such a hostile environment.