The one that clarifies things
by MW Cook
I’ve written quite a few drafts of this over the summer. They were mostly long and had all manner of shiny points and quips. I didn’t really like any of them. Some of them were preachy and others sounded snarky. One of them read like a guy desperate to avoid misunderstanding, and so the text was long and meandering and sure to cause misunderstanding. So the best way, I decided this morning, is to keep things tight and brief.
I am not a Christian.
It’s partially my fault that even this statement needs a bit of clarification. As an evangelical I tried to distance myself from words like Christian and religion because I felt they had been hijacked by systems that did not represent Jesus in the way I saw him. So there needs to be just a little more clarity.
I think Jesus was an amazingly insightful man.
I think the Bible is an important piece of literature.
It’s been a long and complex road from where I was to where I am.
Only the tiniest tip of my walk has been expressed on-line. In the weeks to come I’ll use this blog to unpack some of my thoughts on the journey and how I look at the universe now. But it’s important to be brief when talking about big heavy things, so I won’t say much more right now.
I’m open and approachable and would love to hear from you, either in public comments or private messages. I know a lot of folks don’t like using the Internet for important talks, but I think with care and mindfulness any medium can be awesome for clear, friendly communication, even when dealing with subjects as heavy as this one.
One last thing: I love you. I may be out, but I don’t even have a drop of negative feelings toward where I’ve come from or the people and institutions that have shaped me. I am happier than I have ever been in my life, both in magnitude and consistency, and that would never have been possible without my past.
Looking forward to many wonderful talks,
Timely this, as I had determined to email you and ask if you could explain exactly where you stood these days. I’d love to email you, perhaps you could send me an address?
You can either send me a message on Facebook, or an email at email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you.
Reading thru your blog, I could notice the progression you’ve made over time. Looking forward to reading more on your journey.
I am really saddened to read this. A while ago I resisted the urge to fight with my father, because he was arguing with you on facebook and I thought that you were just following Jesus in a more progressive way. At least he showed he cared enough to say something; I was afraid of being misconstrued on the internet, so I was silent.
I think one of the more “amazingly insightful” things that Jesus said is: “I am the resurrection and the life.” I guess this is at the point where there is nothing left but the crying and praying; so I’ll pray that you come to believe Jesus again.
Are you close with a guy called Nate Barnett? He spoke at our church once about a missional project amongst muslims that sounded really excellent; and I think I saw him in some of your pictures online. He has been saying some things that made me almost as sad as this post did and I wondered if I ought to be praying the same for him.
Maybe this to will sound preachy, I hope it comes across as I am feeling; sad.
“this too* will sound preachy,”
Matt…..Is it religion you have left or is it Jesus you have left?
Hi Matt – I fear that you’ve constructed the wording in this post very deliberately in an effort to make a statement. Yvonne’s question really cuts to what those that respect and care about you want to know…are you disowning Christianity and religion, or are you disowning Jesus?
I’m not sure how to make it much more clear. I think Jesus was an amazingly insightful man–and that’s all. I think the Bible is an interesting and important piece of literature–and that’s all. What statement do you fear I’m trying to make?
As Yvonne said above, I wondered if this was a movement away from organized religion, versus a complete disassociation from your former beliefs. Forgive me for pushing the issue, but I think it’s vitally important that those that look up to you and respect you have an unambiguous understanding of where you stand now – which you’ve provided.
I trust that you’ll find whatever it is you’re seeking, but will be praying for you.
Hey Buddy, Was so good to see you the last time you and Ruth were in KW. I’ve been appreciating your honesty throughout this journey. It is really hard to make yourself believe something that you actually don’t believe. I’d love to continue engaging you in conversation throughout this journey, although I’d prefer to do more of it in person than online. That means . . . a visit to Toronto (for me) or KW (for you) is in order.
long time no see. Maybe last time we met was in the prison in Karachi?
I’m wishing we could meet for chai night, 6 rupees a cup down the bottom end of Murree Bazaar where no white folk ever go, chew the fat and dream dreams together. But sadly I’m not welcome back there.
I wrote some stuff, deleted it, wrote it again, deleted it again. I reckon lots of other have done the same. Wanting to say something profound but not wanting to be cheesey, wanting to prompt something but not be all preachey, wanting to touch you but not push you. Not sure I have the words, but that’s ok.
we have a spare room near Heathrow if you guys are ever passing through. Chai might be a pound a cup, but its still worth drinking with friends and brothers.