Judging by the size of Covenant Life you probably don’t remember me. It was 2013 on Christmas Eve. My youth pastor had given me a copy of “IKDG” and it changed my perspective on dating for years to come. While I’ve seen the damage of it in my own lives and relationships of my friends it still had an effect on my life. I was visiting my family in Gaithersburg and we were going to church for the evening and they told me you were the pastor. I happened to have two of your books with me so I brought them hoping you would sign them.
My cousins introduced us and we talked for a moment about my hope to one day be a pastor. Not only did you sign my books I had but you gifted me a copy of “Dug Down Deep” your book on foundations for Christians. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this interaction really encouraged me for years to come. However, as time is going by and we have stepped into new seasons we both find ourselves in similar positions. Struggling, questioning, and critically thinking which are all leading us to conclusions that we never thought we’d have. However, because of pastors like you and because of books like “Dug Down Deep” there are certain beliefs that I have refused to give up on.
I refuse to give up on Christianity because I refuse to give up on Jesus. I understand the movement you grew up in, I grew up in the sister on the West Coast, fundamentalism and reformed thinking were the foundations of everything I once believed. Once I started questioning it I began to realize that I had hurt people and that I was wrong about things I had believed my entire walk as a believer. But there was one thing that I knew I wasn’t wrong about and that is that Jesus is King.
You said something interesting in your Instagram post, about deconstruction and no longer calling yourself a Christian. That’s discouraging and confusing to me because I’m deconstructing but I’m still a Christian. I’m deconstructing but I can’t walk away from Jesus or my marriage for that matter. But at the same time I understand. It’s easy for people like us who grew up in evangelical conservative movements to prescribe Christianity to this set of rules and it is one way of life instead of prescribing it to the person who freely gives life and life abundantly.
It’s also an interesting classification to say that “deconstruction” is synonymous with “falling away” as if somehow 2+2-1600 years of Christian Orthodoxy spread out across all continents practiced through different liturgy=American Evangelical Fundamentalism is the only true gospel. You’ve made a systematic theology and a modernist philosophy (not necessarily the culture of the Old or New Testament) conducive with following the King of all creation, cultures, and languages.
A peer of yours wrote an open letter referring to you as a false teacher, while I understand the rhetoric I do not necessarily agree with it. It would be far to easy to write you off with that label on your forehead. I think you’re a man who understands the Bible, can think critically and has gone to the highest levels of theological training without ever meeting Jesus, perhaps as many of our Fundamentalist brothers have. But I know he can meet us there. He met many religious people and I believe He still does. While I do not agree with some of the conclusions you have come to I am rooting for you and praying for you. I pray you will come back to the fellowship of believers and I pray you will reconcile your marriage. But above all I pray you meet Jesus.
Grace and Peace