Symptoms of Delusion (#784)

A word of warning: this podcast is not for those of you who celebrated what happened in our nation's capital last week. At the request of a listener, Kyle and Wayne take a look at the delusion that is motivating many brothers and sisters and why it is so difficult to talk to people who see these events a certain way. Wayne unpacks a series of earmarks that he has recognized are very common for people caught in a series of lies that they really are convinced are true whether that be from a religious cult, political manipulation, or a toxic relationship. These are not offered as a way to judge others caught in them, but to take a look at ourselves to see if we are people who are after the truth or victims of a polarized culture. And, understanding them will help us know if, when, and how to best engage others who show signs of delusion.

Podcast Notes:
Order Live Loved Free Full
Wayne's Blog - Seven Characteristics of the Deluded
Email Kyle
Past Podcasts with Kyle

23 Comments

  1. Wayne & Kyle – Thank you for having this conversation. Kyle, I cannot agree with you more that, “there is no genuine way to know the underlying truth of what is really going on unless God reveals it in prayer and conversation with Him.” The question we have been asking God is What does He want us to DO about living as a disciple of Jesus in this obviously post-truth world? And his answer to us has been found in The Rule of St. Benedict. Now, much like the 6th and 7th centuries in Rome, God is calling modern St. Benedicts to dig into what it truly means to be “in the world, and not of the world.” Perhaps we should be asking more of how do Christ Followers live counter-culturally , rather than, “how do we change the culture (or, as I gathered from the words of your emailer, to change someone’s mind)?” What does living in the ancient ways of community, discipleship, and reliance upon God look like today? Is the koinonia described in the book of Acts, or between Jesus and his Father, possible, and if so, what does it look like? Perhaps we are being asked “build and Ark” and preserve traditional, ancient, ways of Jesus. The more extreme our ideas are in the world’s view, the more that God reveals that they are ‘right’ through the lens of scripture. Jesus constantly withdrew from the mobs into the wilderness to meet with his Father. It is where he charged His batteries, so to speak, time and time again. Do I believe that ALL Christ followers are being called to this kind of living; That is not for me to decide. But the God Journey tagline of “outside the box of religious obligation” has become more real to us since June when we started down this path of co-living and inviting those God has given us to disciple into our lives and into our home as we care for them.

    • Hi Brian – Love your comment. The Truth of Christ is actually what has helped wean me off of the merry-go-round of politics, There are certain Western-Church doctrinal beliefs that, just like a treble hook, once we have swallowed them it can APPEAR impossible extricate our souls from their grip. The main doctrinal belief I think of here is the belief by many “Christians” that we need to get the power of politics & government on our side. The author Keith Giles reminded me that that was the 3rd temptation of Christ in the wilderness, and he rejected it! Shouldn’t we too if we want to follow Christ?

      As God knits us together, he gives us talent(s) which as we hone them, become our individual strengths. Perhaps being “in the world and not of the world” could be as simple as each of us un-learning how to use our strength to subjugate and oppress those weaker among us, but rather by learning to use our strength to support and build-up the weaker among us, as in Acts 20:34 and Daniel 4:27.

      At our spiritual birth, we are given access to the power of God’s Holy Spirit, a perfect complement and catalyst to the talent given to us when we were created. But far too often what is modeled for us by the “christian-industrial-complex” is how to “be served by others” rather than how “to serve others.

      I have come to believe that we are, here and now, being asked to help build Christ’s Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven, but our efforts will only succeed if we labor to make Him look Good!, and not us, and certainly not the kingdoms of this world.

  2. Brian I love your questions! What I am finding as I have been diving deeper in Scripture is that Christ lived such a disruptive and counter cultural life even to the Jewish people. He lived out a radical love that unnerved even the most devote and empowered the most broken and outcast. Figuring out what that looks like in these trying times is the part of the great adventure with him.

  3. Great episode. Sadly, when we embrace the idolatries of patriotism, nationalism and white supremacy (often unknowingly) and reject humility, the events that occurred at the Capitol are where we end up. Even as Christians, it’s easy to get caught up and forget that this world is not our home. I pray that we (myself included) will be intentional in anchoring ourselves only in Jesus and not in the aims of this world.

    I’d also add that many Christians of color watched the events that unfolded and knew that had the ethnic and racial makeup been mostly non-white, the response from police would have been much different. I pray that the Church will one day truly reckon with its own historical and present complicity in this reality so that we truly are “all things to all people.”

  4. I tried to listen, I really did. I know that you are more connected to the media than I am, but I think you are taking it all to an extreme. Was the “insurrection” such a big deal? Not really and it wasnt unprecented. Is the general atmosphere dangerous? Somewhat. Not any more than at other times. Was Trump our Cyrus? No, and the results show that. Is he a rabble rouser? Maybe you didn’t have the opprotunity to see the video where he told the people that “this is not who we are” and to “go home.” I saw it, but MSM pulled it. Is he perfect? No way, but he was a good president.

    I have read, talked and tried to digest the entire situation and have come to the conclusion that if we have sense, we will wait and see. If Biden and Harris are so evil, it will come out. If not, we will survive. Don’t sensationalize it. I can’t stomach any more trying to figure it out.

  5. Good topic.

    It seems that some Christian leaders focused on…’political power/establishment’.
    – Too much..recent years.
    – & many Christians were lured into it.

    More ‘discernment’ is needed..nowadays.

  6. The current tragedy in our country has multiple facets and I remain unconvinced that Biden/Harris are better than Trump.
    As I read in Chuck Colson’s book “Loving God” back in 1985, “Power is only safe in the hands of the one who doesn’t want it.” In looking at our political landscape, I see a bunch of fallen people lusting for power and position and am reminded that the government of Jesus Christ is ultimately and eternally the one that deserves our focus, energy, and gifts. And in this temporal existence, we have the privilege to be salt and light in man’s political theatre. Let us do that well!
    In our country, it seems that we have elevated the position of “President of the United States” way beyond what it truly deserves. We risk being guilty of idolatry when we don’t retain perspective of how it functions as part of the three branches of government and understand how it is subject to brilliant checks and balances as architected by our founders. Those in high political positions have lots of bluster, but when they’re finished their political run, their list of actual accomplishments as a percentage of their promises will be in the single digits. Their bluster wastes our time.
    There were some elements of Trump’s agenda and actions that seemed to be based on a worldview consistent with mine and I found this intriguing. However, especially after his recent decision to foment insurrection, I will never support him again. However, that doesn’t mean I’ve switched any allegiances to Biden/Harris. I will pray for them. And I will pray for our country while working to advance the kingdom of our rock and Savior Jesus Christ.

  7. Thanks Wayne and Kyle.
    The resultant indignation after the Capitol riot is something that really opened my eyes.
    I wondered where this same feeling was at the mistreatment of “illegal immigrants “, no health care for all, etc. No, I’m not in support of any political party. My heart looks more at those less fortunate than me and I see them through my Father’s eyes.
    When I lived in Australia, the government put “boat people” in camps. I was heartbroken. I knew that was not how my Dad looked at those people.
    I know people have tried to help “illegal immigrants “ in the US. But, why did the country seem more to explode with emotion over “democracy” and “The Capitol building” instead of caring for those less fortunate as children were separated from parents? I see it like what the church has become, more about the rules than about the fathers love for his children.
    The US was founded on freedom for ALL but now appears to hold a building and what it stands for higher.
    Where was the rage at lawmakers?
    Where was the rage of the country when children were being taken from their parents and locked up? Such outrage over the mistreatment of a building (while lawmakers were in there) is obviously more personal to them and the rest of the country, than those whom are less fortunate and allowed to be abused.
    Somehow the main point continues to be missed.
    Where is the first love?
    Sadly, I think our Dad cries at the scenes….people have missed the whole point….his perfect love for us ALL!

  8. This was a breath of fresh air, and so good just to talk without all the emotions attached! Blessings sue

  9. Wow! I just don’t know what to say. What a terrible misrepresentation of Trump supporters. It’s obvious that Wayne does not like or respect Trump. Anyone who’s listened to the podcast over the past few years knows that well. Maybe fora future episode you’ll find time on here to thank Biden for increasing funding for abortions while saying nothing about all the violence we’ve endured from leftist radical thugs for months on end. Indeed, the events that took place in Washington were wrong, but we’re still trying to figure out who all was involved in that mess. Were you there? Do you know? Also, to dismiss all claims of fraud as “delusional” is ridiculous. My friend’s grandmother voted for Biden and she’s been dead for 12 years. Funny how none of the dead voted for Trump. If you dismiss that, you might want to look at Maricopa County in Arizona that is just now being allowed to do a full forensic audit due to county supervisor’s obstruction. Listening to this was like listening to a CNN reporter sharing “the facts”. It’s your podcast and you can talk about whatever you like, but I think a more balanced conversation with someone who might not see it from your perspective would have made for a far better conversation instead of yes man Kyle. Boy do I miss Brad! He truly kept things in balance. I guess he grew weary of Wayne constantly correcting, demeaning, and talking down to him which absolutely happened far too often. This podcast has really gone downhill. Sad! I’m sure my comments on here will offend more than a few. To you I say as Wayne put it so well, if you’re from that crowd, move on. Why? Because honestly, Wayne’s not interested in those silly “delusional Believers”.

  10. “There is no anger inside the truth.” Wayne Jacobsen
    “Be angry, but do not sin.” Jesus <—- THE TRUTH

    Imagine the CNN journalist, um, reporter rather, standing in front of a burning building. He is telling you it's a peaceful protest. BELIEVE HIM.
    Nearly 2 million people of every race, culture, religion and age showed up on the soaked lawn of the Ellipse. It was very cold, the wind was whipping. There were so many precious Chinese immigrants, asking for signatures to end the CCP. They know. There was so much love. There was no violence witnessed by myself or anyone I was with. I just couldn't get over the feeling of hope and unity as we made our voices heard in OUR capitol. Many tears shed, many prayers prayed, and not one thing burned or destroyed outside of the weird events at the capitol building. The gathering was one motivated by love for our country and our fellows, even those we disagree with. It was to send the message that we cannot accept fraud on any level and there are very simple ways to mitigate fraud. DON'T BELIEVE THEM.

    You cast aspersions when you compared old people with walkers, young people, veterans, immigrants from all over the world, people of every color and shade that were in attendance with nearly 2 million others to Nazi's or Nazi behavior. What a diatribe Wayne, you nailed it! Your characterization of the people that went to Washington is beyond vitriolic. Absolutely disgusting! Your ignorance is only eclipsed by your arrogance. You are doing the very thing you accuse others of. You are indeed confident in your insight about the precious people that cared enough to get off their asses and drive across the country to stand against corruption. You compared it to Nazi behavior, you said insurrectionists. WOW!!!!!!
    You think I am mad because you don't agree with me- and nothing could be further from the truth. I am mad because you are impugning such a religiously and culturally diverse group of people! You painted them with the biggest brush I ever seen.
    You were not there. You did not see the faces, you did not feel the love. And you clearly have bought what your precious trustworthy news sources tell you- who ever they are, and of course yours are the right ones, because YOU BELIEVE THEM. It is so wrong to make such DANGEROUS assertions in this a climate. The hundreds of thousands of Americans of every stripe, race and religion do not have the right to show you their videos or tell you their experience because so many like you Wayne are passive before the unelected rulers called Big Tech because you are unwittingly on the same side. After all, who cares as long as its not your preferred narrative being censored. You can always do what you did Wayne, and say all those that disagree are delusional.
    I want the world to be healed, I want daddy government to take it's proper place. I want human trafficking to end. I want our government to be transparent and give an account for every dime they take. I want to be able to put a sign in my yard without fear that my house or vehicles or my family will be attacked. (EVEN though I am NOT a "sign in the yard" kind of gal) I want the dignity of respect from those with opposing views to allow me the right to my own values and still see me as a complex human not defined by a political or religious view I hold, AS I DO FOR OTHERS, I love what you give to the world regarding living loved. But this passive, uninformed, politically correct, condescending crap, no thanks. And, may I say if I could like Ken's comment I would. He nailed it.

    • Nancy, I’m horribly sorry that this is what you want to post. In many ways you only provide an example of the things that concern me. Why are you so angry that I have a different perspective than you do and resort to accusations about my character or motives?

      You take most of your post to talk about people I wasn’t talking about at all. I never mentioned the peaceful demonstrators who were in Washington to demonstrate their support fo free and fair elections. You mischaracterize my comments when you apply it to them. Clearly, I was speaking of those who stormed the Capitol and those who supported their efforts at the timed even after. I made no comment about those people. Perhaps I should have to draw a distinction, but they were not foremost on my mind with what happened. I have no problems with peaceful protests, and I did not support the violence or looting that went on this spring with the BLM protests. That his abhorrent to me as well, for any reason. I’ve often said there is a difference between a protest and a riot where property is destroyed and people put at risk. Your perspective would be most welcome here, but we’re talking apples and oranges. You don’t have to mischaracterize my concerns or make false accusations about my character or my perspective.

      This was the point of my blog at Lifestream. Delusion is delusion whether it is happening to maintain the power of a cult, or to spread false information or violence to overturn an election. If you want to talk about concerns over mailed-out ballots and whether they were properly vetted when returned, that’s something I o hope our country is able to look into before the next election. But saying there were nefarious forces at work to falsely switch votes when Republican leaders have repudiated that statement seems irresponsible to me. For former President Trump to keep saying he won by a landslide when he offered no proof of it was dangerous. Of course, more will come to light here, Nancy, and we’re better off discussing these things openly and not with such anger.

      Over the past few months, I’ve read through countless articles and seen videos of so-called men of God prophesying that Trump is the savior of Christianity and would be re-elected. I sensed the anguish of God’s Spirit when I read such things. Yes, it could just be me, but I know many others who sensed those same things. Some of those prophets have apologized and admitted they were wrong; most have not. Many of them fed a dangerous narrative to the public that allowed a few unhinged individuals to think they were fostering liberty through a violent assault on the Capitol. They said since God told them that Trump had won, it must have been stolen. Others were still saying days before the Inauguration that a plan was afoot to arrest those who tampered with the election and secure Trump’s second term. They were wrong. Right? Was God too weak to deal with fraud, if it was there.

      There are lessons in what I wrote both for the right and the left if we would lay down our anger and find a way to communicate gracefully. You and I probably share a similar assessment of the corruption of politics in our time and for many of the same hopes for a government that stands up against trafficking, fiscal responsibility, and protecting the dignity of those who disagree. No, I don’t think the Biden administration is a great up to restore “unity.” It is easy to talk about, but rarely does a political party in power reach out effectively to the concerns of people who disagree with them.

      I felt it for my friends who were so disappointed at Trump’s loss when the left giddily talks about restoring the nation now that they are in power. I feel the same for them that I felt for my friends on the left four years earlier when Trump supporters were triumphant. It’s not OK to vilify a political opponent as if your party alone has all the wisdom our country needs. As angry as the right was for being called “deplorables” by Hillary Clinton, th left felt through four years of Trump’s mockery. I expect it of the world, whose kingdom is all political, but I am surprised by those who serve a Kingdom that no politics can contain. We have to do better.

      The truth be told, Nancy, I don’t express my views here to dissuade my Trump-supporting friends. I know what I’m going to get from them and it has been consistent for the past two years. They attack me personally, question the reality of my faith, mischaracterize my statements so that I don’t even recognize them, vilify things I haven’t said, and try to intimidate me to silence. No one else has responded that way if they disagree. I have lots of people who will express their concerns, tell me what they think I might be missing, ask for me thoughts and invite a conversation that is hopefully enlightening to both of us. That I appreciate.

      The reason for my blog post at Lifestream and this podcast was for people who are deeply concerned for the division going on in the families and friendships if they are not 100% supportive of all things Trump. They are called baby-killers, even though the abhor abortion, CNN acolytes, even though they don’t listen to CNN, and arrogant or condescending because they had some real concerns about the way Trump led and the nearly fanatical “worship” their children, parents, coworkers, or neighbors express for Trump and how dismissive they were of people who held any other point of view. I wanted to help them see what some of those people are going through so they might love them better, even while they are being unfairly attacked.

      What you get at The God Journey is my honesty and my discoveries. I don’t claim to be right about everything. I simply share my journey and trust the Spirit to make sense of it where he will and in my ongoing conversations with people who listen to keep growing in insight and wisdom. Yes, I’d rather avoid such things and stick to safe topics everyone loves me for, but then I’d be less a person. Yes, I do suffer the judgments of people who do not know me or even understand why I’m saying what I do. I knew this would be a tough podcast for people who are caught up in the very delusion I spoke of. I warned them not to listen because I wanted to have a conversation with a different group of people who have been torn apart by the animosity in this country and the rising rhetoric and at times violence of extreme forces on both sides.

      I hope some day you come to reconsider the content and tone of this blog posting. I do not think have some 380 podcasts that this is a fair representation of my perspective or my heart. Either way, please don’t think I was painting with a broad brush all the protestors in Washington, DC on January 6. Nothing could be further from the truth.

      With love, truly,

      Wayne

  11. I’m not a Republican. I emerged from 20+ years of church life with new values, one of which is to never bow the knee to a person again. I will never again have gurus- to include a pastor or politician, or Donald Trump.
    I, and many others like me, went to the Capitol for the simple reason that our government has enslaved us for too long without a shred of accountability. The legal system has not served the people for ages, the representatives no longer represent.
    The media is fake, and an example is Amy Robach of ABC. This journalist is caught on film discussing the Jeffrey Epstein case. She admits that three years prior she had coaxed Virginia Guifree out of hiding after 12 years. This famous girl from the photo with that deplorable royal Andrew at Ghislaine Maxwell’s house in London.
    Amy said “We had everything, Bill Clinton, we had it all.” It took years to convince Virginia to come out risking her life to stand against this evil. The story was ready to drop said Ms. Robach, but then the exec’s got the call from the “Palace” and the story was dead- like so many of their victims. And, neither Ms. Robach or ABC bothered to report, alarm or tell authorities about what they knew in order to prevent more and ongoing HUMAN CHILD TRAFFICKING. Ms. Robach was merely pissed that she was scooped by another reporter.
    In my estimation, Amy Robach and ABC are fair representatives of the “news” and this is exactly why real citizen journalists are coming out of the woodwork.
    Really intelligent people with good hearts started doing research, long before Big Don stepped into the arena. These are the ones who posted leaked photos from Hunter Biden’s laptop. Two of these photos I saw- both with Hunter naked and both with children- no older than 7 or 8 years old, dressed in bondage lingerie. It was horrifying! Not conspiracy. This is your president’s boy.
    Please tell me why big tech has sensored so many, to include the duly elected president of the United States? I have video clip after video clip of people like K. Harris, Illhan Omar, Loretta Lynch, the mayor of Chicago and others inviting violence against Trump supporters, even telling us that if we voted for him they are coming for us!
    You did sweep with a very wide brush Wayne, when you posted that picture of patriotism- and your warning that if people thought what happened in Washington was good, then this wasn’t the post for them. You gave the distinct impression that the only thing that happened that day was a bunch of “Trumpers” violently attacked the Capitol and the people inside.
    If you look at the time stamps, that fiasco happened before the rally ended. But again, you won’t see that on fake news, and you have discredited alternative media with that same wide brush you used prior.
    I am not sorry for being angry Wayne. I am not sorry for challenging your biases and I’m not sorry for looking outside of the mainstream for the truth. I truly wish you well. Much love and clarity to us all in the days ahead.
    Sincerely,
    Nancy

  12. Nancy, you are spot on with your response. I find it sad that Wayne started out that he is sorry… “you” chose to post what you did. Really? Then he follows that with, “ Why are you so angry that I have a different perspective than you do and resort to accusations about my character or motives?”.
    He chose to chase this rabbit, make backhanded comments that could only be taken as offensive by those who have supported President Trump. I’m not sure what he expects when he labels a group of people as being “delusional”. The reality is Wayne put out content that was completely saturated with bias, offered no opportunity to hear from anyone with an opposing view, and in doing so offended a lot of great folks who have gleaned a lot from him throughout the years. It’s a shame really. He wants to make inflammatory statements, but then chastise others for when they get upset about those statements? Very self righteous. It’s how people justify their position in order to keep the perceived high ground instead of honestly considering that what they have said spoken be offensive, and that’s sad to see. Just know you are not alone in how this podcast made you feel. You are a courageous soul and your concerns with this podcast are completely valid.

  13. Yesterday I was finally able to completely listen to the podcast in which Wayne and Kyle discussed the January 6th raid on the US Capitol. I had already read the contentious posts in this forum, so I listened to the podcast with those posts in mind.

    After doing my best to retain an open mind regarding the anti-Wayne posts in this forum, it’s my conviction that these posts misrepresented Wayne’s intent and actual comments and actually vindicated his heartbreaking points about how the current political theater has exposed and encouraged dangerous mindsets and practices within the Body of Christ.

    Deception begins in the heart when we want to believe or advance something as truth. This is why we have two distinct words to help us evaluate the efficacy of preaching: exegesis (the critical interpretation of an authoritative text, such as Scripture) and eisegesis (an interpretation of an authoritative text that maligns it by infusing it with the interpreter’s own ideas or agenda). Without deception, we might not need these two words in our vocabulary. Tragically, it appears to me that eisegesis is running amok in our current culture and narratives. There seems to be far more critical spirits than critical thinking.

    I voted for Trump in 2016 and, like Wayne, have deeply appreciated many of his policies, which are far more consistent with my Christian worldview than his liberal opposition. His apparent candor and courage have been refreshing as he has cut through the sewage of all the typical political rhetoric and paralysis we have experienced in this country. I even heard that he had become a Christian just prior to the 2016 election and consults with Christian leaders far more than his predecessors.

    However, all this has been overwhelmed by deep concerns about his character. Because of my commitment to critical thinking under the Lordship of Christ, I cannot brush these concerns aside.

    Back in 1985 I read Charles Colson’s book entitled “Loving God” and will never forget something I read in those pages: “Power is only safe in the hands of the man who doesn’t want it.”

    As I consider Trump’s words and behavior, I have seen a man who thirsts for executive power and is therefore dangerous. In contrast, the 1880 Republican Convention in Chicago nominated James Garfield as their candidate, even though he had come to the convention to be a delegate for someone else. He made it clear in the convention that he did not want the nomination. The conventioneers responded that this is exactly why they wanted him to be their candidate.

    Garfield was a humble, gifted, highly intelligent, and committed Christian. He didn’t want power and won the presidency even though he invested no energy or resources campaigning for it. That’s the kind of spirit and character I long for as an American…and failed to see in Trump.

    After stripping the spin and agendas out of the facts, I believe Trump fomented the insurrection on the Capital that day. To me, his behavior was the natural culmination of a bankrupt, cancerous, and power-thirsty character.

    As Christians, let’s pray for him, his successors, and our nation. Let us also guard our hearts from deception by clinging to the Holy Spirit, who lives within us and guides us into all truth.

    Nancy (and others who took issue with the recent podcast), let’s pray for Wayne. Lets hold his arms up in battle as he speaks the truth in love to a world that desperately needs it. And finally, let us always remember how Jesus (as John Stott beautifully points out in his book, “The Cross of Christ”) proved his mastery over sin by absorbing it on the cross. C.S. Lewis wrote that the thing that most led him to Christ was observing the love among Christians. Let our love for one another be evident to the fallen world around us as we respectfully work through our differences. In eternity, we will all be in wonder as we worship He who sits on the thrown and who purchased our redemption. We will also be in wonder as we look around and see each other. The absence or presence of some will inevitably surprise us. I look forward to worshipping the Lamb of God together with you in that day and hope that this experience of eternity can start now.

  14. This podcast seems in its entirety to encapsulate all your work Wayne. And one of the reasons i listen to you. For one main reason, your ability and courage to reject all or none thinking in the Christian community. The you are for us or against us, the my way or the highway mentality that can be so dangerous regardless of who is doing it. I can’t seem to have conversations with people any longer about big issues. It seems most all the people around me have their minds made up. I’m sure there are people out there who don’t know everything-whose mind isn’t completely made up on every event and issue, but I can’t seem to find them. Not on the left either. Also I didn’t hear you do it but part of the media is labeling all Trump supporters as racist and grouping them together in their responsibility for this riot which is wrong and creating huge defensiveness in the peaceful supporters which of course is all fuel to the fire and will not be a good thing. Its concerning on various levels.

    Hang in there.

    Hang in there.

  15. i like to hike, especially in the mountains. i go back and look at my pictures often when i want to escape the stress of my day. i sometimes will even look at pictures others have taken from the same trail, and what i notice is that we aren’t impressed by the same scenes in the same way…our pictures of what catches our eye at that time are different. i think our journeys with god are similar. sometimes, we are at place along the trail where we see things similarly; sometimes not. I’m sharing a note i wrote on december 6th about what i saw on my journey that day. my hope is that there might be something seen that helps bring beauty to your journey should you choose to read it. like looking at the pictures of others from their own perspectives, the thoughts of others shouldn’t be used to critique one’s own journey, but should help us to see the beautiful that we might not have noticed at the time. remember, we all see things dimly for now…keep what is helpful, if anything, and disregard what’s not. [wayne, i realize this is a long post and i don’t want to cause any hurt, so if you feel it shouldn’t be posted, i understand…no hurt here.]
    when being right mattered more.
    less than a month away from the election, and all i can do is shake my head in sadness at our current situation here in the states. i was listening to a christian talk radio station this morning, and they have deemed the left as darkness…as evil in this world of ours.
    let me ask you. when did being right matter more to christians than loving neighbor? i have to believe that early on the followers of jesus understood the narrow path was love; not believing the right things. when did we lose sight of the path? how did it happen, and can we re-find it?
    i think what it comes down to is we have forgotten that we, as followers of the jesus way, are citizens of a kingdom that is not of this world. the kingdom of god doesn’t use manipulation, force, and violence to get things done in this world. its modus operandi is love showing itself in compassion and forgiveness. i know what you’re thinking…a kingdom like that cannot survive in our world. it would be taken advantage of and overrun in short order. we cannot just allow our borders to be porous to anyone who wants to cross them…good or evil. we need to have a strong defense force with which to defend ourselves, etc., etc., etc.
    i know the arguments. at times, I’ve questioned what I’m about to describe myself, but those arguments just prove our ignorance of god’s kingdom. they show our lack of understanding and fear of the narrow path of which jesus spoke. we want to delay the kingdom’s reign to the afterlife because we cannot see its viability in the here and now. yet, these fears have never stopped god’s kingdom from advancing; they have only deterred some from enjoying the kingdom sooner than later.
    the kingdom of god is now. it is a reality that can start in this life if we are willing to see it. once in, man’s way of doing things become senseless, and seeing the evil perpetuated by man’s kingdoms brings compassion instead of fear. inside the kingdom, death is no longer the enemy; loveless life is. there are no borders within this kingdom; only arbitrary lines on a map. there are no enemies to be found; only broken people who have yet to experience the transforming power of love. god’s kingdom cannot and will not coerce anyone to do anything at any time against his/her will; yet, her gates are always open for those who choose to enter on their own accord. those gates shall never close for any reason, and the light of love shall spill out onto the kingdoms of man forever inviting more to come; offering rest from their troubles.
    somehow, someway those of us who have lost the path; those who have fallen into the ways of men need only to lift their eyes to the horizon and see god’s city on the hill. we need to allow ourselves to be drawn to the light instead of succumbing to the fears of leaving the numbingly ordinary for the new. somehow we need to hear the silence of truth over the fear-laden calls of those who tell us to follow them because they know the way to peace in the kingdoms of the earth. somehow, we need to stop our treading and allow the current of god’s love to carry us to new places.
    yes, the kingdom is real. yes, the kingdom is now. maybe today is the day we look for it. maybe today is the day we too enter to stay.

    • Wonderful comment. Thanks for sharing. There are people on both sides who think they “believe the right things,” and I believe both platforms contain elements of biblical truth—but the narrow path is love, the way of the Kingdom. Reminds me of Myth of a Christian Nation (Gregory Boyd). If ever there was a time for this book, it’s now.

  16. It does seem that there is much in our faith that primes Christians for conspiracy theories – I think a fairly orthodox reading of revelation more or less requires it. We do believe in the activity of unseen forces with both positive and negative agendas that are not necessarily accessible to the standards of proof we require in the normal run of things. This includes an expectation we will hold on when all hope is lost and to believe though we are thought fools. I suppose it isn’t surprising these very same qualities would be leveraged by the enemy to draw us from the simplicity of devotion to Christ. I got caught into another wave of conspiracy stuff 30 years ago in Australia and the only thing that twigged something was wrong was I realized my thoughts, dreams and energies were steadily being consumed by the conspiracy and not by the truth of the scriptures, the love of the saints and Christ Himself. It was only once I got away from it that I saw there were quite plausible (and likely true) explanations for things we were convinced were sinister. For folk who are caught in this spiral and hanging your hopes on human organisations or individuals, I’d humbly suggest to dive deep into Jesus again, choose to love, choose to lay down your lives again and realize the best gift you can give to your kids is a life of humble faith, not a particular political context.

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