Identity and the Connected Worldview (#935)

"What are you most afraid of in your life right now, and who taught you that fear?" That is a key question to unmasking your false identity and help you discover who God has created you to be on the earth.  Wayne introduced Kyle to a podcast where Jamie Winship, the author of a book called, Living Fearless, was the guest. The podcast rocked Kyle's world and spilled out into two of his classrooms where he helped students process their personal identity and in his words, "Jesus showed up"—in a secular classroom.  They unpack some of Jamies thoughts about identity and worldviews that can help us all live freer and more connected to what ps going on around us.

Podcast Notes:


  1. It took me a couple of years to recognize what Jamie & Donna Winship were doing. Their book was helpful to move me along in understanding and receiving what they were communicating. Also, their teachings on youtube and various podcasts, have been helpful. This reminds me of the impact “The God Journey” has had on me over the last 9 or so years.

    The challange for the Winships may, I believe be that the message that they passing on, when fully received by other individuals can be so empowering that some people may move away from the institutional church towards a more organic version of the body of Christ, much like the vision of what I believe you Prophetically gave to us Wayne in So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore (SYDWTGTCA). Both the vision you have communicated and the Winships are communicating, shows people that “Finding Church”, can happen anywhere and everywhere we go; we don’t have pay admission to a building. But it has the potential to be quite subversive to the economic interests of an insitutional “Church”, and by extension therefore Jamie and Donna’s own ability to benefit financially on a scale that would impress the masses .

    Wayne thank you for repeating what Jamie said; “the false Identity can’t forgive”. I realy love this about the message that the Winships are passing on. I’m paraphrasing here; when we delight ourselves in our true Identity in Christ and his Kingdom ways (Mat 5-7), he will take good pleasure in giving us his Kingdom. In our true Identity, it is impossible to violate the true ways of Jesus.

    Kyle, thanks for blessing your students with the truth of how they are distinctly loved.

    Finally, Fear Not! God has a place and a purpose for all of his creation. Scarcity is but a lie!

  2. Thanks for your comments, Perry. The Winships offer some powerful perspective that may, as you say, undermine the economic interests of institutional Christianity. Hopefully at least the control aspects of it as people learn who they really are in Christ and not having to fear those who seek to control them.

  3. The conversation about two worldviews, connection and separation: I thought this was incredibly insightful. It took me in so many different directions…

    First, I love that this doesn’t divide people into exclusive categories like Christian and non-Christian: We each have a part of each worldview inside of us.

    It also reminded me of what Jesus did on the cross: I wonder if the cross is what it means for God to draw near to us in this broken age. Jesus, “God with us”, drawing near to us not just physically, but into the full depth of human experience and brokenness. I’ve often asked myself “what is it about the cross that frees us from sin, frees us from shame? How did it happen?” This clash between connection and alienation reminded me of that again. I wonder if sin ultimately comes from a deep sense of alienation, rejection, a sense that we are totally alone, that nobody understands or is able to be with us where we really are? Who can reach us? If love in our brokenness means feeling our hurt, our darkness, and even the evil that comes from such darkness: how can we possibly ask anyone to meet us there? And if sin is empowered by a sense that we are alone in it, how can we possibly save ourselves? I wonder if the cross somehow breaks the power of sin at its root by Jesus being with us, even there, starving sin of oxygen through connection, caring for us, enjoying us, forgiving us, even at our most broken. Maybe the cross completes the incarnation, that process of drawing near to us, not just physically, but in every way.

    On yet another very different tangent: I’m struggling a little bit with the terminology “connection vs separation”. Maybe it’s related to the limitations of language we use, but I still see a positive side to the word “separate” that isn’t necessarily the enemy of connection, not the same as alienation or shame. What I mean is we are each unique, have our own thoughts, feelings, ideas, personality: indivisible, created as a separate being. What I really hunger for is a togetherness with other people that comes without loss of separateness, and the ability for us to be separate without loss of togetherness (I first heard this from Gordon Neufield, and love the way he explores themes of connection & attachment). If, for the sake of connection, I lose the sense that I’m free be different or see things differently to others: Are they really connecting with “me”, or just some kind of mask? I don’t know if this makes any sense at all, but I love how this theme comes through so clearly in the God Journey podcasts. Honoring other people’s freedom, or the question ‘when is self-care not selfish?’, or again when Wayne talks about people who make decisions of conscience at great personal cost.
    Perhaps many things that look like separation don’t always come from this darker worldview, but could actually be part of what it means to seek a more real and deeper connection.

    • Thanks for your comments, Caleb. Jamie sure gives us a lot to chew on. And, sin and shame are certainly alienating factors that isolate people rather than build healthy connections. And I think I’d apply that last comment to you final paragraph as well. Connection is not about collectivism, which does destroy the individual sense of freedom and purpose. That isn’t what Jamie is talking about at all. You can only have healthy connection when you have a healthy sense of yourself and who Father has made you to be.

      • Hi Wayne, yeah it certainly is a lot to chew on, thanks for sharing the podcast. Yeah, I didn’t get any sense of collectivism from Jamie or the podcast with you and Kyle, quite the opposite! They were more some thoughts I’ve been wanting to get down on paper perhaps to help clarify for myself a bit what connection means.

        I also love Perry’s comment above about delighting ourselves in our identity in Christ, and how that opens the door to connect with others the way he is connecting with us.

    • Hi Caleb, what you eluded to about Sin being associated to “a sense that we are totally alone”, reminds me of the Spanish phrase “Vaya Con Dios”, which loosely translated means; “Go with God”. The opposite would be “Go WITHOUT God” or “Vaya SIN Dios”. The bulk of Religion seems to have often delivered quite a toxic message; the messave that we are separated from or without God. The message that we are Alone. The truth (as I hope I understand it) I want to share is that there is nothing we can do to separate us from the Triune God and his Love for us. So we never have been, we are, and never will be alone.

      • Hi Perry, that’s a lovely phrase “Vaya Con Dios”, it reminds me of goodbye in English “God be with you”.

        Yeah, and that’s such good news that nothing can separate us from God and his love for us, and love it how he opens doors for us to see the truth that we never have and never will be alone.

  4. Wayne, fairly deep into the podcast you talk briefly about the power of the cross to resist the influence of darkness and sin in our lives. I would love to hear more about how you have experienced that power in your life, what it looks like, and how it would generally apply to others. For a long time, my experience with overcoming sin could be described as a lot of self effort and self discipline to beat down the flesh. I was not very successful with that approach. In recent years, as I have begun to experience living loved, I have found that God replaces my desire for sin with a greater desire and fulfillment for something much better. Thus, I would not say that I am mastering or overcoming sin, rather just letting it go as I embrace something better. Has your experience been similar or different? Your comment about the power of the cross as it relates to overcoming sin caught my attention and I would like to hear more. Thanks for your time and allowing us to be a part of the conversation.

  5. Some final thought about Identity as I imagine the Winships may sometimes teach. They suggest asking Jesus to tell us our individual Identity. In the examples they give it appears that for some people, Jesus could reveal one’s identity almost instantly. For me however, as Gayle Erwin often said about the A-postiles (not the B-postiles), I am a rather S L O W L E A R N E R. When I asked Jesus what My Identity was, I heard nothing, at first. Then a day or so later a word kept coming to me that just sounded ridiculous and silly, and quite frankly a bit embarrassing. The word was “Porta-Potty”. Initially somewhat mortified, I asked someone I consider to be a bit further along than me about this. She assured me that this was probably accurate as she knows me to lovingly and joyfully help people eliminate and flush away unhealthy notions they may be harboring about God, and get them re-centered on His Love for Them.
    Some of the unhealthy things I’ve heard from people over the years:
    If your body is cremated after you die you will go to Hell (really, is that really how God is?)
    Jesus taught more about Hell than Heaven (as I understand it, he actually taught mostly about the Kingdom of Heaven coming to Earth, not ‘going to Heaven when we die’).
    The Holy Spirit retired from his work after he published his #1 best selling book titled “The HOLY Bible”.
    The New Testament is a schoolmaster to lead us … to church on Sunday.
    You can’t just Love people, they will use you as a door mat. ( …or maybe, by learning to live Loved and living to love as Christ did, we can be a Welcome Mat into the Kingdom of Heaven)

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