Matt W Cook

writer.former fundamentalist.christianly fellow

Category: guest post

Guest Post – News from i117

Hello friends!

It’s that time of year again–no, not Halloween. Widow’s Christmas Party!

In all the busyness of life it’s easy to forget about the hardships of people on the other side of the world. All the little things that make life in Canada comfortable and ‘safe’ tend to clutter up our attention. It is hard to keep the poor in mind when our hands are so full with work and school and kids and Halloween parties and whatever else we fill our lives with. Our goodies distract us.

Our widow friends have started to ask if the gathering is on for this year. I want to say ‘yes!’ And I want you to be a part of that ‘yes!’

With $600 we could throw a great party for these marginalized people of Sindh. Like each year, we will feed them, give them gifts of much-needed supplies and clothing, and share the love of Jesus. It’s a small sum of money that can be turned into a huge sum of love.

If you’d like to take part, go to i117’s Paypal site. Or message me through Facebook or e-mail.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, … For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
– Matthew 25:34-35

Ruth’s Last Word

One more guest post from Ruth.  Because she’s got things to say and I’m really tired.

So, as you can imagine, we’ve gotten a lot of emails this week. I’m sure each and every one of them was sent with a spirit of goodwill, but certain spoken/unspoken aspects of the communication have gotten me down, and I’d just like to express my feelings about them.

We have been married for more than nine years. Over this time we’ve developed a very special relationship. And not just in the normal way all relationships are special. I mean there is something weirdly uniquely special going on here that basically overcomes and destroys all joy-stealing obstacles in our path. Matt has changed over the years, but the thing that has not changed even the tiniest bit is that strange, wonderful relationship. I get the impression from others that our relationship is expected to suffer because of the different ways we view the world now. That sounds like a cop-out. Relationships suffer if the people in them are willing to let them suffer. There’s no other reason for it at all. In our situation, there is no obstacle to our walking together in perfect harmony, in spite of our disagreements. Matt’s different views have not turned him into some strange, new bizarro Matt.

There’s another idea that floats around the church that if you hang out with people who are outside the church you may get pulled along with them. But if someone’s faith can be injured by the people they hang out with, what kind of faith is that? Is that the life-transforming power of the Holy Spirit the Bible talks about? I’ve never understood it when people try to avoid ‘bad people.’ The ‘others.’ The ones who are on the ‘outside.’ I’ve never understood it because those are the very people that Jesus hung out with the most. Matt encourages my faith. He’s never tried to impose his views on me, even though we often have lots of discussions about those high things.

And, lastly, I appreciate everyone’s prayers, but don’t be sad for me. I’m quite happy. I have the Three Things: Faith, Hope and Love. The best is Love.

PS – I love you, Matt

The one about Ruth

This is a guest post from my wife, Ruth.  She’s awesome and everyone ought to love her.

Sometimes when there is a huge change, it threatens to taint our love and we accidentally suppress the love that Jesus gives us. But when there is change and differences, that is when our love and support ought to be strongest. It’s easy to cling to and support and love someone like you—so easy that it’s hardly worth anything. Luke 6:32

Matt and Ruth

Matt’s announcement was, obviously, not a surprise for me. Matt has always been utterly open and honest about his journey with me. Yes, when he first started realizing that he was leaving Christianity, it was a bit of a shock and even sad. But even though I have not made the same choices as Matt—I am still a committed Christian-we both have buckets of love bursting from our souls for each other and our relationship is still the best relationship I’ve ever seen. If anything he had only grown more gentle and kind in these last years and months.

The biggest question I’ll be getting is now, how am I taking all this? I’m taking it the same way I’ve been taking our relationship for nearly ten years: through struggles that always fall away in the massive waves of our love. I’m happy and blessed by awesome kids and a husband who is my role model regarding love and gentleness. If I believed in reincarnation, I’d want to be reborn as his wife in every life, haha.

Anyway, if anyone wants to drop me a line to ask questions or whatnot, I’m just as open as Matt.

And that’s the end.